The Podfather Part 1 - Halloween
- Disclaimer: This summary is not intended as a substitute or replacement for this podcast or material such as The World of Karl Pilkington, rather it is intended as an archive for reference on its content and information surrounding it.
On 31 October 2006, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington released the first of a trilogy of podcasts known as The Podfather. This set of three was released for free as a thank you to fans of The Ricky Gervais Show podcast who paid for the last two series on iTunes and Audible.com. The podcasts were recorded in association with Guardian Unlimited and hosted by Positive Internet, who worked with the trio on the record smashing original series.
1. Karl Pilkington Believes In Ghosts, Is He An Idiot? (0:00:00)
Ricky welcomes the listener to this seasonal podcast. This is a thank you to everyone who paid for the last two series. Ricky is quickly interrupted by the sound of Steve's phone receiving a text message, at which point Steve proceeds to explain what's going on. This is a Halloween podcast and so Ricky and Steve have decided to once again discuss "ghosts an' that" with Karl. As part of this theme, Steve has sent a message to the number 63336 (a service called AQA: Any Question Answered') that will answer any question it is sent. Although Steve has sometimes asked it profound and enlightened questions in the past (to which he received some interesting responses), he has today decided to ask it to justify Karl's drivel. In response to the question: Karl Pilkington believes in ghosts, is he an idiot?, the service said, Unusually, producer Karl Pilkington is both an idiot and a comic genius. His humour is not to everyone's taste however. Ricky and Steve are impressed but feel the question about ghosts hasn't been answered. Steve sends another question: Do you believe in ghosts? While waiting for a response, Ricky prods Karl for his thoughts on ghosts. Of course Karl believes in them, although admits to never seeing one. Karl ponders why humans are here if there is no spiritual reason. Unlike bees, humans are more or less useless.
2. Bog Standard Old Woman (0:02:34)
Steve receives his answer from 63336: The existence of ghosts is not proven; many experiments have claimed to identify ghosts, but none have been scientifically sound. As with previous discussions, Karl claims that there is a lot to be said for getting weird feelings in certain places or at certain times. He remembers an incident from his childhood when he was in bed and got one of those feelings. He looked around and saw nothing, and so decided that if there was something there he didn't want to know. At this point, Karl heard a loud shriek and became disturbed. He ran downstairs and watched telly for a while to try and relax. The next day, a neighbour came around and informed The Pilkingtons that the old lady who lived next door, Hilda, had died. She died at quarter to eleven, the same time as the "weirdness" was going on. Karl notes how the weirdness stopped soon after quarter to eleven, so presumably Hilda's spirit found its way to wherever it was going. Ricky and Steve are dismissive but also curious as to why Karl's dad asked such an unusual question. Karl goes on to describe Hilda - she was a bog standard old woman. Ricky and Steve are highly amused. Karl attempts to elaborate, and describes a situation to help explain his point of view. When you buy a new apartment, and on the first night you see something moving about, it's a ghost. Ricky thinks it is more likely to be his cat Ollie. Would you prefer an old ghost or a young ghost? Karl would want a young one as it looks more normal. Karl has another question on the afterlife - if we're all old in the next life, who's going to do the "croppin'"?
3. Shut The Fuck Up, I'm Doing a Podcast! (0:08:50)
Karl has been for an ultrasound so that the doctors can check on his ongoing kidney stone situation. Ricky thinks it's routine, but Karl thinks it's major, causing Ricky to go off on a tangent on the amount of time Karl takes off either "on holiday or in hospital". Ricky mentions that he, Steve and Karl have a book out, The World of Karl Pilkington, and he is incredibly frustrated at Karl's lack of effort in its promotion. Karl went on holiday the first week it came out, had regular trips to the doctor and is frequently visiting family. On top of this, Karl has admitted he doesn't want to do press for the book as he finds it boring, but he defends his decision saying he has bought books without seeing any kind of promotion for them. Ricky simply thinks he is lazy. Karl has excuses.
4. Just Let Her Die (0:10:25)
Karl continues with his ultrasound anecdote. There was a woman in the hospital with Karl who was about 98 years old. He thinks she is too old to be operated on and should be left to die, much to the shock of Ricky and Steve. Karl got an eyeful in the waiting room as the woman was too old to properly close up her hospital gown. Karl likened the woman's backside to an "old chicken that hasn't been looked after". Karl believes that there is no point keeping people alive as the body cannot handle it. His old friends the insects offer valid proof, as they never look rough. Ricky protests, saying they only live four weeks, but Karl is adamant and thinks that perhaps humans should only live to be 40. Steve asks Karl that if that's the case, why did he have his surgery? The doctor offered Karl the chance to look inside himself when she was putting the tube up his nob. Karl thinks all this is pointless, and doesn't need to see inside himself. Karl thought the doctor was weird because she didn't make eye contact, and also thought it was weird that she spent more time looking in people than talking to them. Karl was annoyed that she wouldn't answer his questions. Ricky and Steve retaliate, claiming that she was trying to concentrate and if the roles were reversed and she pestered him while he was working, he would get annoyed.
5. I Started Lying to Them (0:15:02)
Ricky and Steve love to educate Karl. Upon Steve's triumphant return to Bristol, he was asked to give a speech to local children in an inner-city school about careers. Steve, a celebrated son of Bristol, of course obliged. He is, however, slightly annoyed that he isn't appreciated more in his home town. Steve anticipated speaking to some six-formers, but in fact he was speaking to nine and ten year olds. On his way to the school, he become worried because it had been a long time since he had interacted with a child of that age. One problem that he encountered was that the children had issues understanding what it was he did for a living. Also, they weren't sure who he was. Steve tried to discuss being a writer but quickly realised they weren't interested and so decided to lie to impress the children. When the subject of Steve's DJ career was brought up, he claimed to have met various pop stars in an attempt to sound cool. The kids don't care about BAFTAs or Robert De Niro. Steve is totally unaware of what kids at certain ages do and do not know. Ricky recalls a fable told by his headmaster (as mentioned in Politics). The headmaster picked a student at random and asked him to squeeze all the toothpaste out of a tube, which the child did. He then asked him to put it back; the student struggled and gave up. The moral is "it's easier to do something than undo it". Ricky thinks it's highly unlikely that children could grasp this metaphor.
