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yes, i flinched. so what?
how i learned that i may not be girlie enough to write for robot chicken
by katherine l (aka clevertitania) (@CleverTitania)
pop culture

Authors Note: I actually wrote this back in May of 2005, right before I started putting articles on Intrepid Media. But when I came across it, it seemed like a perfect addition to my work on here. Enjoy :)

I’m watching the “Tubba-Bubba’s Now Hubba-Bubba” episode of Robot Chicken. And I’ve just finished watching the Girls Gone Wild Cenobitches. Even though I could barely stand to watch it, it’s still one of the best sketches they’ve ever done. Before I tell you why; a bit o’prologue.

I watched the video commentary for Werewolf Vs. Unicorn recently, and this comment from Seth Green really got my mind turning, “We need female writers. If there’s any women out there who are competent qualified sketch writers, please send us submissions.”

Now I don’t know if he was really hoping for submissions, but I’m sure he got several. I got to thinking about what it would be like to work on that show, and how that dynamic might work. An interesting truth occurred to me, regarding that scenario. The fact that I’m not 1/10th as funny as those boys aside; I would completely defeat the purpose. I love the Game of Life sketch. I think it’s hilarious. And thus far, in the entire run of the show, I haven’t seen anything I do find remotely objectionable. Seth is clearly indicating a need for a woman who will tell them what women will find offensive. My perspective is, if you find it objectionable, don’t watch it. What your gender is; in that instance? I could care less.

I’m almost sorry that this will offend some women, well almost might be a strong word there. Here’s a heads up though; there is such a thing as a funny rape joke. I can tell you, I’ve heard at least dozens. Is there any such joke that would make a rape victim laugh? Probably not, and I do feel for anyone in that situation. That they would have such a reminder in the middle of a form of entertainment, well that’s just awful. Of course, the next scene could’ve been about a convenient store robbery gone wrong, and the guy watching TV across town is traumatized because his dad was killed in just such a way. Well ok, that’s two things maybe we should cut from an episode of Robot Chicken. How about one where a guy gets stupid drunk and plows into a telephone poll, nope, that one speaks for itself.

Here’s the bottom line. If you pull one thing that is offensive or could be difficult for people to watch, you have to pull them all. That has to be the rule. Are there situations where you can go too far or joke too soon? Maybe one or two; but not many. I support Bill Maher’s Steve Irwin’s Halloween costume. I might’ve knee jerked briefly, when he did it, but ultimately I agree with him. The sheer ridiculousness of the situation meant that we almost had to laugh at it, because crying would’ve made us all look like idiots. I’m not talking about family/friends obviously. It’s not like Bill walked into the wake in the costume. We were all trying to figure out when we can start talking about the sheer ludicrousness of the incident. Bill was letting us know it was OK. And for the record, Trey Parker and Matt Stone weren’t even the instigators. Anonymous jokes were circulating the internet within days of Irwin’s death; probably faster. Especially when at least a few people had to have been told about Irwin’s death and said, “Nice one, dude!”

So here is why, despite the fact that I had to close my eyes for the bulk of the Cenobitches, I still laughed all the way through.

There I was, just wondering what this sketch was about (don’t know Joe Francis’ name off the top of my head, and I didn’t recognize the music at first), and then... I saw him playing with the cube. I started getting nervous. I only ever watched the first Hellraiser movie, but the hairs were already standing up on the back of my neck. But I kept my eyes open. I lasted until the three chicks ripped off their skin; that’s when my eyes closed, and sounds of humorous dismay poured from my lips. I laughed, and I cringed, at each new sound of gory action. I also did a lot of, “Oh no. No, no, no, no. Ew.” I didn’t need to see the carnage, to know why it was hilarious. It was funny because it elicited a reaction.

One of the great things about Robot Chicken, is that it takes things that you remember (primarily from your youth) and reminds you of them in a wonderfully “What the hell?!” kind of way. Just look at the ‘retelling’ of the Rainbow Bright mythos. So the idea that I would react to the Hellraiser sketch, based on how I reacted to the Hellraiser movie, is exactly as it should be. It created that same feeling of horror and actual, honest to goodness, bone chilling. But as an adult, with a modicum of intelligence, I recognize how stupid it is for me to cringe and look away. It’s fake, no one is getting hurt; it’s all just another animated activity, whether with puppets or not. So becoming creeped out is pretty silly. And I should laugh at myself, and the wonderful little sketch that reminded me to.

So yeah, I’m girlie enough that I can’t take Hellraiser. But then again, I would be highly unlikely to ever complain about another Game of Life type sketch, domestic abuse (which I have seen with my own eyes) and all. So I guess I wouldn’t be of much benefit as the girl perspective on the show. But, man talk about a dream job. :)

Though I did have one channel flip idea. A new movie trailer for Care Bears: Oopsy Does It!

All the Care Bears are milling around. Oopsy Bear and True Heart Bear are standing off to the side. Gentle Heart Lamb walks by, and Oopsy leans in to whisper something to True Heart. True Heart looks up and yells loudly, “Dude, she’s your cousin!”

If any of the Robot Chicken writers are reading this, have at it. All I ask for is a mention in the commentary. :)


When I grow up, I want to be; whoever Joss Whedon wants to be, when he grows up. I am a writer because it's the first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning; aside from eating and using the lavatory of course. My work includes screenplays, short stories, film/TV/music reviews and socio-political commentary. The last one is a fancy way of saying I like to shoot my mouth off on many topics. I excel at using $1.50 words. They gone up, thanks to inflation. Isn't our economy awesome?

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