TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 371: Maybe We Need Off-Planet Help with Eliza Skinner and Jordan Morris

Biz talks to Eliza Skinner and Jordan Morris about the new show Earth to Ned on Disney+. We talk about how to create a children’s show that also delights adults, the things that aliens and kids might actually have in common, and Eliza shares what it’s like to not work with jerks. Plus, Biz can’t stop giving it away. 

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 371

Guests: Eliza Skinner Jordan Morris

Transcript

biz ellis

Hi. I’m Biz.

theresa thorn

And I’m Theresa.

biz

Due to the pandemic, we bring you One Bad Mother straight from our homes—including such interruptions as: children! Animal noises! And more! So let’s all get a little closer while we have to be so far apart. And remember—we are doing a good job.

music

“Summoning the Rawk” by Kevin MacLeod. Driving electric guitar and heavy drums. [Continues through dialogue.]

biz

This week on One Bad Mother—maybe we need off-planet help! We talk to Jordan Morris and Eliza Skinner about working on the new shoe Earth to Ned on Disney+. And Biz can’t stop giving it away.

crosstalk

Biz and Caller: Wooo! [Both laugh.]

caller

So I feel that that’s how 2020 has been. But I am gonna woo for some positives. I had a kid that graduated from high school, so woo! And my other two are teenagers and we’re getting through it. So yeah. Calling from Pennsylvania, and I’m wooing with you from out here on the West— [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] Out here on the East Coast. Everybody hang in there. I see you. You’re doing a good job. Bye.

biz

You are doing a good job and I really appreciate that you don’t even know where you are anymore! [Laughs.] [Singing] East Coast? West Coast? It doesn’t matter! [Regular voice] I mean, I think like a Beach Boys song somewhere suggests that we wear different bikinis? But other than that! [Laughs.] Those are the real differences that matter. And I just—David Lee Roth, I think, also had some comments on East Coast and West Coast. But all that said… good job! Good job! I think you are right to celebrate the small victories today. You had a child graduate high school. Holy guacamole! That is a really big deal! That’s a huge deal! It’s also kind of a big emotional deal for you! And I’m not sure how the pandemic adds a spin to that. I guess— [Laughs.] I guess it makes you sound less crazy when you’re like, “Don’t leave!” [Laughs.] TO your child. “No, no, seriously, don’t leave. Don’t—you can’t—you cannot leave. It’s not about me, I promise. It’s about the virus. Just come sit in my lap.” And you’ve got two others who are doing well! Good job! Good job! Speaking… of good jobs. You are all doing a remarkable job! [Singing] Special shoutout to essential workers! Da, da-da, da! That’s you and you and you and you! [Regular voice] I’m pointing. I’m pointing. To Hannah. She’s my essential worker. Y’know, I was talking to my therapist today. And we were talking about the fact that, uh… nothing’s actually changed! [Laughs loudly.] The only thing that’s changed is that we’re getting a little numb to it? Or maybe we’re getting a little comfortable in our sheltering-in-place and our minimal going in and out? And I say that for those of us who are not essential. [Laughs.] I mean, you’re essential to me. But you know what I mean. And… as a result, it can feel like… maybe it has changed! But I don’t think it has. So— [Laughs.] Pretty sure. I mean, I haven’t gotten an email saying, “It’s all back to normal. In fact, cases aren’t rising. [Laughs.] In most parts of the United States.” So. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody in the medical profession. Be you pediatricians making sure our kids continue to get the vaccines and well visits that they need, to ER surgeons to the nurses to the RNs to the people who work in tech support in hospitals to people who enter our data when we show up to the people who keep the doctors’ offices and hospitals sterilized and clean. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And special shoutout to dentists. I went and saw mine this week because mama’s got a bad mouth. [Laughs.] And I need consistent hygiene and after six months I went and so shoutout to them and all dental professionals for keeping it clean and keeping it safe. Everybody at grocery stores. Packing! Shipping! Boxes! Farmers! If you touch our stuff, thank you for doing so in a mindful way! And the Post Office—wooo! And volunteers. Oh, and teachers! They’re—surprise! Turns out—there’s a lot of essential work out there! And I am so pleased to get to say thank you. Over and over and over again. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. So… good job. Oh! And scientists. Don’t forget scientists working on cures or just ways to walk through this. Or! Putting up with all the bullshit that is anti-science. Thank you. I see you.

biz

Now… how am I? Well, I’m alright. I just can’t stop giving my children things. I realized this the other day. I had to go to Target to grab something. I cannot remember. It’s not like the old days where I would just go and roam the clearance aisles. But I was in there to get a thing, and then I was like, “Maybe I’ll just go look at the toy section! Maybe I’ll go look at the art supply section!” And then I just was like, yes, it makes total sense that I am going to buy— [Laughs.] Buy something for my kids. Who are already getting little stuff. I’m not saying they’re getting gigantic, whole Lego sets here. I’m talking, like, little $5, $7, maybe it’s just some stickers? Maybe it’s a whole bunch of donuts? [Laughs.] From a bakery? Like… and I can’t decide—I was actually talking to Theresa and I was like, “I’m just giving my kids shit left and right.” She goes, “Me too!” And I said, “Oh, thank god.” I was like, “It’s like a mix—it’s like a mix of me as their parent wanting to see joy? Trying to fill the hole left by the guilt with a little something? Maybe as a reward because they’re getting through it?” None of which I would probably reward with stuff under normal circumstances. [Laughs.] And… let’s be real. A lot of it’s bribery. A lot of it’s bribery, just to keep everybody’s spirits up. I am not sure how my children are gonna come out on the other side of this [through laughter] when it comes to understand really anything. Really any exchange between other people. With that said, understanding other people can sometimes be hard. Especially if they are not from Earth. [Laughs.] Hannah thinks that’s very funny. [Laughs.] Which I think ties in nicely to what we’re gonna talk about today with Jordan Morris and Eliza Skinner about working on the new Disney+ show, Earth to Ned.

biz

Banjo strums; cheerful banjo music continues through dialogue.

theresa

Please—take a moment to remember: If you’re friends of the hosts of One Bad Mother, you should assume that when we talk about other moms, we’re talking about you.

biz

If you are married to the host of One Bad Mother, we definitely are talking about you.

theresa

Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice.

biz

Biz and Theresa’s children are brilliant, lovely, and exceedingly extraordinary.

theresa

Nothing said on this podcast about them implies otherwise. [Banjo music fades out.] [Biz and her guests repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss the weekly topic.]

biz

Guys? Today I am so excited ‘cause we are talking to two very funny people. If you are a fan of many of the Maximum Fun shows, you know one of these people. And if you have listened to One Bad Mother—or perhaps were at one of our live shows in San Francisco—you know our other guest! We have today Jordan Morris, who is a comedy writer who worked on the new Disney+ series Earth to Ned. He’s also a podcaster [through laughter] who cohosts Jordan, Jesse, Go! I say that with like such authority because it’s like—that is Maximum Fun in my opinion. [Laughs.] Eliza Skinner is a comedian, musician, and the head writer for Earth to Ned on Disney+. Her debut album of comedy and music, “Regarding my Lovers,” was just released on AST Records. [Singing and clapping] Welcome, Jordan and Eliza! Welcome, Jordan and Eliza!

crosstalk

Biz and Eliza Skinner: Yayyyy! Jordan Morris: [Singing] It’s great to be here at the hoedown!

biz

Yeah I know! Last week—last week’s show I had a migraine for the first time in years.

jordan morris

Oh dear!

