Thursday, October 20, 2011

Episode 38, Part 2: Doug's Garage Band

This episode begins with Skeeter, Doug and Porkchop walking down the street making a lot of noise while singing Bangin' on a Trash Can. The guy working at Racoon Records is very annoyed by their noise. In the window of the store they see an interview with Chap Lipman where he talks about the origins of The Beets and how he started playing music. He started by hitting a bowl or a cat, and his mom told him to stop. It was the same with the other guys and so they went into his shed and started hitting things until they came out with their hit Killer Tofu. So naturally, Skeeter and Doug now have to do that. They are now a garage band!

Returning to their Bangin' on a Trash Can further annoys the record store employee because he's on the phone and Doug and Skeeter are apparently the loudest thing ever.

Might be related to Arnold from Hey Arnold! The hair...

After the title screen, we return to a fantasy where an older Doug and Skeeter are being interviewed by the same woman that was interviewing Chap Lipman.

Look at Skeeter's long, orange hair. Not a black kid. Anyway, the interview is taking place in Doug's garage where they started and where they still go to write all their songs. It's where they get their inspiration. Doug demonstrates with a plunger.

He sings, "WHOA! Plunger, Plunger! WHOA! Plunger, Plunger!"

"You know? Like that."

After the fantasy, Doug and Skeeter are already recording Bangin' on a Trash Can. Porkchop is their producer.

Skeeter is getting amazing sounds out of a bunch of junk. I've used junk before and it's very difficult to get anything useable out of it, but Porkchop does a terrific job here with the tape recorder.

At the Honkerburger, Beebe expresses doubts about their band. They tell her about how they just recorded their first song. They're going to send it off to some record producers. That's when Beebe says her cousin's friend has a friend who knows somebody in the record business. She thinks his name is Jimmy Spackle. She's going to ask to get him to listen to their tape.

They are excited. Doug narrates, "this is the big break we've been waiting for all morning."

That night, Beebe shows up at Doug's door with good news. Jimmy Spackle loved their tape. He's actually lined up a gig for them to play this weekend too. He wants to see them perform! It's incredible. Oh, but there's a catch.

Beebe has to be in the band. Doug is reluctant. His fantasy only has room for him and Skeeter. Spackle says two guys in a band is too dinky. Beebe convinces him by saying if he wants to be famous, he has to think big. This triggers an amazing fantasy of a music video for Bangin' on a Trash Can. The video is so full of references to popular music videos I can't be bothered to document them all. It's awesome though. There's some Michael Jackson and Talking Heads in there, among other things.

The point of the fantasy is that the bigger you think, the more famous you get. Eventually you'll be selling out stadiums. So, I guess we'll see how that plays out for Doug.

What started as a fantasy triggered during a conversation with Beebe apparently ended as a dream, as it woke Doug up and he had to write down an idea from it.

"Idea: get big suit."

The next day he goes over to Connie's house. She got an A in Home Economics, so he thinks she can make the big suit for him. Patti is there because I guess they are studying together or something. Anyway, Beebe told them about Doug's band already and they are so excited. Doug asks, "then maybe you can help me?" Connie says they'd love to be part of the band! Doug asks, "you play an instrument?" Of course. Patti plays drums. "I've got them in storage someplace."

And Connie plays the autoharp...

She keeps the autoharp under the couch, which is exactly where you keep an instrument you play a lot. There's no way this could turn out bad. Oh, but Skeeter plays drums. They don't need another drummer. Doug decides to think big and comes to the conclusion that two drummers is really big. So Doug has his big suit, and Doug's Garage Band has twp drummers and an autoharp player. That's just not enough to make a truly incredible live show though. Doug wants a light show.

He asks Elmo to produce a light show for the gig. He agrees if Doug lets him in the band. Also, he plays drums. So now the band has three drummers. Now the band needs special effects, and that's where Al and Moo come in.

