Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law/Bannon Custody Battle

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Bannon Custody Battle
Bannon Custody Battle
Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate December 20, 2000
Production Number 2001
Writer(s) Michael Ouweleen
Erik Richter
Pete Johnson (story)
Steve Patrick (story)
Director(s) J.J. Sedelmaier

1x02 →
Very Personal Injury
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at LawSeason One

Bannon Custody Battle is the first episode of the first season of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, and the first episode overall. Race Bannon fights for custody of Johnny Quest and Hadji for reasons unknown to Dr. Benton Quest. Dr. Quest hires Birdman to help.

Voices: Gary Cole (Harvey Birdman, Judge Mightor), Neil Ross (Vulturo, Dr. Benton Quest), Thom Pinto (Race Bannon), Dee Bradley Baker (Jonny Quest), Wally Wingert (Hadji), Billy West (Dr. Zin)


Plot Overview

Race Bannon, bodyguard to Dr. Benton Quest, has decided that he wants full custody of Jonny and Hadji because he was their primary caregiver for years. In response, Dr. Quest hires Harvey as his legal representative in the custody battle. Quest explains that Bannon has become something of a second father to them and it becomes increasingly clear that Benton is completely oblivious to the lives of his kids. Birdman interviews Jonny and Hadji to discover that Bannon was talking to Dr. Zin, Quest's arch-enemy, but brushes it off like nothing.

At the trial, Bannon is represented by Vulturo with the honorable Judge Mightor presiding. Vulturo makes the claim that biological relation does not mean Quest is a proper caregiver for the boys. He calls a slew of villains like a lizardman and the walking eye to testify that Bannon was clearly the primary caregiver for the boys. Birdman calls Dr. Quest to the stand, where he continues to show that he's more interested in science than his boys. He's instantly discredited when he says that baseball isn't "decent."

When Vulturo calls Bannon to the stand, Quest mentions that Race's testimony doesn't sound like him. Harvey finds an extension cord leading from Bannon around his foot and to an outlet behind the flag. He pulls it and Race goes into electronic spasms. Birdman explains that Race was drugged by the man who dinged the judge's Lexus and later created a robotic Bannon. Birdman asks the stenographer to read back what he had just said, but the stenographer failed to get it all down and reveals, in frustration, that he's Dr. Zin. Vulturo flees and Harvey actually wins a case.

In Birdman's office after the case, Bannon calls quest from his vacation spot, but refuses to explain how Dr. Zin got a life sized body mold of him.


Arc Advancement





The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • Animation Studio: This is the only episode to be animated by J.J. Sedlmaier Studios in New York, which is probably a good thing considering the amount of animation errors (for instance, Vulturo is missing his lower body during his opening remarks to the jury and Birdman has pupils at one point).
  • Adult Cartoons: This episode was originally meant to air alongside the pilot episodes of Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force on a special night of "adult cartoons' on Cartoon Network. However, when the strength of the shows was realized, they were all put into production and laid the foundation of what would become Adult Swim.

Allusions and References

  • Jonny Quest: The basis for this episode was Jonny Quest, a family of Hanna-Barbara created characters who go on adventures in exotic locales and fight bizarre creatures sent to kidnap Jonny or steal Dr. Quest's latest invention. The pilot episode, Mystery of the Lizard Men, is mentioned in this episode.
  • Martina Navrátilová: Martina Navrátilová is considered to be one of the greatest female tennis players ever to play the sport. Birdman's comment is in reference to her coming out as a lesbian in the 1980s, a move that made her one of the first sports stars to admit to homosexuality.
Birdman: So did Martina Navratilova but that doesn't mean she wasn't macho in many other important ways.

Memorable Moments