|In 1994, Gary Larson's comic strip "The Far Side" got its first TV special outing, Tales from the Far Side, which was shown as a Halloween special on CBS. True to the nature of the strip, it's bizarre, surreal, and funny.|
More than perhaps any other special on this site, "Tales from the Far Side" is really more for adults. There's almost no dialogue in the whole thing, just a series of sound effects, spooky music and barnyard animal noises. As one would expect from The Far Side, there are plenty of cows, farmers, personified insects, and kids - the stuff that formed the "cast" of the comic strip.
There's no plot, per se, just a series of short vignettes featuring a lot of gags taken right from the strip - a bird scoops some roadkill off the street with a spatula, a gang of rowdy butterfly hunters drive by with a giant butterfly tied to the windshield, etc. The first vignette, after the title sequence, features insects watching "The Fly" as the in-flight movie on a doomed airplane. Others include "The Bacon Bunch," a Brady Bunch parody that's MUCH funnier than The Brady Bunch. Some are Halloween themed, and nearly all at least feature SOMETHING getting killed. I have to wonder how outrageously bizarre it would seem to people who had never seen the comic strip and didn't know what sort of humor to expect.
This special, moreso than any other on the site, is a true original, and a real work of art. Hard to find for years, it became a sort of a cult film for a while there (and still is, though it's easier to find now). A longer follow-up was screened at several film festivals in 1997 (after the strip had been retired) but never got an airing in the US.