We now understand how Judge Dennis Prince developed such a firm handshake.
Our reviews of The Man Show: Season One, Volume One (published August 11th, 2003), The Man Show: Season One, Volume Two (published February 23rd, 2004), The Man Show: The Complete Second Season (published July 28th, 2004), and The Man Show Presents: Girls On Trampolines (published November 10th, 2004) are also available.
Men are pigs. Thank God!
As your average American male, I'm glad to see that a program with balls (literally) like The Man Show has achieved such undeniable public recognition. Supported by a large viewer base that regularly tunes in to cable's Comedy Network to view the latest in lowbrow entertainment, here's a program that targeted the huge-yet-silently-disavowed demographic of the nut-scratching, finger-sniffing, babe-ogling male homo sapiens (hey, watch it with that "homo" stuff, buddy). The gamble paid off and for five beer-belching seasons, The Man Show delivered an unrelenting, unapologetic, unrepentant smorgasbord of all thoughts, notions, and indulgences that emanate from the male groin-al region. So with two successful seasons under their belts (and a whole lot more), Eagle Rock Entertainment presents The Man Show—Season Three, a complete collection of 26 episodes from the third year of the show that even Oprah couldn't kill.
Facts of the Case
Dress casually, gents, because this is just another laid-back evening with hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Corolla. From their leather easy chairs, these two insensitive impresarios continue on a crusade to impart their testosterone truisms upon a beered-up crowd of rowdy men who often are more interested in the nubile female "juggies" bouncing up and down the audience aisles. That's okay, though, because slobbering over the tempting patooties while enjoying a night away from the wife and kids (read: ball-and-chain and assorted shackles) is what American manliness is all about. Each 30-minute session is a therapeutic acknowledgement that confirms, consoles, and commends we men that porn is a healthy alternative to post-marital sex; that endless masturbation is between a man and his member and is of no business to anyone else (except maybe to his guffawing gaggle of buddies who also keep a tight grip on their respective meat-sticks); and that the fart game is a viable partial-contact sport that's fun for all ages, especially when incorporating the involvement of the unsuspecting bystanders around us.
With their simian-like sensibility, Jimmy and Adam take an unflinching look at everything primal in the male's world: genital endowment, seminal viscosity, public drunkenness, and leering at lots and lots of female boobies. Is there a problem, then? If you think so, then maybe you're not one of us. Maybe you're one of those sissified "metrosexuals" who's been listening to your yammering wife or meddlesome mother tell you how barbaric such things are and how you'd better "grow up" and get in touch with your latent X-chromosome characteristics. Screw that, pansy! What you'd better do pour yourself a foamy one and grab a handful of your manhood quick before you become one of them: an "enlightened" male of the new millennium. That blows, bucko!
And that, in a nutsack…er…nutshell, is The Man Show.
Well, it ain't Masterpiece Theater; more like The Choda Channel. Certainly this one appeals to a select audience, though I know plenty of women who love to laugh along, peering in on the male domain (my wife happens to love the show just for its outright crude and reckless abandon). The Man Show, therefore, broke out of its own self-proclaimed boundaries of sophomoric humor and enticed many women to see just what it is men do when they get together without the opposite sex in tow. Much to their chagrin, women I've talked to have discovered that men do not regularly "compare" in the locker room and don't strike up lengthy conversations while standing at the urinal or straining over the crapper. What they do do is talk about broads, beer, and butt-muffins. Perpetually trapped in the bliss of puberty, the sort of men that this show appeals to appreciate it for its stark revelation of the attitudes and inclinations that has been suppressed in men for far too long. Like the unrivaled relief one enjoys from letting go a gut full of gas, painfully held back during the entire time her parents were visiting and seeming like they would never leave, The Man Show allows the pent-up crudeness and inappropriate nature in most men to vent like a mud-whistle melody, fully and fulfilling. Most of the time, though, I found myself wincing at the unabashed (and often bashing) humor on display as puked forth by these two cretinous hosts. That's when I realized that I, too, have been somewhat de-programmed and partially re-programmed by this politically correct society of ours, yet have seen that it's okay to laugh out loud at the sorts of things you'd never discuss with your mother, your first-grade teacher, or your church pastor. In this contained forum of foulness, it all comes out and it feels good. Ahh…ahhhhhh.
