Judge Neal Masri may look like a man in his thirties, but he's actually only twelve years old.
Satan Kitty says: the more you lie, the better you get at it!
"About here is where I realized I should start drinking"—TV critic Richard Huff in the commentary for episode 1 of The Andy Milonakis Show.
This statement was made before the first minute had elapsed.
Facts of the Case
You may be familiar with Andy Milonakis from his sketches on Jimmy Kimmel Live (just for clarification, Andy Milonakis is not the kid from The Man Show). This set gives us the first season of The Andy Milonakis Show—a rather brief season comprised of eight half-hour episodes.
Andy Milonakis got his start in television doing man-on-the-street skits on Jimmy Kimmel Live. His comedy stylings basically consisted of asking inappropriate questions or otherwise attempting to get a laugh preying on unsuspecting passersby. I found his Kimmel skits fairly amusing. I am unhappy to report that expanding a small dose of Andy to an entire show of his own was a bad idea.
His stream-of-conscious style makes his show quite similar to The Tom Green Show. Milonakis, along with Tom Green, owe a great deal to Andy Kaufman. Like Kaufman, both Green and Milonakis seem to be performing for an audience of one—themselves. Consequently, the comedy lies not in Milonakis's actions, but in the reactions of other people to his antics.
When Milonakis is not dealing with the man in the street, he is decidedly unfunny. Consider Andy Kauffman once again. His entire professional wrestling persona was not very funny in and of itself. The reactions of the crowds at a professional wrestling match to his wrestler character were funny. When The Andy Milonakis Show consists merely of Milonakis and the camera, the essential element that makes him funny is lost.
Not that Andy is always alone. As this is an MTV production, the network seems to have used their considerable pull to get a few recognizable guest stars to pop up every now and then. We have very brief appearances from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Black Eyed Peas, John Stamos, Biz Markee and Lil' Jon (who seems willing to appear on virtually any basic cable sketch comedy show).
In preparing to write this review, I was surprised to learn that Andy is actually a thirty-year-old man. From what I can glean from Internet searches, he apparently has a hormone condition that gives him the appearance of a preteen. I had assumed from the few times I had seen his Jimmy Kimmel skits that he was actually a kid being scripted by Kimmel.
His age raises an interesting question—does the viewer knowing Andy's actual age make his comedy more or less funny? My answer is a qualified "more." His most effective bits are those where he passes himself off as a kid to his unsuspecting marks. The fact is, most of the people he confronts think that he is a kid and therein lies the comedy. Knowing that he's not actually a kid puts you in on the joke.
I actually enjoyed one of the extra features better than the show itself. Episode One features a commentary by New York Daily News TV critic Richard Huff. Mr. Huff absolutely hates the show. His commentary reflects that as he criticizes the show brutally from the first thirty seconds on. Mr. Huff's commentary is a nice addition. I wish other movies and shows had the guts to include something like that.
Episodes Two through Eight feature a cast commentary by Andy, Larry, Ralphie, and Rivka. These folks are some of Andy's posse who make brief appearances throughout the season. Needless to say Andy's hangers-on don't have much negative information to share. They also have almost nothing substantive to share. It's mostly banal behind-the-scenes information like, "It took me ten takes to do that," or "That's the best line of the show." I wish they could have gotten Mr. Huff to hang around for a few more episodes.
Episode Seven features a video commentary whose main draw is Ralphie eating an entire large pizza over the course of the twenty-two minutes. Also not very enlightening, but it does feature a graphic keeping count of the number of slices consumed. I won't kill the suspense and tell you if Ralphie achieves his goal.
Also included is a featurette titled Andy Goes Hollywood. It's actually just another skit featuring Andy playing a rich and spoiled celebrity. Disc Two also contains 25 additional unaired skits. They are all very brief and about the same quality as the skits which made the cut. I'm not sure what criteria was used to pick which ones aired and which did not. Cast interviews round out the set.
The show was transferred from videotape and picture quality is reasonably good. It being an MTV production, the Dolby stereo mix is fairly strong in the music department. Dialogue is clear. The presentation is reasonably strong for a show of this type.
A little Andy Milonakis goes quite a long way. His shtick just isn't funny enough to carry a show on his own. I found myself laughing every now and then, but not nearly enough to justify spending three plus hours with this set.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
If one was so inclined they could cull about a half hour of reasonably funny material from the eight half-hour episodes here. Milonakis's comedy does have a goofy charm at times. There is just too much detritus to sift through in order to get to the few funny moments.
It was a bad idea to stretch Andy Milonakis' act beyond five-minute sketches. Much like movies based upon Saturday Night Live skits, there just isn't enough inspiration here to justify the length. Andy would be better served by sticking with the occasional late night talk show appearance.
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Scales of Justice
• Commentary by Andy, Larry, Ralphie, and Rivka, and NY Daily News reporter Richard Huff
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