biz

And I still did the show! And when I listened to it, didn’t sound that peppy. It was like— [Multiple people laugh.] [Flatly] “Hi. Welcome to One Bad Mother. Welcome to One Bad Mother. Everything’s okay.” So I have a—

eliza skinner

The midday NPR version? [All laugh.]

biz

It was! It really was the NPR—and I was talking—my guest—

jordan

“Can you make soup in a housing project? Coming up at noon.” [Multiple people laugh.] Oh, okay.

biz

My guest was so soft-spoken, too? So I just kept getting, like, smaller and closer to the mic and we both were just talking. Anyway. Before we get in to Earth to Ned, I want to ask you both—who lives in your house? Eliza, who lives in your house?

eliza

My cat, Casper, and my dog, Boo. Booberry, formally. But I call him Boo.

biz

Call him Boo. [James laughs.] I am so in love with the dog ‘cause I get to Zoom, guys. I get to see the pictures. And there’s this dog—this perfect dog behind her. I never once thought to ask if you had a cat. I’m so sorry!

eliza

Oh, he’s sleeping in the other room. But yeah. He’s older. He’s a crusty old—I mean, not literally crusty, but just emotionally crusty old cat. And he and Boo get along okay. [Biz laughs.] Sometimes Boo will sort of follow Casper around, like, “Oh, hey, are we hanging out?” And Casper’s like, “No, I’m never gonna hang out with you. What are you doing?” And he’s like, “Got it. Got it. We’re smelling stuff. I’m helping.” [All laugh.]

jordan

Then Casper takes out one of the cigarettes he has rolled up in a pack on his— [Multiple people laugh.] —in his sleeves.

eliza

Yeah. And he teaches him [through laughter] how to—how to like give blowjobs. I don’t know. [Laughs.]

biz

Yeah. No that’s pretty much—

crosstalk

Eliza: Right? That’s what cool teens teach each other? Biz: —what the relationship between cats and dogs—yeah. Yeah. Jordan: Right.

jordan

Then he gives him his first Smiths record and—

crosstalk

Biz: That’s right. Eliza: Mm-hm. Yup.

eliza

And Boo’s like, “I don’t get it, but I can never tell him!” [All laugh.]

jordan

“It’s cool!”

biz

Jordan, who lives in your house?

jordan

I live in my house. I think I’m doing a great job of it.

crosstalk

Biz: You are doing such a good job living in your house! You’re welcome. Jordan: Thank you. I love to live here.

jordan

And I—also living here is my cat, Bug, who I think maybe you can see if I lean. I’m gonna lean and you tell me if you see her.

biz

Okay. I’m ready. I don’t see the cat.

jordan

Okay. She’s at the window. [Biz laughs.] Where she likes to sit and enjoy birds and some outdoor cats that like to come around. And—as of this week—a little exercise class that people have started having in the backyard!

biz

Oh! That’s fun to watch.

jordan

Yeah. I mean, for a cat. Y’know. But I love, y’know, it’s great that they’re doing that out there. Near me. And I can hear their extended club remix of “Party All the Time” that they workout to. [Biz laughs.] I love that.

biz

Nice. Alright. Let’s move on to important stuff, which is the show. We are all still home and god knows we need even more content to watch [through laughter] on television and I’m not kidding. Earth to Ned. Today—we are recording this today, on September 4th, and the show actually came out today. And Jordan, I’m gonna start with you. Can you—this is on Disney+. Earth to Ned. Give us a synopsis of the show.

jordan

Sure! So Earth to Ned! It is a talk show hosted by aliens. The crew of this kind of alien destroyer ship came to Earth with the purpose of destroying it. Ned is the captain. He’s this kind of very sweet, kinda dumb, very enthusiastic ship captain and he—and before they—y’know, fired their doomsday weapon—they downloaded all of Earth’s media and Ned fell in love with TV and celebrities. So—

biz

Who wouldn’t? [Laughs.]

jordan

He decided that instead of destroying the world, he would host a talk show. So he gets celebrities in his tractor beam, beams them onto the ship, and forces them to do very weird talk show interviews. Yeah! And there’s a great cast of characters on the ship. There’s a mean AI named Betty. There’s a sidekick Cornelius, who actually goes out in the world and does field pieces. So it’s kind of all the gunk you would see on a talk show, but with a, y’know, crazy, sci-fi, Jim Henson twist.

biz

It is… the format of a talk show. And so I guess my first question is—who is this—what is your age—who is the audience? For this show when you guys started with this project? I guess I should also ask—why did you start with this project? But first I’d like to know the audience. Eliza?

eliza

Yeah. Well initially, the audience was adults. This was supposed to be a really edgy show for adults. But we knew that with puppets in it, kids were gonna wanna watch it. Anything with puppets, kids are gonna be like, “This is probably for me,” so we needed to make it something that would be okay for kids to be in the room. And then as we were going along, we’re like, “Oh, okay—” Disney was like, “Maybe it’s for families to watch all together.” [Biz laughs.] “It’s for everybody all at once.” And we’re like, “Okay.” And then they were like, “Mm, maybe it’s more for kids, but like parents can be in the room also.” And so we’re like, “Okay.” [Biz laughs.] So it kind of slid around? But I think that that sliding around ended up with a tone that I like a lot. Where there’s stuff that’s gonna go over kids’ heads and make parents laugh in a way that they won’t hopefully have to explain. And then there’s also stuff that kids are going to totally understand and stuff hopefully that inspires them to learn more about something they’d never heard of. Because those are all the things that I felt watching The Muppet Show when I was a kid. Or even, like, Looney Tunes! Like, the first time I heard opera, it was already familiar! ‘Cause I’d seen it on Bugs Bunny.

jordan

Right. And then like Bugs Bunny will do a Clark Gable impression or something? And you’ll laugh because he’s doing a voice, but then your parents have to explain to you who that was supposed to be.

eliza

Yeah. And then later when you encounter it, you’re like, “Oh! This guy! You know what? I already—” [Biz laughs.] “I’ve got an entry into this anyway. I’ll go ahead and watch this movie.”

biz

As writers, I would have to imagine the starting with it going for adults and then shifting and then shifting and then shifting again… that presents—I mean, that presents a lot. Especially as comedy writers. Because who knows… I mean, I think I know what kids find funny, but it involves a lot of farting. I mean, and I have—they’re highbrow. It’s a highbrow. [Jordan laughs.]

eliza

Well, but we’re also talking about Disney, so Disney does not want farting and I desperately wanted to put farting into this show and I did— [Biz makes relieved sound. Jordan laughs.] But… we had to have a lot of back-and-forth and negotiations about exactly what the sound of a toot versus a fart is.

jordan

Right. Is it dry? Is it wet? Is it—

biz

Yeah. I know. [Eliza laughs.] You should definitely ask Alexa if you just want a few hours of fun. And I mean that. I mean it! [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.] They will—make sure you ask. Anyway.

jordan

God help you if you suggest that one of the characters shart!

crosstalk

Biz: Oh! Well, so that—I wanna ask about this! Jordan No, no, no. Take it to Amazon!

biz

Where did the humor have to go back and forth and were there like—what is the sliding scale in terms of writing for adults and kids… at Disney… for humor?

eliza

Well it was mostly just like, there were a few things that Disney really didn’t want us to say. Like, we could not call anybody stupid or an idiot. Even the two main characters, who very often—with the type of dynamic they have, with the—it—kind of dumb captain and his smarter sidekick—normally they would be throwing around some sort of like, “Oh, you idiot! Why—” None of that. That was a big, hard no. Everything else was kind of like, just what you would have as a “no” for any kind of primetime network sitcom? And as far as targeting the humor, we really didn’t go, like, “What do kids like?” I mean, we had a lot of parents who worked on the show? But it was just “What do we find funny that stays within those margins? And is reacting to the type of TV and media that we see and kids see?”

