A video recently leaked on the internet showing what Ted Turner planned to broadcast on CNN during the 1980s in the event that the world was coming to an end. The solemn, creepy video simply shows a marching band playing a song to send us all off into the ether.
Well that sounds boring and much too sad. So we at The Gateway asked ourselves what we’d like to watch on television instead when everything comes crashing down around us.
The Final Countdown
If I knew that the world was going to end, I would want the video sendoff to be a fitting tribute to the events that are unfolding. That’s why I’d want the music video for “The Final Countdown,” by Europe to play. It just makes sense — I mean, the end of the world should be considered an epic event, even if it means humanity being wiped out. There’s no song more epic than “The Final Countdown,” and no song more fit for the task of ringing in the end of the world in style. Just listen to the synth riff, if that doesn’t get you fired up, you’re probably already dead.
The image of everyone banding together all around the world, watching this music video and waiting for the end would be a sight to behold. It also fits if there’s a plan to evacuate Earth, considering the song espouses the benefits of leaving Earth behind us and blasting off into the solar system — although I’m not really sure how plausible a manned expedition to Venus is.
Nevertheless, 80s classic “The Final Countdown” would send us all out in style and give us a catchy riff to hum while we’re waiting to be consumed by fire. – Zach Borutski
Too Many Cooks
In the midst of the chaos and confusion that the world would be facing at its end, there’s no better time for televisions across the globe to be broadcasting Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks. At first glance it just seems like some sort of elaborate 11-minute parody of open credits from ’80s and ’90s TV sitcoms. But Too Many Cooks shares a deeper story of humanity past the first few opening minutes and upon consecutive viewings.
At its full effect, the parody becomes a reflection of humanity. Our mundane, trivial existence is represented in the first few rounds of opening credits where we meet each loveable family member in a seemingly endless cycle of repetition — death and its surrounding darkness marked by the cannibalistic serial killer knocking off family members.
Finally, we arrive to salvation by Smarf pushing what appears to be a reset button, reincarnating all of the different shows’ cast members into existence in a single set. It’s not quite heaven, hell or purgatory, but the parallels to each can’t be ignored. Those who didn’t quite catch the point of Too Many Cooks during the peak of its popularity may find its themes soothing at the world’s end. – Jon Zilinski
The War of the Worlds
If the end of the world is nigh, I would like to go out listening to The War of the Worlds over my TV or radio. Not the terrible movie with Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, but the original radio show directed by Orson Welles in 1938 that inspired widespread panic when it was broadcasted, and made people think that Earth was actually being invaded by Martians.
Broadcasting this show during the actual apocalypse would be at times hilarious, apropos and poignant, like the boy who cried wolf 40-plus years early, and a wonderfully ironic reminder of that time we thought the world would end and didn’t, later to be undone by time and whatever happens to be our downfall. Additionally, the show would inspire a wonderful sense of nostalgia that would just be the icing on the cake and help the world go out in style. – Hannah Madsen
As the world crumbles around us in our final moments, I want to remember humanity at its best. Human ingenuity has gifted us with the Sistine Chapel, the Mona Lisa and the Statue of David. But the pinnacle of human creativity is undoubtedly Michael Jackson’s music video for “Thriller.” Werewolves, zombies, the greatest dance move of all time, red leather pants and MJ in his prime – “Thriller” had it all. It brings me back to a simpler time, before Neverland Ranch and baby dangling, when the king was the king. I’ll leave this world practicing my thriller moves, comforted by 1980’s nostalgia. – Trevor McPherson
If the world’s ending and I’m still sitting on my butt in front of the television, I’d be hoping for some sweet footage of nature. Something like Planet Earth with the narration turned off, so all that you can see is beautiful, uninterrupted shots of birds flying through the trees and waterfalls and all of the things that I’d clearly never get to experience in person.
Preferably, it’d be shown with maybe some soulful piano music, but certainly it would have to be without any science commentary because nobody wants to learn stuff right before they die. I can think of nothing I’d rather see before meeting my fate. It’s been scientifically proven that images of nature tend to relax people and make them feel happier (this isn’t class, I don’t have to cite this shit, just trust me), so why would you want to keep anybody from experiencing something peaceful right before the end of the world?
Earth is a big planet. It’s impossible to see all of its beauty on your own. But thanks to people who have travelled to and filmed the coolest spots on the planet, you can witness all of the beauty without having to go outside. Which is probably a good thing, because there’s a possibility that going outside during the apocalypse might actually kill you. Obama and Harper take note, when the world ends, the best choice for a final broadcast is footage of nature. – Maggie Schmidt
Ok, assuming that the world was about to end didn’t reduce me, or everybody else in the world, into a sobbing emotional mess and assuming that instead of spending time with my friends or family on the dawn of this very sad event like a normal human being, I’d choose to squander the few remaining minutes of my life watching TV, I think that there would be no better time to show a goddamn sense of humour. What better way to do that than with a video of Tom Lehrer playing “We Will All Go Together When We Go,” a tongue-in-cheek song celebrating our collective obliteration.
Not only is it hilarious, but for those incapacitated by anxiety on their imminent destruction, it could honestly help them realize that maybe the apocalypse isn’t so bad. After all, “there will be no more misery when the world is our rotisserie.” It might actually help people realize in their final moments that it’s not just their existence coming to an end, but they can rest assured that we will all face oblivion together. Besides, it’s not like there will be anything left in the world worth living for once the apocalypse comes. We will all go together when we go, and yes, “what a comforting fact that is to know.” – Nathan Fung