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The Technician
No Imperfections Noted
The Jeff and Casey Show
Jeff and Casey Time
Casey Muratori
Seattle, WA
A Line of Tapdancing Rats
"You mine pornography out of non-porn materials."
Original air date: September 7th, 2008
Topics. Dukes of Hazardization. Porn mining. K-town. Dorf. Shrek: The Musical. Standing ovations. Pixar vs. Dreamworks. The story of your groceries. DVDs for the elderly.
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Transcript
Girl:
Settle in, girls. It’s story time. Isn’t this fun? It’s like a sleepover. But instead of a pillow fight, there’s an insane dragon who incinerates things. Now, where were we?
Jeff:
Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Jeff & Casey Show.
Casey:
Hello.
Jeff:
It is a Thursday. We’re doing a little podcasting early.
Casey:
You didn’t say the date. It’s ‘cos you don’t know the date, do you?
Jeff:
It’s September 4th.
Casey:
Is it?
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
Are you sure of that or are you making up that date?
Jeff:
Let’s just go with it.
Casey:
Alright. Let’s pretend it’s September 4th.
Jeff:
September 4th, and we’re doing it a little early just ‘cos I gotta go down to P-Town for the weekend.
Casey:
Which is… You’re not going to P-Town. P-Town is Province Town. It’s a very gay part of Cape Cod…
Jeff:
That’s what they called it in the East Coast?
Casey:
Yes, P-Town.
Jeff:
P-Town, uh-huh.
Casey:
And that’s…
Jeff:
There’s always some, like, letter town…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Like O-Town in Utah was Ogden. But that’s Oakland down in California. This is S-Town? What are we… K-Town.
Casey:
I don’t know what K-Town is.
Jeff:
Kirkland.
Casey:
Kirkland?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Kirkland is not at all the kind of city that would have a letter abbreviation as a thing.
Jeff:
Yeah, that’s probably true.
Casey:
Kirkland is the kind of city that people can say, in its entirety, because the number of times that anyone is going to refer to it in a cool sentence is extraordinarily limited.
Jeff:
Hey, but the amount of coolness here in podcast studios is extraordinarily high.
Casey:
In fact, the coolness… Any cool sentence that involves the use of the word, Kirkland, is probably gonna be something like, “I used to live in Kirkland,” or, “I don’t want to go to Kirkland.”
Jeff:
Stop it.
Casey:
Or, “Let’s try another place besides Kirkland.” Those are the kinds of sentences a cool person might say that include Kirkland…
Jeff:
No.
Casey:
And I don’t think they feel the need, at those times, to abbreviate it to K-Town.
Jeff:
No, because like…
Casey:
Straight out of K-Town.
Jeff:
Right. I was gonna say all the rappers are like, “425…”
Casey:
Mmhmmm…
Jeff:
Yeah, totally. What’s the problem?
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
It’s gonna happen.
Casey:
Yeah, there’s never been a rapper with a 425 area code. That’s just nerd core, right?
Jeff:
Oh, no…
Casey:
It’s nerd core.
Jeff:
Not the way it should go. So you went to a big extravaganza last night, I understand.
Casey:
I did. Yes, I did go to a big extravaganza. Now, I guess what the listeners at home have to understand is that Seattle is, you know, much to my chagrin, attempting to be a 1st run musical city like Boston is. Oftentimes, a show that is going to be… They’re gonna try to produce something Broadway.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
But it’s a big budget show. What they’ll do is they’ll open it in another city first…
Jeff:
Get the kinks out…
Casey:
Before they have to open it in New York City where there are critics, for example, right?
Jeff:
That’s probably the big thing, huh?
Casey:
No, that is exactly the thing, right?
Jeff:
Critics with…
Casey:
Yeah, that’s the thing. I mean… ‘Cos people are seeing it in either city, right? You know, the public is able to attend. So you want to make sure that you’re opening it as a distinct thing with separate criticism in a less critical city…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
Before you go ahead and open it on Broadway. And so…
Jeff:
We’re really polite here in Seattle, too, so you’re not gonna get that bad a review. Maybe The Stranger…
Casey:
So low standards is I think what Seattle brings to the table as far as musical openings are concerned.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
We certainly do not have anyone in this town who is… I mean, I want to even say capable of being critical or not of a musical production. I mean, I don’t think we even have any musical critics or anything like that. That I’m aware of, anyway.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
I mean, you might get something from The Stranger.
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
Who, you know, is kind of an ornery fellow who might go and say this sucks (and correctly so, right) but as far as actually having a significant cross-section of critics who are going to talk about the musicals in the context of musical history or anything like this or…
Jeff:
Not gonna happen.
Casey:
None of that’s gonna happen.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
And they’re just gonna be like, “Hey, you know, I went to see the show with my kids. It was great. Grandma loved it.” You know, we’re gonna get that from The Seattle Times or The PI… “Fun for the whole family,” is probably a phrase that will show up in every review…
Jeff:
“The popcorn was yummy.”
Casey:
What I saw last night which was the world premiere of “Shrek: The Musical”.
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
We’ve mentioned this before on the podcast. I think I said that I was going to be going to “Shrek: The Musical” at some point because I had season tickets. And so, you know, season tickets includes “Shrek: The Musical”. Now, in my mind, I didn’t see any reason why you would ever want to make “Shrek: The Musical”. I mean, I couldn’t really fathom what the reasoning behind this would be.
Jeff:
Well, there’s lots of unexplored nuances in the character, Donkey, and like…
Casey:
Yes…
Jeff:
Princess Fiona…
Casey:
Oh, yes , absolutely. Well…
Jeff:
So was it a retelling of one of the movies or was it all original story?
Casey:
It appears to be somewhat that. I mean, my understanding is that the movie, “Shrek”, was actually based on the book, “Shrek”, which is by somebody else.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
So I don’t rightfully know if this is supposed to be based on the book or based on the movie or both. Now, I believe it is actually a DreamWorks production.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
I think they are getting into… They saw how successful Disney has been at transferring all of their movies from the big screen to the stage, if you will, such as “The Lion King”.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And so…
Jeff:
That’s what I felt like when I heard about it was, like, they’re totally trying to…
Casey:
That’s what I assumed, that they’re just copying that whole process…
Jeff:
Because the whole DreamWorks thing is, like, just do…
Casey:
What they’re doing…
Jeff:
Right. “Oh, 3D?”
Casey:
Yes. Whatever… “We’re down with that. I love 3D. 3D is great.”
Jeff:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Casey:
“I bought a Macintosh yesterday.”
Jeff:
C’mon…
Casey:
“I installed Infinity. This is gonna be great.” So yeah, in my mind, I had no idea why this would be necessary because, see, musical comedy is one of those things that I have never seen done well in a… What’s the word I’m looking for? In a non-parody setting, right?
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Like, you know, when I think of a great musical comedy, I think of something maybe like “Hairspray” or something like that, right?
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
It’s not, you know, a comedy story that they then set to music, right.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
It’s usually specifically designed to be a [ kind of musical ]. And musicals that are comedy stories set to music typically are just terrible in my experience. Like, I have not seen a lot in the way of musical comedy in that form that’s been any good. So I’m thinking this is just gonna be a disaster, you know, straight throughout. And it absolutely was.
Jeff:
It didn’t…
Casey:
It was…
Jeff:
That’s what will be quoted. “Casey Muratori says, ‘Doesn’t disappoint.’”
Casey:
Right. Yes, exactly. If you’re trying to make it look good, then go ahead and just quote that part because the rest of the things I’m about to say about it will be harder to take out of context, I’m sure.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
But it was… It started with the fact that the music was borderline incompetent. Like, they basically… They got the person who did “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, right…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
A musical that no one’s ever heard of and no one cares about.
Jeff:
I’ve never heard about it.
Casey:
Yeah, absolutely. And she’s also doing the music for the upcoming Walt Disney production of “Rapunzel”…
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
Which I believe is an animated feature.
Jeff:
Oh, okay.
