Upright Citizens Brigade (TV Series 1998–2000) Poster

(1998–2000)

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Best Show EVER
TattedA16 April 2004
The Funniest, smartest, and most original show ever on television. It's a crime that they took this show of the air, but Comedy Central has no problem showing you 12 reruns of SNL in a day. If you haven't seen the show, do yourself a favor and pick up season 1 on DVD. You will never laugh harder in your life.

I really hope they follow up with seasons two and three. The show only got funnier over time. One of the best ones is the cyborg episode from season one. The show trumps every other show that is or was on Comedy Central. Saying no to this show is saying no to America, and babies. But mostly America.
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Too Funny
wolf00811 February 2002
UCB was sketch comedy at a new level, especially when compared to the banality of the modern bit show. The writers and cast presented skits that other productions would have disregarded as too "sophisticated", or just too unorthodox. In doing so, I feel they explored the limits of sketch comedy and brought us closer to the edge of the surreal, better than any comedy production today.

The "Brigade" is bent on causing chaos everywhere they venture to, and they do not disappoint. From Santa forcing a man to take sample of his "Santa Liquor", to an authoritarian school bus driver, crushing a children's revolution with her backside.

Now, the dialog was very suggestive and risqué at times, but the writing is non the less very creative. I feel that it is necessary to ignore the sometimes superfluous vulgarity's in order to "get" this show, particularly if you have dismissed it for being too odious. The UCB, in their creativeness and witty verbiage, have heavily diluted the crudeness to which a story is presented. I guess this is comparative to another comedy central production, "South Park", where you just have to ignore or look beyond what offends you, to appreciate what really is being presented to us. Most important the UCB was there to entertain, and cause us laughter, and this they did with alacrity.

It ended it's run in 2000, and is still missed 6 years later.
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Great sketch comedy
Xophianic23 February 2000
I love sketch comedy. SNL and The Daily Show are two of my favourite shows ever, and I also like Monty Python and Kids in the Wall a lot. So I was willing to try out Upright Citizens Brigade. The commercials were right, this is some seriously ****ed up sketch comedy, but it's also pretty funny. The way they tie stuff together at the beginning is great, and hardly ever done in sketch comedy. The timing is great, the jokes are funny and the show is original. What more could you want. I also really like Amy Poehler, the cute, funny and talented comedienne who steals every scene she's in.
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One word...HILARIOUS!
nightowl_20042 February 2004
I loved it originally on comedy central, but I think it is even better sans commercials on the dvd. The fact that it is just the four of them, and that it is so well written, directed and acted, makes me enjoy it all the more. Shows like "KIDS IN THE HALL", "THE STATE", and "SNL" are ok, but seem silly by comparison. I have been turning my friends on to the show and my copy has become a hot commodity amongst them. Kudos to the UCB. I look forward to season 2, which I hope will be released soon.
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A true gem!
mindstrokes1 January 2003
No matter what people say, this show is truely a great one. It was seldom understood by the "real world". Only those in the right frame of mind could get this show. The Little Donny Episode was a benchmark in entertainment! The show should have went on for many more years.
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amazing show
Action Jackson5 March 2003
from the start, i would like to say that i love this show. put aside that its probably the funniest stuff ive seen, but they are SO well written. everything seems to tie together in the end of a show. but what i like even more than that is, you hear references of certain things well before you see them in the show (titte brothers, supercool, thunderball). comparing other shows, i love seinfeld and the simpsons. seinfeld has some funny situations, the simpsons has great characters and extensive pop culture references. but somehow, UCB is just better. the guy who said it was the best show ever? its got my vote.
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Definitely bizarre, definitely not for everyone, definitely loved by me
jdfurryphx21 April 2005
First, I want to say that this review is opinion only. In fact, EVERYTHING you read on this site (at least, the fan comments portion) is opinion only. Try to remember that a show that may be "da bomb" to one person may just "bomb" to another. I'm not going to demand that you watch the show, or that you don't watch the show. Why? Because I understand that all you're looking for is an opinion, and that you are (like myself) probably laughing your asses off at the posters that are yelling, "YOU GOTTA WATCH THIS!" or "THIS BLOWS CHUNKS! WATCH IT AND DIE!" That being said: Upright Citizens Brigrade was a short-lived (3-season) show on Comedy Central, based on the improv sketch comedy of a team of comedians who started in Chicago, but now operate their own improv theater in New York. The sketches themselves are probably best-described as "bizarre to the extreme" - or, in more laymen's terms, "seriously f***** up". It's been compared as an American "Monty Python's Flying Circus" or "The Kids in the Hall".

