February 1, 2024
Moshe Kasher chats with Jason & Paul about his new comedic concept memoir Subculture Vulture. But first, Paul responds to corrections and omissions from Rollerball, shares an exclusive bonus scene from that show, and reveals next week’s movie.
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337.5 — Last Looks: Rollerball (w/ Moshe Kasher)
Paul Scheer Was Pink, the actual star of Rollerball? I have a very bad idea, but it’s a good thing. And. Of course. Street luge: bullshit or not? All this and more on today’s. How Did This Get Made Last Looks. Hit the theme!
Music [Intro Song]
Paul Scheer Jonathan. Jonathan. Jonathan. Hello, all you hockey players turned street lugers turned Rollerballers. I’m your host, Paul Scheer. And welcome to How Did This Get Made Last Looks where you the listener get to voice your issues on Rollerball. Later in the show, Jason and I will chat with Moshe Kasher. You know him as a How Did This Get Made all star. Great guest on the show, and he has a brand new book called Subculture Vulture. It is a great read. I’m in the middle of it right now, and if you read his first book, you will know that Moshe delivers. He is brilliant. Can’t wait to finish the book. I don’t want to finish the book because it’s so good, but I also can’t wait to see where it goes. You get what I’m saying. Anyway, get Moshe’s book right now. Plus, we are going to share a deleted scene from our Rollerball show. And as always, I will reveal next week’s movie. But first things first, a big shout out to Lone Wolf collab for that great opening theme. If you’ve got a theme for the show, whatever it is, send it to us at HowDidThisGetMade@Earwolf.com. You know the caveat. Funny, short, clever. I mean, is funny and clever the same thing? I don’t know, I’m gonna say no. By the way, if you wanted to make a theme song for plugs, you could do that. And one of the plugs might be. Hey, everybody. You know, I told you that if you bought my book, you’ve preordered my book. You get something special. Well, here’s the deal. I am going to write a lot of fucking postcards. That’s right. If you have bought my book, you can go to my website. You can sign up, show your receipt, and I will personally write you a postcard of thanks. I know it’s so difficult right now to part with your money, and because you are parting with it from my book, I want to make sure you get something special. So I will do that. And if you don’t feel like giving your address, that’s fine, because I’m also opening up a special part of my website. It’s called Paul’s Secret Scrapbook that you will have access to and no one else will. So. Why am I doing this? Because I really do appreciate you all pre-ordering my book. The response so far has been amazing and honestly, and I said it before and I’ll say it again. Preorders seem to mean everything in publishing, so that’s why. Yeah, if you pick up the book now, it’s going to really, really help. And by the way, if you want to come see us live, How Did This Get Made, that is, tomorrow we’re going to be in San Francisco at the Masonic doing Samurai Cop. We’re also going to be in Europe. And if you have any friends in Belfast, tell them about the show. Go to HDTGM.com to find out more. By the way, Jason and I, we perform in a group called Dinosaurs. It’s an improv group with great people like, the great Seth Morris and Rob Riggle. Nicole Byer sits in a bunch Lisa Gilroy, Mary Holland, Owen Burke, Chad Carter, the list goes on and on. Phil Augusta Jackson, so many great people, Carl Tartt and we love performing. We would love to have you come see your show at Largo. I’m talking about February 23rd. It’s a Friday. That’s our next show. We’re there every month. Come check out dinosaur if you are in LA, and let’s get into it. Because Rollerball has a lot that we have to cover. And as a matter of fact, last week we asked everybody in discord, what would be a better tagline for Rollerball and Annapocalypse writes, I got one, “Two teams, one track, no rules. Well, actually, there are a lot of rules, but they’re all in Russian” All right. Annapocalypse, I like that. That’s a good one. Let’s use that to bring us in to something I like to call corrections and omissions. Hit the theme.
Music [Corrections and Omissions Song]
Paul Scheer That’s right people, it is now your chance to set us straight. Fact check us if you will. And I am going to fact check Damien Gentry as being the author of that amazing corrections and omissions song. That’s how you do it, Damon. Thank you for that. Let’s get into street luging. Elaine Smith writes, “Okay. The street luge scene is complete bullshit.” Boom. Why is it bullshit, Elaine? Well, she says, “for the singular idea that the route taken from Christmas Tree point in Twin Peaks to the finish line, supposedly at Rincon Hill near the Bay bridge, would be downhill all the way.” Okay. And your point? “Well, San Francisco is comprised of many hilly neighborhoods going down and up. So in essence, the momentum created going downhill would be lost when the lugers inevitably hit an uphill street.” Okay, so I guess what you’re saying is you would never so even well, I can’t you just get? I think you could. I mean, that’s the reason. The whole reason is that now, I don’t know. I need more street luge talk. And Andy from Rhode Island, he’s got some. Well, he says, “Look, I was at the show at the Vets Theater, and Providence has a great tie in related to the opening street luge race, because the original two ESPN games took place in Rhode Island and they did a street luge in Providence, not far from the Vets Theater.” Whoa, Andy, that is amazing. He goes on to say that he was there. He has an X games poster that his dad got him in his bedroom. Not now, but when he was a kid, and he wishes that he raised his hand in the balcony. Well, I love that we picked a movie that really had a connection to everything. That’s great about Providence. Kirk Wagner. By the way. That sounded like an insult. It was not. It was just an off-handed comment. Anyway, Kirk Wagner writes, “You guys asked why Rollerball players always had to show the ball instead of hiding it to trick the other team? Well, in the 1975 original film, they mentioned that there’s a rule where they always had to show the ball at all times. I don’t think that was specified in the 2002 remake. Just one example of how the rules in the 1975 movie were so much clearer, even though they were hardly ever spoken.” Well, look, we all now know Rollerball 75 James Caan is the way to go. Before we end this segment, let’s go to the phones and hear from Adam in New Hampshire.
