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Season One Q&A - Part Two

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Monstrous Agonies Season 1 Q&A Part Two Transcript

[Title music: slow, bluesy jazz. It fades out as Hero starts speaking.]

Hero: Hello, friends! And welcome to part two of the end of season one Q&A session. I’m Hero, creator and writer of Monstrous Agonies, and I was joined for the Q&A by Sophie B, who played the Understudy back in Episode Thirty Four. We'll pick up right where we left off in Part One, and once again, please forgive any lapses in sound quality as we were recording in my living room, in a house made of cardboard.

Sophie: So, Treb is here once more. Hello again, Treb. And Treb would like to know, because it’s been so much fun hearing all of the variety of voices and accents you’ve done so far. Some I know you believe with better results than others, but we won’t go into that. But um, Treb, she asks, “I wondered if there are sounds or styles or parts of the world that you either can’t wait to do or recoil from doing.”

Hero: Mmm.

Sophie: We had a conversation literally about this yesterday.

Hero: Yes. I'm not going to do a racist bloody accent.

Sophie: That wasn’t the conversation I was thinking of. [laughs]

Hero: [laughs] Oh, was it not that conversation? It wasn’t--it wasn’t that Sophie was trying to egg me on or anything.

Sophie: Yes. No.

Hero: But like, yeah. There are some accents that as a white person, and especially as an English person, I--and as someone who is completely untrained, I would not be doing a--a actually accurate Pakistani accent.

Sophie: No.

Hero: It would only be racist.

Sophie: Yes.

Hero: So there are definitely some that I’m like, categorically not. Whereas doing a bad Swedish accent--eh.

Sophie: You’re allowed.

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: You’re allowed.

Hero: You’re not--you’re not. If it’s bad, you aren’t heaping on top of generations of--of trauma and dispar--disparaging-ness.

Sophie: We’re gonna get a lot of Swedes in the inbox being like, how--

Hero: Swedes in the inbox.

Sophie: --dare you.

Hero: Well, you got a funny accent.

Sophie: Yep, em.

Hero: But yeah, whereas… there are--like so, there is a letter that has been submitted that I am extremely excited about because it’s so cute, and I love it. And it will require--it really does require me doing an accent that I shied away from last season--

Sophie: Which is the conversation we were having yesterday.

Hero: Yeah. We talked a lot yesterday. I can’t be expected to remember everything I--

Sophie: But I can, which is why I’m the one asking the questions.

Hero: [laughs] Um, so yeah. There’s, um--and I also, eh--I… well, are we--well, it would be very silly for anyone to be listening to this who hasn’t listened to the season finale.

Sophie: Yes.

Hero: Right? Um, but there’s a--I did a West Country accent in the second letter.

Sophie: Very well, I think.

Hero: Thank you! Because I had almost done one, a lot. I had got partway through a letter while I was recording and realised I was doing a West Country accent, and realised I didn’t actually know how to do--

Sophie: How to do a West Country accent. [laughs]

Hero: --a West Country accent, and I should probably stop, and changed it. And I think well, obviously you’re more aware of things when it’s you, but I think there’s only about five accents in Monstrous Agonies. [laughs] You know. But it was--yeah, I would like to do more, but it’s about finding the balance between like--like the American one was fun, because you could kind of lampshade it.

Sophie: Yes.

Hero: And be like, okay this is very… very clearly an English person--

Sophie: Doing an American accent.

Hero: Doing an American accent. Um, and--and you can kind of make a bit of fun of that. Um, there was another take of that letter which has been lost to time.

Sophie: And Audacity crashes.

Hero: And Audacity crashes, which was affectionately known as “the Yeehaw Cut.”

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: Because I went through it, the whole--I went all the way through that letter doing… [bad cowboy accent] your yeehaw American accent. [normal voice] Like, to kind of basically get it out of my system?

Sophie: Yeah. I mean, yeah, no, completely. Like, people who, you know, do a lot of swear words before they go on air.

Hero: Yeah, exactly.

Sophie: In order to not do swear words on air.

Hero: Exactly. So I got the Yeehaw Cut out of my system to be able to do one that is a little bit yeehaw, but not--

Sophie: Not as yeehaw.

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: I think it’s very funny that throughout this whole Q&A and throughout the entire time I’ve known you doing Monstrous Agonies, your whole ethic has been, “I don’t want to have to work very hard.”

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: But then you trapped yourself in a format that required you to do different distinct accents week upon week.

Hero: Yeahhh.

Sophie: So that’s--

Hero: Well, like I said--

Sophie: --that’s fun.

Hero: So there’s--there’s unpleasant posh.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: Nice posh.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: Uh, nice Northern, stupid Northern.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: Which I’m allowed to do. Southerners aren’t allowed to do stupid Northern voices.

Sophie: Yeah. But Northerners are.

