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 Toodle Day Part 2 as Tim & Eric have come up with ANOTHER wacky local holiday for the denizens of Jefferton to distract themselves with between the constant onslaught of disasters that Tom and The Mayor cause on a near weekly basis! The episode begins with Tom going to The Mayor with yet another as per usual, and yet something seems different this time. The Mayor picks up on it on it to and starts jabbing Tom in the eye with a giant stick; presumably because he sees Tom as some sort of threat that must be stopped, but luckily for Tom the SOMETHING DIFFERENT turns out to be one of his eyes which has been replace with one made of glass. Apparently he lost it while playing with his step-children which I can absolutely see happening considering this guy’s luck, but I am surprised that his terrible insurance policy seems to have scrounged up enough money to put something into the socket, especially considering prosthetic eyes nowadays cost about two grand. Who knows, maybe he bought it used or found it lying in the parking lot.
So aside from showing off his new eye, what is it that brings Tom to The Mayor’s office this day? Well it seems that he’s suddenly gotten very empathetic to the plight of those without eyes and has started working with a glass eye manufacture called The Donnington Group. In a helpful video that Tom shows The Mayor which is being narrated by an EXTREMELY nervous Dr. Dave Foley (Dave Foley), it looks like for a mere dime that you can send one factory imperfect eye to a child in need which actually sounds like a pretty good deal. Heck, shipping alone is gonna cost more than that, so I guess Tom is finally onto something that’ll make a real difference in the world, right? Yeah, of course not. Despite the video saying that only a dime donation is needed per eye, apparently Tom is part of a much more convoluted scheme that it doesn’t sound like HE came up with per se, but he’s certainly going along with it. Instead of taking direct cash donations to give to the Donnington Group, Tom is part of a hoagie sale cooked up by an organization called Two Eyes for the Third World, and the profits from the hoagie sale are then funneled to The Donnington Group albeit at a much smaller return of investment since each sold hoagie only nets a single glass eye. Hey, at least those hoagies look pretty delicious!
Now I actually like the idea of Tim & Eric taking aim at wasteful charities that spend most (or at least a significant amount) of their fundraising on personal expenses and “operational costs”, but unfortunately this episode doesn’t really zero in on that the same way that Porcelain Birds does with its central conceit. Instead we switch gears entirely as it turns out that the charity is ALSO part of one of Jefferton’s yearly events known as the Father Son Barrel Goat Hunt, and we primarily focus on that for the rest of the episode. Tom has to sell a hundred hoagies before the Goat Hunt in order for this to be a net positive for the kids, and he manages to sell one to The Mayor which I believe makes this the only time they’ve ever managed to have a successful business transaction. In fact, The Mayor is SO happy with his hoagie that he comes by Tom’s house late that night in order to buy even more from the guy. Oh, and for some reason he decided to replace both his eyes with glass ones. I’m not sure what that’s about (it seems that he believes Tom TOLD him to do it), but in any case the point is rather moot as The Mayor’s quest for another hoagie is tragically cut short. It seems that City Council has cancelled the Goat Hunt on the grounds of it being EXTREMELY dangerous (not that hard to believe when it involves shooting goats with a bow and arrow), and so Tom is no longer doing the hoagie sale. No more Goat Hunt, no more hoagies, and no more hoagies for The Mayor. Now obviously he could just go and buy a hoagie somewhere else, but if he manages to get the Goat Hunt up and running again, he can get his sandwich AND cause the death of innocents, so it’s basically a win-win for him! But how do you get a local government to go against the interest of its own citizens? Hmm… well I guess we’ll have to go to the Republican playbook and appeal to their sense of country and tradition with a nice does of fear mongering about Barrel Goats!
Well actually The Mayor doesn’t even have to go THAT far because the members of City Council are notorious pushovers and basically cave immediately to The Mayor’s demands and getting a small if ultimately meaningless concession in the process! I guess they’re going with the Democrat playbook there, though in THIS case they at least had the numbers to truly oppose him which makes their capitulation that much worse. That concession by the way is to keep the goat massacre localized to Jefferton Park which of course is probably not gonna happen, but at this point I think they’ve given up hope on ever keeping this guy from enacting policies that cause grievous bodily harm. In any case, this means that the hoagie sale is back on and that Tom can sell The Mayor some more hoagies; ending his involvement in this whole charade, right? Yeah, of course not… again. I guess The Mayor wants to participate in the Goat Hunt as well and drafts Tom to be his Shepard which means he holds the goat down while The Mayor pierces its adorable little eye with an arrow. Any chance to get some quality time with The Mayor though, right? Tom agrees to help him murder an animal and the two camp out the night before so they can wake up bright and early in the middle of the park and have first dibs on whatever goats the city was able to scrounge up. As an added bonus, The Donnington Group recorded another video with Dr. Dave Foley congratulating Jefferton for making such an effort to raise money for the cause; that cause being getting them much richer and then handing out poorly made eyeballs to a few poor kids. Oh well, at least the city of Jefferton did SOMETHING to help the children even if there’s a high chance that this dangerous event will kill off a few of their own.
