10 Replies to “The Otto Show”

  1. “One of my pet peeves from earlier generation sitcoms is the habit of having characters deliver dialogue that is funny for the audience, but also funny within the show’s fictional circumstance, only to have no character acknowledge the latter.”

    I feel that has come full circle now: If you watch the first season of How I Met Your Mother, nearly every single funny line is followed with a swift cut to one of the other cast members reacting to it. It’s pretty distracting once you notice it

    Also something I liked about Frasier: You’d get Niles and Frasier occasionally cracking each other up, in character, with their more witty lines

    1. A few American sitcoms do this thing where they have a perfectly good joke, but then have a character reply in a way that’s basically just explaining the punchline. Like if the ‘This time I’m hung over’ line was followed by ‘Wow, you shouldn’t drive while you’re hung over’

      It’s very annoying, and I’ll take weird silence over that. Although having the characters laugh at each other’s jokes every now and then is a fine middle ground

  2. I feel like writer’s trouble with making Otto more of character had to due with when they were writing him. Otto is a shallow parody of gen X written by the older generation that were self aware enough to realize if they went to deep they risked exposing how little they understood the youth.

    1. See, that was my first thought, but The Simpsons is a show that deals in sometimes wildly broad strokes, so Otto being a similar patchwork of general “burnout youth” tropes wouldn’t be any greater problem. Each character is an amalgam of sometimes decades apart expressions of their thing, but the series tends to focus on the more timeless core components. Otto may be technically Gen X, but large chunks of his stereotype structure stem from tropes and attitudes from the prior generation’s hippies.

      And some of the better work the show did was when it was being written by a bunch of comedy nerds who’d never been married, let alone had a family. This distance let them see each family member as an individual character more than an archetype bound to their family role.

  3. I’d find it funny that Homer is literally listening to elevator music, but I’ve been listening to Girl from Ipanema a lot recently and you forget that old classics stay around for a reason.

    I wonder if Otto would ever be given a sobriety arc ala Barney, though I do like drug addled Otto

    Not much to say about this episode, a few good jokes but it just kind of comes and goes. I’d blame it on being trapped between more memorable ones like Colonel Homer and Black Widower before it and Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes? after

    1. It’s a half measure of two solid ideas. The more I watched the Spinal Tap section over, the more I thought about how great a full episode of this would have been. Having the three actually there and a writer’s room who were big fans would have meant a grounding in the original tone combined with new voices, which would have been amazing.

      Then the more I thought about Otto as a deeper character the more I realise he got shafted. The idea of a friendship between him and Selma, united in making fun of Homer, is the kind of touching human connection that both would have been served by.

      So these two distinct things almost cancel each other out. Focused episodes like Colonel Homer and Black Widower smother the weak Otto section, and blistering efforts like Bart’s Friend Falls in Love trounce it for raw humour.

  4. Sorry if this has already been asked or answered elsewhere, but roughly how much extra material is there in the audio recordings? Just trying to justify my jumping from $2 to $12, cause I’m really enjoying watching along with these.

    1. It varies. The catchup recordings have a “Bonus Retrospective” bit at the end where I use the distance between writing and recording to come up with some more ideas. Since they’ve synced up, I’ve been doing Q&A, where Patrons can post questions in the audio section comments and I’ll address them. These add anything between 10-30 minutes of extra material per article, give or take.

      There are other things that come with that level, though, like the prior tier stuff or merch, but Aaron handles that section so I’d check the Patreon for more details.

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