THE SPINACH INQUISITION!
PLANET OF THE RAINBOW MONKEYS!
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN GUATEMALA!
THE 2x4 TECHNOLOGY CONVENTION!
A TANKER OF ILLEGAL SODA!
A TREATY BETWEEN THE KND AND TEENS!
A BREAK UP!
AND THE SPLINTER CELL REVEALED!
And who did we get to meet?
THE AMISH KND!
NUMBUH 10 SPEED!
THE HONOR ROLL WEREWOLVES!
NUMBUH ELEVENTEEN OF SECTOR PHD!
THE POORLY DRESSED!
So let's get to telling some tales about the making of these episodes, shall we?
Yes, we shall?
Operation: SPINACH - We were always asking the crew to pitch us story ideas, and as I've mentioned before, sometimes all it would take was a couple words to sell me on an idea. Blake Lemons (aka the BEST worst assistant EVER) pitched 3 words: 'The Spinach Inquisition'--- and I dove on it. Of course the FIRST thing I thought was-- what if we get Mel Brooks? After all, you can't think of the Spanish Inquisition without thinking of THIS.
Soooooooooo I did a bit of research and called his production company. A woman answered the phone and it went kinda like this:
WOMAN: Mel's very busy and doesn't help people get shows.
ME: No, I already HAVE a show and-
WOMAN: Is it on the air?
WOMAN: What's it called?
ME: Codename: Ki-
WOMAN: I've never heard of it.
WOMAN: Do you have money?
Me: Um, yes. But I don't know-
WOMAN: Mel's very busy.
ME: I understand but-
WOMAN: Look! I don't have time for this. I'm busy, Mel's busy. I can't be bothering him about things like this. I can't! He's in New York shooting The Producers and he's very busy. He can't just-
ME: Excuse me, miss... you're YELLING at me.
WOMAN: What do you want?
ME: Nothing. Thanks.
(I hang up)
So no Mel Brooks. I've never heard anything but NICE things about him personally, but WOW that woman working for him was a nasty one. Maybe her dog died that day (or committed suicide).
So we did a song of our own, with lyrics by me and Mr. Rheingold, perfectly cheesy Broadway music by Steve Rucker, wonderful storyboarding by Kim Arndt, and beautifully timed out by Karen Villareal! Here it is, but the sync is a bit off as youtube vidoes tend to be:
Operation: MESSAGE and CRIME - These were both stories that started out as a comic in DC's Cartoon Network Action Pack and graduated to full-on TV episodes! Kinda like 'I'm Just a Bill'!
Operation: TRICYCLE - I think the KND's Bicycle Hub might be one of my favorite treehouses of all time. I named it after a bicycle shop that used to be across the street from my apartment on East 3rd Street in Manhattan... I think it's in Soho now.
Operation: GIRLFRIEND - Lizzie was ALWAYS one of the most polarizing characters of the show. Either you LOVED her, or you HATED her with all your soul. And it split pretty much right down the middle. I got tons of fan mail DEMANDING that Numbuh One dump Lizzie. And I got just as many threatening my life should Nigel and Lizzie ever break up. But no one ever told me not to have Lizzie dump Numbuh One!
Part of the story came from Guy Moore and Quack Leard -- They wanted an episode where the Treehouse computer fell in love with Numbuh One. So I took it one better and had it be the last straw that sends Lizzie packing. The break up sequence is beautiful... Grey DeLisle and Ben Diskin know how to slather the emotion on toast-- and I ate it up!
Operation: AMISH - We had mentioned Dr. Time Space and the Continuums in a couple episodes before, but who would have thunk that storyboard genius Jesse Schmal actually played Dr. Time Space?
Operation: SCIENCE - This might have been one of the most fun episodes to make. A series of commercials for assorted 2x4 tech gear? Sign me up! We came up with a ton of great ones. Some made it in, like Alison Wilgus' CHEEK TAZER. Some didn't, like this live action commercial:
We start with a close up of a live action boy (Ricky). Sad music plays as he somberly intones, “I had a HUGE spelling test on Thursday but I stayed up late playing video games instead of studying. There was no way I could go to school!”
