Synopsis and review of Standee
Written by Petch
First Hal gets a job with a new company in Buseys Run Away, now Lois is rehired at the Lucky Aide. We still know diddly about Francis and Piama, but thus far all is fine and dandy at 12334 Maple Road. And "Standee" is a terrific episode, full of just the right balance of heart and irreverence to deliver great entertainment.
During his downtime, Hal has built a "Cat Habitat" structure which Lois commands him to drag to street for the garbage man. Knowing it's a weighty object to take away, Hal leaves a six-pack of beer upon the structure as a bribe to take it. But when the beer's gone and the structure's still there, Hal decides to confront Jerry, the garbage man. The confrontation results in an escalating war of garbage strewn across lawns, until Hal's home is nearly covered in trash. Dewey briefly takes refuge in the garbage pile, constructing a fort which eventually falls in on him.
At the Lucky Aide, the newly rehired Lois is incensed that Malcolm is her immediate supervisor. Any register overring or error--it's his job to correct. But the company has required Malcolm to haul out a new cardboard standee advertisement to which she hotly objects: a janitorial-clad black man named "Slappy" holding a mop in one hand and a six-pack of beer in the other. This is horribly racist, Lois fumes. Malcolm refuses to take it down, citing his manager's orders. Lois retaliates by bringing the standee home, where Hal is having a poker match with Abe Kenarban and his poker buddies. Rather than champion her cause, the black men mercilessly mock her "white guilt" stance in a hilarious segment.
With no other place to turn, Hal turns to Reese for help. The result is theft of Jerry's garbage truck in order to clean up their own yard. Problem is, Reese can't work the controls properly, resulting in catastrophic results. Meanwhile, a co-worker of Lois' applauds her for getting rid of the offending standee, which had bringing "too many black people" into the store. Lois' sensibilities are changed by this new wrinkle, and she moves "Slappy" back into a prominent spot, proclaiming to Malcolm that she was "wrong" about it. That's not enough for the egotistical Malcolm, whose urges result in him rolling a coin to see whether Slappy stays or goes....except the coin lands on its edge, meaning no winner. Great site gag, and funny punchline to Malcolm's current headache. Later, Jerry the garbage collector is enjoying a gourmet meal prepared by Reese and Hal....the first of his many paybacks.
"Standee" rides on a juggernaut two-story tale which succeeds in spite of its own simplicity. Pay-offs such as the poker buddies' jive conclusions and Hal's physical comedy with the garbage truck provide the laughs. It's also great to see Lois back in the Lucky Aide duds, as well as Craig's hopeless passes at her. This one's a true "Standee" proclaiming the show's staying power.