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"Sometimes those checks clear, and sometimes they bounce, babyyyy!"
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Blank Check with Griffin & David, often referred to as Blank Check for short, is a weekly podcast hosted by actor-comedian Griffin Newman (The Tick) & film critic David Sims (senior associate editor of The Atlantic), and is produced by Ben Hosley.

It originally started out in 2015 as a podcast called Griffin and David Present, discussing George Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy of films, due to Griffin and David's shared (mostly negative) fascination with the results Lucas produced from little to no studio interference. Griffin and David themselves have since admitted to that chunk of episodes being a case of early installment weirdness.

In 2016, the podcast rebranded itself as Blank Check, with a new objective: analyzing director filmographies. The podcast is divided into miniseries, each one dedicated to discussing the movies of certain directors who managed to attain success early in their careers, giving them enough clout in Hollywood to create whatever passion projects they had always been wanting to make. Often, for better or worse, these passion projects were realized with little to no studio meddling, thereby providing them a "blank check". Every episode of a series is dedicated to discussing a different movie in the director's filmography, often going over how it fits in with the rest of their work thematically and technically.

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Works and filmmakers discussed on Blank Check include: note 

    open/close all folders 

     Pod Night Shymacast (M. Night Shyamalan) 

Pod Night Shymacast (M. Night Shyamalan)

Pod Night Shymacast follows the filmography of Indian-American filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.

The works covered include:

    The Podchowski Casters (The Wachowskis) 

The Podchowski Casters (The Wachowskis)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmakers The Wachowskis.

The works covered include:

    We Pod a Cast (Cameron Crowe) 

We Pod a Cast (Cameron Crowe)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker Cameron Crowe.

The works covered include:

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    Podinator: Judgement Cast (James Cameron) 

Podinator: Judgement Cast (James Cameron)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of Canadian filmmaker James Cameron.

The works covered include:

     Pod Me if You Cast (Steven Spielberg) 

Pod Me if You Cast (Steven Spielberg)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker Steven Spielberg, specifically the period following the release of Schindler's List (1993) and the formation of Dreamworks.

The works covered include:

    The Pod Knight Casts (Christopher Nolan) 

The Pod Knight Casts (Christopher Nolan)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of English filmmaker Christopher Nolan.

The works covered include:

    Pod-19: The Widowcaster (Kathryn Bigelow) 

Pod-19: The Widowcaster (Kathryn Bigelow)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow.

The works covered include:

    Podship Casters (Paul Verhoeven) 

Podship Casters (Paul Verhoeven)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, specifically —with the exception of 2016's Elle— his English-language Hollywood films.

The works covered include:

    Podcast News (James L. Brooks) 

Podcast News (James L. Brooks)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker James L. Brooks.

The works covered include:

  • Terms of Endearment (1983) (with Valorie Curry)
  • Broadcast News (1987) (with Katey Rich)
  • I'll Do Anything (1994) (with Esther Zuckerman)
  • I'll Do Anything: The Musical Cut (1994) (with Esther Zuckerman)
  • As Good as It Gets (1997) (with Chris Gethard)
  • Spanglish (2004) (with Richard Lawson)
  • How Do You Know (2010)

    The Podcastibles (Brad Bird) 

The Podcastibles (Brad Bird)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker Brad Bird.

The works covered include:

    Brokepod Mountcast (Ang Lee) 

Brokepod Mountcast (Ang Lee)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee.

The works covered include:

    Something's Podda Cast (Nancy Meyers) 

Something's Podda Cast (Nancy Meyers)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker Nancy Meyers, winner of Blank Check's first-ever March Madness tourney.

The works covered include:

    Podward Scissorcast (Tim Burton) 

Podward Scissorcast (Tim Burton)

This mini-series focuses on the (live-action) filmography of American filmmaker Tim Burton.

The works covered include:

    Michael Mannsplaining (Michael Mann) 

Michael Mannsplaining (Michael Mann)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker Michael Mann.

The works covered include:

    TBA (Hayao Miyazaki) 

TBA (Hayao Miyazaki)

This mini-series focuses on the feature-length filmography of Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.

The works covered include:

    TBA (Jonathan Demme) 

TBA (Jonathan Demme)

This mini-series focuses on the filmography of American filmmaker Jonathan Demme, winner of Blank Check's second annual March Madness tourney.

