I want to go to Los Angeles for quite possibly the saddest reason possible: to attend a taping of the podcast “How Did This Get Made?” It’s hosted by Paul Scheer (The League, NTSF:SD:SUV, Fresh Off the Boat), his wife June Diane Raphael (Anchorman 2, NTSF:SD:SUV, Grace and Frankie) and Jason Mantzoukas (The League), and at least one celebrity guest every episode. They watch bad movies, and make fun of them, although they don’t always dislike the supposedly terrible movies they watch. When they first started doing the show they were just like any other podcast, taping from some sound studio or someone’s living room. However, they now tape most of their episodes at live events in either Los Angeles or New York City, and it always sounds like so much fun, particularly the way audiences have developed a very knowing back and forth with Mantzoukas.
Of course, the show is called “How Did This Get Made?” and they do quite frequently look at the history of the film they’re mocking, though not usually to truly answer how it got made but instead for funny behind the scenes trivia which will inform their jokes. For example, Stephen King apparently does not remember directing the 1986 movie Maximum Overdrive because he was doing practical mountains of cocaine at that time, and after learning that particular factoid Mantzoukas does a hilarious impression of a coked out Stephen King at various points in the “How Did This Get Made?” episode for Maximum Overdrive.
Recently, “How Did This Get Made?” has expanded beyond being a mere podcast. They now partner with writer Blake Harris and SlashFilm.com to publish unique, brand new oral histories for each film the show mocks. The oral history for the strange Whoopi Goldberg movie Theodore Rex is a particular must-read.
But how did this all start? Paul Scheer and Co. have been doing this so long that when June and Paul had their first child together last year fans of the show sent them home knit clothes for the baby. While there are other “watch and mock bad movies” podcasts which have been around longer or have more episodes, the fact that “We Hate Movies?” is actually made by professional actors/writers who’ve been on major TV shows helps it stand out a little more. It all started, as it turns out, when Scheer couldn’t get over his problems with Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. He recently relayed the “How Did This Get Made?” origin story to KCRW’s The Spin-Off:
When Scott Auckerman started doing “Comedy Bang Bang!” on the radio [and then later as a podcast] we’d come on and do bits. It was fun. This idea of a podcast was new. No one really talked about podcasts. Scott was like, “Do you have an idea?” I didn’t have an idea. Everything I had was an intensive idea. It just felt like, “Oh, that’s hard, that’s hard.”
One night, Jason, June and I were all sitting around at a party, and just kind of shooting the crap. I was talking about Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, and I was joking about how weird this movie was and how unnecessary it was. At the end of the conversation, Jason was like, “That’s a podcast.” I was like, “Oh, yeah.” When I asked what should we call it we thought, “How Did This Get Made?” We just came up with this idea right there in the moment. I went to Scott with the idea, and he was like, “Great, let’s do it.” That was it. It was the early days of podcasting. We had fun doing it. It wasn’t for money. It wasn’t for anything. It was just for the pure joy of doing it. We have become tremendously successful, and it’s been crazily fun to do.
You can listen to “How Did This Get Made?” on Stitcher or anywhere else you get podcasts.