NYU Talk - 1 Mar 2005

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An promotional poster for the event, autographed by The Brothers Chaps.

"A Date with Homestar Runner" was a lecture given by The Brothers Chaps, accompanied by Ryan Sterritt, at New York University on March 1, 2005. Missy Palmer, Jackie Chapman, and Craig Zobel were also in attendance.

The presentation included many then-unreleased videos, many that would be released as DVD-exclusive videos. A new video, recorded during the trip, showed Puppet Homestar Runner touring around New York. The lecture concluded with a question-and-answer section.


[edit] Summary

[edit] Fun Facts

  • The organizers of the event had no idea how popular the event would be, and only booked a room which held about 50 students. The tickets quickly sold out when made available to the students at their student ticket center. Unfortunately, the Brothers Chaps were unaware of the ticketing/seating situation, and mentioned the appearance on their website. People inundated the site, one family of four driving from Virginia to NYC that day, only to find no tickets available. Fans holding signs outside the center were offering cash in trade for tickets. Matt and Mike sat downstairs in the lobby of NYU's Kimmel Student Center signing autographs and talking to fans. At least on two separate occasions, Matt was willing to talk on people's cell phones as Strong Bad and/or Homestar.
  • While there, Matt as the Homestar puppet devised amusing nicknames for some of the more interactive audience members. Some are mentioned in the transcripts: "Alan with an I" in reference to a male student named Alain (pronounced Alan) who received an autograph before the presentation, "Doo-rag" for a male student wearing a bandana on his head, and "Purpleface" for a female student who removed her purple NYU sweatshirt (the school's color) to reveal another purple NYU t-shirt beneath.

[edit] Selected Transcripts

Below are the transcripts of the segments recorded by HRWiki user Tom:

[edit] In the Lobby

{Matt and Mike are standing at a table before the presentation. Matt is holding a puppet Homestar and talks while Mike signs his autograph and sketches characters. Many fans begin to gather around to watch them as they answer questions.}

MOTHER OF A FAN: So you guys will be talking about the whole phenomena?

MATT: I guess. I mean, yeah. We'll just be doing this kind of thing. We brought a bunch of stuff to show that's not on the website and things like that. And it will all be on the website at some point or on maybe another DVD or... yeah. But yeah, when we went out today, with the puppet, we shot some stuff around campus—so we'll show that.

A FAN: Did you already film that?

MATT: Yeah, yeah. Ryan is our video guy—he's upstairs editing it right now actually. He'll burn a DVD of the show.

A FAN: Cool. How did you get They Might Be Giants—

MATT: They just emailed us. John Linnell just emailed us a while back. I guess at first we just like sent each other some free stuff...[indecipherable mention of shirts]... and then they were just like, "If you guys ever want to collaborate, just let us know and just—"

A FAN: Does Strong Bad have genitals on his boxing gloves?

MATT: Those are his- They're his hands. Like so he doesn't have fingers- He can't take them off or he'd just be cutting his hands off. He's more of a masked, dressed creature. That's why his mouth is really the place where your mouth would go in and then there's a wrestling mask. {Matt uses his hands to demonstrate} It's like, you know if he was wearing a wrestling mask and boxing gloves and fell into a vat of radioactive goo and in turn then that melted it in to one.

MOTHER OF A FAN: So how did you guys start with this?


MIKE: We were just doing it for fun five years ago.

MATT: Yeah. And uh—

A FAN: It's based loosely on the children's book, right?

MATT: Well yeah. Well, loosely the term "children's book"—

MIKE: We just made like ten copies at Kinko's—

MATT: Yeah, and Mike and our friend Craig and it was just Homestar and Pom-Pom and The Cheat and Strong Bad {pause} and then after that just started around messing around with Flash and then... mostly out of demand from people started selling t-shirts and then pretty soon our dad was like, "You guys can probably quit your jobs."

MOTHER OF A FAN: And so that supports your—

{Matt answers while he signs an autograph}

MATT: Yeah. So that's all we do is... is is—

MIKE: He used to be a retired accountant.

MATT: Yeah, so our dad's like... it helps to have a retired accountant for a dad.

A FAN: Where did The Cheat come from? Like... was he just a Pokémon all along?

{Mike and Matt laugh}

MATT: It was, uh, it was supposed to a... I hadn't heard of Pokémon 'cause it was '96 when we first drew The Cheat and he was more sort of this kinda to be this "sluggy" thing. Uh and uh and, yeah, then he ended up we first saw our first peek of Pikachu we were like, "Aww, geez".

A FAN: That's what they all say.

{Matt leans down to sign an autograph. There is silence for a while.}

A FAN: How do you guys divvy up the like production stuff?

MIKE: It's pretty much fifty-fifty. Like, when we'll write it together. And once Matt's recording the voices I'll be in starting the animation and once he's done with the voices then we kinda just split the scenes up fifty-fifty.

A FAN: Do you guys still record on paper first?

MIKE: No. We kinda just do it on the fly. We don't have time for that. When it's Sunday night at five in the afternoon we don't have time for storyboards.

A FAN: You do The Cheat, right? The voice.

MIKE: Yeah, when The Cheat makes cartoons I do all that—bad impressions of the characters.

MATT: (to Mike) You don't have the gloves in your pocket, do you, anymore?

MIKE: I don't. No.

MATT: {hands an autographed poster to a fan} Um, that's for you.

A FAN: Thanks.

{Matt gets out his cell phone as he turns to face Mike. He is going to speak with a manager about an issue regarding a ticket shortage. Matt then hands his brother the phone and Mike steps away}

A FAN: So you guys do this full time, like nothing else?

MATT: Yeah, for almost like two and a half years now, I guess? We've been doing it. Mike did freelance... flash stuff and I worked for an Internet company and then we were able to just quit and do this for fun. Pretty awesome, yeah.

A FAN: Have you guys toured anywhere else?

MATT: We've only done this a couple of other times... so, I went to Florida State University and so we went there and talked. And uh, and then we went to, we got to the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Which ruled. So cool we had never been to Canada at all.

A FAN: They love wrestle man in Canada.

MIKE: What?

A FAN: They love wrestle man in Canada.

MIKE: Yeah exactly.

{A fan shows Matt his Messenger Bag}

MIKE: {pointing at the bag} Oh, wow. And you've got the patches and everything. Awesome.

FAN WITH MESSENGER BAG: This is, I think, the most apropos use of the patches.

MATT: Yeah, hell yeah, that's great. {he points at the bag again} Nice work.

FAN WITH MESSENGER BAG: This nice thing that unzips here, you don't even see the, uh, all the crazy Frankenstein stitching.

MATT: Right, yeah, exactly. {laughs}

FAN WITH MESSENGER BAG: I was wondering what the purpose of that thing was when I first got the bag—

MATT: So you could sew stuff on. Right. And it still looks good.

FAN WITH MESSENGER BAG: {off-screen} I don't know why but these two always give me a craving for nachos.

MIKE: Really?

