Ebo The Friendly Centurion
Ebo The Friendly centurion is a fictional character from ancient Rome. He and his many fanged lion Ibi have adventures in what was originally an idea for a children's TV program. Sadly, things did not go to plan as it was deemed too violent for younger viewers. Episode plots were generally uninteresting, and infallibly revolving around meeting a new person (arriving via an educational machine they have created known as T.A.R.M.O.S, an acronym of The Awesome Roman Machine Of Superness), who would try and "make learning fun". However, Ibi, or "the murderous lion" would eat the new character at the end in a spectacuarly gory and overly long scenario, whereafter Ebo would exclaim "Oh Ibi!".
Only 9 episodes were made due to the show's spectacular lack of success, and unpopularity with the R.S.P.C.A who claimed that the show promoted the "poor treatment of endangered species". However, it has a miniscule and effevescent cult following who insist on singing the theme tune during unrelated lessons and discussing Ebo's favourite food "crunchy jam", though none is known to actually exist.
Episode Names are as follows: -Chomping on Caligula
-Tearing up Tiberius
-Gnawing on Nero (This title caused controversy due to its lack of visual alliteration)
-The Vitiation of Vespasian
-Maiming Marcus Aurelius
Ebo The Friendly Centurion has a theme song, not famous for its dull tune, but its surprising words:
Ebo The Friendly Centurion
Ebo The Friendly Centurion
And his murderous lion Ibi!
Ebo a.k.a "The Friendly Centurion" is the main character of the show. He was born in Ancient Rome. As a soldier in the Punic Wars, he eventually journeyed to Carthage, where he discovered to his sensitive heart's horror that there was a lion with a sparrow in its paw. Upon finding him, Ebo nursed the lion back to health, saying what would roughly translate into English as "there, there" (in Latin, "ibi, ibi") as he attended to the injury, which swiftly became the lion's nickname. After having explained his idea of finding exciting people to learn incredible facts from, he and Ibi became inseperable companions. Ebo is famous for his lacklustre personality, thirst for learning and crunchy jam fetishism.
Ibi escaped from the Coliseum in Rome when he deemed that weekly Christian feeds were not enough to satiate his bloodthirsty appetite. This was made possilbe by the help of a cunning slave called Abi (see below). However, his murderous rampage was soon interrupted when a hapless sparrow, migrating here or there for the season, became buried in his paw. Unsurprisingly, this did not amuse Ibi, who instantly went on a new murderous rampage. One fine day, he came across Ebo, who waved his hands around unceasingly and shouted a lot. The next thing he knew he was lying in a silk bed by candlelight, the sparrow gone, being stroked and soothed. Fully confused by the change in events, but enticed by Ebo's plan of meeting,greeting (and eating) new people every day, Ibi decided to follow Ebo around and help out.
Zam is a gentle, international loving Esperantist. He travels with Ebo in the hope to internationalise all those he comes into contact with by teaching them Esperanto. Often seen with a sensible pair of glasses, he offers up words of wisdom such as "Always click on Zam to proceed", though no-one yet has been able to make sense of this, and fear it may stem from a strange Esperanton word. HE makes only one appearance on "Ebo The Friendly Centurion" but reappears as a main character on the less acclaimed spin-off series "Ibi and Friends". He is often finding himself in ridiculous situations, needing Ibi's assistance, nervously saying "I'm in a spot of trouble here Ibi".
Professor Pliny is the inventor of T.A.R.M.O.S. (The Awesome Romand Machine Of Superness) Not only did he build this curious, potato-shaped contraption, he also gave it the extensivley intellectual and literate name, thus proving his well deserved place in the history of literature. He is also less acclaimed for having invented "Crunchy Jam".
