Series / Wonder Showzen

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WonderShowzen_8485.png
It's the Chernobyl of kids' TV shows!
"WARNING: WONDER SHOWZEN CONTAINS OFFENSIVE, DESPICABLE CONTENT THAT IS TOO CONTROVERSIAL AND TOO AWESOME FOR ACTUAL CHILDREN. THE STARK, UGLY, PROFOUND TRUTHS WONDER SHOWZEN EXPOSES MAY BE SOUL-CRUSHING TO THE WEAK OF SPIRIT. IF YOU ALLOW A CHILD TO WATCH THIS SHOW, YOU ARE A BAD PARENT OR GUARDIAN."
The content warning that opens every episode

Wonder Showzen was a grotesque parody of Sesame Street by art collective PFFR that managed, against all odds and Executive Meddling, to last two complete seasons on MTV 2. It features delights such as:

  • Puppets who...
    • Put a robotic slave, a monkey, and the human spirit on trial.
    • Suffer from AIDS.
    • Literally have sex with Middle America.
  • Other features include...

The spiritual predecessor of Xavier: Renegade Angel.


Tropes:

  • Anti-Humor: Some segments seem to exist purely to irritate the viewer. The "Patience" episode seems built around this concept (see Overly Long Gag below).
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    Child as Abe Lincoln: I never thought of shaving my beard and freeing all the slaves. But, I thought of shaving the slaves and freeing my beard! (dances to a jaunty music button)
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    Boy: "It was that summer I developed a crush on my sister."
    Girl: "That wasn't your sister!"
    Boy: "It wasn't? Ew."
  • Crawl: Used to great and exaggerated effect in the mock news segments. Unfortunately, it scrolls by at warp speed, making it almost impossible to read even with freeze-framing.
  • Divine Race Lift: God is black and he blew up the planet because they were keeping the "black man down".
  • Dream Within a Dream: The episode "Health" is revealed to be a nightmare Wordsworth was having; he complains about the cheap cop-out, but he's happy to be at least healthy... until he sees he's nailed to a cross. It then turns out that the episode was actually a dream of Chauncey, who fell asleep during Wordsworth's boring speech shown at the beginning; he also complains about the cheap cop-out. A post-credits sequence then reveals the episode was a dream Jimmy (a boy who was featured in a cartoon earlier in the episode), now a talking hot-dog, was having while asleep in class.
  • The Gambling Addict: The Beat Kids reporter finds an old man at a racetrack and offers to do an impression of him: "Gamble gamble gamble die."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Too many examples to count, which, considering the show aired on MTV 2, should tell you something.
  • God Is Dead: He killed himself...
  • Grossout Show: How about some time-lapse footage of a fox decomposing, for a start? Or a sex scene between two letters of the alphabet that would put Team America: World Police to shame? Did we mention that both of these events happen in the first episode?
  • Holier Than Thou: "Do you know where you're gonna spend the rest of eternity? You're gonna spend it with me. Talkin' about Jesus."
  • I Am A Humanitarian:
    • In the second episode "Space" the a couple of kids talk about eating Jeremy because he was bad. "Murderlisous".
    • After God kills himself they eat him.
  • I Lied
    Wordsworth: Uh, Chauncey, you promised I could deliver my extended comprehensive lecture about the significance of honesty!
    Chauncey: I did?
    Wordsworth: Yes.
    Cauncey: I lied. [Chauncey looks at the camera as it zooms into his face and a fart sound plays]
  • Kent Brockman News: The "BREAKING NEWS!" segment, complete with a warp speed Crawl.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: The "Beat Kids" segment's logo is the name tattooed across two fists. The Wondy Showzy knock-off equivalent, "Hit Children", also uses a knuckle tattoo logo despite not having an eight-letter name, which results in a three-fingered fist alongside a eight-fingered fist.
  • All Periods Are PMS: Aunt Flo, the physical manifestation of a woman's period, takes a young girl on a tour of her own ovaries, complete with stomach cramps and a river of menstrual blood.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Done rather strangely in "Oceans." Stranded at sea, Chauncey envisions Wordsworth as a roasted chicken. Wordsworth then envisions Chauncey as a female roasted chicken (with wig and lipstick). Instead of trying to eat each other, the two begin dry humping instead.
