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Podcast / Hello, from the Magic Tavern

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Attention, people of Earth: The podcast described in this article is not real, but it can really be found at Hello, from the Magic Tavern.

Hello, from the Magic Tavern is a weekly podcast created by Jackbox Games employee Arnie Niekamp set in the magical world of Foon.

After falling through a dimensional portal behind a Burger King in Chicago, Arnie finds himself stuck in the world of Foon. Luckily he has his podcast equipment, and a faint wi-fi signal coming from the Burger King on the other side of the portal, so he decides to set up a podcast in the Vermillion Minotaur, the local tavern.

His co-hosts are Chunt, a shape-shifter currently in the form of a badger, played by Adal Rifai, and Usidore the Blue, a wizard, played by Matt Young. They are joined each week by a variety of special guests who live in Foon.

Hello, from the Magic Tavern provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Princess Trachea Aurelia Belaroth did not inherit her mother's world-renowned bust size, and is not happy about it.
  • Affably Evil: Baron Ragoon seems like a really nice guy, but he's a follower of the Dark Lord. Arnie isn't fooled. "I'm from the Midwest. I know the difference between nice and polite."
  • Affectionate Nickname: Sometimes they call Chunt "Chu Chu".
  • The Ageless: Forever Girls (and the occasional Forever Boy) are special, magical people who've been blessed with eternal childhood due to their Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Another Dimension: Foon is located in a separate dimension from Earth. There have also been episodes set in the mirror universe, a cowboy universe, and a child-friendly universe, and the space bunker is in yet another universe.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Many of the nobles who appear on the show are quite evil and ruthlessly devoted to acquiring power, particularly the Baron Ragoon and Princess Aurelia Belaroth.
  • Artifact Title: The Vermillion Minotaur is destroyed in the season 2 finale and the main characters hit the road for the third season. Though they tend to find someplace for a drink for when they record their shows.
  • As Himself: Arnie Niekamp plays Arnie Niekamp.
  • Audience Participation: The characters will read emails and tweets from listeners.
  • Bed Trick: Memory gremlins extract people's memories of their spouses in order to impersonate them.
  • Born as an Adult: All wizards come into the world fully formed as adults.
  • Born of Magic: Usidore the Blue came into the world fully formed as an adult. He was born of wind, fire, earth, and birds (and lightning and some frogs).
  • Brick Joke: In the first few episodes, Arnie (and occasionally Chunt) begin saying Hoobastank as Usidore reaches the Hoogstandjes portion of his collection of names. Cut to Episode 14, with Glenn Miller and Spants breaking out into a Usidore-themed version of "The Reason" by Hoobastank.
  • Catchphrase: Chunt tries to force these. Recurring examples include: "Mmm, Chunt please", "get wet", and "baby don't know."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Usidore's secret names. Season 2 ends with a carfoon of Usidore bringing down Hogsface on the Dark Lord's minions by uttering one of his many secret names.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: Usidore the Blue, Spintax the Green, etc. Wizards are associated with a specific color which both refers to the color they wear, but also the type of magic they have mastery over. Blue wizards have mastery over light and shadow, Green wizards have mastery of truth and lies, etc.
  • Cuckoo Nest: Episode 59 has Dr. Ward, a director of clinical psychology claiming that Arnie has been checked into his institute for the last year, and all of his time in Foon has been a hallucination.
  • A Day in the Limelight: On two occasions, Arnie's broadcasts cuts off in the first few minutes, and the bulk of the episode follows the antics on the space station.
  • Death of a Child: Played for laughs. Foon has a child death rate of about 80%.
    Arnie: What do kids in Foon fantasize about growing up to be?
    Chunt: Alive.
  • Doppelgänger: It's implied that there's one of Arnie on Earth impersonating him in his absence.
  • Dungeon Crawling: A common activity for adventurers in Foon. Arnie has made it his quest to dungeon crawl for Lunar Sword.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Foon is a very sex-positive realm.
  • Fantastic Fantasy Is Mundane: In some of the premium episodes the cast play an RPG called "Offices and Bosses".
  • Fictional Sport: Mittens is the most popular sport in Foon.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Usidore and Spintax once resolved their sexual tension in a liaison so powerful that it nearly destroyed a mountain. The dwarves know it as Wizard Fuck Mountain
  • Full-Contact Magic: Jamillious The Mauve can literally slap the taste out of someone's mouth.
  • Golden Snitch: In the game of Mittens, killing a bird that lands on the field gains your team 700 points. This can result in final scores of 2800-10.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Otok Barleyfoot, the owner of the Vermilion Minotaur, is half-elf, half-human.
  • Homoerotic Subtext:
    • In episode 3, Chunt and Usidore compliment each other by discussing their willingness to sleep with each other.
    • Invoked in-universe in episode 11: "The sexual tension between Arnie and Chunt can only be described as delicious."
