About Mars Best Brisket


Three deliciously hilarious episodes. One incredibly good cause.

A long time away on a planet that's right next to ours, an Earthling couple decide to open up the very first vegan brisket restaurant on Mars. And when you're the first, you're also the best.

Mars' Best Brisket is an audio sci-fi restaurant comedy. It's also a chance for the audio fiction community to raise some money for a charity near and dear to our hearts.

Charity Drive: September 20-26
Episode 1: September 21
Episode 2: September 23
Episode 3: September 25


About The Lovin' Spoonfuls


Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a food rescue in Boston, Massachusetts, dedicated to facilitating the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. They pick up wholesome, perishable food from grocery stores, produce wholesalers, farms and farmers markets, and distribute it to over 170 nonprofits that feed people facing food insecurity across Massachusetts. They use a direct distribution system to pick up and deliver food within the same day, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, dairy and whole grains. Through Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ simple but effective model, food vendors are able to
reduce their waste disposal costs and emissions footprint while making a tax-deductible food contribution to their community. Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ believes that good food is a right, not a privilege, and that everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food.

Contact


For the latest updates on Mars' Best Brisket, follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

For press and media inquiries, or to request a copy of our press kit, please email thponders (at) gmail (dot) com.

T.H. Ponders - Writer, Producer

T.H. Ponders (they/them) is the creator of the award winning art history and museum experience podcast Accession, and has worked on over a half dozen other shows, including Rogue Fun, What's the Frequency? CARAVAN, and Hit the Bricks. Mars' Best Brisket is the product of love, BBQ, and a love of BBQ.

Website - Twitter - Accession


V Silverman - Producer, Artist

V Silverman (they/them) is a nonbinary graphic artist and podcast enthusiast hailing from Asheville, NC. In their spare time, V professionally plays Dungeons and Dragons, makes bite-sized digital art about gender, and prods Ponders into producing more podcasts. You can hire V to make art for you at vcsilverman.com, check out their now-defunct podcast Fuzzy Logic online, or follow their visual exploration of gender @gender_revel on Instagram.

Website - Twitter - Instagram


Travis Reaves-Butterfield - Musician, Producer, Disgruntled Customer #1

Travis Reaves-Butterfield (he/him) is a composer and comedian living in Los Angeles. He’s not particularly great at either but he definitely lives in Los Angeles. Travis has a deep love for comedy, basketball and Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe in Culver City. Please recommend him new music, as he consumes it like vitamins. You can hear him on the improvised storytelling podcast 20 Sided Stories.

Music - 20 Sided Stories - Twitter - Instagram


Lee Davis-Thalbourne - Herbert

Lee Davis-Thalbourne (he/him) is a gentle cat lover (see Tribble, also pictured) with a penchant for statistics and data. With a careful attention to detail and a love of sharing information, he is committed to introducing creators to the possibilities of audio and helping them on their way.

Lee fell into podcasting via his partner Erin pulling him along, but once there found a deep love of voice acting and production, and bringing unique and desperately needed perspectives into the ears of listeners. With seven billion people in the world, Lee wants to do his part in sharing those seven billion stories.

Lee loves a good, fun story, which is why he relished the opportunity to be part of Mars' Best Brisket!

Passer Vulpes Productions - Twitter


Erin Kyan - Olaf

Erin Kyan (he/him) is a cheerful force of nature with a zest for art and efficiency. Queer, trans, fat and disabled, all these facets of his experience inform his work and drive him to build a world and artistic practise that’s kind, intersectional, and accessible.

Erin fell into podcasting in 2016 when he decided to try his hand at audio drama, and he fell in love with the many parts of production and the medium itself. With no one to stop him, he is now on a quest to build a strong foundation for the fiction podcast industry in Australia, one based on community and inclusion rather than competition.

Passer Vulpes Productions - Website - Twitter - Facebook


Jordan Cobb - Edgar

Jordan Cobb (she/her) is the founder and head writer of No Such Thing Productions, where she is currently producing and performing in the high seas adventure-thriller audio drama Primordial Deep (as Dr. Marella Morgan), and the science fiction horror series Janus Descending (as Chel). She has been featured on nearly fifty audio dramas, and when she isn't comfortably settled behind the mic, she's buried up to her ears in paper and ink, dreaming up new worlds of the wild, weird, and wonderful. You can find her wandering through the streets of New York City, or more reliably at jordanvcobb.com.

No Such Thing Productions - Website - Twitter - Instagram


Jordan Adika - Clivethon Slivethon Lewis

Jordan Adika (he/him) is a podcaster, Twitch streamer and generally pleasant online boy. He co-hosts the podcast Sad Boyz, is 6"3 and lives in Los Angeles (+ your heart).

Twitch - Twitter - Instagram


Beth May - Aleksey Nikolayevich Picklayevich Jicklayevich Tolstoy

Beth May (she/her) is a writer and actor based in Los Angeles. She writes scripts, poems, short stories, and tweets (@heybethmay.) Her one-act play The Envelope Play premiered with Howl Theatre Group in January, and she currently plays emotionally-distant stepfather Ron Stampler on the comedy podcast “Dungeons & Daddies.” Other works include spoken word album The Family Arsonist, poetry chapbook Bitchin’ Obituary, and a short story collection Apocalips.

Twitter - Instagram


Chad Ellis - Ray Radscary

Chad Ellis (he/him) is a Los Angeles based writer and sound designer best known for his work on Station Blue, Hit the Bricks and Arden.

Station Blue - Twitter


Alexander Danner - Andy Dandy Weirdman

Alexander Danner (he/him) is co-creator of Greater Boston, sound designer for What's the Frequency?, and a member of the sound design team on Unwell. He is the director of PodTales, a festival of audio drama and fiction podcasting. He has also published short fiction and comics, and has co-authored two textbooks on the craft and history of comics and graphic novels. He currently teaches at Emerson College.

Greater Boston - Twitter


James Oliva - PitBot-3005

James Oliva (he/him) is the writer/creator/director of the psychedelic noir audio drama podcast What’s The Frequency? In addition he has appeared in many other podcasts as a voice actor. Most notably as the voice of Michael Tate on the audio drama podcast Greater Boston, Robert Montague on Tides and Scott Sweet on 1994 and Azrael on Minefire. He’s also had guest appearances on ars Paradoxica, The Strange Case of Starship Iris, Alba Salix, Lake Clarity, Big Data, Jim Robbie and the Wanderers, Oakpodcast, The Haven Chronicles, and Radiation World. He has also worked as director and sound designer for the podcast short Old Fashioned Hell House written by Jonathan Goldberg. Currently James is acting Programing Director for the Audio Drama Network.


Jessica Dahlgren - Disgruntled Customer #2

Jessica Dahlgren (she/her) is an actor & improviser based in Los Angeles. She is a host and co-producer for the podcast 20 Sided Stories. She studied improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade in LA and is a graduate from Stella Adler’s Professional Conservatory at the Art of Acting Studio (LA). You can find her @jessdahlg on Twitter & IG.