Abi is a cunning ex-slave, who seems to have an incredible capacity for collecting vaste amounts of rare, arbitrary things. He is always running into trouble. This is largely to do with his arrogant nature, and his relentless pursuit of stamp collection. Often seen at the at Rome's many tabernae, he seems to frequently be seen having complex affairs with women. These often end most unhappily, as he puts little effort into his relationships, engrossed in his stamps. This once came out most extremely when he placed a stamp over the face of his lover so he could regard his stamps while doing the dirty. He is one of Ebo's few close friends, though sees him as bland and uninteresting, and has a tendency to look down on him, due to his "lack of buttons". Abi had a cruel, fat master, who often used to beat him, and tell him so frequently to "Abi" (go away), that many thought it his name. However, always a cunning opportunist, he helped Ibi escape, only in return for a samll favour. Of course, disposing of Abi's master was real challenge for Ibi, who masterfully cosumed him whole, thus gaining Abi's freedom. The two parted ways, and met once again when Abi was in desperate need, neededing Ibi to do him a "small favour" - get rid of a tax man harassing Abi about his expensive, and almost certainly stolen collection of rare buttons. Ebo and Abi become instant companions, and Abi an infrequent, but regular mamber of the Ebo family.
Edo is a travelling cook, renowned all over Rome for his talents in the kitchen. Indeed, it is even said that his food makes dinner with insurance salesmen seem bearable. His cooking is very versatile, and ranges from normal classics, to his own creations, such as his own personal favourite, aubergine stuffed with aubergine. He is also famous for being the creator of crunchy jam (see Frequently Featured Items). Edo also secretly invinted the jelly-baby. He just didn't tell anyone about it.
Quamquam is a mythical bird, only known Ibi and Friendls (it is speculated whether he is the only member of his species). The bird is thought to be all knowing, and truly wise, except for his gullabilty when it comes to buying insurance. Quamquam, however, is also said to be tremendously lazy, and relies on Zam to tend to his needs. It is Quamquam's trademark arogance that Zam says will lead him astray (as well as his"unesperantan attitude"). The sly, cunning and generally sarchastic bird is always advancing his vaste fortunes (which seemingly come from nowhere) by conning everyone, generally wasting his money on dictionary insurance.
Frequently Featured Items
T.A.R.M.O.S is a potato like machine, invented by the famous Professor Pliny. It is an acronym for The Awesome Roman Machine Of Superness. It is a hand held time-machine, used by Ebo and Ibi to travel to different eras in Roman history, to visit its most celebrated characters, who teach Ebo and Ibi about life. This machine was made by the philanthropist professor, in his great, but ever failing campaign to “make learning fun”. It is propelled using the powers of "rainbow-rays" (it is uncertain what, if anything, these are) which are said to have harmefull effects. Ebo is the machine's supreme guard, with the aid of Ibi, for Professor Plini always fears the consequences of the T.A.R.M.O.S falling into the wrong hands, and the deadly "rainbow rays" being used for purposes other than education.
Crunchy Jam is one of the accalimed chef Edo's creations. The recipe is top secret, only Edo can make it, and whilst at first glance it would seem as though it were simply plain digestive biscuits mashed into a strawberry confiture, it has been revealed that it contains "a thousand fruits". It is thought to have medicinal qualities, as well as giving temporary super powers. It is always eaten by Ebo and Ibi before they embark on an adventure, to prevent harm from the rainbow-rays of the T.A.R.M.O.S, and to give them strength. It is Ebo's favourite food.
Zam's glasses are supposed to posses magical powers of teaching. Zam is frequently seen wearing them, saying that they help people take a "closer look" at Esperanto. In one of the more exhilarating episodes of "Ibi and Friends", Zam looses his glasses, and must visit Professor Plini, (a familiar character in "Ebo The Friendly Centurion") to get some new ones. Professor Plini responds that he does not need to, saying that the power of learning is found "not through your glasses but within your heart". Ibi eats him, whereupon Zam finds his glasses.