    • In the Mirror Universe, where an evil Arnie deliberately abandoned his wife and child, he and the evil Chunt are married.
  • Hurricane of Puns: A common Running Gag within an episode is for the actors to take one Earth musician/actor, and cram in as many puns related to their work as possible. It's coincidental in-universe, so Chunt, Usidore, and the guests do it straight-faced. Arnie sometimes tries to deliberately play along, and sometimes just cracks up for reasons he won't explain, other than "Earth people are loving it."
    • Lampshaded with an episode appearance of Chunt voice actor Adal Rifai, for whom punning is treated as a debilitating manic compulsion.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: A lot of people in Foon seem desperate to have sex right after marriage. The recently-married goblin couple can't stop trying to have sex with each other in front of everybody (though that seems to just be how goblins are), and Chunt was conceived on the dance floor within a few hours of his parents' marriage (just before his father died).
  • Joke of the Butt: A rather surprising amount of discussion centres on how many buttholes everybody has.
  • King Incognito: Tom the Traveler, son of the King in the Northeast, masquerading as a humble cock-tickler.
  • Large Ham: Usidore is frequently shouting things at the top of his lungs, especially his name during the episode intro. Regularly Lampshaded in the outro credits by the Mysterious Man's sarcastic assessments of Matt Young's performance.
  • Literal Metaphor: In addition to being a dark-skinned wizard created to combat the negative associations with "black" in the wizarding community, Jamillious also directly represents equality in Foon — his powers of Feast and Famine help keep the creatures of the land from either having too much of a given thing or nothing at all. The idea that Earth doesn't have this kind of safeguard, leading to people going hungry or making up reasons to fight over resources, kind of weirds him out.
  • Magic Staff: Usidore's is made of birch, topped with a hexatite crystal.
  • Make-Out Point: There's a place called Make-Out Point where Chunt likes to take his dates. While Arnie expects the usual secluded kissing spot, it's actually nothing like that- it's a place haunted by horrible monsters that try to kill you. If you can "make it out" of Make-Out Point alive, then Chunt knows you're a keeper. Most of Chunt's dates have died there.
  • The Masquerade: The Mysterious Man in the Space Bunker keeps the existence of alternate dimensions under wraps by starting and ending every episode with unconvincing disclaimers
    • In Season 2, it's revealed that The Mysterious Man and Craig are the remnants of an evil alien empire forced to work in the space bunker by an alternate universe version of Arnie, who doesn't want the podcasts of his alternate selves to outshine his own.
  • Mirror Universe: Where Chunt, Usidore, and Arnie are all working for the Dark Lord, after Arnie fell through a portal behind a Chick-Fil-A. Heard from in the interlude after episode 80.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In Foon, the first rumor about anyone is that they're gay.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Blemish, after spending a whole episode saying various horrifying and threatening things: "Ha ha, just kidding! Come see me at Chunt's Night."
  • Musical Episode: Episode 14, starring the traveling bards Glenn Miller and Spants.
  • The Nameless: The Mysterious Man (identified that way in episode 10) who does the intro and outro speeches from a space station.
  • The Need for Mead: The podcast is set in The Vermillion Minotaur, a standard fantasy tavern that mostly serves mead. It's run by a half-elf by the name of Otok Barleyfoot, who vends rumors along with mead, and adventurers and all sorts of magical types are constantly coming through and can be interviewed by the podcast. They also have rooms, and host Arnie lives in the tavern in exchange for allowing Otok to run ads on the podcast.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Chunt's mother, Eleanor the Manticore, lives in a commune of other mix-and-match critters (and regular lions and cats), charges crystals by moonlight (Usidore says that's inefficient), and performs palm readings with her scorpion stinger.
  • No Indoor Voice: Daphne The Unwed Mother has only one setting: screeching.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Arnie always has to assure the audience that his email address- - is a real address.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Chunt and Usidore won't let anyone forget that Arnie fucked a memory gremlin, and make fun of Arnie for it frequently with no context.
  • Once per Episode: Arnie almost always gives a brief rundown of how he would up in Foon at the beginning of every episode.
  • Only One Name: Chunt.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Usidore is an angelic spirit given form by a conspiracy of birds and rain and fire and earth and...
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins in Foon are similar to the general fantasy portrayal, with a few... differences. They're small humanoids who live underground and work in the mines serving the Dark Lord. They don't actually seem that evil, but are still widely discriminated against, which is somewhat understandable as they are almost offensively affectionate and constantly having sex in public. They also have some strange biology: they have milk-producing horns closely analogous to human breasts, and have dozens of children at a time in litters.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Mysterious Man openly talks about Space Bunker affairs and goals in his disclaimers, rendering the masquerade pointless.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Spintax's plan for defeating the Void required the rendered fat of six children.
