By: the Admiral
I’ve never tried to hide my predilection for 80s movies & TV. A recurring theme throughout numerous 80s movie is the fun-loving, humorous and/or evil, destructive robot. In honor of these robots that have brought such joy to the world today we will have round 1 of our single elimination Robot Madness Tournament.
These battles do have some parameters, including consideration of the robots’ cool factor, badassness, and human acquaintances. This is not to say that individual ratings of these thespians of artificial intelligence will be objective, scientific, or evenly applied. Basically, I’m just going to pick one.
Optimus Prime from Transformers vs. Scooter from GoBots
There was a reason growing up that the GoBots were referred to as the GhettoBots. If you were poor or your parents didn’t love you then you would run downstairs on Christmas morning hoping and praying that your brand new Optimus Prime Transformer was waiting under the tree to be opened only to find a Scooter the Gobot. GoBots were singularly responsible for decades of estrangement between parents and many kids who grew up in the 80s; and when you add in the cost of the years of therapy it took me, I mean takes people, to get over it you would think that parents could have dropped the $14.95 for a real Transformer instead of the $3.95 Gobot. My Christmas Gobot died before New Years at the hands of my WWF Iron Sheik action figure armed with an Acqua Net hairspray/Zippo flamethrower. Winner: Tranformers
Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons vs. Lisa from Weird Science
Lisa loses points for the imminent controversy over the fact that she technically is not a robot, but is more of a supernatural being created by hacking into government computers. She gains points for being uber-hot. This close battle is decided by the fact that Lisa pulled a gun on Anthony Michael Hall’s parents and turned Chet into a pile of shit. Winner: Lisa
Data from Star Trek: the Next Generation vs. HAL9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey
They both spent their lives in government jobs working on spaceships. Besides HAL’s attempt to kill all of his crewmates they both had pretty good personalities, but HAL had no body while Data was a humanoid. What’s the point of having a cool robot if you can’t dress him up like Sherlock Holmes for a murder mystery weekend? This was another close contest but you have to tip the scales to Data when you realize that he is a dead ringer for Balky Bartakamus from Perfect Strangers. Winner: Data
Cambot, Crow T. Robot, Gypsy, and Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theatre 3000 vs. Conky 2000 from Pee Wee’s Playhouse
The Mystery Science Theatre crew would fry bammas and make sarcastic remarks while watching various films and TV shows. It was basically the precursor to my “at the Movies” segment. All Conky 2000 ever did was spit out PeeWee’s Word of the Day that would make him and his creepy friends go ape shit. All I know is that if I’m in a theatre and have to pick between hanging with my MST3000 idols and a child molester that publically masturbates at movies it is kind of a no brainer; although Pee Wee does have a pretty cool bike. Winner: MST Crew
C3PO from Star Wars vs. T800 Terminator from Terminator
C3PO whined incessantly and would hide at even the hint of danger but he was not a total coward. Just the opposite, he was a brave pioneer that let other androids know that it was okay to be a gay robot. Before C3PO blazed the trail robots lived under a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Rumors that cancellation of this policy would result in flaming automatons filling the streets have proven to be a huge exaggeration. C3PO is a real American hero, at least in the homosexual android community. The T800 Terminator on the other hand has tried to set gay rights back 100 years. After unsuccessfully eliminating both Sarah and John Connor in 84 and 91 he cleaned up his image and ran for governor of California where he did nothing to stop the ratification of Proposition 8, diminishing not only gay rights, but putting us on a slippery slope towards the eradication of all of our civil liberties.
Vicki from Small Wonder vs. K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider
I may have paid $2600 on EBay back in 1995 to buy the above pictured photo with autographs of the entire Small Wonder cast, but that does not mean my analysis will be biased. If anything I was trying to complete my set of Emily Shulman (neighbor Harriet) collectibles. Vicki is a specific type of robot, a Voice Input Child Identicant (V.I.C.I., Vicki for short), and was most likely a hobby and distraction for child molesting Ted Lawson. I have to admit that I’ve watched more than a few episodes of Small Wonder, but when you are 7 years old, there are not a lot of ways to kill 30 minutes before Alf . K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand) on the other hand was the epitome of cool, as long as you think a 1982 Pontiac Firebird and David Hasselhoff are cool. And while Vicki’s features included bad jokes and low budget sitcom antics, KITT had Advanced AI, an Alpha Circuit, a Molecular Bonded Shell, Pyrolastic Lamination, Turbo Boost, Voice Synthesizer, Anamorphic Equalizer, Etymotic Equalizer, Olfactory Sensor, Microscanners, 3 Cruise Modes (Normal, Auto, Pursuit), Silent Mode, Grappling Hook with Wench, Oil Jets, Smoke Screen, Flamethrower, Tear Gas Launcher, Ultramagnesium Charges, Telephone Comlink, Microwave Jammer, Infared Tracking Scope, Laser Powerpack, Deflatable Tires, Seat Ejection System, Video Display Monitors, Ultraphonic Chemical Analyzer, a dot matrix Printer, Interior Oxygenator, Two Wheel Ski Drive Mod, Third Stage Acquatic Synthensizer, and a Convertible Roof. The winner is obvious. Winner: Vicki from Small Wonder
Robot Bill from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey VS. Sentinels from the Matrix Trilogy
Both of these robots get high marks because their sole purpose for existence is to destroy the life of Keanu Reeves. So what it comes down to is which Keanu Reeves I hate more, Ted “Theodore” Logan or Thomas “Neo” Anderson. If we were just considering the original Matrix it would be close, but the Matrix sequels were so retarded that I would do anything to eradicate Neo. Winner: Sentinels
Larry Fine Robot from Revenge of the Nerds vs. Robot from Beastie Boys Intergalactic Video
There is a cool scene from the Beastie Boy’s Intergalactic Video where the robot is dancing and starts doing the robot. My question is, when he goes out with his robot friends to the club and starts doing the robot, do they say, “LOOK, he is doing the robot!” or do they say, “LOOK he is dancing!” Anyway, this one isn’t even close; even though the Intergalactic Video is cool and Larry Fine Robot has very few lines in Revenge of the Nerds he wins this matchup hands down for just for having a cameo in one of the greatest films ever made. I recently watched Revenge of the Nerds for the 212th time and have moved it from the top 10 to possibly the 3rd greatest movie ever made. And while John Goodman’s “When you were a baby in your crib……” scene is Oscar-worthy and one of the best movie scenes ever my new favorite scene is Bernie Casey as the head of the TriLambs national chapter, U.N. Jefferson, meeting the nerds for the first time.
“But I must tell you gentlemen, you have very little chance of becoming Tri-Lambdas. I’m in a difficult situation here. I mean, after all…..you’re nerds.”
Bernie Casey’s half smile and smug matter of factness puts the nerds in their place, but does it with dignity and respect. I can see how he became the head of TriLambda. Winner: Larry Fine Robot
I don’t want to offend anyone so would like to give honorable mention to robots that were on the bubble, but did not make the tournament, including RoboCop, Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, R2D2, Voltron, the Iron Giant, the Tinman from Wizard of Oz, the robot shark from Jaws, and the Roomba that is currently vacuuming my living room.