On this "painfully special" episode of
Strangers With Candy:
At the Blank family picnic we get our first clue that something is just not right with Stew; he lets Jerri sit on his lap and call him Daddy, and he actually seems to like it! He also seems to think that he's being watched and followed by "the Red Squad." To make matters worse, it's "Occupation Week" in Mr. Noblet's class and all of the students' fathers will be coming to school to talk about their jobs.
At first Jerri is proud to be bringing in her "Daddy" so he can share his extensive knowledge about meat, but when she sees him stapling slices of cheese to the roof of the Blank house she wonders if he might be going through a bit of a mental crisis. Stew tells Jerri that he has to use the dairy smell to mask his scent from the Red Squad. He's even covered the doorknob with smoked Gouda.
The situation escalates during Jerri's sleepover party. The girls exchange stories about the craziest things they've each ever done with a boy. Trudy tells about the time that she and Ed Ordinez kissed under the school stairs... French! Renee talks about how she and Rich Kasper once went skinny-dipping with their bathing suits on. Jerri recalls a harrowing true tale from her past involving a radiator and a pegleg. Just as Tammi is starting to tell as story about something she'd done with Mark Kozy, Stew bursts through the bedroom window in a crazed state.
The next day at school, Noblet's students enjoy a shot of Captain Stacks rum, courtesy of one of the fathers, Mr. Kolovitz, and his corporate mascot pirate. It's soon obvious to Jerri that word has spread that her step-mother's lover is nuts. Everyone doubts that he'll be able to follow through with his "Occupation Week" duties.
Mr. Jellineck suggests that Jerri should go to this place called "the library" to learn more about Stew's condition. The two mysterious librarians, who've been stationed in the library since the administration of Principal Mullet, find a 1932 film strip called "The Truth About Mental Illness" for Jerri to watch. The highly informative film strip demonstrates that in the old days it was believed that mental illness was caused by demons in the afflicted person's head and that the demons were released by drilling holes into the skull.
Later that day, Jerri confronts Stew with her concerns. He tells her that he's not crazy and that the same voice in his head that made him fire himself earlier had just given him his job back. Jerri takes his word for it and, despite the evidence to the contrary, she believes that he is as sane as he ever was.
Stew decides to take the family out for dinner at Pizzamania, "pizza, pizza pizza!" Before Jerri gets a chance to order her "Chicken Snatchatore," Stew is confronted by Principal Blackman, who is concerned about the prospect of a crazy man addressing students in his school the next day. Stew puts Blackman's mind at ease, but quickly goes off the deep end, once again. He flings a piping hot pizza into the face of Chuck Noblet, who had just entered Pizzamania with his wife, Claire. He then tosses grated cheese into Onyx's face while Jerri sneaks to the pay phone to search the Flatlantic Flatpages for the number of Wild Dunes Mental Hospital. Before the mozzarella is scraped from Chuck's face, the "Red Squad" has arrived to take Stew away.
At the hospital, Jerri asks Doctor Trepanning if Stew will be able to speak at her school tomorrow, but he tells her that it'll probably take about 30 years for Stew to recover. Jerri decides to take matters into her own hands and performs an amateur trepanation.
The next day, Stew shows up in Noblet's class with a bleating lamb named Tony. Jerri actually cured Stew by boring a hole in his skull with a hand drill and effectively releasing his demons. To prove his sanity, Stew slaughters Tony in front of the cheering class, spraying Jerri with fresh blood. We've all had a lot of fun with mental illness, haven't we? Even though millions of people suffer from it. What's funny about that?
Episode Title: "Is My Daddy Crazy?"
Original Airdate: 8/14/00
Production Number: 3-04
Directed by: Peter Lauer
Writers: Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris
Additional Writer: Matt Lappin
Regular Cast: AS, DR, GH, LS, MT, OP, PD, SC
Guest Cast: David Pasquesi (Stew), Heather Matarazzo (Renee), David Cross (Dr. Trepanning), Steve & Mark O'Donnell (the Librarians), Valentine Bureau (Trudy), Troy Metcalf (Troy), Patrick Blindauer (Chip Beavers), Matt Blumm (P.John), Jay Martel (Captain Stacks), Tim Miller (Mr. Kolovitz), Hank Flynn (Pizzamania waiter)
Rob Renz (Spike Jabber) is seen at the Blank family picnic in the beginning of the episode.
Carolyn Popp (Claire Noblet) is seen entering Pizzamania with Chuck.
Orlando Pabotoy is also in the background at Pizzamania and he even briefly wrestles with Stew.
Marty Zentz, who played one of the stoners in "The Trip Back", can be seen sitting in the front row of Noblet's class in the final scene when Stew slaughters Tony, the lamb.
Red Squad (rĕd' skwŏd) n. 1 mysterious ominous figures; boogeymen 2 orderlies from Wild Dunes Mental Hospital
skinny-dip (skĭn'·ē·dĭp') v. to swim in the nude in a favorite swimming hole, creek, river, pool, lake, rock quarry, etc.;
n. a nude swim
trepanning (trĕ·păn'·ĭng) gerund the removal of a circular section of the skull with a small crown saw; the act of trepanation; trephining
tuck point (tŭk' pōynt) v. in building maintenance, the technique of repairing mortar joints between bricks, pavers, or other masonry elements
|Additional Episode Information|
· Jerri's prison yard football play is called "the Cavity Search".
· Renee's father makes video games and Chip's father is an anthropologist.
· Before Blackman's regime, the school was run by Principal Mullet.
· The passage from "True Tales from Maniac Mansion" that Mr. Noblet silently reads is the same story that Jerri had recounted to Tammi, Trudy, and Renee at her slumber party.
· Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello joined Stephen Colbert in Charleston, South Carolina to write 8 of this season's 10 episodes. While there, the three frequently dined at a restaurant called "Captain Stacks", hence the rum pirate's name.
· The copyright date of the film strip that Jerri watches in the library is 1932. Did film strips even exist in 1932?
· The Business & Civilian Edition of the Flatpoint Flatpages that Jerri looks through at Pizzamania to find the phone number for the Wild Dunes Mental Hospital is for Area Code 666 and is dated October 1968 through September 1969.
· Stew's release papers from Wild Dunes are signed by Paul Dinello's dog, Cagney (freeze the frame and you'll see the dog paw). Fans of "Exit 57" will remember Cagney from the show's opening sequence in the serial killer's car. Cagney appeared in a few skits, too.
On The 'Flatpoint High School' Sign:
· "HELP WANTED - NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY"
· "YES" (in response to Jerri's question, "Is my daddy crazy?")
· "OCCUPATION WEEK WELCOME, DADS" (in the director's cut of this episode, this sign replaces the one that says "YES")
The Best Things In This Episode:
· The Lynchian creepiness of the entire episode
· The mysterious, other-wordly librarians, played by the O'Donnell brothers.
· Appearances by Heather Matarazzo and David Cross
Closing Credits Dance Sequence: A library film strip shows the cast, and some Red Squad members, frozen in their dance poses while a frenetic "Jarabe Tapatio" (aka "La Raspa" or "The Mexican Hat Dance") plays.
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