A More Perfect (Re)Union: The State Return to the Stage

From RollingStone.com

January 22, 2009
By David Downs

This Saturday, for the first time in 14 years, all 11 members of the iconic, pioneering sketch comedy group the State will reunite onstage at San Francisco’s Sketchfest. The group brought inanely brilliant comedy to MTV for four seasons in the mid-90s before splitting up and working on side projects that include Stella and Wet Hot American SummerRolling Stone grabbed some time with Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ken Marino and David Wain as they were prepping for their two big shows to talk fistfights, ball smoke, trucker speed and the future of the State. Click here to read the hilarious Q&A:

Just four days after Barack Obama’s inauguration, another emblem of national unity and pride will cause the masses to assemble: For the first time in 14 years, all 11 members of the iconic, pioneering sketch comedy group the State will reunite onstage to perform more than an hour’s worth of new material at San Francisco’s Sketchfest. Up to a million viewers watched the State’s surreal, absurdist sketches for four seasons on MTV between 1993 and 1995. The group then failed to win a CBS contract and splintered into sub-projects for more than a decade. Now, two intimate State reunion shows on January 24th have sold out in minutes, faster than any event in SF Sketchfest’s eight-year history, say organizers of the 12,000 attendee, three-week festival. Such fan rapacity is more evidence of the group’s enormous legacy, which has seeded dozens of projects including Reno 911! and Stella, and films like Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer.

Rolling Stone sat down with five cast members — Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ken Marino and David Wain — to talk fistfights, ball smoke, trucker speed and more State projects.

The State Formed At New York University When You Were All In College And Many Of You Now Live In L.A. What’s This Reunion Doing In San Francisco?

David Wain: We didn’t realize that Rolling Stone had moved to New York. That’s why we set this thing up in San Francisco. We wanted to be wherever Rolling Stone was. That didn’t really work out for us.

Thomas Lennon: It’s weird, because we sort of operate like a band, by which I mean, a sort of dysfunctional band; by which I mean we fight a lot. But once we’re up onstage, and once we’re all together, you remember why we were such a cohesive and fun group to be in. And I’m curious for people to see us all old and wrinkled and sad.

Kerri Kenney-Silver: Personally, I thought at least half of us would be dead by now.

Wain: Shockingly, everyone in the group is unbelievably busy. By last count seven of us have directed feature films. It wasn’t a question of getting anyone to sign on, it was a question of coordinating our availability.

If Sketch Comedy Is A Lot Like Being In A Band, And There’s 11 Of You, What Does That Make You? Afrobeat?

Lennon: I was thinking we’re probably the equivalent of something like the Pogues in terms of how difficult it is to get us all onstage together. You can get most of us together but they’ll always be a sort of Shane MacGowan who will knock somebody’s teeth out or push them down the stairs. Of course, there’s been a couple of fistfights in the State. There have been a couple of punches thrown.

Not Full-On Fisticuffs, Just Single Punches To The Back Of The Head.

Lennon: It seems like someone told you this. Are you not serious? David Wain did punch Ken Marino in the back of the head. Ken Marino was in two punching-related incidents in the group. One with Mike Jann where I think Mike Jann punched him. I take it back. There weren’t a lot of fights. Ken Marino got punched twice. We’re like Oasis.

Ken Marino: In the back, yeah. He punched me in the back and then I turned around and said, ‘Don’t. Ever. Punch me, again,’ but I don’t even think Dave was in the State at the time. Dave, he spazzes out, he’s mellowed out from that a lot. I think it was my fault. I think I pulled his back hair. I think he was sensitive to it and freaked out on me.

You roomed with Wain at NYU, did he have the same problem he had at the State: sticking his hands down his pants?

Marino: It was a huge problem. I mean, it wasn’t a big problem except when you were eating something. The problem really came to a head when he would pull his hands from his pants and then nibble on something that you were eating. A lot of stuff for him was finger food. Anything that you were eating was finger food. He’d go straight from his pants and he’d have ball smoke coming off his fingers and he’d dive into our, you know … That’s actually how our “Louie” character [catchphrase: "I wanna dip my balls in it"] came about.

