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‘Funniest’ Donation

April 12, 2009 8:00 PM

Of all of the television series to be enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” would seem one of the least likely candidates.

Tom Bergeron at the Smithsonian

But last week, series creator and executive producer Vin Di Bona and host Tom Bergeron, right, made the trek to Washington, D.C., to present the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with items from the long-running ABC series, including the camcorder used to tape the first winning video in November 1989; an annotated script; an audience voting machine; a presentation reel that promoted the show’s pilot to the network; Mr. Di Bona’s personal script book; a framed ticket to the show’s first taping; and a press kit, including a September 1989 People magazine featuring an ad announcing the show and soliciting home videos. Blink thinks the items might better have been donated to the U.S. Mint, since the inexpensive-to-produce show has been doing nothing but printing money for the last 20 years.

—Tom Gilbert

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