September 21, 2023
The HDTGM crew are LIVE from the Beacon Theatre in New York to break down the 1973 tale of a rebellious young seagull who just wants to fly fast and ends up… in outer space?! Despite June insisting the movie made her feel “not well”, they discuss Neil Diamond’s nonsense soundtrack, Jonathan’s whispery voice, the film’s religious undertones, and much more. Plus, we hear compelling evidence that this film could be on the list of crimes committed by the Nixon administration.
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328 — Jonathan Livingston Seagull LIVE!
Paul Scheer [00:00:00] In a word, this movie is unbelieva-gull. We saw Jonathan Livingston Seagull so you know what that means!
Music [00:00:36] [Intro Song]
Paul Scheer [00:01:07] Hello, people of Earth and hello people of New York! We are live at the Beacon. Back here. We haven’t been here in years. And when we’re back, we brought the best. Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Don’t adjust the sound on your podcast. This audience loves it. They were excited. People were lining up. You should see all the seagull costumes we have in the audience. Now, if you don’t know about this movie, let me tell you a little bit about it. It’s about a seagull who yearns to be fast but learns how to time travel. Came out in 1973. Neil Diamond did all the music. Neil Diamond sued this movie. Because not enough of his music was in it. So the credits are 6 minutes so they could dump three more Neil Diamond songs in it. But I bet you none of you watch the whole credits. Roger Ebert only walked out of four movies in his entire career. This was one of them. Tagline: “Everyone’s favorite book is now everyone’s favorite motion picture.” Not true. All right. So we got to break this down. We’ve got to break this down to the ground. We got to learn. We got to see what was inside of us. What did we learn about ourselves? Because this movie, if you haven’t caught it already, is a metaphor. Here to break it down for my two co-hosts, please welcome Mr. Jason Mantzoukas.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:03:46] What’s up, Jerks? How we doing New York City? That’s what I’m talking about. These people are heroes. Why? Because they chose this movie. Why? Why did you choose this? Why didn’t you guys choose New York Ninja? What? You don’t like it? I heard you guys were whining. I heard you guys were whining online like babies. Wah! We don’t like this movie, we want to like the bad movies we have to watch for your dumb show. You fucking animals. Eat shit, New York.
Paul Scheer [00:04:43] We gave you a gift. We gave you a gift. It’s a show about bad movies. And people are like, It’s too bad.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:04:53] Oh, as if. You are fucking lucky that you had to watch this. And if you didn’t, you’re a fucking coward. I’m talking you balcony. That’s right. Can I get lights up there for a second? Look at these fucking maniacs. Holy shit. Sit down. Jesus Christ is what this movie is about. This is about a Christ Bird. And tonight, we’re going to crucify that bird.
Paul Scheer [00:05:32] If you are listening at home, we are talking to the orchestra. Or, as we call them, the elders. Up top is our Jonathan Living Seagulls.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:05:42] Oh, yeah. And the mezzanine is Maureen.
Paul Scheer [00:05:49] Or Chang.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:05:50] I like it. Or Fletcher.
Paul Scheer [00:05:58] Let’s bring out my next cohost who wouldn’t let me post pictures of her reacting to this movie because it quite possibly was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life as I was a couple minutes ahead and knew what was coming up. Please welcome a friend of the birds. A woman who if a bird comes within 50 feet, runs in the opposite direction. Ms. june Diane Raphael. How are you, June?
June Diane Raphael [00:06:49] Not well. I’m. I’m not. I’m not well. I’m not doing well. I don’t feel well. I’m not well, Paul. How are you?
Paul Scheer [00:07:02] I’m fine. Thank you for asking, June. Not until the introduction did I realize or remember that you hate birds.
June Diane Raphael [00:07:11] Paul. There’s only one bird I like, and that’s a hummingbird. All the rest can kick rocks. As far as I’m concerned.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:07:22] But did you enjoy about this movie? What I believe is I knew innately upon watching it, which was that many birds died making this movie. I’m going to say upwards of 20 birds were painted white for this movie and died as a result. This movie is just rotten with birds.
June Diane Raphael [00:07:48] I will have you both know. Let’s start at the very beginning, because I all I saw on my calendar was Seagull. I knew I had to watch a movie called Seagull, and I thought, Oh, it’s a Chekhov adaptation. Of course we’re going to be dealing with generational kind of conflict and life of an artist. And I was so ready. And then it started and all I did was click a link. And I started and I thought, This is a long opening.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:08:26] Wait so you got into the movie thinking that you were going to watch an adaptation of Chekhov?
June Diane Raphael [00:08:30] I will tell you, I have never I have never heard of this book.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:08:34] Oh, okay.
June Diane Raphael [00:08:35] So this book was brand new to me.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:08:37] Who here knows of this as the book? Okay, so those are the old people in the room. Yeah, because this was a ubiquitous kind of loosely spiritual book that was on everybody’s like, living room coffee table.
June Diane Raphael [00:08:51] Wow.
Paul Scheer [00:08:52] Three chapters in length because it was written in a aviation magazine. That’s where it came from.
June Diane Raphael [00:09:01] What?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:09:01] What?
Paul Scheer [00:09:04] Yes. I’ll give you a little bit of it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:09:09] Like all good books, it started in chapters in Aviation magazine.
June Diane Raphael [00:09:15] Do you mean like an inflight Delta magazine? Like the SkyMall?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:09:21] The Delta magazine was like, what if a bird was Jesus Christ?
Paul Scheer [00:09:27] It was started as, like, a story about a pilot who wanted to go fast. The name Jonathan Livingston is based on a pilot who decided to fly very fast and the author decided, Oh. Hmm. What if it wasn’t a pilot but a seagull? And then wrote in an aviation magazine this story, which then was turned into a novella, which then became an international sensation, which then was made into a movie with songs by Neil Diamond.
June Diane Raphael [00:10:01] Wow. What a journey.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:10:04] Wow. You know what I’m just now remembering? New York, I know why you chose this movie. Because the last time we were here, it was another Neil Diamond movie, right? You guys love Neil Diamond.
June Diane Raphael [00:10:17] And you know, I have a special I do have a special place for him in my heart because he sang at my NYU graduation a song he had written just for us, so called Forever NYU.
Paul Scheer [00:10:27] How did it go?
June Diane Raphael [00:10:29] Forever NYU. That was pretty much it. Over and over and over again. But I so appreciated him being there. So I was. Listen, Neil.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:10:41] Did he have a child in your graduating class?
June Diane Raphael [00:10:42] No. Neil Diamond was a respit in this movie. Hearing his voice made me feel like I could put my feet on the ground like I was, because I actually at one point thought, are we doing.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:10:59] Are we dead? Are we dead? This is our punishment?
Paul Scheer [00:11:04] I transcended during the film.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:06] Are we in not heaven, but just the place that you can go fast?
Paul Scheer [00:11:15] I wrote down while watching this. “Oh, I think this is a horror movie.”
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:21] I wish. I wish. The making of it certainly was. So many. I know I’ve said it. So many birds died making this movie.
June Diane Raphael [00:11:31] Seriously, though, I think one bird definitely died.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:11:34] So many more. So many. Oh, yeah, this was like a snuff film for seagulls. This movie was on Bin Laden’s hard drive. Still got it, everybody.
Paul Scheer [00:11:57] I will say that it wasn’t until the year 1980 where it was required to say no animals were harmed in the making of this film. This film came out in 1973, so it did scooch right under the wire.
June Diane Raphael [00:12:15] That’s terrible. And I don’t again, I don’t care for birds. And yet.
Paul Scheer [00:12:20] By the way, I just want to let you know that the magazine in which the first chapter of the novella was published was called Private Pilot Magazine. Private pilot magazine.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:12:35] That sounds like a porno mag for pilots.
