Red State Update
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- 1 Characters and recurring segments
- 2 Notability
- 3 Podcast Series
- 3.1 Sponsors
- 3.2 You Ask 'Em
- 3.3 Movie Commentaries
- 3.4 Clip of the Week
- 3.5 Red State Update Curse
- 3.6 McKinley-Sullivan Feud/Destruction of Murfreesboro/End of the Series?
- 3.7 Continuation of the Podcast
- 3.8 The Jackie Strangler (a.k.a. Jackie the Strangler) Saga
- 3.9 Mayor Jackie Broyles / Mayor Ghost Bird / The Berrynutts
- 3.10 Week of Resistance
- 3.11 Siri
- 3.12 Two Horse Podcast
- 3.13 Sponsor Bracket
- 4 2016 Kickstarter Project
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Characters and recurring segments
Jackie Broyles and Dunlap
Jackie Broyles (played by Travis Harmon), who formally owned a store that sold barbecue, is the older and more levelheaded of the two main characters. He espouses traditional conservatism, especially a belief in following the Bible and attending church, though he rarely goes himself. Jackie grew up on a farm and loves horses, especially Shetland Ponies. Jackie once held the record for the deepest ride into a cave on horseback with his favorite horse, Mr. Horsepants. This event occurred on the same day as John F. Kennedy's assassination. He enjoys whiskey on occasion, hates curse words, and holds to a consistent work ethic. Jackie's teeth have been reported to be in terrible condition. Dunlap described Jackie's teeth as "varnished corn nibblets" and compared the color of Jackie's teeth to that of a household cabinet. Jackie is also in bad standing with the local Catholic community (concentrated in the Catholictown section of Murfreesboro) due to him mumbling under his breath about how he felt that Catholic funerals were stupid. Jackie's wife had a stroke many years back, and he helps provide care for her. Jackie is, in general, suspicious of modern technology; while he has occasionally expressed an interest in subscribing to some digital radio service, if only so he can listen to Willie's Roadhouse, he is content to keep around and old Billy Joel tape and listen to Uptown Girl. Jackie has been known to fly into fits of rage due to some of Dunlap's sponsors, particularly Farmboy, and Dunlap's exceptionally poor behavior.
Dunlap (played by Jonathan Shockley) By contrast, the younger regularly espouses blatant hedonism. He has rarely held a job and lives in his grandmother's basement. Dunlap, whose full name remains a mystery, is consistently focused upon getting high and having sex, and his lack of traditional values, combined with his propensity to swear, regularly makes Jackie mad. Dunlap has successfully swallowed a twinkie whole, much like how a duck would consume a twinkie. He sees himself as someone people of high school age might consider cool and regularly attends coverless comic book conventions. Dunlap also collects Mork and Mindy trading cards. Dunlap routinely pretends he is much younger than he is, in one podcast, Dunlap claimed to be only sixteen years old. His father occasionally works as a preacher, when he has not been drinking, while his mother has been through a number of husbands. Dunlap has an uncontrollable urge to throw things in fires, although he never starts the fires himself. Items so far thrown into fires by Dunlap include, but not limited to, a tire, a broom, a T-shirt, a shoe, a box of nails, three cans of paint, deep fried chicken, and an accountant's hat.
Both characters hail from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. According to a March 7, 2016, interview Harmon and Shockley did with The Tennessean, the two met around 1995 while doing theatrical productions in Murfreesboro, including at Middle Tennessee State University and based their Red State Update characters on "a combination of family, friends and the kind of people you run into at Kroger.” Despite relocating to Los Angeles, California around 2001, they decided to set Red State Update firmly in Middle Tennessee.
Mr. Slaw and "Cooking with Jackie Time"
Jackie Broyles enjoys cooking and tries to teach new recipes to RSU viewers during the occasional segment "Cooking with Jackie Time". Jackie's cooking show is regularly disrupted by visits from his friend Mr. Slaw, a sickly, pessimistic character (really, a disembodied head) who lives in a bowl of coleslaw. "Cooking with Jackie Time" and Mr. Slaw first appeared in the episode "Red State Update Retires". Mr. Slaw also interviewed Ralph Nader during the 2008 presidential campaign and starred in the music video "Too Sick for Christmas."
"Jackie Broyles for President"
Dunlap made a string of commercials for a "Jackie Broyles for President" campaign during the 2008 presidential primaries. Jackie issued a Shermanesque statement denying his intention to run and declared that he had voted for Fred Thompson in the primary, even though Thompson had already left the race.
$120 Campaign Ads
Ahead of the 2010 mid-term elections, Dunlap decided to get Red State Update into the "political advertisement game" and offered to make "any political ad for anybody for $120." Jackie and Dunlap subsequently released 9 campaign ads. The first 8 ads were related to upcoming elections and the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. The final ad was released after the 2010 election, and promoted a campaign to write in Aleister Crowley for the 2012 campaign for U.S. President.
CNN and the YouTube debate
Red State Update came to national prominence during the primary season for the 2008 presidential election. RSU's first appearance on national television was during the CNN-YouTube Democratic primary debate on July 23, 2007, which posed prerecorded, viewer-submitted questions to the candidates. Of Democrats who were entertaining the idea of former Vice-President Al Gore joining the race, Red State Update asked, "does that hurt y'all's feelings?"  Joe Biden made a tongue-in-cheek observation that "I think the people of Tennessee (the home state of both Gore and the RSU pair) had their feelings hurt," prompting a video response entitled "Fightin' Joe Biden". The subsequent publicity generated led to a number of appearances on different news stations and a semi-regular spot on CNN's short-lived program Out in the Open. They gained prominence again in December 2007 when former Senator and long-shot presidential candidate Mike Gravel appeared in one of their clips as Santa Claus.
Red State Update was one of the most widely viewed political satire series on the internet; its channel was, at one time, the 20th "most viewed" and 26th "most subscribed" comedy channel on YouTube. It was also syndicated weekly through the popular online magazine Salon.com. The series is currently syndicated through Huffington Post.
The duo released How Freedom Sounds, an album of comedy and novelty songs, on July 22, 2008. Two years later, the pair released a Christmas album, Santa Is Real, featuring such songs as "Christmas in a Beer Joint" and "I Don't Feel Like Fucking This Christmas." The album title and cover art reference the 1959 gospel album Satan Is Real. The podcast series has also featured the occasional song, most notably the Halloween-themed "I Fingered a Skeleton." In late 2015, they released another Christmas album, Merry Twismas Part Twoo... and other holiday gooduns, a collection of various melodies produced for the podcast. The title is in reference to Conway Twitty's Christmas album, Merry Twismas, which the pair previously explicated in Episode 57. Many of these songs have music video counterparts on YouTube.
On November 21, 2012, the duo released the first episode of "The Ole Timey Country Down Home Red State Update Podcast 'n' 'Em." Episodes are released on a weekly basis, with few exceptions, and tend to last approximately an hour in length. The episodes continue on the themes of the video series, featuring discussions of the major political issues in the news, or notable cultural events, such as the death of George Jones. All episodes are recorded in the bunker underneath Jackie's Market, save when the duo engages in talks elsewhere, as with their appearance at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). At the beginning of the series, the podcast would open with the tune "Tasty Sorghum Biscuit" by the band Holtzclaw, of which Harmon and Shockley are members, but the placement of the ostensible opening tune has shifted through the series, sometimes coming after the sponsor segment and sometimes being forgotten completely. After complaining for a while about their lack of closing song, the two invited listeners to contribute tunes of their own making, but listeners failed to respond, and so Jackie and Dunlap debuted their own official closing song, "Goodbye Friend," in Episode 174.
A notable feature of the podcast series is the inclusion of sponsorships featuring local Murfreesboro businesses who pay $25 to be mentioned on the podcast. Often, mutual dislike or suspicion about each other's sponsorships leads to heated arguments between Jackie and Dunlap. As the podcast progressed, the sponsor segments have consumed an increasing amount of time, leading both characters to lament the amount of time that they are spending on the sponsorships and expressing determination to press on to the important news of the day. However, the sponsor segments constitute the medium by which much of the local goings-on in Murfreesboro were communicated to the listening audience. Occasionally, Red State Update releases a special podcast consisting of the sponsor segments from previous episodes. Among the sponsors of the podcast are the following:
- Tee Tee Slott. Tee Tee Slott was originally a prostitute advertising her sexual services to the Murfreesboro community. However, she soon left prostitution and soon moved into childcare, setting up a mobile daycare in a van. When that failed, she moved into the beverage business, hiring other former prostitutes to produce such drinks as Slott Soda, Slott Water, and Slott Juice (which originally came in the following flavors: Grape, Apple, Grape-Apple, Pink, and Clear), as well as seasonal beverages such as Slott Cider and Slott Nog. She also branched out into the movie rental business with Slott Box (her version of Redbox) and a Halloween haunted house, filled with prostitutes in old dresses, called Tee Tee Slott's Horror House, which was later transformed into a brothel as Tee Tee had leased the old house past Halloween. Due to her position with the Murfreesboro Bottled Water Association, Tee Tee Slot was able to oust the mayor of Murfreesboro due to his dereliction of duty in the face of the ongoing McKinley-Sullivan feud (see below).
- Doctor Birdman. Doctor Birdman was originally just known as The Bird Man and showed up in Murfreesboro on occasion to peddle rare and exotic birds, either in the parking lot of Jackie's Market or the parking lot of Big Lots. How he acquires these birds is a regular subject of debate. Following the Newtown Massacre, Birdman changed his name briefly to Gun Man and sold firearms; he has also put on monkey shows. Birdman later began practicing medicine and even offered his own form of insurance to compete with Obamacare. Throughout 2014, a major story arc in the Doctor Birdman saga has centered upon Hurt Bird, a special bird that was supposed to produce an amazing sound right at midnight on New Year's Eve (when he was known as New Year's Eve Bird). However, the bird escaped, and, in the process of being recaptured by Doctor Birdman's henchman Jimmy, was injured. Subsequently, several events throughout Murfreesboro have been held to raise money for treating Hurt Bird. At a special Fourth of July event to raise money for Hurt Bird, the bird went missing during a confusing sequence of events, after which Doctor Birdman and Don Jekyll Jr. were both arrested, and it was suggested that the bird is now a specter. Later reports had it that Hurt Bird was retrieved by animal control, though the officers became sick, necessitating military involvement. Other reports hold that Hurt Bird was contained in a secret chamber beneath the Middle Tennessee State University stadium, where he was being treated by the water boys of the Blue Raiders football team. Doctor Birdman was later released on his own recognizance and has been attempting to regain possession of Hurt Bird.
