one of the laments i have commonly made on the internet and to people who are able to escape from the combination is the lack of love shown to the American sketch comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David. i promote it and quote it as best i can, as does my trusty Irish sidekick, and i understand that it ran from 1995-1998, so it’s possible the youth of today wouldn’t know much about it… but it’s still a damn shame. Wikipedia points out that “Mr. Show typically opted for absurdist comedy over current pop culture jokes or recurring characters,” and honestly, that’s the best way to put it, as well as the likely reason why i think it’s better than the average sketch comedy show.
so recently, our hero had a marathon of Mr. Show’s four seasons (although, given the 5-episode runs of seasons 1 and 2, it’s more like three seasons) in an attempt to cheer himself up for the goddamn holidays, and while this did not work, it pointed out to me that we could use a “best Mr. Show sketches” listicle here at house of hate.
janklow’s 13 favorite Mr. Show with Bob and David sketches
note: for ease of titling these sketches, since the format SLIGHTLY varies on the DVD sets, i have turned to our trusted friends at Wikipedia for the titles. here we go!
Mr. Show with Bob and David: your kids won’t even remotely begin to care about it
13. Dalai Lama/Monk Academy (season four, episode five)
synopsis of the skit: okay, from the jump i have to cheat a little, because this is more like “two long, mostly-connected skits,” but it’s important to understand how absurd this show can be. “Dalai Lama” has a kid (Bob) randomly chosen to be the next Dalai Lama, with his slacker friend (David) showing up to visit. they clash, they learn a valuable lesson… and then we immediate move to “Monk Academy,” where the monks are competing in a 500-year-old competition with a fat kids’ camp. i think you say what i’m saying.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: when competing with the fat kids, there’s a bike race where David lures the fat competitor away with a trail of candy. that’s the joke, right? David then pops out of a bush and slits the kid’s throat. it’s SO excessive that i find it wonderful. yes, i may have emotional problems.
12. Beating Hippie (Generation Gap) (season two, episode three)
synopsis of the skit: as part of their opening/monologue/whatever you want to call it, Bob and David are lamenting the fact that as Bob was raised at a time when people respected each other, the mid-1970s, while David came of age in the late 1970s, they’re from different generations and just don’t relate. however, then they realize they’re brought together by their mutual distrust and hatred of hippies.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: one of my personal running jokes is, having been born in 1979, to tell the Irishman and other people born in the early 1980s that we’re from vastly different generations for comic effect. so i think you see why this joke works for me.
bonus Irishman remarks: “remember that skit where Bob and David are talking about being from different generations and end up working together? hilarious.”
11. Change For A Dollar (season one, episode one)
synopsis of the skit: a man (Bob) asks a store cashier (David) for change, prompting a series of telephone calls from one superior to another (all alternating played by Bob and David) asking if the cashier should give the man change.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: each guy does something weird while thinking about whether or not they should approve the change; Bob, as the company’s CEO, does a ridiculous little dance that always makes me laugh. that’s the reason.
10. Week-Long Romance (season four, episode ten)
synopsis of the skit: a man (Bob) and his girlfriend have broken up for a week, and when reuniting, discuss the ridiculous things that Bob has done in one week’s time: joined a Christian rock band, got engaged to another girl, starred in a blowjob movie with one “Crystal Knockers.” periodically, wronged persons from the past week assault him.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: so the Christian rock band attacks Bob because Crystal Knockers and Bob did this blowjob movie. then, while explaining this, Crystal Knockers’ boyfriend assaults Bob for embarrassing his girl. Bob’s girlfriend exclaims, “you gave the blowjobs?!” Bob responds “the MOST blowjobs” with this tone that gets me every time.
bonus Irishman remarks: “isn’t there some skit where they’re dressed up like some terrible New Age band?” (that’s how this skit transitions into the next one) “yeah, that one’s hilarious.”
09. Lie Detector (season three, episode three)
synopsis of the skit: a man (Bob) is being given a lie detector test by a team of employees (including David) that runs through a series of more and more outrageous claims that all prove to be true: alcohol and drug use, stealing space plans, killing a man with his mind, skinny-dipping with a girl David had a crush on, dressing up like a lady of affluence and seducing a rich man, and derailing a train with his penis and eating it piece by piece (all for charity).
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: as we’ve seen, it’s often one remark that makes me fondly recall the skit, and in this one, after Bob admits that he’s smoked crack, the employees crack up and one asks what it was like. Bob answers, “it was great! it’s crack, it gets you really high.” everything said in this skit is insane; this remark just SOUNDS the funniest.
08. Indomitable Spirit (season three, episode four)
synopsis of the skit: Terry (David) and the gang are a band of handicapped people succeeding despite their limitations, later turning out to be non-handicapped but spreading a message of hope. then Tommy (Bob), who HAS lost his arm, shows up to accuse them of tossing him out for being handicapped; David counters that Bob simply was a shitty drummer. a very confusing debate occurs.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: there’s a part where the band runs through their handicaps: Terry has no arms, Jimbo is missing his arms too, Mickey is just a hand. then Fran (Sarah Silverman) declares “i’m Fran, and i’m a woman!” it’s the best. further, David is INCREDIBLY exasperated in this skit, and i love it.
bonus Irishman remarks: when discussing it, the Irishman struck a line and quoted the “i’m a woman” line. i admit it, i laughed.
