The Oblongs


The Oblongs
The Oblongs
The Oblongs title card.png
Title card
Format Animation, Black comedy
Created by Angus Oblong
Jace Richdale
Voices of Will Ferrell
Jean Smart
Pamela Adlon
Lea DeLaria
Jason Sklar
Randy Sklar
Becky Thyre
Jeannie Elias
Billy West
Laraine Newman
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Jobsite Productions
Mohawk Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel The WB (2001)
Adult Swim (2002; TBA)
Picture format 4:3 SDTV
Original airing April 1, 2001 (2001-04-01) –
November 10, 2002 (2002-11-10);
TBD[1]
External links
Website

The Oblongs (stylized as the Oblongs... in the opening credits) is an American animated television program aimed at teenagers and adults. It is loosely based on a series of characters introduced in creator Angus Oblong's picture book entitled Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children. The show was produced by Film Roman, Random House, Jobsite Productions and Mohawk Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, and the theme song for the show was composed and performed by They Might Be Giants.

The Oblongs premiered on April 1, 2001, and ended on November 10, 2002, with a total of thirteen episodes. Although, Angus Oblong announced new episodes of The Oblongs will return to Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim, no other information has been revealed. The first thirteen episodes were released on DVD on October 4, 2005.[2] Currently reruns of the original episodes periodically air on Adult Swim.

Contents

Setting and premise

The show focuses on the antics of a family who live in a poor valley community and, as a result of pollution and radiation exposure, are all disabled or deformed. The pollution is the direct result of the lavish lifestyle of the rich community known as "The Hills", whose residents exploit and harm the valley residents with absolutely no regard for their safety or well-being.

Broadcast

The show premiered on April 1, 2001 on The WB but failed to find an audience. On May 20, 2001, The WB aired "Disfigured Debbie", the second episode produced, as the season finale, leaving five episodes unaired. A fan of the series who was writing an episode guide at TV Tome informed creator Angus Oblong of the show's cancellation and rallied fans of the series to petition and encourage the network to renew the show. Ultimately, the petition was unsuccessful.

In August 2002, the series found a home on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim, where it received high ratings when many fans discovered the series for the first time. In Australia, the show premiered on the Nine network on December 8, 2001,[3] however due to insufficient ratings, it was withdrawn after one episode,[4] but was eventually shown in a late night/early morning time slot. From 2005 until 2006 on TBS's late night programming block, Too Funny To Sleep. Currently reruns of the first thirteen episodes periodically air on Adult Swim.

Characters

The Oblong family

The Oblong family. From the left: Milo, Biff, Chip, Beth, Bob, Pickles, and Lucky.
  • Bob Oblong (Will Ferrell) - was born without arms or legs and works at a poison factory called the Globocide. Despite his deformities he is very chipper and sunny, and is modeled after various fathers from 1950s TV shows. He is married to Pickles and is the father of kids Biff, Chip, Milo, and Beth.
  • Pickles Oblong (Jean Smart) - is a chain smoking alcoholic who was originally a Hill resident but moved to the valley after marrying Bob. All her hair has since fallen out due to the hazardous atmosphere of The Valley, and she is now regarded as an outcast by her former Hill friends. While not bitter about losing her privileged life, she often expresses disdain towards her self-centered former neighbors in the Hills. She is married to Bob, and is the mother of Biff, Chip, Milo, and Beth.
  • Biff Oblong (Randy Sklar) and Chip Oblong (Jason Sklar) - are 17-year-old conjoined twins who are attached at the waist and share a middle leg. Biff is a hard worker obsessed with sports, while Chip is more laid back. It is frequently implied that Biff is gay and attracted to their coach, though other times the two are seen lusting after girls together. Biff and Chip each occasionally go into "trances" to give the other brother privacy (as seen in the episode "Get Off My Back").
  • Milo Oblong (Pamela Segall Adlon) - is the youngest son and the series' protagonist. Often referred to by other kids as a “psycho”, he is afflicted with numerous mental and social disorders and is on "everything from Ritalin to Rogaine." Despite his afflictions, he is a very forthright and benevolent boy, though he envies the Hill lifestyle and wishes to rise above his economic status. He has a single hair sticking up on his head, a squint in one eye (which also occasionally twitches) and wears a shirt that says "NO." at most times.
  • Beth Oblong (Jeannie Elias) - is the youngest child and only daughter, and has a warty, elongated growth growing out of her head. Despite her appendage, she appears to be significantly better adjusted than the rest of her family. In the episode "Pickles' Lil' Amazons", it is revealed that the growth on her head is the result of eating meat containing bovine growth hormones.
  • Grammy Oblong - Bob's vegetative state mother, resides in a motorized wheelchair and is unable to speak. Instead, she communicates using a green light which means yes, a red light which means no, and a flashing red light which means she has soiled herself.
  • Lucky - the one-lunged family cat who chain-smokes cigarettes and wears an uninterested, deadpan expression.
  • Scottie - is Milo's narcoleptic dog, a result of perfume used on him during his tenure as a test animal at Globocide. Scottie was based on the short story "Narcoleptic Scottie" in Creepy Susie.

