WEIRD AL SHOW EPISODE GUIDE
(adapted from our This Day in Weird Al History feature on All Things Yankovic)
Episodes are presented in airdate order, which differs from production order.
Bad Influence - Promises, Promises - Mining Accident - Back to School - Time Machine
One for the Record Books - Because I Said So - Talent Show - Al Plays Hooky - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Hamster
The Competition - The Obligatory Holiday Episode - Al Gets Robbed
We find Al in his cave putting the finishing touches on his latest invention, x-ray spray, when he tells us that he's expecting a new friend to stop by. When Spike (played by Kevin Weisman) does show up, he promises to let Al join a secret club if he can prove that he's "cool." Spike then pressures Al to go through a series of humiliating tests, such as dipping his arms into hot melted chocolate and shaving off one eyebrow, by telling him that all cool people do them. Spike even coins a new word to make some of the tests seem extra special: "moby," which means "the absolute coolest." This prompts Al to exclaim, "I am WAY MOBY!" We get to meet characters such as The Hooded Avenger, Bobby the Inquisitive Boy, and of course Harvey the Wonder Hamster. While channel hopping, we are also introduced to kiddie show host Fred Huggins and his "friends" Papa Boolie and Baby Boolie. Much to the Boolies' dismay, Fred sings us a tune called "Water Is Wet." Eventually Al discovers that he's being duped by Spike, so Spike leaves, smuggling out Al's x-ray spray in the process. We are told that Spike was trying to use the spray to steal the Hooded Avenger's motorcycle, but he was scared off by none other than Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies, who just happened to be passing by on their way home from a Renaissance festival. The guys stick around to treat everyone to a live performance of their song "Shoe Box." The episode's other guests include fashion diva and former MTV veejay "Downtown" Julie Brown and comedian Patton Oswalt. And as Al says, "If you've got blacktop and you've got gelatin, you've got good eatin'!"Promises, Promises
Show announcer Billy West should be no stranger to those who enjoy demented humor, as he was the voice of Stimpy for all five seasons of Nickelodeon's revolutionary smash hit The Ren and Stimpy Show. Listing even a fraction of Billy's other voice work would be nothing short of exhausting, but some noteworthy roles include the title character on Doug (before being sucked into the black hole that is Disney), Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in Space Jam, and of course Fry, Dr. Zoidberg, and many others on Futurama. Click here to check out Billy's web site!
Prior to his role as the Hooded Avenger, comedian Brian Haley was already making a name for himself as a gifted character actor, showing up in such series as Quantum Leap and Baywatch and becoming a regular on Wings. He had also done some noteworthy film work, such as Steven Spielberg's Always, Baby's Day Out, and of course Tim Burton's spoof Mars Attacks! Still regularly performing in Hollywood, Brian will next be seen this November in The Departed, directed by another cinema icon, Martin Scorsese! In 2002, Brian chatted with us about his experience working on The Weird Al Show.
Twelve-year-old Gary LeRoi Gray (Bobby) also had an impressive amount of TV work under his belt before hooking up with Al, already having had such recurring roles as Nelson Tibideaux on The Cosby Show and Little G on Family Matters. After the show ended Gary would continue to land kid-centric roles such as in the film Slappy and the Stinkers, becoming a regular on the show Even Stevens, and providing the voice of A.J. on Nickelodeon's The Fairly OddParents.
Stan Freberg (Papa Boolie) needs no introduction to Al fans, as he was making hit comedy records when Al was just a wee lad. Stan had also revolutionized comedic advertising, starred in one of radio's last popular variety shows, and provided the voice for such cult cartoon characters as Pete Puma, Junyer Bear, and Cecil (of "Beany and..."). Stan most recently was heard hosting When Radio Was, an anthology series showcasing classic radio broadcasts. Although the series ended production in 1999, reruns are still being syndicated. And of course, Rhino recently released the boxed set Tip of the Freberg.
Although a frequent behind-the-scenes collaborator on his father's recent work and a performer and voice artist in his own right, Donavan Freberg (Baby Boolie) is no doubt best remembered as the "Encyclopedia Britannica Kid" in the commercials of the late '80s and early '90s (which Stan directed). Click here to check out Donavan's web site!
Actor Kevin Weisman (Spike) had very few on-screen roles prior to this episode, perhaps most notably appearances on Frasier and in The Rock. Kevin would find quickly increasing work in the years to follow, though, showing up on such shows as ER, Roswell, The X-Files, Felicity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and many others. Perhaps his best known recurring role has been as Agent Marshall Flinkman on Alias. Kevin will next be seen this August in Kevin Smith's highly anticipated Clerks II. He is also an accomplished indie film and theater producer and occasionally shows up to play with Tenacious D's semi-fictional country rock offspring Trainwreck. Click here to check out Kevin's web site!
"Downtown" Julie Brown is of course best known for her days hosting videos on MTV, but it should be noted that both her and Al were previously among the celebrities to show up in Leslie Nielsen's 1996 spoof Spy Hard.
Occasionally raunchy but always hilarious comedian Patton Oswalt (Seymour) was just starting to get some acting gigs when this episode came about, as he had already appeared in episodes of Seinfeld and Mad TV (on which he was a writer), not to mention several TV movies and even the comedic feature Down Periscope. Patton would soon land the role of Spence on the CBS hit The King of Queens, appear in such high-profile films as Man on the Moon and Starsky & Hutch, and produce the excellent tour documentary The Comedians of Comedy (which spawned a spin-off series on Comedy Central). Click here to check out Patton's web site!
Barenaked Ladies' "Shoe Box" closes their 1996 album Born on a Pirate Ship. Although the single didn't chart, the album would reach #4 on Billboard's "Heatseekers" chart and #111 on the "Billboard 200." Of course, just two years later Al would parody the group's biggest hit, "One Week," for Running With Scissors as "Jerry Springer." The band is currently working on a new studio album for the fall, while Rhino is scheduled to release a boxed set of outtakes and rarities in the near future. Click here to check out BNL's web site!
As for Al's songs in this episode, "Harvey The Wonder Hamster" is from Alapalooza, even though it was first used several years before during Al-TV specials. "The Weird Al Show Theme" would later be released on Running With Scissors, while "Bite Me" (heard during the Ear Booker logo at the end of the credits) is a secret bonus track on CD copies of Off The Deep End. "Water Is Wet," however, has never been released on CD.
Two recurring segments on the show, the nutrition breaks and "Al's Mailbag" (not to mention the character of Harvey the Wonder Hamster), were carried over from the various Al-TV and AlMusic specials done for MTV and MuchMusic (respectively) over the years.
"Way Moby" would later be the name for Al's imprint on his Volcano releases.
Two segments in this episode, an ad for Pizza Quick and the filmstrip "Safety and You" would become parts of 1999's Touring With Scissors video sequences.
"Safety and You" includes the show's first 27 reference, as a flier on a bulletin board indicates the number of days a school has survived without a papercut.
We are introduced to characters such as Al's hot Cousin Corky, his slinky pal Val Brentwood, Gal Spy, and are reacquainted with Al's neighbor the Hooded Avenger (who gives us his "casual" superheroic greeting salute)...who are all just lounging around Al's cave, bored. Al suggests that they go watch TV, on which they get to see Fred Huggins treat the Boolies to a "classic" new song titled "I Like You" and watch a music video by an oddly familiar fellow singing a new parody of Prodigy's "Firestarter" titled "Lousy Haircut." The channel hopping ends with the gang watching an entertainment clip about John Tesh and his latest tour. This leads to a discussion of how Al's friends have seen and met the Great One. Trying to impress them, Al boasts that he and "Johnny Boy" (that's what he likes to call him) are close personal friends. When Al promises to his friends that John Tesh will come over and hang out with them ("Can we talk to him?" "Yeah, I think he knows English!"), causing them to excitedly leave to go get ready, Al wonders aloud how he is going to get John Tesh to come over...since he's never met him before in his life! Fortunately the Guy Boarded Up in the Wall gives Al a book informing him that for John Tesh to make a personal appearance will cost $82,000 ("Does he have to travel back in time to get here??"). After a failed bake sale (in which Al sells goat cheese and arugula brownies, fudge muffins with mustard filling, and a burnt Grandma Yankovic bunt cake), Al seeks the advice of his longtime psychic friend Madame Judy, who suggests that Al sell products on an infomercial. At first Al seems skeptical about the concept of "selling out," but Madame Judy recruits Ron Popeil and Tony Little to convince him that it's all right. So Al puts on his own infomercial (complete with perennial infomercial host Mike Levey and a charge-by-phone number of 555-0127!), selling products such as Ear Magnets, the Yank-Co Shoelace Tying Gauge, the Supersonic Gut-icizer with Al's face printed on it, and the Amazing Four-Tined Food Stabber...all with Al's money back guarantee! The infomercial pays off, and Mike Levey announces that Al has made $82,000! Alas, before Al gets a chance to call John Tesh, he starts receiving letters complaining about his products. Al urges that any unsatisfied customers can come to his cave to obtain a full refund...so all of his customers start to show up. To save us from the display Al presents the very first Fatman cartoon, in which mild-mannered donut clerk-turned-superhero Al Yankovic and his sidekick Harvey (voiced by Billy West) stop Al's Evil Uncle Frank and his sidekick The Procrastinator from flooding the city with melted ice cream ("And believe it or not, kids, that was a true story!"). Back to Al's dilemma, he finally comes clean to his still-excited friends and promises to make it up to each and every one of them. Naturally as soon as they leave, a certain blonde-haired New Age musician comes to get a refund for Al's Shoelace Tying Gauge. In the end, Al learns that he should never make promises that he cannot keep...and that he'll never do another infomercial again! Ron and Tony overhear this, with Ron commenting "That boy was our only hope." Tony gazes upward, "No, there is another," right before we see a certain Wonder Hamster....Mining Accident
The role of Corky was still pretty early in lovely actress Danielle Weeks's career, as she had only previously done forgettable low-budget films such as a remake of Roger Corman's Humanoids from the Deep. Over the next decade she would make appearances in a number of popular shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Party of Five, Charmed, Titus, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and others. Lately she might be best remembered for starring in a pair of car commercials for Kia, particularly one in which she was made up as a loud, overbearing middle-aged woman at a class reunion. Danielle continues to keep busy, becoming a regular on the Oxygen comedy series Campus Ladies, popping up in such major films as Bewitched, and appearing on stage with the Actors Art Theatre and IO West troupes in Los Angeles.
