May 18, 2022

MAY THE FORCE BEA ARTHUR: The Star Wars Holiday Special (with Andrew Osborne)

We discuss the STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL and Andrew Oborne's SPECIAL, a play about its creation


JOSH and FREY are joined by special guest ANDREW OSBORNE, whose play "SPECIAL" documents the creation of the infamous STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL with hilarious and mostly true results.
 
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Transcript available here: https://www.trashcompod.com/3
 
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Get the latest on the Kickstarter for the SPECIAL graphic novel: https://specialtheplay.com/kickstarter
 
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Transcript

[00:00:00] Josh: Welcome to Trash Compactor. I'm Josh, and with me is Frey.

[00:00:05] Frey: Hello.

[00:00:06] Josh: And today we'll be talking about the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, and I'm pleased to introduce a very special guest, Emmy Award-winning writer, novelist, and playwright, whose play Special, tells the story of how the aforementioned Star Wars Holiday Special came to TV screens in 1978, Mr. Andrew Osborne.

[00:00:25] Andrew: Hello.

[00:00:26] Josh: So for our listeners who are not familiar with Special, your play, could you briefly explain what it's about.

[00:00:33] Andrew: What, what it's about is a behind the scenes, making of the Star Wars Holiday Special, which is regarded as the worst thing ever on TV. And just, it, it doesn't make any sense if you see it. No part of it makes any sense whatsoever. And so it's the story of the nonsensical events that led up to the creation of this fiasco involving George Lucas and all the Star Wars people, but also all of these 1970s variety show people, who've got into a weird alliance to make this terrible show. And so, like, comedy writers like Bruce Vilanch, and a woman who produced the Carol Burnett show, and Jefferson Starship and mimes. And it's, it's a very strange story that may have, at least in our version, there's also--it also maybe contributed to the, uh, the end of George Lucas's marriage and the start of, just marketing toys as entertainment, being-the most important force in show business. So it's a goofy story, but it had some larger implications.

[00:01:55] Josh: Well, that is certainly true. And I should say I was lucky enough to actually see a production of Special in Los Angeles. I think in January, 2019. Was that the last production of Special?

[00:02:06] Andrew: Yeah, well, no, actually it played in 2019 in LA, and then there was another production of it in Northern California with a different company that somehow heard about it ,and they just wanted to put it on and then we were gonna do--oh, wait, no. think--yeah, it was 2019, the one you saw. And then the next one was later in 2019, and then we were going to move to a larger theater in LA in 2020. But then COVID.

[00:02:37] Josh: Yeah.

[00:02:38] Andrew: 2020 happened.

[00:02:39] Josh: So right now you are actually in the process of, or planning stages of adapting your play Special to graphic novel format. Is that correct?

[00:02:48] Andrew: That is correct, because we had an illustrator who did some of the graphics for the stage show, Jared Boone. And sometime in the middle of COVID I started thinking, Hey, if we can't do any theatrical re-stagings, maybe we could start working on a graphic novel. So we, we have, a, we have about 16 pages done now. And so--but we want to do more and finish the whole thing. So we're going to launch that Kickstarter on Star Wars Day, which of course is May the 4th. You can sign up for that in advance at specialtheplay.com, which was the website for the play and is now becoming the website for the graphic novel.

[00:03:32] Josh: Got it. Got it. When you mentioned that, I was really excited to hear that because I really enjoyed the play very much, and I was telling a lot of my friends about it. Unfortunately, you know, play, it sort of has to exist in physical space, and we're not really doing that anymore.

[00:03:47] Frey: Yeah.

[00:03:48] Josh: I do think the play that you wrote really lends itself to that format because there were a lot of characters, a lot of scene changes you jump around in and everything. So I think that, a really great dimension to the story on the page. I think it'll work really, really well. So that's really cool.

[00:04:06] Andrew: Yeah, and I think it'll make it easier for, especially for people who aren't deep Star Wars heads, who already know a lot of the cast of characters to keep track of everything. Because, as you know from seeing the play, the play had a cast of six people. It was four men, two women, and a special guest star. And those seven people had to play, like, I don't--a hundred parts, and they would just keep switching back and forth. There was one actor who had to play two CBS executives, and they would argue with each other in the scene, which fun. And it added a lot of energy to the play. But I think like in graphic novel form, you can see the actual locations and the actual people, which should help to clarify things for anyone who didn't understand what was going on in the play.

[00:05:01] Frey: Although I will say, when I was reading it, the--once I got the character list, like, straight in my head, it was surprisingly easy to follow and remember who is who. I don't know why that was. I think it just because the way that you grouped some of the characters, 'cause there was Steve and George were, I think, the same actor.

[00:05:18] Andrew: Exactly. And Steve, uh, Steve being the one who--so George Lucas conceived of the Star Wars Holiday Special as a way of--so Star Wars had been this major hit, but it was taking a long time to get the sequel going and executives were starting to worry that the Star Wars magic is going to wear off. And so they figured, oh, well, we'll do a TV version and that'll keep people interested. So George Lucas really didn't want to do it at first. And then he had some ideas, mostly involving Wookies. Lot of Wookies. A lot of just Wookie grunting. And you know, and so that is sort of how that came to be. And then he, at a certain point, just abandoned the project entirely. The first director got fired. And so Steve was the guy who came in. He was an old TV vet who managed to like, sort of bring this mess in for a landing. And pretended--

[00:06:23] Josh: Kind of got left holding the bag,

[00:06:25] Andrew: Probably left it of his resume the rest of his life. There-was-nothing but, you know, technical difficulties during the, uh, the making of it. Like they didn't pump air into the masks of the people playing aliens so they were passing out on the set. They didn't have enough money to build the, you know, the big Holiday Special set. And the, that, you know, sort of was what the whole show was about. So yeah. Disastrous on every level.

[00:06:52] Josh: Yeah, I'd seen the Holiday Special when I was a kid. I was certainly aware of its, uh, reputation, but I wasn't aware until I saw your show--or I guess I never really thought about the perspective of the people who actually worked on it. And the idea that the production of the special itself, like was also kind of a train wreck. So that was sort of something I learned from your play. Out of curiosity, how did this come to be? What made you write this play about the making of the Star Wars Holiday Special? I presume you were already a Star Wars fan. Is that--

[00:07:27] Andrew: Oh, yeah.

[00:07:28] Josh: --fair? Yeah.

