Getting MTV’s The State to reunite for a project has been a near-impossible task over the past couple of decades, but the near-complete shutdown of the entertainment industry finally provided the opportunity for the Nineties MTV sketch comedy troupe to band together.
The group is out with a brand-new version of their classic sketch “Porcupine Racetrack,” via David Wain’s Instagram.
All 11 members of the troupe appear in this video, along with a small group of musicians to recreate the iconic sketch. As the title suggests, it’s about a racetrack where porcupines race instead of horses or dogs. It’s even sillier than it sounds.
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CCARS #9 THE STATE unites to recreate this musical extravagansa from our MTV show in 1995. Created and performed by THE STATE: @thekevinallison @MichaelIanBlack Ben Garant @bektodam Michael Patrick Jann @KerriKenneySilver @thomaspatricklennon @JoeLoTruglio @KenMarino Michael Showalter @DavidWain With this insane collection of musicians! Our original musical arranger/composer Theodore Shapiro on piano Trumpet/horn arrangement – @trumpetjory Trombone – @KimmyGatewood Clarinet – @SylvainCarton Violin – @alliestamalama Operatic Vocalist – @jecafish Drums – @DavidWain Guitar – @thomaspatricklennon Mixed by @mattwmusic See the original 1995 sketch — link in bio! #CCARS = Collaborative Covers by Amateurs (and some pros) of Rock Songs, recorded from our separate home quarantines, just for fun and distraction during this challenging time. See all the songs – Link in bio
“It’s sort of the Sgt. Pepper’s of The State‘s sketch canon,” Michael Showalter said in a 2009 New York Times oral history of the sketch. “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.”
The end result was quirky even by the bizarre standards of The State and it became an audience favorite. The group has reunited a tiny handful of times in the past two decades, most recently at the Festival Supreme in 2014, and they always break out “Porcupine Racetrack.” Wain fell down during his dance number by accident in the original skit, but he’s done it on purpose every time since then.
This new version features all of the same dialogue and music as the original and they’ve even recreated some of the costumes, although Kevin Allison switched things up and donned an S&M outfit.
Members of The State have worked together in smaller groups over the decades, most notably on Reno 911, Viva Variety, Stella and Wet Hot American Summer, but getting all 11 of them is quite rare and difficult. They are often working on various movie and TV shows and Todd Holoubek lives in South Korea.
Hopefully, this is the first of many reunion videos in the coming weeks. We vote for “Blueberry Johnson,” “The Bearded Men of Space Station 11” and “The Jew, the Italian and the Red-Head Gay” for the next round.