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The Ben Stiller Show (2003)

Andy Dick , Janeane Garofalo , John Fortenberry , Troy Miller  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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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 (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008PHCU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,814 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ben Stiller Show" on IMDb

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

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ben Stiller Show, The (Dbl DVD)

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hate to say it... May 22, 2007
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ben Stiller Experiment December 13, 2003
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST SKETCH COMEDY SHOW....EVER!!! May 19, 2003
The Ben Stiller Show was, in my opinion, the best sketch comedy show....EVER. A fantastic cast, Stiller, Garafalo, Odenkirk, and Dick. Brilliant writers. incredibly funny sketches and short films.
Some of the best were "Of Buildings And Women"(a take off of French art films), "Manson"(a parody of "Lassie" starring Charles Manson), "The Grungees"(a modern day version of "The Monkees" featuring a grunge band, with guest appearance by Micky Dolenz),"Skank"(a sitcom about a loud-mouthed, racist sock-puppet and his loving family...with guest spots by Todd Bridges and the late(great)Norman Fell),"Jake Steel, Marionette Cop"(about...well, just what the title says),and so much more!
I would highly recommend this collection for any fan of sketch comedy, film buffs or people who grew up in front of the television in the 60s and 70s (as I did).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Bashful's DVD Summary #008 January 4, 2004
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.
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.
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I generally find Ben Stiller funny & enjoy his flicks but after...
I generally find Ben Stiller funny & enjoy his flicks but after watching this I can see why it was cancelled. Some of it was actually embarrassing to watch it was so bad!!
Published 1 month ago by mom22cuties
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Ben Stiller Show" = Irreverently Exuberant Improvisational Comedy...
A Great irreverently-exuberant Comedy experiment, from a little over 20 Years ago (that I still have fond remembrances of)! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Book & Music thief, from HI
4.0 out of 5 stars Great item!
Great, funny and clever show! This show won an Emmy after FOX cancelled it! Many sketches written by Judd Apatow and Ben Stiller. Highly recommended!
Published 5 months ago by Andrew G. Stoner
3.0 out of 5 stars Ehh...
Not as funny as I remember it being! Some of the bits are still clever, though. It's also amazing to see how young everyone involved looked!
Published 12 months ago by M. John
1.0 out of 5 stars Mindless
Poorly Written, terrible acting, and just plain boring. I like the work of everyone involved in the show, but somehow it just came out a pile of crap. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Charles Maddox Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST EVER
I do not typically do reviews but "Brenda" is so wrong and this show must be defended. Sit on something absorbent because this show will make you wet your pants. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Francine3218
1.0 out of 5 stars did not catch my interest...
did not like it! nothing about it kept me entranced...I do love each of the actors and actresses... but not enough to keep me interested...
Published 16 months ago by Brenda Santiago
1.0 out of 5 stars GARBAGE
Published 18 months ago by SPICEMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars David Cross is a genius!!
If you didn't know that David Cross and Bob Odenkirk wrote for this show, now you do. Bob and David wrote for this show before they started Mr. Show about 3 years later. Read more
Published 20 months ago by buddhatheonlyone
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks!
Great Job thanks. Classic stuff. I can see how Mr. Show with Bob and David got started. Great Work Thanks!
Published 20 months ago by DAVID M. PUSKAR
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