Can Anyone Really Dig a Movie Like Larry Crowne?

Find out how/why in our final Friends Reunion podcast transcript!

In this week’s podcast transcript of our latest episode of Friends Reunion (a Podcast for Discerning Listeners), John literally pays all of us to watch Larry Crowne, a 2011 romantic comedy (purportedly at least) starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. It was also written, produced, and directed by Hanks, and also features George Takei, Rami Malek, Cedric the Entertainer, Bryan Cranston, Pam Grier and Malcolm Barrett. It’s John’s favorite movie.

(Also available on Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts!)

Speaking just from my personal experience watching this film for the first time today, there is a sort of elation that comes from having seen it. It washed over me in bizarre waves as I turned the TV off and transferred my notes from the phone to my computer, and at first I was genuinely confused. Why do I feel good, having just been seen Larry Crowne, a demonstrably awful movie that isn’t funny and even in 2011 presented an outdated and ineffective look at the world? Why did John do this to me, and moreover, why am I suddenly so happy?

As we were about to begin recording, it dawned on me. I wasn’t feeling happiness, but relief. Elation. The kind of solace that one might feel when learning that a loved one has survived a car accident, or that a medical test came back negative. It was over. I had made it. And if Larry Crowne couldn’t beat me, maybe I’m stronger than I realize. Maybe I really can put one foot in front of the other for the rest of my life, knowing what I’ve seen. Maybe I can pick up the pieces of everything I was before this movie and fit them back together.

Thankfully, Larry Crowne isn’t the only thing discussed by the Fanbyte Thinktank during the final and historic episode of Friends Reunion. Niki brings something to the table that is so baffling, so patently absurd, so ridiculous on its face that truly, there is no better topic to send this podcast into the great hereafter. Folks, I’m talking about Diggerland USA.

Friends Reunion Ep. 130: Larry Crowne Diggerland Podcast Transcript

Friends Reunion 130

John: Hello, everyone. Welcome to Friends Reunion, a podcast for discerning listeners. I’m one of your hosts. I’m John Warren, and I’m a guy who’s a guy just being a guy. With me are my two very good friends. One is LB Hunktears.

LB: Do you have a horrible thing to say about me too?

John: Ah, I mean…it’s not Tai-not, it’s Tay-no.

LB: Ugh.

John: How about that?

LB: Great. Thank you.

John: All right. And coming at us from the Blog and Talk for Cybershare is Niki Grayson.

Niki: Uh, my name, first of all, is Upload, but I did change it very recently.

John: You did. Yeah, sorry. I apologize. Upload, excuse me.

Niki: But my name is now Ted DiBiase.

John: [laughs] No. That guy’s name was not Ted DiBiase.

Niki: No. What? What are you talking about?

John: It was Steve DiBiase.

Niki: No, I– but my name is Ted DiBiase.

John: Oh, you’re Ted DiBiase? Now, you want to be…so you want the heat of the SEO that Ted DiBiase, professional wrestler in trouble with the IRS right now. [Niki laughs] You want that heat? ‘Cause the state of Tennessee and the federal government are looking at him for embezzling millions of dollars from a religious mission.

Niki: My name is Rami Malek.

John: Okay. That’s better.

LB: [laughs] Hey, Rami Malek.

John: Hi, Rami. How’s it going?

Niki: Hey. Pretty good. It’s taibo, ain’t it? [LB sighs, John laughs]

John: So we’ve gathered here today because the rest of this crew– I mean, Niki’s already seeing this, and of course I watched it for the seventh time, but now, we’ve got–

LB: Jesus Christ.

John: Yeah, we’ve got Jordo and LB who have watched Larry Crowne, 2011 film starring, directed by, and written by Tom Hanks. Now that they’ve seen it, LB like, you texted me a bit last night, and you were just–

LB: I sure did.

John: Mostly kind of texting me as if I were a God that had forsaken you in some way. [LB laughs] You know, how are you feeling? What did you think just overall?

LB: It’s not– you made me watch a bad movie for no reason.

John: No, not no– come on. Not no reason. Come on.

LB: Because you’re weirdly– you’re fascinated by it.

John: I’m fascinated by this film.

LB: And I know why. I know why.

John: Okay, why am I fascinated by this film?

LB: Because there is a moment of…there’s just a slight sensation of the uncanny when you watch a movie that’s not good starring someone you’ve seen in a movie that’s good.

John: Yeah. That’s part of it, yeah.

LB: Then this movie, Larry Crowne, because it has so many famous people in it.

John: There’s so many famous people in it.

LB: There’s so many, it whips that sensation up into kind of a frenzy of sensation.

John: That lasts an hour and 30 minutes.

LB: So it feels very uncanny.

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: Yeah, so it feels very strange and very uncanny, but in fact, what you’re watching is just like not a very good movie [John: “Yeah”] starring a bunch of people you’ve seen in other things.

John: Yeah. I mean, it’s unremarkable in so many ways, but also…

LB: Yes, but it’s unremarkable in every way.

John: It is unremarkable in every way.

LB: It’s so un– you can remark on it though.

John: You can.

LB: So in that sense, it’s not unremarkable.

John: That’s true.

LB: You can kind of force yourself to remark on it, which I guess is what we’re gonna do.

John: Niki, I’ll ask you a question. We’ve talked about this. We’ve talked about this film before on another show. and you know what, all the fucking rules are out the window. We’re just gonna do basically another one. But can you make heads or tails of why Tom Hank says “spectacoo-ler” the way he does?

Niki: I like the movie.

John: Yeah, you mentioned that before in the You Love to See It episode that you actually like this movie.

Niki: Did I say that?

John: Yeah, you did.

Niki: Oh.

John: You said, “I actually like this movie.”

Niki: When I watched it again today, [John: “Uh huh”] I walked away from it being like, “I like that movie,” [John laughs] which I guess I forgot, ’cause I guess I said that last time. [laughs]

John: I mean, you were definitely more positive about it than– I mean, merritt was like a bordering on quitting, I think, after I made her watch this.

Niki: Yeah.

John: But you were more positive about it.

Niki: Yeah.

John: You’re more positive maybe even than I am about this movie.

Niki: Yeah, the second time through, I was like, yeah, it’s a good movie.

John: Mm.

LB: What?

Niki: Because here’s my thing.

John: Yeah, I don’t– okay. Sure.

Niki: Here’s my thing.

John: Right.

Niki: I don’t think I like movies.

John: Ohh.

LB: Oh.

Niki: ‘Cause I don’t think they’re very good for my brain.

John: Right.

Niki: Because of the amount of labor that my brain has to go through [John: “Yeah, yeah, yeah”] to sit and do one thing for over 90 minutes is really hard.

LB: Mm.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: But this movie, it doesn’t make any sense. Like, none of the events that happen subsequent to the events prior follow any kind of rules or laws of what I understand to be movie making.

John: Uh huh. Yep.

Niki: And I think because the movie is constantly throwing objects at you…

John: Uh huh.

Niki: I’m kind of like, “Oh, this is fun,” ’cause like, why is Rami Malek in this movie?

John: Why is Rami Malek in this? Yeah.

Niki: And then also like, who saw his performance in this motion picture, and then [John laughs] a year and one half later, said, “This is Mr. Robot.”

John: This is Mr. Robot, yeah.

LB: My guess is it would probably be like…so I asked Robbie about this, because– Robbie not Rami. Robbie my partner, not Rami Malek the actor.

John: [laughs] Robbie Malek.

LB: Because, of course, Robbie, my partner, watches a UFO show on YouTube where one of the guys claims to have been originally cast in the Rami Malek role.

Niki: Mm.

John: Okay.

LB: And what that guy says is that originally Tom Hanks wanted Rami Malek for this part because he knew him from Band of Brothers.

John: Oh.

LB: So I’m guessing–

Niki: Oh, is he the band?

John: Yeah, he’s the band. [laughs]

LB: Yeah, I’m guessing that he got cast in Mr. Robot because of Band of Brothers and not [John: “And not because of Larry Crowne”] because of his very cute performance in this movie that I fucking hated.

Niki: Mm.

John: Yeah, he did have, I think maybe in some ways, the most natural performance in this film, and it’s actually the least like Rami Malek has been in anything else, [LB: “Mm-hmm”] which I do think I legitimately appreciate.

Niki: I mean, I can, having– I mean, no, I think I can see a lot of Freddie Mercury in his performance in the motion picture.

John: Oh, you can?

Niki: Yeah.

John: Yeah?

Niki: Kinda like–

John: Just kind of in what way?

Niki: The mannerisms, the way he talks.

John: The mannerisms.

Niki: The teeth.

John: The mouth prosthetic, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Niki: Yeah.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: It’s kind of all there already.

John: Yeah.

Niki: It honestly is like, how could it not have been Rami Malek?

John: Big mouth prosthetic budget for Larry Crowne. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Niki: Yeah. The part– the movie’s good. [John laughs] It’s a good– [laughs]

John: You can’t just say shit like that.

Niki: No, the movie is good, because, you know why? Why is Taraji P. Henson in this movie?

John: Yeah.

Niki: Why is Cedric the Entertainer in this movie?

LB: That doesn’t make something good. That’s just a question that you asked about the movie.

Niki: No, no, no, no, no.

John: Taraji P. Henson, by the way, in a tiny role. A tiny role.

Niki: Yes, but she works.

John: Yeah, course. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, Taraji P. Henson is great, but like, she was already kind of established by this point.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

John: What the fuck is– like, why would you take this role?

Niki: This movie–

LB: Because Tom Hanks asked her to.

John: I guess.

LB: Because it’s Tom Hanks.

Niki: That’s the thing.

LB: He’s very famous.

Niki: This movie’s is like summer camp for actors.

John: Yes, okay.

Niki: It’s one of those things where like, what I watched, [John: “Uh huh”] was like 10 people do an unbelievably large grift on Universal Pictures.

John: Uh huh. Yeah.

Niki: And they got to have fun doing it.

John: Right.

LB: How do you know it was fun? Making movies is hard.

Niki: It looked like they were having fun.

John: I mean, it didn’t look like they were working hard, I’ll say that.

Niki: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

John: Right.

Niki: Like it looks like they were having a good time, to me.

John: Right.

LB: But I didn’t have a– that’s fine, but I don’t want to have to watch it.

Niki: Right.

LB: And I did.

Niki: Right.

LB: And I wasted three hours of my life, ’cause it took me three hours to watch it. [John laughs]

Niki: But that’s not Tom’s fault, is it? That’s John’s fault.

LB: Yeah, it is both of their faults.

John: Yeah.

LB: It’s both of their faults combined. I’m not mad at Tom Hanks. I’m mad at John. [laughs]

John: Well, let’s also not remove Nia Vardalos, writer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, who co-wrote this with Tom Hanks. She’s not off the hook either, I don’t think.

Niki: I think she’s off the hook.

John: You think she’s off the hook?

Niki: Yeah.

John: You do, really?

Niki: On account of the movie being good, yeah. [John laughs]

LB: I was so depressed after I watched this. [Niki laughs] The only consolation I had [John: “Uh huh?”] was that it wasn’t– is that Tom Hanks is good at something.

John: Uh huh.

LB: It just isn’t making this movie.

John: Right.

Niki: See, I disagree.

LB: So I didn’t have to feel that feeling of like, I hate it when completely untalented people get to make their things.

Niki: No, see, that’s the thing. When Tom Hanks as Larold Crowne [John laughs quietly] reaches his whole fucking body into Julia Roberts’s car to fix the GPS.

John: Uh huh.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: I was like, who else? This couldn’t be anyone else than Tom Hanks.

John: Right.

Niki: Like if it was anyone other than Tom Hanks, you’d be like, “This is weird.”

LB: Yeah, no, that part is Tom–

Niki: Like, why– this is an invasion of personal space.

LB: Yeah. I mean, the directing and the writing of the movie.

