Interview with Kevin Kelly Brown Part 2

Once again, thank you so much to MyrnaLynne for transcribing this

Interview with Kevin Kelly Brown: Comedy World Radio, July 31, 2000, The Beth Lapides Experience radio show – Part 2 Hot Sauce

transcribed by MyrnaLynne

Beth Lapides [BL]: Hello, hello, hello. That’s Senior Coconut, covering Craftwork, which, by the way… Senior Coconut was the guy from Craftwork and he moved to South America and he redid all his songs in this new persona. I thought Senior Coconut was a whole different person! Isn’t that crazy?

Blaine Kapatch [BK]: Yeh, crazy all the way to the bank.
BL: This is Comedy World, I am Beth Lapides, I’m here with my co-host Blaine Kapatch, and we’re talking to Kevin Brown, the Executive Producer of the Warner Brothers’ show “Roswell.” You can see it Mondays at 9 and it’s premiering – the second season – October….

KKB: Second.

BL: I’m gonna get that by the end of the show. Um, now, wait… I just got a message up on the computer: the fans saved Roswell by sending in bottles of hot sauce? What is that?

KKB: Yeh, that… We, uh… During the first season, we ran into some trouble, ratings-wise, and, uh, we were on opposite “West Wing,” which didn’t help…

BL: That’s tough…

KKB: But more importantly, we were on opposite “Voyager.”

BL: What!?

KKB: Star Trek Voyager.

BL: Who even ever heard of that!?

KKB: Who ever heard of “Star Trek: Voyager”?

BL: Yeh!

KKB: Well….

BL: Who watches that?!

KKB: Well, sci-fi fans.

BL: Ohhh.

KKB: So….

BK: Crazy Trekkies.

KKB: Yes, so it looked for a while there like we might not come back. So the fans of “Roswell,” who congregate on a website called Crashdown.com – which is an amazing website…

BL: That the fans built themselves?

KKB: Fans done all by themselves…

BL: Wow!

KKB: It’s got… It has the plot synopses, it has pictures, it has everything that you can imagine. It was, in fact, voted one of the five best entertainment websites by Entertainment Weekly.

BL: We, on Cabaret, was voted Top 10 two years ago.

KKB: There you go.

BL: And then we did nothing else on our site for 2 years. So that might be bad, that they were voted that… But anyway… The fans saved “Roswell.”

KKB: The fans came up with this ‘Roswell is Hot’ campaign.

BL: Ahhhhh!

KKB: And they decided to send bottles of Tabasco sauce….

BL: Tabasco only? Or any hot sauce…

KKB: Tabasco… No, Tabasco only, ’cause on the show, that’s what the aliens put on all their food.

BL: Right! Oh, that’s great!

KKB: So they were sending in bottles of Tabasco sauce to the network, and normally, in a situation like this… cause there have been fans tried to save “Twin Peaks,” tried to save “Prey”…

BL: “My So-Called Life”

KKB: “My So-Called Life”

BK: “Freaks and Geeks”

KKB: “Freaks and Geeks”.. Maybe if a network gets a thousands letters or two thousand, that’s considered an avalanche. Our fans sent in six thousand bottles of Tabasco.

BL: Oh that’s fantastic! Now, was it one person who sent six thousand?

KKB: Yes. It was just one person…

BL: Or was it six thousand people that sent one?

KKB: … who sent six thousand, Tabasco only.

BL: Wow! Now, why is it again that the aliens use the Tabasco sauce? Cause they can’t taste that many different things?

KKB: Their senses are heightened, so it helps them taste their food.

BL: Their senses are lower…

KKB: Sorry, lowered, right.

BL: Because they’re aliens, so they have less senses. That’s interesting. I would think aliens would have more heightened senses.

KKB: In the Pilot we had a running joke about wasabi {Japanese horseradish paste}, but we ended up cutting it out and leaving the Tabasco part in.

BL: That’s more American.

KKB: Yeh.

BL: Much more American.

BK: Wasabi is really American, Beth.

BL: No! I’m saying that Tabasco is more American.

KKB: And we had to get permission from the company that makes Tabasco. Everybody thinks Tabasco is like… like Kleenex, like it’s what hot sauce is… But it’s actually a brand name.

BL: So is Kleenex!

KKB: Yeh, exactly.

BL: And so is Xerox!

KKB: Exactly.

BL: And so is Beth Lapides!

KKB: That’s right.

BL: And so is Comedy World! Huh? [laughter] Um, so, they put Tabasco.. and Tabasco then became sort of a sponsor in a way. They got a lot of pro…mo.

