HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAULIE
December 6, 2018 11:38 AM   Subscribe

The bizarre, touching story behind Rocky IV's robot butler "Designed, controlled and voiced by Robert Doornick, the founder of US company International Robotics, the robot has had a more successful acting career than many of his fellow cast-members. Known as Sico, it is the first non-human member of America’s Screen Actors Guild." posted by Servo5678 (13 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I saw - and freaking loved - this movie in the theatre but had totally forgotten about this part. Rocky IV was released around the same time that someone was supposedly going to open a robot restaurant in my hometown (which turned out to be part of a fraud scheme involving restaurant franchising).

The robot has guest-starred in Days of Our Lives, entertained Ronald Reagan at a White House dinner, toured with James Brown...

oh my god
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:51 AM on December 6 [4 favorites]


toured with James Brown

I assume that was all a tie-in with Rocky IV, since Brown's appearance in the movie was likely responsible for giving him his first Top 40 hit since the 1970s.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:00 PM on December 6 [2 favorites]


I guess the Reagan dinner invite was probably somehow tied to Rocky IV too, given the movie's theme of all-American muscle/grit vs. cruel, godless Soviet super-science.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:04 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Until seeing the pictures in the article, I would have sworn with 100% certainty that I remembered this robot being clearly and obviously inflatable, like a pool toy with motors hooked up to it.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 12:36 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Its head looks like it was scavenged from Black Manta's spare armor closet, which designwise is a huge point of favor in my book. I rate this 80s robot 5 out of 5 floppy disks.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:46 PM on December 6 [7 favorites]


Oh man I loved this movie so hard as a kid.

When I was in college, I was part of a group who would play music at the campus coffeehouse. We had some recurring "bands," but just as often we would mix and match instrumentalists/singers and create new groups. The great joy of making a new combination was the opportunity to give ourselves a fresh name.

One of the one-and-done groups was named Happy Birthday Paulie, to both my great joy (that it existed at all) and my great envy (that I wasn't a part of that combo).
posted by AgentRocket at 12:48 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Is the robot canon in the Creed universe?
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on December 6 [8 favorites]


So I don't need to watch any of this, is it "Sicko" or "Psycho"?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:29 PM on December 6


As a James Brown hype man, that robot was no Danny Ray.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:32 PM on December 6 [2 favorites]


Damn that intro music is non-more-80's-movie

It's also disturbingly close to the ghost sex song in Ghostbusters.
posted by GuyZero at 4:57 PM on December 6


Wait, the music I'm thinking of is from the post-trap-shutdown scene, not the ghost sex scene.

Carry on
posted by GuyZero at 4:58 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Is the robot canon in the Creed universe?

Yes but he gets no screen time, as in Rocky V he's elected to the Galactic boxing commission.
posted by condour75 at 7:06 PM on December 6


Rocky IV's robot scene sounds like a wormhole into the 19A0s, the lost decade located sometime in what we recall as the early 80s; a world in which everymen in angular new-wave haircuts and plaid work shirts watch hoversports on projection TVs.
posted by acb at 4:15 AM on December 7 [1 favorite]


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