By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Nov 10, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett call themselves "curators."

They're more than that, of course.

They're filmmakers and performers and pranksters.

But their great love is the collection of oddball videos they've put together over the years, a collection that they're again sharing with audiences in their "Found Footage Festival," which comes home to Milwaukee a 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday at the Oriental Theatre.

Tickets are $10, and available at the Found Footage Web site.

The Wisconsin guys have a special place in their collection heart for a place in West Allis called Schroeder Books and Music.

"You go in there, and the owner is sort of hunched over, squatting over a low-slung chair, asleep," Prueher said in a phone interview "The place is just stacked to the ceiling with books and VHS tapes, five-foot-fall stacks of tapes. You could just spend days in there."

It sounds like they did.

This year's touring show features a cameo from Bob Odenkirk, of "How I Met Your Mother," "Breaking Bad," and a compilation of exercise videos featuring the likes of Cher and Lyle Alzado. There's also a bit of home video from a 1986 weekend in Fort Lauderdale.

Then there's "Dr. Rocco," who stars in a video called "Enjoying Love Making Through Hypnosis."

They find their found video in places like garage sales, thrift stores and the like.

"Occasionally, we'll find a video camera," he said. "We'll just plug it in and hit eject and they'll still be a video inside."

As "curators," they're sort of video and cultural historians. But Prueher promises "our primary goal is comedy.

"The show isn't mean spirited," he said. "It's more of a celebration of all this stuff. Our primary goal is comedy."

Here's a sample of the kinds of video in the "Found Footage Festival":



Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.