Ra(Tan) Lines – Hello From the Magic Tavern

Ratan Varghese - 2A Electrical
Posted on: January 14, 2017

Hello From the Magic Tavern is a podcast about buttholes. Well, not really. It is actually about a derp named Arnold Kniekamp (please call him Arnie) who falls into a dimensional portal behind a Burger King into the fantastical, magical land of Foon and proceeds to ask the inhabitants about their poop-chutes.

Well, not exactly.

Arnie is joined by Chunt, a shapeshifter who is currently in the form of a badger, and Usidore, a wizard with an infinite number of alternate names. Together they interview the magical creatures in a local Foonian tavern, and send the interview to us Earthlings via the ever-reliable Burger King WiFi. Yes, crap-gaps did often come up as a topic of conversation in earlier episodes. The sex lives of princes and pixies alike were (and still are) constantly put under the microscope. Turns out that while Foon is magical, it is actually not that medieval, except for all the knights, monarchies and child death.

Listen in today and you might not catch all the in-jokes, such as the fact that Arnie is a total derp, the well-thought out tax code of the Dark Lord, and words that have a different meaning on Earth and on Foon (Foonish is a lot like English … for some reason). You won’t feel too left out given that every other detail of Foon is a joke. The email addresses used to contact the cast were chosen as a joke (although they are totally legitimate email addresses). If “Earth Stuff” is mentioned probably there’ll be a joke. If something seems serious but doesn’t involve loss of life, there is probably an elaborate pun system in the making.

The main cast doesn’t change that much: they grow to respect each other very slowly and only a very little bit. The recurring characters change even less: as the series drags on more strange hijinks and alternate universes have infiltrated the show. The mysterious psychopath who speaks at the beginning and end of each episode claims that this is a work of fiction, but plot progression only exists for side characters who show up thrice a year. Our noble heroes have their posteriors firmly planted in the tavern chairs. How long can the world-building go until Usidore faces the Dark Lord and Arnie finds a way home? Probably a really long time, to be honest. They’ve recently started a paid-access spin-off show where the characters play a tabletop game about a world exotic to Foonish standards: Offices and Bosses. If such a marginal detail can form an entire separate podcast, then Hello From the Magic Tavern could well last several more years.

If there are other flaws, the production team is more aware of them than I am. An aforementioned mysterious man rips the cast a new feces ejector at the start and end of every episode. Meanwhile I laugh at even the most juvenile quips and crass puns they put on air. To each their own.

Hello From the Magic Tavern updates weekly and each episode lasts 30 to 45 minutes. The cast sometimes appear at live performances … far away from Waterloo. All in all, makes for some fun bus rides.