After its box-office-record smashing weekend, everyone was talking about Avengers: Endgame, and the cast of Conan was no exception. On Tuesday, the late-night host discussed Marvel’s latest smash hit with his sidekick Andy Richter. Andy had a slightly different moviegoing experience than the rest of America:
And that is why you never go to the movies at the Homonym on Wilshire. It was a cruel lesson for Richter, but it’s also an inspiring business model for the rest of us. If The Asylum has been able to lurch along since 1997 with a direct-to-video model based on homonyms and misunderstandings, there’s no reason consumers wouldn’t want to get ripped off the same way, but with popcorn. Why yes, this does seem like a good place to embed the trailer to Independents’ Day:
I am a sucker for any joke in which two people believe they are taking about the same thing, but very much are not, and Richter’s moviegoing mishap is a good execution of that basic structure. But it’s still a sketch: both Richter and Conan are working from a script, slowly leaking out enough information to make the premise clear, and both men know that they’re making a joke. The best execution of this structure, now and probably forever, was Jon Hendren’s legendary discussion of Edward Snowden on HLN, in which he got host Yasmin Vossoughian to unwittingly help him pull off the same bit. Wait for it:
It’s hilarious watching Hendren string Vossoughian along, but on rewatching, I realize his version of the joke is slightly hampered by the fact that he plays fast and loose with the details. There’s no waterbed or topiary in the movie, which is about a low-budget film director trying to make an epic about the North African campaign of the Roman Civil War. I should know—I saw Ed Wood: Caesar’s Sands at the Homonym just last week.