Blog 50 – The Rating Game

Ratings Game screenshot 10

The second season of Franks and Beans comes to a close with episode 48: The Rating Game, and Larry and I wanted to go out with as “big” an episode as we could possibly muster.  With no budget and one camera, the idea of “big” is relative, but we wanted to do as much as we could.  Our luck was running high on this day, as we were able to (gasp) shoot at a different location and (coronary) include five guest stars in one of our longest episodes of the series.

Ratings Game screenshot 01

Our first guest was Larry’s mom, who revived her role as “person who hands mail to Larry”.  Judging by how Larry takes the mail out of its envelope, she is apparently also the person who reads Larry’s mail beforehand and then doesn’t do anything to hide the fact that she is committing a federal offense.  Oh, and she interrupts a perfectly improvised scat in the process.

Ratings Game screenshot 02

There are many things that I learned from this episode, which in itself is a bit of a commentary on the show, as Larry and I openly refer to Franks and Beans as a concept, while filming for the show we are discussing (whatever).  The first of these lessons is that I should probably not wear this shirt anymore (which I still have), because a dark black top makes my skin look like it is being deprived of oxygen or something.  Maybe it’s the lighting.  But then there’s Larry, who comparatively looks like a bronzed Adonis (which is a really laughable concept if you think about it) when sitting next to me.

Ratings Game screenshot 04

The Franks and Beans official YouTube ratings have always been an…interesting point of discussion between Larry and myself, and our next guest, “Hardcore Mark” Moncheck (Larry, did Mark give himself that nickname?) illustrates our plot point by laughing at the “NO!” ending to one of our first episodes.  Oh!  And check out that Tree Hugger shirt!  It almost constitutes a guest appearance on its own.

Ratings Game screenshot 05

Larry’s beloved Jeep was literally traded in in the “Cash for Clunkers” program, and here we debut Larry’s new-ish Honda.  I love the scene where Larry and I, after a bout of depression, bolt out of the door, putting clothing accessories on as we run.  The “new car” joke is a callback to, among other episodes, “High School”, and is probably not that funny, but Franks and Beans is nothing if not self referential.

Ratings Game screenshot 07

Let’s take a minute to talk about the day that this episode was filmed, an early spring day in which Larry and I drove up to Homestead and the Dave & Buster’s parking lot, and all of the favors we called in to make this happen.  This day in March just happened to be the day of my brother-in-law’s wedding rehearsal.  Rather than try to be a supportive groomsman and help make an important day less stressful, I thought it’d be a good idea to get everyone to film an episode of Franks and Beans, shooting some scenes like the one pictured above as others went about fulfilling obligations.

The groom-to-be was Josh, known to the Franks and Beans word (as explained earlier: Mark) as “Replacement Larry” from the episode, uh, “Replacement Larry”, even took the time to be in this damn episode as everyone else waited on him to start eating.  After his scene, which took two takes, he ran very fast back into the building where he was probably yelled at.

Ratings Game screenshot 08

Josh is a well-connected individual, and by that I mean something other than his obvious ties to organized crime.  He was able to put me in touch with two people who are ACTUALLY ACTORS (I cannot stress this enough) and were in town, from Los Angeles, for the wedding.  First up is Heather Comstock, who, among other things, has at times painstakingly and meticulously entered in closed captioning text for various industry productions (her IMDB page proves that I am not a liar).  Heather, without ever having actually met either of us, graciously provided the line “Franks and Beans sounds like a gay porno troupe”, which to her (and, I guess, everyone else) had absolutely no context.  The fact that she did not know who we were probably helped in getting her to agree to be on the show.

In any case, I was pretty stunned at how well she acted out the scene, which caused me to be 1) embarrassed at how poorly Larry and I act, and 2) a bit starstruck at how well someone else could do it.  To this day, Larry tells me that he thinks I have a crush on this poor girl, to which I have no reply other than to remind Larry that there exists plenty of blackmail-able information on his part as well.

Rating Game screenshot 13

Next up is Matt Easton, of whom we discusses extensively in our last post, so I won’t bother with the obsequiousness here, other than to say that Matt is a legitimate actor who might one day have his SAG membership revoked due to his appearance on Franks and Beans.  Check out his IMDB page.

Oh, and he was the best man in Josh’s wedding.

