In a world where poorly-constructed extended universes get endless funding and opportunities (looking at you, “Dark Universe”), The Show Must Go On provides refreshingly entertaining sequel, prequel, and spin-off ideas. Hosts Rory and Tim do their best to take the original movie concept and improve upon it.
Sure there are movie review podcasts galore, but how about for movies that only exist in the minds’ of two guys?
This is a niche very much in my wheelhouse. I first fell in love with fictitious sequels when I heard Patton Oswalt pitch his Unbreakable 2 sequel — which, by the way, a sequel is actually happening! The Show Must Go On takes this concept and simply expands it. They’ve created movie concepts for Reign of Fire (a personal favorite of mine), Se7en, Mystery Men, Crank, Looper, and many more.
I spoke with Rory recently about the podcast and we discussed his favorite sequel pitches, how they got started with the podcast, and where they want to go from here. Our first (I believe) Canadian Spotlight, so please excuse the “favourite” spelling :). See our full Q&A below.
Discover Pods: How did your podcast get started?
Rory: Well, I’ve been doing traditional stand-up comedy for six years now, and honestly wanted to start a podcast solely so I could hang out with my friend Grayson more. We were both very busy with work and life, and doing a project like this together seemed like a good way to not only flex our creative muscles, but simply spend time together.
Unfortunately, Grayson later moved across the country, but the idea we came up with stuck with me, so I enlisted the help of another comedian friend who had expressed interest in podcasting, Tim Kehler. From there, we just took off.
DP: It seems like the skills honed in standup transfer well to podcasting. Do think think this is the case? If so, why?
Rory: I do think that stand up can certainly help in certain kinds of podcasts, but it’s not a necessity. It helps with The Show Must Go On in that you sometimes have to think on your feet to cover some of the story elements you may have forgotten, and to simply keep the show light and fun, even when discussing sequels to darker films such as Se7en or Dark City.
DP: Why did you choose a podcast over other mediums?
Rory: We chose podcasting simply because, being from Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada), there really isn’t much coming out of here. We’re sort of a cultural island. Podcasting seemed like a way to get our ideas out there while not having to invest thousands of dollars into the project. Basically, we’re cheap, haha.
DP: What’s unique about your podcast?
Rory: Our podcast is a film podcast, which is of course a fairly over-saturated genre at the moment. Because of this, we tried to separate ourselves by talking about films that never happened! We pitch sequels, prequels, or spin-offs to films that never got any, so instead of hearing people talk the same points about the same films over and over again, you get to hear two creative people invent their own characters, their own stories, and place them in these familiar worlds. It’s more involving than simple review shows or “guys talking about nothing” shows, which I personally think are not only over-saturated, but uninspired and usually just not good. We also added the idea that the audience votes on a winner after each episode, to add a bit of competitive edge between us and to keep us at our best.
DP: Wow, never-existing sequels and spinoffs are definitely in my wheel-house. What are some of your favorites?
Rory: My favourites as in favourite movies that have been pitched, or simply favourite episodes we’ve done? Because one doesn’t always mean the other. Probably one of my favourite ideas I pitched was a sequel to Dark City. Anyone who has watched the film knows it would be challenging to do a sequel, but I really had fun with the themes and the characters from the first one, and felt I made a really good story out of a rather complicated film. Another favourite of mine would have to be my cohost Tim’s pitch for a Mystery Men sequel. It perfectly parodied current superhero tropes and I was completely engaged throughout his pitch.
For straight up fun episodes, our pitches for Crank 3 are so completely over-the-top that even the writing team behind the first two Crank films might think we’ve gone too far, haha.
DP: Why do your listeners keep coming back?
Rory: I like to imagine the listeners keep coming back because of two reasons. 1: that we’re good storytellers, and that they are actually invested in these new stories and developments we’re writing for these films. And 2: that Tim and I have good chemistry together. We try and bring out the best in each other, while keeping the show light and fun and funny when needed.
DP: Have you received any feedback from people “in the business”?
Rory: Feedback from the industry has yet to happen, but it’s something we openly encourage. We do tweet at actors/directors/writers for the hell of it, on the off chance they give us a listen and have a laugh.
DP: What’s next? Where do you want to take your podcast?
Rory: What’s next? Well, currently we’re on a two week release schedule, but we’re planning on doing some bonus episodes soon. Whenever there is a large scale sequel coming out, we’re going to be doing pitches for what we think should happen and releasing those episodes a week or two before the official release. We’re also thinking of possibly adding some sort of improv segment to the show, where we improvise a scene from one of our previously pitched films, or maybe make fun trailers for the winning films, but this is all looking in future quite aways. One roadblock coming up soon is that I’m moving out to Vancouver, so we’ll see how that affects the show. We’re dedicated in keeping it going, but changes are bound to happen in the future.
DP: Have you ever pursued getting one of these ideas to get made?
Rory: We always joke that we’re mostly pitching these films so we can inevitably sue the producers once the sequels actually get made, haha. Our one friend and guest on episode 10 Josh Fleming wishes we had changed our name to The Film Vultures, since we basically just pick at the corpses of films long gone, haha. So to answer the question more directly, no, we haven’t pursued any ideas specifically, but our doors are always open, Hollywood!
DP: What are your favorite 5 podcasts?
Rory: My favourite podcasts? Well, film and comedy are my life, so that reflects heavily on my choices. My #1 podcast has been for years Filmspotting, easily the best film podcast out there. Flophouse is likely one of the funniest shows out there. You Must Remember This combines my love of history and film perfectly. The Film Reroll has quickly moved out my rankings, both due to the comedy and the creativity involved. And, for a change of pace, I’m a big true crime fan, so I have to give a shout out to The Trail Went Cold…, a seminal unresolved mysteries podcast.
DP: Anything else you want to add?
Rory: One thing I’d like to say is that we are always, always, ALWAYS looking for film suggestions. While both Tim and I have very large collections and lists of what films to do, we really want as much audience participation and interaction as possible, and think it’s a good way to do films that neither of us would ever think of. So if you have an idea on what film we should do sequels for, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!
DP: Where can listeners find you?