The Man Show: Will Blochinger
August 15, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The fifth season of The Man Show, which returns with fresh hosts Joe Rogan and Doug Stanhope, following former cohost Jimmy Kimmel’s ill-advised defection to late night (and the ”Show”’s subsequent Carolla-ectomy) is another testosterone haven for Comedy Central. The new ”Man” hosts are a mixed bag, and considerably less sunny than their predecessors: ”Fear Factor”’s Rogan seems to have swallowed Kimmel and is doing his best to regurgitate him, while Stanhope resembles an animated mug shot. Rogan lacks Kimmel’s frat-boy affability, but Stanhope provides a dark, twisted perviness that Carolla’s braying sports aficionado lacked. Most importantly, they don’t seem to be messing with the winning formula.

New segments include a game show called ”Guess Whose Ass Crack” (I stand by the winning-formula bit), in which the audience is asked to distinguish the ass cracks of plumbers from those of pop starlets in extreme close-up (not as easy as it sounds); ”Doug’s Mom Reviews Porn” (the isn’t-my-mom-a-skank? routine has been done to death, but it’s still funny); and ”Drunken Crossfire,” in which four blotto bar patrons discuss current events in a roundtable setting. (Slurring aside, the results are barely distinguishable from ”The McLaughlin Group.”) On this ”Show,” you have a character called ”the magical Negro,” who, as Doug wrestles with whether to accept a ”happy ending” from a Korean masseuse, appears and says (as stardust spills from his tipped bowler), ”You have to follow your penis’ heart.” Moments later, a member of the audience downs a shot of sweat and bellows, ”I’m a man!” The juxtaposition is ultimately what’s great about ”Show”: The satire gets smuggled in between the cleavage.

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