It's a Bad Bad Bad Bad Bad Bad Bad World is an episode of Beyond Belief.
Episode audio at Nerdist
- Frank Doyle - Paul F. Tompkins
- Sadie Doyle - Paget Brewster
- Glenn Frodgman, a frog - Craig Cackowski
- Otter - Autumn Reeser
- Mariella, Unpleasant Princess of the Maelstrom - Annie Savage
- Nightmares the Clown - James Urbaniak
- John Frodgman, a frog - John Hodgman
- Otter - Mark McConville
- Turtle - Parvesh Cheena
- Crab - Brendon Hines
- Badger - Paul Sabourin
- Badger - "Storm" DiCostanzo
- Witch - Kirsten Vangsness
- Joanna, a Witch - Melanine Lynskey
- Agnes, a Witch - Maria Blasucci
- Ghost - Yuri Lowenthal
- Steve, a Werewolf - Steve Agee
- Skeleton Man - Matt Jones
- Diane, a Succubus - Riki Lindhome
Frank and Sadie Doyle are in their apartment, when they’re interrupted by a knock at the door. Frank declares that one day they will open it to be devoured by something wicked, but that the only thing he fears (apart from bees) is losing Sadie. Sadie says it’s the same for her.
The knock comes again, and Sadie wonders if it’s that bee. Frank insists that a bee could in no way knock on a door. Sadie says it wouldn’t be the strangest thing that has come to their door, and when Frank asks for an example, Sadie lists many of the monsters they have previously faced. Despite these examples, Frank still doesn’t believe it could be a bee knocking at the door, and decides to prove it by opening said door.
It’s not a bee. It is, in fact, a talking frog. Sadie is delighted by him and tells Frank to mix the frog a drink, which Frank does. The frog says that he didn’t stop by just for a visit, and asks if it would be okay if his friends come in. Frank says he’s already imposing on their hospitality, but the frog tells his friends to come in anyway.
The frog’s friends include: his brother, two otters, a crab, and a badger. The animals sing a reprise of their Oolie Oolie Oolie Song. Sadie remembers them from their previous encounter. The animals have remembered the Doyles via a mnemonic device/song, which they start to sing before Frank cuts them off, as he remembers how to spell his own name (for now).
The frogs explain that they were actually princes who have been turned into frogs by a witch, however only one of them, Glenn, wants to be turned back into a human (the other, John, is happy to stay a frog). Glenn was in love with a witch, Joanna, and they were going to elope. Her coven didn’t approve and turned him into a frog via an enchanted apple. John saw the apple and, believing them to be equal shares in all things, also took a bite of the apple, turning him into a frog as well.
Unfortunately, it’s an ‘all or nothing’ sort of witch’s curse, so turning one brother back into a human prince will result in the other being turned back as well. However, John cares deeply for his brother’s happiness and is willing to be turned back into a human if he has to be, so that Glenn and Joanna can be together. The animals then sing a song asking for the Doyles’ help.
As they said ‘please’ (in a song) Sadie wants to help them. Frank agrees, and the group of them travel via towncar to the witch’s house. The Doyles see the house as being made of tiny liquor bottles, and almost drink them before the frog brothers say that, to them, the house seems to be made of flies. After closer inspection, the liquor bottles (and flies) both have ‘
trace large amounts of apple’ written on them, and the Doyles decide not to drink them.
Once the Doyles and frog brothers have seen through the enchantment they can see the house for what it really is: made of enchanted apples. Frank tells the animals not to eat any of the apples, and the animals say they’ll try even though it will be hard for them to resist.
The Doyles and the animals enter and demand that the witches reverse their spell on Glenn so that he and Joanna can be together. Frank describes witches and princes as ‘star crossed lovers’ amusing the witches, since that is not at all the case for them. They explain that Glenn (and, by extension, John) weren’t turned into frogs as punishment, they were turned into frogs as part of Joanna’s mid-term exam.
