The Blank Check Lexicon of In-Jokes
- David Sims and Griffin Newman are friends, they are two people, therefore they are "hashtag-TheTwoFriends." That friendship is their competitive advantage in the podcast game.
- During the Starship Troopers episode J.D. Amato came up with code phrases for two Blankies to recognize and salute each other, which begins with one saying "I love movies." The second then asks, "Blank it?" which is met with "Thank it!" Then the two Blankies exchange a high-five. If done via text or in some other digital fashion, it can be initiated with a hashtag: "#ILOVEMOVIES".
- Since being hired to star in The Tick, a superhero series on the Amazon Prime video streaming service, Griffin will often praise Amazon as "the best company in the world" when it or its products are mentioned, and insist "they've never done anything wrong." He often rents Blank Check films from Amazon or explicitly mentions that he watched them on his Amazon Fire tablet in order to bring up the company 'organically.'
"And, as always..."
- At the conclusion of the majority of Blank Check episodes, Griffin invents a different piece of advice or saying or aphorism, often riffing off of something discussed during that episode's recording. The joke is that every "As always" entry is different, entirely without wisdom, and often not particularly useful to anyone but Griffin. See also Recurring Features, "Intro and Outro."
"Ben, cut that out" and "Ben, keep that in and double it"
- Occasionally David or Griffin will jokingly give commands to Producer Ben Hosley to make an edit to something they just said. Reputedly, Ben never actually makes those edits. This originated in the Phantom Podcast episode on Merchandise.
- A nickname for actor Michael Shannon. Coined by Fran Hoepfner during the Aliens episode.
Blank Check Pictures
- Sometimes Griffin will come up with an off-the-wall pitch for a movie that either stars one of the show's co-hosts, or is somehow based on their lives or experiences or personality traits. The production company that would put these movies together would be called Blank Check Pictures.
- A term used for a fan of the Blank Check podcast. Originally coined during The Podcast Reawakens episode by Emily Yoshida, which earned her the nickname "The Mother of Blankies."
"Blank it?" "Thank it!"
- See #ILOVEMOVIES, above.
- Verb, to create a plot device for a female character so she has something to do in the movie; does not directly affect the story. The term has its origins in the CGI character of Blarp from Lost in Space.
- A screenwriting term which refers to a character tic in a movie, assigned to a character where "it's one inexplicable thing that's their thing," yet has no real relevance to the story being told and could be lifted right out of the movie without any consequence. Originated with Will Smith's affection for his blender in Enemy Of The State, and coined by Alex Ross Perry who shared it with Blank Check during the Insomnia episode.
"But I Like Her" movies
- Films, usually romantic comedies, in which the lead male character romantically pursues a woman without regard for her nonexistent reciprocal interest in him. These films usually consist of the male character continuing to chase the female character until the end when she wears down and relents. Term coined by Chris Gethard during the As Good As It Gets episode.
- David's nickname for Colin Trevorrow, given while recounting how he'd been at the helm of Star Wars Episode IX, steering the ship. Coined during The Last Jedi episode, well after Trevorrow had been dismissed from the Episode IX project during pre-production. Griffin says he found it hilarious because it was such a complete non sequiter. "You gotta call the Captain!"
- A system similar to that used by referees in soccer/football, where Producer Ben issues cards (such as a yellow card or a red card) to the co-hosts. The idea is to penalize them for various infractions, such as not staying on track. This system also led to a new nickname for Ben: "The Commish." See Card System for an accounting of cards issued.
- A complex system of rules to distribute "Comedy Points" to people for saying something particularly witty or amusing was developed by Griffin and his friends, including Sam Rogal, some years ago. On Blank Check Griffin will sometimes give comedy points to David or Ben, usually 3 or 5 at a time. Keeping track of the comedy points you've earned, however, results in the loss of all comedy points. Many variants have been used as the situation demands; see complete list of types here - Comedy Points.
- As early as episode #002, Griffin can be heard eating on mic, often munching on peanuts or an everything bagel. After a few listeners were disgusted by these sounds, especially the first iTunes reviewer to rate the show with just one star (see "Sith Lord," below), Griffin doubled down on the eating sounds and even now from time to time he and David and Ben will occasionally flaunt this so-called unprofessionalism.