But after two years on the air, was the show still funny? Well, I could better say that the show remained consistent. That is, was often side-splitting funny in ways that will have you gasping for your breath (and not because someone floated an air-biscuit), while other times it can be sort of bland, over-played, and unfunny. Largely made up of regularly recurring segments, the show is funniest during "The Wheel of Destiny," "The Man Show Boy," and "Sock Puppet Porn" (where you'll never look at your dark brown dress socks the same again). The show is weak, however, during "Man-O-Vations," "What Would Adam Do?," and the numerous Karl Malone skits (many think these segments serve as the cream of Jimmy Kimmel's crop, but I just don't find them too terribly amusing; the impression is pretty good, though). One-offs in this season that rise to attention include "The Sperm Bank," where Kimmel and Carolla let their boys battle it out in the confines of a specimen cup; Adam's visit to an adult novelty factory, where he realizes his dream of having his modest-sized hang-down immortalized in silicone; and "Mardi Gras," where the two are let loose among the ample boobs being bared along Bourbon Street. Really, there are plenty of laughs to be found in this set, yet enough moments that don't quite work to keep it all feeling sort of average in the final analysis. Of course, young teenage boys will probably get the most fun out of it if they can sneak away Dad's copy and secretly screen it with their buddies. And sorry ladies, but circle-jerks are a myth, so just forget about that.
So, on the four discs you'll find in The Man Show—Season Three boxed set, here are the 26 episodes that await you:
• Sperm Bank
• Juggy Water Park
• Christmas Show
• Outdoor Show
So how about the testi…uh…technical details of this set? Okay. Each episode is presented in its original 1.33:1 full frame format and they all look quite good. I didn't find any compression artifacts, colors looked vibrant, and detail levels were sharp. The audio was also pretty good by way of the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix. Nothing spectacular here, but nothing that could be called a technical screw-up, either.
The extras on the disc are pretty flaccid, though. Really, all we get are some extra skits and bonus "Girls Jumping On Trampolines" segments. Certainly there were outtakes from these shows; where are they? With all the hijinks involving audience members and juggy jubilation, there was certainly some brief nudity that was captured on tape; where's that? The folks at Eagle Rock Entertainment, the studio responsible for these releases, are really missing the boat. You'll find a limited edition beer coaster in this set, but it's just the thick paper variety that your wife will likely throw out the first time you leave it laying around.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Does all of this offend you? If you answered "yes," then The Man Show has achieved its goal. It aims to offend and to make you uncomfortable, even you men who thought all of your unending explorations into your nether regions had gone undetected by your buddies on the bowling team. Look, what The Man Show does is serve as a sort of point-of-admission where we men come clean with our pecadillos and preoccupations. That's largely the humor of the show: these two goofs on the stage say the things most men regard as "unmentionable." Sure, we have our little secrets, but since they're pretty much the same secrets that have been experienced by most other men since the age of 12 or 13, it's silly to think that we're alone in our secret "happy places." So, okay. The cat's out of the bag. Wipe the embarrassment off your face, grab a beer, and laugh along. Yes, this is the anti-Oprah, the Joyce Brothers of the Bizarro world, and the f**k-you-Dr.-Phil antidote you've been so aching for. If it offends you, then you're either still in denial or you're likely more inclined to the softer and gentler things in life.
Now, what offends me about this boxed set is that it's still holding back in regards to extra features and un-edited content. On that second point, although the show regularly crosses the line of appropriateness in terms of language and visual content, you'll still find bleeps and pixelation blot-outs throughout these episodes. If this is the DVD market, why present the episodes as if they're being broadcast throughout all of America's living rooms? This is probably the key area where this and previous season releases have severely missed the mark. Look, we guys at home (and our curious wives) want to hear and see everything that those drunken slobs actually witnessed in the studio audience. Even if it means seeing that pasty dude's left nut squeezing out the side of Rosie O'Donnell's thong after a fateful encounter with the Wheel of Destiny, then so be it. C'mon Jimmy and Adam, put it all out there for us to laugh at. And speaking of the hosts, I'll also chime in as have others regarding the absence of audio commentaries. Surely these two can sober up long enough to put on a pair of pants and shuffle down to a studio to lay down some tracks telling us what happened in between commercial breaks and what skit didn't go quite like they planned and what their friends and family thought about the material being tossed about on stage. At this point, it's probably a lost cause since I doubt anyone would re-purchase these season sets in an unedited version.
In the end, The Man Show should be commended for its "f**k you" attitude and "c'mon, this sh*t is funny" disposition. Every episode is just another slack-jawed sojourn to the green acres of Pooterville, and it's generally enjoyable in an adult sort of way. There's clearly much more that should be offered in these sets but, as it stands, there are some good laughs to be found here and at a retail price of $29.98, it's not a bad deal. If you're uncertain about replay value, rent it.
Despite its attempts to turn this into a kangaroo court, The Man Show is found not guilty as it clearly identifies its intended audience. Those who have raised exception in this courtroom over the show's content are sternly admonished to mind their own damn business and not poke their noses into places where they know such goings on are being committed. All actions witnessed herein appear to be natural, most of them of the bodily function nature, so no crime has been committed. Case dismissed.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
• Unseen Girls on Trampolines
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