Her final exam is supposed to be turning them back, but she hasn’t been able to do it. She’s not confident enough and also it’s been hard for her to concentrate on her studies since the coven’s den is being haunted.
The Doyles summon the ghost so that they can talk to it. Frank asks whether the witches recognise the ghost, as he suspects they are the ones who killed him in the first place. Although he was drawn to their house by enchantment (he saw the house as being made out of hamburgers), he was actually killed by a vampire.
Frank asks that any vampires within the sound of his voice come into the witch’s house. When that doesn’t work, Sadie commands that any vampires within the sound of her voice come into the witch’s house. That does work, and Mariella Unpleasant Princess of the Maelstrom, a nosferatu-class vampire, appears.
The Doyles, totally unafraid of a nosferatu, introduce themselves and ask is Mariella wouldn’t mind being haunted so that the ghost can get vengence (so Joanna can study, so she can turn Glenn back into a prince). Unfortunately, the ghost is too scared to haunt Mariella.
Mariella is please that a ghost is frightened by her, as she is trying the psych herself up to fight a werewolf. In preparation for the fight she has been watching the witch’s house and drinking the blood of anyone who has been drawn to it.
Steve, the werewolf she wants to fight, enters. He is not in werewolf form, as it is not a full moon, but Mariella is still afraid of him. Steve and Mariella got into a fight because she wouldn’t stop quoting poetry and smoking clove cigarettes, and when he told her he could stop her as a werewolf Mariella recognised him as her natural enemy.
The Doyles ask Steve to call off his fight with Mariella (so that she can be properly haunted, so the ghost can leave, so that Joanna can study, so that Glenn can be turned back into a human).
Steve says he can’t concentrate on their lengthy explanation because he’s so preoccupied. The last time he turned into a werewolf he found what he thought was a pile of bones. Unfortunately, that pile of bones turned out to belong to a skeleton man, who was very angry to be gnawed on by a werewolf.
The skeleton man enters, enraged. He threatens to pull out all their skeletons as vengence. The Doyles remark that this skeleton man is of a much different temperament to the ones they met previously as those skeleton men were quite lovesick. The skeleton man reveals that he is not so different from them after all, as he too is in love, and tells them all to stay away from “his girl”, Diane.
The skeleton man warns all of them not to “try anything” on her, and they may well want to, because she is a succubus. However, Diane is interested in someone else. Sadie hopes that it’s one of their frogs so that they can go full circle on things, but unfortunately it’s not. It’s someone who has never shown any interest in her, in fact, his only interest is fear.
The object of the Diane’s unrequited love is Nightmares the Clown. Sadie is, as always, delighted, and Frank reminds Nightmares that they aren’t scared of him. Nightmares tells them that he’s been biding his time, orchestrating these supernatural creatures here to feed off their fears while he tried to figure out what the Doyles truly fear, and now he’s ready to put his plan into action.
First, he makes the Doyles sober and vanishes their flasks of liquor, which they decidedly do not like. Next, he puts them on either side of a stone wall, so that they cannot see or touch each other. Then he turns the supernatural creatures fear to blood lust, trying to get them to attack the Doyles.
However, the Doyles aren’t producing any fear. Frank tells Nightmares that for all his planning he still hasn’t found a way to defeat them. Frank explains that he used to be a feared monster hunter - he definitely isn’t afraid of facing down a group of them, and is fairly confident he would win such a battle. He also doesn’t like their chances against Sadie, who he says is even more fearsome than him, especially when the thing she loves above all else is threatened.
The creatures back off immediately. Nightmares is weakened, as they are now eliciting the wrong kind of fear - too much, too fast - overwhelming him. He doesn’t understand for a moment, but then realises: it is because he now knows fear. Nightmares is afraid of the Doyles.
Joanna is inspired by the Doyles strength and their love, and begins work immediately on her final exam. The apple works perfectly and she transforms Glenn back into a prince. John, inspired by the Doyles love asks Agnes if she’ll be a frog with him. Unfortunately for him, she only likes him as a frog. He leaves to go find another enchanted frog to be with.