Niki: This movie wasn’t written or directed, I think is the other thing.

John: And I think it’s interesting to point out that like Tom Hanks has written and directed two films.

Niki: This and…yeah.

John: It’s Larry Crowne and That Thing You Do!

Niki: Is that one good?

LB: I’ve never seen that.

John: And I legitimately believe That Thing You Do! is a pretty good movie.

Niki: What is the thing?

John: Well, it’s the name of–

LB: He was on a lot of drugs back then, and then he stopped doing them.

John: It’s the name of a song that was written by the Wonders, [Niki: “The who?”] a fictitious rock band in the sixties.

Niki: Is this Matt Smith?

John: No, it’s not. It’s a guy that kind of looks like Matt Smith, Tom Everett Scott.

Niki: This guy looks like Matt Smith.

John: Yeah, Tom Everett Scott is the American nineties Matt Smith.

Niki: Wow. If they had Tumblr back then.

John: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Niki: This man would’ve been so fucking famous.

John: Uh huh. Yep.

Niki: I guess he was just regular famous.

John: He was just regular famous. And like–

LB: We could’ve watched the Elvis movie. That stars Tom Hanks. But we didn’t, we watched Larry Crowne.

John: Yeah, so, Tom Hanks has made some bad movies.

LB: On the final episode of a show that’s not even a fucking movie podcast.

John: No, it’s not. It’s not, but like, but I got y’all, though. I got y’all.

Niki: You didn’t have to get me.

LB: I should have asked for more.

John: I could have asked for more?

LB: I should have asked for more.

John: Oh, you should have asked for more. Yeah, that’s true. You should have.

LB: ‘Cause I like bad movies is the thing.

John: Right.

LB: Like I can enjoy a movie that has something– I can find anything in any movie.

John: Uh huh.

LB: Or I can find something in any movie, not anything.

John: Ah.

LB: I can find what’s there.

John: And you didn’t find anything in this one?

LB: Well, I did, it just was boring and very empty. I was really scraping the, you know, the edges of it to find it interesting as a look at–

John: What did you find in it, though, that you liked, though?

LB: Nothing. There was nothing I liked about this film.

John: So nothing you liked. Okay. What about anything notable?

LB: Okay. I thought that it was… [sighs] If I was to say anything about this, [John: “Uh huh”] other than the thing that I said about it being that kind of uncanny experience.

John: Sure.

LB: I think that it… [sighs] So, it was a project that was originally like conceived [John: “Mm-hmm”] for Tom Hanks in 2006.

John: Thank you for doing the research.

LB: But it wasn’t made– so, pre-recession.

John: Yeah.

LB: But it was made post-recession.

John: Right.

LB: And I think that its optimism around money [John: “Uh huh”] for a movie made in 2011 [John: “Right”] about a middle aged veteran [John: “Uh huh”] who gets laid off from a big box store [John: “Target? Yeah”] and goes to community college.

John: Uh huh.

LB: And everything’s just fine?

John: Oh, so you’re saying the politics of this film are bad.

LB: I’m not saying the politics of it. I’m not talking about politics. I’m just saying it’s completely tone deaf.

John: Right. Sure, sure, sure.

LB: In terms of…and not in a political way, but in a way that is kind of interesting to me, thinking about like what Tom Hanks understands financial anxiety of a normal American person to be like [John: “Yeah, yeah”] in the beginning of the 2010s.

John: Yeah. Like, kind of the unrealistic optimism of being able to just get a few documents together, go to the bank, and say, “This house is yours now, and I’m just gonna go get an apartment.”

LB: “I’m defaulting on my loan. That fine for me.”

John: Uh huh. That’s fine for me. [John and Niki laugh]

LB: And I’ll be fine with my job as a line cook.

John: Uh huh. [John and Niki laugh]

LB: Even though every– there’s somebody else who works there who has three jobs, [John: “Uh huh”] which is much more realistic to, you know, the experience of 2011.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

John: Yeah. yeah.

Niki: But that’s every movie to me, LB. You understand that, right?

LB: Yeah, but this is a movie specifically about financial anxiety.

John: Yeah.

LB: Or it’s– the inciting incident of this movie is getting laid off.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

John: Yeah.

LB: And because the main…the romance, like the love story here isn’t anything.

John: It’s nothing.

Niki: It’s nothing.

LB: It’s nothing.

John: It’s nothing.

LB: So what it ends up being is this kind of transformation story about a guy who’s very optimistic and likes his life… [John: “Uh huh”] to a guy who’s very optimistic and likes his life.

John: Mm-hmm.

LB: I mean, I read the Roger Ebert review of this.

Niki: Yes.

LB: Which I thought was really apt, in that it’s a movie that shouldn’t exist and didn’t need to be made and nothing happens in it.

John: Mm-hmm, yeah. Yeah.

John: “What it doesn’t have is a reason for existing,” is what he said.

LB: Exactly.

John: Yeah.

LB: Which is so like, that was my guy right there.

John: Yeah.

LB: Like, he loved boobs, and he loved being really mean to movies.

Niki: My argument is that that’s most motion pictures.

LB: But most– [John laughs] Yeah. I mean, that’s true. That is true. Most movies are this bad.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: And I don’t watch them.

John: Right. Yeah.

Niki: Mm. Okay.

John: That’s…

LB: This is like the kind of movie they show on a plane and that I watch over someone’s shoulder.

Niki: Yeah.

John: Ah.

Niki: But I think– okay, wait.

LB: Like Chef. Chef is a movie starring whatshisname.

John: Chef!

Niki: Like Chef.

John: Chef is such a fucking plane movie, LB. You’re so right. Yeah. [Niki laughs]

LB: It’s like that. It’s this like nothing movie. It just had so many famous people in it.

John: Yeah. You’re right. Chef has a lot of–

LB: And a surprising enough amount.

John: Chef has a lot of Larry Crowne DNA. You’re right.

LB: And I’ve never listened–

Niki: Wait, but doesn’t that mean that the reason it exists is to fulfill that void?

John: Mm.

LB: But you could play a good movie on the plane.

Niki: You need something to do on the plane.

LB: Do you have any idea how many times I’ve watched Zodiac on a plane? [John laughs] It is a perfect plane movie.

John: Uh huh. [Niki laughs]

LB: I could watch that movie– once I watched that– the first time I watched it, I was on an international flight, and I watched it twice [John laughs] on the same flight, ’cause it’s that good to watch on a plane. Like you could just watch a good movie on a fucking plane.

Niki: But what if I don’t want to watch a movie about a murderer? Like what if I just like want to turn my brain off?

LB: You could watch Funny Girl starring Barbara Streisand.

Niki: I don’t know what that is, but you know who I do know?

LB: It’s a musical. It’s great.

Niki: I don’t know who that is, but you know– oh, from Glee. [John laughs]

LB: You love musicals. No, it’s–

Niki: From Glee? [John and Niki laugh]

LB: It’s what Glee– okay., so you know how when Glee does a thing to a song you like, and it hurts you?

John: Yeah.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: It’s like the first– it’s like one of the main things it does violence to, is this beautiful 1960s film.

John: Yeah.

LB: Of the stage play Funny Girl starring Barbara Streisand.

John: Mm.

Niki: Well, it’s back, and now the girl from Glee is in it as…

LB: And she’s not even fucking Jewish.

John: Right.

LB: She’s not Jewish!

John: I know.

LB: That’s a disgrace.

Niki: And also she can’t sing.

LB: To take a lesbian Jew out of that role?

Niki: Uh huh.

John: Travesty.

LB: And put this fucking like…okay, I am okay with Catholics, [John and Niki laugh, Niki: “Period”] like Italian Catholics playing Jews, Jews playing Italian Catholics. It’s okay. We do–

John: Hey, Jordan, can you cut that? [Niki laughs] Just cut that out, and let’s post that somewhere? [laughter]

LB: I’m okay with that, like, and Greeks too.

John: Okay.

Niki: Wow, and Greeks. [John laughs]

LB: Like we have– we all share that. We can play each other. It’s okay.

John: Sure, sure, sure.

Niki: Right.

LB: Like everybody who got cast to play Native Americans in the sixties. We’re not supposed to play them anymore. That’s really bad.

John: Right. That’s bad.

LB: We shouldn’t do that.

John: We shouldn’t do that.

LB: But we can play each other.

John: Right.

LB: That’s okay. Except in this case, casting this terrible racist woman [John: “Uh huh,” Niki: “Mm-hmm”] to play Fanny Brice is just a fucking disgrace to me.

John: It’s unconscionable, yeah. It’s unconscionable.

LB: It’s so not okay.

John: Yeah.

LB: I’m so glad my grandmother is dead and she can’t see this happening.

John: Wow.

Niki: Wow.

John: Wow.

Niki: Wow.

John: Wow.

LB: And you know what? I’m also glad that she was died– that she was died. [laughs]

John: She was died.

LB: She died before Larry Crowne came out.

Niki: Wooow!

LB: So she never had to see Larry Crowne.

John: Wow!

Niki: Wow.

LB: ‘Cause she would’ve fucking hated that movie.

John: Wow! Can I just say that, like, I don’t know who this person is at all, but when this movie was announced, it was first announced as a film called Talk of the Town, and Tom Hanks was going to write it about a real person who was name checked in these articles as Jim Chandler, about a man who goes through an unexpected career change. I just fucking love–

LB: Isn’t that the guy from The Office?

John: No.

LB: Isn’t that the character’s name? Jim Chandler?

John: No.

Niki: No, that’s…so, one of the dads is named Jim, and then the other one’s name is Chandler. Their kid is Jim Chandler.

John: [laughs] What does that mean?

Niki: Well, folks, thank you so much.

LB: What does that mean?

John: What does that mean? [laughs]

LB: Like Jim Office, Chandler Friends?

Niki: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Chandler Friends.

John: Is that kind of what you were going for? Gotcha. Interesting.

Niki: And then they had kid Jichandler Bing. Anyway. [laughs]

John: That’s how kids work. You just combined the first names of the two people who have the kid.

Niki: Yeah.

John: Hi, this is our child, John Anne. Welcome. [Niki laughs] Anyway. I just, I really desperately want to know what Jim Chandler thinks of this movie, like desperately.

Niki: I don’t think he thinks anything about it.

John: Really? Do you think he’s ever seen it?

Niki: No.

John: No? Okay.

Niki: I don’t think so.

LB: What guy that Tom Hanks knows…?

Niki: That’s exactly why. I don’t– I think the guy that Tom Hanks is talking about is made up.

John: Yeah.

Niki: Tom Hanks doesn’t know any regular people.

LB: Yeah. If he exists, then he got like…oh, after 25 years of working as a studio head, Jim Chandler got laid off for sexual harassment and cocaine crimes. [Niki laughs]

John: Right. And Tom Hanks was like, “How interesting.”

Niki: Too much cocaine.

LB: And then he went to community college.

John: Uh huh.

LB: And like, yeah, that’s a guy at community college, for sure. He went to SMC.

John: So the dean of this community college does two things within the first like minute and a half of being on screen. One is he says that a tai chi class cured his diabetes.

LB: That’s not true. That’s not how it works.

John: That’s not true.

LB: No, my mom does tai chi.

John: It’s not true.

LB: It’s really good for you, but it doesn’t cure diabetes.

John: He also says Julia Roberts is hot. He doesn’t say that explicitly, but he goes, “Hey, Tom Hanks, I think you should take this–”

LB: Yeah, he does do that, but that’s very realistic to the community college experience.

John: Is it?

LB: That was something that would happen. Yeah.

John: I’ve never been to community college.

LB: I went to community college.

Niki: That is something that would happen.

LB: In one of my community college classes, my professor joked that I was gonna do a mass shooting because I said I had–

Niki: Ah.

John: Oh, whoa!

LB: We were talking about mental health.

