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If you're not aware of GI Joe, chances are, I don't care for you as a person. GI Joe is of course a certain toy line, cartoon and way of life from my youth, and pretty much the greatest thing ever invented that is not beer or fake boobs, and the only other thing under six inches... besides my penis, that I looked forward to handling regularly. 
Now, if you were born in the 90's, holy shit, you missed out. While you were forced to play "war" with gigantic blocky neon-colored guns because your generation was so retarded it actually shot each other with real ones, thus wrecking it for yourselves forever, and being cursed to carry around super-soakers that looked like they were lifted from a fucking clown car, we, the naive and innocent children of the 80's, were out in the bush, re-enacting what we saw on the GI Joe cartoon, using realistic toys, not getting mistakenly killed by police, and having a good ol' time making bullet sounds that didn't just sound like babbling laughter, waging wars that like the cartoon, always culminated in us PUNCHING EACH OTHER OUT. After all, GI Joe taught us everything we knew about hand to non-moving-plastic-hand combat.
That's right, GI Joe didn't need to shoot ANYONE , because he was too busy throwing haymakers, all while fudging the books to justify their multi-billion dollar budget, no doubt. I mean, seriously, you try explaining to the tax payers why you need all those tanks, hydrofoils and planes when for the last five years, you've just thrown a lot of elbows and never made contact with any of your enemies, despite the millions of bullets and missiles you've needlessly expended.
Anyway, GI Joe was an institution for my generation. In fact, I'm not ashamed to admit (OK, I'm a little ashamed) that I've based my entire adult life on their teachings. It's true. And it's a life-plan ANYONE can adhere to. But to explain it to you, the nay-sayers, in scientific terms you can clearly understand, I've utilized my obscenely reputable math skills and calculated a detailed and comprehensive pie-chart to break it all down for you:
It's that simple. Trust me.
Now, imagine my sheer joy and excitement, when I found out that like Transformers, my other heterosexual life-mate, GI Joe was being adapted to the big screen. It's true. And apparently, it's being directed by Steven Sommers, acclaimed director of...something?
Maybe. I'm sure once you wade through Van Helsing and all 3000 incarnations of the fucking Mummy, you'll find something. Hopefully.
And at first, like I did with Michael Bay, I assumed the worst, as I pictured the bulk of the film featuring Destro feverishly rebuilding the body of Cobra Commander, piece by piece, and the whole thing culminating in a giant Commander head amidst the throws of a sandstorm , chasing Duke and the boys, until finally, the curse is broken! But then I remembered that Transformers turned out Okay, and I became confident again. I mean, how can you fuck this up? I mean, really? All you need is a ragtag group of dudes in ridiculous nonsensical mismatching clothing, all fighting identical masked blue assholes who somehow always safely emerge from a fireball, parachute intact. It's not rocket science. Because, if it was, Commander would have no doubt used it to build a machine that creates high powered winds instead of, I don't know, a fucking nuclear bomb. That's just how he rolls. If Cobra was behind 9/11, instead of flying planes into the World Trade Center, Cobra would have just carved Commander's face into the side of the building with a comically huge diamond-tipped laser. I'm telling you.
But that all said, I have to admit, thus far, the casting of this film has been a little questionable. Almost as questionable as the time I deduced that trained stage thespian Sir Ben Kingsley was the ONLY man with enough dignity, poise and grace to pull off a live-action version of Thundercat PANTHRO. I mean, come on. Anyone can portray a non-violent pacifist on a hunger strike, but can just any random asshole convince me that the damaged SAMOFLANGE can be repaired? I think not.
But that said, thus far, this film reads like a casting call for the fucking O.C. (The G.I. JO.C.?), featuring a who's who of perfect, pretty little people, all under 25. Holy shit, I think I might use *my own* Kung Fu grip to open-hand-chop my TV if the bulk of the movie sees a fucking CW Network-like presentation of Duke in an uneasy blossoming relationship with Scarlett for 2 fucking hours.
Scarlett: "Duke, I love you. But I'm just not ready for intercourse. I just need time!"
