Bad Call TV
is a Web Video
series that explores the various terrible decisions that are made in boardrooms, government bureaucracies, laboratories and homes everywhere. Mostly by trying to come up with a reason for their horrible, horrible ideas.
The two main cast members are Lachlan Huddy
and Darcy Lord,
occasionally accompanied by friends or family when they require a larger cast.
This Series Has Examples of:
- Acceptable Targets: Even when mocking Paramount's decision to not pick up the Twilight movies, the folks at Bad Call TV decide to make fun of the Sparkly Vampires.
- Ambiguously Gay: The Mars Brothers from "Product Misplacement."
- And Now For Something Completely Different: Episode 24, "Creature Feature," is the first work they do that does not involve a Real Life mistake.
- And again in Episode 27, "Bloody Good Investment, which is a story about purchasing a clearly cursed/haunted house.
- Beyond the Impossible: In "Fapple, Inc.," a porn addict feeds his addiction by looking at porn on a 1st generation iPod and an Apple II.Neither of these are capable of displaying photos or videos.
Porn Addict: All sorts of interesting things.
Lawyer: Get the fuck out of my office.
- Black Comedy: It's one thing to joke about the decision making behind the New Coke formula. It's another thing entirely to make fun of the effects of thalidomide, or the many times the US and Russia came within an inch of nuclear war.
- Blatant Lies: "The new Premiere cigarette is 100% safe, 100% clean, and makes no compromises on taste." Followed by Lachlan taking a Vomit Discretion Shot, of course.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The increasingly disturbing admissions from one of the executives in "What's in a Name?"
Malcolm: What do you people even do around here?
- Camp Gay: The lispy executives of the Hoover Corporation in "Well, This Sucks."
- Not to mention Santa Anna in "Remember This?"
- Censored for Comedy: The end of "The Flying Game, Part I" involves the usual threat being censored to the point where it can't be understood. The narrator lampshades this.
"What the fuck did he just say?"
- Coitus Uninterruptus: In "What Would Jesus Do?," one of the executives is receiving a hand job from a scantily clad woman under the table, while discussing a business deal. Made doubly funny because they're supposed to be high-ranking members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, discussing the building of a mall by the Church itself.
- Cold War: The topic of several videos, particularly in "Relaying the Problem."
- The Comically Serious: Darcy Lord is capable of saying some extremely odd things with a completely straight face.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: If it's not a result of total incompetence, bad decisions at corporations will be attributed to this.
- Dead Baby Comedy: Or close to it, when talking about the decision to manufacture and sell L-thalidomide as a morning sickness medication, without checking on the side effects.
- Deep South: The origin of the PR backlash against New Coke, which saw their attempt to appeal to the Pepsi-drinking North as a betrayal by the traditionally Southern company.
- Deliberately Monochrome: When doing decision that happened prior to 1950 or so, they enjoy filming in black and white.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Since they lack any non-white cast members, there was no way they could do an episode about Nintendo, a Japanese company, without seeming at least a little racist. So they decided they'd just go all the way and represent the Nintendo board of directors as blatant Japanese stereotypes and speak only in nonsensical Gratuitous Japanese (with subtitles, of course).
- Distracted by the Sexy: The reason why the Bikini Atoll nuclear test went so badly in "Oh, Bravo!".
- Drugs Are Bad: And unsurprisingly, they tend to result in some bad decision-making. Many videos depict people drinking or doing drugs before making a particularly bad decision.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Even the Bad Call TV guys don't want to joke about children dying of pneumonia because their parents believed in prayer healing... which is why they invented a scenario in which a man dies of a seizure, instead.
- Even the Guys Want Him: In "Joining the Team," a man is tricked into watching Twilight with his girlfriend. One of his first comments is how striking Robert Pattinson's eyes are.
- Executive Meddling: Pro-tip to any executives out there- do not meddle with Harlan Ellison. That is all.
- Foregone Conclusion: It's called Bad Call TV; how do you think these decisions tend to turn out?
- Hey, It's That Voice!: If you're a fan of Channel Awesome, you might recognize the voices from "Feudal Japan II" as MarzGurl and Mark the Engineer.
- Hypocritical Humor: After spending an entire episode making a joke about how Robert Pattinson can turn you gay, and representing a gay man in a stereotypically Camp Gay fashion, they immediately have a PSA about why it's bad to use gay stereotypes.
- Idiot Ball: Given the nature of the series, it's unsurprising to see at least one person carrying the Idiot Ball in each episode, assuming it's not a full-on Idiot Plot.
- Insane Troll Logic:
- All over the place, but none worse than when the manufacturers of Ayds Candy choose to deal with the public backlash from the AIDS crisis by changing the name to Diet Ayds.
- It's implied in "We Are So Fukushima'd" that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima was a result of Dr. Doomsday wanting to create Godzilla in real life, and thus intentionally introducing design flaws into the reactor.
- In "Fapple, Inc.," a man sues Apple for not selling their computers on Safe Mode, which he argues contributed to his pornography addiction. His Apple devices are gradually confiscated by his lawyer.
- Insistent Terminology: PITS!
- Karma Houdini: Several, made more infuriating because most of them happened in Real Life.