[00:07:29] Andrew: And, still, you know, deeply traumatized by watching the Star Wars Holiday Special when it originally aired, which I--and there are two characters in the play. You know, one of whom sort of represents me where--a young, a young geeky preteen, very, very, very excited to finally get some more Star Wars after seeing the movie in theaters like 12 or 13 times, and then just waiting for more Star Wars to enjoy. And then it was going to be right on TV. And it only took about, I don't know, about 20 minutes in you just realized, oh, this is--what is happening. This is--not only is it not Star Wars, you're ruining Star Wars. You're suddenly making Star Wars seem terrible,. Which, of course, George Lucas himself would later go on to do, ironically. But, no, so I--so it always sort of stuck with me and I just thought it would be a funny--because every now and then, like an article would come out or you'd hear somebody interviewed about it and all the stories just sounded so crazy that I started just figuring, now this is--because I love movies about behind the scenes stuff of like, you know, I'm trying to think of one off the of my head. But they're, I mean, they're actually doing one coming up about the making of The Godfather, you know, and I'm always, so I'm always interested in those behind the scenes stories. And I was amazed that nobody had done it for the Star Wars Holiday Special. So I wrote a screenplay and I was going to, I was starting to try to pitch it around. Then I had a friend who I'd worked with in LA theater before, who was another fellow StarWars head. And I sent him the script and he loved it. And next thing I knew he had--I still don't know how he didit, but he got Lance Guest to agree to play Han Solo. And Lance Guest was a, an actual star pilot in The Last Starfighter and had this sort of cult following of his own. And I thought, well, all right, I guess we're doing a play then. Oh! The other thing was, it was also the 40th anniversary of the first and only airing of the Star Wars Holiday Special. So it seemed like, okay, well, we gotta do it right now. This is the time.

[00:09:53] Josh: No, yeah, definitely. So that's interesting. a lot of things you said just really make a lot of sense. The idea that you're into movies that are sort of behind the scenes of movies, because one of the things that was really clear to me, both when I first saw the play and in rereading it in preparation for this is-- full disclosure: I also, at one time, for years on and off, I was writing a screenplay that covered a facet of the behind the scenes of Star Wars. So I read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. I read Skywalking, the Dale Pollock George Lucas biography, and I read all the making-ofs, and countless articles and magazines and stuff. One of the things that really struck me about Special was that, even though it's sort of a heightened version of events, like, there was this feeling of authenticity throughout, there were these details, and the characterizations. I immediately could tell, oh, like, like this guy read all that stuff. Like he knows exactly what he's talking about. He isn't like, making all this up.

[00:10:55] Frey: The larger context too. Like, the, like, of other things that these people were involved in around the same time. Like Carrie Fisher's what is it, Leave Yesterday Behind. Was a TV movie, I think, that you mentioned or referenced. Oh yeah, and then George Harrison--I looked that up. It was-- Acomba, I think what he recorded here, he filmed his, like, one of his tours that wasn't ever released. Is that what, what happened there?

[00:11:29] Andrew: I'm trying to remember what the George Harrison part was.

[00:11:33] Frey: He mentions-- it was very quick--he mentions that, like, George Harrison called him from a--

[00:11:37] Andrew: Oh, yeah. That's right. That's right. you know what, I think that that was just a throwaway line that didn't, that just happened to wind up being true. Because it is--because there's definitely like research about what like, like Harrison Ford, I think, was in The Guns of Navarone at the time. And the interesting thing about it is that,they really weren't, the actors weren't rich and famous. They, you know--and George Lucas had just suddenly become--well, he had already done American Graffiti. And so he already had kind of a stop and start career going. But these were all just people just trying to make a living, you know? And they, you know, so they were taking any crummy jobs. They could, even though they were in the biggest movie of all time. Which is kind of a fun aspect of it. But there was, so there was a lot of--I had read, you know, histories of it, and I'd heard different things over the years. For instance, one of the things after, I think, the script was written or right around the time the script was being written, it came out that like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher had definitely had an affair. So that sort of entered into it, that like--oh, wait a minute. So at the time they were doing the special, they were, there was probably a little sexual tension going on there. And then I--and then, like, when I needed information, I had to go down some weird rabbit holes. Like I found out all this information about Marcia Lucas, who was George Lucas's wife at the time. And how the first cut of Star Wars was just a disaster. And she had to come in and just save the movie with her editing skills. But she was trying to get as -- she, she wanted the non-Star Wars life. And so, like, her story, there's not a lot of information out there, but then some, some stuff was just kind of, we were just guessing at. And you may, if you see or read the play, one of the characters is Bruce Vilanch, who's a legendary comedy writer. And my director friend Kerr Lordygan, again. He, with his mystical ways, also somehow got the script to, to Bruce and we were hoping he would love it, but quite the opposite was true. And he sent us an angry email about all the inaccuracies, which is why we then did a rewrite where the Bruce Vilanch character keeps interrupting the play to say how it's all fake, and you shouldn't believe anything you're hearing. He didn't like the way he was portrayed. And even though we clearly love Bruce Vilanch. And then he came to see the show because he is such a good sport and took photos with the guy playing him. So he's a multi-layered man, that Bruce Vilanch. But he would, will tell you that it is a true-ISH story. You know, a lot of stuff is true. A lot of stuff is sort of in a hazy gray area.

[00:14:43] Frey: Did he object to being portrayed as that flamboyant? Cause remember that's one of the--by the way, I'm not this flamboyant in real life.

[00:14:50] Andrew: Yeah, we actually tried to tone it down. Cause Bruce Vilanch is actually pretty dry, despite his crazy hairdo and--but he--but I think I was thinking of Bruce Vilanch from when he was on Hollywood Squares. And he would, he took over for Paul Lynde, I think, as the guy who always said the craziest things. And a lot of his quotes were pretty crazy. So he may have said them in a more sort of dry way, but yeah, he's still got some pretty crazy, uh, you know. He's a fun loving guy. So that's what we were trying to get across.

[00:15:25] Josh: That's so interesting, that he had that reaction, but then, when all is said and done, he showed up for a performance.

[00:15:32] Andrew: I know. Well, he's a showbiz--

[00:15:34] Josh: Yeah.

[00:15:35] Andrew: Showbiz people. It's a love/hate thing with showbiz.

[00:15:38] Frey: Maybe he just wanted to be involved before he started to like it.

[00:15:42] Andrew: I guess like, I guess he also figured out it's just going to be on stage for a few weeks. It reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where Kathy Griffin plays another comic who starts making fun of Jerry. And the more she, the more trouble he gives her, like, the bigger like her act gets. And I think he was trying to nip it in the bud. Like he was like, well, maybe if I just make nice with them, it'll just go away. So sorry, but we do love you, Bruce. We love you.

[00:16:12] Josh: So I don't know if one of the revisions you made in response to that was, you have these um, very funny and, I think, well-positioned disclaimers at the beginning. So right up front, you know, you're sort of cueing the audience to the idea that like, Hey, this isn't coming out of nowhere, but that said, like, we made a lot of it up. Like we're here to entertain you to tell a story. Right.?