Duke: "I love you. I'll wait."
Scarlett: "Oh, Duke. I Love you too! Let's just cuddle and hold each other for awhile!"
Duke: "Umm, sure, I guess so." (Whilst secretly wondering if he puts enough grease in there, if his penis will fit inside his gun barrel).
Dear God.
Anyway, that said, my big problem is not the fact that perpetual guido funboys like Channing Tatum are cast as fucking DUKE, Sienna Miller is Baroness, and the youngest son from "3rd Rock From The Sun" is Cobra Commander (What, the gay brother from Roseanne wasn't available?), all while MARLON WAYANS is just cast, period (If there was ever a time to rescind that none gets shot rule, this is it), it's that the bulk of these plastic little people are all in their early 20's. And I ask, HOW IN THE FUCK CAN YOU BE A HIGHLY TRAINED ANYTHING AT 22? This is America's err, wherever's HIGHLY TRAINED SPECIAL MISSION FORCE. It's not an group of misunderstood urban teenagers that, by god, just want to dance to hip-hop or race their fucking Japenese drag cars. Holy fuck. I'm begging Hollywood, PLEASE STOP CASTING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR EVERYTHING . Fucking Hollywood is turning into a real life version of Logan's Run. I mean, seriously. A guy like Duke, who leads the entire platoon, is supposed to have years and years of battle experience under his (grenade)belt. He's a war veteran. He shouldn't look like he just got his fucking driver's permit, and is hoping tonight's the night his "best girl" gives him the green-light. Jesus Christ. 
So, ya. That's my only issue. Seeing clean-cut, young, good-looking people running around pretending to be elite soldiers, with big teeth and coiffed hair, and six-packs to make Jane Q. Baldcrotch at 14 feel a tingling in her special purpose. It's stupid and unrealistic. The whole movie isn't going to bomb because a group of fledgling imbecilic teenagers see a dude who's 38 playing Duke, and instead just go back to watching Step Up, or Step Off or whatever the fuck it's called. "I'm white, sure! But I can dance as good as any of those black guys! Look at me go! I'm Dancin'! It's as if my legs are independent from my body!"
Seriously. I don't know a dude under 25 who's not completely fucking retarded, and I'm supposed to suspend disbelief that the fucking Alpha Beta Joe Fraternity here is off stopping international tyranny, and that an entire billion dollar Terrorist cell is run by a skinny awkward teenager with a girl's haircut? Come on.
The only other "minor" issue here is that Joe is no longer a "Real American Hero", because producers realized that hey, marketing gun-toting, flag-waving Americans in certain markets might not be the best idea. So, ya, that's forgivable. But, that said, " GI JOE" now stands for "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity", (I'm gonna have to operate a lot of joints myself before that name starts sounding like a fucking good idea) and was rumored to be based out of Brussels. BRUSSELS. Hot-bed of heroism! Ahem. My dream of them being based out of Israel, so a live action depiction of GI Jew has now been quashed...
Their Tanks stop on a dime! Then pick them up and never spend them!
Anyway, turns out, though, that the Brussels rumor was just that. A Rumor. As was the rumor that Cobra wouldn't even be involved, instead seeing the Joe's battle a --wait for it-- MUSLIM TERRORIST THREAT~! Hey, we're in the midst of a similar battle in real life! It feels so relevant and familiar to me because it's happening and it's justified and Fuck. So, ya, sleep easy, because IT WILL BE GI JOE Vs. Cobra for sure, and all your favorites ARE indeed appearing. Destro. Zartan. Big Lob. Ok, maybe not Big Lob. But holy shit, VINDICATION. This movie now has the potential to kick all kinds of ass, and not shoot anyone, because that'd be absurd. I mean, they even leaked an awesome photo of Ray Park, who's going against type to play a deadly, agile, martial-arts trained silent guy in SNAKE EYES, and got it right! Holy shit. And hey, when you get past the part where his super-secret, sacred clan tattoo is painted on his Plexiglas muscle-suit, it's pretty fucking impressive. That IS the Snake Eyes I remember. I'm a happy camper. Now, all they have to do is capture the majestic splendor that is Quick Kick, and my life will be complete. Even if the bulk of these casted Joe's were watching Teletubbies the last time the toys were actually available.