Casey:
I think this is the same person. Now, I don’t know this person’s work. I’m not very familiar with it except for what I was with familiar with last night which was more than I needed to be. It’s… There’s 2 things about it that struck me. And the first one was that there is really only one good song in the entire musical.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Like, only one good song. There’s no great songs. And only one, like, decent song.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
All the rest of the songs are, like, actively bad. It was, like, really impressive just how bad they were.
Jeff:
Repellent.
Casey:
Yeah, exactly.
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
And I was like… I kind of was sitting back, wondering, after the musical was over, you know. I was like, “Hmmm… I wonder if I’m the only person who noticed that there’s only one good song in this entire musical or if everyone else was just like, ‘It’s dandy,’ you know, they liked the whole thing.”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And then I started to think, “Well, you know, I wonder if they know… Like, I wonder if the people…” Because the people who put on these musicals… I mean, they presumably know more about musicals than I do, right? I mean, they’re people who make musicals for a living. So I would think that they would know. You know, they would have a pretty good idea that the music that they were singing…
Jeff:
Maybe…
Casey:
Was not necessarily any good. And so, what I then…
Jeff:
Oh , you’re saying the performers?
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Yeah, okay. I could see that, yeah.
Casey:
Yes. In other words the people… The director, let’s say, of this musical, certainly knows more about musicals than I do, right? So I’m imagining that they, unless they have very low standards, are noticing the fact that they are working with pretty bad material, right?
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
And so then, I remembered something. I remembered that as part of the season ticket package, I had received an email that said that I was entitled to go to the website and enter a promotional code which will allow me to download one song from the musical.
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
So I said, “Well, let me see if that one song was the song that I was thinking was the one good song. And if it is, then maybe they do know that this is the only good song, right. And if not, then maybe…”
Jeff:
They don’t…
Casey:
“They don’t…” And it was that song.
Jeff:
It was the good song?
Casey:
It was the one good song.
Jeff:
So they did know that they…
Casey:
I think… I strongly suspect that they were like, “Hmmm… Let’s put our best foot forward here.”
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
“This is the only really good number that we’ve got so we’ll go with that.” Now…
Jeff:
And that’s called “Donkey’s Day” or…
Casey:
No, it is called… What was it called?
Jeff:
I’m trying to think of, like, the most embarrassing thing…
Casey:
No, the Donkey songs were bad. And there were a lot of, like… The Donkey-Shrek meeting song was very homoerotic. Like, there is almost no way that you could read it anything other than…
Jeff:
Other than that?
Casey:
Like, ogre-on-donkey sex, right?
Jeff:
All the time…
Casey:
Like, that is what… Yes, so I shouldn’t say homoerotic. I mean, they’re both male but, you know, if a donkey and an ogre are fucking, the last thing that you’re gonna point out about that as being odd is that it was a same-sex relationship.
Jeff:
Right, exactly.
Casey:
That is not your initial sot of shocking incident, right?
Jeff:
Totally.
Casey:
It’s like, when viewing a Robert Mapplethorpe, right. That is not what you’re thinking at that point. You are thinking, “Holy shit. A, I didn’t think ogres existed. And B, I didn’t think they could do it with a donkey.”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
So, I mean, you know… C might be that they both have a penis, right, like…
Jeff:
And [ Kingsley’s ] over there, like, taking crazy notes…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Like, “This is awesome.”
Casey:
He’s like, “Wow, I thought I covered everything but I guess there’s gonna be a Volume 14.”
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
So there’s some things also, just to kind of go over some other issues with this musical…
Jeff:
Uh-huh…
Casey:
Some things that you should absolutely not do in a musical. Period. Right.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And there’s 2 of those.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
There’s… At least in terms of things that are easy to describe…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
There’s 2 — 1, never have a ballet sequence, right. Somewhere around… Like, you know, in the 30’s and 40’s or 50’s… I don’t know exactly the dates. You know, “Oklahoma” time, right…
Jeff:
Who danced? Like…
Casey:
Sorry?
Jeff:
Well, who were the ones…
Casey:
“Shrek” did not have a ballet.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
I’m telling you the 2 things that you don’t do.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
And so, you know, the astute listener can kind of assume that maybe that second one did happen.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
But let’s keep the suspense.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Anyway, point being they introduced this kind of concept and I think “Oklahoma” actually was the first musical to feature it — the concept of a dream sequence told in ballet form, okay…
Jeff:
I see. Yes.
Casey:
And this was a terrible idea.
Jeff:
With the smoke machines?
Casey:
It’s just a terrible idea. Everything… Yeah, it’s basically interpretative dance. But since they didn’t have, like, people humping each other behind a silhouette screen or other kinds of new things that they do in interpretative dance, it was ballet at the time, right.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Never have this thing.
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
Do not have it. They’ve sort of gotten rid of it nowadays. And that’s for the better. Don’t bring it back. Okay. Thing # 2 is tap dance, okay. Tap is dead, okay.
Jeff:
Oh, my God. Shrek tapped…
Casey:
But somehow, in the middle of “Shrek”, okay…
Jeff:
They bring back…
Casey:
In the middle of “Shrek”, I want to say it was probably second number after the set break. There was not only tap dancing but there was actually a tap line.
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Was there a tap-off?
Casey:
Totally…
Jeff:
Where they tapped against each other?
Casey:
No. And you know what, that would’ve really put the. . . That would’ve been the cherry on top of the sundae, no question. But the fictional sort of… I can see what happened, right. I know the exact creative process, right. I’ve been involved in a creative industry. I’ve been involved in the game industry for long enough to see how bad ideas…
Jeff:
Make it…
Casey:
Make it into a final product, right. And I’m able, even without knowing anything about how their industry functions… I think I can tell you right now a pretty plausible scenario for how this tap line got into this musical even though everyone knew better, I think.
Jeff:
I see. Okay.
Casey:
Okay. So here’s the deal. What happens is Princess Fiona…
Jeff:
Yes…
Casey:
Is singing about how she’s a morning person.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
She’s happy in the morning, of course, because she is no longer an ogre, right?
Jeff:
Oh, okay.
Casey:
If you remember the fiction of “Shrek”…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
She’s an ogre at night. So in the morning, she is no longer ogre-y…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
An ogress, if you will… And she is very happy. She’s singing to the birds and so on.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
She encounters the Pied Piper at this time, who is having trouble piping… I don’t know if there’s any kind of…
Jeff:
That sounds a little…
Casey:
[inaudible 14:17] going on there but anyway, he’s having trouble with his pipe…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And she’s…
Casey:
And she offers to help…
Jeff:
Clean the pipe?
Casey:
Clean the pipe.
Jeff:
Oh, my God.
Casey:
Yes, the pipe is stuck and she’s gonna clean it. Okay. So she starts piping and all of… Of course, you know, the Pied Piper’s job in Fairy Land is to ferry rats out of the town…
Jeff:
Okay. I see.
Casey:
And so, she starts piping and the rats all follow her out.
Jeff:
Sure.
Casey:
Now, the way they have done the rats is they actually have the curtain kind of down, alright…
Jeff:
Yes. Alright. Yeah.
Casey:
And it has been raised enough… Just enough…
Jeff:
To see the feet?
Casey:
To see the feet…
Jeff:
Uh-huh… Oh, man…
Casey:
Of the chorus line…
Jeff:
Sounds exciting…
Casey:
Who are wearing rat shoes…
Jeff:
Uh-huh…
Casey:
Which also happen to be tap shoes.
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
Rat taps.
Casey:
Yeah. So you kind of get this tap line where these rat heads are moving back and forth and looking at each other and so on, okay…
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
So, I know what happened here. Somebody was thinking, like… You know, this is a big budget thing, right.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
These people want to… The person who is the choreographer wants to show off, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
They want to do something like…
Jeff:
Like “The Lion King”…
Casey:
That’s never been done before…
Jeff:
With all the wacky animals and props…
Casey:
Right. Yeah, exactly. They’re like… They’re gonna make their mark, right?