- Wet Breads. Wet Breads was a fine Murfreesboro establishment which, as Jackie and Dunlap regularly comment, manages to get bread wetter than one could at home. They later expanded their offerings to include juicy pizza. At one point, the establishment had a full size water tank that several different varieties of bread floated in. Customers may pay a fee to jump into the tank and consume wet bread in the tank. Jackie has never jumped into the tank but did grab some delicious wet bread off the top. The tank was later removed due to rumors of a young boy drowning in the tank. Wet Breads also introduced Dry Breads. Their menu was later simplified as they went back to "basics", eliminating the staple wet fries.
- Gun Sonic. Gun Sonic was a gun and ammunition store located in an old Sonic Drive-In restaurant, with the employees bringing one's order right to the car, just as Sonic waitresses do with fast food orders. However, given that customers continued to ask for tater tots, Gun Sonic began serving those and considered expanding their food offerings.
- Johnny Greenstreet's Get-Out. Johnny Greenstreet, an EMT, runs an animal removal business that covers animals both alive and dead. His role in the Hurt Bird saga included inadvertently damaging the popcorn machine at the Murfreesboro Museum when hired by Doctor Birdman to break into the museum in order to try to retrieve the animal.
- Coley's Snack Foods. Coley's Snack Foods sales a variety of bagged snacks with a Bible page in every bag. The company uses prison labor for the dismantling of Bibles to put in their popular products, and some Murfreesboro residents have managed to assemble an entire Bible from eating numerous bags of the snacks. Coley's also branched out into the Christian film industry, with several movies re-dubbed and edited so that the dialogue presents an evangelical message, as well as the private prison industry.
- Jim Beavers Who Works for Comcast Cable. Jim Beavers regularly pays Jackie twenty-five dollars to plug some particular show, usually one running in syndication. However, his reason for doing so remains unknown, as he is a cable technician and not a Comcast executive trying to promote particular shows.
- Skunky's. Skunky's was co-managed by Little Helen and Big Helen. Little Helen originally ran a business called Little Helen's, and Jackie had her as a sponsor on the recommendation of Big Helen, though he never had any idea as to the nature of the business. Little Helen's soon folded but managed to re-open. Later, Big Helen joined the business, which was renamed Skunky's to avoid confusion. Despite repeatedly accepting money to sponsor the establishment, Jackie never knew what kind of establishment Skunky's was, and debate on the nature of the business ranges from some kind of restaurant to something illegal or relating to satanism.
- Longhorn's Dance Parlor. Longhorn's was a dance parlor where fights regularly break out. Jackie's Market apparently lies between Longhorn's and the nearest police station, and when sirens can be heard during the podcast, Jackie and Dunlap remark that the cops must be going to Longhorn's. Interestingly, the Murfreesboro tornado siren is located at Longhorn's, and has on at least once occasion, been pulled by a drunk. The siren severely frightened Jackie who has become accustomed to regular sirens. The local fighting champion of Longhorn's is Skinny Knuckles.
- The Murfreesboro Museum. The Murfreesboro Museum was well known for having the best popcorn anywhere. Notable exhibits include skeletons of babies that may have been murdered by Native Americans and various pictures of Murfreesboro.
- Dom Podge's Tax Whiz. Dom Podge is a licensed minister and militia member who runs a tax service in Murfreesboro. People seeking to hire him will hoist an American flag, upside-down, and then be contacted by Dom Podge, usually in disguise, who will organize a secret meeting. Clients are urged to bring their receipts, which Dom Podge will tear up or burn before handing his client a copy of the U.S. Constitution and telling said client that the Constitution says that they do not need to pay any taxes to the federal government. The copy of the Constitution is free, but clients have to pay extra if they want it framed. Recently, Don Podge has created animatronic versions of himself to further fool the various authorities pursuing him. From a distant, these "Don-bots", look just like Don Podge, so much so that the local police have arrested the robotic version of Don Podge only to discover it is not him, but when one gets close and upon further examination, they will notice the protruding screws and hinges, and may hear the whirring noise of the mechanisms inside. When one gives Don-bot their tax receipts, the robot will throw them all around the room, which according to Jackie and Dunlap, is quite a sight. Don Podge has multiple copies of his "Don-bots" roaming the streets, further confusing the various authorities pursuing him.
- The Glory Shelf. The Glory Shelf was a Christian supply store managed by Ted and Ralph, who are assumed by Dunlap to be a gay couple. The name of the business may refer to the sexual slang term glory hole. Ted and Ralph later split up due to differing opinions regarding the McKinley-Sullivan Feud, with Ralph founding his own establishment, He Touched Me Books and Balloons. However, they later came back together following the destruction of Murfreesboro.
- Greeters. Consisting of a group of Wal-Mart greeters, Greeters offered general conversation and friendly interaction in exchange for donations. However, Greeters was driven out of business by Don Jekyll Jr.'s rival business, Pre-Greeters.
- Hosewater. Hosewater was a bottled water company started by the local McElroy family. Using the slogan "One sip keeps it simple," Hosewater offers water that has been run through a garden hose so as to bring back memories of youth and summertime, when children will often drink from the outdoor hose. After succeeding wildly with original Green Hose flavor, Hosewater branched out into Black Hose, Hosewater Light, and Energy Plus flavors. Once local beverage competitor Tee-Tee Slott began offering a new product, Slott Juice Hose, Hosewater retaliated by selling Hosejuice. After the patriarch of the McElroy family, Reo McElroy, was caught making online racist comments regarding the company his mistress was keeping, the Murfreesboro Bottled Water Association confiscated the McElroy family hose. However, shortly thereafter, Dom Podge returned from the Bundy Ranch standoff with the actual Bundy ranch hose, Reo McElroy began offering a new product, Freedom Water. He also founded his own bottled beverage association, the Murfreesboro Water Bottle Association. In the wake of Tee Tee Slot assuming mayoral power following the McKinley-Sullivan feud (see below), Reo McElroy has threatened to secede from the city and establish his own municipality of Hoseboro.
- Three Sticks of Candy. Three Sticks of Candy was run by Mr. Reynolds, a former pharmacist. After the death of his wife, Mr. Reynolds, still grieving, accidentally mixed up some prescriptions, resulting in the injury and possible death of several Murfreesboro residents. He subsequently lost his pharmacy license and opened a candy shop in the same location. He continues to dress as a pharmacist and keeps candy in pill bottles. At Three Sticks of Candy, customers can only buy candy three pieces at a time, save for Wednesdays between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., when "three is six." Mr. Reynolds reportedly has a mannequin dressed up as his dead wife, to whom he talks. At one time, the establishment was infested with coyotes. However, after the McKinley-Sullivan Feud, the coyotes, which had been feeding upon a mixture of candy and prescription medicines, fled the establishment and now live in the hills surrounding the city. The whereabouts of Mr. Reynolds is currently unknown.
- Don Jekyll Jr. Don Jekyll Jr. has sponsored the Red State Update podcast under the auspices of a number of business enterprises, usually copying off other successful Murfreesboro institutions. He is known foremost for stealing merchandise from his father's business, Snakeheads, and selling these items under the business names Snakeheads 2 and Snakefaces. Later, he started Pre-Greeters, ripping off the idea of Greeters but staffing his own with rough drunks whose violent threats against the employees of Greeters eventually led that establishment to close. He also began selling candy at Pre-Greeters under the name of "3 Stix O'Kan-D." On July 4, 2014, Jekyll was arrested, along with Doctor Birdman, for his part in an illegal display of fireworks and exploding propane tanks during which Hurt Bird went missing.
- Heatherglen Springs Woods. This was a Murfreesboro nursing home which features a drive-through means of visiting one's elderly relatives.
- Peanut Pockets Steakhouse. This local steakhouse had been operating since 1954 and has featured several different people playing the mascot character of Peanut Pockets. Murfreesboro residents often express a particular love for specific incarnations of Peanut Pockets, not unlike how fans of the BBC series Doctor Who express preferences for particular incarnations of the Doctor.
- Gracesayers. Gracesayers is an agency whose members specialize in saying grace and will appear at family meals and other gatherings with food in order to bless the food professionally.
- The Cobbler Gobbler. Serving a somewhat decent peach cobbler reminiscent of the kind one might buy at Kroger, the Cobbler Gobbler pales in comparison to another purveyor of peach cobbler in the Murfreesboro area, the name of which establishment remains unspoken on the Red State Update podcast on account of the owner being such a horrible person—having perhaps even murdered his cousin for the secret cobbler recipe—that he would no doubt be out of business did he not dish up the absolute best cobbler anyone has ever eaten.
- Mirabella Gennessey. Mirabella Gennessey is a Tanya Tucker impersonator and professional prostitute whom Dunlap met at the funeral of George Jones. Listeners have been urged not to inform Dr. Birdman that it was not the real singer whose company he enjoyed that day.
- Wizardbeards. A local head shop, Wizardbeards once sponsored a trip to Colorado to celebrate that state's pot legalization. Dunlap was a big fan of the business.
- Victor Mileage/Murfreesboro Playactors' Club. The Murfreesboro Playactors' Club is the local theatre troupe who, in conjunction with director Victor Mileage, attracted controversy with the attempted staging of the play "Goddamn This Horse," which was finally performed in the parking lot of Luby's after the performers were denied a venue elsewhere. Victor Mileage also produced a play recounting the life of local businesswoman Tee Tee Slott. It was a member of the Murfreesboro Playactors' Club who portrayed George Washington during the 2014 Independence Day extravaganza featuring Hurt Bird at which Doctor Birdman and Don Jekyll Jr. were arrested.
- Newtown Massacre Conspiracy Theorists' Club. A local social club, this group aims to sponsor constructive conversation about a notorious school shooting.
- Steubenville Board of Tourism. Following the Steubenville rape scandal, the board of tourism of Steubenville, Ohio sponsored the podcast in a frankly misguided attempt to improve the town's image.
- Miss Phillips' Kitty Pillows. Miss Phillips began selling what she called "kitty pillows," which were pillows with pictures of cats on them. These pillows were intended for humans, rather than cats, but people bought them thinking that they were pillows to be used by pets. Unfortunately, the materials used in the pillow construction were toxic to cats, and some animals reportedly died. Miss Phillips issued a clarification of the intended usage and began manufacturing plain, colored pillows, with no cat pictures, to be used by animals—at least, healthy animals with no prior medical conditions. The Murfreesboro Museum later had an exhibit on the infamous Kitty Pillows, though Miss Phillips was unable to attend it on account of having been run out of town by furious pet owners. Miss Phillips later crafted pillows to be sent to the southern border of the United States to comfort refugee children there.
- Third Baptist Pentecostal Church of Holliness God. Located in a building that sells refurbished washing machines, the Third Baptist Pentecostal Church of Holiness God is most known for celebrating an annual Anti-Halloween Lock-In. This church later renamed itself the Third Baptist Pentecostal Church of Ghost/Hurt Bird following the destruction of Murfreesboro.
