magic trick

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Strong Bad Email #198
watch your edge being mean
"This might hurt a lottle!"

Strong Bad shows off all the different kinds of magic.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, The Cheat, Homestar Runner, Strong Sad, Coach Z, Bubs, D n' D Greg (Easter egg)

Places: Computer Room, The Stage, The Field, Bubs' Concession Stand, D n' D Greg's Parents' Basement (Easter egg)

Computer: Lappy 486

Date: Monday, August 11, 2008

Running Time: 3:52

Page Title: Lappy 486

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Six

Contents

Transcript

STRONG BAD: {singing} I'm gonna check my uhngh, and then I'll check my uhngh, and then we'll turn it out.

{Strong Bad pauses briefly after saying "Hey", says "OK" after reading "Take Homestar Runner in a box", says, "Yes, yes!" after "and take a saw", and sounds excited after, "and saw him". He then exclaims "From Agnes in Sweden!?"}

STRONG BAD: {typing} You're a girl. From Sweden. And you want me to take a saw to Homestar Runner. Um, I think we might need to get married, Agnes. {clears screen} Of course I can do a magic trick, babehoney. But what kind should it be, honbaby? Are we talking about, like, community center talent show type magic? You know, the kind with—

{A page of a book pops up, showing a picture of a stereotypical magician with two cups and two balls in front of him. Below him is the text "Cups and Balls", to the left of him is "Fig. 1a", and above him is "The How-to Book of How to Do Magics". A thought bubble is next to him saying, "Both!"}

STRONG BAD: —cups and balls, or those jangly metal rings where the guy's like "Jingle jangle!"

{Another page of a book shows the same magician holding two rings close to each other. "Fig. 6a" is to the left, and "Jingle jangle!" appears in a word bubble.}

STRONG BAD: And now they're separate rings!

{The magician takes the rings away from each other as Strong Bad says this, prompting him to say "Omigosh!" The caption now reads "Fig. 6k."}

STRONG BAD: Ooh, and don't forget the ubiquitous live woodland creature...

{The magician is now holding a squirrel in his palm. The text "Fig. 17f" is to the left of him.}

STRONG BAD: ...Cleverly smooshed into the lining of one's jacket or pants!

{As Strong Bad says this, the magician shoves the squirrel into the front of his pants, apologizing with "Sorry, Mom!" The text now reads "Fig. 17g."}

STRONG BAD: But nothing says low-grade magic substitute like...

{Strong Bad appears on a stage with purple curtains, holding a cone of newspaper. To the left of him is a table with two balls, two rings and a glass of milk}

STRONG BAD: The mystical Cone of Newspaper!

{The crowd gasps. The camera zooms in on Strong Bad as he grabs the glass of milk}

STRONG BAD: Now watch carefully as I pour this full glass of white milk into this cone of newspaper!

{He shakes the newspaper, and then pours milk into it. Crickets chirp.}

STRONG BAD: Huh? Huh? Err...

{The camera zooms out.}

STRONG BAD: Uh... Does anyone remember what this trick is supposed to do?

{Milk drips down the bottom of the newspaper. Strong Bad looks down at his leg and shakes it, causing The Cheat to burst out of his pant leg. The scene cuts to Strong Bad typing on the Lappy.}

STRONG BAD: Or I could go a few steps up from that amateur stuff to the guys that are willing to blow their life savings in the name of magic! Or as I like to call them... moneygicians.

{Cut to Strong Bad in the field, standing on top of a small crate that reads "SEVENTEEN FOR FREE". A purple box with stars and an exclamation mark is to the left, with another box on top featuring a hole and a square hole with red curtains. His audience seems to be just Homestar Runner, Strong Sad, and Coach Z.}

STRONG BAD: That's right, folks! Gazemaze in gazemazement, as I totally ordered Magic Novelties—

{Zoom in on Strong Bad pointing his boxing gloves at the object on the right.}

STRONG BAD: —and Amusement Catalog Item #1407B, assembled it, read the instructions on how to use it! And you didn't!

