We Saw the World’s First Throne Made Out of ‘Jerry Maguire’ VHS Tapes
Everything Is Terrible first established themselves through a DVD series, where bizarre and forgotten video clips are edited rhythmically to themes like “Holiday,” “Hip Hop,” and “Disneyland.” They’re intensely popular: Fans flock to their screenings around the country, there’s even been two “movies” and their collaboration with Los Angeles’s Cinefamily—the Everything Is Festival—is in its fifth year.
Dimitri Simakis and Nic Maier are the co-creators of Everything is Terrible and their long-running project, Maguirewatch, wants your VHS copies of Jerry Maguire. Their goal is to save billions ofJerry Maguire tapes “from their natural thrift store habitats.” There have been plenty of copycats, but the EIT folks have been at this since 2009. With a current collection of 7,489—I’d say they’ve been making some strides. We caught up with Simakis and Maier at Cinefamily, where they were unveiling a massive Jerry Maguire throne.
VICE: What’s important about chronicling Jerry Maguire VHS tapes versus other VHS tapes?
Dimitri Simakis: Absolutely nothing, and I think that’s the point. Jerry Maguire is a movie version of a piece of white paper, and yet every thrift shop, every flea market, and every fledgling video store has a disturbing amount of Jerry Maguire tapes. They’re like these perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes that you see from a mile away, and you can’t [help] but notice a pattern. Like a jerk, I started placing them next to each other and taking photos, thinking “Oh, this’ll be cute! We’ll ask fans to post their own Jerry sightings and call it ‘Maguirewatch! Ha ha ha!” But when we premiered our first movie at The Cinefamily we really wanted to put on a show. We went to Amoeba, bought a hundred Jerrys and unveiled them onstage like “Eh? A hundred Jerry Maguire tapes looks pretty cool, right?” Cut to seven years later and our count is currently 7,489 Jerrys. At this point, I can’t fucking believe this is still happening. It’s gone from sort-of funny, to not as funny—to not even a little funny—to these tapes will be the death of us. That is, until we saw them all in one place at Everything Is Festival and we remembered why we started doing this in the first place—because a throne made of 7,489 Jerry Maguires looks fucking awesome.
Hell yeah, it does. I couldn’t help but take a photo with the cardboard bishop’s hat myself. On that note, why do you think so many Jerry Maguire tapes have been discarded over the years?
Nic Maier: There’s been many theories tossed around over the years. They include the timing of the movie’s release being the last huge hit before the DVD era, the false flag popularity of it where every yokel with a VCR bought it because it won some award only to never pop that seal; the rise and fall of Cuba [Gooding Jr.], the number of catchphrases per capita were higher than any other release ever, and so on. However, it is actually way bigger than all that. The fate of the Jerry is controlled by something far greater than the fickle hand of mere consumer godliness. The Jerrys exist on a cosmic level above all other consumer items. The creator made them, released them, and sent us to return them home—for what, we don’t know. It is a very “Noah’s yacht” type of scenario. Once we have them all, we’ll be told what’s next and possibly also why and whatnot. Until then, we’re just going to keep mindlessly stacking and moving, moving and stacking…