"Robot Chicken Season One" Who Poop Last!?
What happens when the chicken crosses the road? He’s run over, turned into a cyborg by the local mad scientist and forced to channel flip through television for the rest of his life. But it’s not our TV he’s watching. We don’t have shows such as “The Real World: Metropolis,” “Who Poop Last?” and episodes with Voltron getting served. “Kill Bunny” was not a movie. Seth Green and Matt Senreich (not “Sewreich,” Adult Swim) rip the action figures from today and riff on comedy from the past in Robot Chicken, one of Adult Swim’s greatest smashes.
There is no plot to Robot Chicken. There’s very few recurring characters, less than the average episode of Saturday Night Live. Yet SNL is probably the closest comparison to Robot Chicken you can get, if you threw ADD into the mixture. To talk about Robot Chicken, you cannot avoid its obvious past and inspiration. Do yourself a favor and go track down the “Twisted Toyfare Theatre” trade-paperbacks. Collecting runs of “Twisted Toyfare Theatre” as run in Wizards’ Toyfare magazine, classic action figures got their own ongoing comic strips. This is where Matt Senreich got his start, and the tone of Toyfare is still evident in Robot Chicken. He and Seth Green would team-up for the online Sony program’s Sweet J Presents, which really come off as pilots for Robot Chicken, even including preliminary versions of some sketches. Quarter-hour long episodes cobble together various sketches, some going on for a few minutes presenting an episode of a fictional television show or as a full-length movie trailer, while others are no more than a few seconds and only offer a glimpse at a small part of life in a screwed up world.
With that being said, Robot Chicken is one of my favorite shows to look forward to Sundays. Not ashamed to be violent or vomit-filled, some of the best moments are the three-second cuts. My friend couldn’t stop laughing at the simple scene of a robot humping a washing machine. I myself loved the innerworkings of Cobra’s offices (“We really push the Cobra name” means that you see the Cobra logo everywhere). The fact that they can get away with so many licensed concepts add the extra bit of humor in the series; some jokes just wouldn’t be as funny if it wasn’t Lex Luthor, Mumm-Ra, Cobra Commander and Skeletor driving to work. In addition, the countless celebrity voice actors (Macauly Culkin, Sarah Michelle Gellar, the late, great, Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, Matthew Lillard, Burt Reynolds…) add the extra little pinch of funny. Trust me, you haven’t watched Adult Swim until you’ve seen the things Don Knotts exclaims while working at Camp Crystal Lake.
The one problem with the collection of episodes on here is that it’s not complete; two sketches are missing. One is understandable and hopefully on the next volume, while the other is just secretly missing. For the Robot Chicken Christmas Special that aired between Seasons 1 and 2, a sketch involving Goku from Dragonball Z taking down Christmas supervillains was newly added to a mix of religious sketches. Hopefully, this sketch won’t be forgotten in will be included in the next collection. The other sketch, which should be apart of the second disc, involved Beavis and Butthead joining the Teen Titans. People thought that this sketch might have had a problem thanks to the incluson of the Teen Titans (another Time Warner owned property that recently enjoyed success on Toonami and continues on DVD), but the multitudes of other DC Comics characters on this collection should disprove that. Maybe it’s Beavis and Butthead, but until we get a response, the world may never see Robin in a Gundam again. Additionally, reports state that the rap song in “Voltron Got Served” has been changed. I do not have a copy of the original airing to compare it to, but if it has, it’s not too surprising; many shows have songs changed when they hit DVD, and that’s been the main problem in getting WKRP In Cincinnatti on DVD.
Sweet J(esus), there’s a lot of extras on these two discs. The first one consists of Deleted Scenes (usually a few seconds missing from an aired sketch), Deleted Animatics (sketches or jokes that didn’t get to the filming stage), a photo gallery (pretty funny, it includes a Pop-Up Video style informative commentary… in the vein of Adult Swim), and Animation Meetings (which consist of Seth Green dancing like a monkey for others to pitch a sketch). The second disc consists of three episodes of Sweet J Presents, a Behind The Scenes feature, Wire Comparisons (What a sketch looks like before and after digital editing), Animatic To Episode Comparisons (I… don’t know how to simplify that), and Alternate Audio Takes (Mainly regarding Mr. T), and one of the greatest extras: Every single promo and bump Adult Swim did for the show, even those that were timely (like the passing of Sam Loeb), ratings, and the infamous Pong Challenge 4000.
… why couldn’t IGPX have gotten treatment that good?
Robot Chicken deserves to be in your collection. Go, buy it. NOW.
Episodes included in this volume
Episode 1: The Deep End
Episode 2: Junk in the Trunk
Episode 3: Nightmare Generator
Episode 4: The Sack
Episode 5: Nutcracker Sweet
Episode 6: Gold Dust Gasoline
Episode 7: Kiddie Pool
Episode 8: Plastic Buffet
Episode 9: A Piece Of The Action
Episode 10: Toyz in the Hood
Episode 11: Vegetable Funfest
Episode 12: S&M Present
Episode 13: Badunkadunk
Episode 14: Toy Meets Girl
Episode 15: Midnight Snack
Episode 16: Atta Toy
Episode 17: Joint Point
Episode 18: Operation Rich In Spirit
Episode 19: That Hurts Me
Episode 20: The Black Cherry
Sweet J Presents Movie Previews
Sweet J Presents The Pitch
Sweet J Presents The Black Cherry