DVD Commentary

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"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."

Film historian Ronald Haver on the first ever audio commentary for the 1984 Criterion Collection laserdisc release of the original King Kong

The DVD (and Bluray, 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 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.

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 special features on the DVD (which took less time to watch), - 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 non-existent 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...

Examples of DVD Commentary include:

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).
  • Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise 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 a veteran of DC Comics commenting on the different perceptions of the character over time.
  • The English dub of Yu Yu 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 three 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[when?] 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 MSTing 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.
  • 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 A-ko 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 of all people 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 First 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.
  • 'Halo Legends featured a commentary for all the shorts with the two masterminds behind the project Frank O'Connor and Joseph Chou.

Fan Works

  • Quite a few Abridged Series 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.
  • Little Kuriboh 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.


  • The Saw DVDs often come with commentary from directors, actors, writers, and producers. These are hilarious, and YMMV about when they start become more entertaining than the actual films.
  • Director James Cameron and many of the main characters on the Aliens Collector's Edition (part of the Alien Quadrilogy). Cameron is busy discussing behind-the-scenes work, while the actors are goofing off and having a great time with each other. It continues all the way over the end credits.
  • Anchorman features a surreal but hilarious fake commentary, where Will Ferrell talks about hookers and gets drunk with the director. Then, two actors who didn't get cast in the movie show up, and attack Ferrell.
  • Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's DVD of Arguing With Myself has a commentary track. As one of his character's puts it when you launch it, 'if you're watching this, you have too much time on your hands!' At the beginning of the commentary he admits he really doesn't know why a commentary track to a comedy ventriloquism act is even necessary, but the directors wanted to include one.
  • 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.
  • Cheaper By the Dozen has several commentaries, by the older actors and creators, and then another with several of the child actors. This second commentary is absolutely hilarious, the kids going wildly off subject and clearly having a lot of fun.
  • Ridley Scott is well noted for his commentaries, the most recent example being the Blade Runner Final Cut DVD.
  • Bowling for Columbine features commentary recorded by Michael Moore's interns and secretary.
  • Bound features the Wachowskis along with the woman they consulted for the portrayal of lesbianism. Jennifer Tilly also shows up at the last 20 minutes. The track is notable for being the last time the Wachowskis did anything related to promotion for one of their films.
  • Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
    • The audio commentary takes the rather surreal tactic of claiming that what we're viewing is an adaptation of actual events. The commentators include the "real person" on which one of the secondary characters was supposedly based, and they go so far as to constantly explain how the events depicted differ from "what really happened" and make comparisons between Peter Weller's portrayal and the "real" Buckaroo. (At least this is equally odd as the movie.)
    • The DVD also contains a subtitle track that provides additional commentary with the same conceit. The subtitle comments are consistent with the audio commentary, but its author seems to be privy to additional details not known to the audio commentators.
  • The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie parodies the unappreciated status of commentary tracks by having the characters turn on the commentary in order to learn what they need to do to solve the problem they faced at that point. Several of them comment such things as "who cares about this crap?" and look very angry and impatient while they wait for the information they wanted.
  • Cannibal! The Musical features one of the earliest "drunken commentaries." Director Trey Parker repeatedly comments on how his character's wayward horse is a thinly disguised allegory for his break-up with a former girlfriend, which he is apparently still bitter about at the time of the commentary. At the end, the commentators decide to go to a titty bar, and the last comment heard is one challenging the other to a fight.
  • Orgazmo, also by Trey Parker and featuring Matt Stone, continues the tradition of drunken commentary.
  • The commentary of Meet the Robinsons has director Steve Anderson's recording tracks frequently interferred by the Bowler Hat Guy, who he voices, trying to hog the spotlight and do his OWN commentary! But he always loses connection, and a puzzled Steve continues.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and The Goonies each reunited their now-adult child actors for commentaries.
  • The director's commentary for Dancer In The Dark reportedly consists mostly of him bitching about how much Bjork sucks. Not in a teasing way or as a way to make the commentary interesting—he actually means it.
  • Roger Ebert used to host a program called "Cinema Interruptus" during the University of Colorado's Conference on World Affairs. He and the audience would watch a movie on DVD in an auditorium and pause the film whenever someone has something to discuss. His notes from the event are incorporated into DVD commentaries for the films.
    • His commentary for Dark City shows you just how brilliant the film is, pointing out visual motifs, cinematography tricks being used, and just how perfectly the movie's playing with Noir archetypes. The DVD's worth it for the commentary track alone.
    • Ebert also contributes an excellent, in-depth commentary for Citizen Kane. Again, notable for the breakdown of cinematography, shot design, and other interesting tidbits.
  • Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story features two commentaries, the first of which featuring Marshall Thurber, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller arguing for 40 minutes whereupon all three exit and the commentary is replaced with that from the There's Something About Mary DVD. The second (serious) one is an Easter Egg.
  • The commentary track for El Mariachi is Robert Rodriquez pointing out all the goofy tricks he was forced to use to fit into his $7,000 budget.
  • The commentary for Eurotrip features the crew playing a drinking game during the movie.
  • 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 commentary for The Fast and the Furious, by Rob Cohen goes to show the depth of insight a director can have about hidden aspects of the movie. Oh yeah, and he likes to blow stuff up too.
  • Amy Heckerling and Cameron Crowe have such a good time talking about Fast Times at Ridgemont High that the commentary goes on twenty minutes longer than the movie.
  • For Almost Famous, Crowe brings his mom along (as she was the inspiration for Frances McDormand's character).
  • Each movie of the Star Wars Saga has a commentary track by George Lucas and heads of the principal production departments. They mostly discussed common knowledge facts. To the contrary, the commentary for Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie was much more informative, as the whole thing was rather fresh and new at the time.
  • 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.
  • On the Frequency DVD, there's an alternate commentary track by writer Toby Emmerich and his brother Noah, who appeared in a small role. Toby openly questions who's listening to the commentary and gives his email address (which became more useful once he became the head of New Line) and Noah has to leave midway through the commentary to get to another appointment.
  • The Region 1 DVD of Godzilla 2000 features a commentary by the three guys who did most of the work Americanizing the film. It's full of information on what goes on in dubbing and adapting a film and is hilarious to boot.
  • Hot Fuzz has several commentaries, including one of two actual police officers from Wells, Somerset (where it was filmed).
  • Shaun of the Dead features numerous commentaries, including one with zombies.
    • In fact, Edgar Wright himself states on the Director's Commentary that his aim is to have "More commentary tracks than Lord Of The Rings". If you include Spaced and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, he's pretty much done this.
  • Kevin Smith is known for the excellent commentaries he sets up for his View Askewniverse films:
    • The commentaries for Clerks the Animated Series, essentially three hours of ranting against ABC and bad Korean animators, may be just as funny as the cartoon.
    • His first commentary he ever did was for the Clerks laserdisc (which is also featured on the later DVD). It's notable for—aside from insights on how Smith put together a film for the price of a new car—featuring Jason "Jay" Mewes on the floor, drunk, occasionally loudly shouting an expletive before falling asleep.
    • He has also done commentaries for Mallrats, Chasing Amy (in which he says "Fuck DVD, Laserdisc is the future"), two for Dogma (once with the cast, then again when it was deemed that nothing was learnt from the first), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, two for Jersey Girl (including one with Jason Mewes), three for Clerks II (including a podcast commentary that was intended for people to take to the cinema and listen to while the film was on release). Interestingly, he didn't do one for his most recent film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, apparently because of Smith's response to the low box office receipt.
  • Famously, the Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition of The Lord of the Rings came with four commentary tracks per movie: directors/writers, actors, production team, and design team. That's forty-eight hours of commentary across the whole series. To add to the greatness, the actors' commentary for Return of the King includes comments from both Smeagol and Gollum. And Andy Serkis too!
    • In the commentaries featuring Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Christopher Lee (Saruman) it is painfully obvious that the actors are not actually watching the film and the commentary from them is simply spliced bits from interviews.
    • In the commentary featuring Elijah Wood (Frodo), Andy Serkis (Gollum) and Sean Astin (Sam), Sean Astin completely takes over the conversation several times to rattle on about how great the story and production values are to the point that you can hear Wood and Serkis shifting uncomfortably in the background.
      • This is easily the weakest of the assorted commentaries. While the others are a mix of good humour and fascinating information, Wood, Serkis and Astin spend most of their time praising each others' performances.
    • The commentaries featuring Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin) are utterly hilarious. Especially when Billy keeps waxing lyrical about his feelings for Minas Tirith.
      • Also Fran Walsh jokingly threatens to give viewers of ROTK a test afterwards!
  • Love Actually‍'‍s commentary gets off to a rough start—Hugh Grant arrives late (about thirty minutes into the film)! Later, Bill Nighy and director Richard Curtis realize that young star Thomas Sangster (who was thirteen years old at the time) is legally unable to watch the movie, which is rated 15. In the end it's quite a nice mix of funny/informative and mutual-admiration gushing (which is to be expected considering the writer/director and cast). It's also worth it just for Hugh Grant's snark about absent co-star Colin Firth, his fake nemesis. (After Richard Curtis had commented on what a nice close-up Firth had in a love scene: "I'd just assumed you'd cut it in from one of his other movies.")
  • For Jon Favreau's Made he and Vince Vaughn use pens to draw on the screen (hidden in a sub-title track).
  • Barry Sonnenfeld's commentary on Men in Black II falls under the awkward self-congratulation category, in addition to Sonnenfeld seemingly having no charisma whatsoever. The commentary for the first movie is unique in that Barry and actor Tommy Lee Jones are sitting in front of the movie Mystery Science Theater 3000-style, and at various points even draw on the movie to point things out. These Mystery Science Theater 3000-style visuals are also used in the commentary for Ghostbusters.
  • 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 Muppets From Space had the director joined by Gonzo and Rizzo, which resulted in an amusing joke commentary that's largely Parental Bonus stuff—clean, but most of their references would be missed by kids.
  • The screenwriters' commentary track for Night at the Museum is just hilarious. "It's magic".
    • Their commentary for the second one is just as good.
  • The actor's commentary track on Ocean's Eleven. If watching the movie didn't make it obvious that the cast had an absolute ball making the film, hearing them riff on the movie and each other does.
  • The colorized DVD release of Reefer Madness has two commentaries. One is by the colorization team, which combines fascinating insights into the colorization process with lame pot jokes. The other is by none other than Mike Nelson.
  • On the Resident Evil Deluxe Edition, director Paul W.S. Anderson and actresses Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez crack jokes and argue about meaningless crap.

Anderson: And in this scene we....
Milla: Who cares about that, you can see my boobs! Look!

  • "Comedian" Carrot Top has a commentary track on Rules of Attraction in which he watches the film for the first time. He keeps making inappropriate jokes throughout the film... and then a woman gets drugged and raped by frat boys. The sheer bizarreness of listening to him try to backpedal on his statements is gold.
  • 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.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events has an in-character commentary with Lemony Snicket berating the director for making him sit through such a miserable movie. (After watching it, you may agree with him.)
    • Lemony Snicket goes through the entire thing acting as if the things had actually happened, and that Count Olaf, the main villain, is playing himself, having kidnapped Jim Carrey and locked him away somewhere.
    • On the other hand, it's worth watching for this commentary alone, said commentary containing not a few instances of Crowning Moment of 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.
  • This Is Spinal Tap has had several commentaries. For the Criterion Collection edition, it's played straight, with the cast and director talking about how the filmed the movie. For another special edition, the cast performs a commentary in character. It's hilarious. They protest at how stupid they were made to look by the director.
    • And point out the "key turning point" of the film. Twenty-five times.
    • Apparently every single person in the film besides the band themselves has died by the time the commentary is made. A few times the person making this claim is challenged on how they know that, and the gag is even extended to when they visit Elvis Presley's grave.
  • The director's commentaries of Stephen Sommers films, featuring writer/director Sommers and producer/editor Bob Duscay, are just as entertaining as the movies themselves, with both either elaborating on the movie or admitting that things don't quite work that way in real life.
    • The special edition of 1999's The Mummy has two additional commentaries: one with Brendan Fraser (Rick O'Connell) by himself, and another with Oded Fehr (Ardeth Bay), Kevin J. O'Connor (Beni), and Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep). Given that Vosloo speaks no English during the film itself, hearing his natural voice and accent is interesting in its own right.
  • Michael Bay's commentary for Transformers gives many reasons as to why some things were different in the movie as well as elaborating on the backstory. He's also fairly knowledgeable about the mythos of Transformers, save for his mistakenly calling Scorponok "Scorponox".
  • The cast commentary for Tropic Thunder is interesting because while Ben Stiller and Jack Black are playing it straight, Robert Downey Jr. acts in-character as Lincoln Osiris throughout most of the film. Then near the end he does the commentary as Kirk Lazarus, the Australian actor portraying Osiris. Finally as the credits roll he reverts back to himself. This plays off a throwaway line from the film itself, where Robert Downey Jr.'s character, an extreme method actor, comments "I don't break character till I record the DVD Commentary!"
  • UHF has a rather bizarre one, with minor cast members wandering in and out at various times. Most notably when Emo Phillips' scenes are on Weird Al wonders whatever happened to the guy only to hear "I'm right behind you". Al also calls Victoria Jackson on the phone during the recording (which she clearly wasn't expecting), and appears on screen a couple of times, once to simply leave and get a snack for the director.
  • The second Dungeons & Dragons movie had three members of the production crew pose as three famous heroes of D&D lore, giving in-character comments about the plot and pointing out references to common D&D concepts. Better than it sounds, partly because it's genuinely unique and interesting, and partly because it includes a sizable about of jokey heckling, somewhat reminiscent of a Riff Trax audio stream.
  • The Gamers contains two notable commentaries: one is by RPG designer Monte Cook, the other is a psychoanalysis of its events, including backstabbing someone with a ballista.
  • The commentary for The Usual Suspects is played straight until the final scenes, when director Singer and screenwriter Mcquarrie suddenly engage in a heated argument. Portions of the argument fade in and out of the commentary track much like the dialogue of the film's climax. The filmmakers each land a parting insult before the track ends.
  • The commentary for The Rocky Horror Picture Show is done by Patricia Quinn (Magenta) and Richard O'Brien (Riff-Raff) and is both informative and rather humorous.

Richard O'Brien (As Riff-Raff): (Regarding a mysterious third-string on Patricia Quinn's Space-Magenta costume.) My dearest sister. What is that extra bit between your knickers and your stockings?
Patricia Quinn (As Magenta): (Laughs) I have no idea. Oh, I don't know....

    • As an extra bonus, certain DVD releases have a full Audience Participation track on one channel of its 5.1 surround sound
  • In the "More Entertaining Than The Film" category: Dude, Where's My Car?. It features the director, Ashton Kutcher, and Seann William Scott. After about twenty minutes, Seann says "Do you guys want some beers?" Hilarity Ensues.
  • Conan the Barbarian features an all-time classic commentary track with Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Milius. Schwarzenegger and Milius start the track by introducing themselves with each other's names, then the future governer of California adds, "And if you believe that, then you probably also believe there are little Richard Simmonses running around! Neeyaahaahey!" He goes on to utter such pearls as, "I get laid a lot in this movie!", "Is that kid wearing lipstick?", and—when a belly dancer comes on screen—Arnie going, "Oh, I remember her."
    • "THIS IS THE BIT WHERE I PUNCH A CAMEL! WATCH ME PUNCH THE CAMEL!" "No Arnold, it's not that bit yet."
    • And going back and forth about what's in the stew in one scene, before concluding that it's "Split pea and hand". Later, when a mook loses an arm, Milius quips, "Right into the soup."
  • Batman and Robin featured Joel Schumacher apologizing for the movie.
  • If you watched Space Jam and still think that it has any vestiges of seriousness then turn on the commentary that includes Bugs and Daffy commenting on the movie in-character in addition to the director.
  • The commentary for Mommie Dearest is done by director John Waters, who actually makes some very interesting points while managing to be totally hilarious.
  • Joel And Ethan Coen typically avoid commentary tracks, but Blood Simple has one by fictional artistic director Kenneth Loring, written by the Coen brothers themselves, that essentially spoofs commentary tracks themselves. Loring generally alternates between waxing rhapsodic about the framing of certain shots ("the human face... we all... have one"), telling rambling off-topic stories, and offering up spurious details on how certain effects were accomplished (He claims a scene where two characters are driving in the rain at night had to be filmed in reverse with the actors hanging upside down—the fact that their hair doesn't appear to be standing up is attributed to copious amounts of hair spray).
  • 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 shillouettes occasionally appear over the screen, Mystery Science Theater 3000 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.
  • The best part of Twilight on DVD is listening to Robert Pattinson's thinly disguised hatred for Edward Cullen.
    • Eclipse furthers this when he and Kristen Stewart repeatedly mock everything about it. It's implied that they're both high in order to cope with watching the movie.
  • For the commentary for Superbad, Judd Apatow brought his ten-year-old daughter to the recording of the commentary, with Jonah Hill in the same room. Seth Rogen, in another studio via audio uplink, taunts Jonah by running his mouth off for as long as possible. Jonah loses it and goes on a rant about why Judd brought a ten-year-old girl to the commentary of such a dirty movie. Judd then storms out and isn't heard from again. It's unclear how much of this was staged.
    • Later on, Jonah says Judd's daughter is still in the studio. Whether this was true or not is unclear.
    • Also, they'd tell stories about what happened on the set. One partiularly amusing tale is about when they were shooting a scene and an old lady wandered on set and began telling dirty Disney jokes.
      • "What's red and has 7 bumps in it?"
  • There are a couple of commentaries for Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, but the one with Keira Knightley and Jack Davenport (more of the former then the latter) is hilarious.
    • The one with Keira and Davenport is rather priceless for the moment where he realizes he didn't understand a significant plot point: He's stunned to find out that when the water ripples when Elizabeth faints and falls into the ocean, that the medallion is "calling" to the Black Pearl and it's what makes it appear later.

Kiera: What exactly did you think it was?
Jack: I thought the film skipped!

    • "Oh, mini-me! Mini-me! Mini-Orlando! Look at that cleavage!" A particularly amusing exchange happens when Elizabeth is running from the pirates in the governor's mansion; Kiera Knightly explains that a shot showing her running up stairs practically killed her because she wasn't prepared, having expected her stunt double to do it. After Jack Davenport incredulously asks "You need a stunt girl to run up some stairs," she responds, in an extremely posh voice, "Yes, excuse me, yes, I am very lazy!"
    • Given how Davenport laments his (sexy, sexy)) very ornate Naval costumes and how much more fun all the scruffy pirates were having, one wonders, given his character's rather extreme make-under in the second movie, if the writers were listening.
      • During the scene where character Norrington is made a Commodore of the British Navy, Davenport comments "how can one man be wearing that much brocade and not be classified as a Mardi Gras float?"
      • He then laments losing so much screen time to better-looking actors. One particular scene required some complicated ceremonial swordwork. "I practiced for weeks with that, and I'm in the background of your shot!"
    • The commentary by the writers for Dead Man's Chest included their noting the bone-cage chase on the cannibal island and the three-way sword fight on a giant wheel caused them to ask the director "Did you get your kids a hamster for Christmas?" They also go into a fair amount of self-deprecation, explaining the symbolism behind certain scenes only to say, "Oh, c'mon, you know no one uses literary devices in these summer blockbusters..."
  • Listening to Uwe Boll's commentary on any of his movies is a truly fascinating experience, it gives you an inside look as to how utterly ridiculous he truly is.
  • The commentary for Cast Away is dominated by the sound mixer's commentary on sound effects during the most pivotal scenes of the movie - most notably as he gets off the island. While some of the commentary is interesting, you would think by listening that the sound effects were the absolute centerpoint of the film.
  • Step Brothers features a musical commentary, with the actors and writers all spontaneously breaking into improvisational songs at random periods throughout the movie, accompanied by the movie's composer on keyboard. This is notable because the movie itself is not a musical, although it is largely improvisational.
  • Daredevil includes a commentary track in the most literal sense. While most blind people are familiar with a commentary track describing the action onscreen allowing them to "watch" a movie, those tracks are not typically included on wide-release videos and DVD. Daredevil includes the commentary track for the blind - fitting, as Daredevil is a blind superhero - which explains the actions onscreen as they happen.
    • It's an interesting experience to "watch" the movie with your eyes closed and that commentary on to get a feel for how the blind see movies.
    • There's also a funny moment when director Mark Steven Johnson openly admits that an effect looks terrible—towards the end when Daredevil awkwardly leaps upwards between two buildings onto a roof—and tells the audience to look away for thirty seconds and then come back.
  • The Mars Attacks! DVD is a strange case whether you want to hear the commentary in English or in Martian!
    • Similarly for Galaxy Quest. I challenge anyone to sit through it.
    • Unfortunately, Tim Burton doesn't give good commentary.
  • During the commentary for The Simpsons Movie, they actually pause the movie when they need more time to discuss a scene.
  • 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, and the Jack in the Box drive-thru.
  • The Shawshank Redemption commentary is pretty impressive, considering it was recorded ten years after the movie was made and director Frank Darabont is able to name off many trivial facts and details, down to names of crew members, about the film.
  • Rocky Balboa has a quite interesting track by Sylvester Stallone, covering tidbits about the shoot and philosophical pondering on the characters in pretty much equal measure.
  • The DVD commentary for Red Eye has Wes Craven giving out more background information, such as Rippner's complex mindset and the strange, underlying chemistry between Rippner and Lisa. Another good mention is the many extra cameos were people who worked on the film. And yes, Craven confirms that when Lisa got the scar, she was raped.
  • Predator has a terrible commentary from director John McTiernan that is nothing short of a chore to sit through. McTiernan sounds utterly disinterested, muttering his way through the film, audibly sighing and lapsing into long periods of silence. It's a shame, as some of the things he manages to bring himself to say are actually fairly interesting.
  • Total Recall. The one for this film is particularly hilarious. For one, Verhoeven's Dutch accent, coupled with Schwarzenegger's Austrian accent, serve to make it almost unintelligible. Schwarzenegger's commentary consists almost entirely of making jokes about the three-breasted hooker, a grating tendency for stating the patently obvious ("This is me as a construction worker", "I used this guy as a Human Shield and then threw him down the escalator"), and expressing how he likes certain parts of the movie because they serve to reinforce the possibility that it's All Just a Dream. Verhoeven for his part has a Verbal Tic that leads him to end most of his sentences with "Izznit?", though it's possible he's just trying to get Arnold to contribute more, who seems to respond with "Exactly", the occasional "That's right", or complete silence to pretty much everything Verhoeven says.
    • Verhoeven says "Izznit?" when he's alone in interviews so it's a verbal tic. Just like Tony Scott saying "Yeah" on commentaries of his movies.
  • As a rule, any commentary track Paul Verhoeven does is worth listening to if you can understand him through his accent. He's an extremely smart man and generally has a lot of interesting things to talk about.
  • The Criterion Edition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has several commentary tracks, including one by Hunter S. Thompson himself that makes the CE a must-have for Thompson fans. Throughout the film Hunter insults Terry Gilliam, screams randomly, audibly smokes weed, and tries to call cast members when he's bored. Yet for all his randomness, he remembers that Johnny Depp is using audio from the anti-drug law enforcement movie-in-a-movie on his answering machine and calls Depp's answering machine to prove it - and Hunter times it almost perfectly to sync up the film and the machine.
  • The Criterion laserdisc editions of the first three James Bond movies reportedly feature commentary so controversial they have since been banned from ever getting the rights to release any James Bond movie ever released. Forever.
  • The commentary for Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow features Roland himself and (mostly) producer Mark Gordon, who spends 88% of the commentary complaining about the difficulties of production, pointing out plot-holes, and making fun of the acting.
  • Hotel Rwanda has a fascinating one with Paul Rusesabagina, the real life subject of the film, who gives further backstory on the events and points out historical liberties. The film's director Terry George is also there, but he's clearly comfortable just letting Rusesabagina tell his story and acts like more of an interviewer for the most part.
  • Death at a Funeral has two commentaries, one with actors Alan Tudyk and Andy Nyman with writer Dean Craig, and one with director Frank Oz. If you've ever wanted to hear a film commentated by Fozzie the Bear, the second commentary is surprisingly close.
  • The director's commentary for Freaked manages to combine hilarious and informative by telling stories of being on the set (such has having to get a "scab T" after Mr. T left shooting for a day as he felt the shoot was going too slow) to the constant interference that the directors suffered from Fox. Even after all of the difficulties, they were still proud of their baby.
  • The 1998 Lost in Space movie is worth a rental just for Akiva Goldsman's comments over the end credits, where he gleefully discusses his plans for the sequel. It sounds like he was saving all his best ideas for it, making this a textbook example of why that's a bad idea.
  • The DVD of White Oleander has an interesting commentary with the director of the film and the author of the novel it's based on, leading to interesting tidbits for fans of the book as well as those who had only seen the film.
  • The audio commentary for An American Werewolf in London is done by the film's two lead actors, David Naughton and Griffin Dunne. It has some funny moments, but other than that mostly has one asking the other "Do you remember filming this scene?", interspersed by long silences.
  • In the commentary for The Muppets they have an ongoing joke about "Future Movies Magazine" talking about how great movies they are working on but haven't been released yet will be. When "Man or a Muppet?" starts, they joke about it getting an Academy Award - one even says "Yeah, in Future Movies Magazine". "Man or a Muppet" did indeed eventually win the Academy Award for Best Song.
  • One of the two commentaries of Apollo 13 is by Jim and Marylin Lovell - Jim Lovell is the author of the book Lost Moon and, oh yeah - was the commander of Apollo 13. His wife doesn't say a lot, but Jim talks about the differences between the movie and the events, and the similarities. If you are a space nerd, the commentary really makes you feel like a witness to history.
  • On the commentary for The Social Network, David Fincher basically gives a film school masterclass, and at one point tells viewers to take it up with writer Aaron Sorkin if they have complaints about a certain scene, and provides the latter's email address (which is bleeped out).
  • The Super 8 commentary featuring director JJ Abrams, director of photography Larry Fong and producer Bryan Burk has them mulling over what question to ask Steven Spielberg via email, since he never does commentaries. There's also talk of Fong's magic skills (which are demonstrated in a featurette elsewhere on the disc), and he promises to bend the silverware in the house of anyone listening to the commentary.
  • Bubba Ho-Tep had an amusing one featuring Bruce Campbell as Elvis, commenting about his thoughts on the film, completely in character.
  • Pink Floyd the Wall has a very funny commentary track with Roger Waters (music/lyrics/story) and Gerald Scarfe (artwork/production designer).
  • The Incredibles features a faux-1960s "Mr. Incredible" cartoon, commented upon by Mr. Incredible and Frozone.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

Live-Action TV

  • 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", however, pretty much tells you nothing you couldn't figure out by, I don't know, 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.
    • 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 Marenghi's 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.
  • 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 troping wikis, 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 Mystery Science Theater 3000".
    • 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 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 (due to a falling out he had with Craig Charles during season 6) 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. I'm not sure if they were actually synced to be watched at the same time as the video, though.
  • Sledge Hammer!: 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.
  • 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 MSTing 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
  • 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 short-lived TV series Director's Commentary was a rather good parody of the genre.
  • 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).
  • 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 episodes plot) and occasionally the episode's writer or director.
  • 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.

 Bill Bailey: "We will settle this... the Gypsy way."

  • Spaced, Black Books‍'‍ sister show, also has a frequently laugh-out-loud commentary track, which manages 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. John 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.
  • 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 the 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 Carnivale features some good ones with the actors, most notably Clea Duvall's rather embarrassed commentary on her sex scene with Nick Stahl.


  • 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 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 Riff Trax. 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.

Recorded and Stand Up Comedy

  • Eddie Izzard's standup DVDs all contain commentaries, but since he tends to forget his material after he's stopped using it, and doesn't watch the discs before recording them, they consist mostly of him laughing at his own jokes.
  • Stand-up Tim Vine's first DVD had a commentary that not only provided some really interesting insights into the creative process, but that he used as an opportunity to tell some jokes that he forgot to include in the performance itself.
  • 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.
  • Ediie 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.

Video Games

  • 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. 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.
  • Disgaea actually gives us a video game example: 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[when?] 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.
  • The first Sly Cooper also has something like this, but you need to complete Nintendo Hard time trials to unlock em'.
  • 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 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".
  • 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.

Web Original

  • 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 AV Club website includes a running-feature called "Commentary Tracks of the Damned" which mocks self-congratulatory DVD commentaries of flop movies.
  • 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.
  • 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 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[when?] 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.

Western Animation

  • 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.
Mike: Wow.
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 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?"
  • The Simpsons animator, producer, and TV show creator Matt Groening has undoubtedly 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 the episode he guest-starred in 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.
    • Of particular note is the Simpsons episode "The Cartridge Family," where one of the guys calls up notoriously reclusive John Swartzwelder 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 Grammar, 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 infamously had its 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.
    • Even shittier, the commentary for "Trapped in the Closet" for the season set, is just them bullshitting about John Travolta owning a fleet of jets. This was done mainly because they were too fucking lazy to import the mini-commentary they did for the from a "Best of..." compilation that came out prior to the season set.
    • 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 Venture Brothers 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 OddParents 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Nightmare Fuel) and Dr. Doofenshmirtz does not approve of Ferb's crush on Vanessa.
  • Sealab 2021Template:"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.
      • Director: What would you have done differently if you had directed this?
      • John K: I would have made it funny.
  • 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".
  • Season One of the new Sam and 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.