- During the Aliens of the Deep/Ghosts of the Abyss episode, Ben and David had a prolonged and very spirited faux argument about who was the bigger enthusiast when it came to aliens and space. In particular they discussed Europa, the moon of Jupiter which in science fiction is sometimes cited as being the most likely place in our solar system to harbor extraterrestrial life. The debate over who was the bigger Europa Fan later briefly resurfaced in the Flesh + Blood episode.
- Slang for a famous person, especially in the context of a celebrity sighting. Alternate spelling "famo."
'Financial Problems,' Allegedly, of Griffin's Dad
- Especially in the early days during the first three Star Wars miniseries', Griffin would occasionally mention something in a sardonic tone about his father's gambling, or inability to manage money, or other financial issues that may be real or invented. He usually would immediately say to Ben, 'cut that out,' but it never was (see "Ben, cut that out," above). Apparently, much later Griffin's father actually did listen to the podcast and was perturbed by these mentions.
- During the Cloud Atlas episode, whenever featured guest Bobby Finger let loose a particularly sharp line Griffin would say "You got Fingered!" and Producer Ben overlaid a sweet guitar riff sample. #TheTwoFriends liked the result so much that it led to the establishment of "Fingered" as a recurring bit.
- Term used to refer to CGI effects which are spongy or otherwise don't work well, causing actors and objects to behave in silly ways and look unrealistically goofy. Coined by Morgan Evans during the Count Dooku - Attack of the Podcast episode.
"The Great (insert name here)"
- When referring to anyone outside of the podcast, Griffin may refer to them not just by their name, but "The Great (so and so)." For example, The Great Connor Ratliff, or The Great Jar Jar Binks.
- Griffin chooses to believe that one of his grandmothers, Grandma Rozzi (sp?), never really died since he never saw her afterward - she is living her best life out there somewhere and just stopped calling him. See also TC-14, below.
- Originated in the intro to episode #005 when Ben Hosley started to say "hello fellas," changed in midstream to "hello gentlemen," and it came out "hello fennel." Griffin immediately adopted it as a catchphrase for the show, and also incorporated it into the list of Ben's nicknames. "Greet Ben with a 'Hello Fennel' if you see him on the streets."
- In November 2018, the first Blank Check tattoo appeared, of the phrase "Hello Fennel", on the ankle of Blankie Simon (the_go_slow).
"He's/She's/They're My Best Friend"
- Used (mostly by Griffin) to refer to a delightful person he has an affinity for, often ending a list of praise for said person. Usually refers to a fictional character or CGI creature, but can refer to the real-world actor/actress. For example, Griffin and David's nickname for the Guardians of the Galaxy film series, 'Best Space Friends.'
It's Been A While
- When this phrase is spoken in the course of conversation, one person may then repeat the line in a singsong fashion imitating the song of that same title by Staind. This bit is a carryover from the podcasts Comedy Bang Bang and U Talkin' U2 To Me?, which David has cited as inspirations for the general atmosphere and attitude of the Blank Check podcast.
- A nickname for actor Joe Pantoliano, a favorite of the co-hosts. First used on the show during the Bound episode.
Lock The Gates
- Used in reference to popular podcast WTF with Marc Maron. Maron spoke this line in Blank Check movie Almost Famous, and uses the audio clip in the intro to his WTF show. Griffin sometimes will launch into an impression of Maron as well, with phrases like "What's wrong with me?", "I was working as a doorman down at the Comedy Store," and "I saw Damon Wayans walk in and say 'tonight I'm just gonna do a jazz set.'" Other variants include "Who are your guys?" and "Pow! I just shit my pants!" Man, Marc Maron has a lot of damn catchphrases.
No Bits / Pro-Smits
- The show was founded under the auspices of a bit, where for purposes of the show Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was the only Star Wars movie ever made. The hosts then made an irony-laden proclamation that the show would be "no bits." When the well-liked actor Jimmy Smits appeared in Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, Griffin declared the show was not only No Bits, but now also Pro-Smits.
"No one should ever make a TV show"
- During and immediately following Griffin's most hectic periods of filming and promoting The Tick television series for Amazon, he frequently says this. Variant: "No one should ever promote a TV show."