Ratings Game screenshot 11

Second only to the “gay porno troupe” line must be “#$%$ you, Frankenberry”, made in the quickly fading light as unsuspecting people, just looking for a night out to distract them from their terrible, stress-filled existences, walked by and into Franks and Beans immortalit as unintentional extras.

The idea of my character being more concerned with views for our videos than losing my wallet or, say, grand theft auto, was a bit of an understated end to a more ostentatious episode, but hopefully it wasn’t lost on anyone.  And it’s nice to know that I still look deathly pale in that damn black shirt from beginning to end.

Overall, the point is, watch Franks and Beans.  Watch it, damn you, and tell your friends to watch it.  There are more than seven billion people on this earth.  Is it too much to ask that at least half of them watch out show?  I don’t think it is.

Ratings Game screenshot 12

Our “NO!” ending is actually a “YES!” ending, as Larry and I switch roles for the final episode of all seasons.  That might not have been clear earlier, as before this there was only…one…such ending.  Larry was totally jealous of me as we finished editing, late into the evening.  “You always get the best ones”, he said, which I suppose meant that he was impressed with our work on “The Rating Game”, but I just took as sour grapes.  #$%$ you, Frankenberry.

Blog 43 – Chariots of Mire

Chariots of Mire screenshotIn nine years, I will be 41 years old.  Perhaps at that time, a time at which I will most certainly be evaluating my life (41 seems to be a good age to do that, as opposed to 32, when I pay attention to nothing except basic emotions like hungry and sad), I will come back to SuperYouTube and watch Franks and Beans episode 41, “Chariots of Mire”.  I wonder what type of reaction I will have to this, an episode that features a number of common F&B tropes.  Perhaps I will remark at the already dated cultural references, or note the effort we made for special effects.  Maybe I’ll look back and say, hey, I still have a little bit of hair here, and punch a window.

In any case, “Chariots of Mire” does in fact show off some of the best of Franks and Beans.  If you watch this episode and hate it, well, then chances are you might not like too many other episodes.  Except for “Mailbag/Bloopers” or “The Sandwich”, which lots of people like.  Whatever.  What I’m trying to say is that this episode of the show features a lot of things that I like: physical comedy, irreverence, quick timing and callbacks to previous jokes.  And shouting.

Let’s tackle the first topic.  Did you see what I did there?  I used the word “tackle” in reference to a scene in which I bowl over a wagon full of, well, leaves and things.  Wow.  In filming this, I learned that it is really hard to purposely fall over things.  This is why, no matter how many times we tried (and we did several takes), I still braced myself before ultimately tumbling over.

Our music for this episode is, of course, the classic “Chariots of Fire”, which has been used for comedic effect to the point that it’s almost certainly used for that purpose more than it is in a serious manner.  It’s also very tough to find without a laugh track when you’re searching the Internet for a sample.  Music tends to add something intangible to a video, something that can’t be recreated with just ambient sound, and this is an extreme example of it.  And it gave me the opportunity to add in two more Franks and Beans favorites: word parodies and running.  I really do run a lot in this show.

Larry in bed, and the implication that he sleeps fully clothed (and later, the line “let’s go!”), is a reference to our sort-of popular (it depends on how you define “popular”) first episode, “High School”.  The reference to Avril Lavigne was about as random as they come…I wanted to think of a pseudo-celebrity that neither Larry nor I particularly liked, and her name was one of the few I thought up and was considering.  Plus “Avril Lavigne” sounds funny to say.  Also, here’s a funny “Weird Al” Yankovic video featuring Ms. Lavigne:

I enjoy that this episode, in contrast to basically everything before or after, features a fairly honest critique of Avril Lavigne.  She wasn’t really relevant at the time we filmed this episode, and she REALLY isn’t relevant now, but seriously, what was up with her image?  She’s a preppy blonde Canadian (hi, Lauren) who suddenly pains her fingernails black and wears socks on her arms and now she’s punk?  Come on, Michael.

The Oreo callback is one of my favorite sequences of the entire show.  “Hey, last cookie!” is a fairly generic line, but the callback to the “Chariots” music, the quick pace and Larry’s disinterested reply really makes is work for me.

Our “NO!” ending is a pretty good one, if you can make out what the heck I’m saying.  Basically, Larry is waking people up, and I’m not happy about it.  It may not seem like much, but I do get to say the line “for crap’s sake!”, which makes it all worth while.

