The Boston Globe Interview - 9 Aug 2003

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On August 9th, 2003, The Boston Globe published an article on The Brothers Chaps, written by Don Aucoin. The article (entitled Lookin' at a Thing in a Bag) included quotes from an interview with The Brothers Chaps, along with a general newspaper article.

[edit] Summary

After some general information about the site, and the indescribable appeal of the characters. They mentioned that Lycos 50 Daily Report called Homestar Runner "the Web's biggest animated hit", with nearly 300,000 visitors every Monday. They also talked about the popularity of the hats and T-shirts, sporting interesting characters and funny catch phrases. They commented on the "PG-13", family oriented quality of the content, with crazy, random humor. They also included quotations from an interview with Matt and Mike. Matt mentioned that he thought swears are as funny as the next guy, but grew up on entertainment such as Ren & Stimpy that rode a fine line between disturbing and family, which is where much of their inspiration stems from. He also mentioned that "shock humor, gross-out humor. It was kind of old by that time." At the time of the interview, they still worked out of the Atlanta apartment they shared. The division of labor was revealed to be rooted in childhood, since Matt "did more stupid voices."

Matt described the setup, explaining that the operation is low on overhead and high on freedom. "It's something you couldn't do much of in another medium, Mike and I can come up with an idea and have it published in a matter of hours. There's no restrictions, no studio heads. If you can find an audience, you're your own little TV network. It's kind of cool to be part of something that will hopefully turn into something lasting for the entertainment industry."

They talked about the main characters, Homestar and Strong Bad. Homestar was described as "the nice guy who's just really dumb, almost too dumb to know when you're being mean to him or he's being mean to you. He sort of lives in his own world." Strong Bad on the other hand is described as somewhat short-fused self-proclaimed ladies man, with a head shaped like a punching bag. "He's like the kid who beat you up at school but then came over after school to play."

They also talked about the other characters, as well as business aspect of the site. "Only last September they were able to quit their day jobs, Mike doing Web desiging and Matt a graphics designer. They talked about their upbringing, which included four hours of cartoons on Saturday, followed by a few more hours of Nintendo video games.

They also related the early history of the site in 1996, with Mike Chapman graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in photography, and getting a night shift as a lighting technician for an Australian sports channel covering the Olympics. They explained the origin of the name "Homestar Runner", and how out of boredom during the Olympics they wrote the Original Book, which would later become the basis for the website.

They wrapped up by expressing their desire not to turn Homestar Runner into a TV show, but agreeing that they wouldn't mind an annual special a la "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Finally they explained that apart from the Homestar Runner store, the site has no advertising, and, they vowed it never will.

"If it never got any bigger than this, that's fine with me," he adds. "We're just going to keep doing what we do and hope people keep checking it out."

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