|"A Very Venture Christmas"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
"Are these the shadows of things that will be, or the things that may be only?"
Season 1 Special|
|Directed by||Jackson Publick|
|Written by||Jackson Publick|
|Original air date||19 December 2004|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
A Very Venture Christmas is a Christmas special in the first season of The Venture Bros.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Dr. Venture stands in a snowy graveyard before a cloaked figure. The ominous specter points to a tombstone which is clearly inscribed "Dr. Thaddeus S. Venture". Venture falls to his knees before the grave, weeping and asking the spirit if it is meant to be his own grave. The figure removes its cloak to reveal that it is Brock, who responds with typical deadpan sarcasm. The scene dissolves to show Venture waking up in his bedroom, delighted that it was only a dream. He prances out to the balcony, where he asks a young boy (Hank dressed like Charlie Brown, complete with a pathetically small Christmas tree as in A Charlie Brown Christmas) below what day it is, to which he replies, "Duh! It's Christmas Day!" Venture dances with glee for several moments until his nose begins to glow, and he flies smoothly into the air. As he floats (suddenly in nothing but his underwear) over the compound, he calls out Christmas greetings to the X-1, Dr. Orpheus and even H.E.L.P.eR. (dressed as Tiny Tim), but ignoring a sad jack-in-the-box with Dean's head. Still soaring, Venture laughs maniacally until he crashes into a tree. He wakes up again to find his head resting on the remote control, cycling the television past a number of Christmas specials that affected his dreams.
As Venture shuffles into the kitchen, he greets Brock. The bodyguard has been trying to order a gift for Dean, who has proven difficult to shop for. Venture helpfully points out that the catalog Dean "accidentally" left lying around in a not-so-subtle hint is from 1976. Brock walks to his bedroom, where he finds Hank snooping in his closet looking for Christmas presents. Flustered at being caught, Hank pretends he was searching for the first thing he grabs, which turns out to be a handful of pornographic videos with Christmas themes. As he gapes at the covers of Frothy the Blowman, Jingle Balls, and Miracle on 69th Street, Brock quickly suggests Hank help him hang the Christmas lights. On the way out, Hank notices a decorative nativity scene on a table. He begins to place the baby Jesus figure in its manger, but Brock stops him - it is a Venture family tradition to place Jesus in the manger at midnight. After the two leave the room, one of the seemingly plastic figures quickly scrambles down the table leg. The Monarch congratulates the minuscule agent, Tiny Joseph, on his work by radio and explains his devious plan to Dr. Girlfriend. The table is rigged with C-4 explosives that will detonate when a prong on baby Jesus' back makes contact with the manger, leveling the Venture compound.
The scene changes to that night at the compound. Venture's Christmas party is in full swing, and the guests include Pete White, Master Billy Quizboy, the original Team Venture, Richard Impossible and the obviously-pregnant Sally, Sasquatch and Steve Summers, and Mandalay. White, with a sprig of mistletoe dangling from a strap around his head, begins flirting with an unimpressed Triana Orpheus. The mistletoe disintegrates in a puff of smoke as White notices Dr. Orpheus glaring at him. As Pete wisely moves away, Orpheus humiliates Triana by announcing to the room that his daughter's virginity is not up for grabs. Venture expresses surprise that a necromancer is attending a Christmas party, but Orpheus explains that it is a quaint if laughable bit of nonsense he enjoys.
In the kitchen, Dean is disappointed with the Christmas stories from the toll lines he has called. Since it is another tradition to have a good story for Christmas, he and Hank grab one of Orpheus' mystical books. They open to a page at random and Dean begins to read the unfamiliar words aloud. Orpheus rushes in to stop the incantation, but is too late.