Full list of films TBA, but will include:

Along with the regular series listed above, the duo will tackle one-off episodes on certain subjects that interest them (such as the Jack Reacher series, the chaotic production history of the Fantastic Four franchise, and the individual chapters of the DC Extended Universe). Additionally, Producer Ben will often be given the reigns in-between series for special episodes where he, Griffin, and David will discuss a favorite movie of his from growing up.

    One-Offs 

One-Offs

One-off episodes unattached to any particular mini-series listed above include:

Ben's Choice

Producer Ben Hosley is occasionally given the reins for an episode, picking a film for Griffin and David to cover:

DC Extended Universe

Griffin and David have also (accidentally) begun an ongoing mini-series dedicated to the films of the DC Extended Universe:

As of 2019's Shazam, the DCEU series has been suspended, reflecting the franchise's new focus on standalone entries rather than leaning into the interconnected shared universe aspect originally planned (and discussed on the podcast).

Star Wars

And in tribute to their original format, they've covered any Star Wars film released since relaunching as Black Check:

Starting in 2019, bonus episodes became available to supporters of the Blank Check Patreon feed, officially dubbed Special Features. These cover works that may or may not be adjacent to a director featured on the main show (e.g. Tim Burton's animated films, the gender swap remake of What Women Want), commentary tracks of franchise films they wouldn't normally cover (e.g. the Marvel Cinematic Universe), previously recorded live episodes, or something else entirely.

     Special Features 

Special Features

Bonus Episodes

Commentary Tracks

The show has nothing to do with the 1994 movie Blank Check, though they'd been asked about the film so often when advertising their podcast that they decided to dedicate their 100th episode to a discussion on it.

The podcast can currently be found on the AudioBoom network.


This podcast contains examples of:

