Season 1 Episode Guide

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001 – Nanook of the North

Gift: Winter hat
Objet d’art: Battery Powered Bartender

Show Notes:

  • Back in the early days of the show, we didn’t actually record us watching the entire movie (I believed it would be too much footage to sift through and take up too much hard drive space). We would record chunks of it and then if there was a good riff while the camera wasn’t rolling, we would pick it up later. This practice ended with episode 3, where we just recorded the entire thing.
  • Matt makes Craig “look like a fool” through some clever editing – taking Craig’s various stutters and stammers and running them all together.
  • At the 10:31 mark the batteries in the field recorder died (unbeknownst to us) and so backup camera audio is used for the remainder of the episode.
  • This episode features a “rough mix” of the theme song. Mike later went and cleaned it up, and the new version was used in all subsequent episodes.
  • The ‘Welcome To The Basement’ corner graphic was created to hide a piece of equipment that was visible in the corner of the show. It has been used ever since.

002 – In The Mood For Love

Cold Open Topic:
Our first cold open. We basically talk about the awkwardness of the title of the show.

Gift: Heart-shaped box of chocolates
Objet d’art: Battery Powered Bartender

Show Notes:

  • Matt wears a very uncharacteristic tie and sweater vest for this episode.
  • First use of movie poster graphics in show
  • Craig buys Matt a gift (a white toy car). He gave Matt another gift in episode 3 but it was edited out, and he stopped bringing Matt gifts after that (until Ep. 013)
  • First use of the phrase “Old leather couch”
  • First instance of Matt making fun of Craig’s Bauhaus (architecture) references by singing the Bauhaus tune “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”
  • The movie was chosen as a tribute to romance and Valentine’s day.

003 – The Mack

Cold Open Topic:
First cold open where we talk about a topic different from the main subject of the episode. We discuss the dodgy pseudo-science of Revenge of the Nerds and Weird Science.

Gift: CD – ‘The Very Best of Willie Hutch’
Objet D’art: Tiger tobacco tin (at this point, Matt decided to stop using the Battery Operated Bartender for every DVD title screen and start to use other objects around the basement)

Seen It: (our first Seen It. Matt created the segment because he found himself responding to viewer suggestions for the with the words “Seen it” and he decided to do it on camera instead)
Best Worst Movie / Troll 2
Star Wars
Requiem For a Dream
Dr. Strangelove
Some Like it Hot

Closing Credits:
(First use of outtakes footage over closing credits)
Matt and Craig grooving on the couch to Willie Hutch music

Show Notes:

  • First use of the much reviled ‘Spoiler Redacted’ graphic (where Matt hides the ending of the movie from the viewers, encouraging them to go watch it instead. A lot of viewers were annoyed by this)
  • The movie was chosen as a tribute to Black History Month (which we missed).

004 – Great Mouse Detective

Cold Open Topic:
A Face in the Crowd
Andy Griffith dropping the F-bomb

Gift: Magnifying glass
Objet D’art: Bond Street Pipe Tobacco tin

Seen It:
American Beauty
Spirited Away
The Room
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
A History of Violence
Throne of Blood

Closing Credits: Matt and Craig watch and discuss the movie while Ernesto sits on the coffee table and looks around.

Show Notes:

  • Craig correctly guesses the movie from a few scant clues before Matt reveals it.
  • Matt breaks out his talking Tommy Wiseau bobble head during Seen It.
  • Matt talks about his appearance in the stage version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern  are Dead.
  • First use of the Ernesto stinger at the end.

005 – Paint Your Wagon

Cold Open Topic:
And Justice For All / Blowout
The 70s magnetism of Pacino and Travolta

Gift: Gold nugget bubble gum / a lump of fool’s gold
Objet D’art: R. Crumb ‘Pioneers of Country Music’ trading cards

Seen It:
Cool Hand Luke
Cinema Paradiso
The Princess Bride
Haxan / The Golem
Six String Samurai
Withnail & I

Closing Credits:
Matt wishes that Lee Marvin had tried to have sex with a horse in the movie.
Ernesto Stinger: Clint Eastwood singing “Gold Fever”

Show Notes:

  • Matt bait-and-switches Craig at the beginning of the show, by talking about gritty revisionist westerns and then telling him that “we’re not going to watch one of those…not enough singing”
  • First movie chosen based on a viewer suggestion (Wildie Wilson)
  • Debut of the “Top Secret” manila envelope
  • Matt and Craig come up with two new vocal warmups: “Ray Walston was wasted” and “Clint the cat”.
  • First viewer comment read in show.
  • First appearance of Seen It Logo (thanks Tona)
  • First use of unused riffing over credits
  • First time of using movie dialogue for Ernesto stinger at end
  • The last use (to date) of the ‘Spoiler Redacted’ logo. The annoying beep was replaced by a crowing rooster.
  • Withnail & I was also discussed in Ep. 004’s Seen It, but cut.

