the weirdest late-night tv show of the 80s is now streaming online
Night Flight, the loveably eclectic cable show that aired between 1981 and 1988, showcased Lou Reed, the Dead Kennedys, and some seriously 80s computer animation.
Over the past few years we've been teased and terrorised with sketchy remakes of our favourite childhood shows and movies. One show taking a different approach to its 2016 reincarnation is underground music channel Night Flight, which ruled the airwaves between 1981 and 1988 — or at least the weekends of those who stayed awake between midnight and 6am on Fridays and Saturdays to watch it. The variety show featured music videos, interviews, features, B movies, cartoons, and many other eclectic segments from an equally eclectic bunch of artists. Most of them were on the cutting edge of cool at the time, though as a testament to the producers' curatorial chops, are now household names. The "New Wave Theatre" segment, hosted by Peter Ivers (before he was found murdered in his apartment in 1983), was noted for showcasing rising punk and new wave acts including Bad Religion, the Dead Kennedy's, 45 rave, and Circle Jerks. In 2013 Kathleen Hanna told an interviewer, "I learned about punk from this cable show called Night Flight."
Night Flight's entire history has now been uploaded onto the internet as Night Flight Plus — a streaming channel featuring all the OG episodes plus "concert films and other Night Flight-related offerings," notes Brooklyn Vegan. The episodes are all handily organised and available to select via genre or original series. The Video Killed the Radio Star documentary series features a David Bowie film with the late legend's own thoughts on his game-changing videos, "a rare look at the sexy uncensored China Girl video MTV refused to play due to Bowie's brief nudity and sensuality," and the creation of Bowie and Mick Jagger's landmark LIVE AID video Dancing in the Street.
Showing further commitment to its roots, Night Flight Plus comes with a very 80s price tag of only $2.99 per month (or $29.99 for a whole year). It's currently only available on Roku or Chromecast, but Apple TV and Amazon versions are said to be launching soon.
Text Hannah Ongley
Image via YouTube