The misadventures of a 30-year-old paper-boy (played by Late Night alum Chris Elliot) and his wacky parents. Such show topics included the eating of a space alien, a robotic paper-boy and ... See full summary »
Each episode contains 30 minutes of extremely bizarre and funny sketch comedy performed by THE STATE, an 11 member sketch comedy troupe who wrote and starred in various sketches seen throughout the program.
Michael Ian Black,
Robert Ben Garant
Agents Adair, Antoine, Colby and Trotter both monitor and create chaos across the universe. The sketches you see throughout most of the show are different subjects being monitored. At the ... See full summary »
Astronaut on the run with special powers and his talking motorcycle must deal with a malevolent artificial life form that's possessing people and turning them into dust, as well as NASA's hitman and real life actor Ron Silver.
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. 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 »
This is one of those "legendary" TV shows that first appeared in 1992, but then got canceled almost immediately. It gathered a reputation that far exceeded what it actually was, because so many people hadn't seen it, so they thought it was something brilliant that the evil studio networks didn't get. Well, it turned out that the network (in this case Fox) was correct in canceling it, as it is not a particularly good show, but in fact, a lousy one. I saw this show (well, the first 8 episodes) a few years back, and it was painfully bad. The material is mostly parodies from the 1990's (like Beverly Hills 90210, Studs), and unless you're an expert on pop culture from that era, you're not going to get the references. This is always a problem with topical comedy, as it dates immediately and can never been seen outside the time it was made. Even if you do get the references, it's still not particularly funny. There are a few laughs here and there (the B-minus time traveler sketch is the funniest, with Janeane Garofalo playing the not too bright time traveler. Janeane is probably not the best person to play an idiot, as she is quite brilliant in real life), but mostly it's tired, dated, and very full of itself, a quintessential quality of comedy in the smug, "ironic" 90's.
It was probably better if it had stayed in the vault. It did jump start the career of four people (Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick, and Bob Odenkirk). Ben has gone on to playing neurotic nerdy types that constantly get dumped on. Andy Dick went on to sitcoms and now is indulging in typically idiotic, drug induced celebrity behaviour. Bob Odenkirk went on to Mr. Show (a better show than this one, but a bit overrated). Janeane Garofalo (who I think is the most talented of the bunch) went on to star in many films and TV shows, most of which are not particularly good. It's a waste as she is the best thing in many of her projects. Overall, The Ben Stiller Show is a major disappointment.
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