006 – Roman Holiday

Cold Open:
The Avengers
Craig’s love of New York architecture

Seen It:
(At the Theatre)
What Dreams May Come
Silence of the Lambs
The Matrix
Boyz N The Hood

Closing Credits:
A special news broadcast in English and Italian
Ernesto Stinger: “Bona Fortuna”

Show notes:

  • Our first themed ‘Seen It’
  • Matt’s second rendition of the Bauhaus classic “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” in response to Craig referencing the Bauhaus movement.
  • Craig is billed as “c. johnson” and much small than Matt in the credits in reference to Gregory Peck sharing top billing with Audrey Hepburn in the film.

007 – Top Gun

Cold Open Topic:
Proto-nerds and early hacker archetypes

Gift: Top Gun bookmark
Objet D’art: Muscle Men unopened blister pack

Seen It:
All Quiet on the Western Front
Grand Illusion
Synedoche, New York
Life is Beautiful

Closing Credits: Matt muses on a “Top Gun” inspired credits sequence for WTTB if they only had the budget.
Ernesto Stinger: A high-pitched Goose laugh

Show Notes:

  • First use of the “modern” credits sequence. The VO is based on Matt’s description of the show from episode 1, but was re-recorded.
  • The movie was chosen because May is traditionally the beginning of “blockbuster season”.
  • Aaron Yonda makes an unscheduled appearance in the show, bringing Matt a loaf of bread, which Matt proceeds to eat.
  • There is an additional outtake after the stinger, featuring Matt mispronouncing “you popped your Top Gun cherry”

008 – Megaforce

Cold Open Topic:
What won’t you watch?
Irreversible, Lars Von Trier and Scooby Doo

Gift: Megaforce Atari video game
Objet D’art: Little alien figurine

Seen It:
(A Salute to Bottle Movies)
The Breakfast Club
The Boys in the Band
My Dinner With Andre
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Closing Credits: Matt trying to pronounce “Guerera”
Ernesto Stinger: “B-de-bde-bde-that’s all folks!”

Show notes:

  • Matt has trouble pronouncing the name “Guerera” throughout the episode
  • Debut of the “Jazz End” theme. I had Mike compose some music for the top of the show, and I felt that what he came up with was more appropriate for the end of the show, so I sent Mike back to the drawing board to compose an opening theme.

009 – Fitzcarraldo

Cold Open Topic:
Matt reads a prophetic fan comment about Megaforce.

Gift: 8 Werner Herzog mini buttons
Objet: Bremer Rekord tobacco tin

Seen It:
Penn & Teller Get Killed
It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Dark City
Quest For Fire

Closing Credits: Matt proposes an alternate ending to Fitzcarraldo
Ernesto Stinger: “I want my opera house!”
Bonus Stinger: Tiger (the cat) makes a rare appearance, also screaming about wanting an opera house.

Show notes:

  • I wanted the ‘Megaforce Thumb Kiss’ to become a signature sign-off for the show, but it just didn’t happen.
  • This is the start of a 4 episode run of shows about “Auteur Directors”.
  • First mention of “America’s Caveman” Ron Perlman (Quest For Fire)
  • Two longish discussions were recorded for the cold open, but I was dissatisfied with them and they didn’t make it into the episode.

010 – Lost Highway

Cold Open Topic:
Movies that we hate.
Crash and The 5th Element

Gift: Vintage road map of California & Nevada
Objet: Toy gun

Closing Credits: A few outtakes from the couch
Ernesto Stinger: Mystery Man laughter

Seen It:
The Trollhunter
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
Four Rooms
Rocky Horror Picture Show

Show Notes:

  • The ‘RIP Tony Scott’ video was shot during this session (he was found dead the day we shot this). It was cut from the episode and released separately because Matt felt that it would no longer be relevant if it was released two weeks after the fact.
  • This is the only episode (to date) to spawn an additional video of further discussion.
  • Debut of the “Bluesy” theme – Mike’s successful composition for the top of the show. For inspiration, I sent him a Booker T. & the MGs slow jam.
  • Matt reprises his Alfred Hitchcock impression, which he first did in episode 006.