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
Except this person, you know, is not… What’s her name? Julie Taymor…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
This person is not Julie Taymor, who I don’t even like. But I mean…
Jeff:
I think she’s awesome but you don’t like her, I guess.
Casey:
But she’s really creative.
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
I mean, there’s nothing… You cannot assail…
Jeff:
Her set design…
Casey:
You cannot assail her attempt to create things that are new and fresh and different, right, because that’s just true.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And I don’t happen to really like them very much but that’s personal preference.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
These people are not that thing at all, really. And they were like, “Well, here’s what we’re gonna do, see. We’re gonna actually bring back tap, okay, because tap hasn’t been done in a while.”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
“So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna have it so that all of the little rats are moving back and forth. We’ll only see them, right, just the feet of tap, right?”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
“That’s what we’re gonna do. And it’s gonna be awesome.” And that was, like, their little creative hook, right. So the fact that you could only see the feet…
Jeff:
Was the…
Casey:
With the rat things on…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Was the mental buy that they put in place to allow them to go through all of the standard process of, like, tap…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
In the middle of this fucking thing… Are you crazy, right? Now, following closely on the heels of that was this (I’m sure the same choreographer’s)…
Jeff:
So to speak…
Casey:
Yeah, pun intended, right.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
The same choreographer’s decision to bust out another one of the cutting edge implements that made their way into “Shrek: The Musical” and that is the UV black light, right…
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
Which I did not list as something you should never do in a musical simply because…
Jeff:
It’s implied.
Casey:
I’ve never actually seen a musical that actually used it before.
Jeff:
No, that’s… Right. There are some things you don’t really have to make room for.
Casey:
I didn’t think I needed to mention it.
Jeff:
“Do not put Plutonium onstage.”
Casey:
Right. Yeah, exactly.
Jeff:
“Do not use black light.”
Casey:
“Do not shoot the audience with a bow and arrow…”
Jeff:
Right. “Do not use live rounds in your fake guns,” for example… You don’t need to say these things. And yet… Okay, so the black light…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
So did everybody’s teeth, like, light up?
Casey:
Yeah. So the black light idea was, again, the same…. It was the same creative process. They were like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had these people dancing and they were like skeletons?” Right?
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
So what they did is they wore suits with skeletons painted on them…
Jeff:
I see…
Casey:
That were black light sensitive.
Jeff:
Yeah, I knew some kids like that, growing up…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Tended to wear shirts like…
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
That is pretty awesome.
Casey:
This was a really…
Jeff:
Can you make a black light spotlight? Can you project it with enough power?
Casey:
Well, it’s just light.
Jeff:
I know but it’s hard to make a spot of certain colors, like red always turns out pretty pink when you do that. Like, can you just… Can you turn up the wattage and still have it be black?
Casey:
Have it be black?
Jeff:
I don’t know.
Casey:
I don’t know. Well, obviously, yes. I mean…
Jeff:
That’s what they did?
Casey:
’Cos that’s what they did? Well, I mean, yeah. I mean, it worked…
Jeff:
But they didn’t do it with floor lights or anything?
Casey:
I don’t know.
Jeff:
Oh, okay.
Casey:
I don’t have the answer to that question.
Jeff:
Was it an orchestra or was it…
Casey:
It was not a full orchestra. There is almost never a musical that has a full orchestra. A musical with a full orchestra is extraordinarily rare and very, very expensive.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Normally, a musical has a much reduced set of players. I mean, obviously some… Maybe you’re asking like if it’s like “Rent”, what’s the rock band…
Jeff:
I just meant… Yeah…
Casey:
There’s not a rock band. It was a pretty straightforward musical setup. The only potential difference is that it seemed like they did have a rock drum set.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
I couldn’t see. It was underneath some sort of Shrek-like looking, tangly, you know, vine contraption thing that someone had sort of setup there… Oh, extra points for class. I forgot. In that list of things that you should never do, I didn’t put this one in because I don’t think it’s a never. But it’s close to that. And that is video screens. If there is a video screen, right…
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
This is when I knew that we were in big trouble for Sch_nberg and Boublil or however you pronounce their names, right… When in the middle of “Miss Saigon”, there’s actually, like, a video presentation… That was pretty traumatizing. I was like, “Wow…”
Jeff:
Totally.
Casey:
“We’re pretty much gonna… There’s not gonna…”
Jeff:
We’re done.
Casey:
And it was true, right. They were done. I mean, that was the last… There are some pretty good work in “Miss Saigon”. It’s pretty uneven but there’s some really good music in there. And then after that, with Martin Guerre and so forth, they were just… It was just… Wow, this is a disaster.
Jeff:
Well, you see, I don’t know how you’re doing “Shrek” and not understand the attitude of the people coming into it and play to it, like… The whole thing should’ve been ironic and, like, sarcastic I think would’ve worked because the movie was ironic and sarcastic. You could’ve made fun of the fact that Shrek is there at all. And I don’t think you play that one straight. You don’t make the movie version of that story.
Casey:
Well, they definitely did play it straight. It was 100% straight from start to finish. There was no acknowledgment that it was at all uncomfortable that anyone was singing…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And yeah, there’s no self-referential stuff in there, really. There was one point where they sort of poked fun at “The Lion King”. That was the only…
Jeff:
Close…
Casey:
Thing that was close to that. But they never poked fun at themselves which they probably should’ve done.
Jeff:
’Cos that’s the only thing that made… Even the first… I didn’t like any of the “Shreks” but the only thing that made it bearable was the fact that it at least made fun of itself as much as it made fun of other things…
Casey:
Right. Yeah.
Jeff:
And like, to not understand that and the general dis-ease of the audience being part of this kind of thing is…
Casey:
Well, like I was saying, though, the audience at something like this… Meaning the 5th Avenue Theater, meaning Seattle, right…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Has extremely low standards. They did not…
Jeff:
No, but you’re not writing it for them.
Casey:
I know.
Jeff:
They’re writing it eventually to go to New York.
Casey:
Yes, that’s true. And to some degree… I think it’s the critics to worry about more there… Nobody who’s into the theater scene in New York City is going to go see “Shrek: The Musical” anyway. I mean…
Jeff:
It’s gonna be tourists…
Casey:
If it was something like “The Lion King”…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Where it was directed in a very avant-garde fashion, then I’m sure they would.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
But it’s just gonna be tourists who saw the movie who are going to watch this thing.
Jeff:
“Ooh, Shrek!”
Casey:
Right. So I don’t actually know that they’re gonna have that much of a problem. I imagine the crowds that they’ll get will be very similar to the crowd they got here where every time Shrek farted, you know, it was like freaking… The Marx brothers…
Jeff:
The funniest thing in ever, yeah…
Casey:
Yeah. On-screen… And so, I don’t know that they’re really gonna have that much of a problem…
Jeff:
Did they use, like, some crazy tuba for every time they did that?
Casey:
No. They had, like, a full-on synthesized fart effect that they played also for belching. Yeah.
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
And there was no shortage of…
Jeff:
They weren’t afraid to go there.
Casey:
They did not use that sparingly…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
They plunged straight ahead there.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
There was a sequence… And I don’t remember if the sequence was in the film or not but there was a sequence in which Princess Fiona and Shrek kind of have what… I don’t know what the correct term for this is but I’m just gonna say a fart battle.
Jeff:
I see. Fart-off?
Casey:
Fart-off…
Jeff:
Right, fart-off. Alright.
Casey:
With each other… And that was a real crowd-pleaser…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Here in Seattle for the nice, mature audience that it was. Now…
Jeff:
Holy cow.
Casey:
All of these things that I’ve mentioned so far — The lack of any good music, the complete absence of a story (considering the fact that the parts that are at all interesting, you already knew), the fact that there was tap dance, the use of a video screen, you know…
Jeff:
Who was on the video screen?
Casey:
Excessive fart jokes… Well, that was when they did the Magic Mirror.
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
Right?
