Writers: a bunch of people; no telling who wrote what
Director: Matthew Senreich
Original Air Date: Sunday, October 8, 2006
This week, I’m taking a look at an Archie-related segment from the TV series, “Robot Chicken“, a stop-motion animated series on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim that was created by Seth Green (most famous as Oz on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and Chris on “Family Guy”) and Matthew Senreich. Each episode consists of a series of stories of varying lengths (some a few minutes long, some only a few seconds long). This Archie story was the final segment in the episode, “Veggies for Sloth“, the 14th episode of season 2 and the 34th episode overall. Legal problems arose (this was during a time period when Archie Comics was particularly litigating), and the episode was edited to remove the Archie segment and replace it with a rejected season 1 segment, “Citizen Spears”; the episode was also retitled “Blankets in a Pig”. The Archie segment was not released on DVD until it appeared as a deleted scene on the season 5 set. However, the entire original episode is available on YouTube (to purchase) and on Netflix. Please note that Dish Network calls the “Blankets in a Pig” version “Veggies for Sloth”, but the Archie segment is not included.
Yeah, this isn’t an official Archie product, but I wanted to take a look at it anyway. “Robot Chicken” is a really weird, twisted series. It’s rated TV MA for language and violence. Sounds like fun!
Here is the main voice cast:
Shane McRae – Archie Andrews
Mila Kunis – Betty Cooper
Scarlett Johansson (!!!) – Veronica Lodge
Breckin Meyer – Reggie Mantle
Josh Cooke – Jughead Jones
Alfonso Ribeiro – Chuck Clayton
Seth Green – Moose Mason
Seth Green – Miss Grundy
Gene Simmons (!!!) – Pop Tate
Tom Root (uncredited) – Mr. Lodge
As you can guess from the title of the segment, the Riverdale gang is involved in a parody of the “Final Destination” films, which I’ve never seen (nor do I want to). The basic plot of the films is, if you have a premonition of your own death and get out of it, Death will come for you. Let’s get into it.
Reggie, Veronica, Betty, Archie, and Jughead are standing outside Riverdale High School. The school bus pulls up. Veronica exposits they’re going to Paris for their senior class trip.
The gang boards the bus. Archie doesn’t look well. Betty says Archie must be on a “senior drug trip”.
According to Reggie (operative words), Archie took GHB himself instead of slipping it in a girl’s drink. He then laughs and jokes about date rape.
The bus pulls away.
The school bus suddenly tips over.
All of the students are tossed about.
Suddenly, Archie wakes up.
He warns the rest of the gang of his vision. Reggie laughs and calls Veronica a slut.
The gang gets off the bus.
Miss Grundy, who wasn’t shown on the bus (but still speaks of the Paris trip as if she was going on it), decides they’ll all go inside and read the novelization of “Final Destination” by author David McIntee. This is an error. David McIntee wrote a Final Destination book but not the novelization of the movie. Anyway, the gang is upset.
Moose walks up, asking if he missed the bus to France.
Reggie insults him, laughs, and calls Moose a dumb-ass. Jughead asks Reggie why they keep hanging out with him.
The bus pulls away.
The gang watches it intently.
Then they look at Archie, believing he was wrong.
Suddenly, one of the mechanical Martian machines from H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” walks up and demolishes the bus.
Then the machine suffocates, falls over, and dies. Yeah, the machine suffocates and dies.
Archie says, details aside, they’re dead as shit.
Veronica sighs in disgust and says, even when Archie has a vision, he screws it up. Archie worries they can’t avoid the Grim Reaper.
Betty asks who that is and says he sounds dreamy. Reggie says blondes are dumb whores and then laughs. Everyone else except Betty joins in. Reggie then explains the joke (that’s his thing here) by saying that’s a stereotype.
That night, Jughead is in his bathroom at home, stripped down to his shorts, looking at himself in the mirror. He takes off his crown, revealing a big bald spot on his head. He has a long sandwich in his other hand. He loves to eat sandwiches in the shower but then drops his crown on the floor and says he hates himself.
