Like “The Onion” once did with John Leguizamo’s abysmal sketch show “House of Buggin’,” we’re going to provide weekly recaps of “Cavemen” until it gets canceled.
When I committed to writing weekly recaps of Cavemen, I was pretty sure it was going to be a one-time deal. But, to my surprise, the show was back last night for a second episode, so here we go again.
Episode 2 (“Nick Get Job”) begins with Nick at his computer, purportedly working on his dissertation, which, despite its wordy title, is basically about how cavemen invented “the finger.” The subject of rent — and how Joel is the only one paying it — comes up, and Joel suggests that Nick should find a job. As luck would have it, one opens up at Norskbild when Joel has to fire two employees, Kyle and Josie, for having fun with each other’s zones in the Fun Zone. (For those who don’t care for euphemisms, that means they were having sex in the ball pit of the store’s children’s area.) Joel convinces his boss, Mr. Hogan (played by Carlos Jacott, who you might remember as Ramon the pool guy from Seinfeld), to hire Nick, then convinces Nick to take the job by presenting the ugly alternative: moving back in with his mom and sleeping in his old race car bed.
It doesn’t take long for Joel to realize that bringing Nick onboard at Norskbild was a mistake. Nick is lazy, arrogant, apathetic, and disrespectful to customers. He has also stolen boxes and boxes of those little jotter pencils from the store — and he doesn’t even bowl or golf. In his defense, though, he does make a reference to a 1987 Andrew McCarthy/Kim Cattrall classic when he unveils his plan to be “a living mannequin like that movie — Mannequin.” Joel decides that Nick needs to be fired, but he doesn’t have the guts to do it himself so he arranges for Mr. Hogan to catch Nick in inaction — which sets up the following, mildly humorous exchange:
“Hello. You’re …”
Since Nick can’t fathom that his own ineptitude could be the cause of his dismissal, he assumes he’s been fired because he’s a caveman and he brings a wrongful termination suit against Norskbild. While all of this is going on, Andy is getting his first taste of how some “sapes” react negatively to cavemen. After a women who lives in the caveguys’ apartment building responds with terror to Andy’s mere presence in both the building’s laundry room and parking garage, he goes out of his way to assure her that he’s not a threat. Of course, he does so by accosting her and forcing her to speak to his mother on his cell phone … but the woman, who we find out is named Lucy Sprague, and Andy become friends (at least temporarily).
During the arbitration hearing to decide Nick’s lawsuit, Joel eventually reveals to Nick that he was the one behind the firing. Nick doesn’t believe it until he’s confronted with the videotape evidence of his poor performance and agrees to drop the lawsuit. Back at the apartment, Nick and Joel quickly prove that there are no hard feelings when they team up to rid themselves of the annoying Lucy Sprague by reinforcing some good old-fashioned cavemen stereotypes and scaring her off.
So, we’re two episodes in and the show hasn’t gotten any better. In fact, I think it may have gotten slightly worse. At least last week’s episode had Nick Swardson as incompetent Norskbild employee Ray. With an entire episode set in the store and no sign of him, it looks like last week was just a guest spot. Plus, Mr. Hogan’s accent in this episode was as bad as any I’ve heard since Hank Azaria’s character in America’s Sweetheart — or Along Came Polly, for that matter. (A little part of me just died, realizing that I’ve actually seen both of those movies.) In any case, I’ll be back next week — assuming that Cavemen is, too — because I promised I would.