Pirate Chicago TV Broadcast in 1987

200px-maxheadroommpegman.jpgDuring a broadcast of the Dr. Who episode “Horror of Fang Rock” on WTTW Chicago Channel 11, on Sunday November 22, 1987, at around 11:15pm, a video “pirate” wearing a Max Headroom mask broke into the signal and transmitted one of the weirdest, unauthorized things ever to hit the Chicago airwaves.

Earlier in the evening on the same day, during the Nine O’Clock News on Channel 9 (a completely different channel) the Max Headroom Pirate also broke in – although it was for a much shorter time and there was no audio.

Needless to say, the sports reporter was a bit flustered during the broadcast—the pirate was never caught.

What is he saying? Check it out:

“He’s a freaky nerd!”
“This guy’s better than Chuck Swirsky.” [another WGN sportscaster at the time]
“Oh Jesus!”
“Catch the wave…” [reference to a Coke commercial at the time of which Max Headroom was a spokesperson]
“Your love is fading…”
“I stole CBS.”
“Oh, I just made a giant masterpiece printed all over the greatest world newspaper nerds.” [??]
“My brother [mother?] is wearing the other one.”
“It’s dirty…”
“They’re coming to get me…”

One response to “Pirate Chicago TV Broadcast in 1987”

  1. What?! This is amazing. Your reporting on things-we-need-to-know-but-don’t-know-we-need-to-know is exceptional (and as Rumsfeldian as that sounds, I mean it as a compliment). I am inspired by the anarchist subject of your post. Keep rockin’, and Happy May Day!

    – Amy

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