Dumb Comedy in Suits.
September 20, 2005 7:12 PM   Subscribe

Interview with Stella : a comedy troupe of three guys in suits. Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain have already hit Comedy Central and tonight, they premiere their show on Canada's Comedy Network. An older interview can be found here, from the newspaper that Michael Showalter reads while he's taking a poo.
posted by grapefruitmoon (45 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If Stella were funnier, I'd watch it more.

I still miss Upright Citizen's Brigade.
posted by Balisong at 7:14 PM on September 20, 2005

I'd choose Stella over UCB but The State still beats all.
posted by rokabiri at 7:20 PM on September 20, 2005

I don't know why I like Stella so much, but it's become one of my favorite shows. I still can't explain why that is....
posted by jefgodesky at 7:21 PM on September 20, 2005

I can really relate because I don't have a job and wear a suit just for fun. I only have one friend though. His first name is different than mine.
posted by I Foody at 7:31 PM on September 20, 2005

"If Stella were funnier, I'd watch it more.

I still miss Upright Citizen's Brigade"

Kids in the Hall > the State > UCB > Stella
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:31 PM on September 20, 2005

Kids in the Hall > Little Britain >>>>>>>>> UCB > the State >(times infinity, plus one) Stella
posted by NoMich at 7:40 PM on September 20, 2005

My son and I rarely agree about quality television. We do however agree that Stella sucks.
posted by mischief at 7:51 PM on September 20, 2005

Yeah, Stella has been a real let down.
posted by dhoyt at 8:14 PM on September 20, 2005

Why no State DVDs? :(
posted by wakko at 8:40 PM on September 20, 2005

Stella. Sigh.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:43 PM on September 20, 2005

oh my god, I fucking HATE stella. I can't watch it for more then a minute without wanting to pull my hair out.
posted by delmoi at 8:44 PM on September 20, 2005

Little Britain is the same six or seven sketches over and over again. And no mention of Mr. Show? For Shame.
posted by BigFatWhale at 8:53 PM on September 20, 2005

wtf? why is this here? I believe the site has hit an all time low. The coke bottles were yanked and this stays?

I cant wait to see some other quippy asshole cutting on Michael Ian Black in 5 years on VH1's I love 2005
posted by angrynative at 9:29 PM on September 20, 2005

I like Stella a lot, but I think those three should be focusing on movies instead; Wet Hot American Summer is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.
posted by mayfly wake at 9:33 PM on September 20, 2005

From Michael Ian Black's Some People Do Not Like Celebrities:

I first became aware [that people do not like me] after appearing on the VH1 television program, I Love the 70's. You may have seen this show. According to the VH1 press release, it's a "fun-filled ride through the music, movies, TV shows, products, fashions, fads, trends and major events that defined pop culture each year of the decade." Whatever. They paid me two grand.

For people who feel the need to share their thoughts about television shows with complete strangers, VH1 maintains an internet message board. It was while perusing these boards that I first encountered several dispiriting posts under topics like, "Michael Ian Black sucks," "Michael Ian Black — DIE!," and perhaps most painful of all, "Michael Ian Black is not that cute."

Needless to say, I was blown away. I mean, look at me. I'm really cute.

My initial shock soon turned to numbness, followed by denial, anger, depression, a brief moment of total euphoria, and then back to depression.

I have decided to share some of those messages here in an effort to confront the final stage in my grieving process, acceptance. Not to sound egotistical, but it is my hope that by accepting and honoring the writers' feelings, I will not only heal myself, but will also literally heal the world.

Read the whole thing here
posted by Kattullus at 9:39 PM on September 20, 2005

Stella is a very funny program. I enjoy it immensely. Except for that one with Janeane Garofalo because she kinda annoys me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:52 PM on September 20, 2005

Mr. Show> Kids in the Hall> The State= UCB= Stella > SNL> The Dana Carvey Show

grapefruit moon, just curious, did you find this interview after seeing the page linked from achewood?
posted by cell divide at 10:00 PM on September 20, 2005

Michael Ian Black > rest of those poseurs
posted by Rothko at 10:04 PM on September 20, 2005

And he is hawt.
posted by Rothko at 10:05 PM on September 20, 2005

posted by mayfly wake at 10:34 PM on September 20, 2005

All these sketch show hierarchies and not one of you bothers to rank Monty Python??

