Many people wanted to know what my favorite AVGN episodes are so here ya go. Now, before you get your panties in a twist, I will tell you flat out that my list is probably completely different from yours as my choices come from a very different place. Aside from having a strange sense of humor that may skew my preferences, I also take into account my fond and/or not so fond memories of the experience of making the actual video. And again, as stated before, I don’t play games so the game being reviewed isn’t really a factor in why I like an episode or not. Regardless, I think there are some good choices and I’ve added stories, fun facts and explanations as to why each particular episode stands out for me that I hope you enjoy!
#20 Sega 32X:
– This is one of those cases where a personal story makes me like a particular episode. You see, that was my Dad who shot the flaming arrow. My Dad is big into hunting, fishing and outdoorsy stuff so when James had the idea of shooting a flaming arrow into the 32X he knew just where to go to get a bow and arrow. That’s a real bow and arrow for hunting so its tough to pull back. We were all really impressed that James was able to pull it back successfully. He’s actually quite strong for a nerd.
#19 Indiana Jones:
– This episode stands out for a few reasons. One is that James bought an actual jacket made by the same company that made the jackets used in the actual film. I thought this was cool and I love this jacket on James. He wears it all the time. He also has a real deal bullwhip and hat to go with his jacket and used this ensemble as a costume for Halloween. He made a great Indiana Jones. This episode also has one of my favorite title card drawings by Mike Matei.
#18 Atari Jaguar, Part 2:
– So as you know, I’m a sucker for my cats so of course this would rank up there with one of my favorite episodes. I love the part where Boo is the actual Jaguar and the song that goes with it. That cat got tons of exercise in this episode chasing the laser pen. He’s my little internet star.
– This one got me with concept. I absolutely loved the idea of a completely animated episode in the style of the old “Grinch” Christmas special. Mike Matei was the perfect guy to pull this off and did an amazing job adapting the animation style. I was completely won over by the fact that he replaced the dog from the original cartoon with Boo, my cat. Again, sucker for those felines of mine. This episode also led us to our friend Bear McCreary, who is an awesome, talented, prolific composer and all around cool dude.
– Because most of the people are my personal friends, I’m a big fan of “guest” appearances in episodes and such is the case with this one. Fun fact, Kyle Justin got the job of playing Spiderman because he was the only one comfortable enough to wear the crazy tight costume. I think he did a great job with this part. A few of the gags in this one were definitely up my comedy alley. I particularly loved the web coming out of his dick, the pizza delivery gag and the failed attempt at switching the Nerd’s beer choice to Yueungling.
#15 Wayne’s World:
– Wayne’s World is one of my favorite movies of all time, so of course I would love the AVGN rendition. I’m also proud of the fact that the Wayne’s World hat James wears is from a Halloween costume where James and I went as Wayne and Garth. I was Wayne and I painted that hat by hand.
#14 Christmas Carol Pt. 2:
– Again, those “guest” appearances get me. I thought it was super funny to have Craig from ScrewAttack as the ghost of Christmas past. Particularly since he still has his hat on over the sheet. As we all know he never takes that hat off. I also love most any incarnation of “A Christmas Carol.” Dickens = good literary shit. Using the concept of James’ personal gaming history for the past, present, future bit was really clever. Plus, baby James is so cute! James dancing around as an old man is pretty cute too.
– This is one of those instances where my strange sense of humor plays a part. For some reason one of my absolute favorite AVGN moments is when Kyle is bopping his head along to the beat. I just think it is hilarious and I still cannot watch this part without laughing out loud. Kyle living behind the couch is also one of my favorite running gags in the AVGN videos and this is the beginning of that.
#12 Nintendo World Champions:
– Loved the story line of this one. There is some real back story to this episode. Pat Contri “The NES Punk” is also a sweetheart and a serious game collector. The fact that he flew across the country with game cartridges worth a huge dollar amount made us all nervous, but the episode proved to be worth it.