{Strong Sad and Homestar Runner are shown in the audience. Each is standing next to another Item #1407B.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Hate to burst your bubble, man.

{Strong Bad is typing on his Lappy}

STRONG BAD: There's also the subcategory of flowy-sleeved moneygicians. These are the guys with really hot assistants, really high production values, and really {pauses} not a lot of magic. They might as well just spend their money paying the audience to believe they did magic, instead of putting on a big, pointless show.

{Strong Bad is talking to Bubs, wearing a jacket that's flowing in the wind because of a fan in front of him. Strong Bad hands Bubs some dollar bills.}

STRONG BAD: Here's a thousand bucks. I made this building disappear.

{The camera zooms out. The word "POOF!" has been painted onto Bubs' Concession Stand.}

BUBS: That's gazemazing!

{The scene darkens. When Strong Bad says "street magic", an easel propped up against the Cinder Block is shown reading "street" "magic" "today" with an arrow pointing right. }

STRONG BAD: Or I could go with the recent trend of street magic, but it usually just descends into dudes doing stupid crap to themselves in public.

{Strong Bad is shown wearing a greasy shirt. A can labelled "tips" is to the right of him.}

STRONG BAD: For six straight days, I will not drink, I will not blink, I will not think! And I definitely will not do any magic while standing on top of Bubs' concession stand!

{As he says this, the camera zooms out to reveal him on top of Bubs' stand with Homestar watching.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: What magic!

{Strong Bad is now typing on the Lappy}

STRONG BAD: But forget about the different kinds of magic tricks. I think it's time to take Homestar Runner in a box. And take a saw. And saw him.

{Strong Bad is on stage, holding a saw and wearing the flowy jacket, again with a fan behind him. Homestar is next to him, wearing a box labeled "This Side Brown" upside down with an arrow pointing towards Homestar's head and some fake arms.}

STRONG BAD: Now, we've never met before, have we, sir?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: No, good buddy Strong Bad. We have never met.

STRONG BAD: You look like a man of many arms.

{Zoom in on Homestar.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yeah, I'm like an octopus.

{Drumroll as the camera zooms back out.}

STRONG BAD: All right then, hold still... this might hurt a lot-tle!

{Abruptly, Homestar's fake arms fall off.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oops.

{A silhouetted Coach Z appears abruptly.}

COACH Z: That saw didn't even touch him! He's pure evil!

{Strong Bad is typing on the Lappy again.}

STRONG BAD: Well, sweet wife Agnes, that didn't turn out exactly as I hoped. But now, not only does Coach Z think I'm a good magician, he also thinks I'm a class 3 dark wizard! Oh, and one more thing, Agnes...

{Strong Bad holds a card up to the screen, showing four pictures of his butt, reading "4 my butt".}

STRONG BAD: Was this your card?

{A crowd gasps, and the New Paper comes down. A second later, Strong Sad interrupts.}

STRONG SAD: {offscreen} Wait, Strong Bad, you left out an important kind of magic!

{Strong Bad glances over.}

STRONG BAD: What?

(The camera zooms out to reveal Strong Sad at the desk, wearing a blue leotard, with the words "Spandex Wonder" on it.}

STRONG SAD: The magic of il-l-l-l-l-lusion.

STRONG BAD: Ugh, I hope to high Heaven that outfit is an illusion!

{Strong Sad's head tilts forward somewhat, until it falls off and shatters on the floor. A second Strong Sad appears on the other side of the screen.}

STRONG SAD: Il-l-l-l-l-lusion!

STRONG BAD: Wah!

{Strong Bad jumps and grabs the first, headless Strong Sad. Cut back to the Lappy.}

Easter Eggs

  • While the toon is zoomed in on Strong Bad, you can click on item #1407B after he says its catalog number to see its catalog page in Magic Novelties and Amusements Catalog. It's called "The Devil's Crapper", and sells for "Just $6,000".
  • At the end, click on "class 3 dark wizard" to see a Teen Girl Squad-style clip featuring Coach Z and D N'D Greg.
    COACH Z: How can I defeat him, o' my master?
    D N'D GREG: First you'll have to procure some root of mandrake powder.
    COACH Z: Ooh! I should have plenty o' that layin' around! That's what I use to defeat the dark fungus from downungus!
    D N'D GREG: {pause} I'm gonna have to ask you to leave my parent's basement now.

