The Boondocks

Season 1 Episode 9

Return of the King

Aired Sunday 11:30 PM Jan 15, 2006 on Adult Swim
out of 10
User Rating
189 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Martin Luther King awakes from a coma after 32 years and finds post-September 11th America very different.

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  • This is an episode that deals with a what-if situation. Instead of dying, Dr. Martin Luther King falls into a 32 year coma. He wakes to find that his dream has not yet been full-filled.moreless

    This is my favorite episode of "The Boondocks". It's one of those episodes that I believe everyone needs to see. This provides a powerful message about what would Dr. Martin Luther King think of the African-American community today.

    Although this episodes uses the "N" word, just like many of the other episodes, this time it adds to meaningfullness of MLK's speech. The world has fallen off the path from what MLK envisioned.

    The voice actor who played MLK did a very nice job in capturing his character and speech. He sounds almost exactly like the real MLK before his death.

    If only people could take a cartoon's message seriousyl. I give two thumbs-up to Aaron McGruder for creating this episode.moreless
  • In a hypothetical turn of events, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. results in an extended coma. He awakens to find a world dramatically different from the one he departed.moreless

    Before I saw this episode, I thought it would be controversial due to its shock value. How dare McGruder poke fun at a black leader who has been almost deified by Americans the country over? I was so ready to be offended by this episode I watched it on Friday Night Fix. And learned I was wrong.

    Dr. King was handled with the utmost tact and delicacy in this episode. None of the jokes were directed toward him, rather, they were aimed at the world in which he found himself. McGruder forces us to ask ourselves several questions: if King were alive today, how would he react to our new lifestyles (particularly those of black Americans)? Would he feel the sacrifices of those who fought for civil rights are appreciated? Are we, this new generation, living up to his expectations? In the end we get McGruder's answers: King feels out of place and under-appreciated (he couldn't even get into his own meeting, which was turned into a party); he neither felt that the sacrifices were appreciated nor did he feel the new generation lived up to his standards (his 'truth' speech). Just like A Date With The Health Inspector, this episode becomes McGruder's vehicle for social commentary and, more importantly, a battle cry for black Americans. (The end of this episode: too cool)

    So while I only laughed out loud a few times (during the dinner scene and when Huey threw the chair and pummeled the pundit, which struck me as rather Riley of him; Uncle Ruckus throwing bricks), I must say I enjoyed this far more than I would have had it been all laughs.moreless
  • Return of the King is about Martin Luther King Jr. waking up after a 30 year coma. His ideals are known as terrorists-sympathy. So Huey tries to help MLK get his word back out to help the black people realize who they are again.moreless

    An awesome, funny, well written, and truthful episode. I really liked this episode for its hilarity about if MLK was alive today he would be consider a terrorist-sympathizer. Where his ideals are shut-down by his fellow black man. The entire time MLK is alive Uncle Ruckus is trying to fling bricks at him. Even back then Ruckus try to throw a brick at him at one of his eariler speeches back in the Civil Rights movement era. All-in-all in this was a good episode. Now the show has been nominated by NAACP Image Award. Go vote at .moreless
  • Newsflash! The Boondocks is controversial!

    Martin Luther King Day. The one time of the year, aside from Black History Month, where white people are actually supposed to think about black people. Although, most I know only look forward to the day off. Perhaps, in its own way, this episode of Boondocks can change that.

    Personally, I love this episode, because it reminds me of why I started reading the comic strip. It is a good mix of humor and of Aaron's fresh and honest view of life in America. Of course, not everyone will agree with Aaron's overt opinions, which is the lovely thing about free speech. Either way, it is bound to stir some thought.

    The scenario for this entire episode is dreamed up by Huey, giving the show free reign to explore an alternate reality where Martin Luther King does not die. It is an interesting look at the degradation of modern day culture.

    Perhaps my only complaint is how this problem is shown as specifically black, when, of course, it involves all of America. After all, according to that definition of Nigger, practically everyone in America is one.

    Maybe this episode will get people to think about the current condition of the world. Well, like Huey says, it's fun to dream.moreless
  • A hilarious conveyance of Huey's ideal world, in which MLK is alive in our time and is disgusted by what he sees. A true classic.

    What I'm not sure some people understand about this episode is that it was based in Huey's imagination. I know I don't need to point out the obvious, which is that MLK was actually killed 40 years ago rather than put into a coma only to awaken in recent years. But it is important to note that this is Huey's ideal reality, not necessarily that world as it would be if King actually came back to life.

