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Max Headroom

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**Development of Max Headroom:**
– Rocky Morton created a graphic for Channel 4’s music video program.
– Max Headroom’s character persona was developed by writers David Hansen and Paul Owen.
– The character’s background story was set in a dystopian future dominated by television and corporations.
– Actor Matt Frewer was chosen for the role after impressing with his improvisation skills.
– Morton initially wanted a computer-generated host but settled for an actor resembling a CGI character.
– Frewer’s casting was influenced by his features and comedic improvisation skills.
– Frewer drew inspiration from Ted Baxter for Max’s persona.

**Production of Max Headroom:**
– Max Headroom’s iconic look included a dark suit and Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses.
– Frewer portrayed Max in latex and foam prosthetics due to limited CGI technology.
– The real image of Max Headroom was created through makeup and prosthetics.
– Frewer’s dialogue improvisation added to Max’s persona during filming.

**Influence and Legacy of Max Headroom:**
– Max Headroom’s appearance and speech style influenced various media.
– The character made appearances in music videos, films, and commercials.
– Max Headroom debuted in a TV movie and later hosted a show on Channel 4.
– Matt Frewer portrayed Max in an American TV drama series.
– Max Headroom became a global spokesperson for New Coke with the catchphrase ‘Catch the wave!’

**Max Headroom in Popular Culture:**
– Max Headroom inspired imitations and spoofs in various media.
– The character appeared in novels, TV series, and advertisements.
– Max Headroom was parodied in different shows and movies, like Back to the Future Part II.
– The character made cameos in various forms of media, including video games and books.

**Future Developments and Cultural Impact of Max Headroom:**
– AMC announced a series reboot with Matt Frewer reprising his role.
– Max Headroom’s ongoing relevance in modern media and potential for new adaptations.
– The character’s influence on music videos, digital media, and pop culture.
– Max Headroom’s presence in awards and recognition in the media and entertainment industry.
– Continuation of Max Headroom’s legacy in the digital entertainment industry.

Max Headroom (Wikipedia)

Max Headroom is a fictional character played by actor Matt Frewer. Advertised as "the first computer-generated TV presenter", Max was known for his biting commentary on a variety of topical issues, arrogant wit, stuttering, and pitch-shifting voice. The character was created by George Stone, Annabel Jankel, and Rocky Morton. Max was advertised as "computer-generated", and some believed this, but he was actually actor Frewer wearing prosthetic makeup, contact lenses, and a plastic moulded suit, and sitting in front of a blue screen. Harsh lighting and other editing and recording effects heighten the illusion of a CGI character. According to his creators, Max's personality was meant to be a satirical exaggeration of the worst tendencies of television hosts in the 1980s who wanted to appeal to youth culture, yet were not a part of it. Frewer proposed that Max reflected an innocence, largely influenced not by mentors and life experience but by information absorbed from television.

Max Headroom
Max Headroom character
First appearance
Last appearance
Created by
Portrayed byMatt Frewer
Voiced byMatt Frewer
In-universe information
SpeciesArtificial intelligence
OccupationTelevision host

Max Headroom debuted in April 1985 on Channel 4 in the British-made cyberpunk TV movie Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future, his origin story. In the movie, Edison Carter (portrayed by Frewer) is a journalist fleeing enemies into a parking garage, crashing his motorcycle through the entrance barrier reading "Max. headroom 2.3 metres" - UK vehicle clearance signs use the phrase "Max headroom". While Carter is unconscious, an AI program based on his mind is created. The AI develops a personality identified as "Max Headroom", and becomes a TV host who exists only on broadcast signals and computer systems. Like Carter, Max openly challenges the corporations that run his world, but using commentary and sarcastic wit rather than journalism.

Two days after the TV-movie was broadcast, Max hosted Channel 4's The Max Headroom Show, a TV programme where he introduces music videos, comments on various topics, and eventually interviews guests before a live studio audience. During its second and third year, it also aired in the US on Cinemax. Max Headroom became a global spokesperson for New Coke, appearing on many TV commercials with the catchphrase "Catch the wave!". After the cancellation of The Max Headroom Show, Matt Frewer portrayed Max and Carter in the 1987 American TV drama series Max Headroom on ABC. The series returns to Carter and Max challenging the status quo of a cyberpunk world, now portraying them as allies and providing a slightly altered version of Max's origin. The series was cancelled during its second year.

Max's appearance and style of speech has influenced and been referenced by different media, such as Ron Headrest, a fictional character in the comic strip Doonesbury who was a political parody of Ronald Reagan, and Eminem's 2013 "Rap God" video, in which the rapper resembles Max. Max Headroom was emulated by an unknown person in a Max mask while hijacking a local television broadcast signal in 1987, later referred to as the "Max Headroom incident". To advertise and promote Channel 4 and its subsidiary channels shifting from broadcast to digital signal, an aged Max Headroom (again portrayed by Frewer) appeared in new commercials in 2007 and 2008. Max has a cameo in the 2015 film Pixels.

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