Paul Scheer [00:12:39] What a niche market private pilot magazine is. And then to be like people in Private Pilot magazine love it. This should be a book. Oh, you mean all ten readers of Private Pilot magazine?
June Diane Raphael [00:12:52] I mean, honestly, hats off to the author of that article, because to have something take off like that from a pilots magazine, just the the pool of audience members you’re working with, that’s that’s remarkable.
Paul Scheer [00:13:08] I mean. Richard de Bock. That’s that’s who wrote it. I would say over a million copies were sold.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:13:14] Wow.
Paul Scheer [00:13:15] Topped the New York Times bestseller list for 38 weeks. This is a big hit.
June Diane Raphael [00:13:20] Listen, there are there are moments in this movie. Question mark.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:13:28] Yeah. I’m not like I don’t know if it qualifies.
June Diane Raphael [00:13:32] I know. PowerPoint presentation?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:13:37] It’s B roll.
June Diane Raphael [00:13:39] But there are some really beautiful shots that I think were breathtaking. And there are some lines when when someone I don’t know who it was. One of the characters says Loving is giving. I was moved by that.
Paul Scheer [00:14:02] I believe you’re talking about. You’re talking about Chang. Yes. That’s Jonathan’s mentor.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:07] The other line that just deeply moved me and I want to start with the positive was when our main core character, whose name is.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:14:17] Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:20] I forgot.
Paul Scheer [00:14:23] That should be rolling off the tip of your tongue.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:27] When he says what is fast enough? And the and Chang says, “Perfect speed isn’t moving fast at all. Perfect speed is being there.” I wanted to write that down and reflect on that. Yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:14:41] I wrote that one too.
June Diane Raphael [00:14:42] Sit with that for a bit.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:14:43] He also says “One begins to think that space and time aren’t real.”
Paul Scheer [00:14:50] I wrote that down.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:14:51] Is Chang Doctor Who? This is some real timey whimey bullshit here.
Paul Scheer [00:14:57] Wait a second. Hold on. I’m realizing I wrote down what is a perfect speed. Well, I think that we’re celebrating that we all wrote it down, but it may be one of seven lines in the film.
June Diane Raphael [00:15:07] So you’re just happy to hear people talking.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:15:10] When the bird started talking, I lost my mind. Because it. Because it took a while. It took a while. And I was like, okay, it’s going to be I got it. It’s going to be Neil Diamond Songs and footage of Birds. Got it. And then the birds started not talking, but whispering.
Paul Scheer [00:15:27] Well, this is the issue.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:15:31] (Whispering) I want to go faster.
Paul Scheer [00:15:33] (Whispering) I’m in a library? What’s going on? How are you doing?
Paul Scheer [00:15:37] And here’s the thing. Maybe this is before people realize that it’s important to have different sounding voices, represent different characters, because at certain point is that who what? And I can’t tell the difference between the birds. I’m sorry, I’m not racist, but I just don’t know. I, I was having trouble and at one point I was like, oh, this is like someone is trying to tell you a bedtime story and they’re trying to do all the voices, but all the voices are sounding exactly the same. And then I look, and no, it’s different actors.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:16:13] Yeah. Oh, yeah. And the whispering is really only Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Everybody else speaks in a full voice. He, though, has this really quite. But what he’s saying is oftentimes, like, I don’t want to play by rules. I want to. I was like, What the fuck is this? And then I was like, Oh, this is a Christ allegory. And so he can’t have anything other than like calmness as his representation or I couldn’t figure it out. But I also desperately wanted the Neil Diamond songs to be being sung by the birds. I wanted the music to be generating from the birds.
Paul Scheer [00:16:55] I will say this as somebody who likes a credit, I look at the credits. I want to see all the great craftsmen that make this film.
June Diane Raphael [00:17:03] You always stay for all the credits.
Paul Scheer [00:17:05] I did see one of the first titles that popped up.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:17:09] I think I saw the same thing.
Paul Scheer [00:17:11] Script Supervisor. Oh yeah. Script Supervisor So just so you know, when you’re on a set, a script supervisor will say, Oh, on this line you actually forgot and, and oh, they actually were carrying the purse in the right hand.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:17:24] They’re making sure that every line that’s needed in that scene gets said in one of the takes. So. Making sure. Yeah.
Paul Scheer [00:17:32] This script supervisor I just pictured on set being like, Now you’re supposed to disappear on that line. Okay. I just wanted to see a script supervisor watching birds on a beach in which clearly their feet were glued to the ground.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:17:51] Oh, yeah. Like, I would say, like a full half of this movie appeared to be shot at an active dump. That’s it. Like they were like, we’ll throw cameras on the dump. The other credit that I saw, which made me laugh and I was like, Oh, was helicopter photography. It was like, okay, the helicopter gets its own credit. We’ll see.
Paul Scheer [00:18:15] By the way, that person, I believe, won an Oscar.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:18:17] For this?
Paul Scheer [00:18:20] Yeah, I got to find it in my notes, but I’m pretty positive.
June Diane Raphael [00:18:25] I’m not surprised. I do. I thought. I thought it was beautiful. I did.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:18:33] Especially for 1970. Whatever.
June Diane Raphael [00:18:36] Absolutely. It was beautiful to watch.
Paul Scheer [00:18:38] Well, let me ask you a question. I’ll just say that he was nominated for an Academy Award. Did not win.
June Diane Raphael [00:18:44] Not surprised.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:18:45] I felt like. Did you guys feel like a lot of this movie served as inspiration for Top Gun? All the aerial scenes at one point Jonathan Livingston Seagull, JLS seems seems to go into a flat spin and he hits the he hits the water hard. And I wrote, Is this bird dying at minute 22 with genuine hope and glee? And my next note is, nope, he’s flying again to Neil Diamond.
Paul Scheer [00:19:18] But this this is my issue about the movie.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:19:23] Your single issue? Just one?
Paul Scheer [00:19:26] I believe it has a flawed conceit, which is Flying is difficult for birds. Right? The whole movie is like, Oh, my wings are heavy. That would be like. It’s such a weird premise.
June Diane Raphael [00:19:44] Listen, I do think and I don’t I don’t know that much about seagulls, but I don’t consider them to be expert flyers.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:19:53] Okay.
Paul Scheer [00:19:54] Go ahead.
June Diane Raphael [00:19:58] I believe seagulls are on land more than they’re flying from. From. That’s just my own experience of them. My own anecdotal evidence.
Paul Scheer [00:20:11] You would argue.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:11] You spend most of your time on land.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:14] Majority? Yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:15] So you see them on land?
June Diane Raphael [00:20:16] That’s where I have to see.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:17] Are you on the ocean or in the air a lot?
June Diane Raphael [00:20:20] Don’t worry about my data or how I’m collecting it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:24] You’re like, I barely see them up in the sky.
Paul Scheer [00:20:29] June, if your theory is correct, they would be called land gulls.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:41] I guess I just think there are other birds that do it better. So I do. Yeah. There are other birds that do it better.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:50] I agree with you. I agree with you. And I grew up in a coastal town where there was a lot of seagulls and they were mean as fuck.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:57] They’re nasty.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:20:59] Yep.
June Diane Raphael [00:20:59] They are nasty animals. Now they’re not pigeons. But they’re not.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:05] You people are pigeons. In New York City.
June Diane Raphael [00:21:11] They’re not pigeons, but they’re awfully close.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:13] Oh, they’re. They’re. They’re rats.
June Diane Raphael [00:21:16] Yeah, absolutely.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:17] I looked only one thing up, and it wasn’t about the movie itself, but just because I was curious as the movie was going on, what the fuck is happening? Can you guess what the average lifespan of a seagull is?
