If you prospered up in the suburbs of the early on 90s, you might recall the hazy visage of Tom Smothers waggling his bony hips with two yo-yos flipping roughly in a bizarre made-for-TV phase act.

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Perhaps it’s among those memories you save hidden in the earlier of your brain, favor Martin Brief in a punk band, or the Toy Story Sega Genesis game – somewhere between a daydream and a nightmare.

But, Yo Yo Man is no dream. Released in 1988, The Yo Yo Man Instructional Video was a widely effective Smothers Brothers VHS Tape that succumbed over 200,000 sales and continues to be an alt-comedy entry suggest for many type of youngsters of the 1990s that had actually a weird feeling of humor and also a penchant for cool tricks.


Browsing via the archival connect above (which is thanktotally cluttered through all the dreamlike VHS bloops and buzzes of your subconscious), you might notification exactly how stvariety this film have to have been for the uninitiated. Predating Tim and also Eric, Adult Swim, and also our new wave of super-weird green display screen comedy, the Smothers Brothers’ filmed phase routine has actually all the mamonarchs of an absurdist “why does this exist” masterpiece.

According to the Yo Yo Wikia, Tom Smothers obtained the “(I’m a) Yo-Yo Man” tune from songwriter Rick Cunha in the beforehand 1980s, and also, recalling some yo-yo tricks from his childhood, decided to add a Yo facet to the Smothers Brothers phase act. By 1986, Yo-Yo Man made his deyet on The Tonight Show, and also the stselection legfinish was born.

“The famous and effective have actually all gone after the same goal. They have actually searched and also searched, and also searched, and also searched… for the pure and also supreme State of Yo!!”

The “Instructional Video” somejust how doubles as a kind of alternative health and wellness narrative. Following Tom as a sad young boy trying to find acceptance, the “State of Yo” is, supposedly, all about transcendence. The weird, comedic story adheres to the lonesome Yo-Yo traveler, as he pursuits through claymation security tips, spider-internet sight gags, music video interludes, etc, until eventually, Tom Smothers, and also we, end up being “Yo Masters,” in the finish.

But, aside from Tom Smothers’s fascinatingly masterful skills via a yo-yo (view some his amazing tricks in the ending), the strangest thing about this tape is trying to decipher the true deceit of it all.

Clearly on the Smothers Brothers, with their incredibly bizarre sense of humor, are in on the joke – however simply how far does this joke go, really? When Tom ascends to area and achieves Yo-Nirvana in the end, are they on the level via us? When he receives green suspenders, and provides a suggest of the hip and also a weird smile to his voiceless bearded guru, are the Smothers Brothers spooking youngsters deliberately, or is this simply an old-fashioned looney goof, handed down from absurdist comics of their time, choose early Carlin, or Steve Martin?

Or, is the Yo-Yo Man Instructional Video somepoint a lot smarter than it lets on to be – probably this was the Smothers Brothers’ grand statement around late 80s in America, a period once transcendental meditation was infiltrating the suburbs, when tofuressential endangered the sanctity of the Thanksoffering dinner, and also comedy had got to its devastating all-time shlockiest (watch Gallagher’s Sledge-O-Matic).

Whatever before the case, Yo-Yo Man certainly made it easier for weird youngsters favor me to survive the darkness of submetropolitan America – I never before uncovered acceptance as an elementary institution outactors till I brought my newuncovered yo-yo abilities to the playground, and also shared through others the blessed State of Yo.

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Dominick Nero is a filmmaker and also writer based out of Astoria, NY. He produces for Magnalux Pictures and also has been on a satirical ramweb page of destruction via his recent videos – follow him on Twitter
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