[00:16:35] Andrew: Disclaimers were mostly, they were there from the beginning just because it's, I mean, it's Disney intellectual property now, and nobody messes with the Mouse. You know, Disney's a company that'll go after like little, little, tiny, child daycare centers, if they paint an unauthorized mouse on their wall. So we made sure that the story was not only tangentially about Star Wars. It's mainly about the real life people. know, we--it's a form of journalism, really. instance, our Wookies, you know, they, they were just paper bags that looked vaguely simian. Yes, exactly. There you go.

[00:17:18] Frey: Another, there was another one of the performances. It looked pretty cool. Like the bags that were--they almost looked like little ghillie suits. Like--

[00:17:26] Andrew: Oh, yeah. Well, one of our actors, Marty Yu, uh, actually, we--I started with the paper bag concept, and then he totally tricked it out and made it look much better--but not copyrighted. So that's why we had to be very careful with all that stuff.

[00:17:44] Josh: Cause I mentioned that, at one time, I was working on a screenplay about Marcia Lucas and her relationship with George Lucas. Which I eventually-- I realized the stuff that was really, fascinating to me about that story, was going to put me in a position of having to write scenes about these real human being', personal lives that I just felt really uncomfortable about. I went back and forth, and at the end of the day, I just landed on, you know,what, I don't want to write this because it doesn't feel like it's my right to make things up about somebody's personal life. I mean, imagine if you went and you saw a movie somebody dramatized a romantic relationship from your past that left you emotionally changed the rest of your life. And like some nobody was like, yeah, this will make a great movie. And then now you're like made up all these intimate moments of your life. thatistosayIwas grappling with that. How do I make it clear that a lot of this is sort of my own, extrapolation, my own dramatization. And then when I saw Special. I was like, these guys nailed it. Because you made it funny. So by bringing the humor out, that sort of immediately disarms the audience and they sort of never forget that this is an interpretation of--

[00:19:03] Frey: Yeah, there's an immediate reason why it exists.

[00:19:08] Andrew: It helps, too, if you can see things from,people--from both, both sides, I just feel really bad for both of them. Even though their careers were going great that, you know, he's just--I mean, by all accounts, he's--George Lucas is just a very intense guy, a real workaholic. And she, and she's just exasperated with him for not giving much of himself to her and, you know. And I'm a bit of a workaholic, so I can sort of relate to that with my own wife who gets very exasperated with me sometimes for, you know. So, yeah, I mean, I thought it was it was interesting. But I liked, also, that it was funny, but I think that it also brought in a relatable--I mean it was true. I mean, it just happened to be in the story. But it kind of, I think for people who aren't totally aware of what's going on with Star Wars, they know--that part of the play, they're like, oh yeah, I get.

[00:20:10] Josh: Right.

[00:20:11] Andrew: Marital tensions. I don't know Wookiees, but I know about--I know that look she's giving him right now.

[00:20:18] Josh: Exactly. Exactly. So in of your research, was there anything you learned or that you discovered that surprised you--that you were like, oh, well, we'll have to put that into play.

[00:20:29] Andrew: I mean, there was so much stuff. There was stuff like that I couldn't wedge in because with the Marcia and George thing. Apparently, and I oh, I can't think of the person's name, but apparently somebody he was collaborating with on The Empire Strikes Back script had a heart attack and maybe died. I can't remember if they died or not. But so he was, so that was like, Oh God, that's insane! All these insane things happened around the Star Wars Holiday Special. You mentioned George Harrison, but there also the weird thing about that Steve Binder, who came in to take over the filming, had done the Elvis comeback special, which is insane. He had worked with the Shields and Yarnell Show. So of course we had to bring in some mime action. There were just so many weird conflicting--because it's the seventies, it's, you know, it's not just a Star Wars holiday story or a showbiz story. It was a seventies showbiz story. So it was this weird, like you mentioned that, um, Pictures-at-a-Revolution, which is such a great book. Which is that same era when the old school Hollywood is just completely crashing against the new school and, like, the new directors, and the youth culture, and everything else. And that was all happening around the time of the Star Wars Holiday Special to cause these weird people you're like how are these people ever in the same room together, you know?

[00:22:04] Frey: I had to look up the Shields and Yarnell Christmas Special after reading that, and like, that was a--they were, they appear--they're a husband and wife mime team and they appear as, like, babies in that. They act out being a baby. So I had to, like, see what that looked like. And it was even wilder than I was expecting because I ended up with their thumbs on each other's mouths. They're just their sucking each other's thumbs. And--

[00:22:29] Andrew: These long, long scenes! You know, cause everything's so fast paced now. You forget that TV used to just go on and on endlessly with these non-funny bits. And I hope that anyone listening, who hasn't seen it, will go search the youTube video of the Donny and Marie Show StarWars Holiday Tribute, which we--I didn't want to show it during the play 'cause it was copyrighted, but it's so bizarre that we just had to throw up a clip of it, you know? So it's, it's kind of like, I compare it to how Ed Wood--you know, everybody says Ed Wood, who did Plan Nine from Outer Space, and everybody says, oh, his movies are so terrible. And they are, but they're at least interesting. And, but people say, oh, the acting is so wooden and it's just--but it's like, well, yeah, but look at mainstream movies at the time, they were--

[00:23:25] Frey: Yeah.

[00:23:25] Andrew: --even worse because they didn't have Vampira and Tor Johnson. And then they just had the bad dialogue and the bad acting. So it's, you know, you look at the Star Wars Holiday Special and it's terrible. But you also have to say, yes, it's terrible, but look at every other seventies variety show. It's--compared to those, it's not quite as terrible. And at least it had the cool cartoon with a Boba Fett.

[00:23:46] Josh: Which is, I think everyone acknowledges the best thing about the Holiday Special. Is the Boba Fett cartoon.

[00:23:52] Frey: I don't--like in the, within the special, the Holiday Special itself, like the-- I never really realized before last time I watched it that Lumpy is watching that as if it's like a real life document. Like it's supposed to be happening in life. Yeah.

[00:24:04] Andrew: In his hologram machine. Which is, which is a metaverse kind of thing, cause he's like watching a show about things that are actually happening in the universe he's living in. Which doesn't really make--

[00:24:18] Frey: But it's animated.

[00:24:20] Andrew: For some reason.

