The second episode of Fox Kids’ The Tick begins with Author and The Tick on Patrol, and while investigating suspicious activity disrupt a sting set up by American Maid. American Maid voiced by Kay Lenz gets a chance to really shine as an incredibly capable ally of The Tick. She has a physical presence, never becoming the damsel in distress as well as possessing a very strategic mind.
Once the newly formed trio discover that the disrupted robbery was in support of Chairface Chippendale’s birthday gala it is American Maid that devises the plan of infiltrating this party as caterers. This leads to The Tick’s best line of the episode. “I cater to no man.” This is a prime example of the humor employed in this show that kids could understand but not truly appreciate. The party for Chairface Chippendale is populated by nearly the entire rogue’s gallery of The Tick’s universe. There are over 15 villains with full back stories populating the shots of the party.
The Tick American Maid and Author are inevitably captured and a daring and less than heroic escape follows. When Chairface Chippendale’s villainous plan is revealed it is another moment that demonstrates why this show has a such a solid cult fan base. Chairface Chippendale’s scheme is an act of vandalism, to write his name on the moon. A plan that neither succeeds of fails. He manages to write ‘CHA’ on the moon before being foiled, resulting in one of the series running gags. This is also unique at this point in broadcast TV each episode was generally considered a self contained story.
The Tick vs. Chairface Chippendale is a solid episode that makes good use of the animation format, none of this episode could work in a live action format without a serious budget. Chairface Chippendale is one of the franchise’s most recognizable villains and would be incredibly difficult to pull off within the confines of live action Television. This episode is one of my favorites moving at a brisk pace, while remaining visually interesting.