- Sullivan's Auto Parts and McKinley Air Conditioning. These two businesses sponsored the podcast beginning with Episode 88, a rare episode in which the sponsor segment lasted less than ten minutes. Everything seemed straightforward; however, Jackie's recollection that Sullivan and McKinley seemed to be friends, visiting his store together, awoke a longstanding grudge between Sullivan and McKinley, the origin of which lay in McKinley's discovery of a picture of his sister, Lynette, standing with a man who had his hand on her boob. McKinley insisted that the man in question was Sullivan due to an apparent scar visible in the picture, which Sullivan insisted was simply a fleck on the photograph. Making the issue particularly contentious was the fact that Lynette was married, though her husband was in a wheelchair and participated in sports for the disabled. Episodes subsequent to Episode 88 reveal a town coming apart at the seams as individuals align with either "Team McKinley" or "Team Sullivan." Sullivan even ran Jim Beavers with Comcast Cable (see above) off the road after catching sight of him servicing McKinley's house. The ongoing violence led to the mayor of Murfreesboro being ousted and replaced by Tee Tee Slot (see above).
Many of the sponsoring businesses are represented as being located "just off the square" in Murfreesboro. Most of these businesses were destroyed during the McKinley-Sullivan Feud that resulted in the burning of Murfreesboro (see below).
You Ask 'Em
On occasion, Jackie and Dunlap will also announce a special episode in which they field questions from the public on their various social media outlets. The questions do trend toward being somewhat vulgar in nature, and these episodes can spin wildly out of control, even approaching the two-hour mark at times.
Clip of the Week
In 2014, Dunlap began including a "clip of the week" into the podcast. These are usually YouTube clips and originally included snippets from the PTL Club featuring such celebrities as Colonel Sanders. However, the "clip of the week" feature has become less something that Dunlap offers listeners and more something he demands from them, urging listeners to go out and find specific YouTube videos and post them on the Facebook page of Red State Update.
Red State Update Curse
Speculation has arisen among fans as to the existence of a curse upon the series following the deaths of Mickey Rooney, James Garner, and Robin Williams within weeks of each one being mentioned prominently in the podcast. So far, the curse seems limited to individuals working within the entertainment industry. Jackie and Dunlap analyze the seriousness of the curse in Episode 93 of the podcast. The duo's visit to the Reagan Presidential Library as part of their Kickstarter project (see below) included a reference by Jackie to Nancy Reagan, with him assuming wrongly that she had died. Some listeners thought her death in March 2016 connected to the curse.
McKinley-Sullivan Feud/Destruction of Murfreesboro/End of the Series?
During the spring of 2014, Jackie and Dunlap announced that they were continuing the podcast only to Episode 100 unless they secured an invitation from the George W. Bush Presidential Library to do a live podcast on the premises. They later expanded their demands for continuing the podcast to include having actor Matthew Broderick accompany them for this special event. These demands were later dropped or forgotten. Despite the duo's insistence that they had set their limit of 100 episodes from the very beginning, they first mentioned the scheduled termination of the series only around Episode 75.
The 100th episode was released on September 22, 2014. Technically, it was only Episode 98, but according to Jackie and Dunlap, they were recording on October 5, 2014. During the intervening two weeks, Dunlap had convinced Jackie that they were recording their weekly podcast, but this was simply playacting in order to keep them occupied while they were hiding out in Jockey's bunker following the destruction of much of Murfreesboro in the wake of the McKinley-Sullivan Feud.
As was revealed in Episode 96, Mayor Tee-Tee Slott attempted to bring peace to Murfreesboro by the convening of a peace summit at the city fair, located near the Pepsi machine that has the llama tied up next to it. She managed to convince Sullivan and McKinley to set aside their grievances, and the outlook for the future seemed bright, especially when Mayor Slott announced free popcorn to the assembled crowds, wheeling out the popcorn machine from the Murfreesboro Museum. However, the popcorn machine proved broken, and the mood of the crowd quickly soured. Riots broke out. At the fair, Coley's Snack Foods had hosted a dunking booth using prisoners from their private prison complex—some dressed as demons, with others dressed in regular prison garb. Because the crowds had objected to so many hundreds of prisoners roaming around, the show cows had been released from their pens so that the prisoners could be locked up. These cows created a great deal of confusion as the crowds became angry, inflaming the situation. In addition, the poor security around the cow pens allowed the prisoners to escape. Though the girl from Gun Sonic managed to shoot a few, hundreds still fled to the woods around Murfreesboro, led by Don Jeckyll Jr., who had become a Marxist during his latest round in prison. (As it happens, the popcorn machine had been damaged by Doctor Birdman and Johnny Greenstreet when they, assisted by Jackie Broyles, broke into the Murfreesboro Museum to follow up rumors that Hurt Bird was being kept in the basement.)
Episode 98 reveals what happened following this outbreak of violence, including the repeated changeover in the mayoral position. Tee-Tee Slott declared martial law, using her own Slott Cops as well as assuming command of the Peanut Pockets Patrol from the Peanut Pockets Steakhouse. However, she put in charge of her security the Gun Sonic girl, who had previously dated one of the McElroy boys. This allowed for a coup d'etat whereby Reo McElroy was able to assume political control of Murfreesboro, driving Tee-Tee Slott away to McMinnville, Tennessee and renaming the city Hoseboro. He quickly proved unpopular, as his only signature policy was to give everyone in town a hose. Meanwhile, riots continued, and everything off the square was burned. Only the town mosque, the square, and Jackie's Market were left standing, the latter preserved by the efforts of the Hosewater crew and Wetbreads. Then occurred the "Three Great Speeches," as they were later called. In the first, Lynette revealed that the picture of her with the man holding her breast was taken with the full knowledge of her husband, who was into cuckold fetishism. In the second, the Cobbler Guy, whose name nobody will reveal, cussed at the entirety of Murfreesboro's citizenry. As people were absorbing this, Don Jeckyll Jr., now wearing a Bane mask and calling himself Bane Jeckyll Jr., climbed atop the Peanut Pockets tank and said simply, "Get him." People were more than happy to chase down the Cobbler Guy, pursuing him to the McMinnville city limits. In a popular upswell, Bane Jeckyll Jr. took over the reins of the mayor's office, banishing Reo McElroy to McMinnville and ordering the immediate execution of his former fellow prisoners.
During the violence, Dunlap managed to drag Jackie into the bunker underneath Jockey's Market, his most hated competitor. They spent much of their time eating the voluminous provisions of the bunker, though Dunlap also masturbated repeatedly in the bunker's chapel. When e-mail comes back online, Dunlap, from the safety of the bunker, is able to reveal what has gone on during their prolonged absence underground. All the major figures of the Hurt Bird saga disappeared. Doctor Birdman's truck was found wrecked, with the word "Squawk" written in blood on the windshield and feathers lying around. In similar circumstances did his henchman, Jimmy, and the manager of the Big Lots parking lot, where Doctor Birdman regularly appeared, also disappear. Dunlap remarks to Jackie that, as someone who regularly hosted Doctor Birdman, Jackie should be afraid for his life. Jackie dismisses this, though he does receive a phone call to the bunker that consists of nothing more than demonic squawking and other bird noises. At the end of the podcast, as Dunlap happens to mention that he was the one who took those fetish pictures of Lynette (and thus had known all along that it was not Sullivan's hand on her boob and could have prevented all the violence that resulted), there is a fevered knocking on the bunker door. The door breaks open, and all that can be heard are Jackie and Dunlap screaming amid fearsome bird noises. With that, the episode ends.
Episode 99 finds Dunlap attempting to comfort a dying Jackie. As Jackie seems on the verge of passing away, Dunlap confesses that he is actually a virgin, that he had performed a number of sexual acts with various women, including anal and facials with multiple partners, but had never engaged in vaginal penetration with his own penis. Meanwhile, Jackie dies and goes to heaven, where he encounters God, who looks like Dunlap and informs him that this is not People Heaven but rather Goat Heaven. Jackie's job is to build a pen to contain all the departed goats that have ever lived, and he spends hundreds of years doing this, followed by hundreds of years caring for the goats when they finally arrive. Then, Dunlap God comes and rounds up all the goats for a big barbecue in People Heaven, giving Jackie the option of staying there in empty Goat Heaven or returning to his earthly form. Thus, he comes back to life at the very moment he had died and informs Dunlap that he now knows how precious each moment is, adding, "I'm never doing another parkast again!"
Episode 100 is set in the 2030s, with the duo recording their 1,000th podcast at the George W. Bush Memorial Library in New Murfreesboro. Dunlap is an old and grizzled man, having reportedly served as a mercenary for many years, and while Jackie is no longer alive, his consciousness has been downloaded into a mechanism Dunlap dubs the "Jackietron." Unfortunately, Jackie cannot remember any of the time between 2014 and the future-present, losing his memory each time he is turned off, and so Dunlap has to inform him of events that occurred in the intervening years. For example, Tee-Tee Slott is now president and regularly issues They Live-like decrees, such as "Obey, Consume, Fear, Report." Dunlap promises a special event at the end of the podcast, which ends up being sending Jackie back in time to October 5, 2014 (the time period of Episodes 98 and 99), right after he had returned to life, to convince his living self not to stop podcasting (thus engaging in a predestination paradox). Only the Jackietron can go, as time travel in the 2030s has not progressed to the point of sending living matter through time. Upon arriving in the bunker underneath Jockey's Market, the Jackietron attempts to kill Jackie so as to prevent ever ending up in a robot body in the first place. However, Jackie is able to kill the robot with a broom handle, and the Jackietron's last words are a garbled, "Thank you." In response to the appearance of the robot, Dunlap is able to convince Jackie that he must assume the mantle of the leader in the resistance against the robot uprising, and as the podcast ends, with the score from The Terminator playing in the background, a narrator informs listeners that Jackie continued podcasting anti-robot messages, though no one ever paid him any attention.
Continuation of the Podcast
The podcast has continued on past Episode 100 with mostly new sponsors and no mention yet of the duo's previous plan to abandon the series. Among the new sponsors of the series are the following:
- Mr. Leaky. A plumber who has achieved local celebrity status, Mr. Leaky is best known for his long, intricate, and recently CGI-laden commercials, which often feature him venturing down a toilet to fight against whatever force might be clogging the system. He has occasionally gotten into trouble for copyright infringement on account of using such characters as the Avengers or the Minions. Some of his videos have featured extended Rap Music sequences, and Jackie rushes to the television to turn the volume down, as he is not a fan of that genre of music. In late 2014, one of his major advertisements was, ironically, leaked online. The main suspect behind this leak was local videographer Clay Sunday, and litigation on this matter is apparently continuing.