And speaking of toys, I thought I'd do you a further solid, and choose several completely random Joe's, and give you the low down, if only to get you in the mood for next Summer's Sommer's Joe-stravaganza.
However, while researching the toys and file-cards, some less-than desirable characters came flooding back, and I decided to change gears. Instead, I've decided to list some of Joe's most forgettable/ridiculous characters for your amusement, and EDUCATION. Seriously. You can take your equations and biology and shove them up Joe's nonexistent smooth plastic ass, because this is shit YOU CAN ACTUALLY USE. I'm telling you.
The Plight Of Figures That Sucked And/Or Were Ridiculous, But For Whom We Loved Anyway, Because We're Stupid And Naive And Thought Buying The Exact Same Toys You Already Owned, Only Now Painted in TIGER STRIPES Was Like The Coolest Shit Ever, And Holy Shit, Is This A Long Column Title:
What the fuck is Armor School? All I know was, at 18, I was *almost* accepted, but unfortunately, I didn't have the grades in Kevlar. I learned the hard way that you can only coast through high school on Chain Mail for so long...
Seriously though, when I was kid, I loved Bazooka. I really did. It wasn't until I was older that I realized one sad truth. In the midst of battle, Bazooka was good for like one shot. And that's it. Once he shoots that one missile, he's just some unarmed douchebag in a helmet and the same ill-fitting football jersey your Dad wears on weekends when all his clean clothes are in the hamper. I feel bad for the guy. He's totally typecast.
Bazooka: "Come on guys! I can shoot the guns, too! I'm more than just a Bazooka! Give me a chance!"
Other Joes: "Shut the fuck up, Bazooka."
Being the only Joe to have a laser rifle gives you a definite advantage as a sniper. Wearing neon-green, full-body coveralls and a helmet that looks like one big glowing Xmas Ornament, all while trying to be incognito, mind you... umm, not so much. In fact, I think the Tree at Rockefeller Center is more subtle than this motherfucker. You might as well paint a big bull's eye on your chest there, pal, because, if Cobra could actually shoot, they'd have been picked off your effervescent glowing green ass the first day. Jesus, what's next, a fucking Ninja in a hound's-tooth jacket and golf shorts?
Ah, poor Snow Job. When you discount the obvious unfortunate rhyming connotation of his chosen pseudonym, (only his unknown brother Rock Sucker truly knows his pain) Snow Job, like Alpine, Dusty & other Joe's of a certain geographical ilk, his collective usefulness is very limited. Yet, the motherfucker suits up in his fucking giant balaclava and snowsuit everyday anyway, hoping today will FINALLY be the day he gets that big call up and his existence is vindicated. Snow Job is clearly the Aqua Man of GI Joe. I really feel for the guy. I mean, how often do Terrorists ever unfurl their evil plots on fucking Ski Hills? Your heart goes out to the guy.
Duke: "Ok, Joes, let's get ready to roll out. We've just learned Cobra Commander has created a weather machine capable of creating Earthquakes!"
Snow Job: "Should I bring my skis?"
Duke: "Absolutely! We'll definitely need them! There's tons of snow there!"
Snow Job: "YES! FINALLY!!!!"
Duke: "Haha, I'm just fucking with ya. It's in the Desert. You can stay behind and watch the base."
Snow Job: *sniffle*
Stupid Snow Job.
Ah, good Ol' Chuckles. GI Joe's most forgotten action figure. You see, Chuckles was GI JOE's undercover agent. Kind of like Zartan, only you know, terrible. I mean he didn't even come with a mask like Zartan (which he wore with his already identifiable hood and glowing chest plate, but hey, whatever...). So, in that regard, Chuckles was in essence useless. So much so, that he never ever had one speaking role in the cartoon. But yet, his file-card paints him as this crafty undercover marvel that no one sees coming. Huh. I can see how he effortlessly blends in and doesn't draw attention to himself with that horrendously loud Hawaiian shirt, and completely visible GUN BELT. Ya, no one's going to suspect a thing there, Chuckles. Visibly armed dudes are totally unassuming. Way to stay on the down-low.