Jeff:
Uh-huh…
Casey:
Wouldn’t want to have to get creative there so let’s just throw up a video screen. You know, you could save yourself the trouble of having to act it every night. So just show it on a screen to begin with. That’s what I’d say.
Jeff:
Yeah, just put it up on the screen. Film the…
Casey:
The whole thing could be a screen, yeah.
Jeff:
What’s the problem?
Casey:
Why not?
Jeff:
Cheaper.
Casey:
Now, they didn’t actually go full pull and make a video screen for the mirror that actually looked like it was a mirror. Instead, you could actually see, like, visible lines running down the mirror…
Jeff:
Awesome…
Casey:
Where they had grafted together multiple plasma TV kind of things, right? So you could see these big old seams, you know, almost like the texture artist forgot to pad the thing or there’s, like, an off by 1 error, you know… And that’s what you’re looking at. Now, all of these things did not dissuade the discerning people of Seattle from giving this fine production a standing ovation.
Jeff:
Standing ovation, yes.
Casey:
The standing ovation, if you perform… And I have seen this happen once. If you perform a musical at the 5th Avenue Theater and you do not get a standing ovation, it’s time to hang up…
Jeff:
To hang it up…
Casey:
If I… God forbid I ever, you know, produce a musical or something and…
Jeff:
I mean…
Casey:
If I went to the 5th Avenue Theater and they did not give me a standing ovation, I would cry. I would cry that night. It would crush my soul because I have seen them… Personally, I have seen them, give standing ovations to performances that were on par with the local firehouse production…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Or you know, just absolute… Just crap material. And I don’t know what to say. I mean, a standing ovation is supposed to be for when you’ve seen something that’s just outstanding, you know. Applause is what you do when it was fine. It’s like, “Hey, you did a reasonable job.” And they did. The performers in this were totally reasonable. No complaints there. The material was kind of crappy, you know, there you go. Applause is fine for that. You do not need to stand and ovate that at all.
Jeff:
Did each of the performers come out like Shrek and put his arms out…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
And do a deep bow and then, like…
Casey:
Well, they kept it mercifully brief. And I was happy with that. They did not do a 2nd curtain call. And I thought that took great restraint. And I give them full credit for that because, you know, the crowd was on their feet. They loved it, right…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
They would’ve liked to see someone come out and do another part, right… If Shrek could’ve come out and, during the bow… Like, right on the bow, if they just…
Jeff:
One for the road, let one blast…
Casey:
Ripped it… Just a serious rip right there, the crowd would’ve gone nuts, right.
Jeff:
That would’ve been crazy.
Casey:
That’s the icing on the cake right there.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And they didn’t do that. So at some level, again, I think this might be a case of the performers, the directors…
Jeff:
Knowing…
Casey:
They know that this material is bad. They know that the crowd has low standards. And they’re just happy to go home at this point. So I think that that may be the case. Again… And I think the last time this happened to me, there was musical called “Princesses” which I saw… This was the last time that they claimed they were debuting something that was going to go to Broadway. Now…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
I hope to God…
Jeff:
Is that…
Casey:
They were wrong on that one because if that actually opened on Broadway, those performers probably got hit with a fair amount of produce. And it’s not their fault, you know.
Jeff:
“Princesses” is the one where they did “Snow White” and… The 3 princesses?
Casey:
No.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Are you thinking of “Into the Woods”?
Jeff:
Yeah, I think…
Casey:
“Into the Woods” actually has 4 princesses but yes…
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
I’ll give you that off by one. “Princesses” is actually a musical that is a retelling of the story “The Little Princess” which, of course, is a classic novel and also multiple films, I believe, at this point.
Jeff:
But they never made it out of here, right?
Casey:
I really hope not. I did not hear of it coming to Broadway. So I’m assuming it didn’t. But since I do not have really much occasion to travel to New York, I don’t keep up with what’s actually happening on Broadway, you know. I only can go to musicals that come here, really, for the most part. And so, that was a retelling of “The Little Princess”. And it was not… I shouldn’t say it’s a retelling of it. It was not a setting of “The Little Princess” to music. It was a story that revolved around “The Little Princess” with a similar sort of narrative…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
But it was actually about a girl at an all-girls school who is in the play “The Little Princess”.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
And her life happens to have certain parallels to that, although largely more just with respect to the relationship with her father.
Jeff:
I see. Tap dancing?
Casey:
Thankfully, there was no tap dancing.
Jeff:
Damn it.
Casey:
This was a “Rent”-derived musical, if you will.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
Which is they were trying to be edgy with a rock band and so on. And just to give it that extra authentic rock “flavour” (with a U, if you will), they hired… And I’m gonna forget his name here. It’s Matthew… Wij… Sweedge… Swedge… Weedge… Weese… Weiss? Matthew W--… I don’t fucking know.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Matthew something whose claim to fame was the song, “Nobody Gonna Break My Stride”, if you remember that tune, to pen the music for this one.
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
To his credit, the music in that one actually was not the same kind of terrible that this one was.
Jeff:
Alright. I see.
Casey:
This one was much, much worse than that. But the lyricist for that one…
Jeff:
Was out of control?
Casey:
And I don’t remember if he had anything to do with the lyrics. I think there may have been a separate lyricist. It was some of the worst lyrics that I’ve been slapped with…
Jeff:
Wow…
Casey:
In all my theater-going years (which have been many, certainly). The lyricist for “Princesses” was probably the worst lyrics that I’ve ever seen. You couldn’t do worse than… They were just… They were absolutely terrible…
Jeff:
Completely trite, ridiculous musical lyrics?
Casey:
The absolute worst that you can possibly get.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Whereas the “Shrek” lyrics were fine. The music wasn’t very good but it’s just… There were no good songs.
Jeff:
I would love to be able to write the lyrics for “Shrek”. Like, I think you could do that and have a really good time and make those…
Casey:
That’s interesting. I would love to see you do that because honestly, I don’t see it… Like, I don’t have in my mind a good version of the musical of “Shrek” . That’s not in my… You know, my brain right now, I’m not seeing that.
Jeff:
Yeah, I would love to have a shot at that. That would be awesome.
Casey:
Well, I’ll be honest with you. They might take you up on that because I don’t think it’s going so well, you know. I can’t believe that DreamWorks is going to that and going, “Wow, this is great.”
Jeff:
This is gonna be awesome. Yes.
Casey:
It seems unlikely.
Jeff:
Well, DreamWorks is totally the lowered standards, in general, movie house. Like, everything they do is just a rip-off of the next thing.
Casey:
Maybe. I don’t know about that, though. I will definitely say that if you told me I had to go see one of this year’s animated films again and so it was either gonna have to be “Kung Fu Panda” or “Wall-E”, I’d go to “Kung Fu Panda” because “Wall-E”, frankly, was really fucking boring.
Jeff:
Yeah, I…
Casey:
So I don’t know that I agree that they’re the lowest standard people anymore because Pixar is starting to dig down deep and get really boring.
Jeff:
But see, that’s just because I think “Wall-E” was really mediocre, not because “Kung Fu Panda” was great. Like…
Casey:
Right. I guess that’s what I’m saying. Well, okay. So what you’re saying is now there’s 2 low standards production houses, I guess.
Jeff:
Well, I guess what I’m saying is…
Casey:
Yeah, I see what you’re saying.
Jeff:
Pixar is gonna miss now and again but at least… They don’t choose their performers to be the center of attention. It’s like, Patton Oswalt in “Ratatouille”, you probably wouldn’t know that it’s him, right, if you didn’t go in knowing that. They dial it down and actually try to make them be something instead of like, “Hey, Jack,” you know, let Jack Black do whatever he wants. It’s almost like you’re not making animated movies, you’re making the modern version of Hollywood Squares, right?
Casey:
Well, again, I’m not sure I agree with you because to be honest, I thought Patton Oswalt was terrible in “Ratatouille”. I thought it was a terrible casting choice and a terrible performance.
