WIRX “Decoding Carnivale” Call-in with Clancy Brown • 10-20-03
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.
(“Carnivale” theme music starts up)
John: There’s the music… Ten minutes after 8 o’clock. Mostly sunny today and 77. A beautiful day!
John: It is a beautiful day… It’s a wonderful day to DIE!
(Phil and Clancy laughing)
John: I hope I don’t get shot in the face by a midget! What a rotten way to die that would be! Right in the cheek!
Phil: That would not be a good Monday.
Clancy: Yeah, and just after he poured him a drink, too, for cryin’ out loud!
John: I know! And he poured him a helluva generous drink, as well.
Clancy: Yeah, that’s nice. Well, that’s the way it was in the 30s…
John: That wasn’t even a shot glass, that was a friggin’ highball!
Clancy: That’s right!
John: Ya know? And the guy gives him the big kudos, the big Thank You, then all of a sudden, BOOM! One shot to the cheek! I gotta tell ya, Samson’s gotta work on the aim there.
Clancy: Yeah, well, ya know… As long as it’s in the general vicinity that’ll kill ya, I guess.
Phil: That’s all that really matters…
John: But ya don’t shoot a guy in the cheek do ya? Why don’tcha go for the forehead or maybe the middle of the chest…?
Clancy: I think he was goin’ for the eye.
John: Yeah… (chuckling) That would seem right for “Carnie Justice.”
Clancy: I wonder about that gun… Was that gun too big for him to hold?
John: Yeah! Yeah, it was a hog leg in the hands of Samson, I tell ya…
John: Welcome Clancy Brown, Brother Justin on HBO’s “Carnivale” every Sunday night. And last night, of course, I watched the show again with great interest and great aplomb. I loved it! It was strange and weird all at the same time. And you, my man, on the show, are in the depths of despair.
Clancy: I am in the depths of despair. I’m wandering like every prophet from the Old and New Testament. I’ve been persecuted by those I’m trying to save…
John: And ya know what I really liked about last might’s show, honestly? I love the little touches that are so reminiscent of… Obviously, I wasn’t around in the 30s, but when you see the movies and you read about what was going on – these weird radio shows from back in the day…
Phil: Oh, yeah!
Clancy: There ya go! We had our John Jay! (30s Radio Guy voice) “Good evening friends…”
John: That’s right! And I love the way they do it. They’re in the studio with that big ass microphone and a cup of coffee, and some cigarettes, (30’s Radio Guy voice) “Good evening friends, tonight I tell ya the story of Brother Justin…”
John: It’s so great!
Clancy: A little Walter Winchell goin’ on there.
Phil: We need to be able to smoke in this studio!
Clancy: Nah, nah… No more smokin’. Back then it was good for ya, now it’s not.
John: Yeah, the medicinal properties of the cigarettes…
Clancy: They used to put in all sorts of good chemicals, and now…? Forget about it…
John: Well, this guy, his gig was… He goes around, and apparently there were so many homeless people at that particular point in time, he’d get “Stories from the Road.”
Clancy: “Stories from the Road.”
John: And Brother Justin is sitting around a fire… That was the line from last night’s show, wasn’t it? “I’ve lost my faith.” Right?
Clancy: That’s right. That’s what Charles Karault looked like when he was a young man, I think.
(Phil and John laughing)
Phil: I miss Charles Karault.
John: Yeah, he was great, man.
Phil: Yeah, he was.
John: But this radio guy, sitting around the fire… Brother Justin takes a big deep pull from a bottle of something… I loved that! And then the radio guys says, (30s Radio Guy voice) “Tell us your story brother, friend…”
Clancy: Yeah, that’s right. That’s investigative journalism…
John: Yeah, “Tell us your story, friend…” He’s asking you the tough questions.
John: “I’ve lost my faith” in those mellifluous tones, and from then on we’re apparently, we’re supposed to get that you spilled your guts, eh?
Clancy: Yeah, I did spill my guts. I actually spilled my guts a little bit more than what they showed, but that’s okay. I think it was… Now what was it he asked me? “Have you lost a girl? Have you lost your farm? Have you lost your dog?”
John: Right, right.
Clancy: And of course, that makes my ears perk up, “No! But I lost my God!” Because dog spelled backwards…
John: Right. It’s all about the same, isn’t it?
Clancy: Yeah, well… I lost my dog, I mean… my God, I mean.
John: Right, right… Well, I mean, I just thought it was a great scene. But they cut a bunch out? What did you…? Did they have like a little…?
Clancy: Oh yeah, ya know, it was sorta on the nose, that I went on and on about giving help to the helpless…
John: The children and all that…
Clancy: And comfort to the comfortless, and hope to the hopeless, and all that stuff. But WISELY, they chopped all that noise out.
John: Yeah, I was gonna say, the assumption, obviously, is made by the somewhat intelligent viewers of the show that you must have told the guy the whole story, cuz he was on the air telling it the next scene.
Phil: Did it sound just a little too preachy, maybe?
