Jay’s Month of Screams, Day 30- The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
For my penultimate pick for my first ever month of screams, I chose a show that’s perfect for Halloween. It’s Cartoon Network’s 2000’s classic, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. If you didn’t know, its about two kids, the idiotic Billy and the cynically terrifying Mandy, who win the friendship of the Grim Reaper in a game. The show followed the trio’s supernatural misadventures, and it was a mega-hit for the channel. Of course, it helped that Richard Horvitz and Grey DeLisle voiced the main characters. As a result of its themes, this show’s perfect for Halloween, and Billy and Mandy’s Jacked Up Halloween delivered! In fact, it’s one of the funniest Halloween episodes of the decade.
Jacked Up Halloween
When Billy, Mandy, and Grim are out trick-or-treating on Halloween, Billy asks why people pull pranks on Halloween. As it turns out, it all started centuries ago with Endsville’s resident prankster, Jack. The man got so obsessed with tricks, the townspeople got fed up and arranged for his execution. Unfortunately, Jack cheated death by forcing Grim to give him immortality. However, Grim still cut his head, leaving him with a pumpkin for a head. Now he comes out every Halloween to play pranks on Endsville.
In the present day, Billy makes the mistake of knocking on Jack’s door, and loses Grim’s scythe to the pumpkin-headed prankster. As a result, Jack frees the souls of the Underworld to destroy Endsville, get revenge on Grim, and have Halloween reign forever. In other words, Billy doomed the world for the umpteenth time.
Fear the Jack-O-Lantern
Billy and Mandy was no stranger to scary things like monsters and aliens and witches, so Halloween was a perfect fit. The scares come in the form of Jack’s army of pumpkin’s. Using the scythe and the souls of the dead, he creates an army of possessed pumpkin monsters, and they’re genuinely scary to look at. If you saw an army of grotesque, pumpkin shaped creatures tearing up your neighborhood, you’d be scared too.
Furthermore, despite his reputation as a trickster who plays otherwise harmless pranks, Jack’s a good villain. Having been deprived of a normal life, the immortal prankster’s become bitter towards Endsville and the Grim Reaper. He still likes playing pranks and telling jokes, but you can feel the malice behind them. Once he gets Grim’s scythe once more, he’s a dangerous threat.
So Funny, You’ll Die of Laughter
Like the show, though, Billy and Mandy’s Jacked up Halloween plays on its humor. Richard Horvitz delivers a lot of it, too, simply by being the biggest ham he can possibly be in every scene. More to the point, Billy’s extremely delayed to how badly he screws up is a hilarious payoff. Then we get to see Billy do this:
Another big source of the special’s humor is a running gag involving Billy’s best friend, Irwin. He keeps trying to impress Mandy with his costumes. However, he can’t seem to get it into his head that he’s supposed to be scary. Instead, we get this:
And these two:
Ironically, Irwin ends up being what saves the day. In a scene that would make master slapstick artists proud, Irwin inadvertedly sets off all the traps Mandy set to fight Jack’s army. As a result, the spirits laugh themselves to death, and it gets so contagious, I couldn’t but laugh along with them.
A Gut-Busting Good Time
Overall, this special’s as hilarious as the show itself. While mostly comedic in nature, it does know how to bring the scares with the pumpkin monsters and Jack’s evil schemes. If you’re interested, I reccommend going on YouTube and watching it for yourself. Fans of the show will love the nostalgia and humor, just in time for Halloween. Happy Halloween!
Or here to see all holiday related posts.