We're gonna have a good time, celebrate some failure
Not just be a hater, 'cause you know you wonder
How Did This Get Made?
Let's wallow in the mediocrity of sub-par art
Perhaps we'll find the answer to the question
How Did This Get Made?
How Did This Get Made? is a podcast on the Earwolf network, starring comedians Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael. Each episode, the three comedians (plus guest star) come together to discuss a movie that was a flop, a critical failure, or just plain bonkers. They trade jokes, ramble back and forth about the events of the film, and try to figure out... well, see the title.
This podcast contains examples of:
- Absentee Actor: June often has to miss episodes due to other commitments, such as Grace and Frankie.
- The Big Board: The various scale miniatures and light-up maps that villains use are discussed while reviewing A View to a Kill. Paul, Jason, Matt Gourley and Matt Mira turn that into a full-on Improv routine about the contractors that build Big Boards for villains, and the time and work that goes into it.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: While reviewing A View to a Kill, Paul tries to use David Wooderson's line from Dazed and Confused, "I get older, they stay the same age." Jason, Matt Gourley and Matt Mira mock his "great" Matthew McConaughey impression.Paul (stiffly and over-enunciating): All right, all right, all right.
- Paul's "Hello, people of Earth!"
- Jason had "next level bonkers" going for a while. He also uses the Mad Libs Catch Phrase of "If you told me [X], I would believe it!"
- Jason also often says things are "coocoo crazy" or "coocoo bananas".
- Jason also likes to "conservatively" estimate various overuses of tropes or phrases in a movie.
- On live shows, Jason greets the audience with "What's up, jerks!"
- Chastising audience members by telling them to "relax."
- June tends to find things "deeply upsetting."
- Early on in the shows run, the regulars were often caught using "literally" wrong, prompting fans to make counts of how often the hosts misused it for each episode.
- Church of Happyology:
- Cliché Storm: Guest host John Mulaney describes Solarbabies as this. It seems like a group of different movies' pitches mashed together, possibly for budgetary reasons.
- Cloud Cuckoolander:
- June has a reputation for rather off-the-wall questions and trying to piece together very bizarre facts from even more bizarre movies. Even in episodes where June isn't on the show, Jason may respond to a similarly absurd statement with, "Well, you see, June..." (in the Deep Blue Sea episode, about half a dozen people are referred to as June).
- The Masters of the Universe episode reveals it runs in the family, as June's dad apparently mistook her for Cillian Murphy and thought she'd landed the starring role in Sunshine.
- June's suspicious reaction to Paul bringing home a BB-8 toy quickly underwent Memetic Mutation:...What's its mission?!
- Comically Missing the Point: Apparently, Paul somehow missed the fact that The Apple, a film about a man and a woman being tempted by a character clearly supposed to be Satan offering them a giant apple, was supposed to be a metaphor for the Garden of Eden story. June had to point this out to him.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Early episodes were never done live, lacked the popular "Second Opinions" segment and instead had a "What the Fuck Moment" that highlighted the most bizarre moment in the movie, a Life Lessons with June segment, and one for viewer mail. Episodes also ended with the old version of Earworlf's audio Vanity Plate of a wolf howl, explosion and announcer flatly stating, "The wolf dead."
- Everyone Has Standards: Jason is the first to cross the line with jokes, but gets genuinely mad in movies where kids and women are being mistreated.
- Also, understandably angry when Greeks are portrayed badly.
- Fantastic Racism: June automatically dislikes robots to the extent of demanding to know "its mission" when Paul brought home a BB-8 toy.
- Flat "What": This is Paul's reaction when, during the Staying Alive episode, an audience member reveals that there was actually a Staying Alive Choose Your Own Adventure book.
- Freak Out:
- June has a minor one in the The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) episode after realizing that Dr. Moreau's tiny cloned assistant was played by a real actor (Nelson de la Rosa), not a puppet. She keeps saying "He's so small" over and over again for thirty seconds, as if trying to internalize the concept.
- Everyone has one when discussing the title of Reindeer Games, when they realize that the main characters are named "Rudy and "Nick".
- Paul seems to have one while discussing that the villain of Virtuosity is a computer program. Guest host Taran Killam says it finally broke Paul.
- Freudian Trio:
- Paul is The Kirk, the host and the closest thing the show has to a straight man.
- Lovable Sex Maniac Jason is the The McCoy, frequently going off on bizarre tangents and minor details.
- June is The Spock - given the subject matter, this usually manifests in her upset and befuddled reaction plot holes or strange details in the movie under discussion.
- Paul lampshades this during their Clip Show episode, noting that he's the Ego, June the Superego, and Jason the Id.
- Fun with Acronyms: Guest host Sarah Silverman thought that SID 6.7, the villain of Virtuosity, has a ridiculous name since it stands for "Sadistic, Intelligent, Dangerous." Then she says it isn't any less ridiculous than "International Business Machine." Jason follows this up by listing various abbreviations and acronyms.
