"Hello, ladies and gentlemen, I'm Ronald Haver, and I'm here to do something which we feel is rather unique ... the ability to switch back and forth between the sound track and this lecture track."
, by extension) Bonus Content with the highest ratio of "disappointment when it isn't included" to "likelihood you'll actually sit down and watch the whole thing." If you've bought a DVD, it's assumed that you like the movie or TV show or whatever. Fair enough. It seems logical that a good chunk of the viewing audience would want to know more information about the film they're watching, and also to have a compelling reason to rewatch a film you've seen in the theatre. The creators or other experts get together to record an audio (and rarely, video) track to be played during the movie. This track comments on the production process.
Though its inclusion is increasingly common, there are several famous directors who refuse to allow commentaries to be recorded for their DVDs. The most famous examples are Steven Spielberg
and David Lynch
. Spielberg says he doesn't want to distract the viewer from watching the movie and anything he has to say about the film can be found on the DVD features. Woody Allen
has stated that he hasn't seen any of his films since they were released (and most of the DVDs don't even feature stereo sound). Allen has also given the explanation that he thinks movies should stand on their own merits.
Keep in mind that filmmakers are, first and foremost, artists, and are sometimes much better at expressing themselves creatively than verbally (Tim Burton
is particularly notorious for this).
At their best, DVD commentaries can be a wealth of informative, entertaining insights into the creation of the film, especially if the speakers are adept at the process. They may also have the canon answer
to things that need some explanation
. At the midpoint of quality, everything in the commentary is interesting, but was already discussed in other (shorter), special features on the DVD — making listening to it feel sort of pointless. At their worst, it can quickly devolve into an awkward self-congratulatory session.
Sometimes, the commentary is nonexistent for long stretches, sending you grasping for the remote to see if you inadvertently turned the track off. A rule of thumb is that commentaries which feature more than one person commenting together (in the same studio, not spliced together) will be more entertaining (though not necessarily more informative) than a solo track. Some filmmakers have started including subtitles for the commentary.
Still, it's always nice to know the commentary is there. And if it's not there or if it's poorly done, there's no reason why fans and/or haters can't decide to go into the commentary business for themselves
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The Abridged Series
- Quite a few have made one or two commentaries (basically another video with commentary, since alternate audio isn't available in most video sites), but hbi2k has made the most, with all the episodes of Berserk Abridged given commentary episodes.
- New Neon Menaces Evangelion has commentary for the first two episodes that is a direct (and hilarious) satire of the various actual commentaries for Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- LittleKuriboh briefly released the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series with commentary, but never re-released it after his first account was banned from Youtube. A mirror has been placed here, however.
Anime And Manga
- Princess Tutu is an interesting case. ADV Films normally removes most or all of the special features on their box sets to encourage fans to buy the single volumes when they first come out, but the boxset for Tutu actually featured additional commentaries that were recorded to explain some of the choices made in the dub (for example, translating the name of the main character).
- The Wings of Honneamise has a commentary by the director and assistant director, and gives a lot of insight in how the film wouldn't have been as well-received as it was if they didn't basically just sit back and constantly take input from other members of the project.
- Martian Successor Nadesico features a commentary track, which involve several of the voice actors—in some cases, even for the secondary characters! Unfortunately, only five episodes had a commentary track.
- Batman: Gotham Knight, a collection of anime shorts, is worth watching just for the commentary track with Kevin Conroy (voice actor of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, those shorts and Batman: Arkham Asylum) and veteran Batman writer and editor Dennis O'Neil commenting on the different perceptions of the character over time.
- The English dub of YuYu Hakusho has a few commentaries. Two are with voice acting cast, and they are quite hilarious.
- The Neon Genesis Evangelion movie The End of Evangelion has 3 of the English voice actors/writers, who spend nearly the entire movie riffing. This particular commentary effectively polarized the fanbase as to whether it was entertaining and (occasionally) insightful or insulting to the Serious Business that is Evangelion. Check out a few clips and decide for yourself.
- Rei's arm drops off at the beginning of part two — "Dropped somethin'"
- "Hey Rei, give me a hand!"
- And don't miss Amanda Winn Lee singing a brief, improvised filk of Barnes and Barnes' "Fishheads" when the Mass Production Model EVAs appear.
- "Oh my god! They killed Kaji!!"
- "The true meaning of Evangelion is sex!"
- #667 = "The Neighbor of the Beast"
- In response to Rei/Lilith disintegrating, a.k.a. the Gorniest scene in the film: "Ow."
- At the end of the movie, they (jokingly) discuss the potential sequel, "Eva 2: Electric Boogaloo" (Made Hilarious in Hindsight due to the now-popular "Rebuild of Evangelion = sequel" theory.)
- Don't forget Death & Rebirth, for which they recorded a separate commentary which also included some moments of comedy gold (and a few surprisingly insightful observations about the movie — ever notice that the opening shot of EoE is a mirror image of the closing shot of Death?). Best (or, some might say, worst) of all we get to hear about some Spike Spencer outtakes that tragically never made it onto the DVD, such as one in which he apparently made up a song based on an Unintentionally (though you can never be too sure with Eva) phallic-looking shot of Gendo in the graveyard entitled "Shadow Bone".
- Also on the subject of Eva commentaries, the TV series got a few of its own with the Platinum edition, ranging from Matt Greenfield and the sound editors divulging largely uninteresting technical details about the remastering process to "explanations" of the series' symbolism from Promoted Fanboy Sean McCoy, and probably most interesting, an episode with commentary from Spike Spencer in which he actually admits to being emotionally invested in the character and a rare commentary from the elusive Allison Keith.
- Rebuild of Evangelion 2.22 features a "commentary" of sorts — actually more like a series of interviews between Mike McFarland and various cast members (in order: Spike Spencer, Brina Palencia, Tiffany Grant, Allison Keith-Shipp, John Swasey, Trina Nishimura, and a sound engineer). Highlights include Spike Spencer dispelling the myth that he hates Shinji, Tiffany Grant describing her unspeakably adorable encounter with the daughter of Yuko Miyamura, and John Swasey invoking The Other Darrin trope by name.
- Planetes includes commentary from the Japanese voice actors, director etc, with an interesting twist. They do their commentaries drunk. Which makes them much more interesting and enjoyable. (Not that I'm endorsing anything here, kiddies)
- Cowboy Bebop, animated by the same studio, does it too, and also has (sober) commentaries from the American dub crew. They're all interesting, but sadly not as funny as the Planetes commentaries (butts!).
- A number of recent FUNimation distributed works have these done by the English voice actors and script adapters. They range anywhere from just a little bit snarky to pretty damn snarky (Chris Patton, for example, is never going to let Jacuzzi Splot live that name down).
- The DVD release of Bakemonogatari has the characters rather than the creators comment on the episodes, with dialog written by the author of the original Light Novels, which basically consists of them MS Ting themselves. And wondering where the stalkers with the cameras had been hiding all this time.
