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What's the secret?

Strong Bad Email #113

Ryan N. asks Strong Bad what the secret to his "pizzaz" is. Strong Bad does a journalism interview with himself on his "Strong Bad-Type Interview Progrum" (sic) to find out.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, Strong Bad, The Cheat, Biscuit Dough Hands Man (Easter egg)

Places: Computer Room, Strongbadia, Strong Bad's Buffalo Style Ranch (Easter egg)

Computer: Compy 386

Date: September 13, 2004

Running Time: 3:18



STRONG BAD: {types "strongbad" while singing} Oh, here comes The Strong Baaaaad... {He types "_email.exe".} Oh, here comes The Strong Baaaaad! {He brings up the email and reads it.}

STRONG BAD: Umm... {typing} Did you just call me a dog food gangsta? What is that supposed to mean? {in an Olde English typeface} Ought I to be offended? {clears screen} Anyways... {typing} The secret to my pizzaz/why am I so cool? {spoken only} Hey, {typed and spoken} good questions Ryguy, let's ask me!!

{music starts and a newspaper background appears}

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, on Strong Bad-Type Interview Progrum: {The Strong Bad-Type Interview Progrum logo appears.} Strong Bad aims the barrel of his sawed-off journalism shotgun at his toughest interviewee yet... {a crosshair appears and moves around the screen revealing the scene underneath it before centering on Strong Bad's head and flashing "LOCKED ON!!"} ...HIMSLEF! {echoes ridiculously} Eh...I mean...himself.

{The scene changes to Strong Bad's interview stage with the lights dimmed; Strong Bad is talking to someone off-screen with his microphone turned off. The lights fade up and Strong Bad turns toward the camera.}

STRONG BAD: Good evening, mostly people, and welcome to another night of hard-hitting, buffalo-style journalism! As we say every show, let's...

AUDIENCE: Get to tha point! {the text "GET TO THA POINT" flashes on-screen in colorful graffiti-style writing}

STRONG BAD: Welcome, Strong Bad.

{The camera switches to the rear of Strong Bad to reveal another Strong Bad, this one dressed in a sailor's cap with a corncob pipe, hereafter referred to as "CAPTAIN STRONG BAD" for clarity's sake; aside from the hat and pipe, he's a carbon copy of Strong Bad}

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: Thank you, Strong Bad.

{The camera shifts back and forth between them as they talk.}

STRONG BAD: So... You're dressed like a ship's captain. Whuh... Um... Why are you dressed like a ship's captain?

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: I thought that I heard that it was... {looks around} ...the latest style.

STRONG BAD: Absolutely not the case. So... You're still dressed like a ship's captain. Why is that?

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: Look, I'm telling you, I either saw or read or {quickly sotto voce} hearditfromTheCheat that it's the latest style!

STRONG BAD: So you say. This "The Cheat" you mentioned... {speaking with slight hint of withheld laughter} is he also dressed like a ship's captain?

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: Oh, no way. The Cheat's too cool for that.

STRONG BAD: But you don't seem to have that problem.

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: What... No, wait, you turned it all around on me! I'm cool! I have pizzaz!

STRONG BAD: Uh-huh. And a corncob pipe.

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: Oh, that's it! This interview is OVERRRR! {He sticks his face in the screen as the picture fuzzes out.}

{Cue an old-cartoon-style picture of The Cheat next to a pulled power plug with the text "Hang In There" and "Technical Difficulties."}

{After a little while, newspaper background and music returns with a picture of Captain Strong Bad's angry outburst.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} So after many fives of dollars and saying "Come oooonnnnnn!" a lot, I got Strong Bad to agree to a second interview, this time on his buffalo-style ranch in Strong Badia.

{Switch to image of Strong Badia with Strong Bad and Captain Strong Bad behind the fence, which zooms to fill the screen and then cranes in on the two Strong Bads.}

STRONG BAD: So, Strong Bad, the peoples want to know... What's the secret to your pizzaz?

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: Well, for starters, you've gotta have the three G's. Gumption, uh... Gum, like, chew gum, and, um... Minty gargle.

STRONG BAD: Minty...gargle. {Captain Strong Bad nods.}

{The camera switches to behind the fence, showing that it is far too tall for Strong Bad's head to come above it normally, and that they are both actually hanging from the fence by their arms}

STRONG BAD: Is that really all you got?