Paula Jai Parker (Val), however, already had some noteworthy comedy roles to her credit as a regular on The Apollo Comedy Hour and The Wayans Brothers, not to mention appearances on such series as Roc and such films as Friday, Sprung, and Spike Lee's Get on the Bus, among others. Since the show ended, Paula continued to divide her time between the big screen and the small screen, starring in the short-lived show Snoops, making appearances on NYPD Blue and The Shield, voicing Trudy on Disney's The Proud Family, and showing up in the movies Phone Booth and My Baby's Daddy, among many other roles. Last year she starred in the critically acclaimed minor hit Hustle & Flow, and this summer you can see her in the thriller The Genius Club and the musical(!) Idlewild.
Trying to list all or even some of the many, many appearances character actor Eddie Deezen (Guy Boarded Up in the Wall) has made before and after the show is a task that would probably require its own web site, as he has kept busy in both film and television since the late 1970s. Eddie's distinctive voice has also made him a sought-after performer in the animation industry, leading to such high-profile gigs as 2004's The Polar Express. In 2002, we tried to interview Eddie about his time on The Weird Al Show, but the results left much to be desired. This is what we ended up with.
Accordion-playing comedian Judy Tenuta (Madame Judy) should also need no introduction to Al fans, as she had previously appeared in Al's "Headline News" video as the knife-wielding Lorena Bobbitt. Judy would later appear on Al's episode of Behind the Music and ask Al to appear in her independent comedy Desperation Boulevard (in which Al appeared in an infomercial, coincidentally enough). "The Love Goddess" regularly tours the country with her bawdy stand-up act. Click here to check out Judy's web site!
John Tesh is certainly a man of many talents: former sportscaster, former Entertainment Tonight co-host, and Christian New Age artist. In addition to touring the country with his brand of harmless, moral-inducing music, he also hosts a syndicated "soft rock"-ish radio show that bears his name. Click here to check out John's web site!
By pitching household products in the half-hour infomercial format, inventor Ron Popeil has been a television staple for half a century. His company, Ronco, is still around, having been sold to Fi-Tek VII last summer. Ron continues to serve as the spokesman for the company. And of course, there needs to be a mention of Al's 1984 B-52s-styled "Mr. Popeil." Even though Al stresses that the song was inspired more by Ron's father Samuel, who invented some of the earliest Ronco products, a number of Ron's famous pitch sayings found their way into the song.
Nicknamed "America's Personal Trainer," Tony Little has cornered the market on fitness infomercials, hawking products such as the Gazelle Extreme. Always having a sense of humor about himself, Tony recently parodied his own ads in an often-run Geico commercial. Click here to check out Tony's web site!
And speaking of infomercial legends, colorful-sweater-wearing pitchman Mike Levey was perhaps second to Ron Popeil in terms of visibility, hosting not one but two actual series of informercials. Amazing Discoveries first aired in 1985 and was later followed by Ask Mike. Unfortunately, Mike died of cancer in August 2003.
Reportedly one condition CBS had in picking up the show was that it had to feature a new Weird Al parody, so Al delivered with the short "Lousy Haircut." Based on The Prodigy's techno hit "Firestarter," the four-lined song was exclusive to this episode and did not show up on any subsequent album (although this same video was eventually included in the Ultimate Video Collection DVD). Prodigy's single would end up hitting #11 on Billboard's "Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales" chart, #24 on the "Modern Rock Tracks" chart, and #30 on the "Hot 100," while the source album, The Fat of the Land, would top both the "Billboard 200" and the "Top Canadian Albums" chart. "Lousy Haircut" would be the first music video created just for the show.
As for other Al music in this episode, "Gump" (which runs under the end credits) is from Bad Hair Day. "I Like You" has gone unreleased.
The Fatman cartoons are the show's only recurring animated segment. Harvey continues his role as Al's best buddy in these cartoons, however now he has a laid-back voice!
This would be the first of two times in which a celebrity figures prominently in an episode but doesn't show up until the very end in a cameo.
And of course, Ron and Tony's final exchange at the end of the episode parodies that of Obi-Wan and Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.
While working on a new song, Al is interrupted when four coal miners (played by E Streeter Clarence Clemons, Laverne and Shirley buddies David Lander and Michael McKean, and Al's UHF pal David Bowe!) accidentally smash a hole into Al's wall. While they try to fix the hole in the wall, they start getting on Al's nerves by touching his stuff and getting dirt on everything (however, the miners aren't being as obnoxious as Al is saying they are--actually, Al is the one coming off as rude and pushy). Tensions build after the miners wonder why Al is hanging out with "a rat" (Harvey), which leads to them arguing and making fun of each other. Al then introduces the classic and heated race of Knight vs. Fireman. More bickering between Al and the miners occurs, which is interrupted this time by the Hooded Avenger, who is in bed with the flu and is irritated by all of the noise. It turns out the Hooded Avenger and the miners are old pals, and the Hooded Avenger reminds Al that just because they're different doesn't mean they can't be his friends. Slightly inspired, Al suggests that they all watch TV together, on which they see a public service announcement featuring Martha Quinn, a rather aggressive "Got Milk?" advertisement, and the first appearance of a long-unnamed Contortionist Workout Host. As the miners continue to work, Bobby the Inquisitive Boy stops by and asks Al about dirt, so Al shows us a special filmstrip titled "Our Friend Dirt." Sadly, the miners cannot finish fixing Al's wall because the nearby underground rats have caused a cave-in. Al saves us the agony of more arguing by showing us a Fatman cartoon in which the evil Slawmeister (voiced by Emo Philips) plans to rid the world of potato salad (although Al would have preferred to show us Brad Pitt and Cindy Crawford mud wrestling). Back to the cave dilemma, Al quick-thinkingly lays out some split pea fudge to scare off the rats, while the grateful miners help Al finish his new song "Cheese." The miners are able to fix the wall, Al learns to get along with people no matter how different they may be from him, and there's even enough time for Harvey to be shot out of a cannon. All's well that ends well, until the ceiling crashes in on Al!Back to School
The Big Man himself, Clarence Clemons has been blowing sax for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band since 1972. Since then, Clarence has helped earn Bruce and the band five Grammys and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Clarence has also had some major outside gigs, such as playing on Aretha Franklin's hit "Freeway Of Love," and currently fronts the "metro-rock" group Clarence Clemons Temple of Soul. Click here to check out Clarence's web site!
Best known as Squiggy on the classic sitcom Laverne and Shirley, actor David L. Lander has been active in Hollywood since the early 1970s, appearing in such hit films as A League of Their Own, Scary Movie, and Christmas with the Kranks, not to mention lending his distinctive voice to the blockbusters Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and A Bug's Life, among others. In 1999 David revealed that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1984, and since then he has become a devoted advocate for awareness of the disease, embarking on numerous speaking tours. In gratitude, in 2000 the National Multiple Sclerosis Society named him Ambassador of the Year. He also wrote a book about living with his condition, Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn't Tell Nobody. Click here to check out David's web site!
Laverne and Shirley is also where character actor Michael McKean got his start, and since then he has turned up practically everywhere. In addition to numerous guest appearances, Michael has been a regular on such series as Dream On, Saturday Night Live (replacing Phil Hartman as President Clinton!), The X-Files, Primetime Glick, and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. On the big screen, Michael can be seen in such a motley crew of films as Steven Spielberg's 1941, Clue, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Short Circuit 2, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Coneheads, The Brady Bunch Movie, Little Nicky, Auto Focus, and last year's disappointing remake of The Producers, among a slew of others. As far as cinema goes, Michael is of course best known as one of the minds behind the classic This is Spinal Tap, and he has since co-starred in Christopher Guest's subsequent "mockumentaries" Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, for which he and wife Annette O'Toole earned an Academy Award nomination for their song "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow." Michael also recently completed a run on Broadway in the hit musical Hairspray, while both he and Al appeared in the Busch Gardens "4-D" theme park attraction R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse. Michael will next be seen this fall in Christopher Guest's For Your Consideration.
