Tom Green: Inside and Outside the Box

Though Tom Green has long since ditched television for the creative freedom of the Internet, a proper collection of his pre-MTV series — The Tom Green Show — was long overdue. Spanning 26 episodes and two seasons, this is his original late night "variety" show that debuted on Canada's Comedy Network in the late '90s and, for good or ill, launched Green's film and TV career in the States. This is before he had a sizable budget, before studio execs gave a shit what he was up to, before he developed any sense of restraint and, most importantly, before he became famous enough to be recognised by the streeters he made a career of harassing (leading to the show's eventual downfall). The episodes range from annoying to hilarious to borderline psychotic with nothing in between. From eating a giant ball of human hair and Vaseline to putting the head of a dead bull in his sleeping parents' bed ("a message from Don Corleone"), these three discs reveal Green as the originator of a genre of shock humour that has been endlessly imitated but never done quite as well. During one commentary track, Green even takes the opportunity to tip his hat to the Jackass crew for their shameless pilfering of some of his better gags. You can tell that some care went into the DVD set, with over an hour of extra footage, newly uncensored episodes and a strangely earnest videotaped message from Green to his fans following a commentary. While there's only so much Tom Green you can handle in a single sitting, all 600(!) minutes of this release hold up surprisingly well. The only time the series shows its age is during the useless musical portion at the end of the earlier episodes. With musical guests like Salmonblaster, the Bloody Chicklets, Starling, etc., if ever you're searching for a mid- to late '90s CanRock time capsule, this would be it. (VSC)