Thrilling Adventure Hour, Now On Nerdist! Episode #42: Beyond Belief- “White Hunter, Drunk Heart”
By Katie Levine on October 10, 2011
Starring Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster as those married mediums Frank and Sadie Doyle. Also starring Mark Gagliardi, Hal Lublin, Scott Aukerman, Patton Oswalt, Dana Gould, and Chris Hardwick. Recorded October 1, 2011.
A message from the creators:
Blacker: Hi, everyone! We are so excited to join Nerdist Industries! If you’re interested in why we made this decision, read this short essay we wrote to our current fans and subscribers (http://thrillingadventurehour.com/Blog.html):
Before we get into specifics about this week’s podcast, we should likely introduce you to the Thrilling Adventure Hour. The stage show plays monthly at Largo at the Coronet. We moved to Largo in March of 2010. Most of the podcasts come from those Largo shows. Before moving to Largo, we ran for five years at a 100-seat club here in Los Angeles. You likely won’t hear anything from those shows, as the room wasn’t really set up for optimum sound recording. The live show is about 75 minutes. Every show begins with an episode of our space western, Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, and generally ends with Beyond Belief. The middle bit changes monthly.
The podcasts are culled from the live shows. So, the audience you hear is really there. If the actors flub, and it’s funny, we keep it in. We have a terrific engineer at Largo and a wonderful, patient podcast producer who makes everything sound great. We have a core cast of about 12-15 actors, some of whom have been with us from the very beginning. All of the music is live. If you live in LA, come see the live show. It’s a lot of fun.
We’ve also been lucky enough to get these amazing guest stars. Acker made our Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrilling_Adventure_Hour), which is pretty current and lists every guest star we’ve ever had in the nearly seven year run of the show.
The guest cast for this episode of Beyond Belief is a dream team of comics that Acker and I used to see perform at the old Largo on Fairfax, 12 years ago, on their Monday-night comedy shows. Besides the amazing Paul F. Tompkins — who has been a part of our cast from the very first show — we are thrilled to have as guests Patton Oswalt, Dana Gould, Scott Aukerman (who, as we were beginning to flirt with podcasting last year, gave us some invaluable help and suggestions), and the nerd-father, Chris Hardwick.
We’re offering an episode of Beyond Belief to you, Nerdist fans, as our first podcast through Nerdist Industries because, more than any other segment we feature in TAH, Beyond Belief is not-at-all reliant on continuity. We try to design every piece of show to be enjoyed on its own merits — if you haven’t been following Sparks Nevada since his first pod appearance (pod #2!), you’ll still have fun in his episodes. But your enjoyment of Sparks and his world will run deeper if you’re invested in his ongoing story.
Beyond Belief has no such strict continuity. There are characters that occasionally return, but you can go into any episode without knowing anything about their world. All you need to know is that PFT and Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds; Huff) play married mediums who love each other and booze and who tangle with the supernatural. We hope you have as much fun listening to the show as we do making it!
Acker: Hello and welcome to my commentary track! Just like regular, non-podcast commentary tracks, please enjoy the show first before reading this or it may not make any sense at all.
I think I’ll use these commentary tracks to point out trivial things about the episode, give behind-the-scenes info and pat-on-the-backs for actors, but for this first one, I want to precede that by saying what a pleasure it is to write Beyond Belief. Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster are dazzling. They are hilarious and their chemistry is joyful. As a writer, it is not just satisfying to see actors perform better than you imagined it, it is thrilling. And that’s what Paul and Paget do. Every single time.
This episode features with the song “Here’s To Us,” a collaboration with our composer Andy Paley. He is a mad genius who has a storied past that will surely make for an implausible movie someday. Someone should interview Andy Paley for an interview-type podcast. This is one of my favorite songs we’ve ever done. It just swings. Newcomers please note: it is not a theme song.
Not much trivia for this episode. The pantheon of African gods, their names, their respective godly fortes were all diligently researched. And by “researched,” I mean “made up.” Their names are all African names. I make no guarantees on the pronunciations of those names.
Oh, man, the actors are so great.
I love Paget’s performance of Sadie’s list of animals to shoot. Once we realized that Sadie pronounced the word “sure” with no “r” sound and two syllables, it became a challenge to find words that are suitably silly to throw at Paget just to hear how she’d say them.
I also love Scott Aukerman’s gleefully goofbally performance as Age, God of the Beasts. Blissfully dumb is my favorite kind of dumb.
I am a giant fan of the comedian guest stars in this episode. I enjoy them in this Beyond Belief and I have enjoyed them for years. You know the kind of commentary track where the behind-the-scenes people just gush over everyone in the film? Well, this is that part. Chris Hardwick, Dana Gould, Patton Oswalt — these guys are great. Some of the best guys working in comedy. Seek them out if you don’t know them. I love working with them.
What doesn’t translate from staged performance to the radio show include the following: Paul and Paget wore Safari gear. When Age, God of the Beasts was shot, Scott lay on the stage until his resurrection.
Where Did This Episode Come From?
I’m glad you asked. In a post-rehearsal foolaround, Hal Lublin, Dave (Gruber) Allen and John DiMaggio riffed made up Ladysmith Black Mambazo at each other. It was so funny. I am not describing it funny, I am just telling you what happened. In the writing of it, Ladysmith Black Mambazo became more Lion Kingy, but their riff sent us looking for a story to tell in Africa.