21 Easter Eggs Hidden in 'Welcome Back, Potter'
They say there's no surer way to ruin a joke than by explaining it. Luckily, I'm terrible at what I do and a complete rebel that no one wants to step to, so here's a list of some Easter egg-style bits you may have missed the FIRST 19 times you watched our latest smash Cracked Studios series, Welcome Back, Potter.
The season finale. As good a place to start as any.
A few commenters were taken aback when our stand-in Dumbledore mentioned that he was "gonna go suck some dicks now" in the opening lines of the series. We just wanted to take this opportunity to state that this was merely an attempt to stay true to J.K. Rowling's revelations that Dumbledore was in fact gay, and how important that was because of how deeply it affected the events of the story. We also wanted to take the opportunity to say "we" a few times, implying that there are more people you should be mad at than just Michael Swaim, despite the fact that he (I?) wrote the line, then said the line into a microphone, then giggled about it with his/my stupid buddies/digipets.
Serial pause-ers or victims of lag might have noticed a healthy smattering of joke names scattered around the "wizarding map" of the Atlantic Ocean in the show's first images. This map is outdated, of course, as it has since been discovered that Monster Island is actually just a peninsula. Please, no complaints.
The address on the door of Jarry's apartment reads "2 3/4," much like the train platform he was meant to find in order to board the Hogwarts Express was "9 3/4." GET IT? Difficulty rating: low. Humor quotient: moderate. Let's move on.
At about two minutes and 20 seconds into Episode 1, there's a shot of Jarry with a big bookshelf behind him. That bookshelf, and the surrounding apartment, belongs to series director Abe Epperson (Crazy Raul, Agents of Cracked), and he took a little time to stock it full of artifacts that should delight and amaze close viewers, or at least make them say "Oh, hey." Clearly visible are not only some Harry Potter hardbacks (implying some very disturbing things about the stability of this reality), but also a Webby Award, an antique film camera complete with film and a film slate, the snow globe from our Quantum Leap sketch, and a comically oversized set of rubber genitals (look closer).
Jarry isn't the only guy who thinks "Pizza Is the Best." That particular shirt is a staple and longtime best-seller at Busted Tees, the spinoff brand of our friends over at College Humor. Shout-out, torso-style!
This is Stacy Keach, formerly Hermione Granger, an enchantress on the run played admirably by Cracked's own Katy Stoll.
This is Stacy Keach. He played the father on Tidus and the villain in Nebraska.
This is funny to me.
If you'll notice, despite their condescension to Stacy, Jarry and Don also haven't really cracked the iPhone's more exotic mysteries. Their pot-tastic phone has about 4 percent battery left, and has seemingly only ever been used to order delivery food, check on stocks, and play Angry Birds, and by Donnie this one time because he thought the Madden 2k12 app was some kinda workout regimen thing.
Several astute viewers pointed out Jarry's obviously deep and abiding concern for his horse figurines and thought that must be a reference to Daniel's love of same in Agents of Cracked. In fact, it was actually meant as a reference to the horse figures young Harry Potter enjoys in the original Philosopher's Stone movie, as wonderfully highlighted in the Brad Neely masterpiece "Wizard People, Dear Reader." But your thing is better, so let's stick with that.
If you listen closely to the Animal World program on TV at the beginning of Episode 2, you can hear director Abe Epperson narrating the rebuffed sexual advances of Pony on his potential meerkat mate Rickshaw. Much like Don and Stacy, it's an ill-fated romance, but entertaining nonetheless. All due on-screen credit to the show's creator and EPs, Daniel Swaim, Michael O'Brien, and Hanzabar Jones, Hanzabar of course being Abe's creative alias, last credited at the end of the Agents of Cracked episode "The Case of the Sodomized Corpse." THIS IS ALL TRUE, PEOPLE.
Those who paid absolutely no attention to the central action of the narrative may have instead noticed that Jarry's bag of 'shrooms in Episode 2 gets tossed to Donnie, who drops it, recovers it, then loses it again when he pulls the invisible wiener out of his jacket pocket later on in the scene. This minor blocking joke made filming an already difficult, uncut, three-and-a-half-minute sunset walk-and-talk shot all the more stressful, so please, APPRECIATE IT HARD ENOUGH that it will have been worth the effort.