Listener Hey, Paul, thank you so much for the Rollerball episode. My friend Sean and I went and saw that movie in college. Because it was big with the WWE hype machine, because it had Paul Heyman in it. Shane McMahon made a cameo, and I’m so glad you guys referenced the The Night Vision segment because it was so baffling in the moment. I remember, there was actually a sign at the theater telling people that, that was not a glitch. It was not a technical issue with the projector or anything like that. The movie assuring people that the movie was supposed to look like that. And so it wasn’t anything wrong with the print or anything like that. Just absolutely god awful movie. I love the episode. Love the show. Thanks so much. Have a good day.
Paul Scheer That is amazing. This often happens when people get upset about things that happened in film. I can’t remember the last time this kind of happened. The artistic choices have to be explained at the box office. I love this, that’s amazing. And I think that this is like moments where people come out and want their money back. Like it’s such a funny thing. It’s like, no, this wasn’t up to my expectations. I want my money back. If anyone has a picture of that, let me know. Although it seems more like an Instagrammable moment, I don’t know if back then people were taking pictures of just weird things, unless you could share them right away. I mean, this is what we are up to now. I don’t think we’d ever take pictures of just random signs of food before mobile phones anyway. Andrew in New Jersey, what do you got?
Listener Hey, Paul, this is Andrew from new Jersey. And I just had a quick omission, which is that the director of Rollerball, John McTiernan. Dangerous. Die hard. Yes. But because of him defending Rollerball and getting Chuck Roven wiretapped and then lying about it, he went to jail. But then while in jail, he had to declare bankruptcy and wanted to. And the bank wanted to liquidate all of his assets because they thought he was lying about the bankruptcy, because he was lying, because that just seems to be a theme with him. And after it was all settled and he got out of prison, the liquidation was seemed to go through. And then also his royalty payments were taken over by the bank. So because he lied about this awful, terrible movie that he made and fought to get it out there, he no longer gives money for Die Hard. I just thought that was a pretty fitting punishment. You make a terrible action movie. No longer gets a benefit from your good action movie. Also, he wanted one of the defenses to the bank was trying to say that he was going to make a Top Gun like movie with John Travolta, which never materialized. Thanks, Paul.
Paul Scheer What? I did not realize that. Holy shit. Could you imagine the amount of money that is. That truly is wild. Well, I mean, that’s what you get. Back to the discord. That was really rough for me, right? That’s what you get. I’m doing a lot of asides today. Doctor guts 1003 writes “John McTiernan, may know how to shoot an action scene, but he seemingly knows nothing about how to shoot athletic competitions. I mean, how do you show that many Rollerball games and never once show what the scoring is during those games?” Yeah, it really was bizarre. I didn’t even think there was scoring, to be honest. It just looked like a roller derby. I bet you he didn’t even understand what it was. Johnny Unusual, writes, “The Heather Graham Show you mentioned was called Emily’s Reasons Why Not, and it was actually canceled after one episode, not during the commercial break. You might be thinking of Turn On a show from the creator of Laugh-In. It was pulled in Cleveland during the commercial due to complaints. It never even aired in Western affiliates after that.” Well, I was not thinking of Turn On. I need to understand what that even was. What were the complaints? Let’s find that online. You know, I didn’t mean it was literally pulled after the first commercial, but it was. The ratings are so low that after the first commercial break, they knew they had to cancel the show. But I will also remind you, in that episode, I specifically said, do not look this up. Do not fact check me. It’s funnier what I said than for you to tell me the truth of it. So, Johnny Unusual, even if you’re right, you didn’t listen to my demand. So you are out of the running this week for being the winner of corrections and omissions. And the winner of Last Looks. You’re out of both, me and nerd girl. This is from Breakfast Prince writes “Me and Nerd Girl both found this video where Pink talks about her time on set. Apparently, she initially had a much bigger role before it got cut down to only clips on a TV.
Interview Audio You know, all week long we’ve been talking about the Puffy Trial. We are going to give you guys a little brief update on that. But first, as I mentioned before, some news on Pink, right? You know, a lot of people who caught our show, MTV icon Janet Jackson just the other night, considered one of the more impressive performances to be Pink and her recreation of the chair dance. So you see it from Janice. I miss you much. Now it’s even more impressive when you consider that Pink was actually playing hurt that night. Turns out she had pulled a muscle a couple days earlier while working on the new movie Rollerball. Now that film is a remake or action update of a 70s action movie about a violent, extreme futuristic sport. And backstage at Icon, we caught up with Pink and she told us more about Rollerball.
Pink And it’s coming out August 15th with Ella and Chris Klein, who I have a crush on. And the movie, it’s kind of crazy. I had to I had to sing the three penny opera, which is a little different from what I do. So it’s it’s going to be awesome.