CAPTAIN STRONG BAD: Yeah... Yeah, pretty much.

THE CHEAT: {He makes "la-de-da-de-da" Cheat noises as he comes on-screen and the camera moves back to the front of the fence.}


THE CHEAT: {He looks at one, then the other, then the other, faster and faster until finally his head explodes.}

{The scene shifts back to the computer.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} So, I never really got a straight answer outta me, RyGuy. But if you wanna be cool and have pizzas like me, it looks like the secret has a lot to do with fresh breath apparently. Okay, before I go, I'd like to give a shout out to all my Dogfood Gangstas. Canned or Dry, We Neva Die. {speaking} Colors. {typing} Here goes The Strong Baaaaad. {gets up from the stool and continues off-screen} Oh, here goes The Strong Baaaaad!

{The Paper comes down}

Easter Eggs

At the end of the email:

  • Click on "secret" to see a sneak peek of Strong Bad's next show.
ANNOUNCER: Next week on Strong Bad-Type Interview Progrum... Watch as Strong Bad levels the business end of his 12-gauge journalism bazooka squarely at: Biscuit Dough Hands Man!
  • Click on "Dogfood Gangstas" to see a graffiti-style or cheat cartoon-style image of Strong Bad as a Dogfood Gangsta.
  • Click on "The Strong Baaaaad" to get a preview of Strong Bad's old-western-style TV show "The Strong Bad" (In Colors!), created by A. Chimendez.

{Cut to a wooden gate with a sign reading "Buffalo-Style Ranch."}

SINGER: Here comes the Strong Bad! Here comes the Strong Bad! Yeeha!

{The words "The Strong Bad in Colors! Created by A. Chimendez" appear. A bullet hole is shot through the words.}

Fun Facts


  • The words that scroll across the screen in the intro for the talk show read "MICROPHONES," "TALKING," "2 PEOPLE," "A GLOBE," and "A PLANT."
  • When the Strong Bad in the sailor outfit knocks over the chair in the interview room, the "get-up" noise is heard.
  • According to the DVD commentary, RyGuy is the The Brothers' Chaps nickname for Ryan Sterritt.


  • "Pizzaz" is spelled incorrectly. The correct spellings are "pizzazz" and "pizazz."
  • Biscuit Dough Hands Man is the initial suspect for Strong Bad's crimes in "Strong Bad is in Jail Cartoon", created by Bubs drawing the King of Town's description of Strong Bad. So technically, Strong Bad will be interviewing himself again.

Inside References

  • The background at the Buffalo-Style Ranch is from "Cheat Commandos...O's".
  • The phrase "Neva Die" was said by Homestar Runner in "car." The gangsta font is also used in car, on Strong Bad's boxing glove.
  • The background in the beginning of The Strong Bad-Type Interview Progrum is the same as the background in the beginning of "Senor Mortgage."
  • The cartoon image of The Cheat pulling out a power plug is a reference to The Cheat's first appearance in "The Strongest Man in the World."
  • This is another instance of The Cheat's Head Exploding.
  • The font used for "Get to tha point" is similar to, if not the same as, the font used for Strong Bad's graffiti "Job" in "A Jorb Well Done."
  • The plant on Strong Bad's show is Credenza the ficus from 3 Times Halloween Funjob.
  • Strong Bad being in the ship captain suit may be a reference to A Mother's Day Message.

Real-World References

  • The interview program may be a reference to Tim Russert's Meet the Press on which Russert often tries to be tough about unimportant topics ("'re still dressed as a ship's captain"). Russert also makes frequent references to his hometown of Buffalo, while Strong Bad makes numerous references to such in this email with the phrase "Buffalo-style."
  • "This interview is OVER!" is a reference to Pro Wrestling Manager J.J. Dillon, who managed Ric Flair in the early '80s in Georgia (where The Brothers Chaps live). He would end every interview with the same comment.
  • The gunshot sound at the end of the Easter egg (and the style of the hole being blasted from the "The Strong Bad" logo) is taken from the SNES game Super Scope 6—and is the sound used in all the Lazer Blazer games when a shot is fired.
  • Strong Bad dressing up as a captain for an interview is similar to an episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry is forced to wear a pirate shirt for an interview and is asked why he is wearing it by his interviewer several times.
  • The Three G's, also known as "GGG," will be familiar to any Dan Savage (Savage Love) reader. It refers to being Good, Giving and Game in an intimate relationship.
  • The concept for the fictitious TV show The Strong Bad is based on Bonanza, the first regularly broadcast American television program to be filmed in color.

