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Podcast: Thrilling Adventure Hour
The Thrilling Adventure Hour (originally "The Thrilling Adventure and Supernatural Suspense Hour") is a live audio theater production in the style of old time radio. The show has run monthly since 2005, with past segments distributed as a podcast starting in 2011.

Regular segments include:
  • "Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars": Earthman Sparks Nevada (Marc Evan Jackson) protects the Red Planet from robot outlaws, alien invaders, and other galactic threats. Typically the first segment of the show, and inspired it in the first place (it started out as a film script that the writers wanted to workshop).
  • "Beyond Belief": Frank and Sadie Doyle (Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster) keep having to deal with the supernatural, though they'd rather just drink martinis all day. Typically the last segment of the show.
  • "The Adventures of Captain Laserbeam": Aided by his Adventurekateers, Captain Laserbeam (John DiMaggio) defends Apex City from a Rogues Gallery of villains. He has been joined by Phillip Fathom, Deep Sea Detective (Hal Lublin).
  • "Amelia Earhart: Fearless Flyer": Earhart (Autumn Reeser) travels through time to stop the Nazis from screwing up history.
  • "Cactoid Jim, King of the Martian Frontier": Having time-traveled from the 25th century to the 30th, Cactoid Jim (Nathan Fillion) helps deal with threats on Mars. Crosses over with Sparks Nevada, who's annoyed at how cool and humble the guy is.
  • "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock": The gentlemanly Colonel (Craig Cackowski) is the bulwark of Her Majesty's Royal Chrono-Patrol.
  • "Down in Moonshine Holler": A Depression-era millionaire (Craig Cackowski) falls in Love at First Sight with the Hobo Princess, dressing as a vagrant and searching for her with his mentor Gummy (Hal Lublin).
  • "Jumbo the Elephant": A Cuban elephant (Mark Gagliardi) plays in an all-animal jazz combo and saves holidays.
  • "Jefferson Reid, Ace American": A super-soldier (Nathan Fillion) and his friends fight the Nazis.
  • "Tales from the Black Lagoon": Hollywood, 1954. An actor is framed for murder.
  • "Tales of the United Solar System Alliance": A spaceship commander (James Urbaniak) and his crew, some of whom are literally family.

The show also features Product Placement for the fictional Patriot Cigarettes ("they're good for your constitution!") and non-fictional WorkJuice Coffee ("the maximum legal dose of caffeine").

In addition to the regular "Workjuice Players", guest stars have included Neil Patrick Harris, "Weird Al" Yankovic, JK Simmons, Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, Paul and Storm, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Patrick Warburton, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Tom Lennon, Garfunkel And Oates, Chris Hardwick, Scott Aukerman, Amy Acker, Adam Savage, John Hodgman, Samm Levine, Martin Starr, Linda Cardellini, and countless others.

Has its own wiki here.

In autumn 2012, the show raised money on Kickstarter to make a comic book adaptation and a concert movie.


Tropes:

