|Number in season:||3b|
|Original Airdate:|| November 13, 2013|
October 29, 2013
April 25, 2013
|Written by:||Ken Pontac|
|Storyboard by:||Ken Cunningham|
The unthinkable has happened! Buster has lost his flair for funny, and the harder he tries to make people laugh, the worse it gets. Fortunately, comic legend Vince Ruckles is on hand to teach Buster the true secret to comedy.
Buster shows the viewers his 'comedy garden', which contains clown nose bushes, squirting flowers, banana peel patches, and his joke tree, which is supposed to contain hysterical new jokes growing on every branch. Buster reads some of the jokes to the viewers, but they aren't very funny. He then climbs a ladder to the top of the tree, and reads a joke that asks, "What does someone say when he reaches the top a dead tree? Ahhh!", but Buster doesn't get it. When the tree falls down, Buster screams, "Ahhh!". He then says to the viewers that he's OK, and laughs nervously.
After the title card, Buster is seen telling a joke to his friends at recess, while Arthur is drinking a carton of milk. After Buster tells the punch line of his joke, most of his friends laugh, but Arthur squirts milk from his nose instead.
Later at school, when Buster tells it to Binky, Binky thinks it's hysterical, but Arthur squirts water from his nose while he's getting a drink at the water bubbler.
In the cafeteria, Buster discovers that his friends think his joke is boring, as Muffy says they got it the first time. Binky says that the funniest part was when Arthur shot water from his nose, and he asks Arthur if he could do it again, but Arthur doesn't want to, saying that he never found Buster's joke funny in the first place. Buster then gets advice from Mrs. MacGrady, who says that he is using old jokes, and should get new material.
Later, Buster goes to Elwood City Books, and gets a joke book. At home, he also picks out crazy clothes and clown shoes.
Over the next few days, Buster tries several different ways to be funny. First, he tries to smash a watermelon in Binky's backyard, to which Binky asks Buster if he'll clean up the mess he made. Next, Buster tries observational comedy at recess, but Brain and Muffy don't find his humor very funny. Finally, in Buster's kitchen, he convinces Arthur to throw pies at his face, but grosses out Arthur in the process. When Buster's mom Bitzi comes in to the kitchen, she makes Buster clean up the mess.
After Buster cleans up the mess in the kitchen, Bitzi shows him an article in the Elwood City Times about Vince Ruckles coming to Elwood City to sign copies of his autobiography, My Yucky Life. Buster asks his mom if he can go to the event, and Bitzi lets him go, on the condition that he never does his 'comedy homework' in the kitchen again.
On the day of the event, Buster gets Vince Ruckles to sign his copy of the book. He also explains to Vince his problem, and asks him for advice. When Vince says that he stopped trying to be funny, Buster does just that.
The next day at school, when Buster unintentionally makes jokes, he soon starts making his friends laugh once again, and even makes Arthur squirt orange juice from his nose. Buster then starts to join along in their laughter, finishing the episode.
- The premise of this episode is similar in some ways to "Arthur the Unfunny."
- Several of the books Buster reads in "Buster's Book Battle" are on the shelves of Elwood City Books.
- Elwood City Books has been the host of book-signings before, in "Fern & Persimmony Glitchet" and "Falafelosophy."
- Smashing a watermelon with a hammer is a signature act of American comedian Gallagher.
- When Buster performs observational comedy, it's in the style of American comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
- Vince Ruckles' name is a reference to the late Don Rickles.
- An alternate title for this episode is "Buster Flops," possibly due to the Boston Marathon bombings occurring not long before this episode first aired.
- On BBC's TV schedule in the UK, this episode's title is incorrectly labeled as "Buster's Bombs," and it has also not aired in the UK since May 11, 2018.