The Ben Stiller Show  

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Episode 11

Ben and Janeane open the show on the beautiful California beach, a setting Ben chose because of all the viewer letters that say they want to see Janeane naked.

"Relaxation Tape No. 2" features Relaxation King Brent Forrester (Dick), trying to soothe away the tensions and anxieties of his listeners. Just a giant floating head superimposed on several scenes of nature, Brent speaks in a calming voice as New Age Music plays lightly in the background. Brent is easily distracted by a beautiful young woman sunning herself on the beach, urging listeners to: "Let the sound of the ocean relax every muscle...starting with your calves...and moving up to your nice, creamy thighs...that's right...relax and rub that into your stomach...very good with the lotion thing..." When the woman spots him, she screams and attracts the attention of several other beach-goers. One begins to poke at the giant head with a rake, causing Brent to temporarily loose his cool and strike him unconscious.

An episode of the talk show "Roundtable" features host Art Lewater (Stiller) examining the controversy over a recent episode of the hit sitcom "Skank". The sock puppet with a bad attitude, who is actually played by British actor Theodore Hume (voiced by Dick), was featured wasting water in his season premiere. This drew criticism from Senator Edmund Warring (Odenkirk), for trivializing "serious issues such as water conservation". Skank's retort on the next week's episode: "The human body is ninety percent much of that is wasted every year by murder? Senator Warring, get your priorities straight or shut yer stinkin' trap!" Appearing opposite each other on "Roundtable", Hume tries to explain that nobody is going to emulate Skank. He also brings evidence that Warring used to have water balloon fights as a child, wasting an untold amount of water. The two begin their discussion maturely, but are soon screaming at each other to "shut yer stinkin' trap!"

Ben and Janeane are talking about the "clean, fresh air" and "natural beauty of the water" of Southern California when they catch Andy drinking some of the contaminated water. Andy begins gagging: "I really drank some of that burned going down."

"Headbanger's Ball" features MTV VJ Karen Duffy (Garofalo) interviewing Metallica's Lars Ulrich (Odenkirk) and James Hetfield (Stiller). The pair have always wanted to score a movie, but wanted to wait for one "as extreme and dark" as Metallica. Luckily, the new Pauly Shore movie "The Boy Who Magically Switched Places With His Dad" came along. Having already been rejected after writing a song for the film "18 Again"--entitled "18 is Three Sixes"--James decided to just revise the song for the new movie. The video for "The Father-Son Switching Song" features Pauly Shore (Dick) switching places with his father (Fred Willard) after discovering a book of magic spells. The son then takes his father's place on a local t.v. talk show while the father gets in trouble at school for smoking cigars. James explains: "This film deals with a lot of complex issues on a lot of different levels, but the bottom line's just the old switcheroo! Ha!"

Andy Dick's Political Children's Theater features Andy and two child actors (Brady Bluhm and Narissa Nicola) performing a scene "meant to spark discussion of a very serious topic...the homeless". In it, the young boy asks for a handout and the girl tells him to get lost. The cast join hands and ask the audience: "where do we draw the line?"

"Henry the Wicked", the story of King Henry (Stiller) and Sir Charles (Odenkirk), is interrupted for a message from the KFSB Pledge-a-thon. Needing to raise $10,000, the host of the pledge (Garofalo) extols the virtues of "free television". When they return to the show in progress, Henry and Charles are still arguing. Henry pulls something from his coat--but we can't tell what. The host explains that every pledge will receive a beautiful tote bag. One of the operators (Dick) explains that every $200 pledge receives a tape from "comedian-slash-commentator-slash political satirist Mark Russell." As the dramatic tension in "Henry" builds, we continue to cut back to the pledge every few seconds. Finally, the host steps onto the "Henry the Wicked" set, announcing: "I'm not moving 'til you make the call...the gravy train is over, get off!"

Andy is performing mime as Bob shills for him, encouraging other people to give him money. Bob and Ben get worried when Andy starts to climb the building and won't stop.

Relaxation King Brent Forrester returns for "Relaxation Tape No. 6", but is invaded by a turban-clad Jefferson Conn (Stiller), Master of Inner Balance. Brent doesn't want to share the space with Jefferson, so they begin competing to relax the audience. Jefferson intones: "You are happy, you don't look like a pathetic Superboy with strange blond hair." Brent gets worked up by Jefferson's taunts, and disintegrates.

Stiller's Wheel of Filler lands on "Bruce Springsteen Makes an Answering Machine Tape". The Boss (Stiller) is shown attempting several comedic ideas, finally deciding on: "Hello? What's that, I can't hear you, you got to speak up...ha-ha, got you! Just playing around with you!"

Ben tries to break up a fight after Andy destroys Bob's sand castle. In response, Bob decimates Andy's castle and the two attack each other.

As the credits role, Andy is seen disciplining the child actors from his "Political Theater" sketch. Accusing them of stepping on his lines, the girl retorts: "stepping on lines? You use mine as a railroad track!" He finally explodes, screaming: "You do your part and you do it well and then get out of here!"


Brent Forrester, the "Relaxation King," is actually the name of one of the show's writers.

This is a great show to observe Dick's variety and range. From Brent Forrester to the tantrum-throwing host of "Andy Dick's Political Children's Theater" to his excellent Pauly Shore, Dick is featured prominently in every scene. His Pauly Shore impression is eerily accurate and somewhat ironic, considering one of Dick's first jobs post "Stiller" was co-starring with Shore in the feature film "In the Army Now."


"Pauly Shore scares the hell out of me."--James Hetfield.


"The scary thing is, I think I saw that movie Metallica's singing about."--Kevin.

Overall Show Quality....8

The reason for the drop in ratings can be attributed primarily to Kevin, who dislikes both the character of Skank and Stiller's Springsteen impersonation. However, everyone loved the segment staged during the end credits when Andy Dick pitches a fit and screams at the child actors. Kristy seemed to speak for everyone when she remarked: "I would love to see outtakes of the cast filming this show. They're probably just as funny as what goes on the air".

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