Mr. Show with Bob and David: Genius or Overrated?

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It *was* a loopy and inspired show and if you see it as "trying to be" such, then I'd say you are projecting. It just is what it is.

Saying that the show was loopy and inspired because it was loopy and inspired is a bit glib. I don't doubt you like it at all and that you enjoy it very much, so can I ask that you consider the opposite point of view might have been derived from the same basic experience, ie watching the show? As I've had to point out on similar threads before, the very thread *title* invites debate, yes?

I actually didn't have much of a problem with Cross until I saw Mr. Show, to be honest -- I was completely neutral. Now, in combination with other things of his, I am not. Is that projecting or my reaction?

Anyway, onions. Yum!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

Ned, you're so OTM on this whole thread! Thanks!

W i l l (common_person), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

did you see the space racist sketch that ends in a benny hill dance with aliens? since you hate cross i'm not even gonna ask you about wicked scepter.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

Space Racists sounds familiar, but with a description like that something should leap to mind more readily.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

Well, saying it is "trying to be" something it was is wrong, no? Are you trying to be Ned? Loopy and inspiring = offbeat, crazy and innovative, correct? So, yes, it was all those things. Was it "trying to be" those things? I think it was just meant to be funny. Were you there when they were writing the sketches?

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:40 (9 years ago) Permalink

Loopy and inspiring = offbeat, crazy and innovative, correct? So, yes, it was all those things. Was it "trying to be" those things? I think it was just meant to be funny.

You need to get on political TV talk shows.

(More seriously, what part of "I DO NOT THINK THE VAST MAJORITY OF IT WAS ENTERTAINING OR SUCCESSFUL AND THEREFORE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE 'YES, IT WAS ALL THOSE THINGS' FLATLY IS GOING TO MAKE ME GO 'OH RIGHT YOU ARE, I WILL DENY MY OWN EXPERIENCES IN ORDER TO SUIT YOUR REALITY" did you not understand? And why does the final line of your complaint remind me of all those messages Melody Maker used to get and print from aggreived attendees of concerts saying "Were you at the same show I was?!")

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

i'm used to differing with people on ilx about comedy. i don't really have any "taste" when it comes to comedy. i like a lot of it. the good, the bad, and the ugly. heck, i watched an hour of Reba last nite! i love mad t.v. i thought i was gonna get shouted out of the building on one thread for admitting that. i'm not a family guy fan.i still love the simpsons. even now. i like cliche sitcoms. i dunno, mr.show really seemed like a breath of fresh air. it was the last thing i ever taped on my vcr when it was first on in that breathless way that i used to years ago cuz i worried that i would never ever see something again otherwise (pre-dvd madness). i am a big fan of the silly. i always thought that "trying too hard" atmosphere of mr.show was done on purpose. cuz the live stuff was SUPPOSED to resemble people trying desperately to stay on the air and be funny. I liked that live theatre aspect to it.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

Heheh, IS NOT GOING TO MAKE ME, etc. ;-) xpost.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:46 (9 years ago) Permalink

meant to type "inspired" not "inspiring"...

All I am saying is that it would make more sense for you to say that this approach to comedy didn't work for you because "it was a little too loopy and inspired to be funny", rather than to say they were "trying to be loopy and inspired but it just... wasn't." Because it was!

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:46 (9 years ago) Permalink

but i never thought the taped sketches had that trying-too-hard quality. they were all written and shot so perfectly.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:46 (9 years ago) Permalink

As one would not say "Sonic Youth is trying to be dissonant but just... isn't."

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:47 (9 years ago) Permalink

Scott, I taped a bunch of the Mr. Show episodes, too and sadly, though I think the show *is* hilarious in a timeless kind of way, the show is not so funny if you've seen the episode once. The loopy & inspired approach of the show is really what makes it funny; the surprise twists, etc. I mean, of course anything is less funny once you've already heard/seen it (except for possibly that Winnebago Man movie floating around the web), but Mr. Show was really all about the surprises! I wish it would come back on the air.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

I can still watch the New San Francisco dance number over and over again.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:54 (9 years ago) Permalink

And why does the final line of your complaint remind me of all those messages Melody Maker used to get and print from aggreived attendees of concerts saying "Were you at the same show I was?!

I don't know because they're completely different points. One is about experiencing a show and one is about experiencing the thought process behind-the-scenes of the show.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

i'm not a family guy fan

Honestly, I'm not much of one either. It's very easy to see why it's so liked, though -- I think I enjoy it much more as reference source!

i always thought that "trying too hard" atmosphere of mr.show was done on purpose. cuz the live stuff was SUPPOSED to resemble people trying desperately to stay on the air and be funny. I liked that live theatre aspect to it.