Karl gets on with kids a bit. He has recently been made a godfather. Karl wasn't sure about it and originally said no. Ricky points out that his friends may be listening and could be offended to know Karl didn't want to be the child's godfather. Karl agreed but investigated what the job would involve. If all the baby's family dies, Karl must raise it. The baby is weird and doesn't blink. Blinking makes things look more friendly. Karl was telling the baby stories, much to the confusion of Ricky. Karl walked off before he finished the story because the kid wasn't bothered and he thinks the ending of stories isn't important. Steve asks Karl what would he change about the ending of The Elephant Man. Karl thinks there isn't much to change because he was doomed to a bad life with a big head. Babies can get away with being ugly though, as Karl recalls something that happened recently in a café. He noticed some woman going on about how beautiful her baby was - big eyes, big hands and big feet. Karl thought it looked like a frog. Something stopped Karl from saying this to her.
7. Brightening Up the Morgue (0:24:43)
Ricky has returned from America. Over there, Halloween is a major thing. Karl wonders if Halloween will be more popular when ghosts are revealed to be real. Ricky thinks that if it does become a proper holiday, it will be because of America's influence with such things as films and pop culture. Ricky isn't too excited about Halloween and was put off when, in Soho, he noticed a bakery with fake cobwebs and spiders on it, which he felt was inappropriate. Steve dislikes places where workers are forced to dress up on Halloween. Karl thinks it wouldn't be too bad in a morgue, but Ricky thinks there are certain jobs where light-hearted fun and humour are not appropriate. He recalls speaking to a funeral organiser when his mum passed away a few years ago. The person spoke very softly and was very politely. While describing what they wanted on the wreath, Ricky asked if they could get a discount because her name was short. The person simply said that they charge by the letter. Ricky tried again, claiming her friends would call her "E". But again, no laughter. Ricky recalls another incident. His friend was training to be a doctor, two older doctors asked him to change a patients drip, which he did. A few minutes later, the doctors came rushing out of the room shouting "what did you do?" to which he replied "I just changed his drip!" The doctors informed him that the patient was dead, but soon assured him the man was dead when he was sent into the room. Steve thought the joke was excusable because doctors must be accustomed to death as part of their job.
8. Hold on! You're NOT a Neurosurgeon? (0:29:18)
Karl heard about a doctor who was working on someone's brain. People need to be kept awake so if they hit something the person being operated on can say it hurts. Ricky and Steve believe it's because the brain needs to be active. Karl concedes and continues with the story. So this person was sitting down and having their head operated on. The surgeon cut the skin off, did the brain stuff, sorted out the problem and said "let's put the head bit back on". But unfortunately, a piece of skin was missing from the head. The doctor starts "rummanging" through the bin for it, thinking he must have thrown the skin out. The fella sensed the nervousness and asked what was going on. The doctor had to admit he lost some of the head. Eventually he found the missing head bit and in the end they were able to have a laugh about it.
9. Win Some of the Stuff Karl is Too Lazy to Talk About (0:33:30)
Competition time. Fans can win The World of Karl Pilkington book, the 3-CD set The Ricky Gervais Show - The Best Of (featuring bonus podcast) as well as the third installment of Ricky's award-winning children's book Flanimals - Flanimals of the Deep. To win these amazing prizes (jiffy bag not included), people must answer correctly the question: "Do you want 'em?" Answers sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and the winner will be revealed on the following show.
10. Steve Day In Bristol (0:35:43)
Ricky thanks the listener and informs them that the next podcast is available from the 23rd of November. This date is Thanksgiving, an important and widely celebrated American holiday. Steve and Karl don't know why that date in particular is being used for the podcast as it means nothing to them as Britons. Ricky feels that it is memorable for American listeners and thinks that arbitrary dates are easy to remember. Perhaps it should be called the "Day-Before-Steve's-Birthday Podcast" although Ricky feels that is no more memorable than Thanksgiving. Ricky gives a quick plug for the old podcasts and thanks Guardian Unlimited and Positive Internet.
Ricky: I've just bought a flat in New York, Steve's just bought a [new car], Karl got a new kitchen and had his boiler replaced... still not happy.
Karl: Hilda, she was your bog standard old woman.
Ricky: [Impersonating the eulogy at Hilda's funeral] Hilda was a bog standard old woman ... are we burnin' or burying?
Karl: Crops.. if you want..
Steve: Well, I would like to use the English language.
Karl': There's too much fruit about.
Karl: Why are they poking around [in a 98 year old]? Let her die.
Steve: It annoys me when I come off the train [back to Bristol], and I'm not met there like The Beatles were when they came back from America...
Ricky: By the mayor and a brass band.
Karl: If something doesn't blink, it's like it's evil.
Karl: There was some woman in a cafe the other week that I was sat in. She sat down with a mate and was talking loudly, going on about 'Oh, the baby's lovely! It's got lovely big eyes, and really big hands and feet!' Now that doesn't sound like a nice baby to me. I felt like saying it sounds like a frog.
Karl: Do you think Halloween will get more popular if they find out ghosts are real?"
Episode available for purchase via iTunes.
Do not inquire about free downloads.
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