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Series / Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule

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For your health.

Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule (2010-) is a 15-minute Sketch Show on [adult swim], and a Spin-Off from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! based off of that show's "Brule's Rules" sketches. The show stars John C. Reilly as the incredibly inept and even more incredibly awkward-seeming Dr. Steve Brule, whose show is obviously shot on videotape for late-night public access TV seemingly sometime in the early '90s. Various sketches (or sketch-like set pieces) are introduced by Brule "for your health!"

First season lasted six episodes. Second season began airing in late March 2012. Third season began airing in late February 2014. Fourth season began airing in June 2016. The show went into an unnofficial hiatus after the fourth season due to John C. Reilly having other commitments and a busy schedule.

For your tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Doris Pringle Brule. She always verbally abuses Steve and tried to kill him when he was a child, among other things.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Steve mangles the names of everyone he interviews, aside from the Channel 5 regulars.
  • Acme Products: Whenever some sort of food or household product is shown, it's almost always produced by "Toad's".
  • The Alleged Car: Steve's "cherry-blue hot rod" that he buys in "Cars". It explodes in the middle of an intersection shortly after he buys it.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Steve himself. It doesn't seem to take much to make him attracted to a woman, and he once found Johnny Depp lookalike Ronnie Rodriguez attractive simply for having shoulder-length hair.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Spoofed Once an Episode, when Brule summarizes what's been learned.
    Dr. Brule: Some dads are not your dad.
  • Ax-Crazy: Hippy Joel.
  • Bad Liar: Steve is very quick to spin outrageous lies about himself to seem more impressive or one-up an interviewee, and is almost always met with immediate skepticism.
    Steve: The most important thing is to stay on the broat.
    Captain Gary: I think that goes along with the safety issue.
    Steve: I know. I have five of broats.
    Gary: Then you should know exactly what we're talking about.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Steve is not a fan of hot guys. He is disappointed by a group of male strippers, whom he thought would be lifelong friends; but it turns out they were just a bunch of Hunks.
  • Binge Montage: Any time someone puts alcohol or drugs in front of Steve, this is almost certain to happen.
  • Black Comedy: For all of the wackiness, with each episode it seems to become more and more a show about a complete failure of a person. Brule's dad abandoned him, his mother is insane and wanted to kill him and his dad so they'd always be with her, he's ugly and can't get girls (a problem he constantly attributes to "hunks") or friends. He comes off as kind of a slow man-child. The first season finale is essentially about his depression due to being a lonely, friendless loser.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Brule cutting off his finger in "Fear."
  • Butt-Monkey: Steve Brule's mere existence is to be one of these.
  • Catchphrase: Steve has "For your health" and "Let's check it out".
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Steve Brule practically lives on his own planet. The other Channel 5 regulars aren't much better.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Mario, the producer of "Stevie!".
  • Character Death: Linda Barelli, Mobin, and Wayne Skylar die during the series and don't come back.
  • Darker and Edgier: Episode 3, "Family" makes the previous two episodes seem lighthearted in comparison. The Nightmare Fuel only escalates throughout the next two seasons.
  • Deliberate VHS Quality: The show emulates a cable access series from the late 80s/early 90s, complete with several deliberate technical errors per episode.
    • The segment transitions are riddled with visual artifacts to simulate the show being recorded on old VHS tapes.
    • *The editors run the footage through a VCR and hit it every once in a while to screw up the vertical synchronization.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mobin couldn't hack it.
  • Drunk with Power: While visiting a library and assisting the librarian, Steve goes overboard on shushing patrons making even a slight amount of noise.
  • Enforced Plug: On a couple of occasions, the episode wedges representatives of sponsors into the "Doctor to Doctor" segment. In the case of Ron Don Valante, proprietor of Ron Don's Play Pen, Valante got the spot despite having nothing to do with the episode's topic (Church.) In the "Horses" episode, it's obvious the topic was chosen by guest Pablo Myers, owner of Myers' Super Food, so he could plug a canned horse meat sale.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Steve's car from "Cars" overheats and explodes while he's driving it.
  • Executive Meddling: In-Universe, Steve is visibly unhappy with the network's decision to bring on a new co-host on "Planes"
  • Fan Disservice: Whenever something disgusting happens, Denny the cameraman doesn't stop rolling, but instead ZOOMS IN.
    • About half of "Relationships" consists of a long sequence where Jan Skylar (played by Tim in drag) strips down to her underwear and demonstrates to Steve how she initiates sex with Wayne.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Hippy Joel. Every time he shows up, he seems calm and friendly. But you get him on drugs and he practically turns into a psychopath.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: The Season 4 episode "Stevie!" has Steve hosting a live morning talk show.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The producer of "Stevie!" angrily cusses Steven out every time he makes a mistake on live television.
  • Hollywood Healing: Averted. Steve was never the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the effects of all the head trauma and drugs really start showing by Season 4, where he struggles with simply putting together coherent sentences.