June Diane Raphael [00:21:32] I believe it’s not that long. Like. Eight years.
Paul Scheer [00:21:38] I was going to say seven.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:40] 10 to 20 years.
Paul Scheer [00:21:42] What?
June Diane Raphael [00:21:44] Yeah, that’s what that sounds right.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:21:47] These fucking seagulls are in college? That blew my mind because I was like, What the. What the fuck? How long does this movie take place over?
Paul Scheer [00:22:00] Well, I mean, what is time? What is space?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:22:02] Yeah. And Jonathan gets to be 33 years old.
Paul Scheer [00:22:07] Oh, you’re right. How does Jonathan know anything about miles per hour?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:22:14] Yes, great question.
Paul Scheer [00:22:19] First ever standing ovation for an observation.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:22:21] Not only that, but he he knows innately that the speed he’s going.
Paul Scheer [00:22:27] Why can’t I fly faster than 62 miles an hour? I mean, this is.
June Diane Raphael [00:22:35] Just to pull back for one second. Again, I haven’t read the book. And there are some things in this movie that I deeply connected to. I deeply connected to. But I did. By the end, I was trying to understand what the book slash movie slash slideshow was telling us, like, what is it that we have to leave our community to really understand ourselves as an individual and seek a higher purpose and a spiritual connection to the beyond and then come back and sort of deliver that news to the community. There’s such disdain for the community in this movie, and I guess I guess that’s New age spiritualism in general.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:23:20] Yes.
June Diane Raphael [00:23:20] That that it’s the focus is solely on the individual and their path and not the community.
Paul Scheer [00:23:25] It’s a very hippie idea like go out, do drugs, party, come back to your hometown and tell your parents they’re squares.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:23:34] Well, they. Well, I think I mean, I really do think the story is mapping the Christ story onto The Seagull. He goes out into the desert. He goes out into the wilderness.
Paul Scheer [00:23:45] By the way, when it went to the desert, I was like, did I what? Did I not pay attention to something? How are we in the desert?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:23:52] And then he goes to the Snowy Mountains? I was like this. This seagull that’s in the Snowy Mountains for sure died. There’s absolutely no way they brought a seagull to the middle of the Rockies. And we’re like, Just put it down over there. Tie its leg to the ground. We’ll film it until it expires, and then we will walk away.
Paul Scheer [00:24:14] I know. At least I know at least a deer ate at least two or three seagulls.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:21] For sure. But, you know, he he goes out into the world, he is cast out. He wanders the desert.
June Diane Raphael [00:24:29] That’s right. Yeah.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:30] He he dies. He goes into the afterlife. He communes with with Maureen. I assume that Maureen is Mary and.
Paul Scheer [00:24:42] No but Mary would be. I thought it was his girlfriend, but I don’t know where.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:46] Then Mary Magdalene.
Paul Scheer [00:24:47] Maybe. Okay, sure. It is interesting because.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:51] He comes back, he gives a sermon on the Mount.
June Diane Raphael [00:24:54] Yeah, then he spreads the good word.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:24:56] He resurrects someone. He. Lazarus’ someone. Is his name Fletcher? Fletcher. Fletcher.
June Diane Raphael [00:25:05] Fletcher seagull.
Paul Scheer [00:25:07] Are they all called Seagul?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:25:08] Yes. They all share the same last name. Seagull. It’s like Smurfs. It’s like the Smurfs are all called Blank Smurf. They all have first, middle and last name seagul.
Paul Scheer [00:25:22] Oh, my gosh. Can I just play the moment? The trial at scene two.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:25:28] Outcast.
June Diane Raphael [00:25:29] You’re going to play clips from this movie?
Paul Scheer [00:25:32] I got a lot of clips. Let’s watch the trial
Jason Mantzoukas [00:25:35] If you guys aren’t cool, we’ll start the movie. The movie from the beginning.
Movie Audio [00:25:41] Jonathan Livingston Seagull. You do not live as we live. You do not fly as we fly. You do not believe as we believe. You will learn that life is the unknown and the unknowable. We are put into this world to survive any way we can.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:26:06] Is this the bird that’s talking or the bird that’s receiving? Who knows?
Movie Audio [00:26:07] I don’t believe that.
Paul Scheer [00:26:09] Is that a different bird?
Movie Audio [00:26:10] Jonathan Seagull. The brotherhood is broken. Never again will you see any of your flock. Never again will you have the protection of your flock. You are henceforth and forever outcast.
Paul Scheer [00:26:34] Outcast! By the way, that may be the shirt is the picture of a seagull with the thing outcast.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:26:39] I like that.
Paul Scheer [00:26:43] I will say this. I didn’t realize it until later, but the elder is Hal Holbrook.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:26:51] Mark Twain?
Paul Scheer [00:26:51] Yes, Mark Twain. Evening shades. Hal Holbrook. Richard Crenna played Jonathan’s father. But, you know, there is an interesting thing because, again, I want to go back to what the seagull supposed to do, because it’s hard to watch a movie where the opening scene you’re watching your main characters enjoy chum out of the water. All right. Seems a little weird. It’s not majestic eating fish guts. What’s the next scene? Oh, them eating each other. Because that literally is the next scene. It’s one seagull is chewing on the other seagulls head.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:27:31] They’re fighting. They are. They’re bloody. They’re fighting.
June Diane Raphael [00:27:35] I thought that was very upsetting.
Paul Scheer [00:27:39] And then you’re supposed to be like. I sympathize with this, but then my question is, are they saying seagulls are trash monsters and they only care about eating garbage? And that’s that’s what the tribe does.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:27:54] Until they have enough lives that they learn about perfection and are given entrance into heaven? And what can dot, dot, dot teleport?
June Diane Raphael [00:28:06] But I think. I think that the movie does not. This is this is where the allegory sort of falls apart. Because I thought the movie does not believe there is a heaven. I thought.
Paul Scheer [00:28:18] I agree with that.
June Diane Raphael [00:28:19] That yeah, at one point they talk about how it’s right here. It’s in our actions. Again, I deeply connected.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:28:29] This is a quote from the movie “Heaven isn’t the place, it’s perfection.”
Paul Scheer [00:28:33] But that seems against.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:28:34] I don’t know. I don’t know.
Paul Scheer [00:28:36] That seems against what he’s saying, because he’s saying that perfection doesn’t exist. Love is better than perfection because he’s like, how fast you need to be? 270? A million miles an hour?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:28:52] He wants to fly faster. He gets he says he wants to achieve perfect speed. It was like, I feel like Jonathan Livingston Seagull is going to be the next cast member of the Fast and Furious. Put him in!
June Diane Raphael [00:29:07] Put him in.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:29:08] I would have loved it if he had a little NAS button. Come on. Boom, boom.
June Diane Raphael [00:29:14] It’s so hard to because we’re hearing those words. But when we’re cutting to the close ups of the seagulls, the but.
Paul Scheer [00:29:24] They’re the least expressive animal.
June Diane Raphael [00:29:29] Nothing going on behind the eyes. There’s no need for speed, you know.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:29:33] You know when it’s made absolutely clear how absolutely stupid seagulls look? Is when that hawk arrives, they put a camera on that hawk, and I was like, Wait a minute, Something cool is happening. This hawk is alive, And the seagulls, like (dumb noises).
Paul Scheer [00:29:50] Get off my air. Get out of my air.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:29:54] The hawk for sure kills that seagull. For sure kills that seagull.
June Diane Raphael [00:29:58] It’s so true. It’s like when you have a movie and there’s a character actor who comes in and just, like, lights up the screen.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:30:04] The hawk is the Benicio Del Toro of this movie.
