Wow! Any wrongs that Parks and Recreation may have committed this season were immediately redeemed in last night’s first episode, “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show.” I think it was one of my favorite episodes of the whole season and maybe the series.
It’s not a surprise that a good amount of Parks’ stars are in their prime right now. However, Chris Pratt had a exceptionally phenomenal year and helped introduce a whole new crew of fans to show. It seemed only appropriate to give Andy his own episode showcasing all of the amazing talents of Chris Pratt. I personally think that it went off swimmingly and was a refreshing change of pace from the formats they’ve been using in the past.
The episode was pretty meta…almost like an episode within an episode. We were treated to a whole half hour of Andy Dweyer as Johnny Karate/Burt Macklin filming the final episode of his little creation, The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show. And for those of you who do not know, The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show is the only show that’s all about:
- Water skis
And Above All
- Ice Cream
- Getting stronger
- Sharks vs. Bears
And Above All
The plot is that someone has stolen Johnny Karate’s guitar and it is up to him, his FBI alter ego Burt Macklin, and his ninjas to help him figure it out who did it.
The scene turns into a black and white old cop show, where the police chief (Donna) comes and tells Burt that he has to find the guitar or all of the peace in Iraq will be cancelled. But that’s not all, the guitar is worth $900 million and without it Johnny Karate would be unable to play his goodbye song for the last time. Luckily, Burt Macklin is a better agent than James Bond, according to the chief, so the case is in good hands!
The credits start rolling for the opening theme song to the The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show. It features all of Andy’s buddies from the Parks department who appear to have little segments on his show. It’s cute that they have all been a part of his show throughout it’s run even though we didn’t know about it.
I have to admit that I had almost forgotten that Andy had this show and that it was so successful. Just last week I was mentioning how it’s great that Andy and April are moving to D.C., but I didn’t even think about Andy having to leave his show. It seems a little strange considering he was just renegotiating his show contract a few episodes ago, but watching the unlimited support he’s given April to find her path, his eagerness to move is not surprising either.
So, since the pair is moving to D.C. for April’s job, Johnny Karate is able to do one more segment of “April’s Animal Corner.” This is a segment where April brings an animal to set and they discuss. Well, they’re supposed to discuss. The Goliath Bird Eating Tarauntla that April brought wasn’t in the cage. Andy had been playing hide and go seek with it before the show and was never able to find the pesky spider. This prompts the occasional unplanned segment, “Loose Animal in the Studio.” Good luck with that one- I’m out.
So, on every episode of The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show there are 5 main lessons/segments. They are:
- Make Something
- Learn Something
- Karate Chop Something
- Try something new
- Being Nice to Someone
Our first segment is Making Something with Ron. We find Ron and Johnny Karate in a wood shop where they will be putting together a shadowbox frame made out of cherry wood. Now, before Johnny can even ask Ron tells him that no, he cannot eat the cherry wood. But Johnny is not stupid, he was not going to eat the wood- he was going to lick it.
“Because remember kids, if you find something new you must lick it before you eat it.”
It’s great that Andy has got his own show…I wish we could see more of them honestly. With little nuggets of guidance like that sprinkled throughout it has got to be good. Johnny Karate also has this thing called Hug Moment, which Johnny tries to initiate during this segment and of Ron denies.
We move to the second segment, Learn Something with Ben aka Professor Smartbrain. Before the segment starts Ben asks Andy if he happened to get his email prior to the start of the show about possibly not using the “boring buzzer” for their final show. Andy then slaps the boring buzzer and the segment begins.
Professor Smartbrain decides to teach a lesson about geography. Since hes moving to D.C. Professor Smartbrain decided to look at which method of transportation would be the quickest. It’s the airplane, which Johnny Karate debates saying that teleporting is the quickest way to get somewhere. When Ben goes to negate his theory he gets another slap of the boring buzzer. Onto the next segment!
Segment three is karate chop something! Garry, dressed as the mailman Barry, appears to give Johnny his mail. All he has is a bunch of letters written by fans asking him to stay. The camera pans over to April who quickly has a flash of guilt come over her face.
Barry also has one more letter for Johnny. It’s a letter written by Barry the mailman talking about how he always wanted a son and just as he’s getting emotional Johnny Karate gives the ninja the order to attack. They then proceed to kung-fu fight Barry.
Segment four is Try Something New with Leslie. She appears and stands next to Johnny. I have never noticed how much taller Chris Pratt is than Amy Poehler until this scene. That height difference was crazy!