[00:24:21] Josh: Oh yeah, that was something that stuck out to me on this watch. , But Andrew, you mentioned something really interesting. one of the other things I really loved about Special was exactly what you said is it's not just about the, behind the scenes of the Star Wars Holiday Special. It's also a window into end of this tradition of the variety show on TV. It gave me the thought, like maybe one of the reasons why, uh, Star Wars Holiday Special just seems so wrong is because, what you in the beginning of this was, how Star Wars created a new blueprint for how films and movies are marketed and like so you have Star Wars married, to this really retro no longer relevant format on the wane. So you like have the meeting of this tradition of the variety show, and all of the career writers and directors and talent who created those, meeting up with like the next thing. And it's like trying to meld them together, when at the end of the day, like, that was a marriage that was never going to work.

[00:25:23] Andrew: And it does, there is sort of a--it's interesting. It would be interesting if George Lucas had stayed more involved and they had given him like total control and probably way more money than they could afford, cause he had a, he had sort of a sort of side StarWars story in mind. But it just would have been impossible to pull off on a, on a TV budget. And then he just dropped it all. It's, I think, to cross my geekdom streams, it's, it's very, very much, I never thought about it until just this second, it's very much the difference between the first season of Twin Peaks when David Lynch was like in charge of every detail. Then the horrible second season of Twin Peaks when he wasn't involved. And just people who were directing episodes of MacGyver or whatever were coming in. And it's like, oh Yeah. what's the thing? Oh Yeah, Twin Peaks. Okay. I'm going to add some weird stuff. Cause this is the weird show, right? And it just like, it looked like Twin Peaks still, but just, it had this crazy, awful new personality. And that's what the Star Wars Holiday Special is. For the most part, it looks like Star Wars, but it's just, it's like an Invasion of the Body snatchers Star Wars .It's just filled with mediocrity.

[00:26:51] Josh: Yeah, well, I think you're right. I think some of George Lucas's ideas for what this could have become, they are halfway interesting. The first 20 minutes of the special, where it's Wookies grunting at each other, I mean, obviously it doesn't work. But on another level, the idea that this was actually on TV is bonkers.

[00:27:13] Andrew: It was hallucinatory.

[00:27:17] Josh: Yes. Exactly. On one level, it's like, mesmerizing and incredible. I can't that this actually made it to television. But what you made me realize, it's like, what did they expect? If you were to try to make a Star Wars movie, but as a live three--camera TV show, what do you think?

[00:27:36] Frey: Because Star Wars itself is weird. like you said before, it's putting this thing of Star Wars into variety show format, but, it's it already is a weird thing. It just works, like, in the original format.

[00:27:47] Andrew: Well, so for instance, I remember watching it and just being so horrified because it wasn't Star Wars, but then you got to that little oasis of the cartoon where you're like, okay, but this now this isn't Star Wars either, but at least it's a cartoon of Star Wars that's taking place in the Star Wars universe. But then after that, there's also the thing where you have Bea Arthur--seventies, TV star, later Golden Girl--is in her own little reality in the Star Wars Cantina. And they've got like all the aliens from the Star Wars Cantina. So comparatively, it looks the most like Star Wars of anything else. But then you have Harvey Korman coming in and doing dumb gags. But by that point, you'd been so beaten down by the show, and like how bad it was, that I remember, like I had a little affection for that scene because I was like, all right, well, whatever this is. Okay. At least, I guess Bae Arthur, Harvey Korman, he's in love with Bea Arthur. And I don't know I'm in this weird middle space where I'm like, all right, well, I guess I kind of care about his story, which is kind of Star Wars. There's a musical number. And then they closed the bar down and I remember I felt bad. It's like, oh no, Then she's not going to see her friends at the bar anymore. What's happening to me? Why am I giving this the benefit of the doubt? It's complicated. It's a complicated showed on unpack.

[00:29:18] Frey: That just reminded me of that part in your, in your, play. When you point out, the, you know, the like pouring of the booze in his head.

[00:29:27] Andrew: Well, and that part, I mean, like when I saw it, I was, I don't know, I must've been about 13, maybe, I guess? I can't remember the exact time, but I was not, I knew, I knew it was dumb. I was like, how do adults, how do grown adults--well, I guess they thought they were doing a kiddie show adults always try to dumb stuff down for kids to -- which is silly though, because in the seventies, welovedBugsBunny cartoons growing up. And I Ioved The Muppet Show and stuff because it wasn't written down to us. It was just, it's like Pixar movies now. It's for kids, but it's adults trying to make adults laugh, you know? So I didn't know why they had all this childish stuff. But that, and then it's like somehow all that childish stuff wound up in the actual Star Wars movies. If you look at the, I mean that the, the, the two, uh, the sportscasters in the pod race the Phantom Menace and the kid going "yippee!" And like they're doing, I mean, that could have been right out of that Star Wars Holiday Special. It was just as dumb, but they didn't have the excuse of, it was a bad variety show. It's like, no, they're actually doing that in the movie. Now Jar Jar Binks could have slipped right into the Star Wars Holiday Special and not looked out of place. So--

[00:30:51] Frey: I would loved to have seen 1978 Holiday Specials Jar Binks.

[00:30:56] Andrew: George Lucas took the wrong lesson from that Holiday Special somehow.

[00:31:01] Frey: And then, but then, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the Mind Evaporator,

[00:31:04] Andrew: Which was like pornography, strangely enough.

[00:31:09] Frey: I just read, I think somebody, I don't know if it was the first time it was ever revealed, but, somebody involved Star Wars, just like in November, posted on Twitter, that Joe Johnston -- that was originally a concept Joe Johnston designed, and I think it was called the Environmental Transporter. The point show like how the positive, like, Wookie outlook on life. That's what -- it was like supposed to be this kind of like wholesome thing. So it's funny that it just turned into the Mind Evaporator, which I don't know what it's supposed to be. I just like that it's going into, you're seeing, like, itchy's -- you're getting real insight into, like, his mind. He creates, technically creates that character.

[00:31:51] Andrew: I mean, it's Diahann Carroll. So he's, you know, he's, uh, it's a pretty good character to come up with, cooing in your weird wookie ear, you know?

