Al "welcomes" his new partners in "Psychic Avengers" in Season 6 of MWC.
| Season 6, Episode # 19 |
Number (#124) in series (259 episodes)
|Guest star(s)||Candice Azzara|
|Writer(s)||Calvin Brown, Jr.|
|Taping date||February 7, 1992|
|Original airdate||March 1, 1992|
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|"My Dinner with Anthrax"||"Hi I.Q."|
Kelly, Bud and Peggy are running down the staircase while holding suitcases and appear to be frightened. Bud asks Peggy how long will they be gone for and she tells him until things blow over, as she's afraid of what Al will do, and then calls Buck down, who is wearing a small backpack and tells them that he's running behind because he misplaced his dead bird and then runs back upstairs. Seeing Buck leave, Kelly suggests that they just get a new dog while on the road. She then reveals that the reason they are leaving is due to the fact that they can't afford a TV Guide now.
Peg points out that he might run amok again, referring to an incident known as "The Great Toilet Paper Scare of '86". Bud apparently doesn't remember being there, and Kelly jokes that he probably was in his room trying to decide what shirt goes with nothing to do. Peg then reassures him that he's lucky that he wasn't there to see it. She then continues on:
"The market ran out of Aurora White and I had to buy the house brand. I even put it in the old Aurora wrapping. But..he knew at first touch. God, it was terrible, with him running around with his pants down around his ankles, screaming to the heavens...that was the last bridge party I ever had."
Suddenly, the sound of the muffler from Al's Dodge scrapping the pavement can be heard. The family frantically runs back to the couch and Peg tells them remain calm as she puts out an old TV guide. Kelly tries to think positive and hope that Al is in a good mood, but then he comes in angry and yells out "Why doesn't the world die!?" He then continues on:
"There was a fire in the mall today. 20 stores went up, but guess where there were able to stop the fire? Yes, the shoe store. So I don't get any days off, but...I should be raking it in, cause its well known that women just love to tromph through burned out malls, just to buy shoes that used to be cats from a guy that used to be a man."
He then tells them that he just wants to do is curl up on the couch with a TV guide, before becoming excited to see Starsky and Hutch on the cover, thinking that his years of writing letters brought it back on the air. He then turns on the TV and thinks that the dark haired man gained some weight, before realizing he looking at Roseanne and questions what's going on. Peggy, now extremely nervous along with the kids, reveals that the cost of heating went up and they now can no longer afford a TV guide, which causes Al to scream out in horror. Peg tries to reassure that things will be OK and that they could easily just steal the TV section from the neighbors' newspaper, but Al calls Peg insane and points out that it doesn't feel the same, asking:
"Does a newspaper fit snugly in your hands? Does it Jeer? Does it Cheer? Are there articles about William Conrad and what he'll be doing on Circus of the Stars? I think not! Now look, for years the only reason we had heat was for the kids. Now their both over 18 and I say let them freeze. I want my TV Guide!"
Peg tells him to be reasonable, as the costs for a TV guide is $0.79 a week, which shocks Al enough to hang his head and apologize as he had thought it was only $0.25 a week. She then asks if he's going to throw a fit and he confirms it, which causes the family to run out and avoid yet another scream from him. He then looks up and says "O might one who created the heavens and earth" and then looks down to the floor and says "[bitterly]...and you who created my wife and kids". He then looks back up and asks why does he torture him with a TV and yet no TV Guide to enjoy it with, before screaming "ARRGGGGHHH" and bashing his head on the coffee table, screaming "I HAVE NOTHING...NOTHING...NOTHING...NOTHING...." before Jefferson walks in. Al then gets up asks him if he has $.79 for a TV Guide, only to find out that he has only large bills, as he used his quarters to feed the ducks and watch them drown, pointing out that gives him something to do when he has no job.
