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’s Dirty Jobs as the duo tackles the mindless toil of regular employment; something Tom seems quite unfamiliar with given how rarely we see him ACTUALLY working rather than indulging The Mayor and his latest scheme! The episode begins with good ol’ Tom Peters making his usual trip to The Mayor for a quick “how do you do”, though this time he comes baring gifts in the form of a fruit basket and his updated résumé! He even changed the font this time around to be THAT much more professional looking… which admittedly is STILL an uphill battle when you consider he printed it out on a sky blue pieces of paper, but he’s got that go getter attitude that all the Fortune 500 companies are looking for! However, Tom’s renewed interest in employment doesn’t seem to be driven by a desire to support his family or have something to do during the day time. Rather, one of his step-sons has a career day coming up and he wants to have something to present to the class other than being a mooch at home and a stooge for The Mayor. Speaking of whom, the resume (if nothing else) appears to amuse him greatly since he is completely incapable of hiding his mirth at what has been presented to him, and this turns out to be quite the boon for good ol’ Tom as he now thinks that said deadbeat would be a perfect fit for a CEO position at Jefferton’s Department of Special Projects! What is The Department of Special Projects, you may ask? HA HA!! As if I need to tell YOU! EVERYONE is talking about The Department of Special Projects and their goals to exceed market share saturation into the twenty first century! Maybe this video presentation will jog your memory!
This promotional video by the way is scarily spot on for the kinds of video training you’d be forced to sit through for any sort of professional company. Those Wendy’s videos like Hot Drinks? Yeah, that’s the HIGH bar for these things. That aside, WOW Tom! CEO! All these months of ass kissing, spineless capitulation, and working for free on ridiculous schemes has FINALLY paid off! It’s like an unpaid internship that ACTUALLY worked out! With this new position secured and a bright future ahead of him, Tome goes out to buy a suit to match his title (bolo-tie included) as well as a cow skin briefcase that just SCREAMS high class! Sure they’re a bit pricy, but you’ve got to make a great first impression, am I right!? It certainly seems to be the right move here as Tom arrives at The Department of Special Projects to meet his destiny and is greeted with THUNDEROUS applause as everyone has gathered to see their shiny new God (as well as his designer briefcase) grace the premises! Even The Mayor has managed to take time out of his very busy schedule of writing horrible legislation and watching public access television to give Tom a proper meet and greet for his first day on the job! All of this is happening so fast and Tom is so overwhelmed with emotion that he can’t help but give a tearful and inspirational speech to everyone there.
And with that, Tom begins his new life as a CEO! I’m guessing he has no clue what that actually entails, but darn it; he’s gonna give it his all! He struts into the executive elevator, uses his keycard to set it for the right floor, and starts thinking up brilliant ideas while waiting for his destination! Sure is weird that he’s going down instead of up though. Uh oh. When he arrives at his designated floor, he finds not the shining hallways lined with potted plants, water coolers, and framed photos of CEOs past; rather he’s left to stare at a mine of some sort where a huge number of Louie Andersons are toiling away. It looks like Tom was mistaken about what his job was going to be! The Mayor lied to him! WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING!?
To be fair Tom, you REALLY didn’t have the qualification to be CEO of anything AND you know what The Mayor’s game is, so you should have seen this outcome from a mile off. Despite how obvious this revelation is, Tom is STILL completely befuddled and makes a call to The Mayor to find out what the hooey is going on! Well it looks like the misunderstanding is that CEO doesn’t mean Chief Executive Officer; rather it means Certified minEr On-duty. Wait, how exactly is Tom certified if he didn’t even know what his job was going to be!? Doesn’t he at least need to take a written exam!? Well even if he’s not “qualified” or “competent”, Tom tries to make the most of his new position which at least shows a modicum of responsibility that we rarely get to see from the guy. Sadly though, the job turns out to be an absurdly monotonous grind and it’s hard to take pride in it considering no one actually knows what the hell it is they’re even digging for. When he asks one of his fellow miners about it (all of whom are played by Louie Anderson), it becomes clear that this is one big welfare program that’s sucking out the town’s budget while they all just mindlessly toil in the tunnels beneath the city and the fat cats up top get nice bonuses. I mean sure, we need to make certain that our country’s supply of Louie Andersons are well taken care of, but I can’t help but think there’s a better and more cost effective way of doing that! Heck, the egregious spending is getting so out of hand that even The Married News Team is starting to look into it; though Jan’s investigative journalism skills leave a lot to be desired as her only real idea is to repeatedly grill Wayne about it; a guy who knows literally nothing about what they’re talking about. Still, it’s a steady job that Tom isn’t COMPLETELY failing at, and with an ACTUAL occupation to call his own he can hang his head up high when he goes to his son’s career day… right? Yeah, of course not. For whatever reason, he’s very self-conscious about his new job to the point of having straight up nightmares about it. Sure, I wake up most nights screaming in existential horror about my 9 to 5, but you don’t see ME whining about it!!
