|Mr. Show with Bob and David|
|Created by||Bob Odenkirk|
|Theme music composer||Mark Rivers|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||30 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||David Cross|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production companies||Brillstein-Grey Communications|
Dakota North Entertainment
TriStar Television (1st season)
HBO Original Programming
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original release||November 3, 1995 –|
December 28, 1998
Mr. Show with Bob and David, also known as Mr. Show, is an American sketch comedy series starring and hosted by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. It aired on HBO from November 3, 1995, to December 28, 1998.
Cross and Odenkirk introduced most episodes as semi-fictionalized versions of themselves, before transitioning to a mixture of on-stage sketches performed in front of a live audience and pre-taped segments. The show featured a number of alternative comedians as both cast members and writers, including Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, Jack Black, Karen Kilgariff, Tom Kenny, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Brian Posehn, Jill Talley, Scott Aukerman, and Dino Stamatopoulos.
It was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as a Golden Satellite Award. The show is currently available on Tubi and HBO Max.
Each episode of Mr. Show consists of a series of sketches, at times surreal, each one transitioning to the next by a link in a manner reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus or The State. For example, a minor character in one sketch might return as the major character in the next. Often, common themes or storylines are returned to at different times throughout an episode. As a premium cable show, its audience was limited. DVD editions, however, opened the show to a broad new audience.
Every episode begins with an individual introducing the hosts. This role was filled by Mary Lynn Rajskub in the first two seasons. After her departure for personal reasons, the introduction was made by a random character from that week's episode.
Episode titles were mostly quotes from the episode. For example, "Bush Is a Pussy" is written on a T-shirt worn by one of the characters. One of the exceptions is "Eat Rotten Fruit from a Shitty Tree", which is a line in a song within the episode that was eventually performed as an instrumental.
Certain lines of dialogue are often repeated by different characters during the course of a single show. For example there was "I was on the eighteenth hole!" in "The Biggest Failure in Broadway History" and "Who let you in?" in the episode of the same name.
At the end of each episode's credits, a random celebrity is listed in the "Special Thanks" section. Examples include Rick Dees in the first episode and Greg Maddux in the third.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||4||November 3, 1995||November 24, 1995|
|2||6||November 15, 1996||December 20, 1996|
|3||10||September 12, 1997||December 5, 1997|
|4||10||October 26, 1998||December 28, 1998|
|Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"The Cry of a Hungry Baby"||November 3, 1995||101|
|Sketches: Entitilitus (Cold Open), Hitler Sings / Guys In Audience (Open), Hit By Truck, Asshole At Party, Watching VCR (Link), Change For A Dollar, Ronnie Dobbs, Ronnie Dobbs Movie, Incubation Pants / Show Sponsor (Close)|
|2||2||"What to Think"||November 10, 1995||102|
|Sketches: Arts Funding (Cold Open), Tracking Collar (Open), Old Swerdlow, Books For Seniors, Good News, Jesus & Marshal (The 13th Apostle), Announcements, Commercials Of The Future (Globo-Chem), The Joke: The Musical, Senator Tankerbell (Tag)|
|3||3||"We Regret to Inform You"||November 17, 1995||103|
|Sketches: Letters (Dear Globo-Chem / Mail Order Bride) (Open), Kissing Booth, Gay Porn Titles (Link), Third Wheel, Writer In Audience, Skrewballz, Video Complaints, Borden Grote, Soul Singer (Larry Black), Supermodel Hotline, Film Festival (Close)|
|4||4||"Who Let You In?"||November 24, 1995||104|
|Sketches: Watching Chase Of The Chaste (Open), Popemobile Chase / News, Dudes Arguing (Link), Nil's Guitar Shop, Imminent Death Syndrome, Trial Of The Millennium, Spank, Expert Truck, Founding Fathers, History Museum, Watching Murders (Close)|
|Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|5||1||"Now Who Wants Ice Cream?"||November 15, 1996||201|
|Sketches: Cabin In Woods (Cold Open), Sovereign Nation (Open), Mountain Dougie (Part 1), Peterson Family News (KPFN), Miracles (Link), Thrilling Miracles, Ernie Flies, Mountain Dougie (Part 2), Shampoo, F.F. Woodycooks, Independent Nations Games, Old Man In House (Tag)|
|6||2||"A Talking Junkie"||November 22, 1996||202|
|Sketches: David Acts English, Rap (Open), Talking Junkie, New Son, Red Balloon, Mom & Pop Porn Shop, Ewww Girl Video, Video Soul, Rap! The Musical, Homage Awards, Creepy Peeping Videos (Tag)|
|7||3||"The Biggest Failure in Broadway History"||November 29, 1996||203|
|Sketches: Beating Hippie (Open), No Adults Allowed, No Slackers, New KKK (Link), Ad Awards, Mob Chase (Link), Drunk Cops, Iguana, Pet Funeral (Link), Jeepers Creepers – Semi-Star, Hippie Pie (Close), Hippie Pie (Tag)|
|8||4||"If You're Going to Write a Comedy Scene,, You're Going to Have Some Rat Feces in There"||December 6, 1996||204|
|Sketches: Mr. Show Corporation (Open), Child Labor Writers' Room, Van Hammersly, Gay Son, Major Stockholder Interrupts (Link), Grass Valley Greg, Downsizing, Big Boss (Link), Bhopal / Newsreel, New San Francisco, GVG Cleans, Bhopal (Tag)|
|9||5||"Operation Hell on Earth"||December 13, 1996||205|
|Sketches: Young Superstar (Open), Old Folks' Home, Deprivation, Hate Group, News Family Anchors, Recruiters, Blame-A-Thon (Link), Fartin' Gary, Second Wind, Older Superstar (Close)|
|10||6||"The Velveteen Touch of a Dandy Fop"||December 20, 1996||206|
|Sketches: Charity / Blind Gary (Open), Subway, Donut Shop, Megaphone Crooners, Greenlight Gang (Movie Execs), Coupon: The Trial, Coupon: The Movie, Credits Testimonials (Close)|
|Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|11||1||"Heaven's Chimney"||September 12, 1997||301|
|Sketches: Heaven's Chimney (Open), Deprogramming, Heaven Tour, Crazy Religious Beliefs, Watch Us Have Sex, Blatant Sexual Symbolism Montage (Link), The Devastator, Directions, Educational Film Festival (Link), Medieval Science Film, Hail Satan, Cartoon (Cold Tag)|
|12||2||"Peanut Butter, Eggs, and Dice"||September 19, 1997||302|
|Sketches: Very Special Episode (Cold Open), David Comes Out As Bald (Open), Ratings Man Song / Map (Link), Santa's Workshop, Tatiana (Hermaphrodite Weathergirl) (Link), Cock Ring Warehouse, Marriage Announcement, Fuzz: The Musical, Terry Gets An Award / Fly By Awards (Link), The Dewey Awards, Bob Lamonta, Handing Out Awards (Close)|
|13||3||"Oh, You Men"||October 3, 1997||303|
|Sketches: Banana / Mayor Of Television (Open), Entertainment 4 Every 1, Ventriloquists, People Watching TV / TV Guide (Link), The Hanged Man, DeLongpre Dannon Show, Sticky Pads, Lie Detector, TeeVee TV (Link), Time Caplet, Druggachusettes, Lose The Lost Episode (Close), Monkey / Outer Space (Cold Tag)|
|14||4||"Flat-Top Tony and the Purple Canoes"||October 10, 1997||304|
|Sketches: Mr. Show Morning Graphic (Cold Open), Womyn's Solidarity Collective (Open), Black & White Film (Hard Day's Night), VTV (Smoosh, Norma Jean Monster), Break Thru Weekend, Young People & Companions, Newscast Bloopers (Link), Fashion Forecast, Fashion Documentary, Constant Chum High (Link), Indomitable Spirit, Apocalypse Drill, Smoosh On Moon (Cold Tag)|
|15||5||"Please Don't Kill Me"||October 24, 1997||305|
|Sketches: Swearing Jar (Open), TV Ministry (Link), Swearing Preacher, Rolling In It / Ferrari Poster (Link), Landlords, Victor & Dylan, Fad Three, Hunger Strike, Mayostard / Mustardayonnaise, Evil Genius Telethon, Mustmayostardayonnaise (Cold Tag)|
|16||6||"Goin' on a Holiday"||October 31, 1997||306|
|Sketches: Elderly (Open), Age War, Bills, Bills, Bills! (Link), Our Secret Love, Marriage Photo (Link), Photo Shop, Blowing Up The Moon, Spunk, Don Pratt, SMC / Streakers, Streak Dome '97, Elderly Taking Over (Link), Goin' On A Holiday|
|17||7||"Bush is a Pussy"||November 7, 1997||307|
|Sketches: Kedzie Backstage (Cold Open), Kedzie Takes Over (Open), Worthington's Law (Link), Value Magazine, Ranking Monkey (Link), Siamese Twins, Bad News Breakers, Mafia Mathematicians, 24 Is The Highest Number / Marching Band (Link), Philouza, Mediocrity (Close), Dr. Katz (Cold Tag)|
|18||8||"It's a No-Brainer"||November 14, 1997||308|