The front door bursts open to admit a horrid, green-skinned supernatural creature with horns, pointed ears and two screaming children in a container strapped to his back. As it begins prowling menacingly among the puzzled guests, Orpheus explains to Venture that it is the Krampus, a Germanic demon that accompanied Saint Nicholas in olden times. While Nicholas rewarded the good children with presents, Krampus meted out punishment to the bad children. The Pope had imprisoned the Krampus in Purgatory during Vatican II, but Orpheus has no power to banish it, and it will remain until it has performed its duty by punishing the wicked. Suddenly the creature begins assaulting Dr. Venture, first by battering him and then by attempting to sodomize him through his jumpsuit. Venture calls Brock for help, who storms in dressed as Santa Claus and hurls himself upon the Krampus ("Hey fancy pants; I've been naughty."). After a few moments of battle, the clock strikes midnight and the demon abruptly stands and walks towards the door. On his way past, he picks up the baby Jesus figure and drops it into the manger - and a massive explosion destroys the building.
Once more, Dr. Venture emerges from a dream...this time on board the X-1 with a rectal thermometer in place. Brock calmly explains that Venture hit his head and was unconscious for a while. The plane has crashed, however, in Bethlehem. In fact, they have crashed into the Church of the Nativity, almost fully destroying the structure. All they can do is wait, Brock says, to see whether the Israelis or the Palestinians get to them first. Dr. Venture then calmly replies, in a topical statement, that the X-1 runs on plutonium and that if the Palestinians really do find them first, they'll love the Venture family for bringing the X-1 to them.
Episode Cast[edit | edit source]
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Michael Sinterniklaas: Dean Venture
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, The Monarch, Mr. White, Additional Voices
- Doc Hammer: Dr. Girlfriend, Master Billy Quizboy, Additional Voices
- Steven Rattazzi: Dr. Orpheus
- Lisa Hammer: Triana Orpheus
- Soul-Bot: H.E.L.P.eR.
Christmas Party Attendees[edit | edit source]
- Brock Samson
- Colonel Gentleman
- Dean Venture
- Dr. Orpheus
- Dr. Venture
- Hank Venture
- Luchador in Red
- Master Billy Quizboy
- Mexican Wrestlers
- Otto Aquarius
- Pete White
- Professor Richard Impossible
- Sally Impossible (pregnant with Rocket Impossible)
- Steve Summers
- The Action Man
- The Krampus
- Tiny Joseph (hidden in the nativity scene)
- Triana Orpheus
Episode Transcript[edit | edit source]
Connections to Other Episodes[edit | edit source]
- The Luchador in Red from Dia de Los Dangerous! can be seen in the background of the Venture Christmas party, still clutching Brock's black shirt.
- Sally Impossible is seen visibly pregnant in the background, a reference to the after-credits scene from Ice Station – Impossible!
- Although this episode is primarily a dream, many of the events and characteristics of the appearing characters are surprisingly accurate. For example, Tiny Joseph reappears in Powerless in the Face of Death, where it turns out he really was in the employ of The Monarch. He is still named Tiny Joseph in the episode's credits.
- Sally Impossible is seen visibly pregnant in the background. The first appearance of the child, named Rocket, is in Twenty Years to Midnight.
- At the moment Dr. Orpheus hears Dean reading the incantation, Dr. Venture can be heard bragging that "the last chapter has yet to be written on the subject of 'spider bots'"- a reference to the giant robot spider eye seen in the opening credits and later in the season two episode, Fallen Arches, though in that episode Dr. Venture called the construct a "Walking Eye".
- Brock mentions to Dr. Venture that he is giving Hank his old bass as a Christmas present. Hank plays what is presumably the same bass in Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman.
- Brock mentions to Dr. Venture that he is giving Hank his old bass as a Christmas present. Hank plays what is presumably the same bass in Tears of a Sea Cow.
- Brock mentions to Dr. Venture that he is giving Hank his old bass as a Christmas present. Hank plays what is presumably the same bass in Operation P.R.O.M.
- In From The Ladle To The Grave, it is explained that it is at this party that Hank first begins playing bass guitar in front of an audience and that Rusty invented karaoke using H.E.L.P.eR. for this party.
- Brock mentions to Dr. Venture that he is giving Hank his old bass as a Christmas present. Hank plays what is presumably the same bass in It Happening One Night.