Paul Scheer Wait, she was rollerblading? I mean, unless she was just, like, rocking so hard. I mean, I’ve seen a Pink show. She’s very athletic in it. And I love that she had a crush on our man, Chris Klein. Wow. So many great corrections and omissions this week. I mean, now we just have Pink and Rollerball in our head. Plus, we’re learning so much about John McTiernan. There are so many great things we learned about street luges and everything. But to me, the thing that really just kind of knocked me, on my butt was what Andrew from new Jersey said so Andrew for revealing that John McTiernan has none of his Die Hard royalty money. You are this week’s winner. That’s right. And you get this amazing song from Tyler, man.
Music [Winner’s Song]
Paul Scheer That’s right. Thank you Tyler man, for that song. And thank you to our good friend from new Jersey. Remember, if you want to submit an alt movie tagline or chime in with your own thoughts about the latest episode, hit up the discord at Discord.gg/HDTGM or call us at 619-PAUL-ASK. Coming up, Jason and I are going to be joined by Moshe Kasher to talk about his new memoir, Sub Culture Vulture, plus a whole lot more. Plus, as always, I’m going to reveal next week’s movie and play an exclusive bonus scene from our Rollerball show. I’ll be right back. People. I’m sure you notice that every Monday we rerelease old How Did This Get Made episodes back on our feed. This week’s Matinee Monday was Monkey Shines. June wants those monkey shines to get paid. Remember that? And next week’s will be the Boy Next Door with guests Heather Ann Campbell and Ben Simon. So keep on checking out these replays of classic episodes every Monday. And now let’s welcome Jason to the show to have a little Just Chat. Rob from Long Island play us in.
Music [Just Chat Song]
Paul Scheer Jason. We got a special guest on the show today. I’m very excited.
Jason Mantzoukas I’m thrilled. An all star, a pal.
Paul Scheer Yes. I am excited. Please welcome Moshe Kasher. Moshe. How are you?
Moshe Kasher I’m great. Hi, boys. So good to see both of you.
Jason Mantzoukas I gotta say, I love your. The wallpaper behind you is beautiful.
Paul Scheer You and your wife, Natasha, the way that you do your podcast, the way it looks like everyone’s in these cramped recording studios. And you guys look like you are broadcasting from the hippest Hollywood Hills kind of apartment. I don’t smoke cigarets, but it also feels like there could be a room, like a thing in that room where there’s just like a ton of cigarets in a special decanter, which I felt like a song of the grandparents had. Like it was just like.
Jason Mantzoukas A cigarette decanter?
Moshe Kasher You pull up a little gold thing in the middle and they all pop out. Oh, that sounds good. But it’s, you know what? We’re trying to take care of our health. So it’s just 100 jules.
Jason Mantzoukas So smart, so good for you. Good for you.
Paul Scheer Occasionally. June will smoke a cigarette, and I was very happy this year, too. We decorate our house very, very. We go all out during Christmas, and, I got June, this, Santa Claus, and he’s in, and he’s in a little barrel and he’s shirtless. And, when you pull on his legs, it looks like his dick is coming out, but it’s a cigaret, and you just kind of. Oh, yeah. Take it out. Take it out with your mouth. And it’s it’s a real. It’s fun for the whole family till my kids found it and then insisted on showing it to all their friends. So not only, were they showing, like, a dick Santa, but then they were also showing cigarets.
Jason Mantzoukas They were like, this proves it. Santa has a dick, I’m sure of it.
Moshe Kasher No, no, no, no, this isn’t sexual. It’s it’s just to encourage smoking in our family.
Paul Scheer Yeah. Yeah. We just. Yeah. We hid it where we really did it twice. Really hid both things badly.
Moshe Kasher We have the same thing at our house, but it’s much more modern. It’s not an antique. It’s Tim Allen in the Santa Claus. He’s the Santa. So it’s actually Tim Allen. And then when you. Yeah.
Jason Mantzoukas The best. That’s the best of the three.
Paul Scheer We are trying to compete with Bitch Sesh. Do you want to throw any shade at Tim Allen? You know, here on the podcast.
Jason Mantzoukas Oh, right.
Moshe Kasher What did he do? Did he do something recently?
Paul Scheer No. Casey, actually, it’s not Bitch Sesh anymore. They changed name to, called Garbage World. They’re on their own Patreon. They’re doing their own thing. But, Casey, in the privacy of the podcast, Patreon, went off on Tim Allen and her experience, working one day on The Santa Clause, and it went viral. Like, like she didn’t expect it to go viral. Like she. And I think the reason why it went viral is because she called him a little bitch. She said that he’s a little bitch. And. And, yeah, it really like it got out there in such a way. That was that made me laugh. I don’t know, you know, look.
Jason Mantzoukas Moshe, is there anybody that you’d like to call a little bitch or any other names right now? Is any any any any grudge list?
Moshe Kasher Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to be too controversial.
Jason Mantzoukas I also don’t want to step on. You’re here to talk about your book. I don’t want to step on your book. Is it one chapter after another on grudges?
Moshe Kasher Yeah. Well, it’s. Well, it’s mostly about Tim Allen. I mean, to be honest with you, it’s mostly about Tim. And I know, I know why he acts that way. And I think Casey wasn’t being very sensitive to that. Like, the guy just wants more power, that’s all. I mean, he’s just trying to get a little more power.
Paul Scheer Oh my gosh. You know, Moshe, you have. You have a brand new book coming out. Subculture Vulture. It’s a memoir in six scenes. It comes out January 30th, a day before my birthday.