20 Sided Stories - Twitter - Instagram


Emily Ervolina - Disgruntled Customer #3

Emily Ervolina (she/they) is a television and podcast producer, host, writer, and voice actor. They have worked on the multi Emmy-nominated series, 'Mission Unstoppable' and the Critic's Choice Award winning series, 'Chasing the Cure.' They currently host and produce the improvised audio fiction podcast, '20 Sided Stories' in addition to their work on National Geographic's 'When Sharks Attack.' They are thrilled for the opportunity to have some plant-based fun on their 3rd favorite planet!

20 Sided Stories - Twitter


Sage G.C. - Game Show Announcer

Sage G.C. (he/him) is a Cinematic Director, Sound Designer, and Composer, currently producing the role-playing podcast 20 Sided Stories and editing for Hello From the Magic Tavern. Formerly he worked in Cinematics at Telltale Games and as a musical theater actor throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently resides in Los Angeles and in the depths of his own existential dread.

20 Sided Stories - Website - Twitter - Instagram


Tau Zaman - Judgey Judge #1

Tau Zaman is the creator and showrunner of CARAVAN. Before that, Tau served as a staff writer for ars PARADOXICA, the flagship audio drama of The Whisperforge. Never one to get a moment's shut-eye, they also served as Head Writer on Liminus, a performance experience that blends AR gaming technology with live theatre.

CARAVAN - Twitter - Instagram


Jeff Van Dreason - Judgey Judge #2

Jeff Van Dreason (he/him) is the co-creator of Greater Boston, an award winning independent audio fiction podcast which he also co-directs and produces. An award-winning playwright, Jeff's fiction has appeared in Redivider and the Echo Ink Review, as well as the Harvard Book Store flash-fiction anthology Microcondria II.

Greater Boston - Website - Twitter


Jordan Stillman - Judgey Judge #3

Jordan Stillman (she/her) is a Boston-based writer, editor, producer, and actor. She's a producer of The Ordinary Epic, a co-organizer of PodTales and the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, and has lent her voice to the podcast Take the Mass Pike. She enjoys hot cups of tea, cats, and singing loudly. Learn more at jordanstillman.com.

The Ordinary Epic - Website - Twitter


Amanda McColgan - Referee

Amanda McColgan (she/her) is a writer and performer based out of Central Massachusetts.

Enfield Arts - Twitter - Instagram


David Michmerhuizen - Guy Who Goes "Woah"

No information can be found about David Michmerhuizen. If you or someone you know has any information on his personage, please be in touch with the relevant authorities.


Click the links bellow to find credits and transcripts for each of the episodes.


A Very Special Thanks To...

  • Allan Cancinos

  • Alexander Danner

  • Ana O'Daniel

  • Alan Silverman

  • Joni Kuminsky

  • Erin Keohane

And please go check out these amazing folks who helped spread the word about Mars' Best Brisket...

Credits

Music by Travis Reaves-Butterfield
Written and Produced by T.H. Ponders
Produced by V Silverman

Transcript

Mars’ Best Theme Song Plays.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdam brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Door squeaks open and bell rings.

Ponders: Howdy y’all! Ponders here! Writer and Creator of Mars’ Best Brisket. And this is it. This is the kickoff for the event!

If you’re listening to this right now, it means we are trying to raise $1000 for the Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue here in Boston, Massachusetts. Lovin’ Spoonfuls does this incredible thing where they rescue food that would otherwise be wasted from grocery stores and farms, and they get it to people who are facing food insecurity. And if you didnt know, the percentage of people facing food insecurity in Massachusetts is up 8% from what it was before the pandemic started. So now more than ever we need your help.

So what can you do? Well, we’ve made it really easy for you. First, if you have the ability to do so, head over to marsbestcharity.com and make your donation today. Just $1 can rescue three pounds of food, enough to feed a person for a day. Every single dollar counts. That’s marsbestcharity.com to make a donation today.

Second, if you listen to the show and think “Hey, I could really use a Mars Best Backpack”, or a Mars Best Clock, or more likely a Mars Best T-Shirt with our amazing logo on it, then you can head over to marsbestmerch.com , where 100% of the profits are also getting donated to The Lovin’ Spoonfuls. And seriously, they’ve got everything over there. Puzzles, stickers, socks, hoodies, posters, duvets. I think you can get our logo on a miniskirt? Again, the website for that is marsbestmerch.com.

Finally, we really, really need your help in getting the word out! Retweet our tweets, make posts of your own, share the show, share the links, and especially share our campaign. We have three hilarious episodes coming out this week, Monday Wednesday and Friday, and my only ask for you is that if this show makes you smile even once, you share it with a friend, a family member, a coworker, and help spread our message. Charity, much like barbecue, is best shared with all the people you love… especially when the people you love have more money than you and are willing to pay!

Ok, I think that’s it for the kickoff. There’s going to be more announcements and more things going on throughout the week, so if you haven’t already subscribe to the feed. Give us five stars if you feel like helping the algorithms help other people find us. I think thats it. Thank you so much! Enjoy the show! And remember, eating salad with barbecue is an absolute crime!

Credits

Olaf- Erin Kyan
Herbert- Lee Davis-Thalbourne

Music by Travis Reaves-Butterfield
Writing and Editing by T.H. Ponders
Produced by T.H. Ponders and V Silverman


Transcript

Door squeaks open and bell rings.

Olaf: Well, my little pickled radish, today is the day!

Herbert: The first vegan brisket joint on Mars.

Olaf: Our own little home away from home. The only thing that's missing is the customers.

Herbert: Oh I'm sure they'll come. Pretty soon it won’t just be the sign saying Mars' Best Brisket.

Olaf: Oh Herbie, I love your optimism. Almost as much as I love you.

Herbert: And I love you too. Now what do you say we try a bit of the product?

Olaf: I mean we have to make sure it’s the best!

Mars’ Best Theme Song Plays.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdam brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Ponders speaks over the music in the background.

Ponders: The good folks over at Mars Best Brisket believe one thing, and one thing only. You can’t spell BBQ with community. Right now we’re trying to raise $1000 for the Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue here in Boston, Massachusetts. But we need your help. Head over to marsbestbrisket.com to learn more about the amazing work they do, and to make your contribution to our campaign today! Help us reach our goal and feed our neighbors. And remember, eating salad with BBQ is a crime.

Singer: The little martians go yeehaw!

Hoops and hollering at the song fades out.

Credits

Lee Davis-Thalbourne as Herbert
Erin Kyan as Olaf
Jordan Adika as Clivethon Slivethon Lewis
Music by Travis Reaves-Butterfield
Written and Edited by T.H. Ponders
Produced by T.H. Pondrese and V Silverman

Our Executive Producer is Alan Cancinos, and our special thanks go our to Ana O’Daniel, Joni Kusminsky, Alan Silverman, and Lorraine Silverman.


Transcript

Ponders: Mars’ Best Brisket is currently trying to raise $1000 for the Loving Spoonfuls to fight food insecurity here in Boston Massachusetts. Stick around for the credits to hear about how you can help us reach our goal and feed our neighbors. Thank you.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdam brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Old Man: Episode 1: The Critic

Herbert: I guess it's just going to be another one of those days, love.

