Strangers with Candy (TV Series 1999–2000) Poster

(1999–2000)

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Insidious!!!
SheBear6 August 2004
Words cannot explain Strangers with Candy. You need to see it to believe it and even then you'll be scratching your head in disbelief (while laughing your ass off of course).

The premise is that of a sick and twisted after school special from hell where all of the wrong lessons are learned. (Great one from Jellineck – `if you're going to smoke marijuana you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time laughing with your friends').

It is one of the smartest, subversive and exhilaratingly un-pc shows ever. It a makes fun of authority figures, the handicapped, minorities and that's just for starters. Each episode is crammed with one-liners and sight gags so numerous they'll make your head spin.

It's all in the delivery, folks. Principal Blackman (Gregory Hollimon), Noblet (Steven Colbert) and Jellineck (Paul Dinello) are all pitch perfect. In the hands of lesser talents these jokes would fall flat. The show has huge laughs. The entire Hit & Run episode comes to mind, as does the scene in The Virgin Jerri when Drake removes Jerri's toe separator from her filthy feet and sniffs it lustily or when Jerri recites the poem Packing a Musket to the class.

I could go on and on but just trust me - you HAVE to watch this show.
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A breath of fresh air
bregund15 May 2004
With so much garbage on television these days, it's refreshing to see a show so original and well-written as Strangers With Candy. I am glad that Comedy Central is re-running this hilarious program. It is politically incorrect, vulgar, and rude...it's fantastic! The writing is some of the best I've ever seen on television, every sentence uttered by every character is funny. The one-liners fly so fast that you barely have time to laugh before the next joke. In one episode, she and a classmate become secret lovers, but he's so ashamed of being with her that she hides in dumpsters, air ducts, etc.; it's a howlingly funny sight gag to see her head poking up out of the garbage as she waits for her lover. I think this show moved too fast for today's television audience and their limited attention span, so it's a shame that it was cancelled.
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Great fun - surrealism you can only find on short-lived shows.
Sintek11 March 2004
I'm surprised to see only one negative review on IMDB. Having been a fan of the show since its debut, I knew from the start it would be a love or hate series for many people.

It's a great show not for its intellectual qualities (or on the surface, lack thereof), but its originality. Teen dramacom parodies have come before, though none as brave as this. SwC reminds me in part of the Nickelodeon series from the early-mid 90s such as "Salute your Shorts", which is perhaps why I and many others who grew up in that era have a soft spot for it.

It's sad to think we might not see many more divisive T.V series. The dumbing down of the masses by shows in which greedy people vote one another off fake islands ensures subtly and wit will soon be regarded as the real enemies of television.
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Brilliant Satire, soon to be a movie
Philloz30002 September 2004
Amy Sederis is brilliant as Jerri Blank amid a cast of other excellent comic writer/actors, including Paul Dinello and "The Daily Show's" Stephen Colbert. It had me consistently on the floor with it's inventiveness, audacity and vicious wit (i.e., the prayer at the Families of Alcoholics meeting: "Dear God, please give me the strength to blame those who did this to me, to accuse those who didn't, and the wisdom to know the difference.") It's long since disappeared from Comedy Central, but DVDs of Seasons One and Two are out, and a movie version by the same team is on its way for 2005. BTW, whoever suggested that the writers were "white supremists," I sincerely hope you are joking. It's called satire, in the vein of Swift and Voltaire.
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8/10
Why do they take good stuff off the air?
lambiepie-226 May 2003
Stranger's With Candy has such a funny premise, and a highly un-believable one that you just have see it to believe it. I loved this series, bravo for Comedy Central to show it. In some respects it was like a very warped after school special but mixed in were themes of older adults trying to attend 'school', to compete against youngsters, and re-live a hey-day they never had in the first place.

Jeri is a character that is trying to get her life back ontrack, and at her age, she went right back to the beginning, the high school she dropped out of. Oh -- gosh-- how funny it would be to see ANY of the high school drop outs decide to go back after 15, 20, 25 years of leaving and to RE-LIVE that horror all over again!!!

