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I heard that "In Living Color" reruns were on cable again (I don't believe it) and if it's true the only thing that needs to be added is Ben Stiller reruns. The cast on this show was a priceless gem! Why did this, the funniest skit show I've ever seen, go off the air for "the Edge"??? That's show biz I guess. The Ben Stiller Show, along with Simpsons, Seinfeld, and Married With Children, are the only shows I have ever tuned into religiously week after week. Well, I don't see how it could happen, but if Ben Stiller becomes even BIGGER of a star perhaps the reruns will return. I need to see this stuff again to reappraise the value of my stupid TV set.
I first heard of the Ben Stiller Show when I saw the Emmy Awards when it won for best writing of a variety show (I think they showed the "Counting With Bruce Springsteen" sketch). Anyways, Stiller was overjoyed at this, and he was saying what a great show this was, and what we were going to miss, as it was only on for 12 episodes. And from that time, I was like, "Damn, I want to see that!" Well, finally, through the magic of DVD, I did get to see it! All of the episodes are great (though I have the sneaky suspicion that the earlier episodes were funnier). Well, where can I start about my favorite episodes? OK, I'm sure everyone has different opinions, the highlights for me were Rescue 411, Manson, Skank, Amish Studs, U2: The Early Years, and Beverly Hills 90210240 (and also bonus points for the deleted scene on the DVD with the High School Mascot competition with Stiller as Ron Perlman and Janine Garaefolo as Mary-Lou Retton, Garaefolo can't stop laughing during the commentary for this)
I can't believe that this great show only lasted ONE little season. In my point of view this show was hilarious . It is funny to see Ben Stiller doing original comedy. The skits on the show kept me laughing so hard. There is probably not a chance you can watch this again unless you taped it, but if you ever have to opportunity, Grab it!
Ben Stiller is the funniest man in all of TV/Movies. This show was so clever and so witty that it puts all other sketch-comedy shows to shame. His "Amish COPS" and "Advantage: Agassi" were particularly hysterical skits. Like many other fans, I am disappointed that it was cancelled so quickly. I would give ANYTHING to have Stiller's show back. It was easily the best show of all time.
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.
Seems like everyone who was a part of this show is better than this
show. I don't think it lives up to it's reputation, though it had funny
moments(the Manson sketch is good enough it could have been on Mr.
Show) but it was surprisingly bad for how talented every person working
on it was.
But all my favorites from this show (Odenkirk, Cross, Stamatopoulos, Garofalo, though only as an extra, sometimes, unfortunately)were later on Mr. Show which I think is a much better example of an unfair cancellation than this.
Sometimes feels like Garofalo and Odenkirk didn't get as much of a chance to shine as Stiller and Dick, though that could be completely imagined on my part just cause I like them best. In all the in between sketches with Ben and Janeane he seemed to sorta push her into a lady roll that she didn't really fit like you know, "You look pretty, Janeane." "The fans wanna see you in a bikini, Janeane." And she isn't really at her funniest like that. Bob seemed almost invisible and he hasn't anywhere else I've seen him.
It feels like people maybe kind of know somewhere deep down that it isn't as good as they're saying it is. I can't begin to understand how anyone could say it's the best comedy show of all time.
I also can't bring myself to agree with anyone that hates it, though I get where they're coming from. It's fun to watch this show but that might only be because of how happy it makes me to see all their faces.
Even though this doesn't matter, I feel like mentioning it, the beginning credits are some of my favorite beginning credits ever. I really love them.
This show was probably really good in its day but unfortunately it just isn't funny enough to keep watching it. I got hold of a few episodes and although the odd joke is original enough to make you giggle, the general gist of it is more a case of period rebellion that doesn't translate any more. The series relies on a set of cameos that loose their comedy value as some of the actors are even dead now. It's also a bit americanised too, being British i have to hammer this web site to figure out whats going on with some of it. I'll probably try and get hold of the rest of the episodes and if you're a massive ben stiller fan like me, you're best off seeing the show for yourself to understand what i mean. Worth a watch but not hyped.
Some really GREAT bits here; one which hasn't made mention yet is "Ask Manson." "How do I get out tomato stains?" "The stain, THAT'S ME!" Or the Gradie's Oats commercials, with a really unstable Wilferd Brimley. COPS, filmed in Ancient Egypt ("You got a permit for that burning bush?") or Salem, Massachusetts. The Few Good Men parody: "You can't handle the truth! Do you want the truth?" "I WANT THE TRUTH!" "GIVE ME A T!" "T!" GIVE ME AN R!" Etc. etc. Followed by an explanation by Ben of why the cast wasn't good enough to play Jack Nicholson. Way sharper writing than SNL has done in a long time. Some dross in there but on the whole first rate sketch comedy, buy or rent if you're a fan of the parties involved.
This series was released back in the early 90s before anyone really
fully knew the potential behind the stars of this program. Ben Stiller
had yet to become a household name, Andy Dick was
not yet Andy
Dick, Janeane Garofalo was not politically active, and Bob Odenkirk was
just a glimmer in Mr. Show's eyes. Yet, somehow these four key players
pulled off some of the funniest skits to ever hit television.
I remember watching this show when I was younger and not fully understanding the jokes. I remember my parents laughing, but I was not old enough to understand. Now, a bit older, I cannot keep my hands of this series. Andy Dick is brilliant. I think he is one of the most underrated comics out there. He should be given scripts daily for his work. Continually funny and the most bizarre in-your-face comedian. He has not sold-out yet. Second, I was impressed with Odenkirk. I was worried that without Cross he couldn't carry himself, but I misjudged him. His humor, in the few skits he is in, is fantastic. It is subdued due to the material, but you can tell that he is just dying to show his stuff. While I am beginning to dislike Stiller daily, his work on this program was phenomenal. Garofalo did well playing the 'female' role in most skits. I only hoped that they would have given her more to work with.
My second love of this series was the guest speakers. It was fun to watch it recently and remember who was a popular icon back in the early 90s. I enjoyed remembering Flea and Rob Morrow. My favorite was a younger Dennis Miller and Gary Shandling. You could tell that Stiller had the ability of getting the big names on his little show. I was impressed.
Overall, this is a perfect opportunity to see Stiller's comedy when he was still in the young stage of his career. I would watch this series mainly for Andy Dick who makes me laugh all the time! I only hope his short-lived series is released soon so that I can get 100% Andy!
Grade: **** out of *****
I recently saw this set reviewed in rolling stone, and according to them it was the 'smartest pop culture parody show ever'. To me however it was a laughless, dated bore. The problem does not sit with the actors (all of whom do a good job) but with the writing and directing. Practically every skit falls flat, punch lines don't come where they should and after a while every skit seems identical. Several of the recurring skits (e.g. 'skank' and 'bruce springsteen') are painfully unfunny the first time, let alone the third time. Over all, this show is only worth a watch if you are a fan of obscure TV and perhaps old Gen-X pop culture.
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