|"Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
|Directed by||Jackson Publick|
|Written by||Doc Hammer|
|Original air date||2 October 2004|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean is the ninth episode of Season 1 and the overall ninth episode of The Venture Bros.
The Monarch has at long last somehow captured Team Venture. Bound by ropes, they hang over the Amazon River, into which the Monarch prepares to lower them. He provides a loving description of the candiru (a real fish, despite Dr. Venture's accusations) that populate the waters when suddenly Dean Venture begins to squirm and yelp in extreme pain. Dr. Venture cites a Guild of Calamitous Intent law which states that hostages can be freed when one of them requires serious medical attention. The Monarch complies but insists upon taking Hank Venture as insurance to ensure Venture's return. Brock Samson accompanies Hank (after initially refusing to go as The Monarch's prisoner, as he "has his orders" as Dr. Venture's bodyguard) to ensure his safety.
Dean proves too shy and squeamish to allow Dr. Venture to examine him, so Venture enlists the aid of Master Billy Quizboy and Pete White. They soon conclude that Dean has been afflicted with testicular torsion, and Dean's testicles will die without immediate surgery. Then follows a harrowing sequence where Quizboy and White perform what appears to be a ludicrously haphazard operation: they accidentally drop one testicle on the floor, White skewers Billy's good hand with the scalpel, and both "doctors" take plenty of breaks. Dr. Venture enjoys a nice sandwich and drink as he nonchalantly sits back and watches television. Finally, the surgery is complete. As Dean lies on a couch, his entire crotch wrapped in bandages, he is subjected to a procession of well-wishers. Dr. White gives him an envelope of his pubic hair (which had to be shaved for the surgery, much to Dean's disappointment), H.E.L.P.eR. gives him a melted ice pop, Dr. Orpheus presents him with a decorative fetish statue, and Triana Orpheus merely asks if this is the most embarrassing day of his life. Dean affirms that it is.
Meanwhile, the Monarch has been attempting to celebrate his birthday. Bad gifts from his henchmen and the presence of Hank, now wearing a loose-fitting Monarch henchmen suit for lack of clean clothes, threaten to ruin the occasion. Ultimately, Brock gives the Monarch what he really wanted for his birthday: a genuine battle. Brock escapes from his cell and cuts a bloody path through the Monarch's Cocoon base, slaughtering dozens of guards on the way (quite violently, as Henchman 43's tendon is cut in half), while the Monarch ecstatically watches everything via monitors while taunting Brock over the announcement system, and sends henchman to stop him (Henchman 18, Henchman 31, Henchman 38, Henchman 40). Eventually, Brock captures Doctor Girlfriend (who is disappointed in Brock's lack of interest in raping her) and holds her hostage in the Monarch's throne room, demanding Hank in exchange; the Monarch refuses, claiming that Hank has joined forces with him. In the midst of all of this, a call from Dr. Venture comes in on the video screen to announce that Dean is back to normal. The combatants sheepishly attempt to pretend that nothing was going on, despite the plainly visible carnage. Soon it is a repeat of the first scene - the Monarch finally has Team Venture in his grasp, ready to be destroyed. Suddenly Hank begins to squirm and yelp in unbearable pain. The episode ends.
At the very end of the show, Team Venture participates in a poorly-made public service announcement called "Get the Facts: Testicular Torsion" which aims to raise awareness of Dean's condition. Their eyes very obviously track across the cue cards as they awkwardly read their lines. The boys, wearing protective helmets, join H.E.L.P.eR. in assuring the viewer that if he suspects that he has testicular torsion, he should "Stop, touch, and tell!"
- James Urbaniak as Dr. Venture, "Henchman #3", "Henchman #4"
- Michael Sinterniklaas as Dean Venture.
- Patrick Warburton as Brock Samson.
- Christopher McCulloch as Hank Venture, the Monarch, "Henchman #2", "Henchman #5", "Henchman #6", "Henchman #7".
- Doc Hammer as Dr. Girlfriend, Master Billy Quizboy, "Henchman #1".
- Stephen Ratazzi as Dr. Orpheus.
- Lisa Hammer as Triana Orpheus.
- Soul-Bot as H.E.L.P.eR.
- The title of this episode is a play on the book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume.