The new thing that they will be trying today is Leslie hosting the show. Her first act as new host will be to look back on Andy’s life and accomplishments. And she will be doing that after a brief message from their sponsors.
The first sponsor is Very Good Building and Construction. Ron tells the camera to consider his company for their building needs, but if not that’s okay…he is not a beggar. Ron then stares at the camera in silence for the duration of the ad time slot.
The next sponsor is the Wamapoke Casino because that makes sense for a children’s show, right? Their slogan is “slowly taking back our money from white people one quarter at a time.”
When we return back to the show Leslie reminds Andy (Johnny Karate, really) how they first met. He had broken both legs after falling into a pit and that sent Leslie on the journey that’s taken her to the amazing place she is today. She owes all of that Andy. Again, April seems to be realizing that maybe she didn’t take into account just how connected Andy was to Pawnee no matter how willing he was to move.
Ben comes out and together they give Andy a monogrammed day planner, which he immediately loses. Leslie brings up how Andy spent some time in London doing non-profit work and his old colleague Edward Covington shows up and has a friend honorary knight Andy into the Order of the British Empire.
Ben totally freaks out and Andy says that he can get knighted too if he wants. So now we have Sir Andy Dweyer and Sir Ben Wyatt. Ben proceeds to fan girl for the duration of the segment.
The next sponsor ad is a hideous look at the infamous Paunch Burger where “being healthy is for nerds.”
We also get a glimpse of the documentary (rockumentary) on Mouserat. It was hilarious. There were the other bandmates dressed in suits talking in quiet dramatic voices, saying things like “no other bad was doing the things that we were doing.” You can visit their website for the entire documentary.
Leslie and Ben also reflect on Burt Macklin, Andy’s alter ego. This is presented via a montage of Burt’s greatest moments. To honor Burt, Andy is given a genuine (honorary) police badge by the local police department, which of course Andy assumes is real and then tries to steal the cop’s handcuffs. The badge was presented in Ron’s newly build cherry wood shadowbox. Andy destroyed it in order to get the badge out much to Ron’s chagrin.
Now it’s time to get back to solving the case of Johnny Karate’s missing guitar. Johnny/Burt Macklin brings his clue to Professor Smartbrain. It turns out that the small piece of fabric has the initials of JC on it.
Then all of the sudden the perpetrator walks in with the guitar! JC…It’s John Cena the wrestler! John Cena is there to thank Johnny Karate for brining martial arts and music to children. However, Burt Macklin is still in character and sees John Cena as the thief and cuffs him for a trip to the dunk tank! It turns out that Andy did eventually end up stealing the cop’s handcuffs earlier and replacing them with his missing day planner. The crime has been solved!
It’s now time to celebrate and commemorate the saga of Johnny Karate. The group has decided to retire his karate uniform, and as it’s being raised in the air illuminated by a single spotlight, Ron (as Duke Silver) comes out playing his saxophone with Donna singing “Kung Fu Fighting.” It’s a very cute scene and April is now visibly upset from the sidelines. She has ultimately seen just how hard it is for Andy to be leaving Pawnee. He truly found his niche there with the show.
One more final ad from our sponsors- apparently in 2017 Verizon, Chipotle, and Exxon have merged to create a super energy company and are one of America’s 8 companies.
In the concluding moments of the show, Andy thanks everyone for giving him the greatest job he’s ever had and tells them all that filming the finale was the greatest day of his life. That’s saying a lot too since one day he found a rock shaped like Santa Claus- that was a great day for him.
For his final segment, Be Nice to Someone, Andy picks April because he is an intuitive husband and could tell that she needs it. When she gets up there she takes one look at his emotional eyes and walks out. He chases after her and wants to know what’s bothering her.
April doesn’t want Andy to have to give up something that he loves. Andy responds brilliantly by saying that April is who and what he loves. There is nothing more that he wants than to go to D.C. with her. They are a great couple and have both grown so much over the series. He is so supportive of her and she is so supportive of him.
The episode closes with the group all standing around while Andy sings the “goodbye song.” It’s a fantastic song with a really great message!
Overall, a fun and fantastic episode. It must be nice for the writers to know that they can take these sorts of risks since the show is in the final season. Sometimes risks pay off and sometimes they don’t. This time it definitely paid off! I will certainly miss the lovable Andy Dwyer come next week’s conclusion.