Hero: But Northerners are. Um, and there’s sort of cheerful youngun. And--and sweet old lady. Those are the--

Sophie: That’s it..

Hero: That’s it. Those are the voices of Monstrous Agonies.

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: And now, West Country.

Sophie: And now West Country!

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: But no more.

Hero: But no more.

Sophie: So we’ve talked a little bit there about, um, what you don’t like having to do in terms of accents and what you like to avoid doing and all that sort of thing.

Hero: Any work.

Sophie: Um, but, there’s an anonymous question asker who would like to know what’s been the best part so far of making a podcast.

Hero: Well, to be an arsehole about it. It’s [drawling voice] the fans. It's the listeners. But no, it genuinely--the response of people has been--because I was like, oh, I’m just going to do this and put it out and we’ll see if anybody likes it. And then people were like yeah, I quite like it. It’s good. You know, and that’s lovely.

But then we got actually, genuinely, one huge--like, I can pinpoint a listener who wrote a Tumblr post that might be my favourite thing, um, and it was cheerios-and-wine, and they posted a--I think that their pronouns are they, so I’m gunning for that--and they wrote--it was about the one, the uh bug who goes through like, metamorphosis and is getting married, and is like, should I wait or--like, isn’t it going to be weird having all of my wedding photos not looking like me or, you know, and also what if my girlfriend doesn’t fancy me anymore.

Um, and cheerios-and-wine wrote this gorgeous post that was just like, this really spoke to me as somebody who’s starting to go through physical transition and it just, you know, change is good, actually, that we should change and we can change and we should change, and it is right and something to celebrate, and what a lovely metaphor that is for the trans experience.

And I was like, [silly, emotional voice] I love you! You are my favourite person!

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: Um, and even--you know, the ones that haven’t posted something as big and personal as that, that’s gorgeous, um. But just people being like, “This is my new favourite podcast. This is really great.” Like, it’s not a massive podcast. There aren’t thousands and thousands and thousands of listeners. [laughs]

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: Um, but the people who listen seem to really like it, and that’s just an extremely cool thing.

Sophie: Yeah, I think that's the thing. Sort of a, having a handful of really enthusiastic vocal fans is almost better, really, than having sort of legions of like, “Yeah, I watch this.”

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: “This is a Marvel television show that I will consume--”

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: Rather than like, “I actually genuinely love this thing.” Also, just because you brought it up, I think your answer to that--to the Kafka bug question, is one of my favourite ones you’ve written. Like, I just think it was so beautiful.

Hero: That was--that was one of those where it was like, I just would like someone to tell me this.

Sophie: Yes, yeah. I think--I think that’s why kind of, and again, and I don’t necessarily think you have to like, have gone through something in order to write beautifully about it, but I do think that it kind of really came through in the writing of that one that you… knew what you were talking about--

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: --from a very personal perspective.

Hero: Right, right. And like, I didn’t have on my spreadsheet “trans bug,” right?

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: But like, some of the letters are more metaphorical than others.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: And, in those cases, it’s important to me to--well, it’s important to all of them actually, to answer them as if they are real questions. Genuinely. But especially those ones where you’re like, no, this genuinely, like. Trans people need to hear that change is good, and--and whether that’s a physical transition or a social transition or a bit of both or a bit of neither or whatever like, it’s good that we are different than we were. That’s a good thing, actually. And that’s an important thing, I think, for everybody to hear, but I think it has special resonance for trans people.

Sophie: Yeah, absolutely.

Hero: Um, but yeah, like, to be just the most typical [drawling voice] artiste. Oh, well obviously it’s the fans.

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: [drawling voice] The best thing about this is the fans. [normal voice] And also, I’ll tell you what, purely selfishly, one of the best things about it is that um, I don’t have to ask anybody else what they think [laughs] before I do something.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: You know?

Sophie: You’re your own boss.

Hero: I am my own boss, and that is awful because I’m a terrible employee.

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: I am a nightmare. I keep stealing my own pens? It’s just force of habit. I’m just like, loading up my pockets with my own stationery, and it’s like. This is your house, you live here. And I’m like, yeah, but, you know, yeah. Stick it to the man.

Sophie: Exactly.

Hero: I’m the man.

Sophie: You’re the man.

Hero: I’m the man.

Sophie: You’re sticking it to yourself.

Hero: [laughs] Yeah, I am. Every chance I get.

Sophie: [laughs] Right. So. This anonymous question answer would like to know if you have a favourite flavour of ice cream.

Hero: I do. Mint choc chip. It’s the best. It is the best. It is just--it’s just the perfect ice cream. That’s it. I have a tiered list of ice cream flavours. I used to live--I used to live up on the coast, the Northern Irish coast, and it was about half an hour’s walk away from a, uh, beautiful little seaside village. Well, a town. Well. Small town. Nobody cares. [laughs]

Sophie: You could say it was very close to a volcano, and most people would be like yes, yes, of course.