011 – Unfaithfully Yours

Cold Open Topic:
Fright Night / Maltese Falcon / They Live

Gift: Preston Sturges biography
Objet: Patterson’s Tuxedo tobacco tin

Closing Credits: Craig and Matt laughing at the movie
Ernesto Stinger: Slowed-down record player noises

Seen It:
(All Time Top Fives)
Miller’s Crossing
Passion of Joan of Arc
Blue Velvet
Stop Making Sense / The Last Waltz
I’m Not There
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Young Frankenstein
It’s a Wonderful Life

Show Notes:

  • ‘Lost Highway: Further Exits’ was shot at the beginning of this shoot. I had been obsessed with the film for a few weeks after watching it and wrote an essay on my interpretation of the film, which is basically the subject of the video.
  • The remakes conversation in the cold open was actually first shot during the Fitzcarraldo episode, but I was unsatisfied with it, so we tried it again here.
  • Matt reads our first viewer-composed poem (Samantha Neil).
  • First Seen It theme suggested by a viewer

012 – In the Name of the King

Cold Open Topic:
Wardrobe choices
‘Bug’ and the cult of Michael Shannon

Gift: Life in a Medieval Castle & Village Coloring Book
Objet: Turkish swordsman

Closing Credits: Matt and Craig laugh at hammy acting
Ernesto Stinger: “Give me the chicken!”

Seen It:
Clerks / Chasing Amy / Dogma / Zack & Miri Make a Porno
Meet the Feebles
A Clockwork Orange / Sid & Nancy

Show notes:

  • Matt mispronounces “Uwe” throughout the episode
  • “America’s Caveman” Ron Perlman makes a return appearance.
  • Ernesto shows up during the discussion and is prompted to give his opinion of Lost Highway. He stretches and says nothing (I was tempted to dub in the ‘Ernesto voice’ that he is known for, but it didn’t feel right).
  • Matt lambasts the film ‘Meet The Feebles’ in Seen It, and Craig pledges to watch the movie and talk about it next time. We end up discussing it briefly in episode 014.
  • At the end of the show, Matt sets up the Halloween episode: 6 movies for Craig to choose from, and he springs it on Matt for Halloween. He also gives Craig the next episode’s gift – an empty box. “The Gift of Choice”.

013 – Scanners

Cold Open Topic:
Costumes / Halloween episode

Gift: Anatomical chart of the human brain paper weight
Objet: Tombstone figurine

Closing Credits: Matt and Craig watching the final scene and cringing at the gore.
Ernesto Stinger: “Revock! Daryl Revock!”

Seen It:
(Scary Movies)
Blood for Dracula / Flesh for Frankenstein
The Thing
Carnival of Souls
Night of the Hunter
Shaun of the Dead

Show Notes:

  • Craig chose the movie for this episode from a selection of 6: Suspiria, The Innocents, Child’s Play 2, Fearless Vampire Killers, Scanners and The Wolfman. This is the first time Craig has ever surprised Matt with a movie.
  • Composer Mike Rafferty composed a special “spooky” version of the theme song.
  • Audience voting results are announced. Scanners was the top voted movie. The Innocents got 0 votes.
  • Craig is chastised for saying “The big leather couch” instead of “The ol’ leather couch”
  • Craig tries to “scan” Matt, who is protected by his paperweight.
  • Matt references the guard from Monty Python and the Holy Grail for a second time.
  • Matt has the same reaction to the “true father reveal” that he did in episode 012.
  • 4 Star Video Heaven gets a thanks at the end of the show
  • Matt checks in with Ernesto, who proceeds to “scan” him. Matt’s head explodes.

014: Putney Swope

Cold Open Topic:
We finally revisit ‘Meet The Feebles’. Craig admits to only watching about 20 minutes of it. We read a viewer comment that smartly sums up the film.
Matt admits to turning off Sacha Baron-Cohen’s ‘The Dictator’ halfway through. “The only offensive comedy is comedy that ain’t funny.”
Matt also says that S B-C “seems like a jerk”. Craig reveals that Mr. Baron-Cohen is hiding in the laundry room.

Gift: “First impression items” — lint roller and gum.
Objet: Fishbone ‘Truth and Soul’ CD

Closing Credits: Craig complaining about the movie over the closing credits
Ernesto Stinger: “Are you for surreal?”