Jeff:
I thought…
Casey:
And Jack Black, if I had to pick who did a better job…
Jeff:
Jack Black just did Jack Black.
Casey:
That’s fine. I’m just saying… I understand what you’re saying but I disagree with the particular example.
Jeff:
Well, yeah. You may disagree with whether he was any good or not.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
It’s just he didn’t go be Patton Oswalt. He wasn’t being Jack Black and, like…
Casey:
But who cares… I guess what I’m saying is what you care about is how did the performance turn out…
Jeff:
No, you care about how the movie turns out.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Like, Jack Black in that movie was like Jack Black and a bunch of people, right? And it didn’t service the movie. It made the movie tolerable but accidentally. Like, that can go so wrong. Anyway, so what’s your next one?
Casey:
My next musical?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Well, the next musical actually will probably be good. I’ve heard good things about it.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
You know, it’s a fairly… It seems like it’s by people who actually know what they’re doing. It’s not a licensed IP. It’s not “Coca Cola: The Musical” or whatever the hell else I’m gonna be getting, what I’m gonna be treated to next year when the 5th Avenue debuts another…
Jeff:
Did you drink a Mountain Dew? Like Shrek?
Casey:
Yeah, right. That would’ve been quite nice. Some product placement would definitely…
Jeff:
Would’ve been perfect? Yeah.
Casey:
Yeah. So…
Jeff:
Nike logos on the rat shoes.
Casey:
Right. The next one is “The Drowsy Chaperone”.
Jeff:
I haven’t heard of that, actually.
Casey:
It’s supposed to be quite good.
Jeff:
Is it?
Casey:
So I’m looking forward to seeing that one. Actually, it’s not a bad season. I opted out of one or 2 of them, I think. You get to opt out. Unfortunately not 3… If I could opt out of 3, then “Shrek” would’ve been gone, as well.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
Basically, there are 3 musicals I didn’t want to see and I had…
Jeff:
That you’ve seen before or you just…
Casey:
I had to pick one of them.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
And so, I decided that “Shrek” would probably be the one that would be the worst out of the 3.
Jeff:
I probably would’ve wanted to see “Shrek”.
Casey:
So I was like, I’m gonna go to that one. I’m like, that’s gonna be the 3… These other ones are gonna be just like, legitimately bad and I’m not gonna enjoy them at all whereas “Shrek”, I can make fun of it afterwards. And I was right.
Jeff:
So how many are there?
Casey:
There are 6? 7?
Jeff:
6? And the season is 9 months?
Casey:
7. It’s 7 and I go to 4 out of 7. Someday I maybe will up it to 7 out of 7 when I’m really… Once I have enough stamina to really be shat upon that many times…
Jeff:
But it goes for about 9 months of the year? Or it goes all the way around?
Casey:
I don’t know.
Jeff:
’Cos that’s not long to, like, try to hone the thing, right, ‘cos anything that you do with live people…
Casey:
Well, most of the time… It’s not a new musical, though.
Jeff:
Yeah, you’re right.
Casey:
So, you know… It doesn’t actually take performance… [ You know, like if we have to ] produce “Les Miserables”. It’s like, Well, everybody who’s ever sang for a living knows “Les Miserables” forwards and backwards…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
They can probably just show up and get fitted for the costumes, you know. So there are certain things like that that I think just don’t take that long whereas if you’re doing something like the “Shrek” thing, you know, that’s a serious commitment because they’ve never done it before…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
They don’t know what’s going on. They’re building the sets. They need to work out the timings and the choreography and all that shit…
Jeff:
I got you. I got you.
Casey:
So I’m sure that’s a much more substantial sort of…
Jeff:
Are you gonna miss any when you’re in Japan?
Casey:
One of the perks… One of the reasons I am a season ticket holder is just because you get all kinds of extra good stuff if you’re a season ticket holder.
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
You can move your tickets around. You get free parking, you know, you get dining coupons; not that I actually, I think, ever used one of those but. . .
Jeff:
That’s where the Mountain Dew would be.
Casey:
Yeah, exactly. So yeah, I [ don’t have to miss any ] while I’m in Japan. I just moved it to not be conflicting with that.
Jeff:
I see. So we should tell people that we’re gonna have some internet-casts…
Casey:
Yeah, we don’t actually know what we’re gonna do for that.
Jeff:
That’s gonna be pretty interesting. Well, we’re gonna do… I know we’re gonna do one, for sure, over Skype, just to see how it works.
Casey:
If you can get it working.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
If you can figure out how to record that because…
Jeff:
I’m gonna hold the mic up to the speakers. I’m gonna… It’s gonna be low quality…
Casey:
Yeah, I guess that would work, you could just keep it up there.
Jeff:
But I want it to…
Casey:
Yeah, that’ll work.
Jeff:
It’ll be an experiment. So…
Casey:
Well, yeah. I’ll be in Japan for 3 weeks in October.
Jeff:
So it’ll be… We’ll have plenty of time to get better at it.
Casey:
And so, I’ll be gone most of the month. Yeah.
Jeff:
Yeah. That’s when I’ll take all of your voice words and such out of previous podcasts and construct an entirely new podcast.
Casey:
So you’ll just make a new ‘cast, yeah.
Jeff:
“Please send me animal clips.”
Casey:
Yeah, exactly.
Jeff:
“More. The. Merrier.”
Casey:
Yes, exactly.
Jeff:
It’ll be awesome.
Casey:
Animals clips.
Jeff:
It’s gonna be great.
Casey:
I have to say that I was… My new policy of just not clicking on any links from you has been working really well.
Jeff:
Damn it.
Casey:
I find that I’m a happier person…
Jeff:
Damn it.
Casey:
During the day…
Jeff:
No…
Casey:
I have more time. I feel great. I’m working out…
Jeff:
But you watched some of them ‘cos you respond to some of them. I need to hone what I say in the texts.
Casey:
Well, you’re basically… You’ve become a spammer, you know. You’ve unwittingly become a spammer.
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
You’re trying to get me to click on a link that you know I wouldn’t click on if I knew what it was.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
So now, pretty soon, I’m getting emails from you that have, like, large sections of Charles Dickens’ works cut and pasted…
Jeff:
And then right in the middle…
Casey:
Yeah, or whatever…
Jeff:
Did you go to the koala bear?
Casey:
No.
Jeff:
And the alligator?
Casey:
No.
Jeff:
Doesn’t that tantalize you, that description? Koala and alligator…
Casey:
No, it only reaffirms my commitment to not clicking on these links that you’ve been sending.
Jeff:
No. No, no, no. See, ‘cos the koala bear’s in the tree. And he says to the…
Casey:
Fancy that, considering they live there.
Jeff:
And he says to the lizard… And he’s getting high.
Casey:
What?
Jeff:
And the lizard goes, “Hey, man. What are you doing?” And the koala bear says, “Hey, man. I’m just smoking some weed. Do you want to smoke with me?” And the koala bear and the lizard get high, sitting there, smoking. Finally, the lizard says, “You know, man, I’m really thirsty. I got cotton mouth I gotta go down the river and get some water,” falls out of the tree, into the water, okay… He’s in the water and he’s drowning ‘cos he’s so stoned. But an alligator comes out of the water and saves the little guy and picks him up and takes him to the shore. And the alligator says, “What’s the matter with you? What’s going on?” And he says, “Oh, man. I was up in the tree, getting high with the koala bear.” And so the alligator goes, “Oh, I gotta go talk to him about this.” Alligator walks over to the koala bear and says, “Dude, what the fuck is going on?” The koala bear goes, “Shit, man, how much water did you drink?” I’m getting nothing.
Casey:
So, I…
Jeff:
That’s what I wanted you to see.
Casey:
Didn’t click on the link because I didn’t want to hear that story.
Jeff:
I know. That’s why I told you it. It’s good stuff.
Casey:
And now, you told me the story. And not only did you waste my time with that story but you’ve wasted, like…
Jeff:
I know…
Casey:
150 people’s time who listen to this podcast.
