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"Warning: if you want your asses blown out, stay in the room."

Ladies and gentlemen, Tenacious D.


Tenacious D (subtitled "The Greatest Band On Earth") is a TV series that ran on HBO in 1997 for three episodes. Each episode was made up of Two Shorts , all chronicling the (fictional) trials and tribulations of Tenacious D, a burgeoning acoustic Heavy Metal band made up of Jack Black (rhythm guitar) and Kyle Gass (lead guitar). They regularly make appearances at the local open mic night to play their Power Metal-inspired tales of riding with kings, smoking weed, battling demons and butt sex, to an inevitably apathetic crowd, and Paul, the nonplussed host (played by Paul F. Tompkins).
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A falling out with HBO ended the series pretty quickly, but luckily, the episodes that did see the light of day got a lot of attention from fans, ranging from fans of alternative comedy to some showbiz friends - for instance, Dave Grohl wound up playing drums for them on their debut album. As well, they quickly secured spots opening for Beck, Pearl Jam, the Foo Fighters and Tool. The original show, as you can imagine, has become something of a Cult Classic, and perhaps even ahead of its time.

Speaking of their debut album, a good amount of songs found on this show wormed their way into said album, such as "Kielbasa," "Kyle Quit The Band," "Sex Supreme" (aka "Double Team"), "You Broke The Rules" (aka "Karate"), "Explosivo," "Lee," "The Road," and even their Signature Song, "Tribute."

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"It's not just a list of tropes we've done in the past, but it's also a chronicling, of our rise... TO POWER!!!"

  • Anger Montage: When Kyle quits the band, Jack goes into a crying, screaming, violent rage (as only Jack Black can).
  • Acting for Two: Scott Adsit's appearance in "The Greatest Song In The World" where he plays both a grumpy neighbour and the Devil.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Death Of A Dream." Meeting Sasquatch - yes, that Sasquatch - gives the D a new lease on life after having their spirits broken. But they also break Sass' heart by rejecting his audition to be their drummer.
    Sasquatch (after a D performance): That Tenacious D were kickass.
    Paul: And... who shall I tell them said that?
    Sasquatch (starting to cry): Tell them it was Sas- [pause] ...tell them it was a friend.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Captain Ed, the record shop owner, does this in his one appearance to describe the five stages of the Death Of A Dream.
    • Jack does this in the first episode to teach the audience about the creative process, aka their Search For Inspirado.
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  • The Cameo: Laura Kightlinger shows up in "Angel In Disguise" as a "Backstage Betty." This was around the time she and Jack Black started dating in real life.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    Jack: Okay. We got a crucial clutch cargo gig comin' up Kyle, you COCK-SUCKER! YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT, AND I'VE BEEN SITTIN' AROUND GETTIN' SICK OF YOUR ATTITUDE! YA FUCKER! YA FUCKIN' BITCH!!!
  • Cock Fight: "Angel In Disguise," when they fight over Jack's longtime crush Flarna.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Jack's response to Captain Ed's story about how hard you can crash and burn in the rock business is that it sounds amazing.
  • Control Freak: Jack.
  • Couch Gag: The sign on the nightclub door has a different "Open Mic Night" blurb at the beginning of each episode.
  • Dreadful Musician: Sasquatch.
  • End-of-Episode Silliness: JB and KG standing in front a curtain doing a short mini-skit for a fake audience, before waving goodbye to the viewers.
  • Five Stages of Grief: When Captain Ed briefly destroys Jack and Kyle's faith in rock music. Of course, since this is the Tenacious D show, the stages wind up being Anger, Denial, Door To Door Rocking, Temp Job, and Acceptance.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kyle takes a bullet for Jack. Thanks to a convenient little Chekhov's Gun, he's Not Quite Dead.
  • Hot-Blooded: Jack.
  • I Know Karate: "With karate I'll kick your ass, into Tiananmen Square..."
  • Large Ham: Even in 1997, Jack was an absolute avalanche of ham.
  • Metal Scream: Not usually their style. But on "History Of Tenacious D," Jack breaks up the song's false ending with a deafening screech.
  • Obsession Song: "Lee" is an obsession song written about their own stalker. It's... this whole weird thing.
  • The Power of Friendship: "Special Things," sung with Lee.
  • Punch a Wall: Part of Jack's Anger Montage.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: After Kyle's band quitting, Jack despairs by destroying a tape and, in the next scene, he smashes a mirror in a manner that parodies the intro scene from the movie Apocalypse Now.
  • Retired Outlaw: Captain Ed, from Captain Ed's Record Store, has a rather cynical view of his former rock star lifestyle.
  • Sasquatch: Makes a guest appearance in "Death Of A Dream" to restore the boys' faith in rock music, and then attempts to join the band as a drummer (and fails, miserably). Played by John C. Reilly.
  • The Slacker: Both Jack and Kyle. The first episode sees them lazing around their apartment for a couple days, reminiscing about how much their last gig rocked.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Mostly from Jack.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Cosmic Shame," where Jack lectures the audience about following your dreams (unless the D tell you to stop).
  • Stalker with a Crush: Played with in "The Fan." Lee (played by JR Reed) starts out this way, until Kyle and Jack turn the tables on him in bizarre fashion.
  • Straight Man: Kyle, as always.
  • Streaking: Kyle does this through the forest as part of the creative process (yeah) in "The Search For Inspirado," set to rare Tenacious D song "Bowie." note 
  • Surreal Humor: This show firmly established the D's very offbeat take on rock stardom.
  • Swallowed a Fly: Happens to JB in the middle of his "Inspirado" speech.
  • Tough Room: Every open mic night. It's a wonder they keep going back so often.
  • Training Montage: "The Greatest Song In The World" features Jack and Kyle's pre-show rituals, which includes extreme hot and cold conditions, swallowing a long piece of string, and installing a skylight.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Exploding brains from Alzon to Zanzibar... to the shores of ye olde rustic Chinook!"

Sasquatch (reentering bar): You know what? You better tell them it was Sasquatch. Then they'll know which friend you're talking about.
Paul: Oh, okay, sure.
Sasquatch: See ya.
 
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