If Robocop was a bad 80s sit-com

I am easily amused, so earlier today, when my brain said, "You know what would be funny? If there was a Robocop sit-com, where he was always screwing up. Every time he did something, the other officers would put their hands on their hips, cock their heads to one side, and do this sing-songy "Robocop!" catchphrase. Then he'd just shoot everyone."

I mentioned this to Twitter. A few people quickly replied with funny ideas of their own… then I got excited and made a thing:

 

INT POLICE HEADQUARTERS — DAY.

Robocop comes toward camera, doing that weird marching walk thing. He stops in front of a vending machine, and precisely turns to face it.

FLASH TO:

ROBOCOP POV

Through Robocop’s HUD, we see the nutritional information of the various items in the machine as he scans them. A can of soda has a mouse in it, a chocolate bar has traces of cocaine, a bag of chips is actually a bag of fingernails. All that skips by so fast, though, the audience doesn’t really notice it consciously. A crosshairs appears on the HUD and selects a bag of OIL-FLAVORED MICROCHIPS. They’re actual chips, with a cartoony, smiling Robocop drawing on the front. He’s giving a thumbs.

BACK TO SCENE.

Robocop puts a crumpled dollar into the machine, which spits it out. He does this three or four times.

ROBOCOP

Dead or alive, those chips are coming with me.

(Laugh track)

ROBOCOP

Accept my money.

You have ten seconds to comply.

He tries to put the money into the machine. The machine spits it back out.

ROBOCOP

I have ordered you to accept my money.

You have seven seconds to comply.

He tries to put the money into the machine. The machine spits it back out. It falls to the floor.

(Laugh track)

ROBOCOP

You have attempted to assault

a police officer with his own money. 

You are under arrest.

 

An older, grizzled SERGEANT comes out of his office down the hall.

SERGEANT

Robocop, what the hell are you doing?

ROBOCOP

Making an arrest, sir.

The Sergeant rolls his eyes and shakes his head.

SERGEANT

Would you mind tellin’ me how you’re going

to arrest a vending machine?

(Laugh track)

ROBOCOP

By. The. Book.

 (Laugh track)

SERGEANT

Robocop, you crazy. Let me help you.

The Sergeant picks up the dollar bill off the floor. ROBOCOP pulls his gun in a flash! He points it at the sergeant!

ROBOCOP

You are tampering with evidence.

You are under arrest.

 

SERGEANT

You can’t arrest me, Robocop! I’m your boss!

 

ROBOCOP

You. Are. Under. Arrest.

 

SERGEANT

Robocop, I ain’t got time for this. I retire in two days!

(Laugh Track)

ROBOCOP

Arrest. Arrest.

Arrrrrest. Arrrrrreeessst.

 

SERGEANT

(sighs)

Aw, dammit. You’re stuck in a loop. I’d better reset you.

The Sergeant makes a move toward Robocop.

(Audience: Ooohhhhhh!)

The Sergeant puts his hand on Robocop's shoulder. Robocop snaps out of it.

ROBOCOP 

Assault on an officer.

Use of deadly force is authorized.

Robocop shoots about a thousand bullets into the Sergeant, blowing him across the hallway where hits the wall and slides to the floor, leaving streaks of blood behind.

SERGEANT

(gasping, dying, yet somehow still alive)

Dammit… Robocop… I had…

two days… until… retirement.

The Sergeant dies.

 

ROBOCOP

Thank you for your cooperation.

I am not arresting you any more.

(Laugh track, cheers.)

Dozens of officers rush into hallway, stopping short of the grisly scene. They look at Robocop, incredulous. Robocop turns back to the vending machine.

ROBOCOP

Your move, dirtbag.

Suddenly, the bag of chips drops from the vending machine for some reason, startling Robocop. He whirls toward it and destroys it in a hail of epic gunfire.

POLICE OFFICERS

(sing song, in unison)

Robocop!

Robocop turns to the camera and innocently shrugs.

FREEZE FRAME as the synth-tastic theme music plays.

(Audience cheers)

 

81 thoughts on “If Robocop was a bad 80s sit-com”

  1. S01E03 – The department receives complaints from the community about Robocop’s lack of tact and manners. OPC brings in a culture consultant who teaches Robocop to wear a top hat and perform “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Gene Wilder guest stars.

  2. S01E02- After the unfortunate death of Sergeant Redshirt, OPC provides more funding for the Robocop project to reward the savings in the pension program. The department uses the bonus to throw a pizza party. Hilarity ensues when the pizza is delivered late and Robocop doesn’t like the toppings. Cameo by Christopher Lloyd as the pizza delivery man.

