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This That Or The Other: Hacker, Mushroom, Anime

Mar 5, 2021

Story writers of Judas and The Black Messiah Keith and Kenny Lucas decide whether each clue is a pseudonym of a real hacker, a mushroom, or the name of an anime.

Heard on Eddie Huang & 'Judas And The Black Messiah' Writers: Who Tells Your Story.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Our next two contestants are comedians, writers and twin brothers. Their Netflix special is called "Lucas Brothers: On Drugs," and they have been nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for their movie "Judas And The Black Messiah," which is out now and streaming on HBO Max. Please welcome Keith and Kenny Lucas, the Lucas brothers.

KENNY LUCAS: Hey. Hey.

KEITH LUCAS: Hey, what's up guys?

KENNY LUCAS: Hey.

KEITH LUCAS: How are you? How are you?

KENNY LUCAS: Hey, thank you guys for having us.

EISENBERG: All right.

KEITH LUCAS: Thanks for having us.

EISENBERG: Great, thank you. So unbelievable accomplish - you have a new movie, "Judas And The Black Messiah." And this is the true story of the murder of a Black Panther activist...

KENNY LUCAS: Right.

EISENBERG: ...Fred Hampton.

KENNY LUCAS: Right.

EISENBERG: So what was the process like when you were just pitching this film around, trying to get people interested in it?

KENNY LUCAS: I mean, it was a...

KEITH LUCAS: It was tough. Those early pitch meetings were brutal. I mean, and I think it's in large part because we didn't have a ton of experience going around town and pitching, so I don't think we really, like...

KENNY LUCAS: Yeah, our...

KEITH LUCAS: I don't think we sold it well enough.

KENNY LUCAS: Our only frame of reference for pitching in Hollywood...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KENNY LUCAS: ...Was "Seinfeld," The Pitch.

(LAUGHTER)

KENNY LUCAS: That's the only thing we - that's the only evidence we had. We were going to do it like George and Jerry. We were going to go in there and knock them out, and they're going to give us a sitcom deal. It didn't work out that way.

EISENBERG: And the film is getting some Oscar buzz.

KENNY LUCAS: Right.

EISENBERG: So what's - like, what's your approach to this? Are you the kind of people that when this day rolls around, you'll, you know, just do your own thing and then maybe wait, or will you be glued to your computer?

KEITH LUCAS: No.

KENNY LUCAS: No, no, no.

KEITH LUCAS: I'm not going to be glued to my computer.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

KENNY LUCAS: I'm going to tell myself that life's going to be all right without the Academy Award, and...

(LAUGHTER)

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Of course. Of course. You know what, though? You should buy tuxedoes anyway, just in case.

EISENBERG: I think so, yeah.

KENNY LUCAS: I know. I am. Right.

KEITH LUCAS: I'm just going to get a tuxedo just to have one, right?

COULTON: Just to have it.

KEITH LUCAS: It's time.

KENNY LUCAS: I need a tuxedo.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And I just, you know - I think they're available and probably on sale. I'm just saying.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTON: Now's the time.

KEITH LUCAS: I hope so.

KENNY LUCAS: Today's the day.

KEITH LUCAS: Now's the time to get a tuxedo.

EISENBERG: Yeah, I'd get a couple.

COULTON: (Laughter) Yeah, get a couple.

EISENBERG: Never can have enough. One's dirty, and you got to wear another one the next night.

KENNY LUCAS: How many tuxedos are too many? You know what I mean? Like, is there...

COULTON: Yeah.

KENNY LUCAS: Is there a number?

EISENBERG: Excellent question.

KEITH LUCAS: I don't think you can ever have too many tuxedos.

KENNY LUCAS: That's fair. That's fair.

COULTON: I can't think of a number of tuxedos that's too high.

KEITH LUCAS: How many tuxedos do you think Frank Sinatra had?

KENNY LUCAS: A lot. A lot.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KEITH LUCAS: A lot, right?

COULTON: Exactly. Exactly.

KEITH LUCAS: Couldn't even count, so.

