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Saturday Night Live - The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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(Oct 24, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sometimes controversial but always hilarious, Robert Smigel's "TV Funhouse" cartoons have contained some of Saturday Night Live's most memorable material in recent years. Ace and Gary, "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" (voiced by Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert), host this critically acclaimed collection, which features hits like "X-Presidents," "Saddam and Osama," "The Narrator That Ruined Christmas," "Smurfette," "The New Adventures of Mr. T," "Fun With Real Audio" and more, with appearances by the full cast of SNL.No subject is off limits. Learn what's really inside the Disney vault, what Jewish folks do on Christmas Eve, and what makes Michael Jackson float. As Mr. T would say, "If you believe in yourself, drink your school, stay in drugs, and don't do milk, you can get work!"


The envelope-pushing cartoons created by Robert Smigel for "Saturday TV Funhouse" on Saturday Night Live are tasteless, crass, borderline offensive, and almost universally hilarious. This disc collects two dozen of the best, and viewing them together makes for a deliciously warped vision of Smigel and a relentlessly silly prism through which to view American pop culture. Case in point: The action-adventure heroes Ace and Gary, "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" (voiced, with deadpan earnestness, by Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert), are actually pretty unambiguous, but the joke is played just straight enough--while fighting to save the earth, they always allocate time to accessorize--and to pat one another on the bum for a job well done. In "Bambi 2002," Disney is roasted for its policy of pulling choice children's titles from the marketplace and releasing instead direct-to-video sequels that may not be up to the level of the original. In the "sequel," Bambi's mom is OK ("it was just a head wound, son"), and Bambi and his forest posse are hip-hop kids fighting terrorists in their spare time. "Remember, kids," the TV announcer intones, "it's all the Bambi you'll get for 10 years." Other highlights include the cartoon beauty contest "Are You Hot?" (in which Strawberry Shortcake beats out Betty Boop for sex appeal), and the black-and-white industrial training film "Sexual Harassment and You," which advises employees on the three rules for trysting with a co-worker while avoiding a sexual harassment lawsuit: 1. Be Handsome. 2. Be Attractive. and 3. Don't be unattractive. Elsewhere, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are skewered by their own words, and Michael Jackson reappears as a Hanna-Barbera creation--and still manages to be creepy. Extras include commentaries by Smigel, Carell, Colbert, Al Franken, James Carville, and others, as well as extra cartoon snippets and original art and storyboards. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

  • All-Star commentary with creator Robert Smigel, the voices of Ace & Gary: Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, Mr. T, James Carville, Al Franken, Bryant Gumbel and more.
  • Features popular cartoons in their original "un-cut" version including: “The X-Presidents”, “Fun With Real Audio”, “Michael Jackson”, “Mr. T”, “Saddam and Osama” and fan-favorite “The Ambiguously Gay Duo”
  • A full hour of bonus cartoons including ones that have never aired before and more.
  • Plus a hidden easter egg, original artwork and storyboards

Product Details

  • Actors: Don Pardo, Lenny Pickett, Darrell Hammond, Seth Meyers, Kenan Thompson
  • Writers: Lorne Michaels
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2006
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H5U6HK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Saturday Night Live - The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The comedy at Saturday Night Live comes and goes in spurts and currently (Jan. 2007) it is rare for an episode, let alone an entire season, to be all that funny. However, for over a decade there is one portion of the show that has remained consistently funny and that is when one of Robert Smigel's Saturday TV Funhouse cartoons air. The Saturday TV Funhouse cartoon first began showing up on SNL in the mid-1990s. The cartoons have always been a welcome break in the usual format of the show and when first seen brought a new dimension of comedy to the famed sketch-comedy series, the type of witty satire that first made SNL a staple of American culture.

