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.