Fun Facts

Explanations

  • The sawing magic trick that Agnes refers to is most likely the classic "Saw A Woman In Half" routine, first performed by British magician P.T. Selbit.
  • The paper cone and milk trick's usual illusion is that the milk is supposed to disappear by unravelling the newspaper, completely dry. It is described here. (PDF.)

Trivia

  • The label on the Floppy Disk Container reads "rama".
  • The box Homestar is in says "THIS SIDE BROWN".
  • The summary for the Podstar Runner RSS feed reads, "Strong Bad describes the various kinds of magic."

Remarks

  • The trick with the "jangly rings" Strong Bad describes involves a pair of solid metal rings becoming linked or separated during the trick without breaking. However, the rings in the first illustration are not linked.
  • While Strong Bad is presenting item #1407B to an audience, the silhouettes of the audience are of three heads, Homestar, Strong Sad, and Coach Z. However, when the audience is revealed, only Strong Sad and Homestar are present.
  • The symbols on Strong Bad's "4 my butt" card are all right-side-up. Traditionally, playing cards have the lower half of their symbols upside-down so that they look mostly the same either way.
    • Also, where it says "my butt" should have another image of a butt, instead of text.
  • In the Easter egg, D N'D Greg mentions his "parent's basement". Unless the basement belongs to only one of his parents, the apostrophe should go after the "s".

Goofs

And for my next trick, I shall put a bracket on the wall!
  • The close square bracket "]" that precedes Strong Bad's opening reply is seen on the wall as it rises after he clears the screen.
  • When Homestar's "arms" fall, the image of the baseball bat skews to conform to the "surface" of the floor and is on top of Homestar's blue sole.
  • When the camera zooms out at the desk to reveal Strong Sad, there are no legs on the desk.

Inside References

  • This is another occurrence of characters recognizing that Homestar has no arms.
  • Homestar's fake arms originate from fingers, except the "arms" are in the opposite places.
  • This is an instance of Strong Sad's severed head.
  • The community center magic section mentions pants.
  • This is another example of Strong Sad getting his revenge.
  • This email features several portmanteaus:
    • "moneygician": "money" and "magician"
    • "gazemaze": "gaze" and "amaze"
    • "gazemazement": "gaze" and "amazement"
    • "gazemazing": "gaze" and "amazing"
    • "a lottle": "a lot" and "little"
    • "babehoney" and "honbaby": "honey" and "baby"
  • In describing said moneygicians, Strong Bad says that they have "really hot assistants, really high production values, and really not a lot of magic."
  • The soapbox now reads "Seventeen For Free".
  • This is an instance of Strong Bad wearing a shirt.
  • In this email, The Cheat seems to fit into Strong Bad's pant leg only through the power of hammerspace.
  • Crickets chirp when Strong Bad forgets how the cone of newspaper trick works.

Real-World References

  • Strong Bad claiming he will stand on Bubs' Concession stand for six days is a parody of endurance artists, most notably David Blaine.
  • Strong Sad's outfit and reference to "Illusion" at the end are a reference to the late Canadian magician, Doug Henning.
  • Strong Bad's flowy-sleeved magicians are a reference to illusionists, such as David Copperfield, who wear similar shirts while they perform. His attempt to make Bubs' concession stand disappear is specifically a reference to Copperfield's famous Vanishing the Statue of Liberty illusion.
  • In the Easter Egg, D N'D Greg mentions Mandrake Powder. Mandrake is a real plant that traditionally was thought to have magical properties.

DVD Version

  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Matt Chapman, Mike Chapman)

MATT: Mike, you had a metal detector when we was kids.

MIKE: Why are you talking about metal detectors during this email?

MATT: {stutters, laughs}

MIKE: This is the wrong commentary, man. You were doing the commentary for "buried".

MATT: I thought— I thought you just said we should do "buried". You know {unintelligible}.