June Diane Raphael [00:30:11] And you’re just saying, Wow, something real is happening. I feel alive. I’m awake for this moment. That was the hawk.
Paul Scheer [00:30:20] Now, can I just, not to repeat what Jason has already said, but how would you ever orchestrate a hawk attack?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:30:28] Yes.
June Diane Raphael [00:30:30] Well, I guess I have to ask, is the Hawk attack in the book?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:30:35] Okay, you know what? Is there a book expert here that we can.
Paul Scheer [00:30:40] Any librarian in the audience?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:30:42] Is there a library? Oh, that would be great if there is a librarian.
Paul Scheer [00:30:44] Here you are? You read it today? All right, so you’re going to be the freshest. Can you come over to the side of the stage and I’ll walk over to you? Yeah. All right. The question was, is the hawk attack in the book?
Audience Member [00:31:02] No.
Paul Scheer [00:31:03] Okay.
June Diane Raphael [00:31:04] Is there anything like that hawk attack in the book, even if it’s not a hawk?
Audience Member [00:31:09] No.
Paul Scheer [00:31:12] Any other questions while I’m down here?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:31:14] Is this a faithful adaptation of the book?
Audience Member [00:31:19] It is exactly the movie I would have expected after reading the vote, by the way. My reading it today was just a refresher. I’ve read it multiple times.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:31:27] Wait a minute.
Paul Scheer [00:31:28] Wow.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:31:30] I have a follow up question. Why?
Audience Member [00:31:39] So I grew up in the land where this was filmed. Also home to Birdemic and The Birds. So, you know, living in the coastal town, I was born in 1980, so this book is very fresh. It was on my parents shelf, so I picked it up when I was like eight years old.
Paul Scheer [00:31:57] And it was a book that was very popular with children. Right? It was a popular book. Do you find like June finds some spiritual centering with the book?
Audience Member [00:32:07] Absolutely. I mean, I read it again for high school. I wrote like a 20 stanza poem about it as my book report.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:32:15] Do you have it memorized? Read the poem. Read the poem, Read the poem. Read the poem.
Paul Scheer [00:32:25] Well, she doesn’t. I don’t think you have it with you. Do you remember any part of it?
Audience Member [00:32:31] I don’t. And this is pre-internet, so I don’t have, like, a copy.
Paul Scheer [00:32:35] All right, well, I won’t make you sit away from your friends.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:32:39] Please post the poem after this, if you can find it, take a screenshot of it.
June Diane Raphael [00:32:44] I guess my question is this while we. What’s your name?
Audience Member [00:32:47] Morgan.
June Diane Raphael [00:32:48] Morgan. While we have you. What? So if the hawk do you think that they just saw that Hawk attack and decided to get cameras up and rolling?
Audience Member [00:33:00] Yeah, I. I think it was like found footage. Like National Geographic.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:33:05] I think they were like, we need some drama.
Paul Scheer [00:33:08] What if they were just filming in a hawk Attack happened? We’ll work it in. Well, get off my land. I mean, it was a very crazy moment. It was a comical moment, too, it seemed like. But. Well. Oh, that’s interesting. The filmmaker was sued because they added two violent episodes that were not in the book. And he felt like that took away from the magic, the majesty of his book. What was the other violent episode?
June Diane Raphael [00:33:36] That maybe when they were all of the seagulls were attacking each other. Yeah.
Paul Scheer [00:33:40] Oh, that was violent.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:33:42] Wait, for Morgan is the scene in the in the. Can I ask one question, Morgan? Is the scene in the book where JLS is trying to fly too fast and then falls and he’s all bloodied on the raft in the water and you think he’s going to die? Is that in the book?
Audience Member [00:33:58] Yeah. I mean, he crashes. Yes.
June Diane Raphael [00:33:59] Yeah, he crashes. Yeah.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:01] Does Fletcher kill or does Fletcher get killed in the same way?
Audience Member [00:34:06] He flies into the mountain.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:07] Yeah. Okay.
Audience Member [00:34:08] He’s avoiding the little baby bird.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:10] Correct.
June Diane Raphael [00:34:10] And so that happens in the book, too.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:12] Yeah. Okay, great. Thank you so much.
Paul Scheer [00:34:14] Thank you.
June Diane Raphael [00:34:15] Yeah. Thank you, Morgan.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:16] Give it up for Morgan.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:23] When Maureen says. You learned so much that you didn’t have to go through multiple lifetimes. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. When did he learn that? What did he learn? I don’t know what she’s talking about.
June Diane Raphael [00:34:37] Jason. I think a lot happened. I would love to know if it’s in the book, Morgan. I think a lot happened when Our seagull. What’s the character’s name again?
Paul Scheer [00:34:46] Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:34:50] June is actively erasing the movie from her memory as we talk.
Paul Scheer [00:34:55] Leaving as we speak.
June Diane Raphael [00:34:57] I’m an adult woman and I’m carrying a lot of things in this little brain. I can’t carry everything I can. And some names and places are going to go. It’s not sticking. So when that guy I do think a lot happens when he’s witnessing like there’s certain things that he witnesses, he’s witnessing a horse breast feed.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:35:26] So hot.
June Diane Raphael [00:35:28] It’s child and he’s watching.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:35:31] That has real Christian stuff. He’s perving out on those horse titties.
June Diane Raphael [00:35:36] It was so weird. But when he’s under there and it’s raining and he’s watching that, he’s watching that. I do think he’s understanding things. Again, there’s no dialog under there, so we just have to put pieces together. That’s. Yes.
Paul Scheer [00:35:53] Okay so when he flew from the desert to the winter tundra, that’s when he was learning.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:35:58] I guess he flies all over the world? Does he do the whole world? Is that what we’re meant to believe?
Paul Scheer [00:36:02] I guess. I mean, I think that we what we really do need to see, though, is another clip.
June Diane Raphael [00:36:09] Paul. Come on. Why are you doing this?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:12] You love it. You love it, New York.
Paul Scheer [00:36:16] This is of Chang talking about some mystical mumbo jumbo. This is clip six.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:22] All right. Oh, this is great.
Movie Audio [00:36:24] Did you see that? He says. We can all learn that whenever we want to learn, it makes life. Maybe it is not so difficult, Jonathan. Once we understand, I want to understand.
Paul Scheer [00:36:37] That’s my favorite part. The bird disappearing and reappearing is my favorite part.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:36:43] Are you noticing that the bird is reappearing all over the frame?
Paul Scheer [00:36:49] Yes. But I like when it’s bold.
Movie Audio [00:36:51] And everything I can think of. After a while, one begins to think that space and time are not quite real. Can you teach me to fly like that? Of course. If you want to learn. Yes, I want. When can we start? I’ll do anything. You see, I’ve got to learn. How do you do it? I mean, first you let your teacher get a word in edgewise. I’m sorry, Chang. It’s just that all my life, I can’t explain it. I’ve had this. This need to know. To fly as fast as thought to anywhere that is now or ever has been or ever will be.
Paul Scheer [00:37:41] I will say, I know we’re making a lot of fun about this movie, but I know it’s a serious topic. I love the Netflix documentary about the people who are in Chang’s cult and they finally got out years later. Really serious stuff. They really Wow, that documentary got me. Can we just talk about this? I wrote this down. The lyrics of a Neil Diamond song that goes like this. Hold on. I’m pulling it up. “Lonely looking sky. Lonely sky. Lonely looking sky. And being lonely. Makes you wonder why. Makes you wonder why. A lonely looking sky. Lonely looking sky. Lonely looking sky. Lonely looking night. Lonely night Lonely looking night. And being lonely. Never made it right. Never made it right.
