TOKYO, JAPAN – Astronomers combing the stars for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence have reportedly picked up the first-ever transmission from outer space. And it turns out to be the worst sitcom in the universe!
Scientists confirm that the 23-minute broadcast intercepted by the Nobeyama Radio Observatory in Japan on September 15 appears to be an entertainment program created by an alien civilization — and it stinks.
“The show has every worn-out cliché you’ve seen on TV a million times,” declares linguist Barry Malford of San Diego, who has been working with colleagues in Japan to translate the material. “There are the corny put-downs; the wacky neighbor who’s always bursting through the door unannounced —there’s even a canned laugh track.
“It’s somewhat disappointing. We expected the first alien message to be profound words of wisdom from a super-advanced civilization.
“Instead, you have ETs cackling at coarse insult humor and pratfalls that would make most sophisticated Earthlings reach for the remote.”
The transmission was received at 2:36 a.m. by a powerful, 150-foot radio telescope at the observatory, which is participating in SETI, the international Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. For decades, hundreds of such telescopes have been trained on the stars, searching the electromagnetic spectrum for wave patterns that suggest intelligent origin.
It was obvious the broadcast was some kind of comedy, because every 30 seconds or so, there would be a burst of high-pitched laughter, he adds. “You can tell the laughter is recorded because it’s always the same.”
The main characters appear to be a grouchy adult male named Groo Tag and his mate. The humor derives primarily from Groo Tag’s insults of a younger male who has moved in with them — presumably an adult son. There is also a “cute” alien child who delivers one-liners. At several points, a gawky neighbor named Oll Mah barges into the dwelling, falling on his face each time.
In this episode, he involves Groo and his son in a business venture of some sort involving food preparation that goes disastrously awry.
It may be no coincidence that the alien program mimics those produced on Earth. Since 1936, experts note, we’ve been beaming TV signals into space.
“One theory is the aliens saw TV shows like The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy and incorporated them into their culture,” Malford reveals.
The Japanese government is expected to announce the news next month.