MATT: {laughs} He's gotta little south—

FAN WITH MESSENGER BAG: He goes, "Eh Steve!"

MATT: —southwestern flair to him. That's funny because, uh, a friend of mine drew this, uh, it was from my wife and I's like wedding present. He like drew us this portrait with these weird versions of the Homestar characters and then the human version of Eh Steve he drew was this this guy with like—he looked like a flamenco dancer... guy he drew him, this like Latino guy and which was pretty cool.

A FAN: Am I the only person who wants—

MATT: wants what?

A FAN: ...little girl merchandise? [indecipherable]

MATT: I'll tell my sister that. Yeah, uh. Like she knows that it's on the web and like she's been to like—What? {interrupted by group laughter} But she knows that like. I don't know, that she knows that like a lot a lot of people have seen it and like it and stuff. And so it's like I don't know—Merchandise on her would screw her up even worse. We're like afraid that we've done irreparable damage to her.

A FAN: Where's Missy?

MIKE: She will be... coming down here. She was taking a nap.

MATT: (To a fan off-screen who thanked him) Yeah totally, man. Thanks for making the hike.

A FAN: We were unable to get tickets.

MATT: Oh you guys can't get in either? Oh, I'm sorry. Are you doing school here?

A FAN: No. [indecipherable] We just found out about this.

MATT: (In response) Oh you were just visiting up here?

A FAN: [indecipherable]

MATT: Oh, you live here.

A FAN: We're from Washington College and we watched the first Strong Bad Email like five years ago.

MIKE: No way! That ruled! That was awesome, that's like right when we first started. I was actually living up here when I started.

A FAN: What about all the great work you did on TV?

MIKE: They came to us. We were on Pulse twice and then they came to us and then I guess they canceled that show. And then 'The Screensavers' came to us.

A FAN: The new format of 'The Screensavers' was good. You were—it was a lot of fun.

MIKE: I actually hadn't seen 'The Screensavers' for a while. It worked out okay but it was crazy. We were just filming that live upstairs with a webcam and [ran] down stairs because we have TiVo and rewind to see how it went.

A FAN: The world premiere of the Strong Bad puppet.

MIKE: That's right.

A FAN: My friend and I have been debating. Are you really gonna make a Peasant's Quest movie?

MIKE: We did.

MATT: No, uh yeah. That was just- that was a joke. If we had—

MIKE: Enough work days

MATT: —could freeze time and like have a ton of money then we probably would. It would probably be a lot of fun.

A FAN: Can I get a quick picture of you guys if I get behind you?

MATT: Yeah totally. {draws characters on posters} We haven't drawn our characters in years. {Stands up and holds the Homestar Runner puppet}

MIKE: {looks off-camera and sees his wife} Hey! What's up? {introducing tone} Missy Palmer, everyone.

{Camera pans left to show Missy Palmer. She approaches the table and the camera pans up to the ceiling briefly. Matt continues to listen and talk to fans and Missy and Mike talk in a low voice. Mike returns to signing autographs as Missy sits by herself behind them. Unimportant dialogue intentionally omitted}

[edit] The Presentation

[edit] Before The Introduction

MATT: [I want the] All-in-One Installer off my machine. Every time I turn it on, it re-installs this one printer.

{audience laughter}

MATT: And I'm really sick of it.

{Mike suggests something indecipherable}

MATT: {responding to Mike} Well you see I did that once and it just got it rid of the printer all together. And I need the printer. I don't want to do that every time.

A FAN IN THE AUDIENCE: Do you want help now or do you want it later?

MATT: No, really not now would be good.

{audience laughter}

MATT: Thanks, though.

A FAN IN THE AUDIENCE: I look at it after the show—

{The computer screen changes to a DVD menu, signaling the start of the presentation.}

{audience applause}

MATT: Our video guy Ryan made this in like the last hour, he made this. Which is pretty awesome.

{Mike quickly plugs in a microphone and it causes a loud buzz sound.}

MIKE: I didn't do that.

{audience laughter}

Opening menu screen

[edit] Introduction

MIKE: Hi everybody.


MIKE: I'm Mike Chapman and this is my brother, he's called Matt Chapman.

MATT: We are the two chief executive officers of the Thorax Corporation LLC. Comma comma period.

[edit] Sample Of Style Too

MIKE: Our little slave is running downstairs editing together and burning onto DVD right now. He's supposed to be done, but's he's not. So, he will run up here and give it to us and we'll show it at that time... But, in the meantime, we have some other stuff to show you that you may or may not have seen. Matt? Tell them what we did.

MATT: We haven't even seen this yet. Have we?

MIKE: No we haven't.

MATT: So I don't think you have seen it.

MIKE: As a precursor, we made a DVD a few months ago and there was some bonus stuff on it. One of bonus things was a little background information on how we did the sounds and how Matt did all the voices.

MATT: Behind the scenes.

MIKE: Uh, behind the scenes, yes. For the website. And so if you saw that, this is sort of the "follow-up" to that. So...

MATT: Here, here goes. {He says something to Mike and he whispers back}

{Video begins to play showing Mike in a red shirt with white text}

MIKE: Hi {dodges a roll of duct tape thrown at him} I'm Mike Chapman. People all the time coming up to me on the street and asking me, "Mike, how do you do the animation for your characters on homestarrunner.com?" I tell them... you guys, we're about to go film something with the character Strong Bad being animated and I will show you how, to answer your question. Come on! {gestures with his hand}

{Cut to next scene where Matt is wearing an off-white mask currently flipped up on his head and he is wearing a "motion capture" suit. Behind him is a solid green screen}

MIKE: All right, we're set.

MATT: We're ready to go. {As he says this, Matt flips down the mask he is wearing, which is textured like Strong Bad's face} Let's do this. {He begins to wave his arms as the camera zooms out}

MIKE: Rolling! {Matt makes motions in his suit} That's good.

{Cut to scene where Matt and Mike are sitting down holding video game controllers}

MATT: You know, so a lot of people think it is just straight-up Flash animation. Which is—

MIKE: —A lot more advanced than that.

MATT: Yeah, which is far from the truth. Far from it.

{Cut. Matt continues to animate his body}

MATT: Gotta limber up... {more quickly} Gotta limber up. Ohh... surprising.

{Cut. Matt is on the left and he lifts up his mask}

MATT: {To Mike, further right} Tell them how it's done. {starts laughing, hits Mike's shoulder}

{Cut. Matt's face is now obscured by the mask. Mike's back faces the camera}

MATT: So tell them some more, Mike.

{Matt waves his arms as Mike suddenly turns to face the camera.}

Motion capture leotard

MIKE: {gesturing to the suit} This is our motion capture suit. {Matt gradually lifts up the mask} On it, we have ping pong balls that are all the time sending out electronic messages {Matt laughs} through blue tooth reactors into the air, then they bounce off this pretty green wall which is represented and sent to the computer here. {As he is saying this, camera pans to show a laptop computer showing an image of Strong Bad.}

{Video cuts to show a divided screen. On the left, Strong Bad is waving his arms up and down. On the right, Matt is waving his arms in an irregular pattern.}

MIKE: {offscreen} K, now, Homestar's on your left, Homestar's on your left. Good. Good. Good.

