I remember as a kid loving Chris Elliot’s TV show “Get A Life” about a thirty something year old that still lives with his parents and has a job delivering papers, all his friends were between the ages of nine and thirteen years old (hey that sounds familiar, Chris was a prophet!), it screams “Pedo” and jokes were made in that direction. The humor in the show was absurd, offensive, off the wall, non sequiturs, crazy, stupid, juvenile etc. and it lasted only two seasons. My parents and mom in particular knew him from the David Letterman show, that and his two season show got him a movie that Tim Burton was supposed to direct but ended up producing because Tim wanted to direct “Ed Wood” instead, he was a big fan of Chris’ humor. “Cabin Boy” was all the things I mentioned above, I laughed at the movie and loved it, my dad called it “a crock of shit” and my mom wasn’t impressed with it when we rented it from our local family owned video rental business. Now years later I wanted to see if it still made me laugh or at least gave me chuckles, I’d forgotten almost everything about it except David Letterman as the the sailor/sock monkey salesman that says “I hate dem fancy boys!” Well I watched it and not only did I laugh, my jaw fell to the floor. Elliot and his co writer/director Adam Resnick, who also was a writer for David Letterman were way way WAY ahead of their time, Tim and Eric and Adult Swim owe Chris and Adam.
When Tim left to direct “Ed Wood” they didn’t know who to get to direct. Tim mentioned that Adam should direct it and they were off and running. Well more like jogging, when Buena Vista pictures found out Tim was leaving they cut their budget in half. When Adam and Tim wrote the script they kept in mind Burton’s penchant for weirdness, so they wrote a lot of special effects related things for the script. In fact, if they’d known Tim wasn’t gonna direct they were gonna leave a lot of the weird stuff on the floor which makes no sense at all because Chris’ humor is bizarre and it annoys some people.
The “Cabin Boy” is Nathaniel Mayweather who goes to “Fancy Boys Finishing School” where he wears a wig, is an obnoxious, stuck up, is an ass to his teachers and fellow students and he is also a virgin (a lot like his character in “Get A Life”). When he graduates his dad, played by Chris’ real life comedian dad, Bob Elliot, wants him to take over the hotel chain they own in Hawaii after he graduates, he is given tickets to board a luxury cruiser, the Queen Catherine, after being thrown out by the annoyed limo driver who was supposed to take him to the cruise ship, Nate takes a wrong turn into the wrong shipping village where David Letterman, the sailor/sock monkey salesman sends him to the boat, The Filthy Whore, instead.
Nathaniel thinking the Filthy Whore is one of those “theme boats” encounters Kenny (played by Andy Richter) who is the retarded Cabin Boy, he lets Nate on the boat while the other sailors aren’t on it because Nate says the captain said it was OK, he falls asleep and soon is awakened by the crew all played by curmudgeons who play crusty old men and villains in other movies, these four guys make this movie, Chris is still funny but these guys had me cracking up through the whole thing. Captain Greybar (yeah this movie is immature, played by Ritch Brinkley), Skunk (Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill’s brother and Noah from “Wayne’s World”), Big Teddy (played by Brion James who you’ve seen as a villain in tons of 1980’s-1990’s movies and TV shows) and Paps (played by James Gammon, the coach from “Major League”). Nate tries to convince them to go to Hawaii they laugh in his face. Nate fools Kenny into steering the ship towards Hawaii while the crew is asleep.
They run into a violent storm, evil clouds blow the ship around and Kenny falls into the water and drowns, they make Nate the new Cabin Boy and he has to do degrading things and clean the ship. It turns out that the ship got blown into a type of Bermuda Triangle called “Hell’s Bucket” in this place they encounter a lot of weird stuff, a half man, half shark creature called Chalky (played by Russ Tamblyn who is known as Dr. Jacobi in “Twin Peaks”), a girl who is trying to swim the Pacific Ocean, gets caught in Nate’s net and he falls in love with her and she has no interest in him, a frost giant, a giant cupcake that spits tabacco, the blue skinned, many armed Hindu goddess Kali who “cleans pipes” (I am not giving that one away folks) and her possessive, pissed off giant Housewares Salesman husband named Mulligan (played by Mike Starr).
I am not giving away the whole store, your gonna have to go shopping. It will be a very weird store indeed, the production company for “Cabin Boy” was Skellington Productions, which is Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s (who directed “James and the Giant Peach” and “Nightmare Before Christmas”) studio, so all the weird creatures and sets were made there, all of them practical, no fucking CGI, thank the B movie gods. This whole movie has got a “Tim Burton” vibe to it if he made more light hearted fair, it also reminds me of Terry Gilliam’s absurdist movies.
So this movie came out and…A bombed whole cities, pulverized them to radioactive dust. Critics (most of them I fucking hate, like Siskel and Ebert) shit all over this movie, it was a huge embarrassment at the time for everybody involved. Chris and Adam had stated for the longest time their careers were in shambles. But in 1994 I was a junior high kid loved this movie and didn’t care what some four eyed, pencil neck geek said about it and still feel the same way years later.
Like all things ahead of their time “Cabin Boy” garnered a cult following, people rewatched it and quoted lines from it like “Hate Dem Fancy Boys!” And most famous of all “My pipes…are…CLEAN!!!” Chris and Adam are surprised by the newfound fame of their movie that embarrassed them and now they have a fondness for it and speak at screenings. Watch this movie and tell me that most of the stuff on “Adult Swim” and “The Mighty Boosh” owe a debt of gratitude to “Cabin Boy”.
So where do get on the right ship and get on the right stream? Well its gonna cost you a ticket, sorry guys don’t feel good about posting this movie on my bitchute channel, don’t want to get busted: https://www.amazon.com/Cabin-Boy-Chris-Elliott/dp/B004YSDSV2
However, there will be certain “pirates” in the “bay” that will take you to your destination free of charge, just make sure that ship has a VPN cloaking device if you get my drift. *wink*wink*
This is must have visual noise, but a little “Cabin Boy” in your life (that came out sounding creepy.)