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Host AMAsHello From The Magic Tavern
See more AMAs > Adal, Arnie & Matt

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Adal, Arnie & Matt

Hello From The Magic Tavern

Matt Young is an actor, improviser, producer, director, and writer based in Chicago. In addition to performing as Usidore on the Hello from the Magic Tavern podcast, Matt is also a proud member of the world-renowned Improvised Shakespeare Company. He is a founding member of Whirled News Tonight, the long-running improvised satire at iO Chicago. He leads the crew of the U.S.S. Sisyphus as Captain Baxter in the Improvised Star Trek podcast, and he’s also one of the co-creators and talents behind of the podcast-news-magazine parody The Probe (think Serial meets Waiting for Guffman).  Follow him on Twitter (@morepeoplehappy) or follow Usidore (@usidoretheblue).

Adal Rifai is a performer at iO Chicago. Adal performs with the house team Revolver, the weekly show Whirled News Tonight and teaches improv at University of Illinois at Chicago as an adjunct lecturer. Past iO credits include Swim Buddies, Our Feature Presentation: The Improvised Movie and Hunter Family Crest. He has produced and written several shows including In Stereo and Dog Penis Salad.  Adal also voices the character Chunt on the improvised podcast ‘Hello, From the Magic Tavern’, plays Adam on the podcast ‘Siblings Peculiar’ and is the host of the Jackbox Party Pack 3 game Guesspionage. His newest podcast ‘Hey Riddle Riddle’ is out this summer. You can groan at his tweets posted under @adalrifai

Arnie Niekamp is a video game director and podcast host. He designed and directed Drawful and Trivia Murder Party for Jackbox Games and is currently working on a new You Don’t Know Jack for the fall. He was a founding member of the improv group, Whirled News Tonight. He’s done a lot of other improv and internet stuff, but let’s wrap it up. He hosts Hello from the Magic Tavern and you can follow him on twitter @misterarnie

Hello From The Magic Tavern 💠 is an improvised fantasy podcast about a man named Arnie who falls through a magical dimensional portal behind a Burger King in Chicago and finds himself in a strange magical land called “Foon.” He hosts a weekly podcast from the tavern the Vermilion Minotaur, interviewing monsters, wizards and adventurers. There are worlds other than our own!

Matt, Adal, and Arnie will be live on Jun 6 starting at 8am ET for one and a half hours to answer as many questions as possible. Feel free to start asking them questions any time in the lead-up to the AMA.

Website    Facebook    Twitter    iTunes    Stitcher

34 Questions
Best Answer
Porter asked this question 6 months ago

Sounds effects. Do you guys actually hear the sound effect (ex: Usidore casting a spell of floatation or flying) off the switchboard live as you record the show or are sound effects added AFTER recording. I’ve often wondered how you managed – Another example – when Usidore was transformed into broom stick and you chopped him into tiny pieces and they all started talking. Did you have to “imagine” what the sound effect would be as you did your improv live or was there actually a live sound effect off the switchboard?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) No, all of the SFX are added during the editing process. We’ve never done a show with live foley sound, but that could be cool. For something like the broomstick, I believe we recorded a few extra wild lines of Usidore dialogue after the main body of the show had been improvised, so that we could pepper those in. We use our imaginations, and then turn to Ryan in the booth and shrug or make some other apologetic gesture when we do something weird that we know will require him or the other editors to make new sound effects.

Cass B asked this question 6 months ago

Will you three be my bestfriends? 🙂

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie)
We already are.

Addison Crow asked this question 6 months ago

My bf wants to know if female shapeshifters wear anything around their necks for procreational use?

I was wondering how easily you found a working routine. Obviously you know each other well and are not new to improv/performing, but did you gel easily or did it take a while for your egos to settle 😛

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) oh boy. I would think female shapeshifters might carry one egg around their neck but hadn’t really thought about it! The working routine came about very easily. We already had a rapport from improvising on stage for years together so it just kind of clicked in place when we started the podcast although there was a learning curve to using the medium. I don’t know that our egos will ever settle.

