Case Number 03959


Comedy Central // 1999 // 246 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Treadway (Retired) // February 23rd, 2004

The Charge

Ziggy Sokky! Ziggy Hokky! Hoy Hoy Hoy!
Ziggy Sokky! Ziggy Hokky! Hoy Hoy Hoy!

Opening Statement

One of the most polarizing television shows ever created makes its way to DVD. The first half of Season One was popular enough with consumers that the second half was inevitable.

Is the show groundbreaking satire or tasteless sexism? The answers to this and other questions below.

Facts of the Case

Co-creators Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel host this half-hour program that takes a look at the world through the eyes of a typical, red-blooded American male. Accompanied by Fox, the self-proclaimed "fastest beer drinker in the world," Adam and Jimmy take on all comers. From helpful "Man-O-Vations" to the Juggy Girls to interview segments, there is something for somebody in The Man Show.

The Evidence

Notice I didn't say everybody. There is a reason for that. Since its premiere in the summer of 1999, no other show on television has polarized audiences as sharply as The Man Show. Some say it's sexist garbage. Others maintain it's revolutionary comedy. Now, I have a story to share. When the show first premiered, I was in the first camp. I put it on and after five minutes I turned it off. For years, I maintained it was junk until I received this set for review. Needless to say, I was dreading screening this set for the longest time.

Then a funny thing happened: as I was watching the programs, I realized that The Man Show isn't being sexist for the sake of being sexist. Instead, the creators use the attitudes to satirize this behavior. In a subtle, sly way, the show attacks the very positions and attitudes it seems to be celebrating. Watching it, I recalled Roger Ebert's defense of Evil Dead 2 -- it isn't in bad taste, but rather it is about it.

I am not a sexist individual. I always believe that women should get an equal shot at all opportunities. I say that because I know I'm going to be deluged with negative e-mails from our female readership. In my defense, I say: Relax. If you look deeply enough, you'll see the satire. If the makers of The Man Show really believed in what they say, it wouldn't be so over the top, but rather more subdued and sober-minded.

Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel are both engaging performers. They realize that for this satire to really work, they have to play it both straight and over-the-top. It's an effective presentation. I praise both men for the courage to do a show like this. Some of the jokes misfire, but many others succeed. That's a better ratio than most sitcoms these days.

Twelve more episodes from the first season have been spread out over three discs. On a scale of zero to five beers:

* Jobs
Adam and Jimmy give the lowdown on what jobs attract and repel women.
Rating: ***1/2

* Mysteries of Women
What exactly are those mysteries of women? Adam and Jimmy intend to find out exactly.
Rating: ***1/2

* Underwear
Adam and Jimmy declare that Fruit of the Loom should manufacture brown underwear.
Rating: ****

* Thanks, Man Show
Thanksgiving is turned upside down in this unique holiday special. Also, the guide on the proper way to chow down at a Las Vegas buffet.
Rating: ****

* The Woman Show
Adam and Jimmy satirize popular women's daytime shows in the funniest episode of the package.
Rating: *****

* Veal
Legendary professional wrestler André the Giant is inducted into the Man Show Hall of Fame. Also, Adam takes a look into how veal calves are raised.
Rating: *****

* Practical Jokes
A unique Man Show look into practical jokes. Jimmy takes to the street to see if size really matters.
Rating: ***1/2

* Holiday Show
The Man Show does Christmas! Will the boys find the right gifts for their significant others?
Rating: ****1/2

* Millennium
Adam and Jimmy take a look into the highlights of the previous millennium, and to what's ahead in the 21st Century.
Rating: ***

* New Year's Resolution Show
Adam and Jimmy take a satirical jab at the often hollow act of making resolutions for the New Year.
Rating: ****

* Compilation 2
Typical highlights show is okay but the problem is that you've seen it all before.
Rating: **

* Super Bowl Show
The Super Bowl is here, and Adam and Jimmy make sure that everyone gets the most out of the day.
Rating: ****

Comedy Central presents the episodes in full frame, as they were originally broadcast. The transfer is good of its type: clean but unremarkable. Colors look bright but not as rich as the best TV transfers could look. It looks better than the original Comedy Central broadcasts, but that is faint praise.

Audio is slightly better, in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. Again, it's okay of its type, but it's lackluster compared to other transfers of television shows to DVD. You will not be fiddling with your sound system, but you'll wish the track were mixed lower and deeper.

Some interesting extras are included here, mainly segments deemed too raunchy for television. Charlton Heston's Penis revolves around a Muppet version of a talking penis, complete with hairy testicles and circular mouth that gives advice about everyday problems. Five segments are included that had me laughing so loudly that the neighbors thought an earthquake was occurring. Oprah Jimfrey is a satirical jab at America's most popular daytime talk show host. Two segments appear, one of which is hysterical, the other not. Karl Malone On... features an impersonator giving rough, often incoherent advice. Three segments appear, none of which is particularly funny. Man Show Miracles showcases four miracles that will almost never happen. Women are bound to be offended for sure, but remember, it's satire, not concrete truth. Girls Jumping on Trampolines is exactly that...except it drags on for five minutes. This is only for the initiated or extremely horny.

Closing Statement

It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to spend the $29.95 suggested retail price. If you like the show, you will want to own it, especially for the uncensored footage. Non-fans (or über-feminists) stay far, far away.

The Verdict

Charges are dropped against Corolla and Kimmel, but Comedy Central is warned to work on their video and audio transfers.


Review content copyright © 2004 Bill Treadway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 85
Audio: 87
Extras: 30
Acting: 90
Story: 87
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Comedy Central
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

* None

Running Time: 246 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Five Featurettes: Charlton Heston's Penis, Oprah Jimfrey, Karl Malone On..., Man Show Miracles, Girls Jumping on Trampolines

* IMDb