Sunday, February 10, 2008
Five Best...Ongoing Jokes on Arrested Development
Two years ago today, Arrested Development had its series finale. On that fatal day of February 10, 2006, Fox showed the final four episode in a two-hour block. My Mom and I TiVo'd those episodes, and we waited over a month to watch them because we didn't want the show to end.
Well, we eventually did watched them, but Arrested is now more of my life than ever before. I've got two friends, Kayley and Nadia, who I can quote the show with, and there's even rumors of an Arrested Development movie.
The show works like an in-joke: it's not funny unless you spend a lot of time with the Bluth Family, but once you do, you feel special, like you're part of something that very few others are.
If I could suggest one show for someone to watch, it'd be Arrested (yes, even over The Simpsons) and with that in mind, here are the best recurring jokes over its three years on air:
(I should mention that I don't make reference to who these people are outside of their name because that'd take a much longer entry to explain, and as soon as you start watching the show, you'll know everything that's needed to know)
Sometimes using a bleep is funnier than actually using the word "shit," and Arrested Development takes full of advantage of this. It leaves the joke more open-ended, and even on the DVDs, they kept the beeps in.
Michael: You know, I'm in pretty good shape, Buster. You could be eating my dust all day.
Narrator: Buster was starting to give as good as he received.
Buster: Yeah, and you could be eating *bleep* that's gonna *bleep*.
Michael: Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Narrator: Gob was recently hired by the Bluth Company's rival, Sitwell Enterprises. And although he started off well...
Gob: 52 percent of the country is single. That's a market that's been dominated by apartment rentals. Let's take some of that market. I call it "Single City."
Narrator: ...His ideas failed to evolve.
Gob: It's, like, "Hey, you want to go down to the whirlpool?" "Yeah, I don't have a husband." I call it "Swing City."
Stan Sitwell: Let's get into some new areas, if you don't mind.
Narrator: But Gob continued to fine-tune his first one.
Gob: How do we filter out the teases? We don't let them in.
Gob: This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, man, because you're living in *bleep* City.
Buster: [about Lucille] It's like she gets off on being withholding.
Michael: Whoa. Buster.
Gob: Look who's got something to say.
Buster: [impersonating Lucille] I'm Mom and I want to shoot down everything you say so I feel good about myself.
Gob: Look who's ragging on the old lady.
Buster: Cause I'm an uptight *long bleep* Buster *long bleep*, you old horny slut.
Michael: Well, no one's going to top that.
Gob: Please refrain from discussing or engaging in any inter-office *bleep* and *bleep* and finger *bleep* and *long bleep* or even *bleep*, even though so many of us are begging for it. Oh, and if anyone lays a finger on my sister Lindsay, I'll take off my pants, I'll show you my *bleep* and I'll personally *long bleep*.
#4. The Chicken Dance
Evidently no one in the Bluth family has ever seen a chicken. Evidence can be found here. And here. And here. But be careful not to do the dance in Mexico.
This is a tough one to explain: George Bluth used to terrorize Michael, Lindsay, Gob and Buster by getting a one-armed man named J. Walter Weatherman to teach them "lessons." Here's one of them:
Young George Sr.: Will you kids keep it down in back?!
[Car hits pedestrian, whose secretly prosthetic arm is severed and lands on bonnet of car. Screams from Bluth siblings.]
Young George Sr.: Oh my God! This innocent man's arm has come off! This would never have happened if we hadn't had to go out for milk!
J. Walter Weatherman: And that's why you always leave a note.
Michael Bluth: I need the guy with the fake arm, J. Walter Weatherman.
George Bluth, Sr.: Oh, he's dead. You killed him when you left the door open with the air conditioning on.
Why does Gob own a black puppet wearing track pants? That's never actually answered, but it doesn't really because of how funny Franklin is. In the newspaper office at my college, my friend Kayley and I made the computer background this picture of Franklin--and considering no one has complained, he'll be staying there for quite some time. Plus, Franklin and Gob's song is a highlight of the show:
Gob: It ain't easy being white
Franklin: It ain't easy being brown
Gob: All this pressure to be bright
Franklin: I got kids all over town
Here's some more great lines:
Narrator: In an effort to "hip" up his act, Gob had briefly introduced a puppet.
Gob: [as Franklin] Can I tell you something, my man?
Gob: Sure, Franklin.
Gob: [as Franklin] You are one cool *bleep* Speaking of mothers, let me give that oatmeal some brown sugar. [the puppet kisses Lucille]
George Sr.: Get off my wife, you bastard.
Gob: [as Franklin] What's the matter with you?
Gob: Franklin said some things Whitey wasn't ready to hear.
Michael: Gob, weren't you also mercilessly beaten outside of a club in Torrance for that act?
Gob: He also said some things that African-American-y wasn't ready to hear either.
George Michael: Is Franklin going to be there?
Gob: See that, Mike? Kids love Franklin.
George Michael: I just don’t want him to point out my “cracker ass” in front of Ann.
Gob: Imagine what he'd say about her.
Lucille: They’re not going to let you in at the country club with that.
Buster: [As Franklin.] I don’t want no part of your tight-ass country-club, you freak bitch!
Gob: I can’t. I already lost a brother today.
Gob: Well, I didn’t lose him, but he’s all puckered and white.
Michael: On the plus side, you can take him to lunch at the club now.
Gob: [sobbing] That’s the exact kind of joke he would have loved! (Singing) You know it's true. Everything I do...
Michael: Please don't do this.
Gob:...I do it for you.
Racist? Yes. Hilarious? You bet.
#1. Tobias is gay.
David Cross is in way too much junk (his film career includes She's the Man, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Men In Black II), but I'll accept all that crap to get the character of Tobias Fünke. One of my favorite television characters of all-time, the best on-going of Arrested is whether Tobias is straight (after all, he has a wife) or very, very gay. For evidence of the latter, here's some quotes:
Tobias Fünke: [as Mrs. Featherbottom] Okay, who'd like a banger in the mouth?
[laughs] Right, I forgot, here in the States, you call it a sausage in the mouth.
Michael: We just call it a sausage.
Narrator: Tobias listens to a day's worth of his own words, to see what Michael was referring to...
Tobias Fünke: [on tape]...even if it means me taking a chubby, I will suck it up.
Tobias Fünke: Nothing wrong with that.
Tobias Fünke: [on tape] Oh, I've been in the film business for a while, but I just can't seem to get one in the can.
Tobias Fünke: It's out of context.
Tobias Fünke: [on tape] I wouldn't mind kissing that man between the cheeks.
Narrator:...and he realized there is something distinct about the way he speaks.
Tobias Fünke: Tobias, you blowhard. [chuckles]
Tobias Fünke: Excuse me, do these effectively hide my thunder?
Tobias Fünke: Don't leave your Uncle Teabag hanging.
George Michael: Don't call it that.
Tobias Fünke: Boy, I sure feel like a Mary without a Peter and a Paul.
Tobias Fünke: I'm looking for something that says "Dad likes leather."
Salesman: You mean, Leather Daddy?
(Big thanks to IMDb.com for these quotes)