Watch Wonder Showzen
- 2 Seasons
John Lee and Vernon Chatman's esoteric children's programming satire Wonder Showzen debuted on MTV2 on March 15, 2005 taking aim at politics, religion, war and racism with an educational programming presentation. USA Network executives allegedly viewed only minutes of the Wonder Showzen pilot before refusing it. Viacom picked it up to help give MTV2 a face-lift, gave it a Friday-night time slot, and eventually continued its reruns on both MTV and Comedy Central. The series managed to secure some notable cameos, though not all saw the light of day. Public Enemy's Flavor Flav filmed a segment called "Story Time With Flavor Flav" ultimately cut from the premiere episode's broadcast, but included with the eventual first-season DVD. Actor Christopher Meloni appeared in the first season's seventh episode as the Cootie Spokesman. In the second season, comedian David Cross appeared in various roles spanning three episodes. Emmy nominee Amy Poehler also filmed two episodes, while notable musicians John Oates, Rick Springfield, Devendra Banhart and Corin Tucker all recorded the song "War Doesn't Solve Anything" for the season's sixth episode. Several segments recur throughout the series. "Beat Kids" featured child reporters confronting adult bystanders on the street with humorous, often dark or controversial questions. As the name implies, "Story Time" featured one special guest or another reading to children. Sketch performers included the aforementioned deleted Flavor Flav cameo, as well as eventual appearances by Jon Glaser, David Cross, and Amy Sedaris. Episodes open with the brutally honest disclaimer, "Wonder Showzen contains offensive, despicable content that is too controversial and too awesome for actual children. The stark, ugly and profound truths Wonder Showzen exposes may be soul-crushing to the weak of spirit. If you allow a child to watch this show, you are a bad parent or guardian." Produced by Augenblick Studios and PFFR, Wonder Showzen's 16 episodes are available on DVD sets containing footage that didn't originally air.