- J.A. Bailey, the creator of Radithor and other radioactive products, died extremely wealthy even after condemning his customers to horrific and painful deaths.
- Mc Donnel-Douglas failed to correct a design flaw in one of their airplane models, even after one of the planes suffered an explosive decompression from the flaw, which eventually resulted in the deaths of 347 people. They managed to avoid much of the litigation that resulted, and survived another twenty years before being bought out by Boeing.
- Kick the Dog: Every episode ends with a threat to commit some terrible act unless the viewers subscribe to the YouTube channel... followed by a narrator saying that it probably won't happen, but you should subscribe anyway.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Doomsday, obviously. Subverted because his plans don't backfire as much as they simply fail due to his own stupidity.
- Medium Blending: While most episodes are done with live acting, a few have been animated.
- Nightmare Face: Taylor Powell, as seen through Jarod Wyatt's stoned-out-of-his-ass eyes in Episode 64 ("The Neurotoxic Adventure"). Things from there...did not go well.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The cast tends to make fun of real life individuals, some of them quite famous.
- Non Sequitur: Every episode starts with a random, out-of-context quote from some movie or TV show.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Used during "What's In a Name?," when the executives in charge of Ayds Candy choose to change the name to Diet Ayds, clearly demonstrating their understanding of the situation.
- Once an Episode: There is always an out-of-context quote at the beginning, always a threat to subscribe at the end, and always a narration explaining the fallout of the terrible decision.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: In a promotional giveaway, Pepsi advertised a number of free gifts that could be redeemed in exchange for "Pepsi Points." In the commercial, they jokingly said they'd give out a Harrier Jump Jet to anyone who could save up 7 million points. When Pepsi refused, he sued. Yes, it's a real case, though in Real Life, he didn't actually drink that much soda himself- instead, he just collected points from his friends and neighbors.
- Recurring Character: Dr. Siegfried Doomsday, who is responsible for pitching asbestos as a building material and the disastrous Hoover promotional giveaway.
- Sarcasm Failure: The narrator's initial reaction to the frankly graphic story related in Episode 64 ("The Neurotoxic Adventure"), before being interrupted by a phone call explaining things for him.
"...the fuck? When did this become a horror channel? What was...I mean, what just happened? Did he—"
- Sex Sells: At the end of "Touch of Bogus," they show a picture of one of the comediennes topless, and promises to un-blur her chest if viewers subscribe.
- Even better? The normally snarky and sarcastic narrator only has this to say:
" Do it."
- Side Effects Include...: When you're talking about things like thalidomide or asbestos, you've got some pretty horrible side effects coming.
- Skewed Priorities: Using cut rate equipment for a nuclear power plant? Hiring inattentive and inexperienced employees? Using a nuclear reactor as a toaster? Those are all fine, so long as you're not a capitalist sympathizer at the Chernobyl facility.
- Springtime for Hitler: When Dr. Doomsday comes by to help the Hoover company, he suggests giving plane tickets away with vacuum purchases above a certain amount to boost sales. The promotion is so successful it almost bankrupts the company, due to the cost of the plane tickets.
- Straight Man: Typically, Lachlan Huddy plays this to Darcy Lord's more manic style.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Robert Pattinson, apparently.
- Stylistic Suck: The painful rap from Episode 24, "Video Shame Adaptation."
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: When the doctor in "Irradiotic!" prescribes his patient the "medication" Radithor:
Doctor: "Radium water, Mr. Byers, a real cure all... pain relief doesn't come much more effective than that."
Patient: "It's really that good?"
Doctor: "Better, I'd say, and the 17% rebate the company offers me for each prescription has nothing to do with my saying so."
Doctor: Nothing at all.
- Take That, Audience!: In Episode 25, "Devastated," they mock Michael Bay's decision to give Devastator swinging testicles in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. They note, however, that everyone went to go see it anyway, allowing Bay to subsequently make a third film.
- Those Wacky Nazis: It was going to happen eventually, this time regarding their decision to cross the English Channel. Or not, since the Nazis were convinced the English would set the English Channel on fire.
- Too Stupid To Live: In some cases, literally.
- The episode "Touch of Bogus" is based on a shampoo released by Clairol called 'Touch of Yogurt,' which became a problem because 1) no one wanted to buy it, and 2) because some people tried to eat it.
- In "Quacks of God," an epileptic man having a seizure dies because his roommates choose to pray rather than get him to a hospital. This is much funnier than the actual example, which involved a child dying of pneumonia because his parents believed in faith healing.
- Totally Radical: Steven Spielberg winds up hiring two of these guys to help with his E.T. video game adaptation. It goes as well as one would expect.
- Unfortunate Names: Discussed in "What's In a Name?", where we learn the sad fate of Ayds Candy, which took a dive in popularity after the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic in the 80's.
- What Would X Do?: In the episode "What Would Jesus Do?," obviously.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Every episode ends with an explanation of what happened as a result of a particular bad decision.
- Worth It: In Episode 33, "Vampoozled," the best friend of the vampire victim decides to start dating the "Transylvanian Exchange Student," despite knowing the risks, all because she's a freak in bed.