Kick the Can

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Toon Category: Shorts
watch Strong Bad Sings Theme Song Video
This article is about the short. For the running gag, see Kicking a Can.
Old-Timey "fun" for "kids"

Kick the Can is a series of Old-Timey toons in which The Homestar Runner kicks his soup can along the ground, with bizarre results — each of the 15 variations of this cartoon has a different ending.

In addition to introducing the "Old-Timey" series, this is one of the earliest Homestar Runner toons, created shortly after the website launched in 2000. The shorts were created by Mike Chapman in two batches several months apart.

Cast (in order of appearance): The Homestar Runner, Old-Timey Strong Bad

Places: The Old Movie Reel Room, The Field (Old-Timey)

Date: 2000

Running Time: 0:22 (each) / 5:30 (total)

Page Title: old

DVD: Everything Else, Volume 1


[edit] Transcript

The cartoon shows a projector screen, with a number of film reels stacked on the floor around it. For each stack of film reels, number 1 is the reel on top of the stack, 2 is the one below it, and so on. Clicking one will display a toon on the screen.

Each begins the same way (with the exception of Kick that Can):

{A film leader counts down from 5. Film damage can be heard and seen. "The Entertainer" begins to play, continuing through the rest of the toon, as the opening credits appear one line at a time:}

The Homestar Runner
A "Cartoon" for Kids

{The screen clears and the title is shown:}

'Kick the Can'

copyright 1933
Free Country USA

{The cartoon begins. The Homestar Runner walks through the Old-Timey Field, kicking a soup can along. After six steps, he stops walking.}

At this point, a different gag occurs depending on which film reel was clicked:

[edit] Left stack

  1. His head pops off, and he kicks the can up into his body. His head comes back down and squashes his body so that he's just his head and legs. He kicks his legs about frantically.
  2. His head pops off, and he kicks the can up into his body. His head comes back down and disappears into his body, and a big can pops up in where his head should be.
  3. His head pops off, and he kicks the can up into his body. His head lands on his body and then he shoots fire from his mouth.
  4. His head pops off, and he kicks the can up into his body. His head lands on his body, and then his legs bend backwards.
  5. He kicks the can into the chimney of a nearby factory. He runs into and through the factory, and then pops up outside with the can in his mouth.

[edit] Stack of two

  1. He gets hit in the back of the head with a cinder block, falling down with his head propped up on the can. He catches the block on his foot and then falls asleep.
  2. A huge can comes up from behind and kicks The Homestar Runner away, then slides up next to the small can The Homestar Runner was kicking.

[edit] Tall stack (back right)

  1. His head hinges backwards, and he kicks the can up into his body again. His body then swings upwards and reattaches to his head, and he flies offscreen.
  2. He kicks the can and it bounces all around the screen, landing in his mouth. The star on his shirt burns away and is replaced with "herbert hoover?"
  3. Old-Timey Strong Bad pops out of the can, and then his head disappears. The Homestar Runner jumps into the can, which Strong Bad puts in place of his head.
  4. He stands atop the can on one foot. Then, at the very end, his body starts spinning around like a pinwheel.
  5. This one is titled "'Kick that Can'" instead of "'Kick the Can'". The can spins around on the ground after Homestar stops. He looks down at it, and then a pile of bricks falls on him. The can pops out and continues spinning.

[edit] Short stack (front right)

  1. His head pops off and he kicks the can up into his body. When his head comes back down, the can pops out his rear end. He looks at it and runs away.
  2. His head pops off and he kicks the can up into his body. His head lands upside down on his body, and a face appears on his neck and says "gosh!"
  3. He kicks the can into his mouth. His body unhinges from his head and a bunch of cans fall out. His body reattaches, and then rockets away.

Each variation of the toon ends the same way:

{The screen clears and the endcard is shown:}


{After a moment, the card 'drops' off the screen.}

At this point, a new reel can be selected.

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Trivia

  • In the preview for Kick the Can on the TV Time Toons Menu, The Homestar Runner's body sinks into his legs and his head sinks into his body. Then his head and legs sprout out of the can.
  • The Oldest Toons Menu linked directly to a page which showed only a single kick the can video. Its description was "an ancient homestar cartoon found in the ruins of Pompei". It is presumably a precursor to this collection.
  • This is the earliest instance of unnecessary quotation marks on the site.
  • The Sketchbook included several sketches of The Homestar Runner from the development of this toon.

[edit] Remarks

  • There are six reels in the tall stack, the very bottom of which is not clickable.