This is former MTV veejay Martha Quinn's first of two appearances on the show. One of the network's very first on-air personalities, and one of its most popular, Al has used Martha to humorous effect in the past, usually during Al-TV specials (naturally). In fact, the first Al-TV special cuts right into an MTV segment of Martha detailing the programming schedule (this clip can also be seen in The Compleat Al).
Two UHF connections: Actor David Bowe (Miner) previously played George's buddy Bob, while Emo Philips (Slawmeister) played shop teacher Joe Earley. The Slawmeister name is also a clever reference to one of Emo's most memorable stand-up routines.
"Cheese" isn't the only Al song to show up in this episode. "Harvey The Wonder Hamster" is from Alapalooza, while "Like A Surgeon" (which closes the episode) is from Dare To Be Stupid. As for "Cheese," though, it has never been released on CD.
This is the first episode in which it starts to become a little unclear what Al does. He's living underground as an inventor, yet he's seen here working on comedy songs. Al's profession between reclusive inventor and popular entertainer will shift back and forth throughout the duration of the series.
In case it wasn't clear, Phil Frye the Science Guy is a very funny, very accurate parody of PBS's Emmy-winning Bill Nye the Science Guy, which ironically would end production just months after this episode first aired.
Clips of the "Our Friend Dirt" filmstrip would later show up on the video screen during Touring With Scissors and The Poodle Hat Tour.
We find Al consulting his National Rodent Society's Official Hamster Maintenance Manual to see what's wrong with Harvey. As it turns out, Harvey simply has the vacuum cleaner stuck to his behind. Bobby surprises Al as he's trying to free Harvey (thus propelling Harvey across the cave). Bobby wants to know how he can take care of his teeth, so Al shows him a filmstrip titled "Be Nice to Your Teeth." Bobby continues to ask Al questions that Al simply cannot answer, but fortunately for Bobby, the Hooded Avenger swings into the cave and is able to provide answers. The Hooded Avenger continues to boast that he has a total of five PhDs. Inspired, Al is determined to learn everything he possibly can, but first he decides to watch some TV. While channel hopping (which includes a short music video for some song called "Lasagna"), Al comes across a commercial with Alex Trebek for a series of correspondence classes (ranging from "Frog Cosmetology" to "Accounting"). Al decides to order all of them (delivered by a man that could very well pass for Bill Mumy) and attempts to dive right into them, despite the fact that Val Brentwood stops by to warn Al that to master anything takes time and concentration. Undaunted, Al begins to master martial arts from his instructor Kuni(!!!!!), who throws Al around and reminds him that it takes time and concentration to learn any skill (you see, the moral of the episode is studying takes...oh, never mind). Al decides to try his hand at astral projection and pops in a taped lesson (narrated by Tress MacNeille). Al's spirit is able to leave his body, and then decides to go watch TV. Back to the books, Al begins to wonder if he could possibly remember all of the information he's trying to cram into his brain. After taking a break and presenting a weight-lifting stunt from Harvey, Bobby and the Hooded Avenger return with a peanut butter pizza to "help" Al study. A grateful Al first starts to answer a letter from the ol' mailbox, but is interrupted when Harvey starts choking on the peanut butter! Al leaps over to Harvey and gives him the Hamster Hiemlich, which he learned from his hamster manual. Bobby and the Hooded Avenger are so impressed with Al's mastery from the book, they present him with an honorary Doctorate in Hamster Maintenance. A beaming Al thanks them and urges everyone to always carry shark repellent...unfortunately Al doesn't get a chance to tell us why (a shark shows up).Time Machine
Emmy-winning game show host Alex Trebek has greeted Jeopardy! viewers since the show was resurrected for syndication in 1984. It wasn't his first quiz show (or his last!), as he's also served as host of such shows as Reach for the Top (parodied hilariously on SCTV), Strategy, The Wizard of Odds, The $128,000 Question, High Rollers, Pitfall, Battlestars, and Classic Concentration, among others. And of course he has also made guest appearances as himself, usually in conjunction with Jeopardy!, on such series as Cheers, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Larry Sanders Show, Beverly Hills 90210, Ellen, The Nanny, SNL, and many others. And for other Al connections, Alex's likeness on a sculpted mound of tofu became the subject of conflict on the 1996 special There's No Going Home, while both would make appearances of sorts in Leslie Nielsen's Spy Hard.
When one thinks of actor and musician Bill Mumy, the first thing that might come to mind is "You're a very bad man!" or "Danger, danger, Will Robinson!" But how many would automatically think of "Fish Heads?" Even though he was a regular on both Lost in Space and Babylon 5; appeared in such series as Dennis the Menace, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wagon Train, Perry Mason, The Fugitive, The Munsters, Ben Casey, Bewitched, The Rockford Files, Matlock, The Flash, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and of course The Twilight Zone; and even has writing and scoring credits to his resume, it will no doubt be his 1978 collaboration with Robert Haimer that will make him a legend of demented music for generations to come. Al has worked with Bill on a number of projects before, such as an anniversary song for Dr. Demento and the only album (so far) of Bill's group Seduction of the Innocent. Bill continues to find a variety of outlets for his creativity, and Barnes and Barnes does reunite to perform from time to time. They've even submitted an unreleased song to the recent charity album Laughter Is A Powerful Weapon Vol. 2. Click here to check out Bill's web site!
Tress MacNeille is one of the most successful voice artists in animation, having voiced characters in such beloved cartoons as The Smurfs, The Gummi Bears, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers, The Critic, Lilo and Stitch, Futurama, and of course The Simpsons, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Animaniacs, among countless others. And to Al fans, Tress is probably best known for portraying Lucy Ricardo in "Ricky," both voicing her part in the song and appearing as her in the video! Tress's distinctive voice would also be heard in The Compleat Al and "Pretty Fly For A Rabbi."
The man in the unclear medicine commercial is played by improv comedian Bill Kirchenbauer, who is perhaps best known for starring on the ABC sitcom Just the Ten of Us in addition to appearances in Airplane! and the cult shows Fernwood 2Nite and America 2-Night. Click here to check out Bill's web site!
UHF connection: Character actor Gedde Watanabe reprises his film role of Kuni, even getting in a "You're so stupid!"
"Lasagna" became the second new Al video (or mini-video in these cases) to air on the series, although fans of course recognize the song as the second single from Even Worse (this vignette of a video would also show up on the Ultimate Video Collection DVD). "Dare To Be Stupid," meanwhile, is of course from the album Dare To Be Stupid.
The "Be Nice to Your Teeth" filmstrip immediately proceeded the live performance of "Germs" during the first leg of Touring With Scissors in 1999 before being replaced by the "What are Germs?" film produced for that year's ALTV2K. After that, it was bumped into the video montage just before "Bedrock Anthem."
The wacky "Camp Superfun" jingle was both written and performed by Steve Jay. Yep, that's him singing!
Al is having quite a busy morning! It's 11:32 and he's already gotten everything done for the day (including reading all of his letters, getting his fortune told by Madame Judy, answering Bobby's questions, and playing jai alai with Teri Garr)...and he has just put the finishing touches on his new invention, a clock radio! Well, okay, a clock radio fully capable of time travel! Al decides to watch TV to celebrate, and comes across a soap opera called The Young and the Housebroken starring an upset blonde who looks not unlike Victoria Jackson. Suddenly, the Hooded Avenger, Cousin Corky, Madame Judy, and Val Brentwood all stop by for Harvey's birthday (Avenger got Harvey a monogrammed spatula, and Corky made him a Hawaiian shirt entirely from her own hair)! Al, however, was so busy working on his new invention that he completely forgot about his best friend's birthday! Rather than admitting his mistake, Al decides to use his new time machine to go back earlier in the day to get Harvey a present. After a few detours, Al arrives at 11:00 and is about to leave, but he has to go through Al's Mailbag again. One letter Al missed the first time is a "Final Notice" from the electric company. Al decides to call the electric company and give them a piece of his mind, which results in Al's power getting shut off. Going further back to 10:30 so he can also pay his electric bill on time, Al is stopped by Madame Judy who retells Al's fortune. As per Judy's prediction, Al gets attacked and bitten by radioactive lobsters (turning Al into a lobster boy!). Al goes back to 10:00 so he can add calling an exterminator, to get rid of the lobsters, to his agenda...but is intercepted by Bobby. Al doesn't want to answer his questions for a second time, but when Bobby annoyingly insists, Al decides to show him a film titled "Mind Your Manners." Disappointed, Bobby declares that their friendship is over and storms out of the cave. Now traveling back to 9:30, so he can have enough time to also talk to Bobby, Al is about to leave to get Harvey a present, but is stopped by Teri Garr, who has arrived for their scheduled game of jai alai. Al informs Teri that he doesn't have to time to play again, and Teri took it well (throwing Al across the room and all). Going back to 9:00, Al (in some excellent pajamas!) decides to make some "frozen waffle and sardine nachos" before leaving the cave. However, when Al tries to shave some chocolate for his nachos with his electric shaver ("It just tastes better that way."), his shaver becomes possessed and attacks Al, shearing off about half of his hair. Going back to 8:30 so he can also fix his shaver, Al is determined to get everything done unless stopped by a Russian kosak dancer...which just happens to show up and trip Al, knocking him unconscious. When Al comes to, it's 11:32 again and everyone shows up (again) for Harvey's birthday. Al confesses to Harvey and apologizes for not admitting his mistake in the first place. Harvey (channeling through Madame Judy) tells Al it's cool and asks if he can play a special birthday song for him. Fortunately Steve, Rubén, Jon, and Jim are kept in Al's bedroom and the guys perform "Yoda" (sans chant), with Al wishing Harvey a Happy Birthday!One for the Record Books
Lovely Oscar-nominated actress Teri Garr has been lighting up the silver screen since the '60s. Listing even half of her amazing resume would be too much to take all at once, but such noteworthy films include Viva Las Vegas, What a Way to Go!, The Monkees' cult classic Head, The Conversation, Oh God!, Steven Spielberg's classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Mom, Let It Ride, Dumb & Dumber, Michael, Dick, Ghost World, and of course the classic comedy Tootsie and the Mel Brooks masterpiece Young Frankenstein. Teri would later be one of Al's guests when he hosted VH1's The List in August 2000. Although she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis since 1983, Teri continues to pursue acting work in both film and television. Teri's autobiography, Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, was published in November 2005.