  • Medium-Shift Gag: In "Cooperation," the show is shown to be losing money because of bootlegs, knock-offs, video pirating, etc. As Chauncey describes each one, the scene shifts to low-quality VHS, a Quicktime video player on a computer screen, crudly-made sock puppets and poorly-done Flash animation.
  • Mind Screw: Many of the show's finer moments come from these.
  • Missing Episode: The episode "Health" was only broadcasted on MTV 2 once due to the "Beat Kids" segment with a kid dressed like Hitler. Doesn't seem like too much for Wonder Showzen? This episode aired on the day of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in Israel, which is also potent in the US.
  • Moral Guardians: The NAACP and the Catholic League both expressed outrage with the content of the show. Unsurprisingly, this just makes it funnier.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in the above mentioned Aunt Flo sketch.
  • Overly Long Gag: The first season finale. PATIENCE! PATIEN! PATIENCE! PATIEN! PATIENCE! PATIEN! PATIENCE! PATIEN! PATIENCE! PATIEN! The episode was about patience, and they made it to test your patience as much as possible. People talk as slowly as possible, there's the above joke with Clarence trying to get the old guy to say "Patience" right, and to take it Up to Eleven, halfway through, they run the first half of the episode backwards to "literally undo any damage [this episode] may have caused", with a few segments abridged, and with a few minor changes (including "Punctuation Marks with Punk Mark" not having music in the background). After that the episode turns into one on the topic of "Speed" for about five minutes, but THEN, at the end, a recap of the entire episode (including the recap itself) is played at warp speed during the credits.
  • Overused Running Gag: During the second season, they were really pushing it with Horse Apples. After its debut in "Knowledge," it was then given its own full episode, and a lot of the bonus features on the Season 2 DVD were related more to Horse Apples than Wonder Showzen.
  • Parody Commercial:
  • Refuge in Audacity: Practically the sole reason for the existence of the "Beat Kids" segment, where a young boy can dress up like Hitler and march down a busy street in New York because he's a kid. Even the name itself counts: one could say it's meant to imply "kids on the beat", but the Knuckle Tattoos logo implies otherwise...
  • Shout-Out: There's a segment in one episode that parodies Muppet Babies as "Wonder Showzen Preemies". It's animated in the same style as Muppet Babies, and it even takes place in the exact same nursery that Muppet Babies took place in.
  • Southern Belle: The sole female character, Sthugar, during a parody of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Spinoff Babies:
    • The "Wonder Showzen Preemies" sketch.
    • And its spinoff show, "Wonder Showzen Embryos."
    • And its spinoff show, "Wonder Showzen Spermies."
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • "Cooperation" shows the characters watching Wondy Showzy, a cheap knock-off of their show, with crudely made sock puppets and poorly produced segments (though some are regular Wonder Showzen segments put through a low-grade filter).
    • The whole series can be scene as this, with the deliberately cheap-looking sets and poor puppeteering.
  • Travel Montage: "Oceans" shows the cast lost at sea. They're represented by a ship sailing aimlessly around a treasure map, leaving red, rectangular marks behind them. It becomes sillier when the marks and ship diverge and start bumping into each other, as the cast fights one with swords. Later, it shows them spelling "Lost" with the marks.
  • Wingding Eyes: In "Health," Chauncey gets the idea to market Him's "Chewties" (cootie sores he's removing from Wordsworth's bed-ridden body). His eyes turn to dollar signs, whose eyes become Chewties that warn of the food's true nature. The Chewtie's eyes then convince him to sell them anyway.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/WonderShowzen