In a feature length pilot episode, an unhapopy Ibi eats christians in the colliseum. A cunning slave, by the name of Abi helps Ibi escape. Ater escaping , Ibi must repay Abi. Ibi thinks it a satisfactory repayment simply "not to eat you now, but perhaps later when I'm a tad more peckish", and the two part ways. Ibi, returing later to Abi for his "midafternoon snack" sees Abi being beaten by a cruel master. Ibi, saddened by this cruelty, eats the master instead, and Ibi and Abi become good friends. Ibi, however, wants to go back to his homeland, in North Africa. Ibi comes back to find all the other lions gone, and a sparrow had burrowed in his paw (see most asked questions). Ebo, having deserted the army in the midst of the punic wars, found Ibi, and nursed him back to health. As Ibi's strength came back to him, Ebo described his plans for "educational adventures with the T.A.R.M.O.S", in what could only be a desperate and blatant attempt to lay the foundations for the series. Ibi decides to join him, liking the idea of meeting and eating a new character from history every day.
Chomping on Caligula
Imperator Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus pays a visit to Ebo and Ibi via T.A.R.M.O.S. Caligula's attempts to "make learning fun" soon fail when he attempts to explain the real story behind the fish and crab scale fisherman tale - as all this talk of sea food makes Ibi 'see food' and Caligula is disposed of.
Imperator Titus Flavius Domitianus was brought through to try and teach the kids about the economy. However, it had been forgotten that he was a terrible administrator and had caused the Roman economy to go into recession. Dear Domitian was devoured before anyone could say 'devalue the denarius'. Altogether now, "Oh, Ibi!"
Tearing up Tiberius
Imperator Tiberius Caesar Augustus visited Ebo and Ibi to speak of his time as one of Rome's great generals. However, his dark, reclusive "tristissimus hominum" attitude won him no favours with Ibi, who had always wanted to sample something blue. Everyone - "Oh, Ibi!"
Roman statesman and general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa proved to be the most successful teacher thus far. He began to teach Ibi peaceful, diplomatic ways. This could have been the end of the series's hysterical violent death gag, so the producers decided to have a random, irrelevant killing. Come on now - "Oh, Ibi!"
Imperator Caeser Filvius Augustus came into the T.A.R.M.O.S by accident on one of his legendary 'sitting on the side whilst his best friend Anthony got some of that Egyptian bint' excursions. He was so dumbstruck by the resplendent and highly attractive Ebo (comparable to Apollo, who binds his flowing locks with gold thread and foliage...) that Ibi became jealous and introduced him to his favourite toy, 'Mr. Teeth'. After that, he ate Augustus. A tragic love story - "Oh, Ibi!"
Gnawing on Nero
This episode is colloquially known as 'The one that burnt discs', a humorous and witty relation to Nero Burning ROM software. Imperator Nero Claudius Cæsar Augustus Germanicus arrived to show the children how to finish things off (just as he did the Julio-Claudian dynasty). Refreshingly, Ibi thought it might be time to show -him- how to finish things off. And in what style! He lovingly caressed Nero in a tight, clawful embrace that proved a little too graphic for some youngsters. Over 3 complaint letters were written in. "Oh, Ibi!" you did it again.
Imperator Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus caught the T.A.R.M.O.S in to teach everyone a thing or two about his passion - gladiatorial combat! I can say, fully unbiased that this had the potential to be the most exciting episode ever made. Unfortunatley Ibi had chosen that day to sleep with the T.A.R.M.O.S inside his mouth, and Commodus didn't even see the fresh air. He was dead before the hallitosis hit him. "Oh, Ibi!" do observe the rules of dental hygiene.
The Vitiation of Vespasian
Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus is well known for having said "An emperor ought to die standing" before he died, lying down. However, Ibi rectified this out of duty, by taking Vespasian down from behind and ripping off his head. It has been duly noted that by this point the series had descended into unnecessary killing and seemed to have lost all of its educational value. Slightly weaker now... "Oh.. Ibi. Again."
Maiming Marcus Aurelius
Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus wanted to put straight the common fallacy that he had asked a silly gladiator to take his place over his son, Commodus. There was no happy gladiator, no happy ending. But Marcus Aurelius's truth was never known, as Ibi was possessed by bloodlust ('character development') and had begun killing everything on sight to protect his one true love, Ebo. Everyone was a threat. He pursued Marcus Aurelius for many miles before brutally spearing him upon a Trojan sword not designed for that purpose. It is important to note that by now plot and education was irrelevant and the screen was obscured by blood flecks for the final 3 minutes. The series's closing words, were, shockingly, distantly.. "Oh, Ibi."