Olaf: Oh, keep your chin up, ma petite côtelette. They'll all start coming here soon, in parties so large we'll run out of brisket before lunch! It's early days still.

Herbert: (chuckling) Yeah... Yeah, I suppose you're right. Thank you for always being the dollop of whipped cream on my apple pie Ollie.

Olaf: Any time, Herbie.

Olaf kisses Herbert on the cheek. Then a bell rings above the door.

Olaf: (Aside to Herbert) You see! I told you! Another customer! (excitedly) Welcome to Mars' Best Brisket! I'm Olaf and this is my husband Herbert! How might we serve you today?

Clive: Mmmm… Are you two the... proprietors of this establishment?

Herbert: Yes ma'am. We are indeed.

Clive: Wonderful. My name is Clivethon Slivethon Lewis. But you can just call me Clive. I'm a martian food critic for the Interplanetary Telegram and Gazette. I actually run the department Mars' side. Not that I... make it out into the... field much any more.

Olaf: Well it’s nice to meet you ma'am. But don't food critics normally come to restaurants in disguise? No special treatment and what not?

Clive: Well sure. But we also don't normally come to restaurants that are completely empty.

Olaf: Touche.

Clive: That's the thing most people don't get about critics- we don't discover new and exciting things and share them with the worlds. No, we discover what the discoverers have already discovered. And, by being the discoverers of the discoverers of the discoveries, ourselves become the greatest discoverers to have ever discovered!

Herbert: ...right, so...

Clive: Why am I standing in this undiscovered... place? Easy. It's that gamdam infernal sign you have out front that shines right into my bedroom all night long and ruins my beauty sleep. And frankly, if it's going to be the thing that keeps me up all night, it at least better be true.

Olaf: Well if you'd like, I could serve you up a pint and you can taste for yourself!

Clive: Not so fast. I have some very serious questions before I put your meat in my mouth.

Herbert: (aside) I'm not touching that.

Olaf: I'll just run around back and get some brisket ready! Herb can answer your questions till I get back!

Olaf walks through the door to the kitchen. We hear vague kitchen noises as he prepares the brisket.

Clive: And is it ok if I record this? In case we decide to print this little... exposé...?

Herbert: Good by me! Good by you pumpkin?

Olaf: (from the kitchen) Ookie dookie artichokie!

Clive: Wonderful. So I guess, question number one- What made you want to open a BBQ restaurant on Mars?

Herbert: Actually BBQ is how Olaf and I met! A few years back, we were pitted against each other, pun intended, in an all-out Barbecue Iron Man Challenge. One part cook- off, one part rib eating competition, and technically one part half marathon. But no one is really up for the running after the first two events, so we all just sit around and have a good time. Olaf is the only man who ever out ate me in ribs. And when we got to the "half marathon" afterwards- well, it was love at first cookout. We talked dry rubs vs. wet rubs, how much we love a nice rump…

Clive: Are we still talking barbecue?

Herbert: (chuckling) Anyways, we got hitched, realized there wasn't much of a life for us back on Earth and agreed that maybe our best bet was to emigrate. Start a new life!

Olaf comes out with a plate full of brisket and sets it one the counter.

Olaf: There y'are ma'am. Get that up yah!

Herbert: We got on the next shuttle with all our earthly possessions, and a short flight later, we got off the plane only to discover that they had transformed into our martian possessions!

Herbert and Olaf laugh at the martian possession joke. Clive has heard it before.

Clive: Haven't heard that one before…

Olaf: But there was just one problem when we got here! No BBQ joints! Not a single one! Well we just knew we had to do something about that. Wanted to bring a little slice of the home up on to this here red rock.

Clive: A little slice of home? Aren't you two from Aus...

Olaf: Austin, Texas! You bet your bottom dollar! Could you tell from the accents?

Clive: (confused) Right... So you two come here from... Austin, and you decided you want to make barbecue. Tell me: since there is no meat on Mars, no way of grazing cows, where exactly are you getting the beef for this brisket your sign so brightly mentions?

Herbert: It's improbable meat!

Clive: I beg your pardon?

Olaf: Improbable meat!

Clive: I heard what you said. But... How? How are you getting brisket from... improbable meat? Improbably meat only really works as a ground beef substitute. Almost every other restaurant on Mars servers it in burgers or pasta sauce.

Herbert: That they do!

Clive: Right! It can’t be brisket! Improbable meat can only be made into imitation ground beef!

Olaf: Yes, but what is ground beef?

Clive: Cow... I suppose?

Herbert: And what else can you get from a cow?

Clive: I hope the answer isn't brisket.

Herbert: Brisket!

Clive: Right, but how do you do it?! It's simply impossible!

Olaf: No ma'am, it's improbable!

Herbert: Improbable beef!

Clive: Gah! Next you're going to tell me that you're able to make bacon from improbable meat!

Herbert: We're working on it! Just a few more logical jumps.

Olaf: Once you know how to get from improbable meat to ground beef to cows to brisket, the world's your oyster. Oh! Oyster! That's good. Write that down. We can get there through the Rockies!

Clive: That's not...(deep breaths) Ok. Fine. I suppose if it's not a question of the brisket, it's a question of the best. How can you be the best if you're the only one? Shouldn't the sign read Mars' Only Brisket?

Herbert: I mean sure. But if you're the only one running in a race, and you cross the finish life first, you've won have you not?

Olaf: And if you're the only one at a cook off with ribs, those are the best ribs, am I right?

Herbert: So naturally if we're the only ones on Mars making brisket, it must be the best!

Clive: Yes but by the same reasoning couldn't you also claim that it's Mars' Worst Brisket?

Olaf: Yeah, but we wouldn't sell any brisket if we had that on the sign, now would we?

Herbert: Look, Clive, I appreciate all the questions, but your brisket is getting cold, you really ought to at least take a little bite.

Clive: (grumbling) Fine... Gonna eat this so called best so called brisket from this so called...

Clive takes a bite. We hear his fork drop a moment later. Herbert and Olaf wait in anticipation.

Clive: My gods.... This... is Mars' Best Brisket.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdam brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Ponders: This episode features Lee Davis-Thalbourne as Herbert, Erin Kyan as Olaf, and Jordan Adika as Clivethon Slivethon Lewis. Our theme song is by Travis Reaves-Butterfield. The show is written and edited by me, T.H. Ponders, and produced by myself and V Silverman. Our Executive Producer is Alan Cancinos, and our special thanks go out to Ana O’Daniel, Joni Kusminsky, Alan Silverman, and Lorraine Silverman.

Folks, incredibly, we’ve already raised 65% of our goal, and we haven’t even got the first episode out the door. We are so amazed and encouraged by your generosity, but we still have a ways yet to go. Head on over to marsbestcharity.com to make your contribution today, or share the link with your friends and family to help us spread the word. As an extra incentive, we’ve decided to add a little stretch goal to the campaign. If we reach $1500, we’ll publish Clivethon Slivethon Lewis’s review of Mars Best Brisket from the Interplanetary Telegram and Gazette. And Clivethon has quite a way with words. You don’t wanna miss it. Again, that’s marsbestcharity.com.