Two UHF connections: Actress Victoria Jackson (Crying Woman) previously played George's girlfriend Teri, while Al first utilized the comedic value of spatulas in the Spatula City commercial.
Despite its fan-favorite status and its popularity on The Dr. Demento Show since 1980, not to mention being a featured track on Dare To Be Stupid, it is believed this is only the third time "Yoda" has been performed on television. Perhaps the song was chosen for this episode because there was never a music video produced for it? Sure enough, "Yoda" would be the only song Al and the band would perform live on the entire series.
Al's reasoning for shaving the chocolate, "It just tastes better that way," was previously heard during the special There's No Going Home as grapes were being shot out of a showtune-singing sumo wrestler's bellybutton.
One of the commercials in the episode is for a new action figure called Morpho-Man, which seems to have been inspired by a similar product on Mystery Science Theater 3000: "Johnny Longtorso: The Man Who Comes in Pieces." The MST3K episode that featured the action figure, in which the guys watch the movie Monster A-Go-Go, has recently been released on DVD.
As Al is microwaving a horseradish enchilada (which he got free in a box of Sugar Bits and Pieces cereal), a "small" radiation leak causes Harvey to grow to a giant size! While Al is still staring dumbfounded at Super Harvey, he gets a visit from the bejedirobed Sir Alec of the "Glinness" society...complete with his assistant (that guy with those disgustingly long fingernails). After literally "eyeballing" Harvey, Sir Alec declares that Harvey holds the world's record for being the largest rodent. Al wonders what the big deal is about being the best, but gets little reassurance from watching TV ("Pirate Roofing: We're #1!")...so Al unsuccessfully tries setting world's records for accordion sit-ups and then for eating the most donuts in ten seconds (he gets down one). Al feels even worse when he reads a letter in his mailbag from a whole family of record holders. Fortunately, Al's old accordion teacher Mrs. Fesenmeyer shows up to borrow a cottage cheese lava lamp. Getting his mind off the world records, Al shows Mrs. Fesenmeyer some home movies of his failed attempts in the world of sports, including tire-rolling (in which he's helped by Dr. Demento!), golf, and college track. Back to trying to be the best at anything, Al calls the Glinness people and asks if they would send some world's record holders to his cave to give him some pointers...and while we're waiting Al presents a Fatman cartoon in which Fatman stops Dr. Quimby P. Legume (voiced by Animaniacs' Jess Harnell) and his plan to turn the city's drinking water into "piping hot split-pea soup." The world's record holders show up, but tell Al that to break a world's record takes personal sacrifice and dedication ("What friends?" asks the record holder for consecutive free-throws). The Hooded Avenger and Corky comfort Al by telling him that he doesn't have to be the best as long as he does his best. Suddenly, the three little geeks from Hanson show up to gawk at and take pictures of Harvey, but the flashes on their cameras disrupt the neutrons of Harvey's radioactive molecules and cause Harvey to shrink down to normal size. In order to make it up to Al and Harvey, the Hanson boys perform their hit "Where's The Love?"Because I Said So
To say that Patricia Place (Mrs. Fesenmeyer) is a character actress would be an understatement, even though this has been her only recurring series role so far! Since the early '90s she has shown up in seemingly every network show known to man including Seinfeld, Sisters, Wings, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, ER, NewsRadio, Family Matters, Mad About You, Suddenly Susan, The Practice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Drew Carey Show, Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond, Malcom in the Middle, The King of Queens, Nip/Tuck, Gilmore Girls, and countless others. She has also made appearances in a select number of movies such as Outbreak, Scanner Cop II, Black Sheep, Laurel Canyon, and Wedding Crashers. Patricia will next be seen this spring in the religion-centric drama Faith Happens.
Based on airdate order, this is Dr. Demento's first appearance on the series.
Faboo! Ever since he gave Wakko Warner the voice of Ringo Starr, Emmy-nominated Animaniacs star Jess Harnell has become one of the most sought-after vocal mimics in Hollywood. He would later lend his voice to such shows as 2 Stupid Dogs, Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show, Duckman, The Tick, The Wild Thornberrys, House of Mouse, Teamo Supremo, Duck Dodgers, Pet Alien, Drawn Together, and many others. He has also since become the official new voice for such Disney characters as Roger Rabbit, Br'er Rabbit, and The Nightmare Before Christmas's Dr. Finkelstein. Jess also sang the only authorized parody of Simon and Garfunkle's "Mrs. Robinson" ever recorded, rewritten as "Mrs. Henderson" for Albert Brooks's inspired comedy Mother.
Hanson's "Where's The Love?" is from their smash debut album, 1997's Middle of Nowhere. The song would end up hitting #6 on Billboard's "Top 40 Mainstream" chart and #27 on the "Adult Top 40," while the album itself would hit #2 on the "Billboard 200" and #4 on the "Top Canadian Albums" chart. This wouldn't be the last time Al would work with the youthful pop group. He would later direct the opening and closing sequences for the group's "River" music video, while Hanson's breakout hit "MMMBop" would later show up in the Running With Scissors medley "Polka Power!" The group recently released the live album The Best of Hanson: Live and Electric. Click here to check out Hanson's web site!
Al is in the middle of putting the finishing touches on his new invention, an automatic toenail clipper. After testing it out on Harvey, thus turning him into a little tan fluff ball (a la a Friz Freleng cartoon), Al gets a picture phone call from his boss J.B. Toppersmith (played by Stan Freberg!). Apparently it's "Take an Extended Relative to Work Day" and J.B. brought his nephew Huey to work...well more specifically, to Al's cave to be in charge of the show for the day. J.B. warns Al that Huey is used to getting his way, and if he doesn't then Al will be fired (after a long chain of reactions, that is). When Al tells the still-fluffed Harvey that the "big hair" look isn't for him, he gets a shock when a house band strikes up a riff and the band's leader Buford (played by comic actor Charles Fleischer) chuckles out "That's cold!" Al wonders who sent him a house band, and little Huey (Mathew McCurley) shows up and starts bullying Al right off the bat...such as announcing that whenever the band starts to play, Al is supposed to sing ("You know, sing. 'Tra le la le la.'"). Case in point: Al has to sing "The Al's Mailbag Theme Song" before he reads the letters, one of which is a request to see Dick Van Patten in a tutu doing a little pirate dance. Suddenly Al's doorbell rings, and after a few "who's at the door"-themed songs Al lets alien-like child star Tahj Mowry (who's almost as crabby as Huey) into the cave. When Tahj asks Al to show a clip, he shows a somewhat-altered clip from his "Jurassic Park" video. Tahj is disgustipated and wants to leave, but Al asks him to try out his new toenail clipper before he goes. The resulting clipping turns Tahj's foot into that of a prehistoric reptile. The Hooded Avenger, Corky, and Val Brentwood show up and Al asks them what he should do about the pushy Huey. Al at first decides to try "the silent treatment," but the Hooded Avenger suggests that instead Al try to communicate with Huey ("I'll kill him with kindness," Al promises). Huey's unimpressed by Al's fake admiration ("I even started a Huey fan club! We've got a Huey web site!"). J.B. calls to see how Huey's holding up, and Huey demands that Al be thrown off the show. Al refuses to give Huey the chance to fire him, so he quits! After a tearful good-bye to Harvey ("I promise I'll send for you."), Al goes to Buford ("You the man, Al." "Yes, yes I know.") and gives him a block of ice to remember him by ("That's cold! That's really cold!!")...and finally Al says good-bye to a piece of pie, and then promptly gobbles it up. Just as Al leaves in the elevator, Huey starts to mope, saying that nobody ever wants to play with him. Al suggests that Huey should stop being so controlling and maybe, just maybe, he might make friends. Realizing the err of his ways, Huey asks Al to come back to live in the cave, and the two watch Fred Huggins together on TV. Huey promises to be nicer to people, and Al promises (to himself) to not let bullies walk all over him. Before he leaves us, Al tries the toenail clipper out on himself, resulting in a beautiful trimming. Al vows that his new invention will change the world, but unfortunately he is suddenly run over by an animated car.Talent Show
Although he is probably best known as creating the voice of Roger Rabbit, actor Charles Fleischer (Buford) has made a steady career of character roles on both the big and small screens. In addition to being a semi-regular on the classic sitcoms Welcome Back Kotter and Laverne and Shirley, Charles has also appeared in such flicks as Night Shift, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Gross Anatomy, Back to the Future Part II, Dick Tracy, Straight Talk, My Girl 2, and even The Polar Express. Charles will next be seen this September in the thriller Zodiac, about the enigmatic He-Man character--err, I mean, about the infamous serial killer. Click here to check out Charles's web site!
