DVD Review: Sam Seder's Who's The Caboose? starring Sarah Silverman, Sam Seder, H. Jon Benjamin, Andy Dick and David Cross

Underman is a semi-successful comic, and soon moves her life out to the West Coast with her reluctant boyfriend, Max Rabin (Seder), in tow. Rabin loves the Big Apple, and is against everything that Hollywood stands for. From the onset, he spends most of his time on camera criticizing the people of L.A. and their lifestyles, but he ultimately makes the trek to LaLa Land to support his girlfriend.

As quickly as they make the move, however, we find Rabin turning into everything he stands against. He makes an unlikely connection with Ken Fold (H. Jon Benjamin), a fast-talking, slick guy who has connections to the entertainment industry. But as Rabin is growing into his new surroundings, Underworld’s attempt at making it big is starting to unravel.

[image-1]Who's The Caboose? has some good laughs and some great performances from the supporting cast. Andy Dick is as funny as ever playing Underman’s manager, and David Cross is probably the highlight of the movie, playing a waiter/aspiring actor who has nothing but rage and bitterness built up inside. Silverman is her usual charming self, but her humor in Who’s the Caboose? is surprisingly tame. Perhaps it’s because she was not the writer of this project (like she is for The Sarah Silverman Program), or her character here just doesn’t call for that side of her, but Silverman is still funny without being too over the top. (The over-the-top performances are left to the others.)

As a movie that essentially parodies Hollywood's February-through-April pilot season, Who’s the Caboose? now seems somewhat outdated in our era of 24/7 networking and marketing. Things do tend to get stale when more than a decade goes by after the initial creation. However, though we’ve seen these characters (the struggling actor who has a crummy job to pay the bills, the shady yet effective agent, etc.) before, they still seem relevant here.

Who’s the Caboose? is as much of an homage to Los Angeles as it is a spoof, and that degree of somewhat level-headedness is what works. Sure, the movie drags on at times (mainly in the middle) but for the most part it maintains a steady flow of laughter. The low-budget aspect is most apparent in the camerawork, which gives Who's The Caboose? an authentic feel, though it's also distracting at times.

Ultimately, Who's The Caboose? is a likable movie with some solid laughs, and the occasional laugh-out-loud moment. And it’s fun to see all of these comics and television actors on screen together before they truly figured out their careers.

Who’s the Caboose? is finally being released on DVD in the U.S. a mere 16 years after its creation. Written and starring Sam Seder, as well as Sarah Silverman before she was a star, this 1995 mockumentary is as low budget as they come.

The film begins with a brief introduction about some New York art students who set out to make a documentary about a rare fatal disease plaguing homeless people. They quickly find that topic too depressing, and shift their focus to Susan Underman’s (Silverman) trip to Los Angeles for pilot season. Pilot season, we are told, is the time period each year in L.A. where actors are auditioning for new television series. So it should come as no surprise that Who’s the Caboose is a prequel to a TV mini-series titled none other than Pilot Season, which was out in 2004.

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