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The darkness is a metaphor, for darkness!

—Flip McVicker, The Light Bulb Scene


Introduction

Flip McVicker is the eccentric and pretentious creator of the What Time Is It Right Now.com show Philbert He was introduced in Lovin that cali lifestyle!!, in late Season 4.

He plays a major role in Season 5.

Design

Flip is a middle-aged human man with short olive brown hair, wrinkles under his eyes and around his mouth, and stubble around his chin and mouth area.

He wears a knit grey button-down cardigan, a teal button-down collared shirt, a navy necktie, and light brown pants and dark brown loafers.

He seems to have a rather hunched posture.

Personality

Flip is initially shown to be eccentric and come off as a bit weird and socially awkward, although he has a passion for the show he is creating.

However, a major role in Season 5 shows that Flip is also arrogant and pretentious, especially when it comes to his show. He thinks of himself as a genius and the "God" to the cast and crew working on Philbert. Flip doesn't acknowledge anyone else's achievements but his own. He even takes credit for everything with no hesitation.

Flip won't listen to anyone's ideas but his own, lashes out at criticism, and will manipulate people into getting what he wants in the end. He'll even go as far to assault BoJack when he refuses to do a nude scene. Flip also tells the cameraman to turn the camera back on when BoJack violently strangles Gina for real.

When Diane joins the team, Flip tells her job is to sit quietly and not bother him, collect her paycheck, and have critics see the show isn't sexist since a woman works on it. Even when she ends up making the show better, Flip is still convinced he's the mastermind behind it and doesn't give anyone else but himself credit.

He doesn't really have much of writing talent and more just the passion, coming up with scripts on the fly, and making the story-line incomprehensible and overly metaphorical to avoid actually writing anything good.

He has also shown signs of misogyny, harshly judging women's appearances when casting for a strip club scene. He makes Gina do nude scenes to get back at BoJack for criticizing the script—although he denies this, and has her character "love cold rooms and hate bras." Philbert was even criticized for being sexist until Diane arrived added depth to the story-line and helped make the characters more rounded.

It could be suggested that these traits were brought on by fame and power going to Flip's head.

His eccentricity still shows, as shown by his explanations for what he adds to the show—he makes characters say "personel" instead of "personal" as he thinks the latter is "too cliche." He blames character motivations on "society." After Princess Carolyn leaves the room while he's talking he wonders if he was Princess Carolyn the whole time, the proceeds to smear her lipstick on his mouth and imitate her voice while saying "Oh Fish!"

The only time Flip shows vulnerability, in INT. SUB, when he suffers writers' block—due to the fact he has no talent as a writer. He confides in Diane that he is stressed over the fact that everyone on set sees him as "a genius," but he isn't. However, when Diane says she's sure not everyone thinks he's a genius, Flip says he's convinced everyone does see him that way.

He later shows a softer side as he seems to mean well and not try to hurt anybody. Later, in the first episode of Season 5, he tries to treat BoJack with respect and be friendly to him. Flip assumes BoJack is his friend based on three discussions they've had about the script. His attitude and "social skills" on set don't leave much space to wonder if he even has any conception of a "friend," however. His passion and ambition for his creation can also be considered rather admirable, even if he doesn't actually have the talent.

It is possible he distrusts the government and is wary, perhaps slightly paranoid, of government surveillance. When he first showed the Philbert script to Princess Carolyn he mentioned that he didn't trust email because of "the government."

Background

Season 4

Flip is first introduced in late Season 4 in Lovin that cali lifestyle!! when Princess Carolyn is called into work to meet with him. He gives her a script for a TV show idea he wrote, saying he doesn't trust email because of the government.

She almost apathetically turns down his TV show premise but then accepts when she reads that the title is Philbert which is the same name she was going to give to the baby she miscarried.

Flip tells Princess Carolyn he knows he has potential inside of him, even if no one else believes him. Having made a connection to his script without even having read it, Princess Carolyn assures him she believes in him.

