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The Man Show

Now we know what it would look and sound like were Beavis and Butt-head somehow to land their own live-action series. As hosts of Comedy Central's one-joke "The Man Show," Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla do a remarkable impersonation of men suffering arrested emotional development in fronting a show that purports to be dissing female culture, but instead manages to reduce men to the level of grunting cave dwellers.

Now we know what it would look and sound like were Beavis and Butt-head somehow to land their own live-action series. As hosts of Comedy Central’s one-joke “The Man Show,” Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla do a remarkable impersonation of men suffering arrested emotional development in fronting a show that purports to be dissing female culture, but instead manages to reduce men to the level of grunting cave dwellers.

“The Man Show” pushes the proposition that guys are sick to death of a nation drowning them in a tidal wave of feminization and wimp-ifying them with all of that equality and soulmate mumbo-jumbo.

Left free from societal niceties, the satiric conceit here is that men will reject all of that namby-pamby affection stuff in blind pursuit of a good beer, a good buzz, a good ballgame and a good bonk while locking in visually on nature’s greatest wonder: cleavage. The only reason men even give women the appearance of involved conversation is to get laid. And there you have it. Biological reality in all its uncivilized, sweaty, brew-guzzling glory. “The Man Show” stops being funny once you realize that’s the whole joke.

The divertingly smug Kimmel and Carolla preside over the live studio audience festivities like cheerleaders at a pep rally for the intimacy-challenged. Surrounding them are a group of bouncy, scantily clad young tarts known as the Juggy Dance Squad, and an oddball named Bill “The Fox” Foster, whose chief talent in life is an ability to down abnormally large volumes of beer. That makes him a spiritual leader with this crowd; indeed, Foster leads the all-male crowd (also drinking beer) in various beer chants.

In live and pre-taped segs, Kimmel and Carolla simultaneously promote and mock the concept of masculinity and manly education. Kimmel is shown teaching his son to play blackjack, because it’s the game that will make a man of him. The married Kimmel warns men not to follow the same matrimonial path he did, because it means the end of sex, and that’s a shame because “men are much hornier than women.”

Inexplicably, Cindy Crawford actually shows up to front a segment where she utters the toilet-bowl term “ball-cock unit.” You can imagine the field day that Beavis and Butt-head — oh, sorry; Kimmel and Carolla — had with that one, as they do with the show-closing super slo-mo of young women bouncing on a trampoline (Whoa, dude! Panties! Yeah!).

Ah, the freedom of cable TV. With “The Man Show,” Comedy Central illustrates that men haven’t grown much more civilized than they were 5 million years ago. But at the same time, it educates us to the fact that men’s bladders must have evolved significantly in order to house all of that beer.

The Man Show

Comedy Central; Wed. June 16, 10:30 p.m.

  • Production: Taped in Los Angeles by Stone Stanley Prods. in association with Jackhole Industries and the Lapides Entertainment Organization. Executive producers, David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone, Daniel Kellison, Howard Lapides; supervising producers, Jennifer Heftler, Lisa Page; directors, Dennis Rosenblatt, Hal Gurnee, Shanda Sawyer; head writer, Jimmy Kimmel.