Clancy: Well, it sounded just a little too expository, just a little too recappy.
John: Well, it would have been bad because…
Clancy: In case you missed the last six episodes… Here’s what happened to me!
John: And he also recapped it with his broadcast, as they cut from radio listener to radio listener, so we would have heard it twice inside of ten minutes…
Clancy: Right, exactly so.
John: So yeah, that was a good decision probably. But it was a nice scene nonetheless, with you drinking from the bottle, and all disheveled around the fire…
Clancy: Yeah, you don’t want Brother Justin drinkin’ too much! That’s one thing I’ve come to discover.
Phil: (chuckling) I don’t think you want Clancy Brown drinkin’ too much either!
(Phil, John, and Clancy laughing)
Clancy: I’ve DONE my drinkin’…
John: Now, you keep leading us… I gotta tell ya, you’re taking us hand in hand down a subtle little primrose path here. You’ve given us a lot of clues over the last few weeks that Brother Justin ain’t quite who he seems to be, and maybe he’s being influenced by the wrong half of the dark and light…
Clancy: Well, I don’t know WHAT half of the dark and light he’s being influenced by. I don’t even know that it’s divided into halves anymore.
Phil: It’s a little blurry…
John: Yeah, your admission just a few minutes ago is YOU’RE confused by what’s going on!
Clancy: I am, because, as I watch these… Now you gotta remember, I haven’t been privy to what’s going on in the carnivale that much. I’ve read the scripts but I haven’t seen them shot or put together. I haven’t been a part of that. So I’m watching it like a fan, too! And what’s coming clear to me, as I watch the carnivale part of the story, is that, ya know… it’s not a nice group.
Clancy: These aren’t sweet people. These are people who sell their daughters into prostitution, and people who put their sons in rings to fight whoever’s around. Ya know, they’re not the sweetest kinda group. And then they’re looking for this poor sap called Scudder who’s such a drunk, sweet guy. But he wasn’t that sweet, because he decided to go and be a miner, and then KILLED everybody!
Clancy: So, I don’t know what’s going on here. I don’t know… And Ben last night, even though we didn’t see him too much, he wasn’t too patient with the whole group either. He was diggin’ Dora Mae’s grave, and he says, “Hey, is this deep enough?”
John: The grave, right! “Is that deep enough?”
Clancy: “Can I stop diggin’ now?” (laughing)
John: “C’mon… the dogs aren’t gonna smell her through four feet, what’s another couple of inches?”
Clancy: Ya know? They’re… They’re not the sweetest group there.
John: No, they certainly are not.
Phil: I think anyone that comes up with a line like “Carnie Justice,” they can’t be a real sweet group of people.
Clancy: Carnie Justice…
Phil: I just love that!
Clancy: See? See, and then they’ve got this whole ritual where they say, “Pick a number,” and you manage to survive that little test… But then, when you least expect it, the Boss will walk in, some little person will walk in, and bust a cap in ya!
John: (laughing) You get shot in the face by a midget, that’s a bad day!
Clancy: For cryin’ out loud!
John: Especially after you gave him a complimentary whiskey. What was that all about…?
Clancy: What kind of justice is that?
John: Yeah, I loved Carnie Justice, “Stand Tall Before The Wagon!” But then, I’ll be honest with ya, I was thinking standing tall before the wagon was gonna entail a little bit more than having the wagon encircle ya.
Clancy: I know… You just thought it was gonna be you had to stop drinkin’ or somethin’.
John: Yeah, right! (laughing) But I thought standing tall before… I mean, they uncover this sort of strange looking wagon, and they bring it into the tent, and I figure it’s gonna be some sort of medieval RACK affair where they’ve got the guy, ya know… But they circle ya three times and you pick a number, and that’s how many shots they fire at our face before… (laughing)
John: What if you’re unfortunate enough to choose six? “Oh, well…”
Clancy: Yeah, well, they tipped him a little bit, cuz Rita Sue said, “Pick SIX!” (laughing)
John: Yeah, right! It was a strange show last night, with Ben still in the mine, and then in the World War I foxhole, with a bear devouring… And it turns out it’s Lodz’s bear!
Clancy: Yeah, that was a good one! (Lodz voice) “Hey, have you seen my bear?” (laughing)
Clancy: (Lodz voice) “I’m in the middle of this battlefield, and I seem to have lost my bear!”
John: Have you considered at all, Clancy, maybe the possibility that you should call somebody at HBO and say, “Look, I do these interviews on Monday morning, and I REALLY have to find out more about what the hell is going on with this show!” (laughing)
Clancy: Well… I’m hiding! I’m hiding these interviews from them.
(John, Phil, and Clancy laughing)
John: Ya know, I got an email from a guy in New Zealand this morning?!?
Clancy: Oh, my goodness!
John: A dude in New Zealand, who obviously can’t pick up the radio station. (Handy guy’s voice) “We’ve got a blow torch rigged, but it ain’t that strong!”