Blog 35 – Greatest Hits

 

Any band worth its pressed vinyl must, at some point, release a greatest hits album.  Sometimes even terrible bands with only one or two recognizable songs put out a greatest hits collection.  Also, Three Dog Night released a greatest hits album.  They had some good songs.  As Franks and Beans is not a band, does not have hits or in general “sell” things, and has not put out albums of any kind, it’s obvious to see why we, in turn, have our recyclable 33rd episode, “Greatest Hits”, up and on display.

The concept of a greatest hits production is a curious one in my mind; it’s a celebration of a seemingly popular band with the release of an album that includes songs that all fans have heard of already.  Therefore, this lends itself to the idea that only people who are not real fans would purchase a greatest hits album (plus superfans who must own every single thing).  Let’s say you’re a big fan of Rod Stewart.  And, assuming that you are a 63-year-old lady, why not?  And let’s say that you own his albums and have a generally good knowledge of his library of songs.  What’s the point in buying the greatest hits album when you already have all of those songs on other albums, especially if you’re a progressive sextagenarian (that’s a pretty sexy description) and you have an iPod with a shuffle button?  And then – AND THEN! – if the person who buys the greatest hits album really enjoys it, wouldn’t they rather have the individual albums so they could listen to the songs that didn’t make the greatest hits cut?  Wow, these are some deep thoughts.

The concept of this episode, then, isn’t anything new or necessarily profound.  And the execution isn’t our best – looking back at this, it’s obvious that this was in our laissez-faire “anything goes” phase where we worked with a very loose script and tried to wing it (to varying degrees of success), and as such things aren’t as crisp as they could/should be, with a few screw ups along the way.  My recitation of “Milkshake” should have gone on longer, so someone watching this could tell what I was actually doing, and it would have been better served if I had added a few more references in here.  I do enjoy our callbacks to “High School”, “Mustache” and “Milkshake”, some of our more memorable episodes, whatever that means.

Even with its detractions, though, I still find that I enjoy the premise of the episode – the idea that, after 32 previous episodes, I’ve no original ideas left in my head and am simply relying on things that have worked in the past.  This is in no way a reflection of myself and the tired, husk of a man I have become in the time since this episode originally appeared online.  Why would anyone insinuate that?  It’s absolutely false.

If you can make your way to the end and this episode’s “No!” ending, you’ll see another surprise appearance by Mark Moncheck, our favorite and most loyal guest star.  The idea of Mark looking up to Larry and myself and pseudo-parental figures is apt, as I mentor the lad in my spare time.  Time to get a haircut, Mark!  You’re looking a little shaggy.

See you next time!

Blog 33 – Why?

 

Originally Published 5.24.10

If ignorance is bliss, then how blissful do you feel after watching two men in their late 20s who apparently don’t know the alphabet offhand?  Or, perhaps you think of our homophonic 31st episode, “Why?”, differently – maybe we’re just practicing it like monsters would.  Wait, go back and read that last sentence again.  Fifty bucks says you thought I wrote “homophobic”.  Well, you should stop making such baseless accusations and stick to the task at hand.  Why would I write such a thing?  Insinuating that is getting pretty close to slander, my friend, so I’d watch myself if I were you – but I’m not, because I’m not a jerk.

Consistency is something I strive for in Franks and Beans, not just in each individual episode, but series-wide.  I doubt that I’m accomplishing all I set out to do, because things play out differently in the concept stage than they do when ideas become filmed reality, but I do think that I’m gaining some traction in this regard, and the last handful of episodes are a good example of this.  While episode 31 might not be very long, it gets its point across as well or better than pretty much any episode to date, in my opinion, as its quick, catchy punch line hits all the right marks.

As I see it, Franks and Beans has two typical jokes that it can tell – the episodic theme- and character-driven joke, and the quick, one-line, often physical joke that depends less on the people who present the joke than on the joke itself.

Let’s compare two of our previous episodes, “High School”, our ostensive pilot, and “The Slip”, episode 20 or whatever.  I don’t feel like looking up the exact episode number for that one – figure it out on your own, sheesh.  In either case, the jokes revolve around subverting expectations, but the manner in which we get to that point make the episodes fall into one of two categories.