- George Lucas Throwback: That is what the makers of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow are going for. Paul says that audiences are past old time serials.
- Happy Birthday to You!: The From Justin to Kelly episode has the group speculate on a musical where all the songs are in the public domain. When June starts singing "Happy Birthday," Paul and Jason claim she's just bankrupted the show.
- Hidden Depths:
- June is a professional screenwriter and actress, so she knows a lot about story-pacing and character arcs. Jason also has an encyclopedic knowledge of film history and trivia, rattling off tons of classic films and actors in the "Liz & Dick" episode alone.
- June also has the most enthusiasm for action films on the show, and is the most animated talking about films like Speed 2: Cruise Control and "Fair Game". Jason, by contrast, has the most enthusiasm for dramas.
- In the "Body Rock" episode, guest host Alison Brie reveals she learned breakdancing for the second season of GLOW (2017).
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The Last Dragon is called Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon. The movie was the first and last one the Motown producer ever made as a movie producer. Paul says the movie has been called that since it was advertised in syndication almost every Saturday when he was younger.
- Insult to Rocks: While discussing Maximum Overdrive, they mention how Stephen King was on a LOT of cocaine at the time. They decide that is no excuse.Andrew Daly: Stephen King's statement about cocaine is not fair to cocaine.
June: And cocaine abusers.
- I Reject Your Reality: June point-blank refusing to accept that the Villain Protagonists of Sleepwalkers are in fact mother and son.
- It Will Never Catch On: While reviewing Staying Alive, Paul "wonders" if a movie or musical could focus just on A Chorus Line of a musical. Jason replies such a musical wouldn't catch on.
- Joke and Receive: During the liveshow for The Shadow, Paul and Jason make a joke about recognizing the mystical knife from other movies, treating it as if it were a bit character actor, and also joke about wanting so see a movie about the knife itself. This is funny enough, but an audience member later points out the knife prop was in fact also used as the Macguffin in The Golden Child.Jason: I know we made the joke earlier, but that knife got a lot of work!
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Jason is rather intent on letting you know when he "enjoys" a movie.
- Monster Clown: Jason explaining the urban legend he grew up with that killer clowns would drive around the neighborhood abducting children. No one else seemed to know what he was talking about.
- Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used to Be: Wyatt Cenac discusses this in the review of Demolition Man, saying that while many people say The '50s were a simpler and better time, he, as a black man, obviously disagrees.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
- Comes up frequently whenever the hosts mention one of the more absurd scenes or pieces of dialogue within the movie. One example comes from the 88 Minutes episode when one of Al Pacino's lines is to ask "Did you ever let an unauthorized person into my secure files area?"Pete Holmes: That's a line that American treasure Al Pacino memorized and delivered! Multiple takes!
- When Paul says how Miami Connection debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987, both Jason and the audience are stunned.
- Comes up frequently whenever the hosts mention one of the more absurd scenes or pieces of dialogue within the movie. One example comes from the 88 Minutes episode when one of Al Pacino's lines is to ask "Did you ever let an unauthorized person into my secure files area?"
- Not So Above It All: June is easily the most serious of the hosts, but gleefully gives into the madness when reviewing ridiculous movies like Fair Game or From Justin to Kelly.Paul: That scene makes no sense. We'll find out why later.June: Will we? Really?Paul: Egh...
- Once an Episode: "Second Opinions," wherein Paul reads off 5-star reviews for the movie in question, pulled from Amazon.
- Only Sane Man: Paul to an extent, following the observation that he's the Ego, June is the Superego, and Jason is the Id of the Power Trio. Paul is perfectly capable of getting fully into the wackiness of any given movie, but compared to Jason's Lovable Sex Maniac tendencies and the Cloud Cuckoolander that is June he still somehow manages to come off as grounded by comparison.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: In The Hottie & the Nottie episode, Paul reveals that advertising for the movie in the United Kingdom billed it as "The Number One Film", with smaller print revealing that it was number one in the "Internet Movie Database's Bottom 100", which was true at the time.
- Posthumous Collaboration: The Max Headroom-like image of Laurence Olivier in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It was done because Jude Law requested it.Joe Mande: "People got mad about the Hologram Tupac. This is so much more awful... to do to a person's legacy."
- Precision F-Strike:
- June is the host least prone to swearing, which adds to her reaction when, during the Howard the Duck episode, the gang goes through the movie and finds evidence of June's earlier statement that Howard had been trying to fly.June: Right there! Right fucking there! Thank you!
- Happens again during the Hackers review, when June is told that hackers managed to remotely hack a Jeep and responds with an explosive, "Fuck that!"
- Also, June really didn't care for Highlander II: The Quickening.Audience member: OK, so the reason it's called Highlander is he's from the Highlands...June: DUDE! I fucking watched the fucking movie, bro!
