Transcript #625


MuggleCast 625 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #625, MuggleCast LIVE from LeakyCon 2023

Andrew Sims: Hey, everybody. This week’s episode was recorded live from LeakyCon, and we think it’s a really fun episode, so we hope that you enjoy it. Just a quick note, the first few minutes of the show were recorded on one of our laptops, and then the audio switches over to LeakyCon’s soundboard. So after those first few minutes, it’ll sound much more clear. We only can attend events like LeakyCon thanks to listener support, so thank you to everyone who supports us on Apple Podcasts and Patreon. If you like what we do and have a little extra money to support us, we would really appreciate you pledging at to help us run the show. We will hook you up with lots of great benefits in return, including bonus MuggleCast episodes, ad-free episodes, early releases, and much more. We’ll be back to Chapter by Chapter next week. For now, here’s MuggleCast live at LeakyCon with Micah, Eric, and Chloé.

MuggleCast Live at LeakyCon 2023

Eric Scull: Hello, everybody. Oh.

Micah Tannenbaum: Press the button.

[Chloé laughs]

Micah: It’s only the fourth one we’ve done.

Eric: You ever have that thing as a podcaster where you’re not recording and you don’t find out until after?

Micah: Yeah, Andrew loves that.

Chloé Laverson: Eric has had so many himbo moments this weekend. It has been epic.

Eric: Might as well just call me Ken. Hello, LeakyCon 2023!

[Audience cheers]

Eric: We’re so thrilled to be here in Chicago. Very difficult trek for me because I’m local. But we’re thrilled to be here, aren’t we? I’m Eric Scull. Let me let my fellow hosts introduce themselves.

Micah: I’m Andrew Sims.

[Audience laughs]

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Chloé: I’m Laura T. [laughs] No, I’m Chloé, for those who don’t know me. I’m the social media manager, and sometimes I have the absolute privilege of being on the podcast with these lovely goofs.

Eric: We are here today celebrating a very, very, very big birthday. A long time ago, in this galaxy, Micah Tannenbaum was born this month.

Chloé: Woo!

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Celebrating a birthday, Micah. We have a little birthday cake, something special that we thought we’d surprise you with.

Micah: Aww, you guys.

Chloé: Okay, I’m going to do my absolute best not to drop this, but show everyone how beautiful it is. Can everyone see?

Eric: It says “Happee birthdae, Micah.”

Micah: Thank you.

Chloé: Happy birthday, Micah. We love you. We worked really hard on this cake this morning.

Micah: It looks really good.

Eric: We really did. It’s going to be… it’s red velvet, I hope you like that.

Micah: So you didn’t go get cough drops.

[Audience laughs]

Chloé: No, we conspired against you.

Eric: I got them in the end. Meg brought the cough drops, so I’m in good shape.

[Chloé laughs]

Eric: Which I’m popping right now. Anyway, MuggleCast also celebrates a birthday this month because in fact… what date is it? What year is it?

Chloé: Anyone know the date? August 5.

Eric: Two days from now is our 18th birthday.

[Audience cheers]

Eric: That’s right. We’re old.

Chloé: You’re old.

Micah: Very old.

[Chloé laughs]

Eric: Who’s old?

Micah: We’re old.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. Well, we’ve been doing this show for now 18 years, which is just unbelievable to me.

Chloé: And you’ve just gotten better with age.

Eric: Aww.

Chloé: Right, you guys?

Micah: See, she came back around with a compliment.

Eric: I remember… we’d like to talk just for a second at the top of the show about how we first got connected to MuggleCast. A lot of the original hosts had been contributing to, which was the world’s number one Harry Potter fan site. And that’s not propaganda; it’s true. It really just was the biggest site. And I contributed to the weekly caption contest, taking still frames from the movies. And I had a friendship with Ben and some of the other guys, and when it came time to do Episode 3 of MuggleCast, which was a few weeks after…

Chloé: Your debut.

Eric: … Ben called me up and he said, “Hey, we’re missing somebody for a show, for a podcast, and can you record?” I said, “Sure, what do I need?” He said, “A headset, and you need to download Skype,” and I said, “What’s a Skype?”

[Audience laughs]

Eric: And the rest is history. I had such a fun time and they kept letting me come back.

Chloé: Skype is vintage now.

Eric: Yeah, outmoded. Zoom has taken over.

Micah: Well, I remember when we all wanted to talk on the earlier episodes, we usually just typed a little period in and sent it through on Skype to let the other person know because it’s not like now where you have Zoom and you’re able to see and tell when other people want to speak.

Chloé: I feel like that might help still, some episodes. [laughs] We’re all just talking on top of each other.

Eric: Andrew edits that out in post, it’s totally fine. No, but little things like that, figuring out… we were new to podcasting because podcasting was new. In fact, just about a month after the show debuted, Steve Jobs did his big Apple Keynote where he introduced the search function of the iTunes library that then included audiobooks, podcasts, etc. And MuggleCast – there’s video of this – MuggleCast showed up on the screen at his Keynote.

Chloé: Didn’t MuggleCast invent podcasting? We invented podcasting, right?

Eric: Did we? Well, we wrote the Harry Potter books, and then we were like, “We’ve got to turn this into a podcast.”

[Audience laughs]

Chloé: Aren’t you so glad that MuggleCast wrote the Harry Potter books? [laughs]

Eric: Amazing. But Micah, how did you get started? What’s your sort of origin story here?

Micah: Yeah, so I had listened, actually, to the first episode of MuggleCast, and I offered to do some kind of news for them and… I don’t know. It’s all kind of a blur, honestly. I reached out to… I think it was Kevin Steck, initially, on Instant Messenger, and then he put me in touch with Andrew, and then I was… in those days, too, you waited, kind of like now with text where you wait to hear back from people. I was sitting there very eagerly waiting to hear back from Andrew, and one thing just led to another. I started out doing the news segment on MuggleCast.

Eric: Does anybody listening now remember Micah’s pre-recorded news segments?

Chloé: Nice.

Eric: Recorded in the News Center in New York.

Micah: Yeah. And then he just offered, “Come on an episode.”

Chloé: Wait, I have a really, really important question that I don’t know if I know or listeners know. What was your handle? Your AIM handle?

Micah: MJTbaum.

Chloé: Oh, it’s the same thing now.

Eric: He’s changed it up exactly zero times.

Chloé: The consistency, we love it.

Micah: It wasn’t cool like SiriusBlack423.

Eric: It was not that…

Chloé: PhoenixWrath is Laura’s, I’m pretty sure.

Eric: Oh, yeah, yeah. I think 88. I think with an 88. Did you ever have an AIM screen name?

Chloé: I did, actually. OrangePopsicle18. No, you know what it was? It was my Webkinz username. I don’t know if anyone knows what that is, but I just used the same thing. So I did have one, yes.

Eric: OrangePopsicle18? That’s so sweet.

Chloé: I mean, you know me. It’s whatever.

Eric: Yeah, you’re such a popsicle. No, but Chloé… okay, so obviously, Chloé, you found the show at some point because you have had this progression into our amazing accomplished Social Media Manager. But how did you first come about MuggleCast?