Now determined to get the project green-lit and serve as the producer, with Todd's help Princess Carolyn gets the show approved by Lenny Turteltaub. He advises her to pitch it to WhatTimeIsItRightNow.com. When he tells her he won't pick the show up without a lead actor. One of the actors Princess Carolyn lists is BoJack Horseman, who Lenny thinks would be perfect for—even though he ran out on both Secretariat and Ethan Around. He tells Princess Carolyn to make BoJack sign a contract to finish the deal (and to ensure he won't run off again).

Princess Carolyn tries to call BoJack but he angrily tells her he's too busy so she forges his signature on the contract.

In What Time Is It Right Now Flip and Princess Carolyn pitch Philbert as an online series to What Time Is It Right Now executives.

After describing the plot, the executives approve the show especially happy that BoJack Horseman is the lead, though Princess Carolyn is feeling guilty that she had to forge BoJack's signature and he is unaware of the show.

Later, she tries again to pitch the script to BoJack but he is too distracted by previous events. BoJack is back home as Princess Carolyn comes by. She reveals the truth about her actions. In the end, BoJack agrees to do the show, which Princess Carolyn is thankful for.

Later on, as BoJack is reading the script, with his annoyed reaction implying that it's not good.

But in the end, he agrees to do the show.

Season 5

In The Light Bulb Scene, Philbert has begun filming.

However, Flip is revealed to be rather arrogant and pretentious. He is not a very good writer, making the show overly metaphorical to compensate for actually decent writing—which makes the show's story-line and dialogue either redundant, confusing, or just outright bad.

BoJack is concerned about the quality of the show. When he tries to talk to Flip about it, Flip apathetically says he's busy and to talk to him tomorrow morning.

When BoJack consults in his costar, Gina, about it after they have sex, she admits the whole show feels, "gratuitous and male-gazey," but it pays her mortgage.

The next day, BoJack tries talking to Flip after the latter harshly judges a group of women auditioning for a stripper scene.

Flip blankly assures him it's all necessary and gets the idea from BoJack to cut the stripper scene and to only draw Gina naked, as it'll be more motivated by character.

BoJack later tries to protest the scene to Flip, saying if he's trying to get back at him for criticizing the script he shouldn't also punish Gina in the process.

Flip tells BoJack that wasn't his intention, he just wants to make a great show, and he's the only one with a problem.

Gina even denies having a problem with the scene. However, while they argue Flip comes up with the idea to have BoJack star in his own nude scene—where he gets on a stool and does a full body rotation, while screwing in a light bulb. Flip says that he'll go back to how things were before if BoJack admits that he's only giving suggestions to hear himself talk. BoJack doesn't say anything so Flip tells him that they'll shoot the scene tomorrow.

However, the next morning, BoJack, wearing a robe, goes into Flip's office and tells him he's not doing the nude scene. Flip berates BoJack for being difficult and then forcefully tries to remove BoJack's robe, until BoJack snaps and shouts that the whole show is "dumb and has nothing to say." Flip angrily tells BoJack he is his God, and if he doesn't show up on set he'll see him in court.

While she is at her adoption agency, Princess Carolyn gets a call from Flip who tells her about the fight and how BoJack never showed up on set. It turns out he's waiting outside the adoption agency for Princess Carolyn.

BoJack tells Princess Carolyn that he never wanted to do this show, and he doesn't like his character, Philbert because he's "a drunk asshole." Princess Carolyn explains to him that it's just a character, and that he can take off the costume at the end and just be BoJack. She asks him if he can go to set for the next ten weeks for her. BoJack returns to set and removes his robe as he prepares for the nude scene.

BoJack is on the stool trying to screw in a light bulb, naked. After the scene he finished, he decides to throw a party at his house later that night.