In “High School”, regardless if you thought it was funny or not (you did, right?!), it’s easy to see that the joke – and in both cases there is usually one central joke, just different ways or presenting it – depends on the setting, the new characters and the buildup to what is ultimately a moment of moral defeat for one character.  In “The Slip”, the joke comes and goes in under a minute, and it all revolves around physical humor (not slipping on a banana peel…or getting punched in the face, depending on what version of the episode you watch).  If Larry and I weren’t such good actors and so integral to the show, it wouldn’t matter who played the characters in “The Slip”, because the joke is paramount.  “High School” plays things the other way around – the characters and the situation in this case are more than simply means to an end.  Each situation gets us to a joke, but in different manners.

This is the consistency I’m talking about, and the consistency I hope to achieve one day – if it is really an attainable goal.  I want Franks and Beans to have this balance, where we don’t have too many character-driven episodes in a row and we don’t have too many joke-driven episodes in a row.  I don’t know how we’re doing from a comprehensive perspective, but in the few episodes before and after #30, there’s a rare moment when everything seems to come together, like Halley’s comet or when you find an item that your REALLY want on eBay and the listing’s been misspelled (so…you know…you’re the only one who knows about it and can thus get it at a much cheaper price than you otherwise would…dammit, it’s not a perfect metaphor).

“Why?” obviously falls into the second category, as this episode is certainly driven by the overall joke of mistaking a letter for a word by recreating a popular melodramatic cinematic (…hydromatic) moment.  I’ve never seen anyone in real life fall to their knees and shout in agony to the heavens, but it’s been used so much in celluloid that it’s become a parody of itself in recent times.  Having Larry move on to “Zee!” brings the light of recognition to this joke, and it’s one of my overall favorites because even though we’re shouting it at the screen, and even though it’s quite obvious what we’re going for, this happens to be one of the more ambiguous jokes we’ve told – much different from the usual slap-in-the-face variety that we often revert to (funny in its own right, to be sure).  Having me go one step further and shout “Aaaaa!” heightens the overall mood – it would have been too quick to stop after just Larry’s bit.

I also enjoy the acting done in this episode more than in others – and I’m referring to the moments we’re not falling to our knees and screaming in agony.  I have the lingering suspicion that Franks and Beans would be twice as funny if Larry and I were better actors (for which I have no recourse other than to weep silently in bed at night), and this episode, where we actually do a halfway decent job at things, serves to do nothing but confirm those ideas.  Perhaps it’s just because we don’t have many lines, but the lines we do have…wow!  Look out.  I do think we’re getting better, if that’s any solace.

Our “No!” ending this episode might seem a little strange, and not just because Larry is standing on his head.  Seriously, do his legs look really skinny to anyone else?  Do you think standing on your head would alter the appearance – other than the obvious – so drastically?  Maybe I’ve just never taken the time to stare at Larry’s legs before.  I doubt I’ll start now, so I’m left with only one recourse – believing that Larry’s legs are wiry and brittle.

But no, that’s not what strikes me as weird with this episode’s requisite ending.  After we spend most of the proper episode shouting single words in an exclamatory fashion, we have this – a sequence where Larry shouts a monosyllabic word in an exclamatory fashion.  It seems fairly repetitive.  I suppose that’s okay, but it just sticks out to me every time I watch it.  I suppose that’s what happens when you have such disconnect between scenes in the episode, but that’s the theme we’re going for, and I’m happy with it, especially since it’s taken 31 episodes before it happened.

Blog 27 – The Long Run

Originally Published 3.29.09

I’m posting this from an airport in Phoenix.  It feels quite business-like.  This is how dedicated I am, people!

If you never knew just how self-referential Franks and Beans could get, just watch the dramatic reenactment of our very first episode in this tale of new beginnings, this springtime flower that is episode 25, “The Long Run”.  In addition to sounding like a mix between a Bob Hope road movie and an Ernest Hemingway novel, this episode asks some underlying questions that “High School” left tantalizingly unanswered.  Or perhaps you never asked those questions and find my assumptions unbecoming.  Either way, dammit, I’ve got a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it.

“The Long Run” obviously has its origins in the beginning of the series; in many ways Larry and I saw this as a symbolic nod in the direction of everything that our self-proclaimed first season had become.  As the first episode in our second season (why we chose this as our relaunching point is anyone’s guess), this episode is more than just an extended version of “High School’s” signature opening scene, but it still serves as a reminder of what came before.