Hero: Yeah, but the people who know would know. Um. And I would walk into town and get an ice cream, eh, every possible opportunity, um, from. If you’re ever in Northern Ireland, Maud’s Ice Cream is the best. And sometimes they’d run out of mint choc chip, so I had to have like, a list of what I would get if I couldn’t get mint choc chip.

Sophie: In the disastrous event that mint choc chip was unavailable.

Hero: It was always a little tragic, because you’d come all that way, but you also probably had one yesterday.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: And so, yeah. You know, chocolate orange is up there. Coconut. Classic chocolate.

Sophie: Coconut is--

Hero: We don’t get pistachio ice cream in the UK very easily.

Sophie: Yes, see I was going to say--nobody asked me my opinion on this.

Hero: No, they do!

Sophie: No, that’s--they asked the Understudy’s favourite ice cream, which we’re going to get to in a second, so don’t rush ahead here.

Hero: Well, what’s your favourite ice cream flavour, Sophie?

Sophie: Aww, thanks for asking. Um, mine is actually pistachio, but properly. So where I’m from--

Hero: Yeah, but you’re posh.

Sophie: No, no!

Hero: No, you’re posh so you’ve had access to pistachio ice cream that no--that is, is abnormal. You’ve had an abnormal level of access to pistachio ice cream for somebody who grew up in the UK.

Sophie: So I live in Newcastle in the north of England, and there is an Italian ice cream place that has branches both in Whitley Bay and the Ouseburn, which is quite close to where I live.

Hero: We should write to them. We should say, “'ere, Maud’s, Maud’s--”

Sophie: Do you wanna--[laughs] Yeah, exactly. We’re giving them free publicity. But if you’re ever in Newcastle and you want some ice cream, Di Meos it’s called, and their pistachio is proper Italian gelato, and it is so good. You know it’s good because the green colour is quite unappealing.

Hero: [laughs] Yeah, that’s true. That’s how you can tell--

Sophie: That’s how you tell it’s good pistachio flavour.

Hero: Good pistachio stuff.

Sophie: Good pistachios, ugly green.

Hero: Looks revolting.

Sophie: Um, so the follow-up question, which you tried to barrel on ahead to, what are the Presenter and the Understudy’s favourite flavours of ice cream? And I feel like I should let you answer both of these because even though I voiced the Understudy, you are the de facto creator of both of those characters.

Hero: Yes. De facto. Actual. Not de facto.

Sophie: [high-pitched] Well.

Hero: I am just the creator.

Sophie: I feel like I helped.

Hero: Well, you certainly ad libbed a lot, didn’t you?

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: That was great. What a nice surprise that was to find my--

Sophie: Transcribe.

Hero: --transcript in smithereens.

Sophie: Perfect.

Hero: Eh. I think that the Understudy. Ooh. Probably is like, likes those like, the ice cream flavours that you didn’t think existed because you grew up in the UK in the 90s.

Sophie: See, I was going to say London Fog, which is an American ice cream flavour that is, I believe it’s a blend of vanilla and earl grey. And it sounds like a Monstrous Agonies thing that got made up--

Hero: It does.

Sophie: “My favourite flavour of ice cream, oh yes, it’s definitely London Flog” --Fog. Flog?

Hero: Flog. Ooh. Kinky.

Sophie: It’s definitely London Fog. You can taste the bitterness in the air and the cold morning as it rolls in from the docks.

Hero: Are you saying that the Presenter or the Understudy?

Sophie: Understudy.

Hero: The Understudy. Yeah. Because I think the Understudy likes made up ice cream.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: I think the Presenter. It’s like even odds whether they like, have had ice cream.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: Do you know?

Sophie: Or a mouth.

Hero: Or a mouth. I mean, there is that. Um, I think they like the concept of ice cream.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: Uh, in terms of flavour. I just can’t--like,the Presen--I’m just pic-picturing. I don’t even have a clear picture of the Presenter.

Sophie: May I posit something?

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: I think the Presenter doesn’t like ice cream, and I think that’s what--’cause I think saying you don’t like ice cream is one of those things where everyone around you goes, “You don’t like ice cream?”

Hero: [laughs] Right.

Sophie: And that can be the weirdest thing about the Presenter. In the Monst--

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: It doesn’t matter what kind of monster the Presenter is. It doesn’t matter how they present. It doesn’t matter what their physical form looks like. The thing that everyone will talk about behind their back is--

Hero: The fact they don’t--

Sophie: They don’t like ice cream.

Hero: Ice cream.

Sophie: They don’t like ice cream.

Hero: Yeah, I love that. Yeah.

Sophie: I think not liking ice cream is the last great shame of humanity.