- Hattie's Lotions, Creams, and Salves. Hattie is a local producer of lotions and salves whose slogan is "Nobody Can Say No to Hattie." Men as well as women have been known to use her products, which tend to be specific to body parts, such as her "rough elbow" and "scaly patch" varieties of lotion, though she also created the special "burn and pinch" penetrating lotion. After the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hattie offered her "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" lotion to raise awareness of police brutality and white supremacy. She subsequently renamed all of her lotions to reflect her commitment to the protest movement: "Hands and Fingers" became "Fuck a CVS", "Rough Elbow" became "The Privileged Class's Co-Opting of Dr. King's Message Must Cease--Non-Violence Should Never Merely Equal Making White Folks Feel Comfortable", while "Scaly Patch" became "Indict the Media." "Yuletide Spice" (available year around) and "Burn and Pinch" remained the same.
- Wesley Press. Wesley Press, reputedly Murfreesboro's smartest citizen, offers tutoring services for children of all ages from his apartment in the basement of the county courthouse (making him one of the show's few sponsors apparently located on the town square, rather than "just off the square"). One may feel an unwanted, uncomfortable feeling while in the presence of Mr. Press. A severe chain smoker, his apartment is yellow from the cigarette smoke. When in school, he was a victim of severe bullying, much of it egged on by Dunlap, and at one time he was investigated by the FBI, who believed that he might have been the Unabomber on account of him being so smart. (He was apparently turned in by his sister, Leslie Press. Leslie Press in turn has worked across the nation at various liquor stores because they are the only place where she can smoke at work.) He briefly dated Dilly Mulerider and portrayed the resurrected Jesus in her "Easter around the Square" production, but broke up for a while. He later began offering his own lesson plans for order, in addition to offering to lecture children who might be confused on transgender issues after the public transition of Caitlyn Jenner. Currently, he tutors children as part of Mercky Shellback's Double Decker Bus 'Round the Square (see below)
- Farmboy. Farmboy is an app designed by a local programmer to give the user a sense of country live without actually having to live it. A typical Farmboy voice notification might say something like, "Time to get the hogs in the house! Farmboy!" Farmboy later branched out into a hook-up app, called Farmboyr, along the lines of Tinder or Grindr. Jackie hates Farmboy, stating on several occasions that it simply does not make sense because, according to Jackie, "Hogs should not be anywhere in the house."
- Mosey's Carwash/Turkey Dick's Carwash/Preston Meriwhether III's Carwash. Mosey's Carwash was run by an old acquaintance of Dunlap, Curtis Henshaw, who was widely known in school by the nickname of "Turkey Dick." After Dunlap took exception to the name of Mosey's Carwash, pointing out that no one would know who "Mosey" was (and that one should not attempt to give oneself a nickname), Henshaw, apparently agreeing with this assessment, subsequently changed the name of the establishment was changed to Turkey Dick's Carwash. This, however, did not improve its fortunes, and neither did the final name change to Preston Meriwhether III's Carwash. It eventually went out of business.
- Christmas Cottage/Easter Cottage. Run by Kelly and Carter Tepper, the Christmas Cottage was an establishment that specialized in the burning of Christmas trees and other holiday paraphernalia. However, as they were needing money before the big post-Christmas rush, they attempted to encourage people to burn their Christmas materials before the actual holiday. This did not succeed, and they went out of business in late 2014. They came back in the spring of 2015 with a new business, the Easter Cottage, which specialized in the burning of Easter-related paraphernalia. As this business, too, was suffering, they applied for a general burning permit from mayor Bane Jeckyll Jr. However, in the midst of national uproar over such anti-gay legislation as the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and national conservative support for businesses that publicly embraced homophobia, the Teppers posted a sign at their business to the effect that they would burn nothing brought to them by a member of the LGBT community. Subsequently, they had over one million dollars raised for them by conservative activists and were able to leave Murfreesboro. Ted and Ralph later bought the equipment and incorporated it into their own business, now Glory Shelf Bibles, Balloons, and Burning. In late 2015, Colin Tepper, son of Kelly and Carter, returned to Murfreesboro to restart the Christmas Cottage, the family having kept the naming rights. He plans to begin burning Christmas-related garbage in March 2016.
- Bug Spray. Homemade bug spray produced by local residents Dora Birdroof and her boyfriend, Greg. They mix it up outside Dora's house in a kettle, and one purchases it by going to their residence, where they will dip up the spray in a random container. Listeners are urged specifically to connect with Dora, not Greg.
- Dilly Mulerider. Dilly Mulerider is a long-time fixture in Murfreesboro, known for offering rides around the town square in a carriage drawn originally by Bluto the Mule and the horse Second Epiphany; the mule later died and was replaced by another horse named Toby. She later offered variations upon these carriage rides, including "lessons around the square" with Wesley Press, an Easter presentation (also featuring Wesley Press, whom she was dating at the time), movies around the square (with DVDs shown in the back of her carriage), a carriage ride around Murfreesboro's many Wal-Mart locations, and a news-oriented carriage ride in which she would talk about various current events after giving herself a little time first to scan the newspaper. She is a Rand Paul supporter, much to the dismay of Jackie, and, in fact, drew a Rand Paul stencil on Toby and branded Second Epiphany with another Rand Paul image. After an apparent accident involving Mercky Shellback's Boat Around the Square, which killed her remaining animals, she joined his touring efforts overseeing a petting zoo on Mercky's double-decker bus (see below). Dilly Mulerider later took to selling "bonnet nuts," hot nuts that were served up in a bonnet.
- The Rinseguard Family. Little Cissy Rinseguard rose to prominence after the publication of her book I Go Heaven! (as told to her mother, Lydia Rinseguard), an exemplar of the "heaven tourism" genre (along the lines of Heaven Is For Real and The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven) recounting her experience in heaven after her accidental death. In this first recounting of her visit to heaven, she talks to God about the Lego Movie and sees the Devil, who is a dinosaur wearing a cowboy hat and tutu. The week after the Glory Shelf first sponsored the podcast to advertise the publication of I Go Heaven!, it was reported that Little Cissy Rinseguard had died yet again as the result of a peanut allergy reaction while in the custody of her father, David "Ox" Rinseguard, but came back to life once more to publish Back 2 Heaven, as told to her father. In this recounting, Little Cissy Rinseguard meets musician and actor Jerry Reed, who insists that her father is an okay person despite leaving peanuts around her. She died a third time while in custody of her mother, with whom she would go on to publish Back 3 Heaven. In the third book, Little Cissy sees a hole in the clouds through which everyone can view hell, specifically the part of hell where "daddies who cheat on mommies" are being tortured. Around the time of the publication of I Go Heaven!, Lydia Rinseguard also published a book on Christian speed dating. She and her husband, who had separated shortly before the publication of Little Cissy's first book, reunited and co-authored a Christian sex manual, Back 2 Lovin': A Christian Guide to Back-Togetherness. They also sent Little Cissy off to a special academy for heaven returnee children. At last report, Little Cissy had been speaking in tongues and aging abnormally, now looking about forty years old.
- Horse Gravy. Horse Gravy comes in a jar and consists of white gravy and brown gravy swirled together (somehow, the two kinds of gravy always remain separate, never mixed). The producer of Horse Gravy, at the beginning of his sponsorship, would give Jackie a handwritten script to read, which typically consisted of a family complaining about the blandness of the food prepared by the mother, and the mother calling out for help, after which a horse would appear and tell her to add Horse Gravy to the meal. However, the Horse Gravy man apparently did not like Jackie's presentation of this script and began sponsoring the podcast through Dunlap, thus earning Jackie's ire and vow never to eat Horse Gravy again. Horse Gravy later replaced its current line with Horse Gravy Black, which is an all-black, oily substance that, according to Dunlap, is visually unappealing but still tastes fantastic.
- Bobby's Barber Shop. A local Murfreesboro barbershop, complete with pornographic magazines and videos and live sex shows.
- Christ in Cakes. A local Christian bakery, run by Bill and Dolly Gramlees, that offers service to homosexual members of the community through a related business in the back of the property, Back-Door Cakes.
- Soured Towels. Run by Skimmy Tickshorts and his sister, Ticky Tickshorts, Soured Towels both cleans towels that have gone sour and sells soured towels. Many of the soured towels offered for sale are of special vintages, such as towels that have been used to clean up rancid milk and then stored in black garbage bags hung from trees in Georgia during the hottest part of summer.
- Twix Egg. Twix never actually sponsored the podcast, but Jackie and Dunlap talk about the Twix Egg so much that it may as well be a sponsor. Besides, the Twix Egg is the best candy bar ever and really should be offered throughout the year.
- Take 2. Take 2, run by Dick Sheets, offers used drier sheets for those people who find fresh drier sheets to be too perfume-laden for their tastes. At last report, the establishment is looking for a new name on account of the assumption many customers make that it is a buy one, get one free place.
- Slick Sheets. A local attraction similar to a Slip and Slide, but using a mixture of oil and water, Slick Sheets is managed by one "Slick" Sheets and located on a hill just off the square. Kids can slide down the front of the hill, while moms slide down the back in a somewhat slower and more sexy fashion. "Slick" Sheets will adjust the mixture of oil and water to the mom's desire and he encourages the mothers to slide down chest first. Afterwards, he may interview some of the mothers.
- Freedomfest. A festival that occurred on July 4, 2015, at the compound where Soured Towels, Take 2, and Slick Sheets are located. Many events coincided on this day. For starters, Ted and Ralph, owners of the Glory Shelf, scheduled their marriage, the first gay marriage to take place in Murfreesboro, during the festival. Ted, being a Civil War reenactor, planned a wedding in which he would be dressed as General Robert E. Lee, with Ralph dressed as General Ulysses S. Grant, with many of their gay reenactor friends participating. The Third Baptist Pentecostal Church of Holiness Ghost/Hurt Bird showed up at the event, many people believing they were there to protest, though they carried no signs but instead engaged in occult chanting. After the wedding, festival goers participated in the judging of much-anticipated commercials from two locals business, Mr. Leaky and Horse Gravy, both of whom had commercials running on two different Christian television stations. (The Horse Gravy advertisement featured actor and politician Fred Thompson as the voice of the horse.) Festival organizers had set up large televisions showing both commercials, with the winner to be judged by the number of viewers situated before each. However, as both commercials were nearing their climax, Ghost/Hurt Bird appeared and snatched Ted, taking him up into the sky before dropping him on some overhead lines, knocking out cable television for the broader community but, otherwise, leaving Ted unharmed.
- Bag, Cup, or Handful. Run by Besty Beavers, the retired mother of Jim Beavers of Comcast Cable, Bag, Cup, or Handful offers for sale a variety of beans, mostly dry beans kept in barrels in the store, though they also provide cooked beans (but not by the bagful). Among their offerings has been a "lucky surprise" selection. However, subsequent to their first appearance on the podcast, Jackie has complained that "lucky surprise" consists simply of some variation of green bean, such as French cut and spicy green beans. After the release of Episode 143 (which was actually the 142nd episode but was mislabeled), Jackie encountered protesters from the Green Bean Growers Association at his market, and in Episode 142 (which was actually the 143rd episode released), he tried to make it clear that he actually liked green beans but had simply been unimpressed with their constant presence in the "lucky surprise" category.
