The Taming of the Two
Bart Rathbone needs a classier image for the Electric Palace, but Edwin Blackgaard says it’s out of the question for him to do commercials. Bart goes searching for another Shakespearean actor and finds Malcolm Lear. Malcolm thinks Bart should do more than advertising: why not a Shakespeare festival at The Harlequin Dinner Theatre?
However, Edwin unexpectedly shows up as his theater is being set up for the show. Edwin isn't thrilled about the idea, especially when he learns his old rival Malcolm is in charge of it. Yet rather than give Malcolm a stage to himself, Edwin opts to let the show go on...featuring him as a star, naturally.
The festival’s grand prize—a choice of any item at the Electric Palace—motivates Nick Mulligan and Xavier Washington to work up a Shakespearean act. Whit encourages them to take Shakespeare and adapt it, i.e. perform a Romeo and Juliet scene as if it were a sports movie or detective story. The boys love the idea. Though they pass auditions, Xavier gets tired of Nick changing the script. They argue, and the duo splits.
On the night of the festival, both Malcolm and Edwin have severe colds. Thus Bart must host the event, introducing Nick’s solo act to a very cold reception—until, that is, Xavier calls from the crowd and the two friends perform an impromptu act. Still trying to upstage each other, Malcolm and Edwin end up performing a soliloquy together. Their coughing and sneezing turn Shakespeare into a comedy! Nick and Xavier win the prize, and Bart hires the two of them to do his commercials.
- Why were Edwin and Malcolm always trying to look better than the other?
- How could Nick and Xavier have tried harder to work out their problem?
- The two boys won the prize when they came back together. Can you think of anyone with whom you need to reconcile?
Heard in episode
|Bart Rathbone||Walker Edmiston|
|Edwin Blackgaard||Earl Boen|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Malcolm Lear||James Bray|
|Nick Mulligan||Chris Castile|
|Xavier Washington||Niles Calloway|
Mentioned in episode
|Lanny Rathbone||Bart Rathbone|
|Walter Shakespeare||Edwin Blackgaard|
|Wooton Bassett||Bart Rathbone|
- This show marks Nathan Hoobler's directorial debut.
- This may have been the first Odyssey show to be inspired by an audition. James Bray, who plays Malcolm Lear, had such an interesting voice and character that the AIO team wrote an entire show around him.
- This episode's entire cast and characters (including mentioned characters) are male — a relatively common occurrence in Edwin-centric episodes.
- Two young men previously comically performed scenes from Romeo and Juliet at a festival in #95: “The Very Best of Friends”.
- This and #632: “Suspicious Finds” are the only non-Kids' Radio or B-TV episodes to feature Edwin Blackgaard without Walter Shakespeare.
- This episode marks the first mention of Edwin Blackgaard owning the Electric Palace since #359: “The Merchant of Odyssey”.
- In this episode, Bart says he changed his store to the Metric system to honor the British. While the British do use the metric system, they more commonly use the Imperial system like America. It could be said, however, that Bart doesn't know any better.
- The title of this episode is a reference to the Shakespeare play The Taming of the Shrew.
- Nick's referring to Xavier's character in the Western version of their scene as "pilgrim" is a reference to John Wayne's famous use of the term in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and McClintock!.
- The lines Malcolm performs while Bart is on the phone come from Act 3 Scene 2 of King Lear, though several words and one entire line have been omitted. King Lear is also the name of the play Malcolm's last name is derived from.
- During this episode Nick and Xavier have a light-saber duel and Xavier talks like Darth Vader. The music sounds almost exactly like John Williams' Star Wars score.
- See main article: List of Star Wars references
- Edwin quotes Act 2 Scene 3 of Othello in this episode when he laments the loss of his reputation.
Bart Rathbone: And now we have a soliloquy performed by... uh...
Malcolm Lear: Malcolm Lear
Bart Rathbone: Malcolm...
Edwin Blackgaard: Oh, no, no, Edwin Blackgaard
Bart Rathbone: Yeah, Edwin Lear, Malcolm Black, what?
Edwin Blackgaard: To be, *coughing*
Bart Rathbone: Oh boy, you two can fight it out for yourselves