What started out as “The Worst Idea of All Time” has turned out to be a pretty great one for podcasters Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery.
Acclaimed comedians in their native New Zealand — Montgomery recently won the prestigious Billy T Award, with Batt being a finalist — the two have won a worldwide following with their show, so much so that they’ve traveled to Los Angeles to record its 52nd and final episode on Feb. 17 at Cinefamily.
And what, you may ask, is “The Worst Idea of All Time?” It’s a podcast in which Batt and Montgomery sit themselves down to watch the critically-drubbed Adam Sandler comedy “Grown Ups 2” and talk about it. Once a week. For 52 weeks. In a row. Madness and desperation ensue, hilariously.
Even before their show built an audience, Batt says, pulling the plug was never an option. “There were a lot of times that I threatened to quit, because the times have gotten tough over the last 11 months or so,” he recalls. “But even if there were no listeners, when you set up a premise like this, you have to do it.”
Neither of them had seen “Grown-Ups 2,” which currently enjoys a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, before starting the podcast. Nor had they seen its predecessor, which they’ll watch for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles. (“I don’t think you quite understand how exciting this is,” says Montgomery.)
Repeated viewings of the comedy — which opens with a scene in which a deer urinates in Sandler’s face, and goes downhill from there — has forced the two to get creative in their weekly ruminations, with segments like “Paddy Schwartz Party Time” (parsing out moments from the brief appearances by featured player Patrick Schwarzenegger) and “Steve Buscemi Mystery Tour” (in which they attempt to investigate the never-explained injuries sustained by Buscemi’s character).
What’s the net result of all these viewings of an eminently forgettable movie? “We’ve gone full-on mental,” admits Batt. “Last week, we took about four days, full-time, to write from memory the full script of the movie, and we went nuts.”
“When I watch the movie, I feel like the actors are giving a different performance every week,” says Montgomery. “I know that can’t be true, but in my heart of hearts, that’s what I think.”
Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery will screen “Grown Ups 2” and record the final episode of “The Worst Idea of All Time” at Los Angeles’ Cinefamily on Feb. 17, then screen “Grown Ups” across town at UCB on Feb. 18.