Want Your Asses Blown Out'! MORIARTY Sings Praises Of TENACIOUS D MOVIE Script!!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
JACK: Let’s... kick it. I’ll say “kick it,” and you’ll just kick it with a tasty groove, okay? One... two... three... kick it. (pause, during which Kyle decidedly does not kick it) Kick it. (pause, during which no kicking of it commences) Come on! Goddammit! God, Kyle, could you one time kick it?! What the fuck?!
KYLE: Jack, don’t put it all on me. I’ve been sitting here... waiting.
JACK: Okay, we’ve got a crucial Clutch Cargo gig coming up, Kyle... you COCKSUCKER! YOU DON’T GIVE A SHIT, AND I’VE BEEN SITTIN’ AROUND, GETTIN’ SICK OF YOUR ATTITUDE, YOU FUCKER!! YOU FUCKIN’ BITCH!!
It may not be “Who’s On First?”, but then again, Tenacious D doesn’t conform to anyone’s idea of the average comedy team. Hell, they might not even be a comedy team. They may just be, as the title page of their script calls them, “The Greatest Band In The World.” They are Jack Black and Kyle Gass, individually, but together, they are Wonderboy and Nastyman, KG and JB, The D, able to rock your motherfucking ass off on command.
I sometimes forget that Tenacious D is still essentially a cult phenomenon, unknown to the masses, a mere rumor in the mainstream. Jack Black certainly seems to be building a head of steam as an actor on his own, due in large part to his turn as Barry in HIGH FIDELITY. It was a starmaking part, no doubt about it, and I’ve got my fingers crossed for ORANGE COUNTY, the film that Jake Kasdan (THE ZERO EFFECT, FREAKS AND GEEKS) is currently directing him in. Something like SAVING SILVERMAN can’t disrupt his heat, thankfully, since not enough people saw it, and since it wasn’t considered “his” film, per se. Besides, it’s been a full decade of character work, with memorable moments along the way, and he’s survived both WATERWORLD and I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER.
Maybe you’re like me and you noticed that twitchy, hollow-eyed young Republican who was following BOB ROBERTS around. Even in films like THE CABLE GUY, where he’s got less than five minutes or so of screen time, he still manages to make an impression. He’s always been willing to play up his almost cartoonish charisma in films like MARS ATTACKS! where he and his asscrack try to save the world from Martian invasion using an American flag. When he does do serious work, as in last year’s exquisite little JESUS’ SON, he’s very effective. Still, it took HIGH FIDELITY to put him on the radar for most people, and I can understand why so many critics sounded almost shocked as they described him in their reviews of the film. From the moment he makes his first appearance dancing wildly to the sounds of Katrina and the Waves to his final, surprisingly soulful performance of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” he owns every second he’s onscreen. Think about that... this is a guy who steals scenes from John Cusack, a classic scene-stealer from way back. Whether it be some off-hand crack about Cusack’s “Cosby sweaters” or the way he tortures co-worker Todd Louiso in the film, Black makes you laugh. It doesn’t matter how big an ass he is, or how arrogant he seems. There’s something about him that suggests that he’s allowed to be arrogant, that he’s fully justified in being an ass, and that final performance would seem to back that up.
If you’ve never seen Black perform live, then I pity you. He’s Belushi before the drugs got hold of him. He’s raw energy, all explosion and charisma and barely contained madness. He is so amazing that he can take something as simple as the exchange that started this article, entitled “Kickin’ It,” and turn it into a life or death struggle for the very soul of musical integrity.
The first time I saw Tenacious D was on HBO. One night after MR. SHOW ended, there was a fifteen minute episode of a show called, simply, TENACIOUS D. I sat hypnotized by it, not sure what I was watching or where it came from, and by the end of it, I knew I was a fan.
