Initially aired on Johnny Carson’s ‘Tonight Show’ in 1968, Len Cella’s Moron Movies became a regular feature between 1983 and 1985, then eventually surfaced on ‘TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes’ as Len Cella’s Silly Cinema a title which he allegedly despised. Curiously available in every video store in North America in the mid 90s, even in the current information-saturated internet age of blogs and wikipedia, details regarding Cella’s videos and ‘Moron Movies’ remain obscure, counter cultural entities.
Len Cella, a gray, drab middle-aged man stars, directs, and crews what some have referred to as “flaccidly-punchlined, one-joke shorts. Watching his work is like staring into the face of hermetic isolation.” A Philadelphia City Paper, covering the premiere of his opus ‘Crap’ in 2002 identified him as a native of Broomall, and then other sources identify the basement of the Lansdowne Theatre in Lansdowne, PA as his onetime home. A well researched article on Len Cella, his past and current shenanigans can be referenced here.
Absurd, simple, repetitive, yet completely DIY– Cella’s work straddles comedy, the perverse, and the macabre. Think what you want about the content of his work– he doesn’t give a fuck. Which is exactly what I gives these micro-pieces their cred. Unapologetic, self-made, ridiculous, but above all pure and direct–it’s a rare treat to find works of this nature, in a world where Lena Dunham is considered a DIY auteur.
He also wrote a book in 1987 called, Things to Worry About (In Case You Run Out): A Definitive Guide to the Ultimate in Worries, Phobias and Fears but I can’t find any photos or reviews on the interwebs.
Follow Len on twitter @Godcella
Special thanks to Tina and Kevin De Broux for the head’s up!