Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Finally! 'The State' Comes to DVD

At long, long last! I'm about to get my hands on one of my favorite television shows from my teen years. MTV's cult comedy The State: The Complete Series will be released on DVD on July 14. Woooo hooo! Oh Doug (played by Michael Showalter), how I've missed you!

This show reminds of my days working at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, Michigan. It was 1993, I was 16 and it was my first paying job. Once the local patrons descended upon the spherical confines for their own tripped-out laser light show adventure, it'd be quiet in the gift-store area, where the TVs were hoisted from the ceiling. When I wasn't watching old videos on VH-1 or Saturday Night Live, I'd watch The State while the stoners were lighting up at the Pink Floyd laser show. I still have a couple of VHS tapes loaded with State episodes boxed up in my parents' basement.

As most know by now, the show featured 11 comedic geniuses, many who have gone on to succeed in their own comedic ventures like RENO 911!, STELLA, Viva Variety, and Wet Hot American Summer. We all know and love Michael Ian Black ("Ed," "STELLA," "Viva Variety"), Michael Showalter ("STELLA," The Baxter, Wet Hot American Summer), David Wain ("STELLA," Role Models, The Ten,"Wainy Days"), Robert Ben Garant ("RENO 911!," Viva Variety, Balls of Fury), Kerri Kenney-Silver ("RENO 911!", "Viva Variety"),Thomas Lennon ("RENO 911!", I Love You Man), Joe Lo Truglio ("RENO911!", Superbad, I Love You Man), Ken Marino ("Party Down," The Ten), Michael Patrick Jann (RENO 911!: Miami, Let's Go to Prison) Kevin Allison (The Ten, RENO 911!: Miami), and Todd Holoubek ("You Wrote It, You Watch It").

The 5-disc set includes all 24 episodes as well as cast interviews, outtakes and previously unreleased sketches, and more! A full tracklisting is included below. Pre-order the DVD at The State on DVD.

It will be great to see these episodes and witness the blossoming comedic mastery of these 11 individuals again. In summer 1999 when I was just wee rock writer, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kerri Kenney-Silver when her indie rock outfit, Cake Like, issued Goodbye, So What?. She and vocalist/guitarist Nina Hellman were incredibly sweet and funny.


Disc 1 (Season One)
Season One of "The State" exhibits the humble beginnings of one of the coolest sketch comedy shows ever, and the birth to some of its most popular characters. All five episodes from Season One · Commentary on every episode by various cast members · Interviews: o Origins o Feedback · Outtakes

Disc 2 (Season Two)
The cast responds to its critics with razor-sharp wit and an arsenal of trademark high-energy performances. All six episodes from Season Two · Commentary on every episode by various cast members · Interviews: o Roles o Catchphrases · Outtakes

Disc 3 (Season Three)
The network's reins loosen and the eleven members of "The State" are allowed to get as weird as they want, ultimately rounding out their comedic formula. All six episodes from Season Three · Commentary on every episode by various cast members · Interviews · Outtakes

Disc 4 (Season Four)
The cast says goodbye, but not before leaving viewers with a fiery blaze of comic glory. All seven episodes from Season Four · Commentary on every episode by various cast members · Interviews · Outtakes

Disc 5 (Bonus Disc)
Show Pilot · Over 90 minutes of unaired sketches with commentary from the cast · Outtakes · Special Appearances: o "The State" on "The Jon Stewart Show" o The cast's performance on MTV's "Shut Up & Laugh, Panama City" (1996) o Spring Break Safety Tips o MTV Christmas Party Video · Promos

[Photo by Robert Lewis]

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