Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Tick: "The Tick Loves Santa!"

Premiered November 25, 1995.

"Lowly wretch!  This is the last time you make epic naughty in Santa threads!"
-  The Tick

At Christmas time, a thief is on the run after robbing a bank.  While fleeing from the police, he encounters a sidewalk Santa and steals his Santa costume.

The superhero duo known as the Tick (Townsend Coleman) and Arthur (Rob Paulsen) are Christmas shopping nearby.  The robber, now wearing the Santa suit, accidentally bumps into the Tick.  The hero thinks it's the real Santa!  When Tick sees the police chasing "Santa," he intervenes and shields the robber.

The fake Santa flees, running over rooftops, but accidentally crashes into a neon sign.

Tick is distraught and screams "We fried Santa!"  But the robber has survived and been given the power to clone himself.  Multiple Santa (Jim Cummings) is born!

Later, Arthur and Tick are hosting a Christmas party, attended by other superheroes including American Maid (Kay Lenz) and Die Fledermaus (Cam Clarke).

Fledermaus tries to get American Maid to kiss him under the mistletoe.  It doesn't work.
Tick doesn't feel like making merry at the party, believing he's helped kill Santa.  Arthur tries to get him to snap out of it, to no avail.  The other superheroes go out caroling and take Tick with them.

At the same time, Multiple Santa robs an appliance store.  Arthur, Tick and the other heroes are caroling nearby and battle the Santas, but the Tick hesitates.

He can't bring himself to punch Santa, even if it's not the real Kris Kringle.  Multiple Santa escapes, leaving the heroes battered and angry at the Tick for not fighting.

After flaking out on the fight, the Tick and Arthur receive a visit from a very special Christmas guest -- the real Santa! -- accompanied by secret service elves!

The Tick sits on the real Santa's lap.  
Santa encourages Tick to take on this candidate for the top of the Naughty List.

Multiple Santa realizes his powers are generated by electricity.  Each time he makes contact with electricity it gives him the power to create more clone Santas.  The villain decides to visit the largest supply of electricity in the area -- the hydroelectric plant!

Can Christmas be saved?  Can Tick and Arthur stop Multiple Santa?

J.A. Morris says:

Back in the 90s, I was a fan of The Tick  comic book and I enjoyed this animated series.  For those who missed the series, it was a parody of superhero shows, but it also existed in a wonderful absurd universe all its own.

Santa's "Secret Service" elves case Tick & Arthur's apartment before "Big Red" arrives.
The Tick was always a bit too enthusiastic (about everything) so it makes sense that he's a Santa lover and a Christmas fanatic.  As usual, Arthur serves as the sane member of the duo, forced to talk Tick back to reality.  This is a bit of a role-reversal, since sidekicks are usually the ones who need to be reined in.

Arthur tries to explain Santa to the Tick.
Townsend Coleman always did a great job voicing the Tick.  He's even better than usual in "The Tick Loves Santa," dialing up the insanity to a higher level for the holiday season.

The superheroes go caroling!
This is a fun episode, with lots of humor, so-bad-they're-good puns and exciting fight scenes.  But "Santa" gets electrocuted multiple times and is even presumed dead at one point.  This is the sort of thing that could upset small children, so parental discretion might be advised.

The Tick has sugar plums dancing in his head!
"The Tick Loves Santa" can be found on a DVD set titled The Tick Vs. Season Two.

This episode is recommended to Tick fans and any adult who never stops "believing" in Santa Claus.

J.A. Morris' rating:


3 and a half candy canes.

RigbyMel says:

This is an enjoyably goofy episode of a fun and somewhat subversive series.   I watched The Tick sporadically when it first aired, but somehow never realized that there was a CHRISTMAS episode of the series.

As with other installments of the series, this ep features jaw-droppingly silly (and awe-inspiring) puns and generalized hilarity.

"It's a Yule tide!"  *rim shot* 
However,  as J.A. Morris mentions above,  "The Tick Loves Santa" is probably not something you want to have to explain to very small children.  That being said,  it's very entertaining for the snarky and cynical among us.   (And what grown-up doesn't feel a little cynical about holiday craziness from time to time?)

EVIL fake Santa!!
It's interesting to note that stone cold bad guy Multiple Santa is voiced by Jim Cummings, who has many voice acting credits, but who might be most familiar as the current voice of both Winnie the Pooh AND Tigger!

The humor of the Tick may not appeal to everybody, but if you enjoy subversive silliness, "The Tick Loves Santa" is well worth including in your holiday viewing.

RigbyMel's rating:

3 candy canes.

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