Chloé: Yeah, I’m kind of a fraud. And I’ve talked about this before, so…

Micah: Knew it.

Chloé: Are we fighting already? It’s literally only what, five minutes into…?

Micah: Six minutes, 47 seconds in.

Eric: I’m going to have to keep you two apart.

Chloé: Micah and I are all love but sometimes we feud on the pod. [laughs] I found y’all during the pandemic; I think quite a few people have that story. I was bored and alone and sad and in desperate need of some Harry Potter friends, which is maybe how we all find Harry Potter podcasts or media. And I listened for about six months, and the day I joined the Patreon – and I’m not kidding, so I believe it’s fate or that I manifested y’all into my life – but you posted the Social Media Manager hiring job the day I joined, and that’s what I studied. And I was like, “You know what? Eff it, let’s do it.” So I emailed Andrew a resume that I put in Slytherin colors, and I themed it. My resume is usually pink, for those who know me.

Eric: You sure it’s not orange, Miss OrangePopsicle?

Chloé: [laughs] Whatever. And I found the social media posting, y’all hired me, and we became friends. And I love each of you so much individually. And it’s been almost two years of us together. And I mean, I think I think I bring something special, a little sparkle. Definitely bring the average age down.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: I’d like to report a murder.

Micah: Well, don’t you actually have a confession? You were telling us about…

Chloé: Oh my God, Micah, no.

Micah: You should let the rest of the group here know. You didn’t find MuggleCast just a couple of years ago, did you?

Chloé: Don’t look at me. Okay, so did anyone have that hot pink iPod Nano that you could download music to? I mean, everyone had an iPod.

Eric: Was there a tiny little scroll wheel? Like a tiny, tiny one?

Chloé: Yes. And I may have downloaded an episode of MuggleCast in 2007, and…

Micah: When you were five?

[Audience laughs]

Chloé: I was eight.

Micah: Oh, okay.

Chloé: So I did know apparently about MuggleCast. I guess I didn’t like the episode enough to keep listening. [laughs] But I’m here now, and I’m so, so blessed for this community and what it’s brought into my life. And all of you have been so welcoming, even though I’m kind of a newbie. Y’all have been here for 18 years, some of you, and I’ve only been here for two, but thank you for accepting me and being so wonderful. I really appreciate it.

Eric: Absolutely. We mustn’t have been…

Chloé: Y’all are fine. I’m talking about the listeners. [laughs]

Eric: No, but also Micah and I mustn’t have been on that first episode. Yeah, we probably just weren’t on that one that you listened to a long time ago.

Chloé: I wonder, if I had heard Micah’s voice I might have stayed on.

[Audience laughs]

Chloé: I’m wondering who was on it. I’ll look.

Eric: So we actually have a variety of fun segments planned as well as actual other discussion other than how old we are, but the first game inevitably is also about how old we are. We’re going to play this with the audience. So there’s there’s no prizes – we will warm everybody up – there will be prizes later. We promise.

Chloé: Oh, I was like, “Wait, no, there are prizes.” Later.

Eric: There are prizes; they’re in a box on stage. And if you brought your own…

Micah: I’m just going to go eat the cake while you guys do the rest of…

Chloé: Yeah, for you, babe. Here.

Micah: See you guys later.

[Chloé laughs]

Eric: Okay, do you have a cake cutter? Anyway, the first game that we’re going to play with you all is called “Is MuggleCast older than?” And we have a list of things we’re going to go through. And we want to hear, audience, just general shouts, yes, no. “Is MuggleCast older than?” This is going to go real quick, but it’ll be really fun.

Chloé: It’s a test. You will be graded.

Eric: We’re not leaving until everyone in this room feels old. Or feels how old we feel.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Well, two of us.

Eric: Yes, two of us. Right. So Chloé, would you like to go first?

Chloé: “Tik Tok” by Kesha. Are we older than the song “Tik Tok” by Kesha?

Audience: Yes.

Chloé: Okay, yes, 2009. An anthem for young women everywhere, truly.

Eric: Okay. Next, Micah.

Micah: The iPhone.

Audience: Yes.

Chloé: Oh my God. They’re so smart.

Micah: They’re on it.

Eric: They’re really good.

Chloé: We were shocked. We were looking this stuff up and we were like, “No, unbelievable.”

Eric: We’re not talking about the XS, the 3G… the original iPhone came out two years…

Chloé: I’m sorry, it looks like an adult site now. Why aren’t we talking about that? Twitter? I’m so annoyed.

Eric: Oh, well… you stole my thunder. That was going to be…

Chloé: Oh, sorry, sorry.

Eric: So back before X… Twitter, not the letter X. We are not older than the letter X, okay?

[Audience laughs]

Eric: That’s not on here, though. But Twitter debuted to the world… are we older than Twitter?

Audience: Yes.

Eric: Yeah, we’re actually… flawless victory, you guys. This is crazy.

Micah: Yeah, this is impressive.

Eric: Yes. Twitter actually came out the year after we started. It came out 2006.

Chloé: So we don’t get political, usually…

Micah: That’s the other show.

Chloé: … but my favorite presidency, the Obama presidency. Are we older than Barack Obama’s presidency?

Audience: Yes.

Eric: Okay, you know your history. We didn’t really mean to lead with all these yeses. Maybe they’re all yes, and that’s the joke.

[Chloé and Micah laugh]

Chloé: You are so old.

Eric: We are older than all this stuff!

Micah: So we’ve existed through four presidential administrations? Or three-ish, depending on how you…

Chloé: Existed or survived, right?

Micah: The last one doesn’t really count.

Eric: Okay, Micah, the next one is you.

Micah: Chloé. Are we older than Chloé?

Audience: No.

Micah: Yeah, we kind of already gave that one away.

Eric: Everybody’s real astute.

Chloé: I was born in the 90s, you guys. Come on.

Eric: I still find that so hard to believe. But you know how to TikTok! How does that…? That doesn’t equate to me. Okay. Here’s one: Shrek 2 and The Incredibles. Are we older than…?

[Audience murmurs]

Chloé: They did come out the same year? Amazing year for cinema.

Eric: Okay, okay, we finally have a contentious thing. Who thinks that yes, we are older than The Incredibles and Shrek 2? Yes, shout it.

Audience: Yes.

Eric: Okay, and who thinks we are not older than The Incredibles and Shrek 2?

Audience: No.

Eric: Okay, no actually wins. It is no. Those movies came out in 2004.

Chloé: When movies were good. [laughs] Do you all remember the iconic moment of pop culture history when Britney Spears shaved her head?

Audience: Yes!

Chloé: We were all collectively a part of that. Are we older than that moment?

Audience: Yes.

Chloé: Yes. 2007, an iconic year for Y2K stars.

Micah: I should have brought my glasses. Are we are we older than Taylor Swift’s debut album?

Eric: Let me think about this. It was self-titled, right?

Chloé: Taylor Swift by Taylor Swift. Debut.

Eric: Okay, so who thinks we are older than Taylor Swift’s debut album?

