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God Wants Me To Forgive Them Card

This is Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki talking about their second episode of VeggieTales.


Phil Vischer: Okay, Mike.

Mike Nawrocki: It's time for the commentary!

Phil Vischer: This is Phil Vischer.

Mike Nawrocki: Mike Nawrocki.

Phil Vischer: Uh, coming to you live from Lombard, Illinois.

Mike Nawrocki: I'm sitting on the right, Phil is sitting on the left.

Phil Vischer: So you can set up your speakers to match. Although, we're in mono. So sad. This is the open. Not much to say about the open, really.

Mike Nawrocki: (chuckles) This wasn't the original open. 'Cause I remember in the original open, I had "Michael" instead of "Mike".

Phil Vischer: (incomprehensible)

Mike Nawrocki: 'Cause I thought that sounded more sophisticated.

Phil Vischer: More formal.

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah, it was my artistic name.

Phil Vischer: Yeah. S'when you were taking painting classes.

Mike Nawrocki: *laughs* That's right. And had long hair w— in a ponytail. (Phil Vischer: Yeah.) That's more of a "Michael" thing. Like Michael Bolton!

Phil Vischer: Then you got married and moved to the suburbs.

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah.

Phil Vischer: And that was the end of the art.

Mike Nawrocki: And then I cut my ponytail off. I think, before, though, before Michael Bolton cut his ponytail off.

Phil Vischer: Really?

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah.

Phil Vischer: Wow.

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah.

Phil Vischer: There were, like, five ponytails at Big Idea, and they all got cut off within about eighteen months of each other.

Mike Nawrocki: I think it was, like, a single defining event that made us all cut it off. We were— I was out to dinner with Bill Haljun and Ron Smith, and me. We went out to dinner, and all three of us had ponytails, and we were sitting in a little row.

Phil Vischer: (laughs)

Mike Nawrocki: And— and it was like a formal dinner, we all had like, um, like, nice clothes, (Phil Vischer: Right… right.) and stuff like that, and I just kinda felt silly.

Phil Vischer: And the kids were teasing you?

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs) Nobody teased us, I just felt silly all by myself. And I thought, 'THAT'S IT. IT'S COMING OFF.' (laughs)

Phil Vischer: Wow. And then they all came off, because Mike is such a— a trend establisher (Mike Nawrocki: *laughs*) here at Big Idea.

Mike Nawrocki: Well, Bill— I don't— Bill might've gotten rid of his first. I'm not one hundred percent sure.

Phil Vischer: Yeah, maybe. Okay. If you have a ponytail at home while you're listening to this, we mean you no ill will.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs)

Phil Vischer: And please keep it, because it looks very becoming on you.

Mike Nawrocki: Yes.

Phil Vischer: This is still the open.

Mike Nawrocki: Uh-huh.

Phil Vischer: Many, many great shows are flying by before our eyes.

Mike Nawrocki: I don't think any— any s— I don't know if anything in the open now existed from the first two shows.

Phil Vischer: No.

Mike Nawrocki: Besides the open itself, which we actually ended up reanimating, just this little tuba part.

Phil Vischer: Right. So, this is entirely, um, premonitional? Premo– uhhh, it's ahead. You're watching a show, and seeing scenes of shows that hadn't been made when it was made.

Mike Nawrocki: Yep.

Phil Vischer: Oh look, now that's Bob and Larry. Oh, but, Bob's on the right and Larry's on the left, so they're backwards from us.

Mike Nawrocki: Uh-oh.

Phil Vischer: We should change seats, but it would make too much noise.

Mike Nawrocki: (giggles)

Phil Vischer: So what happened with this show was, we made the first show, uh, "God Wants"— er, "Where's God When I'm Scared", if you aren't familiar with the history, and, there were like, it was me and Chris Olsen and Robert Ellis, and Mike just on evenings and weekends - 'cause he picked a day job - and we killed ourselves, and we finished it right before Christmas, and we sent it out, and then we all collapsed dead in bed. And then, when I woke up, I realized that I now had two employees, and I had nothing for them to do.

