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Zanzibar!
Season 3, Episode 13A
Zanzibar
Air date April 21, 1996
Written by Tim Hill
Directed by Jeff "Swampy" Marsh

Dan Povenmire

Rocko's Modern Life
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Fatal Contraption

Zanzibar is episode 39a of Rocko's Modern Life.

Summary

This musical-style episode for Earth Day has Rocko pitting the town citizens against Conglom-O and its pollution.

Plot

During the spring, the citizens of O-Town are spring cleaning their city and dedicate a musical to it. When Rocko comes around, he asks Heffer about the musical. Heffer tells him that it was the song to the citizens' hearts and they rehearsed for the musical. Heffer rides with Rocko to drive to the city dump, only to find that the dump is too full to put any more garbage in it, much to the other citizens' dismay. Ed, who has a truckload of cans of goo, suggests that the garbage should go into the park, to which Rocko responds that garbage can't just be dumped in any territory. Ed refuses to heed Rocko's words and dedicates a song to his contempt of nature and the environment. When Rocko tries to convince Ed to think about what's good for the environment, Captain Compost Heap overhears and implements a recycle song that sends a message to the citizens of O-Town. After the song, Rocko (who dubs the song as "sappy") suggests that everyone should collaborate to clean up O-Town and they open up a recycle center.

Although they cleaned up the city, Mr. Heap tells Rocko that the Conglom-O company is not doing their act at cleaning and the citizens decide to rescind their recycling business since Conglom-O runs everything, even dedicating a song to it. But Rocko barely convices them to fight back and march to the Conglom-O building to stand up to them. As they get to the Conglom-O building, the security guard refuses to let Rocko inside without an appointment. But when Rocko demands him to speak to the company, the security guard nonchalantly lets him in, and Rocko meets Mr. Dupette and the other employees to tell them about the recycling. Although he vacillates, he gets help from the other citizens, who sing the recycle song to tell the owner and his employees the point. When Rocko asks Mr. Dupette if they would clean up their act, Mr. Dupette nonchalantly agrees to. The citizens congratulate Rocko for fighting city hall and carry him out of the building. Mr. Dupette, particularly moved by the citizen's display of desiring environmental change for the better, soon reveals that Ed Bighead is responsible for its waste disposal division as its head, and immediately demands him to make a variety of extremely grueling but necessary environmentally helpful changes.

When Ed is back at his house, he hears a knock on his door. He answers the door to find the citizens of O-Town, who thanks him for helping keeping the city clean. But Ed is little more than unappreciated and dedicates a song for his apathy for the ozone layer. He sprays the air, prompting the carbons to eat up the ozone layer, which causes the sun light to reflect on him, burning him to a crisp as he utters his catchphrase "I hate my life." Captain Compost Heap then states that "If you're not nice to mother nature, she'll kick our butts."

Characters Present

Trivia

  • Some of the rocks in the background during the desert scenes spell put words. One of them is JOE. This is the first name of the creator of the show, Joe Murray.
  • This show was featured in an article of the Sun Herald. The headline was "Rocko and the Gang Take Down Pollution."
  • The Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz makes a background appearance during one of the musical numbers. He previously had a cameo going through a metal detector in "Jet Scream."
  • Last apparence of Earl.
  • Murky the bear is a obvious parody of Smokey the bear, a mascot created to teach people the dangers of wild fires.
  • Both "Spring Cleaning" and the "Spelling Song" were featured on the 1998 compilation album Best of Nicktoons, which was later rereleased on vinyl in the late 2010s.
  • The songs were written by Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh, with the exception of "Ed's Song", which had lyrics by Martin Olson and uses the music of the APM track "Busy Bachelor".

Song lyrics

Spring Cleaning

Heffer:

Summer's for fishing
And for lounging around

Man #1:

Fall is for raking
All the leaves off the ground

Singers

Winter is for skating
Like Torvall and Dean

Heffer:

But we all know that spring
Is the season to clean!

Citizens of O-Town:

Spring cleaning,
Spring cleaning

Woman #1

We deodorize and sanitize

Four women:

And harmonize, too

Citizens of O-Town:

Spring cleaning,
Spring cleaning
We're gonna make this town
Look all shiny and new

Flowers:

Spring cleaning...

Virginia Wolfe:

I'll sweep off this mat.

(cat meows)

Fran the Newscaster:

Spring cleaning...

Peter Wolfe:

I'll vacuum the cat.

Citizens of O-Town:

Spring cleaning...

Old Man:

Where'd I get this dead rat?

Old Woman:

You'll find a lot of stuff
When you're spring cleaning.

Citizens of O-Town

We've got a lot of junk
That we have just been dying to get rid of
And there's so much garbage in this can
That it's about to blow the lid off
Spring cleaning,
Spring cleaning...

Dr. Hutchison:

Our disinfecting prowess
Is second to none!
'Kay?

Citizens of O-Town:

Spring cleaning,
Spring cleaning
It's a sick disgusting job... (Sick disgusting job...) (Sick disgusting job...)
But it's gotta get done!

(fart noise)

Ed's Song

Mr. Bighead:

What the heck are you thinking?
These barrels are stinking!
I gotta dump this goo
Before I barf and gag.
It's Thanksgiving for maggots.
Look out before I dump on you!
Fish are brainless finheads,
So I dump my trash in the bay.
Birds are bird-brained pinheads,
So my gunk infests
Up their filthy nests
Because nature stinks anyway!
So I'm sick of you dumbsters
Invading my dumpsters.
Just watch this trash as it grows.
Besides the filthy stench
Won't even get my attench,
Cuz a toad's don't even got a nose!
So get out of my face
While I scum up this place
With my filthy toxic goo!
Wish I could send this waste
Into orbit and space
So the sky could be filled with garbage, too!
Yoo-hoo!