Audience: Yes.

Eric: And who thinks we are not older than Taylor Swift’s debut album?

Audience: No.

Chloé: Okay, this was a test for the real Swifties. We are older than Debut by 14 months.

Eric: All right, and here’s the last one. And this is for fellow sci-fi/fantasy fans. Is MuggleCast older than David Tennant as Doctor Who?

[Audience murmurs]

Eric: Do we have somebody who wants to talk about why we we’re not, or…?

Audience member: It was early 2000s.

Chloé: Aren’t we early 2000s too?

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Okay, let’s see. Okay, okay. So who thinks, yes, we are older than David Tennant as Doctor Who?

Audience: Yes.

Eric: And who thinks no, we are not older than David Tennant as Doctor Who?

[Audience murmurs]

Eric: We are actually not older. David Tennant as Doctor Who regenerated in June of 2005 from Christopher Eccleston. We started in August. But you’d be forgiven for not knowing that all he had was one line of dialogue on that episode. He said, “Hello. Okay. New teeth. That’s weird. So where was I? Oh, right. Barcelona!”

Chloé: He put that in just so he could do that joke.

Eric: Just so I could try and do a David Tennant…

Chloé: Was that obvious?

Eric: I’m trying to rep the Brits on this podcast. Thank you all for playing that game. The other games have prizes. [laughs]

Chloé: We have one more question to tie back to Harry Potter, the reason why we’re all here. What book came out right before MuggleCast premiered? You can just shout it.

Audience: Half-Blood Prince.

Eric: We had some… Okay, some said 5? Some said 6?

Audience: 6.

Eric: We debuted right after the premiere of Book 6. That was in July of 2005. We started in August, so that actually was the inciting incident, I want to say. The first 100 episodes of MuggleCast existed in the… and it was so wonderful that it stopped at 100, the night before we got the seventh book. But it existed in that space of “We do not know what is going to happen. How is the series going to end? Who’s going to fall in love?” All that nonsense.

Chloé: I think that year was the year that I actually picked up the series.

Eric: Really!

Chloé: Yeah, I think I picked up the Harry Potter series in 2005, so the same year MuggleCast came out, because I know that 7 was my first midnight release. Way too young. But it was the first one I went to. [laughs] Borders did exist. I mean, if that makes you feel better. I went to Barnes and Noble.

Eric: Wait, so you might have actually found Harry Potter before Micah did?

Micah: Yeah, it’s possible. I’m not going to confess to that in front of a live studio audience.

Eric: I know, we’re in a room of super fans here.

Micah: I’m not going to make it out of the room alive.

Eric: We’ll protect you; you’re the birthday boy. You have protection, yeah. Okay, so next thing we wanted to ask… because we’ve been around for a while, we just wanted to talk a bit about what our favorite moments were from making the show what maybe surprised us from the history of MuggleCast.

Micah: I’ve talked about this a little bit earlier, but David Heyman, getting an opportunity to interview him on Episode 200 with you was probably one of the highlights of the show, no question. Just an amazing person to get the opportunity to speak to loves the series. He was only supposed to spend maybe 15 minutes with us and he spent close to 45.

Eric: And the reason it was such a great interview, too, like you said, but also as a get: He was the man most responsible for the fact that the Harry Potter books became the films, first getting the rights right when the books were coming out. He saw the potential and also saw it through, and that’s just absolutely beautiful. It felt like coming home, speaking with him on that.

Micah: And we got to play the Dueling Club with him, which we’re going to play actually in just a little bit with some people here in the audience.

Eric: Yeah, a nice little shout-out to that fun fan favorite segment, if we remember that. But yeah, David Heyman coming on. And again, I got into the Harry Potter series because of the first movie, so that felt like being able to thank the guy that made it possible, so that was really good. I want to go to Chloé next, actually.

Chloé: Oh, me next. You know what, last night has been my favorite moment from making the show. First of all, I love these men, and I love Andrew and Laura and Pam as well; they have brought so much joy into my life, and friendship and mentorship, and I’m eternally grateful. So probably yes, the people. But last night, getting to talk to y’all at our meetup and become friends and learn more about you was so rewarding, right? Because I think before I’m posting to the void a little bit, and recording to the void, but now I’ve seen you and I know you’re real. And that was really, really special.

Eric: I agree. It’s always an interesting and extremely exciting time to meet the people that listen to the show, because when we record, we’re sitting in front of our computer alone in our room or a closet, or anything that we do. And then we go to these events, especially the conventions, which have to be probably my highlight, my favorite moments of meeting everybody. But we often get… has anybody ever said to you, Micah, “Oh, you don’t look how you sound”? Because I get that all the time. [laughs]

Chloé: The amount of people last night that were like, “You’re taller than I thought.” What does that mean?

Eric: You just project…

Chloé: Like I give short energy? Whatever. I have beef with all those people.

Eric: The more you think about it, maybe it’s not good to think about. But no, that’s really been amazing, because the opportunities that the show afforded us, right? So there’s been a great deal of personal growth when you start something like this with a group of people, all with very different personalities, but a shared common ground. I think what formed MuggleCast in the beginning, in addition to the fact that we were all pretty young and just extremely passionate, was where our personalities fit. And what began as “We’re just going to read the news” ended up being more.

Micah: Oh, we were just going to read the news?

Eric: It was just going to be a news recap show.

Micah: Oh, oh, I got you.

Eric: Like This Week in Tech kind of thing. That was what we were going to do.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, I agree. And just the opportunities that the show has afforded us over the years to be able to go different places and meet the people who listen to the show. It’s just great. Last night was awesome; I echo Chloé.

Eric: We had a live meetup last night. I’m sorry if the RSVPs were capped and you couldn’t get in, but it was a really nice time.

Chloé: We still love you anyway.

Micah: Yeah, blame Andrew.

Chloé: And it’s his fault, yeah.

Eric: It’s my fault. But let’s actually… so we’re going to do another game segment here, and this is where we are going to reprise our fan favorite Dueling Club. But in order to do this, we need volunteers who are interested. The way this game works – before you volunteer – the way this game works is we’re going to give you a category and you’re going to pick a character from Harry Potter, and the person that you are opposite is also going to pick a character from Harry Potter within that same category. And then you’re going to have to defend which one would win against the other in a duel.

Chloé: And then we’ll be rating your…

Eric: We’re going to be judging.

Chloé: Yeah, roasting you if you don’t do well. [laughs]

Eric: So if you would like to participate in something like that, could you raise your hand? Okay, we’ve got somebody straight back, in the back. Please come up to the stage. We will make a chair available.

Chloé: Amazing. Well, pick your side. Standoff. Why don’t you come over here? I’ll pick your side for you. [laughs] I’m loving the outfits.

Eric: Please, come on up.

Micah: What are your names?

Sam: Sam.

Violet: Violet.

Micah: Sam, Violet.

Eric: Can we actually get you guys to come up to the microphones? Or actually, I can move this over to… sorry about that.

Chloé: This is for you, Sam. Nice to meet you.