KKB: We got… McIlheny and Company makes Tabasco, and they are very happy about it.

BL: Are they?

KKB: Yeh. They sold six thousand extra bottles.

[laughter]

BL: They must make 4 cents a bottle, though. It’s not very expensive. I think that if I collected something, like.. If I, you know, when I settle in a house, and I have like collections – I never collect anything – But I would imagine one really fun thing to collect would be hot sauces, ’cause there are so many exotic ones, and they are so cheap, and they are from all over the world, and you could have wasabi and Tabasco and… I love the whole idea of heating things up and, you know, sauces made specially for extrasensory… you know… thing. Now, what are some of the other qualities that these alien kids have?

KKB: Um.. let’s see… They can dreamwalk, so they can enter into your dreams and see what you’re dreaming, and effect the outcome of your dream.

BL: Oooooh.

KKB: They can change the molecular structure of physical things….

BL: That would be great! I’d love to have that!

BK: I would like to change this cup of water into a cup of cool water.

[laughter]

KKB: They can do that.

BL: They can read… I remember, I’ve seen them like put their hand on CDs and get all the information.

KKB: Yes. They can play CDs on their fingers.

BL: So they don’t need a CD player.

KKB: No.

BL: They are Walkmen.

KKB: Yeh. They are walking Walkmen.

BK: It was like Mork used to be able to drink a glass of orange juice with his finger, remember that?

KKB: They can’t do that.

BL: You know I don’t remember that one.

BK: “Mork and Mindy”?

BL: I remember the show, but I don’t… I don’t have the details down.

BK: You know what, that… I look at those… If you see a rerun of “Mork and Mindy” and he does that thing when he drinks with his finger – the crowd goes bananas!

BL: Really?

BK: I can’t believe… Uh… uh…

BL: That was before we had such things as “Roswell” with a much more sophisticated idea….

KKB: [laughs]

BL: Now, we’re here with Kevin Brown, who is the Executive Producer of the show. Kevin, you have an interesting point in your bio, which is that you were on your way to medical school and then you came to Los Angeles to care for the father of your godmother?

KKB: The father of my godmothers, right. Nora Kaye, who was my godmother – a very very famous ballerina – actually, the first American dancer to be recognized worldwide as a ballerina, as someone of that status…

BL: Wow.

KKB: And her father….

BL: You grew up around grace, didn’t you?

KKB: Yes, I did. Didn’t rub off, but I did grow up around it a lot. [laughter] Um, and her father… They were getting… She was married to Herbert Ross, the film director, and they were going to Europe to make a movie and they wanted somebody here to sort of look out for her father, take him to the movies and dinner a couple of times a week, whatever….
BL: See, I was thinking bedpans when you…

KKB: No, no.

BL: Dinner and a movie! [laughs] That doesn’t sound that bad.

KKB: I took him to see “Annie Hall” if I recall. So that’s what got me out here and then I got a job in the mailroom…

BL: But did you have the idea that you were going to be in show business when you came out, or what it really an act of loving kindness to come out…

KKB: No, it was just six months off before I went to medical school.

BL: Really, just following the path that opened up before you.

KKB: That’s… another way of putting it.

BL: Right. Six months off, but you were really coming… You were just following a door that opened.

KKB: That’s right.

BL: There was an opportunity to live a different way and move on in your life in a way you hadn’t expected.

KKB: Yeh. There are other things that were going on, too, but…

BL: You were running away from a girlfriend, weren’t you?

KKB: No, no. [laughs] I just wanted to get out of Phoenix for six months.

BL: Too hot in Phoenix!

KKB: Yeh, I think might have been the driving force right there.

BL: It was too hot in Phoenix.

KKB: Too hot in Phoenix.

BL: And it is so very hot there.

KKB: That, and living in mansion in Beverly Hills.

BL: Ahhh… Everybody wants to live in a mansion in Beverly Hills – who doesn’t want to live there?
BK: You were like the Fresh Prince.

KKB: Had I only thought that through, I would’ve come up with that show.

BL: That was a good idea for a show.

KKB: I think it was a great idea. And that was true, by the way, it was based on Benny Molina’s life… Or Benny Medina, his manager.

BL: Benny Molina was a friend of Benny Medina’s – yeh, they were a different person altogether. Are you a watcher of television, are you a fan?

KKB: Yes.

BL: What other shows are you a fan of?

KKB: Love “The X-Files,” although not last couple of years… Love “Buffy”

BL: And what happened in the last couple of years that you weren’t that big a fan of?

