During Senator Stampingston's presentation concerning Dethklok branching out into comedy, the monitors show the Adult Swim logo as well as the logos for Comedy Central and MTV.
It is implied during their comedy routine as the Brothers of Deception that Skwisgaar and Toki might be real brothers. This was proved to be false in the follow-up episode "Dethfam" which revealed they each had sets of different parents and Toki is from Norway, and Skwisgaar is from Sweden.
Producer Dick Knubbler, with his newly acquired robotic eyes, can be seen in attendance at Dethklok's courtroom trial during the opening scene. This marks his second appearance in the series.
The chalkboard (before it is set on fire reads):
Set Up Punchline,
Tragedy + Time = Funny
Rules of 3's
Write What You Know
Develop A Persona
Nathan: Great rid of Quatto. I'll get rid of bodybag before I get rid of Quatto. Quatto stays, Quatto's gold.
Skwisgaar: I can'ts believes we got booed but theys laugh at the dildo before us.
Toki: That guy was amazing!
Skwisgaar: All he dids was make references, remember this, remember that. It was dildos.
Toki: You laughed.
Senator Stampingston: It appears that Dethklok has taken to studying comedy. This is not good gentlemen.
General Krosier: With all due respect Senator, how can this mean anything to world economics?
Senator Stampingston: It means everything. It's true that comedy has been no threat to us over the last fifteen years, but with Dethklok in the mix they threaten to excite a field of entertainment we all know to be dead.
Auctioneer: And now we will auction the skull from the famous comedian, Buddy Hackett. We'll start this bid at fifty thousand dollars.
Skwisgaar: Oh, I gots to have that. (holding up bidding marker)
Auctioneer: Fifty thousand. Do I have sixty thousand? (camera pans over to the other side where Nathan is seated and also holding up a marker)
Skwisgaar: This going to be a long night.
Lorkey: Aye, Comedy ain't never about humor... T'ain't no difference if you ask me.
Toki: But, that just doesn't seem to make any sense at all...
Lorkey: Comedy is about expressing your hate. The more hate you have, the funnier those rusty dildos sittin' at them tables will think you are!
Skwisgaar: But I bombed and I hates every thing!
Lorkey: Aye, but do you hate yourself?
Toki: Hate... myself?
Lorkey: Ah yes, especially now eh? Bombing on stage and Mr. Tangerine Pigtails went running away! It will take some time for him to recover from that horror he went through.
Toki: (coming into the realization) ...I hate myself!
Lorkey: Yeah, now you're getting it. And once you can get in touch with your inner hatred, you can unleash it into the world. And once you embrace your hate, you will MURDER THEM! And you will kill, YOU WILL KILL!
(shouting over rifle shots at the skeet shooting range)
Toki: So what you're saying is we do the opposite of bleak and dark.
Toki: What's the opposite of tragedy?
(Skwisgaar and Toki are on stage. Toki plays a single note, and drops his guitar.)
Toki: (whispering to Skwisgaar) I hate you...seriously.
Pickles: (on stage, addressing the crowd) Any a' you **** wanna fight?? How 'bout you, Gran'ma?? Ahh...I'm just kiddin'.
The logos for the networks Comedy Central and MTV are shown on the monitors after the Adult Swim logo during Senator Stampingston's presentation. Interestingly, Comedy Central and MTV both were mistakenly sometimes credited as the networks who would be showing Metalocalypse before it was confirmed that Adult Swim would be premiering the show.
James Hetfield from the band Metallica voiced the sailor named Lorkey who becomes Dethklok's comedy coach. This marks the first time Kirk Hammett did not also voice a character in an episode.
This episode aired with a TV-MA-V rating.
The slow motion shot where Skwisgaar is punched in the face by Toki could possibly be a reference to the cover of the Pantera album Vulgar Display of Power.
Nathan: Anyone got twins out there? Yeah, but I bet you don't got one like this. Meet Kuato...
Nathan's "twin" Kuato is a reference to the telepathic mutant rebel leader Kuato from the science fiction film, Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kuato inhabits the body of the freedom fighter George and is attached to his stomach just like Nathan's comedic prop.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Part of the comedy coach's notes on the chalkboard read "Tragedy + Time = Funny". This is a reference to one of Alan Alda's lines in the 1989 Woody Allen film Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Murderface's comedy routine is most likely a reference to the notorious "shock rock" musician and performance artist, GG Allin. During the final stages of his career, GG Allin would slam the microphone into his own forehead until it bled and perform violent actions towards the audience. Murderface also is shown defecating onstage and appearing naked during his act, which were other staples of GG's live show.
The pose of Nathan sitting while holding the comedian's skull in front of his face while his other hand is resting on his chin as if in reflection, is taken from a scene from famous playwright William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. In the play, the lead character is in the churchyard holding the skull of Yorick as he delivers the well-known line beginning with "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio...".
During the sequence in which the band's comedic success is represented through a series of newspapers and magazine covers, one of the magazines is called Donkey Punch. This refers to a slang term which involves hitting the back of the head of one's partner right before the moment of climax during doggy style or anal intercourse. It is regarded to just be known for its shock value as a misogynist joke and not as an actual practice.
Pickles is shown featured on the cover of Drumtastic magazine. This could be a possible parody of the magazine Modern Drummer, the world's most widely read drumming magazine. It is known for Interviews with leading drummers from bands, gear reviews, and tips from professional drummers.
The newspapers USA Mouth, Your Liberal Lip, and The New York Chronicle featuring coverage of Dethklok are parodies of the actual publications USA Today, The New York Post, and The New York Times. In addition to those written about Dethklok, other articles included "Rich Idiot Still a Complete Moron at 57", "Is Rap Metal Finally Dead? Yes, It Is," and "Panda Power Twins Lose Big." Senator Stampingston could also be seen on the cover of The New York Chronicle.
Skwisgaar and Toki's comedy routine as the Brothers of Deception during which they played their guitars and said "Mom always hated you most" is a reference to the comedy/musician team the Smothers Brothers who had a similar routine beginning with "Mom always liked you best". Tommy and Dick Smothers were real-life brothers and their trademark act was performing folk songs and having fake sibling rivalry arguments with one another.
Murderface slamming the microphone into his own forehead until it is bloodied could possibly be a reference to industrial metal band Rammstein's lead singer Till Lindemann, who does this regularly during live performances.
The courtroom hearing that opens the episode is a reference to the 1980's "subliminal message" trial in which it was debated that alleged backwards-masked lyrics in a song from an album by the metal band Judas Priest drove a youth to commit suicide.