Transcript #256

MuggleCast 256 Transcript

LeakyCon 2012
Chicago, Illinois
August 10, 2012

Show Intro

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Andrew: This week’s podcast is brought to you by, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: We have Selina Wilken.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Selina [unintelligible] the past few episodes you have probably heard her. See, people clap for you, Selina. Don’t worry.

Selina: [laughs] Thank you.

Eric: Wait, guys. Aren’t we missing somebody?

Andrew: Well, this seat is reserved for every MuggleCaster who has died – no.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: [laughs] Who we wish could be here but just can’t be here. That includes people like – who are they? I forget them already.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I just delete them from my head. Jamie…

Micah: Kevin.

Selina: Laura.

Micah: Laura.

Andrew: Kevin, Laura, who are these people? Matthew? I don’t know who that is.

Eric: Mikey, Matt…

Andrew: Mikey, Ben…

Eric: Oh, Ben.

Andrew: Ben, too. We miss all these people.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Oh, hey Ben!

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Hello!

Andrew: Last year you were wearing a hotel staff T-shirt, so I see you came better dressed.

Ben: I have a MuggleCast skirt.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: It’s big enough to be a skirt.

MuggleCast Celebrates Seven Years of Podcasting

Andrew: Speaking of these shirts, actually, these are really cool. They were designed by Stephanie Falcos, right?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Yeah, she’s done the shirts for the past few years for us. Now unfortunately, guys, there aren’t any shirts to sell or for us to give out, sorry, this year. We just had to get them for the panelists. We do have one shirt, though, which we will be giving away later in the show for an audience member, so we’ll have more details about that later. If you like the shirt, it’s a seven-year design because we’re celebrating this month…

Andrew: Seven years, as was noted at the opening ceremony last night, along with PotterCast.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Thank you. Yeah, it’s very cool to think that we’ve been doing this for seven years now. I know it was Ben, Kevin Steck, and I who did the first episode, and then Eric…

Ben: Way back in the day.

Andrew: Yeah. And then Eric joined on, and then Micah joined on.

Eric: And Jamie.

Recap of LeakyCon Events

Andrew: Yeah. So, good, good stuff. But getting back to the con, was anybody here at last night’s opening ceremonies?

Eric: Opening ceremonies?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: But not just the opening ceremonies. Then there was also Maureen’s Midnight Movie. [laughs] Did anybody go to that?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: What was the movie?

Andrew: Well…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I had heard it was going to be (500) Days of Summer or something, and then I see everybody going down – it was really Maureen’s 12:45 Movie, it wasn’t Midnight Movie. But – so it ended up being [laughs] Breaking Dawn: Part 1.

[Scattered cheers from the audience]

Andrew: [laughs] But they did commentary, so it was pretty funny. Did anybody go to that here?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Okay. Yeah, and also, thanks for getting up early for this. This was at 1, and then they pulled – yeah, they pushed us ahead. And then Evanna’s appearance as Luna – no, sorry, as Katniss.

Eric: Katniss.

Andrew: That was really funny as well.

[Someone in the audience cheers]

Andrew: We put a picture up on Twitter, on the MuggleCast Twitter. Micah and Evanna [laughs] were taking a very nice picture together.

Micah: And then you got in the back and photo bombed it.

Andrew: Yeah. I don’t know, I just thought it was cool. So, one of the things – I assume most of you listen to MuggleCast.

[Scattered laughs from the audience]

Andrew: We usually start with the news. So, Micah, what’s in the news this week?

Micah: Ummm…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: We didn’t plan that. I just wanted to see what he would do.

[Audience laughs]

Micah: Too early, too early.

The Casual Vacancy Release Parties

Andrew: The Casual Vacancy, we wanted to talk about because it’s the most recent thing, and one of the things we wanted to talk about was – sorry, I just realized there’s people over here, too. Hello, everybody over there.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Hello, everybody over there.

Andrew: Hi. [laughs] One of the things we wanted to talk about was The Casual Vacancy. The book is going to be released at 8:00 AM GMT – this was a recent news story – which is [pronounces “green-witch”] Greenwich Mean Time, I believe?

Eric: Greenwich.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: Greenwich.

Andrew: Greenwich. And – 8:00 AM that time. That’s 3:00 AM Eastern and 12:00 AM Pacific. So, that means – what I’ve been clamoring for – Casual Vacancy midnight release parties: West Coast, baby.

[Someone in the audience cheers]

Andrew: Let’s go. Now, I’ve raised this question before. Would – let’s see a show of hands of people who would actually go to a midnight release party for J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book…

Eric: Post-Harry Potter

Andrew: Post-Potter book, The Casual Vacancy. Okay, that’s a good number of people. Would you guys go to midnight release parties?

Selina: Absolutely. Not – just because it would give us a chance to reconnect with all the Potter fans, if anything.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: I started going to midnight release parties when I was like twelve, so I think it would be cool to do that again.

Andrew: Do you feel like it should continue with J.K. Rowling’s books, or are we just desperately holding on?

Ben: Are we chasing the hive…

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: …from Harry Potter?

Andrew: [laughs] Yes, exactly!