Although, maybe he truly is a MASTER OF SUBTERFUGE after all. Because I'll be damned if he isn't the spitting image of former Entertainment Tonight co-host and Piano song-meister John Tesh~! Tell me I'm wrong:
Perhaps he lulls Cobra into a false sense of security through his easy listening music? I know if I was a terrorist, I'd surrender immediately, and accept my ultimate demise for crimes against humanity in the face of a possible Tesh song-medley. Because, you wanna talk about crimes against humanity! Ahem.
The Fridge is of course former Chicago Bear William "The Refrigerator" Perry, who had a special GI Joe figure made of him sometime in 1986, despite never appearing in the cartoon. What makes this so absurd is that his *official* "military position" is "physical training". That's rich. You know, like all the food he had to consume to be basically built like a giant bulk bag of potatoes filled entirely with butter and oil. I can just imagine the training camp:
Fridge: "Ok, trainees. Listen up! Here's all you need to know to be in the peak of physical condition!"
Trainees: "Ay, Ay, Sir!"
Fridge: "Ya, just kinda be the complete opposite of me."
Trainees: "Ay, A--Wait. What?"
Fridge: "Seriously. I'm ridiculous. I had a heart attack just putting on my military issued umm, Football jersey today. I don't even know why I'm here."
Trainees: "Umm, Yo Joe?"
Fridge:  "Ya, Whatever. Someone dial 911"
I mean, though, come on. Taking fitness advice from this guy would be like taking beauty tips from fucking F. Murray Abraham. Holy shit. The only way this guy would have been ANY use to the Joe's is if someone put a harness on him and dangled a giant meatball sub in front of his face. Then you'd just tell him the mustard's in the Terrordrome. He'd run right through the wall, killing every Crimson guard on the other side. You'd at least save yourself the ammunition, that way. Instead of, you know, purposely missing all your targets...
I feel bad about this one, because I loved the guy on the cartoon, but come on. Seriously. His only weapon is a gun that hasn't been fucking used in 200 years. Surely, you can put aside some of that TIGER FORCE money and buy this guy a pistol that wasn't last used in the American Revolution. Seriously. Plus, what's with the giant fucking Anchor that he carries around for no reason?...
But hey, by chance, whilst fighting a terrorist threat you somehow find yourself aimlessly floating about in a makeshift boat, and suddenly find the need to become stationary, you'll be kicking yourself that you didn't invite Shipwreck along for the ride. He could have saved your ass a lot of trouble. Plus, if you get hungry you can always eat that bird.
And on that note, am I the only one somehow creeped out by the seemingly dead parrot laying on its side incased in plastic in that package? "Polly want a casket?"
Just in case you couldn't figure it out by the subtle "SURVIVAL" written on his 1800's undershirt, Outback was GI JOE's resident "survival expert" (complete with WAR READY..umm, CUMBERSOME  GIANT BACK PACK!). Although, at first glance he looks more like a stray homeless guy that wandered into The Pit, stole some clothes, some food, and just told everyone he was a "survival expert" when he was caught red-handed filling his pockets with mashed potatoes. Although, he likely truly was a survival expert! It's pretty tough jumping from boxcar to boxcar with a shopping-cart filled with tin cans, and not only not dying, but not spilling any of them, either! He has so much knowledge to pass down to the new recruits! Knowledge like the very best park benches to sleep under, which dumpster's have the best half eaten donuts, and how to fake a doctor's script so to get so high you overdose and die in your sleep.
 I was just disappointed that homeless Outback didn't come with an accessory flask of Aqua Velva aftershave, for those cold nights on the trails, and a walking cane when he inevitably goes blind from ingesting it. Yo Joe.