07. Mom And Pop Porno Shop (season two, episode two)
synopsis of the skit: Mom and Pop (Pop being Bob) run a porno shop: they fuss over customers, scold their child, resist selling the shop to a representative of big business, and have an encounter with a ten-foot-tall version of Great-Great-Grandpa who appears to look like God and who promotes the hell out of pornography.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: the part where Bob is scolding his son Jimmy (David) for not putting away a box of big black dildos. not only is it good, but the way he ends the exchange with the cry of “don’t blame the dildos!” is classic. it also gives us the chance to quote the skit and threaten people with “next time you’ll get more than a dildo to the head!” and let me remind you, young man, that stupid “all anal action” paid for that precious mountain bike of yours!
06. Date With The Queen (season four, episode seven)
synopsis of the skit: the Queen (David) is bored with her guests, so she tells each of them she wants to hang out with them and them alone, and to not mention it, before asking her guard (Bob) to throw everyone out. this is where the comedy ensues.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: okay, for one thing, the fake mustache being rocked by Bob is hilarious. HILARIOUS. second, it has to be the way this skit ends with Bob declaring “that BITCH” before it cuts to a scooter chase. and do you see how NONE of that seems related to what i said the skit was about?
05. The Joke: The Musical (season one, episode two)
synopsis of the skit: the theme for the episode is Senator Tankerbell (Bob) enforcing US Senate oversight on comedians: he declares an Appalachian puppet lewd and lascivious and makes David wear a performance-controlling shock collar. later in the episode, David is inspired to make a musical version of an “approved” joke that the senator tells to open the episode: the old one about a traveling salesman putting his
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: so before David has the idea for the musical, he’s greeted by Senator Tankerbell, who’s been “magically transformed into a twinkling light,” and who knocks David to the ground for being mouthy. i LOVE this interaction between a spotlight and David. also, the musical features Jack Black singing like a madman about putting/not putting your dick in these three holes, and that has to be worth something.
bonus Irishman remarks: i started to comment about the one where Senator Tankerbell controls David, which prompted “-and then he gets knocked out by a glowing light!” so you see how we’re united by this show.
04. Taint (season four, episode six)
synopsis of the skit: Garry Flank (David) rises to the top of a theoretically successful pornography empire by promoting men’s taints in his magazine, from discussing five-inch taints (“it’s insane, this guy’s taint”) and insisting that taints (or, in other publications, “t’wasn’ts” and “t’werents”) were what America wanted to see.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: honestly, it’s just the fact that they keep talking about taints. it never stops until the skit does.
bonus Irishman remarks: “wait, you know what you can’t forget? the taint episode!” that says it all… but then the Irishman started quoting the “then tragedy struck… CAPTAIN Tragedy” part of the skit, so i think we know what skit he was angling to get in the top spot.
03. Fuzz: The Musical (season three, episode two)
synopsis of the skit: in season one, Bob and David had a skit about Ronnie Dobbs, notorious for constantly getting arrested all over the place; in this one, the guy who filmed him makes a musical about Ronnie, his battered spouse and some cops. it’s weird to see them have recurring characters, i know, but you have to accept it.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: as one commenter on a YouTube video puts in, these singing skits work because David can actually sing a little; the part where David (as Ronnie Dobbs) breaks into his “Y’all Are Brutalizing Me” absolutely kills it. they’d later make a mess of a movie based around this character (Run, Ronnie, Run), and Mandy Patinkin makes this joke work just as well, because he can really sing.
bonus Irishman remarks: the Irishman specifically called out the part from the original season one, episode one skit where David breaks character to rant about the shitty conditions in which HBO has them working. just throwing that out there.
02. Blowing Up The Moon (season three, episode six)
synopsis of the skit: scientists and the President declare that we can, no, MUST blow up the moon; people seem very excited about it, and astronauts seem to figure it’s time, since there really isn’t anything else you can do with the moon. again, this is what we mean when we talk about “absurd premise.”
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: there’s a part where protestors are picketing the destruction of the moon; during this, Sarah Silverman declares, “we’re spending so much money, millions of dollars, to blow up the moon, when there’s so many things right here on earth to blow up! we’re earthlings, let’s blow up earth things!”
bonus Irishman remarks: “don’t forget the one where they blow up the moon.”
01. Worthington’s Law (season three, episode seven)
synopsis of the skit: essentially, the skit is based around this premise: “listen to your friend, a person who makes more money than you, is better than you, and therefore beyond criticism. this is called the Worthington Law and it’s used to gauge the value of human worth.” David takes the role of Carl Espick and berates us into understanding this.
why janklow thinks this skit’s so funny: yelling “more money equals better than” never gets old. never. watch it and tell me i’m wrong.
bonus Irishman remarks: THIS is the skit that we quote constantly; when discussing the best 13 skits, we both immediately mention “Worthington’s Law.” that might be all that needs to be said.
so, two things:
01. clearly season three is the best season;
02. there’s BOUND to be some great skits i skipped… but then so no one but me and the Irishman love this show, i guess we’ll never know. oh, that’s a little sad. also, let me close with a completely unrelated video that, as the Irishman can attest to, made me laugh so hard i hurt myself: