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|I'm with Busey|
|Written by||Vito Viscomi|
Adam de la Peña
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original network||Comedy Central|
|Original release||June 17 – August 5, 2003|
I'm with Busey was a comedy/documentary television show which aired on Comedy Central in the summer of 2003. It revolved around a young writer named Adam de la Peña, who met and befriended his childhood idol, actor Gary Busey. Although the show lasted for only one season and the popularity of the show was limited, it has developed a cult following in the years after its cancellation.
The premise of the show revolved around the idea of Gary Busey teaching Adam de la Peña all about the world. In one episode, for example, de la Peña complained to Busey about his lack of a love life. Busey helped de la Peña become more confident by setting him up with a date and then feeding him lines through an earpiece. During that episode, Busey told Adam to tell the girl that he had "a Loch Ness monster in his pants."
Much of the humor revolved around Busey-isms, short statements that Busey would give about the world around him. An example of one said by Busey was: "Fear is the dark room where the devil develops his negatives." After such a phrase, the camera would cut to de la Peña's authentic confused reactions, or to a short monologue that the younger man would do when he was away from Busey.
In the first episode, Busey told one of his most perplexing Buseyisms: "try" meaning "tomorrow's really yesterday". Busey explained that when you say you'll "try", you're really just lying to yourself, having already decided in your mind that you're never going to attempt that which you claim you'll "try". Thus, all the poor decisions you made yesterday, you'll continue to make tomorrow. de la Peña went full circle in the last episode of the series, using the "try" Buseyism on another young writer whom Busey had started mentoring after de la Peña began hanging out with Andy Dick.
The show made an effort to appear to be as completely real as possible. However, it was later revealed that much of the show was improvisation. Busey and de la Peña would agree on a scene's contents, and then improvise their lines. The show became increasingly bizarre as it went on, reflecting either a conscious decision by the actors to gradually let the audience into that world, or greater familiarity with the concept. This was clued at a few times by how bizarre Busey became towards the end of the show, whether it be sticking plugs into cows' anuses (to prevent methane expulsion and global warming) or traveling to an electronics store and remarking that a digital camera could one day be engineered to kill de la Peña's mother. Busey appeared to enjoy making a clever spoof of himself, playing on the audience's belief that he was out of his mind following his near-fatal motorcycle accident.
Each episode is organized around a particular topic, either of Adam's or Gary's choosing.
|1||Pilot||Gary teaches Adam about what makes a man a man. Activities include Gary dressing as a woman in order to teach Adam about the feminine side of men, stating that "all men are failed women at birth."|
|2||Vision Quest||Gary teaches Adam how to survive in the desert by taking him on a journey to meet "The Magic Indian." Activities include Gary destroying Adam's camping equipment and forcing him to spend the night in the open in front of a campfire.|
|3||Fear||Gary tries to help Adam overcome his various fears. Activities include Gary forcing Adam, who doesn't drive, to participate in an automobile demolition derby.|
|4||Technology||Gary teaches Adam about the destructive potential of various forms of technology, (such as cameras and cordless phones) while Adam tries to show Gary the positive side of technology. Activities include the duo constructing remote-controlled robots and battling them against each other.|
|5||Imagination||Gary attempts to unlock the power of Adam's imagination. Activities include the duo pitching an idea from Gary's imagination—a roadkill cookbook—to a publishing agent.|
|6||Romance||Gary tries to help Adam with his love life. Activities include Gary tracking and advising Adam on a blind date.|
|7||Protection||Gary tries to show Adam how to protect himself. Activities include Gary forcing Adam to accompany him while he demonstrates protective driving.|
|8||Mystery||Gary and Adam investigate various mysteries, such as UFOs and bigfoot. Activities include Gary sniffing a man in an airport restaurant in order to determine whether or not he is an alien replicant.|
|9||Acting||In response to Adam's desire to learn how to be a movie star, Gary attempts to teach him about acting. Activities include Gary and Adam improvising a scene at an audition for a play instead of the scripted scene they are expected to perform.|
|10||Learning and Knowledge||Gary tries to teach Adam to learn life lessons rather than relying on academic knowledge. Activities include Gary forcing Adam to serve as a fry cook at a restaurant as a form of on-the-job training while he takes orders from the customers.|
|11||Environment||Gary teaches Adam about the importance of the environment. Activities include Gary cooking a dead badger found by the side of a road on a grill he scavenged from a garbage dump.|
|12||Trust||Gary tries to teach Adam about trust. Activities include Gary forcing Adam to climb to the top of an eagle perch and jump off to reach for a trapeze swing, while he controls the harness.|
|13||Break Up||Andy Dick encounters the duo at a video store and tries to convince Adam to allow him to supplant Busey as the star of the show. Activities include Adam and Andy going on a shopping spree.|