[00:32:03] Josh: One of the problems, it seems to me, is the variety show format. Because like, I mean, like you were just talking about, we get, it's like, it's a Star Wars story, but then all of a sudden we have these acrobatic mimes doing a show. We stop there for, for five or 10 minutes and then Diahann Carroll shows up. And then, uh, we're in the Diahann Carroll show for minutes then Jefferson Starship. So whenever something starts happening that is like halfway good, like, they, like, the show completely stops and does something like, completely wacky that totally interrupts the flow. And then you're like okay, I guess now I'm watching, um, this is weird, uh, Julia Child by way of droid. Idon't know, like, Harvey Korman is in drag and it's like not a funny bit and it keeps going on and on and on. And it's just, like, what is this? So, it's like, if like, I don'tknowif it's an indictment of the varieties format as a whole, or if it's just a bad idea for these two particular, styles to, to be put probably that. It's--

[00:33:26] Andrew: Although there is one of the things that we got from Bruce Vilanch. I'm pretty, I think I'm remembering this correctly. When we're emailing, he said something that became a line in the play, which was, that this disposable. They weren't expecting it -- they've just thought they were even -- it was a paycheck. They were just pumping out some Star Wars. Like he had worked in variety shows and you didn't watch them again. It was just taking up space, and somebody would come out and plug their album and stuff. So he didn't think he was going to be haunted by it for the next 40 years, you know? And I think that there's some truth to that. That, like, as bad as it is, they didn't think -- they thought that would be it. And Pat Proft, who was one of the writers of it along with Lenny Ripps, who, and they, like Bruce Vilanch, were the writers and like Bruce Vilanch, Lenny Ripps actually did show up to see the play. And he was laughing all the way through it. AndhesaidyeahasopposedtoBruceVilanchhewaslikeno, that seems pretty accurate, actually. But you know, some people's memories of it are different too. And he admitted, like, he wasn't there the whole time. He was only there, like at the beginning. And then he was objecting to things like, you know, there's a party where, um, where he and Pat Proft get together to watch the show. And they just, they had friends, and they were just horrified when they saw the final production and they had to turn everything off. But, like, Lenny in the play for various reasons, it's at Pat's house and Lenny was like, yeah, it was all pretty accurate, but you know, that party was at my house. So people, are like fine with letting stuff go as long as it isn't directly about them, is something I learned from this.

[00:35:24] Josh: No, that's very true.

[00:35:27] Andrew: Which that's one of the trivia facts, that apparently like the show, you know, it's Star Wars on TV. But as soon as the cartoon was done, like, it lost in the ratings to a Love Boat rerun, which is they keep,-- when they say all this stuff, like, and I don't know, you know, people who,, you mentioned Shields and Yarnell later, and you said they were a mime husband and wife couple I'm like, I'm old enough that I just assume everyone knows what I'm talking about. But I say, you know, it's a Love Boat thing. And there's like this line about Larry Storch. People are like, I don't know. I don't know who any of these people are. I don't know what any of these shows are. So, but it's, I'm glad, I'm glad that when people see it and get the gist of it and go, yeah okay. I don't know what you're talking about, but yeah, I understand what's going on.

[00:36:16] Frey: T hese are at least names I've heard.

[00:36:17] Josh: Yeah I got the Larry Storch joke

[00:36:18] Andrew: So that warms my heart, but.

[00:36:24] Josh: Oh, good. Okay. where do you think the Holiday Special went wrong? Do you think there's a good, do you think there's a good version of this that was possible? Or do you think it was just an ill-conceived idea from the word go.

[00:36:38] Andrew: I do, because I mean, it was probably a bad idea from the get-go, but there, there was some, you know, and I have to be careful cause sometimes I forget, like, wait, did I make that up? Or was that based on something? But I think it was true George Lucas really was interested in Nelvanamation. He had seen like a little half hour thing that they did. That was, like, Cosmic Christmas, I think. He saw that and he said, oh okay, that's actually pretty good. And it's science fiction on a budget, but it's got like a real vision. And I think like one of the problems is that I think It's like two hours long?Or it's too long. I think that if they had made it half an hour show, it could have been more concentrated. It could have been more, there could have been like one vision guiding it. And I think that also happened in entertainment in general as well, where just these things became just big And bloated. And you know, it's just, I read a lot of movies today are just, they're like these little bits and some of them are better than others, but it's just like, it's in a thing that goes on and on and on. And you're like, what? The 90 minute version of this really what might've been good, but the hour -- part, one, three hour it's going to be followed by another three hour part for a story that's got about 90 minutes of story. Yeah. Bloat. Bloat is a big problem with this special.

[00:38:03] Josh: It's so interesting. You said that because my takeaway from this most recent viewing, which I watched it the whole way through, probably for the first time in 20 some odd years, if not the first time I actually watched it the whole way through. My overall impression was like, this should be half as long.

[00:38:17] Andrew: Yeah.

[00:38:19] Josh: Because there were individual things in there, I'm like, okay, like, that's an interesting moment. Or I see what the idea was there. And, like, there's something there, there's something there. But it just goes, it's not cohesive. It's just all over the place. And there's so much, there's so much breathing room, like you could do like a whole yoga breathing exercise and not have missed anything.

[00:38:41] Andrew: Well, and then these, but then there's the other side of it, which is that George Lucas, as we came to discover, also had some very bad instincts. I know, again, like I don't -- and a lot of them started showing up later. So maybe they wouldn't have shown up -- because this was between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, when people's -- he had done American Graffiti, which is great. It's just, it's inconceivable to me that George Lucas somehow, a movie that was so character-based and just so funny and so good. I love Star Wars. Most people say The Empire Strikes Back is better. I am, I'll fight on that "Star Wars is better" hill, but nevertheless, you know, and they're pretty good. Then, as you go along, like, Lucas's weirder impulses come in. And again, I don't think he's responsible, but like there is some weird stuff in the Star Wars Holiday Special that goes beyond the, the variety show thing. Like the fact that, You know, the, the woo -- the Wookie, guess it's Chewbacca's wife, he comes back, and you know that she's the female Wookie because she's wearing like an apron and weird seventies stuff. And then there's like the, there are these like other levels of it that you watched that you didn't necessarily notice at the time, but you look back on, like, Carrie Fisher's really super glassy eyes every time she's on screen. And, there's all these other layers to it that are meta beyond the special itself, but they're still sort of captured there in the whole seventies-ness of it. So I didn't know, but there might've been a good -- I think if the thing had been animated that might've been actually good instead of kind of cult classic good.

[00:40:36] Josh: Yeah, no. I think that's a fair point, I think. One of the problems, I think, is just like the medium of television. Like they, the video-ness of it. Like the live TV sort of look of it all, like, just feels really wrong and it's a little bit off-putting. Like, I think on a subconscious level, I think that's a big part of it. It just feels, wrong, aesthetically.

