Aired from 1995-1998 on HBO, this brilliant sketch comedy show--written by David Cross and Bob Odenkirk--took Monty Python-esque writing and pushed it to a level of perversity that would have had Graham Chapman masturbating in his coffin.

The cast of Mr. Show had its backbone in Bob and David, but also featured John Ennis, Tom Kenny, Jill Talley, and Brian Poeshn as the core cast.  Mr. Show also introduced us to Jack Black and Sarah Silverman.

Mr. Show also had a laundry list of celebrity fans who were seen in the audience, including Maynard Keenan of Tool (who cameoed in the television show a number of times, including the pilot), Margaret Cho, Alicia Milano, and many others.

The secret of Mr. Show's success was the mix of pre-taped and live segments.  Every sketch linked to the next sketch--sometimes in a convoluted way, sometimes as simply as the idea that the previous sketch was being watched on television.  This idea, shamelessly but flawlessly lifted from Monty Python's Flying Circus, distinguished Mr. Show from its contemporary competition such as Saturday Night Live and Kids In The Hall.

The show was also well-known for its music.  The touching "How High The Mountain" garnered an Emmy nomination in 1998.  All told, Mr. Show received four Emmy nominations in 1998 and 1999 for writing, lighting, and the aforementioned music.  Other brilliant musical numbers included season 1's "The Joke: The Musical" (featuring the debut of Jack Black) and "Jeepers Creepers: Semi-Star" (also featuring Jack Black).

Mr. Show produced one major breakout character in Ronnie Dobbs, the domestic-abusin', beer-poundin', car-stealin' Georgia redneck.  Played by David Cross, Ronnie became famous for being the most-arrested man on the television show FUZZ (a parody of COPS) and found himself propelled to fame by an eager cameraman.  The Ronnie Dobbs character was later spun off into a movie, Run Ronnie Run, which was never released or promoted by its distributor, New Line Cinemas.  The movie was recently released on DVD, and it is brilliantly written--I recommend it wholeheartedly to any fans of Mr. Show.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Bob: Every time a cast member swears, they have to put a nickel in the swearing jar.
David: (drops a nickel into the jar) The money goes to Swears For Cares, an non-profit organization committed to raising money through swearing.
Bob: So hopefully, we'll make a little difference.
David: (holds up a nickel. puts it into the jar) A little fucking difference.

Bob: Mr. Tickles' Funtime Abortion Clinic: We'll bring out the kid in 'ya!

David: That's right, Bob. 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.

Bob: Look, lady, I don't come down to where you work and slap the dick out of your mouth.
Jill: Excuse me?
David: That's the new slogan for Grandma Betsy's baking powder!

David: I used to think my home was my castle | With no one scrutinizing me | No pigs, no lying bitch, no hassle | Y'all are brutalizing me... Can't a man not drink his beer in silence? | Can't a man not cruelly lie and scream? | Can't a man not control his bitch with violence? | Y'all are brutalizing me.

Cute Asian Twin Girls: You'll never walk again.

Executive: How dare you?  We were in the people business when you two were in short pants!  My great, great grandfather started this company with one handcrafted, rickety slave ship, and a simple motto: "People Selling People To People".  So DON'T CALL ME FAT!

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