We gave it an A
HBO’s brilliant, late-’90s sketch series has been called a ”cult favorite,” a dubious label that always implies most people won’t get it. But if there was any TV justice, ”Mr. Show” would be more widely embraced than ”Saturday Night Live.” Writer-stars David Cross and Bob Odenkirk created an American ”Monty Python’s Flying Circus” that was more darkly satiric than the Brit troupe, sharply and scathingly attacking everything from greedy global corporations to hack comics who like fart jokes. (And imagine, ”SNL”: It’s all done without cue cards!) The riotous must-listen commentaries on all 10 episodes of Mr. Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons, those rare tracks that actually capture the anarchic sensibilities of the feature presentation, are a true bonus. At one point, while Cross (whom Odenkirk describes as ”so bald it hurts you”) slips into production minutiae, Odenkirk interrupts with, ”Does anyone care? I don’t care, and I’m the biggest Me-nerd there is.” They’re joined by the show’s writers and supporting players, who often slip into characters, such as Kelly, the series’ biggest trivia-spouting fan, who, when mocked by the duo, obsequiously giggles, ”Thank you for making a joke at my expense.” It’s a jab at their obsessive cult fan base, but for laughter’s sake, don’t let that scare you.