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"Ain't nothin' but a party, baby!"

Dr. Funkenstein is an intergalactic mad scientist and funk musician, and a central protagonist throughout the albums of American funk group Parliament.

He is portrayed on the albums and on stage by George Clinton. While some P-Funk characters will be played on stage by different singers, Dr. Funkenstein is exclusively portrayed by Clinton, and remains one of his musical alter-egos.

Biography[]

The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein[]

Dr. Funkenstein's first appearance in the P-Funk lore was in his titular 1976 album. The title song, "Dr. Funkenstein", introduces him as a highly intelligent but chilled-out super-genius. A chorus of fans sings to Funkenstein, praising him and saying things such as, "We love to Funk-a-stein!"

Mothership Connection[]

While Dr. Funkenstein does not appear himself on this album, his clones play a major role in narrating throughout the album. Most notable is Star Child, the album's main host and Dr. Funkenstein's most advanced clone.

Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome[]

Dr. Funkenstein performs three tracks on this album. He opens the album with "Bop Gun (Endangered Species)", a song where he calls Star Child to action, and grants him use of the Bop Gun, a non-lethal laser gun that makes its targets vulnerable to funky music. A egotistical madman named Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk has caused whole swaths of America to fall prey to the Placebo Syndrome, a condition where victims are uninterested in any sort of pleasure or entertainment. The Bop Gun can free people from this condition, and most importantly, it can turn Sir Nose onto the Funky Side.

In "Funkentelechy", Funkenstein sends one of his clones, Mr. Prolong AKA Moo D. Control ("Mood Control") to narrate while citizens are deprogrammed and liberated from the Placebo Syndrome. Dr. Funkenstein himself declares, "Once again, the Pleasure Principle has been rescued, with the aid of the Funk." In "Placebo Syndrome", Dr. Funkenstein briefly falls prey to the Syndrome himself, and he sings about the bliss of not feeling, but longs for it to wear off.

In the accompanying short animated film "Placebo Like A Mug", Sir Nose goes as far as to call Dr. Funkenstein a homophobic slur in some of his anti-funk propaganda. Dr. Funkenstein, meanwhile, does not hold any ill will against Sir Nose, and only wants to reform him with the Bop Gun.

Gloryhallastoopid[]

Dr. Funkenstein plays a supporting role in the overall album. Star Child has become a singer, aided by his fellow clones. Sir Nose and the Unfunkables resurface in hopes of making "an ass out of Star Child" - literally turning Star Child into a donkey. When this happens. Dr. Funkenstein is nearby in the convert crowd, and he uses magic to turn Star Child back into his regular humanoid self.

Medicaid Fraud Dogg[]

Dr. Funkenstein's role on this album is once again minor, but Sir Nose impersonates Funkenstein during the track "I’m Gon' Make U Sick O’ Me". Sir Nose uses audio modulators to imitate Dr. Funkenstein's iconic deep vocals. (In reality, this is George Clinton singing with his natural voice.)

Appearance[]

Drfunkensteinstageappearance

Dr. Funkenstein (portrayed by George Clinton)

Dr. Funkenstein is a humanoid man of ambiguous age. He resembles a Black human man of average height and build, but often wears heeled shoes to give himself a taller, more statuesque appearance.

Funkenstein changes his appearance frequently. He has some iconic styles, but he often changes up his hair and attire; some of his most common looks include long silver hair, long cloaks, platform shoes, fancy sunglasses, and more. George Clinton was a hairdresser before becoming a full-time musician, and this is reflected in Funkenstein's ever-changing appearance.

Funkenstein has a "combat" suit, as sported in the Funkentelechy album comic and the Clones album cover. He wears a long, patterned cloak over a bodysuit and platform shoes. He also has a light helmet over a full Afro, and translucent rectangular sunglasses. He has metal cuffs, but no gloves; Funkenstein only wears several gemstone rings, implying this suit is not meant for battle, but for defence.

Personality[]

Funkenstein is generally a kind and laid-back individual. He is extremely powerful, but not vain, choosing to mind his own business and do his own thing - unless threatened. Most individuals do not have issues with Funkenstein, as his "thing" is mainly creating funk music and fun gadgets for himself and his cohorts. He is kind and welcoming, inviting anyone into his immediate sphere regardless of creed, race, or species; humans, robots, and aliens alike are welcome among Funkenstein as long as they like funk music.

Even when under direct threat from villains like Sir Nose, Funkenstein has no interest in hurting his one-sided rival. His ultimate plan to defeat Sir Nose uses non-lethal means, with the Bop Gun designed to just make a target more open to funk and having a good time.

Additionally, Dr. Funkenstein has a large and close-knit network. He has his numerous clones, who range in rank from his sons to his respected employees and allies. He is also married to at least two women, though they are not the mothers of any of Funkenstein's clones. It would seem as if he partnered with them after making his many clones.

Powers and Abilities[]

Dr. Funkenstein's abilities are vast, but he does not flaunt these, only making his talents known when the need arises. He is a proficient inventor and can easily create a gadget for a task as needed. He has expressed knowledge of robotics, cloning, biology, humanoid anatomy, and more. He even has some proficiency with magic, as he is able to quickly help reverse Star Child's magical transformation into a donkey.

Legacy[]

Dr. Funkenstein was, and still is, George Clinton's most iconic character. Clinton created various characters and cartoon universes throughout his career, and "Dr. Funkenstein" is so synonymous with Clinton that fellow musicians, collaborators, and interviewers will refer to Clinton himself as Dr. Funkenstein.

Funkenstein has also been referenced in other creators' media. In the 2015 Doctor Who episode "The Zygon Invasion", the Twelfth Doctor is prompted for a name, and he identifies himself as Dr. Funkenstein.

Gallery[]

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