The show detailed the daily struggles of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, the two creative giants behind the greatest unknown band in the world, Tenacious D. From the first frame of the show, we as an audience are simply supposed to accept that they are the greatest band in the world. It’s obvious that both Kyle and Jack have resigned themselves to greatness long ago. It’s almost a burden for them. In the song, “Cosmic Shame,” they even talk about how hard it is to be the ones who got stuck with all the talent. It would be absolutely insufferable...
... except they rule. At first glance, it doesn’t seem possible. KG is balding, with a blank little-boy face and an undeniable pear shape, and JB is a sort of satyr, a randy, unkempt goatboy who looks at times like he’s hiding a basketball under his shirt, but who wields his belly like a weapon. The moment they start to play, though, the joke becomes complicated. These guys are great. But they're also relentlessly, almost breathtakingly, dirty. And their stage show is just plain bizarre. They’re likely to have guests like Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Sasquatch, or even ol’ Webhead himself, Spider-Man.
Their songs are endlessly self-referential when they’re not downright surreal. Personally, I think ”Tribute (To The Best Song In The World)” and ”Sex Supreme” are both classics, and I could recommend any of a dozen other songs that you can find for download at Sidehatch.com, the unofficial official Tenacious D Website. There’s an album coming this summer from Dreamworks Records, and I’m jazzed about that. I’ve got about 40 tracks from these guys in my hard drive that I’ve downloaded over the last year, and I just don’t get tired of listening to them. There’s something really special about how good they are at the music, how Jack manages to be a great singer even while singing about the craziest, most inappropriate things possible.
One of the first and most obvious comparisons to arise when discussing The D is The Blues Brothers. That act was more than just a simple joke. If John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd had just put on dark glasses and suits, there’s wouldn’t really be anything to it. Anyone can do that. But The Blues Brothers was a real band, assembled under the care of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE bandleader Paul Schaffer, featuring some of the great session players of the ‘60s, guys like Donald “Duck” Dunn and Steve Cropper and Matt “Guitar” Murphy. When they played “Soul Man” or “She Caught The Katy,” they meant it. Belushi never gave anything less that 100% as a singer when he performed as Jake, and the joy that John and Dan got from playing the characters and playing the music was evident from the moment they first showed up on SNL. There’s no question that THE BLUES BROTHERS stands as the greatest film to be based on characters created on SNL. It’s in a class by itself. Part of that is because John Landis was at the top of his game, managing to make a genuinely funny character comedy, a raucous car stunt chase film, and a great movie musical, all wrapped up into one.
In bringing the exploits of KG and JB to the bigscreen, writers Scott Aukerman and BJ Porter face a considerable challenge. My first fear when I recently had Mongo track down a copy of TENACIOUS D - THE GREATEST BAND IN THE WORLD for me at the offices of Working Title Films (we were in London for a bit of skullduggery) was that it would be too inside, too much of a joke just for fans of the show, and that there wouldn’t be potential to open up the world for new viewers. Thankfully, I was wrong, and I am now officially dying to see what happens when Universal, Red Hour Films (Ben Stiller’s company), and Working Title finally make this movie. It’s such a strange and delirious piece of writing that I found myself unable to shake my smile as I flipped each page. This is a comic world where anything can happen, where physics and logic and narrative convention don’t really matter, and Tenacious D are somehow, improbably, the masters of all they survey.
As the November 7, 2000 draft opens, we are “HIGH UP IN THE SKY,” where “a nude man, WONDERBOY (JACK BLACK) flies through the clouds, surveying the Earth with a protective eye.” At the same time, the opening chords of “Wonderboy and Nastyman” begin to play. As Jack sings in voice-over, we watch Wonderboy as he watches over his kingdom, perching upon clouds, enjoying the peace of the wide open sky.
”High above the muckey-muck, castle made of clouds/There sits Wonderboy, sitting oh so proudly/Not much to say when you’re high above the mucky-muck. Yeah!”
His solitude is interrupted by Nastyman, played by Kyle, “dressed in a form-fitting spandex suit with lightning bolts across the chest.” An epic battle unfolds, and as we watch them fight, the song builds to its big finish, and we suddenly find ourselves in a small coffee shop, where most of the patrons are busy ignoring them.
