DVD-R Hell - Gary Coleman: For Safety's Sake
May 29, 2013
Deception of a Generation (Part 2)
Return of the Ewok
(Open on Brad wearing an "I'm a Pepper" shirt)
Brad: The '80s gave us (holds up a DVD labeled "Celebrity Instructions Vol. 1") a real who's who of celebrities giving us advice on life and safety and... shit.
(Cut to a clip of How Can I Tell If I'm Really In Love?)
Brad (vo): We had siblings telling us when to have sex.
(Cut to a clip of Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool)
Brad (vo): There was Mr. T telling us to be somebody. I know I sure did: I went out and picked a fight with the biggest Italian boxer I could find!
(Cut back to Brad holding up the "Celebrity Instructions" DVD, which has a shot of Corey Haim's Me, Myself and I)
Brad: Corey Haim even fell in love with Corey Haim in Me, Myself and I. The only way to keep Corey Feldman out of it was for Haim to mention only himself not once but three times in the title!
(Cut to the title of the topic of discussion: For Safety's Sake Starring Gary Coleman, followed by a clip of this video)
Brad (vo): And now we have Gary Coleman's For Safety's Sake, which I'm sure is only a 30-second video of someone telling you, for safety's sake, stay the hell away from Gary Coleman!
Brad: (somewhat perplexed) Is this a little tasteless, considering Gary is no longer with us?
Brad (vo): Whatever, it's still Gary Coleman hosting a children's safety video. People may die, time moves on, but this will still be hilarious.
Brad: And if you're offended, just pretend that I'm talking about Webster.
(The video opens on Gary pushing buttons and flipping switches on a computer, whose monitor is labelled "Safety Central")
Brad (vo): Either Gary is creating a woman out of scratch, or this is the biggest, most inconvenient Commodore 64 controller I've ever seen. Already this special is everything I'd hoped for and more.
(On the screen, Gary watches scenes of kids walking together down the street, playing at the playground, etc.)
Brad (vo): I don't know if I like the looks of someone sitting in a dark room, all by themselves, and watching security footage of children playing on the playground. Especially when that person is Gary Coleman!
(The cast of this video includes Ami Foster and Bobby Jacoby)
Brad (vo): Never fear: Gary's not the only TV star they roped into this. It also features Ami Foster of Punky Brewster.
Brad: But you may also remember her as... "Girl" from that one episode of Garfield and Friends.
(Bobby Jacoby appears on Gary's screen)
Brad (vo): Bobby Jacoby even stops by, whom most people might remember from Knots Landing, as well as Diff'rent Strokes, but not me.
Brad: No, no. (points to his own head) In my head, he'll always be Billy from the "Illusion" episode of Manimal.
(Footage of safety scenes are shown in this video)
Brad (vo): I see a lot of good safety going on here. If you're white, always make sure you dribble with a soccer ball. And if you find someone dead, definitely look to make sure that the camera is turned on. Don't stand on melted butter when doing the dishes. Plus, if a friend has a heart attack, make sure they're good and warm. And if that doesn't work, just stand and give the "wa-wa-waaaa" face.
Brad (vo): But I'm not the safety expert; that's Gary's job. What does he think?
(Cut to the opening of the video)
Gary: In this program, we're going to show you how to survive outdoors, away from home. (various street signs are shown in the city, on Gary's monitor) Living in the city isn't easy, but most of what we'll learn today is common sense.
Brad: Says the kid who hitchhiked to a stranger's apartment. I can never be duct-taped to a bed the same way again.
Brad (vo): But that's just because Gary didn't follow the rules.
Gary: The important thing for you to learn in any emergency is, (the following words pop up as Gary says them:) stay calm, keep cool, and think!
Brad (vo): Just so you know, these are also the rules you want to follow for beating E.T. on the Atari.
Gary: It's important that you are the expert when it comes to your neighborhood.
Brad: Wait, why do I have to be the expert? Can't, like, a cop or... a doctor be the expert?