Jeff:
No…
Casey:
Maybe more. Maybe like 200.
Jeff:
Thousands. Thousands.
Casey:
There are not thousands of people listening to this podcast.
Jeff:
Thousands of people listen to the podcast every week.
Casey:
No, they don’t.
Jeff:
Damn it.
Casey:
There’s, like, 200 people who listen to this podcast every week.
Jeff:
No, 5,000.
Casey:
Okay, there’s 5,000 people…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
After having… I’m not sure how they produced 5,000 out of 200. They cut them into little… They cut off their limbs and they grew new people.
Jeff:
Yeah, okay. That’s good.
Casey:
They’re all sharing one MP3 player. There you go. Okay, that’s the answer right there.
Jeff:
That’s how it rolls?
Casey:
Everyone is… There’s 25 people sharing each one of our 200 actual downloads…
Jeff:
That’s right.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Oh, yes. So have you recovered from PAX?
Casey:
No.
Jeff:
Not yet? You’re still kinda draggin’?
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Draggin’ low?
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
So, of the people that were there in the PAX 10, how many of them were consoles/console games? Were they mostly PC’s?
Casey:
2.
Jeff:
2, okay.
Casey:
“The Maw” and “Schizoid”…
Jeff:
Both have [inaudible 38:37] already?
Casey:
Are both on the Xbox.
Jeff:
Oh, they’re already shipping?
Casey:
“Schizoid” has shipped.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
“The Maw” has not shipped but it was running… The show floor demo was on an Xbox 360.
Jeff:
So they consider independent is… You’re still an indie if you signed a deal with Microsoft, just not with a publisher?
Casey:
Well, I don’t really know how you define indie. And this is something that has been talked about, definitely. I don’t know the answer to that question. There are some cases where someone is obviously indie, such as myself, where it’s one person.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Because no matter how rich that one person gets, it’s still pretty clear that it’s indie because they’re not paying anyone to do anything, right? You’re not paying millions of Dollars to people…
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
So it’s like you know that the amount of time that went into this game was specifically the number of years that I had spent on it and there’s no way that I could spend enough time on a game to make it not indie, right? Obviously, the textbook’s definition of independent is one guy, right?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
No matter what other things happen… But once you get up to a point where you’ve got a fairly substantial team which some place does…
Jeff:
Where does it…
Casey:
It’s hard to draw that line, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
I mean, Valve… Why are they not indie?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
I mean, they don’t accept money from people. They don’t need Electronic Arts to pay them in advance to make their game.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
They are independently funded, right?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And so, at some level, I think that it’s more just a judgment call. I mean, you have to say, like, “Are these people kind of embodying what we consider, in general, an independent spirit?”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
You know, yes or no. And I don’t know really how you get any better definition than that. You can outlaw certain obvious things like you cannot receive funding from a publicly traded company or be one, right? But beyond that, I’m not sure what else you really say and how do you differentiate something that’s, like, you know, what’s the difference between the people who did “The Maw” and Valve, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
You have to pick an amount of money, right? ‘Cos you have a team of people, right, and they’re functioning as a group, you know, and producing a game…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
How do you… Obviously, one is indie. And obviously one isn’t. But it’s hard to draw that line there, right? So I think that it’s just kind of like, “Well, you know, these were a bunch of people who started out on their own and they went and made a little company and they’re not being funded by EA or something like that.” So that’s indie.
Jeff:
Could you have shipped to be in PAX 10?
Casey:
I think that…
Jeff:
If “Schizoid” is shipping…
Casey:
I think that there are no restrictions on distribution in any way.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
So you could have signed a distribution deal with somebody. You could’ve already shipped the game. You could not even be intending to ship a game. Like one of the games there, “Impulse”, was a student project that, up until the PAX 10 thing, had no intention of being shipped at all.
Jeff:
Oh, okay. But then…
Casey:
It wasn’t even distributable. Like, you couldn’t even get it on the web.
Jeff:
Is “Impulse”… That’s one of the couple of games that had Magnetism, right? Like…
Casey:
I did not get a chance to play “Impulse” and it is not available on the web. So I don’t know.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
[ “Polarity” and “Strange Attractors 2” ] were both Magnetism games.
Jeff:
Yeah. I think I played 3 games now that use Magnetism…
Casey:
Then it was that one, yes.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
But I didn’t actually play “Impulse” so I don’t know. And the website doesn’t have a download. I went and checked.
Jeff:
Oh, okay.
Casey:
So they’re still working that out. But I’ll check it out. So I’m not sure exactly what that game is about. Magnetism definitely seemed to be sort of the PAX 10 theme this year even though there wasn’t necessarily supposed to be a theme. Magnetism was definitely…
Jeff:
It was definitely in there.
Casey:
Definitely in there.
Jeff:
So this morning, I had to do some shopping, some boring shopping. And it struck me, while I was doing said shopping, that if I was working the check stand…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And it’s a boring job and you’re just sitting there doing this is, based on the items that people are buying, I would be constructing stories about what’s going on in that person’s life.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
I’m sure everyone’s gotten, like, the dude that’s checking you out…
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
Mentions this and like, “Oh, so, gonna have a party with it,” right?
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
And it’s always bad.
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
But I know that in my own mind I would be doing that all along. And the reason why is I went in there and I said, “Oh, shit. I have to get some deodorant.” And I was thinking, “If I go in there and buy… Like, how many deodorants can I buy to where they know, ‘Okay, this dude’s been out of deodorant for a while’.” Like, if you just buy one and then throw in some other items, it can be like, “Oh, he’s just shopping. It’s just one of those things on his list.” But you go in there and you throw 10 Old Spice’s into a bag and then go up to the counter, they’re like, “This dude’s been out of Old Spice for a while. He doesn’t want to ship again.” So…
Casey:
Well, I prefer to think of it less in the… I think you’re kind of applying a particular mental model to society…
Jeff:
Uh-huh…
Casey:
To the checkout…
Jeff:
To the checkout?
Casey:
That it had this role in society that I think is incorrect.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
I think that is a very… What’s the word I’m looking for? I think that it’s a very 20th Century view…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
Of how the checkout…
Jeff:
Works?
Casey:
You know, I think that’s sort of a primitive stage in our understanding of the checkout.
Jeff:
I see. Okay.
Casey:
I think that… And certainly, any modern analysis of the checkout line views it as a dialogue between the person purchasing the items and the checkout counter employee.
Jeff:
Alright. I see.
Casey:
So for example, you’re thinking of it as, “I am purchasing items on my shopping list and then they are being judged by this sort of impartial observer who is tallying my total using a barcode scanner…”
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Right? “And passing judgment on…”
Jeff:
Upon those items?
Casey:
“The collection of items and what their interrelation implies for my life.”
Jeff:
Yes. Okay.
Casey:
But I don’t think… That is not appropriate. That does not respect the dialectic nature of the dialogue.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
The way you should be thinking of it is, “What am I going… How can I purchase things that communicate to the checkout employee what I am like and how I want them to view me as a person?”
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
So you’re saying like…
Casey:
So for example…
Jeff:
Do you have to line things up in the cart, then, so they pull them out in order?
Casey:
Yeah. You want them to definitely be on that sort of…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
Rolling band…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
In the order in which they will tell the narrative that you are trying to construct for the supermarket individual, right?
Jeff:
I see. Uh-huh.
Casey:
For example, okay, if you have something that you need to get such as condoms…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Let’s say. . .
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
So, say you’re gonna get some condoms, right.
Jeff:
Uh-huh.
Casey:
And you’re also going to get a forty.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Alright?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Let’s say those are 2 items that you’re going to get.
Jeff:
Sure.
Casey:
An example would be do you put the condoms on the belt in front of the forty…
Jeff:
Or after…
Casey:
Or after?
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
And the reason that that is important is it’s telling them sort of how you’re seeing this unfold. Are you and your partner gonna get wasted and then fuck, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Or are you guys gonna fuck and then the forty’s for you, for later, okay. It’s not involved in that experience, right?
