If you think that it’s too late to get into the podcast game at this juncture because “everybody has one now,” just remember that two unknowns from New Zealand only started their podcast a year ago. Since then, it’s received over 650,000 downloads, and all they had was The Worst Idea Of All Time. (Surely you could do better with even the second-worst idea of all time.)
Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery met in 2013 on the set of a New Zealand public access TV show where Montgomery would interview Batt as he improvised reviews of toilets he had used that week. The two got along well, but that friendship grew exponentially in 2014 after they decided to embark on a journey nobody asked for: Watching Grown Ups 2 every week for a year and recording a podcast of their weekly viewing.
For their 52nd and final viewing of Grown Ups 2, fans of the show crowdfunded Batt and Montgomery’s trip to Los Angeles, California, where a packed house had perhaps the most enjoyable screening of Grown Ups 2 in the film’s history. Was it all worth it? Are they sad it’s over? And if watching Grown Ups 2 was the worst idea of all time, then is season two—watching Sex And The City 2 every week for a year—plain insane?
The A.V. Club: You had an Indiegogo campaign that raised over $5,000 to get you to Los Angeles for the 52nd and final viewing of Grown Ups 2. How did it feel to get to watch it in a packed house and on the big screen for your last viewing?
Guy Montgomery: I was not enjoying the movie at all.
Tim Batt: Yeah, I thought that you might, because it was like, finally we can put it to bed, but you were like, “I am not having fun.” I’m like, “Come on man!”
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GM: Yeah, it was really odd. It was exciting for the first 15 minutes, but at some point there was a big moment or a big laugh and you can feel the energy just get sucked out of the room and it was like, “Fuck! There’s still more movie!”
AVC: What was your most enjoyable viewing of the movie over the last year?
GM: Episode 29. We were giddy with hash.
AVC: How often were you drunk or high during this?
TB: The vast majority. At a minimum a few beers. I insisted the first 10 would be stone cold sober.
GM: After we rewarded ourselves with a drinking game, it was all just coping mechanisms after that. But yeah, episode 29, the movie was just happening around us and we were having the happiest time.
AVC: At what point did you realize that no matter how bad it got for you, you couldn’t stop the podcast, because you had too many listeners?
GM: We were pretty much committed to the concept before it started. We had discussions and decided that if we keep doing it long enough it will become interesting. It’s a testament to the life mantra: If you keep watching Grown Ups 2, you will go to Los Angeles.
AVC: Do you think you can still view other Adam Sandler movies, like The Waterboy, in the same way you did before you went through this experience?
TB: Yeah, I think I can still put an emotional barrier between the two.
GM: Yeah, absolutely. I haven’t watched it since we started watching Grown Ups 2 but …
TB: People are entitled to make “big money” movies if they want, it’s cool. I don’t think Adam Sandler owes us anything. I just think from a personal and prideful point of view, I would find it difficult to produce something that seems to be there purely to make money. Purely a paycheck movie, which I would struggle with. He’s helping a lot of people out by doing a paycheck movie.
GM: With Happy Madison, he’s the income source for a lot of these people.
TB: He’s like the person from another country who comes to America to flip burgers and then sends half their paycheck to his family back at home in a third-world nation.
AVC: With the celebrity culture being such a huge part of life in America, is it odd for you as New Zealanders to see Americans revere movie stars like or even people like Kim Kardashian, more than they do say, scientists and doctors?
TB: New Zealand’s got a really wonderful culture—and we talk about this a lot as a country—but whenever there’s someone big in the country we’ve all got a thing of just: Leave them alone. They’re doing their thing. Don’t be weird about it. Don’t go up and hound them for autographs or anything. Sure it’s a big movie star, but they’re only in town for a little bit.
[At this point, Montgomery noted that less than hour earlier Batt had run out the door looking to get a picture with Kiefer Sutherland, whom we spotted at the coffee shop.—ed.]
TB: Yeah, but I’m like a HUGE fan of 24. But we do have a real thing like that in New Zealand where we don’t participate in the celebrity culture in the same way. It’s creeping in through some of our tabloids, and I personally fucking hate it.
GM: If we did have a Kim Kardashian contributing in tax dollars on that much earnings though, there would be a minister of Kardashian in our government.
TB: So a good example is that I run a pub quiz in my neighborhood, and two weeks ago Lorde came. She just came with her mates and was on a team and it was fine. No one makes a big deal about it. People notice her like “Oh shit, it’s Lorde” and at the end a couple of people asked her for a photo, but no one is weird about it.
AVC: You ended up making the ultimate sacrifice for an American paparazzi celeb however when you tattooed Grown Ups 2 cast member Patrick Schwarzenegger’s face on your bodies. What was the tattoo artist’s reaction to two grown men asking for Patrick Schwarzenegger’s face to be tattooed on their hindquarters?