- Despite Dr. Venture's adamant claims that it doesn't exist, the candirú is indeed a real fish, although it's disputed whether it does exactly what is claimed by the Monarch.
- The opening shot of the episode depicts Grover Cleveland's Presidential Time Machine (fictional, as far as historians know).
- The Monarch's joke that he is Hank Venture's father is a reference to Darth Vader's revelation at the end of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.[original research?]
- Monarch dismisses Brock Samson's statement that he'll kill him, implying that he can free himself from the ropes he's in; the Monarch rhetorically asks, "What are you, Obi-Wan Kenobi?" Obi-Wan is a character introduced in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, whilst the swamp setting is reminiscent of Yoda's residence shown in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
- Henchman 21 and Henchman 24 engage in another of their signature bizarre pop-culture arguments, this time over whether the Smurfs were mammals (21, using Papa Smurf's beard as an argument) or egg-laying creatures (24, using Smurfette not being in estrus continuously as his argument). Technically, they could both be right, providing that Smurfs are monotremes, though their asexuality would render 24's reasoning irrelevant.
- The Smurf's argument may be a reference to an argument in the movie Donnie Darko of nearly the same topic.
- When Dr. Venture calls Conjectural Technologies, Pete White is apparently playing the video-game Grand Theft Auto III.
- Pete White later mentions "That guy from INXS." This is a reference to Michael Hutchence, who was found dead in November 1997 in a hotel room, hanging by his neck. Although never confirmed, his death was rumored to be an accidental product of autoerotic asphyxiation.
- The doll that Dr. Orpheus gives to Dean is a Zuni fetish doll from the movies Trilogy of Terror and Trilogy of Terror II.
- Hank's comment that he has a "Razzle in my pocket" is a reference to Ian Dury and The Blockheads song, "I've Got a Razzle in my Pocket". (Razzles are semi-hard candy that become chewing gum in your mouth.)
- The Monarch's statement "You'll be given the grandest of accommodations. It will be a far cry from sleeping over Dr. Venture's garage, like so much Fonzie" is a reference to Arthur Fonzarelli on the show Happy Days, who rented an apartment from the Cunninghams, which was above their garage.
- Testicular Torsion is a real medical condition, one requiring immediate attention from a urologist. White and Billy's descriptions of the causes and dangers are relatively accurate.
- Dr. Girlfriend is shown reading Friedrich Nietzsche's book Beyond Good and Evil.
Connections to Other EpisodesEdit
- This episode sees the introduction of the characters Henchman 18, Henchman 31, Henchman 38, Henchman 40, and Henchman 43, as well as Conjectural Technologies.
- Dr. Venture's comment that he could have "Fixed" Dean Venture's testicular torsion in "The prototype stage" is considered to be one of the early hints that Dean and Hank are clones.
- Near the end of the episode, before the credits roll, Dr. Venture makes reference to Hank Venture being circumcised (Dean, apparently, is not). However, in Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman, Hank is circumcised by a native tribe. Since the latter Hank is a new clone slug, it's easily explainable. Dr. Venture had previously circumcised Hank 13 but not Hank 14. This doesn't explain why Hank isn't concerned about his foreskin growing back, as the memory of the original circumcision would have been incepted into the new clone from his sleeping bed.
- Hank mentions that the last time he was in the cocoon, he was forced to sleep in a prison, before being told 'you broke my heart' by the Monarch. This is from an earlier episode.
- In Victor. Echo. November., Hank makes reference to Dean's testicular torsion surgery while the two are on their date with Triana Orpheus and Kim. After telling his version of Phantom Limb's origin story, Hank refers to Master Billy Quizboy as "...the big-headed guy that operated on your balls, Dean".
- Doc Hammer wrote this episode, basing it off his own bout with testicular torsion. He has fully recovered.
- The website that is given at the end, scrotalsafetycommission.com, once existed but was a fake website made by the show's creators. Visiting the site is currently not recommended, as the domain now belongs to an unrelated fake giveaway/security check website that could install unwanted software on your device. You can view an archive of the original website here.
- In the credits for this episode, Animation Director Kimson Albert is credited as Kimson "Dreaded Candiru" Albert. Albert has a nickname inserted into his credits for each episode of the show.
| Preceded by:|
| The Venture Bros. episodes|
October 2, 2004
| Followed by:|
"Tag Sale – You're It!"