WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Is Arrested Development one of the funniest, weirdest, best TV shows ever made? No question. Am I eagerly awaiting the return of Arrested Development on Netflix this weekend? You know it, bro. Can Arrested Development sometimes drop a miserable crud-bomb of a joke that makes me squirm with embarrassment for everyone involved? Emphatically, yes.

Here are four Arrested Development bits I've been trying really hard to forget. Let's hope Mitchell Hurwitz et al. don't force me to remember.


The chicken thing. Never before in history have so many funny performers made such great efforts to be funny for a bit that was so unfunny. And then did it again, and again, and again. As commentary on chicken issues goes, it's only slightly less painful than Morrissey comparing the Norway mass shootings to KFC.
 


"Big Yellow Joint". The '60s version is just kind of limp and dull, but the "punk" version is absolutely unendurable. The problem isn't that it's obnoxious; it's obnoxious in exactly the wrong way, like what a sexagenarian TV writer with a grey ponytail might imagine a punk band sounds like.
 


Motherboy, the band. Another deeply stupid stab at pop-culture satire. Motherboy doesn't sound like an '80s metal band's name, the photo is a '70s glam-prog kind of thing, and none of is remotely funny. Another case of grey-ponytail syndrome?
 


"Marry me." Mildly cute once, sort of. Not so adorable the 73rd time. I guess I just don't get it, especially as a way of deflecting further scrutiny. Wouldn't you consider someone who just blurted out "marry me" mentally ill? Wouldn't it make you a little more concerned?

If it seems unfair to the show's creators to dwell on a couple of lousy minutes from 53 otherwise brilliant episodes, believe me, writing this piece has hurt me more than I could possibly hurt them. And I'll still be bouncing up and down on my couch with glee when the first new episode rolls.

pburow


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pburow

I will allow 3 of the 4 criticisms. But the chicken nuggets are funny. Good Day

Guitarpick8120


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Guitarpick8120

At first read through, I thought you were being sarcastic with this list. Not only are these not bad bits, but a couple of them are fantastic if you get the references.

1) The chicken dances are hilarious in that 4 members of the family (Gob, Lindsay, Lucille, and George) each have their own ridiculous (and ridiculously WRONG) impression of a chicken. THEY think they're taunting Michael and insulting him, but because their motions are so ludicrous, they're humiliating themselves more than they ever could Michael.

2) I wouldn't have even listed "Big Yellow Joint" as a "bit" (good or bad) since it was more of a musical motif used during scenes that dealt or referenced drugs. It's no different than the Mexican music plays when the brothers start fighting each other or "The Final Countdown" anytime magic is seen or discussed.

3) The Motherboy bit works on two levels, and I feel like you skipped both of them and focused on the obvious red-herring.

Firstly, it's a jab at the fact that late 80s/early 90s hip-hop group "Arrested Development" sued Fox because of the name. Hence why RH narrates in reference to Motherboy the band is different than the Mother/Son thing by saying "we are legally obligated to make the distinction."

Secondly, the fact that that band in the picture looks like a cheesy 70s glam-prog band is a reference to the fact that Jethro Tull won the first ever Grammy for the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category. They beat actual metal group Metallica, and chose not to even show up because they not only didn't think they'd win, but were surprised they were even nominated because they were a (you guessed it) a 70s prog-rock group!

4) "Marry Me," I feel, is like the whole "Annyong" bit in that the joke IS that it's overplayed and done to death. And because Maeby kept using it, it got her in trouble (once with Michael: "I'm sorry, I forgot who I was talking to." And once with the overeager production assistant on the film lot: "...and might I add 'marry me?'" "Ok!")

Huh, yeah, hah, like the guy who's re-watched this shows more times than he cares to admit is going to just let you badmouth some really clever jokes... COME ON!

squatchy


quality posts: 5 Private Messages squatchy

I love the chicken dances!

vichussmith


quality posts: 0 Private Messages vichussmith

The chicken joke is GREAT!

I love their hideous interpretations of what a chicken sounds like. As time went on, we got to see everyone's chicken dance, culminating in all of them doing it.


The original Big Yellow Joint sounds like it's to the tune of Alice's Restaurant. I don't recall the punk version.


You're talking about mental insanity when it comes to Arrested Development characters? For real?

I am me.

ajohnson1


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ajohnson1

You've made a huge mistake.

