Starring Marc Evan Jackson as Sparks Nevada and Mark Gagliardi as his faithful Martian companion, Croach the Tracker. Also starring Samm Levine, Sarah Thyre, and Linda Cardellini. Recorded July 9, 2011.
I will be the first to admit that this is a strange episode. I think we had a little difficulty in advancing both the romantic story between Sparks and Rebecca Rose Rushmore and the “war on Mars” story among the science-tists and the technology beings. Both work, I think, but they just don’t quite mesh. Still, it’s always fun when Marc Evan Jackson plays Sparks as harried.
Linda Cardellini did a guest shot early in our run at Largo, and when it came time to cast the roughly year-long part of Sparks’ new girlfriend, she was the first person we called. We knew Linda, of course, from Freaks & Geeks and ER, but (as with Busy Philipps the year previous), we weren’t quite ready for the comedy chops she’d bring to our stage. In 2011, Linda became an integral part of the show. She has a breeze chemistry with Jackson and I love the palpable disgust with which she regards Croach (Mark Gagliardi).
We wrote this episode a month or two after joining the writing staff of Supernatural, where we were inundated (via Twitter) with requests to bring back a fan-favorite character who had turned evil (or something) in the season previous. This was our first experience with a rabid fan base on such a massive scale and there are a number of jokes in this episode that have fun with that. We are fans of things too, and we totally get the ownership that fans feel for the media they consume. Hopefully we make fun of both sides (Miss Rushmore is, after all, as pretentious as her fans are obsessive) successfully. I will say, I was quite pleased with my “midichlorians” joke (which isn’t the sort of thing we usually do in Sparks) and I was sorry it didn’t get a better audience response.
Anyway, Sarah Thyre and Samm Levine put on funny voices, and you can’t really go wrong there, can you?