    That being said, Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my favorite characters ever to grace the series. His interactions with the other characters was priceless, and so were his takes on the modern world of iPods and boneless rib sandwiches. I wish he could come back again, but I guess that's what makes this a one-of-a-kind episode.

    The best part in the whole shebang was the part with the Tucker Carlson-esque pundit who told MLK off for not immediately saying how much he loves America. In other shows, the irony of the "fair and balanced" talk might simply slide by. In The Boondocks, Huey nails him with a chair and socks him in the mouth.

    This is why I watch the Boondocks. I hope to see many more chairs fly in the face of the Tucker Carlsons and Bill O'Reillys of the world, and lots more episodes just like this. Bravo, McGruder.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The Rosa Parks bus incident which is an actual historic event sans Mr. Freeman's presence, is erroneous, it is depicted as a planned refusal by Rosa to sit at the back of the bus when in reality it was a spur of the moment decision by Rosa.

    • Goof: When Huey and Dr. King are trying to get past the security guard that does not like Huey's shoes, Huey's sweater changes color from black to red several times.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Martin Luther King: You know, Huey, those of us who DO adhere to the philosophy of non-violence, frown upon the throwing of furniture to resolve our political differences.

    • MLK: Will you ignorant niggas PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP?!!

    • Martin Luther King: Black Entertainment Television....IS THE WORST THING I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!

    • Reporter: The mob is refusing to disperse. The President is urging everyone to stay calm and obey the curfew.
      Rebel #1: You're horrible!
      Rebel #2: You liar!

    • Granddad: Son of a bitch try to take my parking spot. I should've whooped his ass.

    • Uncle Ruckus: Ya boycottin' baboon! (throws a brick at Martin Luther King… that drops a few inches away from Ruckus) Stand still, ya god-damn chunky cheek monkey.

    • Uncle Ruckus: (to Martin Luther King) Just you wait 'till I gets me another brick or one of them small cement blocks or somethin' like that. Why'd you have to go and mess everythin' up, huh? I would've shot you myself. Only white men have better aim.

    • Dr. King: I'm staying at a Holiday Inn Express. I feel smarter already.

    • Dr. King: I've seen what's around the corner. I've seen what's over the horizon and I promise you, you niggers have nothing to celebrate! And, no, I won't get there with you! I'm going to Canada!

    • Huey: Dr King. Wake up. You have an interview today.
      Dr. King: I'm not going. I quit.
      Huey: Dr. King!
      Dr. King: I don't wanna! Uh-uh!
      Huey: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr! You come out of that room and continue to fight for freedom and justice this instant!

    • Uncle Ruckus: Shut yo' preachin' ass up, you son of a bitch!

    • Huey: (narrating) Dr. King looked out at his people and saw they were in great need. So he did what all great leaders do: he told them the truth.
      Dr. King: Will you ignorant niggas please shut the hell up!?
      (Complete silence fills the room as everyone is shocked at what Dr. King just said)
      Black Man: Did he just say what I think he said?

    • Dr. King: Huey, I just don't think I belong in this "new world". I don't know if I need the 20Gig iPod, or the 40Gig. I tried to download some Mahalia Jackson, but I lost my iTunes password.

    • Riley: Get off his dic- (Huey kicks him) ow! Man I'm sayin' Mr. Dubois riding Dr. King like a rodeo show (Huey kicks him again) ow!
      Granddad: Stop it.
      Riley: You don't look famous, what are you an actor? Is you Morgan Freeman? (Huey punches him) Ow.
      Granddad: Boy stop acting crazy you know that's Martin Luther King. Now go clear the dishes.
      Riley: Why can't this Morgan Freeman King dude clear the dishes, shoot the nigga just had a free meal.

    • Huey: It's fun to dream.

    • Dr. King: This is it?! This is what I took all those ass whoppings for?! I had a dream once. It was a dream where little black boys and little black girls could drink from the river of prosperity, freed from the thirst of oppression.. But lo and behold, some four decades later, what have I found but a bunch of triflin', shiftless, good-for-nothing niggers! And I know a lot of you don't want to hear me say that word. It's the ugliest word in the english language, but that's what I see now. Niggers. And you dont want to be a nigger, because niggers are living contradictions. Niggers are filled with unfulfilled ambitions. Niggers wax and wane. Niggers love to complain. Niggers love to hear themselves talk but hate to explain! Niggers love to be another man's judge and jury. Niggers procrastinate until it's time to worry. Niggers love to be late! Niggers hate to hurry!

    • Dr. King: Oh, snap. No, they didn't. A boneless rib sandwich. What will they think of next? I know I shouldn't eat these. But they're for a limited time only.

  • NOTES (1)