- “Well, kids, this is where you would watch Itchy and Scratchy, except they're on The Gabbo Show now. So, here's Eastern Europe's favorite cat and mouse team, Worker and Parasite!”
- ―Krusty the Clown
The Worker & Parasite Show (in Russian Рабочий И Паразит) was a cartoon. When the popular cartoon Itchy and Scratchy, featuring a very violent cat and mouse, leaves The Krusty the Clown Show for Krusty's new competitor, Gabbo, "Eastern Europe's favorite cat and mouse team, Worker and Parasite," was a cheap replacement; Krusty clearly had not watched the cartoon beforehand to make sure it was a suitable replacement. According to the title screen, it was made in 1959.
The cartoon is 19 seconds long and opened with some Cyrillic-looking credits, which account for nothing in real Cyrillic. The cartoon itself was quite unintelligible, featuring a crudely drawn cat and mouse in constructivist-like style chattering incoherently and bouncing around to the tune of depressing background music. Worker and Parasite are first seen in a factory (where a wrench and sickle are visible as well); they then move in an aisle with a crazy looking baker having a line of identical, miserable-looking peasants line up for bread, and then within a nest of squiggly lines. The cartoon concludes with an out of tune tone and with the screen reading "ENDUT! HOCH HECH!"
Afterwards, Krusty's on-air response (before a vacant studio) was shocked silence, a limp cigarette hanging from his mouth, then promptly saying, "What the hell was that?!" The cartoon's utter incoherence and otherwise abysmal quality prompted the entire audience to walk out in disgust, the last of many things that led to The Krusty the Clown Show's cancellation.
Behind the Laughter
Simpsons creator Matt Groening maintains that their appearance on the show is one of the best parts of the series.
The title of the cartoon Worker and Parasite is a reference to social parasitism, which was a crime in the Soviet Union.
There has been some speculation as to what "Endut! Hoch Hech!" means. The Season 4 DVD audio commentary for the episode however claims that writer John Swartzwelder had no intended meaning for the phrase in question.
Worker and Parasite has not appeared on the show since, but they have made a few appearances in Simpsons comic books, this time speaking somewhat intelligible English.
It could also be a reference to the real-life Tom and Jerry. The original cartoons produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera ended in 1958 with the closure of MGM cartoon studio, and after that, Tom and Jerry was outsourced to the then-communist Czechoslovakia in 1961 under animator Gene Deitch. 13 cartoons were made between 1961 to 1962. They were criticized for their poor quality and rather disturbing nature, featuring badly done sound effects and animation and having a more realistic feel to the violence.
The tone came from the Itchy & Scratchy episode "Dazed and Contused", which coincidentally also was an episode that had an extremely negative reception among the audience (though the main difference is that The Worker and Parasite Show being badly received was Krusty's fault, while Dazed and Contused being badly received was not Krusty's fault at all).