Kelly Paleczny asked this question 6 months ago

Putting aside the fact that you guys are seasoned vets when it comes to improv (meaning you make it look so damn easy), what are some challenges you see in recording the podcast versus doing live improv?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) Seasoned vets! I’m covered in paprika most days! I think the biggest challenge for me between studio & live shows is the want to really be present and entertaining for the folks who are in the room giving you energy and speak to what’s happening but also be aware that at some point this will go out as purely audio to those not in attendance. It’s a fine tightrope to walk and I know I’m still trying to get better at it as I’m used to stage performances where I’m not concerned about anyone not in the audience and there’s a freedom to that.

Amy Mills asked this question 6 months ago

Even though he’s not a rock or a bird, I could use some assistance in naming my cat. What should I call him?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Slambath Yoladdley, the World’s Tallest Cat

Sabrina Sorensen asked this question 6 months ago

Normally you guys seem to have no real filter with your comedy, but is there anything that you have decided is off limits to joke about in Magic Tavern?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) I don’t think we have a standing list of what is “off limits,” but I also think we DO have a filter. Guests pitch us premises and while they are usually solid, there are things we don’t want to necessarily sit in either so we sometimes push them in a different direction. I think a great example is the whole “child death” thing. Sometimes people want to do something with that, but the original context has been lost and I (personally) don’t much enjoy when people try to force this joke back in. It was originally a comment on how fantasy-genre media tends to gloss over the ugly bits of the reality of medieval life (i.e., it’s a harsh, harsh period of history and child mortality rates would have been much higher) much more so than being cruel to children for the sake of being cruel (because that sucks).

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) We definitely have a filter, a big one. It’s definitely not perfect, and we’re constantly learning in ways verbalized and not verbalized. But the three of us did a news satire improv show for years and years. People would cut out whatever terrible news story and we’d have to make it funny… while hopefully not doing something that makes us feel icky. And doing that for years with very very smart but compassionate people helped bolster a willingness to jump into weird places but hold on to my own inner compass. And in those live shows (and sometimes with the podcast) it can be surprising what people get upset about (sometimes a kneejerk reaction to satire, sometimes very fair disappointment) and what stuff just slides by as all in good fun (like gay panic just to pull one example out of the air) when it probably shouldn’t.

Andrew Bashaw asked this question 6 months ago

Hey guys! I know you all don’t have writers in the traditional sense, but obviously there are some pre-planned events and plotlines. Could you guys talk about how you decide where a story should move in the grander scale, or perhaps more interesting, how much IS really decided upon before hitting record? Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Generally, very little is decided at the top and even then it’s usually just a brief discussion about where we COULD take something. Often we discover something more fun in the moment. We do keep an eye on how the general course of the show is progressing over a long period of time because that impacts the types of situations we may use as a starting point and the guests we may have (i.e., no villains recently? let’s get one of them back on).

Janet Nguyen asked this question 6 months ago

Chunt and Usidore! We <3 you! (Mixed feelings for Arnie, though)

Compiled a list with bf. Please answer any. 🙂

1. Has Usidore ever cleaned himself? Perhaps a bird bath at least?

2.Chunt – Apologies if its impolite to ask a shape shifter. But what is your age or phase in life? I.e. teen, middle age, ancient, undergrad-college-experimental sex-age.

3. Usidore – Which bird is the tastiest? (Chef cadance please)

4. Chunt – which animal has been the best sexual partner? Deets, pleez!

5. How did you two meet? In the rankings of friendship, where do either of you sit for the other?

Thank you! :3

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) 2. a shifter never tells their age, but I’m middle age-ISH. 4. hmmm hard to choose just one but Crocodiles know how to rock 😉 5. I’ve known Usidore since I was little! I believe Otok first introduced us! Usidore is definitely in my top friends since we started the podcast baybee!!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) 1. Of course, how dare you! 3. I like chicken.

Lana Peterson asked this question 5 months ago

1. What has been your favorite memory from your HFTMT experience?
2. How have you grown as actors or as humans as a result of the HFTMT experience?
3. What is something that we wouldn’t know about you from your performances or social media presence?
4. What are your favorite podcasts?
5. What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago (other than Burger King)?
6. Who would be your dream guest for HFTMT?
7. Will you ever come to Minnesota for a live show? I will bake you a hot dish.
8. I always wonder what your lives are like outside of the podcast. We have established that Arnie works at Jackbox games. What is the average day in each of your lives like?