In Episodes 1 and 2, dogs can be heard barking in the distance several times, always provoked by Stacy's presence or Stacy-driven scenes. This was meant as an homage to the Terminator films and a subtle tip to the obvious fact that Stacy will ultimately be revealed to be a murderous time-traveling cyborg harboring malevolent artificial intelligences designed by a blind coder God from beyond the time-o-sphere. This is the same reason her name, "Stacy Constance Keach," is an anagram of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" (anagram harder).
Jarry variously calls Stacy "small wonder," "kid chameleon," and "the witches of Leastwick." One of those is a TV show, one a video game, and one a movie, creating a nice little comedic symmetry that means nothing and goes nowhere. In fact, the only real significance of this pattern is the clinching evidence that the show's author has finally succumbed to full-blown OCD and dementia.
"Observe and Matriculate"
... are synonyms for "learn" and "watch," although not necessarily in that order.
At several moments in the bar scenes in Episode 2, "Absolutely No Smoking" signs can be seen, and you can even hear Jarry ask a patron if he's "allowed to smoke in here." The constant haze in the air and Rom.com director Adam Ganser puffing away at a booth in the background beg to differ, though. Zoning laws be damned!
There's butter in their beer! In the Harry Potter novels, there's a fanciful wizard's drink known as "butterbeer!" Somehow, a lot of people didn't get this joke. Now hopefully they do, so Dan and Katy drinking warm flat ginger ale with butter floating in it won't have been just a sadistic experiment on my part.
It would take a true Those Aren't Muskets! superfan to notice that the wicked pre-billiardsing montage in Episode 2 is actually a re-creation of the same montage from the sketch that originally inspired Welcome Back, Potter, "Pool Sharks." Or someone who read this post, I guess.
Donnie's Hoop Dreams
Poor Donnie, ever the sidekick, never the ... front-kick? Flying side kick? What's the premier non-side kind of kick? Anyway, while Jarry was too busy bemoaning his situation at the top of Episode 3 to notice, maybe you noticed our intrepid Jersey Shore wannabe using a medieval chandelier to practice his layup. He really took to the muggle sports, that one.
In the chaos of the final battle, it was easy to miss, but Stacy distinctly muttered "Bantha crap!" under her breath to curse being found by some of Vagina-man's minions. Not just a reference to Cracked Studio's Adventures in Jedi School (though it is certainly that), this line was also meant as a small nod to the fact that, surely, in a world full of dragons and vampires and unicorns and elves, there's a little room for a mummy or two, or the occasional bantha poodoo? In fact, it is Cracked's official position that there is no imaginary animal that DOESN'T exist somewhere in the Harry Potter universe. The Hogwarts Zoo has a cage with an ent, a rancor, and a mogwai all constantly fucking for your amusement; they just don't show it in the movies (or books, or any extended canon materials, or somehow even any fan-fic I could find, which frankly is disappointing).
The House Elves
In case you missed the subtle implications scattered throughout the final episode, let it be officially and unequivocally known that the evil and all-powerful wizard Vagina-man, when left alone as unquestioned moral authority and master of a flotilla of orphaned house elves, in the dark confines of his innermost sanctum's bedchamber ... did exactly what you'd expect to them. Yuck.
Notice the spiral rune that emits from the pile of ashes the Head Death-Eater becomes as he falls to the floor? Many believe this is a clue that he is, in fact, the Yellow King who has been referenced so much throughout this first season.
Apparently it was canonically accurate of us to give Vagina-man this particular prop wand, which looks like the Elder Wand he has in the books. Yay!
Apparently it is inaccurate of us to allow another character to touch the Elder Wand, since that's not something you can do, I guess. Also I don't think the Elder Wand has a visible LED light on the tip or a bar code at the bottom from the prop warehouse. Oh no!
I care about neither of these things. I just wanted that on the record.
Thanks for watching, gang!