Not to knock the ancient ways of the Samurai, but I don't care how adept you fucking are at the "art of the live blade", you try running into battle armed only with a sword and see how long your ass lasts. What, the GI Joe on the horse with a giant javelin busy this week? Holy shit. There's a reason why these archaic motherfuckers became extinct eventually.
I'm not trying to knock this guy's ability as a firefighter, but when all your buddies name you BARBECUE, I don't think that's saying too much about your current skill-level when it comes to your job. Something tells me he may have dropped the ball a few times. His uncle Malpractice, who's a doctor, can probably tell you all about it.
But that's not even my favorite aspect of Barbecue. It's his file-card, where somehow, the Joe's have put over his ability to, and I quote, "wrap his lips completely around the bottom of a quart coke bottle." How this is a skill that should be commended is beyond me. Although, the only two women in the field (Scarlett and Lady Jaye) are being boned by the two commanding officers, so that doesn't exactly leave too many romantic possibilities for the remaining Joe's . Poor bastard. HE PUTS OUT THE RAGING FIRES... IN THEIR LOINS.
Speaking of the aforementioned Scarlett, she was a pretty integral part of the Joe's, but couldn't someone have gotten her an actual relevant weapon?...
Who the fuck goes to War with a CROSS BOW? What is this, the fucking 1300's? What, a giant cauldron of hot oil that you dump over the side of a castle wall not fit in the package? Dear god.
There's nothing really wrong with this Joe, but Keel Haul gets special mention just because he looks so much like Bruce Campbell. Plus, the Navy's riding a little fast & loose with the dress code there, aren't they? Which branch of the military actually let's a guy wear his shirt like a fucking 1970's hustler or porn star? I can just picture him secretly ram-rodding Covergirl on the carrier behind the pile of Oil Drums, before retreating to the Captain's quarters where he ravages her under a giant twirling mirrored ball. "Turn over! It's time to swab the poop deck, baby!".
Dr. Mindbender is actually a pretty cool character when you get down to it, but you'd think with all the money Cobra wastes on fusing their tanks with Pythons, that maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the line, they'd have bought this poor bastard a shirt. In my estimation, it's never a good idea to ever frequent a half-naked doctor, despite what porn will tell you.
That said, all I know is, I'd LOVE to put "MASTER OF MIND CONTROL" on my resumé. That's got management material written all over it. And if not? Well, if I'm truly as adept at it as I've claimed, they'll change their tune soon enough! 
But in the good doctor's defense, it's not like he had much of a choice but to end up exploiting the brain. The guy's last name is MINDBENDER~! It's a family tradition! Passed down generations from his immigrant grandfather, Jebediah Mindbender. Whom I can only assume also passed down that sweet monocle. Only Dr. Mindbender could pull off wearing no shirt and a monocle. It's like he's part porn star, part aristocrat, and part 1800's carnival strongman. It's kind of like if Mr. Peanut somehow procreated with Phineas from Family Guy. It's a tough look to pull off, but he somehow makes it work. I can just picture him coming up with new potential DNA (that he likely donated himself if his disturbing shirtlessness is any indication) for Sepentor, all while peddling back and forth on a unicycle, juggling. It's awesome. COBRRRRRAAAA!
Ok, that's it. I'm sure there's more useless Joe's out there, like say Crazy Legs. Seriously, there's no arguing with his legs! They've clearly lost their mind~!, but I think I've reached my quota of reading little tiny file-cards for today. Clearly, you're more learned for having read this. I'm all about spreading the knowledge. And now you know. And knowing is half the battle. The other half is shooting. They're still working on that one. It's also probably the reason why after 25 years they're still fighting the exact same assholes...
I'm Sean.
Credit to the file-card and toy scans go to Yojoe.com. An awesome site for collectors, or 31 year old man-children who just wrote 15 word pages about their toys.

  Sean Carless is a man of many hats. And he wears those hats to cover an ever-increasing bald spot. Sean's various scribblings have been read at Live Audio Wrestling , 411 Mania, Wrestlecrap, Honky Tonk Man.com, The Toronto Star.com, and Lethal Wrestling. He has also cured AIDS.

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).