Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Home is Where the Hate Is

First off, I finally got my Guild of Calamitous Intent shirt in the mail. The Venture Brothers Shirt Club was a birthday present to myself, and I squealed with delight at the first shirt. Next up is the Dr. Killinger logo, which I may wear every day for the rest of my life.


Hey, the lead characters actually appeared in this week's episode. And in our parade of minor characters, we've got Sgt. Hatred! (By the way, I just realized that we saw a young Sgt. Hatred in last week's episode.) America's favorite foot-fetishist is back! I never would have picked him as Doc's new archenemy, but I'm thrilled. I love the episodes where these fantastic characters lead these ordinary lives. Sgt. Hatred and Brock Samson talking about the lawn? I love it. Now, I don't find the characterization of Hatred as a pedophile particularly amusing. (Well, except for: "I should have mentioned it back at the compound. I'm actually required by law...".) It's a little too Family Guy for me, and that's never a good thing. However, they pretty clearly established last season that his attraction to Dean was based on his small, womanly feet. But since that wasn't referenced, and wife Princess Tiny Feet wasn't in the episode, that didn't actually come through.

This episode wasn't dripping with continuity, other than the payoff to the long-running joke about stealing from Sgt. Hatred, and the announcement that Dr. Girlfriend is officially "Dr. Mrs. The Monarch". This makes me especially happy, because it means that Jackson and Doc share my love of making names much longer than they need to be. Why just type "Don" or "Richard", when you can type "Mysterious Don" or "Richard 'Batmanuel' Alpert"? Of course, there's always a chance that some offhand line is going to turn into a major plot point down the line (Sgt. Hatred's cat?), but I can't see the future. Still, plenty of funny bits.

--How hilarious was it that they played the same celebrity party game on Venture Brothers and Swingtown this week? I'm pretty sure that the crossover on that particular Venn Diagram is minimal. And you have to love that Sgt. Hatred made tags for Harry Dean Stanton and Mark Knopfler.

--Loved Brock's interest in the PBS documentary about giant crossbows. That's exactly what you would picture Brock watching now, isn't it? I just hope he got to see them fire it.

--So, he's got "HATRED" printed all down his body? Just pray we never see the "D"...

--Was that effete guy chatting up Brock at the party somebody we've seen before? He got a lot of screen time, but I couldn't place him. Nice touch that Sgt. Hatred and the Monarch clearly have different friends, as none of the Monarch's usual guests were there. And was that White Noise in the background?

--The Murder Moppets are starting to grow on me. I like the henchmen so much that I don't want them living in fear, but once Tim-Tom and Kevin dragged in that cat bed, I fell in love.

Can't wait for next week, and I can't wait to see what Mysterious Don calls the various characters. Not so hot with the names, that guy...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Continuity Sucks

Here's something I've been thinking a lot about lately. I don't know why, and I don't usually care to discuss anything really personal here (Basically, if you're reading this, you're a friend of mine and you already know, or you don't know me from Adam and have no reason to care.), but his sort of ties in to my usual themes.

My continuity sucks. It's not cool. My backstory is vague and ill-defined, my motivations not fleshed out. You can understand how this upsets me.) I haven't seen my father in nine years, I have a sister I haven't seen in maybe 14 years. In both cases, they left. In my father's case, it was a long time coming, but with my sister, it came out of nowhere. And in both cases, certain things have turned up about those times, but mostly it just creates new questions.

Since they're both gone, these questions can't be answered. All sorts of things went on behind the scenes, and I'm sure it makes for a fascinating story. But nobody can really spell out the specifics, other than my father and sister. Without them, it's just an incomplete story.

Now, it's not really possible to re-establish contact with either of them, nor do I particularly want to. (And of course, I'm not going into specifics here. I already feel like I'm walking the line of being unforgiveably douchey with this level of personal detail.) That just means, there's no way to get my questions answered and establish the timeline. Key events in my past have no motivating factors or context, and that's crappy continuity.