Hero: Sure.

Sophie: It’s the thing that no one wants to admit.

Hero: Yeah. I’m just imagining the Presenter and the Fairy Queen and their different ice cream orders.

Sophie: Oh yeah.

Hero: D’you know? The Fairy Queen is getting like a full--full sundae with like sparklers in.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: And like glitter sprinkles.

Sophie: That the staff of the shop, when they bring it over to you, sing a little song and do a little clap.

Hero: Yes, exactly. And is basking, and the Presenter has a black coffee.

Sophie: A black coffee! [laughs]

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: Yes, exactly.

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: Ohhh. The ideal relationship.

Hero: [laughs, high-pitched] Is it?

Sophie: Well, we’ll find out presumably. Okay. So now we’re kind of moving into just what I like to call, “general.”

Hero: General. Misc.

Sophie: These are gen--misc.

Hero: Misc.

Sophie: Miscellaneous questions. These are questions that fell down the back of the filing cabinet and we fished them out, and we’re just going to go for them.

Hero: Love it.

Sophie: So, RadicalReliableRandomness, the Triple R, um--

Hero: [deep voice] Triple threat.

Sophie: Uh.

Hero: I don’t know what that means.

Sophie: I don’t--you don’t know triple threat means?

Hero: No! Should I?

Sophie: I’m not going to tell you.

Hero: Oh, is it something to do with--oh, if this is wrong--

Sophie: No, please ask.

Hero: Is it--[laughs]--if it’s not, it’s going to be very silly. Is it something to do with like, musical theatre?

Sophie: D’you know what? Yes, it is.

Hero: YESSS!

Sophie: And the reason why you don’t know that is because you refuse to associate with theatre kids, despite the fact that you now do a podcast, which I feel like is a very theatre kid activity.

Hero: Yeah, but I do it quietly on my own, in my wardrobe where nobody can see, and usually in the middle of the night.

Sophie: Yeah. So, Triple R, the triple threat, asks, “How are you? And also, how’s that new chair treating you?”

Hero: RadicalReliableRandomness, you have--RadicalReliableRandomness, I think, is the person who made fun of me for being scared of Skyrim on Tumblr?

Sophie: Would you like to just very quickly delve into why you’re scared of Skyrim?

Hero: Because there’s things in it! [laughs]

Sophie: [laughs] Because there’s things in it.

Hero: They try and kill you

Sophie: Todd Howard put things in Skyrim, and now you’re very frightened.

Hero: I’m very frightened. They jump at you, and they attack you all the time, and I am just a beautiful orc twink trying to make his way in the universe, and I don’t appreciate--what I want to do in Skyrim is pick flowers and eat butterflies and um, maybe read the Lusty Argonian Maid and just hang out. But they keep sending me into caves full of things that want to kill me.

[Distant thuds]

Hero: It’s the man who secretly lives in my ceiling.

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: [sighs] Um. There’s things in Skyrim that want to kill me.

Sophie: No, we're come--no. I’m drawing you back to the question now. So that was a nice little detour into Skyrim and your fears of it, but um, what we want to know really--

Hero: Oh! Yes. So--

Sophie: The question on everyone’s minds:

Hero: How’s my new chair.

Sophie: How’s the chair?

Hero: Well, listen to this. Shh. [faint, indeterminate noises] Did you hear that?

Sophie: You can’t see what I’m seeing, dear listener.

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: But Hero is just spinning around--

Hero: [continues laughing]

Sophie: --on the new chair. If you hear anything, it’s their knees bashing into the table we’re recording on.

Hero: [laughs] But--

Sophie: But the chair itself--

Hero: The chair itself… whisper silent. And that was not the case for almost the entire season. I was recording on a creaky, uh, dining room chair. I have a creaky dining room chair, it’s not the same one, but it’s this. [creaking noises] Great audio experience happening.

Sophie: Yeah, we’re really delving into very niche ASMR territory.

Hero: [laughs] But I would uh, I--I couldn’t move at all while I was recording.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: Um, I couldn’t wave my hands. I couldn’t shift my body weight.

Sophie: Yeah, which I think for both you and me, because I obviously recorded one--

Hero: One.

Sophie: One episode. I think both you and I are quite um, gesture-y talkers.

Hero: We’re physical.

Sophie: Yes, a lot of movement comes into the things that we say and do. I am actively having to keep myself very still right now. I’ve chosen to put my elbow on the table. And if I move it, sound will happen--

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: --so I have to stay very still.

Hero: Yeah, I saw your elbow. I thought ooh, that’s a choice. Meanwhile, I’m sitting on my chair, which is--it’s a sit-stand stool, so I can change it and I can lean against it if I want to. And it’s got a wobbly top, so I can wiggle to my heart’s content. Which is--

Sophie: Which is all that you need.

