The 5: Andrew Mayer Ranks the Top Five Air Bud Movies For Your Quarantine Binge Needs

On April 24th, Boston-based comedian Andrew Mayer released his sophomore stand-up comedy album, Having a Nice Time, via record label Blonde Medicine. The album was recorded in January of 2020 at The Comedy Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts, right outside of Boston where Andrew has become a mainstay of the comedy scene. Andrew finds joy in the subtle strangeness of the everyday and Having a Nice Time is a reflection of those musings. Dealing with household pets, growing older (but not necessarily maturing), and planning a wedding full of absurdities are all topics that come up in the new album.

In 2015, Andrew released his debut album, Nonsense. The Boston Globe called it “a hilarious and endearing walk through his anxiety and oddball logic”. On Having a Nice Time, Andrew wanted to be more introspective than before while staying silly and positive, illustrating his imaginative sense of humor and quirky delivery.

Starting in 2004, Andrew began performing in Boston and has since honed his skills by performing at prestigious clubs and festivals across the country. He has been a featured performer in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and Seattle International Comedy Competition and recently won the Boston Comedy Festival. His content has been featured on Funny or Die and one of his jokes was used a clue on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Now to celebrate the new album, Andrew contributed his rankings of Air Bud related films, to our series, The 5.

Part of being a comedian is falling into rabbit-holes all the time. If you have one joke on something, you want twelve jokes on that thing, until suddenly you’re watching a video of a bear playing the trumpet. And the trick is, at some point, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People come to know you as The Guy With Jokes About X, and then they see something about X, and send it to you to see if you’ve seen the new X-development, which you have, but only because 5 other people already sent it to you, and they go “Oh man you are so obsessed with X.” Anyway, probably unrelated, here’s the top 5 Air Bud films, fine movies to watch if you hate the concept of time:

1. Air Bud. Look, there isn’t really a surprise twist to this. The first one is the best one, the only one you’ve seen, and I totally get that. It’s a family-fun-time classic. It truly has everything – a dog that can play basketball, a fundamental misunderstanding of how rules work, the phrase “Somebody suppress that clown” — you know… everything. This movie’s IMDB page features an incredible Goofs Section, containing the following, maybe my favorite Factual Error of all time.

It’s also the only movie of the franchise to feature the original sports-dog, Air Buddy, who sadly died 6 months after the movie was released. But the people were hungry for more dogs-playing-sports, so Family Movie Machine moved on without him, using actor-doubles like they do with Avril Lavigne now. Air Buddy was nominated for two Kids’ Choice Awards, in 1998 and 99, for Favorite Animal Actor, and lost both times (posthumously, I’ll remind you), to SALEM THE CAT.

Have I ever googled “Where is Air Bud buried?” Who can say.

2. Air Bud: Golden Receiver. The Chamber of Secrets Of the Air Bud series (the second one), Golden Receiver features Air Bud discovering that he’s a multi-sport athlete who can catch a football (so long as it is suddenly very flat without anyone mentioning it, truly this movie was ahead of its time).
Golden Receiver is fine, but I mostly just need you to see the Sequel That Could Have Been, from Air Bud’s wikipedia page:

Unbelievable. How do you cross those two movies? Are the puppies the Home Alones (Homes Alone?) with a Day Off? No sports in it, for some reason? Stop talking, I’m in.

3. Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch. The first few movies chug along with the title protagonist finding a new sport to play. Football — Neat! Soccer – Sure! Probably the most reasonable sport for a dog, maybe we start with that one next time! And those are pretty much where the movies start and end. But Seventh Inning Fetch is where the Air Bud franchise really starts to get the gritty edge we all love. Here, they add kidnappers, a sinister raccoon named Rocky, and a big conspiracy to genetically engineer athletic super-dogs, and also oh hey look it’s Richard Karn, who you may remember as basically the Jason Statham of Home Improvement.
It’s also the last movie featuring Air Bud’s Best Human Bud, Josh Framm, played by Kevin Zegers. Fun fact: Kevin Zegers was in Air Bud: World Pup (a dog plays soccer) and MVP: Most Valuable Primate (a chimpanzee plays hockey) in the same year. Kid-best-friend-to-sports-animals

4. Air Buddies. After a while, it becomes pretty clear that there are only so many sports a dog can play. When that happens, you have two choices: you can attempt to shoot Weekend at Air Bud’s, or you make a talking-puppy-movie. Air Buddies is… the latter.
It’s worth mentioning that the voice-cast for Air Buddies is actually pretty solid, with Molly Shannon, Michael Clarke Duncan, Abigail Breslin, Wallace Shawn (Vizzini in The Princess Bride), Debra Jo Rupp (Kitty in That 70’s Show), among others (oh hey it’s Richard Karn again). I’ll admit that I haven’t seen this one, but the plot summary has this sentence very early on: “When their families leave home for a basketball game, the puppies get into trouble with their sitter by playing with balls of wool and eating a blueberry pie.” So, it seems like it’s worth at least some of your time.

5. Spooky Buddies Of the eight (!) Air Buddies spin-offs, it’s hard to choose any one movie based on plot. I think it boils down to what you’d prefer to see a puppy dressed up as. In Treasure Buddies, you get puppies in Indiana-Jones-Outfits. Super Buddies, super-hero puppies. Santa Buddies, you get the idea. I’ve chosen Spooky Buddies here, because you get all of them. It’s Halloween, and they’re dressed up as a bunch of stuff.

Super-hero puppy? Covered. Eye Patch Pirate Puppy? Oh hell yeah. Puppy dressed as a bunny? Seems weird but let’s do it. This movie is also literally about bad guys trying to sacrifice the souls of puppies to the Halloween Hound, which has to one of the darkest plotlines here, right? Anyway, it’s for kids.


Read more comedy news.