Kevin: Yeah. OK. I’m
gonna put you on the spot a little bit
here. I’m gonna run through the characters and
talk a little bit
about them, and I might ask for one little sample. Is
Matt: All right!
Kevin: You can do that?
Matt: Yeah. I have a sore throat, so if a voice
assed, don’t hold it against me.
Kevin: OK. Well I’ll tell everybody who’s
talking about www.homestarrunner.com, and the main character
Homestar Runner – do you want to give us an example?
Matt (as Homestar Runner): Oh, hello! Where are we at
Kevin: This is Winnipeg, yes.
(as Homestar Runner): Hello Winnipeg. This is Homestar
Runner. Um, you guys have a funny name for your town.
Kevin: We do, yes. It means “muddy water,”
Matt (as Homestar Runner): That’s gross.
Kevin: I know.
Matt (as Homestar Runner): You gotta get that out of the bathtub.
Kevin: (laughs) Oh, God. This is the reason I didn’t
want to talk
to the characters – ‘cause I’d find myself cracking
up and not
knowing what to say.
Kevin: But it all sort of begins and ends with Homestar
far as I’m concerned. He’s obviously not
the sharpest tack in the
Kevin: And he’s more than a little bit naïve. But
that is the
appeal of him, isn’t it?
Kevin: So what are your thoughts on Homestar Runner,
and how has he changed since the whole thing began?
Matt: Um, he’s definitely gotten a little dumber. Which
him more endearing, I think. He started off a little
kind of, the head of the football team. That’s how we
originally envisioned him, you know. And then just
we sort of were like, “Well, you know, what’s funnier about
that, like, he is just so nice that it makes him oblivious to
Kevin: And how can you not like somebody like that.
Matt: Yeah, exactly. And I went to school with a
guy that was
like that, where even when he was so annoying and you just want to
punch him in the face and get him out and, you know, never hear
voice again, but he’s just like, he’s so well-meaning
and nice, and
kind, and you can’t ever hold anything against him.
Kevin: And the beauty of that is that tends to make Strong
even more angry at him.
Matt: Right! Exactly. Well see, it also
came to that through
kind of, like, developing Strong Bad more and kind of getting into
his character more, it made Homestar such a better foil for him.
Kevin: Oh yeah. They play off each other beautifully. So
does the name Homestar Runner come from?
Matt: It actually comes from a friend of ours. There
was an old
local grocery store commercial, and we live in Atlanta, and it
advertised the Atlanta Braves. It was like, “the
hit home runs, and you can hit a home run with savings here!” And
so there was this player named Mark Lemke, and they said something like “All star second baseman for the Braves.” And
our friend knows nothing about sports, and so he would always do his old timey radio impression of this guy, and not knowing any positions in baseball or whatever, he’d just be like, “Homestar Runner
for the Braves.” And we were just like, “Homestar Runner? That’s
the best thing we’ve ever heard!”
Kevin: Yeah! And you actually made him a runner
in the early
days, right? He was such an athlete.
Matt: Yeah, that was also one of the things that’s
changed. I mean, we still occasionally go back to that
thing, but originally, before we really knew, kind of, what we were
doing, every episode was gonna be a contest or a sports event of
Kevin: He’s damn athletic for a guy with no arms.
Matt: Yeah, exactly. He makes up for it.
Kevin: I guess now we’ll come to Strong Bad. Let’s
have a sample
of Strong Bad.
Matt (as Strong Bad): Hello there Winnipeg. I got you
as not as cool as me.
Kevin: Nobody’s as cool as Strong Bad.
Matt (as Strong Bad): That’s right.
Kevin: (laughs) OK, now Strong Bad has sort of become the highlight of the whole thing because of his weekly emails, right?
Matt: Right. To our chagrin for Homestar.
Kevin: Was he originally conceived as the obvious villain?
Matt: Oh yeah. Definitely. We just figured, we had
to make a bad
guy, so I mean, obviously the embodiment of evil is the masked wrestlers from our childhood, and so we had to make him a masked wrestler. He’s more of a masked wrestling creature. It’s
not like he’s actually got a face under that mask, that’s basically
Kevin: And he’s a little bit – inept, too,
Matt: Yeah, well that’s his whole point, exactly. He
enormous game and doesn’t have a whole lot to back it up.
Kevin: And he’s a stickler for correct grammar and
interestingly. Is that something that bugs you guys personally,
is it more just an excuse to get Strong Bad to be abusive?
