It's about damn time, huh? Finally, after years of false release dates, widespread fanboy blue balls, bittersweet nostalgia, and a ever-growing support base, MTV's cult sketch comedy series The State is hitting shelves in DVD format on July 14. A five disc set bringing Louis and his gold balls, Barry and Levon, the Prodigal Toothbrush, and every other hilarious skit together, at last. This overlooked gem of a comedy show only aired for two years (1993-1995), but has slowly built a faithful legion of lovers over the course of 14 years. No easy feat there. .
The State's alumni members have gone on to quietly strongarm modern-day comedy: directing the films Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models (David Wain), creating and starring in Comedy Central's Reno 911! (Thomas Lennon, Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney), writing Night at the Museum and its upcoming sequel (Lennon and Garant, again), starring in Starz' new hands-down winner of a show Party Down (Ken Marino), stealing every one of VH1's "I Love the Whichever Decade" specials (Michael Ian Black), and a slew of other accomplishments. Who doesn't love Joe Lo Truglio in Superbad ("The tiger got outta the cage, man!"), or even Pineapple Express? Yup, he's also from The State.
Any time one of these post-State jobs is discussed amongst friends, I namedrop the respective funny-person's original home, but I'm routinely met with blank stares and disinterest. Save for some cousins and one of my friends (Ms. Cendra, if you're out there reading this), not one person I know can cite their favorite skit, and that's a shame. Will this new DVD set change that? Can a new crop of viewers be won over? I'd like to think so, but the end result is ultimately meaningless around here. I'm just happy that I'll have the entire series in my possession, rather than strolling down memory lane in Youtube's clip-heavy car.
My fondest memory of The State: staying up late with my Uncle Greg to watch the episodes in their first runs, his disregarding whatever babysitter rules he should've been following ("Put the kid to bed by 11pm, the latest") so we could watch Louis interrupt the Last Supper to dip his balls into something, to laugh our asses off as a grade school staring contest is ante-upped with the presence of a dude in full clown makeup. One of the happier memories of my adolescence, no doubt.
Here's a sketch that the cousins and I used to quote like we were being paid to do so:
True story, I actually did own a "Best of" The State VHS back in high school, but I gave it to the girl-of-my-high-school-dreams, a gift of personal romance. I figured, what better way to leave a permanent impression on this girl for when after our blossoming thing evaporates than to bestow her with something we mutually find hilarious despite our friends' lack of mutual enjoyment? Her heart went a-flutter, then she broke mine, and I was never able to watch "Porcupine Racetrack" again. Talk about your all-time backfires.
Come July 14, though, it'll be full-circle time.
First learned over at: Chud
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