Then-child actor Mathew McCurley (Huey) had previously won a Young Artist Award for his supporting role in Rob Reiner's bomb North.
Actor Dick Van Patten has been a fixture on television since the late 1940s when he co-starred on the movie-based family series Mama. Since then he has been a regular on such shows as Young Dr. Malone, The Partners, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, When Things Were Rotten, Love American Style, and of course Eight is Enough. He has also shown up in films here and there like Soylent Green, The Shaggy D.A., Freaky Friday, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, and the Mel Brooks spoofs High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. And of course, Dick makes memorable cameos in Al's videos for "Smells Like Nirvana" and "Bedrock Anthem."
Tahj Mowry was already becoming one of the most recognizable kid stars on television, having been a semi-regular on Full House and starring on the Disney sitcom Smart Guy (which Al makes a reference to). Although he is currently attending college, lately Tahj has been voicing the character of Wade on Kim Possible.
Despite all of the singing in this episode, only one of the songs featured has been released, "Jurassic Park" on Alapalooza. Perhaps not surprisingly, according to BMI records, Al composed all of the original "impromptu" songs in this episode.
In addition to Charles Fleischer, also seen in Al's "house band" are Bermuda and Al's back-up live guitarists Danny Brant and Brian Otto.
The request to see Dick Van Patten in a tutu doing a little pirate dance seems to be a gag semi-lifted from 1996's AlMusic special.
Al mentions to Huey that he launched a web site in his honor. Just two days before this episode first aired did Bermuda's "The Bermuda Files" web site become rechristened Weirdal.com and finally become designated as the official Weird Al web site. Scotti Bros. had previously launched an "official" site the year before, but it was mainly just a rehash of the label's bios and press releases, so most fans preferred checking out Bermuda's site.
Al's excited, because today's the day of the Annual Weird Al Talent Show!!! Al even promises a special guest to show up...his mom! The winner of this year's talent show (judged by last year's winner, Harvey) will receive a beautifully crafted ice sculpture of Marvin the Seabass, which sadly melts in Al's broken porta-freezer. As Al painfully tries to drag his freezer back to the kitchen, Corky stops by. She is able to slide the freezer without any trouble. However when Corky realizes that today's the day of the talent show, she panics because she claims she doesn't have any talent! Al tries to assure her that he believes in her if she would just try. Suddenly, the doorbell rings and it's all of the other contestants (The Hooded Avenger, Val, Bobby, Madame Judy, and...Bermuda??). The Hooded Avenger confides in Al that he has a good feeling about winning this year, and reaffirms that while demonstrating one of his lesser-seen super powers...he is able to mold an ice cube into the shape of an Arabian Gelding with his tongue (a drumroll commences out of nowhere, and it's revealed that Bermuda is seated at a tom-tom!). Madame Judy is up next, and she is able to channel the living such as Roseanne, Barbara Streisand, and Elvis (ahem...). Meanwhile, Corky is still convinced that she has no talent, so Al suggests they watch TV for inspiration (which doesn't help much). After the Guy Boarded Up in the Wall presents his talent of telling "knock knock" jokes, Al (still believing in his cousin) pushes Corky under the spotlight. Frozen and panicky, Corky bolts, so Al presents Bobby "the Dancing Boy!" As Bobby's doing the ol' soft-shoe, Al tries to comfort Corky by saying that nobody can master a talent on their first try. To prove it, Al flashes back to his audition on The Flintstones (featuring the voices of Fred and Wilma, Henry Corden and Jean Vander Pyl!)! Sadly, Al keeps forgetting his lines (and on one take doesn't even show up!), so a frustrated Fred storms back to his trailer. Corky is still unconvinced, so she crushes and flattens an empty can of diet pop and starts smashing some walnuts open. When Al asks her why doing that stuff doesn't hurt her hand, Corky suddenly looks inspired. After Al drags a completely worn-out Bobby off the floor, Corky asks him to introduce her as "Corky: Woman of Steel!" Corky demonstrates by chewing on and smashing together bricks and by lifting and twisting a 100-pound barbell! As Al congratulates Corky for giving it a try, his mom is ready to do her plate-balancing/banjo act. Unfortunately, Immature stops by and asks Al if they can play in the talent show. Al is unsure about time until he hears a sound that can only be several plates shattering on the floor! So, Immature steps up and sings, that is until Val shows off her talent of sabotage (she drops a net on the group)! Al thanks everyone for stopping by, but the Hooded Avenger starts asking Al who won the ice sculpture. This turns into a big commotion from the group (including Bermuda, even though he wasn't a contestant) and Al doesn't have the heart to tell them that the ice sculpture melted. Fortunately Al's mom brought along a spare Marvin the Seabass sculpture with her, so Al presents it to the winner...Bobby the Dancing Boy! And, Al gives Corky a special E for Effort (literally a five-foot letter "E") for giving her talent a try. All does not bode well, however, as the Hooded Avenger vows to win the ice sculpture next year!Al Plays Hooky
Thanks in part to Hanna-Barbera, '50s character actor Henry Corden enjoyed a fuller and longer career than many of his contemporaries. First appearing in 1947's Danny Kaye classic The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Henry would find work in such noteworthy films as The Asphalt Jungle, Viva Zapata!, Hitchcock's I Confess, The Ten Commandments, Elvis's Frankie and Johnny, and Modern Problems, among many others. Since the medium's early days, television would be especially kind to Henry. Although he is perhaps best remembered as cranky landlord Mr. Babbitt on The Monkees or as Jeannie's father on I Dream of Jeannie, Henry also made appearances on such series as Adventures of Superman, Dragnet, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Peter Gunn, Wagon Train, Bonanza, Ben Casey, Mister Ed, Maverick, McHale's Navy, My Favorite Martian, Hogan's Heroes, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, The Beverly Hillbillies, Get Smart, Mary Tyler Moore, Welcome Back Kotter, and many, many others. Starting in 1965 with incidental parts on Jonny Quest, Henry would spend forty years lending his voice to the budding Hanna-Barbera studio, where he would create voices for such characters as the Hillbilly Bears' Paw Rugg. Henry would also find himself occasionally voicing Fred Flintstone when series star Alan Reed was unable to, usually by providing Fred's singing voice on records and in the feature The Man Called Flintstone (Alan couldn't really sing, you see). Henry would inherit the role completely after Alan's death in 1977, performing Fred through numerous Saturday morning incarnations and such made-for-TV movies as I Yabba Dabba Do! and the quasi-classic The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones. This episode of The Weird Al Show would be Henry's final television performance and, with the exception of a 2000 Flintstones video game, his final acting role ever. Henry died of emphysema in May 2005.
The Flintstones also provided actress Jean Vander Pyl with a lifelong career, having voiced Wilma non-stop since the original show's 1960 debut. Although she made a few on-camera appearances in the '50s and '60s, popping up on such shows as Leave It to Beaver and Petticoat Junction, her distinctive voice made her a natural for acting in animation. Like with Henry, Hanna-Barbera would serve as her primary source of income in the medium, as Jean would also provide the voices for the pre-teen version of Pebbles, the Hillbilly Bears' Maw Rugg, Winsome Witch, and Magilla Gorilla's adorable fan Ogee. And of course, Jean helped create another iconic cartoon character by voicing the Jetsons' sarcastic maid Rosie the Robot. In addition to making a cameo in the 1994 live action Flintstones movie, Jean would continue to perform Wilma until her death from lung cancer in April 1999. The Weird Al Show would be her final acting job.
Character actor John Roarke (who appears in a channel-hopping segment as Clint Eastwood) previously worked with Al by providing the voice and cackles of Ed McMahon in the 1986 parody "Here's Johnny!" John is perhaps best known for his work on the cult sketch comedy show Fridays and for portraying President Bush (the elected one) in The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear. Click here to check out John's web site!
