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WELCOME TO ELTINGVILLE!! Tonight On Cartoon Network!! Like A Big Twisted Funhouse Mirror Of Geekdom!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.








This one stings. There's no way around it. You can sit and pretend that you don't recognize yourself onscreen in any way, shape, form, or fashion, but the truth is... if you understand anything you see during WELCOME TO ELTINGVILLE (airing at 11:00 PM EST/PST), the newest Cartoon Network addition to their Sunday night Adult Swim lineup, then some of this is going to sting.

A couple of friends of mine wrote and starred in a pilot for Comedy Central a few years back called SUPERNERDS which I reviewed here. In a lot of ways, WELCOME TO ELTINGVILLE is the same sort of show. Evan Dorkin, who you may know from his television work on shows like BATMAN BEYOND and SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST or from his underground cult comic hit MILK & CHEESE, has the edge over that earlier show because he chose to do this animated. This allows for an aggressive, surreal visual style that automatically distinguishes the show and that pays off the humor on not just the verbal, but the visual level.

This is important, because Cartoon Network continues to prove itself a home to many different definitions of what a "cartoon" is, and that diversity keeps their line-up interesting. They show anime. They show crudely animated but hysterically written shows like AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE and SPACE GHOST. They show elegantly animated modern fare like SAMURAI JACK and JUSTICE LEAGUE. And then there's the reruns. Tons of reruns, many of them available nowhere else. I love the fact that they experiment with their programming, and that they've got such a strong visual identity as a network that even their interstitials are interesting and innovative.

WELCOME TO ELTINGVILLE is about the four members of The Eltingville Club (the subject of the enormously winning closing-credits theme song by the Aquabats): Josh Levy, the foul-tempered Secretary of Science Fiction; Jerry Stokes, Secretary of Fantasy Gaming, who manages to drop his "bidi-bidi-bidi" Twiki routine long enough to DM campaigns for the rest of the Club; Pete DiNunzio, Secretary Of Horror; and Bill Dickey, who is both Secretary of Comic Books and the President of The Eltingville Club. It's his basement where they hold their meetings, much to the constant furious annoyance of his mother.

These four guys don't discuss their interests. They don't calmly debate the merits or faults of the films and television shows and comic books they love. They don't share ideas with one another. They brawl. They beat the shit out of each other. They engage in full-blown meltdowns over the slightest bit of trivia. They are the worst part of every geek, unleashed and amplified...

... and they're pretty damn funny.

The thing's only a half-hour long, so I don't want to go into too much detail. I'd worry about ruining it for you. The episode revolves around a "trivia-off" that Josh and Bill engage in to determine which of them is awarded the honor of paying $300 for a Boba Fett 12" figure, mint in box. The centerpiece of the show is the trivia-off itself, and here's where I have to commend Evan Dorkin for something that seems simple, but which so many people have gotten wrong in the past.

All of his trivia is right.

In fact, all of the details of this thing are right. So often, when someone decides to show a geek or geek culture as a joke, they get the details wrong, and as any good geek can tell you, the details are what it's all about.

Can this stand up as a weekly series? Well, considering the kind of schedule that Cartoon Network airs their programming on (my one complaint about their shows is a greedy one; I want more episodes of the things I love), it's not like we'd be looking at an initial order of 400 episodes. Here's hoping Comedy Central calls at least 13 or so meetings of this particular club to order in the future. This one episode ends with the cliffhanger query, "IS THIS THE END OF THE ELTINGVILLE CLUB?!"

I certainly hope not.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • March 3, 2002, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Damnnation

    by BenDaRas

    Wow wish I could watch it

  • March 3, 2002, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Just one question

    by Bad Guy

    Are they going to show any of these characters posting on an internet movie site? Man, I just watched the "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" DVD, and watching the two lead characters beat the crap out of internet fanboys at the end of the movie was some of the funniest shit I've ever seen. As long as it's done well, I don't have a problem with some cartoon poking fun at our ilk. Let's face it, sometimes we deserve it. Well, not me personally, but some of you really ask for it. Just kidding.