{Cut to previous shot with Matt on the left and Mike on the right}

MIKE: Each ping pong ball represents one spectrum of blue tooth wireless mobility. {As he says this, Matt laughs and bends forward}

{Cut to show Matt close to the laptop}

MATT: {profoundly} You can talk to the suit, Mike.

MIKE: Well, {taking a closer look} these ping pong balls {pauses, gestures with his hands} {Matt stares at him at the verge of laughter}

{Cut to show Matt with the mask flipped down. He continues to wave his arms about and then lifts up the mask.}

{Cut to show Matt sitting down and drinking a bottle of water}

RYAN: {offscreen} How did the shooting go today?

MATT: {drinks more and then lowers bottle} Rough.

{Cut to the green screen room. Mike is in front of the camera and Matt is behind him closer to the screen, cowering on the floor}

MIKE: Don't do that again! {throws ball at Matt}

MATT: Oww!

{Cut to show previous shot with Matt sitting down}

MATT: {puts bottle on table} Overall I think we got some good stuff. We got some good stuff. Strong Bad, ahhhhh {wiggles his fingers disapprovingly} But, you know. Homestar {reaffirming grin}

{Cut to show close up of Mike sitting at the desk with the laptop. An image of Strong Bad waving his arms up and down is displayed}

MIKE: {looking to the right at Matt (offscreen)} Keep it up, we just got a few more sec— {The right arm of Strong Bad's image flickers and then disappears entirely. His left arm continues to move up and down} Whoa, hey hey hey hey. Hold on, hold on.

MATT: What?

MIKE: We lost an arm.

MATT: What?

MIKE: We lost an arm.

MATT: {denyingly} No.

MIKE: One of his arms is—{he gets up from the desk} One of his arms came off. {Camera pans to the right to show Matt making motions. His face is obscured by the mask}

MATT: I got it! I got it!

MIKE: Hey hey. {he taps on the mask} Wake up!

MATT: Ahh! Ahh! I got it!

MIKE: {lifting up the mask} One of your arms came off. What happened?

MATT: {stretches out his arms and examines them} They look good to me.

MIKE: Take a closer look. They don't look good to me.

{Matt studies his left arm and starts to grin}

MIKE: {grabs Matt's right arm and holds it up} What is this? What are these? {rips the irregular balls off of Matt's arm} This is the problem right here. {repeatedly hitting the two balls together as Matt grins}

{Matt puts his mask down}

MIKE: These are— {laughs, lifts up the mask} These are wiffle golf balls. We need ping pong balls.

MATT: {pointing to the balls on his suit} These... I got—

MIKE: Table tennis balls. It's an Olympic sport.

MATT: {assuredly} I got ping pong balls.

MIKE: No, yeah, on everywhere else except for this part. That's why his arm disappeared. {holds the wiffle balls} These things have holes all over them. Looks like a mouse chewed through these things.

{Quick camera cut}

MATT: Table tennis. What you said.

MIKE: These are practice golf balls. And so it doesn't go as a far—

MATT: {interrupts} Guy from the sports place said.

MIKE: Yeah but these aren't gonna work, though. The guy from the sports place isn't a technological genius like us. And what needs to be done is to make me look like liquid like animation.

MATT: {rubs his nose} Look, you— {his mask falls down on its own} You want to try on this suit? Hmm? For a day?

{Camera cuts to show Matt sitting on the floor next to the wall}

MATT: Look. I do what I do because I love this job. That sounds like somebody's a little angry. {awkward pause}

{Cut to scene where Matt and Mike are sitting down holding video game controllers}

MATT: You know, doing this with my brother.

{Camera cuts to show Matt sitting at the desk with the laptop. He flips the mask down}

MIKE: Careful {comes over and grabs Matt's shoulder} Get up, that's my chair. Get up, that's my chair.

MATT: Oww. {he abruptly gets out of the chair}

MIKE: Get up, that's my chair. Get up, that's my chair. {sits down}

{Cut to show Matt waiving his arms in front of the green screen again}

MATT: Uh yeah, itchy man. Focization. Art of focization itchy man {he continues to move arms about in various poses until he flips down his mask and faces the floor}

MIKE: {offscreen} Off the form there, ichy mayo. {Matt gets up}

{Cut to earlier scene where Mike is preaching Matt about the wiffle golf balls}

MATT: I didn't buy those.

MIKE: I told you to go pick up some lunch and some ping pong balls and some duct tape.

MATT: I did.

MIKE: You didn't get lunch. {looks to the balls in his hand} And you got these.

MATT: {grins and puts arms at his hips} I got me lunch.

{After a short pause, camera cuts to show Ryan Sterritt sitting at a computer when Matt enters the door}

MATT: Hey.

RYAN: {turns his head to face Matt} Yeah?

MATT: Hey, uh. {whispering} Can I talk to you for a second?

RYAN: Yeah, come on in.

MATT: {approaches Ryan} Uh, remember the other day I, uh, asked you to go get, go get some ping pong balls for the... motion capture suit.

RYAN: {nodding head} Yes.

MATT: Yeah, um, I got in a lot of trouble. {Camera zooms in to clearly show the wiffle golf ball package Matt is holding in his hands} These aren't, these are wiffle golf balls. This one has holes. And I guess that does—we can't get good data.

RYAN: The guy at the furniture store said these were ping pong balls.

MATT: {belittling} The furniture store? You got these... {holds package up} They sell... wiffle golf balls?

RYAN: Yes...{moves his head incoherently}

{Matt starts to crack up as the camera cuts to show him in front of the green screen. He taps his feet back and forth and then he lowers his mask. Camera cuts again to previous scene in the computer room with Ryan.}

MATT: He's a little steamed right now. So, if you could go ahead and... take the blame for all of this, that would be—that would be great.

RYAN: He's out of line.

MATT: Yea, exactly. Cool. Thanks man. {drops the wiffle ball package in Ryan's lap}

RYAN: {picks up the package, examines one of the balls}

{Cut to Mike sitting at the laptop with Matt in front of the green screen.}

MATT: {holding the end of a cord that is attached to his suit} I need you to plug this in.

MIKE: Plug... this? {grabs the cord unsurely}

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: Where does this go?

MATT: That's our main input.

MIKE: This—I don't have a plug this big. This is—

MATT: In the back.

MIKE: Mm, {sticks the end of the cord behind the computer, humoring} There we go.

MATT: {laughs}

MIKE: {humoring} We're all set. Okay.

MATT: All right. {Pulls the other end of the cord out of his pocket} I mean, this is supposed to be—

MIKE: {humoring} Do your thing.

MATT: —tucked in my pocket anyhow. {Cut. Matt is walking down the hallway toward the computer room.}

MATT: Mike, did you uh, make that cartoon funny yet?