- June is the host least prone to swearing, which adds to her reaction when, during the Howard the Duck episode, the gang goes through the movie and finds evidence of June's earlier statement that Howard had been trying to fly.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: No one is having it with Tony Manero in Staying Alive, going so far as to call him the villain of the movie.Katie Dippold: I feel like this is the story of your average monster in Hollywood.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: Dan Harmon goes on a pretty epic one about the screenwriter of Jack Frost (1998).
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: In the Lake Placid episode, this is the only logical explanation the hosts can agree on for the otherwise nonsensical Brendan Gleeson line, "Everyone's a comedian, sarcastic."
- Replacement Goldfish: Jason is quick to refer to guest hosts as June if she's not available for the live shows. "I really miss June."
- Riddle for the Ages: How an unusual joke in The Last Dragon is treated by the hosts and Hannibal Buress. "How about something in a medium-sized Oriental?" "No thanks, I'm not Jewish."
- Running Gag:
- In general:
- Paul and June's excessively formal introductions to each other at the beginning of episodes. (They're married with two sons.)
- Jason getting aroused by at least one thing in the movie.
- "June, how much would you say you know about [topic]?" "I know a little..."
- Jason hypothesizing that the entire movie being discussed exists in a "Jacob's Ladder-style" Dying Dream has come up in a good third of the episodes.
- June forgetting everything about the movie minutes after having watched it.
- Someone (usually Jason) automatically comparing the set design in any bad sci-fi movie to that of Pluto Nash.
- June stating a wildly unpopular opinion about the movie, and restating it after being made fun of.
- Paul plugging his other podcast Unspooled, where they watch slightly better movies, and June and Jason complaining about never being invited.
- Individual episodes:
- In general:
- Self-Plagiarism: While reviewing Maximum Overdrive, they mention how Stephen King refines his ideas. Maximum Overdrive has plot points similar to both Christine and The Mist.Jason: He's always honing an idea, but he's putting his first draft out here. "I'm going to do that same exact thing, but I'm going to do it a little bit different over here."
Andrew Daly: He's not like Harper Lee. We don't gotta wait 50 years for the first draft.
Jason: Finally, a good Harper Lee book.
- Similarly Named Works: For the review of Deadfall (1993), guest Chelsea Peretti says she first watched the 2012 movie Deadfall, which stars Olivia Wilde and Eric Bana. After watching it and realizing it did not have Nicolas Cage, Chelsea watched the older movie. Neither movie explained what a "deadfall" is.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Pete Holmes is one to Jason, particularly in the Howdies episodes.
- Suckiness Is Painful: Watching Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is described as "exhausting."
- Troubled Production: Not often on the show, but definitely a subject for discussion.
- The crew spends half of the episode on The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) discussing all the bizarre shit that happened behind the scenes and trammeled it up.
- On the Deck the Halls episode, guest Andrea Savage describes how the set was as cold as a refrigerator due to a series of intersecting personal troubles on the part of the actors.
- According to Paul, Xanadu went from a budget of $4 million to $20 million. Commentary from the director reveals they were initially working from a script of 45 pages (as a general estimate, one page of screenplay means one minute of film—90 pages would be a good first draft), and producer Brian Grazer had to lock the screenwriter in a hotel room for a weekend in an effort to get the script padded out (which didn't really succeed).
- Mel Brooks came on the show to talk about the buget for Solarbabies ballooning from $5 million to $25 million, some of which was his own money.
- When the budget was cut for The Last Dragon by $2 million, the director and screenwriter worked on the script in a hotel room. Paul says that when the screenwriter fell asleep, the director deleted 40 pages, about a third of the script. Guest host Hannibal Burgess points out since that was in 1985, before portable word processors became popular, the pages would have been just thrown away instead of deleted.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Discussed as a common trope in 1980s movies regarding the Annoying Younger Sibling in Teen Witch and The Last Dragon. Jason says the trope continued into more modern movies, like young sister Rachel in (500) Days of Summer.
- Unusual Euphemism: The term "explanation hope" (i.e. a question) is born in the Howard the Duck episode.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Very likely to come up when a kids' movie is reviewed and contains scenes that you would not expect in a kids' film. For example, noting scenes like a near rape or the electric chair from Ernest Goes To Jail, or the fact that the antagonists of Top Dog are not only white supremacists, but make a racist "wetback" joke in the early portions of the movie that went over the hosts' heads, never mind a child's.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: In the review of Maximum Overdrive, they mention how Stephen King has said he did so much cocaine while making that movie, he doesn't remember doing it. They say cocaine is no excuse, given every movie made in the 1970s, with the exception of Heaven's Gate.
- You Keep Using That Word: Fans have consistently pointed out the hosts' overuse of the word "literally", and even made videos of how often they use it (and most often incorrectly). One even made a graph. In their Clip Show episode, they note that they've probably only ever used it correctly once.