Spelling Song

Captain Compost Heap:

R-E-C-Y-C-L-E recycle
C-O-N-S-E-R-V-E conserve
Don't you P-O-L-L-U-T-E
Pollute the river, sky, or sea
Or else you're gonna get what you deserve
The ozone is in horrible condition,
From fluorocarbons in our atmosphere.
They are too small to be seen by normal vision

Fluorocarbons:

But there's getting to be more of us each year

Flurocarbon Soloist:

We come from a variety of places
Like Styrofoam containers and aerosol cans

Fluorocarbons:

We love to eat the ozone it's our favorite dessert
And if you don't have an ozone then the sun can really hurt

Virginia Wolfe:

You must admit we make a lot of garbage

Tammy the Pig:

This dump is filled up way above the brim

Captain Compost Heap

If we don't make an effort to recycle

The Grim Recycler:

The future could be looking mighty grim
Heffer: Look! It's the Grim Recycler!
The Grim Recycler: No autographs please.

Captain Compost Heap:

Someone's cutting down the O-Town forest!
It's not enough to sit around and grieve
If we don't protect our flora and our fauna
German Scientist:
Zen ve von't have ze oxygen to breathe.
Citizens:
R-E-C-Y-C-L-E (CCH: Recycle)
C-O-N-S-E-R-V-E (CCH: Conserve)
Don't you P-O-L-L-U-T-E
Pollute the river, sky, or sea

Captain Compost Heap:

Or else we're gonna get...
All but Rocko and Mr. Bighead:
...what we deserve!

You Can't Fight City Hall

Citizens:

You can't fight city hall
You can't corporate America
They are big and we are small
You can't fight city hall
Rocko: I know it seems like a little person may not make much of a difference in this world, but if you get enough little people together, then you got a... Uh, oh, what's the word?
Heffer: An unruly mob?
Rocko: Yeah! I mean, no! What I mean is, if we all band together, we'll be like a large group of people, all, uh, um, banding together. Oh, this isn't going very well.
Heffer: No, no, Rocko, look! You're mesmerizing them!
Rocko: It's just that I think we've got to fight for what we believe in! I say we march down to the Conglom-O building right now and give them a piece of our minds! Are you with me?! I said, "Are you with me?!"

Citizens:

I guess we might as well...
Rocko: That's the spirit!

Citizens:

We've all got nothing better to do
And this dump is starting to smell
So we'll march downtown with you
Rocko: We demand to see the board of directors!
Security Guard: And you would be?
Heffer: We're a big unruly mob!

Citizens:

We're a big unruly mob!
Rocko: Well, actually, we're the concerned citizens of O-Town.
Security Guard: And you were sent by?
Heffer: A big pile of rotting vegetable matter!

Citizens:

A great big rotting pile!
Rocko: Well, uh, uh, a compost heap. But the description is accurate.
Security Guard: And do you have an appointment?
Rocko: Uh, this was sort of a spur-of-the-moment spontaneous thing.
Security guard: Uh-huh. And how do you all know the words?
(beat)
Heffer: Hoo, boy. He's gotcha there, Rock.
Rocko: I don't know the words!

Citizens:

He doesn't know the words!
Rocko: SHAAAAAADAAAAAAAAAAP!!!
Security Guard: Sorry, you can't get in without an appointment.
Rocko: Oh.

Citizens:

I guess we'll all go home.
Heffer: No, wait, guys!
Rocko: Listen, don't give me this appointment stuff! We are the customers! It's our business that keeps your business going! So I insist you let me speak to the board of directors!
Security Guard: All right, whatever.
Rocko: Really? Thanks.

Spelling Song (reprise)

Citizens:

We'd like to see you stop all this polluting
And treat poor Mother Nature with more care
We hope you don't mind all of us intruding
But we'd really like to make you all aware

Heffer:

That you should...

Citizens:

R-E-C-Y-C-L-E recycle...
Rocko: I told you it was catchy.

Citizens:

C-O-N-S-E-R-V-E conserve
Don't you P-O-L-L-U-T-E
Pollute the rivers, sky or sea
Or else you're gonna get
What you deseeeeeeerrrrrrrve!

Rocko Fought City Hall

Citizens:

Rocko fought city hall!
Rocko: And I won, too!

Citizens:

Rocko fought corporate America!
They were big and he is small!
Rocko: But not too small.

Citizens:

Rocko fought city hall!

Spelling Song (Ed's reprise)

Mr. Bighead: Plaque, schmaque. If it weren't for you lousy do-gooders, I wouldn't have had to do anything! You and your lousy song! "R-E-C-Y-C-L-E recycle!" Ha! You want a song? Try this one.
Oh...
I don't have the patience to recycle
I don't worry about the ozone layer
I don't buy a single thing that's biodegradable
And I just dump my garbage anywhere
(Zap!)
I hate my life.
Season 3 Episode List
Bye, Bye BirdieBelch of DestinyThe Emperor's New JoeSchnit-headsSugar Frosted FrightsEd is DeadFish-N-ChumpsCamera ShyNothing To Sneeze AtOld Fogey FroggyManic MechanicRocko's Happy VerminI See London, I See FranceThe FatlandsFortune CookieDear JohnSpeaking TermsTooth and NailWacky DellyThe Big QuestionThe Big AnswerAn Elk for HefferScrubbin' Down UnderZanzibarFatal Contraption