Clancy Brown Fan Club Weblog

Saturday, January 29, 2005

WIRX “Decoding Carnivale” call-in with Clancy Brown • 01-26-05

This is the transcript from Clancy’s radio call-in segment on Southwest Michigan’s WIRX/Rock 107.1, with Shelley Morgan.

SHELLEY: We kinda had to, like, wait a couple of days to do this, just cuz schedules didn’t quite work out together. But it’s time for “Decoding Carnivale” – HBO, Sunday nights, 9 o’clock. You will see this gentleman playing Brother Justin Crowe. It’s Clancy Brown on the phone from LA. (“Carnivale” theme song starts up.) Hello! And I want to talk about the end of “Carnivale” first…

CLANCY: What happened at the end? What was the last couple of…?

Shelley: What happened at the end was… Ben was, like, being buried alive by the happy little family…

Clancy: Yeah.

Shelley: I believe I saw them on an episode of “ The X-Files”.

Clancy: (laughing) That’s what a lot of people say!

Shelley: Wow!

Clancy: Yeah, yeah… We’ve seen that family before. It was a little media shorthand going on there.

Shelley: (laughing) So it’s not just the stuff that happens in “Carnivale” that comes back. It’s stuff from OTHER shows that come back, too.

Clancy: Well, ya know, ya steal from the best. That’s what you do.

Shelley: Good to know! Through the show, at least through a section of the show, “Me and My Shadow” a recurring theme -- the character of Stroud in the deserted mining town of Babylon, that we saw and visited last season, singing “Me and My Shadow.”

Clancy: That’s a very good choice of song.

Shelley: It was. And then, of course, the next cut that we go to is Brother Justin pushing Norman in the wheelchair, singing “Me and My Shadow.”

Clancy: It’s on all sorts of levels the perfect song.

Shelley: It was beautiful!

Clancy: You can have a whole… You could write a whole critique about the meaning of shadows in this show.

Shelley: I believe, if I ever go to college again, my master’s thesis should be the meaning of shadows in “Carnivale”.

Clancy: Absolutely. So, good, I’m glad you liked this episode.

Shelley: I definitely liked this episode. It was very fun.

Clancy: Some people did not.

Shelley: Oh, you’re kidding!

Clancy: Oh, I mean online. But, ya know, we have very hard critics online, very tough critics online. But I think, as the season goes on, people will enjoy this episode more. But I’m glad you liked it. I liked it. I thought it was fun.

Shelley: It’s very fun, and I can’t say that I didn’t really like… Well, I guess the first episode I didn’t. There were times I liked it and times that I didn’t. But it propels you to what’s gonna happen next, and it sets up so many things. And in setting up those things that are gonna happen next in the show, it’s not like this doesn’t make sense and that doesn’t make sense. It does it in such a way that you’re so entertained by it. I just think it’s a really fun show. It’s a difficult show. But I think it’s a really fun show. And it’s one of my favorites!

(Music/Station Break)

Shelley: (“Carnivale” music starts up in background) Clancy Brown, star of “Carnivale” on HBO, on the phone with us to help us decode that show, because it can be a little difficult, huh? Some interesting and kind of disturbing moments on Sunday’s “Carnivale”…

Clancy: To me, the most upsetting image in the whole thing was -- and I love him, it’s just like… when my friend Tommy Dolan is slicing up meat and eggs and talking about flesh falling off bones of little children. That one kinda turned my stomach.

Shelley: There were so many different powerful moments in “Carnivale”…

Clancy: That one just kinda really got me, for some reason. You never know what’s gonna get to ya. Some people got upset with the monkey licking the guy. I thought that was kinda cute.

Shelley: Where do you get a monkey in the middle of nowhere in Texas?

Clancy: Aw, there’s all sorts of strange pets in Texas, c’mon.

Shelley: (laughing) Well, it’s not indigenous to Texas, so somebody’s been a-travelin’.