And so the hunt begins with a catchy tune sung by Jefferton’s own Married New Team Jan and Wayne Skylar to accompany the wanton blood lust! Said blood lust might just be justified however as the goats break out of their ramshackle enclosure pretty much immediately so it basically becomes a battle of us vs them! Goat vs Man for the safety of the streets of Jefferton! Tom and The Mayor hope on the latter’s motorized scooter and start to chase one of them down with Tom as the backstreet driver considering The Mayor can’t see any more now that he has two glass eyes. Miraculously they manage to corner the goat in an alley without causing much damage and Tom is tasked with holding the poor creature down while The Mayor takes aim with a bow and arrow. If you can’t see the problem with this (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk), well then I guess I’ll just have to tell you that The Mayor’s arrow does NOT pierce the heart of the defenseless goat but instead (after some impressive ricocheting) manages to get Tom square in his remaining eye. Immediately after impact and a cut to black, we fade back in one week later where Tom has made some… interesting decisions since losing the other eye. Instead of coughing up the money for a second glass eye, he instead completely uproots himself and moves to an unspecified third world country so that he can live there for one year which will qualify him to receive a free off model surplus eye from The Donnington Group. I mean for someone so poor that they have to be poor in another country to qualify for free medical care (wouldn’t he qualify for Medicaid in the US?), he sure didn’t seem to have a problem booking an international flight which even Tim Heidecker points out as an obvious flaw in Tom’s plan in the audio commentary! Then again, I could see his wife Joy gladly forking over the cash to send his ass halfway across the globe where he wouldn’t be a constant nuisance to her. And so the episode ends with Tom writing a postcard back to his lady love about his time in this new country and wishing to be back soon; a postcard I’m sure will find itself in the trash as soon as it arrives!
This episode certainly has its charm and if you really pay attention to it you start to appreciate the utter absurdity packed into every moment of this, and yet it’s still kind of forgettable in the grand scheme of things. Nothing in particular stands out as a DEFINING MOMENT of the series, and the rather lackluster conclusion really drained my enthusiasm and colors my feelings on the episode quite a bit. Maybe if they split this up into two episodes with one being about a charity and other being about the Father Son Barrel Goat Hunt, this might have had more time to really develop those stories and give us something more memorable. Then again, the charity story would probably be too reminiscent of the Porcelain Birds episode, and while the few minutes we get of the Barrel Goat Hunt are MUCH better than anything we saw in Toodle Day, the comparisons between the two would be a bit too obvious. I don’t hate this episode or even particularly dislike it, and maybe if the series had gone on for more than two seasons than I’d be more forgiving of something that feels so disposable. Being one of only thirty episodes however means that it’s rather ho-hum plotting stands out a bit more than it should even if this show at its most middling is still rather entertaining. Still, you’ve got to give points to any episode willing to cause some serious injury to Tom Peters! That’s ALWAYS a hoot!
The Recap Recap!!
- Dave Foley plays the perpetually nervous and never camera ready Dr. Dave Foley from The Donnington Group who seems to recoil in physical pain when asked to show even the slightest bit of enthusiasm on screen.
- Bob Odenkirk shows up briefly in the Donnington Group video where his face is superimposed onto a dime.
Tom Who Now?
- Nothing manages to mess up Tom’s name this time around; not even the postcard he’s writing on! If it weren’t for the repeated eye injuries, I’d almost say his luck had started to turn around!
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)
- This episode was one of the first they worked on in season 2, but rewrites kept pushing it back further into the season.
- Bob Odenkirk sits in on the commentary where he talks about the second pilot for Tom Goes to the Mayor. According to Bob, he wanted them to have a famous comedian in it which would make the pilot that much more attractive to networks; hence why David Cross was in that video.
- Originally the pitched the pilot to be an interstitial series, but Adult Swim wanted them to turn it into a whole series which was more than Tim & Eric could have imagined and was certainly a daunting task.
- Bob’s name carried a lot of weight in the first season which is how they got a lot of the guest stars, but by season 2 the show was big enough that it started attracting guests on its own reputation.
- The fact that Tom gets horribly injured and yet at the very end sends a post card saying I’m Sorry is to Tim Heidecker the perfect summary of Tom’s character.
The Bonus Screenshot