[edit] Goofs

  • The Short Stack is partially underneath the last clickable reel in the Tall Stack.
  • None of the cartoons in the tall stack have the Old-Timey visual scratch effect applied.
  • Along the upper right edge of the white part of the screen is an area of black that makes it appear as if the cartoon has a shadow.
  • In Tall Stack, Reel Three, a shadow remains on the ground where the soup can stood after Old-Timey Strong Bad takes it and puts it on his head.
  • In Tall Stack, Reel Five, the first quotation mark in "Kick that Can" faces the wrong way.

[edit] Fixed Glitches

[edit] Real-World References

  • Tall Stack, Reel Two ends with "herbert hoover?" on The Homestar Runner's shirt. Hoover's presidency ended in 1933, the "year" of this toon.
  • Stack of Two, Reel One (falls asleep) shows Homestar getting hit in the head with a brick and then falling asleep. This is a reference to the old comic strip "Krazy Kat", in which Ignatz the Mouse was always clobbering Krazy Kat upside the head with bricks.
  • The music used is "The Entertainer". Written by Scott Joplin in 1902, the song was popular in the early 20th century; its use in the score of The Sting, a 1973 film set in the year 1936, cemented it as representative of the music of this era.

[edit] Fast Forward

[edit] DVD Version

  • The music is an edited version of the music heard in Parsnips A-Plenty instead of "The Entertainer", most likely due to copyright restrictions.
  • All of the versions of the cartoon play one after another.
  • In the cartoon where a huge can comes up from behind and kicks Homestar away, a Microsoft Windows XP "browse" sound can be heard when the title "Kick the can" is shown.
  • The cartoons are shown in fullscreen, as opposed to being shown in The Old Movie Reel Room.
  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch the DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

[edit] Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Mike Chapman, The Homestar Runner, Old-Timey Strong Bad, Sickly Sam, Old-Timey Bubs, and Matt Chapman)

MIKE: Hey hey!


MIKE: Old-Timey Homestar, my favorite!

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: It is— Am I your flavorite, Mike?

MIKE: Yeah. Uh, so tell me about um, how old you were when you filmed these 72 years ago.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oh, I was getting on in years.

MIKE: Yeah. So what about now?

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: My— my friend of years, my friend of tears.

MIKE: {laughs} So we're just going to watch all these "Kick the Can" shorts run back to back. We'll have to watch this little countdown every time and the title sequence.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: That's fantastic.

MIKE: That's gonna be fun. That's gonna be the majority of this... is just us watching the title and countdown.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: Okay, Mike, whatever you say.

MIKE: {simultaneously} Let's see what happens here!

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: I lost my marbles.

MIKE: Oh! Can you still breathe fire there?

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: {Makes a "froosh" sound, imitating fire}

MIKE: Oh! Oh! It's hot in here!


MIKE: You just burned the microphone!

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: Don't get me goin'! I'll rattle you down!

MIKE: {laughs} Um... so I don't really know what else to talk about with you, Old-Timey Homestar, so I'm just gonna start asking you questions about your family.


MIKE: Uh, tell me about your sister.


MIKE: {laughs} Uh, all right. We'll— {counting with the countdown} 5, 4, 3, 2. Okay.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: All these am-in-ations was filmed in the factory/circus district.

MIKE: {laughs} That's all there is there, huh? Factories and circus tents.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: {simultaneously} Back in those days that's all we had.

MIKE: What happens here? Oh! {barks}

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: I call that the Shamanga Shimmy.

MIKE: {laughs} So these were—


MIKE: These were done in two batches. I think, uh... there were maybe nine of 'em done and then probably— maybe a year later, I made another batch.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: I once knew a hobo called Two Batches.

MIKE: {laughs} Yeah?


MIKE: What hap— What ever became of him?

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: He got run o'er by a train.

MIKE: Run o'er? That doesn't... {laughing} That seems like a little bit further back, uh, talking than, uh... than you would normally be.


MIKE: Like maybe from the 1700s instead of the 1930s?


MIKE: Oooh!

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oh, monster sup.

MIKE: {laughs} I wonder how many more of these things we've got, Old-Timey Homestar.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: I sure hope it ends soon, Mike.

MIKE: {laughs} Yeah.


MIKE: {simultaneously} The idea was that uh, listening to this commentary might make this more fun to watch than, you know, just having to sit there and listen to this stupid song over and over again.

THE HOMESTAR RUNNER: I think it's a horrible failure.

MIKE: {laughs} Yeah, I don't think we're do— we're cuttin' it. You and I's chemistry isn't quite what I thought it—

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: Maybe I can remedy the situation!