John Locke, Don Draper, Doc Venture -- their backstories are fleshed out gradually, making them more and more real with every pass. I don't have that. And yes, all three of them have father issues. We can learn more about those issues, and how past events inform the choices they make today. That's good characterization. Me, I couldn't even get a decent flashback on Lost, because the interesting bits happened without my knowledge. And yes, to an extent this is true of everybody. Go to your dad and ask him about something that happened fifteen years ago. As we've learned from Desmond and Henry Miller, narrators are unreliable. The past is colored by individual recollections. I get that. But I don't even have access to those accounts that I can try to synthesize into a possible version of the truth.

If I were a character on a TV series, I think people would find me poorly-constructed. My Lostaway flashbacks would frequently contain the phrase "And then, for some reason, this other thing happened..." I'm one of those guys on Oz who got killed or sent to solitary in their very first episode. We all want to be the heroes of our own life, but my backstory is ill-developed. I'll never be Dr. House, Al Swearengen, Jack Shepherd, ot Hank Hill. No, I'm a supporting character at best. I'm Ronald Poklewaldt. Fat Dom. Catclops.

Oh, crap.

You guys, I'm Arzt.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Have You Reserved Your Copy?

--That's right, Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs comes out on Tuesday. This is news of the highest magnitude. Don't believe me? Freaking David Cross is voicing the titular beast! Yeah, I thought that would get you going. Seriously, wait in line until Tuesday and freak out the people at Best Buy. Bring a pillow.

--My reports from the Waterfront Film Festival are up on spunkybean! Nine movies in two days, many of them awesome. You should read my reports. They will fascinate you and make you proud that you know me.

--I have a deep and abiding love for Daily Show correspondents. Sure, there've been a few who have passed through without making much of an impact, but I love just about everybody who stuck around for any length of time. I think the current crew is outstanding, and I am thrilled with new additions Kristen Schaal and Wyatt Cenac. Kristen is, of course, Mel from Flight of the Conchords, so she starts out with about a million points. I love her distinctively awkward style, and I like that John Stewart seems a little afraid of her. But the real find is newbie Wyatt Cenac. It usually takes the audience a while to warm up to new correspondents, but this guy came out of the gate strong. I mean, his first report was about why Lost is better than the Democratic primaries. So clearly, I will heart him forever. There is such a perfection to "Hillary Widmore" that it will haunt me. Go, Wyatt!

--Yeah, I didn't have much to say today. I'm trying to blog more consistently and I just didn't have the energy to finish an entry about why my life has crappy continuity. Seriously, as a character, I am less fleshed out than John Locke. I'll get to that this weekend. Yeah, that's right, I'm running teasers now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Billy Quizboy and the Invisible Hand of Fate

Sweet, delicious continuity porn! That what The Venture Brothers brought us this week. Sure, that's the second time this season Hank and Dean have gotten shorted, but that's a small price to pay for the glorious backstory of Mr. White and Billy Quizboy.

And with the return of Hunter Gathers right after a Dr. Killinger episode, it's a veritable parade of my favorite minor characters. Can this mean that Colonel Gentleman will also be making another appearance? I mean, he's dead, but so's Hunter. Is it possible this season is just a love letter to me, what with all the continuity and the supporting characters? I am going to assume that it is, even though that's really not a possibility.

Two of the three episodes this season have been flashback-heavy, and I really never imagined that Billy and Mr. White had a backstory, especially one that ties so many of the characters together. I love that the origins of Billy and the Phantom Limb actually are connected. There was that episode last season (can't remember which one) where everybody had a different theory about Phantom Limb, and all of them involved Billy in some way. I'll have to go back and check to see if anybody was actually right. And wasn't Limb just creepy in his early days? His arms were just gross.

Is this the first time we've seen that OSI cares about the Guild one way or another? The espionage stuff is usually kept pretty separate from the superhero parodies. I mean, it makes sense, but I don't think it's ever been referenced specifiically. By the way, the Village People / GI Joe parody was the funniest thing in the episode. Well, except for... the nozzle. Oh, and Brock's inability to say "dramatization".

Why does the OSI assign Dr. Venture a bodyguard anyway? It's not like he's particularly valuable to national security. Unless he is. What if Rusty is actually a super-science genius? His mental blocks keep him ineffectual, but if he ever gets over his massive insecurities he has the potential to be incredibly dangerous. That's why the OSI sends him bodyguards who will keep him crippled. Myra's a sexual predator who makes Doc the woman in the relationship, and Brock is the ultimate Alpha Male, to whom Doc will always feel inferior. So Killinger's makeover was actually a worst-case scenario for OSI.

