Experimental Film

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Strong Sad does some filming
"Ahh! More like our 'I'll murder you in a back alley' host."

Strong Sad and The Cheat make a video for They Might Be Giants.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Sad, Tentacle Skull, John Flansburgh, John Linnell, The Cheat, Gavin, It's a lion!, Homestar Runner, Strong Bad, Strong Mad

Date: July 13, 2004



The color of infinity
Inside an empty glass.
I'm squinting my eye
And turning off and on and on
and off the light.

It's for this experimental film,
Which nobody knows about, and which
I'm still figuring out what's going to go
In my experimental film.

Yeah, you're all gonna be in this experimental film,
And even though I can't explain it,
I already know how great it's.

I already know the ending.
It's the part that makes your face implode.
I don't know what makes your face implode,
But that's the way the movie ends.

And in my experimental film,
Which nobody knows about, but which
After figuring out, your face implodes.
It's my experimental film.

Yeah, you're all gonna be in this experimental film,
And even though I can't explain it,
I already know how great it--
Even though I can't explain it,
I already know how great it's.


The color of infinity
Inside an empty glass.
It's for this experimental film,
Which nobody knows about, and which
I'm still figuring out what's going to go
In my experimental film.

Yeah, you're all gonna be in this experimental film,
And even though I can't explain it,
I already know how great it's gonna--
Yeah, you're gonna be in this experimental film,
And even though I can't explain it,
I already know how great it--
Even though I can't explain it,
I already know how great it's.

Easter Eggs

  • You can click on "Directed by Strong Sad & The Cheat" before the video starts to get a commentary by the directors. Okay, maybe a little more than the directors.

Commentary Transcript

STRONG SAD: Oh, hello, this is Strong Sad--

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat makes The Cheat noises which sounds like, "And The Cheat!"}

STRONG SAD: --and we're the co-directors of this video.

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

STRONG SAD: Uh, so my portion of this video details the life of a very lonely individual named Rondell who can't deal with the decisions of day-to-day life.

STRONG BAD: We interrupt this whining to bring you this important headline: "World bored to death by Strong Sad's commentary."

STRONG SAD: Agh, what are you doing here? You're hardly even in this video!

STRONG BAD: Yeah, well I woulda been the one directing it if weren't for those Super Giant guys.

STRONG SAD: That's not what they're called.

STRONG BAD: Whatever they're called, that one right there with the glasses, he started talking all these vocabulary words at me and confusin' me and the next thing I know, I was relegated to this crappy bit part. {Referring to the top of two heads (one is wearing glasses, likely They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh)}

STRONG SAD: Hey, "relegated" sounds like a vocabulary word.

STRONG BAD: I'll relegate your face to a... bloody pulp!

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

STRONG SAD: Oh, that part represented hitting coffee with a drumstick. Okay. {Coffee is being hit with a drumstick}

STRONG BAD: {upon seeing a picture captioned "our gracious host"} Ahh! More like our "I'll murder you in a back alley" host.

STRONG SAD: Uh, so this next part is an allusion to one of my very favorite experimental films called--

STRONG BAD: Boring Johnny and the Get Bored Crew.

STRONG SAD: {exasperated} Would you quit it with the "boring" comments?

STRONG BAD: Look, if it weren't for that tentacle skull riding the old-timey bike, this video would have nothin'!

THE CHEAT: {barely comprehensible} You don't like the video, huh?

STRONG SAD: Oh, yeah, the first question on that pop quiz was, "Are you all going to be in my experimental film?" {Referring to Pop Quiz in clip}

STRONG BAD: Oh, look, there he is! Keep on old-timey bikin', tentacle-skull. {A cockroach appears.} Hey, is that Gavin? I didn't know he was in this video. He's got, like, as much screen time as I do!

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Hey guys, is this the Super Giants video?

STRONG SAD: That's not what they're--

STRONG BAD: Yes. But they cut us out of it.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oh, weird -- then why'd they bother getting someone who looks just like me? {Seeing himself in the clip}

STRONG BAD: No, that is you, I just mean they mostly--

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {Seeing Strong Bad and Strong Mad in the clip} And that guy looks just like you! And that big guy {referring to Strong Mad} looks just like Coach Z!

STRONG BAD: Now this part accurately represents what it feels like to watch this video. {Ticking clock shown}

STRONG SAD: {exasperated} Ohhh! This next part is all about Rondell's transformation into a new man.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: I thought you said that was just an accident that happened because you loaded the film wrong. {Rondell turns into animated Rondell}

STRONG SAD: {embarassed} Uhh, why don't you shut up, Homestar?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: I dunno... 'cause I guess I got a lot of stuff to say.

STRONG BAD: Check out my dance! Ooh, ah, ooh side-swipe! {The Cheat joins in} Ooh, ah, ooh side-swipe! {Homestar joins in} Ooh, ah, ooh side-swipe! Ooh, ah, ooh side-swipe!

