This comedy/variety show specialized in parodies of movies and television shows and commercials. Often, they would also have a special guest (e.g., a TV actor) join them in the comedy ... See full summary »
This comedy/variety show specialized in parodies of movies and television shows and commercials. Often, they would also have a special guest (e.g., a TV actor) join them in the comedy sketches, with hilarious results. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
In college, playwright Jenelle Riley wrote her graduate thesis on The Ben Stiller Show's effect on comedy. It was subsequently published rumored to be used as an aid when putting together the DVD. See more »
The timestamps on Ben's video diary segments never increment, even though the individual segments usually last more than a minute. This is probably due to the fact that they were added in post-production, and weren't a result of a real camcorder's time/date stamp. See more »
In the closing credits, John F. O'Donohue was listed as a guest star although he appeared in every episode. See more »
Thirteen episodes... one season(well, half of one, by typical American airing standards). That's how long this lasted. Over the past three months and one week, a Danish network has aired one episode every Friday night, and I haven't missed a single one. I don't have any particular attachment to Ben Stiller... he can be very funny, yes, but he also did make Zoolander. That, alone, costs many points. I gave this show a chance, and found myself enjoying it more than I usually enjoy sketch-shows. When this show was good, it was really good. Unfortunately, it could also be somewhat average, and while the form was definitely interesting, it also felt loose... in search of a voice. Sadly, it was cut short, and never found it. The team is magnificent... Andy, Ben, Janeane, Bob and John are all fine comedians, and they work together well. The acting on the show ranges some. The material can be quite good, but some gags go on for too long, and more often than not, the crew would keep using the same characters or setting for several jokes, where only the first one worked well(one example being Stiller as the "Latin lover" singer). I would have to say that the movie parodies were the shows high point; with faux trailers, current(at that time) Hollywood productions were made fun of. Ben's Bruce Willis is spot-on, and his Tom Cruise isn't bad at all. The commercial spoofs tend to be fun. Some of the repeated gags also work remarkably well; the prime example being the "Cops" bit, where they set the well-known show in various older times. The guest stars were occasionally fun, but often(as much of the material of early episodes) simply helped to convey Stiller's brand of self-irony(bordering on self-deprecation). This show wasn't always funny, but it was seldom annoying, and usually watchable. One final thought; Dennis Miller appeared in one of the last episodes, and he(as he does tend to be difficult to silence) spoke his mind on what would help the show... half-way through it, it cuts away, and he doesn't appear again on the show. The irony of this notwithstanding, several of the points he brings up are valid. One would wonder if(given that all the material is scripted, in spite of the way in which it is presented would lead one to assume that it was not) this was Stiller(or the team)'s way of acknowledging the show's shortcomings, as well as completely and utterly disregard them. A sort of semi-silent protest... sadly, the show was axed mere episodes later. I recommend this to any fan of sketch and spoof comedy, as well as any fan of one or more of the comedians. 7/10
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