- Old Fishfellow Inn. A disreputable hotel located on the main drag of Murfreesboro (not "off the square," as most sponsors are), the Old Fishfellow Inn, run by Maud Fishfellow, is a known hangout for prostitutes and drug users. In fact, the site has given its name to the depraved sex act of "fishfellowing," which entails one man buying the largest fish he can from Kroger, bringing it back to a hotel room, and punching it as hard as he can while three other men masturbate in the corner.
- Boat 'Round the Square/Double Decker Bus 'Round the Square. Mercky and Trudy Patricia Shellback run Boat Around the Square, which features rides in Mercky's latest boat purchase, dragged by truck around the town square in Murfreesboro. Mercky is known locally for purchasing a new boat seemingly every week and dragging it around town to show off (though no one knows how he affords these boats or whether he ever actually puts them in the water), while his wife, Trudy Patricia, is popularly known for wearing a bikini and having a real talent for pointing at things. The Shellbacks are currently taking care of the baby of Trudy Patricia's sister, though as Dunlap notes, "She don't let that baby call her 'mama.'" With Dilly Mulerider's operation and the new Boat Around the Square, the town square of Murfreesboro became congested. This resulted in an apparent collision that killed Dilly Mulerider's horses. Feeling bad, Mercky Shellback invited her to become part of his touring around the square. He bought a double decker bus which featured a petting zoo on ground level, with the top being taken up with Wesley Press's Lessons 'Round the Square; the bus pulled Mercky's boat, which itself pulled Dilly's old carriage, which became the repository for animal feed and waste. The caravan is so long now that no one can get in or out of the square, which has complicated efforts to hold the new Murfreesboro City Fair, now located on land just off the square following the "troubles" of 2014. Jackie Broyles himself has complained about his inability to visit his favorite Chinese restaurant, Golden Monster, located in the area. However, the 2015 Murfreesboro City Fair was incorporated into the 'Round the Square operation (see below).
- Pillsauce/The Medicated Table. Flex Rankin and his wife run these related establishments, which offer ways to incorporate one's medication into a tasty consumable. First, they started off with Pillsauce, a business which entailed customers bringing by medications to be incorporated into a tasty sauce; the flavors offered included baby, dog, and old person. They then moved on to found The Medicated Table. Customers will bring by their prescription medicines the day before and select a particular meal, and the next day they can come and enjoy the meal, which has had the medicine infused into it. Jackie Broyles made the mistake early on in believing that even a salve could be turned into a meal that might be eaten, and, as a consequence, he was left with an order of macaroni and cheese that he was rubbing into his foot beyond the expiration date of the food itself. Pillsauce, which later added a three cheese flavor, has spawned a competitor, Medicine Sauce.
- Husky-Wayne. Husky-Wayne, a.k.a. Skunk, sponsored the podcast for one episode in order to do nothing more than say hello to the listening audience. However, Dunlap suspected that this outburst of pleasant behavior was actually sparked by Husky-Wayne trying to get ahead of some scandal, perhaps involving child molestation. These random accusations resulted in Jackie Broyles having no sponsor for Episode 149, during which Dunlap spent much time just wondering how many people he had baselessly accused of child molestation and whether some sort of master list of these victims might be assembled.
- Murfreesboro City Fair Around the Square. As revealed in Episode 150, due to the inability of the general public to access the city fairgrounds on account of the large caravan of vehicles dragged by Mercky Shellback around the square, the town fathers decided to incorporate the 2015 city fair into Shellback's operation, and so many local businesses sponsored floats or booths that were dragged along behind the three vehicles that were part of the Double Decker Bus 'Round the Square. Famous Chinese restaurant Golden Monster had a booth where patrons could dine. Horse Gravy sponsored a gravy dunking booth, while the Christian Vegetables, evangelists who dressed in vegetable outfits and encourage children to read scripture and eat healthy, also had a dunking booth (though one of their number had been replaced by a green bean from Bag, Cup, or Handful. Heatherglen Springs Woods repurposed an old parade float into a traveling exhibition featuring some of its confused, elderly residents behind glass walls. David and Lydia Rinseguard were selling copies of their new book, Three 4 Him, a guide to Christian threesomes, while Little Cissy, who had special handlers there to revive her should she die yet again, prophesied in a walled-off area next to them. Dunlap's friend Inky, an artist who regularly produces cartoons for the local newspaper (and with whom Dunlap once proposed to open a coverless comic book store), was drawing caricatures of people. The compound featuring Slick Sheets, Take 2, and Soured Towels featured a caravan-length slide which went over all the vehicles, terminating in a big container of used dryer sheets and soured towels. The 2015 city fair featured the return of Doctor Birdman and his henchman, Jimmy. It was revealed that Doctor Birdman had undergone gender reassignment surgery and was now going by the name of Doctor Birdlady, while Jimmy had been enrolled in nursing school. They were offering health screenings that included a free finch. Another attendee was Honey Slott, the alleged twin sister of former mayor Tee-Tee Slott. However, in 2016, the "Fair Around the Square" was canceled and the whole thing shut down as a result of the Jackie impersonators terrorizing Murfreesboro (see Spiffy Uncle Marlin Haircuts and Handshakes below).
- The Waiting Room. This is a waiting room-themed restaurant developed by Carly Vornado, who was long known for hanging out in the waiting rooms of various Murfreesboro doctors, apparently developing her restaurant idea. Jackie Broyles claimed that the ambience was exactly that of a doctor’s office waiting room, saying, “If it weren’t for the food, you’d think you was sick!” The Waiting Room later rented out space for local doctors who could no longer afford their own waiting rooms due to Obamacare restrictions.
- The Christian Vegetables. The Christian Vegetables are a trio of performers who dress as various vegetables in order to promote, to children, a healthy diet and the reading of Scripture. The cast has changed over time. At the time of the 2015 Murfreesboro City Fair Around the Square, the Christian Vegetables consisted of Cabbage (known for his strict nature), Carrot, and the Bag, Cup, or Handful Green Bean, the last being sponsored by the local business Bag, Cup, or Handful. Prior to Halloween of 2015, the Christian Vegetables were announcing their intention to engage in evangelistic vigilante actions on the streets of Murfreesboro, ripping off the costumes of young children and taking their candy in order to drive them back to the true faith. However, Coley's Snack Foods, which had been promoting its own line of Halloween snacks, bought the Christian Vegetables and made some changes, such as replacing the stern Cabbage with a more mellow, guitar-playing Cabbage, and firing Green Bean. The Christian Vegetables briefly consisted of the new Cabbage, Carrot, and Double Sugar Lump (the last being one of the flavors of Coley's Halloween treats). At last report, Green Bean was still wearing his old costume, having also been fired from Bag, Cup, or Handful, and was seeking out odd jobs in order to make ends meet until he went to the Bakken Oil Fields, where he became a champion fighter. The original Cabbage found work in still using a different cabbage suit (bought at the Glory Shelf); he would hide in children's closets at their parent's permission, and wait for the child to do sinful things, such as masturbation or consuming alcohol, and then Cabbage will spring out of the closet, sternly dressing down the child and scaring the child into asking for forgiveness. This work eventually led to his having his own television show on a local channel, using the moniker of Famous Cabbage in order to differentiate himself from his guitar-playing replacement with the Christian Vegetables. However, his show eventually became so popular that the Coley's company invited Famous Cabbage back into the fold, firing guitar-playing Cabbage, and the group is now known as Famous Cabbage and the Coley's Christian Vegetables.
- Christmas Cave. A well-known Murfreesboro attraction around Christmastime. It is a cave into which visitors descend for some combination of food and entertainment, though they have to sign a form forbidding them from talking about what they have experienced. When he was a child, Dunlap was prevented from attending on account of his girth, as there was a narrow opening into the cave (it has since been widened). The cave was closed following a 2010 incident in which three Sunday school kids (who belonged to the Fourth Holiness Church of Jesus Vision on the Cross Banned on Stage, Little McMinnville) were lost in Christmas Cave. Two of the children were recovered about a year later; having apparently gone feral and adapted to the dark, they were blind and uncommunicative and, consequently, had to be put into a special home, though one of them has since recovered and is reportedly in a pre-med program. The third child had not been seen until late 2015, though rumors persisted that he remained down there. Indeed, one week after Jackie first featured Christmas Cave as a sponsor, he had to announce that it was closing again, for reasons unknown. Persistent rumors continued to allege that the third child still roamed the cave and could be heard shrieking and seen attempting to sabotage the pulley system. In response, the owners of Christmas Cave hired some detectives from Memphis, Tennessee, as well as some foreign mercenaries, to explore the cave and track down the source of the problem, though they did not confirm publicly that they were seeking the third feral Holiness child. However, they did make contact with the child, who was apparently able to communicate that he wanted some of the money made by the Christmas Cave operation, and so he became now a featured component of Christmas Cave, being kept in a cage at the entrance. However, as was reported in Episode 205, Christmas Cave was later purchased by an India-based mining company and had been reduced to a gravel pit; it was in this pit that the bodies of eleven or twelve Jackie lookalikes were found during October 2016.
- New Square. The ongoing traffic jam present around the town square of downtown Murfreesboro has led to efforts to develop what is being called "New Square" in an old shopping center, prone to flooding, off one of the bypasses. The project was initiated by Judy Ull, proprietor of Thickset Pants, though she does not yet have any pants in stock, only artistic renderings of the envisioned square. Another confirmed tenant thus far is Old Books, run by Juanita Hazelchest, which is a very specific kind of used book store, only offering books of a specific vintage, which means that many of the items for sale are falling apart or eaten through with bugs. Leslie Dollarhyde, famous seller of fox-faced cats—cats bred to look like foxes in the face (as well as the accidental half-fox-faced cats)--was to have established her operation in the old well house. However, the federal government accused Dollarhyde of practicing gene splicing without a license and attempted to confiscate Murfreesboro's population of fox-faced cats. Though Jackie encouraged people to turn in their animals to one of the three collection sites in town, Dollarhyde, Inky (her lover), and several enthusiastic pet owners holed themselves up in Big Lots as an act of resistance. The federal government ended up backing down from their demands, but at the present, Dollarhyde's future with the New Square operation is in question. In addition to these three, Judy Ull worked to attract a restaurant to the site, initially talking with Orange Chicken Trough, a Chinese restaurant in Smyrna, before announcing the establishment of Golden Monster II at New Square. Though owned by the same people who operate the Golden Monster Chinese buffet restaurant on the Old Square, Golden Monster II offers Brazilian cuisine.