I found the show to be incredibly funny. The humor, again, is off-color and off-kilter at times, and I can admit that it would not be palatable to all people - not even to all sketch-comedy fans. The gimmicks are quirky and can delve into sometimes-touchy subjects in an unusual manner, but I find this refreshing. As has been previously stated, each episode is made up of a series of seemingly-unrelated sketches that culminate in a final sketch that wraps up all the stories (usually in an appropriately strange manner; you know a show is weird when a town hall/church blasts off on rocket boosters, taking the alien dolphin threat with it).

I have seen most of season 1 and quite a bit of seasons 2 and 3, and wish that Comedy Central would bring the show back regularly. If your humor tastes run toward the highly bizarre, give it a shot; if you don't like it, then say so. But do us all a favor and don't play television God, and demand that everyone sees it immediately/doesn't see it at all - or at least know that I'll be laughing at your stupidity.
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Seriously f***ed up sketch comedy
oldskoolgeek27 November 2004
An absolutely hilarious sketch comedy series that followed in the foot steps of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and "Kids in the Hall" where being absurd is a large part of being funny. The show was smart, fresh and well written with a seamless conclusion at the end of each episode where all the sketches would come together. Unfortunately, the show was too funny for the average Comedy Central viewer (who worshiped stale fart jokes from "South Park") and it was canceled. Thanks to a large fan base season 1 was released in 2003, but Comedy Central (currently the home of 24/7 reruns of Mad-TV) has not mentioned any plans to release the following two seasons.
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America Just Wasn't Ready For This Show...
MovieMarauder3 March 2002
Opinions of this show seem to be split right down the middle. I for one loved it. Finally we had OUR Kids in the Hall, and without those annoying Canadian dialects and cross-dressers! But, like anything with any true integrity on Comedy Central, the UCB just didn't get recognized as the flaming orb of comic brilliance that it was. This was probably the best original show Comedy Central has ever produced. But on a station full of ridiculous, second-rate, low-brow programs like Strip Mall and Strangers With Candy, a show like this has no audience. A show with this much genius should have started a dynamite run on HBO, where it would still be going strong today, as a nice way to kick back and have some laughs after the serious and hard-hitting prison drama of Oz. And if you ask me, Comedy Central should temporarily hault their endless imagination and ability to crank out mind-numbing dreck, and take a moment to figure out just what Comedy Central means. Shouldn't the phrase "Comedy Central" denote that this is the place for ALL comedic tastes, and not just little independent ventures and Britcoms? Why don't they expand their range and give those of us who don't proudly sport homemade mullets something to watch? Oh well, I can dream, can't I?
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Not for the casual observer.
chesster001130 April 2004
One of the amazing things about UCB was its use of running gags. The only negative comments I've ever heard were from people who had only seen a couple episodes. Jokes get better with age. Many of the same jokes coincided with other sketches. The brand of comedy surely wasn't for everyone. But the parody of Searching for Bobby Fischer and the cyborgs...OH, the CYBORGS!

Definitely a show that must be viewed the whole way through (at least the first season) for full appreciation. Anyone who doesn't find the Ass Pennies episode downright hilarious has no place watching sketch comedy to begin with.
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Outlandishly well-written comedy
H_Frank6 October 1999
Some of the things people say about this show crack me up:

"I have yet to laugh, or chuckle, or even smirk at this poorly-conceived, idiotic, dull television show."

This from a guy who goes by the name "Tug." Hmm. Sure, okay. Love the big-word abuse. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover up the fact that you don't realize how much thought is required to understand this show. Hey, you tried.

Indeed, this show is not for everybody, but as a writer/comic myself (only by leisure; I'm an engineer by trade,) I have to have a great deal of respect for the talents of Besser, Poehler, Roberts, and Walsh. I almost get the feeling that these are the heros of legend that are destined to succeed Monty Python (okay, there is no such legend, but we engineers like to think so.)

While their style is not the most original ever (many writers have succeeded in the "outrageous" style of comedy in the past, "Kids in the Hall" and Weird Al come readily to mind,) they take this style to the next level.

I think the first thing one will notice is the lack of a laugh-track, which gives the mission of UCB an ironic seriousness. Not only that, but laugh-tracks have a bad habit of pointing out with big signs where the jokes are, removing any and all need for complex thought on the veiwer's part. I'll never understand why Monty Python used it.

The situations they come up with are ones of sheer beauty. Prime examples are the waiter training session at Bradwick's, the Bucket of Truth (already a classic to us fans,) and UCB's advice on how to break curfew ("You guys gotta kick my ass and take a crap on me!")

Tying these all together at the end of the show is a nice touch. I think it's pretty obvious that they realized just how easy this is to do, and so they take an almost "Seinfeld"-like approach and have each of these situations have total consequence on each other.

Then there's the great hidden camera scene during the end credits, where one of their characters takes a stroll through real life. Wonderful stuff.

