A couple weeks ago, somebody sent me a brief clip of Ben Stiller introducing a campy clip of a TV show called “Heat Vision and Jack,” starring Jack Black as an astronaut who gained super-intelligence, Owen Wilson as the voice of Heat Vision the talking motorcycle, and the late Ron Silver as Ron Silver, a NASA bounty hunter looking for Black. It seemed so ridiculous that I figured it was one of the sketches from the old “Ben Stiller Show” or a skit he created for one of the MTV awards shows, back when Ben Stiller did those things and intelligent people cared about MTV.
But no: “Heat Vision and Jack” was a real pilot for Fox back in 1999, and there’s video below to prove it. It was written by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, who founded Channel 101 together, which was the original home to such Internet classics as Yacht Rock and Planet Unicorn (Harmon also created “Community,” while Schrab now directs “The Sarah Silverman Program”). “Heat Vision” is so intentionally bad that I’m impressed Stiller had the balls to try to make it a show at all — especially considering that neither Black nor Wilson had really broken out as actors yet (Black’s scene-stealing role in High Fidelity didn’t happen until 2000, while Zoolander and The Royal Tenenbaums were released in 2001).
I recommend you watch it, if you have the time. I know you’re just so busy, what with all the blogs you’re reading at work.