Jeff:
Well, no, it is because you’re feeling bad about how it went, right?
Casey:
Maybe.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
It might be kind of a morning after, like, “Ooh, let me take a little swig…”
Jeff:
So you need, like, the condoms, the forty…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
The pregnancy test…
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
The single rose…
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
Maybe a box of chocolates…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
It can get you through the relationship?
Casey:
I will say right now, Jeff, that you are a romantic.
Jeff:
Okay, that’s how it works?
Casey:
I can tell. I can tell just from the items that you are laying down there, I can see that you’re just a really sweet guy at the end of the day.
Jeff:
I see. That’s how it works?
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Alright. So… I see, so it’s got to be 2-way. You can’t just make it…
Casey:
Well, yeah. That’s what I’m saying. I think you had a very old-fashioned, constrictive view of how, you know…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
Purchasing things from the supermarket works.
Jeff:
Because I was thinking about, like, the difference between buying, like… If you buy beer…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
You can assume it’s, like, party time.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
If you’re bringing wine, it’s like sexy time. And then you buy hard liquor. It’s just like… It’s alone time… But what you’re saying is we need to turn this into…
Casey:
Well, yeah, I mean, you’ve taken these things totally out of context, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And I don’t think that any modern checkout person…
Jeff:
Is gonna…
Casey:
Is gonna be having such a narrow view…
Jeff:
Entertained by that?
Casey:
Well, I mean, that’s just a very narrow view, right?
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
And I think that by broadening the items that are being considered to the whole series, right?
Jeff:
I see. So when you buy the beer, you can buy it with nachos so that they know it’s party time.
Casey:
Right. And also the type of beer, right? I mean, if it’s Pabst Blue Ribbon, then obviously, you just want to get wasted…
Jeff:
Yes, exactly.
Casey:
But if it’s some kind of custom beer like a Samuel Adams, then it says “I’m trying to be picky”…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
And “I’m trying to have a preference where none should really bother to be” and so on…
Jeff:
Right. So what does it say about you when you buy DVD’s at the supermarket? Because I was at the supermarket. The person in front of me is buying DVD’s.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
I’m like, “Wow…”
Casey:
So, buying DVD’s at the supermarket is basically… That’s more of a way that they know that you’re a sucker, right? So that’s just kind of, “Okay, this person, we can convince this person to do just about anything,” right?
Jeff:
Anything… If it’s by the counter…
Casey:
Yeah, exactly. So this is probably someone who’s got the DVD and they put it down on a copy of, like, Us Magazine, right? Something on the cover that’s got a story about the Olsen twins and their latest diet…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
That was effective. How they got their body back, you know…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
The DVD’s on there, the latest Readers’ Digest, you know…
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
That’s what I’m thinking.
Jeff:
Well, you could also think, like, with the modern computer systems now at these supermarkets, you buy a DVD at a supermarket, it’s like red star so that when you come back again, we need to have all of our deployment systems to sell them other inappropriate items that they can’t help themselves but purchase, right? They’re going to put out…
Casey:
Well, I think that you’re ascribing a little bit too much effort here because I think one thing that you know, when somebody buys a DVD from the supermarket…
Jeff:
I see. You don’t have to do…
Casey:
You’re just like… Those are just… It’s sort of a flypaper strategy, you know. It’s like, “We don’t really have to do anything to get the flies to come to the fly strip. It’s just to get those flies that’ll just fly right the fuck into it.
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
You know what I mean? It’s just an incidental trap that needs no real attention.
Jeff:
Right, right. Well, I was over at Fred Meyer and they have a huge DVD section now. In fact, it’s the majority of their AV department nowadays. And now, the television section of their DVD’s is far larger than the movies. It dwarfs it usually because there’s, like, 10 seasons or one other thing…
Casey:
Oh, yeah, there’s a lot more content being produced…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
For popular TV shows…
Jeff:
So let me ask you something. There were 2 shows up there that I was kind of walking through and I was like… 2 of them were… We had “Andy Griffith” (which I used to like that show)…
Casey:
I’d never seen it.
Jeff:
Okay. But still, it’s going to have a limited marketplace.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And “Murder She Wrote”.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And I’m like, “Both of these are aiming for what I feel like is a non-DVD purchasing segment of the population.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
’Cos, like, my grandpa is no more likely to be able to, you know, make the DVD work as he is liable to fire up a computer and do some programming.
Casey:
Well, “Murder She Wrote” is significantly later than “The Andy Griffith Show” so I think you might be a little bit off on that.
Jeff:
But no…
Casey:
Lots of people watched “Murder She Wrote”…
Jeff:
No, “Murder She Wrote” is kind of famous for its crazy demographic. I believe it was CBS.
Casey:
Hey, I watched “Murder She Wrote”, okay. Back off.
Jeff:
Yeah. I’m sensing something here. It’s like, “Angela Lansbury, bitch…” It’s Angela Lansbury?
Casey:
It is Angela Lansbury. Tying it back into the musical theme.
Jeff:
That’s true. That’s true.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
I looked at them and said, “I do not see them ever selling a copy of “Murder She Wrote” on DVD. I just didn’t see it happening.
Casey:
Well…
Jeff:
There’s also shows that you’re like, “Who would buy the DVD for this?” Like, it doesn’t make any sense. Like “Dukes of Hazzard”, like…
Casey:
Wow. Yeah. If you’re buying the DVD of “Dukes of Hazzard”…
Jeff:
You know what, go find some Pabst and drink yourself into an early grave because, you know, your life is over. If you’re like, “Holy shit, season 2!”
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
That was the season where they fought for more money so they replaced them with look-alike [inaudible 52:02] Right?
Casey:
Oh, you’re right. I forgot about that little… Oh, my God. You’re right.
Jeff:
They looked exactly like… Which is pretty much…
Casey:
I forgot.
Jeff:
Never seen a worse “fuck you” to an actor and like, “Look, we can replace you…”
Casey:
But nobody cared, I don’t think. And they were right.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
’Cos who gives a shit?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
That show… Yeah.
Jeff:
Eventually they came back, you know, “Fine, I’ll take the $25 you pay a week.”
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
It’s still better than anything else.
Casey:
Now, if I may, I think there’s a big hole in the parody world in that no one’s ever done a parody of “Dukes of Hazzard” which is just, you know… Its criminal, really.
Jeff:
Well, I imagine… Didn’t any of the “Naked Gun’s” have any of that stuff? It came a little late than that, I suppose…
Casey:
I haven’t seen anything…
Jeff:
They were also self-parodying to a large degree. If you watch them now…
Casey:
That’s true.
Jeff:
They’re so bad.
Casey:
The thing that I was thinking about when I was thinking of “Dukes of Hazzard” last (which is not very frequently) but there was a movie that came out.
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
Which, fortunately, I didn’t have to see.
Jeff:
Uh-huh.
Casey:
But it did remind me of “Dukes of Hazzard”. And if I remember correctly, and this may just be me misremembering because it’s been a really long time. I saw that show when I was seriously, like, 6 years old.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And I seem to recall that at the end of every episode, they would jump the car over something.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Right? So no matter what the problem was that needed to be resolved…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Somehow, they managed to work out…
Jeff:
They’re gonna jump something…
Casey:
By jumping the car over something…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
That a police car will not be able to jump.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Right?
Jeff:
Yes, that is the solution.
Casey:
That is always the solution. So I was thinking…
Jeff:
As it is in real life…
Casey:
Well, that’s… Okay. There is where I wanted the parody, right.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
I want to see a show that is a normal TV drama or something like this (like “LA Law”) where they jump…
Jeff:
Or “CSI”…
Casey:
“CSI”, right… And they still figure out some way to make the whole thing hinge around…
Jeff:
A jump…
Casey:
A jump at around minute 22, right?
Jeff:
That they freeze the jump in mid-air…
Casey:
And cut to commercial.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
That’s what I want to see. And… You see what I’m saying?
Jeff:
I see. Yeah.