What else is in the bag?

SCTV? That one with Julie Brown that had the Plymptoons (remember, from Fox)? Mad TV (remember, from Fox)? In Living Color (remember, from Fox)? Tracy Ull . . ugh? The Ben Sti . . ugh (dammit Fox)! The Benny Hill show? That one that the Strangers With Candy people used to do? Chappelle? Um . . . Hee Haw? Laugh-in? Ok those two were variety shows, so they don't count. Stella doesn't count either, its not sketch. It has plots. UCB had fake plots, so it counts (probably). SWC was the funniest offering from Comedy Central since MST3K and it certainly doesn't qualify. Neither of them do.

In conclusion, the best sketch show is You Can't Do That on Television.
posted by dgaicun at 12:13 AM on September 21, 2005

$.02= Kids In The Hall>The State>Early SNL>David Cross' Standup>The Death of Bob Oedenkirk (please?)>SCTV>Stella>a hole in the head>UCB>Mr Show>Last 20 years of SNL.

as far as why there are no State DVDs, a guy I know interviewed David Wain shortly after Wet Hot American Summer for a local zine and asked that very question. His answer was that there were concerns on MTVs end (and possible hinted at complications with CBS of all people, since they eventually bought and cancelled the show) as far as whether the audience still existed, but that it looked promising for an eventual release... hopefully.

You know, when Stella is funny it's very funny, but that's usually about once or twice an episode, which isn't nearly often enough. Which is odd, because their live routines and web delivered sketches were hysterical.
posted by shmegegge at 12:24 AM on September 21, 2005

is it just me, or do they tend in that interview to completely treat the interviewer like a douchebag?
posted by shmegegge at 12:35 AM on September 21, 2005

"That one with Julie Brown that had the Plymptoons"

Here it is, The Edge. It had Jennifer Aniston, and Charlie Kaufman wrote for it just like he did for Get A Life (Throw The Simpsons in there and it seems that Fox was actually airing some worthwhile avant garde stuff back then (next to their low-brow fare). With that Charlie Kaufman/Chris Elliot stuff on Fox, along with Ren and Stimpy and MST3K and tKitH, humor was hitting kind of a creative peak at that point matching similar innovations that were happening in music around the same time.

I'd say we're in a valley right now, in both comedy and music (I wonder if they track eachother? According to Bruce McCullough the creative process for rock and sketch comedy are incredibly similar. The behind-the-scenes drama of Kids in the Hall was kind of a VH1 Behind the Music worthy tale.)
posted by dgaicun at 12:35 AM on September 21, 2005

speaking of drama in comedy, I've always wondered about the State people and how/whether they interact with one another or still like one another.

For instance, after the State, the first project from any of them (that I'm familiar with) was Viva Variety on Comedy Central, which sucked. It was Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney and Michael Ian Black. So they were all cool with one another, I guess.

Wet Hot American Summer was David Wain (behind the camera), MIB, Michael Showalter, Ken Marino, Joe La Truglio and Kerri Kenney had one scene that was later deleted. might be forgetting someone. So they're all cool, too, right? But Thomas Lennon was conspicuously missing. As was Ben Garant (who, imdb tells me, wrote for Viva Variety). Now Reno 911 is around, which is Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney and Ben Garant with guest appearances by Ken Marino occasionally (and Joe La Truglio? I forget). So, is there some rift between Thomas Lennon/Ben Garant and David Wain/Michael Showalter? Do those who go between the projects (Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino, Kerri Kenney and Joe La Truglio) have weird issues about working with both groups? Or am I imagining all of this?
posted by shmegegge at 12:52 AM on September 21, 2005

I was just ranking things that I thought were kind of in the same time/genre, and then I threw in SNL and Dana Carvey just as reference points. Didn't mean to dis Python SCTV etc.

And shmegegge, you're not crazy, I've wondered the same thing.
posted by cell divide at 1:28 AM on September 21, 2005

The State was my absolute favorite show back in the day. I only wish they hadn't had such short seasons. The State had a VHS compilation called "Skits and Stickers" that I picked up right when it came out, so if you are desperate for the DVD, you could always look for that to tide you over (if you still have a VCR, that is). I still want to find the last sketch of their last episode online. It was some kind of foreign variety show and it was hilarious.