McGuffy


quality posts: 7 Private Messages McGuffy

The one bit that tv viewers overwhelmingly agree does not work: Arrested Development.

"There are 2 types of people in the world: Those can extrapolate from incomplete data."

kh99


quality posts: 8 Private Messages kh99

There's no rule that says everyone has to like the show. Reading your list of things that "don't work", I think you should just not bother watching the show because it isn't your thing. I guess not everyone gets it.

zugdar


quality posts: 0 Private Messages zugdar

I have 4 words for you sir.

Coo Coo Cha Chawwww!

jethroboom


quality posts: 2 Private Messages jethroboom

2 and 3 I don't even acknowledge anymore. 1 is hilarious, sorry it annoys you. 4 you're dead on, though, that is how it is supposed to be. Not everyone can be a good writer, let alone a good comedic writer.

sunnyx0r


quality posts: 9 Private Messages sunnyx0r

The chicken thing is one of the funniest things I've seen on TV. "Has anyone in this family even seen a chicken?" I also disagree with you on #4 in that, yeah, sometimes it falls flat, but it is also frequently quite funny. #3 I'll grant you. And honestly I'm not even sure what the reference is in #2.

brassy5000


quality posts: 0 Private Messages brassy5000

Sometimes I feel like maybe this article was written by a grey ponytail?

kwdragon


quality posts: 5 Private Messages kwdragon

I, too, am over the chicken impressions. I laughed the first dozen times, and groan on each subsequent retell.

However, I love Maeby's line, especially when she misuses it, as a kid would be likely to do. Concerns about grey ponytails doing the writing? I am more concerned that the testosterone-impaired are the ones not getting this joke.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemingway

nathan1342


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nathan1342

I really hope you are being sarcastic here....these are all hilarious bits. My opinion of Woot just dropped quite a bit.

mdonovan227


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mdonovan227

At first I thought this article was a joke because it's way too off to be written in sincerity ... I KNOW there is more intelligence in that office than this article shows, but the Woot damage is done in my eyes. Disagree with it all.

kdar


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kdar

Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and say the chicken dances are comedy gold. And as for the "Marry me" thing, I didn't always love it, but when Michael says it to Nellie, and follows up with "That's wrong on so many levels..." it kills me.

farinuts


quality posts: 0 Private Messages farinuts

Interesting. Jason, what are some of the successful bits you've written for TV?

matgee04


quality posts: 0 Private Messages matgee04

I'm pumped!!

pmatuszak


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pmatuszak

You are way off on the chicken thing, and judging by the responses i'm not alone in my thinking, they are great. The big yellow joint for sure though is weak.

wxcampbell


quality posts: 0 Private Messages wxcampbell

You'll be jumping up and down on your couch... probably looking like a God Damn Chicken.

Gatzby


quality posts: 43 Private Messages Gatzby

Can someone explain why the chicken bit is so funny? I'm largely with Jason on this one, as I just kinda found it annoying, but I'm open to explanations.

And yeah, I know, explaining a joke usually kills it, but I'm curious about the other perspective.

Did you know shirt.woot ships internationally? Get you some!
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ThatPoshGirl


quality posts: 32 Private Messages ThatPoshGirl
Gatzby wrote:Can someone explain why the chicken bit is so funny? I'm largely with Jason on this one, as I just kinda found it annoying, but I'm open to explanations.

And yeah, I know, explaining a joke usually kills it, but I'm curious about the other perspective.



A coodle doodle doo!

riv413


quality posts: 2 Private Messages riv413

Says the staffer of the company that has a chicken dance joke as the #4 shirt on their t-shirt site.

scooterdeb


quality posts: 0 Private Messages scooterdeb

The reason *I* find it funny is because the other characters aren't trying to BE funny. There absolutely no self-awareness on their part that the actions/motions they are making aren't actions/motions made by actual chickens.

They really think they are "acting out" real chickens, and Michael is the only person who knows what they're doing isn't remotely chicken-related. This is why he finally asks, "Has anyone in this family even SEEN a chicken?"

No, they haven't. But this is what they've always done when they want to taunt Michael and call him a chicken. He will never be able to convince them that what they're doing isn't being true to chickens... much like his frustration with a lot of their behavior in the rest of the show.


Gatzby wrote:Can someone explain why the chicken bit is so funny? I'm largely with Jason on this one, as I just kinda found it annoying, but I'm open to explanations.