Love you guys, thank you for bringing so much joy to my life.

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) 1. I’m not sure I can pinpoint just one but off the top of my head just the travel/live shows have been really incredible. Hanging with Matt and Arnie on the road and getting to do fun ass things and then the energy, support and kindness from our fans when we travel has been legit the best. 2. I think I’ve grown as a vocal artist but my acting has surely plateaued. But I think the success has made me realize the power of creation and what can come from really pursuing your passion and working with people you love. 3. I love musicals and immersive theater! Also I own almost exclusively plaid! 4. oh boy, too many to mention but a few would be MBMBAM, Lore, Myths & Legends, Welcome to Nightvale, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Criminal, Bright Sessions, anything Paul Bae touches, anything PFT touches, Unattended Consequences, Off-Book, The Flop House, No Such Thing As a Fish, Hollywood Handbook….I’m forgetting several but I’ll stop there. 5. I love NEXT! Different menu every four months and wonderfully imaginative dishes. Also Au Cheval and Band Of Bohemia. 6. Andy Daley, Lin Manuel, Darcy Carden, and many more. 7. Hopefully! I would love to try Lutefisk! (sp?) 8. My average day is doing a corporate improv workshop, maybe teaching or coaching improv, doing a live show, a shit ton of time spent responding to emails, hopefully spending a bit of time on any given project I’m working on and then the rest of the time is spent reading, eating or using my MoviePass. Thank you for your support Lana!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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1. There are a lot of things that have been cool or “Wow, I can’t believe we get to do this!” Like going on Comedy Bang! Bang!, a show I’ve been listening to for years (same with Hollywood Handbook) and just joining Earwolf in general (as a fan) and meeting those people was pretty far out. But more so than that even, is the experience of making the show with people that we have always known or grown to know through the process of the show. I hope we’re creating something that is a positive experience for people on both sides (creating and listening) and it’s always fun to see our guests bring something wild to the table and share that with my friends.


2. I hope I’ve grown as a person from this experience. I think I’m learning to be more organized and efficient. Time is more of a luxury than ever. I think more from an artistic viewpoint, I have grown more empathetic. I’m just exposed to more things now and want to be as open as possible to hearing/seeing other views. I’m doing my best to keep my cool when things don’t go perfectly, but I do tend to get a bit tightly wound when things are loosey-goosey. 


3. Let’s see…I love board games, LEGOs, Doctor Who, Star Wars, LEGO Star Wars, Cheers/Frasier, Voltron, the MCU. I was big into reading comics a few years ago (mostly DC, but they lost me with the new 52). My girlfriend has amplified my love of British TV. My girlfriend and I do like trying new restaurants and seeing theater in town when we aren’t doing shows ourselves. I suspect none of this is actually surprising.


4. U Talkin’ U2 To Me? (haven’t dug into the REM version yet), My Brother, My Brother, and Me, The Adventure Zone, Lore, The Flop House, Comedy Bang! Bang! How Did This Get Made? Off Book, Hollywood Handbook, Spontaneanation, LeVar Burton Reads, 15 Minutes with Lincoln, The Bright Sessions


5. So many to choose from but a perennial favorite has to be Pequod’s Pizza. There is also a terrific sushi place called Tanoshii. Publican was where I went for my birthday last year. I also love Little Goat (still haven’t been to The Girl and the Goat which is crazy because Stephanie was the best Top Chef).


6. I have a huge list of dream guests: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Billy Eichner (basically anyone who was ever on Parks and Rec), David Tennant, Peter Capaldi, Mark Hamill, Joel Hodgson, and so many more that I can’t remember right now.


7. Live shows are always a possibility. We aren’t set up to do big tours yet, so we have to kind of cherry pick the “biggest bang for our buck” shows which usually means doing a live show and some recording in another city.


8. I have a job as an Instructional Designer for a custom software company. I work on a couple of other podcast (Improvised Star Trek and The Probe). I audition for TV and commercials in Chicago. I do the Improvised Shakespeare Company shows here in Chicago on the weekends. I hope someday to finish Breath of the Wild and to read a book again.

