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H.E.L.P.eR.
The Venture Bros. character
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H.E.L.P.eR. showing human emotion
First appearance

Dia de Los Dangerous!
Last appearance

The Forecast Manufacturer
Voiced by

Jackson Publick as "Soul-Bot"
Information
Aliases Humanoid Electronic Lab Partner Robot
Occupation robotic nanny and multi-purpose assistant
Relatives Jonas Venture, Sr. (creator; deceased)
Team Venture (family)
Notable
characteristics

contains many electronic devices and equipment
Alliances

Team Venture

H.E.L.P.eR. is a major supporting character on the show The Venture Bros. Its voice is provided by Jackson Publick and processed by Soul-Bot (who is solely credited with the role).

Personality and relationships

H.E.L.P.eR. stands for Humanoid Electronic Lab Partner Robot (with the extra 'e' for aesthetic purposes). Many H.E.L.P.eR's were created by Jonas Venture Sr. to serve as household assistants for everyday people. While the other H.E.L.P.eR's were burned down due to public outrage over the robot's safety issues, the very first prototype survived and acted as a nanny his son Rusty and performed well in that regard. He now serves as nanny to Hank and Dean and frequently helps the Venture family and bodyguard Brock Samson in their adventures. Years of neglect by Thaddeus have left H.E.L.P.eR. a wreck, both physically and emotionally, and it was only recently Dr. Venture realized that H.E.L.P.eR. truly did have feelings. Hank and Dean tend to treat H.E.L.P.eR. better, even if their attempts to help the robot end up occasionally causing more trouble.

From the waist up, H.E.L.P.eR. resembles a 3D-4X administrative droid from the Star Wars universe (from the waist down, he is essentially an office chair). He also sticks his head out of the X-1 when flying in it, a reference to R2-D2. He can only 'eep' out a number of electronic beeps to speak; despite this, everyone in the family can understand him. In his manner of communication and in his general demeanor, he is quite similar to Beaker from the The Muppet Show. H.E.L.P.eR. seems to enjoy eating glass, much like Russell Crowe's character in Virtuosity, though he does not seem to regenerate energy and repair injuries from doing so.[1] He occasionally malfunctions, such as when he sent out a grappling hook without a cable.

Jackson Publick stated H.E.L.P.eR. was meant to be shown in Past Tense as much a member of the original Team Venture as any of the rest, equipped with weapons and devices purposely suited to adventuring, but this plot point has since been ignored. In Victor. Echo. November., he has been shown to be able to transform into a combat mode, with his head becoming a radar dish and various weaponry, including rockets and buzzsaws, extending from his chassis, but as of I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills, H.E.L.P.eR. indicates that they are offline from the damage he'd taken. However, he uses the saws to free himself in the season 3 finale, indicating that either he'd been repaired (which is highly unlikely, given Rusty's lack of upkeep of his and his father's inventions), or the damage inflicted on him got them to work.

Character History

Dr. Jonas Venture created H.E.L.P.eR. to serve the common man and make everyday life easier. (1962)

As noted, H.E.L.P.eR. was created by Jonas Venture Sr. Jonas originally intended H.E.L.P.eR. to be his lab assistant, but in 1962 began mass producing them for the public as well. Many H.E.L.P.eR.s were produced and sold, but the public soon began to abuse the luxury of having a robotic servant, becoming lazy and irresponsible to the point of leaving children in jeopardy while under the supervision of a H.E.L.P.eR, leading to the robots being unfairly blamed for the danger. All but two H.E.L.P.eR.s were destroyed in public fires in what became known as The Great Recalling. One of the surviving units was the prototype, and that became the H.E.L.P.eR. we know. The other unit, nicknamed H.E.L.P.eR. Model Two, belonged to Ben, which he modified with organic human parts, allowing it to speak coherently.

Dr. Venture introduces the 1966 model.

As Thaddeus grew, he became neglectful of the robot; H.E.L.P.eR. only really found new life looking after Thaddeus' sons Hank and Dean, who love the robot more than Thaddeus ever did. Despite this, he's still treated as an old appliance or pet.