biz

Yeah. Stefan and I were watching it this morning with the kids, and then—and he and I were totally having a separate conversation about the show over the kids. Y’know. Or one of us would like walk into the other room and then the other would come in and be like, “Oh, that was really funny with they did the thing. You know what’s interesting? I was thinking—” Right? ‘Cause we have nothing else to talk about so we’re going to minutely break your show down. [Multiple people laugh.] No, but we were—one of the things we were talking about is its… it feels to us, as people who did not work on the show— [Laughs.] That there’re sort of two sort of things that it felt… were being achieved. Whether intentional or not. Are one—what is a talk show? Like, an evening—like, a late night talk show by its name is late night. [Laughs.] Children probably are not watching it. Or at least until they’re a certain age. I mean, I’m—I’m with you. I grew up watching David Letterman with my dad, so Chris Elliott’s character, the man under the stairs—all of those things I can point to how they impacted my view on the world and comedy and things like that. But so you’ve kind of got—we’re teaching Ned what a late night show is and how to run it. And… that’s sort of teaching kids—I guess—modern-day opera. It also feels like it’s teaching kids how to model emotions. Right? Like, there’s a lot of this, “This is what sarcasm is and this is how you would respond to this and” it’s like a—and a lesson on what comedy is. But I will admit, children do not instinctually get how to react and respond in the world? And some kids have a harder time than others. [Laughs.] I mean, was any of that… in the thought process of the show, besides just making a fun show? Jordan? Do you—

jordan

Yeah. I mean, I—from my end—and Eliza—and I was on the writing staff and Eliza was the head writer. So I think, y’know, Eliza, you probably had more discussions as far as like tone and the nuts and bolts of the show and the bigger goals. But yeah. I mean, I don’t think—I don’t remember talking about that? But I—like, having written kids’ TV before? Like, kids—characters in kids’ TV are at their best when they’re hyper-emotional. Like, when—y’know, maybe even like—so I wrote for a Cartoon Network show called Unikitty!. And the cast of that show, everybody is kind of like a hyper version of one emotion. Y’know. Unikitty is assaultively positive. Her assistant Richard is very boring and sensible. And I think these characters—I mean, they are puppets but I mean I think for all intents and purposes they’re cartoons. So yeah. I think when you are kind of dealing with… a step removed from reality, whether it be animation or puppets or something something… just like, big emotions work best. So yeah. I think maybe that’s kind of what you’re seeing is everybody kind of playing these big… kind of theatrical emotions.

biz

Yeah. Eliza?

eliza

Yeah. The way that I approached it was a lot more about the alien point of view. That these are aliens, and they’re trying to learn what it means to be human. Which, in a way, is like kinda what kids are doing.

biz

No. It is—it is what kids are doing. [Laughs.]

eliza

So— yeah. [Laughs.] So they’re like, “Okay. We see that—” Like, I remember when I was a kid and I loved comedy? And I liked the shape and the music of a joke way before I understood how jokes in general work? Or the jokes I was telling. That I would like read out of a joke book. I would just like, “Oh, I like—da, da, da, da! And BAH! And then everybody laughs!” [Multiple people laugh.] “Okay, great!” And I feel like that’s kind of what Ned is doing with a lot of things. Like, “Okay, I can mimic this, but why? And what is it? And why are you guys doing it in the first place? Please explain it to me so that I can understand it.” And then he’ll filter it through his… kind of— [Laughs.] Limited brain and thought process and very often dumb it down in a different twisted, kind of unexpected way? [Biz laughs.] Which creates some humor.

biz

No, yeah.

eliza

And also—yeah. I just—I think we were trying not to talk down to kids and make sure that there is always some funny stuff happening on various levels? Often enough that we don’t lose… any of the audience.

biz

Stefan and I are like, “Oh, that’s really funny!” We’re noticing these nuances and in the back of my head I thought, “What do my kids think about this?” Which is what brought the question up— [through laughter] who is this for? Why did I assume this was for kids? Shame on me! [Multiple people laugh.] But we get through it and he’s—Ellis is six; Katy Belle’s eleven, and—

eliza

How is that possible?!

biz

I know. No. They’re old. This morning I was like on the couch and they were like “Mama!” And they come and they sit and I was like, “When in the hell did we get like two—"

eliza

Full-ass people.

crosstalk

Biz: “People! Like, people! They’re people!” Yeah, they do! They have—yeah. Katy Belle could have a briefcase. Yeah! They do! They have business cards. Jordan: They have briefcases that—they own boats. How did they boats? Eliza: Business cards? Nobody even uses those anymore! [Multiple people laugh.]

biz

They’ve got a pager. Y’know. We’re keeping them cutting-edge. But I’ve thought—I would like to imagine we raised them in a house of jokes. Right? They get jokes. And I was like, “Hm, I wonder what they think about this!” But as soon as it was over, they’re like, “Can we watch another one?” And I was like, “That is a big stamp of approval in this house.” As well as just—they were getting it on the different levels. Ellis was really into some of the physical jokes that were happening and Katy Belle was—the whole thing about imitating aliens, that is a good joke.

eliza

[Through laughter] Thank you.

biz

And I know no one knows what I’m talking about— [Jordan laughs.] —while I’m talking about this, but it actually—it really is delightful and you are achieving your goal. But if I was gonna be recommend this—and I am recommending it—I’m gonna say parents, finally—you can actually sit in the room for this one? [Laughs.] [Jordan laughs.] And I agree! We didn’t try to explain anything during it. We just left it. And I—intentional or not—I do think there is a lesson in what comedy is… that’s being taught that I think actually is really… helpful. Because kids wanna try out things to get that positive response?

eliza

Mm-hm. The shape of the joke!

biz

Simultaneous—yeah! And simultaneously, sometimes you laugh with kids and they weren’t trying to tell a joke. And then that’s very confusing, as to why are you— [Jordan laughs.] —laughing? And that can—ehhh. [Singing] “When you turn 11, it’s really upsetting!” [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Jordan: Right? “I’m serious!” Biz: “Why are you laughing?”!

jordan

“I’m a serious person!”

crosstalk

Biz: That’s right! Eliza: We get into that a little bit—

eliza

—in our comedy episode. Yeah.

biz

Yeah. So it’s—again—surprise! You’re actually helping children navigate their emotions.

eliza

Well that’s—that was one of the things that was actually really important to me. And especially in talking to the performers, sometimes I would come up with kind of more—ehh—extreme—I mean, not just me. I mean, everybody would come up with kind of more extreme topics and questions than maybe you might expect in a kids’ show. Like in the episode—in our pets episode. Are we gonna talk about pets dying? In our family episode, are we gonna talk about when you don’t agree with your family? Or you feel like they don’t agree with you? And sometimes people were a little like, “Hey, wait a minute, I don’t know if we should talk about this stuff.” And I was like, “That’s exactly what kids are thinking about! They’re thinking about— [Laughs.] The big stuff! They’re thinking about, ‘What is death? How does the world work? How am I supposed to deal with these feelings that I have, and I’m so scared that—what if I can’t deal with them and they overwhelm me?’” So having—so showing these [through laughter] aliens just like talking about it in a simple, casual way, as though they’re not the scariest things in the world, was my attempt to [through laughter] be helpful. [Multiple people laugh.] Like, that’s what I would’ve wanted. I would’ve wanted to feel, like, “Okay. It’s—I’m allowed to ask these questions. They don’t summon the bad things just by asking them.”