- TV Buffet. TV Buffet opened as a general Southern-style buffet-style restaurant with miniature televisions mounted along the buffet line so that customers could keep track of favorite shows while they loaded their plates. However, the proprietor of the establishment did not reckon with the high cable bill and so shut down the televisions. Having no ambient sound to drown out the sounds of people chewing and more led to increased stress and anger among the patrons, and so the owner began offering free ear plugs to teach guest. Jackie reported later that the owner had again changed the concept and name, with the restaurant now called Piano Bar Buffet and featuring local pianists Drauncey Piddleton (who is quite flashy) and Ripley Combo. Eventually, the buffet was removed, and the Piano Bar Buffet featured two shows each evening. This continued until a fight between the two performers led to them quitting; Piddleton was reportedly envious of the growing popularity of Combo, who was known for his ability to catch Combos in his mouth while performing. All that remains now is a solitary television, some chairs, and a vending machine in the back.
- Lillie-Oh Oatmilk. Lillie-Oh Oatmilk runs a subscription based local gossip and news service allowing people to keep track of the various goings-on in Murfreesboro. She has several tiers of subscription, but her news offerings, as represented by Dunlap, are severely limited and consist entirely of the following: Mayor Bane Jekyll Jr. has been seen buying wax bottles of flavored sugar water late at night; the dishwashing boy at Golden Monster has apparently been getting fresh with the girl who refills the orange chicken on the buffet (a reference to the Chinese restaurant that, at last report, was closed); and Mercky Shellback, having grown accustomed to his wife's sister's baby riding in the cab with him, has adopted more small children to ride around with him in the double-decker bus.
- Easter Turkeys. Local turkey farmer Mylon Billrussell, in an attempt to popularize turkeys beyond Thanksgiving and Christmas, has begun offering Easter turkeys. For a set price, he will deliver a live turkey to one's home or place of work shortly before Easter. He is currently in talks with Sarah Palin to try to get her to write a book on Easter, comparable to her Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, and begin promoting turkeys as acceptable Easter food.
- Snake Bells. Snake Bells offers a total yard security system consisting of sirens and alarms that warn of, and scare off, approaching snakes. The system was developed by Esob Durling and his wife, Pammy Parts. Esob once worked down in Huntsville, Alabama on the "Star Wars" system, in addition to voicing the character of Cap'n Crunch on one of the earliest 1-800 numbers. In Episode 176, Dunlap announced, to Jackie's surprise, that while the podcast was being recorded, the Snake Bells crew was over at Jackie's house installing a system. By the next week, Jackie had experienced severe sleep deprivation and was threatening to report the Snake Bells company for elder abuse if they did not immediately dismantle the system at his house. However, after the crew returned to take down the Snake Bells system, Jackie began finding all kinds of poisonous snakes in his yard and accused the company of planting them there.
- Look at This Frog/Look at This Other Frog/Church of the Frog. Look at This Frog is a start-up business founded by Mikey Growler. Growler was down on his luck, having lost his job and his wife, and thought that he could make money by charging people to look at a frog he had placed in an old cardboard box. According to Jackie and Dunlap, the frog has something growing out of his back. During his first week, he made $4,000 and thus put a down payment on a Dodge Charger and hired some student programmers at Middle Tennessee State University to design him a mobile app, renaming his business Look at This Frog 2 Go, with him driving the frog in a box around to people who order it on their phones. In his second week, he made $300,000 and was able to hire a secretary. At latest report, Growler had invested in an Uber-like fleet of frog-laden cars to meet local and national demand. Green Bean, formerly of the Christian Vegetables and newly returned from the Bakken oil fields, read about Growler's success in Entertainment Weekly and caught a frog in the West Fork of the Stones River that also had something growing out of its back. However, his venture, called Look at This Other Frog, was not a success, largely on account of his appearance repelling people, for he continues to wear the remains of his Green Bean outfit from his time with the Christian Vegetables, and having been brutally beaten with golf clubs in the Dakotas, his flesh is rather fused with the rags of the outfit. As a consequence, he was attacked on his first outing and lost the frog. The beatings, combined with him having been struck by a tire on Interstate 24, have left him slow but also prone to flashbacks. He is also on some kind of register that prevents him from being near children. At last report, he has given up on Look at This Other Frog and has established his own Church of the Frog in the swamps along the Stones River, where he preaches to local amphibians (no humans allowed). He has begun to sell Frog Church Coffee, though this reportedly consists of a coffee-like liquid served up in an old Starbucks cup.
- Granny's Attic. Jackie Broyles featured Granny's Attic as a sponsor, describing it as a place that could be rented by the hour for quiet meditation, it being an attic setting with a window overlooking a weeping willow, wind chimes, and a rocking chair ("a place to turn off the world for a minute"). However, Dunlap informed him that this place, which rents by the hour (comparable to a Japanese love hotel), was used primarily for sex, and that he had sex with Connie Reeves there recently.
- Dr. Birdlady. Dr. Birdlady returned to sponsor the podcast for the first time following the Ghost Bird incident with Episode 181, when it was announced that she would be appearing in the parking lot of Jackie's Market and offering an herbal salve that would serve in the place of vaccines. Dunlap accused Dr. Birdlady of accommodating anti-vaxxers and reported on the rumor that this ostensible salve was, in fact, all the dead birds Dr. Birdlady had accumulated cooked down into a paste. Further rumors hold that this paste makes children attractive to Ghost Bird, who has reportedly kidnapped many kids treated with Dr. Birdlady's concoction.
- Biscuit District. A few sponsors have hailed from the Biscuit District of Murfreesboro, a part of the town where various biscuit-themed eating establishments are located. The Biscuit District, every year, used to celebrate Biscuit Baby Days, a festival in which one child was crowned the Biscuit Baby. Children were selected in the first round on the basis of their cuteness, and these children then competed in a biscuit-eating contest to determine the winner; mothers were allowed to assist their children, with one armed tied behind their backs, and a pediatrician was on the scene in order to monitor the health of the children. The Biscuit District is a fairly popular location in Murfreesboro. However, at the center of the Biscuit District is a dark place, down near the swamps, known as Biscuit Alley. For many connoisseurs, the offerings in Biscuit Alley (whose establishments are primarily tents) are far superior to the others, but the place has a reputation as a violent and dangerous place. Indeed, Dunlap once featured as a sponsor the Biscuit Bucket in order to help the proprietor raise money to ransom his family from another Biscuit Alley restaurant.
- Frog Day. Frog Day is a celebration inaugurated by Mayor Bane Jekyll Jr. following the events of 2016’s Baby Biscuit Day competition, which is now the last such competition. The winner of the contest was a baby dubbed “Hippy Biscuit Baby” by Jackie on account of the child’s parents having refused to vaccinate him, instead applying Dr. Birdlady’s herbal salve. At the end of the contest, Ghost Bird, according to many eyewitnesses, swooped down and carried the child over to the swamps at the end of Biscuit Alley. Pretty much everyone in attendance was reluctant to venture down there to try to rescue the baby on account of the reputation of Biscuit Alley, but soon, marching forth from the swamps, could be seen Green Bean, holding the child and followed by his army of frogs. The mayor, in response, declared that Frog Day would be celebrated two days hence and ordered everyone in town to buy a frog and take it down to the swamps to release it.
- Goldfish Manor PIzza. Apparently Murfreesboro's version of Chuck E. Cheese's, Goldfish Manor Pizza is a child-oriented pizza parlor complete with various noisy arcade games. However, all the prizes for said games are live goldfish. According to Dunlap, recent batches of fish have been infected with the fish version of Zika virus, leading the mayor to take measures to prevent the spread of the disease, while the proprietor has offered to replace any dead fish with a new one.
- Happy Hummers Feeder Juice. A locally produced hummingbird nectar, Happy Hummers Feeder Juice, which attracted hummingbirds from several miles outside of Murfreesboro, caused strange behavioral abnormalities in the birds. Reports circulated that the hummingbirds killed a groundhog, took the shape of a mailbox, severely startling a mailman in the process. Dunlap also witnessed a massive swarm of hummingbirds breaking into his Grannie's house, taking the shape of a man and putting on clothing designed for humans. Sadly, it was reported to have caused extinction level death among the local hummingbird population, essentially eradicating all hummingbirds within 20 miles of Murfreesboro. The product was quickly recalled and pulled from the shelves but some black market vials of the juice can still be found in dark alleys due to it being popular with Dunlap and others who drink it themselves for its hallucinogenic qualities. Dunlap tricked Jackie into drinking some of the nectar, causing Jackie to hallucinate that he was a hummingbird himself.
- Coley's Cola/Coca-Coley's. The Coley's company began offering a carbonated beverage under the name Coley's Cola, with a bible verse on the bottom of the can or under the cap of the bottle. Meanwhile, Chip Coley, disowned by the larger family for his lavish and licentious lifestyle, started his own line of beverages, Coca-Coley's, which features two bible verses per beverage container, though these are written in such small print as to be unreadable. Moreover, one of the ingredients of Coca-Coley's is Happy Hummers Feeder Juice.
- Fraternity of the Frequent Barker. A local fraternal organization, the Fraternity of the Frequent Barker is essentially a fan club centered upon an advertising mascot from many decades ago, the Frequent Barker, who was a man in a dog suit sporting a monocle and cigarette holder who advertised for some food item or kitchen utensil (Jackie cannot remember exactly what). The Fraternity consists of older men (now only Wellington Clippers and M. N. Hutto) who have collected memorabilia relating to the Frequent Barker and who gather regularly to reminisce. They began advertising on the podcast because the membership is quite old, and they are looking for younger people with whom to share their knowledge of the Frequent Barker. They even established a museum dedicated to the subject, though it is currently housed in the garage of one of the members. Dunlap had been dismissive of the fraternity's efforts at preserving the memory of an advertisement mascot, but after a lot of online research into the history of the Frequent Barker, he became interested in the group. He joined after discovering that they had allegedly established a foundation worth millions of dollars for bringing back the Frequent Barker and hoped to get his hands on that money somehow, working with Inky to try to put together an online animated short that would convince Clippers and Hutto to part with their millions of dollars. However, it turned out that the Fraternity did not actually have any foundation funds but that the two men were hoping that Dunlap's efforts would somehow produce that amount of money.
