Phil Vischer: Okay, Mike.
Mike Nawrocki: It's time for the commentary!
PV: This is Phil Vischer.
MN: Mike Nawrocki.
PV: Uh, coming to you live from Lombard, Illinois.
MN: I'm sitting on the right, Phil is sitting on the left.
PV: So you can set up your speakers to match. Although, we're in mono. So sad. This is the open. Not much to say about the open, really.
MN: *chuckles* This wasn't the original open. 'Cause I remember in the original open, I had "Michael" instead of "Mike".
MN: 'Cause I thought that sounded more sophisticated.
PV: More formal.
MN: Yeah, it was my artistic name.
PV: Yeah. S'when you were taking painting classes.
MN: *laughs* That's right. And had long hair w— in a ponytail. (PV: Yeah.) That's more of a "Michael" thing. Like Michael Bolton!
PV: Then you got married and moved to the suburbs.
PV: And that was the end of the art.
MN: And then I cut my ponytail off. I think, before, though, before Michael Bolton cut his ponytail off.
PV: There were, like, five ponytails at Big Idea, and they all got cut off within about eighteen months of each other.
MN: I think it was, like, a single defining event that made us all cut it off. We were— I was out to dinner with Bill Haljun and Ron Smith, and me. We went out to dinner, and all three of us had ponytails, and we were sitting in a little row.
MN: And— and it was like a formal dinner, we all had like, um, like, nice clothes, (PV: Right… right.) and stuff like that, and I just kinda felt silly.
PV: And the kids were teasing you?
MN: *laughs* Nobody teased us, I just felt silly all by myself. And I thought, 'THAT'S IT. IT'S COMING OFF.' *laughs*
PV: Wow. And then they all came off, because Mike is such a— a trend establisher (MN: *laughs*) here at Big Idea.
MN: Well, Bill— I don't— Bill might've gotten rid of his first. I'm not one hundred percent sure.
PV: Yeah, maybe. Okay. If you have a ponytail at home while you're listening to this, we mean you know ill will.
PV: And please keep it, because it looks very becoming on you.
PV: This is still the open.
PV: Many, many great shows are flying by before our eyes.
MN: I don't think any— any s— I don't know if anything in the open now existed from the first two shows.
MN: Besides the open itself, which we actually ended up reanimating, just this little tuba part.
PV: Right. So, this is entirely, um, premonitional? Premo– uhhh, it's ahead. You're watching a show, and seeing scenes of shows that hadn't been made when it was made.
PV: Oh look, now that's Bob and Larry. Oh, but, Bob's on the right and Larry's on the left, so they're backwards from us.
PV: We should change seats, but it would make too much noise.
PV: So what happened with this show was, we made the first show, uh, "God Wants"— er, "Where's God When I'm Scared", if you aren't familiar with the history, and, there were like, it was me and Chris Olsen and Robert Ellis, and Mike just on evenings and weekends - 'cause he picked a day job - and we killed ourselves, and we finished it right before Christmas, and we sent it out, and then we all collapsed dead in bed. And then, when I woke up, I realized that I now had two employees, and I had nothing for them to do.
PV: Because we'd all killed ourselves writing the first one, and there was no second one to make! And so, I kind of freaked out, and we needed something very, very quickly to put into production. And, uh, that immediately drew my mind to a puppet script, um, that I'd written in bible college, and Mike and I had performed in bible college, called "The Forgive-O-Matic".
PV: And I thought, 'Okay, that's done, that's kinda funny, I could throw that in, we could do that with veggies. You know, there's nothing about it that says it can't be veggies.'
MN: Right, right. It was sort of the, uh, kind of, uh, taken off of "Bass-O-Matic" from Saturday Night Live, (incomprehensible)
PV: Right, right. So I gave that script to, uh, Chris Olsen, and Chris Olsen directed it, just to get something for them to do. And then I–
MN: That car— that car still looks good, even after all these years.
PV: *laughs* I reme— yes, this car— actually, this— this— this segment was conceived, um, before anything else in VeggieTales. This– because Mike and I were kicking around, 'Hey, we could do works of classic literature.'
