Commander USA's Groovie Movies
) aired from 1985 to 1989 on the USA Network
, its debut predating USA's even more infamous late-night cheese fest Up All Night
Commander USA (played by Jim Hendricks) was a Saturday afternoon B-Movie host in the tradition of late night B-Movie hosts Elvira and Joe Bob Briggs. This "retired super hero" from "a video vault in suburban New Jersey" chomped cigars, dressed in red and blue tights with the the words "USA" in an explosion on his chest, and chatted with sidekick "Lefty" (his right hand with a face drawn on it) as he shamelessly hosted the segments between the commercials and the movie itself.
Much like your typical DJ, Commander USA's dialogue consisted of bad jokes and trivia most everyone knew, though he rarely resorted to making fun of the movie itself (unlike MST3K, but once again much like a DJ, who can't afford to insult the company providing the product.)
Oftentimes the second half of Commander USA's show would be "Kung-Fu Theater," a showcase for the worst martial arts movies to ever come out of the Orient, the likes of which only the USA network was willing to devote airtime to. The Commander's video vault also included such classics as:
. . . and other pieces of B-cinema not seen since. In some Internet tape-trading communities, video cassettes of the Commander's show are traded like hotcakes, being the only decent quality copies of films long since consigned to the trash bin of history.