(Cut to a shot of a hand-drawn map in the video, where a huge dot is put up)
Brad (vo): Or do they not have this pristine hand-drawn map of the neighborhood?
Gary: (showing off the map) Draw a map of the entire area around your home where you're allowed to go by yourself.
Brad (vo): Are you drawing a neighborhood map or the layout of the Ghostbusters game?
Gary: (more markings appear on the map) Mark all the places you're allowed to go: school, church, friends' homes, stores, playgrounds, and libraries.
Brad: Yeah, you definitely want to go to a library. The homeless and the sex offenders will definitely help you out for sure.
(Cut back to the hand-drawn map again)
Brad (vo): After all of this, you'll know which houses are safe to rob!
Gary: Well, that's my neighborhood. Picasso couldn't have done it better.
Brad (vo): Well, it was equally as confusing, so I suppose he's right.
Gary: Now you give it a shot. Fill out the pages labeled "neighborhood survival map" in your guide. Take your time; I'm not going anywhere.
Brad: (looks up in thought) Hmm-hmm. All right. (starts writing on a sheet of paper) I guess I can... start... jotting... some of this... down... 'Kay... (finishes writing in the paper) There. (holds up what he created on his paper: it's not a map, it's a drawing of a bear wearing a chef's hat and a "Kiss the Cook" apron next to a barbecue grill) I drew a bear grilling!
(Cut back to the video, where Gary watches as a girl runs up to a phone booth)
Brad (vo): I see we're back and we're creepily watching a girl make a phone call.
Gary: (as girl takes out some money to use the phone) Jo should have a quarter for the phone. Your telephone company may only want fifteen or twenty cents, but take a quarter. In an emergency, one quarter is much easier to handle than two or three.
Brad: But now we're in the year 2013, where it's much more than ten cents, and you're lucky if you even find a pay phone!
Gary: First, tell the operator what kind of emergency you have.
Brad (vo): (halfheartedly) Help, help, Sam's been kidnapped by a crazy-ass father wanting to replace his dead kid!
(A police officer walks up as, behind him, a kid is wrestled to the ground by two older kids who steal his bike)
Brad (vo): A police officer stops to give us some advice, which is nice, but really, he should be helping out this kid in the background whose bike is about to get stolen.
Police Officer: Practice memorizing descriptions. For instance, what just happened behind me?
Brad (vo): I know exactly what happened: someone had their bike stolen ten feet away from a cop, who was too busy shooting the shit with Gary Coleman!
(Cut to a clip of two kids walking down the street together)
Brad (vo): Next, we move on to the long trek home from school, where, as in all of these specials, everyone is out to kidnap you.
Gary: You should practice the buddy system whenever you leave the house. Besides, it's more fun than being alone.
Brad (vo): Yeah, just look for the blondest grade-schooler you can find, follow them, and taunt them with a spider! That way, they'll really give a shit if you get taken.
Gary: (to the kids) I said, keep cool!
Brad (vo): (startled) Um... is that you, Lord?
(A bald man in a convertible drives up to the two kids)
Brad (vo): A creeper in a sweet convertible attempts to sell Jack and Jill...
Brad: Huh, Jack and Jill. That's funny.
Gary: I hope Jack and Jill were paying attention.
Brad: Uh, their names actually are Jack and Jill? Did you strain yourselves coming up with that one?
(The bald-headed stranger holds up a puppy to Jack and Jill)
Brad (vo): Anyway, the creeper wants to give them his dog, but they turn him down, not because he's a stranger, but because he's bald. (the stranger drives off) So, might as well move on to the girl fifteen feet in front of them.
Gary: Turn the tape off and write down everything you remember about the car, the driver, and what happened.
Brad: Well, that's easy. (writing in a sheet of paper) Michael Ironside... offers to give you a dog, make sure you take it from him outside the car... That way he won't kidnap you, and he won't be leaving a dog alone with the pedophile. (stops writing) I didn't really write that. (he holds up the sheet of paper) I drew a cowboy fucking a pig!