Ben: To a certain degree, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think the worst thing would be to have people be disappointed because their expectations are so high for this book, and I think it’s important to not judge it by the same lens that we judge Harry Potter.

Eric: That said, I think – it’s really exciting that the last Harry Potter book was five years ago. Not going to make the point that Harry Potter is still going strong because it is, but also, we haven’t seen what J.K. Rowling is capable of for five years. I mean, every writer grows and expands and becomes a better writer just through writing and through the time. Think, it’s been five years since we’ve read a J.K. Rowling book. I wonder what new tools she’s picked up and will employ in this new book.

Micah: Well, she’s been making tree houses, too.

[Audience and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Yes! Well, we weren’t really going to talk about that because that’s such a random thing, but was anybody else really surprised that J.K. Rowling is building a Hogwarts treehouse for her kids in her backyard?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: That seems – I don’t know if you saw the pictures but there are these sketches, and there’s even an owl sitting in between the two towers for her two children.

Eric: The real story is that Warner Bros. is going to sue her.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Eric: They own Hogwarts! I don’t know. You can’t build a tree fort in your backyard.

Andrew: And there’s tunnels and there’s a sliding pole. I’m so jealous of her nine-year-old.

Eric: If you’re J.K. Rowling, why not, right?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: Why not a tree fort?

Andrew: But yeah, The Casual Vacancy – I’m really excited. So, people – I guess there’s two options. The other option, if you live on the East Coast, you can go to a 24-hour Walmart [laughs] and hope they put them on sale at 3:00 AM.

Eric: Because what it means is they are not going to release the books anywhere before it hits midnight GMT, right?

Ben: Yeah, there isn’t going to be some asshole who puts the scans online.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: That’s not going to happen either.

Eric: You can’t say that word in this podcast.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Oh, I’m sorry. My bad. A-hole.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: No, I meant podcast.

Ben: Oh.

Andrew: You just got approval from Melissa. Melissa just gave the okay. Asshole is okay.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Moving on.

Andrew: Actually, there’s people…

Ben: Why did she walk in right as I said that? It’s awful.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: There’s people in this very audience, that I won’t point out, who I thought genuinely would want to attend a midnight release party but don’t want to. And I was shocked by that.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: You got some feedback at Comic-Con about that, right? People were saying…

Andrew: Yeah, the Comic-Con audience was very – we did a Harry Potter panel and it was a great turnout. But the Comic-Con – they were very hesitant. Like, they hadn’t seen the cover yet, they didn’t want to go to midnight release parties. I was trying to get them excited about different Harry Potter things and they just weren’t, and I’m like, [sighs] “This is not the MuggleCast audience.”

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Selina: Do you think it’s sort of a reaction to it not being a Potter book, though?

Andrew: Yeah. Of course.

Selina: They want more Potter as opposed to J.K. Rowling?

Andrew: Yeah. Does the whole e-reader thing screw it up as well?

Ben: Can you download it at 3:00 AM East Coast time?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh okay.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh, so you don’t even have – you can have a midnight – you can have your own private midnight release party in your pajamas.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Right. That’s the beautiful thing. So, people could organize their own midnight release party online. But, in this case, 3:00 AM.

Ben: Get on Skype or Google Hangout.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. So, everybody refreshes their Kindle at 3:00 AM and then it’s just silence on Skype for another sixteen hours.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Such unity. Such unity.

Andrew: I remember Kevin – yeah, I think it was Kevin Steck. We were all reading Deathly Hallows together in England. Closer? Thank you. Okay, thanks. We were reading Deathly Hallows in England and every five minutes he would be like – oh no, no, he read it early. He read it before all of us.

Eric: He did. He did.

Andrew: He had some downloaded copy or something.

Eric: All he did – we all get our Book 7, we’re crying and bawling in London. Jamie is running around, tears are falling. Kevin just takes the book, he’s like, “Can I borrow this?” Looks at the first page and then looks at the last page, and he’s like, “Yup, read it.”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: But then he was sitting there as we were all reading, and he would go over to each one of us – he was like the teacher in class and we were the students all reading the book, and he would come over – he would just come over to Eric, look over his shoulder and be like, [imitating Kevin] “Where are you at?”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: “Oh! It’s about to get really good.”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: “Where are you? Awesome! Oh man!” We were like, “Kevin, shut up! Leave us alone.”

Ben: Did he read the scans or something?

Andrew: Yes! He read the scans.

Ben: So did Mikey B, if anybody remembers Mikey B.

Eric: So, somebody sent…

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Yeah! Mikey B! Yeah!

Eric: So, that’s been one of the perks, I guess, of being so exposed. People send us early illegal…

Andrew: Nobody sends us early – that’s not our perk. [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Oh no, no.

Andrew: Kevin got it early.

Ben: Fans pirated copies.

Eric: To the MuggleNet staff, right?

Andrew: Well, there was a recent news story that The Casual Vacancy – they haven’t been sending it to the translators because they want to protect the manuscript, which is understandable.

Eric: There are ways that historically people have gotten their hands on these books no matter how [unintelligible] the embargo is. Things like translated copies get sent to countries so that they can be released at the same time as the English ones, and that’s been a source, I guess, for pirated – pirating?

Andrew: Pirated.

