TV Shows on DVD reported MTV's official announcement earlier this morning that the entire sketch comedy series will hit store shelves on July 14th. That was followed by a trailer release of the DVD on The State's official site. It's going to have full commentary from the cast, four interview features on the troupe's origins and the show's many catchphrases, some unaired sketches and outtakes. It sounds like this five disc set will be chocked full of Stately goodness. You'll want to do a lot more than just dip your balls in it. Please keep those things to yourself.
Founding State member, writer and Role Models director David Wain was nice enough to give us his first interview (via IM, no less). He talked about the work that went in to getting things to this stage, why the announcement first appeared on cast member Joe Lo Truglio's site and what he and the rest of his crew hope to accomplish with their DVD.
This time, however, there seems to be disagreement within the ranks of the comedy troupe.
We reported earlier this month about State member and recent Reno 911! addition Joe Lo Truglio announcing a release date for the long beleaguered DVD of the complete series. The following week, the group's official site, run by writer, director and cast member David Wain according to their FAQ, denied that any date for the DVD's release has been set.
While my fellow prepubescents were slowly but surely migrating to more grown-up programming on MTV (and Playboy, if you had a cable box), I spent the bulk of my time between 1992 and 1996 fully devoted to Roundhouse, a 30-minute sketch show sandwiched between the more popular Clarissa Explains It All and Are You Afraid Of The Dark? on SNICK, Nickelodeon's Saturday night programming block.
But for stalwart fans like myself who tend to consider every nuance and minor detail of the show's sketches, the sentiment is either only partially true or not true at all. Sure, the show saw a spike in viewership thanks to Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression, leading critics to praise SNL's "creative resurgence." But the buzz was just as strong when Will Ferrell played George W. Bush nine years ago. (And, furthermore, it wasn't as if the show didn't have its culturally resonant hits in recent years, not limited to Maya Rudolph's Donatella Versace impression or Andy Samberg's fusion of Internet humor into the mix).
So to those who say SNL is back, I say, have you ever seen Molly Shannon's Jeannie Darcy? Because it is, by far, one of the most brilliantly executed, underrated characters to ever appear on the show. (Or maybe I just have a thing for mullets and bolo ties. Same difference.) See what I mean in the video after the jump.
Ever since her Saturday Night Live debut in 2005, Kristen Wiig has been stealing scenes and startling viewers with her strange, high-energy characters and performances. Despite the fact that the last few seasons have been generally mediocre, she is one of the strongest players in the cast, alongside the likes of Bill Hader and... My favorites are just Wiig and Hader, actually. Never mind. My point is, it didn't take long for Wiig to win over the audience with performances like these.
AMC is showing scripted series, A&E stopped being about "Arts and Entertainment" years ago, so why shouldn't an extreme sports channel like FuelTV do sketch comedy?
By the way: FuelTV is doing a sketch comedy series.
Some of you may already know about American Misfits, a half comedy, half skating show in FuelTV. Well, 2HeadedHorse, the production company behind American Misfits, were asked to make a series that is half sketch comedy . . . and half sketch comedy.
Also, there was so much Maya Rudolph love in this episode, it sort of felt like she was hosting. I wonder if this is a sign that she's planning on leaving after this season? This then leads me to wonder if Darrell Hammond, who only appeared two or three times in this episode, is ever going to leave.
It seems like we're experiencing a renaissance of decent sketch comedy programming or maybe we're just reaching an Upright Citizens Brigade alumni saturation point in popular media. (Seriously, move over Second City, and SNL, your days are numbered.) It could be the internet's doing - between the amateurs on YouTube, Super Deluxe and VBS, there's no shortage of comedy gold out there in accessible, bite-sized nuggets. Rather than try to pin down how and why our airwaves are awash in sketch-length comedy goodness, I'd like to draw your attention to MTV's most recent offering - Human Giant.
This episode was pretty boring. If I wasn't planning on writing this review, I probably would have tuned out a little after "Weekend Update". Yawn.
However, the writing this week was really something else. It was a lot weirder than usual, I thought. For the most part, I liked it. I see that they've cut down on a lot of the more formulaic recurring character sketches, which is a massive improvement. Plus, none of the those recurring sketches are accompanied shitty little theme songs! Remember the days of "Debbie Downer" and "Carol"? Thank goodness those are over.
Monologue: Drew Barrymore has only hosted five times? I mean, I know that's a lot, but I definitely feel like I've seen her more than five times. Maybe it's because of her occasional cameo appearances. Anyway, I thought this monologue was a great take on the typical romantic-comedy. The inclusion of Maroon 5 and Corinne Bailey Rae as the soundtrack was also hilarious.
The new sketch comedy series, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, from Tom Goes to the Mayor creators Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim kicks off February 11 at 11:45pm on Adult Swim. There are a bunch of promos for the series on YouTube, none of which really explain what the show is about, but if it the series is anything like Tim and Eric's previous work, it probably defies explanation anyway. Or, it's a brand new approach to comedy that is actually much smarter than it seems. Either way, I'll be checking it out.
Oh yeah, and if you want to experience the boys live, they're hitting the road later this month for the Tim and Eric Awesome Tour, with absolutely no stops in the Midwest, the rat bastards. Tour stops and ticket information are after the jump. If you get a chance to meet either Tim or Eric on this tour, tell them Adam sends his love from Minneapolis and then kick them in the shins for me. Thanks.