This series was funny, bittersweet, and yes, more like a warped after school special but the question "Strangers With Candy" asked that we all should be asking is:

"Do I set my work aspirations higher or do I chose to work at the plastic flower plant plant like everyone else?"
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"Hobo camp"
aharmon15 June 2004
"Hobo camp," a term 46-year-old Jerri Blank uses after spelling V-I-C-T-O-R-Y during a cheerleader try-out, revealing her lifelong illiteracy and causing Coach Wolf to postpone the rest of the try-outs until "we can all recover … from Jerri's shame."

It took me about three months to actually muster the energy to watch Strangers With Candy in late 1999, and I did it only because it was advertised so heavily on Comedy Central, right alongside the Upright Citizens' Brigade. Once I saw it, though, I was hooked. It took only one episode.

I got friends into the show, and we'd throw out the oddest of lines to each other just on the off-chance that we'd all "get it." We'd say things with no relevance like "massage each other's ... clitorises" or "but I want to be a cheerleader" or "Greeks are just Jews without the money." It was hard not to find a line we didn't like or want to repeat after seeing this show.

That's not to mention all the minorities who were skewered by obviously unfeeling and unthinking characters. No one was spared the branding iron here.

From David Sedaris' sometimes crazy little sister Amy and a cast of Second City alums emerged a truly unique and gut-busting but, at the same time, subtly humorous opus to the After-School Special. From racism and classicism to bisexuality and class bullying, Strangers With Candy made the case for smart writing in an irreverent setting. Every line could make you think or laugh, but the timing was so quick that all one could do was chuckle and move on. It was hard not to pay attention to every minute of this show.

Of course it's a shame that Comedy Central canceled the show after only two seasons, but at least the show went out with a bang (literally – Flatpoint High was blown up).

What made the show most memorable for me was that, no matter how well-written and acted each of the offbeat characters was, none could add up to the unbelievably insane Jerri Blank. Everyone made a point to chastise, take advantage of, and downright abuse Jerri, but somehow she could pick herself up and move on and still come out with the best lines in the entire show. Sometimes, when a show takes off, although an ensemble is most important, you find that incidental and auxiliary characters become the mainstay of the show's success (like Kramer and Costanza surrounding Jerry on Seinfeld). In this case, Sedaris held her own with a kind of aplomb that only a seasoned professional can do.

Whether she was being threatened by her brother Derick ("dick lick"), overlooked by her step-mother (the brilliant Deborah Rush), pleaded with for restraint by her hapless pal Orlando, happily ignored by her art teacher Mr. Jellineck (longtime co-conspirator Paul Dinello), forced into community service by the Hitlerish Principal Onyx Blackman, or harassed unnecessarily by the ultimately selfish and tight-fisted Mr. Noblet (writing the word "me" on the board when instructing his students to "tell me..."), Jerri somehow survived countless challenges and came out learning the absolute wrong thing.

My favorite lesson: "The poor are a filthy, thieving people." You have to see the episode to understand it.
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one of the best shows out there. its a shame it got canceled.
many people fail to see the brilliance in strangers with candy.it is an extremely funny show.there are also a lot of subtle jokes or references that may go above the viewers head but if gotten, are hilarious.

there could'nt be a better cast for SWC. they are all talented,funny individuals who also come up with some of the script and often improvise certain lines that turn out as if planned.

the show requires an open sense of humor. those who lack that open humor might find some of the material offensive. what they need to realize is that the writers are not white supremist or hateful ignorant racist and there intent is not to come off in that light. rather, there intent is to be comedic and that is plain to see. all in all, i believe strangers with candy is one of the best shows thats been aired.
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Super Sit-Com!
achmura8 May 1999
This new show from Comedy Central is completely loopy! Give it a few minutes of your time and you too will succomb! Amy Sedaris is outrageously funny as Jerry Blank, a 47 year old reprehensible ex-convict trying to graduate Flashpoint High "right where she left off." Her catatonic senior citizen father and alcoholic and abusive step-mother are both superb!

Jerry always struggles to do the right thing. She rarely succeeds. Every episode Jerry has a new pet. A lobster (that is boiled accidentally). A turtle (who is shot out the living room sliding glass doors after a serious one-on-one with a golf club, and is later cremated and commingled with Jerry's mother's ashes). And a constrictor (nothing untoward it seems happens to this pet). Poor Jerry, as she struggles to gain weight to play Ma in Raisin in the Sun and spy on a nice classmate who the teachers feel is retarded!

