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Series / Wonder Showzen

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Kids' show, kids' show / Oh good lord, it's a kids' show!
The content warning that opens every episode

Wonder Showzen was a grotesque Black Comedy parody of Sesame Street by art collective PFFR that managed, against all odds and Executive Meddling, to last two complete seasons on MTV2 between 2005 and 2006. 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.


  • Anthropomorphic Typography: In the form of foam puppets.
  • 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).
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: The Horse Apples episode that makes up the entirety of the episode "Mathematics" features a character clad in only a barrel named Barold Q. Mosey.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: In the deleted Scooter McJimmy: Hillbilly Boy Genius sketch, one hillbilly Scooter helps out is apparently married to a dog.
  • Big "NO!": At the end of "History", Number 2 screams "No" after Chauncey reveals that he had her surgically reconstructed into a 0.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Finger Force from the episode "Diversity".
    • Mandy (redhead)
    • Jenna (blonde)
    • Becca (brunette)
    • Kendra (brunette)
  • 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: From the "We Went to the Farm" segment in "Space".
    Boy: "It was that summer I developed a crush on my sister."
    Girl: "That wasn't your sister!"
    Boy: "It wasn't? Ew."
  • Butt-Monkey: Wordsworth suffers a ton of abuse, most of it at Chauncey's hands.
  • The Cameo: David Cross, Zach Galifinakis and Amy Poehler (just to name a few) all appear throughout the series.
  • Chess with Death: Chauncey plays Rock–Paper–Scissors with God over the fate of the Earth in "Space".
  • Content Warnings: All of the episodes and the returns from commercial break begin with a warning stating that the show contains content that is "too controversial and too awesome" for actual children to watch and that letting a child watch the show would make you a bad parent or guardian; on top of a more standard one by MTV at the bottom of the screen on MTV airings.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The setting looks like a Sesame Street pastiche, but is full of violence and depravity.
  • 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.
  • Creator Cameo: The two still images of the boys on the intro are actual photos of the shows directors, Vernon Chatman and John Lee, when they were kids.
  • Creepy Twins: A pair of creepy twin girls occasionally appear, modeled after the ones who appear in The Shining.
  • Deep South: Parodied relentlessly with the Show Within a Show Horse Apples, which generally runs on Southern stereotypes.
  • Deranged Animation: The animated segments can get pretty wild and grotesque.
  • Divine Race Lift: God is black and he blew up the planet because they were keeping the "black man down".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Letter P getting liposuction in "Body" is used as an allegory for getting an abortion, complete with protestors haranguing her for her decision and decrying her for seeing no value in her fat.
  • 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.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • God kills himself in "Space", after losing a battle over the fate of the world.
    • The last episode ends with Clarence jumping out of a helicopter and plummeting into the sea after reaching the conclusion that there's no such thing as compelling television.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: From "Space", God blew it up because he hated how they "kept the black guy down".
  • Exact Words: "If a bully is mean to You, don't Be mean back, just kill'em with kindness"
  • Face on a Milk Carton: The episode "History" features a Parody Commercial for Tragedy Farms, who boast that their milk cartons have five pictures of missing children on them instead of just one.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: In episode "Space", Chauncey and the young girl Kaitlyn end up traveling to Heaven, which has the standard kingdom of clouds look.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Children are frequently shown saying things that sound politically incorrect, like joking about domestic abuse.
  • 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."
  • God Is Dead: "Space" ends with God committing suicide.
  • Glad I Thought of It: After Wonder Showzen ran out of money on the episode, "Cooperation," Wordsworth suggested to buy a bootleg version of their show, only to be shut down by Chauncey, who then threw in the suggestion to buy a bootleg and went to a black market to buy it.
  • 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?
