Porcupine Racetrack the way it was intended
April 20, 2009 6:02 PM   Subscribe

It's finally happened: After a decade of struggle with MTV over royalty fees and the belief that there would be no market for it, The State is finally being released on DVD on July 19th, 2009. Until then, you can watch streaming video (albeit chopped up in an irritating way) of the episodes from MTV's site, via Hulu, and compare differences such as the soundalike placed in for The Breeders' "Cannonball" in this famous sketch.
posted by Navelgazer (83 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
i have been burned before
i will not believe you until i hold it in my shaking hands and its shrink wrap is spattered by my tears
posted by Greg Nog at 6:08 PM on April 20, 2009 [14 favorites]


It's just. If I had to choose, between the tacos, and the mail. Well, I'm gonna have to go with the mail.
posted by billysumday at 6:12 PM on April 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm crazy excited, just as I always am when they announce a release date. I just hope I'm not deluding myself yet again.

That said, the soundalike music choice used in the "Pants" sketch is extremely noticeable, and it somewhat reduced my enjoyment of the sketch.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 6:12 PM on April 20, 2009


No way. Really? Naaaaw. For reals? I don't believe you. Are you serious?
posted by jabberjaw at 6:15 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:17 PM on April 20, 2009


I want to dip my Pepsi Blue in it...

kiddin' of course... It's about friggin' time. I wouldn't say it was influential, but it's definitely the starting point for a decent number of series that followed it.
posted by inthe80s at 6:20 PM on April 20, 2009


I went to college with Mike Showalter. The one time I did open mike stand-up comedy night, we were on the same bill. He was doin' some crazy weird conceptual shit.
posted by jonp72 at 6:24 PM on April 20, 2009


What was that state sketch of a fake (Mamet?) a play, where there is a family scene with a longshoreman, and all the curse words are replaced with innocuous near-soundalike words? I have been looking for it for a while.
posted by idiopath at 6:26 PM on April 20, 2009


DAMN YOU BILLYSUMDAY! That was far and away one of the funniest sketches on any sketch comedy show ever, ever, ever. Ever.

I've had The State on my PC for quite awhile now thanks to the completely legally system I've found of things just magically appearing on my hard drive from time to time when I wish them into being. I believe it has something to do with the Christian Faith. Not mine, since I seem to lack it, but probably somebody who lives near me. You know, like that story with Jesus feeding all those people sushi and saki when all they had was half a bottle and barely a whole order of Vegas Rolls? I think that's how I came by all this Sifl and Olly and Ren and Stimpy and Pete and Pete and.... you get it.
posted by Bageena at 6:29 PM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


idiopath: I believe you're thinking of "Tenement," but damned if I can find the video either. I remember being 13 and watching that sketch with my mom, thinking it was funny as hell, with my mom sitting open-mouthed next to me. As soon as it was over, she just stood up and, before leaving the room for the night, said, "that must be a powerful play."
posted by Navelgazer at 6:34 PM on April 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Awww yeahhh....$240 worth of pudding DVD...
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:35 PM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Will they throw in $240 worth of pudding if I purchase in bulk?
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:35 PM on April 20, 2009


Never seen it, but sounds like I should try it out.
posted by DU at 6:37 PM on April 20, 2009


billysumday: "It's just. If I had to choose, between the tacos, and the mail. Well, I'm gonna have to go with the mail."

Goodbye, mailbox.
posted by defenestration at 6:38 PM on April 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Apparently the $240 worth of pudding one is really messed up from the music change, as the (Marvin Gaye, I think) soundtrack was being played 'live' as they were taping it, thus, the dialogue had to be redubbed...
posted by anazgnos at 6:42 PM on April 20, 2009


Navelgazer: I found it, Tenement was indeed the name. Thanks.
posted by idiopath at 6:46 PM on April 20, 2009


erm, I mean Tenement.
posted by idiopath at 6:48 PM on April 20, 2009


Now that Andy Richter Controls the Universe is out on DVD The State is the only one of my all time favorite comedy shows that yet remains unreleased. I can't wait!
posted by Kattullus at 6:48 PM on April 20, 2009


I went to college with Mike Showalter.

!

I think most, if not all, of them went to NYU, and met there; I lived in the same dorm as them for a year, and had a creative writing class with Kerry Kenny. (Were you NYU as well?)

...The one and only sketch I remember was the Pants one, and I had the dubious honor of watching it with my mother -- who was totally befuddled, and asked me to explain why it was funny. I don't remember if I was able to.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:48 PM on April 20, 2009


Toothbrush! (and The State) You've come back to me!

