It's beautiful, isn't it?
CNN founder Ted Turner commissioned a video for his network to play in case the world ended, we learned today via Jalopnik. It's a solemn rendition of "Nearer My God To Thee," apparently intended to be played only once the end of the world is officially confirmed.
It's titled "TURNER DOOMSDAY VIDEO" in the company's internal system, Jalopnik reports, with a note that says "[Hold for release] till end of the world confirmed."
It's a fascinating piece of media history. But as Motherboard's supervising producer and senior video editor Chris O'Coin notes, the existence of this video was first publicized by the creators of the timeless Gremlins 2, in which the monsters take over a building owned by eccentric billionaire media mogul Daniel Clamp.
In the movie, Clamp (John Glover) holes up in his office, convinced the gremlins are about to end civilization as we know it. He retrieves a secret tape from his desk drawer and broadcasts it over the network. It's a soothing voice over idyllic images of a babbling brook and an American flag.
"Because of the end of civilization, the Clamp Cable Network now leaves the air," the video says. "We hope you've enjoyed our programming, but more importantly, we hope you've enjoyed... life."
Clamp tears up. "It's beautiful, isn't it?" he asks Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), the hero of the Gremlins franchise.
According to IMDB, the gag was a direct ripoff of the rumored CNN video. "The uplifting end of the world video scene was included by the filmmakers when they find out that one the news networks actually have such a video prepare to run in case of the end of the world. This video apparently still exists and still ready to run at the final hour."
We don't want to spoil the film, but let's just say Clamp maybe should have held for release until he got a second source.