Casey:
Like, “E.R.”, right? It’s like “E.R.” and the person is almost dead, right, they can’t figure out what’s wrong with him or something. And somehow, they have…
Jeff:
“Law and Order”…
Casey:
It turns out… Yeah, like, what they always have to do is transport the patient to another hospital…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
In a ridiculously short amount of time and the bridge is out. So that’s what happens.
Jeff:
So the ambulance jumps, they pause…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And they still have Waylon Jennings come on and say…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
“I don’t know about you but I don’t know how they gonna get that kid over to St. Mary’s.”
Casey:
Well, I was thinking something more along the lines of, “Hoo, boy. I hope they put that IV needle in tight,” you know, something like that, something medically related, right?
Jeff:
Oh, okay. Yeah, I got you.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
That would be awesome to get Waylon Jennings saying all the medical terms that they say.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
Well, actually, now that you think about it, I don’t know of any episode of “House” that couldn’t be improved by pausing in the middle of a diagnos--…
Jeff:
By a car jump?
Casey:
No, pausing in the middle of a differential, right, and be like, “Hoo, I hope it’s not gas gangrene,” you know, or something like that. And you know…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Well, I actually saw the movie and it’s exactly as horrible as you imagine. There is a lot of jumping.
Casey:
Oh, the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie?
Jeff:
Yeah. There’s some awesome stuff there…
Casey:
What movie… Has there ever been a movie where you actually exercised restraint and did not watch it? Like, “Ernest Goes to Jail” or something like this?
Jeff:
I have not seen any Ernest movies.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
You chose wisely.
Casey:
Now, is that on purpose or is that an “I haven’t gotten around to it yet but it’s in the queue”?
Jeff:
No. He just never appealed to me, ever. Interestingly…
Casey:
Oh, but the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie sounded fabulous?
Jeff:
Wait… Yeah, it actually did because it was the unrated version. There was some girl covering herself up and I’m like, “I’m gonna see something in this movie, for sure.” There’s no “Gia”. This is… I’m safe.
Casey:
Okay. So…
Jeff:
Well, wait. Let me finish.
Casey:
Back it up.
Jeff:
Let me back something…
Casey:
I’m not letting you back it up.
Jeff:
Damn it.
Casey:
I’m…
Jeff:
I want to rewind farther than you.
Casey:
But I want to drill down on this for a second here.
Jeff:
Uh-huh. Yes.
Casey:
Why is it that you basically attempt, if I may…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
To mine… You, like, try to mine your pornography out of non-porn materials. Isn’t that, like, just the most frustrating experience that you’ve ever had? Why are you doing that?
Jeff:
No. It’s like hunting for Easter eggs.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
Like, yes, a lot of the times, you won’t find them. But when you do, it’s good. You’re like, “Oh, look. One with nice stripes and stars and sparkles.”
Casey:
I mean, there’s an entire industry that’s dedicated to doing nothing but providing you with movies where you’re guaranteed to have pornography occur in the film. And yet, you are like, “I am going to go watch this movie that is the worst movie that anyone’s ever made just so I can see maybe 2 minutes of some sort of…”
Jeff:
Oh, it’s way less than that, generally.
Casey:
Oh, God.
Jeff:
Yes. But no, I was gonna rewind to Ernest…
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
And say that Ernest started doing local commercials in Utah…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
A lot for some milk company. So he was doing that for 10 years. So it’s kind of like the GEICO Cavemen… “Oh, these commercials are funny. Let’s make a show out of them,” only their big success was Ernest…
Casey:
Oh, wow.
Jeff:
And then… They were shooting for Ernest and then got the Cavemen…
Casey:
Wow.
Jeff:
Which is supposedly one of the worst TV shows ever made. So… They don’t jump anything in the Cavemen films.
Casey:
Except the shark.
Jeff:
That’s right.
Casey:
That is the worst.
Jeff:
Hey, it’s still more sophisticated than anything they did in “Shrek”. So let’s throw that out there.
Casey:
Now, they did do one fairly sophisticated thing in “Shrek”.
Jeff:
What was that? Fat suit for the guy playing Shrek?
Casey:
Oh, here we go. So the sophisticated that they did in “Shrek” was, if you remember correctly from the movie…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
The antagonist is very short. He has a Napoleon Complex.
Jeff:
Oh, the little tiny… The king…
Casey:
Yes, exactly.
Jeff:
John Lithgow?
Casey:
Yes. And of course, you know, they’d have to hire basically a midget, you know, if they wanted to have the same stature…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
You know, 3 feet tall or whatever it is.
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
So what they came up with sort of to solve this problem…
Jeff:
[inaudible 58:44]
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
No way.
Casey:
Well, I’m assuming you mean kneeling down.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
So the antagonist is kneeling down the entire time, okay, and he has little legs, faux legs, that they have attached to his…
Jeff:
Awesome…
Casey:
His hips, basically.
Jeff:
This is like “Dorf” on “Shrek” right?
Casey:
Yes, oh, my God. I didn’t think of it that way…
Jeff:
It’s totally “Dorf”.
Casey:
But you are totally, totally…
Jeff:
Right. It’s “Dorf”. “Dorf” on “Shrek” where he’s…
Casey:
It was… I mean, this musical was so embarrassingly bad, Jeff.
Jeff:
But this seems like they have tons of money. Why would they…. Oh, my God. And so, the back of his legs are, like, in black stockings so they kind of…
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
Oh, my God.
Casey:
Pretty clever.
Jeff:
Did he ever have to kick?
Casey:
Yeah, all the time.
Jeff:
So that you could see his funny little feet?
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Oh, my god.
Casey:
And you want to know something else?
Jeff:
Yeah, all the time, man.
Casey:
The audience loved it.
Jeff:
Oh…
Casey:
They had never seen something so hilarious as this guy with 2 fake legs…
Jeff:
They must be the people buying those “Dorf” videotapes at really late night…
Casey:
I don’t know.
Jeff:
You know…
Casey:
I have no idea.
Jeff:
They’re all at home watching “Dorf on Golf”.
Casey:
There’s, like, 800 “Dorf” videos.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
There’s, like… I mean, I don’t even know how many there are.
Jeff:
I think it’s all Tim Conway does now. He’s still doing “Dorf”.
Casey:
He’s still doing it?
Jeff:
He’s “Dorf”-ing it up all day long. He must, like, just have to drink himself to sleep every night, right? Like, he just wakes up and he’s like, “Fucking Dorf, of all the things…”
Casey:
Yeah, that could’ve caught on is “Dorf”…
Jeff:
“Fucking Dorf,” yeah…
Casey:
Of all the things…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Like Tim Conway had an illustrious Shakespearean acting career prior to “Dorf”.
Jeff:
You could’ve walked away. And yet, he wakes up every day and does, like, “Dorf on Corporate Retreats”…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
’Cos it has to be, like, old White guy shit…
Casey:
’Cos that’s who’s buying it.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
“Dorf the [ Franklin Mint ]”, right?
Casey:
Right, right. Yeah.
Jeff:
“Dorf at the Republican Convention”…
Casey:
At the national convention…
Jeff:
Exactly… Oh. What a crazy podcast this is. We’re just sleepy and we’re just talking. We’re just talking, you know, just 2 guys talking. You know what, this week, I want everyone, tell us a story. And the best one, I’m going to tell on the air next week. So tell us a funny story that happened to you and I’ll tell it and it’ll be awesome. And you can email those stories to us at Podcast@JeffAndCaseyShow.com.
Casey:
Sounds like a plan.
Jeff:
Yes. You’re falling asleep in the middle of saying goodbye.
Casey:
I know. I’m too tired.
Jeff:
Oh, my goodness. Alright, then let’s finish so Casey can go sleep. Thanks, everybody. And we’ll see you next week.
Casey:
Good night.
Jeff:
Good night, sweet prince.
Casey:
Look who brought their [ Asian bow machine ].
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casey muratori
the jeff and casey show - season 1 - episode 30
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