AMERICAN DAD! – “First, Do No Farm” (Season 17, episode 14)
American Dad continued to expand its sonic palette in 2020. In a season that already included The Weeknd, the show pulled off its biggest musical “get” in 2020 with Weird Al Yankovic.
The setup: Stan Smith thinks his daughter Hayley is getting “soft”. Fed up with her overly sensitive and lazy ways, he takes inspiration from the humble farmer. Stan bulldozes the family home and sets up a “micro farm” on the property, with only a shed for everyone to live in. Everyone adopts the Waltons-like surname “Boy”. “Steve-Boy”, “Jeff-Boy”, and “Mom-Boy” for example. Creature comforts are banished. Violators are shunned. Needless to say, Roger the alien is the first to be shunned. He soon takes up with the “varmints” — rabbits.
This, reasons Stan, will make Hayley-Boy “farm tough”.
To make a short story shorter, Stan screws up big time by building a secret basement with all the food, TV and video games you could desire. He too is shunned, and moves in with Greg across the street. But he has already created a monster in Hayley. Yes, she got tough, but she also lost her heart, turning into a cold, farm working machine. This is not what Stan intended, and so he must undo what has he done. With sabotage. Varmint sabotage. Rabbitage!
“Let’s do it!” says Roger. “And do we contact Weird Al’s people? See if he’s interested in ‘Rabbitage’ as a song idea?”
Cue up Weird Al Yankovic with my favourite Beastie Boys parody yet!
As Al says, he didn’t write the lyrics, but he sure did nail that vocal part! “Listen all a-y’all it’s a rabbitage!” wails Al, as Roger and his rabbit allies destroy the farm. Sure makes you wish they recorded a full song, doesn’t it? Pretty cool collaboration. Roger, dressed as a rabbit, destroying that farm in sync with Weird Al, is worth a repeat watch.
In the B-story, Klaus the goldfish has joined Scientology, which involves unsubtle Battlefield Earth jokes. South Park did it first and better. Scientology jokes are like shooting ducks in a barrel. Fun, but way too easy.
4/5 stars for the episode
10/5 stars for “Rabbitage”