Man Show, The-Season 1-Volume 1 (1999) (NTSC)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Additional Footage-Three Never Before Seen Clips Of Jimmy And Son Kevin
Additional Footage-Female Porn Stars Teach The Basics of Household Projects
Additional Footage-Monkey Bar
Bonus Episode-Karl Malone On.....Angelique's Auction & Girls On Trampoline
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||246:00 (Case: 240)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (3)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Za Kari A. Asher
Shawn K. Clement
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
And so it begins, the opening to the self-proclaimed solution to the Oprahization of America, the program to stop the river of oestrogen that is drowning us in political correctness, the show dedicated to everything that men like: monkeys, midgets, breasts, beer, and monkeys - The Man Show. The half-hour masculinity-dedicated comedy series that ran for 5 seasons on Comedy Central is here on DVD, and Volume 1 presents half of the episodes from Season 1 in a completely random order. This is hardly an issue, since sequence isn't exactly a requirement for this show, just like intelligence!
Hosted by comedians Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, the aim of the show is to celebrate the lowbrow male perspective in a sexually charged, humorous light, mixing pre-recorded skits with live in-studio events, typically playing off the most extreme and exaggerated stereotypes of masculinity. (For example, the MC, Bill “The Fox” Foster, has as his claim to fame the ability to chug 2 beers in 2 seconds, as well as playing a variety of dirty songs and leading the audience in the German drinking toast "Ziggy Socky, Ziggy Socky, Hoy, Hoy, Hoy!") Featuring the Juggy Dancers, scantily clad "dancers" who lead the audience in cheers and usually wear themed outfits for different episodes, each show starts with a typically lowbrow rant from the two hosts on the "topic" of the episode (things like the Oprahization of America, or How To Make Weddings Interesting, or Why The Bathroom is the Man's Fortress Against the World, or Farting, all of which are usually forgotten about in minutes) before cutting to other segments. As great as this sounds, it doesn't live up to the claim; despite the charm and inventiveness of this general setup, The Man Show's biggest problem is that it just isn't all that funny.
That aforementioned lack of intelligence is key here - no matter how stupid the stunts that the Jackass boys pull are, there's actually some smarts and creativity involved coming up with the stuff, then filming it in a way that is funny, appealing and entertaining. There's so little of that here that most of The Man Show simply falls flat; the concept of masculinity and all of the associated lowbrow interests and homophobia are ripe for satire and parody, but the show rarely finds a way to the punch line.
The best example of this is the infamous "Suffrage" skit, in which Carolla and Kimmel set up a booth at a farmer's market and successfully ask people to sign a petition to "end women's suffrage," demanding the repeal of the 19th Amendment (which guarantees women's voting rights). Penn Jillette and Teller pulled a similar stunt on the fantastic Penn and Teller's BS, in which they tricked hundreds of environmentalists into signing a petition to outlaw dihydrogen monoxide (aka water) at a Greenpeace rally. This segment worked because it demonstrated the ignorance of the rallying environmentalists, an amusing attack on environmental hysteria, and their willingness to petition for something they don't even understand. What is The Man Show's skit attacking? The fact that none of the women know what "suffrage" is? Nor the men who pass them by? It's clearly supposed to be showing women's ignorance, but ignorance of something that has been unquestioned and commonplace in the US since 1920. Coupled with poor editing, no focus and lack of an actual punch line, the segment just makes Carolla and Kimmel look stupid.
Some segments actually work well, such as Movies Men Don't Want To See, in which Carolla and Kimmel discuss the most hilarious fictional extreme chick- and/or gay-flicks and then describe the punishment they'd prefer to endure over viewing the film. ("I'd rather be a gerbil on Fire Island during the Vaseline Day Parade than see that movie.") Man-O-Vations features inventions to help men get through their lives with such gems as The Combined Recliner-Toilet and The Bible on Tape - Read by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Unfortunately, even these, generally the funniest parts of the show, are hit-or-miss, and are far outnumbered by the segments that are only briefly amusing, or just don't work at all.
Segments like The Man Boy Show in which an overweight boy makes crude comments to people in the street - usually women - confuse "comedy" for "crudeness" - "Hoo boy, it certainly is funny that that child insulted someone on the street! Damn, someone had to be d*** clever to come up with 'Why are you so fat?'" Other segments like Handy Hints from Adult Stars are typically just an excuse to stare at cleavage, and, as promised by the opening titles, each episode does indeed end with Girls on Trampolines, a one-shot-joke that ends up being repeated across the entire series, demonstrating the most ridiculous, untitillating titillation imaginable for the viewer. I'm guessing that fans don't get the joke, and while I'm pretty sure they don't care, that doesn't make this redeemable viewing.
Ultimately, the hit-or-miss nature of the show prevents it from being a lowbrow, artistically-valid classic like Jackass or Freddy Got Fingered, and the fact that it's more boring than funny really does cancel out all but the most lowbrow viewer. For all its claims of masculine empowerment, the show isn't even sexist or offensive enough to get a genuine reaction, and it's rarely smart enough with sexism to make attacks on either femininity or masculinity. What I'm saying is that this show is a failure, but if you're 13 or not too bright, you'll probably still get a kick out of it. "Ziggy Socky, Ziggy Socky, Hoy, Hoy, Hoy!"
The transfer quality is very bland, often featuring colours bleeding into each others and what appears to be an extremely dull tint across everything. None of the colours are vibrant or bright, with even outdoor scenes appearing dulled, and image varies between being very sharp, or very out of focus. It's a very strange effect, but doesn't detract from the viewing.
There is a surprising lack of grain in the transfer, but there is constant interlacing and aliasing on titles and in transitions, typical of NTSC transfers.
There are no subtitles.
This is a fine audio track in which all of the music, cheering, laughter and dialogue is balanced to be perfectly listenable. There are no sync issues and everything sounds clear.
The musical themes are actually pretty good, including The Fox's memorable dirty songs, the opening theme and the unforgettable "Girls on Trampolines" theme song.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video and audio are both above average.
The extras consist only of glorified deleted scenes.
I was very disappointed by The Man Show, and yet I still cannot get the prospect of The Bible on Tape Read by Stone Cold Steve Austin out of my head.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|