Eric: So Sam and Violet? Sam and Violet. Okay. Thank you for being our first volunteers. Can we get a round of applause for our first volunteers here?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Very brave.

Chloé: But I don’t think either of you or Gryffindors, are you?

Sam and Violet: No.

Eric: You know, other Houses can be brave, too, Chloé.

Chloé: Well, she’s wearing a Slytherin sweatshirt and scarf, and you’re giving Luna a little bit. So are you a Ravenclaw? Yeah, see?

Eric: Okay.

Chloé: I used deductive reasoning.

Eric: Well spotted. You know, you’d be pretty good at what we do on the show.

Chloé: I’m so big brained, you guys. You have no idea.

Eric: Okay, so Sam and Violet, for your round of the Dueling Club, the category is non-human characters. Take a minute to think about this. So it can be anybody you know that’s not human, whether they’re a house-elf, a centaur…

Violet: Does a werewolf count as not human?

Eric: A werewolf can… I would say that…

Chloé: I was telling Eric, this is a political question. [laughs]

Eric: I think it’s pretty cut and dry. Okay, 100% human. If they’re not 100% human, they’re included. Okay, but I hope that didn’t lead your opponent into guessing what you might be choosing if you ask that question, so just clear your mind.

Chloé: Uh-oh, Sam was also going to pick Lupin.

Eric: Okay, Lupin is off-limits. This is how we play. It’s great, we make up all the rules, all the rules. So think about a non-human character. And we’re sorry, this is a hard category, we know. Tick, tick, tick. Take another moment. Do you have somebody?

Chloé: It is controversial, this question, truly.

Eric: We’ve already said that.

Chloé: No, no, I know, I’m just thinking…

Eric: I will apologize again.

Violet: I mean, I have someone. I just don’t know if they technically count.

Micah: Everybody counts.

Eric: It’s okay. You know what? Okay, this is just actually to narrow the pool. If it’s slightly not correct, it’s fine as a character because you still have to defend whether they would win against the other character in a duel. Do you have somebody? Okay, so lean into your microphone, and we’re going to say “Three, two, one,” and then you’re going to say your character at the same time. Okay, three, two, one.

Violet: Voldemort.

Sam: Bane.

Eric: Voldemort and Bane the centaur. Okay, so on the one hand, you have Lord Voldemort, former human who’s really just magically changed and grown into something quite unrecognizable as his former self. And on the other hand, you have Bane, one of the fiercest centaurs, and fiercest for a traditional standpoint. So we’re going to take turns here; we’re going to start with Voldemort. Why do you think Voldemort would win in a magical duel against Bane?

Violet: Okay, I’m just saying, first of all, he has a wand. And the Elder Wand is the most powerful wand in the world. He is one of the most feared people in all of history, even though he couldn’t technically kill people at a school. But anyway, the point is, he is the most feared Dark Lord in history, he has a bunch of followers, he has power, he has fear on his side, and yeah, I’m just saying a centaur probably couldn’t face Voldemort.

Eric: Okay, okay.

Chloé: Sam?

Sam:: I’m really bad at this. Can we just pretend that he has a wand?

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Well, you know what? He’s got hands. He can hold… he’s got thumbs.

Micah: He’s got hooves.

Eric: He could hold a wand.

Violet: I will admit, Bane would probably crush Voldemort in a fist fight.

Eric: Are you conceding? Are you conceding?

Violet: No, no, of course not.

Eric: But do you have any more to say?

Sam: So if he did have a wand, I think… he’s a centaur, so he’s really smart. He was made to be smarter than normal humans. I’m really bad at this.

Micah: You’re doing great.

Sam: He’d probably get really mad and just kick him in the face.

Eric: Oh, a hoof to the face.

Chloé: Why did no one think of that?

Eric: You know what? Maybe it happened. That’s why his nose is caved in.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Bane has already attacked Lord Voldemort and won.

Sam: I’m just saying, he could probably just kick him in the face.

Eric: Yeah, kick him in the face?

Chloé: Totally could kick him in the face.

Eric: How does the audience feel about the defenses here presented? Who thinks Voldemort would win in a fight against Bane?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Okay, respectable, respectable. Maybe Voldemort supporters in the front row there. Sorry, I wasn’t assuming anything by the lots of Slytherin outfits.

Violet: Okay, he has Horcruxes. He has seven chances at life. I’m sorry.

Eric: Who thinks Bane would actually triumph?

[Audience cheers louder]

Chloé: Wow.

Eric: We’re going to say probably Bane wins the first round of the Dueling Club. Congratulations, Sam. So as a prize, we actually have… let’s see. BRB.

Chloé: Also, Bane has a pack. That’s going to give him a lot of support, right? And he’s fierce.

Audience member: He can look into the future.

Chloé: That’s an excellent point.

Eric: So I know neither of you are Gryffindors, which, that’s unexpected.

Chloé: Is it, for MuggleCast?

Violet: We’re better than Gryffindors.

Eric: This round each of you are going to get to choose a prize. Sam is going to get to choose first. We have a MuggleCast tote bag that we…

[Audience ooooohs]

Chloé: Vintage.

Eric: It’s a reusable shopping bag, which has a little pocket on the inside, and it’s really well made and durable. And on the front it says, “Carrying magic since 2005.”

Chloé: Are either of you younger than the show?

Eric: Oh, God, don’t ask that question. Don’t ask the question.

[Chloé laughs]

Eric: And then the other prize we have, and this is the prize we have for everyone else who does the Dueling Club in the future’s prizes, is very exclusive. My favorite thing that we’ve ever done for the show is the MuggleCast mug. And it’s Gryffindor colors on the inside. This is not strictly shippable, or take on the plane-able, and will probably shatter if you’re not very careful.

Micah: You’re not selling this very well.

Eric: But that’s what makes it vintage! Because these are the only ones we have left and they have survived.

Micah: Hold on, so would you say then that that is a leaky mug?

[Audience laughs]

Eric: If you take it home in your checked baggage, it might turn out to have been…

Chloé: I have a tip. I really do. Put it in the middle of all your clothes, and don’t… yeah, and stuff clothes inside the mug and around it.

Eric: Yeah, the way that they do if you go to one of those Christmas shops and they do the ornaments… I’m sorry. Anyway, we’re holding you guys up so much. You guys have been great. Sam, do you have a preference for the prizes? The mug? Thank you so very much. And you’d like the tote bag? Thank you both for being our first volunteers.

[Audience cheers]

Micah: And just really quickly, speaking of leaky mugs, Melissa.

Eric: Oh, Melissa!

Chloé: As soon as she’s doing something. [laughs]

Melissa Anelli: Now I’m MuggleCast.

Eric: MuggleCast?

Micah: Oh, you’re MuggleCast.

Melissa: John and Frak ditched me, so…

Eric: Oh. Ladies and gentlemen, Melissa Anelli, the woman that has made all of this possible!

[Audience cheers]

Melissa: Ooh, is it your birthday?

Micah: August 17.

Melissa: Okay, close enough.

Eric: Please come down and grab that mic; you can reach it around.

Melisas: Hello, fellow MuggleCasters.