Mike Nawrocki: (giggles)

Phil Vischer: Because we'd all killed ourselves writing the first one, and there was no second one to make! And so, I kind of freaked out, and we needed something very, very quickly to put into production. And, uh, that immediately drew my mind to a puppet script, um, that I'd written in bible college, and Mike and I had performed in bible college, called "The Forgive-O-Matic".

Mike Nawrocki: Mm-hm.

Phil Vischer: And I thought, 'Okay, that's done, that's kinda funny, I could throw that in, we could do that with veggies. You know, there's nothing about it that says it can't be veggies.'

Mike Nawrocki: Right, right. It was sort of the, uh, kind of, uh, taken off of "Bass-O-Matic" from Saturday Night Live, if I remember right, yep.

Phil Vischer: Right, right. So I gave that script to, uh, Chris Olsen, and Chris Olsen directed it, just to get something for them to do. And then I sat down–

Mike Nawrocki: That car— that car still looks good, even after all these years.

Phil Vischer: (laughs) I reme— yes, this car— actually, this— this— this segment was conceived, um, before anything else in VeggieTales. This– because Mike and I were kicking around, 'Hey, we could do works of classic literature.'

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah!

Phil Vischer: And remember that list we came up with?

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah. So this and "Madame Blueberry" were the very two (Phil Vischer: Right… right.) things first conceived. This came around a lot earlier. *laughs*

Phil Vischer: Yeah, and then Mike had ideas like, uhh, uh, "War and Peaches", and "Bridge Over Pumpkin Pie", (Mike Nawrocki: *laughs*) and there were others I remember like that.

Mike Nawrocki: Yep, yep.

Phil Vischer: Um, none of those ever got made because once we finished this, we realized we were much more into pop culture than classic literature.

Both: (chuckle)

Phil Vischer: Um… so, this started out with the song, though. The song was the first thing that I remember writing, and at the same time went to Robert Ellis and said, 'Robert, we need a jalopy!' And I just hoped that he could whip one up, 'cause we didn't really— we didn't draw much back then.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs)

Phil Vischer: None of us really knew how to draw. But, about an hour later, I mean, he sat at his desk for about an hour and then came back to me and said, 'Uhh, I'm not that familiar with jalopies.'

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs)

Phil Vischer: And I thought, "uh-oh".

Mike Nawrocki: I like jalapenos, (PV: *laughs*) but not jalopies.

Phil Vischer: And so, I had to sketch a— a jalopy, and that was the best I could sketch.

Mike Nawrocki: But it still looks good, and actually, the animation from it— on it was— was, uh, quite decent.

Phil Vischer: Yeah, I think Chris animated it, I'm not sure.

Mike Nawrocki: Okay.

Phil Vischer: And you see Lumpy there on the— the hood ornament is Lumpy, who was one of the monsters in Junior's, um, pajama drawer.

Mike Nawrocki: Okay.

Phil Vischer: I think that was Chris Olsen's idea also, but I'm not sure. And this is the introduction of Pa Grape.

Mike Nawrocki: Yep.

Phil Vischer: And whatever her name was.

Mike Nawrocki: I think that's, uh—

Both: Rosie?

Mike Nawrocki: Yep.

Phil Vischer: Rosie. Too bad she's never come back, huh?

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs)

Phil Vischer: And Tom.

Mike Nawrocki: And Tom. Too bad he's never come back.

Phil Vischer: Yeah, I haven't really missed him much, either.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs)

Phil Vischer: See, this, if you don't know, this is a parody of "The Grapes of Wrath", (Mike Nawrocki: Yeah.) hence the name "The Grapes of Wrath".

Mike Nawrocki: That's what the whole dust bowl thing is about.

Phil Vischer: Yeah, the whole dust bowl. So you got Tom Joad, y'know, Pa Joad, Ma Joad, and Rose of Sharon.

Mike Nawrocki: Yep.

Phil Vischer: But my mom didn't want us to call her Rose of Sharon, 'cause that's like another name for Jesus, or something.