Moshe Kasher I got the box of the real thing today. I just opened up this box.
Paul Scheer Holy Moley.
Moshe Kasher And there it is.
Jason Mantzoukas Oh, that looks great.
Paul Scheer Oh my gosh.
Jason Mantzoukas Moshe, who did the art for that cover?
Moshe Kasher Oh, that’s a great question. The man’s name is Chris Allen. And, Greg Mollica. And I mean, they just killed it so hard. It looks like a little like a like a scene. Great. It’s very this.
Jason Mantzoukas It looks like a graphic. It looks like a graphic novel, or cool book that I would pick up at, at, secret headquarters.
Moshe Kasher I got emotional opening up this box because, like, when I was a little kid, I never had aspirations to be a comedian. That was not part of what I thought was happening for me. But I always said I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t even know what that meant. And I opened that box. I just got emotional, like, you write one book and you’ve written a book, and I feel like you write two. Like I’ve become the writer that the little boy thought that I would be. And I’m really proud of it. And I’m really proud of this particular book.
Paul Scheer I did want to talk about that. This is your second book. And, you know, I feel like you see a lot of, comedians and, performers write a book. Right? And, and it’s very rare that you get a second book, you know, and your first book I thought was so just beautiful, personal. And it was, you know, talk to me about the process of coming, like, how did you find your way into this one? Because they’re both. They’re both memoirs to a certain extent. You know, they’re focusing on different parts of your life.
Moshe Kasher Yeah. Well, this one is I wanted to do kind of. This one’s more of a concept memoir, I guess. It’s like it’s one part history. One part. It’s obviously a comedy, but it’s one part history and one part memoir. And I like, kind of go through each of these six worlds that have created the person that I am, which are like AA and the 12 steps. I got out of rehab for the last time when I was 15 and got sober and was like, by far the youngest person in any AA meeting I ever stepped into for ten years and raves. I went to raves in the early 90s. I started throwing raves and deejaying and selling ecstasy as a sober person. Burning man I went for the first time in 1996 because I heard there was a rave in the desert and I just, like, jumped in the car. And I think last year was my 24th time at Burning Man, and I worked there for like 15 years and sign language interpreting and deafness. My parents, my uncles, my cousins, my half brothers and sisters are all deaf, and I was a sign language interpreter for 15 years. And, and Hasidic Judaism. My father, when my mom left him, became like a born again Hasidic Jew, and I was raised six weeks a year in the summer, basically cosplaying as an extra on Fiddler on the roof, pretending to know what I was doing in a Hasidic world, and then standup. Which is like the reason that I’m able to write a book or two in the first place. So anyway, the reason I wrote it like that, I wanted to do something different. I wanted something that was like kind of scary to me. And this was like, because it is history and I do have to, like, answer that bell. But mostly like my first book ends, like the day that I walk away from my friends, you know, there’s this image of me walking one way down the street, and my friends are walking up the road to Barclays, this bar in Oakland that would serve us underage kids and me walking alone into my new life. And like, over the years, I had a lot of people always asking me like, well, what happened next? What happened next? And so I decided to write this book about what happened next. And the answer was like everything. Like so much happened next. My my whole life happened next.
Jason Mantzoukas Yeah. What’s amazing is all the stuff that you just mentioned, that is part of that second book, is enough of itself for four books, right? Like and everything you just talked about the fact that it’s not that that’s not even in the first book is wild, you know. And and do you feel I’m curious, do you feel like now, as you are thinking about things and thinking about a way to talk about things or talk about stories or yourself or whatever, are you no longer thinking in terms of this will be worked out on stage in standup this? Are you now thinking of things more as I will now sit and write this? Are these chapters rather than, you know, chunks? You know, you know.
Moshe Kasher Yeah, I, I have reverse engineered a lot of the first book onto, into standup. But there’s something about writing books for me that like, feels like I can tap into this. I think part of it is because of the age of standup that I started in, like, I didn’t start in this hyper sincere age of standup that a lot of younger comics are in now, you know, with like Roth, Daniel and then that and these like hyper confessional, super personal. My thing I was raised in, you know, I started in 2001. It was like funny over everything. All that matters is comedy kill, kill, kill, kill, kill. And so for me, the books were always, this portal into the more sincere me, the more kind of thoughtful and and slow version of me. And, and so I can go in places emotional places in this in that I never really go on stage. I’m not a particularly emotional stand up. I’d love to find a way to get some more of that going on on stage, but I kind of also.
Jason Mantzoukas Do you feel like while, you know, like as you are excavating the more revelatory or emotionally revelatory elements of your life, do you find that seeping into your stand up or is it kind of church and state? These are separate things purposefully? You know, like you get to do. You know, just out of curiosity, yeah.
Moshe Kasher No, I think I started like thinking much more like what you’re saying, Jason. Like that. What? This exists over here. I want to be thought of as serious over here and silly over here, I never cared. I like being ridiculous on stage. I never thought comedy needs to have this emotional element. But like, as you get older, I guess, like the idea of something being corny or cheesy on stage, like starts to matter a lot less. And and I like I do think that as I’m getting older, things are starting to seep a little bit more.
Jason Mantzoukas Yeah, yeah. That’s great. That’s really interesting.
