Episodes: 13 (half-hour)
TV show dates: September 27, 1992 – January 17, 1993
Series status: Cancelled/ended
Performers include: Ben Stiller, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo, Bob Odenkirk, John F. O’Donohue, Dana Gould, Judd Apatow, Jeff Kahn, and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
TV show description:
This HBO-produced sketch comedy show stars Ben Stiller, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo, Bob Odenkirk, and John F. O’Donohue. The series features off-the-wall comedy segments which mostly parody pop culture from the mid 1980s to early 1990s.
Unlike other sketch comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live or MADtv, this show doesn’t utilize a studio audience or a laugh track. Most of the episodes feature guest stars, including Al Lewis, Melena Karakaredes, Bobcat Goldthwait, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Miller, Howie Mandel, Stiller’s sister Amy, and his parents Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller.
Some of the more popular sketches include parodies of Bono and U2, Eddie Munster, William Shatner and Rescue 911, Tom Cruise, COPS, Married with Children, Alien Nation, Melrose Place, The Heights, and Beverly Hills, 90210. Recurring sketches include “Ben’s Video Diary” and “John O’Donohue’s Cop Stories.”
Episode 13 — The Lost One
A variety of sketches populate the episode:
In a parody of the Zoo Tour, U2 and Bono (Stiller) host Zoo TV Late at Night to open the show.
As themselves, the cast host the show from a steam room. The male castmembers are in white robes while Garofalo is dressed in black street clothes.
In the “Otto the Anti-Cupid” sketch, a wayward Cupid enjoys making people fall in love with the wrong people. A young man (Stiller) is made to fall in love with a senior citizen, Gertrude (Frances Bay), and then a male orderly from her nursing home.
A commercial for the “Kreepee Board” describes a Ouija Board-like game that helps children summon murdered relatives from the beyond.
Guest Howie Mandel is in the office of Michael Pheret (Stiller), weasel agent. Mandel’s trying to decide whether or not Michael should become his agent. The deal is sealed when the agent likes Howie’s idea for a superhero with the power of super-smell.
From the steam room, the cast encourage the audience to buy the products from their advertisers.
In the “30 Second Conspiracy Theory,” a troubled man (Odenkirk) explains that President Kennedy was assassinated because of his support of electric cars.
World-famous explorer Jacques Cousteau is recording narration for his 85th TV special and keeps going off the script, much to the frustration of those in the recording booth.
Returning to Zoo TV Late At Night, Bono interviews Sherman Hemsley about The Jeffersons and does his best to fill the chat with sexual innuendo. Isabel Sanford is brought in via satellite and the three sing the classic sitcom’s theme song with U2 playing the music.
Actor, dancer and zombie Leslie Chapman (Dick), last seen in the Kreepee Board commercial, pleads for work.
Judd Apatow joins the cast in the steam room and takes off his shirt.
As the credits roll, a senior Jewish couple (Stiller and Garofalo) argue while they share a meal in a restaurant.
First aired: Did not air during FOX run, later aired on Comedy Central.
What happened next?
There hasn’t been any news of plans to revive the show.