The episode: “Hercules,” ep. 502 (Steve Reeves is the episode’s resident Herc, if you were wondering.)
The riff: Cheekily said by Tom as a villain is mauled by a savage lion.
The explanation: I have to admit, I didn’t get this one right away, perhaps because I was expecting something really obscure. As it turns out, they’re instead making a very juvenile joke indeed! “Claude” sounds a lot like “clawed”…Tom is saying the dude’s balls got clawed. Hardee har har. Apparently this is an old schoolyard joke as suggested by this Urban Dictionary entry. Claude Balls: author of “The Tiger’s Revenge.” Get it?! Joel’s disgust at the joke confirms its dirtiness–Joel was always too high-minded for that sort of thing.
Novelty factor: I definitely have not heard this joke before, and I’m surprised that it has over 100 upvotes in Urban Dictionary. It must be common parlance somewhere. Anybody know? Unbelievably, the reference even made it into this Adult Swim show, Eagleheart. Oh, Chris Elliot. I’m glad you’ve got something to do, even if it is this show.