Everything is Terrible's Commodore Gilgamesh on the group's psychedelic Christmas explosion


A little ADD thing going on there?

Yeah. That's just the product of, I mean, we grew up watching this stuff. I was a total television and movie addict as a kid. It just killed my ability to relax and be okay with something. I think the live show is a testament to us just being like, "It's not enough to make this insane movie. It's not enough to just come out in a silly outfit. It's got to get bigger and bigger and bigger every time." Hopefully it just keeps growing.

Is it like you're daring yourself to go bigger, like, "Well, last time was crazy and over the top, but what can we do next time that is crazier and more over the top?"

Yeah. It's like when we go see bands that we love, we're like, "This is great, but what's happening on the stage?" There's nothing on the screen, there's nothing going on around you guys. We just want to fill every second, and every inch with something happening, so there's no chance that anyone will ever, ever be bored. Ever.

So you can't look away?

Right, but you want to so badly, you know? That's what's so funny about it, that's what we love. It's the way we feel about the footage. It's a car crash and you just can't stop looking at it. It makes you feel awful, but it's pretty great.

Speaking of feeling awful, a lot of the footage in the Christmas special is dark. Maybe that's not surprising, considering how many Christmas specials have a current of darkness that goes through them.

I think that's the nature of such a smiley, bullshit holiday. It's dark. It's real, like everything else. It was interesting, I watched hundreds of the most boring, mediocre holiday specials imaginable. As I watched them, I was like, "This is one of the most oppressive, messed up systematic events of our culture." It upset me to watch them all. There's all these themes running through it that we found really disturbing, in how it manipulates people, and I think that kind of came out in the movie. It just made it kind of dark, especially for such a thing that we think is so fun. But you're right, it is kind of messed up and dark.

I watched the special right before bed and I woke up with those images still percolating in my head. You mentioned some parts being psychedelic earlier, and I have to agree. It is very psychedelic, in the sense that sometimes on psychedelic drugs your mind will just regurgitate all these images you've absorbed and it can be very disorienting.

That's exactly what we are all about, is making it a psychedelic journey. I feel like, when I go back and turn on a television and not doing Everything is Terrible, it's like I'm turning on Everything Is Terrible. Every moment is insane to me, and psychedelic and disturbing and hilarious. I'm shocked and amazed that everyone who watches TV every day isn't just a puddle of mush.

That's something else I wanted ask about -- how does watching thousands of hours of weird footage affects your perception of "normal" media and your viewing habits?

There's a lot of us that do this and we all have different responses to it, but personally I don't watch anything any more. I can't watch anything. I do this, then I watch maybe two or three movies a year for normal pleasure. It's definitely changed me. Like I told you before, I was a full-on junkie. I watched every single movie and television show I could get my hands on as a kid, and now I just can't even look at it for a second without feeling crazy.

I was actually thinking about this a lot. With all the holiday specials, I think there's an emotional pull that we're taking on, and I think the manipulation of emotions that happen in those movies is something that someone who watches one of those a week, or two of those, however often people watch movies, there's an emotional thing that happens to you. But when [I] sit down and blast through five of those in a night, I almost feel emotionally beat up by the end. I do think that we take on a pretty heavy emotional load by taking on all this stuff and breaking it down and regurgitating it. It's definitely a draining thing to do emotionally.

It must make you really aware of the formulas they use and, when you find an outlier, how truly strange the outliers are.

Yeah, and truly just how strange people are, and everything we've made in this world. It's just an insane world. It's amazing. It's amazing that we're all able to get up and put our pants on effectively. I'm impressed with everyone.

Everyone gets a pat on the back. Good job, everyone!

Yeah, and I think that's what, in the end, we take all this stuff that's so negative, and we're feeling bad about it, then we just feel so good by the end. I think that something we struggle with is people [say] "Everything is terrible.. that's so negative." No, listen to it, listen to us. It's everything -- it's not, it can't be negative. It's everything, so it has to be positive too. We hope that people get, in the end, that we are having fun and we want people to have fun and laugh at ourselves and feel, in the end, somewhat good.

That's one thing that I argue a lot. We're showing these things that a lot of times either were never seen by people, or were seen and then immediately forgotten. These are special things, and we should latch onto them and focus on them and love them. I think it is important that people make things and it is important to note that they are very different and it's awesome that that happens. I love that. We love outsider art so much.

Anything else you want to add?

No, I feel pretty good about this. Just tell people to bring their Jerry Maguires to the show.



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