Ron & Fez Show Interview - 5 Jan 2009

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{The opening music to Homestar Presents: Presents plays}

The great Homestar Runner, uh, 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 it - it is available on PC and Wii, you can go to telltalegames.com/strongbad for more information, you download it, and off you go. Uh, coming up, uh, on the show, here's Mike and Matt Chapman. Hey Mike and Matt, you're on the Ron and Fez show!

MIKE: Hi, Ron and Fez!

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

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.

Thank you.

Thanks a lot.

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

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

Well, yeah, you've - 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.

Yeah, uh, it was, uh, just 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 Games came to us and we were fans of theirs, so it just, uh, it just worked out.

Even in terms of the site getting [SEWERAGE?] it's not like you guys were out-marketed anywhere, right?

MATT: Yeah, nah, they've, uh, you know, whatever, publications that just usually come to us, and uh, we say "sure!" And then 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!"

So, uh, the deal is, this is a philosophy that you guys have never really wanted to join - 'cause you had to be an - offered a TV show by now.

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

Mmmhmm -

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

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

{Mike and Matt laugh}

Well, yeah, but if, you know, we're doing well enough for ourselves, that it would just seem like.. it would, it would kill the magic. It would stop being fun.

Yes -

If we weren't able to do it this way, we would, you know, another approach would be fine, it's just, this is, you know. We're able to do it this way, so, you know -

But -

I don't feel comfortable saying this.

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}

Yeah, we - we failed that. We're at that part of it.

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

Yep.

It's not like you could even say, "well, Homestar is kind of, the Bugs Bunny, and Strong Bad -" You know, uh - because you could do that with most cartoons, you could say "okay, I got it. He's Fred Flinstone-like." {Mike/Matt laughs} But this stuff came from somewhere else.

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

Right.

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

MIKE: No, plan, no expectations.

Yeah, so -

MIKE: That's our new motto.

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

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."

{Laughs} Yeah. The - never show up in a college and, uh, give a speech.

{Laughter} Yeah, exactly.

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

... Visuals.

MATT: Yeah, most of the characters we had wrtitten a couple little stories, just storybook stories, of a character's, uh, most of them had been invented further up, a couple years before we started doing flash cartoons, in uh... late 1999, so that's when they needed voices, and so... and Mike just refused - refused to do any voices, and that's why I had to end up thinking 'em all up.

Now did you - uh, had you done voices in your life, or were you a little bit of a mimic before you got into that?

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

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

Yeah, Homestar is the hardest one, and -

Yeah -

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

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

We've sort of been viewing the video game ads, that -

Mmmhmm -

Kind of -

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

Mmmhmm.

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 - I don't know - I don't know if we could do it.

So this is really lazy work you guys are - {Matt laughs}

I like that saying! And I like that, uh, you guys can see that.

{Laughs} Yeah, so

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