God, the Devil and Bob

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God, the Devil and Bob
God the Devil and Bob.png
Intertitle
Created by Matthew Carlson
Voices of James Garner
Alan Cumming
French Stewart
Nancy Cartwright
Jeff Doucette
Laurie Metcalf
Kath Soucie
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Vanity Logo Productions
NBC Studios
Carsey-Werner Productions
Broadcast
Original channel NBC (2000)[1]
Adult Swim (2011)
Picture format 4:3 SDTV
Original run March 9, 2000 –
March 28, 2000;
January 8, 2011 –
March 26, 2011

God, the Devil and Bob is an animated sitcom which premiered on NBC on March 9, 2000 and ended on March 28, 2000, leaving nine episodes unaired. It was created by Matthew Carlson. It is currently broadcast on the Philippine channel Maxxx. The entire series was released on Region 1 DVD in the United States on January 4, 2005. Reruns of the series began airing on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim, on January 1, 2011 with the network airing the nine remaining episodes of the series from January 8 to March 26, 2011.[2][3]

Thirteen episodes were made, but only four were broadcast in the United States before the series was canceled due to a combination of low ratings and pressure from religious activists.[4] The show, however, was well received in places such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Latin America (including Brazil), where BBC Two, RTE, and Fox, respectively, aired the entire series.

God, the Devil and Bob was canceled in the United States after the first four episodes aired on NBC (although the entire season of 13 episodes was shown overseas), after network executives received an alarming number of complaints about its potentially offensive religious material.[5][6][7]

Synopsis[edit]

The series was based on God (voiced by James Garner) and the Devil (voiced by Alan Cumming) making a bet over the fate of the world. God wants to wipe humanity off the face of the planet and start over, but he realizes that he's "not that kind of God." The devil gets to choose one person, and if that person does not prove they have made the world a better place, God will destroy the world. The devil chooses Bob Allman (voiced by French Stewart), a beer-drinking, porno-watching auto plant worker from the suburbs of Detroit who, when asked to save humanity from complete annihilation, asks "What's in it for me?" After saving humanity in the pilot episode, the series revolves around Bob being God's "Go-To Guy" whenever he gets a great idea to help out the world.[8][9]

Characters[edit]

  • God (voiced by James Garner)[10] - The laid-back, beer-drinking deity, whose human appearance is visually styled on Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. Though he is distressed with the state of the world and is considering destroying it and starting over, even going so far as to design a new universe where marsupials replace humanity and humanity "is somewhere down the food chain". He wants to give humanity a sporting chance. Though he and the Devil appear to have put much of their differences behind them, and are frequently seen socializing, God has a habit of constantly forgetting the devil's birthday. He often wears sunglasses and drinks light beer. He enjoys poptarts and spacefood sticks because of their convenience. Though he is normally invisible to everyone but Bob, children can also see him. He has guidance over people's souls until they are 12.
  • The Devil (also known as Lucifer) (voiced by Alan Cumming) - The Devil is trying to persuade God to destroy the world, and is constantly trying to thwart Bob in his attempts to save it. He is a margarita drinker and drives a purple Dodge Charger described by Bob as the "coolest car [he's] ever seen". Despite appearances, the devil is needy and co-dependent, often reduced to tears when God ignores or forgets about him to the point he planned to go to war with Heaven when God forgot their golf outing. He also goes into vicious rants when he loses a game (i.e. bowling with God). He has influence over people's souls from the ages of 12-20. Robert Downey, Jr. was originally cast to voice the Devil, but was forced to pull out because of his relapse into drug addiction.[citation needed]
  • Bob Allman (voiced by French Stewart) - The pornography-watching, under-educated prophet/messenger of God. He is an auto plant worker from Detroit, and is a huge fan of the Red Wings. Despite his numerous failings, God has faith in him and Bob eventually pulls through. He is very unsure of being qualified or capable to save the world. He clearly loves his family and goes to extreme lengths to keep them safe. As the series progresses, Bob appears to start to be on friendly terms with both God and the Devil, though the latter is still frequently antagonistic towards Bob.
  • Donna Allman (voiced by Laurie Metcalf) - Bob's wife who is constantly trying her best to be a good mother. She doesn't believe Bob's claims that he is working for God, and thinks he must be delusional. She has recently returned to college after 14 years of parenting.
  • Megan Allman (voiced by Nancy Cartwright)[11] - Bob and Donna's 13-year-old daughter, and eldest child. She is overly rebellious, insistent, very stubborn, bad-tempered, and unruly, yet loves her family...very deep down. She's also a bit of a hypocrite, as just after stating that their family doesn't do anything, she blows off family dinner to phone a friend.
  • Andy Allman (voiced by Kath Soucie) - Bob and Donna's 6-year-old son. He is a sweet, good-natured boy who looks up to his father. He is the only person who really believes Bob talks to God and the Devil. At one point in the beginning of the show, he actually sees God.
  • Smeck (voiced by Jeff Doucette) - An imp-like demon who is the devil's put-upon henchman apprentice. In spite of the abuse he suffers at the devil's hands, he remains loyal to his master. It is suggested in the an early episode that he is among the oldest demons in hell. In episode seven, we learn the devil would fire him were it not for his union and would kill him if he had not promised Smeck's mother on her deathbed.