Paul Scheer I don’t know, you’re you’re interesting to me because I think that you are somebody who is incredibly funny. So I don’t think it’s gonna be like, oh my gosh, I’m shocked that he went there. But it’s fun that you’re audience and that people are willing to go in these places with you because like, as you are talking about, like, you know, like the Talmud or something like that, you’re going, you’re going into this thing where it’s like, oh, that. So here’s a funny story about a time I picked up a hitchhiker. You know, it’s like, and I and I love that you are able to to explore all those things that I like about you as a human being in something that is like a mass market, I think.
Jason Mantzoukas Yeah, I’ll jump on that too, because I feel like what is evident in your standup or your writing, or especially the stuff you do on stage that isn’t necessarily standup your other shows is, I feel like most of you are primarily a curious person. Yeah, and your curiosity, and I feel like as we get older, people get less and less curious. They get more and more calcified in the discoveries they’ve already made. They like these things. They’re they’re creatures of habit. They settle, we settle into and calcify in our personhood. And you are somebody that, to me, over the period of time I’ve known you are always curious, are always asking and questioning, and are like, you’re a curious mind. And I feel like that is evident in everything you do for work.
Moshe Kasher I, I, I’m, I feel really grateful that you I feel like, I’m we’re in a scene in avatar that you see me but I really. I really do feel that way. Like, I love people. And I think that’s why, like, on stage, what I love to do is crowd work the most because I really, genuinely love the, like, discovery of who’s sitting in an audience, you know, I love. Yeah. And and I think that that’s because of the way that I was raised, like I was raised in a world where I was an outsider in kind of every, every universe. I felt like painfully outside, like I was not deaf, but I was raised in a deaf world. I was, you know, white kid, raised in Oakland public schools. I was a kid that didn’t know how to read Hebrew, but I was going to literally the most religious Jewish neighborhoods in the world. I mean, people in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, the kids spoke Yiddish as a first language. They had Eastern European accents, and they were third generation American like that. I just felt this like, acute. Oh, there’s a good story from the book, I’ll tell you. But I’ll get back to my curiosity. This is true. When I would go to Seagate, this was the neighborhood in Brooklyn. I say, if you don’t know how to get to Seagate, you basically take the F train to the last possible stop. You get off, walk past Coney Island, pass the projects, pass the people of color through a gate, through a time portal to pre Nazi Europe. And then you will arrive in Seagate. And I didn’t know Hebrew. Well, I don’t know the Hebrew alphabet and they’re speaking Yiddish and I just like I could the dodgeball games in that neighborhood used to be the ultra-Orthodox kids versus the actually really religious kids. Like the ultra-Orthodox kids were like the secular, like weird, edgy kids. And then we would play against the, like, long side locked, like, Yiddish speaking, so it’s getting towards, my bar mitzvah, and I’m drowning. I mean, I’m drowning in this world. I’m only a Jew six weeks a year. The rest of the year, I’m literally a secular public school kid listening to gangster rap in Oakland. And then I fly to the old country and go, like, just pretend that I know what I’m doing. And a local rabbi saw that I was struggling, and he, he he said to my dad, he’s like, give him to me, on Wednesdays or Thursday or whatever day it was, and I’ll take him and I’ll teach him how to read Hebrew in preparation for his bar mitzvah. And this was like early 90s, late 80s. So you could ask for some alone time with a child and they’d be handed over, no questions asked. Right. So I start going to his house Wednesday afternoons and I’m struggling like I can’t get it. I just can’t get it. And he goes, don’t worry, man. He he goes, it goes Schmuley, Schmuley. And he pulls his oldest son in and he’s like, Shmuley, say the English alphabet and Shmuley is like, probably 14 years old. He goes, Oh, no. He goes, A B C G? And then the rabbi, like, slaps me on the back and he’s like, see, he is stupid in English. You are stupid in Hebrew. Everybody’s stupid. So this.
Jason Mantzoukas Oh, wow.
Moshe Kasher Anyway, this is the universe I was raised in, and I think that, like, that’s why that kind of painful aloneness is why when a kid at my school said, hey, what are you doing, man? He saw me, shoplift a pack of cigarets, and he goes, hey, speaking of cigarets coming out of Santas cock, he goes, come to the back of the school and smoke cigarets with us back there. And when I found those kids at the back of the school behind the portable, I was just like secret power unlocked, right? Like, people, have have secrets from me that can give me my superpower. And then that very quickly fell apart into, like, full chaos. And my journey at that point became like, well, how do I go sort of stomp through the world and find out what secrets are out there that will make me feel that kind of feeling again? So that curiosity, like, started when I was super young. Like I went to a rave by myself. I never even I didn’t know anything about raves, but I thought maybe there was some secret in there for me. I went to Burning Man, just having heard a rumor of something crazy, and I decided to go. I went, got on stage, you know, never having thought I would be a stand up. It’s like all of these things dragged me from world to world. And. And once in a while, I would see a world where I felt like, you know, when you walk in, you have an experience where you turn around, you go, oh my God, the whole world is changed in an instant, like I’m in a different universe. And that’s what I found, through being curious. So, yeah, it’s all about people. Yeah.
Paul Scheer I love this.
Jason Mantzoukas All about experiential learning. Yeah. You know, you what you’re talking about is exposure and experience as a way to grow, learn, discover. That’s incredible.