{Cut. Mike is at the computer, watching an animated Strong Bad running.}

MIKE: That's good, keep going, keep going. {screen pans toward Matt in front of the green screen, doing running motions} Good, good. Little bit more move your arms, little bit more of your arms. {Matt waves arms wider} And... yea. Turn your uh, head towards the front. And down, good. Bubs' Concession Stand, just about to pass, {Matt looks and points to his left} very good, point, yeah, yup. Here comes The Stick. Watch out for The Stick. {Matt jumps}

{Cut. Mike is sitting at the computer. Matt is standing in front of the green screen. Matt no longer has a Strong Bad mask, and is holding Puppet Marshie behind his back.}

MIKE: Alright, uh so for this scene, we, there's gonna be, there's gonna be a lot of quick, action.

MATT: Okay.

MIKE: {hands matt a ping pong ball} And um, maybe you can put this back on yourself. Um, all the, kind of martial arts moves, you know any hapedo, or I-peo, or {simultaneous unintelligible words}

{Cut. Matt has Puppet Marshie in his right hand and a black mask with a ping pong ball is covering his face. Matt does random martial arts motions.}


MATT: Do you have a problem?

MIKE: {gestures to Matt} This is motion capture Matt. It's my new friend, motion capture Matt!

{Cut. Matt has Puppet Marshie back in his right hand and a black mask with a ping pong ball is covering his face. Matt does random martial arts motions again.}

{Cut. Matt is standing in front of a doorway with Puppet Marshie on his hand.}

MATT: {Mock-imitating Mike Chapman} I'm Mike Chapman, and I don't know anything about my website. People ask me about it and I don't know what to say. {Throws Puppet Marshie to the ground. Walks offscreen waving arms wildly.}

{Cut. Matt and Mike are sitting in chairs against the wall. Matt is inspecting his motion capture suit.}

MATT: {unintelligible} What are you thinking?

MIKE: I'm just letting—reminding you that we have a deadline. And that person over there thought it was funny.

{Camera pans to somebody at a computer, then back to the brothers.}

MATT: {unintelligible whispering}—right place—{unintelligible. Matt and Mike get up and walk out of the room.}

{Cut. Matt is standing in front of the green screen.}

MATT: Oops, we're out of time. You may be asking, "How do you animate the Homestar Runner character?" Well, I've got an answer for you: {holds up black underwear with two ping pong balls attached} You don't want to know!

{Screen cuts to background of Puppet Homestar. Audience applauds. Matt walks back onstage.}

MIKE: That's the first time we've ever saw that. {unintelligible}

MATT: I just thought that you did a fantastic job. Uh, so that's how we animate our website. {laughter}

[edit] Peasant's Quest Video & More

MIKE: The last couple of years, we've been trying to do something for halftime at the Super Bowl. We've never gotten around to it and this year we planned far enough in advance to do that. So, in addition to doing that, we thought we'd make a file that was thirteen times bigger than any other file we've ever made. Put it up at halftime of the Super Bowl and tell everyone to check it. So, it didn't go, you know, the first, maybe two or three people got to see it okay. But anyway, so it's a big full-motion like three minute fake movie trailer for this video game that we made called Peasant's Quest. And, we made that. Do you guys want to see that or just the bonus stuff?

AUDIENCE: Show it!

MIKE: OK. We'll show it, but nobody's seen it this big before.

{Full Screen Peasant's Quest Movie Trailer plays. Applause follows.}

MIKE: That was a lot of fun to make. Wasn't it, Matt?

MATT: Yeah, and expertly shot, edited, and all special effects by Ryan. He's supposed to be up here with us, but now he's gone. His computer is taking forever.

MIKE: Homestar is taking his seat.

MATT: So, then what should we show them? Do you guys want to see any of this stuff?

{audience responds affirmatively. Screen shows options such as "outtakes", "deleted scenes", and "your hair is messed up".}

MATT: We didn't really have any idea of what we were gonna do.

MIKE: We used to do—we've done this a couple of times, and really have over the previous four years we have a pretty good backlog of stuff that wasn't on the website and that people haven't seen—we were gonna put all that stuff on a DVD and so now we just got like two months worth of stuff that people haven't seen, so it's not quite as much, but we tried.

MATT: All right, so wearing a wig on this trailer and I had some kind of problem where I can't stop touching—

{Your Hair is Messed Up is shown, applause after it ends.}

MATT: So, we actually have a couple of the cast members of the Peasant's Quest trailer in the house tonight. My lovely wife Jackie and my lovely friend Matt Gribbon. Sit up! They refuse to stand up. Matt expertly played two different guys. Mendelev and Dongolev.

{audience laughs}

MATT: Amazingly. And Jackie sat in our tool shed and played the peasant lady with the baby.

MIKE: Should we show them the puppet thing?

{Ryan enters the room on the left}

MATT: There's Ryan. Is the puppet thing done or we still holding? And it's totally cool if it's not done.

{Ryan's conversation with Matt is inaudible}

MATT: Do you have just a QuickTime, we can probably—do you have—oh, you don't have input for this kinda thing. It's the like—what do you call it—monitor input. I don't you could—

MIKE: Hold on here just a second, guys. Matt, I will help Ryan.

[edit] Puppet Homestar Answers Questions

{Matt provides the voice of Homestar Runner as a puppet, holding it in his left hand.}

PUPPET HOMESTAR: Hi, guys. {nods repeatedly in response to audience laughter and applause} That's my favorite "muppet move" that I like to do. {repeats behavior} I'm like Fozzie Bear. If I had arms, I'd do that thing that Kermit would do it's like "woahhh" and flings his arms all around. I mean, I don't got none. Ummm, and now I'll take questions. No questions?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Are you telekinetic or do you just move stuff—

PUPPET HOMESTAR: Umm, I'm a cartoon and... maybe you shouldn't worry about it.

{audience laughter and Mike returns to his chair}

PUPPET HOMESTAR: Naw, I'm just playin', I'm telekinetic. I'm a super being. Limozeen "mr. talky" in the front row. What's up?

YOUNG AUDIENCE MEMBER: Um, how do you type with no arms?

PUPPET HOMESTAR: I—that was just answered. I use my brain. I'm telekinetic. I'm just a cartoon and you shouldn't worry about it. Yes?

ALAIN: Did any other chara—

PUPPET HOMESTAR: Alain? With an "I"?

ALAIN: Did any other characters come?

PUPPET HOMESTAR: Um... I'm the only one that fits in a duffel bag. {audience laughter} Strong Bad's too big. We need to make like a custom... carrying case. {audience laughter} And get some roadies. He's like a Marshall stack that guy. {audience laughter} Um... what's the status quo, you guys?


PUPPET HOMESTAR: Eight minutes of it? Am I funny? {unintelligible}... okay. Sounds like we've got something to show ya's... that we shot today on campus here in New York... on campus. {audience laughter} I'm gonna go.

{Puppet Homestar is put back in his bag}

PUPPET HOMESTAR: Ow! Ow! Not on there.