biz

Just by ask—ooh, that’s good.

crosstalk

Eliza: Thank you. Thank you! Biz: That’s the name of a novel. [Multiple people laugh.]

biz

That should be the name of your novel! There is it!

eliza

Summon the Bad Things Just by Asking Them. [All laugh.]

biz

That’s [through laughter] right. Well, ‘cause it’s—it is true. And especially if you set out with a goal—I think a lot of people set out with a goal of, “I’m not gonna write down to kids.” Right? “I’m not gonna write down—” Or even as parents, you can be like, “I’m not gonna dumb it down for my kids.” And then there are some days you just gotta dumb it down. But for the most part, like, the goal is lofty. But it’s hard to carry that line of thinking over to the tough stuff. Especially if—as an adult—you haven’t had a chance to come to grips with it. And so when shows do weave that in, it’s actually really helpful ‘cause it can start conversations? That parents don’t know how to start on their own?

eliza

One of the best signs for me was towards the end of shooting—so we released the first ten episodes. There’s ten other episodes we already made! Who even knows when those will come out? [Biz cheers; Jordan laughs.] And in one of those episodes, a couple—a comedian couple—Ptolemy and Shelly Slocum—play a couple in a little parody sketch that we do. That we did. And so they had to sit there all day watching us shoot all this stuff, waiting to shoot their thing. [Biz laughs.] And when I went to talk to them, they were like, “Oh my gosh! We would watch this with our kids!” And I was like, “Cool, yeah! I remember when my parents—" And they’re like, “No, no. We don’t watch anything with our kids. We don’t like that stuff!” [All laugh.] “This stuff, they would like and we would like!” And I was like, “That’s—that sounds great. And I hope you’re right. [Laughs.] That would be wonderful.”

biz

I think that should be—that should be like the byline. “We would watch this with our kids! For real!” [Laughs.] What brought you guys to this project?

eliza

Marwar Productions—who’s Allison Berkley and Joseph Freed—had sold this idea to Henson, and they were looking for writers and for a head writer. And I, at that point, was done [through laughter] with Hollywood and America. [Multiple people laugh.]

biz

Why? What’s going on, Eliza? Why?

jordan

Hollywood and America are both better than they’ve ever been!

eliza

[Through laughter] Yeah.

biz

And they go so well together!

eliza

Yeah. No, seriously. I was thinking of moving to London. I got my UK citizenship back. And I was— [Biz laughs.] —so tired of working in late night that just… deified celebrities. Who—for no reason. For just… they’re very pretty and they grew up with the right kind of family and then got the right kind of agents. And I’m like, “I don’t wanna be a part of that. I don’t think that that’s helping anybody.” And then I interviewed for this gig and [through laughter] I went in— [Biz laughs.] —and they gave me their pitch, which was pretty much… “Late night talk show, hosted by aliens.” And I started asking questions that they didn’t have answers to? And I thought—like, I walked out of my first interview and was like, “Well, I blew that. They hated me.” [All laugh.]

biz

“Uh, I hate celebrities? And I’d like to come write for your show?”

eliza

Well, I didn’t tell them the hating celebrities thing. Although it became clear as the show went on. They were like—I’m like, “I don’t wanna know!” Like, it— [Multiple people laugh.] It ended up being one of the ways that I was perfect for the show because they couldn’t—they can’t—because the way we shot it—and we knew we would have to shoot it this way—and we don’t know when the show’s gonna come out so they can’t promote any projects. So it can’t just be like, “Show us your clip! Wow! What was it like making that? Okay, bye!” Like, it has to be like, “Hey, tell me a fundamental truth about the human existence, Taye Diggs.” [Multiple people laugh.] And I’m like, “Yes! That is what I want to be asking!”

biz

[Through laughter] I know!

eliza

“Justify your celebrity with like some real stuff!” [Biz laughs.] So yeah, when they called me back in, they were like, “Oh, we liked you because you made us think of things that we didn’t know we had to think about.”

biz

Ooh, good!

eliza

And I was like, “Oh, okay! Good!” So yeah. They ended up hiring me and I did a lot of, like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah! I can totally handle this! No problem!” [Biz laughs.] Like, pretty much running a show? Yeah! Big deal. Yeah. With puppets? I’ve never worked with before? [Laughs.] It’s no problem. [Biz laughs.] And then we’d go home and be like, “Ahhh! Ahh! They’re gonna figure it out at some point!”

jordan

“These are just, like, socks that go on your hand, right? I’ve done that!”

eliza

“We all got socks! Come on!”

jordan

“You sew some little buttons to it? That’s the eyes? Yeah!”

eliza

Yeah. So I got the job and then I had to staff up the writer’s room, and I was like… okay. So I need people who are funny with late night experience who I know have a passion for sci-fi and an open mind of the different things you can do with sci-fi and ways you can twist it and use it to look at the world that we’re in? And who have experience working with children’s TV. And that was like—it was—I pretty much was like, “Oh, I need someone with J-O-R-D-A-N?”

crosstalk

Jordan Yes. It was an acrostic poem. Eliza: I guess I need Jordan. Yeah. [All laugh.]

jordan

Yeah! Eliza and I have worked together on stuff before and yeah. And it’s always a blast. So yeah. When she mentioned they were looking for somebody, I jumped at the chance. And definitely I, y’know, like… was a Muppet nerd as a kid and, y’know, just like getting to see— [Laughs.] Y’know? In the lobby, the Fraggles hanging out and the baby from Dinosaurs! Yeah. It was a goddamn dream— [Biz laughs.] —and I know that, y’know, like, as Eliza mentioned, sometimes showbiz can be so— [Laughs.] Lame. That you plan your exit. And then—yeah. And I dunno. Then something like this comes along and it’s like, “Oh, I get to do a hilarious project with my hilarious friends and it’ll go great and it’s like I’m going to a dream factory every day! Oh my gosh!” And that, y’know, and it just keeps you going. Stuff like this.

biz

Wait, you literally were going to a dream factory every day.

crosstalk

Biz: You were on the Henson property? Jordan: Yeah, basically!

biz

It’s like, [singing] “Life’s like a movie! Right?” [laughs hysterically]

crosstalk

Eliza: Yeah, you drive in the gate and it’s Kermit in his little Charlie Chaplin outfit standing over the gate. Biz: You know, I’m like—I can’t. Jordan: Yeah!

jordan

I am—I’m pitching a show to Willy Wonka next month, so hopefully that goes— [Multiple people laugh.] —and then I can go to the—I hear it’s dangerous there! So.

crosstalk

Jordan: Sometimes you die. Yeah. Biz: Oh, they just make candy.

biz

Jordan, what was it like writing for—I’m gonna say—Muppets? Puppets?

jordan

Yeah! No! It was awesome. I mean, I think—

biz

Were there limitations to like—I mean… animation can do anything. Humans, we all know what our limits are. Sometimes. But puppets?

jordan

Y’know, like, yeah. With any kind of showbiz job you do have to take into account, like, what are the limitations? [Biz laughs.] Like, for instance, the first time I worked for animation, I’m like, “All bets are off! They’re going to the moon and there’s gonna be dinosaurs!” But then they’re like, “Okay. So new backgrounds are expensive so this should all take place in a place they’ve been before—” [Biz laughs.] “—and if you wanna introduce a new character that’s very expensive, so if it could just be an old character in a hat, that’s great.” [Biz laughs.] So, y’know. Like—so you kind of like—you figure out the limitations. So yeah. I mean, I think that just like the stuff we did—although we did do some fun sketches and there is a little bit of special effects and stuff like that. But yeah. Just most of the comedy is from character. It’s just from like, y’know, characters, y’know, their misunderstandings. Their having big emotions. So I think that was kind of like what we were writing to. Is like… more just like kind of character-based comedy rather than a shark comes in and eats everybody.

