Mystery Shack Lookback - 13 Jul 2022

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"We interview Free Country USA's own Strong Bad!!"

On July 13, 2022, Strong Bad made a surprise ten-minute appearance on the Gravity Falls podcast Mystery Shack Lookback, episode 49: "Cipher Hunt". The episode was hosted by Charley Marlowe, Ella Cesari, and Shelby Sessler, featuring guests Alex Hirsch and Jason Ritter. Strong Bad discussed his involvement in the 2016 Cipher Hunt event, and his audition to be the voice of Grunkle Stan.


[edit] Transcript

{An hour into the episode, Alex Hirsch mentions a poster that was put up in Georgia as part of the hunt.}

ALEX: I couldn't do that myself, but I knew a friend who had the ability to get to that spot... Um, so I called up my friend, um, let's see if we can patch them through here...

CHARLEY: Are you kidding me? He is the reason that I got into writing and voice acting.

{The Lappy 486 startup sound plays, followed by the Geddup Noise.}

ALEX: There he is, folks. Uh, hey, Mr. Bad, thank you for joining us.

STRONG BAD: Who's that?

ELLA: Oh my gosh! Well, folks, it appears that, uh, that Strong Bad himself has joined us on this podcast. Welcome!

CHARLEY: @StrongBadActual on Twitter!

ELLA: Yeah!

ALEX: Strong Bad, are we coming through okay?

STRONG BAD: Oh yeah, you guys— you all sound great! How do I look?

ELLA: You look fantastic.

SHELBY: {overlapping} You look amazing!

CHARLEY: Strong Bad is currently cosplaying Grunkle Stan, we should screenshot that and save it for the archives.

STRONG BAD: Yeah, I do it for like, you know those cosplays at conventions, you can tell the person thought of like five minutes before they walked out the door.

CHARLEY: They call them closet cosplays, Strong Bad.

STRONG BAD: I call 'em tapesplays!

ELLA: So are there no hard feelings, Strong Bad, after Grunkle Stan threatened to shoot you with his gun, for being on his property?

CHARLEY: {overlapping} In that one Vine?

STRONG BAD: I don't remember that. That's lost to the ether... of...


ELLA: {overlapping} Okay, fair enough.

STRONG BAD: The Ethernet. It's lost to the Ethernet! Cable.

ELLA: You seem to have a big part to play in this here Cipher Hunt, do you wanna talk about hiding the clue for the Shriners' temple?

STRONG BAD: Well, you know, I know a thing or two about Easter eggs.

ELLA: Mm-hmm. Of course!

CHARLEY: Oh, yeah, yeah! I always click things, uh, behind— behind the black, at the end.

STRONG BAD: That's right! And so, Alex came to me, and he was like, "Hey, I need to try and click on links in the real world," and I told him that there's no HTML—

CHARLEY: {overlapping, laughing} That's not how it works, dude.

STRONG BAD: —in the physical world, right, I had to sort of educate him on that.

ELLA: Yeah.

STRONG BAD: Uh, but so we figured out things like, "Oh, you could put a sign on a telephone pole with, like, a phone number on it!" So, you know, we went for that. That's why I'm wearin' the fez because I put some signs up, near Shriners', like, uh, temple deal.

SHELBY: {overlapping} Of course, you had to blend in!

STRONG BAD: Look at that!

CHARLEY: But infamously, uh, this sign had gotten very water-worn, does Bubs not offer lamination or...?

STRONG BAD: Uh, look, it was inside of like a Ziploc but I think that the lock failed.



CHARLEY: Oh, the Ziploc f— yeah, that happens sometimes.

STRONG BAD: They get some torrential rains in the Atlanta area.

ELLA: They do!

SHELBY: Yep! Yeah...

STRONG BAD: It was the summertime.

CHARLEY: Uh, Strong Bad, can I do something that is considered, uh, something you're not supposed to do?

STRONG BAD: Is it bring back those little, like, brushes that they stick in mustard? In old-timey things?!

CHARLEY: Yeah! Right here...

STRONG BAD: Remember how mustard used to have brushes? Is that what you're about to do?! BRING BACK THE MUSTARD BRUSH!

CHARLEY: I'm working on it! Hashtag bring back the mustard brush.

STRONG BAD: Is that what you're gonna do?

CHARLEY: But no... Strong Bad, I would like to, uh, imitate your voice to you.

STRONG BAD: Oh— I don't— ohh God. Okay.


CHARLEY: I don't have to! I don't have to!

STRONG BAD: No, I love it! I love hearin'—

CHARLEY: {Strong Bad impression} Oh yeah, I love it too! Yeah!

STRONG BAD: —all of you people's terrible impressions.