|Sketches: Li'l Devil Knee Socks (Cold Open), Protesters (Open), Protesters, On The Spot News, Lineup Room / VTV (Link), Culture Hunt, Frankly Anne, Europe Maps (Link), Jack Webber, Calendar (Link), Dream Of A Lifetime, Massage Cream Commercial, Anders' Press Conference / Sloppy (Close), Fishing (Cold Tag)|
|19||9||"A White Man Set Them Free"||November 28, 1997||309|
|Sketches: Viewer Hate Mail / Cracker Barrel (Open), Bob And David Go To Mail Box, Sarcasmo, Marriage-Con And Boat Show, Map (Link), Biosphere, Humanimal / Ice Cream Flavors (Link), The Last Indian, Vietnam Helicopter (Link), Army Scene, Night Talk With The Senate Subcommittee, All-Star Salute To The Last Indian, Last Indian (Cold Tag)|
|20||10||"The Return of the Curse of the Creature's Ghost"||December 5, 1997||310|
|Sketches: Moe Phelps (Open), Gus Kryzinski, Night Janitor, Local World News, Blowjob, Blowjobs (Link), Titannica, Music Video (Link), Pre-Taped Call-In Show, The Return Of The Curse Of The Creature's Ghost, Chip On Your Shoulder Club, Up Your Mother's Ass, Moe Phelps' Play (Close)|
|Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|21||1||"Life is Precious and God and the Bible"||October 26, 1998||401|
|Sketches: Medical Marijuana (Open), Pharmacy, Electric Underwear (Link), Law School, Apple Butter (Link), Cloning Hitler, Lifeboat, Final Thought (Link), Scams & Flams, Weather (Close)|
|22||2||"Show Me Your Weenis!"||November 2, 1998||402|
|Sketches: Rat Pack (Open), Mr. Show Boys' Club, Stealing News, Toenapper News Intro (Link), Toenapper, Underground Tapes, Wyckyd Sceptre, Butt Plugs (Link), Menocu Blind House, Racist In The Year 3000, Benny Hill (Close)|
|23||3||"Rudy Will Await Your Foundation"||November 9, 1998||403|
|Sketches: Blooper (Open), Superstar Machine, Phone Sex, Dude's Dude (Link), Audition, Dad & You, Prenatal Pageant, The Burgundy Loaf, Frenchie Delivers (Close)|
|24||4||"The Story of Everest"||November 16, 1998||404|
|Sketches: Lethal Logo (Cold Open), Sweetie Pie (Open), Family Of Five (Link), Rapist, Clumsy Waiter, Pallies, Food Ads (Fairsley Foods), Everest, Bumbling Fool (Close), Sweetie Pie (Cold Tag)|
|25||5||"It's Perfectly Understandishable"||November 23, 1998||405|
|Sketches: Rehearsal (Open), Those Amazing Actors, Blind Girl, Emergency Psychic Hotline, Dalai Lama, Monk Academy, Chimp (Close)|
|26||6||"It's Insane, This Guy's Taint"||November 30, 1998||406|
|Sketches: Dead Crew Guy (Cold Open), Speakers, Blind Date (Link), Intervention, Ka-Ching (Link), Stop, Change Thieves, Men's Club Of Allah (Link), Be Kind, Rewind, The Windbreaker, 'Taint, Dream Weaver (Close)|
|27||7||"Eat Rotten Fruit from a Shitty Tree"||December 7, 1998||407|
|Sketches: Water Cooler (Open), Marty Farty, Date With Queen, Spite Marriage, Heaven's Gate (Link), God's Book-On-Tape, Monster Mash, Coffee Hunt (Close)|
|28||8||"Like Chickens...Delicious Chickens"||December 14, 1998||408|
|Sketches: Reparations (Open), Mississippi Fun Bucks, Bugged Drug Deal, America's Dumbest Juries (Link), Rich Guy Negative Ads, The Great Hemingway, Most Trusted News Team, Fat Survivor, 2000 lb. Old Man (Link), Civil War Reenactments, Pledge Drive (Close)|
|29||9||"Sad Songs Are Nature's Onions"||December 21, 1998||409|
|Sketches: Ratings Child (Open), Debate, Music Offer, Inside The Actor, Lost Inside The Actor, Earth Shoes, Dying Planet (Link), Teardrop Awards, Shrunken Mr. Show (Close)|
|30||10||"Patriotism, Pepper, and Professionalism"||December 28, 1998||410|
|Sketches: Resort (Cold Open), Exec (Open), Money Warning, Warnings (Link), Weeklong Romance, Godyssey (Link), Marilyn Monster Pizza Parlours, Info Jimmy, Goodbye, Tombstone / Vendetta (Link), Vendetta, Info Jimmy (Close)|
Odenkirk and Cross had both been involved in the sketch show The Ben Stiller Show, with Odenkirk as one of the actors and Cross a writer. The two found a common sense of humor and tried their hand at taking some of the ideas that did not work well on the show to a local comedy club. Their routines were very successful, leading Odenkirk's manager Bernie Brillstein to try to find a means to make them into a television show. HBO had already been scouting the pair, given the two's past roles in other influential comedies, including The Larry Sanders Show, and quickly greenlit the show, providing enough funds for a two-episode order. They managed to stretch the budget of the two-episode order to cover four episodes for the first season.