  • March 3, 2002, 3:43 p.m. CST

    this looks fuckin BOSS

    by AlecBings

    wow i cant wait. go Adult Swim. "allow me to powder your biscuit granmamma."

  • March 3, 2002, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Eltingville looks pretty funny from the previews, but...

    by Sod Off Baldric

    HOW IN THE HELL CAN ANYONE NOT LIKE SEALAB?!?! That show is great (though, some new episodes would be nice). "Oh yeah? Well have fun on the robot reservation, suckers! We're not gonna honor those bogus treaties!"

  • March 3, 2002, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Guiness

    by Harrys Man Boobs

    One of the voices on this show is Glen Jones, the Guiness World Record Holder for Longest Continuous Radio Broadcast. God Bless Jonesey! IBJ FOREVER!!

  • March 3, 2002, 5:02 p.m. CST

    This article is like a warm hug

    by Creamery Butter

    Oh, Eltingville Club, how I love you guys so. And some guy namedrops Jonesy. Brother, I was one of the observers for his attempt. Oh, today AICN is tops.

  • March 3, 2002, 5:25 p.m. CST

    true to the comic?

    by half vader

    This sounds cool, but I hope it's not watered down too much. The Eltingville comic stories work because of their rabid-dog intensity. By the way, does anyone know if this episode'll be called "Bring me the head of Boba Fett" like in the comic? - Of course they could just call it "Episode 1" and we'd all get a fanboy snigger out of it anyway!

  • March 3, 2002, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Next Week: Boo-Boo!

    by Gregzero

    For Evans official take on tonight events, visit www.houseoffun.com. Next week in the same timeslot, Cartoon Network will be airing the one-shot Yogi Bear pilot "Boo-Boo Runs Wild" that was animated by SpumCo. Just in case you lived under a rock these last years, that is John K. of "Ren and Stimpy" fame's production company. I am DYING to see Yogi beat the shit out of Ranger Smith! Spread the gospel!! SCREAM, DRACULA, SCREAM!!!

  • March 3, 2002, 7:01 p.m. CST

    EvilReader: Fly off the handle much?

    by St Buggering

    Damn dude, you're taking this WAY too seriously. Geeks are not a racial or religious minority that's denied basic human rights under the constitution, you know. Believe it or not, being a geek actually IS a social situation. Many of the most extreme geeks I know are married with children, have decent jobs, and even occasionally have friends who DON'T play D&D or collect action figures. It sounds to me like YOU'RE actually the one pigeon-holing these people. "Geek" is really just a term given to denote certain non-mainstream interests, and perhaps an obsessive quality concerning those interests. I consider myself a raging geek, but it's not a "trap", as you might call it, anymore than extreme sports fans are living in a "trap". It sounds to me like you're projecting you own doubts about your lifestyle onto the rest of us. Speaking for myself, knowing the titles of every episode of the original Star Trek series has never prevented me from having intimate contact with women, or making friends with non-geeks. If someone has a shallow, unfulfilling life, it probably isn't because they dig roleplaying games or collect toys. I'm sure there are plenty of deeply unhappy people who have never seen an episode of Buffy. Now stepping off soapbox.___________________________________________This show sounds like my sort of thing; I'm hooked on "Beat the Geeks", too. I could do the movie geek's job.

  • March 3, 2002, 7:24 p.m. CST

    The best birthday present ever!!!

    by RenoNevada2000

    As a long time Dorkin fan, having this air today on my birthday (Along with Jimmy "Scotty" Doohan)is the second best present I could get. (I'll be getting the first best from my girlfriend after we've watched this...)I hope that the `Toon Network rises to the occasion and actually orders this into a regular series. Over at Comics2Films.com, Dorkin gave a great interview in which he even spelled out some episode storylines that he was thinking about doing. I so want to see the war between the Renaissance Faire and the Klingon Camp!