MIKE: No, you said "magic trick". You said "magic trick".

MATT: {mumbling} I said the wrong one, guys...

MIKE: Alright, so we're gonna keep going now. Even though Matt was all set to talk about metal detectors. Uhhh, so your father-in-law's a magician.

MATT: Yes. Yeah. He can do a trick or two.

MIKE: He did some magic tricks at your rehearsal, that I recall.

MATT: Mm-hmm. He did.

MIKE: Is he all gearing up for Ida's second birthday party?

MATT: He ought to.

MIKE: Uh-huh. {pause} He's a good magician. I married a magician's daughter.

MATT: I heard.

MIKE: There's Matt, uh— those are pictures of Matt that we took that night that I traced. {chuckles}

MATT: Oh... Oh, my gosh!

MIKE: Looks very surprised!

{pause}

MATT: Ohh, sorry.

MIKE: What is it— Does your Mom really like squirrels? Was that squirrel your Mom?

MATT: I think it's a {unintelligible}.

MIKE: Or was she just so embarrassed that you had— that your profession requires you to stuff small creatures down your pants?

MATT: I think that it's a combination of all of those. So what used to happen? Would they end up, like, crumbling up the newspaper when the milk was mysteriously gone? Was that how that trick used to work?

MIKE: Pfff. I don't know, man. I really think you just would... pour milk in the newspaper, and it... you know.

MATT: But what was the, like, magic that was supposed to even be happening?

MIKE: That it didn't go straight to the ground.

MATT: But, like, would they end up pouring the milk out of soggy newspaper?

MIKE: I don't know. I— I feel like Donnie could do it.

MATT: Yeah... Uh, Jackie's dad had a couple of... nothing this extravagant, obviously. But he has a couple of funny little, like, you know, just things you buy...

MIKE: {overlapping} Moneygician things?

MATT: ...like, yeah. {pause} Um, what do you think Strong Sad and Homestar were gonna do with those things? You know, sell 'em on eBays? On one of— one of the different eBays?

MIKE: Strong Sad was gonna... I dunno. I don't have anything to say that's funny that, uh... I can finish that sentence with.

MATT: Yeah. What about Joe? {Mike laughs} Joe Bluth?

MIKE: Look at how tall the concession stand is, there.

MATT: Don't blame me.

MIKE: {about the writing on the chalkboard} So, are all three of those things untrue?

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: With the quotation marks, is that what that implies?

MATT: Yeah, there's no street.

MIKE: {still laughing} No magic.

MATT: No magic.

MIKE: And it's tomorrow. {pause} Umm... so David Blaine just did one of his non-magic things.

MATT: Yeah, I didn't even know about it.

MIKE: Like, last week, he hung upside-down. For 60 hours or something?

MATT: Yeah. Good job.

MIKE: {laughs} {imitating} I can't believe my eyes.

MATT: {imitating} The wonders. {Mike laughs} All of the wonders.

MIKE: There's a little colored lights in the background. {unintelligible}

MATT: Yeah. I didn't, uh, I didn't think I'd noticed them when this email went up.

MIKE: I made them.

MATT: Did you put them just now, in there?

MIKE: No, it was— they were always in there.

MATT: Go sports! {pause} Wait, what's that thing that hit the ground? What was he holding? I think it was supposed to be a base— uh, a wiffle ball bat?

MIKE: A wiffle ball bat with the finger on it.

MATT: Yeah. When the wiffle ball bat hit the ground, it like, flattened.

MIKE: Really?

MATT: Yeah, it looks really good.

MIKE: Maybe it was a cardboard cut-out of a wiffle ball bat. {laughs}

MATT: Ohhhh!

MIKE: Four of my butt. He's got a nice posterior.

MATT: {grumbles} Oh yeah!

{both laugh}

MATT: Oh, Doug Henning. Spandex Wonder. {when the fake Strong Sad's head breaks} Ohhhhh!

{both laugh} {Mike clears his throat}

Fun Facts

  • One of the magicians Matt references is probably George "GOB" (pronounced like the name "Job") Bluth from Arrested Development.

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