Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (My Big Cups)

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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 Tom Peters in the Jungle where our lovable loser tries his hand at the unforgiving world of local art!  I’m SURE he’s got at least ONE creative bone in his body!  Have you seen the way he dresses!?  Only a utter fool or a total GENIUS would try to pull off a poorly fitting vest like that!  The episode begins with Good ol’ Tom Peters visiting his best buddy The Mayor who’s a bit more distracted than usual due to the fact that Jefferton will be celebrating its thirtieth anniversary and he’s having trouble choosing an artist to make the official town painting.  Now normally Tom would jump on an opportunity like this despite his utter lack of talent, but the episode throws us a curveball as Tom seems to have an ACTUAL job this time around!  He seems to have opened up a franchise in the mall for a place called My Big Cups, and he was hoping The Mayor could stop by to give the place a bit of publicity which will hopefully drum up a few sales.  I’m not sure why his store needs it though because they already have AMAZING commercials with the one and only Sir Mix-A-Lot doing their jingle!

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“I like big CUPS, and I cannot lie!!”

This commercial by the way is brilliant and not just because they got Sir Mix-A-Lot to write a song for it.  At one point they have the crappy on the street testimonials you’ll see in a lot of commercials, and every time I watch this I get deja-vu of when I used to stay up WAY too late watching Comedy Central and inevitably there’ll be an advertisement for something called ExtenZe; a penis enlargement pill so shitty that they got sued multiple times for false advertising AND it even got someone banned from the Olympics as it contains DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) which is considered a performance enhancing drug.  Even so, those commercials would always play and everyone ALWAYS said the same thing; “things are bigger now”.  It’s so CLEARLY bullshit too, and not just because the pills are utter garbage!  Why would they be getting testimonials from people ON THE STREET when it’s a very specific pill you need to order!?  What, did the camera crew just go through fifty or so people asking if they took this one pill before they found someone who ACTUALLY used it who just so happened to use the same phrases as EVERYONE else they talked to?  You totally get the same vibe here as the testimonials that Tim & Eric got for this bit were just them asking people if they’d say “big cups” into a camera.  Despite its pitch perfect depiction of late night garbage commercials the advertisement doesn’t seem to be doing much for Tom’s store as his only customer that day is The Mayor.  At least he bought a bunch of stuff (and seemingly paid with REAL money this time), but Tom is left all alone to stare at the wall waiting for his shift to end or for him to die of boredom.  Whichever comes first!

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“I wonder if that friendly Cinnabon manager feels like this sometimes.  His mustache is so adorable!”

However, all is not lost for Tom as he gets a phone call from The Mayor later that night where he learns that The Mayor wants to award Tom the five hundred dollar commission to come up with a new town painting!  Well that seems a bit out of the blue, doesn’t it?  Well… not quite.  You see, inside the store Tom had hung up a macaroni painting that one of his step sons made and The Mayor was both quite taken with it and unable to comprehend that Tom hadn’t made it himself.  Well that’s all trivial details, right?  I mean Tom can slap together some Macaroni on a piece of construction paper and call it a day!  Well… no.  Apparently he’s so lacking in even the most rudimentary of artistic skills that he ends up dragging all three of his step children to the store after hours so they can do the new painting for him.  WHAT A WONDERFUL PARENT!!

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“Now let’s all put on our happy faces and get to pasta-rific fun before your mom files the divorce papers!”

It takes a bit of doing (and some HILARIOUS hijinks once The Mayor stops by to check on his progress) but the kids eventually manage to cobble something together for the celebration.  The problem is though that Tom failed to bring his children BACK HOME at any point and ALSO failed to tell Joy he was doing this.  She is absolutely (and rightfully) LIVID over his irresponsible behavior and is determined to hunt that bastard down and have his ass arrested for kidnapping!  GOOD FOR YOU!  Teach that loser a lesson about being a proper adult!  Joy is still an unfortunate blight on this series in that she still mostly exists just to be a fat joke and another aspect of Tom’s miserable existence, but the show manages to every once in a while give her something to do that shows a bit more nuance and respect for this character than… well the REST of her screen time seems to indicate.

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“Oh I’m filing those divorce papers.  You bet your ASS I’m filing those divorce papers!”

While Joy is on the way to confront her husband, everyone (by which I mean maybe fifteen people) are at Gulliver’s Buffet enjoying the festivities and eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the town’s newest painting!  Well they aren’t THAT excited as even City Council can barely stay awake during this snooze fest, but the sooner they give Tom the spotlight the sooner they all get to go home.  Speaking of which, the jerk couldn’t even be bothered to drive his kids home as they’re passed out on the floor instead of in their beds or potentially at school if this is a weekday.  Right as Tom is revealing the painting, Joy smashes through the front door and accuses him of kidnapping AS WELL as fraud because she recognizes the art style of the new painting as her son’s; a fact by the way that The Mayor JUST SO HAPPENS to grasp even though he completely ignored it when Tom was saying it earlier.  Things look bad for Tom considering all eyes are on him now that his dirty laundry has been publicly aired, but as luck would have it Tom’s business pager starts to beep, and so The Mayor uses this to pretend the fire alarm just went off.  No one really buys it, even after The Mayor starts spraying people down with a fire extinguisher, but Tom takes this as some sort of victory and the episode just… ends.  Okay then.

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I sat through this episode and all I got was this lousy painting…

Yeah, this doesn’t have THE BEST ending as it just kind of runs out of steam, but this is still a solid enough episode of the series.  There’s no real message behind it or social commentary, but it’s always good to be reminded of just how poor of a father Tom is despite (though most likely BECAUSE OF) his NICE GUYTM façade.  He puts on the act of being a good person with big smiles, a non-threatening demeanor, and the word choice of a lousy motivational speaker, but he’s also a selfish jerk who won’t stand up for himself and drags everyone else down with him because of it.  The Mayor himself even comes off better than Tom here as his usual sinister shtick is downplayed to the point where he’s pretty much just clueless which is fine enough I guess (we don’t want to take too much focus away from Tom and his sins), but means he’s not as interesting to watch here as he is in other episodes.  It’s an episode that works for the most part with very little fat to trim or dull moments to slow things down, though I do tend to like the show better when it has something more to say than how much Tom sucks.

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The Recap Recap!!

Celebrities Galore

  • Sir Mix-a-Lot is the spokesperson for My Big Cups and even composes a jingle for one of the commercials!

Here’s Bobby!

  • Sadly Bob Odenkirk couldn’t make it to the celebration, but I’m sure he sends his best regards!

Tom Who Now?

  • During the Married News Broadcast where they announce the winner of the painting contest, the graphic on screen refers to Tom as Thom P Tiers.

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)

  • There was supposed to be subplot where My Big Cups was crushed by their main competitor, Mr. Quelch, once they released a full two liter cup which was 0.2 liters bigger than the My Big Cups cups.
  • The song Sir Mix-a-Lot recorded as well as the green screen footage of him was not recorded in the show’s studio but at Sir Mix-a-Lot’s home in Seattle.
  • They thought about getting Flavor Flav initially, but even back in 2005 he was considered passé.
  • One idea they had for the ending was for Tom to use the five hundred dollar prize to buy a Sir Mix-a-Lot standee that sang a filthy version of the My Big Cups commercial. They actually recorded that song and you can listen to it in on the DVD’s special features.
  • Tim Heidecker isn’t too fond of the ending either as a lot of information has to be condensed in a very short amount of time.

The Bonus Screenshot

 

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You’re technique could use some work but keep trying, Jan!

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