At his party, Flip tells BoJack that he's sorry about their fight and that it's his first show. BoJack tells him that he's just trying to help him fulfill his vision. Flip tells him to not take things so personally and that, "it's going to be a sensational season of television."

In Planned Obsolescence BoJack is on set, but he keeps saying his directional lines due to his mind being messed up from the night shoots. Flip gets irritated by this and Princess Carolyn tries to spin it as a positive thing by saying it's confusing which makes the show "daring and smart."

Later, Flip and Princess Carolyn listen to Gina audition for a singing scene in Philbert, due to BoJack wanting her to fulfill her childhood dream. Though, being unrehearsed, Gina's voice cracks multiple times. She misses a lot of notes, failing her audition. After she leaves the room teary-eyed, Flip says that was really weird.

In BoJack the Feminist Flip and Princess Carolyn want to cast the controversial star Vance Waggoner as BoJack's partner Fritz in Philbert. This entire plan fails as BoJack inadvertently takes a feminist stand against Vance. Vance in return announces he's a feminist, and accuses Philbert of being sexist.

BoJack convinces Diane to become a consulting producer on Philbert to make the show better written. However, Flip is rather cold to Diane when she introduces herself, telling her job is to not bother him. Flip tells her she should collect her paycheck, and get recognition for being a woman working on a TV show so that people won't think it's sexist.

In The Amelia Earhart Story, Princess Carolyn advises Diane to make Flip think her ideas are actually his ideas. A scene with motorcycle stunts ends up getting written into the episode. BoJack then ends up falling from a building and landing on a car, severely hurting his back, which he is prescribed opioid painkillers for.

In INT. SUB, Dr. Indira, Diane's therapist, change the names and characteristics of her clients and their friends so that she can tell her wife, Mary-Beth about her week. Flip becomes a dolphin named "Flippy," while Diane becomes "Diana, Princess of Wales."

Flippy has severe writer's block but refuses to let Princess Diana help when she offers.

Later, after the framing device is lifted, Diane has an argument with BoJack and stormed off when he said since she doesn't need therapy anymore neither does he because they're the same.

She storms into Flip's office once again and starts furiously typing. Flip likes what he sees. They start filming everything in one take with cue cards. BoJack realizes the plot is based on what happened with Penny in New Mexico. Diane tells Flip she just changed the names in a story she heard once referring to the recording of BoJack confessing what he did to Heather from Start Spreading The News from Ana.

After filming the scene, Flip calls himself "a genius."

Flip is seen at BoJack's Halloween party in Mr. Peanutbutter’s Boos, dressed as a vampire.

In Ancient History, filming of Season One of Philbert wraps up. After yelling cut on the final scene, Flip tells the crew he's proud of the great work he's done.

In Head in the Clouds, on the night of the premiere of Philbert, it is revealed Flip stole many one-liners used in Philbert from jokes on Popsicle Sticks, which he had been seen sucking on in earlier episodes. Abe Ziegler, who wrote the setups for the jokes, confronts Flip and Princess Carolyn about the plagiarism. While Flip tries to deny it, Princess Carolyn assures him she'll settle the dispute before word gets out and tarnishes the show's reputation. She is able to reconcile Abe with his estranged business partner, Ziggy Abler, and they agree to sign a release.

Later, Flip and BoJack are up on stage at the Philbert premier. Flip tells the audience they're about to experience his genius, and if they don't it just means his genius isn't appreciated at this time. BoJack cuts him off while referring to him as, "Herb."

However, Diane looks visually upset when BoJack says Philbert teaches people that everyone is terrible, so terrible actions are ok. Diane is shocked to hear this. Flip cuts in and introduces the episode.

Diane tells Flip that she wanted to make Philbert more well rounded, but Flip thinks that she's upset because he didn't mention her in his introduction speech. He "nicely" tells her television is a collaborative process where one person gets all the credit.

