30 Days of TAH: Day 8

The Sparks Nevada Episodes

So I’ve missed some days because of travel and work, and I realized I haven’t participated in any of the Sparks Nevada days. And I also realized that I’ve gone on and on about my love for Beyond Belief and Colonel Tick-Tock, but not about my love for the Marshall on Mars and the endearing characters in Sparks Universe. This segment is very special to me, as are the characters. I gasped out loud when Croach “died” and got teary at the live show when Felton “died”. So below are some of my favorite episodes in the universe of my favorite space cowboy: Sparks Nevada.

Danger 2.0 – It was when this episode was released that I decided to give another segment, other than Beyond Belief, a try. This was a great episode to dip my toe into. Incredibly funny performances by both the WJ players and Yvette Nicole Brown as the Troubleshooter. This encouraged me to start from the beginning and listen to all the Sparks to that point. 

So, after Danger 2.0, I went back to the beginning. The first episode didn’t make much of an impression on me, but I was determined to continue. The next episode definitely set the hook; TAH #6 The Agony of the Feet. I still laugh out loud when I listen to this episode. Hilarious performances by the WJ players and a well written storyline. The chemistry between Sparks and Croach is so much fun and I love how MEJ and Mark play off one another.

 All the episodes that feature Jib Janeen, the Jupiter spy. This is such a fun character, brilliantly played by Paul F. Tompkins. I laughed with glee during Farther Reaches Of Space, when Cactoid Jim ended up being Jib Janeen.

 The Piano Has Been Thinking – A TAH musical! What’s not to love? A great story, fabulous guest stars and songs you can’t get out of your head. Everybody gets a chance to shine.

 This is a two-part segment: Hyper-Cattle Overdrive and Mortified on Mars and feels different from the other stories: with an old-fashioned cattle drive (or hyper-cattle drive), singing around the campfire, and a highway robbery by Highway Man Dan, and only two regulars: Sparks and the Barkeep. Andy Richter is hilarious as Pembroke “Cookie” Cartwright, whose daughter Alex, embarrassed by his silliness, wants Sparks (a hero from the Rebecca Rose Rushmore stories) to be her father. I always love when RRR’s stories and Sparks’ emotional unavailability are mentioned.  My other favorite thing about this episode is the song, “Riding the Galactic Trail”. 

Paul F. Tompkins, Paget Brewster & The Workjuice Players - Our Love Is The Best (Live edit)
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Our Love Is The Best (Live edit)

Extra verse:






Love of my life!

Our love is the best!


Better than all the rest —


By a large margin!

(So much better than the rest!)


We know!

(Our love is better than all the rest of the loves it’s true!)


Our love is the best!

Music and lyrics by Eban Schletter

Audio is from The Thrilling Adventure Hour #159: The Heart Is A Lonely Haunter


Happy Birthday to the one true gentleman of comedy Paul F. Tompkins. 
(September 12, 1968)

30 Days of TAH – Day 11 Beyond Belief Episodes

I need a list of five of my favorite Beyond Belief episodes. Five…  Five episodes. I can only choose five. I can only choose five? Well, Beyond Belief is easily my favorite thing on the planet. Seriously. So this is going to be very difficult.

Honestly, if the anniversary show and the September show had aired by now, they would easily make my top five. In both episodes, it’s their love that helps them overcome the circumstances they find themselves in, and that’s my favorite thing about Frank and Sadie Doyle. Their love IS better than all the rest.

So after much agonizing, here’s my top five… ish. Although I’m a bit intimidated by this, because my words cannot do justice for how much I love Frank and Sadie Doyle.

Sarcophagus Now – First of all, it opens with the fabulous Keegan Michael Key, whom I love. And Frank and Sadie traversing a pharaoh’s tomb is a great premise. Frank knowing hieroglyphics because Sadie gave him hieroglyphics on tape is funny, as are all of the booby-traps that are no longer effective because “you have to feed animals, ancient Egyptians!” Mark Gagliardi as Chachacat, the hot-dog loving fire demon is hilarious and fun. This episode is at the top of the list, because we get a big chunk of Frank and Sadie interaction, without interruptions from other characters. Those are my favorite moments.

