Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Vehicular Manslaughter)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Tim & Eric Do Lower Class America, and this one’s a doozy with one of the show’s most noteworthy guest star making their first appearance!  Oh, and don’t worry if none of what I’m about to describe makes any sense.  The whole point of this episode is that Tom is flying by the seat of his pants from one absurd situation to another, so a bit of confusion is to be expected!  Now then, the episode begins with the funeral of famed Renaissance Man Dr. Michael Ian Black (see what I mean?), who Tom is giving a Eulogy for under rather ambiguous circumstances.  CLEARLY this requires a flashback which is just what we get as Tom begins to remember the events that led up to this tragic moment.  It all starts with his latest scheme to be a true ENTREPRENEUR by trying to sell City Council on his new energy plan for Jefferton which will turn everyone’s crap into electricity!  I’m rather skeptical that Tom Peters has the engineering skills or the background in ANY related sciences to come up with a system of turning poop into power, but City Council seems to be behind the idea and is ready to move forward.

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“I’m Tom Peters, and I’m here to tell you what POO can do for YOU!”

It’s too bad they’re all under the thumb of Satan himself, also known as The Mayor, who wants Tom to first get some “independent third party verification” for his plan before they move forward.  What the hell is “independent third party verification”?  I have no idea, but I think The Mayor is ABSOLUTELY certain he needs it!  His plan appears to be two-fold, though with this being The Mayor we’re talking about, it’s always a bit unclear as to what his true intentions are.  Step one, he wants Tom to go on a local TV show called THAT’S AMAZING which looks like a cross between The Gong Show and a particularly sketch heavy episode of Conan.  I’m not sure why though considering the issue with his poop energy plan isn’t exposure or public support; it’s… whatever “independent third party verification” is, but that’s where step two comes in as it seems that The Mayor just might get a visitor who can help with that!

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“DUUUUUUDE!”     “DUUUUUUUUUUUDE!”     “Dude.”     “Dude?”     “DUDE!”     “DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-”

The Mayor’s surprise guest turns out to be Dr. Michael Ian Black (played by Michael Ian Black) who is an old friend of his and a big chunk of this episode is dedicated to the bromance between the two which is presented as an extremely exaggerated form of frat boy brotherhood and it serves the plot in so far as Tom feels completely alienated from the two and feels left out of the loop as far as what the hell is going on today.  If you remember that episode of The Simpsons where we get a flashback of Homer applying to the Nuclear Power Plant (I Married Marge), the whole bit with Smithers and his frat bro from Alpha Tau (BOW WOW WOW WOW!  BOW WOW WOW WOW!!) is the kind of shtick we’re working with here only taken to the Tim & Eric extreme.

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“What is love!?  Baby don’t hurt me!  Don’t hurt me!  No more!!”

With a plan somewhat established, the trio heads towards the site Tom is proposing for his fecal factory, but on the way there he crashes into Dr Michael Ian Black’s car and the good doctor ends up dying at the hospital.  No seriously, Tom is told by The Mayor that Dr. Michael Ian Black is dead and that the family wants to have him arrested.  This all comes out of nowhere in very quick succession, but it all works in putting the audience in Tom’s shoes as he’s getting jerked around as much as we are; completely lost in a series of events that he barely has any control over.  The Mayor eventually relays to Tom that the family is willing not to file murder charges IF he’s willing to give a Eulogy at Dr. Michael Ian Black’s funeral which SHOULD bring us all the way back to the beginning of the episode, right?  Well… not quite.  You see, Tom’s current work laptop (a tacky little toy computer called FUNputer) doesn’t have enough internal disk space to store both his energy plan AND the Eulogy he’s writing for Dr. Michael Ian Black.  It looks like he’ll have to choose between his dream of a clean energy future and not going to jail for murdering a dude, so he decides to delete the energy plan and put his rather aimless eulogy (along with a power point presentation) on the laptop so he has something to work with once he’s on stage.  Of course, it turns out to be for naught as Dr. Michael Ian Black is actually alive!  JEFFERTON SHOCK!!

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I was SO sure this is how The Book of Henry was going to end!

As it turns out, this was all just a game (much like The Game) and Tom really wasn’t responsible for a man’s death!  Instead, it was one big prank for the show That’s Amazing which I guess they’re doing instead of presenting Tom’s energy plan.  You know what?  It’s fine!  No one’s dead and no one’s going to jail, so even if he needlessly destroyed his energy plan for the city in the process, it’s probably the best outcome he could have hoped for.  Tom seems to be of the same mindset and just good naturedly congratulates The Mayor and Dr. Michael Ian Black on being such good pranksters; all the while hoping for all this to be over soon before some other horrifying twist of fate befalls him.

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“And for being such a good sporty, you win the prize!”     “Oh really?  What’s the prize?”     “NOTHING!  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!”     “Oh.  Well… fair enough.”

This episode was fine.  It had its moments and the dynamic between The Mayor and Dr. Michael Ian Black is solid, but it ultimately feels rather light and leans a bit too heavy into the absurdism for me to fully get behind.  Sure, not EVERY episode has to be a layered examination of the downfall of the American Middle Class, but less than lofty ambitions tend to lead to a less than stellar episode.  It’s still fun, but hardly the most memorable episode that this show has to offer; especially compared to the NEXT time Dr. Michael Ian Black shows up!  Don’t worry!  We’ll get to that one soon enough!

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The Recap Recap!!

Celebrities Galore

  • Michael Ian Black is nearly unrecognizable as the infamous Dr. Michael Ian Black who’s an old friend of The Mayor and LOVES messing with Tom!

Here’s Bobby!

  • Bob Odenkirk plays Bradley, the eccentric host of That’s Amazing! He tends to find most things amazing; including horrible pranks where you convince someone they’re a murderer!

Tom Who Now?

  • The Mayor as per usual has trouble remembering Tom’s name, but Dr. Michael Ian Black gives him the name Steven which The Mayor has no trouble remembering.

Fun Facts from the Commentary!
(NOTE: Since Tim & Eric are… well Tim & Eric, anything said on the DVD commentaries should PROBABLY be taken with a grain of salt)

  • Tim & Eric sent the team behind Stella (including Michael Ian Black) copies of their original skits, the same way they got the attention of Bob Odenkirk and the duo got e-mails saying they liked them.
  • The chant that The Mayor and Dr. Michael Ian Black have (“Ricka-ticka-tick-tock-tick-tock-tock!”) as well as the elaborate gestures were ALL put together in post. There are lots more footage of the two of them doing weird poses and saying random words that ended up hitting the cutting room floor as they were putting the chant together.

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The Bonus Screenshot

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Never before have I seen a hat that I so desperately needed!

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If you like this recap and plan on buying the show, then use the Amazon link below!  I’ll get a percentage of the order it helps keep things going for me here at The Reviewers Unite!  In fact, you don’t even need to buy the item listed!  Just use the link, shop normally, and when you check out it will still give us that sweet, sweet, percentage!  You can even bookmark the link and use it every time you shop!  HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?

Tom Goes to the Mayor – The Complete Series

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