|"From the Ladle to the Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
Season 4 Special|
|Directed by||Jackson Publick & Juno Lee|
|Original air date||August 28, 2011|
From the Ladle to the Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story is a mockumentary special that aired between Season 4 and Season 5 of The Venture Bros.
Plot[edit | edit source]
This documentary-style special shows us the story of Hank and Dermott's band, Shallow Gravy. Since H.E.L.P.eR. had been temporarily dead, he objected to their original name of Shallow Grave, so Hank decided to change the name to Shallow Gravy instead.
After the documentary, a music video of Shallow Gravy's smash hit song Jacket plays.
Episode Cast[edit | edit source]
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, The Monarch, Pete White
- Doc Hammer: Dermott Fictel, "Viceroy", Billy Quizboy
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Michael Sinterniklaas: Dean Venture
- Kate McKinnon: Margaret Fictel, Nikki Fictel
- Bill Hader: Narrator
Episode Transcript[edit | edit source]
Connections With Other Episodes[edit | edit source]
- The Christmas party shown in this episode is the same one from A Very Venture Christmas. This means that most of those events weren't just a dream of Dr. Venture's.
- Brock mentions that he gave Hank his old bass for Christmas.
- The episode recounts how Hank and Dermott met in The Buddy System.
- The line about the local press taking notice is a reference to the single article that Dean wrote about Shallow Gravy for The Venture Home News in the episode Tears of a Sea Cow.
- The destruction of H.E.L.P.eR. in The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II) is referenced by The Monarch.
- Dr. Venture was shown activating H.E.L.P.eR. with his new walking eye body during the events of Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel.
- The episode briefly touches on the revelation from Everybody Comes to Hank's that Dr. Venture is Dermott's father.
- Hank and Dermott's gig at the Venture home-school prom is shown from Operation P.R.O.M.
Cultural References[edit | edit source]
- The scene from the Jacket music video of Dermott sitting in a throne in a field is likely a reference to the 1991 music video for the 3rd Bass song "Pop Goes The Weasel".
- The scene from the Jacket music video with Dean in a devil costume dancing in flames is a reference to the 1986 music video for Bananarama's cover of the Shocking Blue song "Venus".
- The entire special is presented in the style of VH1's documentary television series Behind The Music.
- The scene from the Jacket music video where Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred sit at the kitchen table with fire in the background is a reference to Billy Joel's 1989 music video for "We Didn't Start The Fire".
- Hank mentions that they actually set their kitchen on fire to film this scene.
- The black and white scene of Dermott dropping cards with lyrics printed on them is a tribute to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues".
- The scenes from the Jacket music video of Dermott standing atop a cliff with his arms spread are a reference to Creed's 2002 music video for their single "One Last Breath".
- Dermott has a poster of Dethklok, the fictional metal band from the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse, on the wall of his bedroom. Brendon Small, the creator of the show Metalocalypse, provides several voices on The Venture Bros.
- The lyrics to the song Jacket reference devil's plaid, a pattern of plaid sometimes used as a jacket liner.
- The scene from the Jacket music video of Pete White showing off his double-breasted jacket uses a background similar to the one from the 1988 music video for DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's song "Parents Just Don't Understand".
- Dr. Venture performs the Duran Duran song "Rio" when he "invents" karaoke in the flashback at the Christmas party.
- The "Gravy Boat", the car Dr. Venture gives to Hank for driving to Shallow Gravy gigs, is based on Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion car, a unique, fuel efficient vehicle with front wheel drive and only three wheels.
- The concept for the Shallow Gravy single Jacket was originally inspired by famed historical murderer Jack the Ripper.
- In the Jacket music video Dean Venture wears the titular coat from the Broadway musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
- During Shallow Gravy's Jacket music video at the end of the episode, there is a brief scene of Dermott and Hank carrying a picture of H.E.L.P.eR. (and another with a photo of Brock Samson.) This is a reference to Joy Division's music video for "Atmosphere", wherein people in various white and black robes are seen carrying a large picture of Ian Curtis, the deceased frontman of Joy Division. It is also comical to note that H.E.L.P.eR. was briefly dead (and Brock was "missing" for a significant amount of time.)
- The strong melodic bassline and drum beat are highly reminiscent of Joy Division, as is the Martin Hannett-like production style ("It sounds like it was recorded on the MOON!" - Hank).
- Dermott referring to the song as "overproduced" is a direct reference to Joy Division bassist Hookey, and his views on their Unknown Pleasures album.
- Near the beginning of the special H.E.L.P.eR. wears "Catman" makeup like Peter Criss, the drummer from KISS.
- Pete White applauds Shallow Gravy for having a real robot in their band, unlike those "phonies" in Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk are famous for writing songs about robots, using repurposed machines in their music, and performing live with animatronic versions of themselves.
- The narrator refers to Shallow Gravy producer Billy Quizboy as "a hydrocephalic Martin Hannett".
- The scene from the Jacket music video of Dermott and Hank wearing Eisenhower jackets in front of a giant American flag is a reference to the 1970 film Patton.
- The scenes from the Jacket music video of Shallow Gravy running through the woods intercut with words written in chalk on a blackboard are references to the 1992 Pearl Jam music video for their song "Jeremy".
- Shallow Gravy's performance on the roof of the Venture compound is a reference to The Beatles' famous rooftop performance, seen in the 1970 documentary film Let It Be. Dermott wears the same coat on the rooftop that John Lennon wore in the film.
- Dermott says "I think we're being shut down" when Dr. Venture asks them to keep the noise down, a line from the 1987 music video for the U2 song "Where the Streets Have No Name". The music video featured a live performance by U2 on the roof of a liquor store in downtown Los Angeles, surrounded by a crowd of over a thousand people, before being shut down by the police over security concerns. U2's performance was inspired by The Beatles' famous rooftop performance in 1970.
Production Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The episode is referred as "From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy" by adult swim although the episode itself uses the subtitle "The Shallow Gravy Story".
- This is the first episode where Titmouse Inc. did the animation instead of World Leaders Entertainment.
- Hank's mnemonic for remembering the four strings on his bass guitar: Every Adversary Dies Gloriously.
- Co-creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer are shown in Dermott's yearbook as "Christopher Esson" and "Eric Faulkman". Jackson's real name is Christopher McCulloch and Doc's is Eric Hammer.
- Jonas Venture Sr. is shown debuting the "New for 1966" model of H.E.L.P.eR. robot to the buying public.