- Code Geass has audio commentary by a rotating group of actors and staff, the only constant being Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch's seiyuu). There is some semi-official discussion, but mostly it tends to be stream-of-consciousness rambling. Sometimes this provides interesting insight into the show's production or answers questions relevant to a specific episode, but a lot of it is just funny, like the discussion of Ohgi's perm ("The hairdresser probably screwed up, then lied and said it looked awesome to cover her tracks."), trying to figure what Zero's mask is made of (the four lead actors eventually settle on fiberglass-reinforced plastic), and getting to hear first-hand that the people who made the show love Jeremiah just as much as the fans (as seen by Ami Koshimizu chanting "Orange, orange, orange..." just before the bridge scene in Episode 4).
- Not to mention there's a once per commentary session of affectionately bashing Lelouch. Topics include his fitness ("Even though he has no endurance, he still ran up all those stairs. I'm proud of him"), his plans (often the childishness of them), and his, um, fabulousness ("He must have practiced that. He wouldn't have wanted to get it wrong in front of everyone...")
- For extra fun, the final episode has two different commentary tracks, one with the four lead actors (Jun Fukuyama, Takahiro Sakurai, Yukana and Ami Koshimizu), and another with staff members like director Goro Taniguchi and head writer Ichiro Okouchi, who are also the creators of the series.
- The commentary tracks for the english DVD releases of Hellsing Ultimate are both informative and at points downright hilarious. They are fronted by dub producer Taliesin Jaffe, who is joined usually by 2 voice actors whose roles are prominent in that particular episode. Jaffe regales viewers with tales of dining with Mr. Hirano and discussing with him how the dub should sound, whilst the various voice actors discuss stories of conventions (Crispin Freeman apparently cosplayed as Alucard at one), awful theatrical productions and The Warriors references.
- And tax advice!
- Ralph Lister (Walter) describing Schrödinger's sexuallity as a "moist bug" causing Kari Wahlgren (Rip van Winkle) to be disgusted.
- FLCL has commentary, in Japanese, from the director being interviewed by a Japanese-speaking American, with subtitles provided. It is very worth watching the series at least once with commentary to figure out what parts of the series are supposed to mean something and what parts are just there to be weird.
- The US DVD release of Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid retains the commentary tracks recorded by the Japanese cast, including Tomokazu Seki, Satsuki Yukino, Shinichiro Miki, and Yukana.
- About one episode on every disc of the American release of Busou Renkin has commentary. The Episode 6 commentary was quite hilarious.
- When Central Park Media rereleased Project Ako on DVD, they went an extra step and included a full-length commentary from the movie's director (with subtitles, to boot — allowing one to watch the film AND read the commentary at the same time, which was actually pretty neat).
- 4Kids Entertainment actually did DVD commentaries for some of the Pokémon movies. Specifically, Mewtwo Strikes Back, Spell of the Unown and Voice of the Forest. The first two of these feature the show's head writers, Norman Grossfeld and Michael Haigney. The one for the fourth movie features Grossfeld and Haigney with most of the main cast.
- The Axis Powers Hetalia English DVDs had this. Since the episodes are five minutes long, there were varied result of off-topicness. Eric Vale and Jerry Jewell somehow got on the topic of strippers, crack, and cheeseburgers.
- The R1 Cowboy Bebop Remix DVDs have some episodes with commentary by the English crew and actors, while other eps have subtitled commentary by the Japanese. Mushroom Samba deserves special mention, as the claim that Ed was at least partially inspired by composer Yoko Kanno starts to become a lot more believable.
- Playing up the entire " Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st is an existing movie in the Nanohaverse that was sponsored by The Federation after the events of StrikerS" gimmick, the DVD Commentary of The Movie was provided by Subaru, Teana, Erio, Caro, Vivio, Adult!Fate, and Adult!Nanoha.
- Ditto with Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A's. This time, the commentary cast is three times bigger than before: Adult!Nanoha, Adult!Fate, Adult!Hayate, Signum, Vita, Shamal, Zafira, Reinforce Zwei, Agito, Subaru, Teana, Erio, Caro, Vivio, Einhart, Rio, Corona, Miura, Lutecia, Adult!Chrono and Adult!Yuuno. A Crowning Moment of Awesome when all 21 members are gathered together to comment the final battle.
- Halo Legends featured a commentary for all the shorts with overall director Joseph Chou and Halo mastermind Frank O'Connor.
- The English One Piece DVDs include one or two commentaries per set.
- The commentary for episode 335 (a filler episode) actually has a joke storyline following ADR director Joel McDonald interviewing the cast and crew in bizarre circumstances such as robbing a bank, living in a homeless shelter and even persuading Mike McFarland not to jump off a building because of how much work the show is. The commentary actually manages to throw some genuine fan-submitted questions too.
- The original DVD release ofFantasia included a commentary by Walt Disney himself, compiled from archival interviews and in some cases, someone else reading a transcript. for most of the movie, the commentary is scene specific, but once it gets to the final segment it then becomes about Walt reflecting on the film in general.
- Commentary for the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment of Fantasia 2000 had Roy Disney joined by Mickey Mouse. Donald Duck also appears during the commentary for his segment, "Pomp and Circumstance", but his input is less than helpful.
- The director's commentary for Meet the Robinsons is occasionally interrupted by Bowler Hat Guy (also voiced by the director) trying to tell the "real" story behind the movie.
- Bambi had re-enactments of the story meetings between Disney and his story men. The movie itself played in a window on the corner, while the rest of the screen showed preliminary artwork.
- Lady and the Tramp also had a commentary made from re-enactments of story meetings, but viewers need Second Screen to see the extra pictures
- Kung Fu Panda's commentary is easily one of the best for an animated film with the content being a fascinating discussion about the story development as well as expanding on the themes and symbology of the film.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas has Tim Burton, Henry Selick, and Danny Elfman doing the commentary. It's at the mid-point; interesting, but a lot of info was already mentioned elsewhere.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has one of these featuring Bill Hader and the two directors. And it is hilarious.
- Finding Nemo stops at certain during the commentary and shows some behind-the-scenes clips to illustrate how a particular scene was made. Unfortunately most of the transitions are not very smooth.
- Pixar, in fact, is famous for doing exceptionally good, well-written, and well-planned commentaries that never sound like the commentators are just candidly talking!
- Brad Bird and John Walker's track for The Incredibles was recorded before the film was released, so they awkwardly note at one point that they like the film, but have no idea how it will be received. It was also the day after legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas passed away, and Bird gives a brief and touching eulogy for him at his and Ollie Johnston's cameo.
- The Monsters, Inc. short Mike's New Car, directed by Pete Docter and Roger Gould, is featured on the DVD release with "commentary by Docter and Gould" — but it's actually their kids who give the commentary, which makes the short even funnier.
- The Incredibles features a faux-1960s "Mr. Incredible" cartoon, commented upon by Mr. Incredible and Frozone.
- The Lion King has the producer and co-directors taking on the commentary. They talk over each other at some points, but still manage to be informative and funny.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fantasia intercut commentary from animation historian John Canemaker with old audio interviews with Walt Disney regarding the respective films.
- Brother Bear. The commentary is performed by the two moose, Rutt and Tuke (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, fully in character) as they watch the (entire) movie themselves, presumably in the comfort of their own "home": their silhouettes occasionally appear over the screen, MST3K style, one of them makes popcorn, and they order pizza. This becomes one of the best jokes of the commentary, when half an hour later, the pizza guy shows up and the two of them completely panic at someone at the door; once they calm down, the pizza guy begins watching the movie with them for a few seconds before they tell him to leave. It is entirely worth watching the entire movie a second time just to listen to these two.
- Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie has two normal commentary tracks, and one track done in-character by Larry the Cucumber and Mr. Lunt, who spend several minutes talking about Mr. Lunt's disturbing theory to origin of hush puppies.
- Don't forget the discussions about their producer roles, Wisconsin Dells, Krispy-Kreme Donuts, and the Jack in the Box drive-thru.
- The DVD of Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers has a bonus feature in which Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pete do commentary over the scene of Pete blasting the trio for screwing up on the job.
- The Alice in Wonderland 60th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray has a picture-in-picture commentary titled, "Through the Keyhole: A Companion's Guide to Wonderland", in which historians of animation and/or children's literature give a vast amount of information on interpretations of the Alice books, the relationship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, and Walt Disney's decades-long journey to bring those books to animated life. Their comments get accompanied by such visual aid as concept art, pictures of people involved with either the books or the movies, and live-action reference footage.
- Some Disney or Pixar Blu-Ray Discs have a feature called "Cine-Explore", which accompanies an audio commentary with behind-the-scenes pictures and videos playing over the movie.
- Directors David Molina and Terry Shakespeare recorded one for the first BIONICLE film. As befitting of a Direct-to-Video title, it's nothing special either, but they reveal some nifty details, point out references and inform us that executive producer/story writer Bob Thompson kept making strange monster sounds with his mouth during production.
- The commentary for The LEGO Movie notably has one part where the cast and directors decide to call Elizabeth Banks, who couldn't join in on the commentary, and put her on speakerphone and basically describe what's happening in the movie at that moment to her, while she's eating lunch at Subway.
- The first My Little Pony Equestria Girls didn't have a commentary track, but RainbowRocks did, featuring VP of Development Michael Vogel, Executive Director Brian Lenard, Writer Meagan McCarthy, and supervising directors Jayson Thiessen and Ishi Rudell.
- The Jungle Book has Bruce Reitherman, who voiced Mowgli and is the son of the film's late director, Andreas Deja, a Disney animator who is an Ascended Fanboy of the movie, and composer Richard Sherman, who somehow has a piano with him to play how the early versions of the songs went. Archival footage also allows deceased people from production to talk a bit.
- The author of Constellation Games wrote a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the novel on his blog (link to the first one here), which details a number of differences between various drafts, points out minor plot holes, and otherwise serves a purpose pretty much identical to a DVD commentary track.
- The season three premiere of Alias features a track by Erin, the show's Television Without Pity recapper, and another fan who won a radio contest. Though clearly hogtied to some extent by the show's lawyers (without reading her recaps you'd get the feeling Erin is far more fond of season three than she really is) it's still good fun as they easily find things to chat about through the whole episode and even get in the odd jab at the show ("What was the point of the dress?").
- Joss Whedon's commentaries for his Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly episodes are occasionally enlightening, but always funny. His commentary for "Objects in Space," however, is very philosophical, as the episode was inspired by the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. His commentary on "Restless" is almost required to actually understand what the hell is going on. And anywhere he appears with comic Seth Green (Oz) is hilarious.
- In Angel Season 5, Joss, Alexis Denisof (Wesley) and Amy Acker (Fred) were all on the commentary track for the extremely grueling Tear Jerker "A Hole in the World". The performance is so powerful that all three are struck silent for a large part of the show, at the end of which Joss jokes it was the "Worst. Commentary. Ever."
- Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk did commentary for "War Stories", which ends with Fillion inviting Tudyk to watch porn with him. No, really.
- This one also features Tudyk speculating on what Wash was up to during the Unification War: spending most of it in prison after getting shot down on his first mission ferrying supplies (though for which side is up for grabs), and surviving in prison by entertaining fellow prisoners with shadow puppets (apparently Serious Business in the Firefly-verse). Many fans have taken this as their Fanon.
- The (not Joss) commentary for the Buffy episode "Superstar" pretty much tells you nothing you couldn't figure out by watching the episode.
- The 25th Anniversary Edition DVD of the Doctor Who special "The Five Doctors" has three commentaries: the one that was included in the 2000 Region 1 DVD with Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor) and Terrance Dicks (the writer), one featuring Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) and Mark Strickson (Turlough); finally, a third Easter Egg one with David Tennant (The Tenth Doctor), Helen Raynor (a new series writer/script editor), and Phil Collinson (new series then-current-producer) having a huge nostalgia kick.
- Along with the normal commentary on the DVD of Survival the third episode also was commentated on by a group of fans who won a contest in Doctor Who Magazine.
- Many Who commentaries do like to playfully mock the episodes. Peter Davison has said that he prefers doing the commentaries with the actors, and not members of the production staff, as the actors are usually more willing to take playful jabs at the silliness of it all (although some fans get very upset about the negativity of Davison's remarks about some stories, and even more so Janet Fielding's).
- The TV movie had two commentaries. The first featured a straightforward commentary from director Geoffrey Sax about the casting, filming, and special effects shots. The second was moderated by Nicholas Briggs, and featured Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann talking about how much fun they had during filming, gushing about co-star Daphne Ashbrook, and making fun of the movie's sillier moments.
- The Freaks and Geeks DVD includes on average of two and a half commentaries per episode, including one done by three "teachers" in character and one by posters on the biggest F&G fanboard. Judd Apatow and Paul Feig freely admit that they made the occasion of recording commentaries a de facto cast reunion.
- The commentary track for Garth Marenghis Darkplace was done by the three main stars of the show: Garth Marenghi, Dean Learner and Todd Rivers. While Garth and Dean are intensely knowledgeable and passionate about the show, it quickly becomes obvious that Todd has never actually watched the finished project before and only has a vague recollection of the scenes that he was in due to his rampant alcoholism at the time of filming. Thus, Todd has little interest in what's going on and constantly draws attention to the various flaws of the show. Meanwhile, all three men (loudly) eat crisps and drink beer while they comment. Additionally, "Todd" makes Richard Aoyade crack up for real by proposing a line of make-up for black women called Ethnic Cleansing.
- The commentary tracks in Heroes were filmed during breaks in the filming of the show proper and released on the internet as the episodes aired. Consequently, the lineup sometimes changes halfway through an episode as the actors arrive on set or leave to shoot a scene, and the commentators occasionally have to be shushed — or even bleeped — when they accidentally start talking about an episode later in the season.
- The shushing/bleeping is especially frustrating for owners who saw the series first on the DVD set and were unaware, because they're listening to actors being shushed on plot points and are thinking to themselves "But what sort of idiot listens to the DVD commentary BEFORE watching the series through?"
- LOST's commentaries feature some terminology that can be found on this very wiki, including "Schmuck Bait" and "hanging a lantern on it." The commentary for the pilot episode stops and cuts to "making of" footage in a few places. Some wound up being only "cast & crew having fun". The one for season 3's "A Tale of Two Cities" has writer Damon Lindelof and actress Elizabeth Mitchell telling little useful information and a lot of jokes — even calling it "their own MST3K".
