WIRX “Decoding Carnivale” Call-in with Clancy Brown • 09-29-03
This is the transcript from Clancy’s radio call-in segment on Southwest Michigan’s WIRX/Rock 107.1, with John Jay and Brother Phil.
John Jay: Are you watching “Carnivale”? Please tell me you are watching that show! You have got to tune it in! It’s on HBO, Sunday nights at nine o’clock. It is a freak show, man!
Brother Phil: Crazy!
John Jay: And we will talk to Clancy about last night’s episode. We do a little bit on Monday mornings with my man, Brown, who plays Justin Crowe – Brother Justin, who is one of the main characters in the show. Understand, we’re not talking to some hacky little bit player… We’re talking to one of the stars of the show, if not the main character in the show. Him and Ben Hawkins are the two main characters in the show. So we’ll talk to him a little bit later on…
[station identification] The only station where classic rock really rocks! Rock 107/WIRX, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor.
[clip from Carnivale]
Councilman: There’s a big old empty roadhouse about five miles outside of town. Now, it’s a nice piece of land, it’s owned by Water & Power, but…
Brother Justin: No.
Councilman: Well, Reverend, don’t be so hasty…
Brother Justin: I’m not a fool, sir. I know this has nothing to do with city planning. It’s all about the migrants – the Okies, the ginks, the road-ites. It’s fine as long as they stay outside of town but, oh, don’t let them inside the city limits! No, they might get a mind to stay here and try to make it their home!
Councilman: Reverend, I think you’ve got us all wrong…
Templeton: Shut up, Ned. Now you listen to me, Reverend, we’re offering you a nice piece of property in exchange for this cracker box. Or we can exercise imminent domain for fair market value, which, I’d say, lookin’ at this place, is about, I dunno, fifty bucks and a dead cow’s fart? So what’s it gonna be?
[Brother Justin turns and stalks out of the room]
Iris: Excuse me.
[Sister Iris follows]
Iris: Justin…? Justin! Justin wait! Now, I know this place they’re talking about. Maybe we should just…
Justin: No… No! The Lord was clear. He spoke to me, Iris… He chose this place, no other!
Iris: But Justin…
[Templeton grabs his chest and begins to choke in the adjoining room]
Councilman: Val! Val, are you okay?
[The councilmen look panicked as Templeton begins to collapse]
Brother Phil: That’s good…
John Jay: Uh-oh… Ooder starts chokin’!
Brother Phil: Yeah…
Councilman: Get a doctor! Let’s take him outside boys…
[station identification] And now, it’s the Morning After with John Jay, on Rock 107/WIRX!
John Jay: That’s “Carnivale” from last night on HBO! It’s about 10 minutes after eight o’clock, 46 right now, 53 for the high today… You’ve got to watch this show, nine pm Sunday nights on HBO, and the star of the show is Clancy Brown, who plays Brother Justin Crowe, who choked Ooder from “Beetlejuice” with his mind last night! I think it was Ooder, wasn’t that his name on Beetlejuice?
Clancy Brown: Yeah, I think that’s right…
John Jay: I think it is, yeah. Hey, how are ya doin’?
Clancy: Hey, I’m all right! I’m all right, though, ya know, I don’t think that Brother Justin has control over things like cholesterol and arterial sclerosis…
John Jay: (laughing) Ya know, I don’t think he does either, but…
Clancy: I mean, this guy worked himself up into a lather and, ya know, when you’re carrying around that much extra weight… You gotta be careful!
John: But he wasn’t lathered up just yet, was he there, Justin? I mean, you were going on in the other room. You were the one in a lather, my friend.
Clancy: Well, I was pretty lathered, yeah, but I’m in a little better shape. You didn’t see me havin’ a heart attack!
John: (laughing) You walk into the hallway, though, and you give him the “NO!” and, all of a sudden, Ooder there goes, “Plegghhk!” It’s like Darth Vader! You’re Darth Vader!
Clancy: Oh, if only…[Vader voice] ”You have failed me for the last time…”
John: Yeah, we were discussing it off the air this morning, Phil and I were, and I said, ya know, watching the show last night, I don’t know yet about Brother Justin, whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. And I will say this, I’m not giving anything away by saying I haven’t seen too many good guys in my movie-watchin’ and television show-watchin’ history that wear the black contact lenses… I’ll be honest with you.
Phil: Right… whose eyes disappear!
Phil: That, by the way, the only thing in movies and television that scares me still.
John: Yeah, right!
Clancy: The black contact lenses?
Phil: Yeah! Oh, those things just… They’re so evil looking.
Clancy: Yeah, well… Ya know… You can’t judge this show by other paradigms that you’ve seen, ya know. Ya can’t judge it by other status quo shows you’ve seen.
John: No, I know you can’t.