I like that explanation! That's a good way to think about it that I honestly hadn't thought of. I don't know if it'll help me see it in a new light but I'll keep it in mind should I run across an episode again in future.

rather than to say they were "trying to be loopy and inspired but it just... wasn't." Because it was!

Lemonade, you are conflating an admittedly more descriptive or at least harder to pin down point -- 'loopy,' which can be both positive or negative, and in this case I used in it a 'yeah, it's 'loopy,' thanks whatever' sense -- with 'inspired,' which is clearly meant to be positive and which I specifically question in terms of how I feel about the show. If you can't accept that there is a difference in connotation then that's your own worry. Otherwise this boils down to:

YOU: "It was inspired!"

ME: "I don't think it was inspired, despite your claiming otherwise."

YOU: "But it was inspired!"

ME: "I agree you think it was inspired, but I don't believe so."

YOU: "But it was inspired!"

ME: *looks for some Sonic Youth to listen to instead*

I am FAR from arguing I'm a perfect arguer on these boards here, as folks like the good Mr. Miccio and Mr. Chow and others have, I think quite rightly, pointed out. But can you see where this is breaking down a bit?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

Nope, it WAS loopy and inspired by definition, I believe.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 13:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

One is about experiencing a show and one is about experiencing the thought process behind-the-scenes of the show.

*places Lemonade in scriptwriting session for Mr. Show, in safe sealed suit to protect him from the hot wind emanating from Mr. Cross's mouth*

WRITERS: *write write write argue suggest finalize*

LEMONADE: "It's so inspired!" (*leaves, honestly appreciating and enjoying what has been seen and heard*)

*episode airs, featuring a variety of elements; Ned watches it and happens to find it wanting*

LEMONADE: "Wasn't that inspired?"

NED: "Well, no."

LEMONADE: "IT WAS INSPIRED! YOU CANNOT DESCRIBE IT AS ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE BY DEFINITION IT IS INSPIRED!"

NED: *flips through old Melody Maker to find that one interview with Chris Morris*

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

It certainly wasn't a cookie cutter clone comedy sketch show.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:01 (9 years ago) Permalink

Ned, you're script did not address their "trying to be"-ness, which is the point.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:02 (9 years ago) Permalink

your

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:04 (9 years ago) Permalink

Or perhaps you think it was a cookie cutter clone comedy sketch show. In which case, please list the shows that Mr. Show ripped off. If you list Kids In The Hall or Ben Stiller, you need a much more convincing argument.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

The words 'inspired' and 'original' are not synonyms.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:09 (9 years ago) Permalink

No, but look: http://thesaurus.reference.com/search?q=inspired

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

well, it was defintitely inspired by python, what with the rolling segues and the general mayhem. so was kids in the hall. nothing wrong with that. steal from the greats.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

I'd say "innovative" (the word I've used) is a reasonable definition of inspired, since the literal definition is a bit esoteric.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

well, it was defintitely inspired by python

See, it WAS inspired! :D

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

Yes, you have cohesively proven that Mr. Show is inspired, oh how wrong of me to think it wasn't.

xpost *THANK* you Scott. I fully agree with Scott about the tradition Mr. Show exists in, we disagree over it turned out with said show. He I'm sure finds it inspired and doubtless inspiring, I don't. Etc. etc.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

Lemonade, get it through your skull. I don't find the show inspired, offbeat, crazy or innovative. I found it generally tedious, overwritten, forced and shrill. That we disagree is no sin, that you insist on splitting hairs to the root is ridiculous.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:18 (9 years ago) Permalink

I guess it ultimately does go back to Monty Python. So different, in my opinion, but definitely "the same." I still say Mr. Show was inspired, though. I think if you had a bunch of comedians sitting around arguing about it, there would be maybe one comedian out of the bunch that would take Ned's position, but it would probably be a real angry, jealous comedian. Howard Stern, for instance.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

Does personal taste not exist except as a function of anger and jealousy? Gimme a break.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:21 (9 years ago) Permalink

Can't objective ideas exist outside of subjective opinions? Gimme a a break.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

(Lemonade, there's this thing called 'radical subjectivity' which I encourage you to search the archives for, though more on ILM.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

okay fine I will but I'm guessing I will not like what I find...

