Back before Cartoon Network's Adult Swim became the force of late-night TV it is today, there was MTV. Popular programming like "Beavis and Butthead" and "Daria" always claimed most of the limelight, but for my money there were few shows better than "Sifl and Olly," a lo-fi production by musicians and childhood pals Liam Lynch and Matt Crocco.
The show, which lasted for two years in the late '90s, featured two handpuppets, Sifl and Olly, and had a cable access charm to it that's harder to duplicate than it sounds. The biggest appeal to "Sifl and Olly" was the feeling it garnered, not so much the jokes. Watching Sifl and Olly put on fake interviews and reviews was like re-watching your childhood when you and a friend would take a tape recorder or video camera and act out whatever hairbrained ideas popped into your head. Your jokes were mostly in-jokes, and the rush you received from the endeavor was one of creation. So it is watching "Sifl and Olly."
And now they're back with new episodes on YouTube, and I couldn't be happier. The production values are a little higher (I recently listened to an interview with Lynch where he spoke of his desire for an HD version of "Sifl and Olly," which is pretty damn hilarious) and the show is now built around "real reviews of fake video games," but the charm and humor and "insider-ness" (if you'll allow me) are still there. Watching the new episodes has been like reuniting with a childhood best friend and picking up right where you left off.
As you could imagine, I couldn't be happier.