9. Thanks for listening!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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I also love to cook, but so does Usidore so maybe that doesn’t count…

G S asked this question 5 months ago

How many people have a say in what’s going on in the space station plot?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) This is an Arnie question. I usually don’t hear the space station stuff until the episode is released. But I really love the work of Ryan DiGiorgi, Kate James, and Tim Sniffen. They are all very talented and funny (and attractive).

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie)
The space stuff is complicated and I could easily spend this entire time just talking about that. It’s evolved a lot over the years and it’s almost always put together under less-than-ideal circumstances. Tim (Mysterious Man), Ryan (Craig) and Kate (Tricia) all live in different cities. And Tim has spent a lot of the last few years in a different country. And we’re almost always scrambling to get it assembled at the last possible minute, partly because the sponsor copy usually comes in the week of (so we can’t bank those in advance like we do with the episodes) and because ideally Tim can hear the episode before he records his stuff and sometimes those edits come in pretty late. It’s usually some version of me writing a script or a very loose outline, maybe with some beats about a thing or two that we want to touch on… then Tim records the MM stuff, coming up with his own brilliant jokes, and changing whatever I’ve written for the better. Then Ryan comes in at the last minute to play clean up, finishing out the credits, improvising some reactions to things the MM has said. Adding Tricia back into the mix makes it more complicated but I think it’s totally worth it. Some weeks we’ll give her a couple reaction lines to record (sometimes before anything else is written or recorded) and some weeks there’s more of a loose script that everyone performs off of, changing their own lines/improvising wherever they want, and then it’s the job of the last voice added to “make it work.” That’s usually Ryan. We go through periods of being more or less focused on the actual “story” happening in space, but I’d say usually I’m the main initiator of that stuff, deciding when a story beat will happen, but everyone has full control of their own characters within that and can steer the story into a direction if that’s what they want. I’ll also sometimes request one of them to say specific lines to set something up, or bring an older idea back, or sometimes just to be evocative and give us something to play with down the line. But all of the slow story pushing and sometime overthinking and sometimes underthinking where it’s going is deservedly second fiddle to just how damned sharp and funny a ruthless comedy sniper Tim Sniffen is with his take downs of the cast and sometimes the guests. And how likable and genial Ryan and Kate are.

G S asked this question 5 months ago

Would you rather have an armpit that dispenses sunscreen or a hand made out of ham?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Armpit

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) I think this is a no-brainer.

Emily Kardamis asked this question 5 months ago

You guys do a really amazing job at balancing goofs and wordplay with some really heavy-hitting emotional moments throughout the podcast. Is that balance something you actively think about as you perform, or do you find that they happen naturally? (ie: is there ever a moment where you’re choosing to “get real”, as it were?)

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) I don’t think you can really force those emotional moments. You just have to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. So much of improv is just listening, looking for patterns, and then reacting that I don’t think you can build in moments like that. We may set our selves up for a potential moment just by raising the stakes of what’s happening and pushing some of the silliness to the side momentarily. I love the real moments that possibly aren’t even really that emotional too. At the DL’s birthday party, I made the decision to throw myself out of a window to go find and kill the DL. We had been at the party for a while mingling, trying to find the DL, and making fun goofs, but as I felt as soon as Usidore knew where to go he wasn’t going to wait too terribly long to take action.

Daniel Mills asked this question 5 months ago

Will you guys be doing a live show in northern california? Bay area or wine country to be specific.

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) We’ve done I believe 2 shows in SF in the past couple years but hopefully will be back again sometime soon! It’s a really wonderful area to visit!

Sliferjam asked this question 5 months ago

1. In the show, you are good friends. How close are you guys in real life?

2. How similar are you to the characters that you play in the show?

3. Is there anything that you would like to do on the podcast or for the podcast but haven’t been able to?

4. Did you imagine you would still be doing the podcast after three years? Where do you see the podcast in another three years?