Want to become a member of the Mars’ Best Crew? Head on over to marsbestmerch.com to get the in-universe Mars’ Best Crew member t-shirts. We also have backpacks, clocks, posters, stickers, miniskirts and more! And all the proceeds from the merch store are also getting donated to The Lovin Spoonfuls. Again, that’s marsbestmerch.com.

For more information on our amazing team, The Lovin Spoonfuls, transcripts of the episodes, and all the links that I mentioned above, head over to marsbestbrisket.com. Thank you so much for supporting the campaign and listening to the show. The only thing we ask is that if today’s episode made you smile or laugh, that you share it with someone that you love. And remember, eating salad with brisket is an absolute crime.

Singer: The little martians go yeehaw!

Hoops and hollering as the song fades out.

Erin: Ok, if you want the real Aussie barbecue experience, probably the way this would be said by dads, at barbie here, would be like “There ya are ma’am. There ya are ma’am. There ya are ma’am. Get that up ya!” Don’t use that Jesus. I mean that’s f*cking legit, that’s what we say, but don’t use that.

Jordan: Ohhhh I’m saying brisket a lot. It’s really making me peckish. I’m really hungry. I’m gonna eat a ton after this.

Credits

Music by Travis Reaves-Butterfield
Written and Produced by T.H. Ponders
Produced by V Silverman

Transcript

Mars’ Best Theme Song Plays.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdam brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Door squeaks open and bell rings.

Ponders: Howdy y’all! Ponders here, writer and creator of Mars’ Best Brisket. Welcome to day three of our event and… wow. Folks. Yesterday, just a hairs breadth over the mark of 24 hours, we reached our fundraising goal. Absolutely incredible. There were many nights in the last few weeks that I would reassure myself that any amount we raised would be a huge deal, even if we didn’t reach our goal. And that’s true, because for each dollar we raise, we can rescue three pounds of food, enough to feed a person for a whole day. But my sleepless nights were all for not because, here at the top of day three, we’ve raised $1200, that’s 3600 pounds of food.

So, we’ve updated our goal, and we’ve added some stretch challenges to get us there, but first, I wanted to share a clip from an interview I did with Erin Cohane, the director of development for the Lovin’ Spoonfuls. I asked Erin what her favorite part of working for Lovin’ Spoonfuls was, and her answer was, unsurprisingly, the people.

Erin: Um I would say it’s the people not only on our team, but because we work with not only vendors- who supply us with the food that we rescue- but also more than 175 non-profit partners, there are so many people that are doing really great work for the community, um, both here in Boston and across the state. Um. They’re helping so many people and we’re just a small part of that network. So, you know, we have a dedicated team of 22 employees, um, 13 of those employees are the folks that are actually on the road doing the food rescue work every single day, hauling thousands and thousands of pounds of food, um, and we are just so grateful that the work that they’re doing is getting into the hands of the people that need it most and, um, it just- I- every day, even if it’s a tough day, you know that the work that you’re doing is incredibly meaningful, um, and the community needs us, so. Yeah, people.

Ponders: I have to agree with Erin. To not only reach our goal, but to reach our goal in one day speaks to the generosity of both the audio fiction and independent podcasting communities, to your generosity. It’s been a really hard year for a lot of folks, but to see the spirit of charity and community in this project has been a beacon of hope for me, as I’m sure it has been for others.

So, stretch goals! Our new goal is to try and raise $2500. Now, that is a lot of money. But I think we can do it. To get us there, the team has come up with three intermediary goals, one at $1500, one at $2000, and finally one at $2500. We announced the first goal yesterday on the episode, but if you missed it, we’ll be publishing Clivethon Slivethon Lewis’ front page review of Mars’ Best Brisket for the Interplanetary Telegram and Gazette. (And we’ll be mocking up the design of the front page of the paper and all!) Clive has quite a way with words, so you don’t want to miss this. And, we’re only $300 away from unlocking that community reward. The other two stretch goals will be announced when the next two episodes come out, so stay tuned.

Thank you so much for all the amazing feedback we got on yesterday’s episode. Lots of folks reached out to tell us that it made their day, and we’re so, so glad. If you enjoyed the episode, consider sharing it with a friend or loved on and helping us spread our message. And if you haven’t gotten a chance to donate yet, head over to marsbestcharity.com to do so today. You may just get a special message from some martian restaurateurs if you do! Again, that’s marsbestcharity.com.

I think that’s all for today. Have a wonderful Tuesday, and we’ll see you right back here on this feed for episode two, dropping tomorrow. And again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Remember, eating salad with barbecue is an absolute disgrace!

Credits

Lee Davis-Thalbourne as Herbert
Erin Kyan as Olaf
Jordan Cobb as Edgar
Beth May as Alesky Nikolavich Pickolavich Jickolavich Tolstoy
Chad Ellis as Ray Radscarry
Sage G.C. as the Game Show Announcer
Travis Reaves as Disgruntled Customer #1 and Infatuated Audience Member #1
Jessica Dahlgren as Disgruntled Customer #2 and Infatuated Audience Member #2
Em Ervolina as Content But Angry Customer and the Audience Member with Healthy Parasocial Boundaries
David Michmerhuizen as the Guy Who Goes Woah
Zach Valenti as Tear Away Duvet Spokesperson
Sarah Shachat as Tear Away Duvet Customer #1
Gabriel Urbina as Tear Away Duvet Customer #2
Additional audience noises were provided by Travis Reaves, Jessica Dahlgren, Em Ervolina, Tau Zaman, Amanda McColgan, Jeff Van Dreason and Jordan Stillman
Music by Travis Reaves
Additional music by Kevin MacLeod
Written and Edited by T.H. Ponders
Produced by T.H. Ponders and V Silverman

Our Executive Producer is Alan Cancinos, and our special thanks go out to Ana O’Daniel, Joni Kusminsky, Alan Silverman, and Lorraine Silverman.


Transcript

Ponders: Mars’ Best Brisket is currently trying to raise $2500 for the Loving Spoonfuls to fight food insecurity here in Boston Massachusetts. Stick around for the credits to hear about how you can help us reach our goal and feed our neighbors. Thank you.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdam brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Old Man: Episode 2: The Help

The sounds of a now much busier Mars’ Best Brisket.

Disgruntled Customer #1: Hey my brisket is too hot!

Disgruntled Customer #2: Well my brisket is too cold!

Disgruntled Customer #3: My brisket is just right! But gamdam I'm angry about it!

The customer's break out into overlapping complaints. Herbert is quietly and calmly trying to get them all to form an orderly line when…

Herbert: ALL RIGHT THAT'S IT!

The crowd goes quiet.

Herbert: (deep breath) Thank you. Now everyone just hush up, wait patiently. I'll go back to the kitchen and see what's going on.

We hear the door between the dining room and the kitchen swing as Herb heads back to check on Olaf.

Herbert: Corn muffin? Is everything all...

Olaf: AHHH! PAPRIKAAAAA! PAPRIKAAAAA!

