Recorded February 4, 2012 at Largo, Los Angeles.
Beyond Belief, “Goatbusters”
Frank Doyle: Paul F. Tompkins
Sadie Doyle: Paget Brewster
El Chupacabra: Matt Gourley
The Goat: Gillian Jacobs
The Witch: Natalie Morales
The Prince: Mark Gagliardi
Spooky Narrator: Hal Lublin
Well, I think we fairly well exhausted our supply of sheep and goat jokes. Possibly all of our barnyard humor. But it makes for a fun episode, I think.
Most tickling to me is Gillian Jacobs—a sincerely great actress who has been doing stage work since she was a child, studied at Juilliard, and has done masterful film, TV, and theater work—who spends half of this episode bleating as a goat. And you know what? She kills it. There is pathos in that goat! There is comedy and drama in that goat!
The part of the Chupacabra was originally written for Nick Kroll (who actually did perform it in 2010, in a recording that sadly no longer exists). When Nick wasn’t available, we went immediately to our pal Matt Gourley (of the Superego podcast) who performed the part when we brought it to San Francisco Sketchfest earlier this year. Gourley has remarkable comic timing and inhabits a character in such weird, specific ways; we know that we can always count on Matt to bring the goods, as he does here, masterfully.
We sometimes have an actor in mind for a role when we write it, just to help us give it voice. Such was the case with the Witch in this episode; we originally wrote it for Aubrey Plaza, though we didn’t approach her for the role when it came time to put the episode up. Rather, we went right to our friend Natalie Morales, who has great comic chops and commands the stage with her presence. As often happens when we get the right actor in the right part, Natalie made us want to explore the character further. Look for this Witch—who may even get a name—to reappear in the near future.
Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster bring their usual brilliance. Paul in particular has some terrific dramatic swings in this episode; he plays well with Gourley anyway, but you can really tell Frank is listening to the Chupacabra’s story. PFT doesn’t often get his due as an actor because he makes it look so easy. Note the intention that Paul gives every one of his lines. That is not easy to do.
Acker loves playing in fairy tale tropes, and the apples-as-magic-delivery-system came from him. I think it’s clever and not something we’ve seen played with in witch-mythos.
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