- A lighthearted Season 4 commentary between Jorge Garcia and Evangeline Lilly (Hurley and Kate) includes Lilly sheepishly asking what happens when someone needs to go to the bathroom while recording a commentary track. After the act break, she returns and laments that now she's going to be forever known as the girl with the tiny bladder.
- In the "A Series" DVD of QI, turning factoids on gives you 'concealed elf banter' (which acts as commentary, and tells you stuff they didn't have time to put in the show) whenever the QI magnifying glass comes on the screen.
- Every single episode of Red Dwarf (except for Series X) gets a DVD commentary track from the entire cast for that whole series. The exception is Series V, which Craig Charles (who plays Lister) couldn't show up to the commentary recording for due to being ill — so instead the other actors all imitate him and mercilessly make fun of him while he's not there. Series V and VI also include a fan commentary on the most popular episode of each series. The one for "Back to Reality" had someone from the studio sitting in to make sure the fans didn't just quote the entire episode as it happened.
- Series VII also features Chris Barrie commenting on episodes he doesn't appear in (his character left in episode 2 but appeared in flashbacks in two more episodes after that) and for one episode he basically complains how boring it is, and the rest of the cast agree.
- Older than DVD! A VHS boxset containing one episode from each of the first six series was released, that came with an audio CD containing creator commentaries on each of the episodes.
- Sledgehammer: During the recording of first season DVD's commentaries, an earthquake apparently takes place. It's not entirely clear if it's real or not.
- Probably not. The same thing happens in a single commentary from Season 2. More to the point, the "earthquakes" occur when Series creator Alan Spencer is about to reveal whether or not Sledge and Doreau love each other and get together, and as a result of the "quakes", never reveals said information.
- On The West Wing, the DVD commentaries (usually featuring Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme and one of the show's stars) fall under the "awkward self-congratulation" category.
- The Whitest Kids U Know's first season DVD commentary consisted of four-fifths of the group making fun of Sam for two episodes (he was an hour late and showed up when they were starting on the third episode), talking about funny things that happened during the filming, and retelling Trevor's life story before he started sketch comedy he was a lawyer in Branson, MO with a wife and three kids.
- Many of the commentaries for Mr. Show feature cast members providing ad-libbed commentary as various fictional characters, some of which appear in the episode and some of which are only tangentially related to the show.
- The DVDs for the second season of How I Met Your Mother features a commentary with Jason Segel (who plays Marshall) watching a Marshall-centric episode while doing a joint commentary with the writer of the episode. Eventually it devolves into both of them disrobing to their underwear in what sounds like Gay Chicken. For the third season DVD, Segel apparently demanded to have the writer do another joint commentary, for an episode the writer didn't actually have any involvement in. Segel shows up drunk, with 12 condoms. 10 condoms are left by the episode's end.
- The Weird Al Show had fascinating cast/crew commentaries for every episode, addressing the amount of Executive Meddling they were subjected to, among many other things. They also frequently mocked the quality of the show, in essence MS Ting their own work.
- Many of 24's commentaries are the self-congratulatory sort, but one for the fourth episode of Day Two features gags about Product Placement ("Is that a Daewoo?")
- There were two hilarious commentary intros for the third season. In her commentary Mary Lynn Rajskub introduces herself as Reese Witherspoon, and later on in the season during their commentary with producer Tim Iacofano, Carlos Bernard introduces himself as playing 'Tony the Pizza Man', and James Badge Dale says he plays "Chase who delivers Chinese Food".
- As part of a joke in The Umbilical Brothers live show Speedmouse, out of nowhere commentary is heard in the theatre, stating they had no idea how to end the current joke; on the DVD it turns out that it's part of the show's actual commentary. The rest of the commentary is frequently sidetracked or interrupted by other characters from the show, and when they do provide behind-the-scenes information it's false. Several times, they claim that various imaginary props and characters were actually present in the theatre, but were digitally removed in post-production. At one point, they admit that a particular imaginary character really was just a voiceover, then claim that it was intended to be a visible CGI-animated character but all the earlier digital object removal broke the CGI budget.
- Deadwood has commentaries sprinkled over a number of episodes with various pairings of directors, writers, and actors. It's very interesting hearing the contrast in commentating styles among the different parties. Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant are clearly at a loss, and mostly just comment on trivial things like their hair and how tall the various actresses are. Molly Parker and Anna Gunn, on the other hand, provide a rather intellectual analysis of the show's themes and characters.
- The shortlived Director's Commentary TV series was a rather good parody of the genre.
- Eddie Izzard's stand-up DVD Sexie has a commentary, immediately lampshaded by im referring to it as an "audio commentary for an audio commentary". So.. yeah.
- J. Michael Straczynski did commentaries for several pivotal episodes of Babylon 5, including every season finale. Lots of great information about the production and his writing strategy, and it ultimately becomes very moving when he audibly chokes back tears while watching the series finale.
- In addition, many of the cast member commentaries are hilarious, full of affectionate jabs at each other (particularly when Bruce Boxleitner and Jerry Doyle are involved). But the funniest moment of all is the one in "Interludes and Examinations" where Boxleitner apparently realises for the first time ever while doing the commentary that the apparition of Sheridan's father when Kosh is killed was actually the dying Kosh talking to him.
- The Addams Family had a commentary by Thing and Cousin Itt.
- On the commentary for the DVD of the Australian comedy show The Late Show it was mentioned the possibility of some things being removed due to legal reasons. Due to his commitment and love of all things DVD, when this happens Tony Martin (cast member and producer of the DVD) cuts into the commentary track and explains what happened, and fills the blank in with jokes to ensure the commentary doesn't have any awkward pauses.
- The DVDs for Generation Kill have commentaries for each of the seven episodes. They range from giving insight into the making-of (with directors Susanna White and Simon Cellan Jones sitting for some episodes) to a few extra anecdotes from writer Evan Wright. The actors mostly take the commentary seriously; Stark Sands discusses the real Nate Fick and war, while in contrast Alexander Skarsgaard and James Ransone spend the fourth episode saying, "I'm not onscreen! This episode sucks."
- Community's first season has a commentary for every episode, each of which include at least four people and all of which feature series creator Dan Harmon. Generally, those who accompany him are two or three of the actors (usually those whose characters had the greatest impact on that episode's plot) and occasionally the episode's writer or director.
- For the third seasons, actors Gillian Jacobs and Yvette Nicole Brown are the constants, with one or both appearing in every track. They also lack contributions from Donald Glover (who was on tour at the time) and Chevy Chase (who had... issues with the production).
- The commentary for Black Books is almost as endlessly quotable as the series themselves, due to the cast's ability to be off-the-cuff hilarious and the relaxed attitude to actually talking about the show.
"We will settle this... the Gypsy way."
, Black Books
sister show, also has a frequently laugh-out-loud commentary track, which manges to include as many as possible of the regular and guest cast, but Edgar Wright tends to pull the actors back towards relevance when they start riffing, sadly...
- On the commentary for the Parks and Recreation episode "Sister City", guest star Fred Armisen "leaves" partway through and Raul, the character he played in the episode, shows up to complain about how badly he was portrayed. Eventually, Raul "leaves", at which point Armisen just happens to "return".