John: Yo!

LB: And I said like, “Yeah, I deal with PTSD. Not everybody who has PTSD is a combat veteran.”

John: Ugh.

Niki: Cool.

LB: And then I never went back, and then I dropped out of community college. Yeah.

John: Do you think all community colleges are like this or just ones in–

Niki: Yes.

John: Okay.

LB: I mean, not every community college professor is like that.

John: Right.

LB: But every community college has a professor who says something like that.

Niki: Yeah, they all employ this guy.

John: Oh.

LB: Yeah.

John: Yeah, but like, doesn’t that just go for any college though? ‘Cause I feel like– I went to a private four year college and had professors that were, you know.

Niki: Yeah, but I think there’s like…

LB: There’s a flavor.

Niki: There’s a flavor of this dean who is like, what do you do? Because he clearly is the type of person who sits in on the classes of the people that he thinks are hot.

John: Oh. Ew. Okay.

Niki: And like, at a regular school, that doesn’t fly, ’cause you have so much bureaucracy to do.

John: Uh huh. Right. Yeah.

LB: Mm-hmm.

Niki: But like a community college runs itself.

John: Mm, mm-hmm.

Niki: Because kind of nobody…nobody there cares.

John: Nobody.

Niki: In my personal experience.

John: Okay. Okay.

LB: That varies from community college to community college. The caring, I mean.

Niki: Mm, mm.

LB: The amount of it.

Niki: Where it exists.

John: We also have Gugu Mbatha-Raw [Niki: “Mm-hmm”] who plays a character named Talia.

Niki: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

LB: Yeah.

John: What’s her deal?

LB: She’s manic pixie dream girl, non-sexual daughter version.

Niki: Nonsexual, yeah.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: Yeah, but what if daughter.

John: But what if daughter but also what if–

LB: What if manic pixie dream girl was your new daughter/best friend who give you makeover.

Niki: Who kiss you on the mouth.

John: Who kiss you on mouth and also boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama, like, sexual tension between everyone?

Niki: But it does– the only–

LB: That’s a joke. That’s the–

Niki: Yeah.

LB: That’s a joke?

John: Right.

LB: That’s supposed to be a source of comedy in this film, John, is that it’s absurd–

John: Right. Was that funny for you?

LB: No.

Niki: It was for me. [John laughs]

LB: That it’s absurd that Wilmer Valderrama is so sexually threatened by Tom Hanks’s presence in his girlfriend’s life.

John: Right.

Niki: But then also doesn’t he never does anything about it.

John: Right.

LB: Well, ’cause he’s nice, ’cause everybody in this movie’s a nice person.

John: Yeah.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: That’s the other thing about this movie is everyone in this movie’s a nice person.

John: Yeah, everyone’s nice. There’s no villain.

LB: The worst–

John: Well, except for Rob Riggle at the beginning.

LB: There’s two worst people in this movie: Rob Riggle at the beginning, [John: “Yeah”] who’s kind of a piece of shit.

John: Yeah.

LB: And then he gets laid off and becomes pizza man.

John: Yep.

Niki: They also sell chicken. Also at the end, of the movie, Julia Roberts and the teacher friend pay $8 in 2011 for a large pizza to be delivered to their home.

John: Right.

LB: They don’t know how much money–

John: They don’t know how much.

LB: They don’t understand money.

Niki: She gives–

John: They are the Lucille Bluth banana meme just for two hours.

Niki: She gives him a 20.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: And is like, “Keep the change.”

John: [laughs] Yeah. Uh huh.

Niki: [laughs] Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. It doesn’t make– yeah, because when Rob Riggle comes, they get the two pizzas. There’s a bucket of chicken also, and the cinnamon eggs, which they never specify what those are.

John: They never say what those are!

LB: That’s another joke. That’s like a funny joke about the funny things that pizza places they don’t go to.

John: Mm.

LB: Because they see like, “Oh, they have these crazy add-ons now. What’s gonna be next, cinnamon eggs? Put that in, that’s hilarious!” [Niki and John laugh] That’s how that happened. The thing is, it’s like, this movie makes so much sense if you’ve read enough bad screenplays, which I have.

John: Ah.

Niki: Mm, mm, mm.

LB: Like, this is just a screenplay somebody writes in like a screenwriting class.

John: Right.

LB: Like this is something my dad would’ve written in a UC Irvine extension class in 1997.

John: Sure.

Niki: Mm. And I think it’s beautiful that it got made. [John laughs]

LB: But no, but Tom– it only got made ’cause Tom Hanks wrote it.

John: ‘Cause Tom Hanks wrote it. But I would really like to see–

LB: It’s not beautiful.

John: I’d really like to see LB’s dad’s version of this film, though.

LB: It’s a little different. It’s called– I think it was about, you know, a white collar guy wanting to go bankrupt.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

John: Wanting to go bankrupt.

LB: Yeah.

John: Okay.

LB: So that he could leave his life behind.

John: Oh, okay. Gotcha.

LB: Yeah.

John: Okay. All right.

LB: It’s a similarly, you know, out of touch, bougie…

John: Should we make it?

LB: What?

John: Should we make it?

LB: No.

John: No?

LB: No way. No, no, no, no, no.

John: You don’t want to adapt your dad’s screenplay? It could be like a really nice bonding–

LB: Absolutely not.

John: No? Okay.

LB: No.

Niki: Well, can we sell it?

John: Can we– yeah. Can we represent your dad?

LB: No. I don’t think it exists anymore.

John: Oh.

LB: It was–

Niki: Have you asked your dad? Maybe he remembers it.

John: Was it destroyed? Was it stored in the Warner Brothers vault or something? [Niki laughs quietly]

LB: He wouldn’t want it, because he’d be like, “It was so…”

John: It was so bad.

LB: It was bad, and also like he’s so much more enlightened now about many topics.

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Niki: Mm.

John: Fair enough. Fair enough. Fair enough. Okay.

LB: He’d be like, “The representation in this movie’s terrible. We don’t need another new movie about a white man.” And I’d be like, “Wow, dad.”

John: Wow.

Niki: Do you think…

LB: “That’s how you talk now.”

Niki: When do you think Tom Hanks watched this movie last?

LB: Probably the…

Niki: At the premier, or do you think he’s seen it since?

LB: No.

John: No.

LB: I’m not even sure if he watched it at the premier. [Niki laughs]

John: I think there are two possibilities here. I think he could be a weirdo that watches his stuff all the time, or he could be someone that has…

Niki: Never seen any of his…

John: Arguably did not watch this in the first place, yeah.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: I think he probably watched like cuts of it to decide on the final one.

John: Yeah. Right.

LB: And didn’t watch it at the premier, ’cause he was doing press [John: “Right”] and trying to make sure people were like excited to go see this movie, which they weren’t and they didn’t go see it.

John: Well, you know, it made $70 million?

Niki: Well, no, it made like $8 million.

John: No, no.

Niki: No, no, no, because I mean they had to pay for the movie and pay to market the movie.

John: Well, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Niki: Left over, they had like $8 million probably.

John: Okay, fine, fine, fine. Sure.

LB: Net. So it netted, you’re saying, 8 million.

John: Net.

Niki: Yeah.

John: Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. Probably, yes.

LB: Yeah. The other thing is I live in the East Valley.

John: Right.

Niki: So that’s the other thing.

LB: And this movie does not capture what it feels like to be here.

Niki: Yeah. Because it only takes place on two streets.

John: Yeah, yeah. It appears that this–

LB: It doesn’t capture what it’s like to be on those streets.

John: No, it doesn’t. No, no, no, it doesn’t. No.

LB: I want to live in the East Valley where everyone’s really friendly and nice all the time.

John: Yeah.

LB: And everyone wants be your friend.

Niki: And there’s just like a scooter gang that’s like chill and casual.

LB: Yeah!

Niki: And there’s also an empty space that is a, quote, “good deal, real estate wise.”

John: Uh huh. [laughs]

Niki: That a 20 something can afford to rent out [John: “Rent, uh huh”] to sell used clothes?

John: Yep.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: And it also is underneath a seven unit apartment complex?

John: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

John: Yep.

LB: Yeah.

John: Yep.

LB: The zoning precludes that from existing.

Niki: It just, it forces us to imagine a better world, I think, Larry Crowne.

LB: No, it doesn’t.

Niki: Oh.

LB: It doesn’t force us to do anything, except for…honestly, it would’ve forced me to turn off Larry Crowne, [John laughs, Niki: “Mm”] but I had to watch it for this, to get my sardines.

John: Yeah, right. Yeah.

LB: I do have to say, the other remarkable thing about this movie is that Julia Roberts’s bare feet are shown so…

John: So often.

LB: Not so much, but more than–

John: So much! [Niki laughs]

LB: And it’s like, was this Tom’s decision?

Niki: Okay.

LB: Was the DP a foot guy?

Niki: Sure.

LB: I have to look up what this DP did. [typing] Larry Crowne.

John: Well, there’s not only foot stuff, but there’s also a scene late in the movie where Julia Roberts breaks up with her husband, Bryan Cranston.

Niki: Yes.

John: And we definitely need to talk about Bryan Cranston, so let’s say that.

LB: Yeah. Why– Bryan Cranston, while making Breaking Bad.

Niki: Yes.

LB: Breaking Bad is happening.

John: While making Breaking Bad, was in this!

Niki: Yes.

John: So, at some– they break up, and then Julia Roberts is drunk on the side of the road. The scooter gang comes up. First of all, Talia says something about Bambi, and Julia Roberts is like, Bambi– no, no, no. The other way around. Julia Roberts calls her Bambi, and Talia is like, “Bambi was a boy,” [quiet laughter] which is such a stupid line. And then Tom Hanks is like, “Oh, you’re gonna walk home? In those shoes?” And she goes, [LB: “Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm”] “You noticed my shoes?” It was really weird. There’s a lot of that.

Niki: I just think it was fun– it should– okay. Here’s– okay. I’m gonna propose one edit to the motion picture that I think will make it Oscar worthy. Are you ready?

John: Yeah. There’s just a frame at the bottom that is just always showing Julie Roberts’ feet. [LB laughs quietly]

Niki: No.

John: In every scene. Okay.

Niki: You know how at the end of the movie, when she gets out of the car to teach the last class.

John: Yeah. Yeah, and she puts her shoes on.

Niki: And puts her shoes– what if she put a third shoe down? [John and Niki laugh]

John: Just no explanation. That’s good.

Niki: Yeah, just shoe one, shoe two, and then a third shoe.

John: Shoe three. Okay.

Niki: And that was the end of the shot.

John: Curveball.

Niki: Would that have fixed the movie?

John: Right.

LB: No.

Niki: Mm.

LB: Nothing would’ve fixed this movie except for it not existing. [John laughs]

Niki: I think it would’ve fixed the movie. I think it would’ve screened way better.

LB: No, it just would’ve been a funny thing that happened. Maybe a punch up– okay, if somebody, if the person who punched up the script had been an interesting person, instead of whoever punched up the script.

John: Right.

Niki: A robot punched the script up.

LB: Maybe.

Niki: [laughs] Is it punching up the script if you put it through spell check? Is that what that is?

John: [laughs] Yeah. That’s about it. Yeah.

LB: So this DP did…a bunch of movies.

John: Okay.

Niki: Like what?

John: Like what?

LB: Including all of the new, like the recent Sherlock Holmes movies, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies.

John: Ooh boy.

Niki: Wow.

LB: He works with…he did the Tim Burton Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, going back further.

John: Oh boy.

LB: Remember the Titans.

Niki: Wait, that movie– wait.

LB: The People vs. Larry Flynt, Interview with the Vampire.

John: Ooh.

LB: Dangerous Liaisons, the 1988 movie.

John: Wow! Yeah.

Niki: Okay, so wait, again, this is just proving my theory that everyone involved was just kind of taking money from Universal. They’re just out here to vibe.