It’s open mic night, but The D doesn’t care. They give it everything they’ve got, and at the end of the song, they’re rewarded by a frenzied round of applause from Lee, their #1 fan. They’re hustled off the stage by the manager of the coffee shop, who’s horrified by their near-constant profanity and the sheer aggressive strangeness of the act. They’re used to it, though, and take it in stride, refusing to let it set them back. “Kage, let’s stick to our path,” Jack says. “We play coffee shops for now. And in the meantime, sniff around for opening slots on major stadium tours.”
They go home to the standard fare of the struggling artist, some of the old mac & cheese, and the comic rhythms of the script are quickly established. These two are constantly going off on one another, back and forth. It’s exactly the way real creative partners are after a while. You get so used to each other that you’re always riffing, always testing one another. This particular back-and-forth starts with Jack taunting Kyle about being “the world’s greatest energy conservationist” after watching him refuse to answer a phone that’s a foot away. It escalates into a full-blown musical number that leads to their discovery of a new club, the perfect place for them to hone their craft. They’re rejected the first time they try to get in, but Kyle sets to work figuring out a way in.
Jack, meanwhile, has a vision of Atlantis and Wonderboy and Nastyman, and sets out to research and write a major song about the sunken continent. At the library, he finds all the books on the subject have been claimed already by “a very pretty, spunky-looking girl, SIMMEON.” Right away. Jack is smitten with her. Kyle’s a complete dick until Jack points out how hot she is, at which point it’s Kyle who asks her out, setting up the conflict that inevitably has to drive Tenacious D apart. See, part of the act is that Kyle quits the band every night, only to be wooed back just in time for the ”Song Of Exultant Joy”, a celebration of just how great it is to be The D. The movie stays true to form, setting them up for the epic Tenacious D fight to end all fights. Kyle’s a total ass about dating Simmeon, treating her badly and talking shit about it to Jack, who is obviously head over heels in love with Simmeon, and just when it looks like they’re about to work out the situation, they bump into Ronnie James Dio. That encounter is what sets up the rest of the movie, featuring a cross-country trip to Miami, real Atlanteans, reincarnation, gay hobos, conniving truck drivers, possession, nasty three-way sex, a side trip straight out of a film noir, The Justice League Of White America, and songs... lots of Tenacious D songs.
The most important thing to determine is who’s directing this film. In the right hands, this is PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE or THE BLUES BROTHERS. In the wrong hands, it’s two really strange obnoxious guys playing some very odd songs. The script is fall-down funny all the way through, and any tweaking that has been done since this draft can only have helped to tighten it. It’s a very particular tone, though, and it’s going to take a deft comic touch with a keen visual sense to pull the movie off. I’m impressed by how ambitious it is, though, and sincerely hope it works. If so, then forget about ever getting into a gig like the one they’re playing on my birthday (May 26th) in North Carolina this year. It’s already next to impossible to get tickets for any gig they announce in LA, and I’ve only seen them once, thanks to a very good friend who pulled some strings and got me and some henchmen into an Actor’s Gang benefit at the House of Blues last year. It was amazing, and reading this script, reflecting back on that show, remembering how into it the crowd was, there’s no doubt that The D is ripe for success. Just how big they’ll end up being all depends on how this excellent blueprint is translated to the screen.
Special thanks to FugitiveAlien.com, the wonderful Sidehatch.com, and the IMDb photo gallery for all the photos of JB and The D in this article.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
April 6, 2001, 6:26 a.m. CST
Between the D movie and "Run, Ronnie, Run" the world will soon know the truth. I, for one, embrace this coming age of enlightenment.
April 6, 2001, 6:29 a.m. CST
Its so funny that this came up. We've been on a major Tenacious D kick at work recently. Tenacious D rocks!
April 6, 2001, 6:33 a.m. CST
I cannot wait for this movie to happen almost as much as I can't wait for Run, Ronnie Run to come out! D rocks! But whats up with that link to Tom and Nichole in the text? Whoa.... proud to be first for the power of D!