Cultural References[edit | edit source]
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
- One of the Christmas specials parodied in the opening sequence is A Charlie Brown Christmas.
A Christmas Carol (1843)
- One of the Christmas specials parodied in the opening sequence is A Christmas Carol.
- The Bethlehem sign that Brock holds up on board the X-1 has Arabic characters written on it. Though the word has no meaning in Arabic, it phonetically spells, "Hallelujah".
- Pete White says he was the first one at his college radio station to play music from the band Bauhaus.
- The scene where Dr. Orpheus attempts to keep Dean from speaking by "magic-ing" a bolted metal plate around his mouth is taken from the movie Beetlejuice.
- The "An AstroBase Go! Special Presentation" tag that preceded this episode is a near-exact recreation of the "Special Presentation" tag that CBS used from 1973-1992 for its animated specials and other special programming.
- The Star Wars Holiday Special, which aired on CBS in 1978, opened with the "Special Presentation" tag.
- The scene where Dr. Orpheus attempts to keep Dean from speaking by "magic-ing" a bolted metal plate around his mouth is similar to an incident from the origin of Marvel Comics character Dr. Strange, whom Orpheus greatly resembles, when Baron Mordo rendered Strange incapable of verbally revealing Mordo's scheme.
- The final line of the incantation with which Dean summons the Krampus is the "Charm of Making" from the movie Excalibur.
- The Charm of Making is "Anál nathrach, orth' bháis's bethad, do chél dénmha" in Old Irish, which translates to "Serpent's breath, charm of death and life, thy omen of making" in modern English.
Frosty the Snowman (1969)
- One of the pornographic Christmas movies Hank finds while looking inside Brock's closet is Frothy the Blowman, a pornographic parody of the 1969 animated Christmas special Frosty the Snowman.
- When Dr. Venture realizes the toy catalog Dean was browsing is from the 1970s he comments that the Green Machine he ordered probably won't arrive. Green Machines were a line of tricycles put out by Huffy.
- One of the Christmas specials parodied is How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, with Dr. Venture's heart growing several sizes like the Grinch's.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
- One of the Christmas specials parodied in the opening sequence is It's a Wonderful Life.
Jingle Bells (1857)
- One of the pornographic Christmas movies Hank finds while looking inside Brock's closet is Jingle Balls, a pornographic parody of the classic Christmas song "Jingle Bells".
- While on the phone trying to order a present for Dean from the catalog he left lying around, Brock asks if the Jokermobile is still available. This was a vehicle produced by the Mego Corporation in the 1970s for their Joker action figure.
- In Central European folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.
- The Krampus is one of the companions of Saint Nicholas in several regions including Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Northern Italy including South Tyrol and the Province of Trento, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
- One of the pornographic Christmas movies Hank finds while looking inside Brock's closet is Miracle on 69th Street, a pornographic parody of the classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street.
- One of the Christmas specials parodied in the opening sequence is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- One of the pornographic Christmas movies Hank finds while looking inside Brock's closet is Rudolph the Redknobbed Reindeer, a pornographic parody of the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
- Dr. Orpheus references the Star Wars Holiday Special, saying that Christmas is about as real as "the Wookiees' Life Day".
Production Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]
- This episode takes place chronologically before The Trial of the Monarch and after Past Tense. It was broadcast after Return to Spider-Skull Island (the last episode of the first season) and before Powerless in the Face of Death (the beginning of the second season).
- Jackson Publick stated part of the reason the special ran so short was due to budgetary constraints. The runtime is also consistent with other quarter-hour long animated comedies shown on Adult Swim, the Cartoon Network programming block under which Venture Bros. airs in the United States.
- One of the animation directors (Kimson Albert) gets to have a "nickname" inserted into his credits. The nickname is an unusual line or word from the preceding episode. For A Very Venture Christmas the credit reads Kimson "Tiny Joseph" Albert.
References[edit | edit source]
| Preceded by:
"Return to Spider-Skull Island"
| The Venture Bros. episodes
December 19, 2004
"Powerless in the Face of Death"