Mr. Roboto

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"Mr. Roboto"
Single by Styx
from the album Kilroy Was Here
B-side"Snowblind"
ReleasedFebruary 11, 1983
Recorded1982
GenreSynthrock, progressive rock
Length5:30 (album)
4:44 (single)
LabelA&M
Writer(s)Dennis DeYoung
ProducerStyx
Styx singles chronology
"Rockin' the Paradise"
(1981)
"Mr. Roboto"
(1983)
"Don't Let It End"
(1983)
Music sample
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"Mr. Roboto"
Single by Styx
from the album Kilroy Was Here
B-side"Snowblind"
ReleasedFebruary 11, 1983
Recorded1982
GenreSynthrock, progressive rock
Length5:30 (album)
4:44 (single)
LabelA&M
Writer(s)Dennis DeYoung
ProducerStyx
Styx singles chronology
"Rockin' the Paradise"
(1981)
"Mr. Roboto"
(1983)
"Don't Let It End"
(1983)
Music sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.

"Mr. Roboto" is a song written by Dennis DeYoung of the band Styx, and recorded on the Styx album Kilroy Was Here. It was also released as a 45 RPM single in a 4:44 radio edit (available on "Greatest Hits" released by PolyTel in Canada in 1982), with the song "Snowblind" (from their previous album Paradise Theatre) as the B-side. In Canada, where they were generally more popular than in their native U.S., it went to #1 on the RPM national singles chart,[1] becoming their third single to top the charts in that country (following "Babe" in 1979-80 and "The Best of Times" in 1981).[citation needed] In the U.S., it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.[citation needed]

Description and background[edit]

The song's chorus features the line, "Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto", which has become a catchphrase.

The Japanese lyrics at the beginning of the song are as follows:

どうもありがとうミスターロボット (dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto)
また会う日まで (mata au hi made)
どうもありがとうミスターロボット (dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto)
秘密を知りたい (himitsu wo shiritai)

The lyrics translate into English as follows:

Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
Until the day (we) meet again
Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
I want to know your secret

The song tells part of the story of Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK), in the rock opera Kilroy Was Here. The song is performed by Kilroy (as played by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung), a rock and roll performer who was placed in a futuristic prison for "rock and roll misfits" by the anti-rock-and-roll group the Majority for Musical Morality (MMM) and its founder Dr. Everett Righteous (played by guitarist James Young). The Roboto is a model of robot which does menial jobs in the prison. Kilroy escapes the prison by overpowering a Roboto prison guard and hiding inside its emptied-out metal shell. When Jonathan Chance finally meets Kilroy, at the very end of the song, Kilroy unmasks and says, I'm Kilroy! Kilroy!, ending the song.

The robot-like catchphrase was created with a vocoder. The song heavily features the Oberheim OB-Xa and PPG Wave synthesizers.

Stan Winston designed the Roboto costume and mask, which is displayed prominently on the cover of the album Kilroy Was Here. The track was released as the first single from the album at the last minute instead of "Don't Let It End" at the request of A&M Records.

Video[edit]

The song's video, directed by Brian Gibson, depicts Jonathan Chance (played by guitarist Tommy Shaw) walking in Rock Museum to meet Kilroy and a robot approaches. After this, it morphs into five robots moving and dancing. Shortly thereafter, the robots transform into the members of Styx and including a clean-shaven Dennis DeYoung (he shaved his trademark moustache off at the conclusion of the Paradise Theater tour in 1982 and has remained clean-shaven to this day). The video then alternates between the band playing the song on a stage and scenes from the Kilroy Was Here backdrop film. Then, the members of Styx morph back into the robots and DeYoung confronts the robots, screaming in the ear of one of the robots before collapsing. DeYoung awakens to see he is being experimented on and runs off. The video cuts back to the ending of the first scene and Jonathan Chance climbs on to the stage. Before the robot removes his mask to reveal Kilroy, another shot of the robot with lights on is used to end the clip.

