Tag Archives: David Wain

Eight (Hundred) is Great

800 Posts

We’ve gone ahead and ignored all your pleas for us to cease and desist and have reached yet another milestone on this blog: 800 posts (and counting). We kind of crawled our way from 700, with the latter half of 2012 and the early part of 2013 being monopolized by professional obligations, but we’re still extremely proud of hitting this mark. More importantly, we’re reenergized, emboldened to continue (sorry, everyone!), remaining your number one source for Survivor Celebrity Look-Alikes, Gallagher commentary, general nonsense and the occasional insight. As we march forward towards 900 (and god willing or god forbid, depending your stance, 1000), we hope you stick with us, even if you only end up here because you were searching for a State video that has been blocked. As a thank you (AND an apology) here’s a video State-member David Wain made for his wife’s birthday:

 

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Filed under Count Bleh, Gratuitous Search Term Bait, The State

They’re Finally Together

After more than a decade it looks like David Wain & Michael Showalter’s Wet Hot American Summer follow-up They Came Together is finally going to be made, if Variety is to be trusted (and, really, can they???).   Much like Wet Hot took on 80s summer camp flicks, this one has rom-coms in its crosshairs.  And, much like Wet Hot, They Came Together will star Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, and also likely the rest of The State and Zak Orth and A.D. Miles and Elizabeth Banks and Mather Zickel and Nina Hellman (not that we’re complaining.  In fact, we’re crossing our fingers).

You can see a very brief, very blurry clip from the They Came Together read through at this year’s SF Sketchfest here, or, instead, watch this iconic Rudd clip from Wet Hot.  The choice is yours.

We’re starting the campaign for a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan cameo now.

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Filed under Good Humor, Good News!, Hanx, The Big Screen, The State

On the Seventh Night of Hanukkah Jumped the Snark Gave to You…

…Seven Stella clips!

(Sorry we missed night #6.  It was six pairs of socks, so, you know, no biggie)

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Only one more night!

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Filed under Lady Holiday, The State, Woody Allen, Bar Mitzvahs & Bagels

Muppet Monday: Rashida Jones May Join ‘Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made’, Moving Us Closer To A State-Muppet Movie Directed By Judd Apatow

In things-that-I-love-meeting-other-things-that-I-love news, reports indicate that Rashida Jones is close to joining Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s forthcoming Muppet motion picture, The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made (in addition, the adorable Amy Adams and the cute Chris Cooper are also in talks to come on board).  Now that Jones appears to be in, we can only assume that Paul Rudd will not be far behind.  And when you have Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones there’s a pretty good chance that you’re eventually going to see Judd Apatow and at least one member of The State.  Rudd, we all know, is one of the key faces of Apatowian comedy, as well as frequent a collaborator with State members David Wain and Ken Marino (see: Role Models, Diggers).  Jones, in addition to appearing in the Apatow-esque I Love You Man with Segel and Rudd (plus State member Tom Lennon), had a small role in Apatow’s masterwork Freaks and Geeks, and has shown up in State related productions Stella, The Ten and Wainy Days.  So from there it’s only a matter of time before Jones, Rudd, Segel, Apatow, The State and the Muppets all team up.  We already know that The State and the Muppets have a history together:

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One complaint:  Sources say that Jones would portray an ABC exec in the movie.  Between her roles on The Office and The Social Network, we think we’ve seen enough of her in business attire.  No more blazers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For further information, please consult the Judd Apatow Chart

via Vulture

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Filed under Discos and Dragons, Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam, Freak Out Control, Intersection of the venn diagram of things that I love, Judd Apatow, Muppet Mondays, Muppets, The Big Screen, The State, Yasmine Bleeth

Hanukkah Night #5: Jew They Know It’s Christmas

Moving away from Muppet news (however briefly), tonight’s Hanukkah post comes from musician and frequent The State collaborator Craig Wedren.  Back in the dark ages of 2005, Wedren and some of his closest friends (including State-alums David Wain and Joe Lo Truglio, as well as Paul Rudd, Zack Orth and Matthew Zickel) recorded a cover of the holiday classic “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” complete with the requisite lead singer impressions (including a couple Paul McCartney’s, and a Mel Gibson thrown in for good measure).

Listen to “Jew They Know It’s Christmas”

And, yes, we know.

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Filed under The State, Woody Allen, Bar Mitzvahs & Bagels, Yankee Swap

Best Year Ever For Members of The State, State Collaborators, and Titles Containing the Word ‘State’

Two Jumped the Snark favorites,  The State member Tom Lennon and friend of The State Rashida Jones, are working on two new, exciting projects (independently, of course.  Although I wouldn’t mind seeing them collaborate).

