NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY! NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY! NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY!!
“Cut it out!”
Before we get into it, permit me to apologize for the ridiculously long delay. I had planned to get this (along with the ‘Six Favorite Sonic Zones’ Videots and the Toon Adjacent for The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera) out in September, but September proved to be a really crappy month for blogging; it was just one dumb distraction after another. So yeah, this one is extremely late, but thankfully I’ve managed to squeeze this post in right at the end of October, so I’ll be coming into November with only 2 more Freakazoid! What The Funny installments before we can move to the next set of miniseries. Now, on with the insanity!
The short we’ll be spotlighting today is a segment of Season 1, Episode 11, Next Time, Phone Ahead!
Premise: Dexter Douglas/Freakazoid have a close encounter with a space alien who’s stranded on Earth.
This episode is a spoof of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.
Network Censor: Emmitt Nervend
Find Emmitt Nervend: And Send Him Home
A flying saucer full of aliens makes a ‘pit stop’ on Earth…
“Ew.” “Seriously?” “So gross.”
…And leaves someone behind: a giant grotesque monster who hides in the trash cans outside of the Douglases’ house and devours Dexter. Fade Out and…
We then cut to TV snow, and discover that this is a pre-screening/table read on the episode with Spielberg himself and various WB staff members…
And Emmitt Nervend as The Beaver.
..who are thinking that they should end the show early and show more Animaniacs reruns.
“We’re Animaniacs!/And they’re lazy to the max!”
Steven Spielberg does not particularly like this ending. At first, the writers and crew of Freakazoid! convince him to fall in line with their plan. However, Spielberg has other plans, and weaves an oddly familiar story…
It now turns out the the aliens left behind one of their own, namely, this guy:
Deuuhhhh, I am…
For the uninformed, this is Mo-Ron, an alien whose intelligence lives up to his name. (Although in this short, his name is mysteriously changed to Bo-Ron.)
I don’t know why they changed it, either.
Anyway, Mo-Ron/Bo-Ron/Whatever is is one of the few people who is aware of Freakazoid’s secret identity, presumably not because Freakazoid trusts him, but moreso because Freakazoid assumes Bo-Ron is too stupid to remember or care. He is voiced by Stan Freberg. He was first seen in an earlier episode’s wraparounds; when Mo-Ron arrives on Earth, President Bill Clinton and Freakazoid cautiously but eagerly await humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial life, hoping to learn the secrets of the universe. Instead, they are confronted with this overweight, belly-button-picking nitwit who repeatedly introduces himself and who thinks that 2 + 2 = 22. They then go to Plan B, blasting the heck out of the creature, but Mo-Ron survives. He continues to hang out with Freakazoid for awhile afterward, until he finally remembers his message: a giant comet is coming to Earth. His warning is too late, and the comet collides with the planet. Whoops!
Here, he’s spotted in the Douglases’ backyard by Dexter…
…And also by Freakazoid, who’s hanging out in the Freakazone (not to be confused with the Freakalair), a private space inside Dexter’s mind where Freak ponders stuff like taking over Switzerland so he can have all the chocolate and chillaxes watching reruns of Rat Patrol.
Interestingly, the Freakazone was never depicted again after this episode.
Dexter meets and befriends Mo-Ron, who gives him a ultra-tight bear hug causing Dex to switch to Freakazoid (who murmurs “Help Me!” a la The Fly). Mo-Ron reveals that he’s now going by the name Bo-Ron for some reason and that he hails from the planet Barone’s.
Barone’s is an Italian restaurant and longtime Southern California institution. Gotta love those inside jokes.
Taking the alien to the Freakalair via the Freakafall (also never referenced again after this episode)…
Freak proceeds to teach Bo-Ron the ways of Earth.
-Incidentally, the Freakafall is operated by Steff, who is wearing an outfit similar to the original character design by Bruce Timm, with short shorts and a peaked cap.
FREAKAZOID’S EARTH LESSONS
-Never run with scissors.
-The four basic food groups are ice cream, candy, cakes, and very large cakes.
-Always ask for a piece of the gross, not the net; the net is fantasy.
-Never try to catch a roadrunner; it’s impossible.
Incidentally, the short the 2 of them are watching as Freak says this is “Who, Be Gone!” from 1958.
-Stay out of your father’s underwear drawer!
-Eating carrots gives you X-ray vision! (In the background, we see a horrified Steff running out of the room)
-Diane Sawyer seems sincere, but she’s actually faking it.
Dexter even tries to keep Bo-Ron, but hiding a giant bulbous green alien in his house proves difficult.
When Dexter tries to pass Bo-Ron off as a ‘rare Peruvian spider monkey’, he says “Pretty Amy. Good monkey.” This is referencing Frank Marshall’s 1995 film Congo, which featured a gorilla named Amy who had been taught human communication. Ruegger, Rugg and McCann had gone to the theater to see Congo during production of the show, and found it amusingly terrible.
Finally, Dex’s parents tell him no, and Freak informs Bo-Ron that while he’d like for him to stay, “It’s gettin’ kinda funky” and he has to call his fellow beings to pick him up. Bo-Ron reveals that he’s never picked out a carrier or a phone plan…
…Leading to an aerial dogfight between phone companies!
Eventually, a winner is chosen…
This is a reference to actress Candace Bergen, who was then spokeswoman for Sprint.
And Bo-Ron phones home. (You knew it was coming.) At first, he gets the machine, which according to him is “always on. You’re there! I know you’re there! Pick up! PICK UP!”
But eventually, his ship arrives. Bo-Ron bids farewell to his friend “Red Underwear Man” and leaves Dexter with something special: a whopping huge phone bill!
Ultimately, Spielberg and the crew agree that Animaniacs reruns are the better bet after all.
Not much else to say about this one, except that it’s a fun romp. Nothing big or spectacular, just an E.T. parody featuring Mo-Ron/Bo-Ron, a ton of in-jokes and Freakazoid’s in it. What you see with this one is what you get.
My rating: 3 out of 5.
Next up is a glorious one-shot, Toby Danger. Stay tooned.