Eric: Hello, Melissa. Welcome, welcome. We just finished talking about how old we are.

Melissa: I’m so glad I got here now.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: But we are playing the Dueling Club.

Melissa: Okay.

Eric: You remember how this goes?

Melissa: As a MuggleCaster, I know about this.

Eric: Oh, of course. That’s right. One of the original hosts of our show.

Melissa: You do what… you ask questions?

Chloé: Almost.

Eric: Um, yes? Question mark. We ask the question, the only question that matters is who would win in a duel?

Melissa: Okay.

Eric: And we get two audience members to participate. Do we have other volunteers, by the way, who want to try this out? Okay, right in the front, Rex, and also the two-toned white and black hair over there. Welcome, welcome, welcome. And then Melissa, if you wouldn’t mind sharing the mic. You know what, I actually had that mic earlier today and it does work; it’s just the light is gone. Okay, okay. Your new category of characters – and this is a little limiting, but we’re going to go with it – Defense Against the Dark Arts professors.

Rex: Okay.

Eric: Rex is ready. He’s like, “Okay.”

Chloé: Rex has his own Harry Potter podcast. [laughs]

Eric: Let’s take a minute because if you guys do say the same character, you both have to pick different characters.

Rex: Okay.

Jenny: Okay, let me think this one through.

Eric: Yeah, take your time. You have your first one and a backup? DADA professors. Are you all set?

Jenny: Yeah.

Eric: Okay. Oh, sorry, what were your names? So Rex?

Rex: I’m Rex. That is my name.

Eric: And…?

Jenny: Jenny.

Eric: Jenny? Okay. Thank you both. We’re going to say three, two, one, and you’re both going to say your character name of DADA professors, who would win in a duel. Okay, three, two, one.

Jenny: Fake Moody.

Rex: Lupin.

Eric: Fake Moody versus Remus Lupin.

[Audience ooooohs]

Rex: That’s good.

Eric: Okay, who has a ready defense and would like to go first?

Jenny: I’m ready.

Melissa: Okay.

Eric: Oh, wow. How interesting that the person I singled out as being a huge Voldemort supporter is now supporting a Death Eater.

Jenny: [laughs] I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Chloé: You literally have a Dark Mark on you.

Eric: Jenny is hiding the Dark Mark. Okay, Jenny, why would fake Moody beat Remus Lupin, our favorite DADA professor?

Jenny: Sure. So fake Moody has chaotic energy. He will literally torture things in class and murder spiders, so I believe he would have no problem trying to murder another teacher.

Chloé: Valid. So valid.

Eric: I find that very compelling.

Rex: I know it might not be canon, but I’m sure Lupin has murdered a spider before…

[Audience laughs]

Rex: … so I don’t think that’s impressive. And if this is on a full moon, and he didn’t take his… he has the werewolf energy and that is kinda scary.

Eric: So he can wolf out…

Rex: And kill spiders.

Eric: … and he’s probably killed a spider. But Moody is kind of the X factor; you don’t know, he could go real far. Barty Crouch. Okay, I can’t decide this, and I don’t know about you guys, but should we let the audience figure out who won? Who thinks that Remus Lupin would triumph over Barty Crouch, Jr.?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: And who thinks that Barty Crouch, Jr. would triumph over Remus?

[Audience cheers louder]

Eric: I wasn’t prepared to embrace the evil, but Jenny has absolutely surprised us.

Rex: That was a good choice.

Eric: She surprised me by coming up with that. I want to say congratulations, Jenny. And if you guys do want a MuggleCast mug, we have them here.

Rex: I’ll take one. Mine broke.

Eric: Okay, and Jenny, thank you both very much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Chloé: An excellent choice.

Eric: We have one more round if people want to play, if we have two more volunteers. In the back in the vulture hat, and over there in the blue hat. Welcome, welcome. Only people with hats.

Chloé: Oh wow, that’s so excellent. You look so good.

Eric: Oh my God.

Mike: I know, I can’t win against that. Actually, I’m covered in Patronuses, so I can.

Eric: Listen, I was going to say, not with that attitude. You got this. You got this.

Chloé: For those listening, we’re currently looking at a fabulous, fabulous Snape cosplay, but specifically when he’s a boggart.

Eric: Neville’s grandma, yes. Boggart Snape. Okay. Oh, happy birthday! And what is your name?

Claire: My name is Claire.

Chloé: This cake is for you.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: If you have something that can cut this cake, you can just take it. It’s cool, it’s cool. It says “Happee Birthdae Micah” on it, but I’m sure that’s fine.

Melissa: I have such issue with this. Hagrid knew how to spell. I’m sorry.

Eric: No, he didn’t.

Melissa: He knew how to spell!

Mike: This is a whole new Dueling Club now.

Eric: He tries, he tries. Okay, okay, sorry. I’m sorry, what was your name again?

Claire: My name is Claire.

Eric: Claire.

Micah: It’s her birthday.

Eric: And your name, sir.

Mike: I’m Mike.

Eric: Claire and Mike. Okay, so your category for the Dueling Club: Weasleys.

[Audience ooooohs]

Chloé: My idea, thank you.

Eric: This was Chloé’s idea. Shout-out to Chloé again. Take your time, just think about it for a minute, and remember that if you do say the same character, we’re going to make you both choose a different character, so have a backup ready. Claire, Mike, okay, you’re both very good. Okay, we’re going to say three, two, one. You’re each going to say your character. Three, two, one.

Claire: Charlie.

Mike: Molly.

[Audience ooooohs]

Eric: Charlie and Molly.

Claire: Why do you think they’re fighting?

Eric: That’s another great question. Why would they fight? Who would like to defend their choice first?

Claire: I’m happy to go.

Eric: Okay, okay. Claire, why would Charlie Weasley be able to defeat his mother in a duel?

Claire: So I would say Charlie, we hear really the least about him. And I really think that he is probably a very powerful wizard, and he also works with dragons, and dragons are very powerful creatures. I don’t know if anyone has been reading things like Fourth Wing and whatnot. So I think that Charlie would win because he would also have the help of a dragon, which we know cannot really be defeated unless there’s multiple witches and wizards fighting against it at the same time.

Chloé: Did you cite fan fiction just then?

Claire: No, no, no, it’s a book. Rebecca Yarros.

Eric: Okay, okay. Mike, we’re going to check in with you. How are you feeling?

Mike: Mother knows best. You don’t mess with your mom.

Eric: Oh, snap.

Mike: I mean, we know she’s a powerful witch. We know that. But I mean, that’s beyond the point we’re talking about. You have the interpersonal relationship. You really going to go up against your mom?

Chloé: Also, probably taught him everything he knows.

Mike: Yeah, there you go.

Micah: I think I have the perfect person to judge. Arthur is sitting right over here.

[Audience laughs]

Micah: And I don’t want you to struggle too much between your wife and your son, but…

Audience member dressed as Arthur: We’ll just have to ask Bellatrix.

Chloé: Boo.

Melissa: I agree. Molly.

Chloé: That is such a fair argument.