The Jackie Strangler (a.k.a. Jackie the Strangler) Saga
The Jackie Strangler Saga started with Episode 191, when Dunlap featured as his sponsor Spiffy Uncle Marlin's Haircuts and Handshakes. Located in the rapidly gentrifying Hipster District of northeastern Murfreesboro, this business was run by a man named Crud, who has a particular fascination regarding Jackie Broyles and who used his skills at disguise (he interned under Dom Podge) in order to sneak into Jackie's store and truck and take samples from which he would concoct his own line of beard oil. Crud is a master of disguise who trained as Don Podge's protege and disguised himself as an FBI agent to close to Jackie and even slept in Jackie's truck once. Jackie took umbrage at these acts until he went to confront Crud and found himself at the center of attention at Spiffy Uncle Marlin's and subsequently became an enthusiastic backer of Crud's enterprise. Crud even held a special event in Jackie's honor, Jackiecon, which entailed a Jackie Broyles-lookalike contest, but unfortunately the presence of so many people dressed as Jackie caused confusion that resulted in Jackie not getting to sign everybody's beards as promised and leaving with hurt feelings. At this event, Dunlap, also wearing Jackie Broyles costume, kicked Jackie's wallet across the floor. However, Crud later apologized and even started working part-time at Jackie's Market dressed as Jackie Broyles. Crud has also brought along several other young men who also dress as Jackie; these other young men do not get paid for their services. Dunlap was worried that Crud and the other people who cosplay Jackie Broyles were insinuating themselves into more and more of Jackie's life; Dunlap even questioned whether or not it was still Jackie doing the podcast with him. Dunlap was also angry because Crud no longer lets Dunlap steal beer from the cooler. During Episodes 198, 199, and 201, both men referred to this sponsor as "Uncle Spiffy Marlin," apparently getting confused as to the actual name. Possibly confirming Dunlap's suspicion that Jackie has been replaced by Crud, Episode 201 featured Jackie talking about how Crud was planning to franchise the Jackie's Market brand to other Tennessee locations—including Memphis, Manchester, and East Tennessee—and ended with the alleged Jackie Broyles laughing like a traditional villain after several moments of silence that seemed to close out the podcast. Episode 203 revealed that various people dressed like Jackie Broyles had been seen on the edge of Murfreesboro, reportedly trying to lure children into the woods and otherwise terrifying people. In response, many Little League dads had taken to stalking the city, armed, like vigilantes, and Jackie had great difficulty in convincing people that he was the real Jackie and not one of the "monsters" dressed like him; he was only able to show up for the podcast by assuming a disguise. The following episode opened with Dunlap announcing that Jackie's body had been found in the swamps by the Frog Church location, but Jackie soon called in from a location he refused to reveal (it later turned out to have been the shed behind his house), having stocked up on food from Captain D's; he begged all the people who had been dressing up like him and terrorizing the town to give it up and let him return to a life of selling barbecue and "sundries." The episode included four press conferences, one by Philly Masscatt, a local resident who resembled Jackie; one by Crud, who used the opportunity to promote his business; one by Dunlap impersonating Jackie; and one by Jackie himself, which, unlike all the others, was attended by no real press. As was revealed in the Episode 205, the body found in the Frog Church swamp was apparently that of Farley Masscatt, the twin brother of Philly Masscatt. Another Jackie had been murdered by the Little League dads, though the body reportedly went missing, while eleven or twelve Jackies were found dead in the gravel hole that used to be Christmas Cave, leading to rumors that Murfreesboro was being stalked by a serial killer, whom local media dubbed the "Jackie Strangler" (but whom Dunlap repeatedly referred to as "Jackie the Strangler"). Jackie himself, now forced to wear an ankle monitor to ensure he ventured no further than his house and his place of business (said device also apparently monitored his alcohol consumption), expressed his belief that Crud, in fact, was the Jackie Strangler and called upon Crud to turn himself in. However, Dunlap soon revealed that Crud has recently been found dead (apparently, Dunlap had made a deal with the police to turn state's evidence and keep this information from Jackie until he could spring it on him during a podcast). Crud, having apparently foreseen his demise, gave Dunlap $25 beforehand in order to announce his funeral on the podcast. Crud's funeral did not proceed as hoped, with someone having replaced Crud with a recently murdered Philly Masscatt, with the corpse of Crud being found on the toilet in the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Dunlap had taken a job as a church accounted, having attended Dom Podge's Church Accountant School. Dom Podge and Wesley Press teamed up to offer an instructional course in being a church accountant. Students are provided with a visor and lamp. Dunlap enrolled in the program and began applying his skills for Frog Church, counting the frogs who follow Green Bean, before taking a job at Mount Shepherd Pastor Church, a local megachurch. Awed by the amount of money rolling into the church every Sunday, Dunlap began hatching an Oceans 11-style heist set for "Dead Relative's Day," when many people would be returning from out of town in order to attend service. He has enlisted the help of Inky, Wesley Press, a person who looks like Jackie at the church, a few morally questionable deacons, and song leader Smack Gazzett and his wife, Honey Carol. Dunlap, in fact, had been to a sex club with the Gazzetts, at which he took several compromising photographs for purposes of blackmailing them to do his bidding. However, the heist did not go as planned for Dunlap. As was revealed in Episode 207, his co-conspirators has slipped him a laxative, thus sending him to the bathroom while they were making their getaway in the vehicle from which Dilly Muleriders was selling her bonnet nuts. (The Jackie lookalike at the church, who was the original getaway driver, had been murdered in the interim.) At last report, everybody was down in Mexico living the high life off all of the stolen goods, and Inky had sent back a postcard on which he drew the Gazzetts engaging in threesomes, as well as Wesley Press and Dilly Muleriders having sex on the beach.
During that same episode, it was revealed that Mayor Bane Jeckyll Jr., in order to try to cut back on the number of murders occurring, had ordered everybody to dress like Jackie shortly before he was assassinated, although Jackie, in protest, decided to dress like Dunlap for the episode. Too, the Nashville lawyers for whom Jackie had signed paperwork during his brief business affiliation with Crud had taken over his store, renaming it Nashville Lawyers' Market. To top everything off, Dunlap featured the market as his sponsor and revealed that he had been buying beer there (he always stole beer from Jackie).
Jackie was revealed to be working at the Nashville Lawyers' Market in Episode 208. He had been hired on to do what was essentially his old job of cooking barbecue and running the cash register, though he also was required occasionally to make copies for the lawyers (and also wear a tie at work). The lawyers were planning on tearing down the market and building a new place at which customers could receive legal counsel and Nashville hot chicken. Jackie, in a bid to prevent this, had announced his candidacy for mayor, intending, upon his election, to declare the market a historic site on the basis of a beam in the structure dating back to before the American Civil War. Following the death of mayor Bane Jeckyll Jr., his alleged son, Truck Jeckyll, had been serving as mayor in accordance with Murfreesboro bylaws and had declared that dressing like Jackie was "stupid," thus reversing the policy established by his father, although Jackie could dress in his traditional outfit given that he was "double stupid." Meanwhile, it was revealed that the previous mayor was behind the rash of creepy Jackie sightings, having enlisted the old Pre-Greeters to scare people before the election with the hopes of winning on a "law and order" ticket. Dom Podge, apparently trying to infiltrate the creepy Jackies, dressed up as Jackie Broyles and was promptly murdered by the Little League dads, who subsequently also snatched Jim Beavers, formerly of Comcast Cable, off the street in order to lynch him. The put him on a horse beneath a tree, with a noose around his neck, and asked him if he had any last words, to which he responded only "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," throwing $25 at Dunlap. His mother, Betsy Beavers, intervened, shaming the crowd, but Jim slipped off the back of the horse and died.
Mayor Jackie Broyles / Mayor Ghost Bird / The Berrynutts
In Episode 210, it was revealed that Jackie Broyles won election as mayor of Murfreesboro, the Catholics and the Ku Klux Klan having split the vote on their own respective candidates. However, Jackie's administration immediately ran into controversy as his various picks for Deputy Vice Mayor were revealed to be members of the KKK or possible human incarnations of Ghost Hurt Bird. Episodes subsequent to this do not feature sponsors but, instead, open with a "special message" from Mayor Jackie Broyles, followed by questions from Dunlap, representing what he calls the Dunlap News Journal, which he admits to being a fake news website. One of Jackie's first decisions as mayor was to deny entrance into Murfreesboro to refugees from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the surrounding area who were driven out due to wildfires. Jackie's concern was that the people who worked at Dollywood followed the strange practices of "Dolly-ah Law," a variant of Shariah Law centered upon the person of Dolly Parton.
With Jackie's election as mayor, the plot of the podcast has paralleled the controversies surrounding the election of Donald Trump. Like Trump, Jackie was criticized for including in his cabinet individuals who were manifestly unfit for office, most notably Little Cissi Rinseguard as secretary, the feral child from Christmas Cave, and the Hippy Biscuit Baby. Of particular concern to Dunlap has been the inclusion of Mr. Drib in the administration of Jackie Broyles, as Dunlap insists that Mr. Drib is a "bird person," a human incarnation of Ghost Hurt Bird with whom Dunlap once shared a jail cell. In response to town-wide fear regarding the possible presence of bird people, Jackie appointed Mr. Eggbottom and Mr. Brittlebeak to the Department of No More Bird People.
Episode 215 marked the first time that characters from within the RSU universe aside from Jackie, Dunlap, and Mr. Slaw had appeared on the show. Rather than the usual duo, the episode featured Bill Berrynutt, a local broadcasting personality and jeweler, along with the Talking Christmas Gift, known for his appearances in Murfreesboro around Christmas time when he challenges children to guess what's in him, usually at Mushum's Department Store. Bill Berrynutt and the Talking Christmas Gift were recording an episode not intended for broadcast but, rather, to pass along to Russian authorities for their approval, this following allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Both regularly praised Russian authorities throughout the episode and made references to the likely unfortunate fate of those who opposed Vladimir Putin. The episode opened with a Russian-accented voice in broken English attempting to duplicate the usual podcast opener for the series, and it closed with the playing of the entire national anthem of Russia.
In the following episode, hosted again by Bill Berrynutt and the Talking Christmas Gift, listeners learned that Jackie Broyles had been deposed as mayor by Ghost Bird, who reappeared and assumed the reins of power, with his unintelligible squawking being interpreted by his staff of Mr. Drib, Mr. Eggbottom, and Mr. Brittlebeak. Too, it is revealed that Bill Berrynutt, as a result of entering the Talking Christmas Gift, now has some kind of rare blood disease, apparently common to seventy-five percent of those who have entered the Talking Christmas Gift, which results in a strange speech impediment unless he is given a hypodermic injection by a specialist. Episode 216 was, again, recorded not for purposes of broadcast but as a "second chance" bestowed by authorities who remain unnamed but who did call three times during the recording.
By Episode 217, Bill Berrynutt's two sons, Edgar and Phillip, had taken over the show, due to their father's inability to continue in the face of his new illness. Again, the episode was recorded not for broadcast but as a sample for their Russian supervisors, and though the episode did not have a sponsor, it did contain a review of the local restaurant Tuna Cans, where one can order tuna in its various canned manifestations. Aside from the news, much of the conversation centered around Edgar's desire to reconcile with this ex-wife, Robin, whose brother he and Phillip apparently hit over the head with a full casserole dish some time back.