DVD Version

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

(Commentary by: Matt Chapman, Mike Chapman)

MATT: Here’s the rare occasion where Mike went out of town and I had to finish an email.

MIKE: That’s true. I was in San Francisco and Matt did pretty much the whole thing by himself. Good job, Matt.

MATT: Thanks. Did it come out okay?

MIKE: It did.

MATT: I think—

MIKE: It’s the— it’s always a good treat when that happens because then I get to watch the email on Monday morning.

MATT: Fresh.

MIKE: Fresh and not really knowing what happens.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: So it was good.

{pause until Strong Bad types, "Ought I to be offended?"}

MIKE: That’s—

MATT: {laughs} He’s got dynamic like, tone sensors on his keyboard.

MIKE: Yeah that knows—

MATT: That can tell when he gets quieter and when he’s getting formal. 'Cause I think it does the same thing when he says the, uh, "and Trogdor smote the Kerrek."

MIKE: That’s right.

MATT: And turns into that fancy font.

MIKE: That script font.

MATT: {in reference to the Strong Bad-Type Interview Progrum title screen} Talking, a globe, a plant, two people.

{scene cuts to interview}

MIKE: I think that’s the same newspaper background from the, uh, Senor Cardgadge. The thin in.

MATT: I think you can read some phone numbers on that. We should probably do something about that. {laughs}

{pause until after Strong Bad says "Get to tha point"}

MATT: That background is, uh, almost as good as if not better than the show background as being uh— looking like an old Joe Franklin set or something.

MIKE: Yeah like, uh, Fernwood 2Nite or something. Some 70’s talk show. Is that— is that plant—

MATT: Credenza?

MIKE: Yeah, Credenza?

MATT: Yeah. That’s Credenza.

MIKE: Umm... we just saw a guy in the parking lot of our office dressed a ship's captain this morning.

MATT: A pail of water—

MIKE: He had a bucket full of water dumping it in the parking lot and he was wearing a ship's captain hat.

MATT: Yeah. He had pizzaz.

MIKE: {laughs} He definitely did.

MATT: Umm so Strong Bad really lays it to himself. Really gives himself the business. With a third d—

MIKE: As only Strong Bad could.

MATT: Yeah. He doesn’t react very well. You think he could— he could take it.

MIKE: He just quits. This is a great song. This is a great song! {starts singing} I’ll sing it {continues singing and snaps his fingers}

MATT: {makes a the Cheat noise at the end of the song like "meh"}

MIKE: That was good.

{short pause. Start again when Strong Bad says "come on."}

MIKE: Let me— let me see.

MATT: Oh. Microphone I think is one of the words.

MIKE: I don’t think there’s any thing legible.

MATT: Water. Water Views. Uhhh—

MIKE: Oh! Look at that camera move!

MATT: Yeah thanks.

MIKE: Solid!

MATT: Cinematic.

MIKE: Little dolly action.

MATT: I did go to film school!

{both laugh, then sigh}

MATT: Uhh..

{short pause}

MATT: So I don’t even think— I think I already started animating this scene and then realized that, "Wow! You know what they have to either be standing on something or hanging from the fence." So I had 'em hanging from the fence.

MIKE: That was good.

MATT: Umm... uh oh.

BOTH: Here it comes again!

{The Cheat's head explodes}

MATT: That’s gotta hurt. That happens—

MIKE: That happens several times. RyGuy is, uh, the nickname of our friend Ryan.

MATT: That’s what we call him.

MIKE: Or— Well... I was gunna say something but it was a curse word. {laughs}

MATT: Mike, don’t tell— we don’t know any curse words!

MIKE: {laughs}

MATT: Shut up! That’s like that rap song, Colors by Ice-T. "The gangs in LA will never die, just multiply. Colors."

Fun Facts

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