June Diane Raphael [00:38:32] Listen.
Paul Scheer [00:38:32] Lonely looking night Lonely looking night. NYU forever.
June Diane Raphael [00:38:37] NYU Forever. Listen. We can say whatever we want about him. But can you imagine this movie without Neil Diamond?
Paul Scheer [00:38:48] (Singing) The Seagulls are coming to America. Today. The thing I love about Neil Diamond.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:38:55] I would have loved it if it was like Lynyrd Skynyrd.
June Diane Raphael [00:38:58] I have to tell you, I have to tell you guys. So I was getting my hair blown out today.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:39:08] Today!
June Diane Raphael [00:39:10] And at first I knew I had to finish the movie while I was getting and I’ve never met this person before who came to to do this. And I put my little earbuds in my AirPods and I thought, let me see, because she’s right behind me. Let me just keep her away from this what I’m witnessing on my computer. But at a certain point, the buds died. And I had to just play it. You know, I had to play it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:39:42] I want to know the conversation she’s having currently. How was your day? You’re not going to believe this.
June Diane Raphael [00:39:50] And I thought it was so stressful. We were all getting ready. The kids are here. I was like, I don’t have it in me. I don’t have the bandwidth. I’m already so beaten down by this movie. I don’t have it in me to tell her to explain why I’m watching this and taking notes. I don’t. And I can’t. You know.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:40:11] It’s a I guess it’s a movie. It’s just footage of birds. And she was scribbling notes like she was going to be tested on it.
Paul Scheer [00:40:21] But then I realized if I just do love and not hair, maybe that’s my perfection.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:40:31] Like, what I would like is for someone, either a fan or Avril or something, to recut a trailer for Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Except instead of Neil Diamond music, it’s like Led Zeppelin. It’s like Immigrant Song, or it’s something just like absolutely thunderous and brutal with the fighting and all the rest.
Paul Scheer [00:40:52] I will always say that my favorite Neil Diamond story is he saw the movie E.T. and was so moved by it that he ran home and wrote that song Heart Light, like Turn on Your Heart light. They didn’t ask him to record that. And that’s what I love.
June Diane Raphael [00:41:14] I love him.
Paul Scheer [00:41:15] I love that he’s like, I want to write a song about that heart light that that dumb alien has.
June Diane Raphael [00:41:25] Can you imagine? So this is this is something I’m wondering after watching that last clip, do you think the actors question mark that they recorded their lines to picture like.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:41:39] Absolutely not.
June Diane Raphael [00:41:40] Absolutely not.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:41:41] Absolutely, no. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had never seen the movie.
Paul Scheer [00:41:47] One of them recorded it in a library, which makes sense for the quiet tone.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:41:54] Even when we played the clip, the whispering was like, I couldn’t hear a goddamn word. It’s like I put on closed captioning for everything, as you know. Never have I been more happy that I did. Don’t applaud for that. Don’t applaud for closed captioning. Get it together.
Paul Scheer [00:42:17] Play the trailer again!
June Diane Raphael [00:42:22] I mean, it’s so interesting that. That the choice was made to for, What’s the character’s name again? Jonathan?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:42:28] What do you think it is?
June Diane Raphael [00:42:30] So I do have a dear friend, Jonathan Levine, he directed Long Shot. He’s a very good friend of mine.
Paul Scheer [00:42:36] You’re great in the movie.
June Diane Raphael [00:42:37] Thank you so much. And I.
Paul Scheer [00:42:40] Paul, you were great in the movie.
Paul Scheer [00:42:41] Thank you, Jason.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:42:42] I was not asked to be in the movie.
Paul Scheer [00:42:46] Technically, I was a local hire because I was with June in Canada, so it was easier for me.
June Diane Raphael [00:42:51] But I so I keep on hearing in my head Jonathan Levine Seagull. And that’s where I’m getting confused.
Paul Scheer [00:42:56] You may be getting confused with your friend Kirk Maynard Seagull, right?
June Diane Raphael [00:43:01] It’s possible. But from what I know of seagulls, there’s so loud.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:43:08] You have very little knowledge of seagulls.
June Diane Raphael [00:43:13] Hey, listen, my. My experience is my expertise.
Paul Scheer [00:43:17] List what you know about seagulls. Go.
June Diane Raphael [00:43:20] They eat garbage. They’re not afraid to come up to humans. They don’t fly that well. They’ll do it. But I don’t think it’s what their souls purpose is.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:43:31] There is a there is a long standing. I don’t know if it’s an urban legend or it’s real. If you feed a seagull, an Alka Seltzer, it will explode. This again. I grew up in a beach town. And this. There were seagulls everywhere.
Paul Scheer [00:43:48] Same thing happened to my grandfather.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:43:50] Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, boom.
June Diane Raphael [00:43:58] What else is there to say? I mean, I don’t know what.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:44:00] Was going to say. June? I’d love to direct you towards the scenes in which they fly in outer space.
June Diane Raphael [00:44:08] I forgot about that.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:44:09] I’m so sorry. Morgan. Do they go to outer space in the book?
June Diane Raphael [00:44:15] No.
Paul Scheer [00:44:17] No, no. They. They definitely.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:44:20] Morgan’s doing the Lord’s work. Sorry, Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s work.
Paul Scheer [00:44:24] They definitely put a bird on a green screen. Like at one point the bird. It’s like in old Hitchcock movies when you know someone’s driving and you just see a screen behind them. It’s like we’re driving down the road. There is moments in this movie that are like that, too. And I’m like, How did they get the bird in front of the screen?
June Diane Raphael [00:44:43] I listen in those opening credits. I didn’t see anything about Seagull Handler, Seagull Trainer.
Paul Scheer [00:44:51] I have the best fact about that.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:44:53] You see, with seagulls in it, you have to assume all the birds in that shot died shooting that shot. Next shot, new birds, they die. Next shot, new bird. They die.
June Diane Raphael [00:45:05] But here’s what was really confusing, because at one point I thought, oh, but they’re so, so the bloody fight, they get into the beginning of the movie there. There’s blood on that seagull’s face, and they’re tracking that blood, I think on that particular seagull’s face our main character, Jonathan [mumbles]. We’re seeing his we’re seeing that seagull so we know that that’s our main character throughout the movie. And then sometimes it felt like the blood wasn’t there.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:45:35] That is very true. I also was tracking the blood and it was not it was not there. Also, our lead, Jonathan Livingston Seagull in early scenes has distinctive marks on his beak that are not present in most of the other scenes. Which once again leads me to believe he died and did not rise from the dead as the character does.
June Diane Raphael [00:46:01] Wow.
Paul Scheer [00:46:01] Yeah. I mean, here’s what I’ll say about the caring for the birds. The you know, this is, of course a a Hall Bartlett joint. He wrote it. He directed it that the whole thing. Bartlet hired Leslie Parrish as the film’s associate producer.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:46:18] Because all birds must perish.
Paul Scheer [00:46:22] She chose several other locations and helped care for all the seagulls in a suite at the Holiday Inn.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:46:36] Imagine meeting her in the bar downstairs and her being like, I don’t know, this is going pretty well. Why don’t we go up to my room?
Paul Scheer [00:46:44] Can you imagine the Holiday Inn people, they charge you for smoking in a room.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:46:51] Oh, don’t mind them. Don’t mind them. Oh, they just like to watch.
Paul Scheer [00:46:56] And then when Leslie Parrish, the film’s associate producer.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:47:00] Perish the thought.
Paul Scheer [00:47:02] When Leslie Parrish, the film’s associate producer, watched the screening, she saw that she was demoted to researcher. Now, the other thing about this was the seagulls were supposed to be trained by veteran bird trainer Ray Berwick. However.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:47:22] Berdwick?
