I’d like to start off this post by saying one thing: “Your finger can’t tell your ass from your elbow, Mike!”
Oh, and one more thing: “You’re an octoroon, David!”
Hold on, I’ve got another: “Well, if that doesn’t just rape my butt.”
As you might be able to tell, I could go on with quotes like these that sound inappropriate out of context. Stella is a hotbed for these. Its members/stars, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain work incredibly well together as perpetual man-children, and this short-lived show let them display that weird youthful chemistry. Each episode was like a trippy, well-dressed journey into their minds, and while I wish it had lasted a little longer, I’m glad that Comedy Central gave us the window of opportunity.
Without question, Michael Ian Black is the main reason to watch this show. Granted, Wain and Showalter are talented, and the combination of the three of them is crucial, but Black is incredible. His facial expressions are infinite, and because of his cleaner-cut, semi-nerdy look, he can get away with so many more dirty jokes than the other two (who are full-on nerds, let’s be honest). Black is also a bit more adept at physical comedy, which translates to awkward postures, amusing gaits, and all sorts of little idiosyncrasies that enhance every scene. (Watch the intro to “this episode to get a taste of the absurdity.) Man, I miss them already.
When you meet someone who knows about Stella, it’s basically guaranteed that you’ll make a new friend. Much like Arrested Development fans, Stella fans have a tendency to spout off quotes and lament the early cancellation of their beloved show. But Stella fans are a slightly different breed, and that’s because the three men are responsible for a slightly different breed of comedy. The State, Stella, and its offshoots parody immaturity and, for lack of a better term, arrested development in a way that no other comedy troupe has before. They disregard physical appearances—Wet Hot American Summer was about summer camp but its cast was comprised of people over the age of 25, for example, and the Stella guys wear suits, even when camping or working in the fields—which juxtaposes hilariously with their silly, lighthearted antics. But these comedians also have a gift for throwing their voices and mimicking the immaturity of those around them, so it reads as this interesting combination of satire and goofiness. Stella may have been too out there for TV, but it’ll always have a place in the hearts of its followers. I’m proud to be one of them now. I just need a suit to complete the look.