Hero: --extremely important, because I am a wiggler.

Sophie: So I would say to the answer of how are you--

Hero: Ecstatic!

Sophie: You’re very happy. You’re very happy because you have a wiggly chair.

Hero: I do.

Sophie: That doesn’t make any sound.

Hero: [distant thuds] Unlike the person moving around in my house right now.

Sophie: So obviously you talked about playing a twink in Skyrim, a twinky orc.

Hero: A twinky orc. As twinky as they’ll let me be.

Sophie: Yeah, which isn’t very twinky.

Hero: Twink oppression.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: To be honest.

Sophie: More twinks in Skyrim. Todd Howard, release a new Skyrim.

Hero: It’s 2021.

Sophie: Don’t--don’t--

Hero: We’ve waited long enough.

Sophie: Todd. Blib asks--

Hero: Hi, Blib.

Sophie: Hi, Blib. Who, in your opinion, is the hottest 90s point-and-click game protagonist?

Hero: It’s not a matter of opinion. Guybrush Threepwood is one of the sexiest video game protagonists in anything.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: So obviously--he is the protagonist of the best 90s point-and-click adventures.

Sophie: Which is?

Hero: Monkey Island. The Monkey Island series. Um, it is Guybrush Threepwood, obviously. And I say this with some hesitation because of course there were the Indiana Jones point-and-click adventures. And like, Indiana Jones is objectively hotter than Guybrush Threepwood, BUT--

Sophie: But was he hot as a point-and-click video game protagonist?

Hero: He was not hot as a point-and-click video game protagonist. Or no more than could be demanded of somebody doing an impression of uh, Harrison Ford being Indiana Jones, because obviously Harrison Ford did not return [laughs] to lend his voice to these video games.

Sophie: No.

Hero: Eh, but also he’s not primarily a video game protagonist, is he? You know?

Sophie: No, he’s not.

Hero: So it would be, yeah. It would definitely be um, Guybrush Threepwood. There’s quite a--well, it’s not 90s, but it’s by--in Broken Age, there’s like. A fox wolf?

Sophie: A fox wolf.

Hero: A fox wolf. He’s like an evil fox wolf who lives on a--and he’s not a protagonist, though, because the protagonists are both children and just doing their video game thing. There is also a very um, very large burly lumberjack in Broken Age. Um, which is great. Big fan of him.

Sophie: I love that you decided to make a very niche podcast. Now you’re making incredibly niche podcast Q&A content.

Hero: [laughs] Yeah.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: Yeah. I make the art I want to see in the world.

Sophie: You do! You do.

Hero: I really do. And no one can stop me, ‘cause I’ve got a microphone and I’m going to make that everyone else’s problem.

Sophie: You are. See, I would have said, but--it’s not point-and-click.

Hero: Well, then it doesn’t count.

Sophie: [sighs]

Hero: Sorry. Well, “Who’s the hottest video game character?” is a completely different question.

Sophie: Well yeah, absolutely.

Hero: Right. Who were you going to say?

Sophie: Oh, no, it doesn’t matter. [laughs] No, 'cause this is where I reveal that I’m just a casual in terms of video game consumption, and that the only video game I’ve ever played through to completion is Kingdom Hearts.

Hero: Amazing.

Sophie: And that’s because I’m a slave to the mouse. Well, I’m not really. I don’t care for that show-stealing glory hog.

Hero: Sure. Sure.

Sophie: I’m all about Donald Duck. Donald Duck’s my answer.

Hero: Donald Duck!

Sophie: Donald Duck in Kingdom Hearts.

Hero: Surely, Donald Duck was in a point-and-click adventure at some point in the 90s.

Sophie: [quietly] Oh god, I hope so.

Hero: Yeah. Yeah.

Sophie: Anyway.

Hero: Moving on.

Sophie: Moving swiftly on.

Hero: I had a thought there though.

Sophie: About video game protagonists?

Hero: Ooh, I thought of something.

Sophie: Ooh, hang on. No, I have a question that I’m just going to throw in now. So we’ll do this.

Hero: Wild card.

Sophie: Just to kind of like, just bring that back a little bit. Because it was a good question. Um, if Monstrous Agonies was a video game, what kind of video game would it be? And this question comes from Sophie B sitting at this table right now.

Hero: Amazing. They’re my favourite. Um, well, I mean, my heart says point-and-click adventure because they are my favourites.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: I love point-and-click. Um, I feel like-- [laughs] Do you know what it would be?

Sophie: What would it be?

Hero: Do you know what it would be?

Sophie: What would it be? Tell me.

Hero: It would be an 80s text adventure. My second favourite genre of video game.

Sophie: Yeah, mm-hmm.

Hero: And that was my thought that I had that wandered off earlier. Um, that the hottest protagonist in a video game is me playing [laughs] the um, 80s text adventures.

