It's one of the most highly regarded sketch comedy shows in television history, but few people have seen The State, which ran on MTV from 1993 to 1995 and featured talented comedians who would go on to such successes as Reno 911, Stella, and Role Models. Fans of the show have a reason to rejoice (as well as the friends-of-fans, who've been listening to us yammer on about the greatness of The State for years) because the entire series will finally be available on DVD on July 14, 2009. In honor of this momentous event, let's take a look at where the cast has been hiding for all this time.
1. Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant
Lennon and Garant appeared together as the Inbred Brothers on The State, and have stayed connected at the waist throughout their careers. Together, they created Reno 911, where they appear mustachioed as Lt. Jim Dangle and Deputy Travis Junior. They penned a few flops (Jimmy Fallon's Taxi, The Pacifier, and Herbie Fully Loaded) before striking gold with Night at the Museum and its subsequent sequel. Thomas Lennon has also lent his deadpan face to films like Memento, I Love You Man, and 17 Again.
2. David Wain
David Wain played a lot of smaller roles on The State (for example, The Jew in "The Jew, the Italian, and the Redhead Gay"), but he was more often found behind the camera. That hobby paid off, because he's currently living the life of success with his films Role Models, Wet Hot American Summer, and The Ten. He also appeared alongside Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black in the short-lived sitcom Stella on Comedy Central, and he recently won a Webby Award for his webshow Wainy Days, which is currently in its fourth season on MyDamnChannel.com.
3. Michael Showalter
After his character "Doug" was "outta heeere," Showalter stayed in the limelight as 1/3 of Stella (with David Wain and Michael Ian Black). He also wrote and starred in Wet Hot American Summer. His directorial debut, The Baxter, is quite possibly the best movie you've never seen. He is also the host of the most aptly named web show, The Michael Showalter Showalter, which airs on Collegehumor.com. His stand-up album, Sandwiches & Cats, hit shelves in 2007, and his comedic memoir, tentatively titled Mr. Funny Pants, is due in stores by the winter of 2009. This July, you can see him alongside Michael Ian Black in Michael & Michael Have Issues on Comedy Central. (I recently attended a taping of the show. Set your TiVo.)
4. Kerri Kenney
The State's only female cast member starred on Comedy Central's Viva Variety, a faux-European variety show along with Thomas Lennon and Michael Ian Black (co-created by Ben Garant). After the show's premature demise, Kenney fronted the all-female indie rock band Cake Like, and tried her hand at voice acting (her father, Larry Kenney, is a veteran voice actor, most famous for his role as Lion-O on ThunderCats), appearing on shows such as Invader Zim, Kim Possible, and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Nowadays, she stars on Reno 911 as Deputy Trudy Weigel.
5. Ken Marino
"And now, Louie! The guy who comes in and says his catchphrase over and over again!" Soon after The State, Ken Marino sought out a career in acting, appearing on shows like Will and Grace, Angel, and Men Behaving Badly (no, not the good one). He landed a few recurring appearances on shows such as Dawson's Creek, Veronica Mars, and Reaper (along with The State co-star Michael Ian Black), and recently wrote his first screenplay for the film Diggers, starring the "honorary" State cast member Paul Rudd. (And, as several readers have pointed out, he's also starring in Party Down, an original series on Starz.)
6. Michael Ian Black
The most visible alum of The State, Michael Ian Black has had recurring roles on Viva Variety, Ed, Stella, Reaper, and VH1's I Love The"¦ series. In 2005, he directed his first film, Wedding Daze, starring Jason Biggs, and then wrote the screenplay for Run Fatboy Run. He's got a stand-up album (I Am a Wonderful Man), a book of comedic essays (My Custom Van), and a children's book (Chicken Cheeks). And as I mentioned, his new TV show Michael & Michael Have Issues premieres in July on Comedy Central. That's a lot of work for a guy who got his start by dry humping $240 worth of pudding.
7. Kevin Allison
After The State ended its run, Kevin Allison took a break from performing to focus on writing, and he only returned to the stage a few years ago. He spends most of his time these days as the Artistic Director at the People's Improv Theater in New York City where he teaches and performs. He also had a one-man show called F*** Up, which I regret having missed.
8. Joe Lo Truglio
Joe Lo Truglio has become one of "those guys" who you see in small parts in a lot of movies but can't quite place. He's appeared in Superbad, The Station Agent, Pineapple Express, Role Models, Wet Hot American Summer, I Love You Man, plus a few more you might've seen. More recently, he grew a mustache and joined his fellow State alumni as the newest cast member on Reno 911. If that wasn't enough, he wrote the brand new web series Hot Sluts, which you can view on Atom.com (and if you're anything like me, you'll click on anything with a name like that).
9. Michael Patrick Jann
Like David Wain, Michael Patrick Jann preferred to sit behind the camera rather than on stage. He was responsible for the brilliant film Drop Dead Gorgeous, as well as the majority of Reno 911's episodes. Since then, he's directed episodes of Flight of the Conchords, Little Britain USA, and the doomed Emily's Reasons Why Not.
10. Todd Holoubek
After The State's cancellation from MTV (but before their subsequent CBS special), Todd Holoubek left the troupe and took a slightly different route by teaching web design and designing furniture. Thankfully for the die-hard fans, he rejoined the cast for their reunions in The Ten, Reno 911: Miami, and their recent live show in Los Angeles.