EISENBERG: I would love to fact-check that. If we find out that it's one and just...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, who would ever know?

COULTON: He rented every time.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's real dumb.

EISENBERG: All right, so we have a couple fun games for you. Would you care to dive into some escapism and play some trivia games?

KEITH LUCAS: Oh, yeah.

KENNY LUCAS: Of course.

KEITH LUCAS: Oh, yeah. The time is now.

EISENBERG: OK, so this is a version of one of our favorite games, which is called This, That Or The Other. We're going to give you a name or term, and you just have to tell us which of three categories it belongs to. Jonathan Coulton, what are today's categories?

COULTON: Today's categories are aliases of real-life computer hackers, types of mushrooms or titles of anime series.

KENNY LUCAS: Oh, God.

EISENBERG: OK. Keith, the first one is for you. Psychedelic Warlord. Is that a hacker, a mushroom or anime?

KEITH LUCAS: Geez, it could be either of the three. I'm going to go with anime.

EISENBERG: Excellent guess, but I'm sorry, that is incorrect.

KEITH LUCAS: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: It is actually a hacker. It's this - not only any hacker, it's the pseudonym used by Beto O'Rourke.

KEITH LUCAS AND KENNY LUCAS: Oh, wow.

KEITH LUCAS: Wow.

EISENBERG: Yeah, when he was in a hacker group that was called The Cult Of The Dead Cow.

KENNY LUCAS: Nice. Nice.

EISENBERG: Beto - I mean, that guy was in a band.

KENNY LUCAS: Yeah.

EISENBERG: He was in the hacker group.

KEITH LUCAS: He's led an eccentric life.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KEITH LUCAS: He's a weird fellow.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Yeah.

KENNY LUCAS: (Laughter).

COULTON: All right. Kenny, this is for you.

KENNY LUCAS: I'm ready.

COULTON: Destroying Angel - hacker, mushroom or anime?

KENNY LUCAS: OK, I'm going to go with mushroom.

COULTON: Yeah, you're right. It is a mushroom.

KENNY LUCAS: There we go (laughter).

COULTON: Yeah, well done. It is actually one of the world's most poisonous mushrooms.

KEITH LUCAS AND KENNY LUCAS: Oh, wow.

COULTON: It has a sort of wing-like shape, which is how it gets its name.

EISENBERG: Keith - "Black Clover."

KEITH LUCAS: I'm going to go with - I'm going to go with anime.

EISENBERG: Yes, you are correct.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: You did it.

KEITH LUCAS: Yes.

EISENBERG: That's a - it's a fantasy series about two friends, one with untold magical powers and one without any at all.

COULTON: (Laughter).

KEITH LUCAS: That sounds like a tough friendship right there (laughter). Wow, man.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah.

KENNY LUCAS: That's right.

KEITH LUCAS: The imbalance.

(LAUGHTER)

KEITH LUCAS: Can't go to the club with that dude.

KENNY LUCAS: (Laughter).

COULTON: All right, Kenny, here's one for you.

KENNY LUCAS: OK.

COULTON: Susy Thunder.

KENNY LUCAS: Oh, hacker.

COULTON: (Laughter) Yeah, you're right.

KENNY LUCAS: Yeah.

KEITH LUCAS: (Laughter).

COULTON: It's the alias of Susan Headley, a hacker who worked with a group called the Cyberpunks in the '70s, and '80s. And she...

KENNY LUCAS: She used her first name in her hacker name?

COULTON: (Laughter) Yeah, I know, it's...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It was the '70s. People were like, I don't know. What is a hacker?

COULTON: Let it all hang out, man.

(LAUGHTER)

KENNY LUCAS: That is crazy.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Actually, being a cyberpunk in the '70s - what are you breaking into, calculators? Like, what are you doing?

KENNY LUCAS: Right, right.

COULTON: You're hacking into the computer.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. You did great. Who won?

KEITH LUCAS: Yes.

EISENBERG: All of us. All of us won.

KENNY LUCAS: We're all winners. We're all winners. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.