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Shave, shock and humiliate a man’s genitals in three seconds flat
April 23, 2007 10:32 PM   Subscribe

Torboto: The Robot That Tortures People.
posted by homunculus (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Let me guess... SNL aired Torboto at 12:55AM. Kind of lacks a certain...subtlety.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:42 PM on April 23, 2007


Abu Graib humor is soooo cutting edge!
posted by miss lynnster at 10:44 PM on April 23, 2007


Typical liberal filth.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:01 PM on April 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Magic rothko?
posted by StrikeTheViol at 11:06 PM on April 23, 2007


more seriously, I'll sit this one out, but the general idea hasn't gone without precedent...
posted by StrikeTheViol at 11:12 PM on April 23, 2007


wow, just wow
nbc has to spam youtube for people to actually watch their gay shit
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:12 PM on April 23, 2007


Torboto is gay?
posted by homunculus at 11:20 PM on April 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Torture. Yawn.
posted by basicchannel at 11:20 PM on April 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


nbc has to spam youtube for people to actually watch their gay shit

Yeah really, a major media company decides to use the most popular online video service to let people watch their videos, what a bunch of crap right?
posted by puke & cry at 11:32 PM on April 23, 2007


I actually think SNL might be starting to turn around again. The last few weeks have had some very Youtube-worthy moments.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:45 PM on April 23, 2007


Torboto?!?

I know Rumsfeld is a bit unhinged, but why on earth did he choose to change his name to *that*?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:49 PM on April 23, 2007


Smigel has been the best thing that show has had to offer for some years now.

The Mel Gibson thing was ... inappropriate.
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:04 AM on April 24, 2007


Marginally funny and pretty forced.

But better than that Ambiguously Gay Duo schtick.
posted by fenriq at 12:08 AM on April 24, 2007


I think I broke my cynicism- I just don't find it entertaining to squeeze heehees from situations that have real victims suffering at this very moment.
posted by yeloson at 12:08 AM on April 24, 2007


I'm with yeloson. key words: this very moment.
posted by dreamsign at 12:33 AM on April 24, 2007


Damn robots stealing our jobs
posted by lemonfridge at 12:47 AM on April 24, 2007


Casting my vote along with yeloson and dreamsign. And I have to say that this type of humor, even if well-intentioned, is still likely to contribute to the slow, insidious desensitizing of Americans to the concept and use of torture. It becomes just another thing to laugh at here, really. Cartoon representations of naked Arabs in chains, getting their balls zapped... sorry, but this is just not something to laugh at, not in this way. A new low for SNL.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:35 AM on April 24, 2007


It's not just exploitative. It's obviously subversive -- subversive of torture. (What, do these people think it's too negative?) It's also very funny.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 1:37 AM on April 24, 2007


oh jeez flapjax, you posted while I was typing...I didn't mean to post right after you again.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 1:40 AM on April 24, 2007


BILL BRASKYTORBOTO IS A SON OF A BITCH WHO DUMPED MY MOTHER.

TORBOTO ONCE ATE HOOVER DAMN AND REGURGITATED IT EXACTLY THE SAME, EXCEPT FINALLY CURED ONCE AND FOR ALL AND SPRINKLED WITH CHUNKS OF UNDIGESTED CORN.

TORBOTO IS/ISN'T CANYONERO.

TORBOTO IS A CONSUMER WHORE PRODUCT OF A FAILING BROADCAST INSTITUTION FROM A TV SHOW THAT USED TO BE FUNNY BEFORE THEY STOPPED THEIR WRITERS AND ACTORS FROM DOING INHUMANE QUANTITIES OF PSYCHOTROPIC CHEMICALS AND WHOM IS OWNED BY GENERAL ELECTRIC AND LORNE MICHAELS CAN EAT A DICK. ROCK ON ATLANTA! COKE ADDS LIFE!

TORBOTO ISN'T FUNNY.
posted by loquacious at 3:41 AM on April 24, 2007


kill your television
posted by loquacious at 3:42 AM on April 24, 2007


watched it once thru with the sound off before plugging in the headphones and watching again.
without sound it was really sadly and poignantly subversive.
with sound it was dumb and cheap.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:02 AM on April 24, 2007


I love how Smigel can literally replicate any animation style. That really looks like a Gigantor cartoon.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:19 AM on April 24, 2007


Does it malfunction and run around saying "Hug, Help, Be Kind!"?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:49 AM on April 24, 2007


I actually liked it a lot. It's heavy handed, but you have to think who the audience is that watches SNL.
posted by empath at 5:31 AM on April 24, 2007


Cartoon representations of naked Arabs in chains, getting their balls zapped... sorry, but this is just not something to laugh at, not in this way. A new low for SNL.

Mixed opinions here. I agree with the first part, and I'm frankly kind of surprised at/disappointed in Smigel. He can sometimes push limits to the point of being hysterical, but really misses the mark this time.