Paul Scheer [00:47:24] Berwick.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:47:26] Change your name if you’re that close, throw a D in there.
Paul Scheer [00:47:30] However, Berwick got sick and never came back to the film, so somebody else. He just didn’t show up, it seems like. Hal Bartlett did not get along with anybody in this making the film a film that he proclaimed “I was born to make.”
June Diane Raphael [00:47:53] That’s what’s so. I mean, I will say this about our entertainment industry. There are certain animals when they say seagull trainer, there’s no way to train a seagull. It’s like you’re just a person who owns one.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:48:09] Or captured, captured, captured seagull.
Paul Scheer [00:48:13] Do you remember?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:48:15] Don’t point of me like that.
Paul Scheer [00:48:17] Do you remember in the league we were shooting a scene with a snake and there was a snake trainer there and he’s like, Oh, yeah, I can get the snake to do whatever you want. And then the snake sat coiled up on the ground, and we’re like, Well, can he come over here? It’s like, Nah, he’s a snake. No, I can’t control that snake. He’s got a mind of his own. Let’s go into the audience to hear your questions. Now, I did learn a little bit from the Taylor Swift concert. She did costume changes. So now I’ll do one and I’ll put on my hat that says I’ll hold the mic. All right. So no one needs to grab the mic from my hand. We have a question. Oh, I can come to you. Okay, great. What’s your name? And say your first name and the last name seagull. And then ask your question.
Audience Member [00:49:12] It’s Maricaela Seagull. And I just wanted to get your thoughts on their kind of disability politics were a little problematic.
Paul Scheer [00:49:25] Yeah, this movie was ableist, I feel like. Yes, it was. It was. I wrote that down. I didn’t know how to get to it. But I am glad that you brought it up. Yeah, they really were giving up on that bird with the broken wing.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:49:38] Wasn’t it Fletcher?
Paul Scheer [00:49:39] Oh, yes, it was.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:49:40] And then. And then, you know, they’re. They’re. They’re trying to get rid of Fletcher, and he’s like, No, you can fly. Don’t worry about it. And Fletcher does fly until he dies. And then Jesus Christ, Seagull resurrects him and he becomes a teacher.
June Diane Raphael [00:49:55] So tough because it did. I think what this movie brought up for me too, is my like, frustration and resentment toward that new Age philosophy of like, Oh, if we just acknowledge our limiting beliefs about ourselves, we can change the world. And it’s like, Well, yeah, yes and no.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:50:14] You’re still a seagull.
June Diane Raphael [00:50:14] You’re still a seagull at the end of the day. And like, we need bigger policies. I mean, I don’t know, it just made me. It just made me mad. Made me mad.
Paul Scheer [00:50:26] We got a question back here. Your name, your seagull name and your question.
Audience Member [00:50:30] My name is Dan Segal. So we all remember that part about, like 20 minutes in where he tries to fly and then crashes and is basically bleeding out. And we thought he was going to die. And I’m wondering if it’s possible that maybe this whole movie after that is a.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:50:48] Do not say Jacob’s Ladder. Do not say that. Not only are you a fucking moron, but the person next to you was taking a flash photo during that. Get the fuck out of the Beacon.
Paul Scheer [00:51:06] Your Seagul name and your question.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:51:07] Idiots.
Paul Scheer [00:51:08] Slash Seagul. I just want to get your get your thoughts on how Jonathan’s a dick because the seagull dies, his protege. He goes to heaven, and then he says, well, he could stay in heaven, or, you know, they need you back home to teach the other Seagulls like a dick. Like he just tricked them into going back.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:51:29] Oh, whoa, whoa. This is a wild reading of that. You think, Jonathan, You think Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a dick because he resurrects Fletcher and says, Now you can be a teacher for the flock? And that’s a dick move?
June Diane Raphael [00:51:45] I actually do agree. I agree. I agree.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:51:50] How so? Because he took him out of heaven?
June Diane Raphael [00:51:54] Yeah, because he took them out of like, this transcended moment so that he could go be, you know, mortal again. And I was like, wow. And I do think that if if, you know, someone’s on the edge of passing on to the next dimension, like I’m going to let them go. And that’s a note to all my friends and family who are here, I’m going to let you go.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:52:13] I feel like he gave Fletcher a real opportunity to have more to give, to become a teacher, to become a representative, someone who could come, who has learned and can can teach the way. Basically, Fletcher seems to me to be an Apostle. Oh boy.
June Diane Raphael [00:52:29] [Screams]
Jason Mantzoukas [00:52:34] This is fucked up.
June Diane Raphael [00:52:37] I hate this so much. Paul.
Paul Scheer [00:52:40] Point your eyes to the mezz for a real life. Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Right here.
June Diane Raphael [00:52:48] There’s a man here. I’m going to assume it’s a man, even though I don’t know. It’s definitely a man who’s got a giant seagull head on.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:52:58] Paul has his arm around the bird, man.
June Diane Raphael [00:53:03] Don’t look at us. Don’t look at us, seagull man.
Paul Scheer [00:53:08] Please keep the mask on for the question. All right. Your name, your seagull name and your question.
Audience Member [00:53:16] Jason Seagull.
Paul Scheer [00:53:23] All right.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:53:25] We loved you in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Paul Scheer [00:53:29] And your question.
Audience Member [00:53:30] So how many times did they film the death scene?
Paul Scheer [00:53:34] Yes, that scene is really upsetting. A bird crashes into the side of the mountain. And just so you know, it’s dead. It falls a comical amount. Yeah. Like, and this is I’m dating myself, but like, Toonces the driving cat level, like it falls and falls and falls.
June Diane Raphael [00:53:57] Paul was really disturbed by that scene. So much so that at one point I was watching that scene while our kids were watching the movie with us. And but Paul already seen it and he goes, Fast forward, face forward!
Paul Scheer [00:54:10] Well, I didn’t want my my youngest, my merch rep to see that. I thought he would be upset.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:54:17] It was also like slo mo, it was like really it was like indulgent. Again, this is for some, a snuff film. An erotic. An erotic thriller.
Paul Scheer [00:54:31] All right, I have a question over here.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:54:32] But he doesn’t die because he does die. But. But. But like Lazarus, he is resurrected. He has the first power, I believe.
Paul Scheer [00:54:40] Wait. Like Lazarus? He was resurrected?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:54:44] Lazarus in the Bible.
Paul Scheer [00:54:45] He was resurrected? Wow. I got to go back and check it out.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:54:52] Dude, you gotta check out the Bible. Holy shit.
Paul Scheer [00:54:59] It sounds familiar.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:55:01] It’s in the hotel.
June Diane Raphael [00:55:02] I will say Paul went to Paul, went to Catholic school. The people who went to Catholic school know the least about it.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:55:09] I don’t know. I was a religion major in college, and I’m a zero on everything. I remember nada.
Paul Scheer [00:55:15] I am in the balcony.
June Diane Raphael [00:55:17] Be careful.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:55:19] Be careful, Paul. Don’t stand up in the front row. Don’t stand up in the front row. You’re so close to falling over.
Paul Scheer [00:55:30] I will now go to the back of the balcony. If I picked you. If I picked you to sing a song, get ready to get down there. All right, here we go. Who’s here? All right. Come to me a little bit so I don’t die. Here we go. Okay. Your name, your question.
Audience Member [00:55:47] Lo Seagull.
Paul Scheer [00:55:48] Okay, great.
Audience Member [00:55:51] So instead of a religious allegory, could it be a sexual freedom allegory? Where in the community doesn’t like what Jonathan Livingston Seagull is doing sexually? And they want to repress him and he he wants to fuck fast and hard and he so he experiences the little death. La la petite morte.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:56:26] Okay, the orgasm, you mean?