Mike Nawrocki: Really?

Phil Vischer: Yeah, somethin'.

Mike Nawrocki: Wow.

Phil Vischer: And so, even though they get away with it in the book, (Mike Nawrocki: Okay…) she said don't do that. Just call her Rosie.

Mike Nawrocki: Oh, okay.

Phil Vischer: Like O'Donnell.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs)

Phil Vischer: Y'know, 'cause that won't get you into any trouble.

Mike Nawrocki: We were using Rosies before Rosie was cool.

Phil Vischer: Oh, yeah.

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah, this was way before Rosie O'Donnell.

Phil Vischer: This is— I don't even think Rosie O'Donnell was born yet, (Mike Nawrocki: *laughs*) when this came out. This is so old. See those trees?

Mike Nawrocki: Oh yeah.

Phil Vischer: That's my design.

Mike Nawrocki: Really? Wow. What are those, like three triangles on those trees?

Phil Vischer: (laughs) I sketched them.

Mike Nawrocki: Three polygons?

Phil Vischer: I was thinkin', like a ball with a stick.

Mike Nawrocki: (giggles)

Phil Vischer: And look, it came out perfectly.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs) Look at that stick.

Phil Vischer: Oh look, Rosie's, uh, hair was in front of the stump that it's supposed to be behind.

Mike Nawrocki: It looks like there's some atmospheric diffusion back there, too. That's pretty impressive.

Phil Vischer: Oh yeah, yeah yeah yeah, oh, we were doing that. Yeah, look at this! This is… boy, that was somethin'.

Mike Nawrocki: You know what I remember most about this show?

Phil Vischer: Look at that, he— he leans his head forward in and completely obscures the shot with his hat.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs) (incomprehensible) That, when you showed me the script of this, I made this in the— talked about this in the commentary— or in the interview, um, you showed it to me your laptop computer. And I was so, like impressed just that it was on a laptop computer. And I think, I didn't know if you were more proud of the script or the laptop when you showed it to me.

Phil Vischer: (laughs) It was--it was an Apple Duo.

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah, that's what it was.

Phil Vischer: One of the teeny weeny ones.

Mike Nawrocki: Yep, yep.

Phil Vischer: Oh, that's one of my wife's favorite lines from any VeggieTales video.

Mike Nawrocki: Oh, mine too. "Ooh, grapes!"

Phil Vischer: "Ooh, grapes!"

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah, yeah, I like that.

Phil Vischer: Maybe it's you. Sometimes I get you guys confused.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs)

Phil Vischer: Dad's tie was vibrating (Mike Nawrocki: Excuse me?) there.

Mike Nawrocki: Wait, let's back up a little bit.

Phil Vischer: What--just keep going. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Look, see his tie.

Mike Nawrocki: Oh, yeah.

Phil Vischer: He's got one of those disco psychedelic ties that has a battery. It makes it do that.

Mike Nawrocki: That was a nice big red roof in the middle of the picture there.

Phil Vischer: Yeah, that was--boy, see, they were supposed to be annoying, that's why they're so annoying.

Mike Nawrocki: (laughs) That's right.

Phil Vischer: Cuz they were supposed to be, that was the point.

Mike Nawrocki: Speaking of annoying, there's that voice I did with Larry at that time. (in Larry's voice) It was a little lower and dopey voice with Larry.

Phil Vischer: Yeah, he was--he was experimenting.

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah.

Phil Vischer: See, but they're apologetic.

Mike Nawrocki: Yeah.

Phil Vischer: (incomprehensible) Those two couldn't act very close together cuz they--they have appendages that

Mike Nawrocki:

Fun Facts


  • Fisheye lens is a ultra-wide lens used for cameras. This makes ordinary shots circular-super-wide.

Real World Refernces

  • "Just keep swimming" is a quote Dory sang from Pixar's "Finding Nemo".
  • Ernest P. Worrell is a fictional character, played by Jim Varney and is best known for appearing in the "Ernest" films from the late 80's to the late 90's.