Anybody who's stayed up past 3 AM knows that at a certain point, you're subjected to watching ads for 60 disc CD collections, cleaning products, and exercise machines. And maybe if you're lucky you might get to watch an old Billy Mays ad. If you were watching Adult Swim the other night at 4 in the morning might have noticed that much like every other channel on TV, they too have resorted to airing infomercials to force those of us suffering from insomnia to go to bed. But the difference between the infomercials on Adult Swim and the normal infomercials you see is that the ones on Adult Swim are a parody starring Michael Ian Black and they're called, You're Whole and star Randall Tyree Manderson.
Runtime: 11 minutes
You're Whole - You're Whole - Netflix
You're Whole is an American satirical television series created by Michael Ian Black for Adult Swim. The show parodies self-help infomercials and stars Black as the host, Randall Tyree Mandersohn. In it, Mandersohn advertises his systems of objects and actions designed to help people with their issues. It was the production of Abominable Pictures, with which Black originally consulted with the premise of the show in mind. Meanwhile, Michael Showalter, longtime collaborator of Black, served as the director. The show originally ran from November 5, 2012 to December 2, 2013, airing two seasons and totaling eight episodes. Both seasons were broadcast at 4:00 a.m. as part of DVR Theater on Adult Swim. On air, it was promoted as a series of genuine infomercials. Critical reception was positive, with many praising Black's performance. A live performance was held at the 2014 SF Sketchfest, also positively received.
You're Whole - Broadcast and reception - Netflix
The show premiered on November 5, 2012 on Adult Swim; two seasons have been broadcast, totaling eight episodes. Advertised as a series of genuine infomercials, both seasons were broadcast at 4 a.m., as part of the network's DVR Theater block. The early-morning timeslot was chosen since infomercials usually air during such hours. The first episode was published on YouTube the day after its premiere. One critic—Eliot Glazer of Vulture—called the early morning time slot “terrible”, directing readers toward online distribution. Although the show premiered during a graveyard slot in U.S. dayparting, nearly one million viewers (993,000) saw it on air. The second season premiere marked a slight increase in viewers (996,000), while both maintained a Nielsen rating of 0.7. Critical reception was positive, with many reviewers praising Black's performance and the satirizing of American self-help gurus, as conveyed through his casual racism and cultural appropriation of foreign rituals. Erik Adams of The A.V. Club found that the show conveys itself “in a manner familiar to anyone who's ever killed time before daylight by flipping through their cable package.” Britt Hayes of ScreenCrush called the show “absolutely fantastic” and Black's portrayal “spot-on”. Similarly, Aisha Harris of Slate wrote that Black's performance was “wonderfully committed”, while the show “has pretty much every common trope of the self-help craze covered”, citing the appropriation of foreign customs for Western audiences as “perhaps the most scathing treatment”. Meanwhile, Kelly West of Television Blend highlighted some of the more surreal systems, calling the diet in the premiere episode “a winner”. For Splitsider, Bradford Evans dubbed the show “a more mainstream version” of Paid Programming, an unsuccessful pilot that was also pitched as a mock-infomercial. He found that starring Black, “recognizable as a comedic actor,” would lead to its success, whereas the former preferred to use unknown actors instead.
You're Whole - References - Netflix