AVAHS – Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja: Happy Hanukkah, Howard Weinerman!

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Plot: Howard is lamenting over his Hanukkah gifts to Randy at the Game Hole when a robot bursts in and starts destroying the place. Randy suits up as the Ninja and takes it out, but finds that the whole thing was a ruse by his enemy McFist who is taking advantage of a building code loophole for the sake of opening up a shoe store for his wife for Hanukkah. However, as long as there is one working game with someone playing it in the arcade, Randy still has a chance to save the Game Hole. As he goes off to get more games, he leaves Howard in charge of playing the lone game left in the building until he returns, and he’s working off of Randy’s last token. Can Randy return with more games before Howard’s final game over?

Breakdown: Well, this is the last animated Hanukkah special I was able to find, and to be honest it’s not even really a Hanukkah special. It plays out like any other normal episode just with a few mentions of Hanukkah.

……But who the hell cares? Looking for Hanukkah specials introduced me to Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja! This show is awesome! The style and humor just mesh so well, and it reminds me a lot of older shows where they were more comfortable with sarcastic humor and fourth-wall breaking in kids’ shows, like Invader Zim, which is fitting because Jhohan Vasquez, creator of Invader Zim, did quite a bit of artwork for the characters in the series.

But of course it’s already been ended/canceled by Disney because of that dumb 100 episode rule (technically it has 50 episodes, but since the episodes are broken into two segments, they count as two, so 50=100) I am definitely going to Cartoon Step-By-Step this, though.

As an episode, this is pretty darn funny with some great action and memorable moments. The characters immediately grow on you, with one exception being Howard. I’m not sure how he is through the series, but here he just complains a lot and diminishes what Randy did because he thinks he’s doing all the work by playing a game.

In regards to the Hanukkah aspect, they do a little more than just mention it. Howard complains how Hanukkah sucks because the gifts are lame and pale in comparison to Christmas (because that never gets old) and McFist is doing all of this as a Hanukkah gift for his wife. Though McFist is an odd Jewish name….

The biggest connection to Hanukkah is pointed out by Randy who explains that Howard kinda replicated the story of Hanukkah by getting through eight levels of the game. Howard was playing a game called Fight Knight, and he made it through eight levels or knights on one token, like how the oil burned for eight nights in the story. Kinda neat, but a fairly loose connection.

Being fair, there is a line in the beginning where they basically admit that they have no interest in making a ‘special holiday episode’ through Howard.

All in all, I really liked this episode and look forward to checking out the rest of the series, but I’m not going to kid myself into saying this is really any semblance of a Hanukkah special.

Happy Hanukkah everyone!

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