Let's see, we got the earliest chronological appearance of Dr. Girlfriend and the Venture Brothers themselves. We saw them as infants while Myra was still Rusty's bodyguard and I don't know if that makes it more or less likely that she's their mother. I also liked seeing Dr. Impossible's name on the door at the University, even if it was being removed. Phantom Limb and Dr. Impossible on the science staff at the same time? If only they could get Colbert back to do the voice -- that could be the best flashback ever.

Really unexpected to get that level of emotion from Billy and Mr. White -- the scene near the end where Brock brings Billy over to the trailer is White's only moment of sincerity in the entire series to date. And since there are no throwaways on this show, I have to believe that Billy regaining his memory is going to mean something important before the season is up.

Man, do I love this show. Next week: "My Dinner with Hatred".

Sunday, June 15, 2008

25 Movies that are Funnier than "Annie Hall"

Is it just me, or does the AFI piss anybody else off? I'm so tired of their "100 Greatest Movies" list being trotted out every year or so, and the real problem is it's a list of movies that people are supposed to like. Get beyond what's "important" and look at what's actually good. Anyway, their new desperate stab at relevance is airing on Tuesday, the top 10 films in each of 10 genres. I'll be interested to see what genres they come up with, since they will probably be carefully subdivided to encompass the same movies they manage to list every year.



It's already been noted that they've chosen Annie Hall as the best comedy. Now, I like Annie Hall quite a lot. But is it the best comedy in film history? No. It's not even the best Woody Allen movie, quite frankly. Calling it the best comedy, to me, indicates they're claiming that it's the funniest movie ever. That is, unless their standard for judging comedy focuses on something other than how funny the movie is. Which, knowing the AFI, it probably does. Anyway, I'd like to present a list of 25 movies that are funnier than Annie Hall. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just the ones I could think of off the top of my head.



1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

2. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

3. Take the Money and Run

4. Raising Arizona

5. Monsters, Inc.

6. The Simpsons Movie

7. Superbad

8. Sleeper

9. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

10. Napoleon Dynamite

11. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

12. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

13. Office Space

14. Quick Change

15. Defending Your Life

16. Bubba Ho-Tep

17. This is Spinal Tap

18. Zelig

19. Waiting for Guffman

20. Juno

21. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Move Film for Theaters

22. Pulp Fiction

23. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

24. Shaun of the Dead

25. Toy Story 2



I'm not claiming that any of these are the funniest movie of all time, but I am claiming that they are all funnier than Annie Hall. Again, I like the movie, but let's be realistic. If you think Woody Allen sneezing over the cocaine is one-hundredth as funny as the Newsteam Rumble, there is something wrong with you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I Should Write For Your Show: 24

Here's a new feature. It's clear to me that I should be writing for television. I've lost interest in honest employment, so it's time to move forward. Now, some people will extol the virtues of writing spec scripts and building contacts. Unfortunately, I feel like my attempts to ingratiate myself to professional writers will seem as desperate and creepy as my attempts to meet women. So on occasion, I'm just going to put my ideas here and hope to slowly build up influence and power. I'll begin with 24.

OK, we've spend 144 hours with Jack Bauer, and we don't know anything about him. I realize that 24 is not really the ideal vehicle for introspection and character development. Spending a whole season on a single day cuts down on any real chance for growth. That's all well and good. Still, after six seasons we should know more about him than how he prevents things from exploding.

In a sense, there's not supposed to be more to Jack than the mission. I get that. And that works, to an extent. But we've seen just enough to get the feeling that we're missing something. He is capable of having relationships, even after losing his wife. We don't see much of them, but it's pretty clear that his relationship with Audrey was reasonably healthy. And there was the woman he lived with between Seasons Four and Five -- they seemed happy together. I think it would be interesting to see just a bit of who he is when he's not "on".

And then, it's worth looking at what actually motivates Jack. He had a personal stake in the first season, and since then it's been a job. But why? CTU has kicked him to the curb on more than one occasion, and his own government has betrayed him. To me, the assassination of David Palmer in Season Five should have broken him. They were actually friends -- Jack respected and trusted Palmer, and that loss shattered him. Why does Jack keep risking his life? Is he that fierce a patriot? I'm not sold on that idea. You need a real human presence to connect to an ideal. It's hard to fight for America if you're not motivated by particular Americans.