Besides fights, what else would be in the VH1: Behind the Laughs special on the State?

Kenney-Silver: I introduced the group to this woman who worked at Warner Brothers and she said, “Lets do a comedy record.” So we were like, “Oooh, we’re famous.” So they gave us a budget which we quickly, literally put in our pockets, ran to the Bahamas, and got drunk and recorded an album with. We spent four dollars on the recording and $500,000 or whatever they gave us on the plane ticket and the cocktails.

Lennon: We decided, since nothing eleven people do is profitable, we might as well at least have a really fucking fun time, so let’s go to where U2 records.

Wain: Basically we went down there and we would spend the day swimming and snorkeling and gambling and eating and having fun and go out at night and go to casinos and stuff and then about midnight we’d grab some drinks and go into the recording studio and lay down some stuff.

Kenney-Silver: You could literally hear ice tinkling in the record. We did one sketch where Michael Jann was so drunk that he threw up in a chair while we were recording. We couldn’t get his headphones off of him because his arms were in front of him with the vomit in his hands.

Michael Ian Black: I was actually really miserable making the State CD. I felt like I was at a low point in my relationship with the group. There were some fun things. I think I really started to develop my gambling addiction there, which was good.

So You Got The Fights, The Parties, The Drinking And Drugs, Now We Just Need To Round Out The Special With Some Mammoth Business Missteps.

Black: In the long run the chief mistake that the State made was leaving MTV to begin with. At the time there seemed like very good reasons to do it, chief among them that we were all making about $400 a week and working our asses off and feeling kind of not supported by the network. Also, we just weren’t getting along. It’s very hard to keep 11 people happy. It’s almost impossible. I think I was very aware that the thing that was going to break us up was success far more than failure. And I think that was true to a certain extent. I have often compared us to Fleetwood Mac.

Lennon: We were really super badly advised by some really naive people and we were so naive. But I gotta say MTV was really great to us. They offered us 65 more episodes guaranteed on the air and instead we took a deal at CBS for three specials and got canceled after one.

The State Had To Get Great Ratings For Its Halloween Special On CBS, But There Was No Promotion For It And Your Main Musical Guest Canceled?

Kenney-Silver: We needed to prove to the world and the people at CBS that we were capable of being on network television. And so I was like, “No problem guys, our best friend’s the drummer from Blues Traveler. We’re in.”

Lennon: For some reason they took SNL with like 10 minutes warning before our show. They called us like, “Hey guys, sorry we got to play SNL” and we were, like, “Fuck, really?” But the flipside was we had fucking Sonic Youth, which was insane.

Black: It was a real kick in the balls … As if we weren’t going to be sort of wrong enough for the network, we decided to throw Sonic Youth into the mix. I just don’t feel like the Murder She Wrote crowd really embraced us or Sonic Youth the way we were hoping.

Kenney-Silver: I can’t blame them. No one blames them. They had an opportunity to play Saturday Night Live and I think honestly, given the chance, if anyone of us had been asked to go on Saturday Night Live that night, we probably would’ve left as well.

What Does The Great Recession Of ’09 Mean To Comedy And The State?

Black: It’s good for comedy. I mean, people are miserable, they want to laugh.

Lennon: We actually have a really wonderful sketch in the SF show called “The Great Depression” and it’s really sort of a charming, Hallmark Hall of Fame scene about a family that’s trying to decide whether or not they should eat their baby.

Nine Members Of The Cast Did A Dress Rehearsal Of This New Show In March 2008. How Has Time Affected Your Writing And Delivery?

Marino: I’m happy to say that our material has not matured at all. It’s the same stupid fun stuff I hope.

Black: It really comes down to “are we making each other laugh?” and if we are doing that, then it goes on the show. To me it’s just a really personal voice, in the way that retarded monkeys are personal.

Well, Retarded Monkeys Are Hilarious.

Black: I agree. I’ve made my career on that very premise.

Lennon: There was a moment backstage when we were all looking at the clock about half through the second show and the group has kids and we’re mostly nosing up on 40 and we were all looking up at the clock and I think it said like 12:25 or 12:40 a.m. and we still had half of the show to do and we just had a look on our faces like, “Ohh fuck, how are we gonna do this?”