{audience laughter as Matt puts the puppet away near the microphone stand}

MIKE: So, we took the puppet out—

{audience applauds. Projector screen shows "WinDVD 4" splash screen.}

MIKE: That was my brother, Matt. So, we shot some puppet stuff today. And normally we have a little more time, but Ryan was able to put something together, but it crapped out when burning the last little bit. So Matt, we have to stop it after me and Homestar are talking to Garfield...

MATT: What happens when I don't stop it before then?

MIKE: Matt, it just isn't funny. So, we'll see how this goes. It's like eight minutes. It's the Homestar puppet and the rhinoceros shark-toothed bubs... toy. Uh oh, the DVD's not working. Maybe Ryan? That's cool, though. These people are cool with that, right?

MATT: Craig, do you have your iPod?

MIKE: I have my iPod in my pocket, does that count? {unintelligible}

MATT: {sarcastically} We go off without a hitch here at homestarrunner.com.

MIKE: Things run smoothly!

MATT: Does anyone have any questions while we wait for me and Mike?

MIKE: Questions are always fun.

MATT: Yeah, they take up a lot of time. {pointing} Yes, sir. Stand up so everyone can see and hear.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: {standing} In 100 emails, the Easter egg with the Limozeen members. Limozeen was congratulating Strong Bad on his 100th. Who were those four guys?

MATT: They were me, and me, and me, and me. {audience laughter} I put on a black leotard, and taped some ping pong balls to it. Put a blonde wig on and Ryan took me into four dudes. It's pretty awesome. Uh no, so we've got—it's in our office we just painted. Craig was in town. Craig Zobel—Stand up, Craig Zobel. Craig Zobel invented Homestar Runner with Mike back in 1996.

MIKE: It's true.

{audience applauds}

MATT: And I stole it from him.

MIKE: He's what Coach Z is named after.

MATT: Yeah, Bill Kramer is in the back. Bill, give him a high five. Bill would call him Coach Zobel, and that's where Coach Z came from. So we just steal things our friends say and sell t-shirts with them on them. {audience laughter} That's not true.

MIKE: And then we put our friends on the guest list to something like this and reward them for it.

MATT: I hope they don't get angry.

{Technical difficulties continue and the brothers talk back and forth about what to show next. They decide to show a preview for the Stinkoman 20X6 game.}

[edit] Future Game Preview - Stinkoman 20X6 - and Karaoke

MIKE: We're working on a new game for our website homestarrunner.com and the game is starring the character "Stinkoman". He used to be called "Stinkoman K".

{There is a delay while the brothers attempt to get the computer's sound to work}

MIKE: This has some good music that our friend Jonathan made. He makes our games, but he also does some of the music for them.

{The projection screen shows the start screen of the game. The opening cutscenes are shown and Matt provides the voice of Stinkoman. He then proceeds to demo Level 1.1. On Level 1.2, Stinkoman is freefalling with multiple Mr. Ubbers and Clowders around him as the music from Level 2 plays.}

Incomplete Level 1.2

MATT: So this level's not completed yet. But obviously he's punching giant raindrops and clouds with propellers on them. {audience laughter} So that'll be posted on the website. {applause} Jonathan was supposed to be here and he got really sick so he wanted to apologize to everyone that he couldn't show you guys that. John is very talented. He made Trogdor and Peasant's Quest, and— wow. {audience laughter}

{The projection screen starts showing a slideshow of photos of various animals, primarily deer, goats, and elk.}

MATT: Is that one of the dioramas?

MIKE: Yeah, man, they're awesome! {audience laughter}

{It moves to another slide}

MIKE: Look, see how this one had a reflection, see, down there at the bottom? Look at my master Photoshop skills.

{It moves to a slide almost identical to the last one, minus some edits}

MIKE: I got rid of that. {audience laughter}

{The slideshow moves through a couple more images, then pauses on one of a gorilla beating its chest}

MIKE: I think that one's for you, Matt, look, check it out.

MATT: A gorilla!

MIKE: Matt likes gorillas.

MATT: I love gorillas.

{The rest of the slideshow is quickly gone through.}

MATT: Should we have somebody do— which is disk two, which has the karaoke?

MIKE: That's disk two.

MATT: That's disk two?

MIKE: Yeah.

MATT: Does anyone want to do some karaoke?

MIKE: {overlapping Matt} Do some karaoke in front of all these people? {short pause} No? Debbie? How about you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Debbie! {laughter from the audience and Mike}

{Matt and Mike speak over each other for a moment}

MIKE: {quietly} Fine, everyone. Be that way. {audience laughter}

[edit] Flash animation clips

{The presentation screen shows windows explorer. Open is a folder with about 40 files inside it.}

MIKE: I've got a bunch of stuff on here that I put on here. {pause} Okay, so when Matt and I and Ryan went to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada last year, we had a- Matt and I challenged each other to make a cartoon on the plane. Here are two in-plane cartoons. Mildly amusing. This is mine. This is all it is.

{A refrigerator on a beach is shown with two sheets of paper stuck on with yellow magnets. Grass in the lower left corner moves in the breeze.}

MIKE: And it's a refrigerator on the beach. And there's a note that said, "Kids, I'm on vacation. -Dad. P.S. I don't know where mom is -Love, Dad." {audience laughter}

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Is that grass in the corner?

MIKE: Yeah, I spent all my time on the grass. That's why it's not very good. And here's Matt's.

{A dark yellow rectangle with rounded-off corners appears. Inside at the central top is the chemical formula "O2". Also inside is a silhouette of a man on the right. Hanging from the top on the left is an oxygen mask with a mouth on the bottom. Mike provides the voices to both.}

MASK: What is up, my dog?

SILHOUETTE: Na'an. Just loungin.

MASK: Sweet, sweet. Goin over to merbeck's tonight?


MASK: Sweet, sweet.

SILHOUETTE: I really hate your girlfriend, man.

{Now on screen we see a man looking out an airplane window. Moments later a fish swims by.}

MIKE: {reading text} Check it out, there are fish out there... {angrily} stupid fish.

{audience laughter}

MIKE: I made a cartoon last night in my hotel room. And since I don't do the voices and stuff, I didn't have much to work with. It's only thirty seconds long.

{Mike reads the opening credits of An Open Forum as it plays.}

MIKE: And that's it. That's all I could muster. {audience applause}

MATT: Why don'tcha make cartoons like that for our website? That doesn't look like anything on our website.

MIKE: We could show 'em the Coach Z "These peoples try to fade me" video?

MATT: Oh, yeah. Uh, we put out a CD a year ago, and there's a data track on it, you can put quicktime movies of—

MIKE: There's lotsa people like Jonathan that have never seen it.

MATT: So, we wanted it to be exclusive so we never put it on our site which is so tempting some weeks when we don't have anything. And it's like, "But we have that whole Coach Z thing we can put up". But we wanna make sure it stays kind of cool and exclusive.

MIKE: So here's the Coach Z video.