Diane says that they made Philbert too problematic and vulnerable because it'll rationalize men to act badly and justify their terrible actions and that she can't be a part of that. Flip tells her they can't do anything about that now because the whole season drops at midnight. Diane begins to leave the premier, and after an intense confrontation with BoJack she leaves and decides to not return to Philbert.

In The Showstopper, Philbert is a huge hit, and Season Two begins shooting.

However, due to Diane's absence, the writing has once again received a huge downgrade thanks to Flip, who adds the word "literally" into every other sentence, and tells BoJack to say, "personnel" instead of "personal" because the latter is too cliched.

Thanks to his opioid addiction, BoJack begins to become more and more paranoid and thinks Philbert was created about his life and to bring up his past demons.

BoJack asks Flip where he gets his ideas from, questioning if he makes them up or gets them from other people. Flip tells BoJack the Popsicle guys signed a release form, which confuses BoJack.

At the end of the episode, BoJack, high on opioids, violently starts strangling Gina to death on set. When the crew begins to realize he's actually strangling her, Flip says "Oh no!" and whispers to the camera guy to turn the camera back on.

In The Stopped Show, Philbert is put on hold due to Gina getting hurt from BoJack strangling her.

Todd, who inadvertently became President of Ad Sales at the beginning of the season, is angry with Flip and Princess Carolyn for stopping production on Philbert.

Flip and Princess Carolyn explain a stunt went wrong—someone got "a little strangled," which some crew members filmed and might leak to the press.

Todd wants to pull the plug on production to "cut losses," but after Flip and Princess Carolyn protest, he reluctantly agrees to give them one more chance to fix things.

Princess Carolyn is able to fix the PR crisis with a setup interview with Biscuits Braxby for BoJack and Gina to pretend like they were just acting.

However, Philbert ends up getting canceled due to accusations against WhatTimeIsItRightNow.com CEO Henry Fondle, along with most all employees there getting laid off—the website reverting back to a website that just tells you what time it is.

When they receive this news at her office, Flip tries suggesting new homes for their "baby," like the website where you pay your parking tickets, or if they get desperate, TNT.

However, he turns around and sees that she's gone, as she went to Eden, North Carolina to adopt her baby from Sadie.

Flip then wonders if he himself has been Princess Carolyn this whole time. He takes a lipstick from her purse, smears it on his face and declares in a high pitched voice, "Oh, fish!"
Flip McVicker

Flip McVicker

Episode Appearances

Season 4

Season 5

Flip appears in the intro during the Philbert set scene.

Trivia

  • According to BoJack, Flip's mom apparently has a fake leg.
  • He is seen throughout Season 5 eating blue Popsicles. It is revealed he did this so he could plagiarize the jokes on the Popsicle sticks for Philbert.
  • In INT. SUB his species is changed from human to dolphin as a part of Diane's therapy story-line.
    • He is now called "Flippy" and only speaks in squeaks.
  • Prior to BoJack Horseman, his voice actor Rami Malek earlier worked with both Stephanie Beatriz (Gina Cazador) in Short Term 12 and Aaron Paul (Todd Chavez) in Need For Speed.
  • Flip and his show, Philbert, have both made allusions to Mr. Robot, who his voice actor, Rami Malek, stars in.
    • In Philbert, Philbert's dead partner, Fritz, who Philbert killed for strangling his wife, is revealed to have never existed, and it was actually Philbert himself who strangled his wife. In Mr. Robot, it is eventually revealed that Mr. Robot is not real and is an alternate personality/an imagination of the protagonist Elliot's dead father.
      • Flip alludes to this in the Season 5 finale, when after Princess Carolyn leaves her office while he's talking, he says "She’s gone. Unless... I was Princess Carolyn the whole time!"
    • Flip also mentions in his debut appearance in Lovin that cali lifestyle!! that he doesn’t trust email because of the government, whereas Elliot in Mr. Robot is also bitter, paranoid, and distrustful against society as a whole.
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