5 Crossover Episodes That Led To Chaos and Insanity
Ah, the crossover. Most fans love, or at least tolerate, seeing their favorite characters appear together in a shared universe. Sometimes the pairings might even make something resembling sense. But other times, if you feed some clueless executive enough cocaine, they'll blurt out, "What if Frasier went to space? And not, like, any space, but future space!?" And the rest is history. Extremely stupid history.
Yosemite Sam Met Jonah Hex In A Dark Western Comic
In 2017, fans finally got that fateful crossover they'd been waiting on for decades. What do you mean "which one"? We're talking about the Jonah Hex / Yosemite Sam crossover, of course!
In this one-off, Yosemite Sam scores a huge payday from mining (and also scores with a prostitute), but makes a lot of enemies who want his newfound treasure. So the rootinest, tootinest, shootinest cowpoke west of the Rio Grande hires the protagonist of the most violent western saga since Blood Meridian to protect his wealth.
If seeing the normally diminutive and over-the-top Yosemite Sam portrayed as a serious character wasn't weird enough, he's joined by fellow Looney Tune Foghorn Leghorn, who's moving through the West as part of a traveling circus. They become fast friends after Yosemite saves the giant stuttering chicken from drowning, and when push comes to shove, we learn that Foghorn is the greatest hand-to-hand fighter in the land.
Not only are the visuals jarring, but the dialogue keeps all those famous Mel-Blanc-isms intact, even when Sam is hyping himself up to avenge Foghorn's shooting. It turns out that fists are no match for bullets.
Yosemite Sam shoots off his pistols all the time, but instead of making some pesky rabbit dance, this time he's blowing motherfuckers' brains out.
Tom And Jerry Went To Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory enchanted a whole generation of kids with its wonder and imagination (while occasionally scarring them emotionally). Tom and Jerry are a slapstick pair that your grandparents might have once found mildly amusing. Who could resist putting these two wonderful things together? A lot of people, but unfortunately, none of them were in the position to shut this tragedy down.
This is an almost scene-for-scene remake of the 1971 movie, only with the violent cat and mouse duo randomly inserted into the events. And it's all put together with nothing but the finest animation a sweatshop can forcibly produce.
The sheer laziness on display is pretty unapologetic. Tom and Jerry are completely irrelevant to the plot. They just squabble and are cut to at random during musical numbers. About the only way the two things even fit together is through Wonka's complete lack of fucks regarding food and tour safety standards.
According to the press release, the movie is supposed to be "A great way to introduce younger viewers to this classic story." Because if there's one way to make a classic children's movie from the '70s appeal to today's kids, it's by inserting a cartoon duo from the '40s. We can't wait for the retry at a Pete's Dragon remake featuring Little Orphan Annie randomly dancing in the corner.
The TGIF Lineup Combined To ... Give Us A Real Dose Of War, Death, And Political Struggle
In the '90s, TGIF was ABC's two-hour Friday-night block of family-friendly sitcoms, featuring some of the most memorable shows of the era: Family Matters, Full House, Step By Step, and others that have aged with the grace of yogurt left out in the sun.
In 1997, ABC had the brilliant idea to cross over all their TGIF shows in one huge television event. It was like a televised MCU, if you removed every single reason one might like the MCU. The crossover kicked off with Sabrina The Teenage Witch, in which magic talking cat Salem swallows a "Time Ball." Yes, it begins as so many classic tales have: with atemporal cat vomit.
Sabrina and gang end up transported to the '60s, where Sabrina is initially enamored of hippie culture and retro fashion, but then characters go out of their way to trample and mock the burgeoning feminist movement and she realizes what a horrible political climate it is for women.
Eight thousand hippie jokes later, and Salem begins fucking with the realities of other TGIF shows. The cast of Boy Meets World, for example, get transported into the thick of World War II.
Don't let the jokes and fun music fool you; there's a heavy dose of Saving Private Ryan in this "very special episode." Corey enlists in the Army, only to never return. Shawn is forced to relay the news to his family and girlfriend, and then fulfill Corey's last wish that Shawn marry her in his place. Corey is later found in a Paris cafe, suffering from shell-shock-induced memory loss, in what's basically The English Patient with a laugh track. All that's missing is Mr. Feeny throwing his hands up in despair while "Adagio For Strings" plays.
Frasier Boldly Went Where No Sitcom Should
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Trek in 1996, there was a TV special which inexplicably included a comedy sketch starring Captain Janeway and the cast of Frasier, minus Frasier himself. It seems Kelsey Grammer's agent had the forethought to realize that "Frasier in space" was like Springtime For Hitler without the money-laundering scheme.
We won't spoil the ending, mainly because we bailed out around the 3:30 mark.
The jokes are all one-note riffs on "What if the pretentious dialogue from Frasier was laced with Star Trek references?" So you get Niles bemoaning how time-traveling to Pompeii ruined his Romulan shoes, followed by a laugh track that sounds like an audience being told that they need to work harder for the release of their loved ones.
They didn't even bother coming up with an explanation for why the crossover is happening, and it's obvious that no one wanted to be there. David Hyde Pierce seemingly had to be convinced to perform at gunpoint minutes before filming began, as he nearly forgets his opening line, stumbles and repeats others, and in a particularly inspired moment, mimes typing communications to an enemy ship in a way that looks like he's playing air piano to a Stevie Wonder song.
Of course, the audience reserves its loudest applause for the real star of the show: Eddie. Yes, for some reason, the dog has joined Starfleet, and apparently, he's visited the Klingon homeworld and has been "digging up azalea bushes." A Klingon arrives to inform us that if the lifeform appears again, it'll mean intergalactic war. Cue hilarity. The whole scene is arguably the nadir of '90s media, and that was the same decade that brought us Pauly Shore crooning "Respect the weasel."
CSI And Two And A Half Men Swapped Writers So Chuck Lorre Could Murder Roseanne Barr
In 2008, Chuck Lorre pitched/badgered people into accepting the idea of Two And A Half Men swapping writing teams with another CBS show for an episode, meaning that he would get to write an episode of a better show, while that other show's writers could witness firsthand the walking cautionary tale of Charlie Sheen. The show Lorre finally picked was CSI, the Vegas-based, blood-splatter-centric crime procedural, because he is used to committing crime on television.
Lorre's CSI episode centers on the murder of a crazy, stupid, alcoholic, abrasive female comedian who forces men to have sex with her to keep their jobs, and who so happens to star on a show that greatly resembles Roseanne. The show goes out of its way to say that no one ever liked the woman, and the only person who pretends to care about the crime is the killer, who goes free due to a lack of proof.
While Lorre has never commented on it publicly, entertainment media was quick to point out that he had worked for, and famously had major issues with, female comedians on hit shows like Cybil, Grace Under Fire, and, wait for it, Roseanne. We assume they tastefully axed the closing scene wherein Lorre himself confesses to the murder and then has a parade thrown for him by a grateful nation.
Meanwhile, having the burden of writing a terrible sitcom thrust upon them, the CSI team did the only thing they could think of: kill Charlie Sheen's new father-in-law and cover him in semen. The plot of that entire season of Two And Half Men had been leading up to a wedding between Sheen's mother and her boyfriend, but the CSI team couldn't function without a death, so that character was abruptly killed off. There were also dick jokes.
So about a year of work for Lorre went up in smoke, and all he got out of it was the opportunity to call Roseanne Barr a crazy asshole that no one likes. If only he had waited a decade, Roseanne would have done that for him.
Taylor Daine is a Midwest-based writer and comedian who makes bad tweets at @turtledovejones.
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