Between 1993 and 1995 MTV ventured into sketch comedy with The State, a show created, acted, written, directed and edited by 11 comedians who were all in their 20s. The show would often venture into the absurd, and would later helped pave the careers for many in the television and film industries.
The comedians reunited today for a special remote cover of their classic “Porcupine Race” for cast member David Wain’s quarantine show Collaborative Covers by Amatuers of Rock Songs. “Porcupine Race” is considered to be one of the show’s classics, and originally appeared back in 1995.
The other cast included Michael Showalter, Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Ben Garant, Todd Holoubek, Michael Patrick Jann, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio and Ken Marino. Black, Holoubeck and Marino would go on to appear in various film and television, while Truglio would land a spot on the comedy police series Brooklyn Nine Nine. Garant, Kenney-Silver and Lennon appeared on another popular police comedy series Reno 911, which also featured Truglio as a frequent guest. Allison has headed off into a different direction, and has been hosting a podcast titled RISK.
Wain, would go on to create the Wet Hot American Summer series, which Showalter co-wrote and starred in. CCARS also held previous appearances from Marino, Knney-Silver and Truglio.
“It’s sort of the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ of ‘The State’s sketch canon,” Showalter explained in an interview with The New York Times. “It was our biggest production piece by far. It was shot on film, and we had music composed for it, and we did choreography and big costumes. ‘The State,’ by and large, was comprised of theater kids more than comedy wannabes. Most of the group grew up doing theater camp, and a lot of people in the group were acting majors at NYU. So being able to do a musical was kind of a dream come true.”