This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 24: Moon Blob

AIR DATES: January 14, 21, 1991


The title derives from a failed children’s toy, which the crew found at a local surplus store.  It inspired a song, hallucinogenically rendered by Paul’s heads bouncing around Michelle’s lips.

The episode begins, however, with a second letter from the mysterious King Zeke, who gives more detail about himself, his family and his home on Hooker Street (a real Chicago street) on “lower Goose Island” (under a real Chicago neighborhood.)

Writing on paper he’s cut in the shape of a crown, Zeke tells of how he and his drug-using brother “Hal” the Looper chafe under the authority of their father, the Reverend “Squirmin’” Herman.

Joe launches an expedition to Hooker Street, and knocks repeatedly on a sewer lid, but nobody’s home.

Back at the studio, Mark offers a quick, lyrical explanation of the Moon Blob, which degenerates into a surreal, gooey musical number.

Three autobiographical monologues ensue.  Juan Luco tells, whimsically, of youth as “A spic, out of place in the suburbs.”  Therese Sherman follows with a moment from her adolescence, when she and a friend went off to New York to “become actresses or prostitutes – we didn’t care which.”  Finally, John Harriman delivers a chilling, sordid tale of a desperate young man who has sex with an older woman for money.

These stories are interrupted briefly by a “Real Ghostbusters” construction worker doll.  Brought to life by Mark Audrain, he explains how a monstrous foreman frightened him off a job site.

Production Notes:

“Moon Blob” veers so wildly from silliness to pathos and back again, without apology or warning, that it all works – alchemy as mysterious as the title, producing surely one of the series’ finest episodes.  It would be reworked as “Episode 35: Moon Blob Song.”



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