Memory Hole

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Memory Hole TV Poster Image
Retro pop culture-based clip show is nothing new.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show operates similar to stand-up comedy, where Will Arnett and others riff on pop culture relics -- so, not a lot of positive messages to be found, if any.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everyone featured is the target of a joke.


Violence occasionally shows up in clips from old movies or TV. For example, scenes from '80s martial arts movies are shown.


Sexual innuendo is played for comedy. 


Moderate profanity, including "s--t" and "d--k."


Frequently features sports teams, music, and other entertainment products of the past.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, drugs, or smoking might appear within one of the archival clips used.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Memory Hole is a pop culture variety show hosted by Will Arnett (Lego Masters, Arrested Development) that focuses on retro videos and trends of the past. There's a major focus on sports and music from the '70s and '80s; the show's appeal has a lot to do with making fun of people doing things that seemed cool at the time but haven't aged well at all (e.g., people with bad haircuts singing corny songs). It has moderate profanity, including "s--t" and a lot of the word "d--k."

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What's the story?

In MEMORY HOLE, host Will Arnett unearths wild and ugly pop culture artifacts from decades past, attempting to answer the age-old question: What if we had memes in the '80s? Video clips from recent history include sports stars, people singing, and lots of things we now see as embarrassing and dated. 

Is it any good?

The litmus test here is whether seeing someone riff for five minutes on a video from 30 to 40 years ago is funnier than just watching the video itself. Spoiler alert: It's usually not. Arnett sleepwalks through his hosting gig (think The Simpsons'  Krusty the Clown recording voice-over for his Krusty doll), and most of the source material has already made the rounds on the usual online channels, which means Memory Hole doesn't even live up to filler status.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pop culture. What differences are there between the videos shown from the '70s'/80s and the current stuff you like? How has culture changed? Has it gotten better or worse? What do you think constitutes "bad" entertainment?

  • Is there anything you currently enjoy that you can see being comedic fodder for a Memory Hole-type show 40 years from now? What is it and why?

  • Why do you think some things have lasting power (classic books, for example) and others become dated quickly (hairstyles, etc.)? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love silly fun

Themes & Topics

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