At the end of each episode I feel gratified that Jerry never does the right thing, but that is ok. In fact the episodes end happily because Jerry gave someone an overdose of home brewed drugs or she snitched on her retarded friend who stood up for her. The list of Jerry's misdeeds is long, but as her teacher, Mr. Jellinek, advises her, "...stick with what you know!"
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Clever and funny
Xophianic23 February 2000
When I saw the commercials for this show, I thought it looked stupid and annoying. But I gave it a chance, and loved it. I think this show, although a bit strange and sometimes extreme, is very very funny. I find myself still laughing at some of the jokes days after I watch it. It's very different from most sitcoms, and most of the timing and originality of the jokes are pulled off terrifically. Amy Sedaris is incredible as the strange (and really ugly) Jerri Blank. Steven Colbert is also really funny. Give this show a chance, you will not regret it.
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Mind-numbingly hilarious!
VichusSmith28 September 2004
I watched a few episodes of this show when it originally aired and now Comedy Central has it in reruns. I have to say that the series was just hilarious. It had no laugh track and an uber-ridiculous concept that provokes a ton of laughs because the main character, Geri, is so old, nasty looking (thanks to great makeup on an otherwise cute-as-hell Amy Sedaris) and more experienced than her other schoolmates.

What makes it even funnier than seeing Geri go through the motions in high school as an old woman is the parody of the cheesy afterschool specials that each episode takes the form of.

This show is just damn great, and I think that it would be killer if they renewed the series and put it on before Reno 911. Hey, I can dream, can't I?
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Two longshoremen fighting over a squirrel...
Greg Gorelick14 September 2004
This is a comedy of epic proportions. I was originally annoyed, being a fan of British and subversive humor, but the first time I actually sat an watched an episode all the way through I was hooked. There's some familiar faces from SCTV, and Amy Sedaris is a genius. I'd look up the name, but Ill just call him the Daily Show corrospondent...classic. I love a show where nothing is sacred, where no race, ethnicity, or religious belief is not nailed to the wall... political correctness be damned.

I will NEVER FORGET this line... the principal and associate hold up a controversial picture of Jerri naked spread eagled... and the principal says "...not sure... it looks like two longshoremen fighting over a squirrel." Epic. Catch it late night on Comedy Central, or CC on Demand if your cable allows it.
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10/10
Worship!
ppiiaa221 January 2012
To me, this is perhaps the best comedy show ever written and acted. I just re-watched it to be sure. Amy Sedaris is too good! Stephen Colbert does a good job, but Paul Dinello goes further!

The writing is totally free and making fun of all we cannot mention, without using forbidden words. That is the beauty, they dance around, and make that a skit on its own. The words are so clever, so free flowing!

Dissecting morality is always great. If you make it funny, it is grand!

This show makes me want to get a kitten and forget to feed it! Nooooo!

This is a sharp and deadly show. We need more!
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10/10
So funny it hurts.
Tommy Nelson27 October 2005
stars: Amy Sedaris as Jerri Blank, Stephen Colbert as Mr. Chuck Nobblets, Paul Dinello as Mr. Goffrey Jellynacks, Gregory Holliman as Principal Onix Blackman.

Reccurring stars-Orlando Pintaban as Orlando, Maria Thayer as Tamilla.

Hilarious! This show is basically a spoof of teen shows and of soap operas. The main character is Jerri Blank, a 46 year old high school drop out who became a prostitute and a drug addict, now back in high school. Her teachers are the most hilarious thing on the show. Stephen Colbert is totally hilarious trying to act serious all the time with such silly material. Gregory Holliman and Paul Dinello are also pretty good. One of the subplot stories in several episodes is that Mr. Jellynack and Mr. Nobblets (Nobblets is married and has kids) are homos and having a love affair. All the kid performers are great too. Maria Thayer plays Jerri's red-headed friend and is totally beautiful in every episode shes featured in. Great show! TV-14. 30 episodes.
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A Great Show resurrected by DVD
MrAwesome7920 July 2005
I watched these episodes when they first aired on Comedy Central, and I thought they were hilarious. "Really I don't know how they got away with some of their jokes, even though it was on cable. I am glad they did though."

I love the ironic; nothing is off limits,humor to this show. I mean the school is named Flatpoint.

Now that I have bought all 3 seasons, I have to say that this show is a lot funnier than I remember. You find something new every time you watch them. I find that the 1st Season is probably the best of the 3, so pick up a copy.