In his first appearance, Hank and Dean decide to buy H.E.L.P.eR. a gift and give him a makeover in Tijuana that involves flame detailing and an elaborate car horn system that play "La Cucaracha". These are removed by his next appearance. H.E.L.P.eR. shortly afterwards left the Venture compound over seeing plans for the robot G.U.A.R.D.O. , thinking he was to be replaced. Dr. Venture realizes (while being attacked by his new robot) that H.E.L.P.eR. truly did have feelings and begs for him to come back and save him and the boys, which H.E.L.P.eR. subsequently did (though he would not let the family out of their panic room until Dr. Venture apologized). He also found he could not bring himself to shoot Thaddeus even after Thaddeus demanded it. Most recently, Brock learned the hard way H.E.L.P.eR. could not drive stick shift. However, after being talked through it by Brock, H.E.L.P.eR. was able to crash the car into the wall, burning Brock's mullet off from the resulting fire in the process (Brock had been chained to the car in the meantime). He has again proven his hacking abilities when he disabled the Impossible security systems to save Team Venture, only to be hugged and crushed by Impossible's robotic nanny H.U.G.G.I.E.

He tends to suffer at others' hands who aren't aware of what he is, the boys mistook him for a Phantom Spaceman and threw him out into open space (he got back into orbit and crashed back at Venture Industries), and Dr. Orpheus shut him down to avoid detection one night. Perhaps his most humiliating incident to date in this vein is being accidentally crushed by Dr. Venture after being shrunken to a miniature size.

H.E.L.P.eR. is also capable of enlightened discussion (such as quoting Maya Angelou to Brock when discussing Myra Brandish), and is not at all fond of Led Zeppelin (calling it "jock rock," prompting Brock, a devout fan of the band, to argue about the band's lyrical merit). Yet H.E.L.P.eR. is said to speak of the eventual war between man and the brotherhood of machines, and responds with hostility when he is yelled at. H.E.L.P.eR. also seems to display genuine excitement at being included in Hank Venture and Dermott Fictel's band "Lip-glossary/Goat Blood Sacrifice" as the drummer/drum machine. He continues to perform as their drummer after they change the band name to Shallow Gravy.

In the season 3 finale The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I) & The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II), H.E.L.P.eR displays the most human emotion yet. First, he demonstrates his willingness to protect the family by acting as an improvised landing gear; then, he shows gullibility by believing that Dr. Girlfriend is there to save him from the Monarch's torture; and finally, he demonstrates ingenuity, not only by using broken saw blades to cut through ropes, but by hijacking a car. Yet, H.E.L.P.eR. is not aware to the fact that there is a large amount of C-4 on his back, apparently leading to his destruction.

In the season 4 premiere, H.E.L.P.eR. is shown to have had his head lodged into Brock's chest, requiring Brock to find a surgeon to remove it. He then sends the head back to the Venture's, where Dr. Venture erases his memory rather than deal with H.E.L.P.eR's trauma of being apart from the family for so long and then attaches the head to the body of the Walking Eye.

Dean restores him back to his old body in the season 5 episode Venture Libre. Dermott and Hank complain that Dean's restoration of H.E.L.P.eR.'s body changed the sound of his drum machine function, making it "sound like crap".

Hank brings H.E.L.P.eR. along when he disguises himself as Enrico Matassa to rob a bank--part of his scheme to be committed to Dunwitch Asylum, where he intends to meet Teddy Talk-To-Me.[2] H.E.L.P.eR. assists in the caper by dressing in a domino mask and a large letter C on his torso to become "CrimeRobot", a robot obsessed with crime because they programmed him to think of nothing else.

H.E.L.P.eR. moves to New York City with the Venture Family after the Venture Compound burns down at the end of Season 5.[3] He immediately shows jealously toward J-Bot, the robot assistant Jonas Venture Jr. had built to serve the living quarters at VenTech Tower. After becoming increasingly fretful that J-Bot would replace him, H.E.L.P.eR. finally just pushes J-Bot over the railing on the roof of the VenTech Tower. As J-Bot never appears again after this incident, it is assumed that H.E.L.P.eR.'s push destroys him.

Later in Season 6 H.E.L.P.eR. peers into the light of the PROBLEM machine as it appears to sit dormant in the lobby of the VenTech Tower.[4] The robot studies the machine as if seeing something that nobody else does.

