Comedy Central’s TV Funhouse (review)

It’s like a kids’ show gone horribly wrong, with puppets doing naughty things (and using foul language while doing them) interspersed with cartoons about horny superheroes, parodies of 1950s educational films, and other grownup nonsense spins on children’s television. The cleverness of it all varies wildly — the puppet bits tend too much toward juvenile toilet humor, but the educational films are spot on sendups of societally constructed anxiety (the one about how bowel movements are the Devil’s temptation proves that toilet humor doesn’t have to be juvenile). The brainchild of humorist Robert Smigel — the former Late Night with Conan O’Brien writer who invented Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog (who appears here as well), and the longtime Saturday Night Live contributor among whose many concoctions is the notorious “Get a Life” sketch for William Shatner — this collection contains all eight episodes that aired on Comedy Central in 2000-1, but be warned that no material from the SNL spinoff, “Saturday TV Funhouse,” is included here (even if it also appeared on the Comedy Central show). What is here, though, is the infamous “Porn for Kids” bit. Enjoy… if you dare. Extras include commentaries, “dirty outtakes,” behind-the-scenes footage, and more.

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