Kenney-Silver: We had trucker speed and Coca Cola back then. Now, it’s just good old fashioned crystal meth. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the audience laugh.

They May Just Laugh At Anything.

Black: I hope so. I don’t need to earn the laughs. That’s fine with me. If they just want to laugh cus we’re up there, great. I don’t need to feel like we’ve did anything. I just don’t want to walk onstage and think, “God, we’re awful.”

Might There Be More State To Come?

Black: We’re still talking to Comedy Central about The State movie or the special. We wrote a tremendous amount of material in a very short amount of time, so we have all of that and I think we’d all like to do something so I think we just need somebody to write the check. I think we all fully expect it to fail, that’s not an issue. It would still be fun to do.

Back To Menu

356 thoughts on “A More Perfect (Re)Union: The State Return to the Stage

  1. Pingback: Ashley Hale

  2. Pingback: deezer gratuit

  3. Pingback: top 10 hosting

  4. Pingback: Richard Frantzen

  5. Pingback: huis accessoires haken

  6. Pingback: youtube network

  7. Pingback: youtube partner

  8. Pingback: Alla3 Cuffie4

  9. Pingback: 6pm.com promo code

  10. Pingback: parking

  11. Pingback: how to get your ex boyfriend back

  12. Pingback: how to get your ex girlfriend back

  13. Pingback: weight loss

  14. Pingback: how to make money online

  15. Pingback: cool app

  16. Pingback: erectial dysfunction

  17. Pingback: longchamp sac

  18. Pingback: Chris Farrell Membership

  19. Pingback: My Homepage

  20. Pingback: Navisis Financial

  21. Pingback: cure ed

  22. Pingback: get rid of irritable bowel syndrome

  23. Pingback: Denver SEO

  24. Pingback: natural ed treatment

  25. Pingback: ed dysfunction

  26. Pingback: Анал порно

  27. Pingback: Анал фильм

  28. Pingback: Больной анал

  29. Pingback: Payday Loans

  30. Pingback: ed disorder

  31. Pingback: Анал малолетки

  32. Pingback: Анал смотреть онлайн бесплатно

  33. Pingback: Ебут в анал

  34. Pingback: Tao Of Badass

  35. Pingback: Кончил в анал

  36. Pingback: police abuse articles

  37. Pingback: erectial disfunction

  38. Pingback: how to naturally get rid of acne

  39. Pingback: Порно в анале онлайн

  40. Pingback: remedies for ed

  41. Pingback: Трахает в анал

  42. Pingback: รับทำ SEO ราคาถูก , รับโปรโมทเว็บ

  43. Pingback: payday loans no credit check

  44. Pingback: understanding lung cancer

  45. Pingback: sexy lingerie

  46. Pingback: free slotomania coins

  47. Pingback: 4 free rotors

  48. Pingback: Анал порно онлайн бесплатно

  49. Pingback: CPA

  50. Pingback: Лучший анал

  51. Pingback: Robbie Alekson must have a bionic arm

  52. Pingback: Жопа анал

  53. Pingback: www.safadasbh.com.br

  54. Pingback: Порно жесткий анал

  55. Pingback: how to increase my penis

  56. Pingback: Read More Here

  57. Pingback: visit our website

  58. Pingback: shisha pen

  59. Pingback: ipad gadget accessories

  60. Pingback: van conversions abbotsford

  61. Pingback: SEO services Los Angeles

  62. Pingback: base dados empresas

  63. Pingback: Classes

  64. Pingback: Kosmetik Tagesdeals

  65. Pingback: Empresa que faz sites

  66. Pingback: online casino

  67. Pingback: career ideas

  68. Pingback: High Traffic Academy Review

  69. Pingback: bail bonds lakewood

  70. Pingback: how to block porn sites

  71. Pingback: paid social media jobs review

  72. Pingback: academy of performing arts scotch plains nj

  73. Pingback: www.best-bytes.co.uk motortrade

  74. Pingback: muse ed

  75. Pingback: diamond bar bail bonds

  76. Pingback: www.trachtenpoint.de

  77. Pingback: exercises for bigger buttocks

