Don't forget the hyphen!

Episode 516 
The Racing Mule / Curly's Girl 

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The Racing Mule
Ernie, Oskar, and Mr. Hyunh buy a racehorse - or at least what they think is a racehorse

Written by Steve Viksten, Michelle Lamoreaux
Story by Steve Viksten, Joseph Purdy, Craig Bartlett, Michelle Lamoreaux
Storyboard Direction by Aldin Baroza
Animation Direction by Christine Kolosov
Storyboard Artists: Kelly James, Ted Seko
Assistant Storyboard Artists: Louis C. Gallegos, Elyse Whittaker-Paek, Jason Sellin

Arnold - Spencer Klein
Grandpa, Russell Bains - Dan Castellaneta
Ernie - Dom Irrera
Mr. Hyunh - Baoan Coleman
Oskar - Stephen Viksten
Suzie (crdited as "Susie" in the reduced credits) - Mary Scheer
Race announcer - Billy West

  • This story is cursed!  The first time it was supposed to air was on the first "U-Pick Live" that had Brent and Candace, on October 11, 2002; by mistake, they started to air "Married" instead, and didn't catch the error until just after the second half started, when they switched to "Curly's Girl" just after it had started.  Nickelodeon then decided to hold onto it for over a year, scheduling it for on November 19, 2003 - and they started "Married" again!  This time, after about six minutes, they switched to "The Racing Mule" (when Russell Bains hears which mule Arnold would be racing).  Finally, on January 11, 2004, Nickelodeon aired it in its entirety.

  • Nickelodeon - the network where you can't mention alcohol or cigarettes, much less use them, but gambling on mule races is OK.

  • In fact, Arnold is far too young to be a jockey (you need a license to do it, even in mule races); however, he did have one advantage - he was much smaller, and presumably much lighter, than the others.  (Usually, jockeys' weights are controlled to give one horse or another too much of an advantage, but in this case it's possible it was a "handicap race" and the race organizers felt Glueboy was so bad that they gave Arnold a large weight handicap.)

  • "Russell Bains" is a variation on Russell Baze, one of California's (and the USA's) top jockeys, although he's probably much better known in northern California.  Speaking of California, "Santa Conchita" race track is similar to Santa Anita, and most "organized" mule racing seems to be limited to California at the moment (mainly during summer county fairs in northern California that are held at racetracks, but it seems to be getting into the southern half of the state as well).  However, as far as I know, there is no such thing as an "All Mule Racetrack", like the Santa Conchita sign said.

  • The voice Billy West uses for announcing the race is similar to race callerTrevor Denman, who has appeared as himself in some movies, and was an unnamed race track announcer in an episode of The Simpsons.

  • Actually, hitting another jockey with your whip is illegal, and there are judges and cameras sitting in booths all over the racetrack watching for fouls like this.

  • For some reason, there were mules numbered 7, 13, and 21, even though there were only six mules in the race; also, the post positions were numbered backwards (they should be numbered from the inside of the track to the outside).

  • "A horse!"  "A mule!"  "Horse!"  "Mule!"  Sounds like the opening to Fiddler on the Roof...

Curly's Girl
When Rhonda wears a mink coat that's meant to be a birthday present for her mother and gets it stained and needs Curly's help, he makes her act like his girlfriend for a week
Written by Michelle Lamoreaux, Joseph Purdy
Story by by Michelle Lamoreaux, Steve Viksten, Joseph Purdy
Storyboard Direction by Tim Parsons
Animation Direction by Christine Kolosov
Storyboard Artists: Kelly James, Ted Seko
Assistant Storyboard Artists: Louis C. Gallegos, Elyse Whittaker-Paek, Jason Sellin

Arnold - Spencer Klein
Helga, Sheena - Francesca Marie Smith
Curly - Michael Welch
Rhonda - Olivia Hack
Phoebe - Anndi McAfee
Stinky - Christopher Walberg
Brainy - Craig Bartlett
Buckley Lloyd (Rhonda's father) - Sam McMurray
Uncredited: Park

  • This is a rare story where Arnold doesn't have anything to do with the main plot.
  • Helga calls Rhonda "Cruella"; for those of you who think that Nickelodeon used one of Disney's trademarks, Cruella De Vil was in the original book version of 101 Dalmatians.
  • Why is it that when Arnold and Helga kiss, you always see just the back of Helga's head (at least before the movie), but when Curly and Rhonda kiss, you see their lips together?
  • Speaking of Curly and Rhonda kissing, this is the second time they've kissed - and the two stories where it happens just happen to be two of the three where somebody besides Adam Wylie voices Curly.
  • Now there's something you don't see every day: Curly without his glasses.
  • Now there's something else you don't see every day: Sheena in a dress (at the art fair).
  • There was a "Contributing Guest Artists" credit with the following names: Katie Bartlett (Craig's daughter), Madison and Morgan Buteyn, Danny Friemark, Grant and Justin Higa, Eric Keefer, Dan and Rachelle Lyman, Melissa and Michael Mark, and Helena and Paris Shaffer; I assume they did the paintings shown at the art fair.  I assume that these are children of staffers (of course, Katie is Craig's daughter, and the voice of pre-school Helga in "Helga on the Couch"); Younghee Higa and Dave Lyman are sheet timers, Brian Mark is a layout supervisor, and Karen Shaffer is the final checker (there was nobody named Buteyn, Friemark, or Keefer credited, but those could be the children of female staffers who use their maiden names, for example).

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