What does Jack do in between his annual battles with terrorism? I'm not saying they should set a season on his day off or anything, but I'd like to see some of his life bleeding over into his work. He must have friends - maybe he's driven them away, but at some point he must have interacted in a pleasant way with people.

There's a great scene in Season Six, where he's in the medical suite at CTU, and you can see that he's just scarred all over. His right hand is badly burned, his chest is covered with bullet wounds, cuts, burns, and all manner of injury. And in this scene he looks absolutely haunted. His eyes look like his body in that scene. How does he live with himself? Does he gravitate toward crisis just so he doesn't have to deal with what's inside?

There's a great scene in The Punisher movie. Yes, I said it. Actually, they stole it wholesale from Garth Ennis, which explains the greatness:

JOAN: Why do you kill bad people?
FRANK: Because I hate them.
JOAN: Oh. I thought it was to help others.

Is that where Jack's coming from? Does he have to hurt people? Is it not about protecting America anymore, but rather about having somebody to fight? This is what I want to find out.

I'd like to see the season's crisis spring up around Jack, and I'd like to see him have to protect somebody who's important to him. (Just not Kim, for cry pete.) I want to see Jack in a position where he actually has the ability to say "The hell with it" and walk away. I want a situation where somebody else can handle the crisis. Obviously, in order for the show to work, he'll have to not walk away, but once that happens, we can find out why.

Action and character development don't have to be mutually exclusive. We know what motivates Batman or John Locke or Sidney Bristow or Brock Samson. We don't know what motivates Jack Bauer, and once you get to that, it opens up a whole new world.

So, you know, you should hire me to work for 24. Plus, I will be more than happy to write scenes where Jack throws people through windows. The word "defenestration" is not used as liberally as it should be, and I aim to change that.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Doctor is Sin

--Man, do I love my Venture Brothers. This week, we actually got to see our heroes, which was nice. It's been, what, 18 months since Season Two ended? Sure, we all have our DVD's, but it feels like I lost track of the boys. Thankfully, everybody was at their best. Hank and Dean were really funny, and I like that they're taking them in separate directions more and more. Dean's a man of knowledge, Hank's a man of action. Sure, minimal knowledge and incompetent action, but there you go. Dean's withering under his father's negative influence and Hank falls constantly short of Brock's unachieveable ideal.

It's always interesting to get a look into Doc's head. That's a freaking snakepit right there. I really like the glimpses into his history -- we know he was the coolest little boy in the world at one time ("I used to have your lunchbox"), and somehow he became this miserable wreck. I can't decide if he's actually flawed or if he sabotaged himself. The flashback would seem to indicate the latter, with poor Rusty paralyzed by accidentally seeing his father's penis. (And eating "Alpha Dog" cereal during that scene? That, my friends, is genius.)

What's notable to me is that the end of this episode is one of the very few times we've seen Doc make a morally defensible choice. After all, how is he any different from the Monarch? They both seek power and the destruction of their enemies. Heck, the Monarch's villainy is partly motivated by love, which is more than Doc Venture can say. Honestly, I was surprised that he didn't go villain at the end. Rusty might just have some good in him, after all.

Great to see Orpheus again -- he really makes me laugh. Mostly, it's the vocal performance, where every single line is delivered with the exact same urgency. But I also like his attitude -- he's actually powerful and competent within his own sphere, but he's just drastically uncool. Doc Venture is as bad at super-science as he is at being a father, but Orpheus is actually powerful and respected, but the answering maching vexes him. He comes face-to-face with demons but can't believe that children sometimes swear.

I love Dr. Killinger, and the fact that he actually got to use his Magic Murder Bag for actual murder makes me so happy I can't stand it.

Now, I've got two questions about the season thus far: How did Jonas Venture die? I never gave it two thoughts until the Monarch mentioned it last week, and now I'm fascinated. And, are Rusty and the boys going to be assigned a new archenemy? They've already done the "application" arc before, so I don't see them revisiting that ground again. Of course, all of that pales next to the fact that next week's episode focuses on Billy Quizboy. If that doesn't have you on the edge of your seat, you and I are very different people.