Immature's "I'm Not A Fool" was the only single off their 1997 album The Journey. Often regarded, albeit cautiously, by critics as the youthful group's best release but still generally passed over by the public, the album would only reach #20 on Billboard's "Top R&B;/Hip-Hop Albums" chart and a disappointing #92 on the "Billboard 200." "Fool" itself would fare a little better, hitting #19 on the "Hot R&B;/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks" chart but only #69 on the "Hot 100." The Journey would be a sort of last hurrah for the boys, as a subsequent NKOTB-esque name change would rechristen them IMx in 1999. The following albums, that year's Introducing IMx and 2001's IMx, would both tank, as would their 2001 Greatest Hits compilation (containing the radio edit of "I'm Not A Fool").
As for Al's music in this episode, the version of "UHF" heard over the credits was originally issued only as a single, but fortunately it would later turn up on Greatest Hits Volume II.
This is the first of two episodes to shift the focus away from Al and center it more on Corky, no doubt in an attempt to flesh out the show's supporting characters.
The gag of an off-screen drumroll starting out of nowhere, only to be revealed via a camera pan to be supplied by a nearby Bermuda, was first used on Al-TV during a contest announcement.
Of course, Al has done Flintstones-centric material before this episode with the Red Hot Chili Peppers parody "Bedrock Anthem." In the song, Al was able to use sound bytes from the actual show featuring the voices of Alan Reed and Mel Blanc. The segment on this episode, however, was recorded and animated by Hanna-Barbera especially for The Weird Al Show. It would later be used to introduce "Bedrock Anthem" during 1999's Touring With Scissors.
During the Flintstones segment, Al flubs a line by referring to Fred's wife as "Helga." Al was on the right track, as Helga is the wife of another famous prehistoric cartoon character, Hagar the Horrible.
All of the other voices in the Flintstones clip, such as that of the director, were performed by Billy West. One can hear the director sound very Ren Hoek-ish on the final "ACTION!"
We find Al swamped with cavework when Corky stops by to borrow a box of smelly socks. She needs the box for an art project she's going to enter into the Art Fair in hopes of winning an autographed photo of Fabio. Al asks if Corky can stay a while and help him with cleaning the cave so he can host the show, but Corky needs to go home to work on her project. Al begs and pleads and is able to rope Corky into handling a..."small" list of chores ("Wash the hundred-year-old corn cob?"). Meanwhile, Al decides to dive into the ol' mailbag (which includes a letter from someone named Steve Chai), in which he finds a travel brochure inviting Al to visit beautiful Hawaii. As much as Al would like to go, he doesn't want to blow off all of his responsibilities with the cave and show. Oh, to heck with that! Al grabs his suitcase, feeds Harvey (a little too much, not that Harvey minds), and leaves us with an above-average Fatman cartoon in which "evil alien pirates who look like giant fish and come from a planet where they use bagels for money are robbing every deli in the area" ("That is just so typical!"). When Corky can't find Al's corn squeegee, she realizes that Al's gone! Fortunately, Al calls on the videophone to tell Corky that he headed off to Hawaii (complete with Daisy Fuentes giving him a massage!). Corky is understandably upset and tells Al that dumping the show on her is completely irresponsible. Al just brushes her off and hangs up to go meet Don Ho. Just then, Bobby stops by to ask Al how a nuclear reactor works, but instead Corky tries to show Bobby a filmstrip titled "Learning About Your Nose," which breaks and melts almost immediately. This does not satisfy Bobby, who storms out of the cave worried that his life is ruined. Al calls back this time from France ("We eat zee snails and we love zee Jerry Lewis!"), who suggests that Corky does a little channel hopping on the TV to fill up time. Corky does check out the other stations for a little bit (which includes a "Got Lard?" ad), but that proves to be of little help. Suddenly, J.B. calls and demands to know where Al is, and he orders that if Al doesn't return in five minutes he's fired ("And would it kill him to cut his hair once in a while?"). Corky starts to panic, but the doorbell rings. It's Varna the Squirmese Cook, who has stopped by to help Corky with Harvey's stunt for the show. Little does Corky know that Varna's stunt involves a pot of boiling water and chopped celery! We pause to see a trailer for the movie 60% Chance of Rain, in which a lone park ranger (Al) tries to save a city from yet another natural disaster (featuring Kevin McCarthy as the town's unscrupulous mayor!). Just as Varna's about to "help" Harvey perform the "stunt," Al calls while floating around in space! When Corky explains what's on the show, Al recalls the interesting cuisine he saw when he was last in Squirma, and then he realizes what they considered to be a delicacy! Al hangs up and seconds later he comes racing into the cave (still in his spacesuit) to save Harvey. Al realizes that he shouldn't have ditched his responsibilities and makes it up to Corky by asking Fabio to stop by and autograph Corky's nostril!He Ain't Heavy, He's My Hamster
Comic actor Ed Marques (Varna) was still relatively new to screens big and small. Perhaps his biggest gig was a bit part in the Denzel Washington sci-fi thriller Virtuosity. Since the show ended Ed has been seen on Mad TV and in such movies as Chasing Papi, not to mention appearing from time to time at the ACME Comedy Theatre in Los Angeles. Ed will be seen later this year in the independent comedy Man in the Chair.
Sorta-model Daisy Fuentes had just begun finding television work when she started her long association with MTV as resident Latino babe. During her MTV stint she found work as a regular on the daytime soap Loving and with appearances on Dream On, Cybill, Clueless, The Larry Sanders Show, and others. Daisy would soon land the hosting duties of ABC's resurrected America's Funniest Home Videos, where she stayed until 2000. She has currently been making the rounds on the various "talking head commentary" shows like VH1's I Love the... and TV Land's Top Ten....
Fabio was already known as one of the world's most famous male models, having appeared on over 250 covers for romance novels and appearing in both print and television ads for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. His on-screen roles, however, usually consist of him essentially appearing as himself, such as in Spy Hard and Eddie and all the way through Dude, Where's My Car? Fabio has also released an album called Fabio After Dark, which is nothing more than a very bizarre compilation of love songs alternating with tracks of the model offering his thoughts and opinions on the world and the ways of love. When Al appeared on The Dr. Demento Show in July 1999, Al and the Good Doctor examined one of Fabio's "songs" from the album. Believe it or not, but Fabio is also an accomplished romance writer in his own right, having penned about a dozen or so books beginning with 1993's Pirate. Fabio will next be seen sometime this year in the indie comedy Staar.
UHF connection: Veteran actor Kevin McCarthy (60% Chance of Rain Mayor) previously squared off against Al as R.J. Fletcher.
Some more Al music in this episode: "You Don't Love Me Anymore," heard over the end credits, closes the Off The Deep End album.......um, sort of.
Don Ho would later be mentioned in Al's Dylanesque original "Bob." Oddly enough, the name Bob is also used for a gag in this episode!
The concept behind Al's Poodle Hat closer "Genius In France" seems to have evolved in part from Al's faux French dialogue in this episode.
While floating in space, Al lets go of an ice cream cone to see it float beside him, causing him to observe, "Look, ice cream float!" Corky gets in a rare zing by responding, "Who are you, Carrot Top??"
We find Al playing air hockey with Harvey, and Al is kicking butt! Since Harvey has never lost a game before, Al starts asking Harvey if something is wrong. Al suspects that Harvey is nervous about doing a promised stunt, but Al warns his buddy to get his act together and not ruin his show! Meanwhile, Dweezil Zappa is working on a list of chores around Al's cave in hopes of having a piece of chocolate lasagna as payment. Al invites us to join him as he channel hops (which includes an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Fish and a music video for a song that can only be "Livin' In The Fridge"). A Dr. Philips (Emo!) stops by and tries to find out what's wrong with Harvey ("Hi Mom! Sorry, that cameraman looks just like my mother."). Dr. Philips suggests to Al that he should be supportive and encourage Harvey and consider his needs first, and then the good doctor starts screaming into Harvey's face. After Al dips into his mailbag (which includes an envelope filled with beef stew), the Yoko Ono Alarm screeches to Al that he needs to pause for a commercial break. Al then forces Harvey to do his stunt, setting a world's record for hamster freefall (which would consist of Harvey jumping off a hamster-sized skyscraper). When Harvey chickens out, Al starts badgering him (to which Harvey spits at Al). Suddenly, J.B. calls Al on the videophone and suggests that Al replace Harvey with a giant banana. When Mrs. Fesenmeyer stops by to borrow a galvanized universal socket-wrench, Al shows her a home movie of his summer vacation (which includes Dr. Demento teasing lions at the zoo and the grasshoppers from Beginning of the End ruining Al's picnic). The Hooded Avenger visits Al and when he asks where Harvey is, Al tells him of their fight. The Hooded Avenger then tells Al about the life-altering argument he had with his former friend Mr. Molasses. Al realizes that he should be more supportive of Harvey. Suddenly, J.B.'s Giant Dancing Banana shows up and starts shuffling around the cave, knocking over Harvey's favorite habitrail. After Al throws the fruit out, he apologizes to Harvey and reminds him that he was always by Harvey's side and helped train him to become a great stunt hamster. A forgiving Harvey speeds out of his house and does his spectacular stunt. When Dweezil returns, his chores all finished (he even painted a lovely portrait of Al!), he finds that Harvey ate all of Al's chocolate lasagna! As Al bids us good-bye, he reminds us to always brush our teeth twenty-seven times a day, but suddenly an animated locomotive speeds over our hero!The Competition
Dweezil Zappa, son of the legendary Frank Zappa, is a noted musician in his own right, having released six albums up through 2000's Automatic. He also keeps busy on television and in film, showing up in such classics as Pretty in Pink, voicing the character Ajax on the cult animated series Duckman, and hosting such shows as Happy Hour and the Food Network's Dweezil & Lisa. And of course, Dweezil played the facemelting opening guitar solo in Al's Zappa tribute "Genius In France." Click here to check out Dweezil's web site!
