Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Episode 6, Part 2; Doug's No Dummy

This is a particularly sad episode. In this episode, Doug tries out something that is beneath him: ventriloquism. You know ventriloquism...it's that art form where a man practices for years to make it look like he's talking to his hand. In 99.99% of all cases of ventriloquism, it turns out the guy behind it is not funny, but since he's already devoted so much of his life to talking without moving his mouth, he just can't do anything else. Jeff Dunham suffers from the lack of humor that often comes with devoting too much time to making sure your lips aren't moving while you make a face that looks like you're being strangled with a small rope. He got a show anyway. Doug Funnie experimented with this shit once, and thank god it didn't ruin his show.

Anyway, this episode is about the school talent show. Doug briefly considered signing up for the talent show, but decided he didn't have talent, and so passed the sign up sheet back to Roger.

Dammit, Roger. It actually looks like Roger signed everyone up, because it's all in the same handwriting, but that's not the case. He just signed up Doug and himself. What is Doug's response when Ms. Wingo reads the list of names and he's on it?

Total panic. Immediately. A normal kid would simply raise his hand, inform Ms. Wingo that he hadn't signed up, and that would be the end of it. Doug must think this sheet of paper is a legally binding contract, and that he must perform some stupid shit in front of the school or face harsh penalties.

But Doug doesn't have any talent. He thinks about doing a comedy routine with Porkchop.

He screws up and gets booed by his fantasy crowd. So his next idea is to check the attic at home for anything he might be able to use. Doug knows that this is where his parents keep Uncle Happy's old clown trunk. I don't think I could sleep at night knowing that Uncle Happy's old clown trunk was stored in the attic.

So what does Doug find? A ventriloquist dummy and a book titled "How to be a Ventriloquist in One Day."

Doug names the dummy Buster, and opens the book. Step one is ridiculous, and Doug follows it poorly. "To make the sound of a b, just say d." He uses this advice to turn the sentence "The boy bought the basketball" into "Da doy dought da dasketdall." He moves his lips the entire time. Why does "the" turn into "da" from step one? "The" does not contain the b sound, Doug. Not at all. This is all we ever see of Doug's original ventriloquist act. He introduces Buster, and then says "Da doy dought da dasketdall." After noticing how wonderful he did with step one, Doug imagines getting his own tv show.

The show, titled "Doug's No Dummy," consists of Doug walking down the stairs and saying "Da doy dought da dasketdall." An audience laughs. Why? What does Doug think is funny about a boy buying a basketball? Is there more to this story about a boy and his ball than Doug is telling us? This is worse than the mangled joke he screwed up in his previous fantasy about doing normal stand-up. At least he was trying to say something funny there. Time to show the family.

His parents are enthusiastic about his new interest. To each other, they comment on his mouth moving. Judy over analyzes it into a artistic statement about communication. This makes her cry.

Her parents stare at her, offering no support or comfort. Her father says "Judy?" twice in a feeble way that shows how little interest he has in helping her. More terrific parenting from Mr. and Mrs. Funnie. They should help both of their kids here. They don't.

Confident in his act (after that encouraging, and not at all helpful reaction from his family) Doug is ready for the talent show tomorrow. He meets up with Skeeter backstage.

Skeeter's going to play an ocarina. He made it out of a hard roll from the cafeteria. While trying to demonstrate to Doug, he drops it and it slides under the curtain. Doug offers to get it and gets a glimpse of the crowd.

Panic time. He immediately imagines...

A standard fear of being on stage. I'll never understand why people bring vegetables to throw at people. Doug pulls his head out of the curtain and gets a replacement shirt from Porkchop's suitcase.

Doug brought several backup shirts and red bow ties, because he knows he's going drench them with sweat. Doug gets called to go on first, and begs to be held back a bit. Roger and the Ulcers go on.

Meanwhile Roger's cat gets a hold of Skeeter's bread ocarina...

...and eats it.

Porkchop laughs.

Doug sweats some more, but instead of changing shirts again...

The plant dies immediately.

Doug pep talks Patti into performing. While she's performing, Skeeter pep talks Doug into performing by pointing out that Patti was nervous too, and she's doing fine. So, finally ready to perform, Chalky gets called up...

That fucking dick. Chalky has two dummies, better costumes, and he is actually much better at the whole ventriloquism thing than Doug. Chalky kills too. He probably won the talent show. This is when Doug's shirt is soaked again, and Porkchop has to make sure that fucking plant is dead.

Doug needs some more convincing to go on stage. This time it takes Patti telling him that it's over quick, and then everyone is clapping, even her. Her too?

So he goes out and the first thing that happens is Buster's head flies off.

His parents don't seem that concerned, and Judy takes it as a political statement and breaks down again.

Porkchop knows he's going to have to deal with Doug crying himself to sleep tonight.

Patti comes up with an idea. Skeeter will fill in for the head...

And Porkchop will fill in for the drummer...


Doug and Skeeter (who somehow fills in for the arms too) do an improv act that gets a lot of laughs in spite of its lack of humor. Doug writes in his journal that maybe ventriloquism isn't for him. Porkchop takes it up though.

1. It was established in an earlier episode that Doug plays banjo. When Porkchop goes missing in "Doug's Dog Date," Doug sits on the front porch and plays the shit out of a banjo while wailing about his missing dog. Doug definitely should've played the banjo in the talent show. He's better at it, obviously, and it's not fucking ventriloquism.

2. Doug never went past step one in the book. Changing Bs to Ds is all Doug thinks ventriloquism is. His routine was shit anyway.

3. Not performing was always an option. Doug could've backed out, and Roger would've given him shit about it. But Roger was giving him shit about it anyway, so what did he gain from performing besides the knowledge that ventriloquism sucks?

4. Porkchop is all over the place in this one. Maybe the more stressed Doug is; the more Porkchop is able to do. He's carrying suitcases, buckets, wringing out shirts, laughing, playing the drums, telling ventriloquist jokes without moving his mouth. Show me a boy that thinks his dog can do all that, and I'll show you a boy that has a very poor concept of reality and will probably need strong anti-psychotic drugs.

5. Uncle Happy's old clown trunk? There are so many possibilities and literally none of them are good. The best Doug could hope for was a ventriloquist dummy.

This episode had some great extras...

As far as extras go, this picture gets better as you go left to right.


  1. "uncle happy's old clown trunk" is probably my favorite phrase uttered in doug

  2. "Da doy dought da dasketdall" is actually one of those phrases you learn in ventriloquism when it comes to the D for B substitute. I knew this years earlier care of a record in my mom's collection.

    Bothering to stray from the subject a little, in the 1950's and 60's there was a ventriloquist by the name of Jerry Nelson, famous for a few characters like "Danny O'Day" and "Farfel", whose weird teethy green and Nestle's Chocolate plugging was all the rage back in the day.

    Well anyway, going back to what I was mentioning before, there's a record Jimmy put out in the 60's teaching you how to do this practically dead art. My mom had the LP and I had to listen to it one boring weekend with nothing else to do, and learned these stupid things and eventually forgot 'em! I see someone posted this bit of audio about it...

  3. I've heard some sources claim that the original featured song in this episode was "I'm a Little Teapot", but I can't find anything to support it.


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