In the beginning of Season 7, when the VenTech Tower appears to be haunted, H.E.L.P.eR. frightens the normally unflappable Brock Samson by opening his mouth and disgorging a huge pile of dead rats.[5] After the PROBLEM is opened up to reveal the living head of Jonas Venture Sr. inside, it can be surmised that the dead rats were a source of protein for the immobilized super scientist, with H.E.L.P.eR. most likely bringing Jonas a meal of rats or carting away the remains that had already been drained of nutrients.[6]

While Jonas Venture Sr. has control of the VenTech Tower he apparently possesses H.E.L.P.eR.'s body, commanding him to knock out Pete White with a wrench after Pete's incursion into the Tower's computer system threatens Jonas' ability to control the building.[5] H.E.L.P.eR. also uses all of his defensive capabilities and weaponry to defend the PROBLEM when Dr. Venture and Dr. Orpheus pinpoint it as the source of the "haunting" in the VenTech Tower, though Dr. Venture easily shuts H.E.L.P.eR. down via the remote controls in his jWatch.

When Sergeant Hatred visits Dr. Venture in the hospital, he leaves H.E.L.P.eR. in charge of the security/reception desk at VenTech Tower.[7] This may not be the wisest decision, as a cutaway to the VenTech lobby shows a nervous H.E.L.P.eR. frantically pointing a handgun wildly about the room, causing visitors to the tower to flee in terror.

Billy Quizboy and Dr. Venture attempt to use H.E.L.P.eR. as a bomb disposal robot when they hear a suspicious noise coming from a closet in the living quarters of the VenTech Tower.[8] Despite Billy's prodding H.E.L.P.eR. runs away in fear. The noise turns out to be a false alarm, not a bomb; the O.S.I. is attempting to reach Dr. Venture via a phone device to ask for his help in disabling a weather machine.

Equipment and abilities

H.E.L.P.eR. has a wide range of devices and knowledge. He has a retractable helicopter rotor in his head and can fly significant distances. He is stronger than a typical human, and capable of carrying passengers as heavy as Brock while aloft without visible strain. He can perform surgery (as he once did to retrieve a kidney each from the boys), can fly the X-1, and holds a number of various gadgets in his body—enough that Dr. Venture could even use him as a makeshift kidney dialysis machine. He has a homing device that allows him to respond to a call for assistance from Rusty, even from thousands of miles away.

In Victor. Echo. November., in which the Venture compound is assaulted by Guild operatives, Brock orders H.E.L.P.eR. to institute tactical and defensive weaponry, which seems to consist of the following:

  • Collapsible armor plating
  • Twin submachine guns
  • One hand becomes a spinning blade
  • The other hand becomes a flamethrower
  • Periscope
  • Eye guard/projected Head-Up Display

Despite this arsenal, H.E.L.P.eR. is decapitated by the Guild commandos, although he does manage to hold them off long enough for Thaddeus to make it to the compound's panic room (albeit minus one of his arms). It is later implied that these weapons were never repaired after the incident but seem untrue from him using his spinning blade in The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I). Brock has complimented the robot by saying that he is "not much in a fight," but exceptional at search and rescue.

In other episodes, his equipment includes:

  • Projectile Grappling Hook Left Hand
  • Projectile Right Hand
  • Thermal scanning vision
  • Drum machine capable of only one beat

Episode Appearances

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Soul-Bot voice credits

"Soul-Bot" is a toy robot that processes Christopher McCulloch's "eeps" into much more electronic sounds. The effect is very similar in sound to a ring modulator. Soul-Bot was given a different voice credit in every episode of the first two seasons of The Venture Bros., after which he was merely credited as Soul-Bot or Soulbot.

Credit Episode
Mostly important robot duties All episodes
Season 1
And introducing SOUL-BOT as... Dia de Los Dangerous!
And featuring SOUL-BOT as... Careers in Science
And as always, SOUL-BOT as... Home Insecurity
Please welcome SOUL-BOT as... The Incredible Mr. Brisby
Special guest star, SOUL-BOT as... Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!
The vocal stylings of SOUL-BOT as... Ghosts of the Sargasso
The indomitable SOUL-BOT as... Ice Station - Impossible!
With SOUL-BOT as... Mid-Life Chrysalis
And the return of SOUL-BOT as... Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean
And of course SOUL-BOT as... Tag Sale - You're It!
And the steely SOUL-BOT as... Past Tense
One hand hitting another makes a nice sound for SOUL-BOT... Return to Spider-Skull Island
Iron Elf A Very Venture Christmas
Season 2
With mighty SOUL-BOT as... Assassinanny 911
Your pal SOUL-BOT as... Escape to the House of Mummies Part II
1.5 tons of SOUL-BOT as... Twenty Years to Midnight
With shiny SOUL-BOT as... Victor. Echo. November.
Once again, SOUL-BOT as... Love-Bheits
The wicked lovable SOUL-BOT as... I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills

References

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