biz

Yeah. Well, well sure. Fair enough. Fair enough.

jordan

Season 2! Hopefully the shark comes in and eats everybody and then the show’s about the shark from that point on. But. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Yes! So… Stefan—when he came in at one point when we were having our conversations, he said, “It feels like there’s a lot of editing.” Meaning, there’s so much more content out there with the guests. And is that—I’m gonna assume that’s true. Yes/

eliza

Yeah. Yeah. We shot a lot—I mean—you would have to book the guests for a long time because we’re also working with all these different puppets, including Ned, who is a very complex animatronic puppet? So if something goes wrong with him we would have to like replace his head— [Multiple people laugh.] —or stick a screwdriver in his mouth and tinker around with it. Don’t tell your kids any of that! [Multiple people laugh.] So we had to have—so we were gonna have to have people committed to be there for a while anyway? And so we would talk to them for as long as we had them. And yeah. Get a lot of material. And also—y’know, get ‘em loosened up. ‘Cause at first it feels like, “Oh, am I on a kid’s show? Am I supposed to say the right thing or the wrong thing and this is weird and where do I look and which eyeball do I look at?” And then after a while they would kind of chill out and just have real conversations with these big, weird puppets.

biz

Yeah. Here’s my last question. And this is to you, Eliza, given your less-than-passionate love for celebrities. As head writer, where’s the line where you get to be the one who picks the celeb—I mean, how are you guys getting the celebrities? I would imagine at some point, maybe there was a pledge you made to yourself that’s like, “Only nice people!” Because I am such a—like, to me, the thing that bothers me is when people still get rewarded when they’re horrible. Y’know? They’re just fucking nightmares. And yet they still get picked because of the—being a celebrity? So is that something you were able to sort—like, when we see these people they’re really nice people?

eliza

Yeah. I mean, this is the first—I made a pledge a long time ago that my goal with the TV that I make is “No rapists on this show.” [Jordan laughs.]

biz

Hey! Good rule! That’s a—

eliza

This is the first time. This is the first time. [Laughs.] [Jordan laughs.]

biz

Oh my god.

eliza

Yeah. So it’s just—

biz

Turns out there are some out there!

crosstalk

Biz: Did you--I don’t know if you knew that! There’s sometimes there’re people who haven’t raped people! And—I know. Eliza: Yeah! But like, I mean—that’s not a secret, right? I mean, every comedy show—

eliza

—wants to book Mike Tyson ‘cause he’s a comedian now? And like, I don’t—I’m not saying he should go live in a hole in the ground and, y’know, not have a fine life having paid his debt. But like, why are we still lauding these people and giving them platforms? So yeah. It is a bunch of nice people. And honestly, Biz? Look who’s at on the show! How did I book it?

crosstalk

Eliza: I sent a bunch of texts! It’s Kristen Schaal. It’s Paul Scheer. Y’know? It’s Andy Richter! It’s Rachel Bloom! Biz: I—I know! These are all your friends! I know. I know. I know! I will say—I know! [All laugh.]

jordan

Your dog Boo! Your dog Boo is the second guest!

biz

Your dog Boo is on there. I will say it was definitely a moment where like, Stefan and I are like, “Eh, we know that guy. We know—we used to know that person.” And y’know, it’s still—our children don’t care. But it’s— [Jordan laughs.] Yeah. Okay. Fair enough. [Laughs.]

eliza

And it—but I will say, those are people that I did not do that for on other shows that I’ve worked on. I—this is the first show that I was like, “I know we will treat you right. I know this will be fun for you. And I can promise you this is an experience worth you having. And so I’m willing to risk my, y’know, relationship with you—” [Jordan laughs.] “—to beg you to be on my show!” And it didn’t honestly take much begging ‘cause everybody wants to just come to the Henson lot, let alone be on a show.

biz

Well, congratulations, A, to both of you for working on this show. And getting it out there. It really is fun. I enjoy seeing the writing team brain trust over in the corner—

crosstalk

Jordan: All the brain buckets! Yeah. Biz: —in all the shots. Literally! Literally brains. [Eliza laughs.]

biz

And on a personal sidenote, congratulations, Eliza, for getting to make those calls. That’s badass. Really, really… happy that you got to do that. Annnd… for those of you who don’t know, Eliza and I have known each other for many years from comedy, way back in New York City, and, y’know. I gotta—I love the ladies! [Multiple people laugh.] And it’s nice when good, nice, funny women get to make decisions like bringing on lovely people like Jordan.

jordan

Well, shucks.

biz

So good job. We are gonna be back in just a moment to share our genius and fails.

music

“Ones and Zeroes” by “Awesome.” Steady, driving electric guitar with drum and woodwinds. [Music fades out.]

music

Laid-back guitar plays in background of dialogue.

biz

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theresa

Hey, you know what it’s time for! This week’s genius and fails! This is the part of the show where we share our genius moment of the week, as well as our failures, and feel better about ourselves by hearing yours. You can share some of your own by calling 206-350-9485. That’s 206-350-9485.

biz

We’re back… with the wonderful Eliza and Jordan. And they are going to join me today for genius and fail segment. So let me begin by genius-ing you.

clip

[Dramatic, swelling music in background.] Biz: Wow! Oh my God! Oh my God! I saw what you did! Oh my God! I’m paying attention! Wow! You, mom, are a genius. Oh my God, that’s fucking genius! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective genius moments of the week.]

biz

So, guys, here’s my genius. A long-running thread in this show and in life is self-care. Doing anything fucking nice for yourself. And it’s very hard right now to find that time to do stuff just because you’re all trapped at home. In my situation, everybody’s here. And they all really love me. [Jordan laughs.] And they want to talk to me all the time. And so I recently busted out some of my old comic books I have in the garage. I have box after box of these collections of, y’know, trades where they’ve collected all the comic books into one. And I’ve been enjoying watching Stargirl on TV with my daughter? We’ve been enjoying that and it’s reminded me how much I like the JSA as well as C-level superheroes. [Multiple people laugh.] So I just pulled out all my, y’know, all my books and have—

jordan

Sure! It’s about time the kids learn about Doctor Fate!

biz

I know! Doctor Fate! [Eliza laughs.] That’s right! Doctor Fate. Oh wait. They’ve had a Booster Gold toy for—since they were gold.

jordan

Booster Gold!

biz

[Singing] Booster Gold! [Regular voice] Is the theme song I wrote for him. [Multiple people laugh.] Anyway. I love them and I have—and they’re very easy just to read! They’re very noncommittal and you’re just done. And that makes me feel like a person. So— [Laughs.] With that bar set for you guys, Eliza? Are you genius-ing—you are genius-ing me. Eliza, please.