(Cut back to the video, where Jack and Jill are on the phone)
Brad (vo): But you're right, though, they should probably call the cops.
(Cut to a shot of a kid on a bicycle)
Brad (vo): And once you're done, bicycle lessons!
Gary: The first rule is to have a bike that fits. Having a bike that's too big for you is like a pilot flying a big plane who's not qualified to fly.
Brad: Hmm... So it's hilarious?
Gary: On the other hand, if the bike is too small, it's hard to steer.
Brad (vo): Basically, kids, what I'm saying is, don't be a fucking idiot. This sort of feels like I'm watching Double Switch, but without the booby traps.
Brad: Corey Haim, how could you let this happen?! Look! (holds up the DVD, with Haim's image on the cover) You're on the same disc!
(Cut to the policeman from earlier addressing the camera)
Brad (vo): Oh, you're still talking? Don't you have better things to do?
Police Officer: Watch out for parked cars. Even parked cars can sneak up on you.
Brad (vo): Yes, I know, officer, but seriously, a girl has been kidnapped! Don't you think you should go investigate that?!
Police Officer: Check with your local police department to find out the regulations in your community. Tell them Gary sent you.
Brad: Yeah, tell them Gary sent you. That way they'll think you attacked your wife.
(Cut to a shot, on Gary's monitor, of a girl sitting on a bench with a broken leg)
Brad (vo): Or that you're watching children from a citywide surveillance system.
Girl: One time I was swinging, and this guy, Bobby, dared me to jump off the swing. So... I did, and I hurt my ankle. I couldn't pitch for the playoffs.
Brad: And what did you learn? If you don't want to hurt your ankle, land on your face.
(On Gary's monitor, a black boy with a broken arm is seen on the monitor)
Boy: We usually play football on the grass. Tuesday, the grass had been watered. So we played on the concrete. I went up for a long bomb, and I came down on my elbow. I broke my arm.
Gary: The other team intercepted the pass.
Brad: (rubbing his chin) Hmm, this affects me somehow.
(On Gary's monitor, a boy encounters a dog in someone's yard)
Brad (vo): But the most hilarious part comes when Gary straight-up just decides to fuck with the neighborhood kid!
Gary: (addressing the boy on the screen) Say, Jack, I need you to show us how to handle a dog that looks like it might bite.
Jack: (shrugs) Sure, Gary. (beat; shocked) I gotta WHAT?!
Brad: (mimicking Gary) "You heard me, go poke it with a stick!"
Gary: Trust me. (the dog in question barks loudly, startling Jack)
Brad: (holding up two fingers) Two words spoken by Gary Coleman that will always result in laughter.
Jack: What do I do? (looks fearfully towards the dog; dog growls)
Gary: Try to stay calm and talk to the dog, while walking slowly out of his territory.
Brad (vo): I know all this already.
(Cut to a clip of Lethal Weapon 3: the scene with a vicious dog)
Brad (vo): I learned how to handle angry dogs from watching Lethal Weapon 3. You carry dog biscuits in your pocket, wrestle around with him a bit, and munch on the treats together. It's easy!
(Cut back to Gary Coleman)
Brad (vo): Isn't that right, Gary?
Gary: Never run or ride a bicycle or skateboard past loose or barking dogs.
Brad: Uh-huh, or how about when I'm just walking around the neighborhood, and some big dog comes barking and running up to me, because his dumbass owner didn't leave him the yard, nor did he keep him on a leash, thus nearly giving me a fucking heart attack?!
Brad (vo): But he's not done fucking with this kid some more!
Gary: Now, Jack, you know what to do when he bites you? (Jack nervously shakes his head no) Okay, just kidding.
Brad: (laughs) Gary wants to give you rabies!
Gary: If you are bitten, wash the bite with soap and water, and get medical help immediately!