5. Impromptu Gettin’ Nuts?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) 1. We’re very close in real life! That’s why we started the show together. We’re all very busy but we try and carve out as much time to get together, play board games and just generally enjoy one another’s company but it’s really been special to have this project have the success it’s had with Arnie & Matt specifically. 2. Chunt is very very very similar to Adal. 3. I think it might be fun to do an episode that contained scripted portions just to see what came from it. For the podcast, I’m working on devoting a page on our site to house all the fan art as that has been my favorite thing that’s come from doing the show and it would be wonderful to share with everyone who listens and give the artists their due credit. 4. I certainly didn’t expect when we recorded the first episode that we’d be still doing it and with the passion we have for it now but I’m happy to keep doing the show until I fade away into dust (Avengers SPOILER ALERT) 5. This is Sliferjam! and I’m Chunt! I ate a crunchy nut yesterday!…This has been Gettin’ Nuts!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) 1. I’ll ditto what Adal said and mention It is tough to find time outside of the show these days. 2. I like to think I’m NOT like Usidore, but probably yeah. The upside of that is he’s a good guy with a heart of gold; the downside is despite being very intelligent and powerful, he isn’t always clued into what is happening. 3. There are lots of guests I still want to get. More alternate dimensions are always fun. I suspect it will never happen again (because it was a moment and not really worth re-visiting this character), but I loved playing Barbara Glasshouse. 4. No, I thought we’d do six episodes and get bored. In three years…hmmm? I dunno honestly. I always want things to feel vital. I’d like the show to grow (whatever that means). I’d love to get some big guests (mostly so I could meet them) like Mark Hamill, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, David Tennant, PETER CAPALDI (really any Doctor). 5. This is Usidore… … … and we’re GETTIN’ NUTS! Macadamias are good. This has been GETTIN’ NUTS!

Charlene Chew replied 5 months ago

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I was listening to that eep as I was reading this. Love that one

Addison Crow replied 5 months ago

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I was thinking about Barbara Glasshouse and that whole episode the other day. You’re right, it was a perfect moment, but I wish she would make a return somewhere!!!

Rebecca Pridmore asked this question 5 months ago

What happened to Talbot? And is he going to come back and get mad Chunt is in a relationship with Twosidore??

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) Talbot is living life! I’m not sure how he’ll react to the current Chunt climate but I’m almost certain it’ll involve chattering!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie)
Talbot’s actually back and made an appearance in the last Squibbert episode. So, he’s around. The same with Gorgeous, I think. I actually had the thought for a while that we should give Talbot a big return, that he deserved that, something special. So for a lot of recording sessions I said I wanted to set up that there was some nasty rebellion force in Hogsface led by a mysterious leader and that would eventually be revealed to be Talbot. Sort of a Sons of the Harpy type thing, but led by a badger. But we just never got around to it recording session after recording session (which happens a lot with storylines with us, the improv goes where it goes, and the one or two things we all agreed to try to touch on gets forgotten until later). Eventually in the chaos of the Squibbert episode Adal or Matt just did a call out that “oh look it’s Talbot!” and so, just like that, he’s back. It’s a little bit of a bummer that he didn’t get a grand return, but probably for the best because it would have taken us forever. Hopefully we can give him something meaningful to do as we start to approach the last quarter of season two.

Austin Andrade asked this question 5 months ago

Do you, Adal, have any special talents? Does Chunt have any special talents that the listeners haven’t heard about?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) I played college basketball in England for a year. Is basketball a talent? I don’t know. I like to think wordplay is a talent of mine but the others may disagree. If you notice any other talents I have PLEASE tell me. Chunt has many a talent that folks may or may not hear about in the future but a freebie is he can roll his tongue. Pretttyyyy coooool!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) Can I just say that before doing the podcast I had performed with Adal for years and years and I had rarely ever heard him do puns or wordplay. And now he won’t stop.

Charlene Chew replied 5 months ago

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I find this so surprising

Christian Figaratto asked this question 5 months ago

Was there a single moment where you felt like the show was going to be a success?

Also, will we ever hear higher quality versions of some of Foons best songs?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Not really a single moment, but there were moments. The Usidore song that Glenn Miller and Spants sang kind of caught me off guard. The fact that people we knew were taking this much time to make a thing about the stupid thing that we were making was…very cool, but surprising. Going to XOXO that first year was also a watershed moment that probably led to a lot of people (influencers?) getting into the show. I think some of those songs might on Soundcloud?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) I’m just now starting to think it might become a success.