  78. Pingback: garcinia cambogia reviews

  79. Pingback: Glendale expert seo

  80. Pingback: http://www.gsmbackup.com/

  81. Pingback: Adrian Morrison review

  82. Pingback: andrew ling phoenix

  83. Pingback: china kung fu

  84. Pingback: Renters Insurance Minnesota

  85. Pingback: http://www.thepipit.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=94&t=335932

  86. Pingback: NBA Apparel

  87. Pingback: top free web directories

  88. Pingback: adfly auto clicker 2014

  89. Pingback: SOFTRUCKS

  90. Pingback: buy e cigarettes

  91. Pingback: source article

  92. Pingback: wikipedia

  93. Pingback: drago

  94. Pingback: best backup software

  95. Pingback: same day online payday loans in Lakewood Ohio

  96. Pingback: Online Cialis kaufen

  97. Pingback: wedding space

  98. Pingback: tkalych

  99. Pingback: quick ways to make money online

  100. Pingback: horst ferrero

  101. Pingback: Horst Ferrero

  102. Pingback: norwalk village dental center

  103. Pingback: Hope 4 Home

  104. Pingback: เสื้อผ้าแฟชั่นราคาถูก

  105. Pingback: diet

  106. Pingback: mark

  107. Pingback: view source

  108. Pingback: en.wikipedia.org

  109. Pingback: Dating Tester

  110. Pingback: upfront reputations reviews

  111. Pingback: Twitter

  112. Pingback: Anabolic Cooking ebook

  113. Pingback: Tinnitus Miracle

  114. Pingback: Нимфоманка: Часть 1 фильм 2013 смотреть онлайн полностью хЬг

  115. Pingback: Menu Navigation WordPress Plugins

  116. Pingback: яндекс Холодное сердце ъцЦ

  117. Pingback: read homepage

  118. Pingback: Look At This

  119. Pingback: residences

  120. Pingback: trusted pet care in naples

  121. Pingback: pillarapps

  122. Pingback: boobs

  123. Pingback: used bucket

  124. Pingback: cheap likes

  125. Pingback: how to burn fat

  126. Pingback: tv izle

  127. Pingback: lon rosen dodgers

  128. Pingback: Webpage

  129. Pingback: World

  130. Pingback: how to eliminate cellulite

  131. Pingback: смотреть Любовь, секс и Лос-Анджелес зтм

  132. Pingback: Start a Website Business

  133. Pingback: baran promosi souvenir perusahaan

  134. Pingback: acting classes washington dc

  135. Pingback: rap beats for sale

  136. Pingback: Deca Durabolin

  137. Pingback: buy personal narrative essay

  138. Pingback: Pain relief

  139. Pingback: research chemicals online

  140. Pingback: Bail Bond

  141. Pingback: youtube gaming partners

  142. Pingback: prisvärda toppar

  143. Pingback: most beautiful book covers

  144. Pingback: what do i need for a car title loan

  145. Pingback: How to Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

  146. Pingback: how much do ultrasound techs make

  147. Pingback: Our Source

  148. Pingback: austin injury attorneys

  149. Pingback: Garcinia Cambogia

  150. Pingback: commercial plastering melbourne

  151. Pingback: pembicara internet marketing

  152. Pingback: altech krakow

  153. Pingback: pirater compte facebook

  154. Pingback: how to get website traffic 2014

  155. Pingback: NaziLLi.GolgeSiz.NeT

  156. Pingback: libertad sublime hack

  157. Pingback: เสื้อผ้าขายส่ง

  158. Pingback: anchor

  159. Pingback: lifeboat emergency food rations

  160. Pingback: buy an essay online

  161. Pingback: dog poop bags

  162. Pingback: Jual Obat Kuat

  163. Pingback: funding business centre

  164. Pingback: Petualangan

  165. Pingback: Deca Durabolin

  166. Pingback: New Bingo sites

  167. Pingback: cash for cars miami

  168. Pingback: รับทำ SEO ราคาถูก

  169. Pingback: woodworking projects for beginners

  170. Pingback: trek in nepal

  171. Pingback: фильм Белка и Стрелка: Лунные приключения трейлер ЯаЪ

