Apple Matters (Almost) Interviews Tiki Bar TV

by James R. Stoup May 29, 2007

After reading the title you might be a bit curious as to how I can “almost” interview someone. It would seem like a black and white kind of situation, either I talked with them or I didn’t. And normally you would be correct, but here at Apple Matters the “rules” mean less to us than at more dignified sites. That is how we can get away with cool features like “almost interviews.” But I digress. Actually there is an interesting story behind all of this, one which I shall now share with you.

Almost two months ago I contacted the folks at Tiki Bar TV about doing an interview for AM. I never heard back from them. Well, “never” is too long a word. Perhaps I meant to say something like “two weeks.” But it felt like a lot longer than that to me. Anyway, they eventually emailed me back and agreed to an interview. However, before we get too much further along with this narrative let me clarify one point. When I said “they eventually emailed me back,” the “they” I’m referring to is not the cast of Tiki Bar TV (as one might logically expect) but rather their producer and director (who are both very nice people by the way). In fact, it gave their whole operation a bit more credibility and professionalism. I mean, really, how can you not respect someone who has a director and a producer working for them? And, as if that wasn’t cool enough, both the director and producer are real people. I feel the need to mention this because I often tell people I have an executive assistant, however I always fail to mention that his name is Piper and he is my cat. I find it helps preserve the image some people have of me.

Anyway, back to the story. The producer emailed me back and agreed to an interview. I was very happy. After all, I think Tiki Bar TV is a great video podcast and I was very excited to be interviewing the people who created it, wrote it, and star in it.

My excitement lived on for another two weeks before dying of neglect. Alas! No one emailed me back.

A lesser journalist would have just given up hope right then and there. A better journalist would have hunted them down and stalked them till they capitulated. Since I fall somewhere in between I decided to go with the brilliant plan I like to call “wait longer.” Eventually I emailed them back again, and again, and yet once more. Finally I was told that they were in the midst of completing their next episode and because they were short-handed and very busy that they would get back to me within a couple of days.

That was a month ago.

Yeah…so anyway….

There I was, almost two months of waiting and all I had to show for it was a few polite emails and a list of unanswered interview questions. I had nothing. Well, nothing and a deadline. Granted, ask my editor and she will gladly tell you that deadlines mean less to me than some of our more punctual writers, but still, I couldn’t drag this out forever. Which brings us to today and my “almost interview.”

You see, I decided that if I couldn’t get them to answer my questions I would just fill in the blanks myself, meet my deadline, and take the rest of the night off. And so, after having a heated debate over the moral implications of such an act with my assistant Piper I decided to go for it. (By the way, for those of you who don’t know, cats really really really love laser pointers.) Presented below are my actual questions and their not-so-actual answers. Enjoy.

AM: Today Apple Matters is interviewing the creators of Tiki Bar TV: Jeff Macpherson (Dr. Tiki) and Kevin Gamble (Johnny Johnny). So, let us get under way. When people ask you, “What is Tiki Bar TV?” how do you answer?

Jeff: Well, TikiBar TV is a video podcast that involves two guys (that would be us), lots of alcohol, and a really hot girl (which would be Lala).

AM: This reminds me somewhat of college. See, you’ve aroused my interest already. Could I have more details, specifically about the “hot girl” part?

Jeff: Well, each episode features a problem of some sort (snakes, Russian spies, thirst) that can only be solved with a drink. Dr. Tiki writes the drink “prescription,” Johnny Johnny, in his capacity as bartender, fills the prescription, and Lala is there to dance and otherwise distract viewers from questioning any plot irregularities.

AM: Sounds quite interesting. Say, how did you guys come up with the idea for Tiki Bar TV?

Jeff: Well, both Kevin and myself are alcoholics and we always wanted to go into TV, so this kind of came to us during one of our more memorable falls from the wagon. I seem to recall we debated between two ideas, Tiki Bar and a show about drunken Eskimos. But we couldn’t think of enough igloo jokes so we went with the Tiki theme.

AM: Have you considered rehab? I would hate to see that Tiki Bar TV was canceled due to its stars dying of alcohol poisoning.

Kevin: We aren’t really alcoholics, we just play ones on TV. Hot damn, do you know how long I’ve been waiting to use that line?

AM: Well, it’s good to hear that you don’t have a drinking problem. So, all the bottles and such displayed on your show are filled with Kool-Aid, correct?

Kevin: Ha! No, it’s all real. Real glasses, real ice, real liquor, and (when the situation calls for it) real beer. Except for Coors Lite, that isn’t real beer, that is dog piss.

AM: Thank you for the clarification.

Kevin: You’re welcome.