TB: They were very nonchalant about it. I assume all tattoo artists have kind of seen it all.
GM: They were still tickled though. We told them why were doing it and they thought it was pretty funny. But I looked at my tattoo in the shower this morning and I was pretty pleased about it. Our friend Tomas Cottle designed it for us and did a great job.
AVC: Is the ass the go-to spot for funny tattoos?
GM: I already have a tattoo on my ass from a lost bet. I bet my friend Dave that I would beat him in a half-marathon and the loser had to get the winner’s initials and time tattooed on their right buttock. Dave ran it in an hour-thirty-five and I collapsed after 17 kilometers and went to the hospital and got four IV drips.
[On Twitter, Patrick Schwarzenegger was hopeful the tattoos weren’t real, but they are permanent.—Ed.]
AVC: Which actor or character did you really just hate by the end of this?
TB: It’s a mix of the two and I’m not sure if the actor is coloring my opinion of the character or vice versa, but I’m gonna say Kevin James. His character is an asshole and a bad dad.
GM: And a very bad husband. He’s like a terrible, terrible guy who just makes jokes just for himself in the kitchen at his family’s expense and obviously you’re not meant to look at Kevin James’s character like that.
TB: Yeah, the jokes are just for himself.
AVC: Who were you then most impressed with in the movie?
GM: Kid Dynamite!
TB: Yeah, he is impressive. Chris Rock’s son in the movie. He says, “Ooooh, that’s cold!”
GM: Also, Braden Higgins.
TB: But Shaq is a hilarious actor. He is legit, he’s acting in it, and he’s got incredibly good comic timing and sensibility.
GM: And he’s an NBA All-Star! And Becky Feder. I really think she does a really good job. I always really enjoyed her performance.
AVC: You kept everyone in suspense about whether there would be another season until after the 52nd viewing. When did you know for sure you’d do a season two?
TB: I felt bad about it, but I really had to do press under the guise that we were going to end it just because I really wanted to create a reveal for the fans and that was really something.
GM: Yeah, I swelled up then. [When we revealed that we’d do another season] the crowd reaction was crazy, that was really the highlight of my whole year.
AVC: So… Sex And The City 2?
TB: My girlfriend is very upset about the season-two thing. We watch the movie at my house and I think when I told her what movie we picked for season two, she got really upset and I think her exact words were, “I just don’t want Sex And The City 2 to be a part of my life for the next year.”
GM: I think the TV show was considered reasonably good, I saw a few episodes and liked it, but I hear the movies are terrible.
AVC: I’ll ask you the same question about Sex And The City 2 as most people asked you about the first season: Why?
TB: We went down the list of countries where we have listeners, which is a very long list and we had like 1,200 downloads from United Arab Emirates and for some reason that triggered us talking about Dubai and that’s how Sex And The City 2 came up.
GM: We saw it was two hours and 20 minutes and we thought that was… challenging.
TB: I really like hanging out with Guy, I really like doing the podcast, and I really fucking hate the idea that we’re going to be watching Sex And The City 2 every week. Like genuinely.
GM: I am also filled with dread.
AVC: Is it at all weird that fellow Kiwi comedian Jemaine Clement is doing a HBO show with Sarah Jessica Parker now?
TB: Oh yeah, he just told us that the other day.
GM: I don’t think so at all. I hope not. Jemaine’s a good guy and we’re not going out to bag on her or the movie, just like it wasn’t really about that for Grown Ups 2, it was more about what putting ourselves through these viewings does to us.
AVC: It still seems kind of amazing to me that two guys from New Zealand could start a podcast in 2014, when there are so many different podcasts to listen to, and so quickly breakout as a show in America.
TB: Personally I think that goes to show the power of the Internet. That’s why this whole net neutrality thing in America is so important. It’s a really even playing field. It allows a chance to be heard. If it was like a TV show, it couldn’t break onto the scene.
GM: When we went up on Vice, that was a real eye-opener for how it’s this place on the Internet where certain people go and Vice is massive. As soon as that went up, then all these other news sources would release rewritten articles of that interview. When you hear about the concept, if that interests you, then you’re obviously going to check it out.
AVC: Do you have any other podcasts you might try to do in addition to Worst Idea Of All Time?
TB: Yeah, actually we had a meeting with a couple of people here in Los Angeles who are interested in getting a new podcast from us. Neither us nor them know what it is going to be yet, but we’ll do some brainstorming when we get back.
GM: It’s very exciting. Talking shit with Tim is fun, even if it means we have to sit through Grown Ups 2 every week.