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The Ben Stiller Show

86 customer reviews

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Product Description

Ben Stiller Show, The (Dbl DVD)

Before Zoolander, Night at the Museum, Dodgeball, There's Something About Mary and Meet the Parents there was The Ben Stiller Show! Now, catch Stiller's early years in this acclaimed but short-lived comedy series. Launched in 1992, the series boasted a strong following and, though it only a short time on network television, the sharply written and ingeniously funny show snatched the Emmy® Award for comedic writing and was the darling of widespread critical acclaim. The Los Angeles Times calls it "rip-roaring hilarious" while the San Diego Union-Tribune finds it "wildly funny, scathingly sardonic and brilliantly executed." Co-starring alongside Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick and Bob Odenkirk early in their careers, Stiller's groundbreaking sketch comedy talents are put to hilarious use with spot-on showbiz parodies of movies, television, music and more, including wickedly funny impersonations of Tom Cruise, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bruce Willis and more!

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For its brief and shining moment--12 aired episodes, to be exact--The Ben Stiller Show, which aired on Fox in 1992, recaptured the anarchic spirit and subversively funny voice of first-season Saturday Night Live and SCTV. More too-hip-for-the-room than ahead of its time, the show suffered dismal ratings and was unceremoniously cancelled. It then went on to win an Emmy for best writing and attract a fervent following, enhanced by the fact that the series has seldom been syndicated. This long-awaited DVD release fills not a void, but an abyss. To watch Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick, and a pre-Mr. Show Bob Odenkirk at the dawn of their mostly unconventional careers, romp in the show's opening is akin to watching the Beatles frolic on that football field in A Hard Day's Night. Stiller and company's pitch-perfect and intimately observed skewering of movies, television, and show business convention could be exhilarating, as witness "Woody Allen's Bride of Frankenstein" (you'll never watch another Allen film with a straight face again), "Cape Munster," with Stiller as a psychopathic and vengeful Eddie Munster, "Skank," a potent comment on the crass programming that was initially Fox's stock in trade, and even brilliant riffs on the seminal reality series Cops, which re-imagine the series in witch-hysteric Salem, Massachussetts, ancient Egypt, and medieval times.

In addition to the cast's uncanny impersonations (Stiller's Bono, Tom Cruise, Bruce Springsteen, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Bruce Willis, and Garofalo's Juliette Lewis), The Ben Stiller Show was home to a gallery of recurring characters--agent Michael Pheret, the No, No, No Guy--who, thankfully, SNL producer Lorne Michaels was not around to parlay into godawful films. The topical humor can't help but date some of the material (the show is a veritable Trivial Pursuit of pop culture references, from The Partridge Family to Beverly Hills 90210, but the brilliance of the writing and sheer abandon of the performances are still a joy to behold. --Donald Liebenson


Special Features

  • All 12 episodes with commentaries by Ben Stiller, the entire cast, and writers on seven key episodes
  • A Brief History of "The Ben Stiller Show" including alternate versions of the pilot and two early parodies made for MTV
  • Five unaired sketches with optional commentary
  • Outtakes
  • An E! "Behind The Scenes" Special
  • An Easter Egg with "Melrose Heights" commentary by Ben Stiller and Bob Odenkirk