  • Half-Witted Hillbilly: A main part of the premise of Scooter McJimmy: Hillbilly Boy Genius, where the titular character uses his intellect to help out yokels with problems that they are too stupid to handle themselves or, more accurately, take advantage of their idiocy to play tricks on or do disturbing things to them. The sketch has him calm down a man who thought a bar of soap in his washtub was a monster, plug up a man's anus with a cork so that the potatoes he eats stay in his belly (the man not realizing that consumed food is supposed to leave the body after being digested), tricks a man wanting to join fishermen on the TV he's watching into running against the TV screen to fry up the birds that spin around his head while he's dazed and runs a successful food stand where he fries more birds produced from hitting the customers.
  • 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."
  • Hollywood Atheist: Chauncey is very vocal about not believing in God in "Space" and initially dismisses Kaitlynn's belief in God.
  • Hulk Speak: Him talks in third person.
  • 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.
    Chauncey: I lied. [Chauncey looks at the camera as it zooms into his face and a fart sound plays]
  • I Am Not Shazam: In-universe with Mr. Body, Whose actual name is apparently dennis
  • Kent Brockman News: The "BREAKING NEWS!" segment, complete with a warp speed Crawl.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Children are shown to be prone to acts of violence and casually bigoted.
  • 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.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Chauncey often calls Wordsworth insulting variants of his name, such as "Turdsworth", "Nerdsworth", or "Spermsgirth."
  • 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
  • Moral Guardians: The NAACP and the Catholic League both expressed outrage with the content of the show. Unsurprisingly, this just makes it funnier.
  • No Fourth Wall: The show can't seem to go five minutes without addressing the audience and acknowledging itself as a television show.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Clarence bothers people even when they tell him to stay away.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in the above mentioned Aunt Flo sketch, where the whole point is a girl getting her first period.
  • Overly-Long Gag: The first season finale. 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 Clarence trying to get an 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.
  • 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...
  • Self-Deprecation:
  • Shout-Out: There's a segment in one episode that parodies Muppet Babies (1984) 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.
  • Show Within a Show: Horse Apples is a redneck comedy created by the personification of Middle America in the episode "Knowledge", which later has a whole episode shown for the entire duration of "Mathematics".
  • Southern Belle: The sole female character, Sthugar, acts like a Southern girl during a parody of To Kill a Mockingbird in the episode "Justice".
  • Spinoff Babies: Parodied in the "Wonder Showzen Preemies" sketch, which shows infant versions of Chauncey, Him, Wordsworth and Sthugar. The same segment has the cast watch their favorite show Wonder Showzen Embryos, who in turn watch their favorite show Wonder Showzen Spermies.
  • Stock Scream: The Howie Long Scream is used a total of four times in the episode "History".
  • 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.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: It's got puppets and children teaching/learning stuff, just like Sesame Street. Said stuff they teach/learn is blatantly adult subject matter that wouldn't make it on an actual kids show.
  • Talking Poo: The episode "Body" features the Letter P's extracted body fat entering a relationship with sentient feces.
  • Tear Off Your Face: "Don't litter...Or else God will tear your face off..." *RRRIPPPP* [spilling blood] "...And feed it to a goat."
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Episode 1 has the "You're dead to me" card, which a kid gives to a random stranger.
  • 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.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The mother in the "Segregation" segment from "Nature" has a man's voice.
  • Vox Pops: "Clarence's Movies" have him bugging random people on the street by asking them questions.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Spoofed in the "Winobot" sketch in the episode "Time", where the chief of police tries to save a cop blown to bits in an explosion by asking a doctor to bring him back as a cyborg, but a misunderstanding results in the doctor instead rebuilding a homeless alcoholic who was injured in the same accident, leaving the chief of police stuck with a cyborg who can only be remotely useful in fighting crime when he is convinced that the crooks intend to prevent him from getting wine.
  • 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.
  • Your Head A-Splode: The "Celebrate Our Differences" sketch ends with the single Caucasian character (who is also the one character in the segment who isn't a racist stereotype) having his head blow up.


Video Example(s):


Clarence can't get people to t

Clarence wants the subject to be about freedom of speech, but kept giving disruptive and contradictory instructions to his clients. He says louder, then immediately quieter, etc.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / MovingTheGoalposts

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