Comedy Central Home Video presents
The Best of Crank Yankers: Uncensored (2002-2005)
“You know what time it is, it’s D Time!”- Jack Black
Stars: Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel
Other Stars: Adam Carolla, Lisa Arch, Tracy Morgan, Patton Oswalt, Denis Leary, Kevin Nealon, Jim Florentine, Kyle Gass, Jack Black
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language and situations)
Run Time: 03h:04m:58s
Release Date: 2007-12-04
DVD ReviewComedy Central has never failed to find unique ways to make us laugh. Whether they’re spoofing the daily world news via The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, or giving us one of the funniest animated shows ever in South Park the network has never been afraid to push the envelope in the name of comedy. Riding the (then) popularity of prank phone calls, the creative minds of Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel developed a new series with a very strange concept. They found humor in showing puppets making actual prank phone calls, filmed it, and called it Crank Yankers, much to the joy of teenagers and college students everywhere. Paramount Home Video has eschewed the seasonal approach they had been taking with the series’ DVD releases and have instead compiled some of the best the show has to offer in The Best of Crank Yankers: Uncensored.
In 58 sketches, we follow the further exploits of all members of the Crank Yankers universe. Joining the likes of Terrence (Kimmel), Cammie (Lisa Arch), Dick Birchum (Carolla), and Hadassah (Sarah Silverman) are some of the series best, Spoonie Luv (Tracy Morgan), OCD Ken (Kevin Nealon), and Boomer (Patton Oswalt). There’s also the great Denis Leary voicing Bobby Fletcher; a character that simply wouldn’t be as charming without the Rescue Me star providing his personality.
This best-of collection couldn’t possibly get off to a better start than one featuring Tenacious D puppets. Sure enough, the real D, Kyle Gass and Jack Black are on hand to lend their voices to the proceedings involved in the first skit. From there, we move right on to a clip with everybody’s favorite Yanker, Special Ed (Jim Florentine), who’s planning a trip to Hawaii. The Special Ed character is the most glaring spot where the series tows a fine line between hilarity and crude tastelessness. From the moment this character first appeared on television there were many unhappy groups who assist and represent the physically and mentally challenged calling for its removal from the airwaves. Still, Ed not only shows up on numerous skits on this disc, but he’s been a staple throughout the series’ run. Perhaps those groups found their senses of humor and realized that the show’s creators weren’t trying to hurt anyone.
Like any similar comedy series, it’s hit-or-miss from sketch to sketch. Pretty much anything with Special Ed is hilarious, but even his constant “YAAAYYYY!”s gets a bit annoying after a while. Tracy Morgan is funny in anything he does, and that’s no different when he’s voicing Spoonie Luv. There’s plenty of Spoonie in this collection, and those bits, alone, make this worth checking out. Unfortunately, when we get the phone calls minus Spoonie and Ed, the pranks simply aren’t very funny. Much of the comedy in such a series relies in the “real” aspect of the calls. This can be both a huge advantage and disadvantage, in that, if the pranks are done in poor taste, we’re left to feel sorry for their victims rather than amused by them. This is a battle the show has fought from the get-go, and this disc makes for a nice study in what works and what doesn’t in such a show.
Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The shows appear in their original full frame aspect ratio, and they look as good, if not slightly better than the original broadcasts. The puppets, themselves are very colorful, but the overall palette is rather drab. Fortunately, there aren’t any print defects or other flaws to mention.
Image Transfer Grade: C
Audio Transfer Review: The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0, and it serves the material just fine. The surrounds are used sparingly, but the audio is always crystal clear coming from the front.
Audio Transfer Grade: C
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 58 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Rick & Steve, Christmas Time in South Park
Packaging: Keep Case
Extras Review: Unfortunately, the only extras are a couple of previews for other Paramount Home Video releases.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsWe have seasonal collections of the series already, but Paramount Home Video saw fit to unleash a “best of” series collection with the new DVD, The Best of Crank Yankers: Uncensored. Most, if not all of the puppets are at play here, but this is mostly for the show’s uninitiated or fans who haven’t picked up the previous releases. The audio and video presentations are similar to the TV broadcasts, but there aren’t any extras this time around.
Chuck Aliaga 2008-03-07