Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inexplicable TV Review: The genius of Robot Chicken

Hey, did you realize that Robot Chicken is now in its fifth season? I didn't either really, until I was poking around for information about a specific skit on the Internetz.

I'm talking about "Table Be Round", a song that features a Sir Mix-A-Lot clone Sir Mix-A-Lot rapping about the reasons why King Arthur needed to switch from a conventional, rectangular table to a round table. In many ways, the song is an example of Robot Chicken at its best - A flippant merging of nerdy current junk pop culture (Sir Mix-A-Lot) and something "classic" nerdy pop culture (Sir Arthur).

Robot Chicken is pretty undecipherable unless you know something about 1970s to 2000s pop culture. Heck, they have two extra-long episodes devoted to just Star Wars, which makes the nerd in me rejoice. (My favorite part from those episodes? George Lucas trying to escape from ravenous fans.) Pretty much any significant comic or cartoon character from the 1980s and 1990s - Skeletor, Cobra Commander, the Smurfs, Thundercats, He-Man, Aquaman - has been on the show.

Also wonderful is the fact that Seth Green is the guy behind it all. Between his role as Chris on Family Guy and his heavy involvement in Robot Chicken, I guess he has quite the interest in animation. He obviously remains a popular guy with his former co-stars, since the voice talent they've used on the show is a vertifable who's who of 1990s stars - Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rachel Leigh Cook and even stars with just two names have been on the show frequently. (My favorite from this category? Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper, of course.)

Note: My plan to queue up some Baggage posts ran into some unfortunate problems, so I'm doing this on the fly instead. Sorry! I'm actually typing this during the train ride to New York City, which is a pretty sweet usage of technology, if I do say so myself.


  1. What I like about that "table be round" clip is that it's the perfect synthesis of my interests--my BA is in Medieval European history and I'm a pop culture fanatic. As a medievalist, I can say that it's a totally accurate depiction of the events described in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

  2. I'm in such weird love with Robot Chicken, but I am actually surprised that they've lasted five seasons. I never really expected it, because it doesn't reach a huge demographic other than us weirdos. Lol. But I guess there's plenty of us out there.

  3. @ Amber - I also expect historical accuracy when it comes to my Robot Chicken clips. I'm heartened to hear that they're not taking liberties with King Arthur and the round table.

  4. @ Christina - heh, Yeah, there are plenty of "us weirdos" out there :) I've actually found that of the Adult Swim shows, it gets the best response from my friends who are mostly into "normal" TV. It is a bit easier to digest than esoteric shows like Home Movies and The Venture Bros.


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