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Case Number 08387

Buy Mr. Show: The Complete Collection at Amazon

Mr. Show: The Complete Collection

HBO // 1995 // 900 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Mike Pinsky (Retired) // January 17th, 2006

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge Mike Pinsky is going to blow up the moon.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Mr. Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons (published July 10th, 2002), Mr. Show: The Complete Third Season (published September 15th, 2003), and Mr. Show: The Complete Fourth Season (published October 13th, 2004) are also available.

The Charge

"That's right, Bob. Listen to your friend. A person who makes more money than you is better than you, and therefore beyond criticism."—Bob's Conscience (Tom Kenny)

Opening Statement

Bob and David need your help. David just had his award-winning sitcom cancelled, and he is reduced to picking fights with redneck comedians and doing video game voiceovers. I hear he now has a drinking problem. Not liquor. Ketchup. If he tells you it is his "naughty juice" and tries to bite you, just step away and nod consolingly. Bob is stuck producing some goofy cartoon show and co-writing some movie about the world's greatest rock band. It'll never go anywhere. His impressive collection of neckties? He sold them all trying to drum up money to reunite the cast of Hazel for a reunion movie. Don't remind him that they are all dead. It just makes him weep.

These are broken men. They need you to buy Mr. Show: The Complete Collection. Just your small donation, no more than pennies a day, can help them get back on their feet, get nourishing food, and obtain crucial medicines that can protect them from disease. If you buy Mr. Show: The Complete Collection, Bob and David will personally send you a letter, scrawled with their own little hands, expressing their love and devotion. They may even come to your house.

If they do, just turn out the lights and hide in the back. They'll ring the doorbell a few times, then shuffle home.

The Evidence

I'm looking right now at the box cover of Mr. Show: The Complete Collection. Usually, that "Mr. Show" guy—I guess he is supposed to be Mr. Show—is really small, squeezed onto a television logo or during a credit sequence. So you never get to see him in much detail. But now—I mean, look at the guy. Is that a monocle? What's up with the wilted flowers and the black platform heels? Is that a paintbrush, or a torch? And the way he's looking at me. Stop it. Please. You're creeping me out. No—don't come any closer. Why are you touching me there? I'm telling my mommy!

I think that little Mr. Show guy sums up Mr. Show. It touches you in naughty places, with a friendly maniac grin. It burns you, then apologizes. And it dresses very, very badly.

If you like all these things, then you should seriously consider counseling. Or, if your insurance does not cover that, spend a few bucks on Mr. Show: The Complete Collection, fifteen hours of the finest sketch comedy ever broadcast at 2am on a Monday morning on HBO.

Even if you already own all three sets of Mr. Show with Bob and David, you should still buy this new, freshly printed boxed set. Not because it contains any new material. It doesn't. Not because it improves the production quality of the original discs. They are all exactly the same. In fact, you don't even need to remove the shrink wrap from this new set. Keep it preserved for your grandchildren. Like that mint-condition, holographic cover special issue of X-Men you bought back in 1988 and sealed in Mylar with a acid-free backing board, Mr. Show cannot help but appreciate in value.

Later, in fifty years maybe, your heirs can lift Mr. Show: The Complete Collection from that old trunk that smells like mothballs and pipe tobacco, blow off the dust melodramatically, and hand the box over to the appraiser from Sotheby's. He curled his lip at the cup of tea you offered him—what's wrong with Tetley?—but now his eyes are on fire. It could be worth a fortune, he tells you, weighing it in his palms like a Chinese country doctor measuring out a dose of powdered rhino testicles.

And he is right. The millions of dollars your boxed set fetches at auction come as a pleasant shock. Of course, these are 2056 dollars. So they buy you a nice dinner at Red Lobster (even though all the lobster went toxic twenty years ago and all they sell now are those cheddar biscuits) for you and your robot girlfriend. And you don't have enough cash left for dessert. Serves you right, you robot-loving pervert.

And now, since my wife just pointed out that I have successfully directed all web search traffic for "rhino testicles" toward this review, I can move forward with the sense of a job well done.

Look, we here at DVD Verdict have already reviewed all three prior sets of Mr. Show with Bob and David. I seem to recall reviewing one of them myself, but knowing me, my review probably just consisted of a bunch of lame jokes. You see, unlike Bob and David, we here at DVD Verdict do not have a staff of crack comedy writers. Crack, perhaps. Comedy writers, not so much. Bob Odenkirk and David Cross are crack comedy writers, and they were smart enough to hire even more for their brief run on HBO back in the mid-1990s. Odenkirk cut his teeth on Saturday Night Live, where—and this is a testament to his genius—most of his sketches were rejected. So he went on to the underrated Ben Stiller Show. His Charles Manson impersonation still cracks me up. It was while working for Ben Stiller than Odenkirk hooked up with a new staff writer on that show, stand-up comedian David Cross. Their love moved mountains, and their comedy changed the face of television.

Actually, neither of those last statements is true. Bob and David are comfortably heterosexual, in spite of a little dabbling in college. And their show had a loyal, devoted, and very small audience during its original run. I know that I could not convince any of my friends to come by in the wee hours of the morning just to watch it. But like Odenkirk's previous job for Ben Stiller, Mr. Show was a crossroads for talented sketch comedians to meet and sell their souls to the Devil for more profitable work somewhere else. I mean, how else do you explain Tom Kenny nailing that Spongebob gig? It's the Devil, I tell you.

All three of our previous reviews highlight the brilliant moments that make up Mr. Show through the course of its four short seasons. The first adventures of Ronnie Dobbs (who got his own feature film). Druggachusettes. Titanicca cheering up their biggest fan. The Dalai Lama goes to summer camp. All classics. Plus, you get raucous commentary tracks for every episode, rare live appearances and promo spots (all original and funny), and a bunch of other crap that you'll find listed in those other reviews. Just go read them already, okay?

Closing Statement

If you don't already own the individual sets (priced around $35 apiece), you should get this more reasonably priced complete collection (priced around $80). Imagine what you can do with all the money you'll have!

Of course, according to Worthington's Law, which judges the quality of a person by how much money he makes, my opinion now means nothing. You'll have all that money. I only get paid in DVDs.

The Verdict

When Patrick Bromley predicted back in October, 2004, that the "Fourth Season will be the last release of Mr. Show," he was obviously wrong. For that error, he has been punished. But Bob Odenkirk and David Cross are released with the blessings of the court. So when will we finally get to see that Hooray for America! stage show on DVD?

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 95
Acting: 96
Story: 98
Judgment: 98

Perp Profile

Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 900 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary by Bob and David and Others
• "Fuzz" the Musical
• "Before It Was a TV Show"
• Two "Best Of" Compilations
• 1997 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Footage
• "The Naked Improv" Sketch
• "The Grand Reunion" Featurette
• "Druggachusettes" Instrumental Score
• Blooper Reels
• Mr. Show Jukebox
• TV Spots and Promos

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