Interview: The Flop House Podcast

There are many funny bad-movie podcasts out there. Many set themselves a task of deconstructing the movie and discussing it in a great deal of depth. There are very long discussions around the craft of film and how such movies can be improved and what they would do in the filmmakers’s shoes. Some barely offer a brief synopsis, while doing cat impressions and generally mucking around. The Flophouse podcast is most definitely in the latter category.

Made up of three guys (Dan McCoy – hook-handed pervazoid host, Stuart Wellington – tuxspeedo wearing baritone and Elliott Kalan – self confessed whiny voiced comic/movie aficionado), The Flophouse is one of the funniest podcasts out there. The format is simple. A movie is watched and then the “Floppers” will often talk about everything but the movie. While this could be classed as irritating and childish, the Flophouse does it with real charm.

I caught up with The Flophouse on email and asked them a few questions:

How did you guys all meet up?

Dan McCoy: I met Stuart because we went to the same tiny liberal arts college in central Indiana, although we didn’t really know each other then (despite having mutual friends). Once we both wound up living in New York City we bonded over our mutual love for cult horror films of the 80’s and other nerd pursuits.

I met Elliott when we were both doing comedy at Juvie Hall, a now-long-dead-and-gone theater in a basement on the Lower East Side. I ended up writing for his live variety/talk show “The Primetime Kalan,” so when I was looking for someone to help with my own project, he was a natural fit.

What made you decide to start The Flop House?

Dan: I’d wanted to do a podcast for a while, since it seemed like a good way to reach a big audience and also to get in on the ground floor of a new medium (this was before every comedian in the world had one).  The bad movie idea came out of two impulses – one was that I’ve loved watching terrible movies forever. Long before there was a Flop House podcast, I’d host bad movie double features for friends.  The other was listening to Stuart and our friend Simon – two guys with no formal comedy background – and thinking, “I’ve got to get this on tape.”

There was a different line up to begin with, what’s with that?

Dan: The aforementioned Simon moved home to the Midwest shortly after episode six (Perfect Stranger). As far as we know, he’s doing fine, despite rumors that Elliott murdered him as part of a megalomaniacal power grab.  Originally the plan was just to have rotating guest co-hosts after that, but Elliott was such a good fit that he just stuck around.

The show is nominally about bad movies, but it’s really a chronicle of our friendship – Stuart didn’t know Elliott back when he started, but now the two of them are close pals… so much so that they once went to see a screening of Tango & Cash without me, the jerks. And Elliott and I grew from being merely good friends to a point where I was one of the best men at his wedding.

You recently celebrated 100 episodes, did you ever think you’d get that far?

Stuart Wellington: Absolutely not. I assumed that after the first few episodes, Dan would get bored, or be too busy and not have the time to schedule, record, “edit” and post the show.

You celebrated your 100 episodes with a trip down Tango and Cash lane. Any plans to do more older movies?

Stuart: We try to save to older Good-Bad’s (that’s what we call them, sometimes) for special events, like our live shows or for the 20oth episode.  I keep pushing for such greats as The Granny, Mindhunters or the near-mythical Great Bikini Off-road Adventure.

Coming soon to a Flophouse near you?

Are there any ground rules for the podcast (movies you will not cover, The Room, Troll 2 etc)?

Elliott Kalan: There aren’t any hard and fast ground rules aside from Rule #1: “If Nicolas Cage is in it, then we must watch it.”  We try to avoid movies we feel have been overdone and obscure low-budget movies.  The people who deserve our breed of sarcasm are those who have millions of dollars and still manage to make total crap.

Dan: I’d just add that we try and stick to movies that are new to DVD, streaming, or premium cable. It gives our show a thin veneer of topicality. Fans often suggest older movies, but we’ve only done those as part of a contest.

What do you think the worst movies you have ever seen are?

Elliott: Without a doubt, the worst movie I’ve ever seen is “Slow Bullet”, a “film” (shot on video) about a traumatized Vietnam vet that was produced by a Florida video store and has an all-original heavy metal score.  It is torturously slow and hilariously poorly made.  It’s so bad that it approaches the level of painful art.