[00:40:58] Andrew: And especially because, if you think about it, like Doctor Who episodes were on video, but you just, that was the look of Doctor Who you just sort of bought into it because that's what Doctor Who always looked like but Star Wars, nothing had ever looked like Star Wars. I mean, I think like the only things that came close were maybe like Wizard of Oz in terms of just, everything I'm looking at on screen is just: I've never seen anything like this. Or 2001, and I'm sure there are like other examples, but I knew it, I knew my mind when I -- especially because everything was so gritty and realistic and seventies films. And then to just be in a complete fantasy world where everything looked good. I say, for the most part give or take, and I'm talking about the original, if you can ever get your hands on the original, and of course, George Lucas has tried to wipe it out and he's put all these digital effects it, but the special effects hold up today, you know? And like I saw a 2001 on the big screen it looks like it was shot in space as opposed to stuff that comes out like yesterday, where it just looks completely fake, you know? So I think that was part of it too. That Star Wars, not only was it the variety show and, you know, meeting the new filmmaking, but it was also this realism giving way to, like, the beginning of geek culture. Where everything was just realistic, then this complete fantasy world came in and that was clashing too. So there's a lot going on in that special.

[00:42:42] Josh: I think you're exactly right. Part of what made Star Wars, Star Wars and so unlike what people have, had ever seen before, was that sense of all this feels real. But then when you see it rendered in this, like, low budget live TV kind of vibe where it's like, it--

[00:42:59] Frey: The lighting, especially,

[00:42:59] Josh: It's like the lighting is flattened weird. It completely loses at least 50% of what made Star Wars, Star Wars. Right? What was unique about it? It's just gone. you, show the alien masks in the Cantina. Like you, or you shoot them a certain way--

[00:43:16] Andrew: Yeah.

[00:43:17] Josh: One way in the movie, but then you see them on the live soundstage, under this light, like it all--

[00:43:23] Frey: That was the most cinematic part because of Acomba.

[00:43:26] Andrew: That's right, that's right. The director who got fired cause, cause he didn't know how to direct TV. He was a filmmaker. Poor guy.

[00:43:37] Josh: Yeah.

[00:43:37] Andrew: But it's true. That probably is the best looking part. But I do, I think it's, I think that happened with -- it's happening with movies all the time now. That they're in the age, the more HD it gets, the more fake everything looks. Because that's the whole thing about theater and then film is you can go and watch this amazing play, but then when the lights come up, you're just like, oh, everybody's just getting all this caked-on makeup and looks just -- what was magical a minute ago, like, it completely, suddenly, you're like, oh, this is just show business. This isn't like a galaxy far, far away. This is just more the Hollywood crap, know? And it did like, yeah, it was a little bit of a "finding out there's no Easter Bunny" moment.

[00:44:30] Frey: In the play, George Lucas, he was, like, really into the animation from the beginning. Like, working with animation company. Do you know if that's like much true, or?

[00:44:39] Andrew: I do think that's true. And I think, like, another one of the things that just with foresight is that apparently Mark Hamill really liked doing the animation. Which of course would lead on to him having a great career in voice acting. But I think he did. And was, I think it really worked out for that Canadian company. Cause they went on to do other shows with George Lucas, like Droids and Ewoks, so was it a total disaster for everybody?

[00:45:13] Josh: One of my takeaways from rewatching it recently was, Harrison Ford is genuinely pretty good in this. Frey made the well yeah, that's because he's supposed to be grumpy the whole time and he doesn't want to be there. And I was like, fair point, fair point.

[00:45:28] Andrew: And apparently one of the things that didn't make it into the special, I think there's a line about it, but apparently George Lucas in his backstory thought, oh, Han Solo -- like it fit into his overall worldview because he was like, well, Han Solo knows Chewbacca. And so he's clearly been the Wookie planet and Han Solo is probably fooled around with the Wookie. He probably, he had a Wookie wife at one point and I'm like, now that where's that movie I want. That's a prequel I do want to see.

[00:45:57] Frey: Like, in the special, I love that the line, Han Solo's line, like "why do I think taking them for Life Day is going to be easy?" I was just like, what does that mean? Like, do they always, like run into some form of trouble every time he goes there? And I just love the idea that he -- I mean, it makes sense because they're such good friends, he just always takes him home for Life Day. And that just like, now fits into, like, him at some point, when he's going for Life Day, meeting a nice Wookie and marrying her for awhile.

[00:46:23] Andrew: And that's so sweet. I actually have a friend like, my parents for many had a Christmas carolling party. And I had a grumpy friend who I would always drive to it and he never wanted to go. He didn't like Christmas carolling. So I think I can really appreciate that's a very realistic dynamic around the holidays.

[00:46:40] Josh: Well, that implies that we have missed out on decades of --

[00:46:45] Frey: Yes.

[00:46:45] Josh: Holiday specials that, by all rights, we -- someone should dramatize. Like, apparently they always have some wacky misadventure, and I want to see them. I want to see what happened every year.

[00:46:57] Andrew: You know, hopefully, uh, Jon Favreau will hear that because, you know, he did do sort of an updated version of a special, which I think I haven't seen yet. But I think that --

[00:47:12] Josh: Was it the Lego one? Like it's like a Lego --

[00:47:14] Andrew: I think, yeah.

[00:47:16] Josh: Can I ask you guys a question? This is little bit off topic, but, so I don't know if you are aware, but either yesterday or the day before as we're recording this, the Skywalker Saga Lego game, I think, was released. It just hit me: like why are these Lego Star Wars things such a big deal? Really don't, I don't understand. Like I'm big Star Wars fan. I was, once upon a time, really into Legos. I don't understand why it's a thing. don't --

[00:47:41] Frey: I think part like the, the video games, too. Like, I've only played like one or two of them, but people just love those video games. So --

[00:47:49] Josh: But they're Legos! Like, why? If you're making a game, why do they have to be Legos?

[00:47:54] Andrew: I think, now going to just pull in my personal bias here is -- just like to say it as much as possible, and this just gives me another chance and it might possibly be true. The thing about Legos is they're silly and they're Legos. So you can just have fun. You can just have fun doing Star Wars with Legos. Which Star Wars was supposed to be. It started out fun. then they put in, you know, it got a little darker in The Empire Strikes Back, but it wasn't meant to be Greek tragedy. And then suddenly people got it in their head it had to be the most serious it's like, more serious than Schindler's List. Because it's like, oh, the darkness, father. Oh, Han Solo. I have to kill you because the darkness is eating me up. And it's just like, no. What are you doing? It's a goofy space action movie. And so you can't do that with the very themes of darkness eating you up in the later movies. But with the Legos, you can just have fun. That's why I liked Solo. Because it was just fun. It went back to just, oh yeah, that's right.,Star Wars is supposed to be fun, you know?

[00:49:05] Frey: The Legos, they're literally giving you permission to play with action figures.

[00:49:12] Josh: Know what? I think you're onto something. I think you're exactly right because it's permission to have fun. Okay. Okay. You know what? I think you flipped me around.