eliza

Okay. So this week my small, weird dog, Boo— [Biz laughs.] —met two Huskies. I was staying with my boyfriend, who has two giant Huskies. And it was very scary? ‘Cause I was like, they will eat him. They’re gonna eat him. And he never makes any noise, but he started growling? He growls like the Predator? Like— [Multiple people laugh.] —it’s just like this weird ticking sort of thing? [Laughs.] So I kept being like, “Oh, god. I gotta manage this! I gotta get in there and fix it! Maybe I can make them shake paws and then they’ll be friends—” [Biz laughs.] “—or I could smear them all with peanut butter! No. Just keep him away from them!” And I chilled out. And like… just kind of like spent a lot of time with all the dogs and was—and tried to keep my vibe real chill. And he started hanging out with them like he was in a little pack! He went from growling at them to being, like, “Oh, me and my giant buddies who are three times my size easily? If not more?” [Jordan laughs.] So I was proud of myself for not helicopter dog owning.

biz

You are doing a very good job. That is very impressive. You will have to come on one of the shows where Renee from Can I Pet Your Dog? Comes on and we just compare children to dogs the entire time. [Jordan laughs.] Though she says they’re not the same, but I’m like, “No. No. They really are very similar!”

eliza

I mean, I think the tasks you have to do? Like, the ones I have to do with the dog, you have to do all of them, but then you also have other stuff that I don’t. I don’t have to help him with his math homework, y’know? [Jordan laughs.]

biz

Yeah! But, well, I’m not—I don’t help with math homework. [Eliza laughs.] I just—“Go ask your father! Go—the internet will tell you! Ask Alexa!” [Jordan laughs.] Well, you are doing a wonderful job.

eliza

Thank you.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey, Biz and Theresa! I thought I would give a call with a genius. I think it’s a genius for two reasons. School starts in like eight days and I was getting very anxious about it and so I finally gave in to my anxiety and decided that we are going to do remote learning for the first quarter, just to see how everything goes. And I think that’s a genius for giving in to my anxiety. And then also for limiting the number of kids in the classroom, because it works for us to do remote learning for the first quarter. Shoutout to my employer who is letting us work from home through the end of the year. Also my daughter is 13, so she is pretty self-sufficient. But anyway. I really appreciate the show. And all that you do. You’re both are doing an amazing job. And shoutout to all the parents who are struggling during this time. Have a good day! Bye.

biz

[Singing] You are doing so great! [Regular voice] I don’t know if you guys know this. Making decisions is fucking hard right now? [All laugh.]

jordan

Sure! I’m trying to make none. I’m trying to make as few as possible.

eliza

You mean in a world where we have literally no idea what the world’s going to be in a week, month, or year?

biz

Yeah! Yes! Yes! And so—surprise! People have to just be left to their own devices— [Jordan laughs.] —to make impossibly undecidable decisions about children and school and work and family. And it’s completely fucked up. So I am just wanna say—good job! You made a decision that works for you! And you didn’t make it at anybody. Y’know? Like, your employer’s not letting you work from home to piss everybody off. You—everybody made some decisions that worked right now and you are killing it! You’re doing a great job! Failures. [All laugh.]

clip

[Dramatic orchestral music plays in the background.] Theresa: [In a voice akin to the Wicked Witch of the West] Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Timpani with foot pedal engaged for humorous effect.] Biz: [Calmly] You suck! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective failures of the week.]

biz

Let me fail you. Okay. This is—again—I’ve been doing the show for a while, so some of my things are related to epic mythologies of One Bad Mother. And that is this banjo that I have had since New York—longer than children. And it has lived under my bed and I’ve never played it and yes, there have been many shirt designs about Biz touching her banjo because that’s exactly what it sounds like. And I—during this time—have been taking lessons. Stefan got me lessons and this was a big genius and it was great and I get one hour, like, every weekend I’m just locked in. Trying to play the banjo. And I… have not practiced for two weeks. And I feel like a jerk. I had to take off last weekend because I wasn’t feeling well. It wasn’t the COVID. And I just have not picked it up and I know that after two weeks I’m gonna go into this lesson and be like, “I’m not any better than I was.” And I really wanna be better at it? I really wanna play this instrument? And I’ve just let that slide away very easily. So… I have to—I gotta do better at that. I mean, it’s not the end of the world and no one’s gonna die because I’m not practicing the banjo? [Jordan laughs.] But it was important to me and I should be doing it and it just kinda fucking sucks.

eliza

Yeah, but I think that that’s also how people work. I mean, it’s like waves and tides. Like sometimes the tide goes out and you have to let it so that you can come back to it. [Biz laughs.] The problem is just if you let that drifting away from it continue and be too much momentum. But you can also let it drive you to swing back with even more passion.

biz

I’m gonna lay down on the ground and I am just gonna let Earl Scruggs roll all over me. [Multiple people laugh.]

jordan

Is that your banjo teacher’s name?

biz

No—Earl— [Laughs.] Earl Scruggs is Scruggs-style banjo.

jordan

Ohhh!

biz

He’s a very famous bluegrass performer. I will be honest; I’m not sure the name of my banjo instructor. [Multiple people laugh.] Anyway. I’m not good at things like that.

jordan

Boxcar McGee!

crosstalk

Eliza: “I call him Banjo…” Biz: I would remember that! [Laughs.] That’s right! Exactly! That’s right! Jordan: Right! Hobo Doogan! [All laugh.]

biz

Alright. Jordan?

jordan

Yeah! So one of my quarantine, y’know, self-improvement things is like, okay. Well… I guess I’ll start running. I guess I’ll run. [Biz laughs.] So I got one of those Couch to 5K apps? Have you guys heard of those?

crosstalk

Biz: No, but okay. Jordan: Kind of a little—

jordan

It’s yeah. So it—y’know, it does what it says on the box. So y’know, the idea is to get you from being on the couch to being able to run a 5k. And y’know, I—the last running I did is like running the mile in high school, which I fucking hated. Like, I hated that more than I hated geometry. [Biz laughs.] Like, and so… y’know. I’m like, I’ll give this a shot. I’ll give this a shot and people say to do it and my doctor says to do it. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. So—but I found out that I really liked the—there’s like a playlist integration part of it? So you can make a little running playlist and you kind of like try and sync it up with the time and that really kept me kind of interested. So I was like, okay, I’m kinda like, I’m kinda getting into this. I’m, y’know, making a new playlist for every run. That’s been really fun. And I also was not prepared for the, like, endorphins that come with running? I’m like, oh, it really like gives you some juice! It really like, y’know, it really is like a cup of coffee that makes you exhausted. [Biz laughs.] Yeah. And—

eliza

How much running do you have to do to get to that? [Biz laughs.]

jordan

So I feel like it kicks in for me at like 15 minutes in.

crosstalk

Jordan: I start to feel like—yeah, I know. Eliza: Oof. That’s a lot of running. [Biz laughs.]

jordan

And it’s very bad up until those 15 minutes, too. It’s very bad until that happens.

eliza

Yeah. I don’t think I can do that.

jordan

But so I was doing—and I’m like—so this—these endorphins kick in and you’re like, “Hey, this is like… I’m doing pretty good at this! I probably look like a majestic Pegasus! That’s probably what I look like when I’m doing this.” [Multiple people laugh.] “A windswept, Greek horse.”

biz

Yes!

eliza

Cut to the Gremlin. [Multiple people laugh.]

jordan

Yeah! Well. Cut to me doing a jog by a community center where there’s a reflective surface—

biz

Never look! Don’t look! Jordan, never look!

jordan

No. So apparently I am less a Pegasus and more a, like… yam on two little springs. [Multiple people laugh.] You know? Like, when you take apart a mechanical pencil and there’s those little springs? I—

eliza

It’s like, [goofy, spring-y voice] “Wockywock. Wockywock.” [All laugh.]

jordan

Yeah! And, y’know, in my head and, y’know in my headphones “Eye of the Tiger” is playing. So I feel like the song—

eliza

Just mocking you.