Eric: Piracy!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: We do want to remind you that today’s episode is brought to you by, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering you a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service. And you are going to love it during these warm summer months when you’re outside walking around. Maybe you don’t want to carry a book when you’re walking the dog or you’re on the beach or you’re in the park; you just want to close your eyes and listen to an audiobook just like you do this podcast. And I have a great recommendation for you today. This is a just released book, it’s The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, also narrated by Chris. He, of course, is a star on Glee. He’s been on the show since the beginning, one of the best actors on the show – one of the most beloved, certainly. He wrote a fantasy book, actually. The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. This book is fantastic. We got an advanced reading copy recently. Absolutely loved it. Imagine taking this wonderful fantasy story along with you out and about this summer. Highly recommend it. It is, again, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell and you can get it for free on Just visit for your free audiobook. Again, that’s to get The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell or any other book for absolutely free. Thanks, Audible.

So, one thing we definitely want to do later in the show actually is take lots of audience questions, but we also got to keep a close eye on…

Ben: The time.

Eric: Oh yeah.

Andrew: …the time as well. You also had a Chicken Soup you wanted to read. Did you have that prepared?

Eric: I do have that prepared. Yeah – okay, well this is…

[Audience laughs]

Future of the Harry Potter Fandom, Success of The Casual Vacancy

Andrew: Oh – okay, while you prepare that, one other question we wanted to ask – I raised this at Comic-Con and people gave me a no – does The Casual Vacancy kind of join up with Harry Potter, and does it become the J.K. Rowling fandom or is it strictly the Harry Potter fandom? Is the fandom that we know now slowly morphing into the J.K. Rowling fandom?

Eric: Like, if she were to announce another book series that has nothing to do with Harry Potter – say it’s just another young adult book. Do the Harry Potter fans embrace it? Even this, which is an adult book, do we embrace it? Is everybody going to read it or are people going to say, “Well, it’s not Harry Potter“?

Andrew: Yeah. Does everyone plan to read The Casual Vacancy?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Okay, I guess the better question is: is there anybody who’s not interested?

Audience Member: It depends on if it’s good!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Right, depends on if it’s good.

Ben: How do you know if it’s good if you don’t read it?

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: The Amazon reviews!

Audience Member: I’ll get my friends to read it first!

Andrew: See, but don’t you want to read it first? Because people who got into Harry Potter

[Audience member shouts something]

Ben: Why trust somebody else’s opinion? Why not go with your own?

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

[Audience member shouts something]

Andrew: But see, some people got into Harry Potter late and they were like, “Oh, I wish I got into this earlier. I only got into it word of mouth.” So, why don’t you be a – everybody can be a pioneer of [laughs] The Casual Vacancy. Get into it straight away.

Audience Member: I think the real question is, will anyone read her second book after…

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: The real question is, will anybody read her second book? Because this is the first post-Potter book, so…

Eric: So, it’s even more prestigious than…

Ben: Yeah, I think if she screws this one up, then the next one she won’t have…

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I mean, I think the commercial success for the rest of her life is guaranteed just because it’s a big selling name, J.K. Rowling. Everybody – it’s a household name. But I guess – yeah, it all comes down to whether or not it’s critically acclaimed. I feel like the critics are going to come down hard on her because she’s J.K. Rowling and she’s had so much success. So, I think as human beings there’s this certain degree, an element in each of us, that doesn’t want to see other people be successful, because it reminds us of how unsuccessful we are.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Speak for yourself!

Ben: No, I’m just saying! There are people out there who are – that want to tear other people down just because she’s a billionaire author. That doesn’t happen very often.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Or ever.

Andrew: People will be critical of the book and rightly so. I mean, they have to look at it and give a fair review, not just because it’s by the Harry Potter author.

Eric: We were wondering – and I’ll get to the Chicken Soup in just a moment. We were wondering if she was going to publish under a pseudonym, or a fake name, or something like that. That’s an alternative for authors like Stephen King who’s done it before as Richard Bachman, who don’t want the, I guess, pre-earned praise for a book, or just for it to be under a close eye before…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: So, glad she’s not doing that. Unless she already has and she’s written, like, Fifty Shades of Grey or something.

[Audience responds in disapproval]

Selina: Ouch.

Eric: What if?

Ben: I’m sure Neil Blair would prefer that she do it under her own name…

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, because it would sell.

Ben: …so he can make some money.

Andrew: Right. Neil Blair is her…

Ben: Her agent, right?

Andrew: Her agent.

Eric: Oh yeah.

Ben: She ditched Little, Brown, right? A while back?

Andrew: No, no, no. Little, Brown – that’s the new guys. You mean Scholastic.

Ben: Huh? She ditched – Little, Brown is the new guys? No, she ditched Little, Brown.

Andrew: No, The Casual Vacancy is being published by Little, Brown.

Ben: Oh okay.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Okay, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

[Audience laughs]

MuggleCast 256 Transcript (continued)

Fifty Shades of Grey

Andrew: Doesn’t a – isn’t a Harry Potter-Fifty Shades kind of inevitable at this point? Like, doesn’t it have to happen? People are looking at the commercial success…

[Audience responds in disapproval]

Andrew: Well, hold on! Wait a second! Wait a second! The reason I say that is because Fifty Shades – it was a Twilight fan fiction, that’s how it started. So, other people are looking at how they can get in on the Fifty Shades craze and of course that means – what was the book, Selina? There’s two books being rewritten in the style of Fifty Shades.

