America’s Funniest Home Videos (often simply abbreviated to AFHV or its on-air abbreviation AFV) is an American video clip television series on ABC, which features humorous homemade videos that are submitted by viewers. The most common videos feature unintentional physical comedy (arising from incidents, accidents, and mishaps), pets or children, and some staged practical jokes.
Originally airing as a special in 1989, it debuted as a regular weekly series in 1990. It was hosted by Bob Saget for the 1989 special and the first eight seasons of the series incarnation, then by John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes for its ninth and tenth seasons. After two years of being shown as occasional specials, hosted by various actors and comedians such as D.L. Hughley and Richard Kind, ABC brought the series back on Friday nights in the summer of 2001 with new host Tom Bergeron, who has since become the series’ longest-serving host, hosting 15 seasons. Bergeron announced in 2014 that he would be departing as host of the show, and Alfonso Ribeiro took over as host in 2015.
Executive produced by Vin Di Bona, Todd Thicke and Michele Nasraway, and created by Vin Di Bona, it is the longest-running primetime entertainment (non-news) program on ABC (both on the network’s current schedule and dating back to ABC’s incorporation as a television network in 1948). It is based on the Tokyo Broadcasting System program Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan, which featured a segment in which viewers were invited to send in video clips from their home movies; ABC, which owns half of the program, pays a royalty fee to the Tokyo Broadcasting System for the use of the format (although the original parent show left the air in 1992). A more similar concept in that a whole 30-to-45-minute show consisted of nothing but short clips from amateur home videos with slapstick-like accidents presented by a host began broadcasting only two months after the start of Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan in Japan, under the title Pleiten, Pech und Pannen (lit., “Crashes, bad luck, and slip ups”) in Germany in March 1986, that program lasted until 2003.
Contestants can send their videos in by uploading them as a digital file onto the show’s official website, AFV.com, which launched in 2012. From 2008 to 2012, viewers were able to upload their videos digitally to ABC’s website, ABC.com; after the separate website for the program went online, users trying to access the America’s Funniest Home Videos page on ABC’s website – via the show page link on the site’s program menu – are now automatically redirected to AFV.com and forwarded to the clip uploading process on that site. Videos can also be sent via conventional mail on VHS and other such home video formats (VHS-C, 8 mm video cassettes, to name a few), and later as the format started to become common for home recording use in the early 2000s decade, DVD to a Hollywood, California post-office box address, with clips placed on USB flash drives and other forms of consumer flash memory formats also acceptable for physical submission as time has gone on.