Have a Great Day!
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10/10
Brilliantly absurd sitcom.
sonya9002817 October 2008
I never saw Strangers With Candy, when it was on Comedy Central. Trolling the Video store one afternoon, I decided that I wanted to rent a comedy DVD. So I thought I'd check this one out.

Amy Sedaris (David Sedaris' sister), stars as Gerri Blank, a 46-year-old high school student. Seems that Gerri never got the chance to finish school when she was still a teen, due to her being a drug addict/prisoner. So, after being released from her lengthy prison-stint, Gerri decides to return to high school.

Gerri is also living at home with her catatonic father, surly younger brother, and antagonistic step-mother. Ridiculed by her classmates and teachers at school, Gerri's family doesn't treat her much better. Daily, Gerri struggles to win approval, while those around her consider her to be a pathetic specimen of humanity. She tries so hard to succeed both socially and academically, that the viewer can't help but root for Gerri.

The other characters in this show are a menagerie of off-beat, bizarre, people. Be forewarned, this is not a P.C. show. It regularly pokes fun at minorities, women, drug addiction, etc. It's all clearly done in a tongue-and-cheek way, though. This show is also laced with liberal amounts of vulgar language, and flagrant sexual innuendo. It's definitely not a G-rated sitcom.

Gerri conveys a child-like vulnerability, with her sorrowful, hang-dog face. Though she has quite a checkered past, Gerri is a kindly person at heart, who only wants to be accepted for who she is. That makes her only human after all. She reminds me of Louise Lasser's character in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Like Gerri, Mary Hartman was another child-woman, that's thoroughly bewildered by the world around her.

Strangers With Candy certainly doesn't take itself too seriously. Like Married, With Children, it deliberately pushes the proverbial envelope, as an absurd sitcom. And it works brilliantly.
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8/10
Learning all the right lessons the wrong way.
Daleylife11 January 2007
"Strangers With Candy" is the clever show from the comedy team of "Exit 57." Jeri Blank is 46 and just got out of prison. She decides to start her life over, and that means entering high school as a freshman. As she starts her life over, she learns life's important lessons, all the wrong way. The show is hilarious in all respects. The show follows the old formula of each episode dealing with one situation of a teenager's life and how they learn from it. However, things are warped in this show's universe. I tell you, laughing will never stop. The show is filled with one liners, characters are hilariously funny, situations are turned upside down, and each end credits segment has a unique dance sequence! Pick up the Series DVD today!
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The Old Comedy Central
wolf00827 January 2006
Strangers with candy is best explained as a parody within a parody. Most important to us, the viewer is it's rare ability to actually make one laugh out laud. No laugh track is necessary, as you'll surely know where the giggles come in.

I watched this show with extreme caution at my first viewing. It was very risqué, almost pornographic in its humor. However, I could not help but be entertained, and amused by the characters and duologue. The story lines while containing some very adult humor, were non the less quite cognitive.

The characters of-course where more or less caricatures of people we find in after school specials. But, these guys were funny, and really played well together in providing much hilarity.