Emmy-winning comic, actor, and writer Rick Overton (Mr. Molasses) has kept busy in Hollywood for the last two decades, appearing in such mainstream hits and cult classics as Beverly Hills Cop, Gung Ho, Willow, Earth Girls are Easy, Groundhog Day, Mrs. Doubtfire, Trekkies, Ed TV, and many others. Rick will next be seen in the comedy/horror flick Comedy Hell, scheduled to be released sometime in the near future. Click here to check out Rick's web site!
"Livin' In The Fridge" is the final new Al video to air on the series, which is a bit ironic since it was also the final song to be recorded for Alapalooza (this mini-video would also show up on the Ultimate Video Collection DVD). "Fat," meanwhile, was the lead-off single from the album Even Worse.
Al's extended introductions of some of the supporting characters is due to the fact that this was the first episode of the series to be produced.
The "envelope filled with beef stew" gag is an oldie-but-goodie from some of the earliest Al-TV specials.
Sabrina the Teenage Fish is of course parodying the ABC/WB sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Ironically, Al would later be a guest voice on the show's cartoon spin-off Sabrina the Animated Series.
Al, of course, had previously used Yoko Ono to humorous effect in the parody "Achy Breaky Song."
Al is in the middle of getting his...um, present predicted by Madame Judy, who offers Al a "cryptic warning" about toads who don't play fair. Al shrugs off the advice and proceeds to open up the mailbag, but is interrupted by a dancing pineapple with a letter for Al ("Special delivery!"). It turns out Al has been nominated for the Best TV Show Host Award. Al is still glowing from the news when the Guy Boarded Up in the Wall asks him to turn on The Fred Huggins Show. So Al channel-hops a bit and comes across The Uncle Ralphie Show, the host of which has also been nominated. Uncle Ralphie (accompanied by his midget clown sidekick Mippy) is unbelievably smug and certain that he will win the award, but a "mysterious" caller on the phone says that all of the nominees have a good shot at winning. When the cover is blown and the caller is revealed to be Al, Uncle Ralphie accuses Al of trying to sabotage his show, so he declares that Al will be sorry for messing with him. After Al asks Val Brentwood (this time with a hair color actually found in nature!) to keep an eye on the distrusting Uncle Ralphie, a marching band comes into the cave with a sign declaring "Uncle Ralphie is #1!" When Al sees another banner reading "Harvey is mediocre!", he becomes enraged that Ralphie is picking on his best friend. THIS MEANS WAR! While Al is stewing and trying to figure out how to get back at Uncle Ralphie, the Uncster is about to introduce the band Radish onto his show. However, the band is a no-show...because Val kidnapped them! Al (in perfect Bond-villain fashion) then threatens that if the group doesn't perform on his show he will show them "the collected works of Pauly Shore!" Uncle Ralphie finds out about where Radish is playing, so he gets back at Al by dressing up as Weird Ralph and presents his best friend "Marvin the Super Guinea Pig." Al is speechless ("How could anyone sink so low as to do a parody of another human being??") when the Hooded Avenger stops by. He advises Al that the best way to win this little war is by playing fair. Completely ignoring that, Al decides to change his physical appearance with his newly invented Instant Plastic Surgery Machine (exactly how this will help him beat Uncle Ralphie is another question)...but unfortunately he ends up looking like Drew Carey!!! A changed-back Al then opens up a mysterious package that the Hooded Avenger said a suspicious-looking clown delivered. Inside the package is a giant pair of wax lips...that are ticking. "Oh no! LIP BOMB!!!" Al decides to have Val execute Secret Plan 7B, which involves having four French poodles invade Uncle Ralphie's show (including a Poodle Cam of the dogs attacking Ralphie!). All of the espionage gives Al the munchies, so he decides to make a little snack consisting of a raw potato ("Don't wash it!") liberally sprinkled with gummi worms and then topped with "your favorite brand of India ink." Sadly, though, someone switched Al's favorite brand of ink with his absolute least favorite brand! Al is about to get even with Uncle Ralphie, but the Guy Boarded Up in the Wall reminds Al that the award show is on! Al tunes in just in time to see Fred Willard present the Best TV Show Host Award (pausing briefly to talk about the dangers of the arcade game "Whack-a-Squirrel"). With both Al and Ralphie on the edges of their seats, the winner is announced to be the one guy who played by the rules...FRED HUGGINS!!! Fred is beaming, "I can't believe I won" ("Neither can we!" retort Papa and Baby Boolie a la Statler and Waldorf). Uncle Ralphie blames his pal Mippy, and has a certain cinematic torture in mind for him! Al, on the other hand, realizes the error of his ways and promises that next year he'll play fair and try to make his show the best there ever is...or will he? We have just enough time left to see Harvey hang-glide off Mount Everest (albeit hamster-sized) before Al gets sucked into an interdimensional black hole!The Obligatory Holiday Episode
Award-winning actor and filmmaker Jack Plotnick (Uncle Ralphie) was already becoming a noted comic personality before hooking up with Al, having been a regular on such series as Late Night with Conan O'Brien and MTV's The Jenny McCarthy Show and making appearances on such high-profile sitcoms as Murphy Brown, Caroline in the City, and Seinfeld. Jack has remained busy by becoming a regular on various shows such as The Wayans Brothers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Action, Joan of Arcadia, and Reno 9/11!; voicing Xandir P Whifflebottom on Drawn Together; producing and starring in the critically acclaimed indie comedy Girls Will Be Girls; and by appearing in such big-budget films as Gods and Monsters, Mystery Men, Say It isn't So, Down with Love (directed by The Weird Al Show's Peyton Reed!), and Meet the Fockers, among others. Jack is currently filming the comedy Cook-Off!, while you can look for him later this year on the Lifetime sitcom Lovespring.
Among other roles, diminutive actor Jimmy Briscoe (Mippy) had previously appeared in an episode of Police Squad!, Al's favorite show.
Drew Carey is, of course, best known as the star of the sitcom The Drew Carey Show and the improv import Whose Line is It Anyway?, both of which had recently been cancelled. After this episode aired, Drew would go on to invite Al onto his show in October 1998, while Al would in turn invite Drew to make a guest appearance in the "It's All About The Pentiums" music video.
Emmy-nominated Fred Willard has been perhaps one of the most uniquely funny character actors ever since he co-starred on the cult show Fernwood 2Nite and its family of spin-offs. Since then he has starred on the political puppet sitcom D.C Follies (on which Al once appeared); has hosted such shows as Real People and Access America; and has become a regular on The Jackie Thomas Show, Family Matters, Sister Sister, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Roseanne, Mad About You, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live (narrating the "Bear City" shorts), and Everybody Loves Raymond, among numerous other appearances. On the big screen, Fred can be seen in such a diverse slate of comedies as Silver Streak, the original Fun with Dick and Jane, Moving Violations, Roxanne, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Wedding Planner, American Wedding, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and the unfunny spoof Date Movie, among many other flicks. And of course, Fred has been a part of the "mockumentary" genre ever since the classic This is Spinal Tap, having gone on to co-star in Christopher Guest's later work Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind. Fred will not only next be seen this fall in Christopher Guest's For Your Consideration, but also throughout the year in Church Ball, Ira and Abby, and the animated Monster House. Click here to check out Fred's web site!
Radish's "Little Pink Stars" kicked off the group's only label-supported album, 1997's Restraining Bolt. The group would split up following the shelving of their fourth album, Discount Fireworks. Since then, the group's frontman and then-teen prodigy Ben Kweller has released a few solo albums, with a new one expected sometime in 2006. Click here to check out Ben's web site!
As for Al's music, "Headline News," heard over the end credits, was originally released as a single to promote the 1994 boxed set Permanent Record: Al In The Box. With both the single and the boxed set out of print, it can now only be found on Greatest Hits Volume II. It should also be noted that even though the song plays unaltered, the visuals from the video are reedited to remove a shot of John Wayne Bobbitt clutching his crotch in pain.
This is yet another Weird Al production in which poodles figure prominently, such as in UHF and of course the 2003 album Poodle Hat.
The first airing of this episode also contained a commercial message in which Al wishes everybody a Happy Thanksgiving ("Gobble gobble....").