  • Catchphrase:
    • Griffin begins each episode explaining by explaining the premise of the podcast, often ending it with (as seen in the page quote) "Sometimes those checks clear, and sometimes they bounce, babyyyy!"
    • "I grew up/I used to live in England," from David, often when sharing a story of watching a movie in his youth.
    • David will often express his misgivings with specific clichéd tropes by calling them "hacky".
  • Crossover:
    • The Detroit episode is one with Jonathan Braylock, James III, and Jerah Milligan of the Black Men Can't Jump in Hollywood podcast (after having had all three hosts separately on previous episodes). It's to the point that the intro is a fusion of both shows' theme songs.
    • The Total Recall episode is one with We Hate Movies.
  • Day in the Limelight: The "Ben's Choice" episodes will provide Producer Ben with a greater outlet to discuss movies that he had a special attachment to growing up, often to Griffin and David's amusement. Episodes in this vein have covered Fletch, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, The Man Who Knew Too Little, and Clifford.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The podcast that would become Blank Check was very, very different, but you can get a sense of how it became what it did.
  • Long Runner: The Tim Burton mini series is their longest to date, spanning seventeen movies and nearly five months. It's so long that Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie aren't included in the official count, instead being covered as bonus episodes for the Patreon feed. It'll also miss coinciding with the March 2019 release of Burton's Dumbo by an entire month because of planned one-offs during the series. (By comparison, the Steven Spielberg series covered fifteen movies, not including the ones released after the fact.)
  • Once per Episode: Starting with the Blank Check era, every episode will usually feature:
    • Griffin beginning the episode by taking a quote/tagline for the movie and replacing one of the words in the sentence with "podcast".
    • Griffin introducing Producer Ben by reciting the litany of nicknames he's accrued throughout the series.
    • The box office game, where David will pull up how the movie they're covering did at the box office and Griffin will have to guess what made the Top 5 in grosses during the film's opening weekend.
    • "And, as always...": at the conclusion of the majority of Blank Check episodes, Griffin invents a different piece of advice or saying or aphorism, often riffing off of something discussed during that episode's recording.
  • Only Sane Man: David and Ben will often take turns filling this role.
    • For David, it will usually be in response to a tangent that Griffin starts running with to his frustration (most of which tend to amuse Ben).
    • For Ben, it tends to be when he's annoyed by the podcast running long, when Griffin or David wreck the audio levels by shouting too loudly, or when he becomes really angered by the movie being talked about that week.
    • Occasionally, the guest of the week can be the only sane person due to being in the dark on Running Gags that Griffin and David indulge in. This was provided with heavy Lampshade Hanging during the Star Wars days, when Griffin and David had become so used to talking about obscure names and events from the Prequel Trilogy (and Expanded Universe) that the regular viewer might not be aware of that it led to several of their friends reacting to them with bemusement.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: After making the switch from "Griffin and David Presents" to "Blank Check" in 2016, the intro shifted from a riff off of the opening of Serial to an original song by Layne Montgomery.
  • Running Gag:
    • Griffin's plethora of nicknames for Ben Hosley that continue to grow as the podcast goes on.
      • The organic ones that popped up were: Producer Ben, Pro-Doer Ben, The Benducer, Mr. Positive, The Hoz, Our Finest Film Critic, The Peeper, The Poet Laureate, The Tie-Breaker, The Fuckmaster, Birthday Benny, Dirt Bike Benny, White Hot Benny, Soaking Wet Benny, The Meat Lover, The Fart Detective, and a Close Personal Friend of Dan Lewis. Additionally, if you see him on the streets, wish him a hearty "Hello, Fennel!" But do NOT call him Professor Crispy!
      • At the end of each miniseries, a new name will be added to the group. So far, they have included: Producer Ben Kenobi, Kylo Ben, Ben Night Shyamalan, Bense8, Say Bennything..., AliBen$, War Hoz, Pro-Doer Bane, Ben-19: The Fennelmaker, and RoboHoz.
    • During the Star Wars days, Griffin and David would often say "I hate bits" whenever they were about to allude to something from the Star Wars universe outside of the prequel trilogy that they knew they shouldn't have been aware of for the episode discussion. This led to them establishing the podcast as “Anti Bits, Pro Smits” due to their enjoyment of Jimmy Smits’ performance in the Star Wars prequels.
    • David has talked about growing up in England so often that, after a while, Griffin (and occasionally guests) started gently making fun of him whenever he brings it up again by feigning ignorance and pretending it's the first time he's mentioned it.
    • Occasionally Griffin or David will jokingly give commands to Producer Ben to make an edit to something they just said.
      David: Ben, cut that out.
    • Any mention of the M. Night Shyamalan-directed somber superhero drama Unbreakable will be sung in the cadence, and accompanied by an audio clip of the upbeat theme song to the Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
    • Griffin will distribute "Comedy Points" to people for saying something particularly witty or amusing.
    • "Hashtag The Two Friends"
    • Griffin sometimes will launch into an impression of Marc Maron, with phrases like "What's wrong with me?", "I was working as a doorman down at the Comedy Store," and "Lock the gates!"
    • Giving nicknames to certain actors or characters from films they're covering:
      • "Georgie Porgie" for George Lucas.
      • "The Big Hurt" for William Hurt.
      • "Joey Pants" for Joe Pantoliano.
      • The host's formal nickname for The Joker character in recent Batman movies: Richard T. Joker. On occasion the "Richard T." will be used in front of any other character's name instead, just to keep using the bit.
      • Griffin continuously refers to Murphy from RoboCop as "Robert Cop".
    • Griffin sometimes refers to Serial sarcastically as The First Podcast.
    • Griffin referring to the James L. Brooks series as "As Pod As It Casts" instead of the official title "Podcast News".
  • Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: The premise of the podcast in its early days.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The original "bit" of the show was the guys watching each Star Wars film in chronological order and pretending to not realize that there are any further movies in the series until they finish reviewing the last one. Whenever they start milking this confusion for comedy, they usually announce, "I hate bits!" and assuring each other that the podcast would have "no bits."
  • Variations on a Theme Song:
    • For the episode on The Judge, Griffin and David did away with their usual theme and instead turned it into a riff on the intro for Night Court, with the lyrics centered around the phrase "Judging the Judge" (their name for the episode).
    • The episode on the Fantastic Four films mostly avoids an intro altogether, simply opening with a few beats of the score from the 2015 film.
    • The Detroit episode fuses together the opening songs for both Blank Check and Black Men Can't Jump in Hollywood, highlighting the crossover nature of the recording.
    • For Hulk, they ended up doing another riff on the Night Court theme, harkening back to how they had initially planned on doing Hulk as a one-off episode called "Hulking the Hulk" in the podcast's early days.
    • The Space Jam episode fuses Layne Montgomery's theme for the show with Quad City DJ's theme for the movie.
  • Verbal Tic: Griffin has a habit of ending sentences with "...you know?" when trying to make sure someone is on the same page as him when he's building up a point.
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