Don't put marbles where there is no light...
Episode 111: Mortgages and Marbles

Cast:
Brendon Small – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Erik – Jonathan Katz
Mr. Lynch – Ron Lynch

Synopsis:
Mortgages: McGuirk gets fed up with his apartment and, with the help of Erik, goes house-hunting, despite his lack of money or knowledge of what a mortgage actually is.
Marbles: After Josie sticks marbles up her nose, Brendon decides to make an education video warning children about the dangers of sticking marbles up your nose.

MARBLES!

History:
· This is the first episode where we hear that Erik is divorced.
· One of the main storylines in this episode is between McGuirk (H. Jon Benjamin) and Erik (Jonathan Katz). This is a type of reunion because Katz played Dr. Katz on “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist” and H. Jon Benjamin played his son Benjamin Katz. That’s also probably why Erik and McGuirk work so well off each other.
· This is the first time we see the interior of McGuirk’s house.

Lawn Gnomes:
· Try as I might, I cannot find a gnome in this one.

Brendon’s Filmography:
· *“Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose” – Spiky McMarbles, Dr. Checktizum and Melissa show kids that they shouldn’t put marbles in their nose. Featuring music by Scab. Puppetry by Jason and Brendon.

Bitten by the teaching  bug, huh?

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Though a nice play on "Just Say No" messages, I don't see any real connection.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· This is another one of those "nothing seems to work out" episodes. Brendon tries to teach kids not to put marbles in their noses--that fails and even leads up to Lynch and Paula putting marbles in their noses and McGuirk wants to buy a new house, but only ends up back at his place.

McGuirk packs the important things

Song Lyrics:
· Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose
Don’t put marbles in your nose
Put them in there do not put them in there
Don’t put marbles in your nose
Put them in there do not put them in there
Don’t put marbles in your nose
Put them in there do not put them in there
Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don’t!!!
(Guitar solo)
Don’t put marbles in your nose
Put them in there do not put them in there
Don’t put marbles in your nose
Put them in there do not put them in there
Don’t put marbles in your nose
Put them in there do not put them in there

Don't Put Marbles In Your Nose

Random Observations & Facts:
· Paula wears the same thing to bed as she normally wears.
· Josie’s curly hair shows up in the X-Ray.
· Brendon and Lynch’s laughing after Brendon makes the “why don’t you use humor” joke lasts 20 seconds.
· During the first Lynch-McGuirk scene, the exact same animation is used three times (the one with Lynch trying to walk and McGuirk stopping him).
· Melissa has “Melissa” written on her shirt during the “Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose” video.
· Even when Brendon & Jason are talking normally during the filming of “Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose”, they still move the puppet’s mouths.
· McGuirk’s “luggage”: A box that says “BEER”, a bag with “McGuirk” on it, a suitcase, another bag and a goldfish (Sammy).
· Outside the window where McGuirk calls Erik, it says “Pub”.
· The Robbins and McGuirk order food from “Chef Wong’s Golden Hippo Pupu”. There is a Chinese stereotype with a duck and a knife on the box.
· McGuirk has a pink towel that says “Hers”.
· McGuirk’s eyebrows go over his shower cap.
· McGuirk’s ass is censored out, but is visible for a second...not that I checked.
· This is the second time Erik has talked to McGuirk about breathing exercises.
· In the Kindergarten class, there are stars on the chalkboard that say: “Becky”, “Stan”, and “Suzie”, and a moon that says “Stevie”
· Spiky McMarbles’s arm falls off during “Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose”. Melissa holds in it place for a while, and then tosses it on Spiky’s head.
· Brendon looks at Jason angrily when he answers “Yes” to “Is Spiky stupid because he puts marbles in his nose?”
· The sign near the one house Erik shows McGuirk says “Exit 13 – Nowhere”.

Cannonball!

Past Episode References:
· Once again, we get to see the cow and banana tattoos from Episode 101 – Get Away From My Mom.
· In Episode 104 – Brendon Gets Rabies, Melissa says she doesn’t like birds. In this episode, if you look at the Robbin’s house, you can see that they have a bird.

Movie & Other References:
· Brendon tells Melissa that “The call is coming from inside the house” about McGuirk. This is from the movie “When a Stranger Calls”. (Thanks to Josh of The Blue Site (check the links section) for clearing up that reference)
· Scab dresses up like KISS in the “Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose” video.
· Also in the "Don't Put Marbles In Your Nose" video, Scab's drummer wears a hat in the style of Devo. (Thanks to Alex Brunelle)
· Brendon says his movie is like Gattica. Gattica is a futuristic movie where DNA controls a person's life, which could be considered in some ways educational (but I'm guessing Brendon meant it to be cool). (Thanks to Alyssa for this info)

End Credits: “Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose”

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

The Condiment King: I have to agree with four points of the commentary for this episode: 1.) We really had the old Erik/McGuirk magic right here with the main plot to this episode, the mortgages. Erik and McGuirk worked great together, with McGuirk being irresponsible about his economics and moving out of his apartment and Erik being irresponsible about laughing at McGuirk's blight and bringing him to terrible houses.

2.) We had some good Brendon/Lynch moments in this episode, such as when they had a good laugh over a lame joke earlier in the episode, and Lynch is talking about his love of slapstick. I really like how Lynch plays the deadpan unethusiastic teacher so well, such as in "School Nurse" when he has everyone talk in unison about biology. It brings another element to the cliche childhood of nearly everyone.

3.) That really was a downright brutal scene where Jason was having a marble extricated from his nose. Not only that, but we saw it AGAIN in a replay on the television with Brendon, Paula, and Josie watching. I echo Loren Bouchard's sentiments that that is downright hard to watch. Its only appropriate that the most disgusting scene in Home Movies history centers around Jason after all his Season 1 antics.