White Hunter, Drunk Heart – A Beyond Belief that opens with Paul and Paget singing, is tough to beat.  But the episode keeps getting better: Frank and Sadie are on safari, riding snookered upon a pachyderm when they shoot the god over the beast, disguised as a lion. This episode had everything, including a power-house guest line-up: Patton Oswalt, Dana Gould, Chris Hardwick and Scott Aukerman. The dialogue is amazing in this episode. “Frank said I could shoot whatever I wish. A veiled threat, thinly”/ “And I am Frank, god over my wife.” “Under.” / “Those trees are cute when angry.” /“What kind of gods would we be if we let mortals shoot one of our own?” “Forgiving?”/ “I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide”/ “Feathers will go everywhere I suspect.”  And let’s not forget Sadie’s wonderful list of all the jungle animals she would like to “bag”. Priceless!

Goatbusters – I absolutely love the beginning of this episode. Frank and Sadie awaken to something that smells like a goat and bleats like a goat. “Oh, a sheep, do you think? He must be terribly fluffy. Can we keep him? I’ll, I’ll name him and feed him and walk him and every night before bed I’ll count him. ONE! I’ll say!” Oh my, the first time I heard this line, it about did me in. Goddamn, I love Sadie Doyle!  Another huge bonus going for this episode is the very talented Matt Gourley as the Chupacabra.

Djinn and Tonic – This has J.K. Simmons singing, so yeah that’s pretty awesome.  And Joe Mantegna with his Glenngary Glenn Ross speech is fantastic. But the best part for me is Frank and Sadie getting drunk on the booze that was their wish and not understanding how they could possibly want more wishes. “I already feel like I’m flying thanks to wish number one.”  Again, great dialogue with a great guest cast.

Art Imitates Life and Basil’s Day – I count this as one since I always listen to them together.  I was completely intrigued –and a little confused - with this “other” life that Sadie Parker was living with this Basil Valentine guy. I figured it was some sort of alternate universe, and I loved that it was Sadie’s former beau Bobo Brubaker, who had wished Frank away… and then ended up in Cleveland. We’ve seen quite a bit of Frank’s past, so I was thrilled that we got some characters from Sadie’s past in this episode. And even with Frank out of the picture, this episode was still a testament of their love. Even across another dimension, her love for Frank was strong, even though she didn’t know that what was holding her back from committing to Basil.  Frank’s jealousy and slight hero-worship of Basil was amusing as was Basil’s bemusement of Frank and Sadie’s behavior towards him. “Ropes on the bed? Do you do a lot of exorcisms?” God, I wish I’d been at this show! The bickering, sibling demons were hilarious, as was Sadie trying to reason with them. My favorite line in the segment was Sadie. “My ex- suitor made a genie wish eliminating you from my equation and rather than end up with someone else, I bided time with someone else pining for you in my heart, even though I didn’t know you.” 

Like I said, Beyond Belief is my favorite thing on the planet. Paul and Paget’s chemistry is magical and it’s even better when you get to see them perform together.  The small touches and looks between them (the anniversary late show ended with a kiss) make the magic come alive before your eyes.  Thank you Acker and Blacker for creating these characters and their great love story, and thank you Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster for the charming and funny performances that make these characters so endearing.


A new web series written by Acker and Blacker!  Starring WorkJuice players Mark Gagliardi, Marc Evan Jackson, Paget Brewster and John Ennis!


Paget Brewster on DAG

Aww yiss! Pretty sure I found some new Paget footage! (Thanks to nastyratched for helping me find it) There’s literally nothing on the planet more adorable than baby Paget and baby Paul F. Tompkins in a show together! AND of course she has alcohol :D

30 Days of TAH - Day 6

Live Show


During the Kickstarter campaign, I bit the bullet and bought the concert film attendee reward.  We didn’t know, at the time, when the show would be filmed, but I figured I would have plenty of time to save my money. Boy did I ever, lol!  When they announced the date as October, I immediately bought the normal October show ticket as well. Two shows in my first trip, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.  I remember arriving at Largo on that Saturday evening and everything felt so surreal. I still couldn’t believe I was finally going to see the show live. My seat in the theater was next to a gentleman who asked me if I had ever attended before that night. When I told him it was my first show, he warned me that after the show was over I would do everything in my power to make it back for another. “It’s addictive.” He told me, and was he right! I sat there, shaking with anticipation, and when the fanfare sounded and I heard Hal’s voice, that’s when it finally hit me: I’m here, watching it live!  The show was amazing and when I wasn’t laughing, I was grinning like an idiot throughout the entire show. Unfortunately, there was something wrong with the sound from this show, so the Sparks and Beyond Belief segments I watched were never released as a podcast. Instead they were re-recorded at Meltdown Comics. That was the only disappointing thing about the show.