John: Yeah. But don’t you think they–

LB: I mean, I think it’s more just…

John: Don’t you think they could have taken them for more 30 billion?

Niki: For more of a ride? Yeah, but like, when you steal, John, it’s not like–

John: I know.

Niki: You’re not gonna go steal a $5,000 computer from the Target, right?

John: Right. Yeah.

Niki: Like you’ve gotta steal smaller stuff to get there.

John: Mm-hmm.

LB: This movie just sucked.

Niki: Why is Randall Park in this movie?

John: Randall Park is in this movie for…

Niki: [laughs quietly] Two seconds.

John: It’s like literally about 40 seconds, and it’s at the beginning.

Niki: But his bit is funny.

John: Yeah, sure.

Niki: It establishes so much about Larold and about the relationship that he has with the store.

LB: With Target.

John: It establishes that Larry Crowne is the only one that can understand…

LB: That he loves working at Target.

Niki: He loves working at Target.

John: He loves– he cleans up a kid’s fucking vomit from, uh, like a rocky–

Niki: A ride thing.

John: A ridey rocky horse thing in the front.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

John: It’s so gross. Yeah.

LB: The thing is, it’s like…okay, I have worked with a guy like this.

John: Yeah?

LB: Where there’s a guy in retail who is just so excited– this middle, you know, a boomer guy, so excited to be there!

John: Yeah.

LB: Knows everybody’s name! “Hello, sir!” Full of energy!

John: Right, right, right.

LB: And these people are so full of rage.

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: And sadness.

John: Right.

LB: And misery.

John: Right. Well, every time there was an interior shot of his house, he could have picked up anything in there and did the fucking meme, “Would a depressed person own this?” [Niki laughs] Like two giant, massive, shelves full of, I guess, vinyl records, but he doesn’t give a fuck about music, it seems like.

Niki: Well, I think those were his wife’s.

LB: I think we’re thinking too much about this.

Niki: Mm.

LB: And that they were just looking for things to make him seem cool.

John: Right.

LB: To also connect him with the yard sale at Cedric the Entertainer’s house.

John: But he wasn’t cool. They went out their way to establish that he’s not cool.

LB: No, but that he was always cool on the inside.

John: Mm.

Niki: Mm.

LB: And that’s what Tallia sees in him. I hate– I can’t believe I’m talking about this movie so seriously! It doesn’t merit this. It doesn’t deserve this.

John: Jordo’s asking if that’s Cedric the Entertainer’s real house.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: It’s not Cedric the Entertainer’s real house! [John laughs] He doesn’t live in a cul-de-sac in the valley.

Niki: [laughs quietly] Yeah, but what if one of the conditions of him working on the motion picture was that he didn’t have to leave his home.

John: Mm, mm. That would be pretty funny.

LB: Well, he didn’t have to stand up, I don’t think.

Niki: He stands up because Larold breaks the table with the bike, with the scooter, and he stands up and is like, “Oh no.”

LB: Okay, he stands up once. The rest of the time he is sitting down for the entire movie, which I do respect.

John: Yeah. I do respect that too, yeah.

Niki: What do you think…to LB’s earlier point that nobody in this motion picture understands how money works.

John: Uh huh.

LB: Mm.

Niki: The explanation for why Cedric the Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson are rich is because Cedric the Entertainer won half a million dollars [John: “On what appears to be Price is Right”] in the lottery. Yeah.

John: No, it’s like a spinny wheel thing.

Niki: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it’s the lottery.

LB: But it’s the lottery spinny wheel.

John: Oh, okay.

Niki: Because that’s why he gives him tickets at the end of the movie.

John: Oh, okay. Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha.

LB: Yeah, John, you should have paid attention– you’ve seen this seven times and you didn’t notice that? [John laughs]

Niki: Pay the fucking attention, Jesus Christ.

John: No! No, I–

Niki: The California Lottery logo is huge in the middle of the fucking wheel, John.

LB: It was probably a sponsor of this movie.

John: I’ve noticed something different about this movie every single time I’ve seen it, so I just haven’t gotten to that yet, you know?

Niki: Wow.

LB: How?

Niki: How? [John laughs]

LB: Are you watching in like a…like slightly piped into like a sensory deprivation chamber? [Niki laughs]

John: No, no, no.

LB: Is there a mist?

Niki: John can only see one fifth of the screen every time he watches the movie.

John: No, no, no, it’s just such a rich tapestry. It’s like, you know.

LB: It’s not a rich– it’s such a sparse tapestry. It’s a threadbare–

John: It’s like a Peter Gabriel video from the early nineties. It’s just like, so much to see.

LB: There’s nothing in it.

Niki: Oh, the guy from WALL-E?

LB: I don’t understand. Why do you think this is so interesting, John?

John: Because it is grotesque.

LB: It’s not that grotesque, though.

John: No, it’s kind of grotesque, but like…

LB: Okay.

John: But it’s grotesque with like such a genuinely well-meaning attitude that like, it takes that edge off to me.

Niki: Mm.

John: It is written by someone who has never heard people talk before, ever.

Niki: “Spectacoo-ler.”

John: “Spectacoo-ler.” The way Bryan Cranston talks in this movie.

Niki: Yeah. Yeah.

John: No one’s ever said any of those things. “I’m on Warrior Web. I am on the Blog and Talk for Cybershare. [LB and Niki start laughing] I put three postings up today, Mercy. I did a thousand calorie workout, and I’m a guy who’s a guy being a guy.”

Niki: But I think–

LB: [laughs] Okay, Bryan Cranston’s character is the most remarkable thing about this film, because he is a man [John: “Fucking unbelievable”] who just sits at home going through his folders of JPEGs of boob women.

Niki: Yeah, folders of the same JPEGs. He’s not acquiring more or new JPEGs.

John: Uh huh. Yeah.

Niki: It’s the same ones that he’s always looking at.

John: He’s always looking at the same ones.

Niki: And then at the end of the motion picture—thank you, Jordan—the final reason why they end their relationship is because Bryan Cranston yells, “I like big knockers, and you don’t have any.”

John: Uh huh.

Niki: And that is so insulting to Julia Roberts.

John: I mean, it is rude.

Niki: It is rude, but like, nothing prior to that was…that was the last straw.

John: Right. Well, and also–

LB: Yeah, it’s the straw that broke the– I mean, also that he was so insistent about cheesecake.

John: Roberts is allergic to cheesecake.

LB: How are you allergic to–

John: How are you allergic to cheesecake?

LB: Is she lactose intolerant?

Niki: Maybe she’s lactose tolerant.

John: Okay.

LB: Okay.

Niki: Or maybe if she’s allergic to wheat?

John: She did eat pizza.

Niki: Damn.

John: They ordered pizza with cheese all over it.

Niki: Make you think. Make you think.

LB: Sugar?

John: I don’t know. I have no idea.

Niki: No, because she makes margs everyday, ’cause she’s an alcoholic.

John: Everyday.

LB: Oh, yeah.

John: She’s an alcoholic. Yeah, so she confronts him, like in the first conversation we see these two people have. He comes out of his room after frantically closing what just looks like windows file manager [Niki: “Mm-hmm”] of just JPEGs that he has prior downloaded, and he just is looking at them going like, “Ooh yeah, baby. That’s what I like.” And they’re just, they’re nothing new. It’s all from either 1950 or 1992, these images. And she confronts him by saying, “You’re looking at porn,” and I guess she’s not wrong, but it’s–

LB: No, she is wrong, ’cause that’s not porn.

Niki: That’s not pornography.

LB: Legally speaking, that’s not pornography.

John: It’s not porn.

LB: Yeah, there’s no nipples showing.

John: No, no, no.

LB: So it’s not even like…that’s not even nudity, legally.

John: But then she establishes an even more wrongness by saying “Bra Buster’s XXX,” which is like clearly not what he was on. That’s clearly not.

LB: Right, because they were very, they were not bust– the bras were very much intact.

John: They were very much intact.

LB: So again, I think this is like an issue of just weird– this is the screenplay.

John: Right.

LB: This is this weird, bad screenplay, and if you’ve read enough bad screenplays, like you know this is how people make other people talk in screenplays for some fucking reason.

John: But I mean, this is Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos. Like, I mean, it’s like, I’m not saying Big Fat Greek Wedding is like great. I’m not. But–

Niki: John is saying that Big Fat Greek Wedding is, quote, “great.”

LB: Okay.

John: [laughs quietly] But like–

LB: I’ve never seen it, so.

John: This was– like, I don’t know. That was like a big like Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay thing, which like, I guess is–

LB: Yeah, people phone it in.

John: ‘Cause Crash won Best Picture, so whatever, but it’s just, it’s so…

LB: People phone it in sometimes.

John: I guess so. I guess so.

LB: And also Tom Hanks is weird.

John: Tom Hanks is weird.

LB: And how are gonna say, “Hey, Tom Hanks, you’re really bad at writing. You’re really bad at it.”

John: [laughs] I guess, how do you do that? That is true.

LB: Can you like imagine sitting in a room with Tom Hanks. It’s you and Tom Hanks.

John: Uh huh.

LB: And you’re there with Tom Hanks ’cause he believes in you [John: “Right”] and thinks you’re really, you know, a young talent.

John: Right.

LB: And you’re looking at this thing he wrote, and he really believes in it, and he think it’s just the best thing.

John: Really…yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: And this is Tom Hanks.

John: Right.

Niki: From TV.

LB: From Splash? You know, from Big?

John: From Big.

Niki: What’s Big?

John: From Bosom Buddies.

Niki: Tim Hanks.

John: Tim Hanks.

LB: And you’re– and he is so affable and so friendly.

John: Uh huh. Right.

LB: And he’s looking at you expectantly, asking for your feedback on his script.

John: Right.

LB: And it’s not good.

John: Mm-hmm.

LB: But you know what? You’ve read worse. And this is Tom Hanks!

John: It’s Tom Hanks.

LB: He’s so much more experienced than you.

John: Right.

LB: He’s been in so many things. He’s been in so many successful things. He’s been in so many good things.

John: Mm, mm-hmm.

LB: Maybe you’re wrong.

John: Mm.

LB: If he believes in this so strongly, that’s Tom Hanks!

John: Mm.

LB: And even if you’re right, is it…let’s weigh the options. Am I gonna hurt Tom Hanks’s feelings? [John laughs] Am I gonna risk fumbling this Tom Hanks bag that I’m getting? Regardless. Doesn’t matter how good the movie is. I’m getting the money.

John: I mean, if I–

Niki: Yeah, that’s the thing.

John: I guess so.

LB: And Tom Hanks will remember how pleasant I am to work with.

John: I mean, I would only–

LB: And say nice things about me.

John: If I read a screenplay this bad, I would probably only look at Tom Hanks to go, “All right, who are you thinking for the character of Mercy’s husband, the blogger guy?” And if he said, “I think Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad,” I’d go, “Okay. I think you should absolutely make this movie, then.” Because like that, to me, it’s the context of knowing how unbelievably popular and critically acclaimed that show got, and just him being in this role, this role that could have been occupied by a fucking day rate kind of actor, I feel like.

Niki: Rude.

LB: But that’s every role in this movie. That’s the whole movie.

John: That’s every role. I guess that’s true. I guess that’s true. But then it wouldn’t have been made. So I guess that’s why I think this film is so interesting, is because it’s a house of cards. It shouldn’t exist.

Niki: No, that’s a different thing.

John: Shut up.

Niki: Oh.

John: Maybe we should watch that too.

Niki: No.

LB: No.

John: No– [laughs]

LB: I don’t like when he pushes her in front of the train.

John: Right.

LB: That’s sad.

John: Do you like it when he talks to the camera?

Niki: I like that part.

LB: I don’t remember that. I stopped.

John: Ah.