  • March 3, 2002, 8:39 p.m. CST

    JONES 100:42

    by Conspir8or

    I! B! J! Glen Jones will breathe new life into the art of cartoon voice artistry this Sunday Sunday Sunday! Jones-Y!

  • March 3, 2002, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Geek, filed under "Happy."

    by Nordling

    I'm happily married, get sex on a fairly regular basis, have a beautiful daughter (who loves STAR WARS), have a pretty active social life (with geek and non-geek friends), and yet, I still glory in the trivial minutiae of all things sci-fi, film, and fantasy. I don't mind a joke undercutting my obsession. So, fire away. I can laugh at it.

  • March 3, 2002, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Hmmmm...I must be missing something...

    by sprocket-bot

    ...LIKE A FUCKING TIME!!!!! HELLO, instead of teasing our dicks with your praises of the show, maybe give us something even more useful! The fucking CN site doesn't list shit about this show...they don't even list the Adult Swim stuff tonight! Any info would be great.

  • March 3, 2002, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Hell yes, St Buggering!

    by Bad Guy

    Spread the word!! Well said on all counts. Just because we watch X-Files or collect sci-fi toys and comics doesn't mean we don't/can't have social lives. I don't know about the rest of you, but most of the people who know me aren't even aware of my "Geek Tendencies". Know why? Because it's not what defines me or rules me. I don't talk about my intersets with everyone I meet. They're just hobbies, folks. When they become your only purpose in life is when you need to rethink things. You've gotta have balance. I guess the main problem people have is that most of these things are considered "kid's stuff". I guess what I'm really trying to say is that you gotta make time for things like friends, family, work and yes, sex. Sex is good. Peace.

  • March 3, 2002, 9:07 p.m. CST

    OK OK, I'm a big mouth impatient fuck...

    by sprocket-bot

    ...CN lists it under CTN Default...what friggin' genius'! What the fuck is "ctn default"? But more info would have been nice.

  • March 3, 2002, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Evil Reader: Yes, I've heard of real life

    by St Buggering

    That's the place where you learn to mind your own business, live your life in whatever way pleases you, and not obsess over the way other people choose to live theirs. You might want to check it out. Again, the people at whom you aim your pity/scorn are not the way they are because of their interests; these people exist in all walks of life, and are not only to be found at sci fi conventions. Perhaps you should step away from your convention organizing duties and take a look at the rest of the world. And, as I believe I pointed out, many of us who share these interests and do have lives, do refer to ourselves as geeks. You can't just redefine the word to mean only those individuals to whom you're referring. Really, you should spend a little less time blowing mental energy on worrying about other people's habits. I think most of us are pretty satisfied with our lives, thank you so much.

  • March 3, 2002, 11 p.m. CST

    ... the clock is ticking !

    by Groovy_Chainsaw

    I'm online just before the show begins -- why can't CN drop 'Baby Blues'-- I just hate it so much !! Coax News shoulda mentioned this earlier too -- I was her at 2:00 PM ( EST ) and not a word about Eltingville. Y' gotta publicize, baby !!

  • March 3, 2002, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Loved It! Want More Now!!!

    by RenoNevada2000

    Anyone else catch the "Myron, The Living Voodoo Doll" reference?

  • March 3, 2002, 11:41 p.m. CST

    it just ended.........................

    by Dallas1701D

    and this show is great! Although there is no way that this show will appeal to the masses, lets face it, if you couldn't answer at least three questions in the trivia off (ok, some were pretty obscure, so I'll concede to knowing the answer "after the fact"....some of it was really obscure) you aren't going to like the show. I'll watch, and I know people who will as well, but it seems like there is not enough interest in the best shows on ADULT SWIM. OK, they started making new episodes of HOME MOVIES, which is great, but please dump Baby Blues, stop showing the same three episodes of AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE (I love that show, but come on, how 'bout a new one), and give us more HARVEY BIRDMAN. I hope they dont forget about WtE after three or four episodes. A little advertising might help these shows, too. Seems like the only advertise ADULT SWIM during ADULT SWIM. What's with That?????

