Of Badgers, Wizards, and Burger Kings: Hello From the Magic Tavern

I love fantasy worlds. When I was a kid, I loved Alice in Wonderland and hoped I would find the rabbit hole to wonderland. I found Harry Potter at age 8. Game of Thrones at age 24. I got into podcasts with Welcome to Night Vale, and loved the premise of it. I was constantly looking for other podcasts like it, and my search was futile, until Hello From the Magic Tavern. 

All the fantasy worlds of my childhood collided with Magic Tavern. As the world of Foon grew with each butthole joke and Woody Allen reference, so did my love of the three central characters: Arnie, the hapless Earthling that fell through a dimensional rift into the magical land of Foon; Chunt, the shapeshifter who changes into who and whatever he has sex with (and is more often than not a badger); and my favorite: Usidore the Blue, the greatest wizard of all time (or so he says).

Where Night Vale took itself to the height of seriousness, Magic Tavern pokes fun at itself and its characters (especially Arnie). There’s so many running gags, so many references and piles upon piles of things to remember about Foon and its inhabitants, how do they keep track of it all? How is it so effortless? Do they know the exact impact they’ve had upon their listeners? If there was one thing I could say the Arnie, Matt and Adal (other than asking if Adal is single because he’s a babe), is thank you. Thanks for creating this amazing world that I can sink into after a bad day. Thanks for being hilarious. Thanks for making me crave croissants and potatoes every Monday.

As much as I love the improv aspect of the show, the plot is what keeps me coming back. Usidore’s quest to defeat the Dark Lord, Arnie’s interest in the Lunar Sword, the Encroaching Void™, the role of the Mysterious Man that broadcasts before and after the proper podcast, who or what the hell is with Sarah, Arnie’s Smash Mouth loving wife, and most important of all, will Arnie ever make it back to Earth, and what will happen when/if he does?

I hope these questions get answers, that these plots work themselves out, but if they don’t, the show will still thrive. It’s just too hilarious not to.


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