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The Ben Stiller Show (Special 2-Disc Set)
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Ben Stiller Show, The (Dbl DVD)
For its brief and shining moment--12 aired episodes, to be exact--The Ben Stiller Show, which aired on Fox in 1992, recaptured the anarchic spirit and subversively funny voice of first-season Saturday Night Live and SCTV. More too-hip-for-the-room than ahead of its time, the show suffered dismal ratings and was unceremoniously cancelled. It then went on to win an Emmy for best writing and attract a fervent following, enhanced by the fact that the series has seldom been syndicated. This long-awaited DVD release fills not a void, but an abyss. To watch Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick, and a pre-Mr. Show Bob Odenkirk at the dawn of their mostly unconventional careers, romp in the show's opening is akin to watching the Beatles frolic on that football field in A Hard Day's Night. Stiller and company's pitch-perfect and intimately observed skewering of movies, television, and show business convention could be exhilarating, as witness "Woody Allen's Bride of Frankenstein" (you'll never watch another Allen film with a straight face again), "Cape Munster," with Stiller as a psychopathic and vengeful Eddie Munster, "Skank," a potent comment on the crass programming that was initially Fox's stock in trade, and even brilliant riffs on the seminal reality series Cops, which re-imagine the series in witch-hysteric Salem, Massachussetts, ancient Egypt, and medieval times.
In addition to the cast's uncanny impersonations (Stiller's Bono, Tom Cruise, Bruce Springsteen, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Bruce Willis, and Garofalo's Juliette Lewis), The Ben Stiller Show was home to a gallery of recurring characters--agent Michael Pheret, the No, No, No Guy--who, thankfully, SNL producer Lorne Michaels was not around to parlay into godawful films. The topical humor can't help but date some of the material (the show is a veritable Trivial Pursuit of pop culture references, from The Partridge Family to Beverly Hills 90210, but the brilliance of the writing and sheer abandon of the performances are still a joy to behold. --Donald Liebenson
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Top Customer Reviews
Then again, you were just kidding right, trying to make someone like me point out how wrong you were. Right???
Two other classic send ups that I'd like to see again are the Woody Allen with the movie monsters, and a Cape Fear parody with a grown Eddie Munster as the lead.
Ben Stiller was a good impersonator, too. His Bono was pegged perfectly, for instance. The Bruce Springsteen send up of old stories of Bruce going into small clubs for impromptu performances was hillarious in its increasing exagerations.
Too bad the cast didn't continue with the high quality they showed in this short lived show. (Just my opinion, of course.)
Most recent customer reviews
If you can even relate to the pig latin in the Three Stooges then you'll be amazed as Ben takes on such an impossible role as the Latin Lover. It's insane to watch him pull it off. Read morePublished on July 8 2004 by Peter A. Flynn
I finally understand why I consider this show so utterly underwhelming: Ben Stiller. I agree that he does quite a few decent impersonations--but he is pitifully incapable of... Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Curt Surly
Do yourself a favor and buy Kids In The Hall instead. This is some of the worst sketch comedy I've ever seen, even worse than new SNL and MadTV. Read morePublished on June 25 2004 by Phil
Where is everybody? Oh yeah, only 6 or 7 of us watched this series. PEOPLE, wake from the dead! This DVD is so freaking hilarious you will bust a gut! Read morePublished on June 24 2004
There were only about 12 episodes but from time to time they are usualy on Comedy Central.All 12 episodes were good thought. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by Chris
I challenge you to find better sketch work than the Manson takeoff of Lassie. The 90210 parody kills. Read morePublished on May 17 2004
This DVD is one of the funniest tv shows I have witnessed!
Were the tv executives who cancelled this brilliant show on some strange substance? Read more
Don't get me wrong, Ben Stiller is the man! With the new "Starsky and Hutch" movie out, you gotta think this is a good buy! I was very disappointed though. Andy Dick too! Read morePublished on March 25 2004
Being a baby buster, and not some tweenybopper who bought this 'thing' with the old guy from 'Duplex', I must admit that the 'Ben Stiller Show' is more of an interesting artifact... Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by S. Lu