  • March 3, 2002, 11:59 p.m. CST

    have to agree with ceedog...

    by yndrd

    it wasn't that funny. Being a fanboy myself, I found the references interesting, but the "trivia-off" lasted way too long. Did anyone else think that the fat kid's questions were good, but the skinny one's were laughable? Oh well... Bring back back-to-back Home Movies!

  • March 3, 2002, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Hey Evil Reader

    by ItsOver

    The biggest part of being a pathetic loser is having absolutely no sense of humor and penning petulant diatribes about the mundane on the Internet (sorry man, tough love). Evan Dorkin is not the jock knocking the gaming modules out of a geeks hands and wedgieing them. He's a big geek himself poking fun at the obsessiveness and sadness of the "hard-line geeks." I'm a geek and I can date and keep down a job. So can my geek friends. It's those of y'all that can't touch down on reality that make being a geek a bad thing.....This was a greak half hour and I hope more episodes get ordered.

  • March 4, 2002, midnight CST

    I agree about "TREKKIES" .......

    by Dallas1701D

    it was much better than W-to-E. I did like it, and I will watch it again, but, you know, it's been over fifteen minutes, and after thinking, it is not that funny. It was INTERESTING, but this show has the potential to get old quick. Geeks are funny in small doses, but they tend to get annoying faster than you can say "wookie scalp" if you spend too much time with them. Don't get me wrong, I am a geek myself, but I hide it well. Ever been to a sci-fi convention?? Well, here in the Philly area there is this mid-30's guy who always shows up in a bad star trek original series halloween costume and sits in the fron row with his mom. I am sure that he knows a HECK OF A LOT of trivia, but I would do whatever I could to avoid talking to that guy (if you read this, I'm talking about some OTHER guy in a uniform). Let's see if this show becomes more concerned with the characters and the lives that geeks live, rather than the trivia that they can rattle off.

  • March 4, 2002, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Let's see if this show becomes more concerned with the chara

    by Dallas1701D

    sorry to repeat, but I thought it was an interesting point in my last post and not many people read every post.

  • March 4, 2002, 12:41 a.m. CST

    The Regular Schedule?

    by The Beast

    Hey, it was pretty darn funny for a cartoon, and if they turn it into a huge drama about geeks, I'm gonna be sick and kill myself. What my question is, is it gonna be on every Sunday or what? I already lost track of Justice League and now miss every new episode. Throw me a bone here people!

  • March 4, 2002, 12:46 a.m. CST

    By The Way Dallas, I'm from the Philly Area too.

    by The Beast

    I go to this place in Bryn Mawr for my comics, and I have to say, I agree with you to an extent, because the role playing-nerds are the worst. The closer I fer to the S-Z section, the closer I get to the "role playing zone" thus, brining me closer to losing my sanity. Gee, maybe next time I'll just send an eail instead of typing inside joke crao on this thing. Sorry guys.

  • March 4, 2002, 2:16 a.m. CST

    I watched the show, and was relieved...

    by Tenguman

    ...that I didn't pick up most of the trivia, in-jokes, and references. Too bad, too, cuz maybe knowing all of that would've made me like the show.

  • March 4, 2002, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Eh

    by St Buggering

    It was okay. Vaguely amusing, no laugh-out-loud moments. It's certainly observant humor, but that's not worth much if it doesn't make me laugh. I have faith that Dorkan can do better, and I think that there's potential here, but not much of it was on display. And Evil Reader, that has nothing to do with its subject matter; only its execution.

  • March 4, 2002, 2:38 a.m. CST

    "B-b-but, he's no good to me dead!"

    by Ambrose Chappell

    That line got me where i live. I, too, have been known to quote from ye olde Star Wars trilogy in regular day-to-day dialogue. The show IS fun because I can see myself in a lot of the characters. And the trivia-off was great! However, I'm not sure if this is enough material for a full-length series. Is every episode just going to be based around various arguments that the group members have? If so, it's a one-trick pony in the making. Okay...I'm off to find nude pictures of Tashia Yar on the internet!

