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Burton and Noah

Spoony has employed a toy robot in his videos, which has served as a sort of mascot for his site. In his own words, this is how Spoony found the robot, which can be seen in almost every Spoony video:

"That’s my robot, Burton. A few years ago, I’d gotten it in my head to write, produce, and shoot a feature-length film about my own experience working at a game store, so I wrote a screenplay, bought a decent DV camera, and had even gone so far as to hold auditions when suddenly the location I was using closed down, and it derailed production. I was on a micro-budget as it was, and I couldn’t afford to go anywhere else. It was probably a good thing, because I have to admit that the screenplay I ended up with was not very good.

Anyway, I ended up stuck with this camera, and I had another mad plan to shoot some Mystery Science Theater-style videos using public domain movies as fodder, complete with robot puppets and a storyline. To that end, I enlisted some help to construct the robots, named Burton, Sorbo, and Morgan (after Big Trouble in Little China’s Jack Burton, Hercules star Kevin Sorbo, and nerd vixen Morgan Webb). Burton was the only robot we managed to finish, and he’s unarguably the best of the bunch. He’s got an expressive face and a cool color scheme, and I really think he blows the other two robots away. Sorbo is a stainless steel robot made out of a disinfecting UV lamp, and Morgan is a modified salon hair dryer, but they don’t have the distinct look of Burton’s cyclopean Dustbuster head and floppy red useless arms.

I ended up retiring the MST project also. I began to realize that what I was attempting was bigger than something I’d be able to do on my own, obviously because I would need at least one, hopefully two, and ideally three other people to host the video with me (to run the puppets and play other characters). I toyed with the idea of doing it solo without robots, but I didn’t like it much. Part of the fun is having more than one person to bounce jokes off of, otherwise who am I talking to? And I hadn’t even gotten into the manpower needed to produce the show. I couldn’t find anyone willing to devote the time to write, film, or do any meaningful work for the show. And I can’t blame them. It’s a lot of hard, unpaid work for a pretty pathetic nerdy exercise.

After all that, I didn’t really have anywhere to store poor Burton, my robot without a function in life. The other robots I could throw in the closet; they hadn’t been finished yet and so there wasn’t much to damage, but Burton is a fragile guy and I prefer to keep him where I can see him, sitting upright so he doesn’t fall and break off any pieces. So there he sits, behind my recliner, watching disapprovingly as I review games and movies instead." See: Spoony One FAQ

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