Hey, everyone. Who here likes the devil? Now, I don’t mean you LIKE him like him, but just that you see him as more of an abstract concept, or a silly cartoon character, like a skinny guy with a goatee, painted red skin and silly horns, and you think, “hey, I like the Devil. He’s funny and I bet he’s pretty misunderstood!” Well, according to beloved author C.S. Lewis, you’re going to Hell. No two ways about it! Really, just punch your ticket now, bucco. You should probably be ashamed of yourself, but since you’re already on a one-way trip to eternal fire and torment, I suppose there’s really no use in it.
While you’re there, taking part in having your teeth smashed in with a lava rock, please ask the Devil (he’ll be the guy in charge) what he thinks about episode 40 of Franks and Beans, the aptly-named “666”. I’ll bet he just looks at you and spits snakes into your eyes or something, but what if he was like “Franks and Beans? That’s a great episode! I love the chaos montage! They’re performing over in subsection five, right before we force them to eat their own intestines stuffed with razor blades.” And then you could both laugh and laugh, and maybe Hell would be just a tiny bit more tolerable at that point. But probably not, because, you know, Hell and all.
666 is a higher-concept episode than usual, with a lot of buildup and an immediate callback that, on a lot of levels, really works for me. It does take a moderate-sized leap of faith in that we’re apparently professing that just saying the phrase “666” brings forth demonic possession and wild spasms of uncontrollable rage, but once you’re there, everything else falls into place.
If I had to change one thing about this episode, it’d be to add just a little more buildup. I think that we would have benefited in taking things a bit more slowly; specifically, I wouldn’t jump right into the gravely “666!!” line right away. Instead, I’d add up the numbers and say something like “and that comes to…six hundred and sixty-six dollars even. Six…sixty six.” And then pause for effect, look up to Larry, and THEN launch into the “SIX SIXTY SIX!” tirade. I think that would have sold the joke better than what actually transpired, but overall I think it worked out fine, and hindsight is a tough sonofagun in any case.
Here’s an amusing anecdote that should possibly make you sad and a little ashamed to know or even know OF your pals at Franks and Beans: it took both Larry and I several times to figure out how to subtract $6.66 from $10.00. At first I embarrassed myself by saying $4.44. In the editing process, Larry’s Mom (“got some mail for you”) pointed out the obvious flaw. Contrite, we re-filmed the scene and I instead said “$3.44.” This is ALSO incorrect, but we were lucky enough that you never see me saying it – so I just recorded myself saying the correct numbers (whatever they are) and we slapped it in. This is what an educational system that doesn’t put enough emphasis on science and math produces, world! What a damn shame.
A few months ago, I went to the store and bough, apparently, three squeeze pops. The price of three squeeze pops, plus 6% sales tax, some out to exactly $6.66. This was a fun coincidence, and I took full advantage of it by looking at the cashier and saying “666!” in a gravely voice before gesticulating wildly. The cashier didn’t enjoy the reference, as she perhaps hadn’t yet watched Franks and Beans, but I’m sure that has been rectified in the time since the encounter, because who ignores a sign like that?
Our “NO!” ending features another of Larry’s many costume changes. Since we’ve slowed down in filming episodes lately, it seems that all of the endings are just Larry in various Halloween costumes, but this one here is memorable for sure, as Larry had some fleeting Internet fame (that is, other fame than what is allotted to us from Franks and Beans, which is considerable) in the same outfit.
Around the time we filmed this episode, Larry and I went to the New York Comic-Con, where Wagon Wheel Comics had a booth for one of the first times ever. On the Saturday of the show, Larry dressed as Lion-O, and everyone loved him. LOVED him. It was something to see. In face, searching for “Lion-O NYCC” on Google shows that Larry is still well remembered:
He’s got the first five slots! Wow. It was like walking around with a celebrity, and I was just a hapless member of the entourage.
Larry even campaigned for America’s Libraries…apparently. While we were at the show, we actually sold a few Franks and Beans DVDs, which, of course, requires photographic evidence to be believed:
Look at that exchange of money for goods! After the show, we took the parade to the streets of New York:
Nice photobomb, kid. Later that evening, Larry made the front page of IGN:
And a fun time was had by all, until Larry had a terrible reaction to the cat-eye contacts he was wearing. And by that time, everyone was cranky anyway.
This blog took a strange turn. Perhaps the Devil made me do it.