Sarcastic Voyage - Radio Plays - Citizen CrotchHarold Webster King is dead, and only Mary Madison can uncover his secret crime-fighting past
- Citizen Crotch is, we hope, an enjoyable comedy/adventure story on its own, but it’s also a sort of Rosetta Stone where we firmly establish that most, if not all, of Sarcastic Voyage’s sketches, serials and radio plays exist in the same shared universe. Longtime listeners may recognize many of the references, characters and easter eggs we featured throughout Citizen Crotch. What follows is a more-or-less definitive list of them all, as well as some other fun little tidbits about the story.
• Prominent Crotch Boy Junior was one of the first sketches we ever did on Sarcastic Voyage. Premiering in episode 121 (August 2011), it was a parody of overly expository old radio shows, particularly The Shadow. In the iteration we presented here (which, obviously, forms a pretty substantial portion of the backbone of Citizen Crotch), we tried to hit some different jokes that we didn’t do that first time. It was also my hope that, by opening with this, we could trick some longtime listeners into thinking we were actually doing an entire feature-length production of PCBJ. (We would never do that. Probably.)
• Mary Madison was the protagonist/co-protagonist of our last two radio plays, Bury the Lead and Kill the Front Page. In the former, we discover that the city in which she lives is no stranger to the supernatural as she exposes a mayoral candidate as a werewhale. In Citizen Crotch, we discover that, in 1910, a young Dorothy Rosseau partially opened a rift that allowed some of “God’s mistakes” to escape. Rosseau returned to encourage further chaos in 1946, exposing Harold King to madness-inducing forces, thus explaining his somewhat erratic behavior in Kill the Front Page. It is also revealed that Mary was fired from her newspaper gig following the events of Kill the Front Page.
• Harold King’s costumed crimefighter (referred to internally as The Crotch, though that name never actually appears in the script itself) solves his problems with guns, which is pretty much how every hero from the “Golden Age” got things done. King himself was obviously based on the titular character of Citizen Kane, played by Orson Welles, who also played The Shadow, upon whom The Crotch is based. We’re so fucking clever. Also, something we didn’t realize until after we started immersing ourselves in the source material: The Shadow actually wore a false nose for some reason. Hence our little scene where Polly invents Groucho glasses. (Sadly, a scene where she’s confronted by the real-life Groucho Marx didn’t make the cut.)
• Champs McGovern, Mary’s young research assistant, would go on to ignore his mentor’s advice about broadcast journalism and became the resident newsman at SVFM. A consummate professional, he quietly endured the juvenile antics of shock jocks Cooter and the Bear, but also celebrated their eventual termination.
• Rick Threefold, the old-timey radio announcer, has been a recurring SV character for just over a year now. In name, he’s based on legendary announcer Dick Tufeld, though the voice is closer to somebody like Gary Owens. He was heard performing as the narrator for The Adventures of Slap Strongarm, but was fired when that show merged with The Radio Adventures of Matt & AAlgar in 1954 under suspicion that he was a Communist. Just after the events of CC, as the new owners of King Worldwide began to slash the budget, he was briefly the host of the ill-conceived radio show Consolidated Heights.
• Polly Margot was the voice of Dottie in the original Radio Adventures of Matt & AAlgar, as well as its 50s revival as a space adventure. She also produced both shows. The former was loosely based on adventures of the real-life M.U.C.U.S., similar to the FBI’s “true crime” shows of the same era. The latter was canceled when Harold King sold the King Worldwide radio network. Polly’s role as The Crotch’s sidekick was lifted pretty much exactly from her namesake (Margot Lane) in The Shadow. Poor Margot was obviously crazy about The Shadow. She did most of his dirty work and, in return, she got nothing. Seriously, there’s very little exaggeration in our depiction here.
• King Worldwide was purchased by Nick’s grandfather and remains a family-held asset, a fact that will be revealed in the very next chapter of the current Nick and Willikins serial, The Omce and Future Nick. It was rechristened SVFM, and is the current home to a number of radio shows, including Mysteries of the Unexplained with Aaron Faucet, The Noontime Artist Spotlight and This American Tragedy (both hosted by Glenn Irons), Pet Chat with Alabama Strange, 11:20 Hindsight with Jack Flashback and Mikey After Midnight. They also formerly employed Cooter and the Bear.
• Harry Houdini was, in actual life, a famed debunker of the supernatural. The irony of bringing him into our story as a ghost was too delicious to pass up.
• Dorothy Rosseau’s army of pirates was played by Seattle-based comedy troupe Day Job (Caitie Auld, Kara O’Connor, Nicole Santora, Molly Tellers). The needs of the scene dictated that I bury their contribution under a lot of other auditory chaos, which is a damn shame. Kara and Nicole would go on to contribute regularly to Contentment Corner.
• The implication of Rosseau’s mystic meddling is that she’s the cause of all the supernatural stuff that happens on Sarcastic Voyage. The sounds that emanate from the portal are, essentially, a chronological montage of supernatural SV sketches. In order, they are:
- T-Dro says “I seen him!” (a reference to Golizza)
- the oddly jaunty-yet-ominous Winchester Tires jingle
- the monster under the bed asks “is he hot?”
- Count Chocula refers to himself as “the breakfast vampire.”
- the witches from The Scottish Sketch do their famous chant
- the ghost of president Warren G. Harding tells us his middle name
- Frankenstein’s Monster is his usual, eloquent self
- the krampus roars
- Lucifer reacts to something “sinful”
- the cleaning genie refers to someone as “O Master of Lemon and Pine”
- the Destroy Your Dreams Fairy announces herself
- a vampire asserts to another vampire that they’re vampires
- the Dutchelsdroon Goblin
- the Werewolf of Bedburg reveals itself
• The Colonel has appeared in dramatized form in episodes of Radio Adventures. But the “actual” Colonel has appeared as well — as Willikins’ father. Confirmation that these are indeed the same man came in The Omce and Future Nick.
• Oh, and the invisible ink in King’s journals? Totally semen. Just one of several stealth dick jokes that appear throughout Citizen Crotch. You’re welcome.
• Mary would eventually “retire” to Contentment Corner, where she lived out the remainder of her life editing a small-town newspaper.
• In retrospect, this story ended up being a bit too complicated than we might have liked, and if we had it to do over, we'd probably have simplified the presentation substantially. But it was an important step toward the sort of stories I wanted to tell in this world and part of point of experimenting is that sometimes you might fail. I wouldn't call Citizen Crotch a complete failure, but I'll bet we could do it better. (We won't try, because ever forward. But we could.)
Duncan Boszko - Lloyd
Mark Boszko - Chester
Danielle K.L. Grégoire - Mrs. Montgomery
Nathan LaJeunesse - Champs
Brian Lynch - The Colonel
Caitlin Obom - older Mrs. Montgomery, Dorothy Rosseau
Josef Ravenson - Harold King
Matt Rowbotham - Prominent Crotch Boy Junior
Sabrina Snyder - Polly
Jason Wallace - The Ghost of Houdini, Police Chief Jones
Ron “AAlgar” Watt - Rick Threefold, Thug
And as the pirates, Day Job (Caitie Auld, Kara O'Connor, Nicole Santora, Molly Tellers)
Written & directed by Ron “AAlgar” Watt with Amanda Smith
© 2015 AAlgar Productions