Pinky and the Brain try to take over world at summer camp

Pinky and Brain go to the fictional Camp Davey for the summer, where they get jobs as counselors, in the “Bah, Wilderness” episode of the mid-’90s animated Animaniacs spin-off series Pinky and the Brain.

Brain’s reason for going to Camp Davey is that it is the camp where the children of world leaders visiting the nearby presidential retreat Camp David go in the summer (sidenote: Camp David is located near two camps in real life and was once a summer camp too). His plan: to get jobs as craft counselors and have the kids make a log pencil holder for his or her world leader parent, affixed with a microscopic listening device.

“Very cunning, Brain, we’ll finally hear what those mischievous pencils are saying behind our backs,” Pinky says before Brain breaks a toothpick over his head.

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Once at camp, “Dr.”Brain and his “assistant” Pinky apply for jobs. The assistant director is impressed with Brain’s resume – and his PhD in camping from Harvard – but puts them on a waiting list after a background check reveals Brain’s plot to train giant vegetables to take over the world and another to harness the power of tornadoes to seize control of the earth. But when the supervisor shows up, Pinky and Brain win her heart over because they are “so cute” and they are given jobs as vegetable garden counselors.

When Pinky reads Brain a camp letter he writes him, Brain sees a list of counselor seniority on the back and hatches a plan to take out the counselors one by one until he gets promoted to craft counselor and can unleash his original take-over-the-world scheme.

He knocks out the storytime counselor first by baiting him into a trap with an Ally Sheedy poetry book and takes care of the wilderness counselor after playing a game of magnet tow with the kids (the magnet in the counselor’s backpack messes up his compass and they wind up in Alaska). The archery counselor gets fired after Pinky keeps the kids up late with campfire stories and they make a mess of the archery range and one by one he successfully runs off the rest of the counselors.

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Just when he thinks his plot has succeeded, the kids get on the bus in leave, replaced by another set of kids. These kids, it turns out, are the children of vice presidents, therefore foiling Brain’s plot.

“In the corridors of power, Pinky, you might say vice presidents are stuck in the broom closet,” Brain says before all of the counselors show up in a mob, led by the storytime counselor quoting Emilio Estevez, to run him and Pinky off and back to the laboratory where they will “lay low till fall and then try to take over the world.” 

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Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I’m the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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