Clancy: I don’t think those people were indigenous to Texas, either.

Shelley: We’re talking about the family Ben kinda ends up running across as he’s searching for The Crone. And there was another disturbing thing that happened last night. It was after they have him hanging up naked, upside-down, and they’re whipping him. And then they tell the littlest one, the youngest one, to go bury… and bury him RIGHT this time!

Clancy: Yeah! (evil laugh) Bury him RIGHT this time!

Shelley: Which means they’ve done it to other people.

Clancy: Of course. And they’re giving their brother a chance to learn, to teach himself from the mistakes he’s made in the past.

Shelley: To make good.

Clancy: Yeah, to make good on his previous mess-ups.

Shelley: How do you bury someone alive the WRONG way?

Clancy: Uh… Too shallow, I would imagine.

Shelley: (laughing) You’re probably right.

(Music/Station Break)

Shelley: Clancy Brown hanging on the phone from Los Angeles, talking to us about HBO’s “Carnivale.” In fact, not just talking to us, Decoding “Carnivale”. So thanks, because I think we just might need the help with this show. (“Carnivale” theme song starts up.) The writers helping us a little bit, which is nice for a change, helping us understand “Carnivale” a bit more this season, don’t you think?

Clancy: We haven’t quite just given you the number picture with the numbers drawn in. This is where we’re laying out the numbers. But don’t worry, in the next few days, we’ll connect the dots. So…

Shelley: The one thing that happened last week that I didn’t get a chance to talk to you about, kind of showed itself this week in that, last week, when Ben was driving and he saw Sofie walking along the side of the road, he first saw the Tattooed Man walking along the side of the road. And then it turned into Sofie.

Clancy: Um-hmm.

Shelley: And then, at the end of the show this week, Sofie is sleeping in Lodz’s trailer and, um, the radio was on, and the radio tunes itself to a broadcast of Brother Justin.

Clancy: Yeah.

Shelley: And Sofie’s eyes turned black.

Clancy: Did you think they turned…? I couldn’t tell whether they turned black or whether that was just the lighting, to be honest with ya.

Shelley: Okay.

Clancy: I mean, I really couldn’t tell…I don’t think they did turn black. I think it was just the lighting. And I’m gonna break the rule of this show and say I’m pretty sure they didn’t turn black because, when her eyes turn black, it’s pretty specific. I think they turned black once before, and it was a dream sequence…

Shelley: Uh-huh.

Clancy: In the first season, or, or some kind of vision or something.

Shelley: And they were very specific to show you that, as opposed to whether it was in the shadows like this.

Clancy: Yeah, I think it’s always a clear moment. And I wasn’t clear about that moment. And I honestly don’t remember in the script that her eyes were black. I don’t recall that.

Shelley: But the one thing they should have showed you in the flashback to what happened last season was that Sofie found out… She saw the moment of her conception, we’ll just put it that way.

Clancy: Uh-huh.

Shelley: And, um, that her father, pretty much, was the Tattooed Man.

Clancy: You’re really connecting the dots now. You’re really like, you’re really like… (chuckle) You should hop on the internet and start sharing theories.

Shelley: You’re so proud of me, aren’t you?

Clancy: I am! I think you’re gettin’ into the rhythm of watching this show again. Everybody else is, too, finally. I think it’s been too long.

Shelley: Yeah. Here’s my thought. Here’s my theory…

Clancy: Okay.

Shelley: Apollonia tried to kill Sofie because Ben was in the carnival, and she knew that something was supposed to happen, and that maybe something is supposed to happen between Ben and Sofie, not necessarily on a relationship/sexual level, but something… She’s involved in it somehow.

Clancy: Yeah, Apollonia pops up every now and then, you know, from the other plane. And I’m not really sure exactly why or what Apollonia’s otherworldly motivation may be. I think it was clear that, yeah, she was trying to kill her daughter last season. But I’m not exactly sure why. And I say this sincerely, and I’ve done the entire season now. It’s still not clear to me.