The show continued for three additional seasons. However, ahead of the fourth season, HBO rescheduled the show into a Monday midnight slot, which made it difficult to find, and resulted in poor ratings, leading to HBO to cancel the show after the fourth season.
Mr. Show's main cast for the entire run consisted of David Cross, John Ennis, Tom Kenny, Bob Odenkirk, and Jill Talley. Cross, Ennis, and Odenkirk appeared in each season. Kenny left the show after the third season, returning for one episode of season four. Talley appeared in all episodes except for four towards the end of the third season. Jay Johnston, a featured performer throughout the series, was credited as a member of the main cast for the final episode of the show.
Mr. Show with Bob and David was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program at the 50th Primetime Emmy Awards, losing to Dennis Miller Live, and also received a nomination for the song "How High The Mountain" in the category of Outstanding Music and Lyrics. The following year it was renominated for Outstanding Writing, losing this time to The Chris Rock Show, and also received a Creative Arts Emmy Award nomination for lighting director Simon Miles.
At the 9th Golden Satellite Awards in 2004, the show's third season DVD set was nominated for "Best DVD Release of TV Shows."
In 2010, prompted by the announcement of IFC's plans to re-air Mr. Show, it was included in a short list of "TV's greatest cult comedy series" by The A.V. Club.
Main article: Run Ronnie Run
Mr. Show also spawned a spin-off movie, Run Ronnie Run, which was shown at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, but went straight-to-DVD. In an April 2004 article in Chunklet magazine, Odenkirk noted numerous problems they had had with the film, blaming the film's director, Troy Miller, who "chose to freeze us out, hold us at arm's length and not let us influence the movie nearly on the scale that we should have."
In September 2002, original cast members Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, John Ennis, Brian Posehn and Stephanie Courtney toured in a show called Mr. Show: Hooray for America!!!. The two-month stint included "distillations" of some of Mr. Show's sketches, such as "The Burgundy Loaf", and new material. In the stage show, the large fictitious mega-corporation Globo-Chem ("We own everything, so you don't have to!") sponsors David's stage persona to run for the presidency of the United States. The tour included 16 large cities and college towns in North America: San Diego, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Eugene, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.
In September 2013, Grand Central Publishing released Hollywood Said No!: Orphaned Film Scripts, Bastard Scenes, and Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show, a book of rejected scripts and unused Mr. Show sketches. The audiobook version included full cast readings by former Mr. Show performers and writers. One of the rejected scripts is the original version of Hooray for America!, which had earlier been adapted as part of the Mr. Show Live tour.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, Cross, Odenkirk and most of the show's supporting cast including Kenny, Talley, Johnston, Ennis, Aukerman, Posehn, Paesel, Rajskub, and Tompkins, created a Zoom-based streaming Mr. Show reunion event, the Mr. Show Zoomtacular Annual Business Call for Charity, with proceeds benefiting the LIFT charity. The event featured new sketches in the style of Mr. Show, as well as updates from the various cast members on their own current projects, and concluded with the cast and additional friends singing a cover of "Eat It" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, who also participated, that mocked a prior attempt to cover "Imagine" by Gal Gadot and other celebrities performed earlier.
While the show was never viewed by a mass audience due to its premium cable broadcast, it remains a highly influential piece of American sketch comedy. Many involved with the show have gone on to become staples of the American comedy landscape.
