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The Ben Stiller Show is the name of two sketch comedy television programs that aired on MTV from 1989 to 1990, and then on Fox from September 27, 1992 to January 17, 1993. The Fox program starred Ben Stiller, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo and Bob Odenkirk. Character actor John F. O'Donohue also appeared in every episode. The program featured numerous filmed comedy segments, many of which parodied mid 1980s to early 1990s pop culture. Despite mostly positive reviews, Fox cancelled the series after only 13 episodes, due to low ratings.[1][2]

The Ben Stiller Show
Ben-Stiller-Show-titles.png
Created by Ben Stiller
Judd Apatow
Written by Ben Stiller
Judd Apatow
Robert Cohen
David Cross
Brent Forrester
Bob Odenkirk
Sultan Pepper
Dino Stamatopoulos
Starring Ben Stiller
Andy Dick
Janeane Garofalo
Bob Odenkirk
Theme music composer Dweezil Zappa
Opening theme "Groove Holmes" by Dweezil Zappa
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 13
Production
Running time ~23 minutes
Production company(s) HBO Independent Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network Fox
Comedy Central (episode 13)
Original release September 27, 1992 – January 17, 1993
Episode 13:
August 26, 1995

Unlike most sketch comedy program, The Ben Stiller Show did not use a studio audience or a laugh track, and was the first ever Fox sketch comedy program not to use a laugh track. The semi-spinoff, The Andy Dick Show, used the same format. After cancellation, the series won the 1993 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program.

Contents

MTV seriesEdit

The original MTV version of The Ben Stiller Show aired in 1990 to 1991, and ran for 13 episodes. It is not available on DVD, although excerpts from the program are featured as a bonus on that release. Produced by Jim Jones, who would go on to produce the Fox series and starring Ben Stiller and co writer Jeff Kahn, it was a self effacing show within a show format.

Part of MTV's pre Real World and experimental Vid-Com season of 1989 to 1990, it was interspersed with music videos that Ben and company would introduce in their short comedy sketches. Regulars included Harry O'Reilly and Ben's sister Amy Stiller. Guest stars included Ben's parents Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, as well as John F. O'Donohue, Melina Kanakaredes, Al Lewis and MTV regular Martha Quinn.

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Pilot"September 27, 1992 (1992-09-27)
2"With Bobcat Goldthwait"October 4, 1992 (1992-10-04)
3"With James Doohan"October 18, 1992 (1992-10-18)
4"On Melrose Avenue"October 25, 1992 (1992-10-25)
5"With Colin Quinn"November 1, 1992 (1992-11-01)
6"With Sarah Jessica Parker"November 8, 1992 (1992-11-08)
7"With Rob Morrow"November 15, 1992 (1992-11-15)
8"With Flea"December 6, 1992 (1992-12-06)
9"With Garry Shandling"December 13, 1992 (1992-12-13)
10"With Dennis Miller"December 20, 1992 (1992-12-20)
11"At the Beach"January 3, 1993 (1993-01-03)
12"A Few Good Scouts"January 17, 1993 (1993-01-17)
13"ZooTV at Night"August 26, 1995 (1995-08-26) (on Comedy Central)

Home releaseEdit

Warner Home Video released all 13 episodes of the Fox version of The Ben Stiller Show on DVD in Region 1 on December 2, 2003.[3][4]

DVD Name Ep# Release Date Additional Information
The Ben Stiller Show: Complete Series 13 December 2, 2003
  • Audio Commentaries by Ben Stiller, the entire cast and writers for the show on 7 key episodes
  • Featurette: A Brief History of The Ben Stiller Show including alternate versions of the pilot and two early parodies made for MTV
  • Deleted scenes: 5 unaired sketches with optional commentary
  • Outtakes
  • TV Special: An E! "Behind The Scenes" Special
  • Easter Egg

ReunionEdit

In November 2012, there was a reunion at the New York Comedy Festival with the original cast members.[5][6] Apatow hosted the reunion which featured Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick and staff writers Robert Cohen and Jeff Kahn. Bob Odenkirk also appeared via Skype video chat.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The New York Comedy Festival Announces Additional Shows To 2012 Schedule - New York Times". Markets.on.nytimes.com. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  2. ^ "The Ben Stiller Show | DVD Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  3. ^ "The Ben Stiller Show : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  4. ^ Wolk, Josh (2003-12-05). "Stiller Standing". EW.com. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2012-09-21). "'Ben Stiller Show' Reunion Is Set for New York Comedy Festival - NYTimes.com". Artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  6. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2012-09-22). "ARTSBEAT - Reunion at Festival For 'Ben Stiller Show' - Brief - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  7. ^ Luippold, Ross (2012-11-12). "Janeane Garofalo Forgot She Was Married For 20 Years". Huffington Post. 

External linksEdit