The next two episodes featured the return of Jackie and Dunlap, in part. Episode 218, again headed up by the Berrynutt brothers, though this time for public broadcast, had a sponsor segment featuring, first, Jackie Broyles promoting Jockie's Market, where he now works the cash register. He is, of course, distraught to be working for his longtime nemesis but needs the money after having his old store torn down and then using the settlement from the Nashville lawyers to try to keep business in Murfreesboro, followed by being deposed as mayor by Ghost Bird. Dunlap serves as the voice of the next sponsor, Weird Eggs, for whom he serves as a social media outreach person. This is the first time that the sponsor segment for an episode of Red State Update has been provided by someone other than the podcast presenters. In Episode 219, Jackie and Dunlap are again recording their usual podcast, this time from the basement of Dunlap's grandmother's house during Jackie's lunch break from Jockie's Market, which again serves as the sponsor. Dunlap, meanwhile, sponsors Naked Church, a nudist congregation he is attempting to start up. However, this podcast is cut in by the Berrynut Boys once again, which itself is cut in by Bill Berrynutt and the Talking Christmas Gift reporting in from Moscow, Russia, where Berrynutt has been transported by Russian officials for the treatment of his Christmas disease. The Talking Christmas Gift reveals that he has been a Russian agent since 1980 and that Christmas disease is the result of an increasingly refined toxin the Russians have been developing for many years.
Jackie and Dunlap returned for the full episode of a Red State Update podcast with Episode 220, though, at the end, Bill Berrynutt and the Talking Christmas Gift cut into the broadcast singing a duet based upon the latter's persistent question, "What's in me?"
Week of Resistance
Between January 30, 2017 and February 3, 2017, Red State Update aired on a daily basis, with Jackie and Dunlap motivated to change temporarily to a daily schedule as a result of Donald Trump's January 27, 2017 executive orders on immigration. During the week, the who discussed such news items as the firing of Sally Yates, Trump's hostile phone call with Malcolm Turnbull, the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court, and more. During this time, the pair had two sponsors:
- As Good As A Chair. Burt Perkins, a good friend of Jackie, runs this business, which sells items that can be sat upon, like chairs, but does not sell chairs himself. Items sold that are claimed to be as good as a chair include, buckets, barrels, bean bags, box fans, and a mattress. Dunlap argued that a bed mattress should be in a bed store. In the back is a section of the store called "Same As An Ashtray."
- New Spaghetti. Heather Purtle and her sister, Kayjak, launched New Spagetti with the catchphrase "All Will Be Revealed." Dunlap was coy about whether this was even a food product, much to Jackie's frustration. The product underwent some transformation during the week, with there being a parallel New Spaghetti Ultra also launched. Too, the product changed its name to Old Spaghetti after New Spaghetti seemed to be siding against taxicab workers going on strike in protest of Trump's executive orders. However, the name changed back to New Spaghetti the following day, and after that, it became New Spaghetti Crystal.
During this week-long series of podcasts, each episode ended with Bill Berrynutt and the Talking Christmas Gift singing a duet, although Berrynutt, apparently due to his advancing case of Christmas Disease, becoming increasingly insensible and seeming to be in pain. By Episode 224, the Talking Christmas Gift was left singing along and gently weeping.
There is something of an unofficial segment of the podcast in which Dunlap pulls out his iPhone and asks questions of Siri in an often heavily accented, grammatically incorrect fashion, which is usually followed by the two men then debating the worth of the phone, as the answers tend only rarely to relate to the questions posed.
Two Horse Podcast
The end of Episode 168 featured Travis and Jonathan talking in the characters of two horses. The YouTube version of the podcast featured only a picture of two horses and the words "Two Horse Podcast." The characters talked about the travails of being talking horses. Many listeners felt that the two actors behind the podcast had produced this segment in a drug-induced state; coincidentally, the title of the episode was "On Something." The duo revisited these characters, named Horse No. 1 (Harmon) and Flyskin (Shockley), for the entirety of Episode 200, which was presented as if it were the 200th episode of a production titled "Two Horse Podcast."
In response to an offhand comment made by Dunlap during Episode 174 about setting up some kind of March Madness bracket in which the various sponsors of the podcast compete against each other, listener DJ Bowles created such a bracket featuring the following sponsors: Tee Tee Slot, Grace Sayers, Fox-Faced Cats, Wizardbeards, Longhorns Dancin Parlor, Dollar Cart, Hose Water, Pillsauce, Mr. Slaw, Snake Bells, Bug Spray, Pre-Greeters, 3 Sticks of Candy, I Go Heaven, Dom Podge Tax Wiz, Old Fish Fellow Inn, Dr. Birdman/Lady, Thickset Pants, Rooster Curtains, Snakehead 2s, Bag Cup or Handful, Old Books, Peanut Pockets, Kitty Pillows, Wet Breads, Cobbler Gobbler, Horse Gravy, The Glory Shelf, Skunkys, Farmboy’er, Coleys Christian Cinema, and Jickies. Listeners and viewers were encouraged to vote in the bracket, which started in March 2016 and went on through April 2016, with elimination rounds taking place each week. Of course, as Jackie and Dunlap observed throughout the competition, Mr. Slaw was never technically a sponsor, but Jackie announced his intention in Episode 179 to pay for a sponsor slot for Mr. Slaw so that he would not be in the violation of any rules of the bracket. Mr. Slaw appeared in Episode 180, recorded on April 17, 2016, when it was also announced that he lost in the competition against Tee Tee Slot (although this information was kept from Mr. Slaw, who never really understood what the bracket was in the first place). As a result, the first ever sponsors of the podcast, Tee Tee Slot and Dr. Birdlady, faced off against each other, with Tee Tee Slot being announced the victor in Episode 181.
2016 Kickstarter Project
On June 29, 2015, Jackie and Dunlap launched a Kickstarter project in order to raise money for the necessary equipment and booze needed for them to provide YouTube video commentaries relating to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. If funded, they promised to provide a weekly video up through 2016, as well as film their podcast for YouTube. Not only did the pair manage to raise $8,723 for producing the videos, they also met their stretch goal of $11,723, money to be used for visiting one of the early primary states, such as Iowa or New Hampshire. They have since then been producing weekly videos, ostensibly filmed in the kitchen of Jackie Broyles.
The first politics-related outing of Red State Update for the 2016 election was to the September 16, 2015, Republican Party presidential debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. There, Jackie Broyles managed to interview Rick Santorum and get yelled at by Mike Huckabee. The duo also sampled the menu at the presidential library cafe, including the pulled-pork sandwich. They next attended the October 10, 2015, Politicon conference in Los Angeles, California, where they interviewed Ann Coulter, James Carville, and Paul Begala. From there, they traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for the first Democratic presidential debate of 2015, held on October 13, 2015. In February 2016, they traveled to New Hampshire to cover that state's primary. There, Jackie briefly exchanged words with Ben Carson and interviewed Jim Gilmore at a Puppy Bowl party. In addition, Jackie also spent a great deal of time conversing with yogi and mystic Baba Steve, author of a book on "conditioned unconsciousness," who was in the state to present his ideas to the various presidential candidates. Because Baba Steve presented Jackie with a copy of his book, Jackie presented him as a sponsor of Episodes 170 and 171 of the podcast, which covered part of their time in the state. Episode 190 was recorded live at Politicon on July 26, 2016, and featured questions from the audience; sponsors were Coley's, Wetbreads, and Horse Gravy Black. Jackie and Dunlap had originally advertised their podcast session with the offer of free beer, but Politicon officials ruled that the beer could not be distributed to audience members. They later drank the beer with Michael Steele, former head of the RNC. The duo had discussed, in the episodes leading up to the election, of putting the podcast series on hold for a while following the election, but with Donald Trump winning the presidency, they decided to continue on, though they did cease to produce videos for YouTube.
On July 22, 2016, Red State Update debuted "Evenin' Folks," a new format for their series of YouTube videos. The format mimicked a local news or public access broadcast, with such segments as school lunches and pet-of-the-week, followed by a brief mention of national news stories that included their typical commentary. The setting was even different from their previous format, with a backdrop of wood paneling and a map of the world rather than the large American flag. The series ran a total of twelve episodes.
Popular segments of the day included:
- Pet of the Day/Snake of the Day - Jackie reads off a description of an animal that needs adopting. After accidentally signing a contract with "Cuddle Buddies", the group responsible for the segment, which required him to only give information about snakes, an ongoing legal dispute between Jackie and Murfreesboro's "Cuddle Buddies" animal adoption association, involving the advertisement of various snakes for adoption has led Jackie to become bitter about the show segment and forced Jackie to hire cheap lawyers. Snakes included are Greg, a California King Snake, and Akasha, a Corn Snake.
- School Lunches - Jackie reads off upcoming school lunches for children. Jackie has also in the past, attempted to rate various school lunches with an undetermined rating system consisting of little, big, and fractional "bites and nibbles."
- Substitute School Bus Drivers - Jackie informs children and their parents about emergency school bus drivers changes. Jackie provides somewhat descriptive imagery to help the children and parents identify the bus drivers. Unfortunately, Jackie never has pictures of the bus drivers.
- Community Calendar - Jackie reads off upcoming events in Murfreesboro that may be of interest to viewers, such as the Poison Berry Festival.
- Find That Chicken! - This is the first game included on Evenin' Folks. Presented by Dunlap, Dunlap encourages viewers to find a chicken he has set loose somewhere in Murfreesboro. Dunlap provides a singular clue and an image of said chicken. If a viewer finds the chicken, Dunlap promises to reward the winner with an undermentioned prize.
Like the podcast series, though, "Evenin' Folks" featured a sponsors segment, and a length of approximately twenty minutes rather than the usual five. Sponsors included:
- Sharp AF - This is reportedly a knife-sharpening establishment, though Jackie was ignorant of the fact that this term was short for "sharp as fuck."
- The Prostitute's Ghost - This is the departed spirit of a prostitute that haunts one of Murfreesboro's city parks.
- Dead Granny's Soft Cookies - Delicious cookies that Jackie feasts upon daily.
- Breadsack Full of Chili - A bread sack full of chili that is recommend for sipping and cracker dipping during lunch time. It comes in three delicious flavors, "Spicy", "Runny", and "For Dogs".
- Gun Sonic - This marks the first time that a sponsor from the podcast series has been featured on the videos.
- Claw Gloves - These are gloves with claws on them. They come in three different variations, including "Tunnel Dog", "Garden", and "Freddy Cougar". Jackie agreed that there needs to be more tunnel dogs.
- Quiet Funeral Home - A funeral home that is quiet, because all the other funeral homes in Murfreesboro have become way too loud.
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