April 6, 2001, 6:36 a.m. CST
My favorite movie he starred in was that spy-fantasy movie with Henry Thomas back in 1983 or so. I can't quite remember the name of it. Kidding aside, Black was the only thing that made High Fidelity worth watching. He's a funny, talented jerk.
April 6, 2001, 7:11 a.m. CST
The D has been knockin' my socks on their asses for years, and they should be breakin' out, poste haste. JB's been kickin' ass since he stole the show as 'Augie' in "Airborne". Now that's some powerful acting. And KG? He's silent, but deadly. "When KG and I get together...the ideas, they just blast forth. Bleeding together like wine. Like wine."--JB
April 6, 2001, 7:15 a.m. CST
...Jack Blck is funny and stuff and surely a talent but really, this obsessive, bordering on the creepy, geek-worship that means everything that bears their name has to be revered with a kind of hahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahah duuuude how cooooool overdrive to it is frankly a little alarming. No, the bove excerpt is certainly NOT Who's On First, in fact I dont know what the comparison is doing there anyway - but its not really Spinal Tap either is it. Just because they're funny people doesn't mean that everything they doo is funny regardless of its specific merits. Hope it will be funny though. More overkill than uber-cool would be a bad thing. So lets hope it's not just a funny guy doing lame "its frustrating being in a band" routines - elongated sketches from SNL stylee.
April 6, 2001, 7:18 a.m. CST
by Homer Jay
There are 2 kinds of people in this world...people who get Tenacious D and those who don't. There have been more than a few times where I have tried to show someone the magic that is TD and have been met with blank stares. Chances are, if you're a Tenacious D fan, you're also a Mr. Show fan, a Pee-Wee fan, and a Ren & Stimpy fan.
April 6, 2001, 7:37 a.m. CST
The D kicks ass, and I can't fuckin' wait to see this movie. Moriarty, I thank you for writing the story, but I do have one comment. Why didn't you mention the absolute genius that was the pilot episode of Ben Stiller's doomed sitcom, Heat Vision and Jack. It starred Jack Black and Owen Wilson and was absolutely hilarious. I guess I'm still biter that FOX never picked it up, but it still deserves props any time somebody mentions Jack Black's, Ben Stiller's, and Owen Wilson's bodies of work. History will remember it as the best sitcom to never air.
April 6, 2001, 7:38 a.m. CST
How's it going? I am definately flowin. Great essay Moriarty. Without question, you are the best writer on the site. I'd take a bullet for Tenacious D. ROCK!
April 6, 2001, 7:41 a.m. CST
I too, fell in love with the D when I accidently caught them on HBO. I simply cannot wait for this movie.
April 6, 2001, 7:46 a.m. CST
Hey, I've been a fan of Black since Airborne as well. This guy has some potential and will make a mark in Hollywood. Just as long as he doesn't go the way of Candy, Belushi, and um, yeah I guess Farley. But what's up with Dio (foondio). He has been predicting his death for the past 15 years! Oh, well maybe his time will come. Looks like I'm gonna have to subscribe to HBO even though I can't some of their other programming. Or does anyone know if these are out on video. Huh, huh, anyone, anyone....
April 6, 2001, 7:47 a.m. CST
In a world of stupid fucks, KG and JB reign supreme. Long live Wonderboy and Young Nastyman!!!
April 6, 2001, 7:51 a.m. CST
April 6, 2001, 7:55 a.m. CST
"are there any more stuff?" I have been on Jack's jammy since Bob Roberts and I'm SO ready for this movie. "whatever you say, Chip!" I've got my D video memorized even better than I ever had the Young Ones memorized, and that's sayin somethin, boy. (P.S. Take it all off, Fat Gwyneth!! Everything but the fat!)
