Everything the comedy trio Stella does devolves into sex or violence—but that's why they're so fucking great. The troupe, made up of goofy, ironic, and ultimately demented comedians David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Michael Ian Black, have been writing and performing together for 16 years. With season one of their TV show Stella hitting DVD this Tuesday, check out the following masterpieces and prepare to become part of the Stella Nation.
• Wet Hot American Summer (2001)—This summer movie spoof takes place on the last day of camp, when the counselors are racing to lay one another before they head back to college. Showalter plays an adorable but pathetic dork; Black is a gay guy who bangs his boyfriend in the sports equipment closet; and Wain directs the film. Look out for appearances by Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, and a truly brilliant Paul Rudd. The ultimate get-stoned-and-laugh-your-ass-off movie.
• The Baxter (2005)—Less funny than other Stella projects, but still watchable, The Baxter is about a guy whose girlfriends always ditch him for their exes. Written by and starring a nerdy and highly ironic Showalter, the film shows us a dude who can't be spontaneous—and thus, never gets the girl. Or does he? The crowning performance is by Black, who lounges around in his tighty whities dispensing crappy advice.
• Stella Season One (2005)—Comedy Central's short-lived Stella series was my favorite show of all time. Based on short films the boys did years earlier (if you can find a copy of the Stella shorts DVD, buy it—otherwise watch them on collegehumor.com), the show fleshed out these skits into an hour-long program. The dudes go turkey hunting and accidentally kill a guy, then rape him. The boys set up a coffee stand outside a coffee shop. In general, the premise is that the guys are bored, then they find some ridiculous way to pass the time with sexual and/or violent results. Totally brilliant!