Herbert: Could we just...

Olaf: ONION SALT! ONNNNNNIOOOONNNNNN SALLLLLLT!

Herbert: I think we might...

Olaf: BEEEEEEEEEEF!

Herbert: (kindly) OLLIE!

Herbert intercepts Olaf and gives him a big hug.

Olaf: Oh. I needed a Herbie Hug.

Herbert: I know. I know. I think it's time we hire some help.

Olaf: Yeah, I think you're right.

We hear a harp noise and then a timpani roll.

Game Show Announcer: Goooooooood evening Martians and Earthlings. It's time for everyones favorite game show!

Audience: BE! OUR! BEEF BOI!

Cheers and game show music.

Olaf: Hello everyone, I'm your host Olaf.

Herbert: And I'm your other host, Herbert!

Olaf: Tonight, one of our lucky contestants is going to leave here with the grand prize!

Herbert: Tell them what they'll win Jerry!

Game Show Announcer: It’s a Brand! New… job at Mars' Best Brisket!

Audience: Ooooooooooooh.

Herbert: So you all know how this works! We'll go down the line and ask each one of you some questions to determine which of you is going to…

Audience: BE! OUR! BEEF BOI!

Olaf: But first, how about you introduce yourselves. Contestant Number 1?

Alesky: Da. My name is Aleksey Nikolavich Picklavich Jicklavich Tolstoy. But folks just call me Alex. Martian born in New Moscow. Cosmonaut? More like Cosmo-Hot! He he he.

Herbert: Alright... Moving on to...

Alesky: It is hot because I am pinnacle of Martian physique. You get it?

Herbert: Yeah... We... We got it. Contestant Number 2?

Ray: Yo, yo, yo, the name’s Ray Radscary, don’t wear it out. Be- tee-dubs, this whole brisket shebang you got going on- totally NOT radical.

Olaf: Ummm, you are aware that we use Improbable Meat, yeah?

Ray: It's a bunch of BULL. (laughs at own joke) You know humans are the only omnivores whose diets aren't a majority meat based protein by daily intake? That's like, just science dude. Think about that next time you buy into the lies of Big Plant.

Herbert: Big... Plant? I don’t think you’ll win... Contestant Number Three?

Edgar: Yes. Hello. My name is Edgar. Edgar Furrows. Is this... Is this the interview for the position of sous chef at Mars' Best Brisket?

Olaf: Why yes it is! What did you think we were doing here?

Edgar: This just... Isn't what I expected an interview to be like. I'm here cause my mom said I needed to find some work this summer. She picked up an application last time she came in. Why is this formatted like a game show?

Herbert: Well, why not? This is way more fun!

Edgar: It just seems like the production values are really high to interview for a sous chef...

Olaf: Touché.

Harp strum.

Olaf: Alright, let’s see how our audience is feeling about these contestants!

Audience Member #1: Oh my god Aleksy is so attractive. Pin me down baa-bee!

Audience Member #2: Nuh uh. Ray is way hotter! I'd eat meat with him any day!

Audience Member #3: Uhhh I'm pretty sure Edgar is just a teenager and we should absolutely not sexualize them but that's the one I'm rooting for! Yeeeeehaw!

Game Show Announcer: That’s the end of round one. It’s still anyone's game. But now, a word from our sponsors.

Harp strum.

Ad Announcer: Are you tired of getting too hot in the middle of the night?

Buzzer Noise.

Ad Announcer: Are you and your partner constantly playing tug of war with the blankets?

Buzzer Noise.

Ad Announcer: Well worry no further! We’ve got the miracle solution to the greatest misery martian kind has ever faced. Now introducing the Tear-Away Duvet, the comforter that will leave you the comfiest! Whenever one duvet isn’t cutting it, just tear…

Prolonged velcro sound.

Ad Announcer: And share! Now you and your partner can each have your own section of duvet! Call now to lock in the low low price of just 2 easy payments of 49.99. We’ll even throw in the foot snugglies, our patented, state of the art wearable blankets for your feet, absolutely free.

Customer Testimonial #1: For some reason the minute my husband falls asleep it’s like we’re a couple of magnets that are both positive! He just shoots as far away from me as he can, taking all our blankets with him! But with the Tear-Away duvet, my cold martian nights are a thing of the past. I just tear…

Prolonged velcro sound.

Customer Testimonial #1: And my husband and I can sleep easy on our own sides of the bed!

Ad Announcer: But wait! That’s not all! Call now and you’ll receive not one but two Tear-Away Duvets for just 5 easy payments of 49.99.

Customer Testimonial #2: Look, I don't know how to say this, but gamdam, my wife is a furnace. When we’re under the same blanket, it’s hotter than the surface of Venus in there, and not in the fun way. And when she does think to cast off her blankets, it's usually right on to me! But now, whenever it gets too toasty, I just tear…

Prolonged velcro sound.

Customer Testimonial #2: And we’re back to sleeping cool as a couple of space cucumbers! Thanks Tear-Away Duvet!

Ad Announcer: But wait! There’s more! Order in the next thirty minutes, we’ll also throw in a copy of Orsinius Scottinius Cardimums’s Guide to Making Sleep a Productivity Goal, absolutely free. That’s two Tear-Away Duvets, and the foot snugglies, and the guide that critics say will make you wish you’d turned sleep into a job years ago, all for the low low price of 10 easy payments of 49.99. Don’t delay! Call now!

Harp strum. Timpani Roll.

Game Show Announcer: Welcome back to...

Audience: BE! OUR! BEEF BOI!

Olaf: Alright, Contestant Number 1...

Alesky: Da.

Olaf: Let's say a customer had a complaint about how spicy the sauce on their brisket is. How would you handle that situation?

Alesky: Oh? Is de saucy-wacuy to spicy-wicey for de wittle baby? I would probably lock them in a Double Martian Driver followed by a Hellas Basin Body Slam! RAHHHHH!

Olaf: Uhhhhhh... and you think that will... help the situation?

Alesky: Of course! Who wouldn't want to get pounded by this piece of meat?

Herbert: I'm not touching that. Contestant Number 2... (sighs) The question I have here is what do you think are the key ingredients of good barbecue and I'm already regretting…

Ray: PLANT IS MURDER! PLANT IS MURDER! PLANT IS MURDER! Good BBQ consists of one thing and one thing only: genuine 100% raw meat.

Olaf: Did you just say raw meat?

Ray: I didn't... No, I didn't say that.. I said... You said that..

Olaf: No, I'm pretty sure you said raw meat. Anyways, Contestant Number 3, Let's say a customer calls the store and wants a number three combo with a two liter of Mons Dew and a side of mac. Now we…

Edgar: Only sell 20oz bottles of Olympus Mons Dew and the number 3 doesn't come with a side? I would offer them two number ones instead with two sides of mac and two twenty ounce bottles of Mons Dew, effectively giving them the same entree, the same amount of Dew, and double the mac they would have gotten for less that the price of the additional Dew and the add on side.

A hush falls over the audience.

Guy Who Goes Woah: Woah.

Olaf: How... How did you know all that?

