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Not A Lot of Hair Metal

Apr 16, 2021
Originally published on April 16, 2021 4:17 pm

Timothy Simons (Veep, The Pole) and Theodore Bressman (The Pole) listen to hair metal songs rewritten to be about fictional characters who don't have a lot of hair.

Heard on Yo-Yo Ma: Civic Duty

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We're playing games with Timothy Simons and Theodore Bressman. Are you ready for another one? Are you ready for another game?

TIMOTHY SIMONS: I'm ready for it.

THEODORE BRESSMAN: Yeah, definitely.

EISENBERG: This is a music game, which means Jonathan is going to sing you the clues in the game called Not A Lot Of Hair Metal.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Right. So we rewrote the lyrics of classic hair metal songs to make them about fictional characters who do not have a lot of hair. So you will earn full credit if you tell me any of the following things - the name of the character that I'm singing about, the work the character comes from - which sometimes I actually mention in the lyrics...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: ...Or the title of the song that I'm parodying, or the artist who made the song famous. There's so many ways to win. Or just say the word library and you'll get a point.


COULTON: So you guys are going to work together on this one, so feel free to talk it out. OK. Here we go. Here's the first one.

(Singing) Welcome to the Matrix. Now you must decide. If you take the red pill, then I will be your guide. I will teach you kung fu but the truth is pretty odd. The world's a simulation, and your body is in a pod. That's just the Matrix. Welcome to the Matrix. So just come on with me.

SIMONS: OK. This is going to sound like I'm joking, but I watched both "Matrix" sequels last night.



BRESSMAN: (Laughter).

SIMONS: So - OK, you're talking about Morpheus.

COULTON: We're talking about Morpheus, exactly, from "The Matrix."

SIMONS: You're talking about - from "The Matrix."


SIMONS: And I don't want to go too far off here, but as a person who watched both of the "Matrix" sequels last night, I can tell you without reservation that those are two of the worst movies that I've ever seen.


COULTON: All right. I have to ask, did you know the name of the song that I was parodying in that question?

BRESSMAN: "Welcome To The Jungle."

COULTON: "Welcome to The Jungle." That's right. Guns 'N Roses.

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: All right. Here's another question. (Singing) I've only got one arm, but even so, I drove the rig down Fury Road, and I killed Joe. I found redemption, and I got to change and grow. And I think you'll agree. Although Max is here, you mostly witness me.

BRESSMAN: "Here I Go Again On My Own."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right - Whitesnake, the great Whitesnake.

BRESSMAN: Is it Charlize Theron's character from "Mad Max"?

COULTON: It is, yes.

SIMONS: That would be Imperator Furiosa.

COULTON: Yeah, that's correct.


SIMONS: So you guys aren't going to believe this.


EISENBERG: What? No. Come - OK, go.

SIMONS: But three nights ago, I watched...


SIMONS: ..."Mad Max: Fury Road."

BRESSMAN: (Laughter).

SIMONS: This sounds like I am joking.

COULTON: That's amazing.

SIMONS: But I am not. I watch Mad-Max: Fury Road - this is not a joke - once a month.

EISENBERG: It is - it's one of my favorite road trip movies.


COULTON: All right. This is the clue of this game.

(Singing) In the weird world of commercial part, he's a mascot who sure looks the part. Is he a genie? He's dressed head to toe in sparkling white. It's so ironic that my dreams at night are way dirty.

SIMONS: Is that "Sister Christian"?

COULTON: "Sister Christian," that's right.



BRESSMAN: I feel like Mr. Clean is like - what led to the creation of that character?

SIMONS: I actually didn't know it was Mr. Clean till the very last line. I was...


SIMONS: For a second, I was like, who's like the...

BRESSMAN: For the dirty dreams line?

EISENBERG: Yeah, what?

BRESSMAN: (Laughter).

SIMONS: Maybe I just revealed something about myself.


SIMONS: No, it was the idea of cleaning. I was lost in the sparkle. I'm not saying that the United States should license people to have children, but I do also want to say that I am allowed to have children, and I still don't know how a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works.

EISENBERG: I had - to be honest, I had my neighbor show me how to use one. She was like, these things are amazing. You've never used it? And she brought it over. And she was like, look at this mark on your wall. And she started doing it, and it just completely took the paint off. And I was like, get out of my house.

COULTON: You need to stop what you're doing.


EISENBERG: You guys did great in that game. Oh, just - I mean, thank you so much.

Timothy Simons stars in the SyFy animated series "The Pole," co-created and produced by Theodore Bressman. And the finale airs on April 21. Thank you so much for joining us.

SIMONS: My pleasure. This was really fun.

BRESSMAN: Thank you.


EISENBERG: After the break, I'll talk to cellist Yo-Yo Ma. It's awesome. He's awesome. And listening to this may even make you a better person. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.