Jughead takes a shower and swallows the sandwich whole (it takes only one frame!).
Addressing the audience, Jughead decides to reveal his secret of how he eats so much and stays thin.
He then tries to kick and stomp the vomit into the drain.
He slips and falls on the floor, impaling himself on his (apparently sharp) crown.
On another day, Pop Tate climbs a ladder outside his Chok’lit Shop and moves the apostrophe from before the “k” to after it. Apparently, some “prick” keeps moving this apostrophe, and Pop names all of the things that he wants to do to him if he catches him. Two of Pop’s words are censored (I’m watching a TV airing), but it’s quite clear that Pop wants to shit on the guy.
Pop climbs down the ladder and walks away.
Chuck walks up to the gang and informs them that Death is stalking them according to where they were sitting on the bus. I need to point out that this is Chuck’s only scene. He wasn’t seen boarding, sitting on, or disembarking the bus.
Betty calls attention to the “superfluous black character”, annoying Chuck. Betty asks why Death would follow Mr. Weatherbee’s seating chart. Chuck admits he doesn’t know but asks her why Martians would spend millions of years waiting to attack, when they could’ve just been living here, and why they never bothered to find out if something in the air would make them sick. Good points.
Miss Grundy walks past, reminding them to finish their haikus on death for English class tomorrow, which upsets the gang. Reggie calls Miss Grundy a lesbian.
Most of the gang walks off.
Betty and Veronica each grab Archie and want him to come with her. Archie tries to choose between them.
Betty walks into the street for no apparent reason and gets run over by a bus.
Betty’s blood splatters on Archie and Veronica, angering Veronica. Archie is still indecisive, which pisses Veronica off.
Some time later, Miss Grundy and Moose are seated at Miss Grundy’s kitchen table, where Miss Grundy is helping Moose with his haiku assignment.
However, Moose is such a dumbass that Miss Grundy goes to pour herself some whiskey (she gets a good self-aware joke in here, but it’s diminished by the fact that she gives the wrong number of years that she’s been teaching these “nitwits”). She accidentally sets off a Mouse Trap-style trap. Check this shit out:
Miss Grundy looks up and notices this.
She tries to run away, but the back of her dress is stuck on the freezer’s handle. She calls to Moose for help instead of freeing herself.
Moose takes a moment to look at the entire situation, but he’s such a dumbass that he doesn’t realize the severity of it.
Miss Grundy yells at the “stupid motherfucker” but gets killed by the falling car before she can finish the sentence.
Moose picks up the car and tosses it away.
He holds Miss Grundy “death of Supergirl” style and lets out a loud cry of “Duuuhhh!!!”
Some time later, Archie, Veronica, and Reggie (still wearing the same fucking clothes) are in Archie’s jalopy (strangely, the old one, which Archie hasn’t had since the early ’90s), parked by Al’s Hardware (not a place in the comics as far as I know).
Archie exposits Moose has been killed in the gas chamber. Why did Moose die? He wasn’t on the bus.
Veronica calls herself “a rich Republican” and then unintentionally mocks the deceased.
Suddenly, Death rises up in front of the car, scaring them. He looks kind of like he does on “Family Guy”.
Not missing a beat, Veronica bribes Death with one-million dollars if he takes “these two assholes first”.
Death considers it.
A disappointed Archie was under the mistaken impression that he was important to Veronica. Veronica gives the best comeback ever: “Go take Betty on a date – in Hell!”
Death strikes Archie and Reggie with his sickle, making them disappear in poofs of smoke.
Some time later, Death and Veronica are sitting in chairs by Veronica’s swimming pool, drinking.
Mr. Lodge runs over, demanding to know who charged a million dollars to the family gold card.
Death strikes Mr. Lodge with his sickle, making him disappear in a poof of smoke.
Death and Veronica toast their triumph.
So I think that was pretty damn funny. If you ever have a chance, watch it. Veronica is the stand-out character. ScarJo fucking nails it.
Tune in next Wednesday!