4.) Some of Josie's peers are downright ridiculous in the Home Movies world, especially the Charlie Brown-looking kid. What were the animators thinking? I mean, I realize that some of the things aren't really thought through and the budget is small, but still.

Just where was Lynch pointing when he said that he pulled marbles out of all the kids' noses all day? And what does he plan to do with those marbles if I see no visible nose? The same with Brendon seeing as how Josie was trying to shove marbles in Brendon's nose at the very beginning of the episode but couldn't. We can all see that big nose, but I see no passageway inside.

I always found it funny that Brendon and Jason continued to talk through their puppets while they were talking backstage about marbles and noses. Not to mention, Brendon talks with the puppet when he's talking to Melissa and Coach McGuirk over the phone. Every plot in this episode was dead-on, plenty of hilarious moments, one of the more memorable Skab songs, truly a Home Movies classic. *****

StrangerAtaru: Well this one's been a long time coming. Actually, I have seen this episode plenty of times, but this is the first time since I started reviewing the show. But the episode is probably one of the more uneven ones to me, with a somewhat insanely brilliant plotline paired up with one that is just barely hanging in there.

Starting with the "Mortgages" storyline, we have something that we know "should" work in theory: a teamup between Eric and McGurk as McGurk tries to move out of his old apartment. Considering how well I hear the two of them worked together on "Dr. Katz", not to mention episodes coming up later, we know that the two actors can work together well. But unfortunately, it is the plotline that gets in the way and prevents the interactions from being as comedically viable as it should be. While I do understand why McGurk wants to move out of his apartment once he talks with Eric, everything he goes through in this episode just isn't really that funny. Then again, it does seem to start off funny with his claims that he makes more money than he really does. ("$2 million" ) But once McGurk moves into his new place, this plotline loses steam, since I really didn't like any of his comments at this point. But then again, it sort of gets worse once, for no reason whatsoever, he moves out of his new place and ends up bunking over at Eric's (and Melissa's) until something new could be set up. McGurk was acting like his typical self, but in the context it just isn't as funny as it should have been take over the house like uninvited guests typically can do on shows like these. Yet with all of this going on, Eric seems to have all of the classic lines, talking with the soccer coach like an old friend at times instead of a real-estate broaker. (the scene where he talks of how much paint a certain place needed is hilarious every time) In the end, the whole plot just seems to go nowhere as McGurk goes back to his old place, but this time with triple the rent! Sadly, I think that if this plotline was running the episode by itself, it wouldn't really have made for a good episode....

...but then there is the "Marbles" part of the episode, which is one of the most classic sequences in the whole series. Essentially, Brendon decides that he has to make an educational video after watching his sister Josie put one too many marbles in her nose. The episode starts off simply with a simple, but funny, interaction between Brendon and his baby sister, which is somewhat rare on this show considering a lot of shows don't do much with baby characters. (especially that huge block in season 2 where Josie didn't show up at all) Brendon's enthusiasm carries on to his conversation with Lynch over creating the video, where he is able to get away with "possibly" getting extra credit on the project in case he was able to get kids to learn something. But, of course, the final product turns into a huge disaster...and one of the funniest scenes in the whole series! The video starts off as a strange puppet show where Brendon plays a character named Spikey McMarbles who, appropriately, puts marbles up his nose. Brendon hams up the scene away from Melissa and Jason (playing "Dr. Teachum" ) in order to prove that what he is doing is wrong. (note how at one point Jason calls this "the worst movie we've ever made"....something he will get used to saying later) But what makes it hilarious is that all the kids start doing exactly what Brendon/Spikey did just because they think it is cool. And to further reinforce it, we have an insane Scab video trying to drive down the fact of "Don't Put Marbles In Your Nose" while using as many music video cliches they can cram in to parody! It gets so insane that not only Lynch not give Brendon extra credit, he is suspected of doing it himself! But luckily, all becomes right in the end as Brendon teaches Josie with a video of Jason having a similar procedure she had at the beginning, proving overall that Brendon can make an educational video even if it takes him a couple of tries. I guess overall, this episode could have had "perfect" all over it for just the "Marbles" section....but the whole "Mortgages" bit dragged it down too much.

The Landstander: What a great episode. Season one had some ups and downs but the final 3 episodes are all fantastic, and show that the creative talent knows what they're doing at this point. The two plotlines of the episode are not connected, but both work very well in their own way.

"Mortgages" works as a standalone McGuirk plotline, and the best part of this is seeing H. Jon Benjamin and Jonathan Katz play off each other again. When viewing houses McGuirk and Erik seem to be geuninely trying to one up each other in amusing comments. Katz's laughter doesn't seem to be fake. McGuirk in the Robbins household made for some McGuirk/Melissa outside the soccer field, which is always a plus. The storyline kind of ends anti-climatically, but no matter, it's great anyway.

Then there's the even better portion, "Marbles". Josie actually plays well into the episode, and Brendon geuninely seems to want to help his sister. There's some good Jason/Brendon/Melissa scenes as they try desperately to make Brendon's bizarre idea for a video work. But the best part of the episode is when Brendon finially shows the completed project. The opening video is funny, the unexpected Scab song is hilarious, and the effect of Brendon's video on the people who watch it (including Lynch) is somewhat genius. Lynch plays nicely into both storylines here, as an inspiration/victim of Brendon and as a reality check for McGuirk's house-hunting abilities.

In the end, Brendon doesn't quite achieve his message and McGuirk doesn't get a house, but they do end up making some comic genius. Highly Recommended.