How “Real” is Real Rob?
When the average person thinks of an upper class absurdly rich actor they think of an entitled crass rude and generally mean person. This trend has been perpetuated by many films and television such as Jordan Belfort from The Wolf of Wall Street or Irving Rosenfeld in American Hustle. “Real Rob” in the episode “VIP Treatment” feeds off this mentality and preconceptions to deliver a truly shocking look at the life of the uber-rich.
The episode starts out with Rob, the titular character, explaining to his wife what a concierge optometrist is to his wife Patricia who acts as the shows level headed gate way into the world of the rich, being born in Mexico and starting life poor she has very different views of these things than her snobbish husband. After explaining that he needs an eye doctor who works at 3 in the morning he hits a young African American man with his car.
The police quickly show up but instead of helping the man who got hit the officers ask Rob if he is okay because “Hitting a pedestrian can be very stressful.” Real Rob does this to show the injustices of a society that protects the rich and famous over those who actually need help. Patricia again acts like the only rational person in the show and becomes incredulous at the officers and her husband because of the disparity in treatment. She even points out “There is a guy on the ground, Bleeding?!” to no avail as the cops wave it off after saving that they were pretty sure they called an ambulance. Patricia acts as a perfect frame for the show showing just how ridiculous all of this is. Her presence culturally transmits the idea that at least some of the rich do not act like snobs and actually care about their fellow human beings. She even chastises her husband for not making sure that the guy he hit was okay instead opting to take a police escort to his house. This theme is prevalent through the rest of the show with the Latina woman acting as the moral compass of the show.
The best example of the obvious disparities between rich and poor was when rob went to the hospital from getting a money papercut. When he arrives he ask the nurse what he can do and before looking the nurse says that there is a sign that says take a number. Her attitude changes immediately when she notices that he is in fact Rob Schneider. After making this realization the nurse says that she can just put him through get the doctor and even fill out his forms for him. After Rob readily agrees Patricia tells him that they will not cut in front of all of the other patients. To this Rob says that he doesn’t take numbers because celebrities “are not like everybody else.” Patricia calls this action crazy pointing out the numerous amount of people who are seriously injured including the same guy they hit earlier that morning. This line cutting attitude is demonstrated again when Rob and Patricia are able to cut in front of an hour and fifty minute wait at a five star restaurant. After this Patricia comes to the realization that Rob is in fact very spoiled and acts like a child. She even has to force him to leave a tip when the chef pays for the meal. This constant portrayal of rob as a childlike character enforces the norms that the uber-rich are spoiled and have little regard for others.
Real Rob way created by Rob Schneider as a way to show the common people that rich people are rich snobs just like Rob in the show. He said himself on a Game Grumps podcast on which he appeared that the Reason for calling it Real Rob was to emphasize the fact that portrayals in media are often blown way out of proportion through shows like keeping up with the Kardashians. While the show might enforce norms of the uber-rich being spoiled far more important is the cultural transmission that normal people have a duty to be watchdogs to rich people as Patricia demonstrates throughout the show. This show is positive for consumers as instead of just watching as Kim Kardashian buys yet another car the viewers now feel empowered to call her out on the insanity of the situation.