Stella: Live In Boston David Wain

Stella: Live In Boston David Wain
Any list of the most underrated comedians and comedic troupes over the last decade would have to include a special spot for Stella. Comprised of former members of MTV's The State, Stella is a surreal three-man comedy act that practically defies description. Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black and David Wain have been performing under the Stella moniker since the late '90s in live acts that typically involve the three comedians bickering onstage in suits before showing bizarre short films starring themselves, a big name guest star and a dildo. It's a simple act but damn it, it works. The trio, having been perfecting their live show for quite a while, walk smoothly onto the stage for their hour-long Stella: Live In Boston performance. Showalter, Black and Wain make fun of each other and the audience, play out a few planned scenes, toss in some obviously improvised material (leading to some onstage giggling) and then throw in a funny short film involving a magician and Michael Showalter's birthday. It's a hilarious hour that has plenty of Michael Ian Black's gleeful mugging, Michael Showalter's hipster pop culture references and David Wain's deliberately cheesy anti-comedy. Stella is a great live act but it's a shame that ten years after the group started that's still all they are able to do. The short-lived Stella TV show on Comedy Central was one of the most bizarre and hilarious things the network has ever aired but despite the group's cult success there was no season two and there will probably never be a movie. It's sad but as long as the group can still get together for live shows at least that's something. Stella: Live In Boston proves they can still weird-out audiences and make them laugh, even if it's only in a live setting. The DVD features selected shorts from Wain and Showalter's respective web series (Wainy Days and The Michael Showalter Showalter), which are hilarious, but so easy to find on the net that it seems unnecessary to include them. It would have been nice to see some of the original Stella video shorts on this disc but given all the copyrighted music on those shorts, that's likely never going to happen. (Shout! Factory)