Audience Member [00:56:27] And then he suffers from the shame of it. He’s on the raft. He’s feeling terrible. He’s like, so ashamed. And then he realizes, No, this is my true, authentic self and I need to be who I am. I need to live my truth. I need to fuck how I want to fuck.
Paul Scheer [00:56:49] Can’t beat that.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:56:51] Only the balcony could make this Christian movie horny. I agree because later in the movie, I was like, when when Maureen and Jonathan Livingston Seagull are splitting up. She says, I love who you are, Jonathan. And I was like, Wait a minute, are they fucking? And I wanted to see it. I wanted to see these birds fuck.
Paul Scheer [00:57:25] Okay, so obviously we have an opinion about this movie, but there are people out there with a different opinion. It is now time for second opinions.
Audience Member [00:57:39] I logged on to leave my review. I never thought I’d find a film like you. Find a film like you. With Music by Neil Diamond too, the kind of songs I won’t fast forward through. I won’t fast forward through. And I flew. I flew to Amazon. Oh, I’m like Jonathon. Jonathan Livingston!
Paul Scheer [00:58:19] That’s it. You did it. You did the right thing.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:22] Hold on. Stay there.
June Diane Raphael [00:58:25] Yes.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:26] This is the hero.
Paul Scheer [00:58:27] Hero, Hero. No one has ever done that. You heard the applause and you’re like it’s not going to get better.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:35] He called it right there. This is the hero. Also, the inspiration for that song is what band?
Audience Member [00:58:41] That’s of a Flock of Seagulls.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:44] Boom! Boom! Get the fuck back in your seats. It’s over, baby.
June Diane Raphael [00:58:52] Well done.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:58:53] That’s we’re talking about New York City comes hard.
Paul Scheer [00:59:00] How can you compete with that?
Jason Mantzoukas [00:59:03] Everybody else in life should sit the fuck down.
Paul Scheer [00:59:06] No, no.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:59:07] No, no. I’m kidding.
Paul Scheer [00:59:09] Next one up. Here we go. And now it’s.
Jason Mantzoukas [00:59:13] Aw, they gave each other a fist bump. I love that. By the way, this is not for the podcast. Cut this from the podcast. I love how much you guys love each other. I love how happy you are to see each other and how supportive you are of each other. But I can’t say that during the podcast. Okay, so now we’re back in on the podcast. Fuck this dildo. Here he goes.
Audience Member [00:59:40] And I just want the flock to see me. But I don’t think that they understand. When everyone else can fly 60. I just want to get to a thousand. I just want the second opinion.
Paul Scheer [01:00:05] Worth it. Worth it. What’s your name?
Jason Mantzoukas [01:00:08] Do it again. Do it again. Do it again.
Audience Member [01:00:15] Do the whole thing again? And just want the flock to see me. But I don’t think that they understand. When everyone else can fly 60. I just want to get to a thousand. I just want a second opinion.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:00:43] Fuck yes. New York came to play.
Paul Scheer [01:00:48] That was awesome, what’s your name?
Audience Member [01:00:51] Will Patrick Seagull.
Paul Scheer [01:00:53] Yes. Thank you. All right, here we go. And now it’s time for second opinions.
Audience Member [01:01:04] You’re unusual. An anxious bird. You want to travel the world. Your mom thinks you drive too fast. The elders had you outcast. And though it might seem strange. Might seem untrue. Ooh. But I like this bird Seagull lights the way. In the snow with the horses, eating trash with my cousins. You might think I’m the devil, but I like this bird the seagull lights the way, I fly through space because it feels right. Rate five stars on a website. And had to flip my flock into the sunlight.
Paul Scheer [01:02:06] Wow.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:08] Incredible. Incredible.
Paul Scheer [01:02:10] Killed it.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:11] Hey, what’s your name?
Audience Member [01:02:14] Sorry. This is Blaze for our seagull.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:18] Everyone here is so much more talented than us.
June Diane Raphael [01:02:21] I really do feel that.
Paul Scheer [01:02:22] What a blessing.
June Diane Raphael [01:02:23] I’m starting to feel badly about myself.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:25] Really. Part of me wants you do this show. Part of me wants to do, like, six more just because it’s so. I want to watch that show.
Paul Scheer [01:02:32] That was a concert.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:33] Holy shit. Wow.
Paul Scheer [01:02:35] Wow. Awesome job. We may have to put all of them in.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:43] We just did two shows in Boston and every single one of those took a dump on Boston.
Paul Scheer [01:02:50] Oh, my gosh.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:02:51] Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And I’ll be honest in that the Boston shows, when you guys hear, you’re going to hear them saying, Fuck New York, fuck New York. And it’s going to sound a lot like I started that chant. But I love New York.
Paul Scheer [01:03:12] All right, here we go. Jonathan Livingston Seagull, that’s the main character in the film. Also the title of the film, 763 Total reviews. 79%. Five stars. Almost 80% loved it.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:03:32] I don’t believe I don’t believe that for a second. It was everybody in this audience who clearly loved it.
Paul Scheer [01:03:39] All right. This is written by Gabe Oz, written in 2013. The title is a beautiful movie to cherish. And this is how the review goes. “This was the first movie we ever watched when we got our first VCR. Growing up, my mother wouldn’t let us watch anything else until we saw this film, and I’m so glad that she did that for us. It’s a message that has stayed with me throughout my life, and I look forward to introducing my son to this later on. Thank goodness it’s available on Amazon because one who the Flip has a VCR anymore.”
Jason Mantzoukas [01:04:21] Who the flip?
Paul Scheer [01:04:24] “Two: VCR tapes won’t last a lifetime. Three: you can not purchase this movie on DVD or VCR formats anymore that I know of. And for thanks to Amazon Cloud storage, I know my purchase will be safe and available for years and years to come. And I may be able to introduce my grandchildren to this flick. May we all be Jonathans.” Five Stars.
June Diane Raphael [01:04:53] Jeff Bezos?
Paul Scheer [01:04:57] This one is written by Michael Chippewa. He says, “Had the album with Neil Diamond years ago when I was in college but didn’t have time to see the movie. Can’t wait to watch it. I was busy with family health issues. Five stars.”
Jason Mantzoukas [01:05:16] Wow. To be to be offering that kind of intimacy and insight in an Amazon review for a movie you have yet to see. I had family health issues in an Amazon review again for an unseen as of yet movie. Oh, that is a cry for help.
June Diane Raphael [01:05:41] Really.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:05:42] That’s a cry that. That is heartbreaking.
Paul Scheer [01:05:45] Geoffrey Greathouse writes. This review in 2014 titled Great If You Suspend Disbelief. “When this film came out in 1973, it was popular, but many critics panned it. I think because it has so much sentiment in it, the music is beautiful and spectacular. It has stayed with me all these years. I bought the film to watch it again for the first time in 35 years and it has stood up. I have a personal reason for liking it. It mirrors my own life. The film deals with the process of self actualizing whereby people who are creative have innovative ideas and a thirst for knowledge and achievement must pull away from the crowd. I highly recommend this film to parents who have children struggling with their creative identity and process of individuation. Five Stars.” And then finally we’ll end.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:06:54] That is crazy. That is crazy. Like this. This person. I don’t even care.
Paul Scheer [01:07:03] Virginia Gomera writes this “Best birthday gift ever. This is a great piece of artwork inviting me to be aware that nobody can hold me back unless I allow them to steal my dreams. Five stars.”
Jason Mantzoukas [01:07:20] Holy shit.
Paul Scheer [01:07:22] I want to read one thing I forgot.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:07:24] I feel like all the reviews for this movie are, like, from sad people.