Selina: What?

Andrew: Quiz time. Sorry, I put you on the spot.

[Audience member shouts something]

Andrew: Yeah, the classics because they are in public domain now so they can be rewritten.

Selina: Oh yeah.

Andrew: So, there’s a Sherlock one, right?

Selina: Pride and Prejudice and something.

[Audience responds in disapproval]

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: What is this…

Andrew: Sherlock Holmes, not Benedict Cumberbatch.

Eric: I’m going to regret asking this. What is the style of 50 Shades?

Andrew: I don’t know. I wanted to read the first one just so I could say that, but let’s not turn this into a…

Eric: Okay. So, anyway…

[Audience laughs]

Micah: I mean, Aberforth and his goat would definitely have a scene in there.

[Audience laughs and applauds]

Andrew: By Micah Tannenbaum. Audiobook by Micah Tannenbaum.

Eric: So, we – and the audiobook will be read by him.

[Audience laughs]

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Eric: Everybody loves Micah. Okay, so we have a Chicken Soup here. It’s one of our segments on MuggleCast. A Chicken Soup – it’s just somebody who sends an e-mail saying, “Hey, you guys are great and you’ve made an impact on my life.” We mentioned being in London for Book 7 – which was a big moment for us – for Episode 100, five years ago. Now, this is Episode 256. We’re all in 256 colors, we’re very colorful, and – I had to bring that in somehow. So, we’re still getting these e-mails. We’re still getting these e-mails from people, and this one comes from Sarah S., age 21, from Connecticut. And she says:

“Dear MuggleCasters,

Happy seventh birthday! I’ve been a listener since Episode 1, and I can’t believe it’s been seven years since I first tuned into your fantastic podcast. It’s taken me far too long to write this message, but I wanted to say thank you. Not just for seven great years of podcasting, but for the impact you’ve had on my life. When I first listened to MuggleCast seven years ago, I had no idea where it would eventually lead me. But listening to you guys and tuning in each week as you created something so fun and special sparked my interest in broadcasting. I even attempted to create my own HP podcast. Even though that fell through, I never lost the interest you inspired and seven years later, I am station manager, DJ, and news reporter at 88.5 WRKC, my college’s radio station. Working in radio has given me so much and shaped the person I am today, and I have MuggleCast to thank for sending me down this path. So thanks guys, happy birthday, and here’s to another great year.

Sarah S.”

Andrew: That’s very nice!

Ben: That is awesome!

[Audience applauds]

Andrew: [in radio DJ voice] WKRC!

Eric: [in radio DJ voice] WRKC 88.5!

Andrew: [in radio DJ voice] Coming at ya!

[Audience laughs]

Audience Question: Pottermore Features

Andrew: Okay, so we’re going to take some questions. I wonder if this mic – could we use this mic? This wired mic?

Eric: Microphone.

Andrew: Could we use this wired microphone? Do you think – we’ll try it out? Well, does anybody have questions? I’m sitting here assuming.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: If there are any questions.

Andrew: Okay, if anybody has questions, why don’t you come up stage…

Audience Member: Where’s Jamie?!

Andrew: Where’s Jamie?

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Where’s Jamie? Let’s call Jamie.

Ben: He died.

Andrew: If you want to do like fifty dollars a minute. Okay, but if you have questions, come up to this side. I’m not talking about – what’s that show called on E!? “Where Have They Been?” [laughs]

Eric: If you have questions – let’s see if this works.

Audience Member: What happened to Chapter-by-Chapter?

Andrew: Well – okay, here’s the thing with Chapter-by-Chapter – okay, this isn’t like a MuggleCast, let’s tear them apart…

[Audience laughs]

Micah: It’s an interrogation!

Andrew: Where’s Jamie? Where’s Chapter-by-Chapter? I mean, where’s questions about Harry Potter, The Casual Vacancy, and Micah’s goat, I don’t know.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Micah, what’s your middle name?

Micah: Justin.

Ben: Justin. Bieber?

Andrew: Eric will field questions down from the audience. Right? Is that what they’re going to do?

Eric: Yeah, we’re going to line up in the center aisle according to the sound guy.

Andrew: But who has the mic?

Eric: The microphone is on its way.

Andrew: Oh okay. Yeah. Okay, cool.

Eric: Just very briefly.

Andrew: Awesome. Well, while we’re talking about that – well, let’s just – we’ll just get started. We’ll repeat the questions.

Eric: Here, you can borrow this and you can just trade off to the person behind you.

Audience Member: So, I love listening to you all banter about Pottermore. [laughs] And I was wondering, if you could add one feature to Pottermore, what would it be?

Andrew: Good question.

Selina: Pets, right Andrew? That you can take care of?

Andrew: Sorry?

Selina: Pets?

Andrew: Pets! Pets would be fun. I’ve been an advocate of adding pets. I think for me, a little more original material.

Ben: I think there should be a feature where you can – someone you’re pissed off at, you can send them a Howler, like a legitimate Howler.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: Micah, any ideas?