KKB: I think they just ran out of stories.

BL: I think it… well, they broke their covenant. I think that they had a covenant that was about, um, the two of them {Scully and Muldar} falling in love, and that they couldn’t, but they were going to at some point… And then they didn’t. It was just like.. “I’m not going to watch this for years and years, what’s wrong with them? Why aren’t they having sex?”

KKB: They teased it out too long.

BL: Yeh. They had to, and then it was over. And also, I think they do what your show doesn’t… I mean, you don’t do what they do do… You do the right thing; they do the wrong thing…

KKB: They do the wrong thing.

BL: Which is that they have A episodes and B episodes, which is, sometimes it’s super science fiction-y with like really goofy, like, wigs and costumes, and it’s like…”I can totally see where that wig goes on”…

BK: “Oh, I see the zipper….” Watching Dr. Who…

BL: And then sometimes it’s totally like sophisticated ideas. And it goes back and forth, the A to B.

KKB: I agree.

BL: So that’s also what got me off.

KKB: I like “Buffy,” I like LA.. not LA Law, “Law and Order” is my favorite show. Love “Homicide”

BL: Oh, that was great! And do you watch any half-hours? Any of the comedies?

KKB: Don’t watch any comedies.

BL: Do you think people divide up between hour people and half-hour people?

KKB: I don’t know. Honestly, the networks don’t think so. You know, because they program half-hours to lead into hours. And they think that the people that watched whatever was on after “Seinfeld” would automatically watch “ER,” and they were right. Uh… I don’t know. I’ve never watched half-hours.

BL: Too funny.

KKB: No…

BL: I mean, not funny enough.

KKB: They’re not… I don’t know. It’s… Even the good ones – I mean, “Frasier” is a great show, “Titus,” “Malcolm in the Middle” – these are really well-done shows. I just….

BL: Really. [laughs]

KKB: Or, maybe not.

BL: I think if you watched them, you might have a different…

KKB: That maybe true, I only saw the pilot for each.

BL: I see. Um, now what about… what about becoming a lead in, rather than a lead out? Like, are you now… Have you been promoted being a lead in?

KKB: We are a lead out because the WB doesn’t program after 10 o’clock, so actually we are a lead in to the local news.

BL: [laughs] That must be a great feeling.

KKB: Well, it worked for “ER.”

BL: I guess. Is that what worked for.. I had to stop watching “ER,” because there was too much pain. It wasn’t that everybody was jumping off… I mean, there is a point where you go, “I already love these characters and now they want me to love new characters”… I’ll just start with a new show. But, also, it just seemed like it got more and more like, too… Diseases.. My heart was like pounding, like… “Are these people going to be okay?” Do you find that with “ER”?

KKB: I don’t really watch it regularly.

BL: You’re done. How about the “West Wing.”

KKB: “West Wing” I didn’t watch at all, because it was on opposite “Roswell.”

BL: Oh, right. But then “Roswell” moved!

KKB: But then “Roswell” moved and I started watching it. It is an incredible show. It’s, I think, probably the best show on television right now.

BL: I agree. Because you really get a sense of like, “Oh,”… Now I mean, this is especially important now that the conventions are happening, that the uh… You know, what is going on in America, and is it possible for us to even understand, and has it become so corrupt that that there is no… I mean, you do get a sense when you watch that show, “Yes, it’s corrupt and a game, but there might be some goodness that’s possible.”

KKB: I think only on that show. I’m afraid I don’t think it will be in real life.

BL: So do you think that there’s conspiracies going on in the government?

KKB: Oh God yeh.

BL: And do you think that your show is helping to break that down?

KKB: I don’t think so.

[laughter]

KKB: Would that that would be true. That would be great.

BK: Well, the Tabasco companies are.. uh.. They’re sitting at their Machu Pichu mansions right now…

[laughter]

BL: Greg Miller wants to know: If aliens reveal themselves, will it help or hurt “Roswell’s ratings?

KKB: If aliens reveal themselves… That’s a good question. I, uh.. I would assume it would help.

BL: I would think so.

KKB: I would think it would help. Especially if they endorsed the show.

[laughter]

BL: If I endorse the show, do you think that will help your ratings?

KKB: We find out who represents them and see if we can get them to endorse the show, maybe cut some spots for us.

BK: Do some walk-ons.

KKB: Yeh, right, exactly.

BK: “Oh my god, hey look, it’s Bzork!” “Hey, how ya doin’ everybody!” Looks a lot like Bob Hope.

