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

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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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 years ago) Permalink

keyword: "seems"

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 15:45 (8 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 (8 years ago) Permalink

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

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 16:44 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 years ago) Permalink

and I really gotta give it up for the 120 Minutes therapy session skit.

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

Maybe more like "if you don't like it, go take a dump in your hat." But I don't get the "aren't we clever" vibe from it either.

xpost

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

scott: ditto on that, my feelings exactly. They seemed to be doing what THEY thought was funny which struck me as very ballsy most of the time (and smart).

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

if anything part of the reason the show is so popular is that they never were around long enough to feel the love.

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

my best friend Lance and I have very similar senses of humor. we immediately bonded with mr.show. we used to love a show that nobody remembers called On The Television starring Tim Conway's son that was a siskel & ebert kinda spoof show where 2 guys would review new fake t.v. shows. let me know when that is on dvd. it wasn't always hilarious, but boy was it silly. we both love mad t.v. too.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 17:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

Scott OTM re: vibe of show.

"if you don't like it, go take a dump in your hat."
Don't you mean on the American flag?

Ian Riese-Moraine. To Hell with you and your gradual evolution! (Eastern Mantra), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

Ha ha! NO! BECAUSE IT CANNOT BE DONE I TELLS YA!

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

i never got the "ha! aren't we clever clever?" vibe from it.

I can sort of see how if you don't get that vibe, it could be a really good show, but it's a bit like "if an elephant was small, white and round, it'd be an aspirin".

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:19 (8 years ago) Permalink

i'm sorry, is there any successful sketch comedy show that couldn't be seen as "trying to be clever?" I mean they all have the audacity to try and make you laugh.

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

I mean even America's Funniest Home Videos has that smug Bob Saget cracking wry over the shots of dogs sliding around on ice.

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:32 (8 years ago) Permalink

i'd understand the complaint if they, like, gratuitously paused for applause or something, but the show has a pretty zippy pace.

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

it should be noted that scott seward's the only person defending mr. show on this thread right now that's ever been funny on ilx.

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

so i guess that makes him bob

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 23 April 2005 18:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

it should be noted that scott seward's the only person defending mr. show on this thread right now that's ever been funny on ilx.

Oh really. Sure he wasn't just trying to be funny?

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

see, the only one

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

Still, even.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

I don't come down to where you work and slap the dick out of your mouth!

Ian Riese-Moraine. To Hell with you and your gradual evolution! (Eastern Mantra), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

tell me that was an x-post

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

that was a hilarious x-post is what it was

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

Of course it was, miccio.

Ian Riese-Moraine. To Hell with you and your gradual evolution! (Eastern Mantra), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

Who do you think you are?! This company cares! We were in the people business when you were in short pants! My great-great-great grandfather started this company with one single rickety, leaky, hand-crafted slave ship, and a simple motto: "People selling people to people." So, don't tell me that I'm fat!!

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well, if selling babies for profit is wrong I'm sure the original founder of Globo-Chem wouldn't want to be right!

"Take it from me, I love you!"

Ian Riese-Moraine has a grenade, that pineapple's not just a toy! (Eastern Mantr, Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:39 (8 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.

scott so fucking OTM today. lemonade salesman, too.

el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Saturday, 23 April 2005 19:40 (8 years ago) Permalink

it should be noted that scott seward's the only person defending mr. show on this thread right now that's ever been funny on ilx.

btw, when was the last time you were funny? i'm thinking it was well before you threatened to get in a fistfight with roger adultery.

el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Saturday, 23 April 2005 20:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

haha!

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

Scott is OTM about the intentional "trying too hard" aspect of the live parts. There are a number of great fake sketch bits throughout the series.

The show is certainly inconsistant, but they had some really incredible material. Both Mr. Show and the Upright Citizens Brigade tv show had some interesting ideas about working improv and live sketch formats into a television show, but I think both ultimately make the case for the supremecy of the live experience. (although Arrested Development plays with some of the same tools in a manner much more effective for television)

C0L1N B.. (C0L1N B...), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

Scott is OTM about the intentional "trying too hard" aspect of the live parts. There are a number of great fake sketch bits throughout the series.

Hm...all right, let me serve up an example -- one sketch I found egregriously painful was the one in the restaurant where the staff is all falling over themselves to take care of the dude when he poops. So, was that a 'fake' sketch (and was I apparently unaware not to notice?)? (I'm not objecting to that approach -- see also SCTV, MST3K, etc. -- but I don't think it worked well here.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

(Then again maybe the experience of 10 million thousand hundred painfully unfunny SNL sketches over the moons has colored my experience -- the equivalent being my friend who was a hairdresser who couldn't stand Absolutely Fabulous because she knew people exactly like Eddy and Patsy and hated them to the point where she couldn't laugh at their antics! And then again it could just be FUCKING CROSS but anyway.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

haha ned if you didn't like it when the chimneysweep showed up then you are a much classier man than I

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

Hehehe. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

it should be noted that scott seward's the only person defending mr. show on this thread right now that's ever been funny on ilx.

like ILX is a good arbiter of what's funny. get off yo own nuts!!

()ops (()()ps), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

i'm sorry, is there any successful sketch comedy show that couldn't be seen as "trying to be clever?" I mean they all have the audacity to try and make you laugh.

-- miccio (anthonyisrigh...), April 23rd, 2005.

I mean even America's Funniest Home Videos has that smug Bob Saget cracking wry over the shots of dogs sliding around on ice.

-- miccio (anthonyisrigh...), April 23rd, 2005.

i'd understand the complaint if they, like, gratuitously paused for applause or something, but the show has a pretty zippy pace.

-- miccio (anthonyisrigh...), April 23rd, 2005.

otfm!

latebloomer: But when the monkey die, people gonna cry. (latebloomer), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

Hm...all right, let me serve up an example -- one sketch I found egregriously painful was the one in the restaurant where the staff is all falling over themselves to take care of the dude when he poops. So, was that a 'fake' sketch (and was I apparently unaware not to notice?)? (I'm not objecting to that approach -- see also SCTV, MST3K, etc. -- but I don't think it worked well here.)

I was referring to the live segments--i.e. the "Space Dog" sketch.

As dumb as Lemonade Salesman's argument is, I don't know if "trying too hard" is a particularly useful criticism as it's phrased, especially when so much sketch could stand to try a lot harder (Michael Showalter, I'm looking at you). I haven't seen the poop sketch in a few years, but I'm remember it being executed very well--great raising the stakes, strong beats--but predicated on pretty weak ideas. Blount brought up Chappelle Show, which suffers from the opposite problem; great (if sometimes same-y) ideas, half-assed execution.

C0L1N B... (C0L1N B...), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:41 (8 years ago) Permalink

wow, i had forgotten that i had started an entire "trying too hard" thread!!!

Is "Trying Too Hard" In Art Really THAT Bad?

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 23:02 (8 years ago) Permalink

If I was going to give someone an example of trying too hard I'd show the video for Van Halen's "Panama" and then the video for "Yankee Rose." Which does reaffirm that "trying too hard" isn't really that bad.

miccio (miccio), Saturday, 23 April 2005 23:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

Jaws -vs- 1941

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 23 April 2005 23:21 (8 years ago) Permalink


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