- The actor commentaries for Stargate Atlantis are always great fun. None more so than when David Hewlett's dog, Mars, sat up and growled when a Wraith came on the screen (until that point no one listening to the commentary would have known he was in the room at the time during the recording) and the time Hewlett and the others involved decided on a whim to phone a guest star in the episode they were commenting on and discuss his acting.
- Unfortunately the commentary for the DVD release of Police Squad! is pretty boring — they hadn't seen the series for a while and spend more time laughing at the jokes and saying how wet behind the ears they were than letting you know anything interesting. They only offer it on three out of the total of six episodes, too — and not even the best ones. They spend half the time talking about how they had to fight against having a Laugh Track added — and then their commentary is mostly... a laugh track.
- Most of the commentary for Arrested Development is hilarious. Most episodes are commented by lots of the cast at the same time, and they have fun teasing each other. On one George-heavy episode the rest of the cast calls Jeffrey Tambor on the phone, and he plays along while driving until cut off in a tunnel.
- Mad Men features scads of commentary, with two tracks for almost every episode. The quality varies widely, though. Jon Hamm and John Slattery together are ridiculously funny, as are Christina Hendricks and Robert Morse, and Alison Brie and Vincent Kartheiser. Elizabeth Moss is a boat anchor, though, especially in the first-season commentaries, where she spends three whole episodes going on at excruciating length about how challenging and rewarding her fat suit acting was.
- Treme has a slew of great ones by the cast and crew, plus two radio personalities who write a blog about the show's music. Plenty of information about filming in New Orleans, cultural phenomena that the show doesn't fully explain, the few historical liberties taken, and identities of locals who were given small roles. Also, David Simon says that he's written a request for a second line into his will, complete with song list, which will probably be the only one his particular cemetery will ever see.
- NCIS: Los Angeles doesn't do many commentaries, but one tradition seems to be that Daniella Ruah (Kensi) and Eric Christian Olsen (Deeks) always do one together each season. The tracks are hilarious and if you believe their commentary then it becomes clear the writers are not stretching for the banter between the characters. Also, after the first one in Season Two, you get the feeling those two should not be allowed in the booth without a script.
- Ron Moore recorded commentaries for Battlestar Galactica which he originally released for free as a podcast before they were included on the DVDs. They were clearly not professionally recorded and appeared to have been recorded in his house, with the sound of the neighbours mowing their lawns and telephones ringing in the background. The commentaries frequently featured cameos from his wife Terry, otherwise known as 'Mrs. Ron'.
- Particularly amusing is his audible pleasure when Mrs. Ron is out of the house and he can therefore smoke. His scotch selection for the recording is also generally noted.
- Breaking Bad jumps back and forth between being incredibly amusing and informative as all the cast and crew riff on each other giving anecdotes, and awkward congrats sessions. In particular, creator Vince Gilligan is such a nice man that he pretty much makes sure to congratulate everyone for everything.
- The commentaries for Sherlock are quite good, though in different ways. The commentary for "A Study in Pink" (Episode 1) has Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue (Moffat's wife and co-producer of the show) having a lengthy, informative conversation about all the various Doyle references they snuck in and what the casting process was like. The commentary for "The Great Game", though, is Gatiss and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (who hilariously, has to leave halfway through) joking around, trying not to label-drop all the excellent clothes they get to wear, and generally having a very good time.
- Have I Got News for You epic best of compilation features an excellent commentary where Ian and Paul watch and make more jokes — on one notable occasion, Paul is utterly mortified when his past self makes a funnier joke about a clip immediately after he does.
- Game of Thrones has plenty of good ones, the main attraction being the one by George RR Martin on the episode of each season he wrote himself. Lots of great notes on adaptation issues, relations between the actors, and insights into the characters. The child actors even get their own commentary, and start it off by singing along to the main theme!
- Season 2 of Carnivàle features some good ones with the actors, most notably Clea Duvall's rather embarrassed commentary on her sex scene with Nick Stahl.
- Only a few episodes in seasons one and two of JAG have audio commentaries and since they were recorded nine to ten years after the episodes were made, they can be characterized as remembrance style.
- The premiere episode of Profit features a trio of people in the booth. The track itself is pretty good, but it takes them a while to recover from the intro.
David Greenwalt: Hi, I'm David Greenwalt, co-creator.
John McNamara: I'm John McNamara, co-creator.
Adrian Pasdar: Adrian Pasdar, actor.
John McNamara: Your voice is so awesome. I want you to read me to sleep every night.
all: *crack up laughing*
- The Twilight Zone episode "The Last Night Of a Jockey" has probably one of the most hilariously awkward commentaries ever courtesy of an extremely cranky Mickey Rooney who proceeds to antagonize his interviewer like the world's biggest "crotchety old man" stereotype every step of the way, and at one point even claiming no one is going to listen to said commentary because the "younger audience" is "watching...sexy things".
- Wonder Showzen
- Season 1, per DVD Talk: On "Space," Screamin' Steven J. Hawkins — a parody of Stephen Hawking — speaks in a computerized voice about all manner of subjects, including how since "ignorance is bliss," that means he, being the smartest person in the world, must be the most miserable. ("More misery than anyone on this God-forsaken planet could possibly understand.") Over "Diversity," the band PFFR (featuring the "Wonder Showzen" guys, and predating the TV show) plays its weird electronica music. And on "Nature," actor Dick Gregory (who plays Mr. Sun on the show) rambles amiably about ... um ... the episode, sometimes, and sometimes just about whatever. It's not as funny as the Stephen Hawking thing, but it's admirably weird... [and] one more commentary, from author Gordon Lish, who has no prior connection to "Wonder Showzen" as far as I can tell. He offers commentary on the "Patience" episode, talking more or less about the subject of patience without ever actually referencing the episode. When the episode starts playing backwards halfway through, Lish's commentary does the same thing. At the end, when the episode goes to fast-forward, so does Lish.
- Season 2, per IGN: The commentaries once again have hardly anything to do with the show itself. Rather, the episode "Genocide" has "Screamin' Stephen Hawking" and Samantha Power, a real Pulitzer-Prize winning author. And "Time" has a professor of theoretical physics from the City University of New York. Both professors simply lecture on their subject for a half-hour. To be honest, these commentaries are amazingly interesting and worth a listen. Watching the show play as the professor talk about their work is a fascinating bit of art.
- Factor 5's Nintendo 64 game; Star Wars: The Battle For Naboo, may very well be one of the first games with an audio commentary. In each of the standard levels, there are atleast five minutes of audio commentary from the games developers. On a cartridge, no less!
- Factor 5 repeated this, by adding audio commentary into the Gamecube game Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader.
- The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. In the Developer's Cut, at points in the game you'd come across a bubble, and when activating it would get to hear one of the designers talk about the level you're in/enemies you're fighting/scene you're about to see etc etc.
- Halo 3's Legendary Edition has a DVD with all the cutscenes from the preceding two games. You can also turn on the DVD commentary to hear 3 of the games makers (Including Bungie founder Jason Jones) talk over them.
- Starting a New Game+ in Disgaea DS can unlock commentary on cutscenes by one of the Mascot Mook Prinnies, dood. (While the regular scene takes place on the lower screen, the Prinny's comments show up on the top.)