Edgar: Oh, my mom works twelve hour shifts and orders dinner from here all the time. I know this menu like the back of my hand.

Herbert: Martians and Earthlings, we have our winner!

Thunderous applause from the audience, and then the production lights flip off and all of a sudden it's silent. We're back in the good ol' Brisket restaurant.

Herbert: So you can start tomorrow, we'll have paperwork for you to fill out and we'll get you started on sides!

Olaf hands them a bag of food.

Olaf: And here, take this home to your mom, as a thanks for getting you in the door. You're gonna do great here kid.

Edgar: Thanks! Thank you so much! Mr. Olaf! Mr. Herbert! I... I have a job! I’m gonna have money! I don't have to be at home with my siblings all the time! This is going to be great! I won't let you down!

Edgar runs out the door to the familiar ding.

Olaf: A teenager with that much optimism for a summer job. Think it'll last a week?

Herbert: (laughing) Not a chance.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdam brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Ponders: This episode features Lee Davis-Thalbourne as Herbert, Erin Kyan as Olaf, Jordan Cobb as Edgar, Beth May as Alesky Nikolavich Pickolavich Jickolavich Tolstoy, Chad Ellis as Ray Radscarry, Sage G.C. as the Game Show Announcer, Travis Reaves as Disgruntled Customer #1 and Infatuated Audience Member #1, Jessica Dahlgren as Disgruntled Customer #2 and Infatuated Audience Member #2, Em Ervolina as Contented But Angry Customer and the Audience Member with Healthy Parasocial Boundaries, and David Michmerhuizen as the Guy Who Goes Woah. Our special guests this episode were Zach Valenti, Sarah Shachat, and Gabriel Urbina, as the Tear Away Players. Additional audience noises were provided by Tau Zaman, Amanda McColgan, Jeff Van Dreason and Jordan Stillman.

Our theme song is by Travis Reaves. Additional music by Kevin MacLeod. Mars Best Brisket is written and edited by me, T.H. Ponders, and produced by myself and V Silverman. Our Executive Producer is Alan Cancinos, and our special thanks go our to Ana O’Daniel, Joni Kusminsky, Alan Silverman, and Lorraine Silverman.

Folks, we are just $125 away from $1500. That's our first community reward: Clivethon Slivethon Lewis’ Pulitzer winning review of Mars’ Best Brisket. Head on over to marsbestcharity.com to make your contribution today, or share the link with your friends and family to help us spread the word. But since we’re so close, I think we’ll go ahead and announce the next one. At $2000 we’ll be publishing the “Where Are They Now” article from Martian Weekly on what happened to Ray Radscarry and Alesky Nikolavich Pickolavich Jickolavich Tolstoy after they didn’t get the job at Mars’ Best! This is the hot martian gos you’ve been waiting for. Again, that’s marsbestcharity.com.

Want to become a member of the Mars’ Best Crew? Head on over to marsbestmerch.com to get the in-universe Mars’ Best Crew member t-shirts. We also have backpacks, clocks, posters, miniskirts and more! And all the proceeds from the merch store are also getting donated to The Lovin Spoonfuls. Again, that’s marsbestmerch.com.

For more information on our amazing team, The Lovin Spoonfuls, transcripts of the episode, and all the links that I mentioned above, head over to marsbestbrisket.com. Thank you so much for supporting the campaign and listening to the show. And remember, eating salad with brisket is an absolute disgrace.

Singer: The little martians go yeehaw!

Hoops and hollering as the song fades out.

Jeff: It's like a ghost. What the fck am I doing. Oooohhhh. Oh my god why is it so hard. Without other people doing this by yourself you just sound like a fcking ghost.

Em: THAT'S HOW YOU BRING THE MEAT!... no.... no.... That's probably where I should end it.

Credits

Music by Travis Reaves-Butterfield
Written and Produced by T.H. Ponders
Produced by V Silverman

Transcript

Door squeaks open and bell rings.

Ponders:Howdy y’all! Ponders here, writer and creator of Mars’ Best Brisket. Welcome to day five! Just two days left in our campaign to raise money of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and one episode left, which will be coming out tomorrow.

We’re going to keep todays update brief, but we are at $1400 as of this morning and we are just blown away. I didnt think we would make it to $1000 let alone make it this far. We’ve announced a couple of stretch community rewards, like the Clivethon Slivethon Lewis review of the Best, or the Where Are They Now? article on the losers of Be Our Beef Boi, and we have one more goal that we’ll be announcing with the episode drop tomorrow.

But in light of the Jefferson County Grand Jury deciding not to indict the three police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor, we understand that there may be other causes that you want to donate your money to this weekend. And that's ok. At its heart, Mars’ best is a project about love, passion, hope, and helping others. If we have inspired the spirit of charity in you, we have succeeded.

Our campaign ends on Saturday at midnight, but food insecurity is a perpetual problem. The Lovin’ Spoonfuls are always accepting donations and they even have an option on their website to set up a recurring monthly donation. As well, we’ll continue to keep supporting the Lovin' Spoonfuls through the Mars’ Best Merch store which will remain open for the foreseeable future.

If you’ve made it this far into the show, thank you so much. Not just for contributions you’ve made to our campaign, not just for the kind words and reviews, not just for sharing our show and campaign and yelling about it with us on twitter. But for the things you do to be a member of your community, locally, nationally, and internationally, and for whatever work or service you undertake in the name of healing, justice, and love. You give me hope in these dark times.

Thats all for today. We’ve got a really good episode for you tomorrow. Im so excited for you to hear it. But, until then, remember, eating salad with brisket is an absolute disgrace.

Credits

Lee Davis-Thalbourne as Herbert
Erin Kyan as Olaf
Jordan Cobb as Edgar
Alexander Danner as Andy Dandy Weirdman
James Oliva as PitBot-3005
Amanda McColgan as Ref
Tau Zaman as Judge #1
Jeff Van Dreason as Judge #2
Jordan Stillman as Judge #3
Additional audience noises were provided by Travis Reaves, Jessica Dahlgren, and Em Ervolina.

Theme Music by Travis Reaves
This episode also featured Unseen Horrors by Kevin MacLeod (Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4569-unseen-horrors License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) and Brushy Ford of Johns Creek and Smoker Wedding March by The Black Twig Pickers.

Written and Edited by T.H. Ponders
Produced by T.H. Ponders and V Silverman

Our Executive Producer is Alan Cancinos, and our special thanks go out to Ana O’Daniel, Joni Kusminsky, Alan Silverman, and Lorraine Silverman.

Transcript

V: Mars’ Best Brisket is currently raising money for Lovin’ Spoonfuls to fight food insecurity here in Boston Massachusetts. Stick around for the credits to hear about how you can help us reach our goal and feed our neighbors.Thanks!

Suspenseful music. A windmill creaks in the distance.

Old Man: Episode 3: The Competition… I’m getting out of here.

Edgar approaches on a bike.

Edgar: Hello ma'am's! Can't wait for another exciting day of work! I promise that today’s gonna be the day I don't make any mistakes. And I know I said that yesterday. And the day before. But today is the day! I can feel it in my... Ma'ams? Ma'ams? Is everything ok? What are you two looking a...? Oh…

A sharp sting.