Micah: Ability to function properly.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: Ouch.

Ben: Harsh.

Selina: I think that some more personality would be great, like you could actually – you’re more than just your house and whatever pet you chose in the beginning, you know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Selina: You can actually be someone who is in Pottermore.

Andrew: Yeah.

Selina: Not just another number.

Andrew: Well, I think the features in Pottermore are okay. I think there just – they just need to add – every single chapter, every single moment needs to have something besides discovering a Chocolate Frog card or something like that. There has to be something in it, in each one besides that.

Eric: And all those items we’re collecting, I want them to mean something.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, I want to know why I’m picking up the toad and the…

Ben: Because otherwise you’re just a hoarder, right?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah!

Ben: Have you seen that show on TLC?

Andrew: I feel like a Potter hoarder.

Eric: It’s encouraging hoarding.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: It’s a serious debilitating disease, I don’t know why you guys are laughing.

Andrew: What if there’s an episode – hoarding buried alive, Pottermore. And we enter Micah’s bedroom and he’s crying because he’s swamped with all this material in his Pottermore account. “I don’t know what to do with it all!”

[Audience laughs]

Audience Question: Old MuggleCast Episodes

Andrew: Next question.

Eric: All right, next question.

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Carrie.

Andrew: Hi.

Audience Member: I’m a little excited.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: So, I’ve been listening to you since Episode 1…

Andrew: Awesome.

Audience Member: …so I feel like I’ve kind of grown up with you guys.

Andrew: Awesome! How old are you now, if you don’t mind my asking?

Audience Member: I’m 24.

Andrew: Twenty what?

Audience Member: Four.

Andrew: 24?

Audience Member: Yeah. Do I need to get closer?

Andrew: I’m 23.

Eric: Little closer, little louder.

Audience Member: I know.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Did you just hit on her?

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: I think I hit on you.

Eric: What?

Andrew: I don’t know! You’re giving – never mind. What’s your question?

Eric: I’m sorry, please – just enunciate, just from the…

Ben: She’s blushing.

Andrew: It’s because we – it’s not her fault.

Eric: It’s us.

Andrew: It’s our speakers.

Audience Member: Okay, so I’ve recently gone back and listened – started listening to your old episodes, and I was wondering if you guys ever go back and listen, because you all sound so little!

[Audience laughs]

Ben: What was that?

Andrew: Sorry, I honestly didn’t hear.

Eric: Do we go back and listen to – do we listen to our own earlier episodes of MuggleCast at all?

Andrew: No, because our voices are…

Ben: I only listen to tracks of myself to go to sleep at night.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Audience Member: I just recently listened to your first live show and Andrew’s [mocking Andrew] “Yeah! Yeah!”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: See, I have since developed. I have grown. I have matured.

Audience Member: Can we get a “yeah,” Andrew?

Andrew: Can we get a live one?

Audience Member: A “yeah.”

Ben: A “yeah”?

Andrew: I have to…

Ben: [mocking Andrew] Yeah! Yeah! All right!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: All right! Welcome to New York City! MuggleCast live in New York City, Episode 15 or whatever the hell it was.

Eric: Yeah, something like that.

Audience Member: Okay, thank you.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I do like listening to podcasts. Not our own, though.

Ben: [mocking Andrew] “Yeah! Yeah! All right!”

Andrew: I still get e-mails to this day like, “That episode was so funny,” or “Hearing your ‘yeahs’ was so funny.” I’m like, “Thanks.” It got to the point – we got so many e-mails, negative e-mails, about the “Yeah, yeah”s to the Leaky Mug e-mail address that I actually added a Gmail filter that said, “If ‘Yeah Yeah’ send to Trash.”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Because we were all sharing that e-mail address and I didn’t want everybody seeing all these e-mails.

Ben: Seeing all the “yeah, yeah”s.

Andrew: And the guys found out and I was like, “Dammit.”

[Audience laughs]

Audience Question: Harry’s Interest in S.P.E.W.

Audience Member: Hi, my name is Taz. I just want to first thank you because I made this shirt for your first “Wear Your MuggleCast T-Shirt Day.”

Andrew: Oh awesome!

Audience Member: And this shirt got me chosen at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to have my wand choose me.

Andrew: Oh awesome!

Audience Member: So, I just want to thank you for that.

Andrew: Very cool!

Audience Member: And then, my question is: Harry Potter grew up in a cupboard, he was treated like a slave by the Dursleys, and I was wondering if you had any opinions on why he didn’t sympathize more when Hermione tried to start S.P.E.W., because he was treated like a house-elf, pretty much, by the Dursleys.

[Audience responds with “Ooh!”]

Ben: I heard something about Hermione and a house-elf.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Sorry!

Ben: Can you add some bass to your voice, please?

Eric: I heard it. The question was given that Harry was raised – at least for the first eleven years – in a cupboard, treated kind of like a house-elf, always having scraps of food under the floorboards, why wasn’t he more sympathetic when Hermione came up with S.P.E.W.?

Selina: Harry is very self-absorbed.