Al is just about finished decorating for his Holiday Party, which he's throwing for all of his friends (nobody could decide on just one holiday, so it was decided to celebrate all of them!). In addition to the glorious buffet Al set up (including a heart-shaped ham and candied corn-on-the-cob), Al has a special mood pie cooling on his kitchen counter. However, when Al panics because everyone is 27 seconds late, the mood pie starts to darken and bubble. Never fear, as the elevator opens and all of Al's pals (with the sole exception of Bobby) pile out, literally knocking Al over! The Hooded Avenger is dressed up as Santa Claus to celebrate Christmas and is about to tell Al of a sad Noel a certain unspecified superhero once had growing up, but Al doesn't have the time to listen to his friend. Val literally drops by dressed as a leprechaun to celebrate (what else?) St. Patrick's Day, and proceeds to pinch everyone who isn't wearing green (and even some who are!). Madame Judy then warns Al that the success of his party rests on his being able to listen to his friends, but Al doesn't believe her since she's celebrating April Fool's Day. Meanwhile, Corky is in a pink heart-patterned dress (with a pilgrim-dressed boytoy in tow) and tells Al that she's celebrating a holiday that starts with the letter "V" ("Volcano Worshippers' Day?"). As Al goes to check on the mood pie, J.B. "arrives" at the party via the videophone ("Gives the busy executive the illusion of being there, without all that annoying personal contact.") and is about to tell Al that something's wrong, but Al doesn't want to hear about anyone's problems and shrugs J.B. off. Al then decides to make a toast, but nobody is really fond of the tuna punch that Al prepared. Al checks on his mood pie and all is not well! If that's not enough, Uncle Ralphie tells Al that he wanted to dress up as Uncle Sam to celebrate the Fourth of July, but Varna nabbed the costume from the shop first (so instead Ralphie is dressed as the Easter Bunny). Corky then confesses that she is upset because she has never received a Valentine's Day card (yeah, right), so Al tries to cheer her up by sharing the Yankovic family fruitcake that has been passed down from generation to generation. Mrs. Fesenmeyer (dressed as a witch to celebrate Halloween) approaches Al and suggests that he should listen to his friends' problems. Instead, Al hurries over to Harvey's home to see if he'll perform a stunt. However, Harvey is upset and jealous because there is a Groundhog's Day but no day celebrating hamsters. This reminds Varna of his favorite holiday back in Squirma, Hamster Stewing Day. This leads to a huge argument among everyone and, fed up, Al insists that only happy people can stay at the party. So...everyone leaves. Completely bummed, Al decides to do a little channel hopping (during which we find out the contortionist's name for the first time, Tony Maloney, and witness Papa Boolie commit Fred Huggins back to "the home" after singing "The Kitty Song"). The Hooded Avenger stops by to check on Al, and then suggests that Al should listen to friends when they have problems...that way everyone becomes closer friends. Inspired to be a better listener, Al is more than happy to see all of his friends return, so much that he shows everyone one of his home movies (this one with a lil' still-mustached grade-school Al celebrating various holidays). Everyone is in great spirits. Varna was able to have the costume shop whip up another Uncle Sam outfit for Uncle Ralphie, Corky gives Harvey a Hamsters' Day card and Harvey thusly gives her a Valentine's Day card, and even the Hanukkah-celebrating Guy Boarded Up in the Wall is having a good time! The mood pie is glowing bright and robust and Al is just about to thank everyone for coming back...but suddenly Dick Clark shows up to count down to the new year! When Al tells Dick that the show's almost over, everyone instead counts down to the closing credits, followed by a stirring (and partially mumbled) rendition of "Auld Lang Syne!"Al Gets Robbed
Essentially spoofing himself, having Dick Clark appear on the show was almost a no-brainer, since Dick Clark Productions produced the show with Al and Jay Levey. Dick had previously appeared in The Compleat Al, while Al and the band had made numerous appearances on Dick's various music-based shows over the years such as American Bandstand and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
This was the last episode of the series produced, even though it wasn't the last one to air.
This is also easily the most crowded episode of the series, as every single recurring character and segment, with the sole exceptions of Bobby and Fatman, are worked into the script.
UHF connection: Volcano worshippers previously had their own show on U62. It was also a club Al and his friends conceived in high school to get another picture in the yearbook.
Al and Harvey are returning from Cave Con III, the annual cave dwellers' convention, where Al encouraged everyone there to tune in and watch the show. Unfortunately, though, somebody broke into the cave and stole all of Al's stuff! They even took Harvey's habitrail and put his stunt car on blocks! The Hooded Avenger stops by to bring Al his newspapers from while he was gone (including the latest Midnight Star issue announcing that "The Incredible Frog Boy is on the Loose!"). The Hooded Avenger cannot believe that someone broke in, since he was watching the cave the whole time (well, except for that little dentist appointment....). To make it up to Al, the Hooded Avenger vows to find the thief. Meanwhile, Al has a show to put on, but without his stuff he'll need to use his imagination. He starts by taking a piece of paper and performing a little origami for us, making a barking dog. To kill some more time, Al tries to have his nutrition break, but all he finds are some moldy pieces of pita bread (he eats one and turns another into a puppet named Rita the Pita). Starting to feel a little unsure of himself, Al gets a visit from "Macho Man" Randy Savage (who bursts through the same wall that the miners supposedly fixed back in the "Mining Accident" episode), who encourages Al to buck up and be creative. Al then challenges the Macho Man to a wrestling match...with Harvey! Naturally Harvey wins, but "Mr. Savage" promises that there will be a rematch. Al is about to quit the show for the day...after all, he has nothing to put on a show with to impress all of his friends from Cave Con! Suddenly Mowgli, who organized the cave dweller convention, calls Al on his cell phone. It turns out that the bus was late and all of Al's fellow cave dwellers have just tuned in to the show! Al still promises that they're in for a..."different" show! Bobby shows up and, "for a change," asks Al a question. This time Bobby wants to know where he came from ("My dad said you'd have movies about the subject!"). Al explains to Bobby that he's been robbed and can't show him any films, so instead Bobby asks Al to read him a story. Al's story is very much like a Fatman cartoon...because it is! This time, Fatman and Harvey have to stop the Eggman (voiced by Charles Fleischer) and his sidekick The Walrus ("Coo-coo-ca-choo!") from turning the city into a giant, albeit "boring," omelet! Al then decides to dip into his mailbag and finds a letter from a "child" named Marty Lick, who asks Al if it's okay to have an imaginary friend. Al says it's healthy to have a great imagination, and then he introduces his imaginary friend Gilbert (played by Gilbert Gottfried!). However, Gilbert is a little too real, and apparently he's the only one who knows that ("Oh, just ignore me! I'm imaginary!"). Suddenly the group All-4-One arrives to perform, and they are all wearing Hawaiian shirts they bought from a guy on the street! Al confesses that all of his musical equipment has been stolen, but never fear! The group sings a cappella before leaving to continue their heavy cave tour. The Hooded Avenger shows up and loans Al a tiny spare TV (complete with a hanger antenna!). While channel-hopping (which includes a public service message from Martha Quinn about the dangers of giving people wrong directions), Al comes across a live report of the police finding Al's thief! The cops are baffled at the items in the back of the crook's van (one officer even mouths, "What is this crap?!"), and the perpetrator turns out to be none other than Dick Van Patten! Feeling relieved, Al turns to Harvey and says, "I don't know whether or not the show was a success, but at least we had fun." He then receives a letter from a dancing watermelon(!), in which the cave dwellers congratulate Al for putting on such an imaginative and creative show. Congratulations, Al!
Spending two full decades as a professional wrestler, "Macho Man" Randy Savage would be one of the few wrestling superstars to be equally successful with stints at both of the two rival wrestling companies at the time, the WWF and the WCW, not to mention his fame as a Slim Jim spokesman. Randy is currently taking a break from wrestling as he recovers from a back injury.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has found a steady career in Hollywood ever since being kicked off the cast of Saturday Night Live during one of its lesser periods. Gilbert would go on to host USA's late night movie series USA Up All Night and be featured in such movies as Hot to Trot, Look Who's Talking Too, House Party 3, Meet Wally Sparks, and the Problem Child series in all of its incarnations. And of course, Gilbert's distinctively cranky voice has made him one of the most popular voice actors in animation, film, and television, bringing life to such characters as Iago in Disney's Aladdin and the Aflac duck. Gilbert will be taking his stand-up routine on the road this year, touring North America through the spring. Click here to check out Gilbert's web site!
Strangely enough, the song that All-4-One chooses to perform, Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need," never appeared on any of their studio albums. In fact, the most recent recording of the song was on Blackstreet's self-titled 1994 album. An All-4-One recording of it wouldn't show up until the group's 2001 Japanese release Live at the Hard Rock.
As for Al's music, "Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies," heard over the end credits, is from UHF/Original Motion Picture Soundtrack And Other Stuff.
Speaking of Al's songs, the Midnight Star headline seen on the paper is taken almost word-for-word from a lyric in Al's original "Midnight Star."
And on the subject of conventions, the very first Weird Al fan convention, ALCON '98, would take place toward the end of the series's one-year run. The convention logo was comprised, in part, of images from the entire series.
The Weird Al Show ©1997 Dick Clark Productions, Inc.