MIKE: Oh, great!


MIKE: Old-Timey Strong Bad.

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: Yes, you storefellow!

MIKE: {laughs} I'm a storefellow. All right. Well, I think you appear—

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: Why am I not in one of these cra-toons?!

MIKE: I thought you did appear in one, but maybe... maybe not.

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: You lie! You are lying!

MIKE: {laughs} Is that— Uh, is that your factory?

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: That's my factory and my circus. My circus tent!

MIKE: What kind of acts did you perform in the circus?

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: We had nothing but freaks!

{Mike laughs}

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: All sort of two-legged {laughs, voice becomes more like Matt's for a moment} women!

MIKE: {laughs} Two-legged women. Those are—


MIKE: —quite an oddity.

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: Yes! And a {laughing} bearded fellow!

MIKE: {laughs} Wow, that's, uh... gosh!

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: {laughing} He was in the freak show too!

MIKE: Yeah, he should be. I wonder how many more we got.

SICKLY SAM: {echoed} I hope you shoot me in the face.

MIKE: Sickly Sam. Matt! Please just come out of— come out of hiding! I need— I need help. I'm struggling. I'm drowning here doing these "Kick the Can" commentaries.

OLD-TIMEY BUBS: Maybe I can help! {Makes the sound when Sickly Sam disappears in a puff of smoke.}

MIKE: Disappear.

MATT: Oh boy, Mike.

MIKE: How many— This could be it. Maybe it's over. {The countdown begins again.} Uh, no, we got—

MATT: It's not over.

MIKE: —at least one more. At least one more. Uh, maybe one of 'em— Yeah, this is the one that's called "Kick that Can".

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: Instead of "Kick the Can".

MATT: This was— Uh, they did some test marketing and "Kick the Can" just wasn't going over well with kids... so they crushed Homestar Runner with bricks.

MIKE: Maybe it's over.

MATT: {lightly} Crunk.

MIKE: Maybe it's over.

{both groan as countdown begins again}

MATT: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Mike!

MIKE: There's one where he says something about Herbert Hoover. {laughs} I haven't been watching them, so I—

MATT: Yeah. I didn't watch a single one yet.

MIKE: I don't know if that's happened yet. Let's see. He stands on it.

MATT: Ooh!

MIKE: He spins!

MATT: That's a nice move!

MIKE: He spins!

MATT: No, he doesn't spin.

MIKE: Yeah, he does. {as The Homestar Runner begins to spin on top of the can} Ah! He spins.

MATT: I forgot!

MIKE: Uh, maybe—

MATT: He had— He showed some serious poise in that one.

MIKE: All right, I think this is Herbert Hoover. And I think this is gonna be— See ya Willy.

MATT: Willy's takin' off you guys.

MIKE: Willy's leavin'. Um...

MATT: Come on, Herbert Hoover. Where are you at?

MIKE: So these were pretty early though. These were—

MATT: Yeah, we made these very early.

MIKE: —within the first—

MATT: {As Old-Timey Strong Bad appears} Oh! We were all wrong!

MIKE: What— Where is he now?

OLD-TIMEY STRONG BAD: What happened to my website?!


MATT: Okay.

MIKE: I think—

MATT: I'm trying to wind down at the end of each one in case it's the last one. We have no idea how many we made.

MIKE: But I think these were done within the first... month or so of the website?

MATT: Yeah, we— we quickly latched on to making a fake, uh, mythology behind our cartoons.

MIKE: There's "herbert hoover".


MIKE: This has got to be the last one. Bye guys!

MATT: Thanks! Taste? {makes Sickly Sam's "disappearing" noise}

{both groan as the countdown begins again}

MATT: I was trying to end it with a "paf". {makes noise again} Um...

MIKE: So the "'cartoon' for kids" in quotes, you know—

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: —misused quotes.

MATT: {hastily} Oh! There was a— Crap! There's a... some moving company or something and it says, like, "We're 'glad you called'" and "glad you called" is in quotes. {makes Sickly Sam's "disappearing" noise, gets cut off}

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] External Links

Left Stack Stack of Two Tall Stack (Back Right) Short Stack (Front Right)
  1. frantic legs
  2. big can head
  3. shooting fire
  4. legs bend back
  5. can in smokestack
  1. falls asleep
  2. huge can
  1. flies offscreen
  2. herbert hoover?
  3. Old-Timey Strong Bad
  4. on one foot
  5. bricks ('Kick that Can')
  1. running away
  2. head upside down
  3. rockets away
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