20 May 2005

It's Mr. Show a Record Review with Bob and David!

I think there are about 3 types of people: Folks who enjoy Pitchfork, folks who don't like the reviews, but check them for recommendations anyway, and people who really hate Pitchfork yet find themselves every so often going to there just to get angry at someone who, say, doesn't like the Moog Cookbook records because they hate synths. And, unfortunately, I'm the latter -- I could potentially be the second, but I find that I very-rarely-if-ever agree with what they think of a record. But, well, once in a while I have to admit Pitchfork does something pretty cool. Since they're due, they figured they'd bring in David Cross to make fun of their reviews. Surprising that they did that, considering that they werent terribly kind to Cross' own records (the quotes he pulled out for the introduction of his article were real, as are all the other quotes-of-reviews, including the extended Godel, Escher, Bach parody).

Also -- for what Bob Odenkirk's doing, he's currently working on Tom Goes To The Mayor for Adult Swim. It's a hilarious cartoon by the guys behind TimandEric.com, in a pretty cool limited-animation style. It's a surreal comedy show with a sort of dream-logic. One of the episodes, "WW Laserz", is about Tom getting a bunch of WWII memorabilia on eBay, so he decides to start a theme restaurant. He goes to the Mayor to get clearance, and ends up with both an educational grant and the Mayor's asthmatic nephew. Unfortunately, excessive use of the nephew's inhaler results in extreme childishness, and after the inhaler breaks from its strap during a musical number, he throws a brick at Tom. Tom is passed out for two weeks, and the Mayor kept him alive, in a dumpster, by putting cat food in his mouth and moving his jaw up and down. Now that Tom's come to, though, he discovers that the Nephew has taken over the resturant project, and it's no longer educational. The town council isn't particularly bothered, as there's animatronic Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini singing songs Chuck E. Cheese style -- only the Hitler (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) breaks, and the Mayor convinces Tom to stop making the Pizza Rolls needed for the customers, to fill in for the broken Hitler. It's a rousing success, despite Tom not really knowing the lyrics. And all this happens in an 11-minute program, yet the show has a rather leisurely, dreamlike pace; it's not frenetic at all. It's definitely a show that takes some getting used to, but I recommend it. (Although, looking at the Adult Swim boards, it's almost as unpopular as Super Milk-Chan, another show on AS that I adore, so, perhaps I'm just out of touch with America.)


Anonymous timv said...

You forgot those who never go to Pitchfork.

8:07 AM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

Well, yeah, I suppose that's true. And, dammit, I can't even think of a good joke to explain the oversight. You win this round!

8:52 AM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

The David Cross thing is GREAT. :D I'm not sure why they would have invited him to do that, either... maybe someone (other than the reviewers he was making fun of) felt like Pitchfork needed a little karmic balance. :)

I looked at the promo clips for "Tom Goes To The Mayor" that are linked at the bottom of that "Tim & Eric" site... hmmm. I like the visual style, but I'm not sure that kind of humor is my thing.

8:55 AM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

It's a show that definitely takes some getting used to. The very first time I saw it, I wasn't sure what to make of it. (It was, actually, that episode I described.) When I saw another episode, it clicked. Although, I know for a lot of people, this doesn't happen.

But yeah -- it _is_ a cool visual style. I think even if I couldn't stand the writing/performances, I'd have to give it credit for that.

If you're so inclined, you might check out the movies page. The two Tom Goes To The Mayor things at the top are the two pre-anything shorts; the first one isn't that good, but the second one is kinda funny (and has David Cross in it, which sorta brings things full circle). I also like "Tom Goes To School" (no relation to "TGTTM", though). Unfortunately, they've got one that's really good ("Eric!" - a sitcom parody about a cartoonist and his character) that's only on the DVD.

9:09 AM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger CatsFive said...

Has anyone ever seen Cross' Mr. Show? HILARIOUS. Also, on the way to the Vespa rally this past weekend, we listened to his CD. He's funny. I'm not NUTS about him, but I like him. He can really hit some ideas out of the park, though, occasionally.

1:06 PM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

I'm a huge fan -- the documentary about one of his standup tours is pretty amusing as well, actually. But yeah, I've got both his CDs, and I've seen him once (it was on the tour that was used to make "It's Not Funny" -- not the same show, though). Although there was one hilarious thing that wasn't released on the CD, mainly because it's something that, to work, has to be localized (unless you want to go the High School USA route), but it was a parody of "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood -- "These Are Places On A Map". Where he'd just list places from around town -- basically like the real song does, if you go back and listen to it (NOT RECOMMENDED). Since it was Seattle, it was something along the lines of "From the Puget sound to Sea-Tac, These are places on a map! Mount Baker and Shoreline, these are places on a map!" (there were other lyrics as well, but I don't remember them -- riffing on the "gladly stand up next to you" chorus of the real song, iirc). It was actually really hilarious because:
a) That song is awful and basically _IS_ just listing off places.
b) David Cross totally cares about us! He took the time to look at a map of Seattle before the show!

But yeah -- huge Mr. Show fan, too. I'm wishing though, they'd release a DVD of Cross' stand-up specials for HBO made around the time of Mr. Show. I saw them only once a long, long time ago.

And, also, with Mr. Show, before the DVDs came out, you have to give them credit for how they distributed it -- they made VHS copies themselves, and gave it to video stores around the country as a "free-rental-with-another-thing", so everyone could see it, even folks who didn't have HBO. And they didn't make a dime off it, as far as I could tell (aside from fans coming back and maybe buying merchandise or something). Which is pretty cool.

4:31 PM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

BTW, y'all do know that David Cross is a fellow Atlantan, don't you? :)

Since I'm one of the VERY rare natives in this city, I thought I'd point that out.

That said... I still haven't heard his humor, other than his small part in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, so I will be on the look out for him.

12:53 AM, May 27, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

(not sure if my other comment posted, if not: Basically, I'd say to start with seasons 3-4 of Mr. Show, or of his stand-up CDs, I prefer Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! over It's Not Funny, but they're both really good.)

Also, though, in the beginning of SUYFB!, he talks a bit about growing up and coming back to Atlanta. Granted, it's not exactly _flattering_, but... He talks about the Festival Of Light, I think it's called?

6:38 AM, May 27, 2005  

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