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Episode 76: Thrilling Adventure Hour
Beyond Belief, “Djinn and…

Thrilling Adventure Hour #76: Beyond Belief, “Djinn and Tonic”

Starring Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster as those married mediums Frank and Sadie Doyle. Also starring Mark Gagliardi, James Urbaniak, JK Simmons, Hal Lublin, Craig Cackowski, and Joe Mantegna. Recorded April 7, 2012.

This one came out of the idea that Frank and Sadie are hard to write. As a rule, all they want is booze and each other and it isn’t super-satisfying to keep them from either of those things for very long.

Making their limited wants the obstacle in the story was a fun way into the writing.
While we take most of our wonderful guest stars completely for granted, JK Simmons and Joe Mantegna are among those we do not. Holy crap, those guys are great. There was something that felt subversive in having Frank and Sadie comment on Mamet-y dialogue to Joe Mantegna. Like we were being naughty. I understand it was neither subversive nor naughty, but it felt that way. And JK Simmons can sing. I cannot believe the restraint exercised by those behind every episode of Oz and Law and Order and the movie Juno for not making him sing every single time.

We are hoping to have him back soon, in a non-singing role. One in which I will make him sing.

There is one part that will vex some of the podcast audience. There is a roar of audience laughter. Sorry earbuddies*, there was something physical going on. When he checks the genie to see if he has a mist for legs, Paul really made a show out of pretending not to look while looking. It was hilarious to behold. Try to imagine it and see how hilarious your imagination can make it. If you do not laugh for as long as the audience, you have just learned the limits of your own imagination. Sorry you had to find out this way.

*Matt Gourley of SuperEgo came up with “earbuddies.” He is legit funny.

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  1. Larissa says:

    I’ve seriously listened to this particular so many times I know most of it by heart… I love it. I love them all, but this is definitely one of my favourites!

  2. heather says:

    “And special thanks to… and me, Norman Reedus”
    That’s kinda what I love about TTAH, so many random contributors

  3. Andrea says:

    Another amazing and delightful episode! I love that the writing allows the guest performers to shine without detracting from the amazing duo at the heart of Beyond Belief.

  4. Jesse Whitehead says:

    I’ve listened obsessively to every episode of TAH and this is definitely tied with the Sparks Nevada musical for the very best episode. It certainly helps that they both have the marvelous singing voice of J.K. Simmons.

  5. Matt Grandis says:

    If I had three wishes, I’d wish for Sadie Doyle. Three times.

  6. Steve says:

    The term “firing on all cylinders” comes to mind here. One of the best and they’re all good. Thanks!

  7. Aticus says:

    I can hardly express my affection for this show. Always brings a smile to my face.

  8. Josh says:

    But, what if there’s NO end to my imagination, and I never stop laughing at the unseen physical comedy of Paul F. Tomkins??? Crap. Okay, I’ll listen anyway ….. Oh phew. My imagination is, apparently, just the right amount.

    “Shall we make a game of it? Drink, whenever they repeat themselves.” “Yes! And, whenever they don’t!” Such awesome dialogue — love it! Every aspect of it!

  9. Scott S says:

    Beyond Belief and Sparks Nevada are by far the best shows here. Good jokes in both, and they don’t feel held back by old-timey radio tropes so much.

  10. Smiley says:

    This podcast was awesome, I was laughing so much, which I generally do during all the Beyond Belief podcasts but this was great! The Genie song was so catchy I had it stuck in my head and Joe there was amazing as well… great podcast! 🙂

  11. Coyote says:

    Joe Mantegna’s on Beyond Belief ????? How AWESOMMMMME!

    He’s perfect. He’s got that perfect Fred Allen voice, which is PERFECT for this series!!!!

  12. GlumChum says:

    Thank you so much for giving us more of Simmons’s singing.