  • March 4, 2002, 3:02 a.m. CST

    "The characters in this thing are all annoying, self-centered, w

    by cold lazarus

    Hell, it reminded me of a lot of the Talkbacks here. There's a certain car-crash fascination, but I wasn't as repulsed like I am when I read yet another Episode 2-vs.-LOTR talkback. I know Evan's holding back for the PG rating, but the cruelty didn't have the finesse of what Johnen Vasquez did on Invader Zim, and wasn't as funny as Kevin Smith's answer to geekdom in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Still, it *is* more suited to the Adult Swim demographic than Baby Blues is, but Warner's gotta burn off the product from its affiliates, right? So where's Mission Hill and The Oblongs? And for those who wonder, this was Evan's pilot episode...more will be ordered based on ratings, I suppose, and how well it's received. Oh yeah, and Evan Dorkin has a beer and cheets on Sarah Dyer.

  • March 4, 2002, 6:38 a.m. CST

    The funniest thing about Evil Reader's stance is that it&#39

    by vroom socko

    Take a look at Dork #9. The story centers around club president Bill being kidnapped by two former fanboys that work similar to those people who deprogram cult members. It's without a doubt one of the funniest stories to be printed in Dork ever, and I think Evil Reader should take a look, he might learn something.

  • March 4, 2002, 9:47 a.m. CST

    EvilReader......

    by Psynapse

    I think you need to look up the words "megalomaniacal Messiah complex", if there was any justice your sorry assed face would be posted right next to it. Please go back to masturbating in the corner and let somebody who isn't a pretentious posturing windbag actually attempt to help someone else in the world. All you are doing is trying to enforce your own opinion on the masses to prop your OBVIOUSLY damaged ego.

  • March 4, 2002, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Right on ebonicplague!!

    by RenoNevada2000

    I'm all about celebrating and being proud of your geek side! Hell, I use the word all the time, when I realize to my more mundane friends I may be running off at how cool it was to be in the same room as Christophere Lee last week at Barnes and Noble in New York. (Which was very high on the cool/geek meter.) I just shrug and say "Sorry, can't help it. I'm a geek." And you know what, my friends and co-workers understand and accept me. But then again, I have fairly normal social skills, a job position with a fair amount of autority (That isn't in the fast food sector of our economy.), I've been living out on my own for eleven years, can ballroom dance and have a great girlfriend. But the most important thing I have is a sense of humor. I'm the first one to goof on myself about any of my faults. You know, I still can sadly remember being at a "Trek" convention the day after Shatner's "Get A Life" sketch first aired on "Saturday Night Live." And man, you should have heard all the whining and bitching going on there.It just reminded me of the saying, "Those in most need of getting the joke won't." Sad, but true. Anyways, back to ebonicplague's suggestion of reclaiming the word "Geek"- I say right on brother (or sister. Who can tell in these kind of things on the Internet?) Dorkin's one of us (He's stated that the original Eltingville strips were based on his experiences working at a comics shop in NYC and at conventions) and he clearly loves fandom, but doesn't mind taking some pot shots at it as well. I am geek and prod of it. (Not if you'll excuse me, I have to go join my girlfriend in the shower...)

  • March 4, 2002, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I WANT MY SEALAB 2021 BACK

    by slone13

    Anyone know what the hell happened to Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force? Please tell me they're not gone for good? No. I mean it. Tell me.

  • March 4, 2002, 12:27 p.m. CST

    CRAP! I missed it! Are they re-airing it? I thought it premiered

    by superhero

    SOMEONE PLEASE LET ME KNO IF THEY'RE RE-AIRING THIS! PLEASE! I BEG OF YOU! Milk and Cheese doth kick the mighty ass!

