The Best of Oblivious

Candid Camera may be the very first reality television show to exist, but in all honesty, the harmless nature of the show, along with unstoppably irritating host Allen Funt, made it hard to swallow for those wanting real comedy. While the hidden camera gag has been done to death over the years, there's something about Spike TV's Oblivious that is hard not to love. Hosted by the consistently hilarious and outgoing Regan Burns, the "game show you don't know you're on" succeeds largely because it's not afraid to go over the top when needed. That's not to say the humour is always shocking, in fact, a lot of the time it's simply Burns's convincing role-playing that sets up the funny punch line. But as funny as he is, a lot of the credit must go to the unsuspecting victim or contestant (depending on how you look at it), who wins money for each right answer they give to Burns's subliminal line of questioning. This DVD, unfortunately, is not a box set containing every episode of the series. Instead, it's a compilation of the funniest moments to date (however sadly missing is the humorous bit where Burns is skeet shooting his ex-girlfriend's possessions). Included though are mostly hits that range from Burns as a pervy priest hosting a charity carwash with scantily clad women working the suds (which includes a turnaround where the contestant is offered more money to put on Burns's garb and do the same routine to the next victim) to a sexual harassment seminar to an intense paintball session. Most priceless of all though is the naïve drummer who walks in on an audition for Alive and Swell, the Oblivious crew's fictional soft pop band. Part speed freak, part Animal from the Muppets (his admitted idol), the contestant is the epitome of just how much potential this completely derivative program has to offer. (Eagle Rock)