  • Hookers and Blow: In "Church", Steve goes to Ron Don Volante's Playpen (Home of the 2 Dollar Lap Dance) and indulges in this trope. He also smokes some crack and performs fellatio latter.
  • Hulk Speak: Downplayed; Steve sometimes omits a few words from his sentences ("This is harp.") and often uses the phrase "name of (name)" to give the name of someone or something, but for the most part, his grammar's fine.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: After Steve and Hippie Joel get high in the episode "Home", Joel grabs a crossbow and starts chasing Steve. Steve is appropriately terrified.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Steve resorts to screaming at a roomful of patrons at the library... to weed out whoever is talking.
  • I Meant to Do That: After doing or saying something incorrectly in front of an expert, Steve often tries to save face by retorting their correction with a reassuring "I know!"
  • If I Can't Have You…: This conversation between Steve and his mother Doris:
    Doris: I was gonna mount your heads on the wall, you and your dad's...that way I could see you once in a while, if I wanted to.
    Steve: But we'd be dead, Mommy.
    Doris: But you'd be here. I was gonna bury you under the house, so you'd always be here...
  • Innocently Insensitive: Steve Brule will say what is on his mind, even if it's inappropriate.
    Steve: (to one of his guests) You look a little bit like a rat with glasses.
  • Insurance Fraud: Ron Don boasts about his plans to commit it by burning the Playpen down.
  • Interrupted by the End: Always happens to Steve.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Steve likes to pretend he's an expert on the topic at hand, especially if he's trying to one-up an actual expert, usually retorting their facts with a nonchalant "I know!" It never fools anyone.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: A lot of the time, Brule will replace his "For your health" phrase with something else like "For your rides" or "For your boats".
  • Manchild: Throughout the show, Brule is hopelessly naive and clueless about things a man his age should know, is overly affectionate with his guests and breaks down into fits of panicked yelling when things go seriously wrong.
  • Missing Child: Played for Laughs, Steve once has a nightmare that he loses his (fictitious) baby son. "SOMEONEHELPILOSTMYBABYROOY!"
  • Mushroom Samba: Steve experiences one when sampling Hippy Joel's products, which are clearly hallucinogenic.
  • Nice Guy: For all his idiocy and incompetence, Steve is still a pretty nice guy. He's always friendly to the people he interviews, and generally just wants to make friends.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Jan and Wayne's marriage, as well as Steve's affair with Jan.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Whenever Steve greets a guest, he'll often try to hug or kiss them, especially in the later seasons when he isn't as sane.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Scott's (and occasionally Doug and Carol's) green screen effects sometimes glitch out, briefly distorting them into terrifying images.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Steve visits one in "Children." Of course, he doesn't notice anything odd or off-putting about it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Steve's father tragically abandoned him as a child.
  • Potty Failure: Happens to Steve a few times, particularly when Steve strains too hard while struggling to play a trumpet in a music store in "Music".
  • Quarter Hour Short: It probably couldn't work any other way.
  • Retraux: The footage is fed through a VHS player to give the show a cheap and dated look. Then the editors would hit the player to purposely screw up the vertical sync.
  • Running Gag: Brule always mangles the names of his guests.
    Steve (introducing David Leibe Hart): I'm here with my guest, Doctor Daniel Drungleheart.
  • Small Parent, Huge Child: Steve Brule's mom Doris Pringle-Brule is positively tiny compared to her son. In the "Bagboy" special, Steve gets down on his knees to hug her, and he's still a bit taller.
  • Spin-Off: Of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, specifically the "Brule's Rules With Dr. Steve Brule" sketch.
  • Stalker with a Crush: In the episode "Pleasure", Brown shows up in the background several times until he eventually enters in the sauna, where it's implied he molests a sleeping Steve.
  • Stylistic Suck: The show is an obvious parody of low-budget 1980s/1990s public-access television programs and is riddled with deliberate technical errors and visual artifacts. Tim Heidecker, who is the executive producer, elaborated on the show's aesthetic in one interview:
    Tim: "It's a show that genuinely feels like this guy made it himself. It’s as if it's 4:30 in the morning he had snuck into the studio to make this show without getting permission. It's bare-bones. Lots of technical problems. Just a mess. The whole thing is a big mess. A big, beautiful mess."
  • Surreal Horror/Humor: Episodes usually come in both flavors. In keeping with the aforementioned Stylistic Suck, it also occasionally dips into the realm of Analog Horror.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Scott Clam takes over as host when Steve gets arrested at the end of Season 4.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: The credits.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Steve is fond of using "Dingus" as a synonym for "moron".
  • Watch It Stoned: Well, like parent series, like Spin-Off, one supposes...
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Linda Barelli, brought in as a co-host, dies halfway through her introductory episode.
  • Verbal Tic: Brule has a habit of sticking an R after the first letter of certain words ('Pruppets', 'Broat'.) He also tends to struggle with unfamiliar words or names and has an inclination to replace syllables with "ing", "ang", "ung" or "ingus" when he has to repeat them (Ronnie Rodriguez = "Rongie Rungriguez"). In addition, he tends to use "name of (X)" when saying what someone or something is called ("I met the boss who runs the whole show, name of Brown").
  • You're Not My Father: In the "Family" episode, Steve goes and finds a man that resembles his father to have a cheese and wine lunch with him in a park somewhere as well as give him hugs. This strange man only seems to be capable of grunting.
    • "Remember, some dads are not your dad."