The "X Ways to Y" series, as we call it, is our most enduring recurring format. We've been doing X2Y videos since our first season, back in 2003. There's just something about the combination of rapid-fire jokes, visual gags, and ridiculous music that we love. They're also a lot of fun to write, because everyone can contribute in a bigger way to a single video.
The seed for this video came to us from a fan by the name of Scott Karr, who you'll see credited as such. While the video retains a couple of his ideas (notably the "Trick a Friend" / "Threaten a Friend" diptych), most of the remainder were brainstormed by Paul and James before the rest of us got to the Moonbase that day.
While an argument could be made that X2Y videos are "the easy ones"-and indeed, we often do them when we don't have the resources arranged to produce something more complex-they can be deceptively difficult to pull together. For example, this one required the acquisition of some unique props. After 8 years of doing this you'd think we'd have everything we need on hand, but no. Green socks, giant calculator, large pen... a baby... these are things that eluded us.
None was more elusive than the giant pen. While James and Paul were out on their extensive prop-hunting quest, they reported back that were coming up empty on silly pens. So, I called around town to every office/party/novelty store I could find, before I finally tried the crafting and framing store, which inexplicably had exactly what we needed. The funny thing is, that particular gag ("The Old Fashioned Way, Super-Sized") was the easier option. Originally it was going to be "The Older Fashioned Way", featuring Matt in period costume, using a quill pen. Those props were even more difficult to find. Maybe when we get more costume space...
Bonus trivia! To calm baby Marley down, she was listening to her mom's iPhone, which was playing the Elmo (from Sesame Street) cover of LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It". That exists. That is a thing.
Considering the lack of prior planning, the fact that we were able to call in the props we needed, James' sister with a baby, and a fast food location on such short notice, really emphasizes our process: Flying madly by the seat of our pants, and weirdly succeeding.
Or succeeding weirdly. Both work.