Sophie: Incredible. Yes.

Hero: Uh, yeah. No, probably an 80s text adventure where you’re like, go north, go north, go north, you have been eaten by a gru.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: Um, because it’s just like, well we could have made a whole video game, but actually we just--we just put these things here, and now all of the work is on you to fill in the gaps.

Sophie: Incredible.

Hero: Mm-hmm.

Sophie: Speaking of adaptations of your wonderful work. This is about adaptations of someone else’s wonderful work.

Hero: Lovely.

Sophie: An anonymous question asker would like to know if you could recast any current movie--current, keep that in mind--

Hero: [snorts]

Sophie: --with a full Muppet cast save for one actor, which movie do you remake, and what actor do you keep?

Hero: I don’t know any current movies.

Sophie: Yeah, you don’t, which is--

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: --which is why I specified current there, because Hero has an aversion to movies.

Hero: I don’t like them! They’re the worst way to be told a story.

Sophie: They’re all five hours long, apparently.

Hero: They’re all five hours long, and I don’t like to--they’re too long, they’re too loud. Americans mumble. They mumble, and they go on for too long, and the music’s too loud, and nothing makes sense, and you never know who anybody is. And--and, they’re just. Ugh, I don’t like films, generally. Um, so I don’t usually watch them. I think--what was the most recent film I watched? [long pause] I have no idea.

Sophie: Bartok the Magnificent.

Hero: Bartok the Magnificent is the only good film, maybe. Um.

Sophie: But that wouldn’t really work for this question, would it?

Hero: No, you can’t replace any of them with Muppets because they’re perfect as they are, and their design is gorgeous and--the animation is impeccable.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: We--we are actually, genuinely I believe, overdue a Muppets Pride and Prejudice.

Sophie: So, are you talking about you’d want to cast a new one, or would you want to take one of the previous adaptations--one of which was, by the way, infamously several hours long. Which--

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: --is what you complained about--

Hero: Yeah, but it was a TV show!

Sophie: Okay, so it doesn’t count.

Hero: Doesn’t count!

Sophie: No, okay. Sorry.

Hero: You can sit for six hours watching a TV--

Sophie: Yes, yep. Yes. Sorry, apologies. Yes.

Hero: For chrissakes. Ugh. Well, the problem with that one is that you couldn’t take either, I’ve forgotten your woman’s name, but they are both so beautiful and perfect that you can’t possibly take them out.

Sophie: One of them out and leave the other in.

Hero: Exactly.

Sophie: Yes, I understand.

Hero: Um, I think North and South would be fun.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: Um, if--if Miss Piggy was throwing herself at stern Northern capitalist Richard Armitage.

Sophie: [laughs] Which she would do anyway.

Hero: Which she would do anyway!

Sophie: She wouldn’t even--

Hero: No!

Sophie: --have to be in the movie.

Hero: No, exactly.

Sophie: She would just do it.

Hero: She would just do it.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: Um, yeah, I don’t know any new movies. Uh, I’m trying to think of movies that my partner watches because he likes films, and [laughs] and there are only two I know that he’s really, really liked lately.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: And they are Parasite and The Lighthouse. [laughs] And imagining either of those as Muppets--

Sophie: With a Muppet cast. Incredible.

Hero: [continues laughing] Yeah.

Sophie: Yeah. For my money, I would do Knives Out.

Hero: Oh, yeah.

Sophie: And just leave Daniel Craig there.

Hero: Yeah, that makes sense.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: That makes sense.

Sophie: Yeah. I’ve saved this question--there are two questions left in this Q&A.

Hero: I can see them, and my eyes--my eyes just did that thing that cats do when they see the toy--

Sophie: And they--yeah. Mm-hmm.

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: I apologise to everybody else--

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: --that I’m about to ask Hero this question. Um. Treb would like to know if she can ask about Lord Peter Wimsey and liminal Britain.

Hero: You know you can, Treb. You know you can.

Sophie: So--

Hero: We should--

Sophie: What I’m going to do is, I’m going to leave the room for a little while--

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: --and just let Hero infodump about both of these things because um, that’s what’s about to happen. Hero: It is. Because if you don’t know who Lord Peter Wimsey is, um, he’s the protagonist, he’s the eponymous hero in a series of golden age detective novels by Dorothy L. Sayers. And he is uh, an aristocrat who is an amateur sleuth, and he goes digging around solving crimes, solving murders. He is also the perfect man, perfect boy, perfect, perfect sweet--

Sophie: He’s never done anything wrong in his entire life, and if you think he has, you’re wrong.

Hero: Well, uh, he’s-he’s-he’s-he’s, eh. [unintelligible noises] So weird and great and I love him, and I have been a fan of Lord Peter Wimsey since, oh, oof--

Sophie: Oh, I mean--

Hero: It’s been weeks. Weeks!