Yes, I'm going to be writing about The Venture Brothers every Monday. You will have to learn to accept this.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Let me drop some math on you...

Get this:

According to Entertainment Weekly, Mad Men averages 900,000 viewers. That, first off, is freaky to me. I spend so much time engrossed in this stuff that I assume everybody watches what I do. Why are most people so stupid? Anyway, it also said that the average episode costs $2.5 million dollars. If you break down the cost per viewer, and then figure 13 episodes last season, it means that AMC spend $36 dollars to entertain me personally last summer.

So I say, thanks AMC! I'm not sure if that's an ideal business model, but I really appreciate it. Not only did you provide me one of the best shows on TV, but over the course of its season, you spent enough on me to buy me a box set of The Office. If you break it down like that, it's hard not to feel a little bit special.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Bender Has Angry Eyes!

--I've discussed my love of Mad Men in the past, so you can imagine my excitement over seeing the big feature and cover on the new Entertainment Weekly. I feel weirdly paternal toward Mad Men, actually. Early on, there was no buzz at all, but I loved it. The way it picked up steam through the course of the season made me happy. It's nice when something good is appreciated for being good, you know? Plus, it makes me feel like society is catching up with me. I'm ahead of the curve, baby!

And have you seen the gorgeous cigarette-lighter packaging for the Season One DVD's? I want to build a freaking shrine for that thing!

By the way, the fact that Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! made it into EW's summer preview has me so pleased I can almost hardly eat my pineapple. I was actually giggling about that inclusion. Even more pleased that they note that John C. Reilly will be back as Dr. Steve Brule. I have no idea how they got him for that show, but he rules every time he appears.

--Finally got the Series Three Futurama figures, and they are absolutely glorious. After cheaping out on the accessories for Leela and Zoidberg, I was afraid we'd get shorted again, but the new Bender and Kif have some great extras.

Kif looks really cool -- he's very weirdly proportioned, which I didn't think would translate, but it really works. Just look at those long scrawny arms! He's sort of adorable, actually; he's even wearing little underpants under his skirt. (Don't look at me like that!) His accessories include a framed picture of Amy (Awww), his big cowboy hat (from "Where the Buggalos Roam") which looks hilarious on him, and best of all, he comes with one of the Ball aliens! Remember, from "War is the H-Word"? I didn't expect that at all, and it's just perfect. "This war has gone on too long. I have seen to many body bags and ball sacks."

Then there's Bender. Bender has been done in 3-D multiple times, for the old MAC line, a bendy from Dark Horse, and various tin toys. There are a lot of Benders out there, and this one is the best of all. He's sort of a challenge, with the design of his limbs -- they usually do his limbs as bendy plastic, which doesn't usually match the rest of the figure that well. This time, they nailed it. The color and gloss matches the rest of his body, and they finally struck a nice balance between appearance and functionality. Best Bender figure ever! His accessories are perfectly chosen -- a stack of loot, a bottle of Olde Fortran malt liquor, and a can of Mom's Old Fashioned Robot Oil. And even better, he has interchangeable eyes! Angry eyes, bored eyes, and sad eyes -- that's a neat feature and completely unexpected. Also, you can remove his head, as seen on many episodes.

And of course, these two figures include the last pieces of the Robot Devil. Having been gradually assembling him for almost a year now, I'm glad he's finally completed. He really looks good, and I love his baton and top hat. (By the way, the hat stays in place with a magnet. Futuristic!) Sure, he could have used a solid gold violin, but we can't have everything. Seeing how well he turned out gives me high hopes for the upcoming Robot Santa Build-a-Figure. And anybody want to sign my petition that the next one be Hedonism-Bot?

