Sunday, June 8, 2014

How does Chan Clan translate to Shoyu Weenie? (Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law, 2001)

They say anything is possible in a cartoon. Heckle & Jeckle taught us that back in the day.

To that end, the creative noobs behind Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law decided to traverse time and space, and do a little reconfiguring of characters as they went along. See if you can figure out what's wrong.

Since the license to use Earl Derr Biggers' classic sleuth, Charlie Chan, had long since expired, [adult swim] couldn't very well use the Chan Clan kids without any sort of litigation getting in the way. So, the Chinese-American Chans, based in Hawaii, are turned into a Japanese pop group, Shoyu Weenie. There has to be some sort of joke involved somewhere in there, don't ya think? Sure, they look the same as they did nearly 40 years earlier, as [as] lifted the character models from the Chan Clan series, but they don't speak English anymore, at least for the purposes of this story, and, even though I know absolutely little Japanese (I go no further than "sayonara" or "domo arigato"), I can tell that the attempt at using Japanese dialogue falls way short of the mark. Typical [as] nonsense, as you'll see.

The original configuration of the Chan Clan band was a trio (Henry, Stanley, & Susie), but the writers changed things around. The Neptunes, the pop group from Jabberjaw, are from the not-too-distant future, and couldn't possibly exist in the 21st century----or could they? There's a story waiting to be told there, but it would explain how Jabber could be in a fever dream of Scooby-Doo's a few years later, wouldn't it?

This was written in such a manner as to embarrass fans of Jabberjaw, Amazing Chan & The Chan Clan, or both. It is, as our frequent correspondent Magicdog often has said, meant for the viewer to be either stoned, drunk, or both when this show is on, because it's written for small minds, wasting the talents of Gary Cole, Stephen Colbert, and others.

Easily one of the worst, unfunniest episodes of the series.

Rating: F+.


magicdog said...

Thanks for the shout out!

I only saw one episode of Harvey Birdman before I realized what garbage it was. It reminds me of that guy at a party who thinks the joke he told was funny - but no one else does. I don't have a problem with satire - especially with HB characters, but this wasn't it.

Jabberjaw, IIRC took place in the 21st century - circa 2079 (exactly 100 years from the year of its debut). Even in SDMI, Jabber refers to himself as a shark from the future!

hobbyfan said...

So he wasn't really that far off, after all. It's too bad the goofs at [as] would rather throw things together and ignore that dreaded c-word (continuity), than tell a story with a legit beginning, middle, & ending.

Devon Start said...

This was totally retarded.. seriously.. you missed the point of the show.. You ask for continuity? first no saturday morning cartoon have that.. every week things reset.

You get all worked up about Jabberjaw not being in the same time period as the show.. really? NONE OF THE CHARACTERS IN THE SHOW EVER WERE SUPPOSED TO INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER.. The show is actually really damn funny.. but you prefer to watch one episode and then take your cue from someone who said "its for small minds" having watched only ONE episode..This show is actually really damn funny and one of the better things to come out of AS.. like the Venture Brothers.. its very smart, and very funny.. You guys however are taking this a touch to seriously. you look a bit stupid

hobbyfan said...


I don't think you understand where folks like Magicdog and I come from. You're not old enough, I assume, to remember the original runs of Jabberjaw & Chan Clan from the 70's. [adult swim] would rather take from the past, poke fun at it, and expect people like you to laugh along with what passes for humor.

I'm sorry, but I'm from a generation that has no use for this sort of disrespect. With the current Mike Tyson series, I get what's going on, because I'm used to [as]' MO by now.

Somethin' Suave' Theater said...

I agree with Devon. You can't judge this series on just one episode. I personally think that this was one of the best series (as) ever did. It's stupid. But it's done in a very smart way. A lot of the gags are great and the series was well thought out. To dismiss it is not only wrong, but criminal. Watch the Scooby Doo episode. It was several layers to it that's very surprising. Watch the final episode. Don't write this show off because of one ep. Also, I was born in 77 and I watched Jabberjaw and Charlie Chan. Not first run but still. And I thought this ep was great.

hobbyfan said...

I have run clips of other Harvey Birdman episodes, but what passes for humor at [as] doesn't fly with older fans like me. That's just the way it is.

Bishop said...

I saw all the Hanna-Barbera shows when they first came out and I was thoroughly amused with Harvey Birdman attorney at law so how about you just talk for yourself and not other people from the same era. As a side note saying this show is for a younger crowd is total BS as a younger crowd would have no point of reference for most the jokes. If anything this show is made exactly for people who grew up watching these shows as they are the only ones who ever wondered if race bannon was dr quests boyfriend or if scooby and shaggy were stoners not to mention the tropes they lampoon that dont exsist anymore like the tired ass bowling ball to the head thing on the episode yabba dabba don.

Lt. Pinkles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lt. Pinkles said...

I speak Japanese. The characters were speaking Japanese, and the episode was hilarious.