All-in-all, the show is hideously clever, and ridiculously well-executed. It's been ages since we had a sketch comedy that actually made us think in order to get the jokes, sometimes even requiring us to watch the episode a second time (some will rebuke with "Kids in the Hall," but keep in mind the laugh-track, not to put the show down in any way.)

I only pray that Comedy Central doesn't threaten to cancel the show again like they did last Spring.

One more thing: my apologies for trashing on Tug like that.
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Dangerously Funny!!
Bill-166 July 1999
I love this show.. Very original and extremely funny..It almost seems as if the UCB made the show just for me!! I didn't think anyone else had the same sense of humor as I do. The Titte' Brothers are the biggest thing in Show Business,,Period!!!
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Excellent!
vargas-324 January 1999
One of the best sketch comedy shows... well, ever. This show is rarely laugh-out-loud funny -- it's more of a brain- tickle. Some sketches, such as the "ass-pennies" sketch or the "naked chicks room" bit, are actually hysterically funny, but even the ones that aren't exactly *funny* are still an awful lot of fun. There's a pleasure in watching this show that goes far beyond mere funny. As in the Ackroyd/Murray/Belushi era SNL, or Kids in the Hall, the concepts are truly different, and the actors make outrageous characters believable. These sketches reach for something deep inside us, attempting to make us a little uncomfortable, or to make us think a little, even before they look for a laugh. Those who are annoyed or turned off by the show may be looking for simple, cheap laughs. But this show challenges the viewer to think. Sometimes it doesn't work; there are even times when I'm itching to change the channel. But this is the only show I know of that can effectively crack on Frank Lloyd Wright and Alan Greenspan at the same time -- that alone is worth more than all the "Cartman's fat" jokes in the world.

(I understand these actors also do the show live, and indeed at the end of some of the shows we see, apparently via hidden cameras, the actors harassing people in public places, in character and using bits from the show. This crossover into public performance gives the show an exciting spontaneity, and makes for some of the show's funniest, sharpest moment.)
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Above average sketch show from the innovative late 1990's Comedy Central
CodaSky18 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Upright Citzens Brigade debuted under the watchful eye of the very talented Kent Alterman. Alterman, along with Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Madeline Smithberg, and Lizz Winstead rescued a Comedy Central that was in dire straits. Shows like Kids in the Hall and Mystery Science Theater 3000 left the airwaves, and (besides the brilliant Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello sketch show Exit 57) there was little keeping the network alive. Alterman wanted to bring a new and fresh edge to the network, so he recruited these alums of ImprovOlympic to have their own sketch show. Debuting in the Fall of 1998, UCB was innovative in the sense that the shows were circular in format, with a myriad of different and bizarre sketches playing kind of concurrently with each other, wrapping up in one final sketch that brought all the disparate elements together. The only real exceptions were the season finales, which wrapped up the one theme that was mentioned in each of the episodes. This style basically reflected Del Close's "Harold" approach to long-form improv comedy.

The shows themselves had some funny moments. I especially enjoyed the "hyper-minimalist" office from Season One and the "Cakeawalkin" from season three. Problem is, as is often the case with improv/sketch comedy, the material is more clever than funny. Sure, it's bizarre, sure it makes you think. But oftentimes the jokes are more chuckle inducing than laugh out loud funny. And they tend to be insular to the cast members themselves, rather than universally funny.

Amy is clearly the star of the group. She has a real talent in terms of being both innocent and nasty, oftentimes at the same time. Besser is the most naturally funny of the group, being the stand-up comedian he understands what funny is, versus what clever premises can be funny. Walsh is charmingly goofy, and Roberts is the All-American boy. All four are decent writers and performers, but only Amy really stands out as a superstar talent, though Amy Sedaris is a notch or two above her in terms of being funny.

All in all, this is a show that is very good, though its cult like fans clearly give it more props than it deserves.
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One of the funniest shows ever
DemiMooreisHOT4 December 2002
Everything about this show made me laugh. This was one of the funniest show I have ever seen. I can't even explain it, you just need to see it for yourself.