  172. Pingback: garcinia cambogia weight loss

  173. Pingback: Doppelkopf

  174. Pingback: How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back - Important Things To Realize

  175. Pingback: vita ketone

  176. Pingback: car buyers

  177. Pingback: pirater un compte facebook

  178. Pingback: izmir escort seo

  179. Pingback: songs pk

  180. Pingback: sell my car miami

  181. Pingback: carmax miami

  182. Pingback: รับทำ SEO ราคาถูก

  183. Pingback: lunatik discount code

  184. Pingback: เสื้อผ้าขายส่ง

  185. Pingback: deep water

  186. Pingback: SSD for MacBook Pro

  187. Pingback: all natural and organic products

  188. Pingback: http://www.HomeBiz-Solutions.com

  189. Pingback: residences at kapalua bay resort

  190. Pingback: site

  191. Pingback: david sills usc commitments 2014

  192. Pingback: How To Make Money Fast

  193. Pingback: business opportunity review

  194. Pingback: Best Guns

  195. Pingback: iherb coupon

  196. Pingback: free sesso

  197. Pingback: Reparar electrodomésticos

  198. Pingback: trilogyen.com

  199. Pingback: voteyescpcc.com

  200. Pingback: strong-world.com

  201. Pingback: thecalibercs.com

  202. Pingback: iherb.com coupon

  203. Pingback: Wedding Dress

  204. Pingback: Topical niacinamide

  205. Pingback: What is Niacinamide serum

  206. Pingback: vitamin B3

  207. Pingback: Letter balloons

  208. Pingback: cool packs

  209. Pingback: zahnversicherung schweiz Maklerzentrum

  210. Pingback: tube8

  211. Pingback: shops to buy prom dresses

  212. Pingback: Marketing training

  213. Pingback: Pastor Ed Young Grapevine Texas

  214. Pingback: Plumbers

  215. Pingback: cheap cheap prom dresses

  216. Pingback: residences

  217. Pingback: job

  218. Pingback: coupon code kiabi

  219. Pingback: nouvel somerset somerset bartley residence singapore

  220. Pingback: Solicitation of a Minor Virginia Arlington

  221. Pingback: connor krisch zip

  222. Pingback: marketing company hollister

  223. Pingback: Porno Hub

  224. Pingback: consumer business centre

  225. Pingback: how to spy on a cell phones

  226. Pingback: buy tumblr followers

  227. Pingback: law of attraction meditation to get success

  228. Pingback: פינוי תכולת דירה

  229. Pingback: fun88

  230. Pingback: Learn More Here

  231. Pingback: auto body shop irvine

  232. Pingback: Venture Capital Investor

  233. Pingback: extreme trucks

  234. Pingback: car crash

  235. Pingback: Escort pornosu

  236. Pingback: keep reading

  237. Pingback: visit

  238. Pingback: live online dating

  239. Pingback: Free Dress Up Games Online

  240. Pingback: torrent

  241. Pingback: recette de crepe

  242. Pingback: woodworking shed

  243. Pingback: mini quad hire marlborough

  244. Pingback: floor installation london

  245. Pingback: Why is Reiki beneficial?

  246. Pingback: muscle building muscle building

  247. Pingback: Кекс

  248. Pingback: Bonuses

  249. Pingback: ipad mini accessories

  250. Pingback: marina salon one pompano beach fl

  251. Pingback: cheap escorts

  252. Pingback: stream free african movies vod

  253. Pingback: web page

  254. Pingback: visit my web site

  255. Pingback: vimax

  256. Pingback: Bodysuits

  257. Pingback: fotobog

  258. Pingback: overnight pet sitter in naples

  259. Pingback: Can I use Reiki to feel more in control of my life?

  260. Pingback: World Map

  261. Pingback: temp street

  262. Pingback: izmir

  263. Pingback: Just Like Hers

  264. Pingback: website

  265. Pingback: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_utcOWbN7E

  266. Pingback: Worst-Dishonerable-Worthless

  267. Pingback: how to buy followers for instagram

  268. Pingback: online kundali matching