Thinking back to the show’s first few days, I can remember just what I had planned for the series.  The first episode, complete with character development and an easy-to-follow storyline, would be followed by a second in which the main plot – trying to get back into high school in order to reclaim some long-lost glory – would be furthered by new jokes and an expanding cast.  I had plans to film in the actual high school of record (the one we drove to and quickly from in the first episode), and even a lengthy joke where Larry would point out how my ever-encroaching hair loss would make it difficult for me to pass as the average student (“I’ll wear a hat!” would have been my well planned reply).

As it turned out, putting together something of that magnitude would have been next to impossible to accomplish.  If nothing else, two guys in their mid-to-late twenties walking around a high school with a video camera was sure to arouse some suspicion.  And beyond that, this plan might have netted us…what, five episodes?  A half dozen if we were lucky?  No, the evolution of Franks and Beans into what it is now was quick and necessary.  We do have recurring characters and plotlines, but by and large, the show is propelled by the “joke of the week” mentality.

“The Long Run”, in some subversive way, is the expression of that mentality in relation to the show’s original intentions.  Here I am, running with an apparent goal in mind, determined to accomplish whatever I’ve set out to do, when all of a sudden I get flattened by a car.  This IS the evolution of Franks and Beans.  Do you get it?!  Is it funny?!  I hope so.

Other than being a representation of the show in general, “The Long Run” discusses some other questions that I’ve had since the first episode aired roughly fourteen months ago.  In “High School”, much of the opening sequence is simply my character running as fast as he could.  I think you could look at this in one of two ways – either what I had to tell Larry was so important that I couldn’t stop for anything, or this is how I arrived every time I decided to visit.  The second option is, I think, the funnier of the two in a physical sort of way, and as such I had plans of mentioning my character’s exhaustive sprints in every few episodes – showing me running up the driveway or bursting in the door or what have you.  Would I have had an important announcement or a new impossible challenge with every entrance?  It’s possible, but as with anything, the possibilities were limited.  So if nothing else, this episode again begs the question, “why does he run like that?!”  Not answering it in episode 25 makes it all the better, I think.

Another connection I wanted to make, at least at first, was the importance of my message in relation to the distance I traveled.  I ran for about ten seconds in the first episode with news that I thought would be life changing.  What kind of message would I have if I then extended my journey by as much as I did?  I wanted to raise expectations – the longer I ran the more pressing the question would be.  And then it ends with a solution that is not at all satisfying, but at the same time the only one possible.   An ending as abrupt as my apparent death hopefully had the desired effect: unexpected surprise.  I wanted the episode to be all buildup and just a tiny bit of solution, which hopefully it was.

As the shots in the episode progressed, we see a number of different occurrences that might have the propensity to slip on by: the dog that decided to chase me the entire length of its property; the reality shot where Larry chugs on after me down the road; the many times I regretted eating right before I decided to undertake this; the similarity of the last few shots with the opening of “High School”; Larry’s masterful editing job in making all of the scenes match up even though some were filmed at different times of day.

If you’re wondering why we never actually see me getting hit by Larry in his Jeep, it’s because that faking something like that is HARD!  When it came down to it, out biggest obstacle was the slant of the road, followed closely by the fact that concrete is hard and my body is covered almost entirely by soft pink flesh.  My momentum would carry me downhill to the point where it would be almost impossible to stop myself and fall backwards at the rate the Jeep was traveling.  If we had more time (all of our episodes are filmed on a relatively tight schedule), I would have extended the running even more until we came to a more level piece of ground.  Even so, the solution to our problems was probably the most effective way to end the episode – cut it just a little short and leave the obvious to the imagination.  That way the physical restrictions don’t have a chance to overshadow the joke.

I understand that “The Long Run” isn’t going to be the episode that puts Franks and Beans on the map, but it was satisfying from a creator’s standpoint, if nothing else.  It tied our first season in with our ongoing second, and it brought back some more of the absurdities from our much-beloved pilot episode.  Why does Jeff do all of that running in “High School”?  Well, now we’ll never know.  Because he’s dead.

Franks and Beans action figures!

Perhaps it’s because life is so fleeting – What is the point of existence?  Where do we go when we die?  Are you going to eat that? – but mankind is continually obsessed with the idea of immortality, of leaving a part of oneself behind for future generations to remember them by.  Different people go about trying to achieve this in different ways.  Some write the Great American Novel.  Some sing popular songs.  Some assassinate Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.  Larry, in his own inimitable fashion, would like nothing better than to be remembered for the ages with his very own action figure.  To this end, I can only respond in one way: welcome to those hallowed halls, my friend.