Eric: But could she bring herself to raise her wand against her…? Well, he’s not the oldest.

Chloé: That wasn’t the question, though.

Eric: Okay, okay, who would win in a duel? Okay.

Melissa: The assumption, right, the premise is that this is the Dueling Club.

Eric: Oh, right. You’re right. No, Melissa really… yeah, that’s a great point.

Melissa: As a MuggleCaster, I know these things.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Let’s be honest, Melissa was always the best MuggleCaster. Okay, so please help yourselves to your mugs if you would like them. Thank you both for playing. Okay, so next we wanted to touch on, just since we’ve been fans for so long… oh, Melissa, be sure to get the mic back.

Chloé: I’ve been a fan longer than Micah, though; let the record show.

Eric: We did establish that earlier, that Chloé actually maybe picked up her book first.

Melissa: When?

Chloé: When I was six.

Melissa: When were you six?

Chloé: 2005.

Melissa: I’ve got you a little beat, I think.

Eric: But we’re on the same level. MuggleCast and PotterCast both debuted in August of 2005, so we have been Harry Potter fans for at least as long if not longer. I wanted to talk about now… just ask you guys what your favorite moment from the fandom was, so not related to specifically podcasting. But there were so many ups and downs as a Harry Potter fan, the many reveals, the many happenings, viral moments. Is there something that really sticks out as just “This was the wildest time to be a Harry Potter fan when this happened”?

Melissa: Can we say pre…? My friend is calling it “Rapture.”

Eric: June 2020?

Melissa: Yeah, my friend is calling it the rapture, and I’ve decided to make this a thing. Before the rapture, it was… oh God, I can’t… like, number one?

Eric: Something that comes to mind now.

Melissa: Honestly, when Emerson and I went and did the thing in 2005.

Eric: Was it before the seventh book or before the sixth book?

Melissa: It was before the sixth book. I don’t know if you guys even know this; it’s a whole new generation. Emerson and I were invited by J.K. Rowling to go to the release of the sixth book in Edinburgh Castle and then interview her the next day, which meant we had to be done with the book by the next day. And it was just this incredible night where we were at this castle watching her give this reading to a bunch of kids. And they wouldn’t, even to us, knowing we had to interview her the next day, would not give us the book until midnight. I was like, “Thanks, y’all. They’re in a room over there; could I just have one?” And so we took our books, and we were staying in this little hotel in Edinburgh, and we just ran. I had these heels on so I just took off my heels, we’re just running down the Edinburgh streets, I was like, “We have to sit down and read!” But it was the most amazing experience for at that level of being a fan because it was just such a height. And she was still our…

Eric: Did she call you on the phone? Because I seem to remember Emerson either missed the call or it was like, “Em, it’s Jo…”

Melissa: Emerson missed the call. And her assistant had warned me, her assistant said, “Can I call you?” And I was like, “Sure.” And then I realized that her assistant and I had talked plenty about many things; she never once had to call me. And I thought to myself, “Don’t think that. Don’t think that. It could be… don’t think that. Don’t go there.” And then at 8:00 in the morning I pick up the phone and it was J.K. Rowling.

Eric: Thank God she didn’t say, like, “We’re thinking of litigating against you and you need to end the fan site.” It’s not like, “Hey, you’ve got to shut it down.”

Melissa: Similar things have happened.

Eric: So was it not her house that you went to?

Melissa: The castle was the party and then it was her house the next day that we went to, which was wild. And then I got to go again and interview her for my book, which was such an incredible experience because it was past all the glitz and glamour phase and we were just… it felt like we had been through something together because of this fandom thing. Obviously, what she’d gone through was a lot more, but it really felt like we could finally talk about everything openly; there were no more secrets. And so I spent two days in our house just – not sleeping over – two full days just chatting, and it was delightful. She was delightful then.

Eric: Yeah, a simpler time. Anybody else have…?

Micah: I always remember her website, and the reveals that she would do on the site were just so cool. The little puzzles you had to figure out in order to get the titles of the different books.

Eric: I never figured them out. I had to go to MuggleNet and figure out how to…. “Jo’s website hacks.” It was impossible. The WOMBATs – did anybody do the WOMBAT quizzes? They are the hardest possible questions.

Melissa: That’s not up anymore, right?

Eric: No.

Micah: There was just such an energy about it. There was an energy.

Eric: There was an energy, and that’s how big…

Melissa: It’s the same energy that Taylor Swift fans have now. It’s the same energy.

Eric: I didn’t think it would be recreated ever, but you’ve actually pointed that out that I’m pretty sure that’s 100% accurate.

Melissa: They’re figuring things out together.

Eric: Taylor Swift energy. By the way, MuggleCast is older than Taylor Swift’s first album.

Melissa: I was going to say, Taylor Swift?

[Audience laughs]

Micah: Pretty close.

Melissa: Pretty close, but no.

Chloé: Taylor Swift is similar in age, actually, to you.

Melissa: Hey, at 20 we should do something. Years.

Chloé: In two years.

Melissa: 2025.

Eric: Why don’t we go and stage our own party in Edinburgh Castle? We’re going to dream big and you’re all invited.

Chloé: I will bring a newer fandom moment to y’all for my Gen Z and my newer fans, newer generation. All the Young Dudes.

[A few cheers in crowd]

Chloé: Right? Yes, and the Marauder fandom and what’s happened after. Post-rapture, the fans have really claimed this series and made it their own and created beautiful, wonderful stories that are the spinoffs we’ve really wanted. So I love that, and I love Harry Potter TikTok, and that actually has been a really wonderful moment for me, especially again during the pandemic.

Melissa: I want to add to that a little bit because I think if we’re doing pre-rapture and post-rapture – it’s already a thing, I’m so excited – so I think the fact that LeakyCon has now become maybe one of the only, if only, in-person place where you can still come and celebrate the story and not feel like you are celebrating somebody whose views you don’t agree with.

Eric: Thank you for that.

[Audience cheers]

Melissa: It’s so special. It’s not me, it’s our team that cares so very deeply about making sure that the space that we all built as fans doesn’t get ruined because of things that she’s doing. And I won’t pretend it’s been easy, but the fact that y’all come and support it is a huge reason why we can still do this, that we can count on the fandom to be here for each other still.

Eric: Yeah, I will say it does give me hope seeing all the Harry Potter influencers on TikTok and just making it their own. That’s what it’s all about. Yeah, I mean, for me, I’d love to think about something not JKR centered, but something that is tangentially related, of course. We brought this up earlier, but Evanna Lynch used to listen to MuggleCast and we maybe vaguely heard a story about MuggleNet; she found out about the Luna Lovegood casting call from reading the site. Well, so apparently she would introduce our podcast to other cast members while on set of the fifth and sixth movies; it’s really unbelievable. But all this leading to LeakyCon… I think it was 2011 you were in Chicago.

Melissa: ’11 was Florida. ’12 was Chicago.

