Originally posted 6.06.08
Why is episode 11, “Message Board”, so much longer than any of our previous Franks and Beans offerings? Perhaps it is because both Larry and I now love you THAT MUCH MORE…but then again, it could be because of our new approach to scripting (which, honestly, didn’t last long). As I mentioned previously, we’ve both found it a lot easier to work from a much looser script, and hopefully the difference shows in this and subsequent episodes. Speaking for myself, it’s a much more natural process, and although there are some hiccups involved (Larry says “You’ve got to get some bed”; I use “logo” instead of “lingo” and I say “um” WAY too much), I think that the payoff shows up in the overall flow of the episode.
Naturally, we are getting our inspiration for this episode from real life, from which all humor springs. I find it particularly hilarious that we’ve taken a technological advance such as the internet – one that could literally serve as a means to unite all of humanity in the bonds of friendship and love – and we use it for porn and to yell at each other about last night’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars.” I mean, the porn I get…but message boards? Holy crap, shouldn’t we be beyond that?
This is not to say that I am above any of this nonsense, as I enjoy reading about things like Spider-Man’s dissolved marriage and the Pirates’ continual misery from my fellow fan and as such, some of the topics we lampoon in this episode come from actual conversations found on online message boards. Let’s take a walk through, shall we?
When Larry and I begin our first internet-related conversation (right after the very funny second appearance of the character we like to call…Larry’s Mom), the message board you see on the computer screen is none other than our very own Funny or Die message board, opened to a random page that had a good number of replies. The idea of a “welcome to the internet!” topic is culled from any number of similar sources, and are, in my opinion, a good way to size up your electronic opponents on a given board.
We then move on to our sports conversation. The gist of the rant I talk about comes from an amalgamation of two messages from the ever-popular Pittsburgh Steelers message board. I love the Steelers, Larry loves the Steelers, and you, discerning reader, love the Steelers as well, but apparently affection doesn’t stop one from blowing things way out of proportion when it comes to such a topic. The Steelers drafted an injured quarterback in the 5th round, which caused some debate to begin with, but when you mix in the possibility that this player might be considered for some “trick” plays, a la Kordell “Slash” Stewart of ten years ago, and people lose their minds. I improvised the rebuttal with the “you have a disease that makes you pee in your pants” line, and I am particularly proud of it.
The idea of a Captain America movie (which ended up being pretty good!) apparently gives people fits. I understand that the United States is not the most popular country on the international stage at the moment, regardless of whether that notion is deserved or not. But wow, the boards over at newsarama.com explode every time the whereabouts of such a film is discussed. The tragic part about all of this is that with this topic we’re given such an opportunity to open an actual dialogue on America’s electronic image, but instead we say things like what I mention in this episode. I suppose that tragedy can be funny at times, too.
Without a doubt the best part about internet slap fights is when someone challenges someone else to a physical fight beyond the boundaries of their keyboards. It’s like, yeah, fella…I’m going to take a plane to Arizona just so I can beat you senseless. Such brave words; I can just imagine people tearing their hair out over some witless fool’s egregious comments about their collective mothers.
In short, what (hopefully) makes this episode succeed is our ability to relate to it. Everyone knows what I’m talking about…and if you don’t, feel free to leave scathing comments right here at the bottom. I’ll be sure to send you my address so I can knock your brains out…and the brains of your mom, too. Ha!