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MTV’s The State Returns: A Review

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   After 15 long years of teenaged-level angst, the adolescents of the 90’s have finally been heard: the comedic stylings of The State finally arrive in a DVDThe State DVD package so good, it makes $240.00 worth of pudding seem frigid.


   So you think the world is unfair? Don’t feel anyone ever listens to you? Have you been made fun of because your feet are made out of bologna sandwiches, or because you weren’t gay in high school?

   Well, push all that misery aside: The State is coming to DVD. And, no, it isn’t coming in a clear computer case with a black and white photocopy cover and sold from some guy’s trunk. It’s official, baby. Aaaaaaawwwww Yeeeeeah.

   This coming July 14th will mark the return of The State after 15 years of being copied onto VHS tapes and horribly edited YouTube videos. Even if you haven’t seen these pirated pieces, I’m sure that you knew exactly what I was talking about by the time you read the intro. This is because The State is that iconic, even if it only survived three full seasons.

   For those of you that need a history lesson, The State is a comedy troupe consisting of Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Robert Ben Garant, Todd Holoubek, Michael Patrick Jann, Kerri Kenney, Thomas Lennon, Joe LoTruglio, Ken Marino, Michael Showalter, and David Wain, all of whom wrote and The State Castacted in the sketches, and would have written me nasty letters if they were not included in that insanely long cast list. The State began as a college improv comedy group, and through hard work and talent, found a place on MTV, in our hearts, and eventually in Ken Marino’s pants.

   The amazing thing about The State compared to most comedy sketch shows is that it did not rely on parody and satire as much as other shows did. Sure, the Sid and Nancy $7,000 Pyramid skit(season 1) and Stephen Hawking Stand-Up(un-aired but on the DVD) were amazing displays of satire. However, The State brought their own quirky characters into the mix 90% of the time. Sometimes it was a humorous display of teenaged angst with Doug, or the uncomfortable display of two guys who still think it’s 1973. Other times it was the self-deprecating cast disclaimers to the viewers. It could even be something so off the wall as eating Muppets. The point is that much of what the cast created was truly their own, without relying so much on current event lampooning. That is what creativity is all about: making the personally ridiculous seem funny to the general public. The State did this time and time again.

   So is it worth buying a DVD of such a show? Do these skits traverse time, or do they fall flat when they aren’t cubby-holed in their generation? Yes, yes, and no. The jokes never get old to me, and because of some fancy ad-libbing on what the cast has explained in their interviews, it is because they did not rely on satirizing the times that The State can be laughed at by future generations. Even the extras are worth the time to watch. Not only do you get insight from the cast, but you get to see over 20 sketches that never made it through the editing room, and some of those were as funny as some of their best bits, no matter how short.

Some of these include:

  • Stephen Hawking Stand-Up
  • Coach Gunner
  • Thompson’s All Weather Sealant
  • Krispy Pops(man on the the street)
  • Drag Dad

Then, of course, we have such classics as:Levon and Barry

  • Bologna Foot
  • Sleep with The State
  • The State Discuss Secrets
  • The Boner Song
  • Dan the Openly Gay High School Student
  • Doug
  • Piggy Shoes

   Ah crap, I could go on forever. Save us both the time by picking the DVD up.

I give this DVD series 5 out of 5 pairs of underpants. After a review like that, did you expect anything else?

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Patrick is the man behind the man behind the site behind the man.... When he isn't writing for The Inept Owl, saving penguins from Hulk Hogan, and other activities that could be either truths or lies, he's editing everything else.

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