PV: And remember that list we came up with?
MN: Yeah. So this and "Madame Blueberry" were the very two (PV: Right… right.) things first conceived. This came around a lot earlier. *laughs*
PV: Yeah, and then Mike had ideas like, uhh, uh, "War and Peaches", and "Bridge Over Pumpkin Pie", (MN: *laughs*) and there were others I remember like that.
MN: Yep, yep.
PV: Um, none of those ever got made because once we finished this, we realized we were much more into pop culture than classic literature.
PV: Um… so, this started out with the song, though. The song was the first thing that I remember writing, and at the same time went to Robert Ellis and said, 'Robert, we need a jalopy!' And I just hoped that he could whip one up, 'cause we didn't really— we didn't draw much back then.
PV: None of us really knew how to draw. But, about an hour later, I mean, he sat at his desk for about an hour and then came back to me and said, 'Uhh, I'm not that familiar with jalopies.'
PV: And uh— uh-oh.
MN: I like jalapenos, (PV: *laughs*) but not jalopies.
PV: And so, I had to sketch a— a jalopy, and that was the best I could sketch.
MN: But it still looks good, and actually, the animation from it— on it was— was, uh, quite decent.
PV: Yeah, I think Chris animated it, I'm not sure.
PV: And you see Lumpy there on the— the hood ornament is Lumpy, who was one of the monsters in Junior's, um, pajama drawer.
PV: I think that was Chris Olsen's idea also, but I'm not sure. And this is the introduction of Pa Grape.
PV: And whatever her name was.
MN: I think that's, uh—
PV: Rosie. Too bad she's never come back, huh?
PV: And Tom.
MN: And Tom. Too bad he's never come back.
PV: Yeah, I haven't really missed him much, either.
PV: See, this, if you don't know, this is a parody of "The Grapes of Wrath", (MN: Yeah.) hence the name "The Grapes of Wrath".
MN: That's what the whole dustbowl thing is about.
PV: Yeah, the whole dustbowl. So you got Tom Joad, y'know, Pa Joad, Ma Joad, and Rose of Sharon.
PV: But my mom didn't want us to call her Rose of Sharon, 'cause that's like another name for Jesus, or something.
PV: Yeah, somethin'.
PV: And so, even though they get away with it in the book, (MN: Okay…) she said don't do that. Just call her Rosie.
MN: Oh, okay.
PV: Like O'Donnell.
PV: Y'know, 'cause that won't get you into any trouble.
MN: We were using Rosies before Rosie was cool.
PV: Oh, yeah.
MN: Yeah, this was way before Rosie O'Donnell.
PV: This is— I don't even think Rosie O'Donnell was born yet, (MN: *laughs*) when this came out. This is so old. See those trees?
MN: Oh yeah.
PV: That's my design.
MN: Really? Wow. What are those, like three triangles on those trees?
MN: Three polygons?
PV: I was thinkin', like a ball with a stick.
PV: And look, it came out perfectly.
MN: *laughs* Look at that stick.
PV: Oh look, Rosie's, uh, hair was in front of the stump that it's supposed to be behind.
MN: It looks like there's some atmospheric diffusion back there, too. That's pretty impressive.
PV: Oh yeah, yeah yeah yeah, oh, we were doing that. Yeah, look at this! This is… boy, that was somethin'.
MN: You know what I remember most about this show?
PV: Look at that, he— he leans his head forward in and completely obscures the shot with his hat.
MN: *laughs* (incomprehensible) That, when you showed me the script of this, I made this in the— talked about this in the commentary— or in the interview, um, you showed it to me your laptop computer. And I was so, like impressed just that it was on a laptop computer. And I think, I didn't know if you were more proud of the script or the laptop when you showed it to me.
- Fisheye lens is a ultra-wide lens used for cameras. This makes ordinary shots circular-super-wide.
Real World Refernces
- "Just keep swimming" is a quote Dory sang from Pixar's "Finding Nemo".
- Ernest P. Worrell is a fictional character, played by Jim Varney and is best known for appeaing in the "Ernest" films from the late 80's to the late 90's.