One thing that has become increasingly clear over the past years is that the world will not wait for Franks and Beans to become famous; Franks and Beans has to bring that fame to the world.  Here at Franks and Beans HQ (judge for yourself what secluded location that must be), we’re always thinking of new ways to impress our brand on the outside world, much like the cattle farmer sears his indelible mark into the resistant flesh of the herd.  One solution always springs to mind: marketing.  Neither Larry nor I really know what it means beyond the standard dictionary definition, but we both think that marketing is the key to wealth and fame the likes of which we’ve never seen, which is why we now so proudly introduce to you the official Franks and Beans series one action figures.

I can personally take no credit for these other than in my overwhelming presence in Larry’s everyday life.  No, it was Larry who created these prototypes and Larry who came up with the many inside references ALL BY HIMSELF.  I know what you’re saying – “but Jeff, some of these jokes are actually funny!”  Who knew that Larry had this in him?  Well, shame on you, distinguished reader, because I knew it all along.

First we have Larry in all his resplendent glory.  What may come as a surprise is that Larry’s muscular build is perfectly represented in molded plastic, a rarity for miniature (yet scale) figures.  We see him here wearing his trademark boots and with a casual yet confident pose, a really nice detail that fans of the show will surely pick up on.

The extra features in this set (besides the many points of articulation) are surely highlighted by the inclusion of the Action Door, complete with the Batman light switch cover that we’re so familiar with seeing in every episode.  Also featured to give Larry that true-to-life feel is a knife to help him interact with other figures and the very camera that brings Franks and Beans to life every so often.  Just think about all the things you could do in your lives if you only had two things, a camera and a knife.  I’m sure you’re as surprised as I was to find that you can actually live a fairly fulfilling life with just those two objects!

Next up we have Jeff’s figure, and once again we have to marvel at the level of detail shown in my very first molded likeness.  I’ll admit, I’ve watched a number of episodes and responded by saying “is my head really that freakishly disproportionate?” as I’m sure you, our many viewers have, too.  The answer to that question is a very solemn “yes”, which is why we’re fortunate that you’ll get a total of three Action Hats with my figure – only two of which are copyrighted!  As if my face isn’t scruffy enough in this great detailing job that also includes my favorite shirt and hand wrappings, you also get an attachable child molester-esque mustache to add to the mystique.  Larry’s iPod also accompanies this figure, which you can actually watch all of our videos on.  To create a prism-like infinity effect, pull up a picture of the figure on it and see if spacetime collapses!

No action figure set would be complete without a limited “chase” figure, and we certainly cater to the collector with our exclusive figure of “Hardcore Mark”, our favorite extra/stalker/guy who comments on every episode.  You may notice that the robe behind the extremely long-necked figure is extremely well formed – that’s because you get not only one, but TWO exclusive figures stuffed into one package, and each of the figures has just gotten a recent haircut – that’s how dedicated we are to realism and continuity.  Now they can both team up and try to kill Jeff and Larry – but watch out!  Larry’s figure has a knife.

Don’t forget to check out the other extras that come with this figure – both the Action Radio and Action Notepad will give you literally minutes of enjoyment if viewed from a safe distance.

You might be thinking, “These are great, but how will they all travel around the mythical land of Pennsylvania?”  That’s a great question, and it’s one that can only be answered by trying to absorb the incredible expensiveness that is our only series one vehicle, the Action Jeep.  As seen is such episodes as “High School” and “Mail Bag/Bloopers”, the Action Jeep has all of the real-world capabilities that regular sized Larry’s regular sized Jeep has.  Roll down your passenger side window – but only a little at a time, and never all the way down!  Play the same radio station you listened to in middle school and probably should have outgrown by now!  Park in the same spot for days, hoping to preserve its working lifespan and squeeze just a few more decades out of this devoted childhood friend!

It’s easy to see why both Larry and I are extremely excited about this new toy line, but here’s the real treat – series one lines always feature the boring, every day figures that everyone knows and expects.  It’s in further series that we’ll delve more deeply into our catalogue of characters.  Will the character known as “Larry’s Mom” finally get an action figure devoted to her wonderful talent of passing out mail?  Will we see what Larry and Jeff might look like in swimwear?  Will we have a glow-in-the-dark Hardcore Mark figure?  It’s possible – ANYTHING’S possible.