CHARLEY: {Strong Bad impression} No! Now wait, now wait. Okay, I'd say "half-terrible", all right? I would say, you know, on a range of "not very good at all" to "hey, you got something there", I'm like...

STRONG BAD: Hey, that's identifiable!


STRONG BAD: Certified— certified identifiable. Most of them are like...

CHARLEY: Identifiable is the best anyone can do with any impression, I think.

STRONG BAD: Yeah, exactly!

ALEX: I'm very embarrassed to admit that occasionally while drunk, I will text Strong Bad, uh, my embarrassing attempts to do a Strong Bad voice. Um, and Strong Bad is, uh, very nice and doesn't say anything.

ELLA: That doesn't sound that much like Strong Bad! He makes an exception for you!

ALEX: {overlapping} I think mine are not too identifiable.

STRONG BAD: Oh man, his Homsar is the best, he's really good at Homsar.


CHARLEY: {Homsar impression} AaAaAah...

ALEX: {overlapping; Homsar impression} AaAah'm forever your...

CHARLEY: {Homsar impression} Ah'm the pride of the peaches!

STRONG BAD: Whoa! See, now that's

ALEX: {overlapping} That's good, that's a good Homsar.

STRONG BAD: Yeah, that goes way beyond identifiable!


CHARLEY: Beyond identifiable? Wow, that's the best compliment I've ever received unfortunately.

ALEX: Strong Bad, Strong Bad, can I ask you, uh, how did you get all the way from Free Country, USA to the shrine in Georgia?

ELLA: I know, that's what I was thinkin'!

STRONG BAD: It was difficult, you know, The Cheat, he put, uh, a Game Gear this time in a blender...

CHARLEY: Yes. Okay.

STRONG BAD: So, usually to make portals we put Game Boy...

CHARLEY: So the Game Boy in the blender travels dimensions, but the Game Gear in the blender—

ALEX: Takes you to Georgia.

STRONG BAD: Sega. Gotta call Sega!

CHARLEY: {overlapping} Does it require you to put six double-A batteries in every three hours? Or...

STRONG BAD: Yes. That's the problem... you gotta shove them down in your— down your throat like my old diagrams.

CHARLEY: Okay, all right, yeah.

ELLA: I was gonna say, I know you don't have a car, at least not one that runs, so I was wondering how you got there, but that's smart! I bet that saved a lot of travel...

CHARLEY: Right, 'cause the Gremlin wouldn't have taken you there.


STRONG BAD: No. It wouldn't have gone— that's— the road trips, you know... technically, neither road nor trip, that we take together.


ELLA: No, it was instantaneous and there were no roads.


ALEX: Strong Bad— and while we've got you here, Strong Bad, I just wanted to say how excited I was when, um, I believe it was a Halloween cartoon—

ELLA: That's right!

ALEX: —that had a, was it Bubs, was dressed as Grunkle Stan?

ELLA: Naturally!

ALEX: Am I remembering that correctly?

STRONG BAD: Yeah, because I refused to do it, because I was looked over as the voice of Grunkle Stan!

CHARLEY: That's true!

SHELBY: {overlapping} You gotta do that!

ALEX: {overlapping} You had to bring that up, you gotta bring that— Okay, I wasn't gonna mention it, but I did—

STRONG BAD: I was gonna mention it!


ALEX: I did audition, uh, Strong Bad for the role of Grunkle Stan...

ELLA: Awww.

ALEX: And Strong Bad, he came all the way to Los Angeles and we put him up in a booth, and we had a stack of telephone books for him to sit on on a stool to reach the microphone...

STRONG BAD: You gotta put an Atari Lynx in a blender to get to L.A.!


ELLA: Interesting!

CHARLEY: I have not heard anyone say the phrase "Atari Lynx" in about ten years.

STRONG BAD: That's actually pretty recent. That's pretty good.

ELLA: I was gonna say, yeah, that's like...

CHARLEY: Oh. I was confusing it with the Jaguar...

STRONG BAD: The Jaguar! The Jag-yu-ar.

ALEX: You were confusing it with— Me and Strong Bad, we would go golf at Atari Lynx, uh, after recording voices...

ELLA: Ahh.

STRONG BAD: We put in a... back twenty. Is that golf? Is that golf talk?

CHARLEY: I thought Lynx was a Nintendo thing.

ELLA: Oh yeah, you're right...

CHARLEY: All those Links? In those Zeldas games?

ELLA: That was just the one.

ALEX: Let me ask you, Strong Bad, what do you recall about that audition? Do you remember it very well?

STRONG BAD: I remember that the sides... were like a pale shadow of the man that Grunkle S— the Grunkle Man would become.


ELLA: Right. Well, I mean it was between you and Bob Odenkirk...

STRONG BAD: Listen. I remember the last line was Grunkle Stan screaming the phrase, "KIDS! WHERE ARE MY PANTS?!"


