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Episode 47: Thrilling Adventure Hour
Sparks Nevada, Marshal on…

Thrilling Adventure Hour #47: Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, “The Return of Croach the Tracker and the Introduction of Two New Important Characters!”

Starring Marc Evan Jackson as Sparks Nevada and Mark Gagliardi as his faithful Martian companion, Croach the Tracker. Also starring Craig Cackowski, John DiMaggio, Patton Oswalt, Linda Cardellini, Hal Lublin, and Nathan Fillion.

Recorded May 7, 2011.


I love this episode. Part of the fun of Sparks Nevada is putting Sparks (and Marc Evan Jackson) behind the eight-ball. This is the first episode in what turned out to be about a six-month stint of messing with Sparks’ life. We were lucky enough to get Nathan Fillion and Linda Cardellini to play recurring characters in this new arc. Enjoy!

And stick around for the cliff-hanger at the end! The audience’s reaction to it fills me with glee.

Craig Cackowski:

Seven thoughts on Felton (and Sparks Nevada in general):

1. Felton has been a recurring character in the world of Sparks Nevada since the beginning, usually appearing to announce some sort of imminent danger to the town in the form of his catchphrase “Haalp!” (spelled exactly like that).

2. In my mind at least, he’s a cross between the old Western actor Andy Devine and Jack McBrayer when he gets on a talking jag. Of course, he sounds nothing like that, but that’s what’s going on in my head.

3. A lot of the fun of doing Sparks is the game of Western tropes transferred to space, and sci-fi tropes transferred to the West, and so I have to remember to say “ro-bit” rather than “ro-bot”. I think I do one of each in this episode… not consistent! “Marjun” (i.e. Martian) is usually helpfully spelled out phonetically for me.

4. It’s generally agreed by the cast that I do the best imitations of both Sparks and Croach, and should Marc Evan Jackson and Mark Gagliardi meet some horrible fate on the way to Largo, I’m ready to step in.

5. It takes a lot of passion to pull off sounding as bored as Marc Evan Jackson does as Sparks. My favorite things he does that really sell the character are the little add-ons that aren’t in the script, like adding “So…” (trails off) to the end of most of his lines.

6. If you want to hear “Haalp!” in SONG form, just wait for the all-singing episode of Sparks Nevada, coming soon to a podcast near you… (It’ll be podcast in about six months!–BB)

7. If you hear raucous laughter during a period without dialogue, it’s probably because I’m running around like an idiot. If you hear a rousing round of applause, followed by ecstatic whooping, followed by sighing, it’s probably because Nathan Fillion just walked on stage. This is the easiest way to tell us apart.

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  1. Gary Myers says:

    For a bunch of episodes I thought Croach was Hardwick. I know it isn’t now, but listen to an episode with Croach and in your mind’s eye, see Chris.

  2. This is easily one of the best additions to Nerdist. This and Indoor Kids have become weekly favorites and now I have to catch up on regular Nerdists eps! Doing good Big C!

  3. Cindy says:

    Nathan’s character had a lot of ‘Joss speak’ and it was obviously written for him. So wonderful. And hilarious that Rose and the Robot kept commenting on how handsome he is. The audience clearly loved it.

    Thank you for posting this podcast!!!!

  4. Duey says:

    It is safe to say that if I lived in CA I would move Heaven & Earth to be at every TAH. One can only hope there will be a NYC tour soon! I find myself humming Sparks’ theme song constantly. PLEASE try to get Dick Cavett to appear in ANY episode!

  5. Kcat10 says:

    Every Thrilling Adventure Hour is AMAZEBALLS!! I love it!

    The incredibly brilliant writing/acting/singing combine to make for unforgettable performances in every show. Each production is clever, hilarious, and exciting!

    I’ve earned the honorary title of “Regular” by attending every Thrilling Adventure Hour show possible, and I’m proud of it! I’ve subscribed to the podcast and rejoice in reliving each truly thrilling adventure with glee!

    To me it’s a gotta see! And a gotta hear! You gotta see it and hear it, too!

    (Thank you for these awesome interviews, Nerdist! You do right by us and I think you da best! And Chris Hardwick is the coolest dude ever!)

  6. Taylor C says:

    Anyone notice that this episodes basically combines the general plots of Castle and Firefly (writer teaming up with law-enforcement, plus a western in space) AND had Nathan Fillion in it? Hooray!