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

Anyway, as I need to actually get some things done here now that it's about 8:30 and I've been up for an ungodly six hours already, I will leave by noting: I personally find Kevin Shields' music to be awesomely inspired through and through. I do not obsess over its unique originality because it is not and was not created out of thin air, though I find the end result to be something almost beyond my description to convey in terms of what it did and does for me. Chuck Eddy has long been a hater of MBV and finds the results to be extremely uninspired, dull, etc. I have *never* considered Chuck to be angry or jealous of Kevin Shields' reputation, as that would be patently ridiculous.

Lemonade, you may draw what you like from that as you will. I am not asking you to change your way of thinking, believe it or not, but I would like to ask you to consider how mine works.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

I was looking for a picture of Joey but couldn't find it...

Anyway, I found this: Does subjectivity really have a place in a serious argument concerning music? and... long drawn out philosophy made simple: I think everyone has an opinion but outside of those opinions all we have are certain words to describe reality objectively. Perhaps "inspired" is too esoteric a word choice to argue a point. I think the show is definitely loopy and has a unique draw that may not appeal to everyone. How's that? Boring? :D

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

Ned, my only issue was with your "trying to be" assumption.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

Ie. suggesting Mr. Show is "trying to be" something it clearly is (to many people, at least). That is why I asked if you were there when they were writing the sketches, to see if you had some insight as to what they were "trying to be." That's all.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

Anyway, I hope no hard feelings. I wasn't trying to be a dick, I was trying to have a non-heated arguement for the sake of the argument itself.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:41 (9 years ago) Permalink

Jesus.

Lemonade, are you seriously arguing (as you appear to be) that the writer weren't trying to be "loopy and inventive"? I think that's where you and Ned have common ground, you both think that that's what they were shooting for, but you disagree as to whether they hit it.

As for saying "many people consider this subjective opinion to be true", that is, if you'll pardon my French, a prick's game.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

What appears profound to some will undoubtedly seem inane and/or insipid to others and this will always be the case for everything from Mr. Show to Pink Floyd to Bill Hicks to G.G. Allin.

Ian Riese-Moraine. To Hell with you and your gradual evolution! (Eastern Mantra), Saturday, 23 April 2005 14:53 (9 years ago) Permalink

come to think of it, even though i like arrested development, i kinda feel about it the way ned feels about mr.show. tries too hard to be zany, shrill,etc. and i don't even like david cross that much on it. i think i have already seen that kind of character so many times from him. plus, he has a real problem with taking his shirt off too. on mr.show and arrested development. i don't know what that is all about. but i do think it's clever. and i love george michael. i get sick of opey's voice though. and i do find it more "amusing" than LOL-funny.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 15:02 (9 years ago) Permalink

No problem, Andrew, I am a prick. I don't know that the writer's were trying to be "loopy and inventive" any more than they might just be young, hilarious writers (possibly on drugs) who went back and forth like this:

Writer #1: "Now that is fuckin' funny! Ha, ha, ha!"

All writers: (riotous laughter)

Writer #2: "Ooooh, man. Ohhhh, shit."

Writer #3: "That situation is kind of like this other situation..."

(and there's your rolling segue)

Writer #4: "It's totally the opposite of this other situation..."

(and there's your rolling segue)

No, I don't think it they were TRYING to be loopy and inspired, I think they just WERE. They came at comedy from every angle and tried to cram as many jokes as they could into a single episode.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 15:44 (9 years ago) Permalink

... and I agree with Scott even if it is just the flipside of my argument... Arrested Development seems forced, trying too hard, etc.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 15:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

keyword: "seems"

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 15:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

When Scott and I first started hanging out, one of the first things he played me on his t.v. was his Mr. Show videos. I think he was really relieved when my sides were splitting and asked to see more. We might not be married today if I had hated it.

Maria :D (Maria D.), Saturday, 23 April 2005 15:49 (9 years ago) Permalink

Aw, neat. :-) I like hearing stories like that!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 16:44 (9 years ago) Permalink

Da test of da funny! has there been a thread on that?

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:12 (9 years ago) Permalink

I had previously regretted reviving this thread but Maria's anecdote was worth it.

Ian Riese-Moraine. To Hell with you and your gradual evolution! (Eastern Mantra), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:16 (9 years ago) Permalink

one more thing about mr.show: i never got the "ha! aren't we clever clever?" vibe from it. the vibe i always got was "this is EXACTLY what we find funny and what our friends find funny and this may be our only chance to do this on television and if you like it, fine, but if you don't, oh well, we really feel like we got the chance of a lifetime here". but maybe i'm just a naive fool.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:19 (9 years ago) Permalink

I get that vibe too, though I can see how the hypephobic could fail to.

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

wonder showzen sux tho

u mad

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 18:39 (1 year ago) Permalink


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