It is hard to understand why Comedy Central canceled Strangers With Candy. I guess it's just another directional change they were aiming for, just like when they booted the much loved MST3K. These directional changes gave us shows like "Reno 911" and who can forget..."Thats My Bush"? I would have to surmise they veered wrong in some instances.
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10/10
Put it on video or DVD please!!
sbunc92-38 April 2002
A classic show that is extremely funny but is not for everyone. But if your sense of humor leans toward twisted you will love it. Although Comedy Central shows it currently at 3am during the week I know it will be off the air soon. Please put this out on video or DVD!!!
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You'll be transfixed...for better or worse
Moviestar-621 March 2002
Watching this show is much like watching a beautiful woman pick her nose. It attracts you and repulses you simultaneously. I suppose that's one thing on it's side. I've watched it a few times, and every time I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen. I was completely drawn in. Here's the thing though: I don't recall ever laughing at any point, and from everything I've heard, it's meant to be a comedy. I suppose if the point is to make money by making people watch, that goal is certainly reached, because once you turn it on, you can't turn it off. But if the point, as a comedy, is to make people laugh...well, in my case they failed. The political and social satire would be much more effective and entertaining if it weren't so obvious that they were trying as hard as they possibly could to make a point without making it seem like they were. The one thing that I found to be somewhat entertaining was the relationship between the two male teachers. I give it a 5 (out of 10) for the accomplishment of making viewers out of even those who don't like it.
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10/10
J.B. Gives Good B.J. Signed J.B.!
popularstrangers21 October 2004
"Scary Jerri So Hairy Down Therey" One of the most original lines in strangers with candy. Thats hilarious stuff. This show was so original in so many ways. and they had to cancel it. why do they always cancel the best shows. there are so many lines i could tell u from this show because it was genius. "See thats my one leg and this is my other leg and SNATCH IT DOWN!" funny stuff. it was almost as if she was meant to play this character because she is so great at it. The things she does with her face and eyes are brilliant. "Junkie whore, wait i've already done that". anyway this show was one of the most original sick twisted dirty not right but genius comedies ever made. Cant wait until the movie i can just imagine how beyond over the top they went for the silver screen. "But my vagina's all PUFFY" anyway "You stupid bloodfart!
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Great show
xredgarnetx25 April 2006
I remember this show with great fondness, and am happy to see it is arriving on DVD -- plus the feature length movie version will hit screens this summer! What more could one ask for, except maybe a fantasy sequence where Jeri turns into the incredibly cute Amy Sedaris while she's making love to a classmate, male or female or both at once. It seems like a century ago since this was on the air. Look at how far Mr. Colbert has come in what is actually a relatively short period of time. As for Amy, check out her IMDb page and see how lovely she looks in real life. And this is a middle-aged woman! Why couldn't all middle-aged women look like this?
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laugh-out-loud funny!
T Y6 January 2004
If you are caught up in leveling the playing field and thinking only kind thoughts about people, this is not the show for you. If you are completely open to a show that is comically insulting to every conceivable special interest group (and I belong to one!) get your hands on this.

The bad taste in this show is a beautiful thing to see. The writing was so sharp and bitter that you laugh (shamefacedly). The only recent show that has made me laugh this much was the first 2 episodes of "Action," a Fox show about a scummy Hollywood exec with Ileanna Douglas and Jay Mohr, but that show tanked early, then got canned.

SWC was so funny that Comedy Central cancelled it after just 2 seasons. If that's not an endorsement I don't know what is.

Note: Many have compared this to John Waters. I don't dislike John Waters, but nothing he has ever done has made me laugh as hard as Strangers with Candy.
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Whee!
oldbenway13 December 2003
You either get this show or you don't... I think it's brilliant- the detail is amazing, and the show is full of little secrets if you watch it closely (watch stephen colbert's hands while he "adds up her grades" in the first few minutes of the first episode). Jeez- Not as surreal as kids in the hall or silly as monty python, but there is a lot of breadth to this show. If you like things like the Mr. Show, John Waters and disturbing dark humor, watch a few episodes. I can see a lot of david sedaris' humor in his sister amy's writing- maybe all those stories were a little more real than I had imagined-
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unfrickin' believably funny
marsaudiacsolo19 November 2003
This show was amazing! It gleefully ripped apart the bad afterschool specials that were forced us on as kids. Instead of treacly lessons about how one wine cooler will lead you into a life of alcoholism, or about how peer pressure to smoke pot is something you should say no to, etc... this show never fails to push the "wrong" lesson on the all-too-willing audience. Of course, it's done in such an absurd way, that the only people who would be offended by this are probably people who didn't stay up late enough to actually watch the show.

This is the show that has lines like, "Having a girlfriend is so... gay." and "I'm gonna wear my syphilis as a badge of pride! It says I'm not afraid to take risks!" Need I say more? This was one of Comedy Central's best original series, better than Crank Yankers and better than South Park. The only travesty is that it wasn't on long enough.
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genius
junkmail-59 November 2003
the previous commenter, Mike, wondered if this show was written by white supremacists (no, "supremists" is not the correct spelling), simply because they named the principal "onyx blackman", and he happened to be a black man.

Mike seems to have missed the point. this show wasn't written to delicately handle interpersonal, racial, or societal issues. it was written to be funny and shocking, and in that the writers were very successful.

they broke every rule they could find, offended as many people as possible, and made it as obvious as they could so they couldn't be accused of being "supremists".

if nothing else, laugh at how many ways they can come up with to offend people in one episode. i'm personally just amazed by the number of great jokes in every episode.
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