And look, it’d be one thing if he ACTUALLY felt unfit for the position or objected to it on some sort of moral ground, but that’s not the case here! He feels ashamed about being a miner because he thinks it’s beneath him; so much so that he wakes his children up in the middle of the night to confess that he’s NOT a high powered CEO but is instead a “filthy” miner. FILTHY miner!? Geez, way to talk shit about the Louie Andersons you work with! Naturally the guy also called The Mayor to resign so I guess Tom’s plan for career day is to bullshit about being an entrepreneur or something and keep doing bullshit odd jobs for The Mayor. Speaking of whom, it JUST SO HAPPENS that that very night that The Department of Special Projects ACTUALLY found what they were looking for and now The Mayor is calling everyone to the center of town to bask in the glory of their amazing discovery! No, it’s not the Arc of the Covenant even though The Mayor could easily pass as Major Toht. What it was they were actually digging for was… The Mayor’s time capsule from 1990!
Hm… You know what, Tom? Forget what I said. You ABSOLUTELY called it and honestly should have left that job sooner.
This episode was just fine. It’s not one of the more memorable ones which is a bit disappointing considering how rarely Tom has an adventure that has The Mayor as a tertiary player, but the episode never really gets going and kind of just peters out instead of ramping up to anything great. Tom’s main conflict in here is being bored which granted is something many of us can relate to in our day jobs, but it never manifests into anything particularly interesting. Tom is just not happy being a miner and ends up quitting his job. That’s it! There’s not a lot of social commentary to chew on either as even the idea of government pork spending is barely touched on and doesn’t affect Tom in the slightest. At least with Pipe Camp, he KNEW how wrong it was and got justly punished for it in the end. Still, it has a stellar opening some very creative visuals, and I like the anti-climax that is The Mayor’s time capsule at the very end. Not a bad episode, but certainly one that could have used some more stakes and at least one serious injury to Tom!
The Recap Recap!!
- Michael Hitchcock shows up early on as the enthusiastic salesperson who sells Tom his bolo tie and cow skin briefcase.
- Louie Anderson plays all the CEOs in The Department of Special Projects who show Tom the ropes and laugh in his face whenever he starts asking questions.
- Bob Odenkirk makes a brief cameo in Tom’s dream; singing to him about how great he is before things start to fall apart and Louie Anderson breaks through the wall.
Tom Who Now?
- The Department of Special Projects has a banner for Tom’s big arrival that says Tom Petters.
- The Department of Special Projects has a plaque for him set up in the lobby that spells his name Tom Peeturs.
- His elevator pass has his name spelled Tom P Teers.
- The elevator itself has a built in voice that calls him Tom Peatres.
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)
- Okay, TECHNICALLY this isn’t mentioned on the commentary, but if you take a look at Tom’s résumé you’ll see references to his time as vice mayor in Vice Mayor but also to jobs he has in future episodes like CNE and Zoo Troube. This is probably due to the air date of episodes in the second season varying wildly from the production order as this episode was made much later than those two.
- Fans have pointed out that Tom’s address changes throughout the series, and the only answer we get on the commentary for this is that they kept forgetting what address they had already used in prior episodes.
- Louie Anderson was originally gonna have a larger part, but his role was greatly diminished during rewrites.
The Bonus Screenshot