Eric: I keep thinking it’s 2011. It’s 2012. Anyway, we asked Evanna to be part of our live show at LeakyCon here in Chicago in 2012 at the Hilton, which is a lot closer to Lollapalooza. How’s traffic been, by the way, for you guys? So she said yes, and we were getting seventh anniversary T-shirts – this is how old ago this was – seventh anniversary T-shirts made. I said, “Do you want to a T-shirt?” We had House colors; I was going to give her Ravenclaw one. And she said, “No, no, I have my own shirt.” I’m like, “Okay.” She shows up in the original MuggleCast shirt that we sold in 2005/2006 from Sam and Nate. It was based on the old iPod shadows design where the original iPod… because again, we’re older than the iPod. Or, the iPhone.

Chloé: I have beef with that design.

Melissa: You’re older than iTunes doing podcasts. Nobody knew what a podcast was. We put the 30-megabyte thing just up on the Leaky Cauldron and it broke the site. There was no Libsyn.

Eric: There was a dedicated RSS feed client. What is this?

Melissa: We were just like, “I don’t know, here’s this file,” and then everything broke.

Eric: Well, Micah said – and it kind of broke me – dial-up was still a thing. It’s unbelievable. And people were burning our podcasts to CD so they could listen in the car.

Melissa: You couldn’t go one second over an hour. You couldn’t do it.

Micah: Walkmans.

Eric: Where was I? Yes. So Evanna Lynch brought that shirt, which means we probably have her home address somewhere in our old order form. I’m sorry. It broke our brains because she was amazing in the movies, and seeing that level of… it just sold it for me. So you can tell me verbally that that was a thing, but seeing it and she was proud and brought it…

Micah: And she’s been on the podcast several times. We’ve gone on her podcast,

Eric: She’s great. But yeah, all the people… because that really shows us again, meeting everybody at these cons and everybody in the room listening, these are all the people that were affected by what we put out there and liked it and came back, and they tell us, and it’s really just been an amazing experience.

Melissa: That’s why when people say, “You’re still doing it?” and…

Eric: Yeah, we’re still doing it. “What do you talk about?”

Melissa: Yeah, y’all are still doing it. PotterCast is trying, y’all. [laughs]

Eric: Listen, listen, listen. If you want to jump ship and head over to MuggleCast…

Melissa: I’m telling you, John and Frak ditched me. I’m a MuggleCaster now.

Micah: Welcome.

Melissa: At least for this weekend.

Eric: I declare canon!

Micah: That was good.

Eric: Thank you. I need the thunder.

Micah: I’m going to do the trivia question now.

Eric: Do you have a trivia question?

Micah: I do have a trivia question. I have a prize to give away too.

Melissa: Ooh.

Eric: Okay, we do have a prize to give away for a trivia question. Take it away, Micah.

Micah: So we’re obviously celebrating the 18th birthday of MuggleCast. The question is – and please just raise your hand, don’t shout it out – who was on the first episode of MuggleCast? Who hosted the first episode of MuggleCast?

Eric: We have a Hufflepuff in the second row.

Chloé: Stephanie.

Eric: Shout it out. Stephanie?

Stephanie: Do you want me to go up there?

Eric: Sure. Well, actually, just shout it out.

Stephanie: Was it Ben Schoen?

Micah: I’m asking the whole host. All the hosts that were on the first episode of MuggleCast.

Chloé: Oh, we want all of them.

Stephanie: It was Ben, Andrew, and Kevin?

Eric: So the guess is Ben, Andrew, and Kevin.

Melissa: Kevin Steck. Oh my God. Where is he?

Eric: He really likes Skyrim.

Chloé: He came on recently. [laughs]

Eric: Is that correct?

Micah: That is correct.

[Audience cheers]

Eric: So speaking of Kevin Steck, he came on MuggleCast recently because we were discussing a certain video game that came out that we were all little questionable about buying it. Turns out, that’s one of the most diverse video games with a great story, and we love it now. So our copy for you, Stephanie, of PlayStation 5, Hogwarts Legacy is now here.

Melissa: So cool.

Stephanie: Thank you very much!

Eric: You’re quite welcome.

Chloé: Everyone should know that Stephanie’s outfit – that’s listening – looks fabulous.

Eric: It’s a Hufflepuff Quidditch player with their name on the back.

Chloé: Everyone’s outfits are so good.

Eric: Everyone’s outfits! Next level.

Chloé: You all look so hot. I love it.

Eric: [laughs] Okay, who wants to see us actually talk about Harry Potter now? We had a segment. This is where you’re going to challenge us. And Melissa, thank God you’re here.

Melissa: [laughs] We’ll see.

Eric: We’re going to play Make the Connection.

Audience member: Yes!

Eric: Making the Connection is an old segment whereby there’s a prompt, “Make the connection between Harry Potter and…” We then take turns and we need to connect it in a satisfying way. If we do not do this, if it is not satisfying, we lose. So would anybody like to challenge us? Here’s an example: Make the connection between Harry Potter and hearing the music of the ice cream truck as a kid in summertime. Right? It would be like, oh, well, Harry had certain summers, etc., etc. Like that. Or it could be as crazy as Jamie Lawrence used to come up with, like the lint in the middle of your belly button.

Micah: After you’ve slept for 12 hours.

Eric: After you’ve slept for 12 hours under a tree in the shade, yeah. So who has a…? And this is for the MuggleCast mugs, by the way, the remaining quantity of MuggleCast mugs. We’re going to give them out if we can do a few rounds. Does anybody have a challenge for us? Please stump us. Be as obscure as you like.

[Long pause]

Eric: Okay, we’re going to jump to a Q&A.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Which was the end of… let’s jump to Q&A if people have just general questions. But the challenge is out there; the gauntlet is… if anybody wants to come up with a Make the Connection for… okay, somebody, do you have a Make the Connection?

Audience member: I do. The Chicago River.

Eric: The Chicago River. What a great, proper… so make the connection between Harry Potter and the Chicago River.

Audience member: Specifically around the time of the tour bus…

Rex: The poop?

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Around the time of the what?

Rex: The Dave Matthews poop scandal.

Chloé: Oh, oh, oh. They dumped… okay, tell me if I’m right, but the Dave Matthews Band dumped their feces…

Rex: On a Chicago architecture boat tour.

Melissa: What does that have to do with Harry Potter?

Micah: That’s the point.

Eric: We have to find out! We must discover what it has to do with Harry Potter.

Melissa: They couldn’t vanish it.

Micah: They couldn’t send it to poop mountain.

Chloé: Oh, I have a connection ready.

Eric: Okay, Chloé’s got it. Maybe we’re going to vote on whose connection…

Chloé: I have a connection, I think, already. So when Harry is on the Knight Bus for the first time, there is a witch that he sees in the corner of his eyes, and she is visibly green. She looks like she might have already puked or she’s about to puke. And that is transportation that other people are on, that is bodily fluids, and that’s Harry Potter. So I think I just hit everything. Oh, but the Chicago River. They are drinking hot chocolate, which is often made out of water, and the Chicago River is also made out of water. And sometimes you put things in the Chicago River to change its appearance, like the green for St. Patrick’s Day. They just dumped a bunch of rubber ducks in, did you guys see that? That was awesome. So yeah, I just made the connection.

