On DVD: Who's the Caboose?

Who's the Caboose? is a small film from the late 1990s that would seem to prove the argument that true talent will find a way. Dating from 1997, Who's the Caboose? was co-written and directed by Sam Seder, who has gone on to success as an actor and radio and television host. It stars Sarah Silverman, and features appearances by Andy Dick, David Cross, H. Jon Benjamin, Kathy Griffin, Laura Kightlinger, and Marc Maron. It is a funny, improv-driven film that also serves as a portrait of the comedy scenes in both New York and Los Angeles at the time of its production.

Susan (Silverman) is a comedian who decides to leave New York and travel to Los Angeles for pilot season. Pilot season (approximately April - June) is when studios cast for the new shows scheduled to air that fall. Susan doesn't tell her "performance artist" boyfriend Max (Seder) until the last minute, but he follows her out to LA anyway, despite a proclaimed disdain for that city. Susan becomes busy trying out for shows, under the tutelage of her airheaded manager Jason (Andy Dick) and his put-upon assistant (Lauren Dombrowski). Before he knows it - and without intending to - Max has drawn the attention of an ambitious entertainment attorney named Ken Fold (Benjamin), who could not be more enthusiastic about turning Max into a star.

The best thing about
Who's the Caboose? is that it is not dramatically or thematically ambitious. This leaves the actors free to explore their parts and their environments realistically, drawing humor from casual interaction and mundane situations. The movie is about the years of struggle that every artist must endure, sleeping on couches, battling entertainment fringe figures who want to shape and mold you into their own visions of success, and getting by on scant wages. It's also about the moral and social freak show that is Los Angeles and the bizarre priorities of people who are drawn there for one reason or another. Not dated at all fourteen years after its original release, Who's the Caboose? remains fresh, honest, and very funny. 

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