What The Funny #2: Carnival Knowledge

It’s that time again!

First, I’d like to apologize for the delay. I didn’t intend to take this long to post here again. I’ve just been busy with work and so forth. Sometimes the wheels of creativity run in low gear. But I’m here now, so it’s time for another breakdown of one of my favorite Rocko’s Modern Life shorts:

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“G’day, mate!”

Carnival Knowledge

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So right off the bat, we get a title that’s a double entendre; “Carnival Knowledge” is a play on the term “carnal knowledge”, as in intercourse.

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“OH!”

Highlights:

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I love this one ride that’s called simply Broken Mirrors. Sounds like loads of fun!

Rocko and Heffer come across a carnival, which is owned and primarily operated by Slippy the Slug (who’s voiced by comedian Dom Irrera).

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“Ooh! Aah!”

Yeah, that guy.

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Slippy offers them food, rides, and games for thirty dollars. They think of which ride they should get on and choose The Mug-O-Whirl, only to find that it has already started.

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Here’s a fun ride; the Elevator to Hell. Note that the word “hell” is uncensored here. I’m surprised that Nickelodeon’s censors didn’t notice this, although they apparently wised up by the time of a later episode “To Heck and Back” where the word “Heck” is used as a substitute for hell.

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Next, Rocko tries Slippy’s Games-O-Chance, a crane game machine in which the crane claw takes Rocko’s watch, as well as Heffer’s underpants. The two then get on the Ferris wheel, where they are stopped at the top. Subsequently, the ride operator (Slippy the Slug again) brings them down and stops them halfway, leaving them dangling, which causes their money to fall out of their pockets.

Rocko plays the Frog Flip, in which the player has to use a mallet to slam onto the plank with the frog on the other end and make sure it lands onto their lily pad in the pool behind. Heffer goes first and accidentally smashes his frog into a puddle of green goo. During Rocko’s turn, a frog wearing a derby hat and smoking a cigar taunts him (Ooh, such a strong man! Mr. Tough-Guy-With-A-Mallet!” “Easy on the bladder, meat!”) and the wallaby slams on the end of the plank (with a wrecking ball), sending the frog flying high in the sky (all the while shouting”LOSER!!”). This scene is punctuated perfectly as two of them are watching the frog fly off into the stratosphere, Heffer says plainly and dryly “That…was one rude frog!”

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Incidentally, I wanted to show this scene in it’s entirety, but I couldn’t find any clips of it online.

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Thanks loads, YouTube!

The two then get on the Bumper Cars, where Rocko unwillingly gets on a gimp bumper car and is crashed by the other bumper car riders. Rocko has finally had it and decides that he and Heffer should leave. But not before Heffer convinces him to stay so that they could ride the Nose Bleed, a precarious roller coaster. Unfortunately, for Rocko, he isn’t tall enough, but Heffer augments his height and the two ride on the roller coaster, which sends them to outer space, and they later crash down the ground. Rocko decides to leave, but not before the crane machine takes his money. Suddenly, the frog that taunted Rocko earlier in the Frog Flip game lands perfectly on the lily pad in the pool, winning Rocko a Chinese finger puzzle.

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“Lucky shot!”

As they leave, Heffer says that he thought the rides were rigged and Rocko adds that not everyone is around to rip you off. After the episode ends (with Rocko breaking his Chinese finger puzzle off-screen), the frog attempts to open up the iris end, which closes on his head.

Carnival Knowledge doesn’t offer much in the way of plot. It’s just a string of gags with a continuing theme, but the gags are hilarious. Slippy was an amusing one-off character and it’s too bad that he never appeared again (Well, techincally, Slippy was seen one more time in the season 3 short “Zanzibar”, but he only has one line and he’s not voiced by Dom Irrera here, so it’s debatable whether that’s actually Slippy or just a random character with Slippy’s recycled design).

My rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Next Time: Skid Marks (Here’s hoping that there won’t be as long a wait for the this one). Stay Tooned.

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1 Comment

  1. I remember this episode! I loved that frog for some reason lol. It really was amazing how much shows like Rocko’s Modern Life got away with in the 90s and early 00s. For the hell thing, it’s possible that they let it slide if it was only a word on a sign instead of them outright saying it. The censors are kinda weird about certain conditions in which they may let things slide or not.

    Like with guns; they’ll sometimes let guns be shown on screen but they won’t let them be shown being pointed directly at characters or in shots where it’s seemingly pointed towards the audience. They may let a one-off joke with sign saying ‘Hell’ on it go, but for an episode with Hell set to be in the title and meant to be a main part of the episode, probably not. In today’s world, however, none of that would probably get by. Though it makes it all the more impressive, and usually funny, when a show manages to do it.

    Like

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