April 6, 2001, 8:03 a.m. CST
What is up with the Tom and Nichole link. Someone took their dissolved marriage pretty hard. I wonder what kind of values the Church of Scientology was instilling. Do you have free love? Do you wait for aliens to come and abduct you to the 'promised land'? Or do you believe in Gaea being the all-powerful being and we are there children? Does Roswell coincide with anything?
April 6, 2001, 8:36 a.m. CST
That last post? Not funny.
April 6, 2001, 8:39 a.m. CST
Referring to Film Threat as if it was still in print? Now, that's funny.
If you've never heard of them, download some of their music--it's actually really good. I am very excited. I heard that their HBO shorts are coming to DVD next month. Anyone know any details about this? Any extras? Also, I heard that John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) plays Sasquatch. I don't know if it's true, but I like to believe it. Good ole Sassafrass.
April 6, 2001, 9:06 a.m. CST
Where did you read about the DVD?
April 6, 2001, 9:07 a.m. CST
Getting my ass blown out would be a special thing, like hitting a tin cup shot in Genesis golf. *tin cup*
April 6, 2001, 9:09 a.m. CST
Thats the site I got the info on the DVD--it was a tiny blurb, didnt give any details, so Im not certain if it's true. If you're a D or Mr Show fan, you should check out that site. Lots of downloads.
April 6, 2001, 9:15 a.m. CST
congratulations to CROUTON for identifying the great Reed Rothchild as Sasquatch! And no offense meant to the always witty gtakeirocks, but I'll tell you what's a fading nineties thing: Howard Stern worship! Jackie probably quit to go follow the D.
April 6, 2001, 10:17 a.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
It's about two stoners who get a pass to visit their dead friend Rog in hell. Reunited, the trio of buds meet the late Don Simpson, producer of TOP GUN, BEVERLY HILLS COP, FLASHDANCE and the terror of the Hollywood sexual service industry. He's the kind of guy our heroes admire. They team up with Don to help him crash a party at Aleistir Crowley's villa overlooking the River Styx.
April 6, 2001, 11:08 a.m. CST
It is so obvious that Jack Black's best performance was in AIRBORNE...nuff said...peace out to all you Cossssssby Sweater wearing mofo's!!!
April 6, 2001, 11:55 a.m. CST
Does anyone else remember Jack's appearance in the family show "Life Goes On"? He played a Neo-Nazi skinhead who beat up an HIV-positive character. Of course , drama ensues when Jack's character has a daughter and is confronted and urged to get tested. I don't know what season it was, IMDB doesn't even list it, but it was definitely him. If someone were industious enough, they could find out what episode it was. On the "Run, Ronnie, Run" tip: Caught David Cross live here in L.A. Tuesday night. What a surreal show. I won't fill bandwidth describing the whole thing, but it ended with a group reading of "The Vagina Monologues" juxtaposed with letters from TV Guide.
April 6, 2001, 11:57 a.m. CST
By and by, I've been trying to find 'The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome', but it seems no local video has in stock.
April 6, 2001, 12:32 p.m. CST
The "Life Goes On" episode was called "Incident on Main" and was from the '93 season. This here internet thing is pretty darn handy. ;-)
April 6, 2001, 12:47 p.m. CST
1. I saw the D in DC after a couples years of re-watching the HBO episodes. It was one of those live music experiences that makes you smile for weeks after. Bow your heads! 2. At a Phish show I saw in Irvine, CA, Trey Anastasio said that he was honored to be in CAli, home of the three bands in history better than Phish: Zappa, Van Halen and Tenacious D. The place went berserk. -------->SPOILER FOLLOWS:::::::::::::::::::>>>>>> 3. At a guitar shop in my hometown, the techs are working in secret with a graphic designer on the custom-art Gibson SG to be used in the film (for those who don't know, that's the model of ELECTRIC GUITAR that Angus Young in AC/DC made famous). The graphic portrays the sinewy arm of Satan tossing KG and JB into the fire.
April 6, 2001, 1:53 p.m. CST
Notice that Lee is wearing a beret too. A fine moment.