Tom Lennon

When news broke that Comedy Central canceled the long-running (dare I say institution?) Reno 911, (comedy geeks’) hearts were broken across the country (while Reno might have been growing a bit long in the tooth, it seemed like an odd time to cancel the show, considering that with the arrival of Michael and Michael Have Issues, the recent release of the long-awaited State DVD,  and the addition of State-alum to Joe Lo Truglio to the Reno cast, it seemed that The State-related projects were experiencing a wave of enthusiasm).  However, the demise of Reno stings a little less with the announcement that Tom Lennon has signed a deal to create and star in a yet untitled comedy for NBC (in addition, the plot is apparently “under wraps”  Unless it’s the story of the next generation iPhone, not sure if the secrecy is necessary).  Also unknown at this point is when NBC will cancel the show (let’s just hope it’s not a gritty cop drama).  Unless the show slots in on Thursday nights, looks like NBC might have to make space elsewhere for comedy (they might want to start with the 10pm slot; at the moment, this hour is devoid of comedy).  Additional good news is that frequent Lennon collaborator, fellow State and Reno member, Ben Garant will co-create and also appear on the show (let’s also hope it’s not a serialized version of the Lennon-Garant penned Night at the Museum films).  To celebrate, a State sketch!

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(and my list of the Top Ten The State sketches)

Keep reading! Rashida Jones!

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Filed under Good Humor, Must See TV, The State

Top Ten The State Sketches (and then some)

On July 14th, 2009 my life officially changed with the release of The State for the first time ever on DVD (after years of promises and rumors).  If you’re not familiar with The State, shame on you, but you can check out their official website, or read up on the troupe here. Since receiving the complete series (thank you, Amazon) I have watched (listened to) all the episode commentaries and viewed all the unaired sketches (with and without commentary).  However, it was after watching (listening to) the Role Models DVD commentary (by director and State member David Wain) last night that I was inspired to create my own list of the Top Ten State Sketches.  Then after trying to narrow it down to a top ten, I decided those that didn’t make the cut deserved honorable mention.   But on to those that placed!  In a particular order, based solely on my opinion, here they are:

1. The Race

As far as I know, not widely regarded as one of their best, but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for this one.  A friendly race between father and son soon turns into a scene from Deathproof.  Includes one of my favorite exchanges:

– “See you in hell!”

– “How ’bout I meet you there.” – as Michael Showalter spouts saliva in every which direction.

2. Prison Break

For some reason I always link this sketch with “Race,” and I have a hard time deciding which one I prefer  One of the most well produced and slick looking of the film pieces, this bit finds Tom Lennon’s convict Jimmy Mulligan escaping from Lowell Maximum Security Prison.  It’s absurd, but played so seriously it works.  Also, any sketch that can includes as a plot device Yom Kippur is bound to make my list.  To this day I still inform others that an area is “off-limits” as a favor to me.

Prison Break

*sorry, this sketch doesn’t seem to be available online and all I could find was this tiny, tiny jpeg.

3. Porcupine Racetrack

The State’s magnum opus, a full on song and dance number about, well, a Porcupine Racetrack.  It has some  yuks, like David Wain break dancing and a singing porcupine, but what really makes this one stand out as their masterwork is that it’s not a joke.  It’s an earnest and entertaining musical performance that succeeds because it’s good, not because it’s funny.

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4. Balogna Foot

Probably the sketch that made me fall in love with The State.  Again, crazy premise, a kid with meat for feet, but it’s played straight.  What makes it so funny is how real it is, as if he were any run of the mill outcast.  When Michael Showalter says “Sometimes I wonder, if I was stranded on a desert island, would I eat my feet?  You know what, I don’t think I would,” you really believe it.  Bonus points to Tom Lennon for corner kicking a soccer ball right into Todd Holoubeck’s groin.

Bolgna foot, meat for feet, penis face.  You know, guy stuff.

*Showalter, it seems, has an affinity for abnormal feet, as seen in this recent Michael and Michael Have Issues sketch.

5. Taco Man

I didn’t have tacos growing up, and one time refused to get anything from Taco Bell except for a Pepsi.  But this sketch made tacos look good, even before I knew how good they were.  One of their most off-beat sketches, filled with awkward silences, twisted even further by the closing line “That was the longest conversation I have ever had.” We should all be so lucky to have such delightful conversation.