Edgar: Mars’.. Better Brisket?

Herbert: Ollie, are we gonna be able to get through this?

Olaf: Just like everything sweet potato. You and me.

Edgar gives an ahem cough.

Olaf: Well, you and me and Edgar. But we
can get through this...Y’know...I think.

A person walks out of the brand new store across the street. We hear their shockingly familiar ding.

Andy: (from across the street, hard to hear) Good ‘morrow my fellow pitmans! How do you like the new sign?

Herbert: What did they say? How do we spike the blue wine?

Olaf: WE DON’T SELL WINE MA'AM. AND WHY WOULD WE BE SPIKING WINE? IS IT NOT ALREADY IN AND OF ITSELF, SPIKED?

Andy: (still across the street) I SAID HOW DO YOU LIKE THE NEW SIGN?

Olaf: How do we bike through the line?

Herbert: I CAN PULL UP A MAP OF BIKING TRAILS IF THAT WOULD HELP! WE DONT BIKE OURSELVES. WE’RE MORE BBQ PEOPLE.

Andy: (still across the street) I SAID…

Andy crosses the street, grumbling all the way.

Andy: I said, how do you like the new sign? Mars' Better Brisket. Has a nice ring to it don't you think?

Edgar: If by nice ring you mean you stole our company’s banding and- and we're gonna call the authorities!

Andy: Oh come now. You won't be doing that. See there's this little thing called Monopoly. Part frustrating board game, part reason there ought to be a second brisket place on Mars. I saw an opportunity and I snatched it. Rather like the brisket barons of old if I do say so myself. The name’s Andy Dandy Weirdman. But folks just call me Andy.

Edgar: You can't do this! Tell him he can't do this, Mr. Olaf! Tell them they have to at least change their sign to something else! It's such a rip off!

Olaf: No, no. He is right. They can do this. And there's nothing we can do to stop him.

Andy laughs maniacally.

Herbert: Unless...

Edgar and Olaf: Unless?

Andy: Unless….?

Herbert: Unless we settle this the old fashioned way.

Andy: My dear boy, whatever do you mean? What's there to settle?

Olaf: (chuckling, a little maniacal) The sign says better? Prove it.

Andy: Huagh. I don't have to prove...

Olaf: Prove it, or we'll call our good friend Clivethon Slivethon Lewis, Chief Martian Food Critic for the Interplanetary Telegram and Gazette down here and see what he thinks. He's a regular at the Best, and we always slip him extra cornbread on the side. Wonder how he'd take to this...?

Andy:Hmmm...So I imagine it's going to be..

Olaf: Oh yeah... A good old fashioned...

Herbert and Olaf: COOK OFF!

Andy starts laughing again.

Andy: Oh. Oh that's precious. Oh I’ll take your deal. We'll have the mayor appoint some judges. You get one point for quantity, one point for plating, and one point for quality. Loser has to rename their restaurant to...

Olaf: The Beef Spot.

Everyone makes a revolted noise.

Andy: Alright you're on.

Handshake.

Olaf: We've got this one in the take out bag. What does a mustache twirling, suit and tie wearing, pramble bramble like you know about pit BBQ? I bet you eat your ribs with the silver knife and fork that were sticking out of your rump when you were born.

Andy: Oh me? I don't know anything. I'm a venture capitalist, not some greasy back- planet grill boi. But I do know money. And I know robots! And AI has made such strides in the culinary world in the last decade.

The doors to the Better swing open, and a robot with many arms appears.

PitBot-3005: Burnt ends. Ribs. Corn on the Cob.

Andy: Say hello to PitBot-3005. The best BBQ AI robot money can buy this side of the interplanetary gap.

PitBot-3005: B-B-Q.

Edgar: What? That's not fair! We can't make more Brisket than that thing! That’s just- It's a robot and we're just three people!

Andy: Well you already shook on it. Besides- three against one? Seems plenty fair to me! Though I do remember reading on the box that the PitBot can do the work of four chefs…

Herbert:
You're on Andy Dandy.
You're going down.
We'll cook you and your clunker,
straight out of town!

Olaf:
There's only one Brisket
the people will eat!
When it comes to BBQ,
Mars' Best can't be beat!

Edgar:
Wait, hold up just a minute,
why are you speaking in rhyme?

Herbert:
That can only mean one thing...
It's grilling time!

Narrator:
And Herbert was right,
as these stories are told,
In rhymes that harken back
upon days of old,
The days when folk believed
in legends and myth,
when a book was a thing,
you'd always bring with...

Andy:
Look if you're going on a tangent
maybe I should narrate?
I have heard that my voice
can be greater than great.

Narrator:
You've a dog in this fight,
I have to say no!
I'll do the narration
on my own gamdamn show.
The teams were getting ready,
Andy left with a grunt.

Andy grunts

Narrator:
They grabbed all their tools,
hauled their grills out to front.
The mayor was telegramed
and she picked out some judges,
and a ref from the folks
without any long held grudges.
Everything was all set.
A crowd gathered for the show.
The ref raised her flag up and cried…

Referee:
ONE TWO THREE GOOOOOOOO!

Crowd cheers

Narrator:
They turned on their grills
getting them nice and hot,
The Best took their place,
each cook knew their spot.
Olaf was on main grill,
keeping the brisket wet.
Edgar was on sides,
they hadn't learned brisket yet.
And Herbert was on support,
running to and fro.
When Ollie cried..

Olaf:
ONION SALT!

Narrator:
Herb knew right where to go.
But the PitBot, oh the PitBot 3000 and 5,
Though it stood all alone
it was in…

Pitbot-3005:
TURBO DRIVE!

Narrator:
One arm turned the beef,
one ladled the sauce,
Another did sides
and another would toss...

Pitbot-3005:
Salad

Narrator:
A Salad?

Herbert and Olaf:
A SALAD?

Andy:
Yes, a salad you cretes.
At Better we serve
only the finest of eats.

Olaf:
That sign was one thing,
you miserable snuff,
But salad with brisket?
Enough is enough!

Narrator:
The best of The Best
worked faster and better.
They threw on more brisket
and got their meat wetter.

Herbert:
I'm not gonna touch that.

Narrator:
Herb said with a brush.

Olaf:
Must you commentate?
We're kind of in a rush?

Narrator:
But rushing’s a curse,
when you're facing a bot,
you'll go faster than fast,
give it more than you've got.
Edgar turned too quick!
They fell in the dirt!
They twisted their ankle!

Edgar:
Gamdammit I'm hurt!

Narrator:
The best of The Best
were now just down to two,
But still, two of the Best,
with a love that is true?
You couldn't have asked
for a better prepared crew…

Andy:
Now who’s being impartial?

Narrator:
Said the man with the over done plume,
You aren't the hero here Andy,
Gamdam read the room.
And so on they cooked,
sweat beading off their brow,
Turning improbable meat
to improbable cow.
They'd almost caught up
to the bot of the lout,
But just then
PitBot stopped and declared…

Pitbot-3005:
I am all out.

