I am quite pleased to announce my contribution to Gallery 1988's Is This Thing On 2 exhibit. Mr. Show is an 18x24", 5 color screen print on manila tag paper...and a limited edition of 75. Stop reading now unless you're REALLY interested in the level of "nerd" put into this design!
Ahhhh....Mr. Show....where should I begin? I'll start off by saying that in my opinion, it's by far the single greatest sketch comedy show of all time and when I say that, let me also add that I have tremendous appreciation for SNL, Monty Python, Chappelle's Show, The State, Kids in the Hall, SCTV, etc. To be honest, I'm currently trying to decide if I consider it my favorite show of all time. The style of humor, the cutting edge, the writing, the cast, all of it right up my alley. It's one of the few shows that I can revisit over and over and laugh just as hard as I did the first time I saw it.
When Jensen at Gallery 1988 mentioned this comedy inspired art exhibit, I immediately knew what I had to do. I honestly couldn't believe no one had done it already. I got out my dvd's and sketchbook and spent hours/days/months trying to narrow down what I would depict in this design. There's a balance between what should be on the poster and what works better visually. Some classic characters simply weren't visually interesting (Dream of a Lifetime, Thrilling Miracles, etc.). It took a long time for me to commit to the chosen design and composition. There were many things I had to unfortunately omit which deserved to be there (Cockring Warehouse, Bob the streaker, pre-taped call-in show, etc.). I knew I wanted (what I consider to be) every main cast member depicted once. I also tried to balance the number of Bobs vs. Daves. I wanted to incorporate some important objects from the show into the design as well. There weren't as many that worked well within the composition as I had hoped, so I had to throw in a few I didn't consider to be as important (Value Monkey, Kiddie Massage Cream, etc). You always want posters like this to be a certain "greatest hits" sort of tribute but sometimes things just don't work out, plus sometimes you get selfish. For example, Sarah Silverman wasn't a main cast member but one of my favorite lines from the show was her role in Indomitable Spirit. When she declared (among a group of handicapped musicians listing their handicaps) that "I'm Fran and I'm a woman" it was positively classic--I had to out it in there! I guess what I'm trying to say is that I could have easily done a series of these. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to do this one and I could go on all day...but I'll stop. A show of this magnitude deserves a poster of significance...I hope I did it some justice!