6. Blueberry Johnson

Michael Showalter’s character is like the Joker crossed with Violet Beauregarde and strong editing skills.  A wannabee children’s show host, Blueberry demonstrates he (she?) has the passion and the looks, but maybe not the gentle touch.  Also, I’m convinced Molly Shannon stole her SNL character Helen Madden’s catchphrase, “I love it, I love it, I love it,” from Blueberry.  If only “Blueberry Muffins in the Morning with Richard Dreyfuss” was real.

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7. The Jew, The Italian and the Red Head Gay

Perhaps as memorable as “Porcupine Racetrack,” maybe because it ends with another stirring full cast musical number.  Extremely simple, and extremely short, it really is nothing more than the title personified, the characters speaking only in stereotypes, like tomato sauce, bagels, and pretty curtain patterns.  But it’s only we confront these stereotypes that we can move beyond them.  Special mention must also be made for David Wain’s subtle portrayal of the Jew.  Instead of going for the obvious, like payos of a Hasidic Jew, he chooses runner’s attire, with the added detail of the dangling headphones.  Clearly, he knows the material.

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8. Muppets

Normally I object to any sketch that portrays the Muppets in a negative light (a stoned Kermit, gay Bert and Ernie, easy jokes that are disrespectful and cheap).  However, despite the fact that they do kill, cook and eat Muppets in this sketch, I do feel like they honor the Muppet legacy.  I think this is the kind of Muppet joke Jim Henson would have appreciated.  Just don’t ask for someone (or thing) to come show you “near.”

In lieu of a quality video of the sketch, here’s a newish video from the Muppets!

9. Leonard Harris Show

Unfortunately I can’t find any video for this sketch either.   It’s your typical talk show, speaking with a guest who has some sort of condition, in this case blindness.  However, the audience cannot seem to comprehend the limitations of the affliction, or lack thereof, with one audience member asking, “aren’t you worried about AIDS?”  To which Leonard Harris adds, “Ohhhhh, good question.  And one I think you have a responsibility to answer.”  It’s simple, but it works.  And another line I still quote often.

10. Personal State

Michael Ian Black kind of cornered the market on writing these whole group sketches in which they would play versions of themselves and address the audience.  And since he wrote them, he took center stage.  In this sketch from the third season, Black tells the audience that the cast would like to express some personal facts about themselves.  Except no one is willing to divulge anything private (save for Tom Lennon, who lets us know he’s on speed).  We don’t actually learn about The State members besides some fictional details about Black, but it shows them at their best, willing to sacrifice their dignity for the sake of comedy.

Honorable Mention:

  • “Pants” – From early in the first season, one of the more well known sketches, the one that really made me take notice of the show.  Misses the top ten only because the DVD version has been stripped of the original music track, the Breeders’ “Cannonball,” and the piece isn’t the same without it.

*Black and Showalter seem to share an affinity for pants comedy, considering this sketch from MMHI, as well as this one.

  • “Service with a Smile” – Chicken sandwich, Carl! Vodpod videos no longer available.
  • “The Barry Lutz Show” – Two words: Monkey Torture. Vodpod videos no longer available.
  • “Mr. Magina” – A slow burn, as Kevin Allison’s substitute teacher waits for the moment when his students realize that his surname rhymes with a female body part. Mr. Magina

  • “The Pope-a’s Visit” – Just sheer energy and destruction.  The kind of sketch you only have one chance to get right. Vodpod videos no longer available.
  • “Toothbrush” – “Toothbrush you’ve come back to me!” was one of the first WAV files I downloaded when my parents purchased our Compaq Presario.  I think it was the Windows start-up sound.
  • “Terrorist Situation” – Worth including just for the line, “Can I get mine in the form of a gift certificate to Red Lobster?  It’s my mom’s birthday.”  Another quote I often steal .
  • “Hepcat” – A Footloose parody that at some points is more like a Footloose re-enactment, just replacing Rock’n’Roll with slow jazz.
  • “Chip’s Party” – From episode one, shot on VHS, a couple 20-somethings crash a little boy’s birthday party.  Good times ensue.
  • “Boy in a Barn” – another sketch that was knocked down a few slots because the DVD version replaces the original music track, “Papa Don’t Preach.”  Still, a story of triumph and tolerance.
  • “Cannonball Run Outtakes” – Not really a sketch, just a shot for shot remake of the outtakes from Cannonball Run.  But still brilliant.
  • “Cutlery Barn” – The weirdest sketch in a series filled with weird sketches.  Co-starring a sandwich. 

*You might also notice that I didn’t include popular recurring characters like Doug and Louie.  These personas were created to parody recurring characters, and were deliberately poorly written and one-dimensional.  While these characters did catch on and in effect become what the show was mocking, the sketches still weren’t the troupe’s best or most original work.

**Find more State videos at MTV.com

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Filed under Lists, The State