STRONG SAD: Ahhh, this is the worst commentary ever!

STRONG BAD: That's what I've been saying this whole time!

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yeah, me too. Worst commissary ever!

STRONG SAD: At this point reality and fantasy have collided and everybody... pogos.

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

STRONG SAD: {angry} What do you mean you tried to be as dumpy-accurate as possible?

STRONG BAD: Let's talk about how "Real Smooth Moves" is like the best band name ever. The old Supreme Giants boys could take a cue from that one.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: I'm gonna take a cue from that kitchen table and go get me a blueberry muffin!

STRONG SAD: Ohh, what a disaster. I hope I still get paid.

Fun Facts

  • The two head-tops belong to They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The one on the left is presumably Flansburgh, as he wears glasses, and the one of the right is Linnell.
  • This toon was released at approximately midnight, Atlanta time, on 13 July 2004 - the release date of The Spine.
  • Strong Sad meeting the Grim Reaper through split screens is a reference to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal.
  • Ants crawling out of holes in Strong Sad's hands is a reference to Luis Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou ("An Andalusian Dog").
    • The "ants" are actually little The Cheats.
    • "Un Chien Andalou" is the inspiration for the song "Debaser" by the Pixies. Frank Black, lead singer of the Pixies, is close friends with They Might Be Giants, and on some occasions has even subbed for Linnell in concert.
  • The scene of Strong Sad shaving is possibly a reference to Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound.
  • In the commentary, "Worst Commentary Ever" is probably a reference to the Simpsons, where the Comic Book Guy is always saying "Worst [something] ever.".
  • The swinging light is an image found at the end of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, and was also used at the end of TMBG's music video for The Guitar.
  • The "color of infinity" line in the chorus may be a reference to The Colours of Infinity, a 1995 television documentary by Arthur C. Clarke about fractal geometry. IMDb says: "This show relates the science of the M-Set to nature in a way that seems to identify the hand of God in the design of the universe itself."
  • The answers for the "pop quiz" most likely refer to the Cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized the cotton-growing industry; Appomattox, Virginia, a town famous as the location where the American Civil War ended; and the all-time career record for home runs in Major League Baseball (755), set by baseball player Hank Aaron. Oh, and the first question was "Are you all going to be in my experimental film?"
    • The Cotton Gin -- used as an answer to a pop quiz where the question was unknown -- has also been done in at least one other cartoon. In a Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin escapes from a classroom test and returns as his alter-ego Stupendous Man to finish the test at high speed. His answers are The Battle of Lexington, 1492, Trotsky, and the Cotton Gin, and he fails the test.
    • In another strip, Susie tells Calvin that the answer to a problem on a math test is "Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin"
  • When It's a lion! pops up for the first time, the lion is wearing Homestar's hat.
  • United States Presidents are a common theme in TMBG's work; they have no fewer than five songs about U.S. Presidents, an album called Lincoln, and frequently mention Presidents in songs and on stage.
    • It should be noted, however, that while the band chose the album title Lincoln fully aware of its presidential overtones, the album is actually named after Lincoln, Massachusetts - the town where the two Johns grew up.
  • Coffee is yet another common theme in the work of TMBG. The earliest videos and promotional matierials from the 80's show TMBG with cups of coffee. In the film Gigantic, TMBG confesses that they are insanely dependent on coffee.
  • According to this Wired interview, TMBG will be making a separate video for the MTV crowd. Choice quote: "I feel like if MTV and Homestar collided, the world might explode."
  • The first line of the song is "The color of infinity inside an empty glass." Strong Sad's glass is full.
  • Despite "resolving not to feel so bad about wanting to hit Homestar so much" (see Strong Sad's Blog), the commentary shows the first time that Strong Sad has stood up to Homestar. As expected, Homestar doesn't take him very seriously.
  • The shot of the ATM with a football helmet chasing Strong Sad is a reference to Commander Keen, Defender of the Universe!
  • In the commentary, both Strong Bad and Homestar get TMBG's name totally wrong (both "Super Giants" and "Supreme Giants" are mentioned). This is, of course, not the first time this has happened. In fact, one of their early EPs included an answering machine message in which two people discuss "There Must Be Giants" and appear to be confused about the whole experience. Also on their song They Got Lost on their live album Severe Tire Damage, the song starts with an announcement of "Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for They Must Be Giants!"
  • The finger that comes up at one point might be a reference to the thumb on the cover of TMBG's "Dial-a-Song" album.
  • In the commentary, Strong Bad interrupts Strong Sad with the phrase "Boring Johnny and the Get Bored Crew". This is most likely a reference to the hip hop group "Doug E. Fresh And The Get Fresh Crew".
  • The joystick Homestar is using is for an Atari 2600.
  • The clock has 6 seconds between the 3 and the 4.
  • When the people in the grandstands flip the scenery cards to the mountain scene, it slightly resembles Main Page 2.

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