The State Will Not Control My Television… Yet. [VINTAGE POST]

After 15 years of waiting, The State, the greatest sketch comedy show of all time, in all of its absurdist glory, is finally being released on DVD on July 14th, 2009. Well, kinda.

In the past 15 years, I’ve spent far too much time searching for grainy 3rd generation videotapes, CIF-resolution mpgs, and any other type of copy I can get my hands on.

Then, when episodes of The State were released on iTunes a couple of years ago, some of the sketches were mutilated - an inability to obtain the rights to the music so integral to the skits resulted in overdubbing and otherwise replacing what was possibly the most brilliant fusion of popular music and comedy in the history of the world.

So I avoided purchasing the videos on youtube in the hope that one day - maybe, just maybe - the DVD release would restore the gestalt of the episodes.

And finally, the DVD is being released… but it turns out there’s still a problem with the music.

Take one look at this original version of the classic “$240 Worth Of Pudding” and then compare it to the new version.

And the wankers at Viacom forced the removal of the original version of “Try Wearing Pants” containing The Breeders’ “Cannonball” from the interwebs, leaving there is nothing to as a point of reference for this abblandized version (it’s about 1/3 of the way through).

Granted, I know very little about obtaining music clearances, but the performers themselves should be ashamed (or at least saddened) that they did not take steps to protect the once-perfect marriage between their music and some of the funniest crap ever, abandoning a beautiful relationship to be ended in disputes over property rights.

Come on, Breeders - do you hate us? Why would you attempt to diminish our enjoyment at seeing Michael Ian Black running around in his underwear? And to the estate of Marvin Gaye: what’s going on? Feel you no shame for taking away the deeper meaning one of the greatest songs about desire of all time lends to two guys rubbing their asses in $240 worth of pudding?

I would hope that the dvd gives you the option to turn off the new music so that you can manually restore the brilliance of these shorts. If not, I’ll still probably ask for a copy for a gift, but I’m guessing it’s not worth going out and getting a job to be able to afford.

Le sigh.