Clancy: Probably, if it was on NBC? The black orbs would definitely be a giveaway.
John and Phil: (laughing)
Clancy: But it’s on HBO, man, so…
John: You’re breakin’ rules!
Clancy: Yeah, we’re breakin’ rules…
Phil: John’s like, with the black eyes, “But he’s a man of the cloth… He can’t be a bad guy.”
John: Well, that’s what I’m saying. You just don’t see… Your experience leads you to believe that you’ve never seen too many good guys with the black eyes.
Clancy: Well, we’re playing with that symbolism, ya know?
John: You’re pullin’ us down the primrose path on HBO.
Clancy: That’s right.
John: And one thing I did enjoy last night, too, was your little – and we heard that just a second ago – you’re talking about the Okies, and you’re whippin’ out all the nicknames for the Okies, “The Ginks, the Okies, the Dust Bunnies!” Whatever they are.
Clancy: That’s right.
John: (laughing) I was very much reminded of the scene in “Ferris Bueller” – “The Geeks, the Dickheads, the Pimps…”
John: “They all think he’s a righteous dude!”
Clancy: (laughing hard) Yeah! Only you could make a connection between Ferris Bueller and “Carnivale”…
John: (laughing) I’m tellin’ ya!
Clancy: (still laughing)
John: I bet no one else has done that – drawing a parallel between Ferris Bueller and Carnivale!
Clancy: (laughing) That’s right! You gotta get online and lay that one out for everybody!
Phil: Well, they’re a lot alike!
Clancy: Oh, yeah… yeah.
John: Oh, absolutely! I’m seeing so many parallels… (laughing) Brother Justin is very much like Ferris Bueller.
Clancy: Yeah, exactly.
John: The dark side of Ferris…
Phil: Yeah, Ferris needed to just be eyeless in one scene…
John: So, we’re starting to see some more of the characters on this show. The one guy, we talked about him very early on, the carnival barker guy… What the hell is his name?
Clancy: Toby Huss.
John: That’s right.
Clancy: His name is… in the show… Jeez, what is it…? Stumpy!
John: Right, and he was like… He was the ring leader in the faith healer tent, last night.
Clancy: Yes, Stumpy’s getting fun! He was pretty funny last night, cuz he starts out with the first faith healer, he’s kinda, “Well, I was a sinful man…”
John: That was great!
Clancy: “And I loved the flesh, and indulged in every kind of urge and temptation…” And, ya know, he’s kinda low key. But that second night, he was like, “Whoo! C’mon, we’re gonna party now!”
Clancy: “That’s right, we’re gonna save some souls! Let’s heal some sick people!”
John: What would Brother Justin Crowe think of Stumpy the Faith Healer?
Clancy: He would recruit him, definitely. You gotta have a good talker!
John: Yeah, cuz he was testifyin’ up there. He did have the crowd in the palm of his hand even though he’s a complete fake and he, ya know…
Clancy: Now that’s a good question. What’s ever gonna happen when somebody who’s as sincere and earnest as Justin Crowe meets these entertainment folk types?
John: That’s right! And I think that you guys… The one thing I really believe is that Brother Justin… Well, obviously, you guys are on a collision course.
John: Between the happenings at Mr. Chin’s and you choking guys like Ooder, and what’s going on with Ben Hawkins and his faith healing… I mean, there’s a big, big…
Phil: Confrontation comin’!
John: Yeah! There’s conflagration on the horizon.
Clancy: Yeah, I would say so! I just don’t know when it’s gonna happen!
John: Right. How long is the show, “Carnivale,” by the way. I mean, how many episodes are there?
Clancy: Well, we only shot twelve, and then they decide whether it’s good enough to carry on.
John: Oh, really?
John: Well, there’s some closure in episode twelve, right?
Clancy: Well, there’s a few more questions than normal answered. But, uh, ya know, for every question answered you get three more…
John and Phil: That pop up!
Clancy: Yup, three more that need to be resolved. There’s, uh… Ah… What happens in the last show?
John: How’d you guys do against the sucky Emmys last Sunday?
Clancy: Did pretty well. Better than anybody expected! You wouldn’t know it talking to people who want HBO to fail, but they didn’t expect to do as well as they did, and I guess more people tuned in during the show than started out watching it.
John: Yeah, cuz the Emmys were…
Phil: A train wreck.
John: Yeah, it was pretty bad… Their viewership was way down, too. And. Ya know, last week I forgot to even mention it to ya. You guys were head to head with the Emmys, and I flipped like, cuz there are no commercials, I flipped over just for a second or two to check out what was going on with the Emmys, and it was just like, “Man, this is a train wreck!”
Phil: Same old, same old…
Clancy: Well, I think a lot of people did the other way around, they started out watching the Emmys and then they turned over to “Carnivale”…
John: And got hooked!
