Remember the 2001 Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode that you watched ad nauseam until you learned every last lyric? It had a shot at eternal life thanks to a national tour of Rocky Horror-style midnight screenings. And now those sing-alongs have been silenced by red tape. Dude, the Buffster would be so pissed!
Organizer Clinton McClung began staging the events last winter, but more than 15,000 guests later, the Screen Actors Guild caught wind that McClung was charging admission — and presented 20th Century Fox Television with a six-figure bill for residuals that it said the series’ cast was owed. So Fox — which was okay with not-for-profit screenings but not paid-admission showings — ordered McClung to lower the curtain. ”I was pretty sure everybody knew about them,” says McClung, who had a distribution agreement with Criterion Pictures. ”It’s a real bummer.” Criterion, for its part, says in a statement that the contract was only for ”non-theatrical” rights (i.e., free showings) and is now ”diligently pursuing” a broader agreement with Fox.
So does that mean a Buffy-worthy rebirth is possible? Creator Joss Whedon called the cancellation ”hugely depressing” on his blog, but for now a resurrection is only likely if fans unite to organize free events. (McClung says he’ll help facilitate them.) ”Fox has no interest in stifling fan activity,” says a studio spokesman. ”We’re thrilled that people are so excited about Buffy that they’re getting together to act it out three years later.” Somehow, we suspect this is one quagmire Viva Laughlin won’t someday face.
Three more TV episodes that scream for a sing-along
Saved By the Bell, ”Jessie’s Song”
In which resident bookworm Jessie Spano takes speed and spazzes to ”I’m So Excited”
The Golden Girls ”Journey to the Center of Attention”
Blanche Devereaux warbling atop a piano? Divine!
The Simpsons ”A Streetcar Named Marge”
Ned Flanders and Marge play Stanley and Stella. Both creepy and campy.