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October 9, 2015

TV Squad's connection to MTV's The State

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 21st 2009 3:00PM
MTV's The StateThe Kevin Bacon Game used to be the ultimate litmus test to gauge your level of connectedness in Hollywood. You just tried to link up your name to King Bacon and if you were three links or more, you couldn't even get a Melrose Avenue street bum to spit on you for a quarter.

That game has officially been replaced by something much narrower and definitely much cooler. It also puts me a link away to the Hollywood machine, which bumps me up to not having to pay that bum to spit on me.

I recently got an advance copy of MTV's long awaited DVD box set of all four seasons of The State and found this personal connection in a sketch from the third season called "Fan Names."

The sketch is a fourth-wall breaking piece of comedy heaven in which the cast members attempt to use the name of every person they have ever known in a single three-minute sketch. One of the names early on in the sketch jumped out at me, John Scott Lewinski.

We have a John Scott Lewinski working with us, so I did a little checking. As it turns out, TVSquad.com's John Scott Lewinski is the same person mentioned in the sketch, and State member David Wain was nice enough to confirm via his iPhone that all of the names used in the sketch were based on real people.

It turns out Mr. Lewinski (we call him J.S. because it makes him sound like some super cool TV villain, also because those are his initials) has an interesting history with the troupe.

"Just after I finished grad school, I applied for an internship or a writer's assistant gig for small shows I liked -- like Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The State," Lewinski said. "Both responded positively, but neither had a spot open. The State guys were very encouraging and told me to keep plugging away at it, and apparently they saved all of their letters."

Lewinski recalled the first time he heard his name had been used in the sketch.

"My sister was in high school at the time in Milwaukee, and she and a friend were watching the show when my name popped up. They were shocked and called me in L.A. when they heard it," Lewinski said. "Amazingly enough, to this day, I haven't seen it in person."

Well Mr. Lewinski, there is a Santa Claus, because you can watch the sketch below for the first time. Order has been restored to the universe once again.

Fan Names

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Just got my State on yesterday, watched the first season twice(once with commentary on).
So happy that the powers that be decided to release this on DVD!

July 21 2009 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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