Milo's friends, "The Clubhouse Kids"

  • Helga Phugly (Lea DeLaria) - is a fat, toad-like girl who will eat virtually anything. She lives in a fantasy world, believing that she is pretty and popular and that the "Debbies'" actually like her (she seems to stubbornly believe this, as when told that the Debbies hate her, she covered her ears, shut her eyes, and started stomping around humming very loudly). At times she seems to have a crush on Milo, leading to her kidnapping him in one episode. When her parents went on vacation and never returned, Helga was forced to live at home by herself, eating only rejected wedding cakes from a nearby wedding cake factory and the occasional animal that she spotted. Milo eventually locates her parents when Mrs. Hubbard, a Bible-thumping, gun-toting old woman tries to adopt Helga. Her last name, Phugly, is a reference to the phrase "fugly", which means "fucking ugly."
  • Creepy Susie (Jeannie Elias) - is a girl who speaks with a deadpan French accent and appears to float instead of walk, as her legs are never shown. She is obsessed with death, and has a problem with pyromania, but it has been revealed she does enjoy hula hoops (even though her stiff movements make it physically impossible for her to use one).
  • Peggy (Becky Thyre) - is a one-breasted girl who lacks a lower jaw, causing her to spit and talk with a lisp. Despite her deformities, Peggy is incredibly cheerful and upbeat. The daughter of a gay couple, she dreams of being president and marrying a handsome doctor.
  • Mikey (Jeannie Elias) - is a boy saddled with a dangling, doubled posterior. Standard underwear will not fit him, so he wears his grandmother's old bra like backwards suspenders. He is also known to habitually probe his nose and ears with his finger. Because of his larger deformed posterior, he takes jokes about the area more literally especially since they often come true soon after. As a running gag, he is inflicted with severe misfortune in almost every appearance, ranging from being stung by bees to attacked by dogs.

