1. September 13, 1997
2. December 13, 1997
3. March 14, 1998
4. June 13, 1998
5. September 12, 1998
Food of the Week
Hickory flavored asphalt and anchovie gelatin on whole wheat bread
Lesson of the Day
Don't follow people who can get you into trouble. Think for yourself.
Al: There's My Car Keys!
Al: I AM SO COOL!
Food of the Week
Al and Spike: Crime Fighters Are Lame
Fred Huggins: Water Is Wet, Part 1
Daycare by Pirates
Fred Huggins: Water Is Wet, Part 2
Al: Way Moby
Bobby the Inquisitive Boy: Scraped Knee
Safety and You
Hooded Avenger: Tasty Chocolate Coating
Hooded Avenger: Sledgehammer of Justice
Al: Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies - "Shoebox"
Harvey drives a race car.
The only reference occurs during the safety video. A paper on a billboard says, "Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. 27 days without a papercut."
This episode was the premiere of "The Weird Al Show" on
CBS. The show started with Al talking
about a new friend he had met who would be coming over shortly. In
a few minutes, Spike arrives.
Spike says that some members of his club will be coming over
shortly, to see if Al is cool enough to become a member. Throughout
the show, Spike tests Al's "coolness" by seeing if Al'll do various
things, such as tear off one of his pants legs, stick his arms in a
vat of molten chocolate, and shave off his eyebrow.
Eventually, after shunning Bobby the Inquisitive Boy and breaking
a lot of stuff, Spike's "club" arrives. It's just one guy and Al
discovers that all the tests had just been made up. Bobby and The
Hooded Avenger arrived and consoled Al, who is now starting to think
for himself instead of following along with what other people think
Spike: Do you know what the really cool guys in my club do?
Al: No, what?
Spike: Now this is a kind of a secret club thing, but
I'm gonna tell you anyway. They dip their arms in hot, melted
Al: Well, hey! I've got a vat of hot, melted chocolate
Al: Like I always say, "If you've got blacktop
and you've got gelatin, you've got good eatin'!"
Announcer: You don't want to pay a lot for daycare by pirates. But
you expect the superior quality and experience that only pirates can
provide. That's why pirate daycare is the number one daycare provider
for children in the entire tri-state area. Our staff of highly
trained, dedicated daycare professionals is there to serve all your
child's daycare needs. We also have a softcare program for toddlers.
Call now. Operators are standing by.
Bobbie: So can I get a Band-Aid or something?
Al: Bobbie, Bobbie, Bobbie, prevention is the best medicine. Why
don't I show you this short educational film? And then maybe you'll
think twice before you decide to hurt yourself again.
Announcer: Safety is everyone's business. We can all stay out of harms
way just by following a few simple rules.
- When you're out in public, always check to make sure no spies are
- If you find a spider on your shirt, roll, roll on the ground.
Spiders are icky.
- And if you lose a pantsleg, call home right away, so your friends
won't beat you up for looking like a dork.
- Don't let your parents drive backwards in the rain. It's just not
- If Dad needs to take a nap, tell him to do it in the bed. That's
what they're made for.
- And never, ever let your dog drive the car.
Al (reading letter): Dear Al, Do you have any brothers or sisters
who aren't just cheap camera tricks? Signed, Curious. Well, I do have
my brother Alex, the 8-inch tall savage warrior. I love him very much,
but alas, he is nothing but a cheap camera trick. It makes my Mom really sad.
The Hooded Avenger: Someday the sledgehammer of justice will fall
upon his big toe.
Al: Hey, look! It's barenaked ladies!
Plot and Review
Al is fortunate enough to be befriended by Spike,
a member of a cool, exclusive club. In order to be
initiated into said club, Al does all sorts of stupid
things, including shaving off one of his eyebrows,
coating his arms in melted chocolate, and wearing
bunny ears. Later Al learned, much to his chagrin,
that Spike's club consisted of just one other,
rather loserly-looking fellow, and that the initiation
rites had been lies Spike had used to amuse himself.
I found this to be an odd show with which to start
the season because it was so under-impressive. Rather than empathizing
with Al about the perils of peer-pressure, I found myself thinking, "Geesh,
this Al guy sure is naive. This is embarassing to watch." The episode as
a whole struck me as obvious, preachy, and not particularly educational.
It was much less than I expected from Al.
Harvey the Wonder Hamster was a refreshing character,
with no social- consciousness tied to him. Having a hamster of my own,
I particularly enjoyed his stunt. I imagined my own critter flying through
the air, and it made me laugh. Of course, we didn't try it at home. The
Al show would do well to make Harvey a bigger part of the action.
The Hooded Avenger also appeared in this episode,
though not early enough for my tastes. This typical super-hero is the only
character we've seen so far who has any right to be as preachy as he is.
Oddly, he was the main source of comic-relief. Amazing. The Great Mr. "Weird
Al" Yankovic in a room, and its the Hooded Avenger who's the comic relief.
Bobby the Inquisitive Boy made his debut on this
first episode, and I must say that I thoroughly agree with the idea of
his character because it provides education in a subtle way, a direct affront
to the general nature of this program. (BTW, congratulations to Bobby on
his role as the Domino's boy. Though he didn't have any lines in the commercial
I saw, his smile said it all.)
Speaking of education, what is the deal with the
Lesson of the Day? The announcer starts the show shouting about thinking
for yourself, as if to imply that the message will be so deeply embedded
in the characterization that only literary geniuses on the level of Shakespeare
will be capable of discerning it. Quite the contrary. This message was
not just in my face, but painted bright orange with chartreus polka dots.
In this area, THE WEIRD AL SHOW should take a lesson
from its predecessor, PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE: children are capable of learning
by example. What if Al had been approached by Spike, eventually tempted,
and reluctantly pursuaded to join the exclusive club? During the rites,
he would have listened to his conscience that was telling him that he was
doing wrong by his real friends. Or what if it had been Bobby or some other
character that was snubbing his friends and Al could have helped him resist
the peer-pressure? Voila! Same message in a real-life, and much less embarassing
to watch, form.
I do not think that THE "WEIRD AL" SHOW is a bad
program, but I do think that it is a product of the E/I programming requirement,
complete with network approved lines and stifled creativity. With any
luck the CBS people will get tired of mandating it, and Al will be free
to form plots, characters, etc., without hinderance. When that happens,
not only will this be a more entertaining program, but it will also be