John: But he’s reading the interviews on www.Clancy-Brown.com and he’s loving the interviews and waiting with baited breath for each new one. And I’m like, ya know, there’s only two opportunities to read your own words in print… One, if you’re lucky enough to do a radio show and interview a guy like Clancy Brown and you have someone like Beth transcribing them. Two, courtroom depositions! So I feel lucky that it’s this and not the other!
Clancy: Well, it’s bound to be the other one of these days… (chuckling)
Phil: I’ve enjoyed both!
(John, Phil, and Clancy laughing)
Phil: Yeah, this one is the new one. The courtroom deposition, not so pleasant of an experience.
John: That’s right…
Clancy: Well, we’ll argue that this is all completely out of context. We were actually talking sports!
John and Phil: Right
John: (Judge voice) “Susan, can you read that back to me? What did the witness say?”
John: I don’t know about that… So what can we look for next week on “Carnivale”?
Clancy: Next week…
Phil: More confusion!
Clancy: Next week is the SNAKE HUNT episode! Which I like to call “Snake Hunt” -- it’s called “The River”… I’m not really sure… Well, I know why it’s called “The River,” but it really should be called “The Snake Hunt.” There’s all sorts of snake hunts going on… all matter of metaphor and literal interpretation, is open to that…
John: So, if they’re huntin’ snakes next week on the show, do they catch ya?”
Clancy: Well, it’s not necessarily ME! (chuckling)
John: Oh, all right… I’m just alluding…
Clancy: I sorta catch myself at some point.
John: The preview shows you taking a swan-dive there.
Clancy: Yeah, yeah… Well, Brother Justin is over the edge.
John: Yeah, man! Brother Justin’s in deep…. He’s in deep stuff!
Clancy: He’s upset, and he’s about to cash it all in.
John: Oh, man…
Clancy: And then we’ll see what happens… I don’t cash it in.
John: No, obviously.
Phil: Or that would be kinda the end of the show for you…
Clancy: Yes, that’s right. I’m not Dora Mae (chuckles) But, um…
John: (laughing) Yeah, next Monday we’ll call back and, “Well, we were gonna talk with Clancy this morning, but he killed himself on the show!”
Clancy: He killed himself…
John: “So there’s really no point in talking to him anymore!”
Clancy: Speaking of light subjects like death… Did you get what happened there in Babylon?
John: What I got from it was they killed the daughter so that they would have someone to dance and party with!
Clancy: There ya go!
John: Cuz all the miners that were killed there in Babylon were male…
Clancy: That’s right.
John: There were no females, so they snatched up the girl that was in the Cooch Show, killed her, and now they’ve got a chick to party with!
Clancy: That’s right! Ya know?
John: That’s a creepy little number, right there. I liked that scene where she’s standing in the bar, and the arm comes in and pulls her back in. (Miner voice) “C’mon honey, we ain’t done with you…”
Clancy: That was terrifying!
John: Yeah, I know!
Clancy: The look on Samson’s face was like he was about to throw up.
John: Oh, yeah!
Clancy: So that was too bad… But, now really, is that a terrible way to spend eternity?
John: What, partying with some harlot?
Clancy: Well, no… I mean, just partying? You’re in the afterlife, you got nothing but… Isn’t there something about being a martyr for Islam, don’t you get like a bunch of virgins or something like that to hang out with?
John: Eighteen virgins or something…
Clancy: Well, isn’t that something like the same thing?
John: Ya know, I would say under some circumstances it would be okay… THAT particular bar, I’ve seen the inside of it, doesn’t really look all that much fun…
John: And that town – a little dirty and dusty for my liking. But hey! Ya know….
Clancy: (laughing) But you’re DEAD! What difference does it make?
John: Yeah, what difference does it make? You’re dead, you can do whatever it is that you want.
Phil: EVERYTHING was dirty and dusty back then, though!
Clancy: (laughing) That’s right!
Phil: Even the afterlife apparently was dirty and dusty.
Clancy: Of course!
John: Dirty and dusty… You don’t even get to take that helmet off when you die! That sucks!
Clancy: That’s right!
John: How about a nice shower?
Clancy: That’s right, you’ve got to walk around with that lantern all the time…
John: Hey, Clancy Brown… Thank you very much, my friend!
Clancy: All right, good talking to ya, John!
John: Always a pleasure to talk to Clancy Brown on Monday mornings. Remember “Carnivale” is on Sundays at 9 o’clock on HBO. How many more weeks of the show, Clancy?
Clancy: This was six, so we’ve got six more!
John: Very good!
Clancy: And we’re juts picking up steam…
John: We’ve just reached the halfway point. We’ve got Clancy Brown swan-diving from bridges. We’ve got Scottish guys getting shot in the face by midgets… How are you not watching this show?!?
John: It’s the best! All right… Clancy, thank you very much, my friend.
Clancy: Take it easy.
John: We’ll talk to you again next week!
To comment on this interview, click HERE
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
WIRX “Decoding Carnivale” Call-in with Clancy Brown • 10-20-03