It's a generally well-known fact by now that the star of The Andy Milonakis Show was actually born in 1976, though his boyish appearance suggests otherwise. The fact that he looks like a kid you'd see in middle school---the class clown, always an inch away from getting sucker punched by a bully---works well with his juvenile on-air antics; more often than not, the reactions he gets are based solely on this physical illusion. His career began after a handful of skits and songs made their way around the Internet, including "The Superbowl is Gay", man-on-the-street interviews and a collection of freestyle raps. Those that love his brand of humor have followed him to The Andy Milonakis Show, a half-hour show currently airing on MTV2. Those that hate his brand of humor avoid it like the plague.
Though I hadn't seen the actual show before wading through the first season on DVD, I had previously seen a few early skits online and found them entertaining…in a weird way, of course. The series is no different, freely polarizing its viewing audience as easily as it bounces from short to short; in more ways than one, it's the kind of funny that you can't really explain. Worse yet, the style of humor is even harder to communicate by writing about it. During the first eight episodes of this season of The Andy Milonakis Show, you'll see Andy skip around the streets of New York annoying perfect strangers, confusing pizza delivery guys, eating Fruity Pebbles with Li'l Jon, being Snoop Dogg's body double, getting a visit from "Rap Fairy" Biz Markie, dining on pancakes with hyrup and watching nervously as a brave fireman rescues John Stamos from a tree. Occasionally, he'll wear a pancake on his face…with eyeholes cut out, of course. After all, he's not crazy.
Some have compared him to Tom Green, for obvious reasons: Milonakis isn't afraid to humiliate himself for a laugh, though he doesn't go so far as sucking cow udders and the like. Others have compared him to Pee-Wee Herman: true, he's extremely childlike in his enthusiasm, though his everyday world is grounded less in colorful fantasy and more in offbeat reality. Either way, his antics during The Andy Milonakis Show will either catch you off guard or annoy you to no end. Perhaps I was simply in the right mood at the time (as 2:00 AM can play strange tricks on the brain), but there's some funny stuff on board here. It's probably best said in one of the optional commentary tracks: "the bad skits are short, so you probably won't notice how bad they are until they're over". Even so, I didn't have trouble laughing out loud several times during each episode---and if you found any of Andy's earlier skits, songs or raps to be even remotely funny, chances are you'll chuckle more than once.
The 2-disc set from Paramount Pictures includes all eight unnamed episodes from the show's first season (June-August 2005), presented with all the bleeps present during each original broadcast…though, in this reviewer's opinion, it's funnier this way. To provide an episode-by-episode breakdown of the skits in question would be futile, as there's at least two or three dozen per episode---and by the time you'd read some of their names, they'd practically be over anyway. For this reason and many others, new viewers are advised to proceed with caution, but those who know and love The Andy Milonakis Show should have a lot of fun with this batch of episodes. In all honesty, this is absurd, low-budget immaturity at its best (or worst). Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Quality Control Department
Video & Audio Quality
Presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, these eight episodes certainly can't get by on image quality alone. Although the low-budget DV source keeps everything slightly below "basic cable standards", there don't seem to be any digital problems to speak of. Colors are generally pleasing and natural, though the outdoor footage probably fares the best overall. The 2.0 audio mix is roughly the same quality---nothing to write home about, but good enough to get the job done. No subtitle options are provided, though the episodes support Closed Captioning.
Menu Design, Presentation & Packaging
The oddball menu designs (seen above) mirror the show's style, featuring basic layout, smooth navigation and annoying audio loops. Each 22-minute episode has been divided into a scant three chapters; unfortunately, there's no way to skip right past the theme song, which admittedly gets old pretty fast. This 2-disc set is housed in a colorful foldout digipak case, which is tucked inside an equally goofy slipcover. A basic promotional insert is also included.
The Andy Milonakis Show is as offbeat as TV shows get, so it's no surprise that the extras are odd in their own right. Spread across both discs is a series of optional Audio Commentaries for all eight episodes; the first features New York Daily News reporter Richard Huff, while the remaining seven are hosted by cast members Andy, Larry, Ralph and Nivka. Huff doesn't seem to be a fan of the show at all, often reacting to each skit with brief ad-libbed remarks and insults (this would be fine if Huff's material was actually funny in its own right). The casual, goofy cast commentaries are easier to digest---and speaking of which, the seventh episode features an optional video commentary of Ralph attempting to eat an entire pizza within the 22-minute episode time limit.
Disc 2 houses the rest of the extras, headlined by 25 Unaired Skits (21:35 total); some of these are simply extended versions of their broadcast counterparts, but there's plenty of new skits on display as well. Also here is the short film Andy Goes to Hollywood (above left, 5:18), a self-explanatory piece that features the cast on a road trip. We also see two stand-alone Extended Scenes featuring Dr. Curly and Li'l Jon (above right, 6:23 total), as well as a short collection of Cast Interviews (1:51). Rounding out the bonus features is a head-spinning collection of Ralphie Outtakes (3:16), while a handful of Previews for other Paramount releases brings up the rear. To make a long story short: if you enjoyed the show, you'll like the other stuff on board here.
Perhaps the purest example of "love it or hate it TV", The Andy Milonakis Show may just be the most mind-numbing drivel on basic cable…but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't an undercurrent of absurd brilliance buried below the generous portions of stupidity. Fans of offbeat, stripped-down comedy like Beavis and Butt-head or Space Ghost may be best equipped for the lunacy found herein, but this 2-disc set may be a risky blind buy for those yet unfamiliar with the series. The DVD package from Paramount boasts decent A/V quality, while the extras are tailor-made for ardent fans of Milonakis and company. Here's the bottom line: if you've read this far, you probably like the show already. It's safe to say you'll like this DVD just as much. Recommended.
Randy Miller III is an affable office monkey based in Harrisburg, PA. He also does freelance graphic design projects and works in a local gallery. When he's not doing that, he enjoys slacking off, general debauchery, and writing things in third person.