As for SNL, I suppose that, as bad as this is, it's at least trying to do something beyond this tired formula:
posted by psmealey at 5:34 AM on April 24, 2007


I actually liked it a lot. It's heavy handed...

So, you're saying you like things that are, heavy-handed?

...but you have to think who the audience is that watches SNL.

Okay. Who is that? This isn't snark, by the way. I just really don't know who this audience is. Can you please inform?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:35 AM on April 24, 2007


And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouchs towards Bethlehem to be born?
posted by Dizzy at 5:56 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Based on the hosts and musical guests they've had over the past several years, I think they gear solidly to a very white, 15-29 demographic, flapjax.

I have my Tivo set to record it - really for no other particular reason other than to flip through it the next day to see who the musical guest was and lately, to check out the Digital Short.

Btw, at least in terms of this past episode, the Scarlett Johansson bit about the Marble Columns local ad parody was pretty funny, but only because I have a good friend from the Bronx who has EXACTLY that accent, which I generally consider inimitable.
posted by psmealey at 6:02 AM on April 24, 2007


I saw it live during SNL, I didn't think it was that funny at all. To me it seemed more like trying to be daring and raise awareness of the issue then actually be funny. You could sort of look at it as a meta-parody: "Humor" that's not funny because the topic is so awful.

Or maybe it was just bad and stupid. But to me it seemed more like bitter fatalism then ineffective goofiness.
posted by delmoi at 6:40 AM on April 24, 2007


Also Scarlett Johansson is hot.
posted by delmoi at 6:44 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought it was funny as all hell. So there.

And tastefulness-wise it's nothing compared with, say, Chris Morris.
posted by Artw at 9:31 AM on April 24, 2007


Ick. Bad taste. Not even good bad taste. And I wonder if anyone would be laughing were this joking about documented torture against citizens of their own country.
posted by katillathehun at 9:39 AM on April 24, 2007


gay shit

As a gay man, my shit is quite offended to have been associated with that drivel.

What I found myself cringing at the most were the slapstick depictions of tortured and humiliated prisoners. Somehow I got the impression we're supposed to laugh at them too.

If there is a message of any kind, I can think of a few seemingly contradictory possibilities off the top of my head: a) terrible things being done in the name of our country and we should be more alarmed/outraged than we are; b) torture really isn't a big deal, in fact, we can even laugh at it; c) who cares about the issues, we sure pwned fox; d) aren't we clever for walking the line between all of those possibilities? I'd like to think it's (a), but I'd put my money on (d).
posted by treepour at 9:47 AM on April 24, 2007


I don't think it's supposed to be funny, exactly. Smigel is presenting us with a short film where the President and Vice President of the United States of America use a giant robot to torture helpless prisoners--and the only bit of hyperbole contained within it is the giant robot. It seems to me he's trying to illustrate just what a fucked-up rabbit hole we've collectively tumbled down.
posted by EarBucket at 10:07 AM on April 24, 2007


You know, I've kind of come to expect a robot to shave, shock and humiliate my genitals. Only I expect to have to pay a bunch for it under the pretense that it would vaccuum my rugs or make coffee or something.

There's at least one good movie in the concept.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:11 AM on April 24, 2007


I do like the song, though. I like particularly how it pauses slightly and clarifies that Torboto isn't the robot that tortures, it's the robot that tortures people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2007


Not all satire is intended to be humorous. I agree that this is not meant to be funny, but I do think it's excellent satire. However, what's jarring about this is that it is presented within the comedic idiom, both in terms of the Cartoon Comedy Funhouse structure and that it was aired during an erstwhile comedy show, SNL. So perhaps like the Alanis Morrissette song that is, in fact, ironic because it is rife with examples of irony that are indeed, not ironic, maybe this is funny because it looks like it should be funny, it's presented like it should be funny, but ultimately, it is not funny.

PLATE OF BEANS! You're it!
posted by psmealey at 10:37 AM on April 24, 2007


psmeasly - but that's what makes it funny!
posted by Artw at 10:56 AM on April 24, 2007


I'm with psmeasley on this one. I'd rather have major media outlets satirizing our acceptance of torture, especially with what seems like an increase in torture-based horror movies and godawful shows like 24 (which are more like the source of desensitization than anything else in the media).
posted by spiderskull at 11:16 AM on April 24, 2007


Rep. Rohrabacher: ‘I Hope It’s Your Families That Suffer’ From A Terrorist Attack
posted by homunculus at 2:25 PM on April 24, 2007


That Rohrabacher is a total frickin jerk.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:36 PM on April 24, 2007


He's very well known to you if you've watched either incarnation of Bill Maher's show over the years. I think what can be said about Dana Rohrabacher is that he's an utter moron with zero thought processing capacity. He doesn't talk so much as he spews.
posted by psmealey at 4:53 PM on April 24, 2007


Rohrabacher, defender of freedom, Rohrabacher, protector from fear, Rohrabacher, the Rep that renditions people...
posted by homunculus at 12:17 AM on April 25, 2007


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