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 V.17 No.25 | June 19 - 25, 2008 

Idiot Box

Bad Effects, Big Laughs

“Fat Guy Stuck in Internet” on Cartoon Network

Once again, God bless Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block. Not only does the late-night roundup of adult-appealing shows give us endless hours of moronic entertainment, it also provides employment for dozens of men and women whose mothers drank way too much during pregnancy.

How else to explain Adult Swim’s newest Sunday night offering, “Fat Guy Stuck in Internet”? For starters, the show isn’t even a cartoon. Following in the stupid-brilliant footsteps of Adult Swim’s Sid and Marty Krofft joke “Saul of the Mole Men,” “Fat Guy” is a no-budget, live-action, sci-fi parody aping everything from Disney’s hilariously dated Tron to the campy remake of Flash Gordon. The show actually began life as a series of shorts called “Gemberling” that aired on the user-generated Channel101.com. The show expands on the idiocy of those original eight episodes--although labeling this a fancy cable TV remake is going way too far.

Producer/creator John Gemberling stars as Gemberling, an egotistical, hotshot computer programmer who gets zapped onto the Internet in a beer-related freak accident. Trapped in this decidedly low-tech, community access cable version of cyberspace, Gemberling befriends a pair of computerized siblings (Bit and Byte), runs away from a bong-smoking bounty hunter (co-creator Curtis Gwinn) and tries to defeat the evil KaZaA (who wears a sweat sock over his wiener and dresses like he’s escaped from a pride parade in Rio).

The humor is hard to describe, hovering somewhere between “SCTV” and the brain-damaged films of Chris Seaver (Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker, anyone?). Gemberling’s a funny guy, basically playing a nerdy version of Tom Cruise as the title character and channeling Emperor Palpatine in a dual role as the villainous CEO of the Ynapmoclive Corporation. Most of the laughs, though, come from the show’s ridiculously impoverished special effects. (Several bad wigs, some unitards and a green screen seem to have eaten up the show’s entire budget.) If you love your sci-fi in-jokes served with a generous helping of cheese, “Fat Guy Stuck in Internet” is glad to oblige. Add some insomnia and a few mind-altering substances on your end of things, and “Fat Guy Stuck in Internet” could be your newest late-night obsession.

“Fat Guy Stuck in Internet” airs every Sunday night on Cartoon Network at 1:30 a.m.

 
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