- Valve Software's more recent games (starting with Half-Life 2: Lost Coast) offer a similar ability; while playing through the game with commentary active, little rotating speech bubbles can be found throughout each level. "activating" these bubbles begins an audio commentary track. Some of these actually take temporary control of the player character, in order to show closer views of certain objects.
- Most of Valve's games with commentaries makes your character immune to damage or be ignored by enemies, which is nice because frankly, being attacked while trying to listen to the commentaries is a big no no. Of course achievements cannot be earned due to you being in god mode.
- In Left 4 Dead specifically, certain commentary nodes spawn a copy of whatever they're talking about. One of them talks about The Tank...
- ...Which will ignore you and go after the bots, allowing players to cause shenanigans by spawning the Tank through the commentary node over and over again.
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus has level commentary tracks from the developers, but you need to complete Nintendo Hard time trials to unlock em'.
- Season One of the new Sam & Max: Freelance Police series has commentary from the designers about how some of the scenes were made and what got left out of the games (including subtle foreshadowing being dropped because too many people were getting it and an over-complicated puzzle being changed). It was available on the Telltale website for a period of time.
- Tomb Raider Anniversary has commentary crystals in every level, but you have to beat all the levels in each region and find the secret items in order to unlock them. Even when you are listening to the commentaries, Lara will still be attacked.
- Jak 3: Wastelander has unlockable versions of cutscenes with commentary by the game's designers and animators, giving insightful little tidbits about the game's cutscenes and machinimia in general. One of the most amusing commentaries is for a cutscene that lasts a whole five seconds: "There's a really funny story behind this scene, but I really don't have the time to tell it!"
- Likewise, creator commentary for cutscenes can be bought in the secrets shop in Jak X: Combat Racing. It offers insight in how the scenes were animated, ideas that didn't make it into the game, and a crew member doing an imitation of a colleague who couldn't be there during recording.
- To some extent, I Wanna Be the Guy has this in the form of Kayin Nasaki's own Let's Play of it. Besides the commentary it's somewhat satisfying for others to see him get a taste of what he's unleashed.
- In Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, one cheat unlocks Infobots scattered around the worlds that provide commentary on various things, "Tools of Production".
- The first three games have commentaries by two of the designers via let's plays
- In the Monsters vs. Aliens video game each level has unlockable commentary, mostly in character by whichever monster the level featured, but in a few cases by the developers who worked on the game.
- Hideki Kamiya has done what's basically a Let's Play of Bayonetta where he discusses Platinum Games' experience creating the game. The translated commentary is uploaded bi-weekly on Platinum Games' site.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 has a podcast on Snake's in-game Ipod, in which the developers talk about various aspects of the game's design.
- A patch/DLC for Mark Of The Ninja added interactive commentary in the same vein as Valve's. In various parts of the level there are "nodes" which allow the player to read commentary by attacking or interacting with them (there's even a few achievements for doing so in the steam version).
- The Director's Cut of Deus Ex: Human Revolution features commentary cued by the player being in certain locations, which the player can activate or ignore depending on game circumstances. As an added touch, portraits of the people commenting appear in the player's HUD, similar to the in-character infolink.
- Tom Siddell started a series of videos with comments on each chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court. You can find the first one here.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog features Commentary! The Musical, which is less of an actual commentary than a separate, 42 minute long musical about making a commentary. There is also a regular commentary, in case you wanted to know things, rather than be entertained.
- In which case you will be disappointed, as any commentary featuring Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Joss Whedon (among others) is sure to be hilarious. It is.
- It may be the only commentary with its own tropes page.
- The Onion's AV Club website includes a running-feature called "Commentary Tracks of the Damned" reviewing DVD commentaries of flop movies. All make sure to point out "what went wrong" (in many movies, the guys are so happy talking over it appears nothing did) and "Inevitable dash of pretension" (since there's always a comparison or compliment too highbrow considering the product on screen).
- The DVD set of Broken Saints features a commentary track for every single chapter. Many of the tracks are with the core creative team: Brooke Burgess, Andrew West, and Ian Kirby. Some include other contributers to the series. All of them feature talkative writer-director Burgess, who spends much of the time telling in-depth stories about how the series came into being, explaining the plot and dialogue in ridiculous detail, making Shout Outs to his favorite movies, books, and TV shows, and encouraging you not to listen to his performance as Gabriel on the voice-over track.
- Red vs. Blue DVDs feature commentary which are, like the series, hilarious. Initially it featured some of the main crew commenting on unusual shots, remarks about specific jokes including a few that might of been hard to catch and a great deal of back and forth banter between those recording. Later on answering questions posted online was included during slow periods and comments on scenes or jokes that were cut. More commentators were added each season as well.
- One particular bit is on the Season 1 DVD in which a humorous story is told about Gus, the guy who voices Simmons, and a trip to Las Vegas which was referenced in the series itself.
- Several Homestar Runner cartoons, on both its website and DVDs, have in-character commentary.
- One notable one is when Strong Bad gets an e-mail saying "make a cartoon with just u in it, and u do the commentary." When the DVD email collection was released, the commentary on top of the email had a second layer of Strong Bad commentary talking about his previous commentary.
- That Guy with the Glasses and The Spoony Experiment feature online commentaries for their videos. Doug and Rob Walker's commentaries for the Nostalgia Critic videos usually give their honest opinions, where they have a kinder word for some of the media they reviewed, even considering some of them Guilty Pleasures. The only instances where they reiterate the Nostalgia Critic's review are the ones for The Garbage Pail Kids Movie and The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Kickassia has got so many commentaries: one by Spoony, one by Film Brain, and a joint one featuring Phelous, Brad Jones and Benzaie (with a cameo by Linkara in the last part) at least.
- The DVD features even more. Doug and Rob have seperate ones that both start with warnings that everything the other says is a lie, then go on to include many of the same anecdotes and jokes, though they do strongly disagree on whether a certain scene needed music. Rob also goes into quite nauseating detail on the leg injury he suffered during the shoot. There's also one with Bargo and Mike Michaud with some neat tidbits about running the site on top of the film itself, though after an hour they completely run out of things to talk about and their comments become more and more random.
- Now Linkara and Phelous have another commentary, bringing along Obscurus Lupa and Nash for the perspective of people who were just fans at the time. The result is half serious commentary, half jokes about how Lupa and Nash actually were there, and were just doing things off camera the whole time.
- Suburban Knights has them too; while overall a much easier experience than Kickassia, there's still plenty of discussion about how the weather refused to cooperate (and they were stupid enough to spend the one day when the weather was good filming indoor scenes) and some people were much more comfortable than others, depending on how warm their costume was and whether they were inside or outside.
- Doug and Rob have them on the DVD again, making it clear that while it was an easier experience for the actors, it was a much harder one for them as they struggled to figure out how the project could possibly be completed given the huge weather problems, until they were ultimately forced to make the film far more of a pure comedy than Doug had intended. There's also one by line producers Holly and Iron Liz, which gets off to a rough start as they experience some technical difficulties, but soon settles into providing some more great information about the shoot.
- The Marble Hornets commentary is excellent for relieving the paranoid insomnia the series is likely to induce, courtesy of revelations regarding silly obstructions to filming (Entry #7 took forever to film due to cat poop, Tim kept ruining shots by making silly faces...). It helps that they were kind of drunk for most of it.