#11 Nightmare on Elm Street:
– Of the slasher genre of horror films, The Nightmare of Elm Street franchise is probably my favorite so by default I was interested in the AVGN version of it. I was not disappointed. I loved the way James brought the dream qualities of the Elm Street movies into the theme of this episode. Really well done. I’m pretty sure this was the first time I helped with an AVGN episode also. As mentioned before that is my hand in the Freddy glove reaching over the couch. That was my tequila also. Fucker drank my tequila.
#10 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Re-Revisited:
– Speaking of helping with videos, this was definitely the most physically demanding “help” I’ve ever given on an episode. I was basically the one puppeteering the skeleton. That thing is a medically accurate, very heavy skeleton that James bought from a medical supply company. I got quite the work out holding and pulling fishing wire from behind the black fabric. It ended up being an awesome idea though. I was a big fan of having the author of the classic novel, Robert Lewis Stevenson, be a part of the theme of the episode.
– Halloween is my second favorite slasher franchise helping make this a good one for me, but the part of love most about this episode is the memories of making it. The Mulvey boys are some of my favorite kids on this planet. They were such good sports about this and so much fun to work with. I remember we had just gotten Boo, the cat, so he and I kept the boys entertained during shots they were not in. Like when James was cursing, they were not in the room. They are getting all growed up now though but “Uncle” James and I are very proud of them. This episode is also an example of movie magic at its finest with the use of two completely different houses and neighborhoods made to look like all one place.
#8 Mario 3:
– Finding satanic messages within the game and the exorcist bit as a theme to this episode was one of the funnier gags James has come up with. Having Campbell’s split pea soup all over my apartment, however, was not so funny. Worth it in the end though, but man, I mean it was like EVERYWHERE. Funny story, James was recovering from a really bad cold and was just starting to get his voice back and he sounded like the devil when he spoke so he was able to use that to his advantage and recorded the satanic voice over for this video. Unless he gets a really bad cold again, I don’t think he could ever recreate that voice.
#7 Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout:
– Forget pea soup, this was one of the most invasive episodes I can remember. I’ll preface by saying that I am not complaining at all and it is ALWAYS worth it in the end, but my memory of this episode is tainted by the chaos that went into making it happen. For instance, Mike’s Bugs Bunny feet kept peeling paint, so he used my art supplies (I was in senior year of art school at the time) to keep painting where it chipped away. White paint got all over the hardwood floors of the apartment and we didn’t get our security deposit back because of that. The “that’s all fucks” gag at the end, required James and Mike to use more of my art supplies to create a wall of paper for James to bust through. Mike and I each held a side while he broke though the paper. I remember that being really tiresome and we had to do like ten takes before we got it right. Not to mention that the wall of paper was blocking my living room all night. The pile of boxes for the box gag blocked the door to my bedroom so I couldn’t get in my there for hours either. Oh and coming home from work to see a huge mess of fake shit in the kitchen was just magnificent also. Mopping that up was a nightmare, but again, years later, totally worth it.
#6 Batman Part 2:
– My clearest memory of this episode is that it was first time in the new house that a video got a little crazy. As you can see from my story about the Birthday Blowout episode, invasiveness used to be a big problem in our small apartment, but in the new place, there is much more room and I typically am not effected by filming anymore. This video was a little different though. It was so friggin hot the day they filmed that Mike’s make-up was everywhere, all over sinks, walls, towels, etc because it was literally melting off his face. I felt so bad for him in that heavy Joker suit and make-up. It was worth it though because this is the first time we kinda see Mike’s face and how funny he is. This lead to him eventually playing a much larger role as himself on other Cinemassacre projects. It was nice to see his hard work and dedication come to the forefront. YAY Mike! . Lastly, Batman is my favorite super hero. I would never claim to be a comics expert in the least, but I do love Batman. In high school I used to carry a batman backpack as a purse. I still have it and it is amazing.
