These “Movie Show” co-hosts pull no strings
You wouldn’t think of Modesto as a Hollywood hotspot – but, again, you’re not Deb and Wade movie buffs.
They are the puppet duo who host “The Movie Show,” a spoofy new series from Syfy that takes place at a local access television station in the central California town more than 300 miles north of LA.
The 12-episode series is an brainchild of comedy writers Alex Stone and Adam Dubowsky and follows serious fangirl Deb (Dubowsky) and her dumb sidekick, Wade (Stone). They discuss filmdom’s biggest sci-fi blockbusters aided by members of the human team Gary (David Theune) and Randy (Rory Scovel).
Dubowsky, 37, and Stone, 34, spoke to The Post about “The Movie Show” and what made their quirky series happen.
How did it happen?
Dubowsky: The network came to us to do a potential movie review type show, and that was our turn. Alex and I have the same sense of humor and tastes, and it evolved from there.
Calculation: They said, “We probably can’t get some top movie stars to come on a show and talk to you and we won’t be able to show exclusive clips.” We always knew we wanted it to be funny – we’re both comedy writers – and the puppet part of the idea was born out of, “How do you talk about real things when everything around it is. false, fantastic, silly and funny? Our thought was that if you see puppets the moment you turn on your TV, the logic goes out the window and you can do whatever you want.
Dubowsky: When we first started thinking about the show, my girlfriend at the time was from Modesto. I had been there a bunch of times and witnessed what kind of place it is. We wanted the show to be close to where the movies are made, but not really where the movies are made – so [Deb and Wade] can claim to be insiders but not really insiders.
How did you choose Deb and Wade as co-hosts?
Calculation: We’ve had a few different versions that we’ve released for a while. At first it had to be a fan and a failed sci-fi movie star; in another version, it was sort of an “Inside the Actors Studio” show with a button-down review.
Dubowsky: One version was going to be a Charlie Rose show; his grades were really bad, so they hire a new young host that everyone hates and there would be an inherent conflict between the two.
“The Movie Show” mentions upcoming films including “Voyagers” and “Batman”. Was it difficult to keep the show relevant during production?
Dubowsky: We finished filming last week! So it was very recent. [The movies mentioned] were a huge consideration; we started writing the series in january and it was scheduled to premiere this summer with all of the summer blockbusters no longer in existence.
Calculation: We were writing for movie release dates which have all been pushed back [because of COVID]. We were writing throughout the production in some ways because things are so fluid right now. It was a bit of a puzzle to put together and figure out what we were talking about.
How did the puppet work?
Calculation: There were two puppeteers for each puppet, so four people were hiding behind [Deb and Wade’s] office. They are very accomplished puppeteers who worked on “Crank Yankers”. One of the puppeteers, Artie Esposito, played Kermit the Frog a bit.
Dubowsky: We use the whole show as a living cartoon where we can do anything. Real world rules don’t exist, but we can talk about real things.
“The Movie Show” will premiere on Sunday at 11:35 pm before moving to its usual time slot on Thursday December 3 (11:00 pm)