{These peoples try to fade me video plays. Applause follows}

MATT: The Cheat has rather sloppy Flash skills.

MIKE: Alright, check this out. You'll see me open up Flash 5. {he does so}

MATT: Ooh!

MIKE: Two versions outdated, and that's the one Matt and I use.

MATT: It's true.

{From there Mike opens a graphic of Nibbles.}

MIKE: Check this out. So I'm just going to show them... Nibbles! Look, it's the mini marshmallow version of Marshie. His name is Nibbles. He's sort of a Nermal to Marshie's Garfield.

MATT: {voice of Marshie} I wanna eat him!

MIKE: He's much cuter. Marshie hates him.

MATT: {voice of Marshie} I hate that little thing! He's trying to take my job!

MIKE: Look, I got a lot of stupid stuff on here that I'm gonna just keep showing, like this Lego thing I made.

{Mike opens a Flash file with Homestar Runner made of Lego blocks walking from right to left. Audience laughter and applause.}

MIKE: I made this several years ago. Didn't really do much with that.

MATT: {voice of Homestar} The Homestar Runner.

{Mike opens a Flash file with an Etch A Sketch version of Homestar walking from left to right.}

MIKE: You've got "Etch A Sketch Homestar". Didn't do anything with that.

MATT: {voice of Homestar} Shake it up, Mike. Erase it!

{Mike opens a Flash file with a needlepoint version of Strong Bad. A needlepoint Homestar walks in from the right and stops short of Strong Bad.}

MIKE: Needlepoint Homestar. Umm, what else? Oh, look! We've got—should we show them the Limozeen Coloring Book?

MATT: Absolutely.

{After a short delay, Mike opens a Flash file called Limozeen Coloring Book much to the delight of the audience}

MIKE: So here's the Limozeen Coloring Book.

MATT: Limozeen is a fictional metal band that Strong Bad enjoys.

MIKE: Yes, so then you can click on "ripped denim blue" and color his jeans blue. "Rockin' red" for his guitar, maybe. "Hairspray blond" for his hair. And then you can go to the next one.

{Mike continues to flip the pages of the book and reads the text descriptions out loud. He points out band members that have the faces of Ryan and Matt. Applause follows.}

MATT: Show them like the roller coaster—

Decatur Brain Football Club

MIKE: Check it out. I made this kick-ass logo for my fantasy football team. They're call "The Decatur Brain".

MATT: Decatur's where we live.

MIKE: Man, look at that. The brain has laces on it.

MATT: If the National Football League had that helmet, that would be the best thing ever.

MATT: Show 'em the roller coaster—

{Mike opens a Flash file of Homestar Runner jumping up in air while wearing a yellow helmet and knee pads.}

MIKE: I don't know where it's from. It's Homestar flying up in the air.

MATT: Is that from the monster truck one? Maybe he's wearing the same clothes.

MIKE: {overlapping} I don't know, maybe it is. See, The date was way later than that.

MATT: Weird.

MIKE: What did you want to show them?

MATT: The roller coaster—it's great—Mike had this brief redesign of all the characters that never, ever got used except in the desktop wallpaper.

MIKE: Yeah, the Everybody! Everybody! desktop wallpaper where they're sort of more cut out. Here's this. This is like four years old.

{Mike opens a Flash file that shows many of the main characters riding a roller coaster. Both Matt and Mike provide sound effects.}

MIKE: {as clip ends} That's it, guys. {audience applause} If you're waiting for more... then, it's not gonna happen. Hmm, what else?

MATT: Ooh, Trog— Should we show them Trogador?

Trogador 20X6

MIKE: So here's the Stinkoman version of Trogdor... that will probably never get used. Trogador!

{Mike opens a Flash file of Stinkoman preparing to fight Trogador.}

MATT: {Voice of Stinkoman} Trogador! {normal voice} It looks really good, man.

{A short animation of Trogador running in place}

MATT: Very nice.

MIKE: Um... oh, so here's a poster that's not out yet, but—

MATT: Oh yeah?

MIKE: That the aforementioned Craig Zobel designed for us.

MATT: Craig Zobel.

{Mike opens an image of the Everybody Everybody Poster}

MIKE: Check it out. It's like everybody ever.

{Audience gasps}

MIKE: This comes out in a few weeks I think.

MATT: No. Like, Dad's got 'em already.

MIKE: Oh, they're already out. Just name a character and they're all in there. Every version—there's the worm from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes right there. Biscuitdoughhandsman is right here. Lil' Brudder's right here. Hey Steve's right in front. Homestar Junior. Oh, Gavin—there's Gavin right here. Gavin the cockroach is down in the bottom right—Doreauxgard—

MATT: Sterrance even made it in up there.

MIKE: Rather Dashing. This is right after Sterrance so Sterrance is the most recent thing that got put in.

MATT: Craig said he looked at a lot of old Marvel Universes—


MATT: Tendafoot didn't make the cut.

MIKE: He's represented by Lil' Brudder.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: There's Tompkins. {stretching the words} There's Tompkins.

{Audience laughter. Mike closes the image of the poster.}

MIKE: Look at this—this is something I was trying out for the album cover—

MATT: {talking over him} This is disgusting.

MIKE: —Artwork for the album cover. It was gonna be "Limozeen" spelled out in, like, hot girl fingers with red fingernails and stuff. And I just tested it using my own gross stubby fingers. It looks really gross.

{Mike opens a image showing the text "Limozeen" spelled using various poses of fingers. Audience laughter.}

MIKE: We decided not to use this.

MATT: It's extremely offensive... I think the hot lady fingers would probably look OK, but looks disturbed with Mike's gross fingers. Never touch them again.

STUB'D! This section of the page is incomplete. You can help the Homestar Runner Wiki by expanding it.

[edit] After the Presentation

MIKE: So, what else, gang? Do you guys wanna ask some questions? Maybe we could open it up to a little "Q and/or A"? The occasional "A"... mostly "Q's".

MATT: Anybody? Yes!

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: You guys collaborated with They Might Be Giants. I was just wondering was any other bands or celebrities that have contacted you guys in order to work with you?

MATT: Uh...

MIKE: {deep voice} No.

{audience laughter}

MATT: No, we did get to do a music video, hopefully about to get to do another one for Lou Barlow, which was awesome, idols of ours. We heard Beck (Hansen) was a fan, but we never heard from him. Brucewillis dot com has a link to Strong Bad Emails, apparently. {laughter} Very proud of. What else... Who else have we collaborated with? We've collaborated with—we have friends like in bands who we collaborate with, so, you know—

MIKE: We keep to ourselves mostly.

MATT: Yeah. I think that's about it.

MIKE: {to a sitting fan} Yes, mister on the floor?

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Have you guys ever considered porting Homestar to a TV show. And if not, why not?

MATT: Uh, Mike?