Niki: I remember the part where he–

John: “I like ribs.” [Niki laughs]

LB: Now, have you seen Movie 43 is my question for you?

Niki: What’s that?

LB: That is a movie–

Niki: The 43rd movie?

LB: No.

Niki: Oh.

LB: It is a movie starring…

John: I mean, Jeremy Allen White.

Niki: Who?

John: Chloë Grace Moretz.

Niki: Emma Stone.

John: Oh, it’s a Farrelly brother thing.

Niki: Who?

LB: It is a movie that stars– here are some more people who are in it.

John: Oh my God.

LB: Hugh Jackman. Kate Winslet.

John: Mm-hmm.

LB: Naomi Watts.

John: Right.

LB: Anna Faris and Chris Pratt.

John: Right.

LB: Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone.

John: Right.

LB: Richard Gere. Kate Bosworth.

John: Sure.

LB: Aasif Mandvi.

John: Yep.

LB: Uh, who else? Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman.

Niki: Liev Schreiber.

John: Right.

LB: Kristen Bell, John Hodgman, Leslie Bibb. [sighs]

Niki: Sometimes people just want to buy a new car.

LB: Gerard Butler, Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Halle Berry, [John laughs] Snooki, Terrence Howard, Larry Sanders, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Tony Shalhoub, Bob Odenkirk. This is…

John: Wow.

LB: And it’s unwatchably bad.

John: Yeah.

LB: And it’s disgusting.

John: Yeah. Richard Roper says, “It’s the Citizen Kane of awful.”

LB: It’s not, because that…

John: That doesn’t make sense, really, but…

LB: No, because that doesn’t make sense.

John: No.

LB: And ‘cause the Citizen Kane of awful would be beautiful.

John: Yeah. Right. It would be– yeah.

LB: Because it, you know, it would be a good movie.

John: Right.

LB: It would be a good disgusting movie, and this isn’t one.

John: Right.

LB: And it’s a movie– and his is something I would consider fascinating and baffling

John: Mm.

LB: In that, how would you get all of these people to agree to a project called this vile?

John: It’s called money.

Niki: Money!

LB: Not even just money. No.

Niki: You gotta buy a car.

John: It’s money.

LB: No. Mm-mm, no, there’s other–

Niki: No, but I think–

LB: You haven’t seen this. You haven’t seen Movie 43. You need to see at least some of it, and it is so confusing, and the only explanation is blackmail.

Niki: Mm.

John: Mm.

LB: See, Larry Crowne makes sense to me, ’cause there’s nothing– you’re not gonna hurt your career by being in this thing. You’re actually gonna– it’s actually gonna be good for your career in the long run, [John laughs] because you’re gonna have made good memories with all the people who are there.

John: Yeah.

LB: Especially Tom Hanks.

John: Right.

LB: Who is…

Niki: Who’s Tom Hanks.

LB: He’s Tom Hanks.

John: He’s Tom Hanks.

LB: He’s very, like, you don’t think of him as being this very famous, this very powerful man.

John: But he is.

LB: [laughing] But Tom Hanks is a very powerful person.

John: He’s an enormously powerful person. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: Because he’s Tom Hanks, and everyone knows who he is.

John: Right.

LB: So, yeah, I think that…and so it’s like, okay, what’s gonna happen? Oh, you’re in this bad Tom Hanks movie.

John: Mm-hmm.

LB: It’s not offensive. It’s not disgusting. It’s just nothing. It’s only disgusting if you consider things to be boring and bland to be disgusting, which I do. [laughs] But yeah, like…

Niki: Wow.

LB: That is not interesting to me. Movie 43 is more interesting to me, even though it’s much less watchable.

John: Well, then, we’ll have to watch that, won’t we?

LB: No, we’re never– I’m never gonna watch this movie, ’cause it’s so bad.

John: No, no, no. No, no. You’ve convinced me.

LB: You say that, and you’re gonna watch two of the segments in it, [John laughs] and be like, “I’m good. I can’t do any more of this.”

John: I think this movie, Larry Crowne, reminds me of Garry Marshall’s late career, ’cause he made a movie called Valentine’s Day, which just had like fucking everybody in it. It was like–

LB: Yeah, that’s ’cause a lot of movies are like this.

John: Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Héctor Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher.

LB: We can’t just watch all of these movies.

John: Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine. And then he made an–

Niki: Did you know that they’re related?

John: Emma and Julia? They are.

Niki: Mm-hmm.

LB: We’ve discussed this before on this podcast.

John: We’ve discussed this before on this show.

Niki: That’s where I learned it. [John and LB laugh]

LB: This is the final episode of our show. Can we stop talking about Larry Crowne? [Niki laughs]

John: Okay, one second. I just want to say: then there’s New Year’s Eve, which was made a year later, and it’s the same fucking thing.

Niki: Well, that would’ve been Valentine’s Day, no?

John: And then there’s Mother’s Day, which was made a few years later. Same fucking thing. And so it’s like, this is just, to me…

LB: This is just how Hollywood works.

John: This is just how Hollywood works, I guess. Okay. Fine.

LB: I’m sorry, John.

Niki: Well, it’s time to take a break.

[gentle piano music in background]

John: Hey, Niki and LB. Do you all like video games? I can’t remember. I know we’ve–

LB: I love video games.

John: You don’t?

LB: No, I do.

John: Oh, you do. You like them.

LB: I like them so much, yeah. [Niki laughs]

John: Well, do you like– I mean, some people we really like talk about them every week on a show called Channel F, and I think you should listen to it if you haven’t.

LB: I haven’t.

John: This week’s episode is totally normal. There was like nothing out of the ordinary with it, but like–

LB: Cool.

John: I think you should still listen to it, you know?

LB: Yeah. I mean, I do like video games.

John: Yeah.

LB: Yeah, who’s on it?

John: Do you like normal episodes of podcasts, though? Or do you like to know something special happens?

Niki: I usually like the special episodes. Like I only listen to the live show episodes of some of my favorite podcasts.

John: Right. Yeah.

LB: ‘Cause you like it when they propose in the audience.

Niki: Yeah.

John: Mm.

Niki: And it just like makes it special. So like, are you saying that there’s a special episode that I can listen to?

John: No, it was normal. This past one was normal. I’ll let you know when there’s a special one, but this one–

Niki: Okay.

LB: Okay.

John: This one had merritt k. It had Nerium. It had Mike Williams and– I mean, our producer Jordan Mallory was on it, in a totally normal way too, so.

LB: Okay, cool.

Niki: Oh, okay.

John: So you should listen to that.

LB: I mean, I love it when Jordan’s being normal, so that sounds really fun.

Niki: Yeah, I just love a normal podcast.

John: I love a normal podcast.

LB: Same.

John: I love a normal Jordo, and you can listen to Channel F every Wednesday, and I think that’s a good idea for you.

LB: Thanks, John, for the recommendation.

John: You’re welcome.

LB: Let’s talk more about Larry Crowne.

John: Okay. [Niki laughs quietly]

[break ends]

Niki: We’re back.

John: I’m a guy who’s a guy just being a guy.

LB: I’m sorry. I’m sorry I hated this so much and also don’t think it’s interesting.

John: Blog and Talk for Cybershare.

LB: I do think that Bryan Cranston’s lines are very funny, though.

John: Warrior Web.

LB: That’s funny, whatever that is funny.

Niki: They’re comments.

John: I wish we had known more about his actual blogging, you know?

LB: Actually, I do have a guess about Bryan Cranston in this movie.

John: Okay, what’s your guess?

LB: Which is that since it was conceived in 2006, [“Mm-hmm”] that he was cast before Breaking Bad.

John: That’s not what it says. “In January 2010, Julia Roberts was cast opposite Hanks. The following October, Bryan Cranston joined the cast.”

Niki: Yeah, it took him a long time.

LB: Maybe it was an issue of scheduling? Okay, maybe it was an unofficial casting?

Niki: They delayed it because he was unavailable because of Breaking Bad.

John: Mm. Maybe.

LB: Yeah, so, what I– maybe the role was written with Cranston in mind.

John: Right. Huh. Imagine seeing Breaking Bad and going–

Niki: I mean, I get it. When want your guy, you gotta get your guy.

John: Imagine seeing Breaking Bad and going like, “I’m gonna write this role for Bryan–” well, you know what? Yeah.

LB: Well, no, he maybe had already written it.

John: Yeah. Well, yeah, I guess so. I guess so. He probably already wrote it back in 2008 or whatever.

LB: And he was in fucking Saving Private Ryan with Tom Hanks.

John: That’s true. I’d forgotten about that.

LB: So, yeah.

John: All right. We can stop talking about Larry Crowne. Thank you.

Niki: And now it’s time for a break.

LB: We just took a break.

John: We just took one.

Niki: Nope, there’s a second one.

John: Oh, okay. Two breaks.

[piano music again]

Niki: I’ve invented a new website.

John: Oh yeah, what’s that?

LB: What is it?

Niki: It’s called

John: Okay. [laughs quietly]

LB: What’s on

John: Just gonna go check internet com real quick. [typing]

Niki: Yeah, has all of the things that you could ever want.

LB: [laughing] “Warning: potential security risk.” Don’t go to!

John: Wow, potential security. They’re stealing my internet. Wow! Thanks, Niki!

Niki: [laughing] Just click through.

John: Jeez.

Niki: We’re having some DNS issues. Just click through.

John: [laughs] Holy smokes. All right.

LB: Don’t don’t click through. Please don’t do that.

Niki: Okay, wait, when I clicked through, it just took me back to [John and LB laugh]

LB: They only…

Niki: Oh, it says– oh, that’s the go back button.

LB: Ah.

Niki: Well, if you want to go back and find the other episodes of the program, [John: “Uh huh”] you can go follow us on Twitter, ’cause we link to the episode when it come out.

John: Yeah.

Niki: You can find me on Twitter @godsewa, G-O-D-S-E-W-A. Where John is Twitter?

John: You can find me @floppyadult. I’m locked down, but I’m not always locked down, so you can come find me. I’ll tweet. I’m good at tweeting. LB, what about you?

LB: You can find me on Twitter @hunktears, and if you want to know anything that we’ll be doing in the future, that’s gonna be the best place to know about it.

John: Yeah, those are good follows if you want to know what we’re up to in the future. Same for Jordan Mallory, @jordan_mallory, our intrepid producer.

Niki: Wait, is cool.

LB: I’m not going to it.

John: Yeah, I’m not going. It told me–

Niki: I mean, it’s for crypto, but the thing–

John: Windows absolutely told me I shouldn’t go there.

Niki: But it looks so sick.

LB: It’s for crypto? No!

Niki: No, but it’s like a– you move your mouse and like the world moves.

LB: Send us a screenshot. Don’t go. You should–

John: Don’t go there!

Niki: There’s like an orb.

LB: Don’t go there, if you’re listening.

John: Don’t go to

LB: Just go to,,,

John: Yeah, go find us.

LB: Yeah, this isn’t even that cool, Niki. Don’t…

Niki: 80,000 people have been on this website today.

LB: Yeah, because it’s called! [John laughs]

[break ends]

Niki: Welcome back.

John: [laughs] All right, LB, so you’ve got the floor. I mean, what do you want to talk about? Since you don’t want to talk about Larry Crowne anymore.

LB: Bryan Cranson is also in That Thing You Do!

John: Wow, you’re still talking about Bryan Cranston, [LB laughs] and ostensibly, Larry Crowne. It’s magnetic, I’m telling you.

LB: I think Bryan Cranston and Tom Hanks are just friends.

John: You sit there and you go, “This is the most unremarkable thing.” You’re the one who’s continuing to go down this path.

LB: Because do you have any idea how much meaning I have to make out of something boring to make it watchable? [John laughs] I talked to Robbie about this movie for like an hour last night. [John laughs] And mostly in terms– and mostly just talked about the post-recession like feeling of LA.

John: Sure. Okay.

