Ben Stiller in Mystery Men

It may be surprising to some people, but Ben Stiller wasn’t always the internationally renowned face of hardcore punk rock that he is today. The man who is nowadays synonymous with the rawest and most badass sound of music on the planet—as opposed to a purveyor of unsettling children’s entertainment delivering diminishing returns—actually had his legendary first album go out of print. Thankfully, this situation is being remedied, as Pitchfork reports that label Captured Tracks is re-issuing the album Roadkill, from Stiller’s high school band Capital Punishment.

Sure, these days we can all recite from memory Stiller’s groundbreaking hit songs, but somehow this precious jewel from his early years has slipped under the radar—until now. It seems that as a teenager, Ben “Destroy All Governments” Stiller was the drummer for Capital Punishment, and in 1982 the group released Roadkill, a tasty slice of fuck-the-man propaganda. Certainly it’s a blueprint for the raging anti-establishment screeds we’ve come to call “Stillerisms.” Of course, at the time he was merely the drummer, his deep passion for Emma Goldman-derived anarchism then just a (blue) steel glint in his eye.


As Stiller recently told Howard Stern, “What happened was some outsider music label, which I didn’t know those existed, but people who are just into weird music; I guess it’s been found and they asked us if they could re-release it.” He then flashed the devil symbol and single-handedly demolished a chain fast-food restaurant to protest globalization. The other members of the band, while not as well known, are nonetheless probably equally committed to overturning the U.S. government, like Capital Punishment member Peter Swann, who is now a hard-rocking Superior Court Judge in Arizona. You can listen to one of the album tracks below, where it sounds like the band was likely a huge influence on groups like The Cramps, and not the other way around.