|Air Date||April 26, 1991|
|Written by||Michael Jacobs and Bob Young|
Fran has one wish in life: a new set of pots and pans with mesh screens for lids -- the better to keep dinner in the pot! Earl realizes that he can't afford to take care of his family, so he asks his boss, B.P. Richfield, for a raise, with disastrous results. A chance meeting with the escaped "dinner" inspires Earl to appreciate his role as head of the household. But a new family member is about to turn the Sinclairs' life upside down...
Baby Sinclair demands that his father Earl tell him a story. Earl begins: "Once upon a time, dinosaurs didn't have families. They lived in the woods, and they ate their children, and it was a golden age." He adds that one day, mommy and daddy dinosaurs started to get married, live in houses, and have children, thinking that the way they used to live was wrong. Earl reassures Baby that he's in this story, but it starts just before he was born.
Earl describes a frustrating night in the Sinclair household, which begins with their dinner escaping from the pot and running out of the house, right past Earl. His wife Fran asks Earl to buy her a special pot with a lid on it, so that she can keep dinner from taking off. Daughter Charlene wants a sweater, and son Robbie needs a tutor. Earl knows that all of this will cost just as much as the thing he really wants -- a 90-inch television set.
At work, Earl complains to his friend Roy Hess that all of the money that he makes ends up being spent on his family. Roy suggests that Earl ask their boss, B.P. Richfield, for a raise. Furious, Richfield demands Earl's resignation. Earl comes home to break the bad news to his family -- and learns that Fran has just laid an egg, bringing another mouth to feed into the family. Depressed, Earl leaves the house.
Earl goes back to the forest, wondering if dinosaurs were right about starting families and living in houses. Earl encounters a small mammal -- the same creature who'd escaped being his dinner the previous night.
The creature introduces himself as Arthur Rizzic, and he surprises Earl by asking to be eaten. Somebody's knocked down his tree, and he doesn't know where his family is. He has nothing to live for, so he might as well get eaten.
Earl points out that without his family, Arthur is free to live as he pleases. He describes how his family got him fired from the one job that he was ever good at -- and the thought makes him so angry that he pushes down a tree. Arthur realizes that Earl was the one who's knocked down the trees, and Earl says that he did Arthur a favor.
However, Arthur has a different perspective. If he was a big, powerful dinosaur, then everybody would appreciate him, but since he isn't, his family were the only ones to appreciate him. Earl prepares to eat Arthur, but has a change of heart and sets him free. Left alone, Earl realizes that life in the forest isn't so great -- and then Fran shows up, to bring him home.
The next day, Earl begs Richfield for his job back -- and he's surprised to find that Arthur Rizzic is Richfield's new assistant. Arthur winks at Earl, and puts him down for a raise in salary.
Earl comes home with a new appreciation for himself as the head of the household. At this moment, the Baby hatches out of his egg, and greets his new family. Earl isn't the most important person in the family anymore...
- Arthur Rizzic : Brian Henson
- Cavepeople : Teri LaPorte, Michelan Sisti
- Additional Dinosaur Performers: Terri Hardin, Michelan Sisti, Jack Tate
- This episode was the first produced (filmed on March 29, 1991), and first aired. It served as the pilot of the series.
- When the egg hatches, Earl exclaims "Oh God!" Yet, in episode Episode 403: The Greatest Story Ever Sold it is stated that the dinosaurs have no higher power, concept of God, or any deity.
- Several seconds were cut from episodes when the show went into syndication due to time constraints. When Fran keeps suggesting to Earl that he ask her about her day, the following dialog was trimmed:
- Earl: I mean this with all love and everything, but... I don't give a damn about your day.
- Fran: (sternly) Ask me about my day!
- The syndicated version simply continues with Earl saying "Nothing that happened in your little day has any importance of how I'm going to spend the rest of my life". This scene was included in original ABC airing and on the 1991 video release.
- Another cut in syndication is during the scene where Earl learns that Arthur Rizzic is Mr. Richfield's new assistant. Earl's observation about no longer being able to eat Arthur was shortened.
- The dedication to Jim Henson was cut from the video release, though the same dedication is written on the video boxes.
Seen on TV
- DNN: News program with Howard Handupme, who reports that a meteor three times the size of the earth will bring about total extinction. He then adds "This just in: No it's not."
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