#5 Bugs Bunny’s Crazy Castle:
– Ok, I’m on a bit of a “this episode was messy” streak, but this one was by far the most out of control and invasive of any AVGN episode. James got punched in the head and knocked out cold. The basement “nerd room” was absolutely fucking destroyed. The futon was broken, ceiling tiles were broken, there was whipped cream and black paint and kool-aid blood everywhere. It was the mess of a century, but it was pretty fucking funny. Again, Kyle’s futon bit gets me every time and Mike’s Bugs Bunny voice is spot on. As for my contributions, I remember having to buy the grocery items needed. Finding a carrot with long green stem proved to be more difficult then you’d think and having a shopping cart full of about 10 tubs of whipped cream, 5 containers of red drink mix, 6 tubs of chocolate frosting and 100 ping pong balls makes people look at your cross eyed. How bout those ping-pong balls covered in chocolate frosting as bunny terds… hilarious. I wrapped the birthday gift also seeing as how none of the boys could wrap a damn present properly.
#4 Fester’s Quest:
– This episode came out in September 2007 just 2 months before our wedding and I hated the mustache James had to grow to play Gomez. I was worried he’d keep it for the wedding but thankfully he shaved it off. I also came home from work one day to a horrid smell of cheap cigars because he smoked one for real when filming the Gomez part. Neither of us smoke, so this was true method acting. Aside from that, this is one of my favorite episodes. I think it’s so funny that he dressed as and played each of the characters from The Addam’s Family. I love The Addam’s Family show and I’m a sucker for episodes that adopt the style or theme of the topic being reviewed. With the black and white filming and costumes, this episode did this beautifully.
#3 Game Glitches:
– Can I just say that I love Kevin Finn’s acting. He’s a master at improv and has comic gold coming out of his ears. For those who don’t already know this James scripts out everything. Kevin Finn and his spontaneity, however, bring out some of the most genuine and hilarious acting from James. These two are a winning pair. I believe this is part of why the AVGN movie (co-writen, directed and produced by James and Kevin) will be a masterpiece. *shameless plug* My favorite story about the Game Glitches episode though is from when they were trying to land on a style choice for the gremlin. Kevin was standing in the living room with no shirt, pointed ears and torn up shorts. We had the windows open because it was a warm day and I clearly remember neighbors walking by and giving Kevin the strangest look. It’s not everyday you see a glitch gremlin in your neighbors window. I also remember having to run to the store for a red broom so it would contrast with the green screen. Red brooms are not easy to find. Fun fact: the vest that Kevin wears is James’ old vest from when he worked at K-mart as a teenager. “I got glitches in me britches” – classic.
#2 Ninja Gaiden:
– The ultimate “guest” appearance. Again, that Kevin Finn is a funny motherfucker. The whole training montage gets me every time. Comic genius! I mentioned before that I love blooper reels and outtakes, well this episode has hours of shit-your-pants hilarity. Just take after take of crazy off the wall improv. Kevin actually had the flu while they were filming this so maybe part of it was the medication he was on, but he was certainly in rare form when we shot this episode. To me, this is the funniest of all the episodes. Interesting tid-bit, all the “red” parts of the ninja costume were made from a blouse of mine that they stole and cut up because it was the only bright red fabric we had in the house. Talk about your found materials. No biggie, I don’t look good in red anyway.
#1 R.O.B. the Robot:
– And finally, my #1 pick! Not only do I truly find this episode to be well written and really funny, it is an episode that I personally worked hard on and as the 100th episode it symbolizes years of hard work and success for the AVGN franchise. As a stand-alone episode it’s got everything I like about AVGN. Its hilarious, it shows back story, it has a guest appearance (even if it is a plastic robot), and it’s just epic. I’ve always said that R.O.B. is the creepiest thing in James’ collection and I was so excited when he said that he was going to be the center of the 100th episode. James did not disappoint in his execution of a much anticipated topic. From the minor, slapstick gags like the gyro sandwich (which I made from scratch and as authentically as possible) to the overall A.I. theme, the whole fucking thing is fantastic. The 4 or 5 hours that I helped James with the stop motion part of the episode (where the controllers trap the Nerd to the ground) is only a drop in the hat compared to the countless hours James put into making this episode. I, for one, think it was completely worth it. It couldn’t be a better representation of a series that had lasted 100 episodes (and more since) and that’s why its my #1.