The Hill Residents

  • George Klimer (Billy West) - is Bob's rich and snobby boss. He represents the power and arrogance of the people of the Hills. He is very condescending to his employees, especially Bob and James. He is husband to Pristine and father of Jared and Debbie Klimer.
  • Pristine Klimer (Becky Thyre) - is the wife of George and mother to Jared and Debbie. Pristine was good friends with Pickles before she married Bob, but abandoned her once she went to live in the valley.
  • Jared Klimer (Pamela Segall Adlon) - is the arrogant son of George and Pristine and brother to Debbie. He likes to taunt The Clubhouse Kids, along with his equally snobbish best friend Blaine (Billy West). He calls Milo "Obdong". In one episode Milo retorts with the information that a rumor of Jared and Blaine claims the two have had sex with each other.
  • The Debbies (Becky Thyre) and (Pamela Segall Adlon, in some episodes) - are a popular clique of identical girls who dress alike, much like the Heathers or the also-animated "Ashleys" from Recess. The Debbies are often cruel to the valley kids, especially Helga who aspires to be accepted by them.
  • Mayor Johnny "The Mayor" Bledsoe (Billy West) - is the town's mayor and a masked pro wrestler, a parody of pro wrestlers-turned-elected officials, such as Jesse Ventura. He is corrupt, and his daughter is a Debbie.
  • Mr. Leland Bergstein (Billy West) - is the kids' homeroom teacher, who seems weak and is easily cowed by the Debbies and the rich residents of the town. It is revealed that he lives in the Hills as seen in the episode "Milo, Interrupted".
  • Sheriff Pepper (Maurice LaMarche) - is Hill Valley's inept, corrupt law enforcer. He favours the people of the Hill and provides better law enforcement for them.
  • Dr. Hofschneider (Billy West) - is the Oblongs' condescending and uninterested doctor.
  • Mrs. Hubbard (Laraine Newman) - is the town's bible-thumping, gun-toting old biddy who is appointed czar of child-services after a disturbance in the hills is blamed on valley kids. She is a spinster who never married or had children. She wears a chastity belt called "The Forni-Guard 2000".

The Valley Residents

  • Anita Bidet (Billy West) - is the owner of the bar Pickles frequents, The Rusty Bucket. Her name is a play on the phrase "I need a bidet." It is implied that she is a pre-op transsexual, and though it is made obvious to viewers, none of the characters in the show seem to realize it. Her assumed male form is seen during a flashback of how Bob and Pickles met.
  • Nurse Rench (Laraine Newman) - is the school nurse. She is described by Peggy as "a godless butcher without a shred of legitimate medical training". She has a scary operating contraption in place of her right arm, has four breasts arranged in a pattern resembling a cow's udder, and a deformed left hand. Her name is perhaps intended to play on Nurse Ratched from the 1975 film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Nurse Rench sounds exactly like Nurse Diesel (Cloris Leachman) from the Mel Brooks film, High Anxiety.
  • James (Billy West) - is Bob's hunchbacked co-worker. He is a people-pleaser and lacks self-esteem, buying friends on eBay to attend his bachelor party.

Minor Characters

  • Yvette (Michelle Ruff) - An additional member of the Debbies, the only one who does not carry the same name. An extraterrestrial masquerading as a human, she has long blonde hair in a ponytail. She takes an interest in Milo in the pilot episode, "Misfit Love", though only to experiment on his brain. When it appears that Milo has been killed, she is forced to self-destruct, as it is apparently more cost-effective than returning to her base of operations. (Appeared in episode 1, “Misfit of Love”)
  • Principal Davis (Debra Wilson) - is the school principal. (Appeared in episode 8, “Disfigured Debbie”)
  • Homeless Bill (Billy West) - is Hill Valley's resident street urchin. (Appeared in episode 2, “Narcoleptic Scottie” and briefly in episode 4, "Bucketheads")
  • The Girl with a Beak (Becky Thyre) - is an aptly named, bird-like classmate of The Clubhouse Kids. She often is spurned by the kids despite their own maladies. (Appeared in episode 2, "Narcoleptic Scottie", and episode 4, “Bucketheads")
  • Coach (Will Ferrell) - is Biff and Chip's school coach, with whom Biff has an unhealthy obsession. He also teaches the Sex Ed and Driving Instruction classes, though he seems to confuse the two. (Appeared in episode 4, “Bucketheads”)
  • Verdelle Diver (Lea DeLaria) - is the regional coordinator of The Li'l' Amazons, a Girl Scouts-like troop. She and the organization in general are implied to be lesbian (hence her last name, referring to the slur "muff diver"). Verdelle hits on Pickles frequently during Pickles' court-ordered tenure as Beth's den mother. (Appeared in episode 9, “Pickles' Little Amazons”)
  • Tommy Vinegar (Maurice LaMarche) — a parody of Tommy Hilfiger — is Pickles's ex-boyfriend. He got rich after Pickles taught him how to be cool and popular, and then promptly dumped her after all his coolness went to his head. (Appeared in episode 4, “Bucketheads”)
  • Velva, the Warrior (Pamela Segall Adlon) - is the Oblongs' version of Xena, whom Beth adores. Her name is a pun on "vulva", and her show has heavy lesbian/anti-male overtones (all of the villains are male while all the heroes are female), not to mention blatant advertising of Velva merchandise and numerous genital references. Her sidekick is named Majora, she has a horse named Fallopious, and a pet bird named Placentor. (Appeared in episode 5, “Heroine Addict”)
  • Dusty (Becky Thyre) - is Bob's one-time co-worker, and a lifeguard. It is heavily suggested that she has had a lot of cosmetic surgery (Appeared in episode 12, “My Name Is Robbie”)

