Sit Down, Shut Up

 
Colorful 'toon aims crude humor at consenting adults.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

None of the adults at Knob Haven High School are very good role models, although P.E. teacher Larry Littlejunk comes closest to being the voice of reason. Others alternately flirt with students, buy pornography, get naked in front of the school board to prove they "didn't come from no monkey," and plot to put student athletes on steroids to boost alumni funding. Some characters are stereotyped, notably a Middle Eastern janitor.

Violence

Some cartoonish violence, including a man getting stabbed in the neck with a dart at the school carnival and a flashback to a school production of Edward Scissorhands that ends with the audience getting doused in blood.

Sex

Heavy sexual innuendo, with some cartoonish "nudity" that's blocked out with a black censor bar. The drama teacher is openly bisexual and makes jokes about students painting his face on "anything with a hole in it," the English teacher covers his erection with a stuffed animal while talking to a female colleague, booths at a school carnival include a "Sausage Toss" and a "Salad Toss," and the list goes on.

Language

Audible words include "hell," "damn," and "ass," as well as sexually charged terms like "nut sack," "yam sack," "testicles," "tits," and "horny." Bleeped phrases include "f--king idiot."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional use and promotion of illegal substances. One episode revolves around a plot dreamed up by the acting principal to put the football team on steroids to improve their performance. Teachers also sample drugs that they confiscate from students and sometimes drink alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated comedy takes place in a small-town high school but focuses on the dysfunctional lives of its faculty and staff, a motley crew of pseudo-professionals who don't really like their jobs, their students, or each other very much. Because the series is aimed at adults who appreciate crude humor, there's plenty of iffy material when it comes to kids and teens, from heavy sexual innuendo, bleeped cursing, and audible words like "porno," "nut sack," and "three-way" to crude jokes about doing drugs and drinking -- plus a borderline racist portrayal of a Middle Eastern janitor who speaks "scary Muslim talk." Proceed with caution.

What's the story?

Setting animated characters against a backdrop of live-action scenery, SIT DOWN, SHUT UP follows the antics of the faculty and staff at Knob Haven High School, a place where students "always come second." The mixed bag of dysfunctional educators includes everyman gym teacher Larry Littlejunk (Jason Bateman), body-conscious English instructor Ennis Hofftard (Will Arnett), Creationist science teacher Miracle Grohe (Kristin Chenoweth), put-upon German instructor Willard Deutschebog (Henry Winkler), and bisexual drama teacher Andrew Legustambos (Nick Kroll). The show is based on a popular live-action Australian series by the same name.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fans of the now-canceled comedy classic Arrested Development will really want to like this cheeky Fox cartoon dreamed up by Arrested Development writer Mitchell Hurwitz and producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum of Two and a Half Men. But for some reason, the jokes in Sit Down, Shut Up just don't play out with the same freewheeling hilarity that Hurwitz probably intended.

Yes, we get that even the characters' names are jokes in themselves -- Larry Littlejunk is pretty obvious, Andrew Legustambos (a play on the Spanish words for "he likes both"), less so. But maybe Sit Down, Shut Up falls flat because it relies too much on sophomoric body-part puns instead of the smart comedy viewers were expecting. With all the potential of that wasted voice talent, it's a definite disappointment.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about humor that pushes the envelope when it comes to social mores and political correctness. Is it ever useful? Why or why not? Is it possible for something to be funny and offensive at the same time? Parents and kids can also talk about whether audiences would perceive this show any differently if it featured live actors instead of animated characters. Can animated comedy series like this one get away with more when it comes to crude humor because they seem less like real life than live-action?

TV details

Cast:Henry Winkler, Jason Bateman, Will Arnett
Network:Fox
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Sit Down, Shut Up was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byI_TellTheTruth September 17, 2011
age 14+
 

Not as terrible as CSM says

I read this review and then watched the show, expecting it to be extremely offensive. It wasn't really THAT bad. It wasn't nearly as offensive as Family Guy or American Dad. There was one bleeped word, and one teacher said "nut sack" but then you saw that he was referring to his bag of peanuts. Also, you can't say "t-ts" on FOX, even though CSM's review would have you believe that you can.
Teen, 14 years old Written byLeelandfan13 May 8, 2009
age 13+
 

With how us teenagers are it's okay for anyone 13 or older

I'm a 14 year old. I love Sit Down Shut Up. The fact is that us teenagers know more about sex and drugs than you think. Some of the things that they say that some people (make that mostly everyone) think is inappropriate are funny to me. What parents say, "That's just wrong." to we laugh our butts off. It's that simple. I love this show and teenagers should be able to watch it.
Kid, 8 years old January 24, 2015
age 14+
 

show

I like this show, but there are some swear words like a'', f''k, and sh't.

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