So friggin excited, but feel like someone might be playing a dirty, dirty trick on me.
posted by Constant Reader at 6:48 PM on April 20, 2009


Tenement
posted by thrako at 6:49 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


but it's definitely the starting point for a decent number of series that followed it.

i think five canadian men may have something to say about that....
posted by neustile at 6:57 PM on April 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


And hey... does anyone remember a website from back in the day that had every State sketch ever as really low-res quicktime video? I loved that site, in all it's teeny-tiny window glory.
posted by Kattullus at 6:58 PM on April 20, 2009


I came in here to make a comment about 240 dollars worth of pudding.

I leave with the knowledge that andy richter controls the universe is out on DVD. Life is good
posted by slapshot57 at 7:05 PM on April 20, 2009


neustile: i think five canadian men may have something to say about that....

To which five Englishmen and a Yank might harrumph.

And then four other Englishmen would opine loudly!

Then Spike Milligan would wail: "Has everyone forgotten about me? Was Curry & Chips that distasteful?"

Yes, Spike, yes it was...

posted by Kattullus at 7:06 PM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think most, if not all, of them went to NYU, and met there;

That's true. Showalter is the exception, because he went to NYU, then transferred to Brown, where he used to perform as a member of the improv group, Improvidence. Showalter was a Semiotics major when they still had Semotics major. Strangely enough, many of the majors ended up in showbiz. In fact, I think the first Semiotics graduate at Brown was Todd Haynes.
posted by jonp72 at 7:13 PM on April 20, 2009


"Show us far."
posted by humannaire at 7:13 PM on April 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm outta here.
posted by ColdChef at 7:18 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's only two ways outta here. DEAD! in a pine BOX! Or through that wide open gate over there, which, I ask you to consider "off limits," as a favor to me.
posted by billysumday at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Two references I bust out at the drop of a hat, and then have to laboriously explain as I'm the only one in the state of Rhode Island that has apparently seen the show:

1) Oh, Lord, please kill Tim.

2) Aquaman! You go talk to the fish.

Actually, I think I could communicate entirely in quotes from "The State," "Princess Bride" and "Ghostbusters." It'd be like that episode of Star Trek where Piccard and the alien dude have to fight the invisible monster. Only more entertaining, at least from my perspective, which is the only one that matters.

I'm outta... heeeere.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:44 PM on April 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Slap*Happy this is for you, "What they don't know, is that me and god are like this!"
posted by Constant Reader at 7:48 PM on April 20, 2009


When quotes just won't do it justice, here it is: TACO MAIL!

that was the longest comment I've ever made.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:48 PM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think most, if not all, of them went to NYU, and met there;

I vaguely knew Tom Lennon and Ben Garant when I was at NYU from 88-89 (I remember Tom got mugged once for a gold necklace, and they caught it on surveillance video or something, he got a black eye)...

Anyway, I do the name dropping because "The State" is such a fucking time capsule for me.

It was EXACTLY my sense of humor at EXACTLY the same time I was EXACTLY the same age as those guys, and it just gives me the warm fuzzies (and makes me realize how goddamned old I am).
posted by tristeza at 7:49 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would buy the DVD set just to own "The Inbred Brothers" and the series of sketches involving dipping one's balls in things.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:51 PM on April 20, 2009


Mmmmm...The State DVD is even tastier than Muppet!
posted by girlhacker at 7:53 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, the dubbed music totally ruins the pants sketch. I don't really know why, it's obviously the exact same content minus the music, but it's just not nearly as funny.

As far as the DVD, seconding the wariness until it's actually in a store where I can hold it in my hands and buy it. We've heard this before.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:03 PM on April 20, 2009


Must find the one where the guy says Penguins ain't natural! They was made in a lab in the 50's. Finally my husband and I will be able to see the thing that we try to quote all the time. Hey, I finally got Twin Peaks on DVD, maybe we'll actually get to buy The State!
posted by artychoke at 8:23 PM on April 20, 2009


*are stickers included this time?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 8:27 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aw, they replaced Marvin Gaye on $240 of pudding. Maybe it won't actually be worth the 16 year wait.
posted by artychoke at 8:31 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


artychoke: Let's go to the zoo and watch the monkeys do it!, which contains the line about the penguins.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:34 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay, Decemberboy! Thanks!
posted by artychoke at 8:40 PM on April 20, 2009


Michael Ian Black emailed me a few times (and called once!) after we "met" in a "Meet The State" chat on AOL (yeah, I know) sometime during the first season. He invited me out for chicken schwarma the next time I was in New York. I have regretted not taking him up on the offer for 15 years.
posted by scody at 8:46 PM on April 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have regretted not taking him up on the offer for 15 years.

