Comedy Central // 2002 // 180 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // December 19th, 2007
"I've got mail!"
Crank Yankers is a simple and simple-minded show. Comedians (and occasionally a celebrity) make prank phone calls to unsuspecting victims. The calls are dubbed onto puppets that act out the calls. On this release, Comedy Central has crammed 58 of the "best" calls on a single DVD, featuring the likes of Jimmy Kimmel (The Man Show), Adam Carolla (The Man Show), Seth MacFarlane (The Family Guy), Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Show), Wanda Sykes (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and even Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park).
Is the show funny? Sometimes. Most of the calls are quite tedious with the puppets serving merely to distract (temporarily) from the lame skits. There were only two calls that I found genuinely funny: "Batman's Nemesis Calls 411-Information" and "Ken Seeks OCD Date." These were two of the rare skits that did not rely on gross-out and/or vulgar humor. They also did not degenerate into extremely annoying mass repetition like all seven of the "Special Ed" calls, especially the "Special Ed Needs Support" skit where Special Ed says "I've got mail!" 48 times. This is a lack of substance and not humor.
Is it in bad taste? Almost always. Is it really necessary to show full frontal puppet nudity? Or massive puppet projectile vomiting? Or torturing someone who is looking for a job?
Prank calls are funny when you're a kid, but eventually you grow up and have better things to do with your time. And three hours of prank calls showcases how juvenile such behavior is. After the first hour of skits I was getting annoyed. After the second, I wanted to kick a hole in my television screen, so I wouldn't have to watch the show anymore. At the end of the third hour, I prayed for my soul.
The video transfer is decent and clean, but it's a cheaply produced show. The audio is uneven. Some calls are fairly clear while others, especially in the case of the victim's voice, are poorly recorded.
There are no extras.
Can prank calls be funny? I suppose. But unless you are a die-hard of fan of Crank Yankers, steer clear of this mess.
It's time to close down Yankerville.
Review content copyright © 2007 Roy Hrab; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Comedy Central
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 180 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Review - Season One
* Review - Season Two, Volume One