So I’ve been friends now with my screenwriting partner Scott Swan for about 22 years. When you know someone for that long, day in and day out, you’ve got a certain bag of party tricks that the other person sees a million times. With Scott, he’s got a long list of greatest hits, but one in particular is his signature, the big gun. He does an impression of Andre The Giant.
Not just an impression, though. He’s like a medium. He is Andre when he talks. It’s the craziest relocation-of-voice from an impressionist that I’ve seen. Professional or otherwise. It freaks people out the first time they see it, every single time. And even more impressively, immediately after that, 100% of them say, “Do it again!” It’s so strange that you have to hear it a second time. ANd a third. And a fiftieth. It’s endlessly strange and funny.
But years ago, I could tell Scott dreaded the moment when I would mention “the voice” to new people. So don’t tell anybody any of what I just told you about his amazing Andre The Giant impression, and for god’s sake, don’t ask him to do it. Ever. Please.
Point is, Scott eventually put the voice on embargo. And it only occasionally appears now, under the radar, without forewarning. It’s so much more fun that way, too.
It might be time for Tenacious D to consider that approach.
See, I’ve got real fan love for the D. I’m old school. I’ve been seeing their live performances as long as they’ve been giving them. I’m amazed how much better Jack and Kyle have gotten playing together over the years, and I’ve always been a big proponent of the live shows. The HBO show, the film, the TV appearances… none of that really captures the same thing that a live gig by the D does. I think it’s great that they filmed this particular show, the one they toured with around the time their movie came out, a big-venue full-band D tour unlike anything else they’d done. I’m glad they’ve got a good version of that show on the record now.
And the documentary that’s on the disc? A real surprise. It’s not just some blowjob puff piece about the guys. It seems to me to be very honest, almost unflinchingly so, about the real life dynamic of Jack Black and Kyle Gass versus the onstage relationship of JB and KG, the D. It’s raw stuff at times, especially concerning the box-office performance of their movie and the fame imbalance on talk shows between Jack Black, Movie Star and Kyle Gass, second banana. I really did appreciate the disc and enjoy it, and in BluRay, the concert footage is sensational, particularly the soundtrack.
But if this were the last packaged D material for a while… if they were to place themselves under embargo, let’s say… I think I’d find it a whole lot more satisfying to be a D fan again.