[00:49:22] Andrew: The first -- the first movie is so fun, you know? Which I still call Star Wars. I don't call it A New Hope because it was Star Wars. And it is filled with funny lines, like the banter between Har, you know, Han solo and Princess Leia is great. There's still lines that people quote all these years later. And, and I think that was another thing that was missing from the special, because it was like, it was smart. It was like just, just the Han Solo and Carrie, or Han Solo and Princess Leia, they were both sort of wise asses, you know? And so they were making these just wisecracks and flirting with each other and it was, it was somewhat sophisticated. I mean, not sophisticated, maybe, in the big capital S way, but that's why, part of the reason I love Star Wars. And then just when you get to the special, it's just this dopey, like kindergarten humor and none of that, and you have, like, just Princess Leia saying we must celebrate Life Day. And it's like, I wanna you bantering with Han Solo. I want see two of you in the kitchen complaining about, like, oh my God. That, the holiday conversation of just, like, oh my God, Chewbacca, his wife, can't cook at all. This food is terrible. You know, I'm just, I want to hear the complaining and wisecracking. And there's almost none that.

[00:50:52] Josh: I would, I would like to see that version of the Holiday Special.

[00:50:56] Andrew: The John Favreau show, it'll have plenty of that.

[00:51:00] Josh: This thought just occurred to me. So, hearing your take on Star Wars and what you like about it, would you rather sit down and watch the Holiday Special or The Phantom Menace?

[00:51:10] Andrew: Well, you -- to make it fair, you got to throw in The Force Awakens. Because The Phantom Menace, I just thought it was, like, turgid. But it did, it -- like the pod race was kind of exciting and had, it had its moments. The Force Awakens makes me actively angry because it, because in -- like, the Star Wars Holiday Special did horrible things to characters who I loved, but it was kind of like, well, okay, it's on TV and this was clearly mistake. But in The Force Awakens, it's just stupid. It's just, it's just, Hey, if we kill Han solo, that'll be dramatic. No, you're just, it's justterriblestorytelling. And so, you know, so I guess I would rather -- boy, I would rather watch The Phantom Menace, cause it's got some legitimately entertaining parts. And a lot of boring parts. But if I had to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special, it's almost completely boring parts. And even the good parts aren't as good as the good parts in The Phantom Menace.

[00:52:15] Frey: So the order is--

[00:52:16] Josh: Well. Well, put.

[00:52:17] Frey: Force Awakens, like, bottom. Then Holiday Special. And then Phantom Menace.

[00:52:22] Andrew: Yeah, that's a fair ranking. Yeah.

[00:52:25] Frey: I had some questions for Andrew about some other thought things that are on your -- first of all: Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings. Your credited--

[00:52:37] Andrew: Ah!

[00:52:37] Frey: Do you remember working on that?

[00:52:39] Andrew: Yes, yes.

[00:52:39] Frey: That's like one of the first, like, gory horror movies that, like, I stayed up too late and watch on HBO. So like, I have a very specific memory of that movie.

[00:52:48] Josh: Can we give some setup, for our listeners and perhaps for me as well?

[00:52:53] Andrew: Oh yeah. Well, so I, like, I started off in the nineties. Bouncing around LA from a lot of, you know -- it's why I have some sympathy for the Star Wars Holiday Special. Because you don't always get exactly the writing job that you want. And sometimes ya gotta really make the best of a whatever lands in your lap. And so I for a company called Motion Picture Corporation of America for awhile, where they would just, stuff would come in on a conveyor and I'd get assigned to projects now and then. And Blood Wings was one of them where -- I had a friend named Jeff, who was a producer there. And he was, I think, a producer on this sequel, the Pumpkinhead. And at the same time, he was trying to take some of the movies that they were doing at the company and turn them into like video games. Early games that used video that were actual movie clips. And you would sort of play the movie clips. But Blood Wings, like, I came in because they got Roger Clinton, Bill Clinton's brother, to come in and do a cameo as Mayor Bubba, of course Bubba was what Bill Clinton used to get called. And so I, that -- they were wedging him into the story, and so I had to write some scenes for Roger Clinton. Which, and then, I was also there, just set for some reason, I think -- don't know why, can't even remember. Maybe I just showed up because I wanted to see Pumpkinhead filmed. But in the aftermath -- and Amy Dolenz, who is the daughter of the sole remaining Monkee was, is one of the stars of it. But then in post-production I showed up and, again, I don't think, I think I was just delivering something, or I don't -- I wasn't scheduled to be there, but they needed somebody to -- they're doing the sound mix and they didn't like, they didn't think the monster sounded horrifying enough. So I just like being loud, they just had me scream.

[00:55:04] Frey: Oh, wow.

[00:55:06] Andrew: And so I'm, like, screams of Pumpkinhead. And also Pumpkinhead is this demon of vengeance who had been a poor wild boy who got bullied and murdered. And so I was also the screams of the wild boy. So that's, like, one of my proudest credits. Very --

[00:55:26] Frey: That is awesome. So you mentioned the full motion video games, cause you also did -- you wrote --

[00:55:31] Andrew: Yes.

[00:55:32] Frey: The movie Soldier Boyz from HBO too. And you wrote the full motion video game version of that.

[00:55:39] Andrew: Oh, yes. Which was relatively fun to play.

[00:55:43] Frey: I actually, I just watched like part of a longplay on YouTube. It's pretty fascinating. Uh, Darren Aronofsky directed segments?

[00:55:52] Andrew: He did! Oddly enough. We, uh, I was there. He was directing the video game stuff and I was, like, writing stuff and I have a cameo as a shady mercenary who you can shoot in the head if you play your cards right. And it's interesting because between, like -- I remember like he, cause he had been AFI. And he had done like a short film that was well-received. He was trying to get his independent film going. Because, it's interesting, like, in my lifetime, it used to be that everybody wanted to do independent films. And now everybody to,launch a pilot because, you know, everything's -- TV's pretty much a lot better than most movies nowadays. But Darren was --, you know, I had an independent film. I was actually like on this job because I had sunk everything I had and I was deeply in debt for doing Apocalypse Bop, available on YouTube, if you want to look it up

[00:56:55] Josh: Link the show notes.

[00:56:57] Andrew: But it's, that's -- but so I was there and Darren was like, oh, I got an independent film I'm working on. And I remember like he was bouncing ideas off me for what would become Pi. Andhwasniceenoughtogive me a thanks credit in the end of PI. Just for, I don't think I contributed to any ideas, but he, he was bouncing ideas off me. Yeah.

[00:57:18] Josh: That's interesting.

[00:57:19] Andrew: Yeah. And I remember he was like, "yeah, it's going to be like, you know, there's this Hasidic Jew. And he has this like way. He has this way beat Wall Street." Okay, well, that sounds like an independent film. It sounds very, very --" you know, he's going to drill into his head at the end." I'm like, okay, I'll see it. Yeah, sure.

