Three years ago, deep in the throes of internet flirtation, I posed a question about Shirley Jackson’s seminal short story “The Lottery.” The object of my flirtation volleyed with a line about Moonshine Holler and the question, “Have you heard of Thrilling Adventure Hour?” I had indeed heard of the long-running live new time podcast in the style of old time radio, but aside from listening to a few episodes because Nathan Fillion is an excuse for anyone to listen to anything (Nathan Fillion is responsible for a lot of TAH fans or so I’m told), I was largely unfamiliar. I dove into the backlog of episodes with the enthusiasm of any person willing to spend hours plugged into the internet for a lot of laughs, and what became a lot of friendships and memories.
Thrilling Adventure Hour has been podcasting here with Nerdist Industries for the last five years, and tomorrow the final show will be available for your listening pleasure. Ten years ago, all that existed was a feature script about a cowboy on Mars that the Bens (Acker & Blacker are the writers – their names are Ben) won’t let you read in 2015. Now there’s an international adventure, exciting live crossovers with Welcome to Night Vale, and more than 120 live performances in Los Angeles. Thrilling Adventure Hour has spawned comic books, puppets, and some of the best cosplay I’ve ever seen in person. The cast and team behind the scenes have been performing together all these ten years, and they will tell you themselves (at least through convention panels) that they are quite a bit like a family.
When the announcement came last October that the show would end this spring with a final live performance at Largo in Los Angeles, the fandom was dejected. Even the assurances that podcasts would continue airing through August (hence this post) and that there was always the chance for special performances in the future (more on that below) did little to quell the sadness. A world without Sparks Nevada, Croach the Tracker, Frank & Sadie Doyle, and the many, many, many (seriously there’s a whole wiki out there on this show and there are a lot of memorable folks) characters seems just a little more dull.
Nothing will do the wonders and joys of Thrilling Adventure Hour justice like the testimonials of their fans, but I can’t compile them all. So you’re going to have to get yourself onto the internet and peruse the fan sites for all the wonderfulness that is out there. But if you’re not into fan reactions, just get yourself onto the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast page and listen to every single little bit of backlog that you can get yourself. There are a lot of lost episodes. Their original venue, M Bar, wasn’t super conducive to recording, but you can listen to the rest and dream of wonderful performances that must have happened.
And if you’re in New York City for New York Comic Con, get yourself ready. Things are on the horizon. Tickets to these things will be available on August 20th. Oh and LA Podfest? There are things. Buy tickets here for Thrilling Adventure Hour and here for the whole festival. (Code TAH will get you a discount.) You can keep up with the show on their website, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
Thrilling Adventure Hour will live on forever in us. And even before it does that, you’ll catch a few more shows live. Until then, we’re going to have to deal with only hearing the dulcet tones of Paget Brewster, Craig Cackowski, Mark Gagliardi, Marc Evan Jackson, Busy Philipps, Hal Lublin, Annie Savage, Autumn Reeser, Paul F Tompkins, and so very many more actors from your television and movie screens through the magic of the internet and a backlog of podcasts.
Make sure you download tomorrow’s final episode of a legendary show. Share your favorite TAH memories below!