Shelley: Okay.

Clancy: Okay?

Shelley: Okay.

Clancy: So, you know, work with your theories, cuz… And I have to tell you, as I watch the shows, because they are so visual, things do become clear.

Shelley: Um-hmm.

Clancy: Ya know? And also, when I’m shooting and reading them, I’m not paying that much attention to the Ben story, as much attention to the Ben story. When I see it, I can then enjoy it a little bit more. But I’m diggin’ the shows from a fan perspective, at least watching Ben’s journey. And I’m still confused – Ben AND Sofie’s journey, as a matter of fact.

Shelley: Okay.

Clancy: I’m still confused, so… But fascinated! I know what’s going on with me. (chuckle)

Shelley: I would hope so!

Clancy: But I’m not really sure what’s going on with them, but I’m absolutely intrigued, and I think it’s all, I think it’s all being built well.

Shelley: I would agree with it being built well.

(Music/Station Break)

Shelley: We have to finish Decoding this week’s episode of “Carnivale” with Clancy Brown, who plays Brother Justin Crowe on HBO’s “Carnivale”, and you have questions for me, huh?

Clancy: Yeah, let me ask you this… What did you make of the scene with, um, with Ben and the crippled guy and his retarded charge/daughter/granddaughter, whatever she was?

Shelley: I thought that it was very much a savior sort of moment…

Clancy: Uh-huh.

Shelley: That guy, looking into Ben’s eyes, saw something good, something holy, something he had never seen in his life before.

Clancy: So, he was… You think he was changed by his contact with Ben?

Shelley: I believe so.

Clancy: You think? But the look in Ben’s eyes, when he grabbed him?

Shelley: Um-hmm.

Clancy: Was… I mean, I really thought he was gonna strangle him. I thought he would…

Shelley: Yeah, he was very angry, very disturbed by what had happened, that the old guy was offering up his retarded daughter for a little bit of sumthin’-sumthin’ in the back of the truck.

Clancy: Yeah. And did a little part of you want him to smack the guy around?

Shelley: Sure! Oh, yeah!

Clancy: Really?

Shelley: Yeah, because that was disgusting.

Clancy: Yes, it was disgusting. But it would have been just as disgusting if – this is what’s brilliant about the show – it would have been just as disgusting if Ben had taken it out physically on that poor old, crippled guy. As decrepit morally as he was, it would have been wrong for him to abuse the guy the way he was abusing his daughter. I just thought it was a brilliant moment, and I thought Nick – another moment where he proves he’s one of the best actors in America.

Shelley: He played it right on. I mean, it was…

Clancy: A great, great moment… Okay, let me ask you this, did you do a little end zone dance when Bud Everhardt showed up, and you found out that you were right about Stumpy having a gambling debt?

Shelley: Uh, yeah, I did. I stood up and went, “YES! I KNEW IT!”

Clancy: Didja do a little strut? You should be proud of yourself. Pat yourself on the back. Good call, Shell.

Shelley: I was, I was very proud!

Clancy: (laughing)

Shelley: I’m like, “Yay! I was right!” (laughing)

Clancy: Yeah, you got it. You nailed it right on the head.

Shelley: And I am a “Carnivale” Master.

Clancy: (laughing)

Shelley: At least, for this episode. Ya know, I could be completely, completely wrong next week. Because THAT’S the best part of the show. Clancy Brown, thank you so much for joining us today to help us Decode Carnivale, a couple days late. We’ll do it again Monday, as this Friday – if you haven’t been watching “Carnivale” this season, HBO is going to rerun the first three episodes, starting at 8:00. So Tivo, VCR, whatever you can. And then a NEW episode on Sunday at 9:00. HBO’s “Carnivale,” and we get to Decode it every week with Clancy Brown, right here on Rock 107/WIRX!