Emmaline Morris asked this question 5 months ago

So I know what Magic Tavern means to me (friendship, found family, the power of creativity, etc.), but what does Magic Tavern mean to you?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) Thematically, you mean? I think a lot of what you said is at the heart of it… frienships, creativity… the ways both can be life saving but also the ways they can be, complicated and not always positive. I think the theme of the show that we vocalize the most between the three of us is “the wrong hero.” Too many stories are about “chosen” characters. If stupid inept people (like most of us in the world) want to have an adventure. I think it’s also over time a lot about the need to escape reality versus the ways reality won’t stay out or shouldn’t be avoided. I think it’s also about anxiety. But mostly it’s about buttholes.

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) This is going to sound really hokey, but I think there is a real message of hope in the show (at least I “hope” so). I’ve always wanted Foon (that despite its many faults and dangers) was a place that people could just be accepted. I love the characters on the show have a lot of fun at Usidore’s expense and I often set myself up to be a fool, but I don’t want it to be because he’s dumb and shitty. I think it’s more interesting if he is actually a pretty powerful wizard who could help save the world, but he isn’t quite human so he has to work harder at normal stuff. This is just occurring to me right in this moment…I’ve always thought of Arnie’s character as the fish out of water, but in some ways, that moniker could apply to all three of us. Yeah, belonging and friendship.

Heather Krueger asked this question 5 months ago

Why is Matt Young so amazing?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) Because he’ll just dive in 100% and get the job done. It’s like what he said in one of the answers about making Usdiore jump out a window. “It’s time to act!” CRASH! Meanwhile, Adal and I (who are both great) are just sort of like “weeeeeeeeelllll…”

Louis Vasquez asked this question 5 months ago

Of the three of you, what are each one of you guy’s personal favorite episode? One you had the most fun recording, had an impact in a way, or the hardest you have laughed in. You guys are great!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) It’s really hard to pick one favorite. Everything that we’ve done with Zach and Jess from Off Book has been so, so fun. Another recent favorite has to be our three-year anniversary episode with Joey Bland and Ross Bryant. “COR BLIMEY!” made me laugh a lot.

Sami Berry asked this question 5 months ago

Do you guys rehearse at all for the podcast? I know it’s improv but is there any pre-organization at all?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) No, there is no rehearsal. There is a lot of logistical organization that the whole team pitches in to get done.

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) We probably should, honestly.

James Inkster asked this question 5 months ago

Has there ever been any legit discussions or attempts to get Hello from the Magic Tavern on TV? I think it would make a killer Adult Swim-type animated show.

Also, Arnie, don’t listen to jerks like Janet Nguyen- you’re the best!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) We are definitely open to Hello from the Magic Tavern appearing in other forms of media.

Anne Kirn asked this question 5 months ago

1.) Arnie: how did you decide how to fictionalize yourself? Specifically curious about the choice to have In-Fiction Arnie still have a wife and baby on Earth, since it affects the emotional weight of the concept so much.

2.) Is there any element of the show that fans have seized on that surprised you, or got a reaction that you didn’t expect?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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1. The short answer is that I probably didn’t think about it enough. Watching the (great) Garry Shandling documentary recently I realized that I was probably at least partly inspired by It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and even more so by The Larry Sanders Show. I think playing a fictional version of yourself can add an interesting tension. Also it felt like it would simplify the Earth side of story a bit, instead of inventing a life for this character I could focus on being present in this world. Especially at the beginning “Arnie” is mostly meant to be an audience surrogate and if I was overdoing being a character I think it would have distracted. The wife and baby stuff I think started as a small meta joke, that improv thing where you needle a player if they’re playing themselves “oh, you’re playing yourself, huh… well I’ll make you a terrible person, or what about this…” I go back and forth on whether it’s a good thing for the show or not. I think it adds some nice depth and pathos but also for long stretches I feel like it’s been tough to make “Arnie” a redeemable character, because he absolutely should be trying desperately to get home. On the plus side I think it does offer a window into some higher stakes and some deeper emotional stuff that we/I like to tap into. I try to be true to all the terrible characteristics foisted onto my character by other improvisers while still hopefully making him someone to care about and root for. I have a lot of ideas about what’s going on with him, but I’m sure we’ll get to that eventually.

