Shipwreck, Comic Relief? [Archive] - Forums

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07-27-2004, 11:25 AM
Has anyone else noticed that Shipwreck got a lot of screen time in the cartoons. Even in the episode where Dusty goes over to Cobra, you'd think you'd see lots of Dusty but Shipwreck came in every 5 secs. saying he would whoever the Cobra spy is. I don't mind Shipwreck, I just wondering was he supposed to be the comic relief in the show? And why was he shown so often?

Crimson Strike Viper
07-27-2004, 02:12 PM
Hector was adopted.

I know that doesn't answer your question. But the episode you find that out in is halarious!

I would say Shipwreck, Lifeline, Bazooka, and Dialtone were all comic relief at one point in time.

07-27-2004, 02:19 PM
Well, as far as "The Traitor" goes, I think the writers liked the idea of (1) pairing a desert man with a sailor, and (2) having the two leads voiced by the same person (Neil Ross).

For the series as a whole, I'd go back to "The Revenge of Cobra." Ron Friedman shows a lot of Star Wars influence in his plots. (See the book "Now You Know" for more on that.) Shipwreck's intro and personality recall Han Solo, who himself fits the "charming rogue" role that goes at least as far back as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. The twist is that Shipwreck only thinks he's charming. Neil Ross played this angle to the hilt, especially with the Jack Nicholson-esque voice he provided. In "The Pyramid of Darkness," he was the obvious choice for comic relief next to Snake Eyes, the ultimate straight man. Shipwreck was apparently tremendously popular as that comic archetype (at least among the writers), even after other comic types like Alpine/Bazooka, Footloose, and Quick Kick came on board.

Other considerations: As an irresponsible slob, he made a good foil for the more straight-laced Duke and Flint. As an outsider, he could give witty asides to the audience on the Joes' adventures. (Such outsider comments show up all the time in fiction; witness the characters Spock, Data, Quark, and the Doctor on Star Trek.) His forwardness provided some conflict with the Joe women. And don't forget the kids' appeal in his parrot Polly.

But why give that role to Shipwreck, as opposed to Airtight, or Footloose, or Tollbooth? It may be that Shipwreck was one of the few new figures developed when "The Revenge of Cobra" was written. (He, Flint, and Lady Jaye were the only 1985 Joes appearing.) It may also be that his position as sailor evokes the hard-living/pirate/"been from one end of this galaxy to the other" image that fits the roguish-hero archetype.

Anyway, those are just my speculations. It'd be interesting to ask Ron Friedman or Buzz Dixon about how the characters were fleshed out.

Stats on Shipwreck: 4th most popular Joe (after Lady Jaye, Flint, and Duke), speaking 710 lines in 44 episodes, with 50 total appearances. Also the 3rd most popular "older" Joe in the second season (after Flint and Lady Jaye). Only spoke nine words in the Movie.

Big Shipwreck episodes:
There's No Place Like Springfield (after a Cobra attack, wakes up in a nightmarish future)
The Pyramid of Darkness (infiltrates Cobra cube factory w/ Snake-Eyes)
Once Upon a Joe (tells stories to orphans after "shooting down" their orphanage)
Memories of Mara (falls in love with an ex-Cobra mermaid)
Twenty Questions (takes reporters to a Cobra base)
The Traitor (discovers a traitor in the Joe Team)
Lights! Camera! Cobra! (helps make a movie, gets captured by Cobra)
The Most Dangerous Thing in the World (promoted to colonel; chaos ensues)
The Revenge of Cobra (meets Flint and Mutt in Cobra territory; joins the team)
The Pit of Vipers (investigates the computer Watchdog, captured again)
Captives of Cobra (nephew is brainwashed by the Baroness)
Cobra CLAWs Are Coming to Town (helps Joes escape being locked up in their own HQ; giant Polly)
The Germ (joins Cover Girl in throwing apples at a giant blob)
Sink the Montana (dresses like a pirate during an assault on the Montana)
Also significant in: Computer Complications, Second-Hand Emotions, Flint's Vacation, The Synthoid Conspiracy, The Greenhouse Effect, The Wrong Stuff, Cold Slither

Crimson Strike Viper
07-27-2004, 04:06 PM
Yeah, well, we all knew that stuff.

Did you know he was adopted?


Seriously though, thanks for the info, way more than I could have asked for and I didn't even start this thread.

07-27-2004, 09:46 PM
Maybe it's just me, but for some reason I always thought Shipwreck was fibbing when he said he was adopted. Just trying to make the kid feel better.