Sophie: I think plural weeks is maybe even stretching it a little bit.

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: I think it’s been about ten days.

Hero: It’s been about ten days, and I’ve read about as many books actually.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: Well no, not quite.

Sophie: From where we’re sitting recording this, I can see at least four. Four, maybe five--

Hero: That’s four Wimseys. There’s five Wimseys in the room. This microphone is propped up by a Wimsey book.

Sophie: Oh, that’s true. Actually, this microphone is propped up by several Wimsey books.

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: So, more--maybe closer to ten Wimsey books are in our presence right now.

Hero: Yeah. Yeah, they’re--they’re great, and the question about Lord Peter Wimsey and liminal Britain is fascinating ‘cause I think--I haven’t really thought about it because I haven’t really had headspace because I’ve not been very long. I think there is something inherently liminal about the interwar period. The fact that we call it the interwar period, right?

Sophie: Which we can only do like, from a retrospective persp--

Hero: Exactly!

Sophie: Like, point of view, like, we can’t--people in the interwar period weren’t like, “Oh, we’re in the interwar period.”

Hero: Right. Right.

Sophie: It’s like, this thing we assign it after the fact.

Hero: Exactly, which is fascinating. And all of your interpretation of media from that time comes from your knowledge that World War II is going to happen.

Sophie: Yeah, exactly. Like they’d just come out of this period of complete uncertainty and horribleness.

Hero: Mm-hmm.

Sophie: And it’s like, oh no, you’re hurtling headfirst towards another one!

Hero: Right. But there’s also like--that, that period of uncertainly is carried over into the 1920s, and you have a lot of social structures changing dramatically, and you have ideas about gender and sex changing.

Sophie: Right, yeah.

Hero: Really--in really interesting ways. And people’s relationships with the generation before them is really fundamentally different. Um, and I think that that’s baller. [laughs] I think that like, there’s a lot of cool stuff in there. I think the idea of liminal Britain and, you know, the creature community as a way of exploring that at all, like. I mean, it’s just wizard isn’t it?

Sophie: It’s just wizard.

Hero: It’s just wizard!

Sophie: It is.

Hero: It is! It’s just very cool, and I think, you know. Murder is cool.

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: You heard it here first. But like, yeah, I mean, uh. Um, a 20s creature murder mystery would be… wizard.

Sophie: Would be wizard, so watch this wizard-y space.

Hero: Yeah:

Sophie: No, I also think it’s interesting because I think there’s something about writing about or creating sort of a murder mystery, in which you are then creating your own like, liminal pocket space.

Hero: Mmm.

Sophie: Because for all of the people involved in that thing, that’s kind of the only thing. When you read a detective story, like, you know, yes, Wimsey might be going off and doing a couple other things, but they’re all in service to this one thing. The way the narrative is constructed is like, oh, it’s all in this little pocket universe where the crime begins and then the case ends, and that’s kind of where--

Hero: Right.

Sophie: Where it all happens, that’s where we exist in this space.

Hero: Yeah. So what if you put like, vampires in it.

Sophie: What if there were also vampires in the space?

Hero: What if there were vampires?

Sophie: What if there were also vampires?

Hero: Right.

Sophie: Or any other number of creatures.

Hero: Any of the number of creatures. I also--everyone should go read the Lord Peter Wimsey books.

Sophie: Yes, please read Lord Peter Wimsey.

Hero: So that I have someone to talk to about it--

Sophie: Several someones, yes.

Hero: That isn't Sophie. Several--I want more. More.

Sophie: More someones.

Hero: More someones.

Sophie: So now we’ve got one last question, which I purposefully saved for the end just because I think it’s the--

Hero: [gasps] You’re a professional, aren’t you?

Sophie: I am a professional. I know how to structure an interview. Supposedly.

Hero: Still not paying you.

Sophie: No, that’s. I knew that before I came in here--

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: So it’s fine. Um, so once again, our pal Treb.

Hero: Treeeeebb.

Sophie: Treb who has asked I think the perfect question to end on. Which, she would like to know, if you would care to tease any sort of info for how or if we’re going to learn anything more about the brilliantly mysterious wider arc for our Presenter.

Hero: Oooh.

Sophie: What’s in store for the Presenter?

Hero: What’s in store? I love this question because it is written from a world in which I plan so far ahead.

Sophie: I was--it’s written in incredibly good faith.

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: That you went into this with a big long plan in mind.

Hero: Yeah, and didn’t just get partway through, panic, look at what I’d had before, and go, “I can make a story out of that. There’s oh, there’s that guy who like, wrote in about therapists, I know.”

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: “Let’s riff on that.”

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Hero: Yeah. Yeah. Uh, well, I do have some plans. I’ve got some plots and plans. There is some things that were mentioned in the first season that are definitely coming back.