jordan

—to the outside world is [hums theme to Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk”] “Brr do do dah dee duh do da doo do!” [Multiple people laugh.] It’s “Baby Elephant Walk.” While fucking yam bounces down the street. [Eliza laughs.]

biz

So the fail was looking, right?

crosstalk

Biz: The fail was looking! The fail is not all the work and the effort. Jordan: The fail was looking, yes! No. I mean, hey. Exercise is great.

biz

It’s—never, never look.

crosstalk

Jordan: Never look. Biz: My mother actually used to—

biz

Like, whenever I would get, like, really bad haircuts and stuff? She would say things like, “You need to go stand in front of the mirror and you need to get used to it because you don’t want to be walking down the street and catch yourself off-guard?”

crosstalk

Biz: And see your reflection? Eliza: And be shocked?

biz

And feel like shit! And I was like, it was a jet-black pixie cut. It—she gave me good advice.

eliza

That’s… extreme.

biz

Well—it was. You’re doing a horrible job not using blinders in everything that you do out in the world.

jordan

Right. Yeah. [Biz laughs.]

eliza

But think about how happy you probably made everybody who got to see a little sweet potato!

jordan

Yeah! [Laughs.]

eliza

Jangling down the road!

jordan

“Look at that!” [Laughs.]

biz

I am—if I don’t see somebody draw a sweet potato Pegasus crossover—

crosstalk

Biz: I am going to be very disappointed. Jordan: Please do! Yeah! It me! I’m that! [Multiple people laugh.]

biz

Well good job actually [through laughter] doing it, because I’ve gotten lots of apps over the last couple of months and they are all immediately deleted. So… good—

eliza

That’s a nice gift you give yourself! I’d have them languishing there, mocking me, like “What about those 30 day abs you were gonna do, Skinner?” [All laugh.]

jordan

And sometimes it’ll give you the little notification? It’s like—“Ooh, maybe—”

eliza

“You haven’t ab’d in so long!” “Shut up, phone. You shut up!”

jordan

“Are you okay?” “Yeah, I’m fine.”

eliza

“Don’t forget to update your weight!” “There’s no update!” [Biz laughs.]

biz

“It’s the same.” [Eliza laughs.] Well, this—because it’s One Bad Mother—you’re doing a horrible job. I can’t tell you how many times we all have made the mistake of looking.

jordan

Don’t look!

biz

Never look.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother. This is a fail on top of a lot of other fails. But my four-year-old, who has quiet time every day in his room, he listens to podcasts during this time. That is a genius. But today I walked by his room and he was listening to My Favorite Murder, which—if you know— [Multiple people laugh.] —you know. That’s not appropriate for a four-year-old. [Sighs.] You are doing a good job. I hope everyone is safe and healthy. Bye-bye.

biz

Yeah… I’m not sure My Favorite Murder is age-appropriate for a four—it’s really more of a seven-year-old’s show?

jordan

The four-year-old’s probably just a fan of Karen from Mr. Show.

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah! Yeah. That’s— [Laughs.] That’s probably it. Jordan: Just a real ‘90s comedy dork.

jordan

And is like, “I wanna see what she’s up to!”

biz

I gotta tell you, there’s nothing worse than like walking by and like realizing that something you’ve left out in the world is now being really absorbed by your child, be it a podcast—‘cause lots of us share, y’know, it’s not like your four-year-old has their own iPad. They are pulling the pods—the podcast form your list! Right? So like, I have a few of those that I just had to make Katy Belle promise she didn’t listen to. [Jordan laughs.]

jordan

You stay away from that Dan Savage, young lady! [Multiple people laugh.]

biz

That’s right! Don’t listen to that. Ask your mother. Actually, listen to that.

crosstalk

Biz: That’ll answer all your questions. Jordan: Sure. It’s probably fine. Yeah.

biz

Probably better. But, y’know, maybe you are raising a super cool detective. That I—she could be the next—I don’t know any detectives right now. [Jordan laughs.] But she’s probably—

eliza

Columbo!

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah! Columbo! Jordan: The next Columbo!

biz

That—or a murderer. One of the two. But that’s really where we are as parents all the time. We’re either raising something great or a murderer. Well, you’re doing a horrible job, but you’re also doing a really great job.

music

“Mom Song” by Adira Amram. Mellow piano music with lyrics. You are the greatest mom I’ve ever known. I love you, I love you. When I have a problem, I call you on the phone. I love you, I love you. [Music fades out.]

music

Cheerful, upbeat ukulele with whistling plays in background.

biz

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promo

Music: “Baby You Change Your Mind” by Nouvellas. Rileigh Smirl: I'm Rileigh Smirl. Sydnee McElroy: I'm Sydnee McElroy. Teylor Smirl: And I'm Teylor Smirl. Sydnee: And together, we host a podcast called Still Buffering, where we answer questions like... Rileigh: Why should I not fall asleep first at a slumber party? Teylor: How do I be fleek? Sydnee: Is it okay to break up with someone using emojis? Teylor: And sometimes we talk about buuutts! Rileigh: Nooo, we don't! Nope! [Sydnee and Teylor laugh.] Sydnee: Find out the answers to these important questions and many more on Still Buffering, a sisters' guide to teens through the ages. Rileigh: I am a teenager. Sydnee & Teylor: And I... was... too. Teylor: Butts, butts, butts, butts butts! Rileigh: No... [Laughs.] Music: Baby, you change your mind Far too many times Over and over again Over and over again [Music fades out.] 

promo

Music: Fun, jaunty, upbeat music. Renee Colvert: Hi! I'm Renee Colvert. Alexis Preston: I'm Alexis Preston! Renee: And we're the hosts of the smash hit podcast Can I Pet Your Dog? Now, Alexis. Alexis: Yes. Renee: We got big news. Alexis: Uh-oh! Renee: Since last we did a promo, our dogs have become famous. Alexis: World-famous! Renee: World—like, stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Second big news. Alexis: Mm-hm? Renee: The reviews are in. Alexis: Mm-hm? Renee: Take yourself to Apple Podcasts, you know what you're gonna hear? We're happy! Alexis: It's true! Renee: We're a delight! A great distraction from the world! Alexis: I like that part a lot. Renee: So if that's what you guys are looking for... Alexis: Mm-hm. Renee: You gotta check out our show! But what else can they expect? Alexis: We've got dog tech, dog news, celebrities with their dogs. All dog things! Renee: All the dog things. So if that interests you, well, get yourself on over to Maximum Fun every Tuesday! [Music ends.]