Matt: No, whatever, I’m sure my emails have just
as many mistakes. It is one of those things we look at as, you know, it’s just
going to be funny watching how the internet changes to where, like,
grammar, or at least correspondence between people is just going
to become like where there’s no standards (laughs) – you
write crap and it just doesn’t make sense and it’s all slang
whatever. But – yeah, we thought it would just be
a funny thing
for, like, this big bad evil guy that thinks he’s so bad, like,
be a real stickler for grammar. He’s also got an
baking, so we thought that would be kind of funny.
Kevin: Yeah. (laughs) I was struck by
something that Mike said
in an interview I read once, he said something about how you could
have Homestar Runner and Strong Bad having a conversation about
absolutely nothing and it would still be funny, and I think he’s
Kevin: You know, just based on their personalities.
just the way one grates on the other.
Kevin: Now we come to Strong Mad. I don’t
know if you can imitate
Matt: Oh, sure I can!
Kevin: OK, sure. Go ahead.
Matt (as Strong Mad): Hey! Get off the phone!
Kevin: (laughs) Not one of your more difficult voices
to do, in
Matt: No, he’s pretty easy. We originally
messed around with
slowing my voice down, but then I was just able to get somehow into
that deeper register.
Kevin: OK, now here you have a character, who kind of
aspect of the violence that is supposedly such a concern in kids’
cartoons these days, and multiplies it by, like, ten.
Kevin: He’s pure blind aggression, isn’t
he? That’s the whole
reason he exists, isn’t it?
Matt: Well, right, but then the way I always liken him
like, in the original Frankenstein movie, he’s like Frankenstein
except, you know, there’s that scene where he goes up to that
little girl, and she’s throwing the flowers into the lake- she’s
throwing this really pretty thing into the lake, and so
Frankenstein’s kind of confused, and he’s like, “Oh,
pretty things in the lake, right?” So he picks up the little
and chucks her in the lake, you know. And everybody thinks
trying to murder this girl. That’s kind of Strong
Mad, you know,
he’s kind of like – he’s got this ridiculous brute strength,
usually the aggression part of it comes more from Strong Bad
telling him what to do. And then, obviously, you can
Strong Bad, Strong Mad and The Cheat are best buds and they kind
of sometimes find solace in each other when Strong Bad is just that
much of a jerk.
Kevin: Yeah, and Strong Mad does have that soft side
you’ll see him shedding a tear over The Cheat…
Matt: Yes, exactly. That’s his little friend. They’re
Blaster and Master in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Kevin: And, I guess, the third of the Strong Brothers,
– all right, let’s hear Strong Sad.
(as Strong Sad): Uh, I don’t really listen to the radio
so much anymore, because the DJs are always really depressing, and
there’s a lot of dead air, and it sounds like they don’t
know what they’re doing.
Matt (as Strong Sad): I play DJ in my own room by myself -
Kevin: With lots of Cure, I imagine.
Matt (as Strong Sad): Oh, yeah, a lot of Cure, a lot of Bauhaus…
Kevin: (laughs) There’s a touch of tragedy
to Strong Sad. He
kind of reminds me of Charlie Brown because I always thought the
creator of Charlie Brown went a bit overboard in making him the
Matt: Oh, yeah! Especially in the feature film they
did, A Boy
Named Charlie Brown, I mean, there’s just some rough, rough
moments, where you’re just, like, MAN!
Kevin: Yeah. It’s too much, almost.
Matt: But, it’s like, that’s about as accurate
as it gets to how
mean… I mean, my favourite kind of thing to liken it to is my
friend Neil, when he was in kindergarten…it was the last day of
school, and the teacher is going around saying, “OK, now who’s
going to be back next year?” And each kid would raise their
and the class would go “Yaaaaay!” And Neil raised his
hand, and he
actually ended up not coming back to the same school the next year,
but he thought he was, so she’s like, “Neil, are you coming
and Neil raised his hand, and he was the only one, and the class
just goes like, “Booooooo!” And at that point,
he didn’t even
know that he was all that unpopular until that moment, so anyways,
that’s definitely some of the inspiration for Strong Sad, is moments
like that in childhood where it’s just, like, “Oh my God,
meanest thing I’ve ever heard!”
Kevin: (laughs) And Charles Schulz – I thought he was
a bit of a
sadist for a while.
Matt: (laughs) Yeah, for real!
[ PAGE SIX OF THE HOMESTAR RUNNER INTERVIEW ...