ELLA: That sounds almost exactly like the Grunkle Stan that we ended up getting!

STRONG BAD: But you know— but you guys know that Alex Hirsch, do you know the turn-down, the email I got that said "Sorry, Strong Bad, you don't get the part", you know what he said?

ELLA: What did he say?

STRONG BAD: He said, "you sound too much like Strong Bad".


STRONG BAD: He said he couldn't do it, he was like, it would be too distracting to watch my cartoon, and hear Strong Bad every time Grunkle— the Grunklem'n talks.

CHARLEY: But you know who would've been a fantastic Grunkle Stan? Crack Stuntman.

ELLA: Mmm.

STRONG BAD: Oh man, you don't wanna work with that guy.

CHARLEY: Oh, really?

STRONG BAD: That guy leads, like... his rider is like 72 pages long, just to record some, like, fart noises.

CHARLEY: Oh, no! So that all came into play when he, uh, when he played the guest Bubs that one time? When Original Bubs left?

STRONG BAD: Yeah, that was a nightmare.

CHARLEY: {overlapping} Oh, I'm sorry.

STRONG BAD: I blacked that out.


ALEX: Crack Stuntman is notoriously difficult to work with... shows up late, uh, has a really weird entourage of people who like, know the show from its reboot... um, it's a mess. I really— like, I've been a big fan of Strong Bad for a very long time, and was very excited for an opportunity to work with him, but it was my concern that he has such a... iconic and distinctive voice and I was worried that as a Strong Bad fan, I thought, gosh, if Grunkle Stan sounds too much like Strong Bad, I as an audience would be the whole time just thinking "gimme Strong Bad", like who's this guy?

CHARLEY: I, uh, discovered Gravity Falls from a series of Tweets between Strong Bad and Joshua Pruett, where Strong Bad had placed an autographed bumper cling on his car outside of Disney TVA, and that was how I learned of the sh—

STRONG BAD: That wasn't me! I didn't have— I wasn't usin' my Twitters yet. I don't know who did that.


STRONG BAD: That weirdo.

CHARLEY: Oh, that must have been someone else, I don't know, some Ronginald... I think his name was Ronginald? But um...

STRONG BAD: That's not a real name.

CHARLEY: It doesn't sound like it.

ELLA: It was very nice of you to hide that clue for Alex, even after that audition didn't go so well, I hope you were able to land a spot on the show eventually, maybe as some kind of merman or something. Who knows?

STRONG BAD: Oh, that's just a soundalike. They hired a soundalike.

ELLA: Alex! Come on!

CHARLEY: I recall the Hand Witch kind of sounding like some of your Teen Girl Squad voices, that wasn't you?

STRONG BAD: No, they got that creepy, like, Gollum-lookin' guy that does Blue Laser's voice...

CHARLEY: The Guy That Does The Bad Guy's Voice, that's right!

ELLA: Aww, come on, Alex, get the genuine article! You gotta get the real—

CHARLEY: When people told me, it's kind of like the Teen Girl Squad voice, I'm like, "No, it's Blue Laser Commander, get it right!"

STRONG BAD: That's right! There's a big difference! I do the Teen Girl Squad voice, that creepy—

CHARLEY: And a weird zombie voices the Blue Laser Commander!

STRONG BAD: That's right, you can't get that voice out of a living human!


ALEX: Strong Bad, thank you so much for helping out with the Cipher Hunt, thank you so much for being gracious enough to audition for the role of Grunkle Stan, um, always a pleasure and your cosplay is better than...

ELLA: It's better than identifiable.

STRONG BAD: Thanks so much! You guys have a great time!

CHARLEY: That is one identifiable-plus cosplay, Strong Bad.

STRONG BAD: Hey, thanks! I found this tassle on a couch!

CHARLEY: Do you need to put a patch to cover where the tassle was taken?

STRONG BAD: I did! I did, in fact. I put an X of duct tape.


ELLA: Wow!

ALEX: Thank you, Strong Bad!

SHELBY: Thank you!

ELLA: Thank you, Strong Bad!

STRONG BAD: Thank you, bye. There's my nose!

ELLA: Good nose!

CHARLEY: And if you ever talk to one, uh, "Matthew Chapman" for whatever reason, tell him thank you too for no particular reason.

STRONG BAD: Thank you.


STRONG BAD: Look, The Cheat's runnin' around!

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: There he goes!

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

{The Paper sound plays. Strong Bad leaves and the podcast continues.}

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Explanations

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[edit] Remarks

  • Vine is in an archived state, and the video of Grunkle Stan threatening to shoot Strong Bad can still be seen and is not "lost" as the discussion suggests.

[edit] Inside References

[edit] Real-World References

[edit] External Links

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