Sophie: Yeah, I was going to say, if you can tease anything, it’s to say that everything that is going to come has already been--

Hero: Mentioned.

Sophie: Mentioned.

Hero: Yeah. At least once.

Sophie: Yes.

Hero: And... And… well, I don’t think that they’re very hard to spot.

Sophie: No. There are certain things that have happened this season--

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: --that you might listen to and think, seems like there should be consequences for that.

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: And rest assured--

Hero: There will be.

Sophie: --consequences are coming.

Hero: Yeah, there will be more of the Presenter’s sort of personal [drawling voice] relationships. [normal voice] It’s very funny to me that--that like, I think of her as Mab absolutely.

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: The Fairy Queen. I have her written as Mab. Mab is her name on everything that I write her as. And I have never, ever used that.

Sophie: Never used it.

Hero: Never used that, so I’m like, Mab’s gonna happen.

Sophie: Mab’s gonna happen.

Hero: Mab’s gonna happen. Um, yeah. She is. I love her so much. I just--like I know that she’s like, not--she just lives in my head. [sing-song voice] But I love.

Sophie: But she might not for long.

Hero: She might not.

Sophie: She might come out and say hi.

Hero: She might come out and say hi, that would be cool, wouldn’t it?

Sophie: That would be cool, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t that be cool?

Hero: Gonna write that down!

Sophie: [laughs]

Hero: [laughs] Gonna make a note of that.

Sophie: But things are afoot.

Hero: They are. When is a game not a game? When it’s afoot.

Sophie: When it’s ajar. [laughs]

Hero: [laughs]

Sophie: Oh dear.

Hero: I think we’ve got silly, and we should probably--

Sophie: I think we have got silly, so we should probably wrap up. Um, so I’m just going to quickly ask, which I don’t actually know if I know the answer to, and I don’t know if you know the answer to--

Hero: Who are you?

Sophie: How long do people have to wait before they get to hear the Presenter’s sultry posh-o tones in their ears again?

Hero: I am not a hundred percent sure.

Sophie: That’s fine.

Hero: To be honest. Um, because it depends obviously--I need to write it. It’s early July now, and I think we will probably be back at the start of September. I would be surprised if it’s much later than that. It might be a little earlier--

Sophie: Yeah.

Hero: --if I get my act together, but I very rarely do. [laughs] My act is very rarely together.

Sophie: Exactly. But if people want to know, you’ll be posting about it on the Tumblr.

Hero: I will. @MonstrousAgonies. And on the Twitter, which is @Monstrous_Pod. And I will also be posting about it on Patreon where you can support us financially and give me your money. And that’s

Sophie: Excellent.

Hero: Yes. Also, uh, the inbox will be remaining open for the duration of the break if you want to submit your letters and suggestions for season two. Send them in by email at Monstrous Agonies--at submissions@monstrousagonies--[laughs]

Sophie: [laughs] I’m so sorry. You’ve just gone into that rote--

Hero: Yeah.

Sophie: --perfect.

Hero: Yep. D’you know what’s funny is I--I re-recorded that sign off every week. Every week.

Sophie: That’s not funny. That’s just you--once again, you’re like, I hate working hard. I hate having to do work. And then you're like, I’m going to do the most.

Hero: I didn’t have to!

Sophie: You didn’t have to. But you did.

Hero: I didn’t have to. Uh, but I did.

Sophie: I’m actually going to ask you one last question to wrap up the whole thing.

Hero: Good.

Sophie: Which I hope you can have a nice punchy answer for.

Hero: Ooh.

Sophie: And it’ll make a really wonderful end--

Hero: Optimistic.

Sophie: --to the Q&A. What would be your advice for someone who’s sitting out there thinking, I’ve got an idea for a queer horror podcast. What should I do?

Hero: Make it. Make it. It’s easy, they can’t stop you.

Sophie: [laughs] No one can stop you!

Hero: No one can stop you making the podcast of your dreams! [spooky voice] Or your nightmares. [laughs]

Sophie: And that’s--that’s it. Perfect. That’s absolutely it.

Hero: [sighs] Cool.

[Title music fades in: slow, bluesy jazz. It plays throughout the closing credits.]

H.R. Owen

Thanks again to Sophie B for asking the questions and the having the craic, and a very special thank you to our lovely volunteer, Rachel, who produced the transcript.

Hello to our latest supporter on Patreon, Pip! Join them at

You can keep in touch and get the latest news about bonus content by following us on Tumblr @MonstrousAgonies and on Twitter @Monstrous_Pod. You can also submit letters and prompts for agonies through our social media, on our website, and by email.

This podcast is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The theme tune is Dakota by Unheard Music Concepts.

Thanks for listening, and remember - the real monsters are the friends we made on the way.

[Fade to silence]


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