Whoa: there’s a new Stella short out today. David Wain announced the news on Twitter this afternoon. The short, “Rip Van Winkle,” can be found at Vimeo, or watched above.
It has been a long time since we have heard from Stella. Well, not from the men who make up Stella—former State members David Wain, Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black are constantly working on stuff, both together and individually—but this particular project of theirs has pretty much been dormant since a 2008 tour. If you’re a fan of The State or Wet Hot American Summer who isn’t familiar with Stella, well, it was a series of shorts the three between 1998 and 2004, originally for a nightclub act and later for the internet. (This is one of those weird web series that predated YouTube.) Stella is even sillier than most of their projects, and if you were alive on the internet back then you might remember that it was pretty controversial even among fans of these guys. From there the three did a Stella series on Comedy Central that was lamentably cancelled after one ten episode season, followed by that tour in 2008. This short, which was shot in January during the SF Sketchfest, seems to be the first official Stella work since 2008.
“Rip Van Winkle” proves that Stella remains committed to intentionally slipshod sketch work, while also explicitly referencing the era in which the collaboration was born. If you miss 1997, you might really dig this one. Or it might make you even more sad that the last twenty years have disappeared in a blink. Either way, if you like Stella’s old work, you’ll probably enjoy this. If you didn’t, you already know that you won’t.