Paul Scheer Now there’s also an audiobook. So you can get it any which way you want, this book. You can get a hardcover, you can get an e-book, you can get an audiobook. Now, I have been trudging through, not trudging off happily, enjoying the 48 hour audio version of Barbra Streisand’s book. 48 Hours Along for a long, long time to get through. And I’m enjoying the hell out of it. But I take breaks. I do sometimes a week or two break and I come back to Barbara. Now she clearly is improvising, and I typed it into my, my engine and, search engine. And it came back that. Yeah, it’s a totally her audiobook is totally different because she just kind of starts like, meandering. And you could tell because she’d be like, yeah, my dentist. Then where did he. I believe it was on, Farax Street. So she really like how it goes and, you know, and and.
Moshe Kasher Here’s the thing about it.
Paul Scheer My teeth are pretty good.
Moshe Kasher Here’s the thing about, about her, is that she’s disrespectful to the form. And if I had to say it in more crystal clear terms, she’s a little bitch. Like, I just want. I would say that.
Paul Scheer There it is, that. There we go. Garbage time we are competing with. But when you did your audiobook, is there anything, special in it? Anything, anything that we can be on the lookout for? Is it just. Yeah.
Moshe Kasher We were talking about this off mic, the Burning Man chapter. You know, I was I was writing, this, this sort of love letter to 25 years spent at Burning Man and having watched it go in 1996, when I went for the first time, it was fucking wild. I mean, it was insane and it was dangerous. It was literally very dangerous. Before the gates opened in 96, someone had died. He got his head cut. Wow. Basically off playing a game of chicken on a motorcycle and.
Jason Mantzoukas Oh my.
Moshe Kasher And there were drive by shooting ranges and they were setting buildings on fire right on the raw playa. Fucking in the dirt. And it was like it was scary and dangerous. And I went there thinking, oh, there’s a rave in the desert and got there and go, I don’t know what this is, but this is not a rave. This is something, something different, subversive, meaningful, but terrifying. And, and a big part of that, my history of Burning Man is, is, you know, the big story that people say about Burning Man, which is that it’s like in this slow creep towards irrelevance and jumping the shark. And in some ways, I think that’s true. And in some ways I think that’s really overstated. But, but then, you know, this year, I, we had the big crazy mud like apocalypse, you know, like, and it was, it was so crazy.
Jason Mantzoukas There was suddenly there is all these stories about everybody getting stuck at Burning Man. Yeah. Chris Rock had to walk miles in the mud, like. All these are apocalyptic reporting.
Moshe Kasher Like the real apocalypse that we’ve always envisioned is Chris Rock and Diplo trudging through the desert to get to a private plane to do a DJ gig in DC. You know, and when we were, when we were in that, I was getting texts and tweets. And then I remember reading the headline on CNN. Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation at Burning Man. I go, okay, I’m in a fake news story. I’m inside of a fake news story because inside the event, people were having the fucking time of their lives. And because my cool, I can say it like this a comic. I know that people think Burning Man’s lame and people love to hate it. I get that, and I get why, actually. But, you know, there was this, like I would say, like, God level of schadenfreude happening when when the mud came, everybody’s just like, oh, I’m finally their suffering. And this woman in my comments said, I love to see the suffering of rich people cosplaying as poor people, which I thought was a funny slam, a good roast, but but wrong because Burning Man people are not rich people cosplaying as poor people. They are weak people cosplaying as survivalists. And so yeah, there was nothing that was more, justifying and and, and, and and just like bringing them happiness than a minor weather event where they could put to the task all of these things they thought they’ve learned over the years at Burning Man that people were in revelry, like they were celebrating on a level that was, it was orgasmic and ecstatic because the what was cool about it was the Burning Man a lot like all of these things, because each one of these worlds is like, you know, it’s, it’s a history, too. I got I literally start at the beginning and each one of these worlds, like, started one place and then, like, everything kind of became this other thing, comedy, too, you know? Now it’s like TikTok and crowd work clips. And it used to be like, you’re, you’re in between acts on vaudeville, a talking horse would come out. You would just tell jokes while they clean the horseshit, right? Like this. So Burning Man is changed in this way. That is for the for the worse a lot. But all of a sudden, you know, there was a, there was a, an act of God that came in and turned Burning Man from this, like, digital thing to an analog thing. All of a sudden out of the heavens and all of a sudden I felt like I was in 1996 again. All of a sudden there was there were no cars and there were no lasers, and it was just whatever kind of like thing you could experience in the mud. So I wrote about that. I thought, oh, this really like this finishes the the thought experiment that I’ve been having about Burning Man and about myself aging there and what it means to me. And I went to my editor and I said, I, you know, I think people want to know this. And it was too late to put it in the in the written book, but we recorded it for the audiobook. So that segment is in the audiobook.
Paul Scheer Oh that’s amazing.
Jason Mantzoukas That’s so interesting to me. The idea of both like the I don’t know if this is the right word, but like the gentrification of Burning Man. Yeah, you know what I mean? Like, it’s gone from like, what you’re describing, like, you know, kind of grungy in the desert. You know, we’ve.
Paul Scheer All cool things become corporatized, even that thing which is the most, corporatized, right? I mean, I remember even going to a bumper shoot and bumper shoot the first couple times I went, which had been going on for a long time. It was so much different than the last time I went, you know, it’s like once all of a sudden you have a tent paid for by Pepsi or Comedy Central, you know, you’re like, oh, it’s shit’s changing. Like money’s coming in in a different way.
Moshe Kasher The quote I heard about burning that specifically, which sums it up, is, Burning Man went from a place where weird people came to feel normal, to a place where normal people go to feel weird.