[Audience applauds and laughs]

Selina: I like him though, but…

Ben: It’s kind of hard not to be if everyone is pointing at your face and being like, “ha ha ha!”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I think it was more interesting to see Hermione get this pushback from Harry. I think it was more interesting to see them not interested in it. And it also shows their immaturity.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Whereas Hermione is grown up and she is taking care of the creatures.

Eric: I think the fact that it was Hermione out on her own really allowed J.K. Rowling and the readers to have her – well, allowed J.K. Rowling to build that character.

Ben: And establish her independence.

Eric: Yeah. Establish her independence, exactly. She needed something to go off and do alone. Ron had Lavender, she had S.P.E.W.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: And Harry always tends to – I think throughout the series Harry always tends to agree with Hermione on most things, so it’s good to show them in the contrary point of view.

Audience Question: Potted Potter

Audience Member: Hi guys. My name is Morgan. I’m from Florida. I’ve been listening to you guys since I was thirteen. I’m twenty now, so it’s like…

Andrew: Awesome. Seven years.

Audience Member: Yeah. So…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I’m keeping up with the seven year theme!

Eric: You do well at math, man.

Audience Member: Okay, so recently I went on a vacation to New York and I saw Potted Potter. I was wondering if any of you guys or anyone here has seen it. It is amazing.

[Audience cheers and someone shouts “Yes, it’s awesome!”]

Andrew: Potted Potter is the off Broadway Harry Potter parody musical, if you will. I haven’t seen it. Has anybody up here seen it?

Eric: Well, Micah lives in New York.

Micah: I have not seen it, though.

Audience Member: You need to go see it. They’re hilarious. And they’re so grateful to have the fans there.

Ben: Is that where Dan Radcliffe shows his…

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Potted Potter?

Ben: Oh. [laughs]

Eric: That would be Un-Potted Potter.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: But they’re coming to Chicago soon, I read on MuggleNet or Hypable.

Andrew: You see the banner ads.

Audience Member: Go see them.

Eric: I will see them when they come. I haven’t seen them.

Audience Member: Thank you!

Eric: Thank you!

Andrew: No problem. What’s up, dude?

Selina: Well, what is Potted Potter? Is that the StarKid? No.

[Audience responds with “No!”]

Eric: No, Potted Potter – completely separate, kind of like – it’s condensed. It’s all seven books in an hour.

Andrew: Yeah.

Selina: Oh wow. Do they…

Andrew: Do not go there, Selina. Do not compare StarKid to anything other than StarKid.

[Audience cheers]

MuggleCast 256 Transcript (continued)

Audience Question: Wizarding Photographs

Audience Member: Hi guys. Unlike all the other people that were in front of me, I have not been listening for seven years but I’ve listened to every episode…

Andrew: Awesome!

Audience Member: …and I’ve been listening for two or three years. And it’s been awesome, guys.

Andrew: Awesome, thank you.

Audience Member: I love the podcast. My question is kind of silly – not silly in the sense where it’s funny, it’s just weird.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: A new form of communication for wizards: Do you think that if they took a wizard photo, where they had a marker and a whiteboard, they’d be able to communicate? Because they can move, and Harry had free will in that photo where he’s trying to pull away from Lockhart. Do you think they’d be able to communicate with pad and paper, and that would be a new form of communication? And I invented that.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: What was that last bit?

Audience Member: Trademark!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: So, you’re saying people in the pictures communicating via writing?

Audience Member: Yeah.

Andrew: Well, we know, right, that portraits – it’s a reflection of – you can talk to them, but it’s just a reflection of their personality. It’s not necessarily their – you can’t actually hold a conversation with them.

Eric: If you have a self-portrait taken, are you talking to yourself?

[Audience laughs]

Eric: “Hey, how’s it going?” But – especially if they’re a pair, I think – notepads as communication. If there’s a pair of mirrors, the wardrobe – there’s a pair. So, pairs of paintings can walk and see each other and visit Grimmauld Place. Phineas Nigellus does that. So yeah, I think it’s definitely possible.

Audience Member: I think they have to be dead to be in portraits. There’s no portraits of live people that they ever have. It’s always dead people.

[Another audience member says something]

Eric: Oh yeah, Lockhart has the picture of himself and a picture…

Audience Member: But he doesn’t talk.

Eric: No, he doesn’t. The first one moves.

Audience Member: Yeah.

Eric: The first one moves around and kind of smiles.

Audience Member: Yeah, it’s a giant photograph. And he does stuff, so communications.

Eric: Yeah.

Selina: Well, photos don’t – I mean, the photos in the Muggle or the Hogwarts – [laughs] the wizard world, there you go – they don’t add anything new to them. I mean, it’s just a reflection of the person at the point where the picture is taken, so they’re not going to be able to communicate with a photo.

Eric: Yeah, it’s unclear. It’s kind of like five seconds of their personality…

Audience Member: Oh.

Eric: …is in view. Like Harry pulling away from Lockhart.

Selina: They sort of reflect whatever that person is feeling at that particular time, I think.

Audience Member: Harry escapes from Lockhart, so there is more than five seconds. He gets away from him and he feels victorious.

Selina: That’s because he feels at that point – Harry wants to get away, so the photo…

Audience Member: Oh okay.

Eric: Yeah, the impression was to get away, so the fact that the portrait Harry gets away was real-life Harry.