AM: Right then. So, where is your set located?

Jeff: It is actually located in the main room of my apartment.

AM: Really? Must make for a great conversation piece during parties.

Jeff: Oh, it does.

Kevin: Or it would if we had enough friends to invite to parties.

Jeff: I’m not your friend?

Kevin: I like to think of you as my associate.

AM: Yes, clearly you two have a close working relationship. Have you ever considered corporate sponsorship? Something to help defray the cost? Maybe you could work in some subtle advertisements for some rum or vodka producers. Maybe Grey Goose could be the official vodka of Tiki Bar TV?

Jeff: We have considered it, but I don’t think our fans would like it and I’ve always thought it would be like selling out.

Kevin: That, and none of the company reps ever return our calls.

AM: So, Jeff, how did you come up with Dr. Tiki?

Jeff: Well, how else was I suppose to get Johnny Johnny to make drinks? Ask politely? That would never have worked. It has no comic flair.

AM: Okay, fair enough. How about you Kevin, how did you come up with Johnny Johnny? Why not Johnny or Jon Boy or something like that? And what is up with the hat?

Kevin: Johnny Johnny was created in honor of my best friend John who died in a skiing accident. He got on the wrong slope and hit a tree at around 50 miles per hour. According to the police alcohol may have been involved.

AM: Okay…well…okay.

Kevin: As for the hat? I saw it at a yard sale and decided I had to have it. I wanted something to complete the look and eventually determined that was it. In some of the initial brainstorming sessions I considered a beard, an eye patch, a shoulder-mounted parrot, or some garish earrings before ultimately choosing the hat.

AM: A wise choice. Before we go I wanted to ask you two some questions about Lala. But first, could you tell our readers why she couldn’t be here for this interview?

Jeff: She had better things to do obviously.

AM: Ouch.

Kevin: Yeah Jeff, that was kind of harsh. I think what he meant to say was that she is out doing whatever hot chicks do in their spare time.

AM: Which is…?

Kevin: How should I know? If I knew the answer to that do you think I would be here talking to you? And don’t mind Jeff, he is just upset because he doesn’t know either.

AM: I see. So, how did you manage to get her to start off each episode with a dance?

Jeff: After filming the first episode we realized we cut things a little short and so we needed some filler. Kevin turned the camera on Lala and asked her to, and I quote, “do something sexy and moderately time consuming.” She started dancing and so a tradition was born.

AM: Bravo! What a brilliant idea.

Kevin: We thought so. And according to all the fan mail that Lala receives, so do a lot of other people too.

AM: Do either of you get any fan mail?

Jeff: Does hate mail count?

AM: Um, sure?

Jeff: Then yes, we do.

AM: You two make an interesting pair, how did you all meet? Were you originally friends? Business partners? Mortal enemies? Did you post on Craigslist? What?

Jeff: Kevin and I worked on the same chain-gang during our respective stints in prison.

AM: But since it was Canadian prison you only did 3/4th the time as you would in American jail, right?

Kevin: That joke doesn’t work nearly as well now that the dollar has fallen against our currency.

Jeff: Getting back to the question, Kevin and I knew each other from college and stayed friends after graduation.

Kevin: Good times.

AM: How did you meet Lala?

Jeff: In a bar of all places. I know, I know, how original is that? I mean really.

Kevin: It was really quite a funny story. You see, both Jeff and I hit on her, in the same bar, on the same night within about an hour of each other. What makes this so funny is that we both used basically the same pickup line and so when I used it she remembered Jeff and asked if we knew each other. Soon after our partnership was born.

AM: What line did you use?

Kevin: I don’t remember exactly now, but it was something like, “Hey baby, how would you like to go out with a guy who has his own vodcast?” Yes, ridiculous I know, but at the time it sounded very smooth.

AM: So…did you ever get anywhere with that line in the end?

Jeff: Regrettably we both struck out miserably. And later we found out she was seeing some guy named Matt or something. He gently encouraged us to seek companionship elsewhere.

AM: And how did he accomplish such a feat in the face of two such strong and manly men?

Kevin: Have you ever seen a guy crush a beer can against his head?

AM: Yeah….

Kevin: Matt can do that with a beer keg as well.

AM: Well, yes, that image will haunt me all day. Thanks.

Jeff: No prob.

AM: And thank you guys for making time out of your busy schedule to talk with me, I really appreciate it.

Jeff: No problem, happy to help.

Kevin: It was a pleasure, look forward to doing it again in a few years when we are rich and famous.

For more information about Dr. Tiki, Johnny Johnny, and Lala head over to Tiki Bar TV and check out the latest episode, Blue Hawaiian.




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