Influences On Popular Culture
“Ebo The Friendly Centurion” had only limited impact on popular culture. This is as it never entered the mainastream, and only circulated on a small level. Recently, due to efforts of die-hard fans, it has received cult status, and features in numerous school Latin societies. It has however, always had a small audience, perhaps due to its style and jokes; Ibi’s transaprent chartacter being an alltime favourite. Ebo’s catch phrase “Oh Ibi!” has become semi-iconic, and though true fans argue hat this limits the depth of Ebo's character, it has been one of the few famous and measurable impacts that the show has had. Indeed, the repetiveness and blatant over-use of the punch line (some may possibly believe) has even inspired The Smiths to write one of their most successful songs (only possibly) “That joke isn't funny anymore”. The makers have promised to make a new feature length episode entitled “Ebo - a centurion’s tale”, where it is hoped that Russel Crowe will make a guest appearance, Ibi looking forward to an extra chunky victim.
Ibi and Friends
In an attempt to resurrect Ebo The Friendly Centurion, a spin-off series was made, entitled Ibi and friends. This was the cause of much controversy amongst die-hard fans, as Ebo is rairly featured. Ibi became the main characer, as directors decided that only the novellty of the "murderous lion" had brought the last series any success. In Ibi and Friends, Ibi encounters and devours new people, and teams up with his long lost friend, Zam. Zam is an Esperanto speaking alien, who often, humorously and originally finds fault with Ibi’s grammar. Despite being close friends, Zam appears to delight in patronising Ibi, resulting more often than not in an amusing 'Carry-On'esque scene with entertaining music. An often nervous alien, Zam is very studious, and is most famously seen wearing his glasses, teaching Esperanto to Ibi's dismembered victims. He is used as Ibi’s walking encyclopedia, although Ibi rarely takes notice and prefers to utlise Zam as a mopping device. Zam often encounters troubles, his catchphrase being “I’m in a spot of trouble here, Ibi!” whereupon Ibi eventually eats his way to Zam, saving him from endless perils. He is also renowned for his habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Zam is completly honest, and will always say what he is thinking, most notably, in Episode 3 “Ibi in Iberia”, when tells a local soldier that he “smell[s] like a crocodile”.
Most Asked Questions
The makers of "Ebo The Friendly Centurion" decided to leave some questions unanswered. Many fans have tried to answer these, most notably, the recipe of crunchy jam. Many fans attempted to make it, spending vaste amounts of resources on aquiring 1000 different fruits. The makers had to formally apologise when a fanatic was mysteriously lead to believe that cruncy jam contained glass, the resulting law suite almost bankrupting Ebo-corp. As well as questions on how the T.A.R.M.O.S works, why Plini is a professor, who on earth Zam is, and why he speaks Esperanto, one of the most frequently asked questions by frustrated fans has benn on the programme itself. Bizzarly, since the episodes creation, very few people have been able to see them, or find any referances to them anywhere. This has (falsely) lead many fans into believing that there is no such show, nor has there ever been.
Due to its graphic violence, "Ebo The Friendly Centurion" was cancelled after only nine episodes. There was a potential threat of trial by the R.S.P.C.A, and numerous letters of complaint from viewers, mostly parents. These include the following-
" I would like to complain about the gratuitous use of gore and violence that your show is using to brain-wash our children. My youngest child now claims to be a murderous lion "just like Ibi", and just last night tried to eat my husband, whereupon my elder son (to my shock) simply exclaimed. "Oh, Ibi!". I believe that your programmes are a destructive force and...." -
"In all my searches all over the internet, I have found no other references to any such programme. This is clearly a vanity article, written by nerds with too much time on their hands." - These complainers really do come up with some absurd stuff.
"Your programme is full of anachronisms. For example, it claimes that the cook Edo invented jelly-babies. This is completly absurd, and it is common knoledge that jelly-babies long predate ancient Rome..."
"This programme, not only doesn't exist and never has done, but also has nothing to do with Ill Bethisad whatsoever. "