  • The Ace: Cactoid Jim.
  • Actor Allusion: Not only does Nathan Fillion once again play a space cowboy (Cactoid Jim), but the character's first appearance was in a Sparks Nevada segment about an author attempting to shadow an officer of the law for research.
  • Affably Evil: Despite Jib Janeen's goals of destroying their cultures of the people he infiltrates, he's incredibly friendly and seems to genuinely enjoy the company of Sparks Nevada and co.
    Jib Janeen: Oh my god, you guys. Felton. How much do you love him? He is a superstar. Okay, gotta jet! It has been real neat being part of your lives. Spaceship guys, I don't as well. Croach: you're really nice.
    Croach: (flattered) Thank you.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: At one point, Sparks Nevada tried to use a hologram program to act out fantasies where Croach the Tracker and The Red Plains Rider behave how he wanted them to. After a buggy patch update, the simulations decide to kill Nevada and make out.
  • The Alcoholic: Frank and Sadie Doyle.
  • Artistic License - History: Both Amelia Earhart: Fearless Flyer and The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock, oh so very intentionally so.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: The Doyles are very effective occult investigators and monster hunters... if they get interested enough to counter their usual utter lack of concern about anything that is NOT (a) each other or (b) booze. The fact that they are continually drunk helps.
  • Bounty Hunter: Sparks Nevada's ex-girlfriend Mercy Laredo.
  • Catch Phrase:
    Sparks Nevada: I'm ... from Earth.
    Bartender: I don't want no trouble in my place!
    Frank Doyle: Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of man?
    Sadie Doyle: Unless evil is carrying the martini tray, darling! *clink*
    (*clink* is often an actual catchphrase itself. As in Paget Brewster makes the sound effect herself.)
    • Every episode of Captain Laserbeam has far too much repeated dialogue to list here (see Once an Episode, below).
  • Chekhov's Gun: At the beginning of one episode, Frank Doyle buys an actual gun that belonged to Anton Chekhov, Werewolf Hunter. Becomes an Averted Trope when it is packed away in Sigmund Freud's Cigar Box, and a literal razor that belonged to Occam is actually used to defeat the Monster of the Week (which also turn out not to be werewolves.)
    • Becomes a Brick Joke when, five episodes later, said same gun was used to defeat the Calaca, a different Monster of the Week (which also turn out not to be werewolves.)
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas on Mars".
  • The Comically Serious: Phillip Fathom, Deep Sea Detective. He's a parody of the Nolanverse Batman, but since the world is otherwise decidedly Silver Age, his intensity is Played for Laughs.
    "MY PARENTS DIED AT SEA!"
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Any plot involving the MurderMen Race has this. They can't help but repeatedly talk about murder. They can "MurderMan" people by biting them, turning them into MurderMen. Or they can "ManMurder" people. As in, murder them. They are in a Man-MurderMan war. And finally, their passwords are painfully obvious.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    Captain Laserbeam: You're teaming up with her now?
  • Expy:
    • Phillip Fathom is largely an underwater version of Batman (with a voice straight out of The Dark Knight Saga).
    • Frank and Sadie Doyle are expies of Nick and Nora from The Thin Man.
    • From the Sparks Nevada universe comes Pemily Stallwark, Champion of Punishment Soccer, a walking parody of The Hunger Games.
  • Fantastic Racism: Sparks Nevada is completely dismissive of Native Martian culture, and must constantly remind everyone that he's... from Earth.
    • Rebecca Rushmore despises Martians and claims that just hearing them talk gives her the shivers. Even when Croach saves her life by jumping in front of a blast that could have killed her, she wants to take a bath because Croach was too close.
    • Croach clearly does not think highly of humans either, taking many opportunities to point out how physically and mentally inferior humans are to Martians, and how shameful it would be for his behavior to be seen as resembling that of humans.
    • In the Sparks Nevada universe, everyone except Jupiterans (people from Jupiter) seem to be pretty bigoted against Jupiterans, who are pretty well known for their cunning ability to replace others. The writers and performers also admit that they feels that their writing has a real life anti-Jupiteran feel.
      • Jib shows this goes both ways when he claims that it would be a disgrace for his people if they let "mongrel genes" into the race.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Sparks Nevada and Croach have their minds flipped by a "science gun" in one episode. Sparks has to contend with Croach's gross Martian physiology while Croach uses his new-found human emotions to try and get back with the Red Plains Rider.
  • Future Me Disappoints Me: When Cactoid Jim met his evil alternate future self.
  • Happily Married: Frank and Sadie Doyle. According to Ben Acker, their love is so strong that Sadie would still love Frank even if he never existed and would simply remain single her entire life.
    • During a parody of The Exorcist, they tie the girl to their bed to keep her demon from hurting anyone:
    Basil: Ropes on the bed! Do you do a lot of exorcisms?
    *silence*
    *audience loses it*
    Sadie: *ahem* Uh—
    Frank: Sure.
  • Hugh Mann: The shape-shifting alien from Jupiter who impersonates both Sparks Nevada and Croach in recurring episodes.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    Croach: I am from G'loot Praktaw.
    Sparks: Which is Mars.
    Croach: I designate it G'loot Praktaw.
    Sparks: Everyone I know calls it— you know what, never mind.
  • Man Child: Sparks Nevada.
  • Meaningful Name: Captain Laserbeam's Secret Identity is Joshua Valor.
    • Never mind what happens when one of the Adventurekateers' Aunt Flo comes to town.
    • And Banjo Bindlestuff is most certainly not Jasper Manorlodge.
  • Monster Clown: Nightmares the Clown, a recurring character in the Beyond Belief segments, and a reference to Pennywise the Clown from It.