Melissa: So it’s not that the Chicago River was in Harry Potter someplace.

Eric: No, no, but the feeling the you get… or so, the Chicago River around the time that the Dave Matthews Band shat in it.

Melissa: When was that?

Rex: Like, 2007. It was going over one of the bridges and dumped all of their…

Eric: Yeah, yeah, we get it, we get it. Okay.

Melissa: I’m so sorry I know that now.

Micah: I think she still gets a mug, though.

Eric: Yeah, please come up and get your mug, by the way, for that awesome suggestion. And I think that Chloé probably nailed it. I can’t follow that.

Chloé: Yeah. Do I get a mug?

Eric: Yeah, you also get a mug. You’re also not a Gryffindor. Does anyone else have a Make the Connection for us? Okay, I see two, three more hands. We’ll do them quick. Yes, in the jean jacket.

Audience member: Bowling alley carpeting.

Micah: That might be worse than dumping the poop.

Eric: No, I love bowling alley carpeting.

Melissa: Is there something specific about bowling alley carpeting?

Eric: Bowling alley carpeting is that zany… there’s planets…

Chloé: I have one, but I’ll give you a chance.

Eric: Okay. It’s just the most wild patterns in the most…

Melissa: It’s like con hotel carpeting.

Eric: Kind of. So I feel like if I were a trendy wizard, or if I were actually crazy like Dumbledore…

Chloé: You are.

Eric: … I would get myself into Gladrags Wizardwear and the robes I would end with are the ones that would be patterned just like the bowling alley carpeting. I feel like we’ve seen characters in crazy or crazier patterns than anything you’ve ever seen in a bowling alley. Maybe they were trying to go undercover as Muggles, or maybe it was just Dumbledore on a Wednesday.

Chloé: Dedalus Diggle would probably wear that.

Eric: Dedalus Diggle, absolutely, absolutely. And I wouldn’t put it past Mundungus Fletcher to tear up some carpet and try and sell it to a wizard, saying it’s the latest fashion trend.

Melissa: Definitely.

Eric: Please come up and get your mug!

Chloé: I also feel like the Leaky Cauldron flooring would be just as gross as a bowling alley carpet, right? Because people are spilling beer on it.

Eric: People stick their gum on it.

Chloé: Yeah, for sure.

Melissa: Wasn’t there also a magic carpet salesperson at some point?

Eric: Yeah, there was a magic carpet at the Quidditch World Cup. See, you’ve got it. Melissa is on it, everybody.

Melissa: I’m on it.

Eric: Okay, in the front far left corner. Hello.

Audience member: Okay, I have a really crazy one.

Eric: Okay, a really crazy one.

Audience member: Harry Potter and the purple people eater.

Eric: Make the connection between Harry Potter and the purple people eater.

Melissa: Dumbledore likes purple… Dumbledore wears purple?

Chloé: I already have one.

Eric: Chloé’s got it.

Melissa: What is a purple people eater?

Eric: It’s just a green-eyed flying purple eater… one-eyed, one-horned flying purple… does it fly?

Melissa: Oh, what’s something purple that flies?

Chloé: There’s multiple connections there.

Melissa: There must be a dragon.

Micah: There’s got to be a dragon.

Eric: Hungarian Horntail?

Micah: It’s not purple.

Eric: It eats people.

Micah: Grawp?

Eric: The Horntail actually looks purple, but that’s because the image in the movie is so dark, everything looks purple.

Melissa: There’s got to be a purple dragon.

Chloé: I have one; I’m wondering if you guys will give it to me. Hermione is Muggle-born, right? And she probably grew up listening to nursery rhymes and children’s stories…

Eric: And Raffi. So much Raffi.

Chloé: … that are from the Muggle world, and I’m wondering if she heard, before she went to Hogwarts, the one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater. And then when Ron was talking about The Tales of Beedle Bard, or later when Ron who does this in the books and not in the movies, teaches Harry and Hermione about wizarding life – because Hermione randomly knows it in the movies, which doesn’t make sense – but when Ron is telling them about wizarding culture, I wonder if Hermione in the scenes we don’t see tells him about the one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater.

Eric: Are we going to give that to Chloé?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Okay, please come up and get your Gryffindor mug.

Melissa: Did you say Gryffindor mug?

Eric: It is red and black.

Melissa: Oh, got it.

Eric: We originally had all the House colors, then they got smashed by UPS. They were insured, it’s cool.

Chloé: And Gryffindors don’t listen to MuggleCast.

Eric: Yeah, we’ve actually found out… we’ve talked recently, Gryffindor is… we’re exclusive of…

Chloé: If you’re a Gryffindor, can you cheer?

[Audience cheers]

Chloé: Okay! They’re all here.

Eric: Thank you!

Micah: They do exist.

Eric: We have time and round for one more hand. I don’t want to miss anybody in the back. I see a Slytherin in the back.

Audience member: Hi, the incandescent lightbulb, the one that just got banned.

Eric: The one that just got banned. I haven’t heard about it.

Audience member: They just banned all incandescent lightbulbs.

Melissa: Yeah, or they just can’t sell them anymore. You can’t buy new ones.

Eric: What makes them incandescent? Is it the filament?

Melissa: Because it takes up a whole lot more energy than LED.

Eric: Oh, tha LEDs, okay.

Melissa: And it’s the last Tom Edison invention. But wasn’t the light in Harry’s cupboard an incandescent lightbulb?

Eric: Melissa just solved it. Making the connection between Harry Potter

Micah: The Deluminator.

Chloé: Yeah, I was about to say, Dumbledore cancels lights.

Eric: Okay, make the connection between Harry Potter and incandescent lightbulbs, specifically the kind that were just banned. Melissa says the light in Harry’s cupboard was surely an incandescent bulb. They didn’t have LEDs in 1991; all the bulbs were incandescent. That’s a great one. You think you have something better?

Micah: The Deluminator came to mind.

Eric: Yeah, the put-outer could definitely do that. Chloé, do you have something?

Chloé: Well, I was going to just say that the Deluminator… Dumbledore literally cancels lights. We just cancelled lightbulbs.

Eric: We just cancelled lightbulbs like the Deluminator! Ah, it’s so good.

Chloé: I just slayed this.

Eric: I think you all slayed, and I’m so glad I didn’t have to come up with any make the connections. Please come up and get your mugs. But I think that that may actually wrap our 18th birthday celebration. We want to thank everyone for coming out to MuggleCast LIVE; we have had such a wonderful time at LeakyCon this year, as always. We want to thank Melissa for putting on such a great place. You’ve always been so good to us.

Melissa: Thank you for having me here.

Eric: We have more panels to do. We have two more tomorrow that Micah and I are on, and I will be participating in the stage reading of Puffs tomorrow.

Melissa: You’re in that? What time is that?

Eric: I’m doing the stage directions. 1:15 tomorrow, this stage.

Melissa: Amazing. That happened last week. It’s wild.

Eric: I know. So thank you again all for coming. If we just all cheer and say goodbye! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

[Audience cheers]