Clancy: They couldn’t turn it off.
John and Phil: Right, yeah!
John: So the bad news is, for us, is that you guys, the whole cast of “Carnivale,” you guys are all gonna be there next year!
Clancy: Ya know, that’s what my wife said. That was her excuse for watching those lame award shows…
John and Phil: Yeah.
Clancy: I don’t watch ‘em at all, I just think they’re silly. But she said, “Oh no! We gotta watch it for research!” (laughing) And I said, “Who’re you going with?”
John and Phil: (laughing) Yeah!
John: Well, you’re going! You’re gonna be there next year, let me tell ya…
Clancy: I dunno…
Phil: Or at least you’ll get nominated.
John: So you’d better start writing the speech right now, my man.
Clancy: Well, there are some folks who are definitely going, like cinematographers, and the art direction, ya know, wardrobe, make-up and props, and all those guys. It’s just too well done on the technical level…
John: Man, that show is filmed incredibly well. In fact, in mentioning that, I don’t know if there is any kind of award for opening and closing credits, but the opening credits on that show…
Clancy: They’re amazing, aren’t they?
John: Unbelievable! Ya know, last night I watched… I mean, I’ve seen the opening credits like three times now, but I watched for the first time last night – really watched – and, if you haven’t… I mean, they are stunning!
Clancy: They are stunning.
John: The inter-cutting of those images and how they turn those cards into 3-D? Man!
Clancy: Yeah, there’s some weird minds workin’ on that. Those guys can do anything. I first saw them without any credits over them. I saw them at some technical thing that we were doing, and it was as mesmerizing as any of the episodes have been. I mean, you get to see that every week. That’s pretty artful. You should get HD! (laughing)
John: Oh yeah, I know. I wish I had HD or one of them there plasma TVs or something…
Phil: Well there is an Emmy for art director or art or something…
John: I don’t know who would get that one. I think they show that one…
Clancy: I think they do have an Emmy for title credits, as a matter of fact…
John: Yeah, I think they do, too.
Clancy: I think it’s given out on…
Phil: On Saturday.
Clancy: Yeah, Saturday!
Phil: Yeah, that’s the ones they give the day before the actual Emmys.
Clancy: Yeah, somewhere in Michigan… I think they hold that, actually, in Benton Harbor. (laughing)
Phil: Yeah, they hold that one right here…
John: Right, that’s the one, like, you hear the announcement midway during the Emmy show, “The Technical Emmys were awarded by Zsa Zsa Gabor in the lobby of…”
Clancy: Yes! (laughing)
John: It’s like, holy crap!
Phil: Held yesterday morning at 5:30…
Clancy: Ah… Good ‘ol Zsa Zsa…
John: Hey, tell us what’s gonna happen. Give us a little clue what to look for in next week’s show, cuz we are supposed to be decoding “Carnivale” right now…
Clancy: We are. Okay, so… We know that Jesus Christ is on a bicycle heading to Babylon…
[“Carnivale” theme song starts playing.]
Clancy: We don’t get to Babylon next episode but we’re on our way… We’re going down Highway 54 or something, I guess. It’s a good show. It’s a show that I think sort of evokes the time more than anything else because, in that show, we see what the Dustbowl is all about.
Clancy: A couple of the characters get separated from the carnival proper, and have their own adventures.
Clancy: Lodz goes off with Nick, and Clea goes off on her own, and… who else? Samson goes off and meets an old friend, I think.
John: So, a lot of little side stories starting next week then.
Clancy: Yeah. I get into a beef with my church, basically, my congregation.
John: Excellent! [rings bell] Brother Justin gets into another beef!
Phil: A beef!
Clancy: Yeah, how ‘bout that?
John: You’ve been in a beef every week, dude! What are you talking about?
Clancy: But I don’t think anything bad happens, though. I don’t recall that anything bad happens to anybody.
Phil: No more black eyes?
Clancy: No… But I get very, very upset. I don’t know if you saw the previews… I’m very upset in that scene. And we sort of get the idea that, the thirties? They weren’t really the Good Old Days.
Clancy: That there was a lot wrong in the thirties.
John: Well, there’s clearly a whole bunch wrong with what’s going on around your little corner of the world.
Clancy: Not only in my corner of the world, but in the whole world.
John: Right, in general. Well, you’ve gotten into a beef in virtually every episode!
Clancy: Well, but I don’t go lookin’ for it! Ya know, all I’m trying to do is the right thing.
John: No, people come to you, though, and start the beef.
Clancy: That’s right! (laughing)
John: But you always seem to be the guy that finishes the beef!
Clancy: Well, exactly! (laughs) I mean, ya know, if you’re gonna start this… You know, you might as well see!
