Ron & Fez Show Interview - 19 Dec 2008

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An interview with The Brothers Chaps aired on The Ron and Fez Show on December 19, 2008. The interview discussed Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, as the final episode had recently been released.

This interview was announced by Telltale Games via a blog post the same day it aired; several weeks later, an additional blog post shared an MP3 of the interview.


[edit] Transcript

{"Homestar Runner Presents: Presents" plays}

RON: The great Homestar Runner, and of course "Bad Presents". One of the songs that you got to listen to every Christmas. We're gonna be talking with Mike and Matt Chapman, of Homestar Runner — they've got a brand new game out, called Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People, uh, and this is available on PC and Wii, you can go to for more information, you download it, and off you go. Coming up on the show, here's Mike and Matt Chapman.

{brief pause as the program switches}

RON: Hey Mike and Matt, you're on the Ron & Fez show!

MATT: Hi, Ron and Fez!

MIKE: Hi Ron and Fez, you're talking to Mike and Matt.

RON: How are you guys doing? First of all, congratulations — not so much, uh, for the success you've had over these years, but now the new game show.

MATT: Thank you.

MIKE: Thanks, a lot!

RON: Now, is this the first major thing that you did outside your website?

MATT: Yeah, this is the first, like, licensing of any kind that we've done, so yeah, this was a pretty big deal for us. It was hard to let go of the reins.

RON: Well, yeah. You guys have been successful with this show now for so long, and now finally you're starting to move outside your own, uh, universe.

MATT: Yep, uh, it was really a matter of the right people coming to us at the right time, it was, uh, we're... we're really lazy and never really go out and try and pursue this sort of stuff, but Telltale came to us and we were fans of theirs, so it just, uh, it just worked out.

RON: Even in terms of the site getting so huge? It's not like you guys went out and marketed it anywhere, right?

MIKE: Yeah, no... Publications would usually just come to us, and we'd say "sure, we'll do an interview."

MATT: Yeah, someone told us one time we had a really good press agent, and we were like, "that's awesome, we don't have a press agent!"

RON: So, the deal is: this is a philosophy, that you guys have never really wanted to join— 'cause you had to been offered a TV show by now.

MATT: Ah, well, not in so many words. There's been avenues that we could've gone down that could've lead to that kind of thing -

RON: Mmhmm—

MATT: That we... when it's just you and your brother screwing around, making cartoons for a living, it's hard to wanna muck that up with, you know, networks and producers and stuff.

RON: Yeah, the last thing two guys needs is tens of millions of dollars laying around their house.

{Mike and Matt laugh}

MATT: Well, yeah! But, you know, we're doin' well enough for ourselves, that, no, it would just seem like it would kill the magic. It would stop being fun.

RON: Yes -

MIKE: If we weren't able to do it this way, we would, you know, another approach would be fine, it was just, we're able to do it this way, so... we feel comfortable staying there.

RON: Don't you know that the American way is to have an idea, and then to squeeze every drop of integrity out of it?

{Mike and Matt laugh}

MATT: Yeah, we failed at that part of it.

RON: The beauty of what you guys have done, too, is the characters on this show are all great. And they're all original characters.

MATT: Yes.

RON: It's not like you could even say, "well, Homestar is kind of the Bugs Bunny... and Strong Bad..." You know, because you could do that with most cartoons, you could say "Okay, I get it, he's Fred-Flintstone-like." But this stuff came from somewhere else.

MATT: Yeah, it's definitely a... I think it's 'cause we've never really set out for them to be anything, so they just kinda evolved, and there's just little bits of everything Mike and I have found funny throughout our lives in there. So if it was like, we'd sat down and been like "okay, this character needs to fulfill this role," then it would've probably ended up like you're saying, where it's just like "oh, this is the 'Homer Simpson' guy" or whatever.

RON: Right.

MATT: But because we just kinda had no... plan {laughs}, no expectations, they just kinda grew organically on their own.

MIKE: No plans, no expectations.

MATT: That's our new motto.

RON: Yeah, right. {Laughs} And it's really a great way to failure. So no one should follow in your footsteps.

MATT: No. No, not at all. We say, yeah, so people ask us, "so what exactly did you guys do?" And we're like "We'll tell you, but you definitely shouldn't emulate this process at all."

RON: {Laughs} Yeah. Don't... Never show up at a college and give a speech.

MATT: {Laughs} Yeah, exactly.

RON: Uh, for you guys, did the visuals come together first or was it the voices?


MIKE: Yeah, most of the characters we had written a couple little stories, just storybook stories, of the characters; most of them had been invented for a couple years before we started doing flash cartoons, in uh... late 1999. And so that's when they needed voices, and so...

MATT: ...and Mike pretty much just refused to do any voices, so that's why I had to end up makin' 'em all up.

RON: Now did you — uh, had you done voices in your life, were you a little bit of a mimic before you got involved in that?