Al then turns to him and ask how can he manage to have money without a job and yet Al, with his job, can barely afford to have a 1972 TV Guide, which he said was only useful as CBS had brought back All In The Family. He then tells Al that he sells lucky numbers in newspaper under the name, Madame Zelda. Al asks him how could he do this to poor unsuspecting people, which Jefferson replies "I'm a thief. Love me for what I am" and then tells Al to keep it to himself, which causes him to put on the Bundy grin and say "I'm a squealer. Love me for what I am...or cut me in"
Al, now sitting in the kitchen, with piles of cash on the table and telling Mr. Brown that his lucky day is Wednesday, before he starts to laugh. Jefferson comes in, holding a large sack close to his chest and asks him how things are going, which Al happily tells him that he is now able to afford two TV Guides now. Al continues to tell him how happy he is to be rich and to be able to provide for his family. Jefferson asks if he told his family about his wealth and he promptly tells him "Hell no!!" and continues to tell him that at most they may suspect something, but they're too dumb to really know what's going on.Just then, the rest of the Bundys hide behind a large cutout of Buck and quietly sneak up to where Al is at, and he seems to think its really Buck. Jefferson tries to point out it out to Al that its the rest of the family is standing behind him, but he's cut off as Al rants about the family:
"You know, I might as well admit it..I'm the only smart one in the family. I mean we got a woman so lame, that she actually thinks when I groan during sex, it actually has anything to do with her...and Bud, he wouldn't know the house is on fire if it wasn't on Nick at Nite..and the only reason Kelly got a head is to keep her brain out of her neck."
Al then hears Kelly say "Heeeeyyy" and suddenly he changes his tone about them, saying that he loves them if they were only there, before they pop up from behind the cut out and demand to get a cut of the profits as well. Peggy then points out that they got married for richer or poorer and now that they've been through the poorer end of the spectrum, that its time that they moved on up to being rich together and if he thinks he can get away by doing it without her, then he's cheaper and stupider than the shoes he sells. He then talks to Jefferson in private, mumbling until Jefferson can be heard saying that they can call the cops on them and then they'd both be in trouble, forcing Al to let them in, before revealing its a good thing, as he had planned to expand the operations anyway, without Jefferson knowing about it. He says that the expansion would allow him to dress his woman in "ermines and pearls like she deserves" before saying that he won't forget Peg either.
Now in a business office with a sign on the door that reads "Madame Zelda's Phone Services", the group has hired other phone operators to help out. Meanwhile the female Bundys are dressed up in exaggerated gypsy style dresses and try to give out numbers to people over the phone. Bud, on the other hand, is handing the accounting and is boasting to Jefferson that this is better than being with a woman and that they've become bigger than U.S. Steel. Jefferson tries to tell him that they're not and that he's nervous about the way things are going and how its being run. He tells him its should be "Get in, get out...like sex". Bud accuses him of just being jealous because Al took over operations, and while Jefferson admits that they are earning more now than they did before, he doesn't want to see the attention its going to attract and also notes how its changed Al.Al, now dressed in a white suit and hat with sunglasses and a cane, walks in and starts speaking with a New Orleans style accent, saying he wants to see the phone lines lit up and old people losing their money. He then goes up to Bud and asks how things are doing. He points out to Al that everything is looking good, except for the westside, but Jefferson jumps in and points out that its fine, since that territory belongs to Madame Inga and no one wants to mess with her. Al though seems to not care and is willing to take it from her:
"Damn Madame Inga and her army of psychic Swedes!... If I want the westside, I'll have the westside. I'll have all sides... Inside. Outside. East Side. West Side. Matter of fact, I'll have a hamburger with a side of onion rings, paid for by the pensions of old ladies...Can I get a "Whoa, stealing old ladies' pensions" [rest of the family joins him]...Whhhooooaa, stealing old ladies' pensions"
Jefferson, now sitting in a corner says he can't believe that Al called together the heads of the five psychic family of Chicago and is now convinced that he has gone mad with power, before Bud slaps him on the face and tells him to not talk about family business in front of strangers. Kelly comes out from a beaded curtain and starts to play the theme from the Blues Brothers, introducing Al, dressed up in exaggerated gypsy fashion and dancing to the music, to the families. He then introduces the heads to each other
- The king of the ouija boards on the southside, Big Bob Farrot ("My friends call me "Huggie"")
- The man who controls the palms on our north shore, Zelmo the Toad ("I can kill with my tongue")
- The man who controls the crystals in the loop, Mad Thursday Markowitz ("Don't hate me because I"m beautiful")
- King of the tarots, who came all the way from southern Wisconsin, Hackbar the Beast ("I'll paint any car for $19.95")
- And last but not least, although by far the ugliest and hairiest, the virtuoso of the crystal ball, Madame Inga ("The spirits tells me that you have not bathed today...or yesterday.")