But let me talk about after the show. Thankfully, my friend gave me one of her graphic novels to get autographed, since I still hadn’t received mine from the KS campaign (and still haven’t, actually). The first person I came across at the actor’s table was Mark Gagliardi, and he stuck his hand out to shake mine and said, “My name is Mark, what’s your name?”  I was shaking so badly because I was nervous, but each and every one of them was gracious and incredibly nice. Andy Paley even asked me to stick around because he wanted me to meet his wife, who’s also from Kansas. How freaking awesome is that?! All the great things you hear about them are absolutely true. I remember that I asked Paget if I could take her picture and she replied, “You’re going to be in the picture too.” And when I told her I couldn’t because I ruin every picture I’m in, she grabbed me, put her arm around me, stole the phone from my hand and held it up while yelling, “someone take our picture!” And someone did. And it was photobombed by MEJ, Josh Malina and John Dimaggio… freaking awesome!

The next evening was my second live show: the concert film. What fun that was! But I don’t want to give too much away regarding what happened, because I don’t know what will end up in the final product. I can’t wait to watch this movie!

My third show was the ninth anniversary show in March; both the early and late shows. The “On With The Show” opening was so fracking awesome and set the tone for fantastic show. And finally, with the podcast of both Sparks and Captain Laserbeam being released from this show, I’ve finally been able to listen to a podcast and know exactly what’s going on during the laughter in the pauses, and *spoiler alert* I actually got a little emotional during Sparks Nevada when Felton died. Hopefully the Beyond Belief segment will be released soon. At the end of Beyond Belief we got to witness a mimed clink without the sound effect. Paul and Paget’s mock outrage was hilarious, topped off by Paget dropping her script on the floor and walking off the stage, much to the amusement of Paul and the audience!

And just when I think they couldn’t possibly top that, I attended my fourth show this past weekend: the super-sized show. I seriously had a sore throat from laughing so much. Four segments and two Bucatino business commercials; the second one being the Bucatino women, played by Busy Phillips and Paget Brewster. That was a great surprise and I loved seeing Busy and Paget performing together. Another favorite moment was getting to see Paul F. Tompkins portray Jib Janeen.  Oh, and did I mention the brilliant Keegan Michael Key? I didn’t? Well, that was another wish checked off my TAH list: getting to see him perform.  Beyond Belief had a surprise beginning, and by the end of the segment I found that I love Frank and Sadie even more (I didn’t think that was even possible).

During all four live shows I found myself grinning like an idiot during the entire performance – when I wasn’t laughing my ass off.  If I had to describe the show in one word, it would be: joy.  If you ever get even the slightest opportunity to watch a live show, don’t let it slip by. I can give you a 100% guarantee that you will not be disappointed. 

30 Days of TAH - Day 5 Middle Segments

I took a long weekend to L.A. to see The Thrilling Adventure Hour, so I’m attempting to catch up.

Amelia Earhart Fearless Flyer – Of course in the beginning, it was only Beyond Belief until I branched out to Sparks Nevada. I began my middle-segment listening in earnest with Amelia Earhart and Tales from the Black Lagoon. I love them both, but Amelia is definitely in my top three middle segments.

Captain Laserbeam – I’ll be honest, the first time I listened to this segment was during one of the Christmas specials, and it didn’t really impress me. It wasn’t until I went to my first live show in October 2013 that I started to take notice. Seeing the chemistry between John Dimaggio and Hal Lublin as Laserbeam and Fathom, just blew me away. Once home, I began listening to all the back episodes of Captain Laserbeam and I’ve been a fan ever since. My special loves in this segment, besides Laserbeam himself, are: Phillip Fathom (who doesn’t love the Deep Sea Detective?) and Patrick, who both help propel this segment into my top three.

The Cross-Time Adventure of Colonel Tick-Tock – This segment is hands-down my favorite middle segment. From Tesla and the many Oscar Wilde’s, to the Trojan suffering from Deja Flu and the introduction of the Algonquin Four; this segment has been a source of continued amusement. Craig Cackowski is superb as Colonel Tick-Tock (let’s be honest, he’s superb in everything). And as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I once blamed an accounting error on Colonel Tick-Tock, being too amused by the segment that I failed to notice the error (Horse Play TAH #154).  This past weekend was my fourth live show and for my first three, the middle section had always been Captain Laserbeam. I was really hoping to finally see a Colonel Tick-Tock, but alas…

And while I’m speaking of the September show and middle segments, I have to mention Desdemona Hughes, Diva Detective. I’ll admit, I didn’t really care for the first podcast, but watching it live…  holy shit! Jamie Denbo and the entire cast were amazing! Like Captain Laserbeam, seeing this segment live has won me over.