And yeah, I know, explaining a joke usually kills it, but I'm curious about the other perspective.



aramis525


quality posts: 8 Private Messages aramis525
Gatzby wrote:Can someone explain why the chicken bit is so funny?



Because it is.

nimicohgr


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nimicohgr

The chicken dances are amazing. Have any of you ever SEEN a chicken?

dootsie


quality posts: 3 Private Messages dootsie

Is the "Marry Me" thing supposed to be funny? I thought it was more like a "this character is quirky" thing which only became funny when Michael did it.

cappomutato


quality posts: 19 Private Messages cappomutato

You're selling 5 fingered shoes. Maybe you should leave the comedy to the pros.

yay taco

kdar


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kdar
Gatzby wrote:Can someone explain why the chicken bit is so funny? I'm largely with Jason on this one, as I just kinda found it annoying, but I'm open to explanations.



Like someone posted ahead of me, it's funny in that it illustrates the obliviousness of the Bluthe's.

On the other side of why it's freaking hilarious: Will Arnett SELLS IT. His complete dedication to that chicken dance is incredible, enviable even. The other characters' dances are more funny in that you realize this complete inability to do a chicken dance is genetic.

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

Like I said, y'all, I love the show. I've watched every episode a dozen times. I named my daughter Tobias Fünke Toon. I've got a full-size Fathead decal of Tony Wonder on the ceiling above my bed. But these bits just don't do it for me. Believe me, I wish they did.

farinuts wrote:Interesting. Jason, what are some of the successful bits you've written for TV?



I'm assuming you've never written a TV show as successful as, I dunno, Full House. Do you consider Full House beyond criticism...?

Guitarpick8120 wrote:The Motherboy bit works on two levels, and I feel like you skipped both of them and focused on the obvious red-herring.

Firstly, it's a jab at the fact that late 80s/early 90s hip-hop group "Arrested Development" sued Fox because of the name. Hence why RH narrates in reference to Motherboy the band is different than the Mother/Son thing by saying "we are legally obligated to make the distinction."

Secondly, the fact that that band in the picture looks like a cheesy 70s glam-prog band is a reference to the fact that Jethro Tull won the first ever Grammy for the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category. They beat actual metal group Metallica, and chose not to even show up because they not only didn't think they'd win, but were surprised they were even nominated because they were a (you guessed it) a 70s prog-rock group!



I got the "legally obligated" reference to the hip-hop Arrested Development, but the Tull/Grammy thing, dude... I think maybe you've given this more thought than the writers did. Happens to me all the time with stuff I'm really into. It's the curse of the superfan.

Moueska


quality posts: 54 Private Messages Moueska
dootsie wrote:Is the "Marry Me" thing supposed to be funny? I thought it was more like a "this character is quirky" thing which only became funny when Michael did it.



I'm with dootsie.

I've also had it done to me, seen it done by others, and probably did it to a fictional character myself.

kingoffools13


quality posts: 1 Private Messages kingoffools13
ajohnson1 wrote:You've made a huge mistake.



this one made me laugh ... now i'm imagining the OP walking away with slumped shoulders to a slow vince guaraldi music

wyatt23


quality posts: 0 Private Messages wyatt23

HAS ANYONE IN THIS FAMILY EVER SEEN A CHICKEN!?

outus


quality posts: 0 Private Messages outus

This was just trolling for fans of AR. Made us look. And post.

tatchin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages tatchin

Yikes. Maybe we should stick to selling discount t-shirts?...

gustador


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gustador

When my first son was a baby I showed him all 4 Bluth chickens. He smiled and laughed the loudest at Gob's.

Kaw-ka-law! Kaw-ka-kaw!

blackjack96


quality posts: 0 Private Messages blackjack96

Woot = Great at deals, terrible at comedy.

acrizer


quality posts: 2 Private Messages acrizer

Booo!

Only worth three o's.

jrwofuga


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jrwofuga

Yes, someone please explain why the chicken dance, GOB's especially, is so funny. And while you're at it, what was with that Chaplin guy as well? Explain his deal.

AD is one of the funniest shows ever. I know the poster said he/she is a fan, so fair enough, and I can maybe understand the "marry me" joke . . . but i hadn't heard of any AD fan not loving the chicken dance.

I bet you wouldn't have the guts to say this around Lucille. . .

dotcomaphobe


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dotcomaphobe

Let it be known that if you ever wish to get into a fight on the internets, all you have to do is bad-mouth a teensy part of Arrested Development.

The more you know...