DVDs: Part 3

Gift guide

DVDs: Part 3

Mr. Show: The Complete Fourth Season

Warner Home Video, $34.99

Trying to describe the appeal of Mr. Show is difficult. Like their mentors Monty Python, Mr. Show is skilled at taking an absurd situation and making it hilariously absurd. In the previous three seasons, the humor was memorable, guffaw-worthy, and smart. In the fourth and final season of HBO's beloved cult sketch comedy show, it's rude and crude, like the guy at the party who wants to show you his 5-inch taint. Nevertheless, the fourth season is truly inspired: There's the Boogie Nights parody in which a provocateur named Gary Flank (David Cross) discovers that a man's taint is the key to success in the porn industry (includes the film title Taint Your Wagon). There's the tale of high school senior Dougie Bendel (Bob Odenkirk), who is chosen as the next Dalai Lama, moves to Tibet, and has to challenge the rival fat kids camp and engage in a rap-off (includes the phrase "You reincarnated asshole!"). There's the self-obsessed glam metal band Wyckyd Sceptre, who are so concerned with partying that they're oblivious to the totally gay party tape they've produced (includes the golden phrase "Dude, suck that shit."). There's the bizarre Brian Wilson-esque music video for the song "Mouth Full of Sores." And there's the most absurd skit of all, in which a man trying to tell his parents about a trip to Mount Everest takes about 10 different pratfalls into two shelves lined with his mother's thimble collection. Of course, it doesn't make any sense in print. The brilliance is in the performance. And now, with the final season completing the quadratic equation of Mr. Show geekdom, we can all rest easy.

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