Episodes[edit]

# Title Original USA air date Production
code
1 "In the Beginning" March 9, 2000 101
God has become disappointed enough in the world to consider destroying it. He decides to give the world a second chance if Bob can show him one soul worth saving, but Bob is unsure how to proceed.
2 "Andy Runs Away" March 14, 2000 105
Andy runs away to Canada when God refuses to present himself to Andy's friends. The Devil tries being nicer to Smeck. Megan gets a crush on Donna's college classmate.
3 "Date from Hell" March 21, 2000 103
The Devil doesn't believe that Bob is taking him seriously, so he decides to teach Bob a lesson by dating his daughter.
4 "The Devil's Birthday" March 28, 2000 106

The Devil goes to hell with all the world's evil when God forgets his birthday.

Note: This is the last episode to air on NBC before the show was cancelled.
5 "Neighbor's Keeper" January 8, 2011 102

Bob helps save his neighbors' marriage; Donna decides to return to college after 14 years.

Notes: This is the first episode to air on Adult Swim after they picked up the rest of the unaired episodes from the show's first season. This is the only episode in which Smeck does not appear.
6 "God's Favorite" January 22, 2011 104
Bob believes he is indestructible and cannot die; the Devil feels neglected when God doesn't call him about their golf outing.
7 "Bob Gets Committed" February 12, 2011 107
When Bob defaces a billboard along the freeway, he gets arrested; when he tells the police he's God's messenger, he gets committed.
8 "Lonely at the Top" February 19, 2011 108
God decides to pose as "Arthur from Ypsilanti" to live a day in the life of an average person, but he doesn't fit in with Bob's friends.
9 "Bob Gets Greedy" February 26, 2011 109
Bob finds future sports scores on the Devil's Palm Pilot and considers it a blessing when he gambles and wins.
10 "There's Too Much Sex on TV" March 5, 2011 110
God sends Bob to Hollywood to do something about all the sex on TV. This episode features the voice of Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing a character addressed only as "That Actress on That Show".
11 "Bob's Father" March 12, 2011 111
Bob visits his dying father (voiced by Troy Evans) in the hospital hoping to make amends, but he ends up telling the angry, abusive old man to go to Hell.
12 "God's Girlfriend" March 19, 2011 112
While Bob is out with his family, God bumps into an old girlfriend (voiced by Elizabeth Taylor) who invites him to dinner. God wants to cancel the date; meanwhile, the Devil attempts to cause chaos in Heaven.
13 "Bob Gets Involved" March 26, 2011 113
Series finale. Bob leads a clueless vigilante group determined to fight against the evils of society--totally unaware how his actions will impact his family.

DVD release[edit]

20th Century Fox has released the complete series on DVD in Region 1. The 2-disc set features an extensive array of special features including commentaries, interviews and audition tapes.

Cover DVD Name Ep
#
Release Date
(region 1)
Special features
Godbob.jpg Complete Series 13 January 4, 2005
  • Commentaries by Matt Carlson and Harvey Myman
  • Voice over audition tapes
  • Digital Storyboards
  • "Let There Be God, The Devil and Bob!" Making of God, the Devil and Bob
  • On the set interviews

References[edit]

  1. ^ Braxton, Greg (1999-05-17). "Carsey-Werner Raises 'The Devil'". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  2. ^ http://boards.adultswim.com/t5/General-Adult-Swim-Discussion/Schedule-Update-11-22-10/m-p/57605239#U57605239
  3. ^ http://www.adultswim.com/schedule/onair.html
  4. ^ "God, the Devil and Bob". Entertainment Weekly. January 10, 2005. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  5. ^ "God, the Devil and a boycott". BBC. 2000-03-18. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  6. ^ Wells, Matt (2000-10-19). "BBC buys animated sitcom that shook US". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  7. ^ "VIEWERS FIND NBC'S 'GOD' OFFENSIVE". New York Daily News. 2000-03-13. Retrieved 2010-08-29. [dead link]
  8. ^ "God and the Devil join BBC". BBC. 2000-10-19. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  9. ^ "'GOD' SHOWS NBC'S NEW FAITH IN ANIMATION". New York Daily News. 2000-03-12. Retrieved 2010-08-29. [dead link]
  10. ^ Churchill, Bonnie (2000-02-25). "Garner Truly Thanks God For His Latest Starring Role". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  11. ^ "Bart Simpson's Voice Eager For New Challenge". Chicago Tribune. 2000-03-08. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 

External links[edit]