On a related note, less than three weeks until the next movie!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Abusing Myself to Markie Post

--Yeah, The Venture Brothers is back! Woo! Got to say, it's a bold move to not have any of the heroes in the first new episode in nearly two years. True, Brock was onscreen, but he didn't have any dialogue. Doc Venture appeared in flashback, too, but only briefly. Of course, I love the Monarch and all the Guild stuff, so I was fine with that particular conceit. I loved getting some backstory on the Monarch, too. This was sort of an actual origin story, which makes the nerd in me happy. (And his real name is Malcolm? Who knew?) Two fun continuity points came up, as well. First, does seeing Myra (from "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills") in the flashback mean that she really may be the boys' mother? It's not like Rusty was scoring all over the place, after all. Second, was the tag supposed to be years in the future? Phantom Limb looked older than last time we saw him. Regardless, I loved that he had a robot arm like Billy Quizboy's to replace the one he lost in last season's finale. No telling if he had his man business replaced as well, but I have to assume.

And next week features the return of Dr. Killinger, so I am giddy about that. Plus, you know, the lead characters may actually make an appearance. And yes, this is just one of those blog entries that makes Don roll his eyes. You know what? I'm old. I don't have to pretend not to be a nerd anymore. I'm not fooling anybody.

--Remember when this blog used to be entertaining? I'm going to try really hard to get back to that over the summer. Well, I can't promise to try. I can, however, promise to try to try.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Where Did the Time Go?

So, it's my birthday tomorrow. 33. Seriously. I mean, I'm catching up to Jesus at this point. In a way, this is deeply depressing. Who became a success after 33? The only writer on my shelf who was first published after that age is DBC Pierre. That's kind of sobering. I sort of feel like I slid right past my sell-by date. On the other hand, it's not like my career is exactly gangbusters. It just seems like I've tried to split my time between two worlds and I ended up half-assing them both. Usually, I'm pretty happy with the hybrid mutant life I've cooked up, but ticking off another year makes me feel like I've missed at least one boat.

But then there's also this part of me that wakes up every June 3rd and absolutely thinks that this is going to be the year. And I guess as long as I can say that, I'm still in the game, right? No sense in going all Mitch Yost here -- I'm still in the game until I stop trying. That said, this is going to be the year. Bring it on, Father Time. This is the year!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

--The full article is over at spunkybean, but I'm sure you can imagine how deeply traumatized I was by the Lost finale. I'm not ready to talk about it just yet.

--At least we have something to look forward to -- The Venture Brothers returns tonight! Early word is that Team Venture does not appear in the entire premiere. Jackson Publick, you're a magnificent bastard. Of course, that means it's a Monarch-centric episode, and there are very few characters who make me laugh harder than the Monarch. My enthusiasm runs deep and rich, like a river of fudge.

--When did Spencer Gifts transition into being a straight-up porno store? I've long had a joke in my stand-up about how they sell Simpsons t-shirts and sex toys, but now the sex toys are taking over. They sell actual blow-up dolls in the mall now. But here's what horrified me most. They have a Sarah Jessica Parker-themed love doll. I realize that any resemblance a blow-up doll has to a real person is minimal at best, but who's going to actually buy an SJP doll? Like, on some level I get the level of perversion that gets you to hump an inanimate object. Not that I would do so, but I can sort of understand the person who does. But a Sarah Jessica Parker fetish? I can't believe that for a second.

In summation: Worst-selling love doll ever.

--And finally, even though I don't have the Futurama Series 3 figures yet (They're in the mail, though. Finally, Bender can join Barney Gumble, Jack Shepherd, and Iron Man in Moe's Tavern.), they've announced the next three series. Series 4-6 include parts to build Robot Santa (Yay!), and they have some great choices, but why is there no Professor Farnsworth? The next three series include Fry, Leela, and Bender in their superhero costumes (from Less than Hero), Nudar (from Bender's Big Score), Calculon, and L'rrr. While I'd rather get original characters rather than variants, Less than Hero is one of my favorite episodes, and the Captain Yesterday figure looks fantastic. I'm surprised at Nudar, but I'm really looking forward to the figure. The others, I'm absolutely thrilled about, especially Calculon. I'd really like to see the Professor, Hermes, and Amy to fill out the Planet Express crew, though. Come on, Toynami -- this is pretty well a "fans only" line anyway. I'm not exactly seeing Fry and Zoidberg lining the shelves at toy stores. It's not like you need to worry about kid appeal. Any Futurama fan will happily pony up the bucks to buy the Professor, especially if he comes with some Doomsday devices and the toaster that can feel love. Oooh, and the fing-longerer.

Man, I'm a geek.