Anne Kirn asked this question 5 months ago

As we’ve seen in some of the interlude episodes, you could’ve gone with any variety of alternate dimension. What informed going with a high fantasy realm in particular?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Arnie would have to respond to be sure, but I think it was more that we wanted to do a fantasy thing, and THEN Arnie came up with the space bunker initially just as a way to handle the business nonsense of a podcast without the Foonians breaking character. But once we had this concept of two dimensions and something/someone watching over them, it just made sense that there would be a lot more to explore.

Charlene Chew asked this question 5 months ago

When you have a guest come on to be someone previously talked about i.e. activia,Jyn’leeviah, wheel bear, and etc. Do you or the guest choose to be that person? Do you tend to lean morw towards friends as fuests or people you want to be on

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Usually, our guests pitch us two or three characters that they are interested in playing. Sometimes if we have an existing character, we’ll recommend it to a guest that we think will be a good fit, but elements of one of their pitches usually end up becoming part of that character too.

Louis Vasquez asked this question 5 months ago

What is the the most unprofessional thing that you guys have seen someone do through out your career?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) I’m not exactly sure what you’re fishing for here. Performing, improvising, acting, and the arts, in general, are a strange thing. I think we all have our good and bad moments. I’d rather flip this and say that the most professional people are generally kind, easy going, and generous with their talent. Sometimes people are very busy and you can’t take it personally if they aren’t pouring all of their time and attention into you.

Emily Kellogg asked this question 5 months ago

Have you guys ever had any strange fan encounters?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Not really. The fans have been really great overall. I think sometimes people get shy or something, but then I usually just try to ask them questions to get them talking about themselves.

Oh, well, there were two very drunk dudes at the LA show we did recently, but even they were well-meaning. But it was the first time I ever started looking around for building security. They eventually moved along without intervention, but you could see the other people in the meet’n’greet line starting to look concerned.

Chase Coburn asked this question 5 months ago

What do you think about the direction in which the Chicago Bears are heading?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Adal here!) NOT THRILLED!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) I think they should head east on 294.

Aldi H asked this question 5 months ago

How are you guys doing?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Not bad.

Aldi H asked this question 5 months ago

Arnie, do you ever feel outshined by Chunt and Usidore when it comes to your Earthen audience’s response to the show? Or even your Foonish audience? Because I think you’re great.

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) I agree.

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(Arnie) Thank you. I think I play a much more… serviceable role on the podcast. It’s hard to make it the most shiny, comparatively, and would probably be a mistake to try to make “Arnie” the fan favorite. But people seem to be coming around. Also, it’s worth saying that Matt and Adal are amazing and I don’t mind being outshined by them (usually). There was a time where… okay I’ll say… I 100% would have put money down on me being a better performer than either of them… but that was years ago. But bottom line… I am pretty awesome and I don’t have to be the awesomest.

Kelly Paleczny asked this question 5 months ago

How is the real-life Adal and fictional Arnie Twitter interaction going to affect the plot, if at all?

Emily Kardamis asked this question 5 months ago

Ok, this is very silly, but I gotta know: is the correct show title “Hello, from the Magic Tavern” or “Hello from the Magic Tavern”? That inconsistent comma has tormented my inner copywriter for months.

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) NO COMMA. This was an error in the earliest version of our logo.

Louis Vasquez asked this question 5 months ago

What are your favorite board/video games to play with each other?

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) No surprise, we end up playing some Jackbox games usually. I really love Sentinels of the Multiverse, but we haven’t played it in a while. Sushi Go!, Pandemic, and 7 Wonders.

Louis Vasquez asked this question 5 months ago

How are you guys so good at remembering (especially Matt) certain things from previous episodes? Do you guys write the information down somewhere or just good at it? And thank you guys for the years of entertainment and hope for many many more!

Adal, Arnie & Matt replied 5 months ago

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(MY) Sometimes we listen to older episodes as a refresher. Sometimes we look things up on our fan-run wiki (http://magictavern.wikidot.com/). Sometimes I just remember. Improv is a lot about recognizing patterns and making connections. So I think that if I get lucky and remember something old and connect it to something new, that’s just part of how we build the show. But there are probably just as many times that someone points out a connection, and I have forgotten it entirely. We’re all doing our best. The shorter answer is: because of improv this is a brain muscle that I use a lot.

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