Andy:
What do you mean all out?
You need to make more!
I swear you won’t cost me
this measly score!

Narrator:
But Better had planned
on a small opening day,
The Best had more meat,
and they had it in play,
And so with just one
more brisket to go,
The Best won in quantity,
the score 1 and 0.

Andy:
You may have won this match
by sheer beefy weight,
but let's see how your brisket
looks out on the plate.

Narrator:
The Best put their brisket
in tin baking trays,
lined with brown paper,
like the good ol' Texas days.
But Andy with all of his
smug VC guile,
smeared lemon tart sauce on his plate
like a smile,
then carefully lined up
the briskets like eyes,
corn bread for the nose,
salad ears on the sides.
The plates were all taken
to the judges with care,
but compared to The Betters,
the Best’s trays were just bare.
With the score 1 and 1,
it was just down to taste.
The judges prepared.
A hush fell on the place.
Each one took a bite
of The Betters brisket dish…

Judge 1:
Yeahhhhh nope.

Judge 2:
Oh... Gods…

Judge 3:
I think I’m gonna be sick.

Narrator:
They each took to a pad
and wrote down their scores,
then they held them up high,
across the board fours.
Then each took a bite
from the Best’s brisket plate…

Judge 1:
Yes. Yes.

Judge 2:
Oh. My. Gods.

Judge 3:
OH GAMDAMN THIS IS GREAT!

Narrator:
Again to their pads,
as they scratched with their pens,
scores up in the air,
It's across the board tens!

The crowd cheers.

Audience Member: That’s how you bring the meat!

Narrator:
The Best had done it,
had beaten Andy and the Bot.
Mars' Better Brisket would forever more, be called…

Andy:
The Beef Spot.

They all groan…

Narrator:
Ollie went to his grill,
and picked up a piece,

Olaf:
Best part of a cook off!
It's time for the feast!

Narrator:
The crowd all cheered
and then had their fill,
While Olaf and Herb
kept on working their grill.
And Edgar shuffled up,
having taken their rest…

Edgar:
Did I...do good ma'ams?

Olaf:
Kid, you're one of The Best.

Andy:
Didn't I spend enough money
on this gamdamn robot?
Tell me what did you do?
What haven't I got?

Herbert:
Oh Andy…

Narrator:
Herb chuckled

Herbert:
You can't spend to get above.
Our secret ingredient is just lots of love.
Narrator:
And with that pronouncement,
Herb turned for a kiss.
Ollie followed in suit,
full of barbecue bliss.

Very cute kissing sound

Narrator:
And so ends our tale, of so many turns,
I hope midst the laughs
there were truths to be learned
That if you travel off world, to some martian land,
you don't have to give up, what made your home grand.
Our loves travel with us, wherever we go.
Even when our worlds change, our loves stay in tow.
Vegan Barbecue on Mars?
Now who would’ve thought
That a place like this
Could be a vessel for lots
Of love, of hope, of stories all true,
the kind we remember
from the days of our youths.
I guess what I'm saying
is sometimes you gotta risk it,
When Mars gives you improbable meat,
make Mars' Best Brisket.

Singer: Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket,
You ain’t gonna wanna miss it,
Best gamdamn brisket the martians ever saw.

Oh yes it’s Mars’ Best Brisket
It goes well with a biscuit,
Makes all the little martians go yeehaw!

Ponders: This episode features Lee Davis-Thalbourne as Herbert, Erin Kyan as Olaf, Jordan Cobb as Edgar, Alexander Danner as Andy Dandy Weirdman, James Oliva as the PitBot3005, Amanda McColgan as the Referee, Tau Zaman as Judge #1, Jeff Van Dreason as Judge #2, and Jordan Stillman as Judge #3. Additional audience noises were provided by Travis Reaves, Jesica Dahlgren, and Em Ervolina.

And we want to extend one last round of applause and heap of praise to Jordan Adika, Beth May, Chad Ellis, Sage G.C., David Michmurheizen, Zach Valenti, Sarah Shachat and Gabriel Urbina, whose voices you heard in the other two episodes. This show wouldn’t be half of what it is without all the incredible performances that all these folks delivered.

Our theme song is by Travis Reaves. This episode also featured Unseen Horrors by Kevin MacLeod, and Brushy Ford of Johns Creek and Smoker Wedding March by The Black Twig Pickers. Mars’ Best Brisket is written and edited by me, T.H. Ponders, and produced by myself and V Silverman. Our Executive Producer is Alan Cancinos, and our special thanks go out to Ana O’Daniel, Joni Kusminsky, Alan Silverman, and Lorraine Silverman.

We’re on the last day of our campaign drive and you have astounded us. We’ve raised $1600 for Lovin’ Spoonfuls, enough to rescue 4800 pounds of food, enough to feed 4 people for a year. Really, truly incredible and we are so, so thankful. There’s still time to contribute though. If this show has made you laugh or made you smile, consider making a small donation over at marsbestcharity.com, or sharing the campaign with the people in your life who have more money than you! The final community reward that we’re offering- well, when I asked James Oliva to play PitBot, I was met with a moment’s uncertainty. James knew this was gonna be the role of his career, and it would take every bit of acting prowess he could muster. What results are two tapes, which when analyzed present us with a clear picture of the actors method. That’s right, we’ll be releasing “James Oliva’s Masterclass: The Lost Oliva Tapes'' and audio documentary about Jame’s performance. Again, head over to marsbestcharity.com and make your contribution today.

But in all seriousness, millions of Americans are food insecure, and millions of pounds of food are wasted every day. Lovin’ Spoonfuls is tackling one problem with the other and we are such big fans of their work. If you haven’t yet, the other thing you can do is follow them on social media and follow the incredible work that they do. Their information is up on our website.

Want to become a member of the Mars’ Best Crew? Head on over to marsbestmerch.com to get the in-universe Mars’ Best Crew member t-shirts. We also have backpacks, clocks, posters, miniskirts, socks and more! And all the proceeds from the merch store are also getting donated to The Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Again, that’s marsbestmerch.com.

For more information on our amazing team, The Lovin’ Spoonfuls, transcripts of the episode, and all the links that I mentioned above, head over to marsbestbrisket.com. Folks, thank you so, so much for listening to the show. It’s a story I’ve had in my head for almost a year and a half now, and I am so, so excited that it is out in the world. To everybody who has listened, provided any kind of feedback, reached out on social media, donated to our campaign, shared our campaign, yelled about us on twitter, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. Making this show has been an absolute joy in an awful, awful time, and I couldn’t have done it without all of your support. And remember, eating salad with brisket is an absolute disgrace.

Singer: Make’s all the little martians go yeehaw!

Hoops and hollers.

Jordan: (Peter Griffin ouchie noises.) Sorry I just read the last direction alright let’s see how pathetic I can make this. Did I do good ma’ams? Then gods bless us, everyone!

James: Put the sauce on the weiner. Slather it up good. Hamburgers. Cheese. Buns. Buns. More buns please. Buns have more fun.

The Mars’ Best front door bell rings one last time, as the crew closes the door on this chapter of the story.