[00:57:37] Josh: Sounds good, Darren, you should do that.

[00:57:39] Andrew: You should do that. Good luck with that. One thing I do, I like about Darren, I'm not a fan of Requiem for a Dream, to put it mildly, but the thing I do like about Darren's movies is that a lot of independent films now have a sort of sameness. When I was growing up, like independent films were very weird. Like each one was its own weird entity. Kind of like the Star Wars Holiday Special! It's just weird, you know? And Darren's movies are always coming from a very distinct place. And there aren't a lot of directors who do that. I mean like the guy who did The Witch and The Lighthouse, he's like an exception. There are certain directors who still do it, but not a lot anymore.

[00:58:21] Frey: that's true.

[00:58:22] Josh: No, that is certainly true.

[00:58:24] Frey: I did watch American Bop. Felt like I just uncovered like a kind of nineties independent film gym. I definitely recommend people seek that out and -- Yeah.

[00:58:34] Andrew: I like it.

[00:58:35] Frey: I think it was your character at the beginning. There was like a line at the beginning that made me laugh really hard.A story at the party at the beginning.

[00:58:43] Andrew: And, also. It has future reality star Jenny Pulos, who's, I forgot what her show is called. But anyway, she's in it.

[00:58:52] Frey: Wait now I wanna know what reality show it is.

[00:58:55] Josh: No. Yeah, me too.

[00:58:56] Andrew: She's like the assistant for a very neurotic guy who I think is in real estate. But she sort of became the biggest star out of all of us, out of it.

[00:59:06] Josh: Flipping Out.

[00:59:08] Andrew: Yep. That's it with. Jeff Lewis, I think is her boss, and she's, she -- just in real life, that was her job. Just being the exasperated assistant. But then, suddenly she was exasperated famous. So. I love her.

[00:59:22] Josh: I would love to say that I just pulled that from the deep recesses of my brain, but

[00:59:26] Frey: Wait did I say American Bop before, or Apocalypse Bop? I think I said American Bob before.

[00:59:30] Josh: Well, I have enjoyed the hell out of this conversation.

[00:59:33] Andrew: Oh yeah.

[00:59:34] Josh: Can you give us a teaser, like a status update on the graphic novel? You said you've got about 16 pages.

[00:59:41] Andrew: Yes.

[00:59:41] Josh: What's the adaptation like? Is it more or less the script as written? Or is it, have you changed it at all, to fit the medium, or?

[00:59:50] Andrew: Yeah. It's well, so like I said, I started it out as a screenplay because I thought this would be like a good, like, Netflix movie. Cause they have, I think specifically, like, there was a movie about Hervé Villechaize, you know, and it was his life. And I just thought, well, if people are going to see a Hervé Villechaize movie about, like, seventies showbiz. Or Argo was another good seventies showbiz story.

[01:00:15] Josh: Oh.

[01:00:15] Andrew: Yeah man, this is like a story people would -- seems where things are. I wrote it in screenplay form and then adapted it to the stage. And so, on stage, there's like more breaking the fourth wall and lik talking directly to the audience and stuff. So the graphic novel kind of takes some rewrites I did for the play and then reverse engineers it back kind of into a screenplay form. 'Cause a graphic novel is more like a movie than a play. And, but it's, it's pretty close to the story of the stage play with the characters and the dialogue and everything. I'm planning to launch the Kickstarter for that, and specialtheplay.com is where you can go. And if you want to get on that list and I'll update it with Kickstarter updates there. Yeah. Actually, I got contacted recently by a guy in London who somehow heard about it and said that he had a theater troupe and they're doing plays about stuff, stories where like sort of show business or media interacts with real life. And he said, oh, that sounds interesting. He, I sent it to him. He hasn't read it yet. And so it would be nice if there was a nice London adaptation. I might get together with Kerr Lord Lordygan. And you know, once we are absolutely guarantee, no more variants and we are definitely, definitely, definitely out of COVID, we could start planning a stage show. But I mean, it's hard to plan something months in advance knowing it could be derailed at any minute. So --

[01:01:49] Josh: Definitely.

[01:01:50] Andrew: That wouldn't be until next year that we would even start maybe doing it on stage again.

[01:01:56] Josh: Like I said at the top, I'm really glad that this is hopefully going to exist, the graphic novel of Special, because I really loved the show, and it would be great to have this as a companion to the show. Not instead of the show, but as a way to experience Special and a form that be shared and taken home with you.

[01:02:16] Andrew: Much like I, as a young Star Wars geek, watched Star Wars over and over again, and then bought the Alan Dean Foster novelization of it enjoyed them both equally. But yeah.

[01:02:30] Josh: Okay.

[01:02:30] Andrew: Then read the spec, the Marvel comics adaptation. I was all in on Star Wars.

[01:02:36] Josh: Amazing. So please visit specialtheplay.com, and check out the Kickstarter for the special graphic novel edition that I really sincerely hope, you reach your goal because I want this to exist for selfish reasons. and I can't wait until you're able to mount a new production because I would love to see the show again.

[01:02:57] Frey: Yeah, hopefully in New York.

[01:02:59] Andrew: Well, listen, if there are any theater producers that you know, or listening to this, please also go to specialtheplay.com. There's a link there that says, Hey, if you have inquiries about doing a production we've had, like I said, a whole other theater company contacted us and just said, oh, we'll do it. And I didn't get to see their production of it. But, by all means, this definitely should be on stages all around America. So feel free to contact me through the site.

[01:03:29] Josh: And hey, who knows? If we live in a world that can sustain not one, but two TV shows about the making of The Godfather, surely there's room for one about the making of the Star Wars Holiday Special, no?

[01:03:39] Andrew: Are there really two?

[01:03:41] Josh: Yeah. There were two of them. Yeah, there's one based on Robert Evans' memoir, and then there's another that is about, I'm actually forgetting off the top of my head. But yes, there's The Offer that's on Paramount Plus, or will be on Paramount Plus, and then there's -- I know there's another one. It's sort of like a Volcano / Dante's Peak situation.

[01:04:03] Andrew: Or a Deep Impact / Armageddon.

[01:04:07] Frey: Antz / Bug's Life.

[01:04:07] Josh: So, yes, specialtheplay.com. Please consider backing the Kickstarter because this graphic edition of Special should exist and let's all try and help our friend  Andrew make it a reality. And, if you like what you heard, please consider visiting trashcompod.com, where you can rate and review the show. We are trashcompod across all social media, and see you on the next one.

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Josh

Editor/Writer

Sometimes I make things.

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Frey

Little Doggybot