MATT: I guess... I mean, like I always say I was the youngest of five kids, so I had to make them pay attention to me somehow. So, throughout my life I just talk in dumb voices, I guess — but I never, you know, thought of it as a thing I do, or wanted to be a voice actor, or any of that sort of thing; it was just like, a stupid thing that I did that probably annoyed most people, and I found a way to make it, uh, {laughs} make it pay for me.

RON: Yeah, and now people — everybody thinks they can do a Homestar — and they can't, by the way.

{Matt laughs}

MIKE: Yeah, Homestar is the hardest one, yeah—

RON: Yeah—

MIKE: We've heard some pretty good Strong Bad, and some other characters, but Homestar definitely seems to be the hardest one.

RON: Yeah, and people try to do it to me. And I'm like, yeah, uh... {Chapmans laugh} it just doesn't, uh, work. So: now you got the game out, are you thinking maybe this could be, you know, a movie or maybe a TV show that you could maybe have some power over?

MIKE: We sort of have been viewing the video game as that...

RON: Mmhmm.

MIKE: ...I think. Um...

MATT: Yeah, this is, this is kind of the biggest thing that we'd probably do, I mean, again, especially since we've been doing it for so long, it would feel weird to go into that now. And I mean that was the thing we were worried about the most with the video game, it just that it's like, you know, each episode takes you two to four hours to play through, and our longest cartoon on the website is probably seven minutes long?

RON: Mmhmm.

MIKE: {in background} Yeah, six or seven minutes.

MATT: And it's the same thing with the movie, I mean it's just like, how are we going to fill ninety minutes or whatever of this with Homestar Runner stuff? {Laughs} I don't know if we could do it.

RON: So this is really lazy work, that you guys are— {Matt laughs}

MATT: I like that — yes, absolutely. And I like that, uh, you can see that.


RON: Yeah, because, you know, most people go "hey, if we worked harder we could make a lot more money." And the South Park guys seem like they keep some control.

MATT: Yeah, they seem like they... I feel like there was a weird window of time where those guys got sort of the best deal ever and have just kept it for however many years they've been doing that show. So, if somebody offered us that deal, maybe we'd do something — but I doubt we'd do it with Homestar Runner. At this point, it's like we've kept it kind of cool and kept its indie cred for so long it'd be a big slap in the face to the two people who give a crap about that.

RON: Yeah, and anybody that has that indie cred, they're always such awful people living at their mom's house anyhow, it's not like—

{Matt laughs}

MATT: Yeah, fortunately, for years and years people thought we lived — because we always talk about "basements" so much — they thought that we lived in our parents' basement, and we never actually did that, ever.

RON: You guys were always off on... So, at what point, though, did this become your full-time job? Fairly early on?

MIKE: Uh, it was two-thousand... two, I think? Late 2002? So we had been doing it for about three years at that point.

RON: And, uh... you wanna keep adding characters, or...? How does that go for you?

MATT: Um, I don't know! The ones that we have, the newer ones that we've invented have just kind of come out of a dumb joke or an offhand comment or something — so again, same thing, we never set out, like, "let's invent a new character!" We tried, for years we've tried to make a new girl character since Marzipan is the only girl character...

RON: And so damn annoying! Let's face it, world's worst girlfriend.

{Mike and Matt laugh}

MATT: And so we purposely set out, "okay, let's make a different girl character" and we tried, and we just never could make it work and it was never good. So any time we've tried to make a new character it doesn't work, and when we stop trying we invent something like Teen Girl Squad, or whatever it is, some other feature on the website.

RON: Well, all kidding aside, this is such an original project and it's really cool to see something out there that's retained its purity. Because, like we said before, most places will make sure they've got lunchboxes before they put out the second episode.

{Mike and Matt laugh}

RON: Mike and Matt Chapman, of Homestar Runner. The brand new game is Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People, and you can go to for more information. Thanks a lot, guys!

MATT: Thank you so much!

MIKE: Thanks lots!

RON: And, uh...

{an audio recording of Homestar Runner singing "And that's the end of my show! DONK!" plays}

RON: We'll talk to you later. Peace.

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Trivia

  • The Brothers estimate the longest toon on the site was "six or seven minutes". At the time, the longest toon was the Strong Bad Email retirement which ran for 6 minutes and 53 seconds.
    • The total runtime of Hooked on Decemberween was slightly longer, at 6:58. However, this toon was primarily audio-based and divided into six separate segments.
  • The clip of Homestar's sign-off from the facts was used at the end of every Ron and Fez show.

[edit] Remarks

  • Although not used as direct inspiration for characters, Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, and The Simpsons are frequently referenced in Homestar Runner.
  • Despite joking that their unlikely success should disqualify them from speaking at colleges, by that point the brothers had made appearances at FSU, U of S, UCF, NYU, and Georgia Tech.
  • Especially early in Homestar Runner's production, many interviewers compared it to South Park as both used limited animation and were primarily created by two people with a low budget and quick turnaround.

[edit] Inside References

[edit] Fast Forward

  • Matt mentions that the brothers taking a TV deal would likely lead to a new property rather than adapting Homestar Runner; this was borne out with the production of Two More Eggs through Disney.

[edit] External Links

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