Seen It:
Kick Ass
The 13th Warrior
The Commitments
Death At A Funeral (both versions)
Ed Wood
Ong-Bak: Thai Warrior

Show Notes:

  • After the opening credits, we cut back to the basement to see Matt and Craig bidding a farewell to Sacha Baron-Cohen and then realizing that Tona was not rolling the cameras during the meeting.
  • This episode came out right before the Presidential election. Putney Swope also features an election. Craig encourages people who are under 18 to go out and vote.
  • Matt admits to being stymied as to what to get Craig as a gift, and that he just picked up a few things at the dollar store.
  • Craig does his Michael Shannon impersonation again. Matt recommends ‘Take Shelter’ to the viewer who enjoyed ‘Bug’.
  • A viewer disparages Craig’s top 5 movie picks. Craig also gets a marriage proposal.

015: Song of the South

Cold Open Topic:
Vocal warm-ups
Mary Poppins
The creepiness of “Chim-Chim-Cheree”

Gift: Harmonica
Objet: Vintage Out-House toy

Closing Credits: Matt and Craig lip-syncing to “Laughing Place” (Craig is making a creepy puppet face)
Ernesto Stinger: Brer Bear laughing. There is also a caption with an arrow that reads ‘Brer Cat’.

Seen It:
(Seen It, Own It)
There Will Be Blood
Glengarry Glen Ross
Stardust Memories
The Thin Man
Reservoir Dogs

Show Notes:

  • Matt does a brief montage of non-Disney animators.
  • Our second Disney movie.
  • This episode was shot the day after the previous episode. We had a scheduling crunch because of various traveling conflicts.
  • Craig accompanies Matt on harmonica during his intro to the movie. Matt does a little dance.
  • Matt once again mentions his stage career and his appearance in Glengarry Glen Ross. Discussion of this movie was cut from a previous Seen It (episode 8).

016: The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years

Cold Open Topic:
Beowulf and Grendel

Gift: Heavy metal accessories (Bandana, fingerless gloves, studded bracelet)
Objet: Jim Beam bowling pin decanter

Closing Credits: Steven Tyler talking about having big lips
Ernesto Stinger: “Odin! Odin! Odin! Odin!”

Seen It:
(A Salute to Rock Docs)
Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
Don’t Look Back
The Mayor of the Sunset Strip
Gimme Shelter
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen

Show Notes:

  • Our first female filmmaker.
  • Craig and Matt dress up in Heavy Metal gear to watch the movie.
  • In Seen It, we talk about the biggest A-holes of Rock

017: Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure

Cold Open Topic:
Craig eerily enters the empty house. He goes downstairs to find Matt waiting for him with the shell game.

Gift: Craig gets to pick the first movie of the new season (revealed at the end of the show)
Objet: Santa ornament, red ball ornament, brandy glass

Closing Credits: Matt and Craig singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and then Matt mumbling after.
Ernesto Stinger: (farting)

Seen It:
(80s Cable Round-up)
Strange Brew
Maximum Overdrive
Red Dawn
Stand By Me

Show Notes:

  • Composer Mike came up with a “Christmas” version of the song.
  • Matt and Craig randomly choose from 3 different movies for “3 Film Monte” – ‘Miracle on 34th St’, ‘Rare Exports’ and ‘Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure’.
  • Matt officially designates B.C.A. as the worst movie ever watched on Welcome To The Basement.
  • Matt plugs his appearance on ‘The Realm of Possibility’ Podcast.
  • Craig gets choked up when talking about Stand By Me.
  • Matt gives Craig a Christmas Card with a heartfelt message that he is forced to read and kind of gets choked up again.
  • The wrap up of the show is interrupted by loud plumbing noises.

3 Responses to “Season 1 Episode Guide”

  1. Tony Trout

    I love these show notes!

  2. terry the censor

    I am writing from a bilingual country:

    > Objet

    When there are several objects, shouldn’t the category be plural, “Objets”?

    Also, Peter O’Toole thinks he’s Jesus in “The Ruling Class.” His greedy relatives try to cure him. Unexpectedness ensues! I saw it in a theatre many years ago (practically alone) and I have yet to meet anyone who has seen it. Criterion recently put out an edition. You HAVE to do an episode on it! Or at least tell me that you have SEEN IT!

  3. Hosting

    ; Victor Moore’s signature comic drawl is so exaggerated, the guys begin to worry if the character is drunk or recovering from a stroke.


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