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The Wood, the Bad and the Hungry 

On Thanksgiving, Randy volunteers at a soup kitchen. Tim does not want to invite Benny to the Thanksgiving meal at his home, but when he goes to pick up Randy, he sees Benny eating there. ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Labriola ...
Benny Baroni (as Jim Labriola)
Mario Andretti ...
Jack Arute ...


On Thanksgiving, Randy volunteers at a soup kitchen. Tim does not want to invite Benny to the Thanksgiving meal at his home, but when he goes to pick up Randy, he sees Benny eating there. Tim invites him, and then finds out Benny eats there because the soup is good. Written by Bernie

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Comedy | Family





Release Date:

26 November 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode's title references _Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)_ aka "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". See more »


None of the servers in the soup kitchen are wearing hair nets. See more »


Al: I tell you, the holidays come quicker every year.
Harry: Yeah, I know. I just got over July Fourth and now it's Thanksgiving.
[Tim enters abruptly, carrying a giant cardboard reindeer head]
Harry: Oh, that was fast, now it's Christmas.
See more »


Spoofs Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

What Wood Jesus Do?
24 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I know, today is Christmas Eve and I'm reviewing a Thanksgiving themed episode. Well, what of it? The seasons are very similar, except with one you get presents and hang up lights. So we begin by having a turkey carving contest on Tool Time with Tim pitted against Al as well as Michael and Mario Andretti! Tim falls behind dramatically, so he pulls out the big guns, or in this case, a big-ass Binford chainsaw to dice his bird. After that, Tim goes down to the hardware store where he learns that Benny is looking for a Thanksgiving dinner invite. Nobody else will have him, and neither will Tim, due to Benny's reputation for having poor table manners and eating more than his share. So Benny lumbers into Harry's hardware (pun intended), looking for his invite. He's dismayed to find out that even though Tim said he was only going with family this year, he still invited Al and Ilene. Dejected, he leaves, but not before pilfering some donuts. Later on, Tim goes down to the homeless shelter to pick up Randy, who was asked to work on Thanksgiving. He was happy to do it. Just then, Benny comes in and chats with one of the regulars. He lamented that he'd be spending Thanksgiving there at the shelter. Tim and Randy try to duck out unnoticed, as the Taylor patriarch reconsiders inviting Benny, so while he watches the 1970 Rankin Bass classic Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, he calls Benny and leaves a message, asking him to call back. Then, Tim falls asleep and when he awakens, he notices something very different about himself, his surroundings and his family: they're all in a stop-motion cartoon, and Tim and his family are animated wooden dolls.

He doesn't let this bother him however, as Tim has garnered a huge dose of generosity. He wants to forgo the lighting contest by giving his lights to the homeless, as well as the whole house! He also gives his golden heart for dental needs, and Wilson literally lends a hand. On Tool Time, Al the Snowman introduces the Binford 6100 Tool-a-palooza robot that does everything, except fulfill the needs of the needy, according to Tim. When he's given control of the robot, it saws off his head, which he donates, along with his body. Tim then awakens in the real world by the sound of his phone ringing. It's Benny. He's coming for dinner. Believing the man to be broke, the Taylors, Al and Ilene act overly nice to Benny and try to make him feel welcome, however at dinner, he gets a call from his bookie. Turns out he isn't poor, and worst of all, he eats down at the soup kitchen because, well, he likes the soup. Al, Ilene, Jill and Tim shame him for this and he huffs out the door, taking a few rolls with him. When Tim tries to forget about it, he's reminded of the lessons learned in his dream, and so he goes after Benny. He finds him sitting on the porch with nowhere to go. So they talk, and Benny Baroni finally realizes the error of his ways, so he decides to go down to the soup kitchen, not as a customer, but as a volunteer. The others decide to join him down there, where Tim learns two more additional lessons: don't leave his favorite sweater where his wife will snatch it up and donate it, and that he has been dethroned as champion turkey carver, courtesy of the Andrettis with chainsaws.

While this may be considered a gimmicky episode, it's got it where it counts. The most memorable part is where the characters have become stop-motion puppets, which is of course meant to be a taken on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, most notably by Al looking like Sam the Snowman. But what I don't get is why Tim wasn't watching that, but rather Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. The wood characters resemble those from Rudolph, rather than Comin', and don't tell me it was due to some licensing issue, because the same company owns both specials. That's always bothered me. But that aside, the stop-motion sequence was well done, the puppets look just like the actors, and the plot of this episode was good too. I like the episodes where Tim has to take Wilson's place as the sensible, voice of reason. It shows he's a 3D character, and speaking of gimmicks, there was a 3D one down the line, but that's another story. So this holiday season, check out The Wood, the Bad and the Hungry!

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