Covers[edit]

"Mr. Roboto" was covered by Polysics on their album Lo-Bits. In the year 1999 the German band Maschinenmensch created a dance version of Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto.

In the Philippines, the song is commonly mistaken as sung by the band Queen, due to Dennis DeYoung's vocal similarity with Freddie Mercury, The frontman of Queen.

Uses in media[edit]

Music[edit]

In their song "King of Bedside Manor" off their album Gordon, the Barenaked Ladies shout "Styx!" and then sing the line "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto," and eventually just "Domo" repeatedly, at increasing speeds, until the song ends.

Icelandic hip hop outfit Quarashi finish their song Kintarou (available only on the Japanese edition of Guerilla Disco) with the line "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto".

The Black Eyed Peas also reference Mr. Roboto in their 2011 hit song "Just Can't Get Enough" off their 2010 album The Beginning. Taboo sings "My heart's pumpin out louder than electro/ She got me feelin like MR. ROBOTO", with the line "MR. ROBOTO" delivered in a robotic voice.

Luke Ski released a parody of the song called "Bender Roboto" about Bender Bending Rodriguez from Futurama.

Movies[edit]

In the 1999 film Big Daddy, Sonny tells a girl he is trying to impress who is, like him, a Styx fan, that at a Styx concert once he was pulled up on stage and got to do the robot voice on Mr. Roboto. When she asks if that actually happened, he reveals that it didn't.

One of the villains in the 2002 film Austin Powers: Goldmember is a Japanese robotics mogul named Mr. Roboto. Austin greets him with "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.".

The song was featured in the 2002 film Eight Crazy Nights, starring Adam Sandler.[2]

In the 2004 film Shrek 2, In the feature, "Far Far Away Idol", Pinocchio sings the song and does the dance.

In the 2005 film The Perfect Man, Holly's mother is taken on a date by Lenny to Styx tribute band and the first song sung is Mr. Roboto. Lenny observes that the vocalist is not as good as the original, but if one closes the eyes one won't tell the difference, to what Holly retorts that she does. The tribute band vocalist is played by Dennis DeYoung.[3]

In the 2009 film The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, El Superbeasto's ringtone is Mr. Roboto.

In the 2011 Japanese film Robo-G, the song on final credits.

TV series[edit]

In Season 3, episode 8 of the Adult Swim series The Venture Bros (episode entitled "Tears of a Sea Cow"), a Mr. Roboto is sent to attack the Monarch and Dr. Mrs the Monarch as they infiltrate the undersea lair of Dr. Dugong. The Roboto is quickly dispatched by Dr. Mrs the Monarch's henchmen Tim-Tom and Kevin (a.k.a. the Pupa Twins) by driving ice-picks into the sides of the Roboto's head.

Earl and Randy from the sitcom My Name Is Earl do the robot to this song while strobe lights illuminate them at the end of episode 5 season 2, "Van Hickey".

In the season 2 finale of the TV series Chuck, Jeff and Lester perform this song at Ellie and Devon's wedding, where it is used to score a major gunfight that breaks out during the scene. Three versions are heard during the scene: One sung by actors Scott Krinsky (Jeff) and Vik Sahay (Lester), an orchestral version scored for the episode, and the original Styx recording.[4]

The song is referenced in an episode of the second season of the sitcom Scrubs, "My New Coat". In the scene, J.D. greets a very short surgeon with "Domo arigato, Dr. Amato", mocking the surgeon's name.

The song appears in the final scene (in the strip club) of the How I Met Your Mother episode, "Belly Full of Turkey".[citation needed]

Drake repeats the phrase "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto" which gets on Josh's nerves on an episode of the sitcom Drake & Josh.

