The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion wa…

The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion was a television signal hijacking occurring in Chicago, Illinois, United States, on the evening of November 22, 1987, involving at least two unknown individuals. It is an example of what is known in the television business as broadcast signal intrusion. Two Chicago television stations had their broadcast signals hijacked by an unknown person wearing a Max Headroom mask and sunglasses. A homemade Max Headroom background rocked back and forth in the background.
The intruder was successful in interrupting two broadcast television stations within the course of three hours. The first incident took place for 25 seconds during the sportscast on the 9:00 PM news on WGN-TV Channel 9, and the second, two hours later, after 11:00 PM on PBS affiliate WTTW Channel 11 for about 90 seconds during a broadcast of an episode of the Doctor Who serial Horror of Fang Rock.
The second pirate broadcast, which lasted 90 seconds and pre-recorded on videotape, featured the individual parodying WGN and television in general. The hacker rambled on making reference to Headroom’s endorsement of Coke, the series Clutch Cargo, and WGN anchor Chuck Swirsky, then pretended to defecate as a “masterpiece for all the greatest world newspaper nerds”, a reference to WGN’s call letters (“World’s Greatest Newspaper”). The video ended with the hacker’s exposed buttocks being spanked with a flyswatter by an accomplice before normal programming resumed.
The incident made national headlines and the people responsible have never been identified.


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