Al then sits down and tries to kingpin the group by comparing them to the toppings of a pizza, saying that the only thing that is unifying them is the cheese and that they shouldn't be fighting and instead should come together and he will be the cheese that unifies them. Peggy then comes in and he refers to her as the "anchovies that no one wants to touch". She then tells him that a lady wrote her a letter saying that she managed to win $12 at bingo thanks to her numbers, making Peg think that she's been touched and truly is psychic, but Al points out that even in a room full of loons, she still manages to stick out among them. He then turns his attention back to the group, and promises to unite them with him as the leader for 50% of their profit. Madame Inga objects, saying that she won't share her profit with someone who isn't psychic and boasts that her skills and curses are real. He then tells her that its merely a suggestion and she is more than welcome to leave.
As she gets up to leave, Al tells her that she forgot her crystal ball and as she goes back for it, Al knocks it over and breaks it. She then tells him that he is going to pay for that and thinks of a way to curse him, but every time she looks at him and his family, she realizes there isn't much else to curse him and the family with that's already been done by nature and genetics, but vows that she will find a way to curse him. Seeing that the rest of the heads aren't backing out, he is happy and talks his exit while the Blues Brothers' music continues to play.
Back at the Bundy house, Al is counting checks and cash, saying that curses are just full of hooey and can't believe people still believe in them, as Peg is holding up crucifixes, Kelly is clutching a box of Lucky Charms and Bud is throwing salt over his shoulder. He then tells the family that he plans to expand westward now, but Peg tries to convince him that Madame Inga's power is real and that her curse is something to not take lightly. Kelly tries to convince him too, saying that something can happen like one of them turning into a frog, before turning to Bud, now holding a horseshoe with a rabbit's tail attached and screams and then laughs. Bud then comes back and tells her to just until she's turned into a thick thighed waitress, before saying that's only the just curse of time and wait to see what Madame Inga's going to do, causing her to clutch her Lucky Charms box tighter and repeat "They're magically delicious" over and over.
Jefferson comes in and warns Al that Madame Inga has now called all the dark forces of Sweden together to curse the Bundys, but Al thinks its nothing and jokes that he might end up Walking up one morning owning a Volvo? Spend the rest of my life as a skiier? Or worse, wake up next to a long legged Nordic beauty with big honkers? Oh no!" Now scared, Jefferson tells him that he's pulling out of the business and Peg tells them they are now going to end up walking the earth as undead masseuses and sarcastically thank him. Frustrated, he gets up from the kitchen table and points out that all his family does is complain about what he can't provide for them, like heat and now that he's able to afford things for them, all he hears from them now is them complaining about how afraid they are of the curse, but he tries to reassure them that its now the 20th century and there's no such thing as curses.
Unfortunately for Al and the family, it turns out that curses are real, and now the Bundys have been turned into monkeys, who are sitting on the couch. Al then reminds them that he sent Madame Inga their money, against his wishes, to lift the curse. Bud tells him that he's worried that she might not get the money, but Al points out that Buck hasn't let them down before. Peggy points out that she can hear him coming home and then he enters, now as a human with grey hair, glasses and a brown tweed suit and bow-tie. Al asks him if he sent the money like they asked, but he tells them he had to use it as bail money, as no one told him it was impolite to sniff another human's butt before walking up the staircase. Al says "Damn dog" and Peg seems to accept the fact that they're monkeys now.