MIKE: We have thought about it. We have decided not to. We like to keep it on the web. We like to do it on our own schedule and like to not have to worry about big, dumb TV people, and finding an audience. {light clapping} We have a nice audience already that we like very much and—

MATT: You guys. That's you guys. {light laughter}

MIKE: And as long as we keep doing it on the web and people buy, you know, we don't have to do other jobs, and buy a t-shirt or two then everything's good. We keep doing it for free and no ads and stuff like that, so, kind of a, you know, if it's not broke. What's that saying?

MATT: You got it, Mike. {laughter} Yes?

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: When Teen Girl Squad was created in one of his emails, did you expect that it would become such an entity unto itself?

MATT: Uh, no. We never at any time. Strong Bad—

MIKE: All that stuff: Trogdor and—

MATT: Stinkoman

MIKE: Stinkoman and—

MATT: Strong Bad just keeps making new, like, brands for us {laughter} on accident.

MIKE: Cheat Commandos. All that stuff just happens and then we just kind of, you know, the stuff that we have new ideas for, like Teen Girl Squad, will keep going but then there's other things like Sweet Cuppin' Cakes where there's maybe two ideas and we've kind of done those. {laughter} We have like a weekly Sweet Cuppin' Cakes thing. Yes?

MATT: {interrupting next question} We never knew—Oh, sorry.

MIKE: Matt, keep going.

MATT: I was just going to say was just that, with things like Teen Girl Squad, we just expected, you know, teen girls to be offended by it, or {laughter} And we found largely that's who digs it the most these days. And same with like any time Strong Bad makes fun of anybody it's always like we make fun of frat guys and then the frat guys love it even more. And we make fun of guitar nerds and then they love it and stuff like that.

MIKE: Yes?

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Do you guys ever plan to do a cartoon or email where you show the Strong Brothers parents?

MIKE: Um, no.

MATT: Yeah. We get—That's one of our—

MIKE: That's replaced "How do you type with boxing gloves on?" as the email you get like one in five emails is "What do your parents look like?" And it's just something we, you know, the more things like that—the more they get asked, the less likely, ever, we are to deal with it.

MATT: {talking over frequent audience laughter} That's just, you know, that's too much information. It's like, you know, we didn't need the episode where you go, you see where Moe lives from The Simpsons. And like, he has some personal problems, and it's just like now Moe is ruined because I know too much about Moe now. The "Ralph Wiggum syndrome" we call it. So we figured that, you know, I don't wanna—I don't wanna meet Strong Bad's parents.

MIKE: I don't wanna make up any new characters. Yes?

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Just from seeing a lot of stuff on the site, it seems like you guys are really heavily influenced by video games and things like that. Are you sort of "old school" gamers or was that a big part of your childhood, or—

MIKE: Yes, we grew up playing Ataris and Colecovisions and regular Nintendos—

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: What are some of your favorites?

MIKE: You know, this year, our new year's resolution we've got pretty much every old video game system in the office and we—

MATT: Mostly thanks to Craig!

MIKE: That's right—

MATT: He's our "museum of old video games" curator.

MIKE: So we're winning a regular Nintendo game every week and we've won Kid Niki and Tom Sawyer and—

MATT: Strider

MIKE: Strider, Goonies II

MATT: We're working on Bionic Commando right now.

MIKE: Yeah, we're working on Bionic Commando right now.

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Just out of curiosity, for the video with the explosions, who does the cutscenes? Is that Contra?

MATT: They were. Those are Contra explosions.

MIKE: You've done your homework. See that's right old video games, especially old video games. But we do—

MATT: We have GameCube—

MIKE: Xboxes, we've played the Halo 2, I think you guys call it. {audience laughter} All right, so that's it.

MATT: Yes?

{Question inaudible. Presumably they're asked how many emails Strong Bad receives daily.}

MIKE: Um, Strong Bad gets a lot. He gets maybe a thousand or two a day. So Strong Bad can't read all his email. But we, so we usually read several hundred on Wednesdays and Thursday's usually the day when Matt and I sort of rummage through the Strong Bad emails and try to find one for the next week's cartoon. So as for us, we get, you know, two dozen or something. No one really wants to talk to us. Yep?

{Question inaudible, but contextually refers to the number of hits to the website}

MIKE: We used to get like 200,000 on Mondays, unique visitors, like a year or so ago. And we sort of don't really keep up with that kind of thing. So it's possible that it's—

MATT: We didn't want it to start affecting what we did, where it's just like, "Oh, no! Less people are coming to site. We have to bring Trogdor back or something." So we just decided, consciously, to just sort of stop paying attention to it. And as long as like when they pull the shirts off our backs then I guess that's when we'll stop making cartoons. But we didn't want it to be... you know, we wanna know that people like it, but it was like that sort of thing was almost like knowing too much. If sales are down, we don't wanna know because then it's like, "Oh..." {audience laughs} Yes?

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: What's your biggest influence as far as comedy goes? Sketch troupes or movies or—

MIKE: Nintendo, maybe?

MATT: The old batman TV show. Mudhoney. Um, what else?

MIKE: Uh, Ed Emberley. Skip Caray.

MATT: He's the commentator for the Braves. He's a really funny guy. Stuff like that. Our cousin Dan. {audience laughs} That kind of stuff. You know, we like—

MIKE: We like the comedy.

MATT: We like a lot of the comedy. Anybody else? Over there, Homsar shirt?

HOMSAR SHIRT FAN: Everything, a lot, all the humor on the website seems to be very good, very not offensive or anything like that. Have you guys ever been tempted to do something like, you know, more political or just anything like that? Or do you try to keep it very sort of like what—the goal of your humor is when, where for what audience?

MIKE: It's sort of to—there's so much political satire and social satire out there that sort of to allude itself from that would be as little of that as possible.

MATT: Yeah, I mean we'll make, you know, these broad-sweeping things about teenage girls, but we don't wanna—you know, we're not gonna make some "Bush Iraq" thing—

MIKE: Like we didn't wanna like you know a lot of people when we said we were gonna—before we did the Peasant's Quest thing we put a button up on the site that said we were gonna be updating at halftime of the Super Bowl. And people were like emailing us like if there was gonna be a "wardrobe malfunction". I was just like, "No! That's the LAST thing."

MATT: So yeah, we—and as far as keeping it clean that was always just, you know, by virtue of we're making a cartoon and we're just like going from the cartoon stuff we watched like Three Stooges and Bugs Bunny and whatever so, I don't know. Sometimes you wanna make Strong Sad cuss, but that'll be for the "Homestar after dark" series. {audience erupts with laughter} But it just largely doesn't come up. I mean there's not really no time where we're like—

MIKE: It's not like we're having to suppress it.

MATT: Yeah. Where it's just like we love, we love the swears. We love to cuss and swear every now and again just like anybody else. And dirty jokes, you know I'll listen. {laughter}

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: We'll hear you out.

