By Charlie Jones
Since 1989, the Dilbert comic strip by Scott Adams has been amusing office workers worldwide with its dry take on office policies, upper management and how life in general was unfair and depressingly arbitrary. Needless to say, it was only a matter of time before the strip got its TV show where Dilbert ended up drinking his coworker’s sperm.
In episode 10 of the 1999 UPN Dilbert TV series, the titular Dilbert and the rest of the gang needed to jog the memory of their coworker Wally, whom you see up there on all fours. To do that, they got the evil-ish Dogbert to hypnotize him, which initially only resulted in convincing Wally that he was a cow. That’s when Dilbert enters the cubicle and Dogbert offers him a glass of “milk.” Dilbert drinks it, the camera zooms in on the mooing Wally and the realization sinks in as hundreds of viewers violently throw up all over their shoes. This was of course AFTER Dogbert already made Wally ejaculate into his pants that one time.
The really bizarre thing is that this wasn’t just a moment of temporary insanity on the show’s part. During its 2-season run, Dilbert has managed to pull off so much crazy shit that I must assume it was all some sophisticated meta-reference to the original strip’s commentary on corporate irresponsibility. How else could you explain all the instances of…
Gratuitous Male Nudity
It’s amazing how many naked male bottoms Dilbert managed to squeeze into just 30 episodes (no, really, I’m half impressed here). The characters in the Dilbert TV series are basically more eager to get out of their clothes than a pervert at the school for the blind.
Scenes of Unsettling Violence
The very first episode of the series, The Name, sets the bafflingly violent tone for the entirety of the cartoon by kicking off with Dilbert’s company mistakenly murdering thousands of people with anthrax:
Is that guy in the HAZMAT suit stepping on that corpse…?
The Kill Highlights of the later episodes range from such gems as gunshots to the gut to decapitations and once even the slaying of Santa Clause:
But even though death in the Dilbert universe is painful, permanent and unavoidable, the above scenes aren’t exactly “disturbing,” a distinction which must go to two episodes: Holiday and The Trial.
In Holiday (S01E12), Dilbert has to deal with a dickish coworker creatively named Dick who gets his comeuppance near the end of the episode when his car is crushed by a parade float and he dies slowly in front of our eyes, all the while commenting how “It’s so cold… so cold…” right before we cut to black.
“Laugh, children! Laugh!”
Then in The Trial (S02E04), a bus is hit by a train, killing the dozens of people onboard. Dilbert gets blamed for it and is sentenced to death.
Naturally everything turns out okay by the end but in the middle of the episode we get this weird, out-of-nowhere scene of a convicted murderer who gets strapped to an electric chair, marries Dilbert’s coworker Alice and just starts screaming and begging desperately for his life (“For the love of God, please don’t kill me!”) before a gag is inserted into his mouth and he is fried. I have $20 on the fact that whoever wrote this scene had a raging erection the entire time.
Ha! Human suffering…
And now we get to the center of this Tootsie Pop of insanity: Episodes 13 and 14 of Season 2 where Dilbert has gallons of sperm deposited into his anus. Let’s back up a little. It all started when Dilbert built a model rocket to look for alien life. The rocket goes into space and collects a sample of alien sperm but on its way back to Earth it also collects sperm and eggs from a hillbilly couple, sperm from a bull, engineer sperm from a sperm bank (there’s a lot of sperm in this episode) before returning to Dilbert’s home and plunging straight into his asshole.
This naturally causes Dilbert to become pregnant because… I’m going to say “the entire writing staff got wasted on bootleg tequila.” To ensure he can carry the pregnancy, his mother and Dogbert have the doctors pump Dilbert full of female hormones which turn him into a transsexual. Finally, he gives birth to the greatest pro-abortion argument in history.
Needless to say, this animated insight into a powerfully schizophrenic mind became UPN’s highest rated comedy and eventually won a Primetime Emmy.
The ’90s were a weird decade.