Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Mr. Show Show

I got into something called "Mr. Show" on youtube. I first heard about the show because of David Cross, who also played Tobias Fünke, the world's first analrapist (combination analyst and therapist), on "Arrested Development." "Mr. Show" is veritably absurd: here is Dave Egger's take on it from the New Yorker archives:
I did talk to David Cross for this article, because I think that “Mr. Show,” which was on HBO, is sort of the closest thing we’ve ever had in America to Python. It was a sketch show, and they would do a lot of the same things that Python would. They did filmed clips and skits in front of a live audience. They also weren’t afraid to end a sketch whenever it needed to be ended, as opposed to waiting for some gag to close it out. The thing is, no one knows how to end a sketch well; you see “S.N.L.” struggle with it, when the solution is to just quit and move on. Cross said that he remembered being really young and seeing the Pythons do a sketch, and then talk about the sketch in the middle of the skit, and then continue the sketch, you know, and then end the sketch without an ending. All of these things completely exploded the form. Cross is on “Arrested Development” now, which is really the only American show today that’s in touch with a true sense of absurdity, I think—outside of “The Swan,” maybe. That’s Cross’s joke, by the way.

I'm including here two skits:

Mt. Everest


The Audition

I don't know if this embedding thing will work, but it's well worth the time. The Mt. Everest sketch is all the funnier after realizing that they filmed this in front of a live audience, which meant that they had to sit and wait for the crew to pick up shelves of thimbles between every scene.

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