Also inspired, the witches try to chase off the ghost. The ghost agrees to leave, and after doing a super-quick haunting of Mariella he leaves for heaven. Mariella agrees that she probably deserved the haunting for killing him in the first place. In turn, she scolds Steve for scaring her, and then leaves. Steve apologises to the skeleton man for gnawing on him, as it was an honest mistake, and threatens the skeleton man before leaving as well.
The skeleton man says he doesn’t need inspiration about courage or love, as he is full of both. He tells Diane that he feels used by her. Diane says that she was the one who was being used, by Nightmares, in order to put his plan into motion. Diane also realises that, as he is mad at her instead of still in love with her, it means her powers don’t work on him, and she asks if her might agree to give their relationship another try. The skeleton man agrees, and the two of them leave.
Nightmares, now powerless and tiny, wonders where everybody’s fear has gone. Frank tells him that not only is there no fear left, the wall has disappeared and their flasks and drunkeness are back. Nightmares despairs. Frank asks if Sadie would like to do the honours this time, and Sadie steps on him.
Frank says that it’s almost all wrapped up: all that’s left for them to do is go home, get drunk, and kiss. The Doyles profess their love for each other, closing the episode with their pet names for one another.
Frank: Oh no, a skeleton.
Skeleton Man: Oh no, a person.
Glenn: Lillypads are overrated.
Frank: All that thinking to figure us out and you’re no closer to beating us than before.
Sadie: Yes, we love booze. Yes, we love each other.
Frank: And not always in that order.
Sadie: But usually.
Frank: In that order.
Sadie: With a word we could summon a demon friend or a god that owes us a favour to knock down this wall between us, but then you’d build another one or come up with a darker way to remove us from each other. So instead, we’ll let you in on a little secret.
Frank: You see, one of the things I love about Sadie is who she has made me, who I am in her company. Without her, and thanks to you actually, Nightmares, I was quite the monster hunter.
Sadie: Dashing and dangerous.
Frank: Yes. Sadie met me on my last day, as the boogie man to boogie men. I saw her and put in my papers. So if you think taking Sadie away from me and then throwing a bunch of monsters my way will scare me, I’ll let you in on this: it is a thing I cherish, and appreciate, that I will get to show these monsters and animals how little I care for them when Sadie’s not around, relive the good old days until Sadie and I reunite. Am I scared? No! I am excited to see if I still got it! And guess what? I. Still. Got it. I’ll take the skeleton first and use his bones to take the rest of you! That’s my plan but I’ll play it by ear. They all have bones, as the skeleton pointed out, so we’ll see who’s I use.
Sadie: Oh Frank, be gentle.
Frank: Only when by your side once more my darling. And Nightmares? Monsters? If you care to meet the only person I’ve ever met who leaves me in the dust in terms of merciless cruelty and toughness, you’ve already met her. You put in danger the thing she loves above all else.
Frank: Me! On the one hand, I would like to see what she does to you. But on the other, I may have too faint a stomach for it.
Sadie: Yes, do try your luck with Sadie.
Frank: Oh, do not fall for that.
Sadie: Our love is the best. Do you care to see our worst?
Clink count: 10
During the moments in which Nightmares drives the animals and monsters mad with fear, and later when they refuse to fight the Doyles, Parveesh Charna can be heard screaming "Turtle noises! Turtle!" - since most species of turtle do not have a recognisable sound equivalent to a frog's "ribbit".
- This is the 219th episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The previous episode is Down in Moonshine Holler - The Hobo Princess.
- The next episode is Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars - Marshal on Mars.
- The previous episode in Beyond Belief canon is All About Evil (TAH #214).
- The next episode in Beyond Belief canon is Straight on til Mourning (TAH #226).
This episode was recorded at Largo on April 11, 2015 and released on August 10, 2015.