BL: Well, I endorse the show. I, Beth Lapides, who am very opinionated… I am open-minded but very opinionated, and I like it!

KKB: Thank you!

BL: It’s Monday nights at 9, and it’s going to be on October 2…

KKB: Very good.

BL: The new season beginning.

KKB: That’s right.

BL: And you’re going to break some big story lines, and there’s going to be some love and some science. Now, do you think that, if there were aliens and they were teenagers, they would be just like that?

KKB: I think they would be just like our guys.

BL: Here’s one thing that I’m so compelled about. There was one line – I was watching the other night and I wrote it down, because I thought, “Oh, this is exactly what it’s about!” There were like kids going like… “Oh, Mom, why can’t you.” Oh, the Mom goes, “Why can’t you just tell me your secret?”

KKB: Right.
BL: “Nothing you could tell me would ever turn me away from you.”

KKB: Yeh. That was a great episode, “The Toy House.”

BL: Is that what it was called?

KKB: Yeh, that was a great episode. Yeh.

BL: I agree. Because I think that’s really what it’s about, it’s like… How the daughter wants to be honest with the mother, but she feels like she can’t be. Is that going to be more the human mother and the aliens… Is that going to play out?

KKB: I’m not sure what we’re doing about that at this point. Whether or not Mom will find out this season, I don’t know. But that particular episode I thought was a perfect example of the way the show takes this metaphor and translates it into a relate-able, emotional story.

BL: It is a metaphor, though. You know, I auditioned for a part on “Roswell.”

KKB: Oh, did you now?

BL: Can I tell you this story?

KKB: Yeh.

BL: It didn’t go that well, because when I went to the uh, the casting director’s office, the casting director had an office that was connected… the waiting room served both for the casting director and a doctor. Which I found very disconcerting.

KKB: Hmmm.

BL: There were patients and actors simultaneously. And it made it very uncomfortable…

KKB: I think we’ve actually gotten confused ourselves and hired a couple of those patients onto the show.

[laughter]

BL: It just made me feel very uneasy. And by the time I went into the actual audition, I was just so flummoxed… I was just like, “I.. I’m not a patient, I’m not a mother…I’m.. one of the teenagers! I’m an alien! Who am I?” [laughter]

BK: Well, here at “Roswell” we’ll give you the prescription for the Monday night blues…

KKB: I like that.

BL: So the kids are… so Greg wants to know.. The kids are adopted and the Mom doesn’t know the kids are aliens. She just knows she adopted them and she doesn’t know.

KKB: Again, borrowing from Superman, in the Pilot the…

BL: Are they paying Superman residuals?

KKB: No, we should be, actually. Uh, I’m sure Marvel or DC will be coming after us after this show, but… They, uh, found the brother and sister on the side of the road. The parents – the Evans family.

BL: They’re foundlings.

KKB: Foundlings.

BL: We all feel we’re foundlings.

KKB: Yes we do.

BL: We’re all..at the side of the road somewhere

KKB: That’s right.

BL: And we’re only always hoping that someone kind picks us up.

KKB: Someone kind..

BK: Otherwise we’d just be ‘lost-lings.’

BL: If you’re not a foundling, you’re a lost-ling.

BK: There’s a big box of Lost and Found-ling. [laughter] “We’ll take the superhuman children with the Tabasco sauce.”

BL: Well, Kevin, will you keep us apprised of all your hot doings in the big TV world?

KKB: I certainly will.

BL: You have a very beautiful radio voice, by the way.

KKB: Oh…. thank you {embarrassed}

BL: Will you do an I.D. for the show before you go?

KKB: Yes, what should I say?

BL: You should say your name and who you are…

KKB: Oh.

BL: And you should decide upon that yourself. And then you should say that you’re here on the Beth Lapides Experience at Comedy World.

KKB: Okay. Hi, this is Kevin Brown, I’m here on the Beth Lapides Experience at Comedy World.

BL: And.. Do one more, and include “Roswell” somehow.

BK: Yeh, and not as gay. [laughing] Bring it way down, bring it way, way down.

KKB: Um… let’s see, include “Roswell”.. Did I mention the site? I did mention Crashdown.com. Okay, uh… Oh, by the way, you mentioned the “Twin Peaks” party thing? This Saturday {August 5} the fans of “Roswell” are throwing their own party – 450 people are gonna be there.

BL: Wow! Are we invited?

KKB: Okay, this is Kevin Brown on the Beth Lapides Experience at Comedy World, talking about “Roswell.”

BL: Very good.

KKB: Okay.

BL: Thanks so much for coming in.