- I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC also has commentaries available for purchase, which mostly discusses how they came up with the plot lines and the methods for the filming and "acting."
- Mr. Coat And Friends does a few.
- Ninja The Mission Force has two commentaries—one by Ed Glaser and Meagan Rachelle talking more about the production itself, and one with Glaser and Brad Jones having essentially a three-hour discussion about bad movies and the series' homages to them.
- Game Informers Replay released an episode as an April Fools Day prank where they gave commentary about them giving commentary on a featured game. The video can be found here.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender features commentaries for some episodes by the co-creators or other members of the production crew. They often give extra information on the story or the creative process. Or just make farting noises for half the episode.
- Sometimes their commentary is hilariously inane. For example, from the commentary on The Western Air Temple:
Mike: Hello once again, this is Mike DiMartino, co-creator and executive producer of Avatar.
Bryan: And this is Bryan Konietzko, the other...guy.
Mike: Who does a lot of stuff...Like co-creation.
Bryan: I usually co-create between like, 9:30 AM and 9:41.
Mike: And then you're executive producer in the afternoon?
Bryan: I make executive products between like, 10:01 and 10:14.
Bryan: What about you Mike?
Mike: I take the 2:00 to 3:30 shift on the executive production.
- There's also Avatar Extras, which gives small blurbs of random trivia about the various things in the show, including inspirations for scenes and scenery, background information for characters that didn't get much in the series, and the occasional snarking.
- The Legend of Korra continues the tradition of hilarious commentary. For example, they start off Skeletons in the Closet with voice manipulators: Mike, Bryan, and Jeremy Zuckerman (music composer for the show) have squeaky voices like they just sucked in helium, and Ben Wynn (sound designer) has a ridiculously deep voice. It's as hysterical as it sounds.
- The commentary for episodes of Family Guy are odd in that series creator and multiple character voice actor Seth MacFarlane uses his normal speaking voice for Brian, a talking dog, so he appears to be doing the commentary in-character. He also flat out refuses to do the voices of any of the characters he voices (Peter, Stewie, Quagmire etc) during said commentary. Usually with (hopefully tongue-in-cheek) threats of violence against whoever suggested it.
- Only if someone asks; if the fancy strikes him, he'll throw in a line or two in the voice of Peter and Stewie. Although he usually tells them to fuck off in character. Also Seth Green sounds nothing like Chris Griffin or Neil Goldman (his two main voices) so he has to be asked to drop into character. Mike Henry (Cleveland Brown, Herbert) does his voices without being asked.
- The commentaries featuring Danny Smith meanwhile tend to give an idea of just how insane the people who write the show are. The one for 'Indecent Proposal' in particular has the cast repeatedly accusing him of being extremely drunk while he claims to be 'high on life.'
- American Dad! also has loads of commentaries, and often help highlight how this show grew into a different show than Family Guy.
- The early episode "Bullocks for Stan" spoofs the concept. Klaus narrates a conversation between Stan and Francine, and when asked he says he's pretending he's recording DVD commentary for his life. Near the end of the episode, Klaus' narration pops in at a couple of points where he's not involved, playing with the Animated Actors aspect by mentioning the tragic death of one of their extras and complaining about how Executive Meddling forced them to give Stan a Glurge-filled Out-of-Character Moment to close out the episode.
- The Futurama commentaries are well known for being raucous, free-ranging affairs with the various voice actors cracking jokes and telling funny stories about the show's production. They also often feature the voice actors doing imitations, and when a voice actor does imitations they're really good. The Season 5 DVD set features John Dimaggio and Billy West doing a recurring sketch as Tracy Morgan being interviewed by Jay Leno (Jon Dimaggio's Tracy Morgan impression is disturbingly good).
- Ones involving John Dimaggio (the voice of Bender) are particularly good, thanks to the actor's obvious huge enjoyment of the show shining through.
- The show's future was still in question for years, and in the commentary for "Anthology of Interest II", one of the guys asked "What If? we had a fifth season?"
- Some of the episodes have bonus commentary tracks focusing on a particular subject; "Jurassic Bark" has one with eight of the show's writers describing the writing process, and "A Farewell to Arms" and "Game of Tones" both have animator commentaries with a group of directors and animators discussing the production process.
- The Simpsons animator, producer, and creator Matt Groening has probably recorded more audio commentaries than anyone else alive. He has made sure that EVERY SINGLE episode and movie that he has been involved in has a commentary track on the DVD, and he is personally on most of them.
- Talk Show host and former staff writer Conan O'Brien is on the commentary track of a few of the episodes he wrote like "Marge vs. the Monorail" and "Bart Gets Famous," in which he guest-starred right after getting the gig hosting Late Night.
- At least one such appearance is in the form of an alternate Easter Egg commentary to an episode he wrote. This was in lieu of an appearance on the 'main' commentary.
- And of course, The Simpsons Movie also has two commentaries. It also does something rare — the movie actually stops at points so that the commentators don't talk over too much of the action.
- "The City Of New York vs. Homer Simpson" has two tracks, because the writer of the episode, Ian Maxtone-Graham, missed the first recording. As a treat, Dan Castellaneta joins in on track two. A number of season 3 & 4 episodes also have similar Easter Egg commentaries with showrunners Al Jean or Mike Reiss when one of them missed the main recording.
- Of particular note is "The Cartridge Family," where Mike Scully (then the show's head writer) calls up the notoriously reclusive John Swartzwelder (who has credit on this and 58 other episodes) who refuses to appear in the commentaries despite his massive contributions to the show. Matt Groening is stunned that they were actually able to trap him like this, and at the end of the call he denies that he's the real Swartzwelder.
- Most cast members have also joined in commentaries, with Yeardley Smith probably doing the most. Guest stars have also appeared, including Kelsey Grammer, Joe Mantegna, Jon Lovitz, Gary Marshall and Stan Lee.
- Also notable is "Another Simpsons Clip Show," where they're stuck with almost nothing to talk about, so they instead take viewers through the process of how an episode is created, from beginning to end. This ends with a Crowning Moment of Funny when after the full elaboration of all the work done by a ton of people, David Mirkin notes that the very final step is when the fans declare it the worst episode ever.
- South Park DVDs has had notorious luck with this: the season one set imfamously had it's full-length commentary tracks pulled prior days before the physical production of the sets were to begin, all because Paramount got pissed off at Trey and Matt for explaining their hatred for the film "Contact" and Robert Zemeckis. Season two lacked commentaries and by the time they returned for season three, Parker and Stone had gotten jaded on the concept of doing commentaries and opted to just do "mini-commentaries" that last for only a few minutes at start of each episode, that only briefly scratches the surface of each episode.
- This is not to say that the mini commentaries are uninformative or boring, however. Trey and Matt later defended the commentaries' short length, claiming that, while they enjoy doing them, the ever-shortening production time for each episode and lack of second-guessing during which leaves very little to actually talk about.
- Parker and Stone pissing off their corporate masters was lampshaded, in the special edition DVD of "Imaginationland", as far as them exploiting the fact that everything they say that Comedy Central might consider to cause liability will in effect be bleeped out, to great comedic effect.