June Diane Raphael [01:07:28] I mean, it is truly making me think like, Wow, we’re all so desperate for inspiration returning here.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:07:35] People are still searching for meaning and they’re finding it in the absolutely most dog shit places.
June Diane Raphael [01:07:43] Here.
Paul Scheer [01:07:45] BML from The Discord wrote and I forgot my notes because I couldn’t get BML out there, but I’ll read it BML. “The species depicted in this movie are Western gull, herring gull and California gull. They are all native to the West Coast, therefore fall under the protection of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which prohibits the capture, trade, harm or killing of any bird, national resident or migrant to the U.S. without the express written permission of the Department of the Interior. The credits give special thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which seems to indicate such permission was given. Otherwise, basically, the entire film is a flagrant violation of this law. Given that the interior is a cabinet level department within the executive branch, where does greenlighting this movie rank among the list of crimes committed by the Nixon administration?”
Jason Mantzoukas [01:08:42] Yes. Yes. Weigh in bird experts. Holy shit. Is that person here?
Paul Scheer [01:08:53] BML are you here?
Jason Mantzoukas [01:08:54] Wait. Where? Over here. Right there. Give it up. Hey, wait. Do you have more bird insights?
Audience Member [01:09:07] Yeah.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:09:10] Anything truly important that we need to hear from you?
Audience Member [01:09:14] The Hawk is a Harris Hawk, which is a common bird used in falconry so it was probably a trained hawk that they hired.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:09:22] They they hired a trained hawk to kill that seagull? Incredible, Incredible. Great work. Give it up. This audience is fucking great. And look, you had a fun time at that dumb movie you watched.
Paul Scheer [01:09:45] Quickly, I just want to hit three quick things. There were three lawsuits associated with this film. We talked about how Richard Bach, the author, sued Paramount Pictures because it was it deviated because of the violence.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:09:57] So many lawsuits.
Paul Scheer [01:09:58] Neil Diamond said he would never get involved in a movie again unless he a complete control. And then the director responded to the lawsuit by criticizing Neil Diamond, saying he’s become too slick. All of his music’s not from the heart as it used to be.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:10:16] He might as well be called Neil Emerald.
Paul Scheer [01:10:18] And he goes like this. Bartlett also added “Neil is extraordinarily talented. Often his arrogance is just a cover for the lonely, insecure person he is underneath.” And finally. another director also sued the film, claiming it stole scenes from his 1936 film La Mer. The suit was dismissed without trial, petitioned on the grounds that extensive public school and cultural use of the film had robbed it of its common law copyright protection. The budget for this film in 1973 and he guesses 1.5 million. 1.5 million.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:10:56] It’s got to be nothing because this is essentially just B-roll.
Paul Scheer [01:10:59] What, 1.5 million? That’s a lot for 1973.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:11:03] I guess so, yeah.
Paul Scheer [01:11:04] Bunch of birds, Holiday Inn. I mean, what else? Budget was 1.5. Worldwide gross and domestic gross same. 1.6. So that’s what we got there. That is what we have. Wow, wow, wow.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:11:23] This was a yikes.
Paul Scheer [01:11:26] Would you recommend it?
Audience [01:11:27] [Booing]
June Diane Raphael [01:11:28] Oh, God. No.
Paul Scheer [01:11:35] Yes for the audience.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:11:38] Seems like New York is saying absolutely. Yes.
June Diane Raphael [01:11:41] Again, I kept on wondering like, oh, when the people come out. And I do think, you know, it was at about a half an hour, I thought, June, there’s nobody else coming. And for me, that was the lesson. It’s like, I don’t know, the lesson of individualism and limiting beliefs and all that stuff. For me, the lesson was like, No one’s coming to save you.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:12:06] Yeah.
June Diane Raphael [01:12:09] Like, you have to go through this on your own.
Paul Scheer [01:12:14] Last night, Jason said to me he’s surprised by my optimism. Sometimes I’d go into these movies thinking this will be good.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:12:23] After 13 years of doing this.
Paul Scheer [01:12:25] Yes. And I will say. There are movies that take my breath away that we do on this show, and this is one of them. I’m like, What? What is it? Yes, It’s not it’s not a movie. It’s crazy. And I’m better for having seen it. I yes. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have those songs. We wouldn’t know about the Nixon administration. We wouldn’t have Jonathan Livingston Seagull. My dad may not have had his doppelganger. We would never have met this wonderful person who read the book. All of you are my gifts. And this movie gave you this gift.
June Diane Raphael [01:13:06] And that’s Paul’s worldview. That’s beautiful. You know, I’d like to sit beside it. It’s hard for me to fully jump into it, but for me, nice to be around.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:13:15] I will say for me, I feel slightly differently in that I hated this. I hated every single second of it.
Paul Scheer [01:13:28] You loved it.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:13:29] But I love that you had to watch it. I like having the power of making thousands of people watch this terrible movie. That’s what’s worth it. Even though you whined a lot about the movie, you crushed at every single opportunity. Great work.
Paul Scheer [01:13:52] Thank you, New York. You are the best. Thank you, Beth. Thank you to our talented merch wrangler and security guard. Thank you to Scott Sonne.
Jason Mantzoukas [01:14:05] Eat shit, New York.
Paul Scheer [01:14:11] What a fun show. And if you want to attend a How Did This Get Made live show yourself. You are about to have a whole lot of chances. Here’s the thing. I’m not supposed to announce this until Monday. But guess what? I’m giving you the exclusive scoop. How Did This Get Made is going back on tour this fall from the 18th to the 21st of October. We’re going to Portland, Maine, Providence, Rhode Island, New Haven, Connecticut, and Brooklyn, New York. And we’re not stopping there. We’re going to be doing two shows in Chicago on November 8th and 9th. And two more shows in Minneapolis on November 10th and 11th. Every night will be a new movie. Details on one tickets go on sale will be announced this Monday, September 25th, at HDTGM.com, and on our social media accounts. Can’t wait for your costumes, your songs, everything. It’s going to be great. Anyway, a big thank you to the staff at the Beacon, our amazing tour manager, Beth Thomas, and all of you who actually spent an hour and a half of your life watching that movie. But don’t worry about that, because now you can commemorate that with a brand new T-shirt. We made a shirt. I actually got it as a sweatshirt. It’s a picture of a seagull that says outcast underneath. It’s perfect. You can snag it at teepublic.com/store/HDTGM. You can also buy every shirt we ever made from summer tours there as well as well as new shirts. There we go. All right. If you have a correction and omission for this episode, I want to know about it. Go to our discord at Discord.gg/HDTGM and leave me a voicemail at 619-PAUL-ASK. Jason and I will also answer all of your questions. Whatever you have about life, love or bags. So tune into next week to hear me and Jason talk to you. Plus, you’ll get an exclusive bonus deleted scene from our live show. And remember, you can find us anywhere you get your podcast. Make sure you tell your friends. Make sure to tell your family. Tag us. Do all the things. Follow us on social media. And if you listen to us on Apple Podcasts, please remember to follow us. And last but not least, I got to say thank you to all you listeners who support this show every week and our entire team who this show couldn’t be done without. I’m talking about our producers, Scott, Sonne, Molly Reynolds, our movie picking producer, Avril Halley, our engineers Casey Holford and Rich Garcia, and our associate producer Jess Cisneros, who makes our amazing social media videos. That’s all I got. People, we’ll see you next week on Last Looks. Until then. Bye for now.
November 26, 2023
Guest Conan O’Brien
Conan O’Brien (Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend) joins Paul, June, and Jason to discuss the 1993 romantic comedy and the final installment in the series, Look Who’s Talking Now starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.