    • Subverted in Sadie's case; she finds all clowns to be cute and funny, much to Nightmares' frustration.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the 2012 Christmas special, Frank and Sadie are visited by Christmas ghosts who have the wrong address. Through their actions, the Doyles manage to not only ruin the intended Scrooge's chance at redemption but cause his bitterness and hatred for Christmas in the first place.
    • When the Scrooge in question returns, the Doyles make it worse by introducing him to the wonders of alcohol as foreshadowed by Christmas Future's reveal that Scrooge's bartender is the only one who shows up to his funeral. Technically though, its the fault of the three ghosts for getting distracted by their romantic relationships instead of helping Scrooge at all.
  • No More for Me: In an alternate timeline, this is part of Sadie's backstory: she swore off drinking after she saw a ghost.
  • Noodle Incident: Frank and Sadie sometimes refer to "that time a bee got in here" as one of their more harrowing adventures.
  • Mundane Solution: Cactoid Jim is fated to become an evil dictator and destroy the universe if he becomes president. Sparks Nevada finally works up the nerve to assassinate him when:
    Chicky: Hang on, hang on, hang on. I'm just spitballing, but what if Jim just dropped out of the race?
  • Once an Episode: Captain Laserbeam has a bunch:
    Captain Laserbeam: Is King Mammal playing monkeyshines at the Apex City Zoo?
    Adventurekateers: Worse!
    • Reassuring them of his safety:
    Adventurekateers: What would we do without you?
    Captain Laserbeam: That's something you'll never have to worry about, as long as I'm around!
    • And when he leaves them back at the base for their own protection:
    Captain Laserbeam: But you'll be with me in spirit, and spirit is more powerful than one hundred lasers! Also, I'll have my one hundred lasers.
    Captain Laserbeam: Can't... escape... but I must!
    (Flashback... Back... Back... to some Adventurekateer non sequiturs)
    Captain Laserbeam: Laser willpower!
  • Out-of-Character Alert: A shapeshifting Jupiter spy does this blatantly, though the other characters take it all at face value while grasping at straws to accuse each other instead.
    "Croach": I'm from Mars!
    Sparks: Which we call— *beat* Yeah, all right.
  • Plague Zombie: MurderMen can MurderMan people. They only have a few seconds to a few minutes before they are MurderManned, and become, well, MurderMen.
  • Poke the Poodle: Captain Laserbeam rushes to confront the Diebrarian to find that his sinister plot was to... purchase remaindered books and donate them to libraries so that children could read them! Rather than tell Diebrarian that his "evil" plan was actually noble, Captain Laserbeam just let himself be defeated and left.
  • Power Fist: Sparks Nevada's robot fists.
  • Punny Name: Sparks Nevada.
  • Rogues Gallery: Captain Laserbeam's enemies. This poster features nearly three dozen of 'em.
  • San Dimas Time: In "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock", when Queen Victoria repeatedly requires Colonel Tick-Tock to immediately leave to travel back in time to fix a problem. Lamp-shaded in one appearance where his wife Constance replies "Couldn't he leave at any time?" The Colonel explains "Quite the opposite. Were I to finish this biscuit, I would be far too late!"
  • Secret Identity: Captain Laserbeam has offered more than one Suspiciously Specific Denial when asked about his.
    • One of his Adventurekateers admits that she's up-and-coming superhero Attagirl, but Captain Laserbeam wasn't paying attention. Even though that confession was one of his non-sequitur flashbacks later in the episode.
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Martian native Croach the Tracker criticizes Sparks Nevada at every turn, even as he works off his onus to Sparks for saving his tribe. This further plays into Sparks' resentment of Cactoid Jim, whom Croach praises up and down:
    Croach: Cactoid Jim pronounced my name correctly on his first attempt!
  • Sommelier Speak: Occurs in "A Beyond Belief Valentines Day" after the Doyles discover wine.
  • Sound Defect: All over the place in the first "Beyond Belief" podcast, leading to such gems as "Dear, did you eventually hear a door opening?" and originating the running gag of Sadie occasionally providing the "clink!" sound effect herself.
  • Space Western: "Sparks Nevada".
  • SpaceX: Several things on Sparks Nevada are named like this, such as astro-spurs and rocket horses.
  • The Spock: Croach insists on analyzing his emotions to figure out what they are, to the point of driving off his Love Interest.
  • Steam Punk: "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock".
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: The Doyles' sudden hobby of attending auctions is repeatedly lampshaded as one.
    Sadie: Oh, how we adore auctions!
    Frank: Oh, how frequently we attend them! [...] Well, I was reading the auction magazine or brochure or program or whatever you call them at auctions, which we are constantly attending, it has been established.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Banjo Bindlestuff is certainly not a millionaire! Banjo and his mentor Gummy will be quick to point this out! Even before anyone asks!
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Barkeep does this in "Good Jim." It helps that he was infused with phenomenal cosmic power.
  • Time Travel: Colonel Tick-Tock. Amelia Earhart. Cactoid Jim (twice).
  • Unsound Effect: Occasionally subverted if the Foley Artist misses a mark for an actual sound effect, and the performers either point out the silence or fill in the sound effect themselves by just saying the word. The Doyles do it the most.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The 2012 Christmas episode's "Beyond Belief" segment has a Christmas Carol pastiche in which the ghosts get the address wrong and spend the whole night bothering Frank and Sadie.
    • The ghosts return to try and fix their mistake later... only for Christmas Present to discover its January and Christmas Past derailing the entire plot to confront Present and Future about their relationship.
  • Zeerust: Sparks Nevada.

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