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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Aquaman Shrine Interview with Ben Stout - 2008

As promised, today we present a brief chat with the genius behind the "Dear Aquaman" segment on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, writer/producer (and even sometimes actor!) Ben Stout:

Aquaman Shrine: The first question has to be, who the heck came up with the "Dear Aquaman" idea?

Ben Stout: I originally had an idea for a different self-help piece called "Snorkeling with Tony Robbins." It was a complete failure. Mainly because no one believes Tony Robbins actually exists.

AMS: Why Aquaman? Why not "Dear Spider-Man" or "Dear Batman"?

BS: Well, I must admit I'm a Marvel guy from way back, but "Dear Sub-Mariner" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

AMS: What was Craig's reaction to when you first proposed it?

His first reaction was, "I love it, but I don't actually have mental telepathy, nor can I breath underwater." Once we convinced him that the audience would never know the difference, he agreed to it.

AMS: And Thank Neptune for that. Are there comic book fans on the writing staff?

BS: Yes, but I'm the only one who cops to it.

AMS: How do you decide to keep doing the bit? Do you go solely by audience reaction or do you get mail from viewers?

BS: Well, since Craig refuses to take off the costume when we're not shooting, he kind of forced our hand.

AMS: How much is Craig involved in the writing of the show?

BS: Craig is extremely active in all aspects of writing for the show. In fact, it was his decision to make Aquaman sound just like the MovieFone guy.

I think that's one of my favorites elements of it. How did you end up writing for the show?

BS: I first worked as an editor, cutting comedy pieces. I started writing more and more, so they eventually made me a writer. Also, I slept with anyone and everyone.

AMS: Think there's any chance you could ever talk some female guest on the show into "Dear Mera"?

BS: Doubtful. But keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by a middle-aged and woefully misshapen Aqualad.
I absolutely love "Dear Aquaman", it's goofy and affectionate at the same time. And if there's ever a new Aquaman animated series, I say get Craig to do the voice.

Thanks to Ben for his time, and special thanks to Tim Schlattmann for assistance with this interview!


Fleerfan said...

Thanks for the interview. Now I'll have to tune into Craig's show every night.

Adama said...

Wow, that's really cool. It's too bad I'm old and can't stay up that late on weekdays anymore...

Plaidstallions said...

I would have never known this existed, I didn't know TV kept going after 10:30.

Bubbashelby said...

I caught the segment on TV the other night - boy was I surprised! I love it - very funny stuff!

Wings1295 said...

Okay, here it is, over a YEAR since this post, and I am just learning about "Dear Aquaman"!

Love it, very funny!