We cross dissolve to another boy (Carl) as he says quietly, “I tried telling my Dad I was ALLERGIC to lima beans and that I’d puke if he made me eat them. I rolled around on the floor and made gross sounds but he just wasn’t buying it.”
We cross dissolve to a girl (Diane) as she whimpers, “After mistakenly sitting in her seat at the cafeteria Jamie Fatanzaro said she was gonna beat me up and run my pants up the flagpole after school! I HAD to find a way to get out early!” She leans in and says seriously, “And then a friend told me about Barf-Ex.”
We cut back to the Ricky as he says, “My Sector Leader told me to try something called Barf-Ex.”
We cut to Carl as he says, “I said, Barf-Ex? What’s that?”
We cut to a shot of a hand holding up an enormous blue pill with nails, screws and mushrooms sticking out of it as a soothing announcer croons, “Developed in the KND Deep Sea Science Lab, Barf-Ex is the enormous and hard to swallow pill that’ll get you out of ANYTHING!”
We cut back to Ricky as he says, “After just one Barf-Ex, I started puking uncontrollably! I thought I was going to DIE!”
We cut to Diane. “The STOMACH PAIN was HORRIBLE! I would have been better off getting beat up by Jamie Fatanzaro!”
We cut to Carl. “Sure, I didn’t have to eat my lima beans, but I was in the hospital for 17 weeks! Once I got out I went to my Sector Leader and told him to keep his stupid Barf-Ex!”
We cut to a split screen of the three kids as they all angrily growl, “THANKS A LOT, BARF-EX!”
Cut to a serene beach scene during sunset. The Barf-Ex logo dissolves on as the announcer says pleasantly, “Barf-Ex. We’re really sorry.”
The announcer then adds a disclaimer at a million MPH: Caution: People who need to breath should not use Barf-Ex. Side effects include uncontrollable vomiting, internal organ failure, unbelievable pain, blindness, extended hospitalization, and near death experiences.”
We immediately truck out to the judges as Numbuh 2x4 bellows, “THAT’S HORRIBLE! YOU GUYS HAVE TO STOP MAKING THAT STUFF IMMEDIATELY!” “We did,” mutters 71.562 (Operation: FERAL) sheepishly, “But we had already finished the commercial and didn’t have time to make anything else.” He suddenly cheers up and says, “But did you see Sector C’s new Smoke Tarts! They’re AWESOME!” He points OS and we zip pan to a new commercial:
Operation: PARTY - I've always been a big fan of a band called The Upper Crust. They dress in powdered wigs and play loud AC/DCish songs like Let Them Eat Rock. What's not to love?
So when we were trying to think of a band to play at the Delightful Children's house, I figured they'd be PERFECT. The DCFDTL would THINK they'd be a nice quiet chamber quartet... but instead they got an earful. As an added bonus, the band was awesome to work with and was even kind enough to play at the KND rap party! LONG LIVE ROQUE!
Operation: CARAMEL - I always wondered what had happened to Heinrich in Guatemala, but I never would have expected he was really a...
Oh, I'm not gonna give it a away. Some folks might now have seen that episode!
Operation: TREATY - My phone rang one afternoon and an excited voice blurted out, "What if Numbuh 274 never REALLY betrayed the KND? What if he was always working behind the scenes to help them, but then never gets the credit for it?"
Yup... even from the grave Mo Willems could sell me a story. Brilliant.
And there ya go! They'll even be airing Kenny and the Chimp/CAKED/No P in the OOL on Friday, too! Which reminds me, I never did a post about the first season, so I'll go back and reminisce on that for ya soon!
For the schedule, just head on over HERE!
A big KND salute to all of you watching and hopefully next week we'll talk about INTERVIEWS and the GRIM ADVENTURES OF THE KND!
Oh, and don't forget to watch the sooper gihoogic KND movie Operation: ZERO on Tuesday at 9am! I'll post some awesome tidbits about that movie soon!