Dan: Merely incompetent movies like “Birdemic: Shock and Terror” don’t bother me, because their brand of awful is hilarious, and that’s our bread-and-butter. My least favorite movie is Nothing But Trouble, the charmless Chevy Chase/Demi Moore vehicle that seems to be an attempt to rework The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a comedy, and is so successful in depicting awful things in an ostensibly humorous film that it’s deeply unpleasant. The only good part is when Digital Underground stops by to sing a song, which shouldn’t even be a thing that happens in that movie.

Stuart: Either Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, where the last 30 minutes or so is just people screaming around a living room. Or 40 Days and 40 Nights, where Josh Harnett decides to give up premarital sex for Lent, and ends with him getting raped.

 Who do you think are currently the worst filmmakers working today?

Elliott: There’s an army of talented hacks toiling tirelessly in the field of romantic comedies to completely destroy the idea of movies as a place for wit or love.  Basically anyone who directs Katherine Heigel in anything.

Dan: Whoever helms the interchangeable comedies starring C-list TV and unsuccessful SNL stars is doing the devil’s work. They just stick a camera in a fixed position and never consider how framing and editing might actually add to the comedy.

Stuart: Probably Sir Ridley Scott, or maybe Sir Vincent Gallo, he’s a “Sir”, right? Or that guy who keeps making Underworld movies.

As a podcast that always gives good recommendations, what are your favourite movies?

Elliott: In no particular order: “Shadow of a Doubt”, the original “Taking of Pelham One Two Three”, and “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.”

Dan: Too many to mention.  Comedy-wise, I’m a particular fan of “Animal Crackers,” “Love & Death,” and “His Girl Friday.” You can’t go very wrong with anything directed by Hitchcock, John Ford, or Robert Altman. Leaving acknowledged classics behind, I have a special fondness for horror-comedies like “An American Werewolf in London” and “Return of the Living Dead.” My office also has framed posters for John Carpenter’s “The Thing” and “Big Trouble in Little China.”

Stuart: I like Unforgiven a lot. But I’m also partial to Night of the Demons, Riki-Oh, Raising Arizona, and Re-Animator.

 What do you guys do when you aren’t podcasting?

Elliott: I write for the TV show “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and for Marvel comics, perform stand-up, read about Abraham Lincoln, and complain about things.

Dan: I also write for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” so I spend a lot of time wandering into Elliott’s office and bugging him.  I’m a comics fan, though I’m mostly into old newspaper strips. I cook fancy dinners and play guitar badly. Also: being a comedian in NYC, I spend an unhealthy amount of time in bars.

Stuart: Well, podcasting does take up a lot of my free time. But when I can break away, I’m usually drinking/serving beers, playing board games, or showing up late to events that Dan organizes.

When are you planning to come to England on your whirlwind tour (warning: we don’t get many whirlwinds)?

Elliott: We’re working on finalizing negotiations with the BBC and BFI for our whirlwind tour.  Unfortunately, the BBC and BFI have no idea who are or that negotiations are going on, and so the negotiations have been moving slowly.  Basically, as soon as someone pays us to go to England, we’ll go there.

Dan McCoy (left), Elliott Kalan (Centre), Stuart Wellington (Right)

Finally, The Porthole of time has been opened, what do you do?

Elliott: You close the Porthole and inform the occupants of the cabin containing the Porthole of Time that there’s so much available to them on the ship, from our world class dining opportunities (a reminder, dinner is formal dress only) to the shops and merchants of the market deck, to the sporting and athletic facilities of the exercise deck, that there’s really no reason for them to be toying with the Portholes.  Is this why they booked a vacation cruise, to inspect the Portholes and possibly distort the very fabric of space-time?  I didn’t think so.  They’re here to relax, and relax they shall, provided they keep the Porthole of Time closed and simply allow us to help them make the most of their time aboard the ship.

And with that they were gone, like ships in the night.

Visit here and enjoy The Flophouse why don’t you?

Follow Dan and Elliott on Twitter : @ElliottKalan, @DanKMcCoy

Originally posted 2012-05-21 21:33:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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