Passing on music this week because all of this Wet Hot American Summer promotion over the last two weeks has got me nostalgic for my second love of pop culture comedy. So, here’s a top 5 list delving into the comedy group that spawned Wet Hot, Reno 911!, Role Models, and so many other current movies and TV shows that come from this humble beginning over two decades ago. It’s about time that these folks’ careers are being disseminated and starting to become familiar in the comedy realm. These five sketches may seem like obvious choices (with the exception of number 5, but I’ll explain), but I did scour the internet for as many sketches as I could find to do a little research before I finalized my list. There’s some great ones like “$240 Worth of Pudding”, “The Jew, the Italian, and the Red Head Gay”, and “International Signs”, but it was already a tall task to remove any of these favorites. One of the more impressive aims of The State was to ensure that the sketches were timeless and could be viewed in any era and not seem totally dated. I think they definitely achieved that. The entire collection is available on DVD and iTunes.
5. “Spaghetti with Bumblebees (Manager)”
Even though this isn’t one of the upper tier sketches, I have an affinity for this one regarding a college roommate. She had a VHS copy of an episode of The State and would mention how she would reference the “Manager” part of this sketch while at her restaurant job. I didn’t really remember this sketch from my youth, but when I had my own restaurant job, I was sad when I would say “Manager” in the same creepy way and nobody could share my smile.
4. “Service with a Smile”
Speaking of smile, like that transition? I don’t really have much to say for “Service with a Smile” other than it features one of the members who seems to have faded into obscurity. So, let’s not forget about poor Todd Holoubek with his puppy dog eyes.
3. “Monkey Torture”
Is it cheap to have such a deep love for something with a catchphrase? I’m asking, but I don’t really care. “Doug” is one of the few characters from The State that was revisited. So here’s both “Doug and Dad” and “Doug and the Principal”.
Another character revisited and another catchphrase. As Jesus will attest to, this one is even more cheap, but my mind is quite juvenile. Maybe this wouldn’t be number one if not for “The Last Supper” edition of “Louie”, but it’s just too good. So here’s the original “Louie” and the blasphemous “Last Supper”.