Audience Member: Right.

Eric: Anyway…

Audience Member: Thanks guys!

Eric: Yeah, thanks!

Audience Question: Deathly Hallows April Fool’s Joke

Andrew: Hello there!

Selina: Hi!

Micah: They could just use FaceTime.

Andrew: Keep Calm and…

Andrew and Audience Member: Tour Space.

Audience Member: It’s a StarKid thing.

Eric: Tour Space.

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Have you been listening for seven years? Please tell me you have.

[Andrew laughs]

Audience Member: Actually, I wanted to talk about that. Because I listened from the beginning, but I stopped listening when I was nine for, like, two years because you guys said that you read the seventh book, and I was nine and I believed you. And then it took you, like, three episodes to say that it was an April Fool’s joke.

[Andrew laughs]

Audience Member: And I was a gullible nine year old, so I stopped listening.

Andrew: [laughs] Awww.

[Audience responds with “w!”]

Audience Member: So, I just wanted to say that. Yeah. [laughs]

Andrew: Awww, I’m sorry that happened, but I’m glad you’re back now. [laughs]

Audience Member: But I’m still kind of disappointed that Neville didn’t run over Bellatrix with Sirius’s bike. That would have been really good.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: So – Molly was awesome, too. [laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] Thank you. Hello there.

Audience Question: Unforgivable Curses

Audience Member: Hi, my name is Elena. I have only been listening for the past three or four years. But one of my questions that’s been bothering me since the fourth book was when Mad-Eye Moody shows them the Unforgivable Curses in class. How do we not know he’s evil then? Because they said – it’s been said time and time again that you have to have evil intent to be able to cast an Unforgivable Curse, and he did all three right there in class.

Eric: I think for demonstration’s sake, too, you – I mean, you can channel the will to – I use the comparison for Snape. You guys can jump in here, but Snape was able to – look at Dumbledore, look at the relationship between Snape and Dumbledore, and Snape was still able to use the Killing Curse on him even though he looked up to Dumbledore. It was something that had to be done. Snape was particularly good at compartmentalizing his feelings and he could just channel, “Okay, will to kill. Got it.”

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Even on somebody that he didn’t necessarily hate, unless he was angry or was making him kill and that sort of thing. So, Mad-Eye Moody – let’s not forget – was an Auror, and you need to be able to ó in some cases, where the Killing Curse is permitted, you need to be able to do that. So, I’m sure he had extensive psychological training to be able to mean each of those curses, even though – I mean, unless he has something really against spiders.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Which could be true, too.

Micah: I think it just comes down to choices.

Ben: [imitating Dumbledore] It is our choices, Harry.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Or something like that.

Eric: I wondered when that was going to come up.

Re-reading the Harry Potter Series

Ben: So, I had a question for you guys. How many people have read the books, each of them, more than ten times?

[Audience cheers]

Micah: Wow.

Ben: Okay, when you read the books again, does it give you the same tingly feeling that you got when you read them the first time?

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Or time number fifteen, does it lose its luster?

Eric: I think, for me, there will always be those special moments. Like, at the end of Book 3, for me, when Sirius writes the letter to Harry, and then also, “Harry Potter has my permission to visit Hogsmeade as his guardian.”

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: That was awesome.

Eric: That, to me – that moment will always get me, everywhere, no matter where I am.

Ben: I thought – when they won the Quidditch Cup, I was like, “Yeah!”

[Audience laughs]

Audience Question: The Casual Vacancy Discussions

Andrew: All right, we have a few minutes left, so rapid fire questions to see if we can get through these.

Audience Member: Hi.

Andrew: Hi. Who are you? I have never seen you before.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: I’m Gina…

Andrew: Just kidding.

Audience Member: …from Chicago.

Andrew: Go ahead.

Audience Member: You guys just talked about how the fandom is going to intertwine with The Casual Vacancy.

Andrew: Mhm.

Audience Member: And I was wondering what you guys plan to do with The Casual Vacancy as a podcast, I should say.

Selina: Chapter-by-Chapter?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Wait, what was the question?

Audience Member: Do you plan to cover The Casual Vacancy?

Andrew: Well, we’re definitely going to do an episode, a general review episode. But outside of that, I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do. I mean, I’m sure there will be at least a couple of episodes. But we’ll still talk Harry Potter. It’s not like it’ll turn into “Casual Vacancy”-Cast overnight.

Eric: I think there’s going to in evidently be a more – after our initial review there’ll probably be an “Okay, so how many comparisons can we draw to Harry Potter?” Because I don’t think Jo will actually…

Audience Member: Well, you do it a lot with Game of Thrones and I like it, so…

Eric: J.K.R. might not intentionally leave any references to Harry Potter, if it’s a name or a location. I don’t think she’s the kind – she can distance herself from that kind of stuff. But ultimately the comparisons will be drawn because this is her next book.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: We’re going to be looking for characters and comparing them and that kind of thing.

Micah: But really, she had to name her main character “Barry”?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, come on!

Eric: From Harry to Barry.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Barry!

Micah: Barack with Harry?

Eric: Barry Fairbrother.