  • The Quest: Usidore keeps trying to recruit people and get his started, to limited success.
  • Refused the Call: Usidore periodically insists that Arnie has a great heroic destiny that he must realize by joining him on his quest to defeat the Dark Lord. Arnie always declines, saying that he supports his quest but that the Podcast is the most important thing for him to do.
  • Restaurant-Owning Episode: Chunt and Usidore decide to start a restaurant together called Chu-Chu's Chow. This is lampshaded by Arnie, who points out that this sounds like something that would happen on a sitcom, and never works out. Sure enough, a few episodes later the restaurant is hemorrhaging money.
  • Resurrective Immortality: If a wizard doesn't like being dead they can decide to stop. Usidore will sometimes forget this doesn't apply to most people.
  • Retcon: When Chunt tries to explain an inconsistency in his shapeshifting, Arnie said it sounded like a retcon.
  • Running Gag:
    • Usidore's long introduction, and his ongoing quest to recruit adventurers to defeat the Dark Lord.
    • Chunt voice actor Adal Rifai abruptly introducing characters that the rest of the cast hate and try to have killed off.
    • Usidore giving people magic rocks that don't seem to do anything, and Arnie calling him out for it.
    • Everyone constantly calling Arnie incorrect names.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "Different things mean different things." - Arnie
  • Shapeshifting: Chunt takes the form of whatever being he last had sex with. As of season 3, he can change form at will, but always has badger colouring.
  • Slow Life Fantasy: The premise is that host Arnie fell through a portal from our world into the magical fantasy land of Foon, but while he claims is goal is to get back home, he spends most of his time hanging around in a tavern hosting a talk show podcast and getting to know people in the area. He repeatedly refuses the call to fight the Dark Lord, and his lack of effort in getting home becomes a Running Gag, as co-hosts often claim he hates/abandoned his wife and daughter, despite Arnie's pleas to the contrary.
  • Solid Gold Poop: Gold coins and rubies, from imps.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Eunuchs in Foon can talk to birds.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Usidore has convinced a few people to join his quest, but never reaches the tipping point of leaving Hogsface and getting started.
    • Arnie and the others have extensive contact with Earth through email and Twitter for 3+ years now, but none of that has affected the "Arnie can't get in touch with his family and let them know he's okay" plot point.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The intro and credits are done by a Mysterious Man who keeps insisting that the podcast isn't real, and definitely doesn't mean that there are alternate dimensions. Eventually this grows into a whole subplot, with the narrator and companions working from a space station.
  • Talking Animal: Foon has many different kinds of talking animals. Chunt is a shapeshifter in the form of talking badger.
  • Token Human: Arnie is just about the only non-magical human in the show.
  • Trapped in Another World: The premise of the series. Arnie fell through a magical portal behind a Burger King and into the magical land of Foon, and now he's trying to get back.
  • True Companions: Arnie, Chunt, and Usidore come to refer to themselves as "boon companions" (and/or "goon companions").
  • Tsundere: Chunt usually vacillates between insulting Arnie and wanting to marry or sleep with him.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In-universe, Jamilious the Mauve, who is black (as in he has dark skin) exists at least in part to counter the negative implications that might be associated with blackness as a result of the Dark Lord being the black wizard.
  • Unfortunate Names: Chunt and Usidore like to point out how "Arnie Niekamp" is awkward to say. They assume most Earth names are this way and that the full name of Arnie's wife Sarah is Sarah Rahkamp.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Krom the Barbarian can be provoked into one by teasing.
  • Wasteful Wishing: Chunt gains access to one wish and spends half of an episode pondering what to wish for. After the commercial break, he confesses that he had considered using the wish to send Arnie back home to his wife and child, or to aid Usidore by defeating the Dark Lord... but instead he used it to ensure that no matter what form he shapeshifted into, he would always have two buttholes.
    Usidore: Chu-Chu, you really are the worst.
    • Later, Chunt gets three wishes from a genie. The last wish—which, again, could be used to send Arnie back home to his wife and child or to aid Usidore by defeating the Dark Lord—is used to get Arnie his socks back.
  • A Wizard Did It: The Retcon to explain why robins were non-existent in an early episode, but came to be regular birds later on.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Usidore is hundreds, if not thousands of years old.
  • The Worm That Walks: Dripfang, the Dark Lord's chef inquisitor, was initially 1,000 snakes in a skin suit. Usidore killed a few, and then at his performance review, he was ordered to downsize to 500 snakes.

Doesn't that sound like a delightful romp through the imagination? Just remember it is not real.