Jason Mantzoukas So that’s great. That’s that’s great. And I wonder if part of that is sped up by its adjacency to Silicon Valley and everything that’s happening in Northern California. Is it just like if Burning Man had been located in Vermont all this time, would this be happening? You know what I mean?
Moshe Kasher Well, it yeah. Well, that I actually talk about that specific shift because a lot of times what people think happened to Burning Man is that Silicon Valley invaded it, turned it into a place for a corporate retreat center where, you know, trust falls at Tony Robbins center, turned into like, threesomes with Russian sex workers on coke, on an art car as a corporate retreat. Like that’s what happened, right? They infiltrated and ruined Burning Man. But the real story is more complicated than that. Which is that Burning Man. It’s not that tech ruined Burning Man. It’s the tech ruined itself. Tech was always there. The very beginning and always. And and it used to be. I’m sure you guys remember, like, being an internet person in the 90s, you were a member of a subculture.
Jason Mantzoukas Counterculture. Yes.
Moshe Kasher Yes. You were like a freak. You had a, you know, shaved head, and you were like, you look like Angelina Jolie in Hackers, like, that’s who you were. You were. And then what happened was they took over the world and they became the most powerful entity in the world, more powerful than governments. They turned into billionaires and trillionaires, and they were still there. So, I mean.
Paul Scheer I hope they don’t take over entertainment.
Moshe Kasher They would never. That’s that’s not something they’re even interested in doing. Yeah. But like yeah. No, but I think that’s a good analogy. Like you see like the techification of the entertainment industry. It’s not that they’ve that they’ve arrived, it’s that they’ve swallowed the culture whole. And so Burning Man always had tech people. It’s the tech people themselves became lamer. And as a result it turned into this kind of.
Jason Mantzoukas That makes sense. Okay. Yeah. I’m I’m I’m learning a lot.
Paul Scheer All right, so the book Subculture Vulture is out right now. You can buy it right now. You can go to a bookstore. You can get it on e-book. You can get the audio book. Whatever you want to do. You can get it as a CD. It’s expensive to get it as a CD, but you can get it.
Moshe Kasher You know? You know, I have a really crazy idea, because, like, my thing is like that, I’m so into, like, you know. Yeah, Burning man was just, like, counterculture. Like. Like, they call it culture jamming. And they used to do these wild street pranks and stuff, and, like, I’m really a student of that school, and I know that the internet has like, taken some of that on like doing these like, like pranks. And I know you guys have like really rabid fans. Here’s a crazy idea of like a prank that your people could do. I just think this could be so weird. What if everybody just, like, as a prank? Like as a weird prank? Who’s who’s listening? Where to? Where to go buy the book on Amazon.
Paul Scheer I like it.
Jason Mantzoukas Anywhere, ever.
Moshe Kasher Look anywhere I see Amazon.
Paul Scheer And that’s and that’s kind of the prank is that you’re going to Amazon and you’re getting it.
Moshe Kasher Right. It’s it’s kind of like a gotcha. Yeah. To big tech. You know we could. Kind of do that as a community. Like, it’s not about my book. I don’t care about book sales. Obviously, I’m not here to like, shill books. I just think, like as a prank, as a as a su bversive prank. And you know what, Paul? It could be kind of cool if they didn’t just buy my book.
Paul Scheer Oh, wait a second.
Moshe Kasher But while they were there.
Jason Mantzoukas Oh.
Paul Scheer Yeah.
Moshe Kasher This is a crazy oh, no, I don’t know, this might be too, too much. This might be too much of a prank. I don’t know if you’re. But what if they were to preorder your book in the same.
Paul Scheer Yeah. Now, that’s a prank, right? That’s Impractical jokers. Now we’re doing it. Now we’ve prank. We’re. We’re walking the prank. We’re doing it.
Jason Mantzoukas Oh, God.
Moshe Kasher Oh, God, you scurvy, you scurvy dog. You know, I could go get that book as a weird prank, because.
Paul Scheer I love it. I love it, buy some books. I’ll tell you this much. The other, you know. You know, we both have books coming out. There is something that was really disheartening during this, award season. Or, you know, all these movies are coming out. I watched, you hurt my feelings. I watched American fiction, and. And I watched oh, my gosh, what’s the third one? The holdovers and all of them are about, like, miserable people trying to get their books out. Well not miserable people. It’s just like, it really does paint a sad picture.
Jason Mantzoukas Anatomy of a fall. Anatomy of a fall is the other one about struggling writers.
Paul Scheer Yes, that’s the other one. If you’re at times.
Moshe Kasher My movie of the year.
Paul Scheer I loved it.
Jason Mantzoukas Incredible movie.
Paul Scheer Apparently she made another film, the director. That’s even better. And I have to find it. It’s one of her first movies, and it’s, about a journalist following a politician on a campaign trail. It’s done that same kind of doc, style. It’s supposed to be very incredible.
Jason Mantzoukas Here’s what I’ll say. As a good prank, I’m going to. I’m going to do it. I’m going to participate in the prank. Even though I don’t have a book coming out just for people who are currently listening at home on a speaker, I’m going to say, Alexa, buy culture. Wait, no, it’s what is it? Is it culture vulture? All this subculture. All this subculture. Alexa buy Subculture Vulture.
Paul Scheer Hardcover.
Jason Mantzoukas Oh, Alexa buy Subculture Vulture. Hardcover.