LB: Also, that’s–

John: Which I was not there for, so that’s, you know.

LB: It was…

John: Probably bad.

LB: I mean, we didn’t, like the encampments, like the tent encampments and stuff, we didn’t have that.

John: Mm.

LB: Before the recession.

John: Right.

LB: That was a thing that started, like…I guess we had some, like, you know, in certain areas, like skid row was always kind of like that.

John: Yeah.

LB: But like, the ones popping up everywhere that everyone’s now all freaked out about.

John: Mm.

LB: Like the visible homelessness crisis in LA like became much more pronounced after the recession.

John: Yeah.

LB: And a lot of things were closing, and Niki, you can weigh in. You were here.

Niki: I was a child, LB. I was like, not…

John: Yeah, Niki was…

LB: You were a child in 2009?

John: Niki was like 13.

Niki: Yeah, I was a child. I didn’t know anything was happening.

John: Yeah.

LB: Really?

Niki: Yeah, I was baby.

LB: But you were like 13.

Niki: Yeah, no, I don’t…no. I wasn’t…no.

John: [laughs] Niki’s like, “I was not participating in economics at the time.”

LB: Huh.

Niki: No, I had no idea what was going, on other than like, I knew things were bad.

John: Right.

Niki: And that’s all I knew. I don’t remember anything.

John: Well, you know what, Niki? You’re right. [LB and Niki laugh] You’re right. Things were bad.

Niki: I don’t remember any of it.

LB: Yeah, everyone in this movie’s just so clean and happy and optimistic and fine.

John: Yeah.

LB: And he figures– and he solves all his economic problems by taking one econ class with George Takei.

John: Yeah.

LB: He’s also in this movie.

John: He’s visibly–

LB: Yeah, no, I don’t–

John: By the way, you’re still talking about it. He’s visibly still worried.

LB: I know! I was about to say. I’m still talking about Larry Crowne.

John: No, he’s only visibly worried about his own situation for about five seconds while he’s filling up his Suburban with gas.

LB: Right?

John: Yeah.

LB: Why does he have a Suburban? What does he need it for?

John: I don’t know!

LB: He doesn’t have kids!

John: Why does he have a brown Suburban? He spends $75 filling up the tank of his brown Suburban, and that’s when he watches Wilmer Valderrama, I guess, fill up the tank of a Vespa or whatever for $3 or something, and he’s like, “Whoa, I gotta get me one of those.” But that’s the only time he’s worried. [LB sighs]

Niki: The thing that doesn’t make any sense is that they’re at the gas station for about the same amount of time.

John: The same amount of time, yeah. Well, that’s–

Niki: Like the gas is coming out of Tom Hanks’s nozzle so fucking fast. [laughs]

John: So fast. It’s just, yeah, faster than it’s ever come out of a pump before.

Niki: Oh, also, I did the math on how much it would cost to fill up that car here right now with today’s gas prices.

John: Right, mm-hmm.

Niki: It was gonna be like $230.

John: Oh my God. [laughs] Really?

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Yeah, those cars were gas– and those trucks were fucking gas guzzlers back then.

John: Wow. That’s bad.

Niki: Jesus.

John: That’s too much money.

Niki: Yeah.

LB: Yep.

Niki: I simply wouldn’t have bought a car that big.

LB: Well, they didn’t– that’s the thing. This was a pre– that’s post-recession thinking. That pre-recession–

Niki: Can we talk about Diggerland?

John: Huh?

LB: What?

John: What? What did you call me?

Niki: I would like to talk about Diggerland.

LB: What’s that?

John: I’m sorry?

Niki: Diggerland USA.

John: Uh huh.

LB: What is this?

Niki: It’s a place where kids and adults alike–

LB: Where you can dig? [laughter]

John: Hey. Hey, y’all, can’t wait for the automated transcript on this episode. [Niki laughs]

LB: [laughs] Niki’s the one who can say it.

Niki: Diggerland is a place where kids and adults alike can experience the thrill of operating real construction machinery.

John: Whoa!

Niki: It’s called Diggerland.

LB: So we’re going?

John: Wow.

Niki: [laughs] I read it on the– I was scrolling pretty quick last night, and I saw New York Times, and then I saw “iggerland,” and I said, “WHAT?” [John and LB laugh]

John: This looks like a–

Niki: And then I– it says Diggerland.

John: This looks like Bat Boy’s new grift, you know?

Niki: [laughs] How much paperwork do you think you have to sign to go to Diggerland?

John: Um…

Niki: One of the rides is you just get–

John: Batkid. Sorry, Bat Boy was the half bat half child on the cover of Weekly World News. I apologize.

Niki: Mm. One of the rides is you just get in a cherry picker.

John: Right. Oh, but they–

Niki: And it goes up.

John: It goes up.

Niki: And that’s it.

LB: I want to go to this.

John: I would do this. Yeah, I would absolutely–

LB: I would do this.

Niki: You want to go to Diggerland?

John: Yeah.

LB: Where is this? I stopped paying attention to what you were saying.

John: Now, Niki, you need to understand I’m not going to say this out loud.

LB: Yeah, I also can’t say that word.

Niki: Where are you trying to go? Why don’t you want to– why won’t you say Diggerland out loud?

John: Because I don’t need to.

LB: Because I can’t say it.

John: You’re saying it enough for us, I think.

LB: Yeah, that’s true.

John: Yeah.

Niki: I just need to make sure that you know what it’s called.

John: I–

LB: The place–

Niki: ‘Cause they won’t let you in if you don’t say it.

John: It’s right here in the– [all laugh]

LB: Then I can’t go. I’m not gonna say it.

John: They just, they put a camera right on you, [Niki laughs] zoom in, and go, “You’re so close. All you gotta do is say it. Stare down the barrel and just say where you’re going, and then we’ll let you in.”

LB: [laughing] You’ll get to play with all the tractors.

Niki: Yeah, it’s free, actually. You just have to say what the place is called.

John: You just have to say it. You have to say it. We are gonna record it, but it’s not for– [LB laughs] we’re not gonna do anything with it. We’re just doing it to make sure that you said it.

Niki: We’re just gonna keep. We’re just gonna keep it.

John: We’re gonna keep it.

Niki: Yeah.

John: No big deal.

Niki: We’re training an AI to be able to say Diggerland perfectly, [John laughs] so we need all of the information we can get.

LB: [laughs] Looking at the pile of dirt when you’re done, it feels like you’ve achieved something. [John laughs]

Niki: Diggerland has a waterpark aspect as well.

John: Yeah.

LB: I don’t want to do that.

Niki: You can also drive–

LB: I don’t think you should mix the thing with all the dirt with a water park, ’cause that’s how you make mud.

Niki: Wait, they’ll let you drive a steam roller around a go-kart track.

LB: I do want to do that.

John: Wow. I mean, that sounds fun.

LB: That does sound very fun.

Niki: You can rent a cabana for only $150.

John: Wow.

LB: Where is this place?

Niki: It’s in Jersey.

John: That’s so–

Niki: It’s 20 minutes away from Philly.

John: I can rent a cabana? Okay, like–

Niki: Look at this cabana!

John: At the fucking Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, that’s like a thousand dollars a day.

Niki: Yeah, but–

John: What a deal.

Niki: It’s such a deal.

LB: [laughs] What’s the cabana like at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas? I do want to see. [typing] Cosmopolitan.

Niki: Hey, LB? Way better.

John: It’ll be a little bit nicer than this. [laughs]

Niki: Way nicer. Way nicer. People bring you alcohol for free at this.

John: Yeah.

LB: Yeah, no, this is much nicer, and there’s also a pool.

John: There’s also a pool, yeah.

Niki: There’s a pool and a bed.

LB: I mean, there’s a pool in here.

Niki: No, no, no, no, no. Please, please, please. The cabana does face the pool.

John: Oh, yeah.

Niki: Would you like to see the pool?

John: Yes.

Niki: At the cabana?

John: Mm-hmm.

Niki: I mean, at Diggerland? [LB laughs]

John: God.

Niki: Here’s the pool at Diggerland.

John: God. [laughs quietly]

LB: Is there alcohol at the pool?

Niki: Uh, it’s a family theme park, so maybe not.

John: Sorry. No, no, no, no. This is a video game.

Niki: [laughs] No, it’s not.

John: No, Niki, that’s–

Niki: This is a screenshot from the Diggerland website.

John: Oh, okay. I was about to say like, Niki, this isn’t a shot. This isn’t a photograph.

Niki: No, this is a photograph of Diggerland!

John: No, it’s not. Niki, no, it’s not. Look at it harder.

Niki: This is what Diggerland looks like!

John: Okay. No, sorry. This isn’t a…no! This isn’t a photograph of stuff that’s there. The textures on this photo are too fucked up.

Niki: Hold on. I’m gonna go look at– I’m gonna look at Diggerland myself. [typing] Diggerland USA.

John: God.

LB: I think that this is a real photograph, but they’ve added digitally rendered like aspects to it.

Niki: Yeah, this is what Diggerland looks like. [John laughs] It just looks– this is from– you can’t lie on Google.

John: You can’t lie on Google, I guess. It’s true.

Niki: That’s just what it looks like, here at Diggerland.

John: Oh my God. [LB laughs]

Niki: Diggerland USA. [LB laughs harder]

John: You’re trying to– I feel like you’re trying to bait LB and I into just like casually saying it. [Niki laughs] We won’t. We won’t. I mean, you’d have–

Niki: Saying what?

John: You’d have to– yeah, what are you digging at this place?

Niki: Land! [John laughs]

LB: Dirt.

Niki: Dirt!

John: All I see are cabanas and pools.

LB: ‘Cause this is the water park part.

Niki: This is the water park part.

John: Mm.

Niki: This is the– there’s a go-kart track where you can drive a tractor or a steam roller.

John: Why wouldn’t you call it–

Niki: There’s a train that’s a tractor. Look at how happy the kid driving this train is.

John: Why wouldn’t you call it…?

LB: Am I allowed to drive a go-kart?

Niki: Yeah, what? Yeah.

John: I don’t understand why you wouldn’t call this place Digland.

Niki: [laughs quietly] Which place?

LB: You know why. You know why.

John: The place we’re talking about. Or Diggingland, you know? [Niki laughs]

LB: Diggingland, yeah.

Niki: No, but you’re a digger. Like… [John laughs]

LB: I actually don’t know if I do want to go here anymore. [Niki laughs] I’m afraid of whoever runs this place. Why would they name it this?

John: Why would they name it this?

Niki: Because it’s what you are when you’re there.

John: I mean…oh my God. So, my, I have a god– [LB and John laugh] I have a godmother who named her dog…

Niki: Uh huh.

John: The first part of that word. [Niki laughs] Digger.

Niki: What did she name the dog, John?

LB: The D slur?

John: Digger.

Niki: What?

John: You heard me.

Niki: Diggerland?

John: No. Just–

Niki: Oh.

LB: That without the land.

John: Just that without the land.

Niki: Oh. Just Digger.

John: And at some point, we were together, and she was like calling this dog to come to her in public, and I was like… [Niki laughs]

LB: No!

John: I’m not gonna say her name. I’m gonna protect her identity, but I was like–

Niki: Oh my God.

John: I was like, can you– like, you can’t. And she was like, “What?” I’m like, think about it for fucking five seconds.

Niki: A second.

John: And then I was like, oh, you could think about this for 20 seconds, [laughter] for 60 seconds, maybe even the rest of your life and not understand this. And then I was just like, “Yeah, you can’t.” So yeah. I’m not gonna go to this place. There’s no way.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: I just think that you should open your mind. [John laughs] Diggerland is currently busier than usual right now, ’cause of all the good press that they’re getting.

John: Is that what Google says?

Niki: Yeah.

John: Mm.

Niki: Here are some questions.

John: Okay.

