mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

November 5, 2013

Episode 139: Cabin Boy (1994)

Special Guests: Chris Elliott, Adam Resnick
Guest Co-Hosts: Mike Sullivan

Hey... Wanna buy a monkey?

Cabin Boy (1994) is an absurdist comedy starring Chris Elliott as a snobbish "fancy lad" who makes a wrong turn, ends up on the wrong boat and heads out on the seas with a bunch of salty dogs aboard "The Filthy Whore." Get ready for hi-jinx on the high seas as we discuss the works of Elliott and writer/director Adam Resnick with writer Mike Sullivan.

Buy Cabin Boy on DVD
Watch episodes of Eagleheart on Adult Swim
Buy the first season on Eagleheart on DVD
Buy Get A Life on DVD
Buy Chris Elliott's The Guy Under the Sheets
Listen to Rob St. Mary's previous interview with Chris Elliott
Read Mike Sullivan's interview with Adam Resnick in Cashiers du Cinemart 16
Read more of Mr. Sullivan's work in Shock Cinema Magazine
Listen to Mike Sullivan on the Chicken Park episode

Listen/Download Now:

Bonus Interview with Mike Starr:

"Drunken Sailor" - The Irish Rovers
"Walkin' the Plank" - The Bump-N-Uglies


Chris Elliott: Television Miracle


  1. Mike and Rob,
    Thank you for what I consider my favorite episode so far. I've been a fan of Chris Elliott since he began doing his 'bits' on Late Night those many years ago. Even then he was an acquired taste to most of my friends who dug Letterman but couldn't quite grasp what CE was up to. I saved a lot of his appearances on VHS tapes that are now buried somewhere under piles of other accumulated debris, but I've never forgotten them and it was great to hear him and Mr. Resnick speak about not only that phase, but also Get A Life and Cabin Boy. Before my wife became my wife in 1990 she revealed that she was a long time fan of the old Letterman show, especially the Merrill Markoe years and we found we both dug the whole Chris Elliott schtick. So when Get A Life came along we were there from the beginning and it was Must See TV for us long before anything NBC ever spewed out. Our two favorite shows were GAL and America's Most Wanted...Fox was king until they cancelled our Chris. I never got around to buying the DVD set that came out last year as I already had watchable versions of every episode, and I was suspicious when CE and AR didn't appear to contribute any insight via commentary or otherwise to the set. Therefore your show this week became that supplemental material that was missing and it is an episode I shall keep for posterity. I've not heard either of those guys interviewed before and I could have listened to their tales all day long! Thanks again for getting them together and just letting them go nuts. A great show and one I'll revisit soon. Next I'm going to listen to your interview with CE, Rob! What a trove! You guys are gold!!!!
    Thanks again!!!

    1. Jeffery,

      Thanks so much! Like you, I'm a huge Chris Elliott fan. It was a honor to have him on the show with Adam. When I coordinated the interview, I just expected him. I like that they kind of take over... glad they were so open and great about sharing all the stuff.

      I've loved his work for years. When we had the chance to get him, I knew we had to do Cabin Boy - such a obvious choice.

      Also, I've talked to Mike about this, it's great to have people on the show talking about a film/project that doesn't have much out there on it - no DVD commentaries, interviews, etc. I think that Chris and Adam really did a nice job telling us about all that stuff related to Cabin Boy - which is a total bare bones release - and "Get A Life!" - which, as you heard, is missing them from the set. I love the set, but I would have loved it more if they were on there.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Please let others know and we hope you'll go back, check out the other shows and stick around for more surprises.


      Rob St. Mary
      co-host of "The Projection Booth"

  2. The Foreign ViewerAug 5, 2014, 10:17:00 PM

    Hey Mike & Rob,

    I never had Chris on my radar. To me, he was always just "that some guy from There's Something About Mary and Groundhog Day". I'm not from the US, so I never saw his TV work.

    Anyway, some time ago a friend of mine suggested I should check out Eagleheart since I liked NTSF:SD:SUV (big fan of Kate Mulgrew / ST Voyager's Captain Janeway), so I went for it and eventually saw a couple of episodes. They were more or less ok, but I wasn't hooked. However, I also saw the epic trailer for Eagleheart's season 3 that promised a Cronenbergian experience. Intrigued, I waited for all ten episodes to come out and watched them back to back. While it wasn't exactly quite what I wanted it to be (wth is up with that ending???) it definitely did leave an impression and I finally became fully aware of Chris Elliott.

    While going through your archive (oh yeah, you don't actually have an archive for some reason (?) and I had to manually go page by page backwards to see the full selection of your episodes!), I saw the Cabin Boy episode. I've never heard of the movie, so I checked the trailer which did not impress me. I listened to the episode anyway, because I wanted to find out a bit more about Chris. By the end of it, I really felt for Chris and his failed project(s) and came to appreciate Rob's and others' love for Chris and his early TV work. That was a haunting interview. One of the best you've ever conducted.

    Intrigued by Chris' (in hindsight, misguided) passion for his star vehicle project, audience's horrible reaction to it, Tim Burton's involvement, and Rob's all-consuming love for the picture, I gave Cabin Boy a shot... aaand It didn't quite work out between us, but I appreciate the experience, anyway. :B

    I kind of see why the movie was hated, but I also see why Chris gave his heart and soul to the project, so I guess I'm on the fence when it comes to this movie.

    And the movie did teach me something - that Bill Murray had an actor brother.

    To wrap this up I'll just reiterate that this is one of your best episodes and perhaps the best interview. Chris really opened his heart to you (and indirectly us) and it was a truly fascinatingly intimate talk. He reminded us that failed personal projects are something that authors/actors have to live with for the rest of their days, but also how a bright promising career can turn on its head in an instant with one flop. It almost felt like a session at the therapist's office or something, but in a good cathartic way.

    I knew next to nothing about the guy before and now I'm really glad he's making a comeback on TV now, because now I know he deserves that second chance.

    Not a big fan of his daughter's work on SNL, though (or SNL in general, for that matter), but I bet he couldn't be more proud (or scared to death) that his kid follows in his footsteps.

    Thanks for another great show and I wish you all the best. :)

    1. On our top navigation there's a link called "past shows" you can sort by show or date.

    2. The Foreign ViewerAug 6, 2014, 10:12:00 AM

      Oops! I'm really sorry. Apparently, I need to have my eyes checked. Thanks!

    3. No worries. Makes me think that I need to set it off a little better so it's more noticeable.

    4. Yeah, Chris's humor - and Cabin Boy - are a taste you have... or you don't. It's not good or bad... it just is. I can't think of anyone who "kind of" likes Chris's work - that's why I love it. I like things that are not in the middle.

      To me, he's kind of the heir to things like "Monty Python" and Andy Kaufman - sort of this surrealist/absurdist hybrid. The jokes are really jokes, they are just things.

      Anyhow, glad you liked the interview. I was super proud to have him on. That was a major "get" for me because I'm sure a fan.