I hope they put it on DVD if they haven't (doubt they will but i can still dream...)
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How can you bash this show?
Nirvanabreed5944-121 November 2002
The people who don't like this show always use vague examples such as "not funny" and "bad writing". I think it's because they just can't find something funny that isn't filled with celebrity references and cameos to keep their attention. Now, I'm a huge fan of shows with those types of references... "The Simpsons", "The Critic", "South Park", but I'll remember sketches such as the Ugly Club, and Pro Thunderball far longer than I'll ever remember a cheap one liner about Barbara Streisand.
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Too F'in Funny!
Kanngera8 March 1999
This show is my newest most favorite show! It is so odd, so out there, so brilliant! Antoine is such a hunk, who cares that he is a geek. Matt Besser who plays Adair is just so talented he has to be the next Jim Carrey. The lady of the lake, little Donny, what will he do next? All four cast members are spectacular. Where did they come from?
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Surreal, involving comedy
cinefan13 November 1998
This is a great show, packed full of surreal, involving comedy. It's humor which demands your attention, it's strengths lying in character and concept rather than situation or out-and-out jokes. And, every scene ties together in some way by the end of the show. Supreme writing and all four troupe members are extremely versatile. Those who can't tell whether something is funny or not without the aid of a laugh track, beware!
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THE BEST SHOW EVER!
hxrearden3 April 2000
This show without a doubt is one of the best shows ever. The writing, production and performance is second to none. My faith in the world was restored with the launch of this show. The world is now a place i would bring children into If you only have half an hour to live, spend it watching this show.
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The most intelligent, and the funniest sketch comedy around.
Spidey-2118 August 1999
The Upright Citizens Brigade is the funniest show that is currently on TV. It manages to provide intelligent, witty humor, but never gets too pretentious, and still can appeal to the lowest common denominator. The actors are incredible, and they manage to handle such incredibly diverse roles with astounding ease. People who find the show boring or not funny may not understand the humor, or may be conditioned to shows like south park, that get laughs through bodily function jokes or profanity. Don't get me wrong i liked south park for a while, but it got old, and stupid. The ucb is constantly unique, and is always using new ideas, so that no two shows are too much alike. I advise people to watch it with an open mind, and to see it more than once, because , it grows on you, and you may have caught an episode that wasn't as good as the ucb can be.
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Funny, clever, bizarre
harpua26 October 1998
If you are a fan of good sketch comedy, then you will love "Upright Citizens Brigade". Similar to HBO's "Mr. Show" in that the sketches are inter-related, the four members of UCB - 3 men, 1 women - portray members of an organization whose sole mission is proliferate chaos amongst everyday life. In addition they also portray characters in a wide array of sketches that, as the half-hour progresses, begin to intermingle in plot until the end of the show in which all the sketches and their storylines are blended into a seamless conclusion. The result is nothing short of brilliant.
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THE most boring show currently on the TV.
RcktMgnt2 November 1998
Of all the times I watched this show, I have never laughed once. Not even a slight chuckle. "The Upright Citizens Brigade" is supposedly a comedy, hence why it shows on Comedy Central, but it is the farthest thing from it. Everything on it seems forced and is beaten to death in a futile attempt to get a laugh. This show currently has to be one of, if not *the*, most boring shows playing on the TV.

This is a waste of a half-hour. Whatever ratings it is getting is only from what it is leeching off of "South Park". Don't bet your money on a second season if the execs at Comedy Central actually has a slightest grasp of the concept of humor. If they needed any indicators, it doesn't take long for hit shows to have web sites devoted to said series. "The Upright Citizens Brigade" (according to a little bit of research on Yahoo! and Excite) has yet to have even one fan site.
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Horrible, barely watchable garbage.
BrianGCrawfordMA13 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Apparently these people think that the height of comedy is filming the antics of a retarded man-child who has a two foot flaccid penis swinging between his legs. Of course the penis is pixelated, and that is supposed to add to the humor. (It does not.) His plight is so great, that he needs an entire "foundation" to watch out for him, when in reality, all he needs is to tape that penis to his leg and wear some long pants, for goodness' sake, or at least a long skirt. Instead, he's always wearing shorts with his pecker hanging out the fly or the bottom of the leg. I guarantee that they couldn't have gotten away with this if it were a retarded girl with labia majora that hung down her legs like drapes. The only thing that saves this show populated by unfunny dorks who feel ungodly compulsions to scream constantly is Amy Poehler, who next to these Nimrods seems like a veritable star, but is in reality only a mediocre talent. Maybe she really turns on the geeks who watch this ordure.
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A different kind of funny, finally.
beaner29310 February 2004
The basis for this show is a comedy troup originally from Chicago, Illinois. They have "Totally f*cked up sketch comedy." And it's that. Sketch comedy for those who are not exactly of the "normal mind set." I thouroughly enjoy this television program as do many people I know. The skit that the posted review mentions, "Shut Up," was part of the episode of the chilren's revolution. The whole show is connected by the UCB tryng to create chaos through kids. It shows kids on a bus who get hassled by the driver, and a puppet show put on my very obvious teamsters. It's hilarious. Not only is the script very well written, the actions in the show are also priceless.
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greatest show ever
nitsuj1727 January 2003
I really don't understand anyone who says they don't "get" ucb. I guess they are retarded. I'm not saying you have to love the show (although you should) but it was the most inventive and overall funny comedy sketch show (with the possible exceptions of mr show and the state). If you can get a hold of the episodes, do so.
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