biz

[Singing] Oh my gosh! I looove Eliza Skinner and Jordan Morris! Boop boop boop boop-boop, boo-boo! [Regular voice] Guys? I highly, highly recommend Earth to Ned. It is incredibly funny as an adult who really likes comedy watching this, and it’s also fun for the kids to watch. It really is something you can just put on and enjoy. Or you can put on for yourselves and if your kids wander in, that’s okay! And it makes me so happy to hear from Eliza that… she has this beautiful sort of control and promise to herself to bring on, y’know, nice people. Which—I am a fan of nice people. Speaking of things that I am also a fan of—I am a fan of the nice people who call in to this show to leave a breakdown.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mothers. I have a rant. I… rallied myself and my toddler to go to my toddler’s dentist appointment today. We got our masks, our hand sanitizer, all the rigamarole. Psyched ourselves up. Wasn’t something [through laughter] either one of us was looking forward to, but my thought was—we’ve been eating a lot of junk lately. Last thing I need is a cavity in a three-year-old. So we go to the dentist and find all the forms and social distance and did all the things. The dentist came out in effectively a spacesuit, which was upsetting, but we got through it. And at the end of the cleaning, the hygienist looked at me and [through laughter] asked me if I’ve been keeping up with flossing on my three-year-old daughter. And I’m sure you can guess what the answer to that is. No. I’m lucky if I’m able to brush her teeth. And the hygienist looked at me and said, “Are you working from home right now?” And I said, “Yes. Yes. We’re all at home right now.” And she said—hygienist says to me—“Oh, well then you can try and, y’know, during the day, why don’t you try flossing your daughter’s teeth?” As if it’s that simple. [Biz laughs.] As if it’s that simple to floss a three-year-old’s teeth on a normal day. But why don’t you go ahead and try and squeeze that in while you’re working from home full-time and watching your three-year-old daughter full-time all by yourself. Yeah. That sounds like a good time to try and floss her teeth. I, of course, did not say any of those things because I would like to go back to that dentist at some point in the future. [Biz laughs.] But I did just kind of smile and laugh hysterically and left. Anyways. That’s my rant. You’re doing a great job. I feel better getting this off my chest and I hope everybody’s hanging in there and staying safe.

biz

Oh my god. I love you. You are doing such a good job! First of all—we’re just gonna start with you rallied and got that—also—I’m sorry. You used the phrase “rigamarole,” and that makes me very happy. I love all the rigamarole! So you got that three-year-old to the dentist. Now, I mean, we all know that we have just been putting probably more garbage than normal into our children. Right now. ‘K? We just—there’s just not an opportunity for them to go somewhere [through laughter] out of our reach? ‘K? And now, they’re with us all the time and, eh, sure you could have a little of this. A little of that. So, y’know, the fact that you accepted that that’s [Through laughter] what was happening and that maybe you should try and get to the dentist is just—that’s just A+. That is just like some serious, next-level pandemic parenting in my opinion. Good job. You are just amazing! And— [Laughs.] Even under the best of circumstances, when someone that you don’t really know makes a comment that suggests you could be doing something that you probably haven’t thought of before—look. I’m not saying that sometimes people don’t say things and you’re like, “Holy shit, I hadn’t thought of that! That’s a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing that!” Right? But I was just—I’m just gonna say, usually if it starts with “Have you been flossing?” [Laughs.] Your three-year-old—you probably know what the answer’s gonna be. And it can really make you feel like you’re doing a shitty job. Even if that’s not their intention. And you add onto that the helpful advice of, “Well, since you’re home, you clearly have all this time to floss.” Like, I—it doesn’t make a great deal of sense? I can understand in theory, like, if you’re working it out on paper, maybe? “Let’s see—A+B—home all day, working; children are also in the house all day = definitely time for flossing.” I just think you handled it so well. The hysterical laughing and then running maneuver is beautiful and all parents should try and perfect it. And I just think you’ve got such a good grasp [through laughter] on your own sense of, like… “You know what? I’m doing the fucking best job I can right now. And I know that this person isn’t saying this at me, but I also don’t wanna explode at this person and… sure. I could—sure. We could all be doing a better job [through laughter] of flossing our children and ourselves. I get it. Alright?” But you’ve got this grasp… on… on all the things that go into this. And you’re doing—and that you’re doing a good job! Like, you really—like, I’m—whether you realize it or not, I think you’re recognizing that? And I just think that’s so… wonderful. [Laughs.] Yayyy! You’re doing so good! Especially not murdering somebody. Yayyy!

biz

Guys, what did we learn today? We learned that… maybe we’re all like aliens. Trying to make our way through this world right now. There are so many ways we’re still learning how to engage with others and… y’know, and our kids really do. I’ve talked about that on the show before, that it’s so weird watching my kids navigate the world. Take in information. Figure out how they’re supposed to process it and then how they’re supposed to turn that around and then put it back out? The show Earth to Ned, it— [Laughs.] Like I said, maybe it wasn’t their intention? I know that clearly Eliza was talking about their intention in creating this show was just putting a little good out there and some fun and some humor and… trying to help these aliens understand how to navigate human emotion? But we’re all actually trying to figure out how to navigate human emotion? And sitting there watching this alien do it with my kids really did feel like… they were maybe gaining some perspective that’s too hard for me to explain. So I—I just—kudos to Eliza and Jordan and all the writers on that show. It is on Disney+ now. And it’s delightful! We also learned—eh, kind of what we always learn. We gotta be mindful of what we say to others and we also have to take what others say to us with a grain of salt. Okay? Or I would actually prefer to take it with a grain of red wine or jelly doughnut. But take it however we can take it that doesn’t cause us to beat ourselves up all day about it. How about that? Let’s just—that’s what we’re going for here. Right?

biz

School has started. We’ve all had to make decisions or we’ve had decisions made for us when it comes to what that’s gonna look like for our families? And that alone presents plenty of… emotional… fatigue. Mm-kay, guys? While nothing that’s happening right now is normal, I think what is normal is… forgetting that we are tired. And that we are stretched thin. And that all of this is having a physical and emotional effect on us. Even if everything looks exactly the same around us, it’s not. And we need to be prepared when our bodies say, “Eh, we’re good! We’re good. We’re just gonna collapse now or have a raging headache or our shoulders are gonna hurt or we’re gonna just cry for a really long time?” Or maybe we’re gonna yell at people more than we would normally yell at people. Or like—this is… that actually is the normal thing that’s happening right now. And you’re all doing such an amazing job getting through it! I just… I just am so—I’m so impressed. So let’s just go out there and—as our rant caller did—just laugh hysterically. When something presents itself to us— [Laughs.] In which we would prefer to yell hysterically at somebody. Just laugh hysterically. “That’s nice.” I just channel my mother, who was just the queen of like the Southern—if somebody just said something incredibly stupid to her? She’d, “That’s nice.” And then she would just go on. Because like… she’s not gonna get into a discussion with somebody who’s, y’know, rude or an idiot or—or—or doesn’t understand her. Right? Like—most of the time, these are passing experiences. Not people we have to work with or lifelong friendships or something that really does need our attention to address. You’re all doing amazing! We are gonna take a week off. I realized Hannah and I had not taken any time off since all this began, and we just need a little bit of a break. Just one week! Just one week! That’s it. And then we will be back with you. So… you’re all doing a great job. And I will talk to you in two weeks. Byeee!

music

“Mama Blues” by Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans. Strumming acoustic guitar with harmonica and lyrics. _I got the lowdown momma blues_ Got the lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues The lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues You know that’s right [Music fades somewhat, plays in background of dialogue.]

biz

We’d like to thank MaxFun; our producer, Hannah Smith; our husbands, Stefan Lawrence and Jesse Thorn; our perfect children, who provide us with inspiration to say all these horrible things; and of course, you, our listeners. To find out more about the songs you heard on today’s podcast and more about the show, please go to MaximumFun.org/onebadmother. For information about live shows, our book and press, please check out OneBadMotherPodcast.com.

theresa

One Bad Mother is a member of the Maximum Fun family of podcasts. To support the show go to MaximumFun.org/donate. [Music continues for a while before fading out.]

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MaximumFun.org.

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Comedy and culture.

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—Audience supported.

About the show

One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast hosted by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. We aren’t all magical vessels!

Join us every week as we deal with the thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing.

Call in your geniuses and fails: 206-350-9485. For booking and guest ideas, please email onebadmother@maximumfun.org. To keep up with One Bad Mother on social media, follow @onebadmothers on Twitter and Instagram.

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