- The five psychic families in Chicago spoofs the five family heads meeting in the 1972 film, The Godfather, which was actually based on the real Five Families in New York, a collection of the major Italian mafia families who controlled specific territories in New York.
- Marcy doesn't appear in this episode, though it was directed by Amanda Bearse.
- Kevin Curran, a producer and writer for the show, in addition to being the voice of Buck, plays the human version of Buck towards the end of the episode.
- The song that plays when Kelly introduces Al to the five psychic families is called "I Can't Turn You Loose" by Otis Redding. It more commonly known, in its instrumental form, as the introductory theme for the Blues Brothers.
- The phrase that Mad Thursday Markowitz says, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful", is originally a line that actress Kelly LeBrock made famous when she was the spokesmodel for Pantene Shampoo in the 1980s.
- The phrase that Hackbar the Beast says, "I'll paint any car for $19.95", is originally the slogan used by Earl Scheib, a chain of auto repair shops that specialized in collision damage repair and repainting. The company operated in 23 states from 1937 until 2010.
- Starsky & Hutch was a cop thriller TV series that ran from 1975 to 1979. It was remade into a comedy crime film in 2004.
- William Conrad was an actor best known for his narration for television series such as F Troop, Buck Rogers in the 25th century and Gunsmoke. As an actor, he may be best known as Frank Cannon in Cannon, the title character in Nero Wolfe and Jason Lochinvar "Fatman" McCabe from the series "Jake and the Fatman".
- Circus of the Stars was a variety show on CBS than ran from 1977 to 1994, in which notable celebrities at the time performed various circus acts, though William Conrad wasn't one of them.
- During the credits for the episode, instead of the still frame of Al and Peg on the couch, the monkey versions of Al and Peg are shown moving around on the couch. At the end of the credits roll, Al and Peg Monkey kiss each other, implying that their transformation has made them more caring to each other.
- Presumably Buck showed up for court, as bail money is refunded unless one fails to appear in court. Since the Bundys are shown once again as humans in future episodes, it can be implied the curse was broken.
- When Kelly introduces Al to the five heads of the psychic families, there is a yellow sign hanging on the wall near her that reads "Madame Zelda's Motto - It Pays To Know The Future"
- Lucky Charms is an actual brand of kids cereal, consisting of oat pieces and marshmallows and featuring Lucky the Leprechaun on the front of the box. Its motto is "They're magically delicious", which Kelly keeps repeating to herself while clutching the box.
- This episode is a spoof on the "Psychic Friends Network" infomercials which figured prominently on late night television from 1991 to 1998. It was hosted by Dionne Warwick and featured Linda Georgian as the star psychic. Although highly profitable, the Network declared bankruptcy in 1998.
- This was just another episode where Al Bundy dons a flashy suit worthy of a GQ pictorial. The idea being that Al is a downtrodden shoe salesman with no good prospects but wearing an upgrade in clothes will change his outlook if only for the time being.
- Another Godfather nod was the line "We are bigger than U.S. Steel", which was spoken by one of the mob bosses in The Godfather Part II. Bud considers this scam great while Jefferson is more restrained. This mirrors the climax of the film in Cuba in 1958, when American gangsters were welcomed due to the huge profits they brought to Cuba with casinos. While the mob bosses show unrestrained optimism about their investments in Cuba, the film's protagonist, Michael Corleone, has concerns. This proves true as a New Year's Eve celebration is interrupted by rioters and looters, starting the Cuban Revolution of 1959.
- Al says that he has a TV Guide from 1972, yet he noticed that Starsky & Hutch was on the cover, which didn't premiere until 1975.
- If you look at the monkey version of Bud, he starts off wearing a hat, but then as soon as the camera comes back, the hat moves off to the side and then on his lap later on, all within mere seconds.
Recurring cast/Guest starsEdit
- Cast Regulars