My god. Your offspring could have ruled the entire universe. Big mistake. Huge.
posted by ColdChef at 8:55 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Think the French will be pissed that the world will forget about Bastille Day?
posted by codswallop at 8:59 PM on April 20, 2009


Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think we should worship the State as powerful gods. And fear them.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:00 PM on April 20, 2009


Monkey torture.

Awww, yeah.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:02 PM on April 20, 2009


I follow Michael Ian Black on Twitter, so I saw the news this morning and thought (in his classic shock-sarcastic way) he was just fucking around. The more surprising thing, however, was his own take on the situation (found on his blog) :
Is this exciting? I guess so. Here's my fear about it: people often remember things as being better than they were. The first Thanksgiving, for example. People think, "Oh it was so great." Guess what? There was too much corn, not enough turkey, and a lot of scarlet fever.
When Apple launch iTunes TV show downloads, I remember buying the first 1/2 of the 1st season (teasy little bastards, MTV are) and I still have 'em. I didn't even think of the music replacement, so I can't say it's entirely bothersome. I just watched the Barry & Levon sketch again and.. yeah, the overdub isn't so noticeable that it's unwatchable by any means, you'd have to be listening for it.

Does anyone else think Black has a reason to worry? Like fans will finally get their hands on it and collectively say "hmm.... yeah, this used to be kinda funny..." ?
posted by revmitcz at 9:06 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm old fashioned, but.... The State on DVD? Psh. Welcome to MARS. I'll be on my SPACESHIP.
posted by revmitcz at 9:07 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


You quote-dropper's have preempted all the funny that I could have possibly gleamed from the linked videos. I'll check out the series once it's all washed out of my system.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 9:07 PM on April 20, 2009


I know three roommates in a little apartment on Avenue A that will be tickled pink.
posted by dr_dank at 9:09 PM on April 20, 2009


You know, like that story with Jesus feeding all those people sushi and saki when all they had was half a bottle and barely a whole order of Vegas Rolls

this story? (quoth myself): "yeah, and also, at his campaign headquarters in chicago, they ran out of champagne at the party, and he was all, "just bring me two jugs of water." then they ran out of sushi, but he said "all i need is like two striped bass and a few grains of sticky rice" and the next thing you know, there were a few jeroboam of krug rose' (because you know obama is hip hop) and 47 combo nigiri sushi boats getting passed around like so many delicious doobies."
posted by Hat Maui at 9:21 PM on April 20, 2009


Does anyone else think Black has a reason to worry? Like fans will finally get their hands on it and collectively say "hmm.... yeah, this used to be kinda funny..." ?

I kind of feel that way watching some of the Kids in the Hall DVDs. Not all sketches, just some.

But not The State. Why? Because they've all CONTINUED to be hilarious.*

*ok, some members of the Kids in The Hall continue to be hilarious.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 9:28 PM on April 20, 2009


Slap*Happy: I'm the only one in the state of Rhode Island that has apparently seen the show

Hell no!

I have quite a few friends around Providence with whom I've bonded over The State.

However, I feel your plight because as far as I know I was the only Icelander to watch The State and Kids in the Hall back in the day. Lonely times.
posted by Kattullus at 10:06 PM on April 20, 2009


We are all barn folk.

(Mr. F went to high school with Joe Lo Truglio, does that count in the namedropping?)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:09 PM on April 20, 2009


Does anyone remember "Austin Stories" that ran on MTV in 1997? Easily the most underrated and forgotten comedy aside from "The State." You can find them chopped up on YouTube, but I'd love to see a DVD box release.
posted by matlock at 10:11 PM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


matlock: heh. That was the other MTV comedy series that my mom and I used to watch, because my brother's best childhood friend (Matt Bearden) was one of the stars of it. It's still amazing.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:18 PM on April 20, 2009


I can't believe that no one has mentioned that you can't grow beards in space. You all, whom I shall henceforth refer to as The Bearded Men of Space Station Eleven are aliens, and are therefore under arrest.
posted by mboszko at 10:26 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


As someone who drank heavily at NYU right after the show ended, I can only hope it's as funny as I half-remember.

Hello? Cheese?
CHEESE CANT ANSWER THE PHONE!

And now, The Nutcracker. In a tiny room.
posted by now i'm piste at 10:34 PM on April 20, 2009


With all due respect, mboszko, you're wrong about the beards.
posted by Sand Reckoner at 10:44 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Porcupine Racetrack. A recipe for fun.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 AM on April 21, 2009


Also, the Original Fluffy Stuff, later ripped off by these guys.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:15 AM on April 21, 2009


The State is (99% at least) funny as hell. That is all.
posted by zardoz at 4:40 AM on April 21, 2009


Civil_Disobedient: Also, the Original Fluffy Stuff, later ripped off by these guys .

