I THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE: the sketch show that never compromises in its undying vision of a world with, like – a lot of bizarre people. The birther of bits as ubiquitous and iconic as “we’re all trying to find the guy who did this” and “oh my god, he admit it!” It’s a show that, really, needs no introduction. Here, based on criteria that range from my personal taste to nothing else, are all of the sketches from season 3, ranked.
26. Randall – Episode 5
We all know that one guy who you probably shouldn’t encourage too much, hell maybe you’ve been that guy before in your worst moments. But Randall’s unsuccessful riffs betray a hidden beauty unlike no other, and the wonders you can see alongside him if you deign to touch his hand.
25. Rat Mom – Episode 3
Just not for me, personally. I believe this could have benefitted from a classic ITYSL series flashbacks. The little conversation between the two main players – “Dogs are to Steven what rats are to me!” – is easily the highlight.
24. Shirt Brothers – Episode 4
I did show choir in high school for a bit, and I learned one thing: don’t audition for the rap solo. If you get it, you’ll have to rap in front of hundreds of people. And the rap is always terrible. Unfortunately, this applies double to children, including Robinson’s daughter. That’s the saving grace of this 5 minute sketch, which otherwise falters in my opinion from a lack of a strong punchline. Good thing there’s no rules.
23. ABX Heart Monitor – Episode 3
Your cardiologist probably shouldn’t have a direct link to your heart rhythm, especially if he really really wants to get into the exclusive club you frequent. Fortunately, you can always tell him you were just jacking off – unless he catches you there and in the flesh. This sketch builds slowly but surely, and its concluding blow (RIP Kim Kardashian) is hefty. This one just ramps a little too sluggishly for me.
22. Gelutol – Episode 4
Well, it’s not actually called that. I’m saying it wrong. Regardless, this sketch has its moments – the fact that it’s St. Patrick’s Day for some reason, Robinson’s blank face as he blasts the heat, “First clue!” – but for whatever reason, it doesn’t quite click together. I do like the central joke of the “are you talking about XYZ product” guy from every commercial being shut out of the conversation, though.
21. Street Sets – Episode 1
Street Sets is tough, because I like it a lot more in theory than in practice, and even then, there’s a lot to love. I love that this guy’s plan to get his kids to behave is to suggest that he could beat them up, which hints that his kids make fun of him for being wimpy. I love that Fred Armisen folds immediately and tells his kids the truth. I love that he paid 15k for this. I love that the old man was excited about the Jump Junkies crew. I love that the kids are actually pretty apologetic anyways, and the whole exercise was unnecessary. I think Fred just doesn’t quite deliver the energy necessary for the sketch.
20. Dog Hair – Episode 3
Just slightly overwrought for, essentially, one punch line. Until the two girlfriends thing, which is, indeed, great. I really like the notion that his buddies were This Pumped for their guy to have a second girlfriend.
19. VR Shopping Spree – Episode 2
Nobody has ever figured out how to breathe in virtual reality before, so I feel for poor Mr. Mitchell. That his affliction follows him to the real world is a tragedy unlike any other. When he turns into a mannequin, my heart breaks. How cruel the world is!
18. Rick v. Stan – Episode 1
There’s always that guy who takes the bit too far. It reminds me of fighting with my brothers as a kid; everyone ends up furious at the stupidest thing imaginable, and telling them to stop makes everything a whole lot worse. Alex is the crown jewel, though, as the final boss of taking everything too far. The smartest choice of this sketch was seating one poor woman between the two combatants – someone to recoil from the absent water in Stan’s empty bottle. The whole thing plays like two adult children losing their minds in a sea of professionals. Classic.
17. Banana Breath – Episode 6
We all have our delusions. I wonder what life would be like as someone who was just simply not funny.
16. Pacific Proposal Park – Episode 4
If you’re going to propose, why not go somewhere with the word proposal in the name, just in case you were worried it was a secret? And, for that matter, somewhere that’s the perfect wrestling ring for Baby Duff, Toilet Truck, and King Larry? This sketch is essentially one joke played out several times, but it’s a great joke.
15. Don Bondarley – Episode 6
I just really wish I could have seen Don in his prime. As is, though, his renaissance was a sight to behold. In that it’s incredibly hard to watch. There are several worlds barely grazed in this sketch – when Don Bondarley was the king of comedy, the bizarre family dynamics of Robinson’s protagonist, Corset – but I’m happy to just see the awkward failure of a man who watched TV and didn’t prepare.
14. Kids – Episode 5
One of the weirdest experiences in life is being an absolute hit at an event by complete accident. One time at a party, I started asking people if they thought the ocean was “top five,” and for some reason, it killed. It got to the point where I had a makeshift posse following me around, guffawing at everyone that I asked. And they insisted I continue. Anyways, Robinson’s situation in this sketch is not unfamiliar, nor is guest star Schwartzman’s turn as the guy who can’t stop bringing up his kids in the longest sketch of the season. “There’s not something wrong with me!”
13. Tasty Time Vids – Episode 6
It should be a criminal offense to follow yourself from someone else’s phone. Fortunately, the Frankenstein’s Chick video is inspired. It’s a terrible tragedy that Draven only has that one idea and terrible business sense. Some people can’t take the heat, and still they fly too close to the sun for one bright, shining moment of beauty.
