The episode: “Cave Dwellers,” ep. 301
The riff: Said in sort of a sad-sack voice by Tom as a caveman chieftan messily munches on a heart that was just cut out of a dude’s chest.
The explanation: This one is complicated and fascinating (I think). So, Tom’s specific tone of voice is emulating a series of commercials that ran for candy Clark Bars, which are chocolate/peanut butter bars from Canada similar to Butterfinger in the U.S. I imagine they were probably available in Minnesota, where the show was being filmed. The “Barney” comes from a man named Barney Clark who was the recipient of the world’s first artificial heart successfully implanted in 1982. He lived for only 112 days more, but I suppose that’s better than zero days more. Servo combines the two references to form a heart-shaped “Barney Clark Bar.”
Novelty factor: I’ve heard of a Clark Bar, but always assumed that “Barney Clark Bar” was just the full name of the candy. This was a particularly interesting tidbit to learn. I guess the writers remembered the name “Barney Clark” from news reports on the heart transplant, almost a decade after it happened. Talk about obscure.