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Moron Movies

Moron Movies

But seriously, have you guys watched these?

Oddly available in every video store in North America circa 1992, even in this information-saturated internet age, it’s difficult to get straight answers on Moron Movies. Len Cella, a gray, drab middle-aged man living an apparently very solitary life, acts, directs, and crews these flaccidly-punchlined, one-joke shorts. Forget Jandek; if you want to stare nakedly into the face of hermetic isolation, Len Cella will show you heretofore-unknown depths of human horror. A sample skit: a crude title card reads ‘How to Aggravate.’ Cella, most likely in a distressed white tee-shirt, appears on screen. He bangs trash can lids together with his feet, then says, in a dull, dead voice: “Does that aggravate you? Huh? Hahahahaha!” The closest he comes to a catchphrase is a deflated sounding, hands in the air “Jesus Christ!”

Apparently these first popped up on the Carson ‘Tonight Show’ in 1968, were a regular feature thereafter, then eventually surfaced on ‘TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes’ as ‘Len Cella’s Silly Cinema.’ Some sources suggest that Cella, a former house-painter, is a Philadelphia native, though if memory serves I’d concluded that ‘Moron Movies’ were filmed in Scranton–maybe that just seemed fitting. Philadelphia City Paper, covering the premiere of his opus ‘Crap’ (as recently as 2002!) identifies him as a native of Broomall, and then other sources identify the basement of the Lansdowne Theatre in Lansdowne, PA as his onetime home. At any rate, I guess I’m glad to learn that Len is still (so far as I can tell) alive and still doing… What he does.

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