  269. Pingback: measure body fat calipers

  270. Pingback: osteopath eastwood

  271. Pingback: Look At This

  272. Pingback: fotoleinwand

  273. Pingback: Cherise Azzano

  274. Pingback: Kraig Zilnicki

  275. Pingback: More Tips

  276. Pingback: wedding videography in denton texas

  277. Pingback: marina aurum one pavilion residences kuala lumpur

  278. Pingback: sohbet sitesi

  279. Pingback: marina apple jaya one residences malacca

  280. Pingback: Bella Labs Teeth Whitening

  281. Pingback: Buy Venus factor

  282. Pingback: wedding videography tutorial

  283. Pingback: DUI Attorney Houston

  284. Pingback: Порно со зрелыми

  285. Pingback: Синевир 2013 смотреть онлайн кино ЕПмРа

  286. Pingback: Отель «Гранд Будапешт» смотреть онлайн 2013 в хорошем качестве ЁгкШв

  287. Pingback: смотреть фильм С 8 марта, мужчины! без регистрации епА

  288. Pingback: смотреть фильм Нимфоманка: Часть 1 Чэщ

  289. Pingback: Unlocking iPhone 3G

  290. Pingback: Electronic Distritutor

  291. Pingback: best carpet cleaning services

  292. Pingback: insanity workout review

  293. Pingback: Visit Website

  294. Pingback: stamp duty calculator nsw

  295. Pingback: imajhosting

  296. Pingback: imajhosting

  297. Pingback: imajhosting

  298. Pingback: imajhosting

  299. Pingback: breast actives buy

  300. Pingback: Michigan real estate investors

  301. Pingback: girls in yoga pants

  302. Pingback: mp3 normalizer

  303. Pingback: Viagra Online

  304. Pingback: реальная белка полностью очень

  305. Pingback: первый мститель другая война новости подбирай

  306. Pingback: скорый «москва россия» смотреть онлайн пожалуй

  307. Pingback: ways to make money online

  308. Pingback: Click On this page

  309. Pingback: my website

  310. Pingback: feng shui master the ancient art of feng shui for wellness health and prosperity

  311. Pingback: fat loss factor book

  312. Pingback: реальная белка the nut job 2014 hdtvrip понятно

  313. Pingback: онлайн казино

  314. Pingback: Facebook

  315. Pingback: see post

  316. Pingback: how to can i become a phlebotomist online

  317. Pingback: интим женский

  318. Pingback: проститутки бийск

  319. Pingback: шлюхи негритянки москвы

  320. Pingback: overnight cat sitter in naples

  321. Pingback: listen to this podcast

  322. Pingback: kredit motor

  323. Pingback: Скорый «Москва-Россия» смотреть онлайн hd видел

  324. Pingback: college paper writers

  325. Pingback: Реальная белка фильм 2013 смотреть онлайн без регистрации наступила

  326. Pingback: read more

  327. Pingback: Visit My Website

  328. Pingback: johnny maestro and the crests step by step

  329. Pingback: My Very Best Ping

  330. Pingback: best where how to buy web traffic

  331. Pingback: 24 hour emergency vet hamilton ontario

  332. Pingback: Lucid Dreaming

  333. Pingback: pirater un compte facebook

  334. Pingback: Self Help

  335. Pingback: Click On this page

  336. Pingback: casino online

  337. Pingback: marina one gurney resort hotel & residences penang

  338. Pingback: Blackhat Forum

  339. Pingback: (PMI Certification

  340. Pingback: sex dating

  341. Pingback: visit my web site

  342. Pingback: mac repair

  343. Pingback: buy 20k twitter followers cheap

  344. Pingback: Peptides

  345. Pingback: Get More Info

  346. Pingback: ipad repair sheffield

  347. Pingback: custom id badge

  348. Pingback: Buy on Amazon

  349. Pingback: son of god in houston

  350. Pingback: kortingscode blokker (.nl)

  351. Pingback: create a mural

  352. Pingback: title loans online

  353. Pingback: trading binary options

  354. Pingback: cougar

  355. Pingback: visit the site

  356. Pingback: click to watch