Niki: “Do adults need to buy tickets even if they don’t play?” Brian says, “They do offer a no ride senior citizen band.”

John: Wow.

Niki: “Adults pay full price. You will likely want to participate.”

John: You will likely want to participate!

Niki: Sherry Sanderson says, “This is unfortunate, because I cannot leave the baby behind to ride with a toddler.” [John laughs] Alex says, “This was as fun for my 48 year old self as it was for my five year old son.”

John: Mm.

LB: I mean, it does sound fun.

John: I mean, it does sound fun.

LB: But I feel like you could just go to any construction site [John: “Ooh”] and be like, “Here’s a hundred dollars.”

John: Right. [Niki laughs quietly]

LB: Let me play, please.

Niki: “Can I bring a bag in with water and a change of clothes for the kids?” Diggerland says, “You can bring a bag in with clothes. It will be check upon entry of the park. Outside food and beverages are not allowed into the park, except for one clear unopened bottle of water.”

John: Mm.

Niki: What?

John: Mm.

LB: So is my issue with Vegas that I had never just hung out at the pool all day? This looks so nice.

John: Yeah.

Niki: Yeah.

John: Yeah, that’s…yeah, that’s legit.

Niki: Vegas is good if you’re there on someone else’s dime.

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or if you’re rich, just either way.

Niki: Or if you’re extremely rich.

John: Yeah.

Niki: Yeah, but like, if someone else is paying for your experience, it’s impossible to fuck up there.

John: Yeah.

Niki: I think.

LB: Well…

John: Well…

Niki: Well…

John: Well.

Niki: Maybe not impossible.

LB: It sucks. Vegas, it sucks, though, is the thing…

Niki: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but like that’s because you’re paying to be there. Like–

LB: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It’s because it’s fundamentally bad.

Niki: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LB: I don’t like it.

Niki: But like, I think there’s enough abstraction once you’re a couple of drinks in and you’ve been laying on top of a roof and baking [John: “Yeah”] in the heat where you’re like kind of delirious.

John: Yeah.

Niki: And the guy keeps bringing you gin and tonics.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: Just over and over and over again.

LB: That sounds like I’m gonna be sick.

Niki: No, because like you’re taking so long to drink them, because it’s so hot, ’cause you’re also drinking so much water.

John: So much water.

Niki: Because you’re so hot, [laughs] ’cause it’s so hot.

John: It’s so hot. ‘Cause it’s 110 degrees.

LB: I don’t want to be in 110 degrees.

Niki: They let you smoke up there, Jordan. It’s Vegas. Anything’s legal.

John: Yeah. Everything’s legal. Nothing’s illegal in Las Vegas.

LB: Jordo doesn’t smoke.

Niki: Nothing is illegal in Las Vegas.

John: Yeah, Jordan also doesn’t drink or smoke.

Niki: You can vape up there.

John: Don’t drink, don’t smoke. What do you do?

Niki: In my– okay, wait. So, okay.

John: Oh. [laughs quietly]

Niki: In my brain, vape and smoke, same action, same activity.

LB: Not same activity.

John: It’s not same activity, really.

Niki: Mm.

LB: ‘Cause one of them’s cool, and one of them doesn’t give you a sinus infection. [John laughs]

Niki: So, okay, so if I– if we all worked in the office together, right?

John: Different definitions of cool, but yes. I mean, not getting a sinus infection, also cool.

Niki: If we worked in an office together.

John: Yeah.

Niki: And I was like, “I’m going down to have a smoke break.”

John: Right.

Niki: And y’all went with me for some reason, [John: “Right”] and then I pulled out my sick rig. Would you make fun of me?

LB: That’s not smoking. Yes, for calling it a smoke break? Absolutely.

John: Well, yeah, I would go, yeah, you’re not on a smoke break.

LB: You’re vaping.

John: You’re vaping.

Niki: Wow. I would say that’s a smoke break.

John: No, but think about it the opposite, though.

LB: No, ’cause it’s not smoke. It’s vapor.

John: Think about it the opposite, though. If you go, “Hey, I’m gonna go down and vape,” and you pull out a fucking pack of Marlboro Reds and light up. [John and Niki laugh]

LB: Mm.

John: Like, that’s weird.

Niki: That is weird, I guess.

John: That’s very different. Yeah.

LB: Do you think they still taste the same?

Niki: Marlboro Reds?

LB: Marlboro Reds.

John: Do I think–

Niki: I mean, I would assume so.

John: Wait, do I think they still taste the same as when?

Niki: The past.

LB: When they used to.

John: The past?

Niki: Before Obama fucking ruined them.

John: I have no idea.

LB: Did Obama ruin Marlboro Reds?

Niki: Yeah. As a 20 year lifelong smoker, yeah, I have a lot of experience [John laughs] with the taste and flavors.

LB: Obama smoked, though.

John: Yeah, he did.

Niki: He did.

LB: That was very exciting at the time.

Niki: Remember that?

John: I do.

LB: Yeah.

Niki: Finally, the first smoking president. [Niki and LB laugh]

John: Yeah. Smoking president in a beige suit.

LB: He loved smoking and his Blackberry, and I was like, “He’s just like me.”

Niki: Yeah, he’s just like me.

John: Just like me.

LB: He’s just like me. When I was 19, I loved smoking, and I loved my Blackberry.

John: Yeah.

Niki: And then they made him stop.

John: Yeah.

LB: Yep. It is very bad for you, smoking.

John: I mean, sure, but do you think he just did what my mom did and started saying, “Hey, I’m gonna go get my jacket, ’cause I’m cold,” and then disappearing for 15 minutes without a jacket.

LB: [laughs] yes.

John: And then just smelling like smoke?

LB: [laughs] Yes, I do think that he did that.

John: Because that’s what my mom still does to this day. She’ll be like, “Hey, I gotta go get my jacket. I’m really cold.” And she’ll come back smelling like smoke with no jacket, 15 minutes later.

Niki: Imagine being the aide who had to get the cigarettes and hide them from Michelle.

John: Right. Yeah. Yeah, that’d be…

Niki: What do you think– do you think Michelle, if she saw the aide give Barack the cigarettes, [John: “Uh huh”] do you think Michelle would’ve fired the aide?

John: Yeah. Yes. Yes, I do.

Niki: Mm.

John: Do you not?

Niki: No, I do.

John: Yeah.

Niki: I’m looking at the area around Diggerland USA, and there are– [John laughs] there are already one, two, three, four, five, like at least in the immediate two mile radius.

John: Yeah.

Niki: At least 10 other construction places.

John: Mm.

Niki: I think Diggerlands might have been a construction site in the past.

John: Yeah.

Niki: And they pivoted hard.

John: Ooh, so this is some sort of like tax write off kind of thing?

Niki: Yeah.

John: Like, hey, we gotta do something with this space?

Niki: Yeah.

John: Interesting.

Niki: Okay, now, but they have Diggerland XL.

John: Oh God. [John and Niki laugh]

Niki: Do you want to hear about Diggerland XL?

John: Eh…

Niki: The logo looks like the Super Bowl logo.

John: [laughs] No!

Niki: Diggerland XL. Operate unrestricted full size construction equipment at Diggerland with one-on-one instruction from our heavy machinery instructor.

John: Christ.

Niki: Packages offer several durations, three machines, group experiences, bachelor or bachelorette parties, corporate team building exercises, and can even include a car crush.

John: Ooh!

Niki: You’ll be guided through your adventure via radio communication. Unleash the full power of these excavators, loaders, and dozers. Diggerland XL is awesome. It’s also only for adults, 18+.

John: Whoa!

LB: I’m not going there either.

Niki: Why?

John: I would go, but I would be less likely to go there than the other one.

Niki: What if Tencent paid for all of us to go to Diggerland XL?

LB: I would go.

John: Yeah, I would go. [Niki laughs] Oh, yeah, I would go in a heartbeat.

LB: But that’s so I could spend time with my coworkers.

John: Yeah.

Niki: How much money do you think it costs– [laughs] Okay. We’re gonna go for two hours. How much money do you think that is?

LB: For how many people?

Niki: You get to pick two of the three machines.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: There’s a bulldozer, there’s a crusher, and a…I mean, to me, all of these are bulldozers.

John: Right.

Niki: They all look the same.

LB: For how many people?

Niki: Per person.

John: So you’re asking how much it costs to go?

Niki: Yeah, per person.

LB: For two hours per person?

Niki: For two hours, yeah.

John: For two hours.

LB: Like 100 bucks, $150.

Niki: For two hours.

John: Uh, I’m gonna say…for two hours, it’s $350.

Niki: 289.

John: 289. Okay.

Niki: What if you want to add a car to smash?

John: Oh! I bet that drives it up a lot. I bet that’s like…so, it’s 289, two hours?

Niki: Yeah. It’s an entire car that has not been crushed already.

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m gonna say, like, it adds like $700 to the ticket.

Niki: LB?

LB: 600.

Niki: Jordan said $46,000. [Niki and John laugh] The correct answer is $475 for a car.

John: So total, or is that added to it?

Niki: No, that’s the add-on. That’s the DLC.

John: That’s the add-on. Okay. All right.

Niki: Yeah.

John: So, wow. Okay. Wow. Can I just put like 10 of those in the cart?

Niki: Yeah. [laughs quietly]

John: And just go for two hours–

Niki: To just crush all of the cars?

John: And spend, you know, $5,000 or whatever and then crush all the cars?

Niki: Diggerland USA. [John laughs]

LB: You really like saying it.

John: Yeah, you’re just–

Niki: I just think it’s got such a good mouth feel.

John: Does it? Does it have a good mouthfeel?

Niki: Wait, do you want to go to Diggerfest?

John: Oh. [Niki laughs] No!

LB: You made that up. You made that up.

Niki: No, Digger– what is Diggerfest? Well, we’re glad you asked. [John and LB laugh] It’s the time of year all of the pumpkins sprout up to drive, ride, and operate all the amazing machines. This is our exclusive fall festival where you can enjoy live music, specialty food, hay rides, and plenty of fun and games. Don’t miss it.

John: Oh my God.

Niki: When is Diggerfest? It starts in– [all laugh] it starts in September and runs until October.

John: Mm.

Niki: Noon to four, on weekends only.

John: Mm.

Niki: They’ve got clowns and a dog that can walk on a trapeze.

John: Wow.

Niki: And they got a petting zoo.

John: I wonder what the– yeah, what’s the dog’s name?

Niki: The dog’s named…it doesn’t say. [John laughs] It doesn’t say. Hold on, let me look. Let me do some research.

LB: What if we just went to the county fair?

Niki: Will they let me drive the…

LB: No.

Niki: Aw.

LB: I always want to go to the county fair, but it’s always too hot to go.

John: Mm.

Niki: Yeah, they should have the county fair in the winter.

LB: I don’t want to go to Pomona when it’s– it’s just, it’s so hot out.

Niki: Yeah. And it’s in Pomona.

LB: [in unison] And it’s in Pomona. [Niki laughs]

John: It’s in Pomona.

LB: So it’s really far and like extra hot. So it’s like, it’ll be like 80 here, it’ll be like 90 in Pomona. I don’t want to do that.

Niki: Hey, do you want this, um…can one of you read what’s on the back of this?

John: If it’s…no, absolutely– no! [Niki laughs] Absolutely not! Absolutely not! I’ve never seen this word be used so liberally in so many cases.

LB: Yeah, I think there’s gotta be something going on here.

John: There’s something going on here.

Niki: [finishes laughing] It’s only $13.

John: All right, so, you need to read it, because LB and I certainly aren’t going to.

LB: You need to read it, Niki. We can’t read it.

Niki: It says, says “Digger Mad.” [laughter]

John: It’s absolutely rid– no!

Niki: Wait, in the lore– hold on.

John: In the lore?

LB: In the lore?

