Clip shows are an easy way to make a new episode cheaply from existing footage. One series made a clip show out of their second ever episode.
The history of the clip show is a bit obscure. One of the first documented cases (which is often cited as the first clip show) is the 1936 serial Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island. Bad weather slowed down production and blew out the serial’s budget, so the screenwriter came up with a brief frame story and reused clips from earlier in the serial to save money and time.
In more modern times, the clip show has been used by sitcoms for the same reasons. Growing up, I always hated clip shows – and I can’t imagine that many people would have disagreed on that count. At least they usually came towards the end of the season… until the year 2000.
Clerks: The Animated Series made a clip show out of their second episode. It had a frame story, but flashed back to the first episode – and even to earlier parts of the clip show episode itself. This deliberate skewering of the sitcom trope would have been brilliant, if only the network hadn’t messed it up.
For some reason, they decided to air the fourth episode first, and then the parody clip show episode. Yup, they screened it before the episode that it recycled. As a result, the humour and impact were lost, and that clip show was the last episode of the show shown during its original run.
I suppose that made it a series finale too?