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On this "painfully special" episode of
Strangers With Candy

    In the Flatpoint High auditorium, Dr. Rachel Williams, Supermodel, gives a rousing and inspirational talk about following dreams and becoming a success and Dr. Iris Puffybush espouses the security of a steady job at the Eterna-Spring Artificial Flower Factory for those students who have no motivation or direction. After the Career Week rally concludes, Jerri is given five days to discover what her dream career is. Whatever path she chooses will go on her permanent record. If she can't dream up her own dream she'll face a lifetime of employment at the artificial flower plant plant. Mr. Jellineck is inspired to quit his teaching position at Flatpoint to pursue his ambitions to be an artist. Jerri wants to follow her dream, too, but the only problem is that she doesn't have one. Jerri enters Mr. Noblet's class (and interrupts him as he sings the Kansas classic, "Dust in the Wind") because she wants to take his sophisticated Career Aptitude Test. Before he lets her take the exam, though, he wants to make sure she's capable of being truthful, so he hooks her up to a lie detector and asks a few questions. [Noblet: "What's your favorite color?", Jerri: (lying) "lemon", (truthfully) "rust"; Noblet: "What's your favorite food?", Jerri: (lying) "Crepes Suzette", (truthfully) "meatballs"; Noblet: "If you could be any animal what would you be?", Jerri: (lying) "a kitten", (truthfully) "a snake".] She ends up scoring a 246, which corresponds to a career as a junkie-whore. Hasn't she done that already? Before leaving Noblet's classroom, Jerri reveals to him that Mr. Jellineck has resigned from his job to become a full-time artist. Noblet immediately goes over to Jellineck's apartment to confront him. Chuck just can't understand why Geoffrey would trade his career for a dream that is such a longshot. You don't see Chuck throwing away his fulfilling teaching position to become a rock star, do you? The next day, the school has arranged for the Career Simulation Wagon to pay a visit. However, the Career Wizard and his robots (sponsored by Eterna-Spring Artificial Flower Corporation) are no help to Jerri. After seeing the simulation robots (banker, doctor, priest, artificial flower plant employee) Jerri declares that she knows what she wants to be... a robot. Jerri pays a visit to Mr. Jellineck's apartment, seeking his advice. Without a steady income, Geoffrey is going to be evicted from his apartment by his landlord, Mr. Singh. That night, under cloak of darkness, Jerri helps Geoffrey sneak out of the apartment with his belongings, but then he has to resort to living al fresco. At the next school assembly Jerri starts to insult everyone who settles for a future working at the artificial flower factory, but during her diatribe she is interrupted by Mr. Jellineck, who enters the auditorium dragging his kiln behind him. The disheveled failed artist begs Principal Blackman to let him have his teaching job back. After seeing what a failure Mr. Jellineck was at following his dream, Jerri resigns herself to the inevitable probability of eventually working for Eterna-Spring. Through this experience she has learned that if you're going to reach for the stars you should reach for the lowest one you can. Mr. Noblet seems to find it difficult to squash his dream of becoming a rock star, though.

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Episode Title: "Yes, You Can't"

Tony's Rating:

Original Airdate: 1/31/00

Production Number: 2-01

Directed by: Dan Dinello

Writers: Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris
Additional Writer: Matt Lappin

Regular Cast: AS, DD, GH, OP, PD, SC

Featuring:  Rachel Williams (Dr. Rachel Williams, Supermodel), Andy Richter (the Career Wizard)
With:  Richard Chew, Saikat Mondal (Mr. Singh)
Also Appearing:  Tim Fagan (Gangsta), Elizabeth Fagan (future Eterna-Spring employee), Kate Davis (Future arsonist), Casey Johnston (Future fireman), K.C. Michele, Randy Rowe Jr., Ben Rauch (Lou)

Flatpoint Lexicon:

G.A.S. (găs) v. motivational acronym, for Get your Aspirations Straight

oncologist (ŏn·kŏl'·ō·jĭst) n. a doctor who practices the branch of medicine dealing with neoplasms;
"Onc, Onc!!!  Like a clown horn."

Additional Episode Information

· G.A.S. stands for "Get your Aspirations Straight"
· Stephen Colbert repeats the calculator gag that he used in "Old Habits, New Beginnings".
· Jerri scores 246 on her career aptitude test, which qualifies her to be a junkie whore.
· Jellineck drives a Pacer, but in "To Be Young, Gifted, and Blank" he had a station wagon.
· Jellineck's license plate says "R-TIST", but the state is not specified.
· Sarah Thyre provided the voice of the Eterna-Spring robot, and Matt Walsh provided the voices of the doctor and banker robots.
· The "How To Be An Artist" record was narrated by David Pasquesi (Stew)
· The show's creative team wanted to get Kansas to perform "Carry On Wayward Son" during the closing sequence, but the band was set to go on tour with Foreigner. Ultimately, however, that tour was canceled because of low ticket sales.
· Jerri's line, "Cancer. That's hi-la-rious," is later echoed in a sixth season episode of "Sex & the City" ("Cancer is hilarious.") by Kim Cattrall's character, Samantha Jones, who later recants when she admits, "Cancer... it turns out, not so hilarious."

On The 'Flatpoint High School' Sign:  "CAREER WEEK: YOUR FUTURE IS TOMORROW."

The Best Things In This Episode:
· Dr. Iris Puffybush's less-than-impassioned advocation of a career at the Artificial Flower Factory. (reminiscent of Edith Massey's delivery of lines in many John Waters movies)
· Jerri's lie-detector responses.
· Aboard the Career Wagon, Jerri says that she wants to be a robot.
· Noblet's belief in the possibility that he could still become a rock star.

Closing Credits Dance Sequence:  Noblet realizes his dream of being a rock star by singing the Kansas classic, "Carry On Wayward Son". He's backed up by Blackman on the keyboard, Jerri on the drums, and Jellineck and Mark Ibold (from the band "Pavement"; also played the bandmate that Derrick fired in "The Virgin Jerri") are on guitars.

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