The Sarah Silverman Program was written by and stars Sarah Silverman, and features Jay Johnston and Brian Posehn. Arrested Development features David Cross as regular character Tobias Fünke; the series also had guest spots filled by Mr. Show alumni, such as Bob Odenkirk as a marriage counselor, Jerry Minor and Jay Johnston as gay cops, and John Ennis as a mall security guard. Jack Black had supporting roles in Mr. Show. Cross and Odenkirk would go on to work with Black on producing a show for HBO for the comedy band Tenacious D which would also feature Mr. Show alumnus Paul F. Tompkins.
In January 2011, IFC began airing 90-minute blocks of Mr. Show, The Ben Stiller Show, Action and The Larry Sanders Show three times per week. The programming block was often hosted by Mr. Show writer and actor Scott Aukerman, who also conducted new interviews with the shows' contributors and younger comedians who have been influenced by the shows. The song "Adam's Song" by American alternative rock band Blink-182 got its name as a tribute/reference to a sketch from the show about a band that writes a song by the same name with similar lyrical content. This was confirmed by Cross in an interview, who said "They were fans of the show and that was a knowing tribute that I thought was pretty cool."
Odenkirk and Cross reunited in 2008 to create the HBO pilot David's Situation, which was shot but never aired. The network gave the pair $400,000 to shoot a pilot (which was shot on the Everybody Loves Raymond soundstage), which appeared to go well during the taping; however, while Cross and Odenkirk were editing the episode, they felt it failed to "capture that same energy on screen." In an interview with Vanity Fair, Cross said, "We told them that we didn't want to do this show, we'd rather do Mr. Show 2.0. And they were like, 'Yeah, O.K., that's great, but the thing is, we don't have any more money for this year. But we'll figure out something next year.' And we never heard from them again."
Comedy duo Tim & Eric have said their program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! was highly inspired by Mr. Show. Odenkirk served as the producer on Awesome Show as well as Tom Goes to the Mayor and The Birthday Boys.
Other sketch comedy shows whose creators have cited Mr. Show as an influence include Portlandia, Key & Peele, Kroll Show, People's Emergency Guide and Human Giant.
Main article: W/ Bob & David
In April 2015, Netflix acquired Mr. Show and put in an order for four half-hour episodes and one hour-long "making-of" special. The announcement was a followup to a Twitter post from Paul F. Tompkins teasing about "something new coming from the Mr. Show gang in the new year." W/ Bob & David premiered on November 13, 2015.
Odenkirk and Cross mostly avoided using recurring characters a la Saturday Night Live, but some characters made repeat appearances:
|Ronnie Dobbs||David Cross||A white trash habitual petty criminal, regularly caught in the act on Fuzz, a COPS-like program. Known for the catchphrases "Y'all are brutalizing me" and "Let's have us a champagne jam!". Sketch also launched Maynard James Keenan's band Puscifer.|
|Grass Valley Greg||David Cross||An eccentric billionaire computer genius who invented the delete key, loves vegan sweets and retarded goats.|
|Dylan||David Cross||A pretentious man clad in a long scarf, even in hot weather, and friend of Droopy. He shuns popular American culture and modern technology.|
|Terry Twillstein||Bob Odenkirk||British television producer who discovers Ronnie Dobbs and tries to utilize him in a West End-like fashion.|
|Sen. Howell Tankerbell||Bob Odenkirk||An ultra-conservative Georgia Dixiecrat Senator|
|Blueberry Head||David Cross||A blue-haired comedian who serves as a parody of Carrot Top known for his use of nonsensical props|
|Fancy Pants||Bill Odenkirk||A dandy who makes occasional silent, walk-ons. First seen clad in Edwardian garb he makes his second appearance in a more Elizabethan style.|
|Droopy||Bob Odenkirk||A twenty-something slacker. He wants to work at a local museum, though he has few qualifications. He never went by any name during the show.|
|Three Times One Minus One||David Cross and Bob Odenkirk||An R&B duo from Scarsdale made up of Pootie T. (Cross) and Wolfgang Amadeus Thelonius Von Funkenmeister the XIX 3/4 (Odenkirk). They are sponsored by The WPCBCN ("White People Co-opting Black Culture Network").|
|Kedzie Matthews||Tom Kenny||A hyperactive comedian whose humor is overblown.|
|Famous Mortimer||Patton Oswalt||A director known for his documentary "Naked Ambition" and "Coupon: The Movie." Son of, among others, recently divorced newscast members.|
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
Look, people are angry at New Line. Don't be angry at New Line. The only thing New Line did "wrong" was not defend us. But in their defense, they didn't know who we were! ... On the other hand, the person to blame is the director, who knew us, and knew how important we were to our own comedy, and chose to freeze us out, hold us at arm's length and not let us influence the movie nearly on the scale that we should have.