12. Sidewalk Parking – Episode 2
Has this ever happened to you? I hope not. Will Forte guest stars as a man with a beautiful ponytail that becomes stuck under the car of a jerk who parked it on the wrong part of the driveway. His shrieks are funny, the cigar screenshots are funnier, and the maître d’s having seen the image of diarrhea he’s sent is hilarious. Entering the jerk neighbor (also ponytailed) into the mix rounds out this character as a hilarious jerk. Everyone knows the kind.
11. Metaloid Maniac Search – Episode 6
This sketch touches on several topics at once – overpromising and under-delivering, weird game shows, cartoons that look like bowling alley animations. But what this sketch is truly about is a guy made of metal, zipping around the wall that he built. He goes crazy like a bug up there. It’s truly a sight to behold.
10. Something Silly – Episode 5
When did “let’s do a silly one” become so universal? I sometimes feel as though I’ve taken just as many silly ones as I have serious ones. It’s an epidemic. My heart goes out, then, to this father of the bride, whose panic in the face of a silly picture – with no prep time – prompts a showdown with a dancing businessman with no mercy. This sketch follows the classic mid-sketch pivot formula to perfection.
9. Live Audience Recording – Episode 2
One of my favorite Tim Robinson arcs is when an obvious miscreant or wrongdoer becomes a hero, standing up in the face of injustice. Our hero in this sketch was ripped off by TK Jewelers and L&L Limos – and Avarice Suits, but we don’t even get to hear about that mess. I love the dialogue in this sketch. “You can’t do anything when someone says shut up.” I love how dumb the sitcom he’s attending is. My one main curiosity: did this guy book the live audience recording to tell the world about his terrible date, or did he already have this lined up and he had a brilliant idea in the moment?
8. The Darmine Doggy Door – Episode 2
That’s gonna kill me. That’s real. That lives on Earth. That, evidently, being the monstrous synthesis of one pig, one Richard Nixon mask, and countless hours of terrible insomnia. The neighbor gleefully taunts our protagonist through the door, gleefully clarifying that he’s accusing him of being a liar and a pig. Robinson’s commercials are always wonderful, and this may be my personal favorite of that variety. What kind of sicko encroaches on the bushes with his trampoline? Anything can happen in this world. We really know very little.
7. 200 Friends – Episode 4
Everyone likes having friends. Balancing quality versus quantity is a question that’s plagued many of us, who have occasionally had to make the call about hanging out with one group of friends versus another on a particular Friday night. Poor Stuart clearly has the best situation of all: 200 guys, all paying a subscription fee. My favorite detail of this sketch has to be the ominous instrumental flairs that accompany Robinson’s (who plays one of Stuart’s friend) movements. He’s recruiting.
6. Egg Game – Episode 2
5. Barley Tonight – Episode 1
We’ve seen “debate master” type political commentators make a killing online and on the airwaves for positing the promotion of free speech as their raison d’être. These “pundits,” unsurprisingly, are generally disingenuous hacks whose tactics range from parading logical fallacies to overt bullying. In the sea of your Shapiros, though, there’s one shining star: Barch Barley, the fearless foe of cowardice and ignorance. Nobody controls the floor like Barley, slicing heads and dicing words with the best of them. He’s a champion of the little guy, but in this case, that means his phone. The best parts about this sketch are the littlest details – the confused guest’s tiny shrug when the audience laughs at him, Barley’s terrible fisticuffs form, the subtle sorrow on his face when the phone is out, his medieval game (his jousting game), his poor mom. You can’t beat Barley.
4. Richard Brecky is… Jellybean – Episode 3
You have to imagine that the you-get-money-if-I-talk gimmick that Brecky espouses was intended to show he’s serious about the silence thing, which is why it’s so funny that he’s clearly furious whenever he’s egged on. Or that there’s a clicker that tracks how much he’s speaking. Or that he’s heckled constantly and mercilessly. Now I’m just explaining the joke. I love when people are terrible at their jobs and hate the very thing that’s led to their success. “If you had asked me when I started this how many frats would come, I would’ve said naught. But now it’s like… all frats. All frats and bachelor parties. LEAVE. ME. ALONE.”
3. The Driving Crooner – Episode 1
If you don’t want to drive drunk, you can always have the Driving Crooner pick you up. Tim Robinson has a beautiful mind, truly. There’s only so much to say about this, but the reveal is genius. The music cue to the bizarre fish-mouth thing he does to THEY’RE TRYING TO MAKE IT LOOK FAKE! I love that he sits at the green light for an ungodly amount of time. Five cars statewide is way too small for this concept. It’s simply too good.
2. Last Week on… Summer Loving / Summer Loving Returns – Episode 1/Episode 4
There’s nothing realer than love. Reality television has its staples aped magnificently here, from the exaggerated musical beats to the random shots of nature to flashbacks color-graded completely differently than the rest of the show. I love the half-baked sob stories. I love the rumors, and the other contestants’ reactions to those rumors. I love that Ronnie’s dream is to be alone forever. I especially love that Summer Loving™ communicates that 24 eligible men compete on the show, but we see that only 12 remain, meaning Ronnie managed to outlast half of the other men. The killer, though, is that Mike from Adventure 365 has his moment to say that Ronnie is too rough on the rope, suggesting that if not for production interference, Ronnie might have lasted even longer. “Aww! You sure??”
1. Pay It Forward (AKA 55 Burgers) – Episode 3