Phil: Well, in every character you’ve ever portrayed, you’ve been the one to “finish the beef,” if you know what I mean.
Clancy: Right… and where is the beef?
John: Oh, let’s not go there… I’m sorry.
Clancy: No, we won’t go there.
John: Hey, “Carnivale” is on HBO on Sunday nights at nine o’clock, and it stars Clancy Brown as Brother Justin Crowe. And I’m loving this show! I‘ve got everybody at the station here addicted to this show. Our news guy’s coming in here going, “What the hell was that all about last night?”
Clancy: So what do you do, do you like watch the first half of Monday night football and then turn on the show?
Phil: Sunday night football, you mean.
Clancy: Yeah, Sunday night football! Yeah, Monday… that’s tonight. (Let’s all remember this is 5:00 in the morning for Clancy. – ed.)
John: No, I don’t mess with sports on Sunday night, at all. I’m all about hunkering down in the Jay-bunker and watching TV.
Phil: I have to admit I flip back and forth… Payton Manning -- six touchdown passes last night.
Clancy: Oh man! He was unconscious last night!
John: And you’re excited about the Cubbies, Mr. Chicago Ties…
Clancy: I’m excited about the Cubbies. I’m excited about the dignity retained by the Cincinnati Reds AND the Detroit Tigers.
John: Nah, I was hoping the Tigers would set the record, quite honestly.
Clancy: Yeah? You wanna have that? I don’t know…
John: I don’t care, I mean, I’m not a Tigers fan, but uh…
Phil: Hey, if you’re gonna lose, lose big!
John: Set a record! That’s what I said!
John: Can you imagine the tee shirts that could have been made, if they had set that record?
Phil: Yeah, or at least tied it!
Clancy: That would be shameful…
John: But they didn’t have good tee shirt printing technology back when the Mets set that record, but now? Ya know, there coulda been some smartass on the streets the next day with a kick-ass tee shirt.
Clancy: Of course, but does Alan Trammel deserve that kind of indignity?
John: Probably not…
Phil: He doesn’t.
Clancy: I mean, Justin Crowe is like wandering around the dugout there, I think.
Phil: He deserves some players is what he deserves!
Clancy and John: (laughing)
John: Yeah… Hey, it’s always a pleasure talking to you, my man!
Clancy: All right, good to talk to you guys, too, John.
John: We’re gonna be on the blower again with you next Monday, if you’re available…?
Clancy: Yup, yup! Let’s do it! Let’s just keep doing it until HBO tells me to stop.
John: What if somebody calls you in for a job or something?
Clancy: A job? Well then… I’ll call ya from the job!
John: Okay! There ya go! (laughing)
Clancy: Ya know? Unless I’m on the set…
John: Yes, right, unless you’ve got an early morning taping for SpongeBob!
Clancy: I don’t think I’m ever gonna work again, see?
John: Yeah, you will…
Clancy: That’s the way actors are.
John: Yeah, you’re just wandering around the house, wringing your hands, “This ‘Carnivale’ is ruining my career!”
Clancy: (laughing) That’s right. It’s the end…
John: “Nobody understands Brother Justin. I’m doomed, doomed, I tell you!”
Clancy: (laughing) There’s just not that many tortured preacher roles out there…
John: That’s right, I can tell you, you’d better be careful... Cuz every time Brother Justin wrings his hands and screams, people start chokin’!
Clancy: Exactly! (laughing) But look, dude, ya know, I played prison guards for a good few years there! (laughs)
Phil: Have they called you back for “Highlander XI” yet?
Clancy: That was my bread and butter!
John: Yeah, exactly.
Phil: They need to bring you back to the “Highlander” thing…
Clancy: There ya go…
Phil: Do a guest shot on the “Highlander” series.
John: But the “Highlander” thing is over, right?
Clancy: Yeah, that’s over. Man, I don’t look anything like what I looked back then. (laughing)
John: Yeah, yeah…
Clancy: That puts the lie to the whole “immortal” thing!
John and Phil: (laughing)
Clancy: I might play the Kurgan’s dad or somethin’!
John: I think we should do prequels to some of those “Highlander” things…
Clancy: Yeah, but how are you gonna justify Kurgan as a forty-four year old, pot-bellied married guy?!?
John and Phil: (laughing hard)
John: Special effects, maybe! It’s all about special effects!
Clancy: Yeah, that’s right…
John: All right, Clancy. Hey, thanks again! I really appreciate it.
Clancy: All right… My pleasure.
Phil: Go Cubs!
John: That was Clancy Brown from HBO’s “Carnivale,” Sunday nights at nine o’clock. And on Monday we Decode Carnivale, right here on Rock 107/WIRX!
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Monday, September 29, 2003
WIRX “Decoding Carnivale” Call-in with Clancy Brown • 09-29-03