THE BEST OF SATURDAY TV FUNHOUSE was a special that aired on SNL in spring of 2006. The special was a collection of some of the best Saturday TV Funhouse cartoons ever. From the Award-winning (I think it was even nominated for an Emmy) "Saddam and Osama" to the Ambiguously Gay Due and X-Presidents cartoon, THE BEST OF SATURDAY TV FUNHOUSE DVD is filled with hilarious, short snippets of satirical animation that both critique and comment on our society and culture. Some of the cartoons are nothing more than teasing nostalgia, such as the "Globetrotters Christmas" episode (found on the special features) or "The New Adventures of Mr. T." Others are clearly aimed at ridiculing powerful corporations in attempt to awaken public awareness, such as the many Disney parodies found on the disc--"Inside the Disney Vault" and "Titey" are the best of these--and the Schoolhouse Rock spoof, "Conspiracy Theory Rock" that shows the corruption of powerful media companies such as NBC. Other gems on the disc include "Smurfette" and "The Narrator That Ruined Christmas" and the delightful "Santa and the States" found on the special features.
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Robert Smigel was one of the new writers brought on board when SNL was retaken-over by Lorne Michaels in the mid-80s. Even though he left for Conan a few years afterward, he continued to write cartoons for the show, and in recent years, these cartoons have often been the funniest part of the show. This disc is definitely worth buying since it contains a pretty good sampling of the various cartoons Smigel created: the X-Presidents has the four former presidents as wisecracking superheroes; Mr. T is back, and he's looking for work; Fun with Real Audio takes shots at not-so-beloved celebrities; and, of course, there's the Ambiguously Gay Duo (voiced by Daily Show alums Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert), who fight crime while spreading innuendo as regards the nature of their real relationship. All in all, if The Best of Jimmy Fallon isn't up your alley, it's worth checking out.
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While Saturday Night Live certainly seems to have its periods of peaks and lows, a segment that is always a highlight when it is included on the program is the Saturday TV Funhouse cartoon shorts written by Robert Smigel. Short and subversive, every cartoon is guaranteed at least one laugh (and often many more).

This disc features a "Best Of" special that aired on television last season that runs for about an hour and a half, as well as about another hour of "bonus" cartoons. Highlights include the Ambiguously Gay Duo, X-Presidents, and Fun with Real Audio shorts as a whole, as well as the "Saddam and Osama" and "Inside the Disney Vault" segments. Also of note is the commentary by Smigel who is accompanied by guests pertaining to which short is being aired, ranging from Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert (the Ambiguously Gay Duo) to Al Franken and Mr. T. This runs throughout the entire feature segment and--to my surprise and delight--many of the "bonus" cartoons are also accompanied by commentary.

Some shorts are funnier than others, and some of the "extra" cartoons were better than ones included in the featured program, but all in all you are paying $15 for over two and a half hours of hilarious content PLUS a good two hours of commentary. I wish a little more had been included regarding the production process of the cartoons themselves, but I'm a film buff and that kind of thing interests me.

Not a perfect set by any means, but apart from buying a full season of the better television comedies (South Park, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, The Simpsons) you're not likely to find more laughs or variety of jokes in a single purchase. For the price of the latest lame "rom-com" that's been dumped on the public this year, you can have a truly worthwhile collection of comedy.

Very highly recommended.
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The Best of TV Funhouse consists of a main feature, and a number of bonus clips. In the main feature Ace and Gary, the Ambiguously Gay Duo (AGD), are hosting SNL. It's a good idea, but the show features just a couple of episodes of the AGD. The rest consists of a few Fun with Real Audio (FRA) cartoons, an assortment of TV Funhouse clips, miscellaneous sketches, and some bits featuring Ace and Gary, interacting with various members of the SNL cast. These bits are mostly based on Ace and Gary's affection for Jimmy Fallon (who at this time is no longer with SNL), and unfortunately, are not too funny. As Ace and Gray are the co-hosts, a lot more of the AGD would have been nice, but this 83 minute production is mainly concerned with providing a nice variety.

The bonus materials really upgrades this collection, with additional episodes of AGD (3), FRA (3), and The X-Presidents (6). There are also uncut versions of some of the cartoons that appear in the main feature, as well as nearly a dozen other assorted TV Funhouse cartoons. Commentary is provided for almost everything, by Robert Smigel and those who worked on the cartoon or sketch. The comments range from somewhat informative, to slightly amusing, to completely inane.

Any 'best of' compilation of SNL material is typically open to debate. Robert Smigel, is a creative man, with a biting, irreverent sense of humor. Focusing on political, pop culture, and social satire, few will find everything he does funny, or even tasteful. The enjoyment of this collection may be hit and miss, but Smigel's work, for good or bad, has probably been an influence on contemporary animation. This is a pretty good representation of his various works, through those seeking more of Ace and Gary may be disappointed.
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TV Funhouse series on Comedy Central .
i also need this badly!!!! much like the anipals needed christmas cheer! were you successful? i wish they would come out on dvd but i would even buy someone's vhs tapings of it if i could find them.
Jun 26, 2007 by Jen Rose |  See all 3 posts
Great features, and "Charlie Brown Xmas" is NOT missing Be the first to reply
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