Niki: In the flavor text for this item, [John: “Uh huh”] it says this bright–

LB: [laughs] The lore text?

John: The lore. In the–

LB: [laughing] It’s in the lore text, like it’s Elden Ring?

Niki: [laughs] Well, no.

John: On the fucking page for this event.

Niki: But it establishes a bit of lore that is not referenced at all anywhere else on the website.

John: Okay.

Niki: It says, “This bright lime safety vest is a must have for digging along with the dinos.”

John: Whoa!

LB: [laughs] The dinos.

Niki: There’s no reference to dinosaurs anywhere else on the website!

John: Whoa!

Niki: What dinosaurs are they talking about?

John: Do you think they used to have some sort of dinosaur theme and now they’ve gotten rid of it?

Niki: Wait, when you click on tickets, it is a picture of a dinosaur with the biggest head I’ve ever seen in my life.

John: Oh my God.

Niki: Oh my God. The dinosaurs are named Daisy and D-Rex.

LB: I just misspelled it Digerland. [Niki and John laugh]

LB: There’s one in the United Kingdom.

Niki: [British accent] Diggerland, innit?

John: [laughs] Yeah, what is this dinosaur theming?

Niki: It’s not present anywhere else on the website. Oh, you can get a AAA discount.

John: Oh, thank God.

LB: Okay. This is, so Dig– the one you’re saying dot com.

Niki: Damn it!

John: Go ahead, say it again.

Niki: They were so close. They were so close!

John: They were so close. You were so close. [Niki laughs]

LB: The one you said dot com is the British website, is the British one.

John: [laughs] So close.

Niki: Wait, what’s wrong with the British one? [laughs]

LB: There’s a British one too.

Niki: [typing] British Diggerland. There is one in England.

John: There is one in England?

LB: I don’t think it’s related, though.

Niki: It’s in Kent.

John: Oh. [British] It’s in Kent, innit?

Niki: Dig buckets of fun for everyone.

John: Buckets of fun for everyone.

Niki: How is this place not spon– wait. There’s four of them in England.

John: Oh, wow.

Niki: There is one in Kent, one in Devon, one in Durham, or Yorkshire.

John: [British] Yorkshire.

Niki: [British] Yorkshire Diggerland, innit?

John: [British] Yorkshire.

Niki: [British] They’ve got skittles. They’ve got dodgems. They’ve got go-karts, indoor soft play, spindizzy. [laughs]

John: Indoor soft play?

Niki: [British] Yeah, indoor soft play.

John: No, wait, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. What’s indoor soft play?

LB: I… [all laugh]

Niki: The beanie says Diggerwear. It’s good! It’s really good! [laughter]

John: God damn.

LB: Is that what they call like a machine that digs in England?

Niki: Um…

John: Um, maybe.

LB: So this is USA, the one you’ve– so it originally comes from the UK?

Niki: Unclear.

John: Does it originate from the UK?

Niki: The font is the same.

LB: Info. Where’s like About? Where’s Our Story?

Niki: No, but something as American as Digger– well, I mean, I can chat with the member of the staff. [typing] Nicholas Grayson, jwarren at…

LB: Soaring eagles video purchase.

Niki: [typing] Hey, are y’all related to the Diggerland in the UK, question mark? [John laughs] Initiate chat. Okay. Now we just wait.

John: Now we just wait. So you think they’re still working right now?

Niki: It’s only five!

John: [laughs] You think they’re–

LB: You can get a job in the UK. You can film there.

John: You think they got like an eight to eight kind of thing?

Niki: They close at six!

John: They close at six? Okay.

LB: Our History. Okay, so the UK one is from 1996.

Niki: Hey, sorry, they responded already. [laughs]

John: Okay. All right.

LB: Yeah?

Niki: Daisy says, “Hello. We are not affiliated with Diggerland UK.” Oh really?

John: Oh, really? [LB laughs quietly]

Niki: That’s wild. [typing] Which one came first? [John and LB laugh]

LB: I’m really glad we’re talking to a customer service person in our final episode. [Niki laughs]

John: Yeah, no, it feels right. Thank you, customer service person.

Niki: I hope Daisy answers.

John: Yeah, Daisy, hurry up. We only have so much time on the show.

Niki: Construction-themed water park. [Niki and John laugh] Rest in peace to Big Tex. Is that this guy?

John: Yeah, rest in peace to Big Tex. That’s Big Tex. Jordan did post the burning Big Tex in the chat. Big Tex was, of course– I think we’ve talked about this on the show. I mean, if I haven’t talked about it on this show, I’ve talked about it somewhere else, but Big Tex was the– or I guess still is the mascot of the Texas State Fair. I want to say it was like 12 years ago? Maybe it wasn’t even that long ago, but he went up in flames, and there were so many people in Texas that were like–

Niki: Just watching?

John: Kind of mourning the fact that [Niki: “Oh, they were mourning”] Big Texas was burning like the effigy at the end of, uh…I almost said Hollow Man, but that’s not it.

LB: The Wicker Man?

John: The Wicker Man, thank you.

Niki: [laughs quietly] Yeah, Hollow Man.

John: The Hollow Man. But it was honestly the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. [laughter] That was 10 years ago. It was so good.

Niki: Okay, I have a response from Daisy.

John: Okay, please. Yes.

Niki: “Diggerland Kent opened in 2000. Diggerland USA opened in 2014.”

John: Oh my God.

Niki: “Parks are not affiliated to each other but offer the same idea and rights.” [typing] So y’all just took the idea from the original Diggerland. [John laughs]

LB: Don’t do this to Daisy. Stop. Don’t send that.

Niki: No, I’ve closed it. I’ve closed it.

John: Don’t do this to her!

Niki: Also, I think it’s a robot? [John laughs]

LB: No. I don’t think so.

Niki: No, I’ve closed it. I’ve closed it.

John: It’s not her fault.

LB: Thank you for not hurting Daisy.

John: It’s not her fault that they stole the name.

LB: Wait, can I say something?

Niki: Hey, do you want to go to the Holidig Light Show?

John: You can’t– there’s– what? Why are they putting this word into everything?

Niki: [laughs] What’s up, LB?

LB: Oh, I wanted to say something.

John: Oh, okay. Yeah.

LB: About our show.

John: Okay, yeah, we should talk about the show and wrap it up.

LB: ‘Cause I called it the last episode.

John: Yeah.

LB: But I do want to say, like, this is our last episode in this incarnation.

John: Yeah.

LB: This is our last episode as Friends Reunion, a podcast for discerning listeners.

John: That’s true.

LB: We will be back in another form.

John: We will.

LB: We’re not leaving you.

John: We’re not leaving you.

LB: This show isn’t over.

John: No.

LB: It’s kind– this show is over, but the spirit of this show will live on [Niki: “Will dig on”] in a new form.

John: Don’t say– [laughs]

LB: Will dig on. Exactly. It will live to dig another hole.

Niki: We’re all going to Diggerland to dig a big hole for Friends Reunion.

John: Uh huh.

Niki: We’re all digging a new hole.

John: We’re gonna dig a new hole.

LB: [laughs] We’re gonna bury the old show, and then we’re gonna dig a new hole. [Niki laughs]

John: We’re gonna bury the old show.

LB: [laughing] And so one hole will be a grave, and then the new hole will be our house. [Niki and John laugh] And you’re all invited, and we’ll let you know when it happens, and don’t worry. It’s gonna be a really nice hole.

Niki: Oh shit. On September 17, we can join them in the Diggerland parking lot for a free event, called Touch-A-Truck. [all laugh]

LB: No! It’s not called Touch-A-Truck!

John: It’s called Touch-A-Truck? [Niki laughs]

LB: It’s not called Touch-A-Truck!

John: Oh my God.

Niki: It’s called Touch-A-Truck. Vendors from all over are bringing some of the coolest vehicles for you and your family to learn about.

John: Oh my God. [LB laughs]

Niki: Touch-A-Truck. Be there.

John: This is coming up.

Niki: Be there.

John: I mean, this is coming up. This is coming up soon.

LB: Oh, the people who made it through the Larry Crowne part to get to Touch-A-Truck are [John: “Bless you”] patting themselves on the back. They’re like, we made the right call.

John: You made the right call, everyone.

LB: [laughs] Touch-A-Truck!

Niki: What do you– do you know what Diggerland’s slogan is?

LB: Is it touch a truck? [laughs]

Niki: No.

John: [laughs] Is it touch a truck? Dig a hole, touch a truck.

LB: [laughing] Dig a hole, touch a truck!

John: That’s it.

Niki: That’s the episode title. The slogan is “Drive, Ride, Soak, and Slide.”

John: Drive, ride, soak, and slide.

Niki: Yep.

John: So nowhere is dig in the kind of–

Niki: Oh, because it’s everywhere else, I think.

John: I guess it is everywhere else, most of all in this episode.

Niki: Hey, I found a flyer.

LB: Jordo, bleep this part out, what I’m about to say. What if we call the new show [bleep]? Every week we talk about [bleep] and then we do the regular show. [laughter]

John: Fine. That’s fine. That’s good.

Niki: This is the flyer.

John: Touch A Truck, September 17, from– what? It’s only three hours long.

Niki: It’s only three hours long? [laughs]

John: It’s only three hours long?

Niki: Listen, you gotta–

LB: You can’t touch enough trucks in three hours.

John: And I gotta get my ass out of bed to get there at 9 A.M.?

LB: [laughing] I have to use both hands and touch one truck with each hand to touch ‘em all in three hours.

John: Now, do you think that– now, so, this flyer has a kind of a rusted truck on the right side and then the hand of God, more or less, [laughter] reaching out to touch it. Like, do you think we wouldn’t have understood the fucking premise if we hadn’t seen the hand? [LB laughs] It’s unbelievable.

LB: I really like that the hand is doing that pose from the…

Niki: From God.

LB: From the ceiling.

John: I mean, this is like the Creation of Adam, [LB: “This is!”] except it’s envisioning that a truck created Adam.

LB: The Creation of Truck!

John: The Creation of Truck! [LB laughs] Oh my God.

LB: Should we rename Truckin’ Tuesday to Touch a Truck?

John: I think we should. Touch a Truck is…

Niki: Touch a Truck day.

John: Touch a Truck day. This show has been a real joy. Everyone in the discord, you can still go to the discord for Fanbyte. It’s We have a Friends Reunion channel in there. You can still hang out there and talk to us.

LB: Mm-hmm.

John: We’ll probably, you know, update you on when you might expect kind of new content from us or something there. But yeah, we will be back, just not in this form, which is exciting, and I’m glad for all the support we’ve gotten since we announced that we’re closing the show on the network. Everyone’s been unbelievably nice in sending us really nice messages and saying how much they’ll miss the show and saying how much they’ve liked listening it over the past 130 episodes, so.

LB: They’ve liked listening it.

John: Yeah, it was– they’ve liked listening it.

Niki: Yeah, they’ve been digging it.

John: They– [LB and John laugh] That’s true.

LB: That was really good.

John: Niki, do you have any parting words or are you just gonna say the words– or are you just gonna say the name of this place again?

Niki: I mean, you can just catch us at our first live show. We’ll be at Diggerland. [John and LB laugh]

LB: That’s not true! Please don’t go there!

John: We should absolutely try to do a live show there. That would be great.

LB: We’ll let you know when we do a real live show. [Niki laughs]

Niki: Live from the claw hammer at Diggerland USA. [John and LB laugh]

LB: We should do the Great British British Off at the UK one.

John: Oh my God!

Niki: Whoa!

John: We gotta.

LB: And then get buried in the dirt. [LB and Niki laugh]

John: We gotta.

LB: The winner gets to bury us in the dirt.

John: God, that’d be so good.

Niki: Diggerfest.

John: Let’s wrap it up, shall we? We’ve been going for a little while.

Niki: What is that? Hey, what’s this? Oh, it’s the number five but sideways.