April 6, 2001, 2:36 p.m. CST
by Homer Jay
I never thought I'd see a reference to that show made on this site. My personal favorite episode was when Corky moved in with his girlfriend and got homesick. He forgot his toothbrush and curled up in a corner in the fetal position absolutely spazzing and screaming, "I WANT MY TOOTHBRUSH!!" I laughed about that for weeks. (Yes, I know I'm going to hell.)
April 6, 2001, 4:10 p.m. CST
I'm standing in line already, baby. Kyle's fingers be silver...Jack's voice then be gold!
April 6, 2001, 4:37 p.m. CST
What happened to Bob and Dave writing the D movie script? Are egos a-clashin'? BTW, Neo, Lately they've been selling HeatVision VCDs on ebay.
April 6, 2001, 5:28 p.m. CST
Black reminds me of Collin Malone and vice versa.
April 6, 2001, 6:01 p.m. CST
I downloaded it at fugitivealien.com (Is it not there anymore?). It wasn't as great as I had hoped. It was funny, dont get me wrong, but it not nearly as great as the D--its kind of lame sometimes too. The title sequence is hillarious as is his catchphrase ("I know... EVERYTHING!"). Plus, JB without KG is just plain wrong.
April 6, 2001, 10:17 p.m. CST
It's about freakin' time. It's all about KG JB and me. I want this script...now dammit now!!!
April 6, 2001, 10:27 p.m. CST
Even though I know KG and JB hate that reference, they are more like Smothers Brothers than the Blues Brothers. Lest we forget, TD is an acoustic rock duo, not blues singers with a big band behind them.
April 6, 2001, 11:54 p.m. CST
April 7, 2001, 5:29 a.m. CST
These guys did. Sounds cool.
April 7, 2001, 6:31 a.m. CST
by gah rides again
Is a reference to one of the many introductions the D insists on before they perform.
April 7, 2001, 11:52 a.m. CST
Written by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Basically combines every conspiracy theory known to man into a comic mishmash of cosmic preportions. Trilogy of books (The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple and Leviathan) usually collected in paperback form (I have the hardcover). SHOULD be a high budget trilogy, IS an underground classic for Discordians everywhere.
April 7, 2001, 1:46 p.m. CST
Have you ever had your ass waxed? It hurts, but then it feels good... really good. Check it out! History of TD (SNL - May 2,1998)
May 14, 2001, 8:16 p.m. CST
Can't I have anything nice? I haven't seen these guys yet much to my utter dismay. Now they are going to super sell-out before I even got a chance to see them, and now only people who are string-pullers will get to see them. Crapulence is all this is. Pure and simple. First the Landcruiser, now this.
- Is this our first look at The Thing from Josh Trank's FANTASTIC FOUR reboot!?! -- 133 total posts 118 posts
- "The walrus is far more evolved than any man I've ever known...present company included." Trailer for Kevin Smith's TUSK has arrived! -- 63 total posts 54 posts
- Nordling Reviews GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY! -- 50 total posts 50 posts
- SDCC '14: James Gunn to write and direct the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY sequel!! -- 96 total posts 44 posts
- Capone believes HERCULES does a Rock-solid job demystifying and reinforcing the myth!!! -- 44 total posts 44 posts
- Capone can't decide if Luc Besson's LUCY is a dumb movie about smart people or a smart movie about dumb people. Whatever it is, he still mostly digs it!!! -- 32 total posts 32 posts
- UPDATED! Has Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE Casting Search Gone To Phoenix? -- 268 total posts 31 posts
- Footage of discarded concept art, interviews with Tim Burton and Kevin Smith, and Nicolas Cage in flight in this trailer for THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN LIVES! -- 124 total posts 28 posts
- Patrick Wilson drops out of ANT-MAN!! -- 112 total posts 24 posts
- Learn Which STAR TREK Icon Joins GAME OF THRONES Next Season!! (Hint: Not Nimoy!!) -- 20 total posts 20 posts