They'll help Doug if they can be in the band. They both play lead guitar. Doug takes all these new members because it fits under the idea of thinking big. And so here's his band.

I don't know what Larry, Loretta, Fentruck, that other drummer, or the Dancer are doing for the band, but Doug must've asked them for something to have to include them all as members. With 5 drummers, no one else is going to be able to be heard, especially not Connie with her autoharp or Doug with his banjo. Their first attempt to play is a horrible, loud disaster. After some practice they start sounding better but Elmo stops the playing because he wants a drum solo. Doug points out that they've already had two drum solos. Elmo is upset that Lincoln got a solo when he's played 2 years longer than him, and Beebe's keyboard solo sucked because she's terrible. She blames Elmo's lights for being in her eyes. Doug, who has been wearing his big David Byrne suit the entire time, points out that they only have 15 minutes to play. Not everyone can have a solo. They groan and he changes his mind. Everybody can have a solo.

The next day, they arrive at the mansion where their private party gig is and knock on the front door. A snooty butler answers the door and tells them to go around back. That's when Doug sees it's just a kid's birthday party. Doug sounds disappointed but Skeeter loves it. The band before them is the kind of band I want at my next birthday party.

Now it's time for them to set up and play. Doug pumps them up, reminding them it's their big chance.

Doug mentions they were set up within the hour. They get started and it sounds alright, but shit happens. One of the lights falls. Lincoln breaks his drum sticks. Larry's drum set falls apart completely. Connie's autoharp starts spontaneously breaking strings.

Loretta walks across the stage, looking sort of bored. Doug says that somewhere around the eighth drum solo, he realized he wasn't having fun.

They finish the song and all the kids at the party look extremely bored. The guy from Racoon Records walks over to Beebe and tells her that was amazing. Doug says, "I guess the big guy never showed up." Skeeter says that might be a good thing...

Then Beebe brings over the guy from Racoon Records.

Yeah, that guy is Jimmy Spackle. He's just a guy that works at a record store. He loved it. Thought it was radical. I don't like making hipster jokes, but really...he's just a hipster. He wants to talk to Al and Moo because they were "way radical."

Now that Spackle is gone, Beebe has some bad news. She wants to speak to Doug alone. Doug's out of the band. The banjo has no place in rock 'n roll. She asks if he plays any other instruments and he jokes, "drums." She shows excitement, saying Jimmy Spackle thought they could use one more drummer, but he tells her he was just kidding. Beebe is a moron.

Anyway, Doug is happy to be fired from Doug's Garage Band. He says Jimmy Spackle got them one more gig before they broke up. They're going to play at the Yodeling Society's Cakewalk Jamboree. Jimmy Spackle: early 90's hipster.

Oh, and the gig goes horribly, as you can imagine. Why would a yodeling society want to hear a band with no singer?

Look how short Larry is there.

Doug and Skeeter decide they can wait a little while before they become famous. So that's the Bangin' on a Trash Can episode. Doug is the biggest pushover of all time. It would be funny to see the record contract Doug might get though. A record company would eat him alive and make him pay them to do it. He hasn't given up on the dream though, even though he just experienced how unhappy it will make him.


  1. A somewhat interesting thing about this episode is that this was I believe the first episode to feature my favorite extras in the entire series: The nameless tall, lanky guy and his friends cheering. That same shot was recycled in "Doug's Big Feat" and in "Doug Runs". If you've seen that shot in these three episodes, you'll know what I mean.

  2. I love "Bangin' on a Trashcan".

    There's some bad Beets continuity here. It's said they got to Killer Tofu after banging stuff for awhile. That's very early in the band's history. But when Doug moves to Bluffington, Killer Tofu is the brand new single. So either they wrote it in the early days and sat on it for a few years before releasing it (like "When I'm Sixty-Four"), or the early Beets albums were terrible.

  3. Or it was a "delayed hit." Kind of like the entire Pinkerton album by Weezer.

    I'm a little surprised you didn't mention Mr. Spackle's rickets. ;)


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