  • March 4, 2002, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Here ve see zee male Geek, in a life or death struuggle wit und-

    by Klam Bake

    I love that people here are critiquing this show in true Geek fashion. If there is one thing I enjoy more than Geeks making fun of Geeks, it has to be Geeks arguing with other Geeks. Thank you TB for continually brightening my days here on Earth. Thank Christ there are new cartoons on television that aren't slaves to subliminal advertising from Volkswagon and the like. Simpsons?! You should be ashamed of yourself!

  • March 4, 2002, 2:18 p.m. CST

    WELCOME TO ELTINGVILLE was great

    by KingKrypton

    It's always nice to know that you're not as big of a geek as you think you are, and the guys on ELTINGVILLE puts our own geek tendencies to shame. At least we have our feet set firmly in reality. At least we have lives. At least we're somewhat normal. The guys on this show are so pathetic that you can't help but laugh at them. And admittedly, I do get a kick out of seeing all of the bad geek stereotypes played for laughs. Oh, sure, I don't doubt that there are people out there who are just as bad as the characters on this show (in which case, they deserve this level of ribbing), but it's nice to know that compared to these guys, we're pretty normal folk. I enjoyed this show, and I hope it becomes part of the regular lineup...so long as it doesn't replace THE BRAK SHOW. I love that program. As it is, WELCOME TO ELTINGVILLE is a welcome balm for those of us who miss the TICK (damn you, FOX!).

  • March 4, 2002, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Another geek "passing."

    by tbrosz

    I'm married with two kids, and am gonna be fifty in a couple of years. And hey, I probably qualify as a geek, although a real geek would go to the out-of-town conventions. I do know I got a lot farther in that trivia contest than I thought I would before they lost me.

  • March 4, 2002, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Bantha butt!!!

    by Terry_1978

    I seriously enjoyed this thing last night. The trivia contest made the whole episode for me. Though I find it hard to believe that a bunch of fanboys could be so cruel to another kid(the blonde haired wanna-be guy).

  • March 4, 2002, 4:03 p.m. CST

    IBLIS TechnoMage: </fuckhead>

    by St Buggering

    Now THAT was geek humor, man. I laughed out loud.

  • March 5, 2002, 10:30 a.m. CST

    adult swim

    by tvc15

    here&#39;s my nickle&#39;s worth. didn&#39;t much care for eltingville. there were moments i enjoyed, like the trivia off, the guys racing home to get money,the little kid being attacked by vultures and being pushed off the counter, but overall it was fair at best. dont like baby blues. love home movies...but i miss the "squigglevision." (why did they change the style, anyway?) love sealab. hate aqua teen. love brak. growing weary of space ghost (probably because they seem to be running the same eps over and over)I also wish there were more than 2 eps of harvey birdman. i do love the adult swim.

  • March 5, 2002, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Shit, I missed this. Hope they repeat episodes!

    by WarDog

    Mostly I HATE Adult Swim. So lame, but that&#39;s just how it fails for me, not to impugn the tastes of the rest of you fans. But this Welcome to Eltingville looks hilarious, considering how it reminds me of several geeks I knew in the past. Thanks, Moriarty for telling us about this cartoon.

  • March 6, 2002, 6:28 a.m. CST

    If only Canada&#39;s Teletoon would take more notes from The Car

    by paddington

    The best original series it has is The Ripping Friends... not to say it&#39;s a bad show or anything... just no where near the kickassness of the samples I&#39;ve seen of The Cartoon Network&#39;s original shows, ex: Night of the Living Doo halloween special (the ever so reliable upper in my life). Even The Cartoon Network&#39;s ads rule over all others. The one good ad Teletoon ever made was for the WILDCats series when Teletoon first started. Enough of my bitching though... If anybody from Teletoon or The Cartoon Network is reading this take note: THERE IS A DEMAND FOR THE CARTOON NETWORK&#39;S SHOWs UP HERE IN CANADA!!! Please provide us with them so that I can live a happy, fulfilled life. Paddington