If nothing else this demonstrates the comedic importance of quitting while you're ahead.
posted by Kattullus at 4:48 AM on April 21, 2009


Actually, with all the commecial breaks, the Hulu view is just like MTV...
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:11 AM on April 21, 2009


Manager!
posted by YFiB at 5:14 AM on April 21, 2009


I watched The State irregularly, and much of it I can barely remember. I have much stronger memories of Viva Variety, the mock variety show with Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney, and Michael Ian Black. Oh, Mr. and the former Mrs. Laupin, how I miss you so.

Having watched the muppet skit for the first time in fifteen years, my reaction now was, "Waitasec, is that Vinnie Van Lowe?"
posted by sgranade at 5:43 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's my fear about it: people often remember things as being better than they were. The first Thanksgiving, for example. People think, "Oh it was so great." Guess what? There was too much corn, not enough turkey, and a lot of scarlet fever.

That totally happened to me with "The Ben Stiller Show". After getting the DVD, I discovered that, while there were some funny sketches, overall it wasn't nearly as funny as I'd remembered.
posted by Poolio at 5:51 AM on April 21, 2009


I actually had a horrible weekend to the start of a horrible week but somehow it all seems a little brighter now!~
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:01 AM on April 21, 2009


I can't believe that no one has mentioned that you can't grow beards in space.

But... I have a beard.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:09 AM on April 21, 2009


Well, hey, it probably won't all be an absolute laff riot. Someone mentioned the other day that they watched an episode from the first season of Saturday Night Live, and were kind of astonished that it wasn't very good, contrary to the popular mythology that the best cast was the first cast, and the best season was the first season, before Bill Murray replaced Chevy Chase.

My personal opinion: if Chase had stayed for a second season, he probably wouldn't have had any film career to speak of, because he would have worn out his shtick that much more quickly.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:15 AM on April 21, 2009


Well, then, you're an alien.
posted by Who_Am_I at 8:16 AM on April 21, 2009


no he's not he's from pittsburgh
posted by Navelgazer at 8:30 AM on April 21, 2009


Let's go to the zoo and watch the monkeys do it!

We do not go to the zoo to watch the monkeys do it. We go to the zoo to watch the monkeys MAKE LOVE!
posted by jonp72 at 8:45 AM on April 21, 2009


My all-time favorite moment on The State (besides Porcupine Racetrack) was the amazingly and wonderfully random breakdown at the end of the first "The Jew, The Italian and the Redhead Gay" where what looks to be the entire cast of Hair suddenly runs in to do their thing (but if you've ever listened "Free To Be You & Me" you know where the musical cue is from, at least.)

The first time I saw that, at the end of a throwaway sketch involving silly stereotypes in a sitcom, right then I knew that what we had here was something special, man.
posted by Spatch at 9:02 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hmm. I'll have to re-view The State, because for the most part I found the sketches didn't hold up when they were on the air. I found KITH stood up much more strongly, but maybe that's also because I found much more laughs with them while they were on. Something about the State always seemed.. I don't know.. too cheap with the jokes. But I'm not here to hate, grats you fans, and I wanna dip your ______ in it?
posted by cavalier at 9:21 AM on April 21, 2009


Now all I need is a digitally remastered surround-sound DVD of Stella Shorts, and THEN I will find my truest happiness.

I got yer tip right here.
posted by wowbobwow at 9:27 AM on April 21, 2009


I'm still waiting for the complete DVD set for You Wrote It, You Watch It.
posted by ericbop at 10:59 AM on April 21, 2009


Hat Maui, that is mucho fantastico. I'd never read that comment before. We are on the same wavelength and that wavelength is called FUCKING AWESOME.
posted by Bageena at 12:11 PM on April 21, 2009


But... I have a beard.

Then you're an alien.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:16 PM on April 21, 2009


Preview is for wimps and men who can grow beards in space.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:17 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The only reason I want to see 17 Again is that apparently Lennon steals the whole damn show.

I want a movie with Lennon and Sacha Baron Cohen, now that I think of it.

I even went to see The State on tour that time when they put raw meat under random seats.
posted by catlet at 3:31 PM on April 21, 2009


Sooo..we'll just be able to walk right up to the cash register, give them our money and walk out with the complete series of MTV's The State? There has to be a catch. The DVD shelf must have hot coals in front of it or something. They can't be giving it up that easy.

I'm a little bummed The State's 43rd Annual Halloween Special won't be on this, however I understand why.

I love The State.

"Rebbecca keep tying!"
posted by bwilms at 5:09 PM on April 21, 2009


Awwww... why can't Reno 911 just be a continuation of The State, instead?
posted by XMLicious at 7:52 PM on April 21, 2009


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