"The Man Show" Season 5 Review
By Shawn McKenzie 08/17/2003
In general, I have liked most original shows that Comedy Central has put out. I think “South Park” is pure genius, “Crank Yankers” is amusing, and lately, “I’m with Busey” and “Reno 911” have become weekly stops. One show that has never caught on with me is “The Man Show.” Part of it might be that I’ve never found Jimmy Kimmel funny, and the other part might be that I’ve found the show more immature than I could stand, and I was actually one who watched FX’s “Son of the Beach.” I was sent the first two episodes of the new season of the show, and I figured that the new hosts of the show might bring something different for me. Good news for fans of the show: the immaturity hasn’t changed one iota. Bad news for me: it isn’t any more enjoyable.
The show is beginning its fifth season (it premieres Sunday, August 17, check local listings for times) with new hosts Joe Rogan and Doug Stanhope. Most of you know who Rogan is. He played Joe the technician on “NewsRadio” and can currently be seen as the host of “Fear Factor.” Stanhope might be a little more unfamiliar. He wrote, produced, and starred in FOX’s “Invasion of the Hidden Cameras,” a show I was not too crazy about that aired last summer. Initially it looked like I was going to have the same reaction to these hosts that I did to the previous ones. I liked Adam Carolla, so Rogan was filling his shoes (just so you know, I like Rogan, even though he says “dude” too much.) I figured since I didn’t like “Invasion,” Stanhope would be filling Kimmel’s shoes. In a way he did, but not for the same reason. Kimmel is annoying and not funny. Stanhope isn’t annoying, but he is kind of bland. While watching the tape, I noticed he had kind of a deer-in-the-headlights stare plastered on his face. He seemed to loosen up a little by the second episode.
How is the show different this season? Not much really. The first difference you will notice is that the theme song has been slowed down a little and given a rock hook and a beat, instead of that fast-paced polka style that it had before. Other than that, you get all the same stuff: crudeness, beer drinking, and of course, the Juggies.
It has a mix of old segments and new ones. Some of the segments they have brought back are “Wheel of Destiny” and “Q & A with the Audience.” In “Wheel of Destiny,” Joe and Doug have audience members come up on stage and spin a giant wheel. Some of the things that the wheel lands on are lucky, like a half hour in the back of a van with a porn star. Some are unlucky, like having their temperature taken rectally or drinking a fat man’s sweat. In “Q & A with the Audience,” audience members ask Joe and Doug man-related questions, hoping for some sound advice. The one segment I doubt will come back is “The Man Show Boy.” It looks like they completely cleaned house (I don’t watch the show close enough to know if they are even using the same Juggies), so I don’t think any recurring characters are coming back. It’s too bad, because I actually thought those segments were funny (Ryan Pinkston recently began doing a version of this character on MTV’s “Punk’d.”)
Some new segments include “The Magical Black Man,” “Guess Whose A**-Crack,” “Drunken Crossfire,” and “Doug’s Mom Reviews Porn.” “The Magical Black Man” could be considered racist and offensive, but I doubt it will make much flack, since it is simply parodying material that already exists. The character comes from movie characters like Michael Clarke Duncan’s character in The Green Mile and the Uncle Remus character from Song of the South. In the first episode, he advises Doug on whether he should take up the offer for a “happy ending” from a masseuse. “Guess Whose A**-Crack” is a game where contestants have to guess if a close-up of a butt-crack is a plumber or an attractive female celebrity. It is just plain gross. “Drunken Crossfire” has Doug visiting a bar and asking the drunken patrons to debate political topics. It is funny at first, but then it gets boring, and it amazingly resembles real political debate shows when they are on fire. “Doug’s Mom Reviews Porn” is just disturbing. I doubt that it is really Doug’s mom, but I preferred “Household Hints from Adult Film Stars” from the show’s first season to this porn-related segment (actually, going back over the tape, I also thought the “Rivington Investments” segment was funny, where people invest in stocks related to porn.)
Will you like “The Man Show” still if you are an old fan? Yes, you will. Don’t be fooled by my low rating of this show. I can assure fans of the show that the new hosts did not mess with the formula you have come to love for the past four seasons. In fact, I would have given the show an even lower rating if they had. Just like my recent review of Freddy vs. Jason, I realize that this show has never tried to appeal to critics, which I can admire. I just don’t see the show attracting any new fans. The new hosts won’t bring me in, and if you didn’t like the show before, you won’t like it now. At least they still have girls jumping on trampolines during the closing credits…
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