Brad (vo): These rules also work when bitten by Gary Coleman.
Jack: (to dog, holding out some food) Here, Fido!
Gary: Don't do that, Jack! Never feed a strange dog!
Jack: (as dog walks up to him, he feeds dog and pets him) He's not strange, Gary. A little unusual, maybe.
Brad: What am I supposed to take away from that? Do I feed the friendly dog or not?
(Gary is now standing next to a bank of monitors, none of them featuring Jack and the dog)
Brad (vo): Oh, I see we've moved on.
Gary: There are so many temptations around that they even have their own name: attractive nuisances.
Brad: Ohh, wicked Kimberly burn! Are you still peeved at her from when she went out with that racist?
Brad (vo): Next, it's time to play the Safety Game, where everyone gets molested!
Ami: Someone who's at your front door, and he says his name is Dr. Jones, and he needs to make an emergency phone call to the hospital.
Brad: If he doesn't have a whip, a fedora, or the Shankara Stones, turn him away immediately!
Brad (vo): Especially if he's Victor Salva, director of Clownhouse.
(In the video, a fisherman walks up to Gary and shakes hands with him)
Brad (vo): Oh, I see Gary has a friend. It's okay, kids, now we have two people watching you while you play in the park.
Fisherman: Now, let's pretend that you've been bitten by a poisonous snake or spider.
Brad: Ah, I know this one.
(Cut to footage of a movie, where someone's arm gets cut off – no, seriously!)
Brad: Thanks, George, you taught me so much!
Fisherman: If you live in or visit an area of the country that has lots of poisonous creatures, you should carry a snake bite kit in your first aid kit.
Brad: Or maybe you should just move away from the snake-infested areas.
(Bobby walks up, wearing a straw hat and overalls)
Brad (vo): Ah, good, it's just Bobby dressed up like Tom Sawyer... (his face suddenly turns green) ...who's about to turn into the Incredible Hulk?
Fisherman: Just be sure you know what you're putting in your mouth.
Gary: That's the same rule I use in my Aunt Maribel's house.
Brad: I don't know what that means, nor do I know what Gary was putting in his mouth at his aunt's house.
Brad (vo): Regardless of what Gary says, remember all the rules for emergency.
Fisherman: The best thing to do is contact your local Red Cross. They have...
(Cut to a screen showing off a list of "Courses For Emergencies")
Fisherman: ...all sorts of courses for emergencies, including (the following words pops up as the Fisherman says them) lifesaving and first aid.
(Two more words pop up, "Survival" and "CPR", but the Fisherman bizarrely doesn't say them)
Brad (vo): He's not getting paid enough to read the other two entries. Plus, there's the main rules as well.
Jack: (as a girl lies painfully on her side) Well, the first thing I'm going to do is keep cool, as always.
(Gary looks toward the Fisherman for support)
Fisherman: Uh, right, Jack.
Brad: It's taking all of their willpower not to call them a kiss-ass.
(Gary pushes a button on his keyboard, and Jack gets hit in the face with water, much to the injured girl's amusement)
Brad (vo): Whoa, whoa! Gary has a contraption that can just spray water in a random person's face? Why are we not watching a special about that?
(In the video, a woman is seeing giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dummy)
Brad (vo): And remember, kids, if your victim is a doll, it's technically legal to have sex with it.
(The woman is bent over the dummy while the following words are displayed: "Look - At Chest; Listen - For Breathing; Feel - For Breath")
Fisherman: Listen for sounds of breathing. And you can use your cheek to feel for the victim's breath. (the following message pops up:) Check a full five seconds to be absolutely sure.
Brad: But if you wait longer than five seconds...
(Cut to a clip of Scanners: the scene of the man's head exploding; cut back to the resuscitation process, which has a visible countdown time in the corner, while the woman is pinching the dummy's nose shut)
Brad (vo): What's this clock up here? The '80s version of 24 was really boring. (the woman feels the dummy's neck) Damn, he's still not breathing. Oh, here's your problem: it's a doll.