I'm glad that The State cast members have stayed together in different groupings and kept their style of humor through randomness alive (Reno 911, Viva Variety, Wet Hot American Summer, Stella, The Baxter).
posted by TunnelArmr at 3:51 AM on September 21, 2005

stella is a pretty good show--better than ucb. yeah, i said it. i have no need for "greater than" symbols. i'll just flat out say it. i bet that hurts.
posted by lotsofno at 5:06 AM on September 21, 2005

posted by Who_Am_I at 5:31 AM on September 21, 2005

Does anyone have an ass penny detector i can borrow?
posted by cloudstastemetallic at 6:02 AM on September 21, 2005

Stella is better than a lot of what's out there. It isn't, however, better than its first incarnation. I would like to know why all the original Stella video shorts were removed from their web site. Me thinks it might have to do with things like Dickfish and a sassy sexy Mrs. Claus.

I recently went to a showing of Showalter's movie The Baxter. He was there and answered some questions at the end. There was the inevitable question about the State dvds. His reaction was that of a man sad to be answering the same question over and over. Mtv has the rights blah blah blah.

I've also wondered about a rift between the members of the State. There was an article a while back which mentioned some hard feelings between some of them. Regardless, I would kill for such a great group of friends.
posted by Constant Reader at 6:27 AM on September 21, 2005

Stella: worst. show. ever.
posted by tu11ym0n at 7:27 AM on September 21, 2005

Which is odd, because their live routines and web delivered sketches were hysterical.

Comedy central has a talent for taking great comics and making their shows suck. Shorties Watchin' Shorties being the canonical, distilled example.
posted by Tlogmer at 8:14 AM on September 21, 2005

I watched Stella. It made me miss Vic Reeves' Big Night Out. Terribly.
posted by Decani at 8:22 AM on September 21, 2005

I've liked the couple episodes I've seen of Stella, but it's not true sketch comedy so I'm not sure why you all are rating it against SNL and Mr. Show and the like. It's more like Strangers With Candy, sort of offbeat sit-com fare.
posted by notmydesk at 8:22 AM on September 21, 2005

When Stella comes on, I always wish it was Reno 911 instead.
posted by NationalKato at 9:12 AM on September 21, 2005

Me: Stella sucks.

Friend Who Loves Stella: Well. It's better than Blue Collar TV*!

Me: Um. I'm not sure that's actually a valid selling point.

* which also sucks...
posted by weirdoactor at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2005

best "the state" sketch ever:

"Porcupine Racetrack."
there used to be a site to download it. methinks it's down now.
posted by ronv at 1:20 PM on September 21, 2005

To answer the question posed of me : No, I don't read achewood. I found the link through a friend.

I happen to really love Stella. I guess that makes me sort of a loser. Ah well, I always suspected that the internet was for losers.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:44 PM on September 21, 2005

Kids in the Hall > the State > Reno 911 > UCB > Stella

Yes, why no State DVDs? Go fuck yourself, MTV.

(I was just discussing with a friend the mind-boggling fact that I used to watch Monty Python, the Young Ones, and the Monkees ... on MTV. What the fuck happened?)
posted by mrgrimm at 4:45 PM on September 21, 2005

That one that the Strangers With Candy people used to do?

Exit 57. It kinda sucked most of the time.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:06 PM on September 21, 2005

the young ones were on mtv?! damn. I never even encountered that show until vhs release.


and yes, statemedia.net, which I used to love like a brother, has been dead for some time, more's the pity.
posted by shmegegge at 5:07 PM on September 21, 2005

yeah, i think i pulled a few QT videos (now lost, of course) off statemedia.net while it was around (figured it would be around for a while) but there's still a sound page out there somewhere ...

"Isn't it about time your shoes made sound like a piggy from the heel when you step down on 'em?"

Geocities! (Found it while looking for a Barry/Levon clip). Please don't hurt 'em, Hammer.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:29 PM on September 21, 2005

seriously. someone needs to get that media back.
so many great memories.

posted by ronv at 5:42 PM on September 21, 2005

Monty Python's Flying Circus > The Kids in the Hall > Mr. Show > The State > SCTV > first SNL cast > Hartman/ Myers SNL cast > Stella > The Ben Stiller Show >> UCB >>>> All other SNL > (infinity) > Blue Collar Comedy
posted by dkirk78 at 10:53 AM on September 22, 2005

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