- Griffin often refers to small or odd endeavors of his or David's as potential Obie Award winners (Obie being a New York City area theater award for Off-Broadway productions). For example, early in the history of the podcast Griffin produced the intentionally slapdash photoshop graphics with the co-hosts' heads over the films' promotional images, and talked about how he was going to win another Obie for it.
Richard T. Joker
- A formal nickname for The Joker character in recent Batman movies. On occasion the "Richard T." will be used in front of any other character's name instead, just to keep using the bit.
The River of Ham
- Term used for when an actor gives a big, bombastic performance. Derived from a Kenneth Branagh quote as he directed on the set of Thor. As related by Griffin, the exchange between Branagh and one of his actors went something like "'Ken, I think I'm going too big; I don't want to dip my toe into the River of Ham.' 'No, bathe in the River of Ham! I've bathed in it many times, it's a great river.'"
Serial, the First Podcast
- Because the podcast "Serial" made a big impact on the culture, which a podcast had not really done before, it somewhat obscured the fact that podcasts as a form of media had existed for some time previously. So Griffin sometimes refers to "Serial" sarcastically as The First Podcast. Notably, Layne Montgomery's first theme song for "Griffin and David Present" was very noticeably inspired by the theme song for "Serial."
- Anyone who rates the show with one star or leaves a negative review on iTunes is declared a Sith Lord. Sith Lords are not allowed to listen to the podcast.
- Refers to a movie or an actor trying too hard to make a particular story point work. As if you can see the sweat on their brow as they try to pull it off.
Talking Before Being Introduced
- When there is a guest on the podcast, David enjoys it when the guest talks on mic before they are actually introduced by name to the listening audience.
- The tea-serving silver droid in the opening scene of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, who apparently identifies as female. Griffin holds that TC-14 is the sexiest thing he's ever seen, and both Griffin and David love the actress who voiced TC-14, Lindsay Duncan. Griffin also maintains that TC-14 isn't really dead after the ship she was on was destroyed, since we didn't actually see her inoperative body afterward. See also Griffin's Grandma, above.
Too Much Paprika on the Sandwich
- Term used for an acting performance which seems to be slightly miscalibrated with the movie they're in; often a performance that is just a little too over the top in some way. A milder form of 'The River of Ham' (see below) - however, 'Paprika' is usually made in reference to a mistake that the actor is making, in the view of #TheTwoFriends, whereas 'Ham' is most often used in the context of a good performance that Griffin and David like. 'Paprika' originated from discussion of a sandwich-making scene in the film Split.
A Touch of the Tucc
- Another way of analyzing a film or performance. Because the co-hosts and especially Producer Ben are fond of the actor Stanley Tucci (pronounced 'Toochie'), they will sometimes say things like "What this movie needs is just a Touch of the Tucc." Coined during The First Annual Blank Check Awards.
- Sarcastically growled and accompanied by an electric guitar riff, to describe a creative choice that attempts to portray a shallow and juvenile idea of 'adult,' mature, or edgy. Used most often when discussing the DC Comics film adaptations by Zack Snyder and David Ayer, especially Jared Leto's portrayal of The Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad and his reported on-set behavior of gross-out pranks in the name of method acting.
- Any mention of the M. Night Shyamalan-directed somber superhero drama Unbreakable will be sung in the cadence, and accompanied by an audio clip of the upbeat theme song to the Netflix comedy series "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."
"Wait...You Grew Up in England?"
- Every time David accidentally implied that he lived in London England during part of his childhood, Griffin and Ben acted like it was a shocking revelation that they'd never heard before and milked it for all it's worth. The baton eventually was picked up by guests and even by David's friends out in the everyday world, to the point where David said that the bit had 'poisoned every well' in his life. The bit was officially retired, with great fanfare and ceremony, during the Family Dog - Amazing Stories episode. In January 2019, David made a pledge to allow the bit to return if at least 2000 Blankies subscribed to the newly established Blank Check: Special Features feed on Patreon. Two days after the first Special Feature was released... (listen! what's that in the distance?)
- The podcast originally grew out of an exchange of tweets and text messages between David and Griffin, in which they each tried to one-up each other by naming ever more obscure Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace characters. The initial message was Griffin's simple "Watto Tho" together with a picture of Watto.
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