Episode Ideas


Episode 1: Pilot - “Time Waits For No Bean”

A time-traveling inventor on "The Variety Hour" goes back in time but doesn’t return. The show's sponsor, Big Powerful Nobody (BPN), gets mad at Pinto for waiting 45 minutes for the inventor to reappear. Martha informs Pinto that BPN's company stooge, Sandoval, is auditioning a new host and Pinto crashes the audition. Lucy turns 16 and Pinto realizes he is out of touch with his kids.  Pinto and Martha thwart the hiring of the other host and and Sandoval is incensed. Pinto vows to take a more active role in guiding "The Variety Hour’s" success by picking the guests.

Variety Hour Guest:  Time-traveling Inventor (disappears on the air never to return)

Episode 2: “Pummel the Puzzle”

Pinto chews the leaves of a “special” plant and has an experience where he “becomes one with the Rubick’s cube” and solves it. When he goes down to Spensee’s to show the manager, he meets a charismatic beard (literally) named Gururu. Intrigued by Gururu’s ability to seemingly solve any puzzle, Pinto starts meeting with him and his followers. Pinto gives Gururu a weekly segment on his show in a misguided effort to assert himself with BPN. Flo and Martha help Pinto see Gururu for the conman that he really is. 

Variety Hour Guest:  A Botanist (who introduces a “psychedelic” plant on the show)

Episode 3: “A Lifetime Supply of Eye Cream”

Pinto has a Wild West Act on "The Variety Hour" but they have real guns and take the crew hostage. The demand that BPN give them $1 million and a lifetime supply of eye cream. Pinto uses his anger management therapy knowledge to diffuse the situation. 

Sub-plot: Flo and Deb have been irritable with each other at the rock shop so they take a girls vacay to Cornucopia (a resort town populated mostly by corn people). Flo decides to apply to culinary night school.

Variety Hour Guest: An Acrobatic Wild West Act (but also terrorists)

Episode 4: “Naughty by Nature”

The family realizes they are too bound by technology so they decide to go on a camping trip. They discover a heavily polluted area which is downstream  from BPN’s condom production facility. Pinto is forced to decide whether to continue working with BPN after he sees, first hand, the damage they caused. He decides to “work within a broken system” and uses this knowledge as leverage to keep his hosting job since, after the last episode,  BPN wants to fire him. BPN shuts down the production facility due to Lucy’s whistle-blowing.  

Variety Hour Guest:  Wildlife Guide

Episode 5: “Sun Spots”

A new spot on Pinto’s skin is detected by a dermatologist on "The Variety Hour". Pinto gets it tested for cancer and has a mid-life crisis. Pinto thinks he’s wasted his life and wants to do something extraordinary. He decides he’ll jump into the hot springs when it will be hotter than it has ever been. The townsfolk gather to watch him jump but he is talked down from the cliff by his family (mostly his daughter). She helps him to realize that he doesn’t need to impress anybody. At the end of episode, Pinto is told that his new spot is not cancerous after all.

Variety Hour Guest:  Dermatologist (hawking a foul smelling skin cream)

Episode 6: “Pinto’s Doppelganger”

A carnival comes to town and Pinto meets the host, Bunny, when she is picking up her sword-swallower from "The Variety Hour" after he performs. Bunny drives a Rabbit car, is a recovering gambling addict, and collects antique novelty puzzles. Pinto and her go to the flea market the next day to look for vintage puzzles and Bunny and Pinto hit it off. They go out for drinks and Bunny comes onto Pinto. He runs into Reggie at the bar and he congratulates Pinto on his “date”. This shocks Pinto and he realizes that he doesn’t want to be like Reggie. He drives Bunny back to the carnival and is relieved to go home to Flo and the kids. 

Variety Hour Guest:  A sword-swallower (who is with the traveling carnival).

Episode 7: “Civil Liberties for the Dead” 

A ghostbuster accidentally lets ghosts loose on "The Variety Hour". Back in the land of the living, the ghosts only want to argue about civil liberties for the dead and how they prefer to be identified. One ghost decides to run for mayor  but the mayoral race is so stressful that he begs to be returned to the trap. Since he became a ghost in 1998, he didn’t anticipate how vitriolic the world had become.

Variety Hour Guest: Ghostbuster (a clumsy one)

Episode 8: “Too Many Cooks/Hosts in the Kitchen”

Flo wins a competition at her culinary school and is a guest on a cooking show that films on the same studio plot as "The Pinto Variety Hour". Pinto is jealous of the attention Flo receives and it strains the family dynamic. Flo ends up bombing on the cooking show and the family consoles her. Ultimately, Pinto and Flo recognize that they each have different talents.

Variety Hour Guest:  Celebrity Chef (who announces the cooking competition)

Episode 9: “Bad Boy Bean”

Lucy starts dating a bad boy. She wants to impress him (and strangely, so does Pinto) but Flo does not approve. Lucy is testing her boundaries. Pinto tries to make "The Variety Hour" (and himself) “cooler”. Eventually, the boy is shown to be completely insecure and way too excited about yo-yos.   Sub-plot: Max gets into cosplay and goes to a convention. Pinto is distressed by this.

Variety Hour Guest: A Yo-Yo Master (who is very very lame)

Episode 10: “Dubstep Deliverance”

Pinto discovers the musical genre, Dubstep. He gets Max into it and they go to a concert. Pinto has an “aha”  moment and decides to make "The Variety Hour" more “Dubstep-influenced”. Pinto finds something he truly loves and becomes an evangelist for Dubstep but nobody seems to share his enthusiasm. His audience hates it and his show gets horrible ratings. Eventually, he vows to listen to others’ opinions. 

Variety Hour Guest:  Magician (who uses Dubstep for background music)

Episode 11: “The Saboteur” 

A disgruntled wannabe "Variety Hour" guest decides to sabotage the show. This character has attempted to get on the show legitimately many times but has never made the cut. He infiltrates the show with an elaborate scheme that he took 6 months to execute. This episode shows the saboteur has been behind the scenes or involved with many of the variety show acts featured in other episodes. When the sabotage finally happens on air, the episode gets the highest ratings ever and "The Variety Hour" is saved from cancellation (yet again).

Variety Hour Guest: Ventriloquist and dummy (who imitates and insults Pinto)