Comic Book Men Q&A - Brian Quinn of Tell 'Em Steve-Dave

Brian Quinn, friend of the Secret Stash and co-host of the podcast Tell 'Em Steve-Dave, talks about his off-the-wall claymation holiday film, Making Clay, and what Impractical Jokers-esque pranks he would bring to the comic book store.

Q: Can you talk a little more about Making Clay? In the episode, you say it's more important than your family!

A: [Laughs] I was caught up in the moment. I have to correct that and say my family is definitely more important than the claymation movie.

Q: The footage in the show looks pretty bananas, but you say it's a holiday movie. Where does the holiday part come in?

A: Well, the stories that make up the claymation movie are based on an episode of Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave, where Walt challenged us to come up with new holiday stories. Bryan Johnson came up with one that involves a demon-like figure that comes if children are bad, and it cuts their limbs off. [Laughs] It’s like Krampus to the extreme.

Then, for my story, mine came from how I get really annoyed with the commercialism of the holidays. I hate when people hang up lights for the holidays. It really irritates me, and I feel like people are just doing it as a cry for attention. So I came up with this idea of the “dangling saint,” a guy who was so depressed by everybody else making a big deal out of the holidays that he hung himself. And now, if you hang up useless lights or really over-celebrate a holiday just to make yourself look good, his hanging corpse will fly over you and poop on your head... So you can see we’re really working with high-brow stuff here.

Q: How did you all come up with the idea for using claymation?

A: It was all Walt! Walt came in one day and said, “I want to do this.” Walt is really an unsung creative genius and when he sinks his teeth into something, it’s usually spectacular.

Q: When will we be able to see it?

A: When it’s coming out, I don’t know the answer, but you can always find anything having to do with us at My schedule is pretty crazy, their schedule is pretty crazy, but we make it a point to sit down every week and record an episode. It’s very important to us. The claymation movie is not more important than my family, but Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave definitely is.

Q: Do you have a favorite segment that you do on the podcast?

A: Walt comes up with games, like old-school game show type things, and I get very excited when we play those. His masterpiece is “One True Three,” which I’m sure is a rip-off from some game from the '70s. You have to tell three stories from your life -- and the weirder the stories the better -- but only one of them is true. Everyone can ask you two questions about each story to figure out which one of them is true. Ming Chen has the weirdest stories; it’s unbelievable.

Q: And you’re also on the show Impractical Jokers, which just started its fifth season. How did you get started doing that?

A: The guys from the show and I have been friends since high school. We shot a mini-episode “sales tape” of the show on an iPhone and then we pitched it to truTV and they bought it. It was deceptively easy. We were in the right place at the right time, but we’d been working on those videos for years. We like to say we’re a 20-year overnight success.

Q: What’s one of the best pranks you’ve done on Impractical Jokers?

A: I used to be a fireman with the FDNY and we had this game we would do to the new guys. When we went shopping in a grocery store, we would take balloons -- like a Dora the Explorer balloon -- and see how many we could clip onto the new guy’s fire gear as they walk around the store, without them knowing, and then everyone has a good laugh. They did it to me too when I first started. So I took that game and put it on Impractical Jokers.

Q: Do you think the Stash would benefit from more pranks?

A: [Laughs] I don’t know if Ming could take it. I think there would just be one target of all of those pranks and I think it would be cruel to hand him over to that.

Q: If you thought Ming could take it, what would be the first prank you’d propose?

A: I wouldn’t do it on Ming, actually, I would do it against Walt. I’d probably get a mock-up of an ultra-rare comic, and hire an actor bring it into sell it, and then have Ming spill coffee all over it and see Walt just go off.

Comic Book Men airs Sundays at Midnight/11c.

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