  3. S01E4 – OPC accounting decides that Robocop is using too much ammunition slaughtering innocents and recommend replacing his guns with non-lethal weaponry. An unlikely series of events results in Robocop performing magic tricks at a children’s birthday party.

  4. S01E05 – Robocop falls in love with a female cyborg sent back front the future to destroy the leader of the Occupy OPC movement. Will Robocop be able to upload her new understanding of love to the OPC mainframe before she is melted into slag at the local steel foundry?

  5. S01E06 – When a virus from pirated OPC entertainment software infects the department computers, Robocop must download himself into the digital world to find and arrest the software pirate before OPC technicians arrive to sterilize the infected computers.

  6. Hrmm, I picture the guy that was Danny Glover even before Danny Glover was Danny Glover. Or am I the only one who owns the DVD’s for “Sledge Hammer!”?

  7. That was amazing… I’m imagining a rueful little half grin (since RoboCop acts with his mouth) for the freeze-frame.
    This needs to be a series. A web-series at least.

  8. That was amazing! I can imagine a rueful little grin (since RoboCop’s expressions are all about the mouth) for the freeze frame.
    This needs to be a series! Or a web-series at least!

  9. Funny, clever, and strangely nostalgic.
    Just do me a favor and don’t make the sergeant black (which he was in my head thanks to “you crazy”, the plethora of black sergeants in cop procedurals, and the Danny-Glover-Lethal-Weapon I’m about to retire thing).
    Because if there’s one thing I don’t miss about the 80s it’s movies/shows killing off the black character first.
    Oh who am I kidding? They still do that.

  10. Wil,
    A few things come to mind here. First, I will get the perfunctory crap out of the way. Long-time reader, very occasional commentator, you know how it goes.
    What you describe in this entry is, to be blunt, my worst and most absolute nightmare. As I have written in reviews I posted in the heady days when I dreamed that I might be able to make it is an author or something writing-related, I first saw RoboCop as a boy during a time when I was so sick that I stopped fearing I was going to die and started fearing that I never would. Although it took a lot of years after that first viewing, it helped shape many things about the kinds of stories I like to hear/read/see, and the way in which I tell stories.
    Point being that they DID try to make sitcoms out of RoboCop. The television series notwithstanding, these sitcoms were called RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3. Watch the entire midsection of RoboCop 2, the bit after RoboCop is reprogrammed with all of his family-friendly directives, and see I am not exaggerating. Whilst we are on the subject, outside of Star Trek, have you seen a clearer example of the Idea Catapult being used to fling stuff at a wall and see what sticks than RoboCop 2? It is almost as if they took the scripts for at least four potential sequels, cut them into strips, and chucked it all up in the air.
    The ironic thing is that a perfectly straight continuation of RoboCop would not look out of place on the HBO channel these days. Odin knows that television has, for possibly the first time in history, become a more adult medium than cinema. It is flabbergasting considering what men of our ages grew up with on the idiot box. After a viewing of True Blood or A Game Of Thrones, I can say that a RoboCop series in which the titular cyborg goes to his son’s neighbourood and sees what 25 years of regressive taxation and tax breaks for the rich have wrought would be a ratings bonanza. Only problem is that Fox bought the rights mainly because one germaine point that RoboCop had was that in a truly functional society, justice is not solely for the rich. Given how much they like that kind of message, the likelihood that they will let another company near RoboCop is very small.
    Seriously, when are we going to see a Wheaton-written series or film? You are too good for the “give all your work away for free” culture of the “loookit how naaaaaaaoooo ah am” culture of today’s ‘net.

  11. Oh, and whilst we are on the subject? “…where he is always screwing up.” Did you watch the same RoboCop that I did, Wil?
    I think it would be a great little essay to get several different people of different walks, including your good self of course, to write about what constitutes comedy to them. Because I can say without the slightest hint of irony that people who are obviously trying to get me to laugh almost never succeed in actually doing so.
    RoboCop’s genius on the writing level, on the other hand, is best expressed by the fact that whilst it is deliberately setting out to make me laugh at times (“I’ll buy that for a dollar!”), it does so in such an inobvious way that even a habitual analyst like myself takes a few viewings to fully notice.

  12. Not sure why, but when I read, “Arrrrrest. Arrrrrreeessst.”, I heard a Dalek in my head saying, “Exterminate. Exterrrminaaate.”

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