- The two have also repeatedly claimed that they quite enjoy doing commentaries and often look forward to completing a season just so they can record them. The most extreme example of this being "Pee," which wasn't even finished when the commentary was being recorded.
- The Venture Bros. commentaries are notably surreal: the two creators are recorded at drastically different volumes and often talk about things that have nothing to do with the episode. This is remedied (the volume thing, at least) in the second season DVD, though. In both cases, though, many, many hints about the next season are dropped.
- They repeatedly spoiled the ending of Season 3, claiming that nobody listens to the DVD commentary before watching the entire season. They got a signed photo from a fan who did just that at a convention.
- On the season 4 DVD they claim there comentary for Hansom Ransom is the worst commentary ever because the episode stops working and they cant get it to play again.
- For the Fairly Odd Parents Made-for-TV Movie Abra-Catastrophe, the commentary is done by Cosmo and Wanda.
- The DVD commentary for Invader Zim features several members of the cast and production team, including Jhonen Vasquez himself, and even including musician Kevin Manthei on a few bonus commentaries that feature him and Jhonen exclusively. Their commentaries are riotously funny and as crazy as you'd expect from some of the people they feature.
- Some episodes have multiple commentary tracks (where one is with the music/storyboarding crew and the other is with the actors), but one episode has an alternate commentary track that is nothing but squealing pigs.
- One Drawn Together DVD has a commentary track for an episode which isn't too odd. What is odd is the inclusion of the "potentially annoying" commentary track about the original commentary track.
- In the Drawn Together movie, when the characters are trapped in a flooding room with no idea how to escape, Foxxy turns on the DVD commentary and listens until the creators talk about how they wrote themselves out of this one.
- Toys R Us included a free bonus disc with their copies of the Phineas And Ferb Christmas Vacation DVD. The bonus DVD features the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Chronicles of Meap" with two audio commentaries, one by the creators, and the other by the characters they voice, in which we learn that Major Monogram considers Meap to be terrifying) and Dr. Doofenshmirtz does not approve of Ferb's crush on Vanessa.
- Sealab 2021's DVD commentaries are particularly insane (much like the show), of note is that the commentary over several episodes has no bearing on the episode itself. The highlight of this is the commentary over two episodes merely being one of the writers reading a comic book he did for a 4th grade project.
- The Ren and Stimpy commentaries are interesting, considering John K appears on commentaries for episodes that were done after he was fired.
I was just wondering how this cartoon would've been done if you were handling it...
John K: I would have put some jokes in it.
- Batman: The Animated Series has several great ones from the producers, detailing their intentions to make it more than what was considered possible for Saturday morning cartoons to be at the time. They're also perfectly willing to poke fun at their work the few times it deserves it, like the difficulties in animating the Batmobile driving on hills, or the Magical Security Cam in "Heart of Ice." While the commentaries are usually reserved for what are considered the best or most significant episodes in the series, there's a commentary for the much-derided episode "Critters".
- Shout! Factory's Amazon exclusive My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Season One 4-DVD set has audio commentaries on the episodes "Friendship is Magic, part 1", "Friendship is Magic, part 2", "Winter Wrap Up", "Suited For Success", "The Show Stoppers", and "The Best Night Ever", including people like Hasbro executives Brian Lenard and Robert Fewkes, supervising directors Jayson Thiessen and James "Wootie" Wootton, art director Ridd Sorensen, composer Daniel Ingram, and voice cast members such as Tabitha St. Germain, Andrea Libman, Cathy Weseluck, and Nicole Oliver.
- DVD commentary for The Critic would usually feature the how's creators, and at least one or two of the voice actors (save for Jon Lovitz himself who was working on a film at the time), and very often during the commentary, they would get caught up in the show and end up laughing at quite a few of their own gags.
- Commentary tracks for Adventure Time are of course extremely short, and tend to break down into one of two types: A fairly serious track with the writer/writers and director talking about the plot; or a track featuring creator Pen Ward with actors Jeremy Shada, John Dimaggio and Tom Kenny, which while nominally informative, is usually filled with the four joking with each other and riffing on some of the show's insanity.
- Perhaps the strangest ever recorded was for the 2003 Clone Wars shorts by Genndy Tartakovsky, a rambling and timid affair clearly ad-libbed in the most disastrous manner possible. The results were so bad that a separate "Hyperspace Commentary" (which seems to translate to simply "Commentary that doesn't suck") was included on the DVD and there Genndy holds his own okay, but why the first track was included as well continues to mystify.
- The Beastie Boys did this for all of their albums (save Licensed to Ill and their two newest albums) to celebrate their special-edition reissues throughout 2009.
- Kill Hannah did this for two albums Until There's Nothing Left Of Us and Wake Up The Sleepers, making them available with pre-order. (The latter, in addition to specifying the many special guests of the album, originally told the listeners exactly what sort of drug binge the lead singer was on to inspire the album's first single. His exhortation never to do that particular drug is rather less effective now that the commentary's been censored.)
- Trifonic included a 30-minute commentary track for their debut album Emergence as a hidden track, when purchased as a download from their online store.
- The 25th anniversary special edition of The Wake by British prog rockers IQ includes a DVD with a video of the band sitting listening to the music and commenting on how the album was made. Since it's a video commentary about an audio track, this could be seen as a deconstruction of sorts.
- The 30th anniversary edition of Tales from the Lush Attic also includes a commentary, but this time it's presented as an audio mp3 with the music playing in the background.
- The They Might Be Giants video collection features commentary by John Flansburgh and John Linnell on all of their videos (as well as the Tiny Toons ones for "Particle Man" and "Istanbul"), with the exception of "Snail Shell": in lieu of actual commentary, they recorded an entire new song, "Complete Paranoia", that very obliquely comments on some of the things happening in the video ("I hold out my hand like a claw / the German scientist guy turns around").
- The commentary for their documentary Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns is entertaining. The Johns are joined by the director (A.J. Schnack) and Sarah Vowell, who's interviewed in the movie. Schnack mostly sticks to talking about making the movie, Linnell mainly points out little oddities in the film, but Flansburgh and Vowell (usually in tandem) go off on all sorts of weird tangents that have no relation to the movie, and sometimes the others go along with them.
- The Pet Shop Boys' band commentary on the Pop Art: The Videos compilation is pretty much like watching a RiffTrax. They hold nothing back in the snarkery, and both of them go into hysterics at their most embarrassing dance numbers.
- Fall Out Boy released their Believers Never Die — Greatest Hits album with a DVD featuring all of their videos, with commentary. The general consensus places it in the mid-to-low quality range.
- An Easter Egg on the "Weird Al" Yankovic Live DVD activated commentaries by Al for the two music videos included ("All About the Pentiums" and "The Saga Begins") — they're more entertaining and informative than some full-length tracks.
- The Directors Series DVDs were compilations of the work of notable music video directors; the Spike Jonze and Anton Corbjin discs included musician commentaries, and the Mark Romanek disc included director commentaries for all 26 clips and musician commentaries on certain videos.
- Oasis: Time Flies 1994-2009 has Noel Gallagher doing a commentary on the band's music videos. He watches some of them for the first time and he's definitely not impressed.
Hi, everyone. We're the tropers and this is the first ever commentary for a wiki page....