In an episode from The Simpsons season seven called "Team Homer", Homer, while at the bowling alley, starts a chant to cheer on Otto. The chant goes: Homer: "You can do it Otto, You can do it Otto! Help each other out, that'll be our motto!" Apu: "Make this spare, I give you free gelato!" Moe: "Then back to my place where I will get you blotto!" Homer: "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!"

In the TV series Heroes, episode "Angels and Monsters", Adam tells Hiro and Ando to look tough. When Ando assumes a stiff posture, Hiro says, "He said look tough, not like Mr. Roboto."

In the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah Connor says "Domo arigato" to a Japanese man she's just done business with (in Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point). To a partner who remarks "Didn't know you spoke japanese", she responds "I was into Styx before Duran Duran".

On the episode "A Benihana Christmas" of the TV series The Office, Michael Scott parodies the song by stating "Domo arigato, Mister Scott-o".

The phrase "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto" is uttered to Bender in the Futurama episode, "The 30% Iron Chef".

In episode 13, season 3 of Archer, the evil cyborg Barry sings "Domo Arigato Archer Roboto" while dancing in a robotic suit.

In the sitcom Arrested Development, in the episode "The Ocean Walker", Buster is heard listening to the song in the stair car and rocking out when his hook hand gets wedged in the dashboard. (The actor, Tony Hale, had previously appeared in a Volkswagen commercial where he danced expressively to the song inside a car, so this may be considered an example of breaking the fourth wall.)[5]

On the sitcom The King of Queens episode "Block Buster" the song is heard on the car radio while Spence is on a beer run with two of his former classmates.

Other[edit]

The video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories has a mission called "Domo Arigato Domestoboto", in which the player controls a Domestobot.

On the kids website, Roblox, a body, "Mr Roboto", has the description as, "Domo Arigato".

The song appears several times in the Japanese drama Densha Otoko.

In a 1999 Volkswagen commercial, the actor Tony Hale dances to the song inside of a Volkswagen.

The song also appears in the YouTube video "Evolution Of Dance" where Judson Laipply does the robot to the song.[6]

In the Simpsons book The Book of Homer, one of Homer's bottom 40 things is not hearing "Mr. Roboto" on the radio enough.

Comedian Tom Green used the phrase during his visit to Japan to film the Subway Monkey Hour special episode for MTV. Green has also used the phrase frequently when making prank phone calls to Japan on his internet talk show, Tom Green's House Tonight.

The phrase "Domo arigato, Mister Roboto!" is used in the Schlock Mercenary strip for Monday, November 16, 2009.[7]

The song is featured in the game Band Hero.

In the issue #44 of Y - The Last Man, the main character Yorick quotes the song while unmasking a man-like robot.

At the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, Japanese animator Kunio Katō, who won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for La Maison en Petits Cubes, closed out his acceptance speech by saying "Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto."

In March 2011, a Japanese restaurant, Mr. Robata, opened in New York City, citing that the name was chosen to reflect the style of Japanese cooking, robata, as well as the Styx song.[8]

In Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier, the protagonist Haken Browning, after seeing his robot sidekick in action, says "Thank you very much, Mr. Robot".

In "Project Brazil", a mod for Fallout New Vegas, there is a quest involving robots called "Domo Arigato".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  2. ^ "Eight Crazy Nights (2002) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  3. ^ "The Perfect Man (2005) : Trivia". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  4. ^ "What's Alan Watching?: Chuck: Chris Fedak vs. the finale". Sepinwall.blogspot.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  5. ^ "Volkswagen TV Commercial". Youtube.com. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  6. ^ "Evolution of Dance - By Judson Laipply". YouTube. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  7. ^ "''Schlock Mercenary 2009-11-16"''". Schlockmercenary.com. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  8. ^ Mulcahy, James (2011-03-23). "Zagat Buzz Blog: First Look: Mr. Robata, A Restaurant Inspired by Styx, March 23, 2011". Zagat.com. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
Preceded by
"Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
Canadian RPM number-one single
April 9–16, 1983 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby

External links[edit]