Product Details

  • Actors: Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo, John F. O'Donohue, Bob Odenkirk
  • Directors: John Fortenberry, Troy Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 299 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008PHCU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,622 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ben Stiller Show" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chris Scelzo on May 22, 2007
Format: DVD
Sometimes the memory is much better than the reality. I had fond memories of this show. While reviewing the DVDs recently, I realized that the one or two sketches I remember as being hilarious were indeed funny, but just. The other sketches were of rather poor quality. I wanted badly to like it, but it was rather embarassing; It was one of those shows that you brag to all your friends about how much they'll like it, only to shift uncomfortably as it unfolds before your eyes. One of those 'rent-before-you-buy's for sure.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By fra7299 VINE VOICE on December 13, 2003
Format: DVD
This compilation is one of those DVDs that has been long overdue. After looking desperately for chances to see this "one season" wonder on Comedy Central years back, I was pleased to find out recently that I could see the entire season for a little more than twenty dollars by buying it online.
The DVD chronicles the 12 episodes of Ben Stiller's Show, which ran on MTV from 1992 to 1993. The cast includes Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo (remember her?), Andy Dick and Bob Odenkirk doing sketches and parodies of popular early 90s shows, commercials and fads. There is also one unaired episode included, as well as commentaries and outtakes from a few of the episodes.
This show mocks the aggravations of trendy television that sprang up in the late 80s/early 90s. There are plenty of stabs at FOX's "rich" kids shows, Hollywood blockbuster movies, commercials and MTV shows. For instance, there is a running parody called "Melrose Heights 90210-2402" which pokes fun at the over dramatization and hipness of yuppie-teen television that came to prominence with Melrose Place and Beverly Hills. There is also "Legends of Springsteen", where we learn the many achievements of the legendary "Boss" (such as how he fought off alien invaders at a cafe). Another highlight is "The Grungies" segment, which mocks the Grunge "X" Generation movement of the early 90s (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc) by combining it with the popular 60s show "The Monkees." It is also has a scattering of action movie skits that mimic action movies: Die Hard 12: Die Hungry, Cape Munster, and Advantage Agassi (Andre Agassi as a tennis-playing, crime fighter in a prototypical cheesy B-Movie subplot). Numerous commercials (What is sexy?, the "Pig" Latin singer), a mockumentary of U2 (Stiller as Bono), Ben's Video Diary, and Headslammer's Ball are other notable segments included.
An excellent buy for a Ben Stiller fan, and definitely worth a shot if you are unfamiliar with the show. Essentially, this is smart comedy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Orson Wang on January 14, 2004
Format: DVD
Fans of the show can finally retire their decade old VHS tapes. All twelve original episodes are here, plus the thirteenth episode that only aired on the Comedy Channel.
Aside from the shows themselves, which most people looking at this page are already sold on, fans need to get this DVD set to hear the commentary. Ben Stiller, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo, and Bob Odenkirk are all in the commentary tracks. The commentary is generally fun and any serious fan must listen to the commentary tracks to hear the following:
1) How Ben Stiller assembled this now legendary cast.
2) A story about Ben meeting Bruce Springsteen, who is a subject of several skits in the show.
3) How the cast felt about the show's cancellation.
4) How the cast feels about the show relative to their later works.
5) How the fledgling Fox Network felt about the show's parodies of "Cops", "90210", and the Fox Network.
6) Guests that they tried to secure for the segments between the sketches.
7) How Janeane feels about bike shorts.
8) How they tricked Adam West into impersonating Adam West.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Hiel on January 4, 2004
Format: DVD
Best:
1) The humor was free-flowing and one skit drifted quickly into another.
2) Once you start watching an episode, you're hooked until it's over. All 12 (actually 13) episodes, plus bonus skits, are easy to watch back-to-back with plenty of good places to pause.
3) Many of the skits were absolutely roll-around hilarious.
4) The commentaries and behind-the-scenes features tell you everything you need to know about the series and why it was cancelled.
Worst:
1) The celebrity guests rarely participated in skits and sometimes had nothing entertaining to say or do.
2) Some camera shots, especially the outdoor scenes, had a very low-budget look.
3) Many of the joke references require you to have a knowledge of 1980's TV series to really understand.
Recommendation:
The price is good, the special features are generous and it's hours of entertainment with a high rewatch value. Get it - definitely.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 2003
Format: DVD
The Ben Stiller Show was a very humorous program back in 1992 when Fox canceled it. The show still went on to win an Emmy Award, which is very ironic becasue of its cancellation. The show was a vehicle for its stars Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick, and Bob Odenkirk. The DVD includes all of the 12 episodes that made it on to the Fox Network including an unaired 13th episode.
The show had guest stars like Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), David Cassidy (The Partridge Family), Dave Madden (Mr. Kincaid, The Partridge Family), Gary Shandling, Tom and Roseanne Arnold (still married back in 1992), Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Miller (who prophesized the shows cancellation on one of the episodes) and many more.
On the infomercial, parody to promote the release of the DVD, which aired Dec. 2, 2003 on Comedy Central Janeane Garofalo, said jokingly "Some of it holds up." Well a lot of it does hold up such as Skank, The Bruce Springsteen sketches, Tom Cruise: Dress Casual, Oliver Stoneland, Scotty Fantasy, The B-Minus Time Traveler, Manson and many more.
There are several skits, which are dated. Those particular skits were funny back then but aren't as funny now especially if you were too young to recall any of that pop culture. Information 411 parody of Rescue 911 with William Shatner, Blue and White Shampoo parody of annoying Head and Shoulders commercials, Amish Studs parody of the Fox dating game show Studs, The Grungies parody of the Monkees (outdated if you have never seen the the Monkees at all) and Rob Morrow from the TV show Northern Exposure as a guest star (younger family member had no clue who he was).
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