Extra Special

Gift guide

Extra Special

Everything Else: Vol. 1

HomestarRunner.com, $12

In 2002, brothers Mike and Matt Chapman quit their day jobs, all thanks to a leggy but armless white blob with an underbite and a propeller hat: Homestar Runner. He was the main character in the Chapmans' Flash-animated shorts, giving rise in 2000 to HomestarRunner.com. When his foil, Strong Bad – growly voiced, ill-tempered, and perpetually clad in a Mexican wrestling mask – became the site's most popular draw, the Chapmans introduced the Strong Bad e-mails. His irreverent and silly responses to fans' questions produced the most brilliantly funny shorts on the site, which led to snowballing, word-of-mouth success. Then Strong Bad outdid himself with his own pencil-drawn, notebook-paper comic, Teen Girl Squad. Featuring Cheerleader, So and So, Whats Her Face, and The Ugly One, TGS brought us such classic lines as "Okay, girls. Let's go get ready to look sooo good!" and "Oh, a gift card for fashion! How did you know?" Last year's Homestar DVD release sadly lacked this ode to the gentler sex through Strong Bad's eyes (though it included the first 100 of his e-mails), which is why this year's Everything Else: Vol. 1 is sooo good; that, and its inclusion of puppet skits, videos, Marzipan's answering-machine messages, and great shorts like "Looking at a Thing in a Bag" and "20X6 vs. 1936" (in which "20X6" is pronounced "twenty-exty-six"). It also features a few extras not available online, but you don't need these novelties as an excuse for buying the disc. Homestar inspires clump watching; you need the DVDs so your friends won't have to stand awkwardly around your computer every time you take part in spreading the word.

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