Paul Scheer Oh my gosh.
Moshe Kasher We nailed it. We pranked them hard.
Jason Mantzoukas Classic pranks.
Paul Scheer And, you know, and when you’re done by the hardcover, go get that audiobook because it’s going to have that extra chapter in it. It’s a pleasure. I’m so excited that you’re here. We got to get you back on the show. Show. But we need to get you on here to make sure we talked about your book, Subculture Vulture: a memoir in Six Scenes out right now. Buy it and be part of the world’s best prank. Moshe, it’s been a pleasure to have you. We will talk to you soon.
Moshe Kasher My pleasure. Thank you for having me, guys.
Paul Scheer Thank you. Moshe. His book is subculture. Vulture. We’re going to have a deleted scene, in just a second, from our Rollerball episode. But, I want to make sure that you preorder or get Subculture Vulture wherever books are sold. And you can preorder mine at the same time. I know I’m sneaking in a plug for myself. I’m terrible. Anyway, now is finally time to announce our next movie. Next week we are going to go from Rollerballs to Jamie Dornan’s balls. That’s right. Next week we’ll be watching, How Did This Get Made’s first entry into The 50 Shades trilogy. That’s right. Back in 2015, there’s a little film called 50 Shades of Gray starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and we are going to break it down next week. Do we even need to know what the plot is? Yeah, you may want to right? Literature. Student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets a handsome yet tormented billionaire, Christian Gray, and the rest is movie history. Rotten tomatoes gives this film a 25% score on the Tomatometer. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times writes, basically, they made a lousy mid 2000 era Katherine Heigl romance with a handful of explicit scenes spliced throughout the familiar cliches. I love Richard Roeper, but I think he’s overthinking it in this review. I don’t see Katherine Heigl romance in here at all. But the rest works. Listen to the trailer for 50 Shades of Gray.
Trailer Audio It’s just behind this door.
Trailer Audio What is?
Trailer Audio My playroom.
Trailer Audio Like your Xbox and stuff?
Trailer Audio I don’t do romance.
Paul Scheer You can currently stream 50 Shades of Gray for free on Max. You can rent it on Apple, Amazon, YouTube, or Google Play. But remember, go to your local public library because you can also get it from there. Now we are almost at the end of this episode, but before we go, check out this bonus scene from our Rollerball show where we talk about the cast of the movie, doing a promotional tie in with some WWF pro wrestlers.
Paul Scheer So before we get to our final moments, I wanted to show you something because this movie was heavily publicized. I don’t have any clips from it, but it was a part of a Road Rules challenge where actually one of the road rules people got in the movie Rollerball.
Jason Mantzoukas Was it CT?
Paul Scheer I, I do actually have. It was.
Jason Mantzoukas It’s okay. I’m just kidding. But the only name I know because he was in a Kroll Show Sketch.
Paul Scheer I remember that guy. But I wanted to show you this. Beth can you show the the lunchroom scene? Okay. Because one of the things this is a WWF, one of the things this movie had was a tie in to the WWF. And I want to show you this scene with the cast and professional wrestlers, it’s amazing.
Road Rules [Indescernible]
Road Rules I came here to talk to somebody. I came to talk to you. Why did you. I want to know why I wasn’t invited to the premiere of Rollerball. It means I’m stuck at work. Don’t you know who I am? I’m five time. Five time WWE champion. The same man who kicked triple H’s ass on Raw single handedly. You know, I want to know why I didn’t get a point. I want to know why I’m not the leading man in this damn movie. Yeah. That’s right.
Road Rules You’re not the lead man in the movie, because there was no scene in the movie where somebody gets their ass kicked in a grocery store.
Road Rules [Indescernible]
Road Rules I want you and I want you to lace em up. I’m gonna find the pot.
Jason Mantzoukas Why put that lamp there?
Road Rules Punk ass. Yeah.
Paul Scheer So I love that he’s mad that he was not invited to the premiere of Rollerball. And then also mad that he wasn’t in the movie. He has double complaints.
Jason Mantzoukas And then. But then after the movie came out, there was another thing where he came in and was like, thank you for not putting me in the movie role. That was my bad. I did not enjoy it.
Paul Scheer The clip that we could not find is LL Cool J on Conan O’Brien, where he goes, yeah, that movie sucked, but I gotta promote it. That’s why I was on your show.
Jason Mantzoukas Amazing. I did love that they’re all smoking cigars, but just like sitting around, like like pantomiming smoke their big cigars. Like they’re on the Joe Rogan podcast.
Paul Scheer Oh, my gosh, I love pro-wrestling tie ins. And you know what? I also love coming to an end. And that’s what’s happening right now. Please rate and review the show. It helps. If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts. Make sure you are following us everywhere on social media @HDTGM. Thank you to our producers, Scott Sonne and Molly Reynolds, our movie picking producer Avril Halley, our associate producer Jess Cisneros, and our engineers, Casey offered, and Rich Garcia. We will see you next week for 50 Shades of Gray.
February 25, 2024
Guest Michael Showalter
Michael Showalter (The Dropout, Search Party) joins Paul, June, and Jason to discuss the next level bonkers movie that combines gymnastics and karate— 1985’s Gymkata!
February 18, 2024
Guest Wyatt Cenac
Recorded LIVE at SubCulture in New York, Wyatt Cenac joins us as we dive into the futuristic world of Demolition Man!