American Dad! Review: “Poltergasm” (Season 9, Episode 2)

american dad poltergasm

The official signal of the American “holiday season” has begun: the Halloween inspired, spooky episodes of FOX’s Sunday comedies aired on October 6th. And while the new American Dad! may not have been as “absolutely incredible” as Rita Rudner’s hilarious live stand-up show, the episode tops last week’s premiere with a solid, Roger-heavy plot.

Francine hasn’t been properly satisfied by Stan for a couple of years, so the “bitter presence of Francine’s sexual frustration” aggressively begins to haunt the Smith home. With the help of “Ruby Zeldastein, medium to the other side,” (obviously, a Roger character) the family attempts to rid the house of the spirit. This clever plot offers a unique tale for the cartoon in its ninth season, while developing simultaneously building Stan and Francine’s relationship and offering one of my now-favorite Roger characters.

And again, just like last week’s episode, it’s nice to see a nod towards the ladies. That’s two episodes of American Dad! in a row where one of the main male characters re-evaluates his possibly selfish motives towards a woman. Coincidence? Probably. I assume that this episode could’ve been aired anywhere in the season, character content-wise, but needed to be aired right before Halloween.

As a huge horror fan, I was delighted to see American Dad!  make a Roger character based on the medium/ghost hunter trope, with a proud, Southern woman twist. I’m consistently impressed with the wide variety of Roger characters that the show creates and the way that the actuality of “Roger characters” is handled, such as in this episode, when only Stan briefly doubts the validity of Rudy until the entire family accepts her into their house as a different person.

I can’t really say the same about this week’s attempt at Klaus-inclusion, which was mostly a bust. The idea of Klaus, stuck in front of the never-ending resort advertisement video was kind of funny, but it definitely did not fit in with the rest of the episode at all. I have to wonder if they just needed to add four minutes or so to the runtime and decided to throw together a Klaus story. I would’ve been fine with Klaus, in his bowl, at the house, resisting the mayhem of the “poltergasm” with the rest of the clan.

With that disappointment aside, “Poltergasm” definitely works. South Park got it right when they made their “Simpsons already did it” episode, and with over 20 episodes of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror in existence, any “scary-themed” episode of an animated sitcom with a distinctive concept deserves an understanding pat on the back.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Stan pretends that he is a mummy when he’s on the toilet.
  • Francine eats mozzarella like it’s an apple.
  • Stand murdered a pizza guy and buried him under the foundation once.
  • “Do you know that to be the only and absolute truth? And therefore, the Christian truth?” – Ruby Zeldastein
  • The last-minute, throwaway, grisly death of Mauricio.

What’d you think of this spooky edition of American Dad!? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.