Revival

On July 22, 2008, Angus Oblong revealed on his Myspace blog that he was working on a special two part straight-to-DVD Halloween episode of The Oblongs, and also said that he will ask Will Ferrell to reprise his role as the voice of Bob Oblong, but does not expect him to return. [5] Angus Oblong said new episodes of The Oblongs will return to Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim, a network that has been airing reruns of the existing episodes since 2002.[6] Adult Swim stated on July 4, 2010 that they asked studios to produce new episodes and "some said yes, some said no".[1] No other information has been revealed.

The Oblongs is the fourth series to be revived as a result of Adult Swim; other series include Family Guy,[7] Futurama,[8] and Home Movies[9] before its ultimate cancellation in 2004.

Awards

The Oblongs won the Artios award in 2001 for Best Casting for Animated Voiceover - Television Mary V. Buck Susan Edelman.[10]

Episodes

DVD release

The first thirteen episodes of The Oblongs were released on two disc DVD set in the United States on October 4, 2005.

DVD name Release date Ep # Features
The Complete Twisted Series October 4, 2005[2] 13 "It's an Oblong World" - The show's concept, characters and casting, "The Art of the Oblongs" Angus Oblong-guided tour of his original artwork for the series, and "An Oblong Picture Book" - Angus Oblong drawings gallery.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Oblongs Revival Question". bump worthy. 4 July. http://www.bumpworthy.com/bumps/3228. Retrieved October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Kim, Mike. "The Oblongs - The Complete Series (2001)". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Oblongs-Complete-Mike-Kim/dp/B000ABKHZC. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Nine’s summer programming blitz". http://www.encoremagazine.com.au. http://www.encoremagazine.com.au/articles/39/0C02AE39.aspx. Retrieved 2 December 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Off-beat cartoon gets chop.". The Mercury. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4692/is_200112/ai_n17778817/?tag=content;col1. Retrieved 2 December 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ Oblong, Angus. "NEW Oblongs Halloween script!". http://www.myspace.com/angusoblong/blog/416926441. Retrieved 2010. 
  6. ^ Angus Oblong interview at an Owlism Art Show (2009)
  7. ^ "Family Guy returns with 22 new episodes to premiere in early 2005". Athens Banner-Herald. March 29, 2004. http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/033004/ent_20040330013.shtml. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ Bill Gorman (June 19, 2010). "What Revived ‘Futurama’?: Some Lessons For Fans". TV By the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/06/19/what-revived-futurama-some-lessons-for-fans/54694. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  9. ^ Masters, Clay (2005-11-21). "'Home Movies' creator has a new cartoon on his drawing board". Daily Nebraskan. http://www.dailynebraskan.com/2.3976/home-movies-creator-has-a-new-cartoon-on-his-drawing-board-1.305947. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  10. ^ "Artios Award Winners". Casting Society of America. http://www.castingsociety.com/press/42-artios-awards/80-previous-artios-awardr-winners#2001. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Lacey, Gord (12 May 2005). "The Oblongs - Oblongs Back Shot and Specs". TV Shows On DVD.. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Oblongs/3408. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 

External links


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