MATT: But it's just like it never even comes up. It's not like we're just, "If only we could make Strong Bad drop an f-bomb, that joke would have been so much funnier." And plus, there are just like people, like you know, whatever, South Park does that best so we'll just leave that stuff to those people. And especially at this point it wouldn't fit at all. We had somebody ask me one time, "You ever have the urge—" and they're just assuming that we're stoners, I guess, which is weird. Uh, but there's like, "Do you ever have the urge to do this scene where like Strong Bad is taking a huge bong toke?" It's like, "No, why are you watching my cartoons ever?". {audience laughs} I mean, no, why would that be funny to you? So I made a cartoon for him of Strong Bad taking a huge bong toke. {audience laughs} A frozen bong toke and—no, I didn't. {talking to the event staff} Are we getting kicked—are people gonna come in soon? The SWAT team?

MIKE: Those are the economics classes coming in I think.

NYU STAFF MEMBER: You're fine. {louder} You're fine.

MATT: Okay. I didn't know what—Was there a schedule? Were you supposed to go from seven—or six to six-thirty?

NYU STAFF MEMBER: You have until nine.


MIKE: Get comfortable.

MATT: All right. One time in third grade—

MIKE: Um, another question?

MATT: Yeah, you had a question... Doo-rag.

MIKE: Doo-rag.

{Audience laughter and then both brothers apologize}

DOO-RAG: You said that you weren't gonna do a TV show. Is there any desire to do a feature length on the website or maybe just on a DVD?

MIKE: If we were ever... in short, no. But if we ever were gonna do something, yeah, DVD. We like—like DVD would be the—other than the web, DVD would be the next medium that we would do that in. But I don't see—like the Peasant's Quest thing was three minutes long and that was—

{Ryan Sterritt enters the area of the room where the brothers are talking}

MATT: Ryan Sterritt, everyone! Ryan Sterritt.

{audience applause}

MIKE: So I don't think—most of the stuff we do is between two and five minutes long. And jumping from that to 90 minutes might be kind of a stretch.

MATT: If we made it like the "Kentucky Fried Movie" it might—but as far as trying to have like one big, you know, X-files type of feature would be a great example. But the difficulty of going from an hour—naw, actually that's a great movie. They swear in it. You get to hear Moulder swear in it and it's awesome.

MIKE: Like the Transformers movie.

MATT: Just like the Transformers movie except where they censored it.

MIKE: Anyone else? Hat and glasses on top of the hat—

FAN WEARING HAT: Where did the voices come from? Like were there influences or were they just fun things that came out of nowhere?

MATT: Homestar definitely was—when Mike first got a computer, I went in one day and changed his system sounds. And just recorded it. It was just a little system microphone of me. And it was supposed to sound sort of like a young maybe Japanese, but with several other cultures in there, too—girl, and so like when you click "mail" and when you get a new email I'd be like {imitates aforementioned voice} It's best mail for you!

{audience laughter}

MATT: And then there was some other—and so when we did Homestar originally that was kinda the basis. I was just gonna make that more male and then threw in a smattering of speech impediments. And then obviously they just start constantly evolving, too. If you listen to like those Bubs' bubble gum things it didn't hardly sound like Bubs. You can tell it's probably the same guy. It's like watching the first episode of The Simpsons when Homer's like {voice of Homer Simpson} My name is Homer... Bart.

{audience laughter}

MATT: And then, I don't know. What else? Originally, Strong Bad was like evil Antonio Banderas—

MIKE: I wonder if we've got that somewhere. The Strong Sad was originally gonna—remember the Mike—

MATT: Oh, I've got that. Hang on, hang on.

MIKE: Strong Sad was originally gonna have like this Michael Stipe-sounding voice.

MATT: I do a really bad Michael Stipe impression.

MIKE: The first thing on the Yello Dello cartoon.

MATT: I don't sound anything like him.

MIKE: You did his first line both ways. And we decided the non-Michael Stipe one. He's the lead singer of R.E.M., everyone.

{audience laughter}

MATT: Yes. Popular rock group here in America.

{audience laughter. Matt continues attempting to find the sound file.}

MATT: Or maybe I don't have it. Do you have it?

MIKE: I don't know. Talk to them in a funny voice while I look.

MATT: {voice of Strong Bad} Hmm? Oh, you woke me up! What are you doing here? Get out of my room!

MIKE: That's Strong Bad.

MATT: {voice of Strong Bad} Funny jokes! {wimpering} I got lots of funny jokes to tell you guys.

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER Strong Bad, you never answered my email.

MATT: {voice of Strong Bad} Yeah, you never answer my... fist—

{audience laughter followed by applause}

MATT: {voice of Strong Bad} —to your mouth. I don't got the file. Umm...

{Mike continues looking for the file and attempts to play sound but gets a loud buzz instead.}

MIKE: Sorry about that.

MATT: You should play both of them. You'll hear how different Strong Sad sounds now.

STRONG SAD: {slowly} I don't know, Homestar. That looks really dangerous.

{audience laughter}

MATT: Doesn't sound a thing like Michael Stipe at all. I don't know why I thought that—why I even referred to it as a Michael Stipe impression.

STRONG SAD: {early style} Well, I don't know, Homestar. That looks... really dangerous.

MIKE: That's the one that's actually in the cartoon which is pretty amazing 'cause that sounds just as much not like Strong Sad as the first one.

MATT: I was drinking some NyQuil.

{audience laughter}

MIKE: Um, what else, guys? We're running low on time...

MATT: Yes? With the toque on and glasses. Yes?

FAN WEARING TOQUE: Hey, what did you guys wanna—did you always wanna be cartoonists or did it just kinda happen?

MATT: Yeah, absolutely.

MIKE: The "happen" part.

FAN WEARING TOQUE: Did you ever try and work in video games or anything?

MATT: No. We don't know about that.

{audience laughter}

MIKE: We make maybe the mini—

MATT: I tried to. I applied right out of school I tried to apply to a couple of companies to try and write video games and I could hear them ripping up my résumé. And it was like before I even had my awesome like HTML website portfolio that I had up. And it was great. It was really impressive. But no, I went to school. Mike went to school for photography so we made dumb movies when we were kids and stuff.

MIKE: And dumb claymation movies sometimes, too.

MATT: Yes, it's true.

MIKE: And Matt even made this one—

MATT: Oh, I got some sweet deals for all y'all. {audience laughter} Hang on, where is it? Hang on... wait for it.

MIKE: All right. Any question for ME? No? Good. Yes?

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: When did you guys know you were kinda just gonna be doing this and not anything else?

MIKE: I don't know. It was sort of a transition. I mean, we—Matt—I've been doing freelance for a couple years before period Homestar so I would kinda go a few weeks here and there without doing anything but Homestar. But when Matt quit his job in I think August... 2002. He worked for Earthlink Internet Time. But at that time we still did the occasional freelance job doing some videos and websites and stuff for various things. And so it really wasn't a moment where we knew and we still—who knows? I still do the occasional freelance job.


PURPLEFACE: I'm from Murfreesboro, by the way. And I wanted you to know that because of you, none of my friends here in New York can pronounce the name of my hometown correctly. It's always MurFREESboro.

MATT: Wow. We never actually thought of people living there.

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