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The Master of Disguise

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The Master of Disguise
1000 jokes....and not a single laugh.
Genre: Adventure
Directed By: Perry Andelin Blake
Written By: Dana Carvey
Harris Goldberg
Starring: Dana Carvey
Jennifer Esposito
Harold Gould
James Brolin
Brent Spiner
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: August 2, 2002
Runtime: 80 minutes
Country: United States

The Master of Disguise is a 2002 American adventure comedy film directed by Perry Andelin Blake and written by Dana Carvey and Harris Goldberg. Starring Carvey, Jennifer Esposito, Harold Gould, James Brolin, and Brent Spiner, the film was produced by Carvey's Saturday Night Live alumnus Adam Sandler through his Happy Madison production company. The film was released on August 2, 2002.


Pistachio Disguisey, a genial waiter at his father Frabbrizio's Italian restaurant, possesses an uncanny knack for mimicry. What he doesn't know is that his talent is genetic, and that he is the descendent of a long line of "Masters of Disguise," all of whom have inherited the secret family gift known as Energico. Initially, Pistachio is a klutz, but little by little, he learns to harness his inherited power, and sallies forth to utilize Energico to its fullest.

Why It Can't Disguise Itself

  1. "Look Pistachio, the silly voices, the making faces, it was fun for like one second." basically sums up the main problem of the movie.
  2. Incredibly bad jokes and poorly written humor (especially the flatulence humor, which is done 9 times.)
  3. The character of Pistachio Disguisey (while a nice guy) is very annoying and really stupid. He's too oblivious to know his surroundings in some scenes, and is constantly happy and creepily smiling with his eyes crossed all throughout the film. He basically has no identity outside of being a clumsy fool who makes weird faces. Furthermore, he doesn’t even sound like a real Italian. If anything, he sounds like Grandpa Munster from The Munsters with an accent.
  4. There are deleted scenes and bloopers throughout the ending credits, all of which are overly long, waste the audience's time, and overstays their welcome.
  5. There are constant disguise changes throughout the movie, with each character from the disguise somehow being more annoying than Pistachio himself. One, in particular, is his infamous turtle disguise, in which all he does is shout the word "turtle" in a Kermit the Frog-like voice for the whole scene.
    • To add insult to injury, this particular scene was seen the most in all these advertisements, so this was presented as the main "highlight" for comedy, whereas in reality, the only highlight of the scene was its behind-the-scenes history of it.
  6. The Master of Disguise killed the careers of most of its cast and crew.
    • Perry Andelin Blake has not directed another film due to the failure of this movie.
    • Brent Spiner only makes very small supporting roles in movies and special guest appearances in TV shows.
    • Dana Carvey went on hiatus for the next 8 years to take care of his family. As of 2022, he only does stand-up comedy and television with the occasional minor role in films.
  7. The performances from the actors are extremely awkward, to the point where the most convincing performance in the film is from a cannoli.
  8. Incredibly insulting scenes. One notable example is when Pistachio and his grandfather are finding an assistant for Pistachio. When they find Jennifer Baker, they think she is cute and is a good assistant for Pistachio, but they say that there is just one problem with her, and that is because "her butt is too small"; which is very sexist and demeaning.
  9. Awkward character names, especially for our main protagonists, who have the name of "Disguisey."
  10. Cheap-looking production values, as most of the sets and lighting make the film look like a direct-to-video film, and not something that was released in theaters.
  11. Awful looking visual effects, such as the moment at the Turtle Club where Pistachio bites a patron's nose off and his face looks like a poor photoshop attempt.
  12. The final battle is very anticlimactic, Pistachio doesn't even get to fight Bowman, he only fights his father that is disguised as Bowman.
  13. There is no real ending. All that happens is Pistachio scaring Bowman by disguising himself as George W. Bush, pushing Bowman into a pool, and then Bowman farting in the pool.
  14. A few of the disguises are stereotypes of Indians, Hispanics (the part where Pistachio's grandfather disguises himself as a fat maid) and Bavarians, which may come off as offesnsive to some.
  15. False Advertising: In some poster advertisements ( such as this newspaper advertisement, which can be seen in the upper left as well as this archived page saved through the wayback machine), it showed Pistachio as being disguised as a fire hydrant, with The Cuteness standing next to him, when in the actual film, he never puts on such a disguise. Also, in many of the previews and commercials, it showed Pistachio, in his turtle costume, biting off the cigars of 3 patrons when in the actual film, he only bites off one of the patrons noses. Also, after asking if he's not turtley enough for the turtle club, he says "turtle turtle", but doesn't say this in the actual film. Additionally, many of the commercials and previews showed scenes that only appeared at the end of the film (such as Pistachio in his toy maker Disguise) or did not appear in the film at all (such as Pistachio fighting off a pack of ninjas).

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The entire story and concept was interesting but was just poorly executed
  2. A couple of characters are likable, such as Jennifer and The Cuteness.
  3. The Cuteness is a very cute dog.
  4. The soundtrack is decent.
  5. Many of the disguise designs are pretty nifty.
  6. There are some quotes that were amusing including "This is what you're doing. This is what I want you to do! Any questions?"
  7. That fart jokes were funny at first (unfortunately, it ended up being so overused, with the joke becoming worse each time, that the movie killed the fart joke)
  8. "Am I not turtley enough for the turtle club?"
    • "None of this's thicker than your behinds"


The Master of Disguise was panned by critics and audiences. The film holds a 1% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 2.3 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "An ill-conceived attempt to utilize Dana Carvey's talent for mimicry, The Master of Disguise is an irritating, witless farce weighted down by sophomoric gags.". On Metacritic, the film has a 12 out of 100 score based on 24 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".

Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film with one star and stated "The movie is a desperate miscalculation. It gives poor Dana Carvey nothing to do that is really funny, and then expects us to laugh because he acts so goofy all the time." Matthew Turner of ViewLondon described the film as "a serious contender for The Worst Film Ever Made." and Richard Roeper stated "If The Master of Disguise had been a free cable movie - - well, I still wouldn’t have recommended it." Jim Lane of Sacramento News & Review awarded the film one star and stated "This pathetic junk is barely an hour long. Nevertheless, it still seems endless."

Box Office

The Master of Disguise opened up at #3 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $12,554,650. It would later make a total domestic gross of $40,388,794. In overseas markets, the film made $3,022,207. Overall, the film made a worldwide gross of $43,411,001 against its $16 million budget, making it moderate box office success, despite being universally panned.

Awards and nominations

The film was nominated a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress, but lost to Madonna for Die Another Day.


  • Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Martin Short, Matthew Broderick, Rick Moranis, Mike Myers, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, and the late Robin Williams were all considered for the role of Pistachio.
  • Dana Carvey agreed to do this film for his children because the majority of his projects were not family-friendly.
  • As of right now, this was Dana Carvey's last film where he played a leading role.
  • In a deleted scene, it was revealed that The Cuteness was Grandpa Disguisey in disguise all along, to Pistachio's disappointment. This scene was cut from the final version of the film, and was instead replaced with the scene of The Cuteness saying “Turtle Turtle” in Pistachios voice.


External links


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