|Episode of Hey Arnold!|
|Season 5, Episode 97b|
|Air date: January 28, 2003|
|IMDb • TV.com|
Don Del Grande's
Eugene, Eugene! is an episode in the Hey Arnold! TV Series.
PS 118 is putting on a production of a classic Broadway musical called "Eugene, Eugene!", about a luckless loser who pines for a girl named Betty who is torn between him and the evil villain Lawrence. Eugene is especially excited since this is his favorite show and playing the title role is his dream.
The 4th graders all go to audition while Helga opts to work backstage for the pay thanks to Phoebe's advice. After everyone auditions for the director Mr. Leichliter, he selects Eugene to play Eugene, Lila to play Betty, and Arnold as Lawrence. Eugene is so excited he stays up late reading the entire script, only to discover the ending has been changed. Instead of Eugene getting Betty and singing a song called "Sunny Side Up", he gets hit by a trolley, Lawrence gets the girl and sings a song called "Nice Guys Finish Last". Eugene is upset by this.
When Eugene shows Arnold, they confront Mr. Leichliter, who tells them he changed the ending himself to reflect real life (it is apparent he was influenced by his own past relationship with a woman). He tells the two the audience will love the ending. Eugene tries to remain optimistic while Arnold is still unsure. When Helga hears about the new ending, she plans to ruin Arnold and Lila's kiss.
After two weeks of rehearsal, Eugene and Lila are doing well while Arnold's performance is a little unenthusiastic. After they perform the ending for the first time, Eugene is hurt by the stage trolley and Arnold is criticized by Mr. Leichliter for not singing the song mean enough and sings it himself. He tells the cast to get some rest for the premiere the next night. Later that night backstage, alone and still bruised, Eugene sadly and slowly sings "Sunny Side Up" while playing the piano. Arnold shows up and tells Eugene that he's quitting the play because he cannot go through with the ending. Eugene protests that the rest of the show is upbeat but Arnold tells him it's the ending that counts. Eugene admits Arnold is right and is ashamed of himself for going along with it, but Arnold tells him that's what Eugene, Eugene would have done. Eugene wishes they could change the play somehow, which gives him and Arnold an idea.
The next night, Helga rigs a paint can to dump paint on Arnold and Lila during their kiss. The play goes well, with Arnold giving a much improved performance and the crowd loving Eugene. Right before the final scene, Arnold tells Lila that if anything happens she should just go with it. The scene plays out as scheduled, but just as Eugene is about to be hit by the trolley, he dodges it and knocks on Betty's door. He holds up a newspaper and Lila reads Betty's lines from the original ending where she chooses Eugene. Eugene kisses her, leaving Lawrence unhappy. Eugene then begins to sing "Sunny Side Up". When Helga sees the ending has changed, she tries to stop the paint, only to have it dumped on her. Mr. Leighliter is initially furious they changed the ending, but changes his mind when he sees how well the audience is responding to it. As the crowd gives a standing ovation, Mr. Leighliter's ex-girlfriend shows up and embraces him. As the song finishes, Eugene is accidentally dropped and destroys the set, but everyone still loves the show.
- Michelle Lamoreaux and Craig Bartlett were credited for the lyrics next to Jim Lang who was credited for the music.
- Mr. Leichliter is played by Tim Curry. Leichliter was also the critic in the episode "School Play".
- The line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a hoot" is a reference to Rhett Butler's last line in Gone With the Wind.
- Unlike other quarter-hour episodes, this one lasts 12 minutes and 30 seconds, which is the longest quarter-hour episode of all.
- Where are everybody's parents? Of the parents we know about, only Gerald's mother is in the audience. The same thing happened to the episode "Downtown as Fruits".
- How did the orchestra and the others in the play know the words to the "new" closing song?
- Peapod Kid is seen in the opening song of the musical but later when Eugene is about to be hit by the trolley, he's in the audience.
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