Andrew: The cover – but he’s dead. Somebody sent in a good theory saying, “Well, Barry dies right at the beginning of the book. Maybe it’s kind of reflective of J.K. Rowling -” did we read this e-mail on MuggleCast? Maybe it’s kind of reflective of J.K. Rowling moving on from Harry.

Audience Question: Future Books on Pottermore

Andrew: Okay, we actually have time for two more questions. Really quick. This guy right here. Yeah, you!

Audience Member: Oh yeah!

Andrew: Yeah!

Audience Member: All right! Hi, I’m Matthew. I’m from Georgia.

Ben: Nice robes!

Audience Member: Thank you! Slytherin for the win.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: What is your question, sir?

Audience Member: Right. On the last episode, you were talking a lot about Pottermore, of course, and you mentioned how there’s a lot of information that isn’t going to be released because it spoils later books. So, do you think when we get to Book 6 and 7, we’re going to get a ton of information in each chapter? Or is it just going to be the same?

Andrew: I hope so. No, I think they have it all planned out at this point, really. Or at least probably half of the series by now. And I think they’re planning it out so there’s like three – every other chapter, maybe, there’s new information. Because that’s what it’s looking like right now.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: So what, we’ll get that in 2018? Around that time?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, we’re looking like that. Wow.

Ben: I’m going to go ahead and call it right now. Twenty years from now, J.K. Rowling will write another Harry Potter book.

Andrew: Twenty years?

Ben: Twenty – she’ll take like – she’ll be in her sixties…

Selina: I agree. I think so.

Ben: …and she’s going to come back to it. I guarantee it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Selina: I think so, like a prequel book or something. Because…

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Yeah, you’ve got the Ben Schoen guarantee here. It’s golden.

Andrew: Remember at the Deathly Hallows premiere, just last year, she said, “This is the closest I’ve gotten -” oh okay. Sorry. “This is the closest I’ve gotten to wanting to write another Harry Potter book.” [laughs] Okay, really quick, and then we have one last thing to do. Really quick.

MuggleCast T-shirt Giveaway

Audience Member: Hi, I’ve been listening to you guys for five years. It’s my birthday today, and I’d just like to say this is the…

Andrew: Happy Birthday!

Audience Member: …best birthday ever!

Ben: Happy Birthday!

Micah: Happy Birthday!

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Here is a birthday gift for you.

Eric: [stutters] But – this is a…

Andrew: A giveaway. Yeah! [laughs] Ben just said he’s going to…

Eric: Ben is not attached to his shirt.

Andrew: It’s her birthday. Here, we have a gift for you. This is the giveaway.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: And we also have one more surprise.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: How old are you turning?

Audience Member: I’m fifteen today.

Andrew: Fifteen?

Eric: You’re fifteen?

Andrew: Awww! What does your shirt say?

Audience Member: It says “free hugs.”

Andrew: Oh, free hugs!

Selina: That’s so Hufflepuff! That’s perfect.

Andrew: Take the free hug.

Eric: She was eight when MuggleCast began.

Ben: Give her a hug, Eric.

Andrew: Okay…

[Audience applauds]

Happy Birthday Micah

Andrew: Okay, and we also have one more surprise. Speaking of birthdays, it is actually somebody’s birthday up here. Micah Tannenbaum is about to…

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: …celebrate a birthday. August 17th?

Andrew and Micah: Next week.

Ben: My birthday is the 24th, you jerk.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Oh, that’s true as well. That’s true as well.

Micah: Two birthdays!

Andrew: Well, okay…

Micah: We’ll celebrate together.

Andrew: We actually have a little surprise, if they’re going to come out right now. I don’t know.

Eric: Ooh. Let’s see if we have a…

Andrew: Okay. One, two, three.

[Everyone sings “Happy Birthday” to Micah]

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Happy birthday, Micah.

Andrew: We have a birthday card here. People have been signing it over the past few days.

Eric: Show it to the audience, it’s beautiful.

Andrew: Beautiful birthday card.

Eric: Beautiful artwork.

Andrew: If anybody…

Josee Leblanc: We’ve actually been carrying that card in your face for the past two days and you haven’t noticed.

Eric: Yes.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I have not noticed.

Andrew: We will have it at the signing afterwards if anybody else wants to…

Josee: It was on the corner of the MuggleNet table yesterday. He was just right beside it.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Audience laughs]

Josee: He never noticed.

Micah: Oblivious.

Show Close

Andrew: Thank you, too, for organizing that and putting the card together. Thank you everybody for coming! It’s been a lot of fun.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: We are going to be doing a signing over at – somewhere.

Micah: Southwest…

Andrew: Immediately after this.

Micah: Southwest Exhibit Hall.

Eric: One or two? It’s one or two. Find us!

Andrew: We’re going straight there. We’ll be more than happy to say hi to everybody, hang out with everybody. Sorry we didn’t get to the rest of the questions, guys.

Josee: And for those who haven’t signed the card, Andrew, maybe we can leave it out so that they can sign it? Because obviously we haven’t had the time to get everyone to sign it.

Eric: Yes, we’ll leave the book out for them to sign.

Andrew: And there goes the shirt into the audience. [laughs]

Eric: And there goes Ben’s shirt!

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Congratulations!

Andrew: All right, thanks everybody!

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Thank you all for seven magical years! Good night!