Fisherman: Watch the victim's chest and stop blowing when his chest is full of air.
Brad: No, that's when you keep blowing!
(Cut to a shot of Dr. Young from Deep Throat)
Brad (vo): Or at least, that's what Dr. Young taught me...
Brad: ...and I trust him way more than Gary Coleman.
(In the video, Gary's computer monitor turns blue, with various text moving past on it very fast)
Brad (vo): Hey, Gary, I think your Blue Screen of Death is going a little crazy over there, buddy.
Fisherman: (as woman checks for pulse and breathing on dummy) Your job in this kind of emergency is to give the victim what is lacking. That is, what he needs most.
Brad (vo): Um... to become a real boy? (the woman is now practicing CPR on the dummy) I see someone's looking for the tickle spot. Maybe he'd be more apt to wake up if he switched out the Church Lady for tasty Wendy Peffercorn. (suddenly, the screen distorts briefly, the result, no doubt, of old tape wear) Oh, shit, what's going on?! Um, um, quick, look for the tape's tickle spot! Um, give it a dog biscuit! Er, call the park police! Wait, wait, what's the rules again? Uh, keep calm, stay cool? Or is it keep cool and stay calm? Damn you annoying-ass internet memes!
Fisherman: But whatever you do, do not practice on a real person.
Brad: Well... (looking at his cat Lloyd) You heard the man, Lloyd. You gotta be my test dummy.
(Cut back to the video, where the word "Remember" flashes on the screen over a shot of the woman giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while the following message is displayed: "Do not practice on a real person")
Brad (vo): And just so you know, I am A.D.D. as shit, so all I'm taking away from this is the word "remember", which is flashing its Northern Lights at me.
(Ami is shown on Gary's monitor; her skin had turned a slight shade of red and she is painfully feeling her neck)
Brad (vo): Crap, we left Ami out in the sun too long!
Gary: Water and sun go together, but being in the sun too long can cause sunstroke, heat exhaustion... The idea in these case to cool the victim down and get them to rest.
Brad: Step one...
(Cut to a shot of a man standing on a platform before the sun)
Brad (vo): ...send astronauts into space to reignite the dying sun.
(Cut to Ami hugging Bobby, who is covered in a towel)
Brad (vo): But first, tend to Bobby, who seems to be dying of hypothermia. (replays the scene of Bobby being splashed with water) Maybe you shouldn't have splashed on him, that scumbag!
Gary: Most people think a kid's life is easy. You and I know it's not.
Brad: True, except... aren't you 35?
(Cut to the credits of the video)
Brad (vo): Oh, that's the end of it. (in the cast, it is revealed that the police officer, named Officer Bigfella, is played by Frank Miller) Wait a minute. Frank Miller?
Brad: Was this made before or after he went insane?
Brad (vo): Oh, and "Officer Bigfella"? Subtle. (cut to another part of the credits, which reads "Stills: Joe Foto") About as subtle as the stills guy whose name is Foto. (cut to another part of the credits: "Girl in Park: Lindsay Price") And Lindsay Price? Of Coupling U.S.A. fame?! (cut to a shot of the girl in park played by Price) That is her, by golly! (cut to another part of the credits: "Frank: Phil Proctor") And voice actor Phil Proctor? (Frank is shown as the Fisherman in the video) He's a way better Phil...
(Cut to a shot of Phil Phillips from Brad's previous review Deception of a Generation)
Brad (vo): ...than the last one I had to deal with.
Brad: So I hope you learned your lesson here, which is that it's okay to have a room in your house dedicated to spying on neighborhood kids, splashing water in their face, and convincing them to approach possible rabid dogs! (gives a thumbs-up) Thanks, Gary!
(The video freezes as Brad gives the thumbs-up, then dissolves to Gary in the end of his video to roll the credits)