You Definitely Need This Condo Pony, And Other Products From 'SkyMaul' | KUOW News and Information

You Definitely Need This Condo Pony, And Other Products From 'SkyMaul'

Oct 22, 2014
Originally published on October 22, 2014 4:01 am

If you're midflight and the movie is terrible and the airline magazine crossword puzzle has already been done by someone else, the SkyMall catalog is the time-killer of last resort for the bored, boxed-in passenger.

SkyMall sells items that, under normal circumstances, you might never consider — like say, adult-size, unisex, one-piece Superman pajamas. But somehow, midflight, you find yourself wondering: Do I need a dog bed designed to look like an NCAA stadium?

Eight years ago, the San Francisco-based comedy group Kasper Hauser published Sky Maul: Happy Crap You Can Buy From The Plane, a catalog full of products like the "Pepper Self Spray" and the "Da Vinci Code Decoder Ring." And now comes Sky Maul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff. Kasper Hauser members Rob Baedeker and James and John Reichmuth join NPR's Robert Siegel to discuss some products that you can almost certainly live without.


Interview Highlights

On their home improvement products, like the Cave Repainting Set and the Condo Pony

James Reichmuth: You may know what a terrible graffiti problem they had in the Pleistocene Era. And many of Europe's best caves have been defaced by stick figures. ... We have come up with a cave repainting set which just allows you, very handily and easily, to paint over these old caves and get them baby, room, or man-cave-ready. Folks, those horses are just doodles — lighten up.

Rob Baedeker: Designer pets are all the rage these days. Ours is called the Condo Pony. It's a little horse that just kind of clomps around the condo. The motto is: Condo doesn't have to mean no pony no more.

On the Forever Diaper

James Reichmuth: One of the things we're most excited about right now for new parents — and we worked with Russian scientists here, using blimp technology — is a — what we call — Forever Diaper. And that's a diaper that you put on at birth and it, technically, can stay on until early adolescence. We say: Let's take diapers off the table.

On the Personality Alert Bracelet

Baedeker: Most of us get into relationships of many types and it takes a long time to figure out the other person's character flaws. So we've designed a personality alert bracelet. It lets first responders or first dates really know about your issues. Whether you are a narcissist ... a martyr ... a baby ... it just cuts to the chase and just makes things much more efficient.

James Reichmuth: I wear one of these. I'm wearing one now. It just says: Tuna makes me sleepy. ... It's just something that you want people that are close to you to know. So I wouldn't eat tuna before an interview, for example, and I did not.

On SkyMall sometimes being funnier than SkyMaul

James Reichmuth: It is hard to out-SkyMall SkyMall.

Baedeker: Reality is a little bit ahead of us. ... It's that American tradition of giving you things you never knew you needed.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you are traveling by air and the battery's dead on your personal electronic device, you found that the airline magazine crossword puzzle has been done by someone else and the in-flight movie is terrible, then the last refuge of the bored and boxed in passenger are magazines, such as SkyMall. These are catalogs of items that in normal life you might never imagine needing or even using - say, a pair of unisex, adult, Superman one-piece pajamas or a bed for your pet shaped and decorated to look like an NCAA stadium. Well, the members of a San Francisco-based humor ensemble called Kaspar Hauser must have found themselves, at one time, crammed into middle seats on a plane, stuck with a copy of "SkyMall," and now Kasper Hauser has struck back again. Eight years ago, they published "Sky Maul" - maul spelled M-A-U-L - full of items such as the Pepper Self Spray and the Da Vinci Code Decoder Ring. And now comes "Sky Maul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff." And so we welcome James and John Reichmuth and Rob Baedeker to the program. Welcome to all three of you.

JAMES REICHMUTH: Thank you.

JOHN REICHMUTH: Thank you.

ROB BAEDEKER: Thank you.

SIEGEL: Well, let's talk about some of the products that are listed in "Sky Maul 2," your book - first, home improvement.

JAMES REICHMUTH: This is James. Robert, you may know what a terrible graffiti problem they had in the Pleistocene Era. And many of Europe's best caves have been defaced by stick figures of, I guess, what are horses.

ROB BAEDEKER: The French were the worst.

JAMES REICHMUTH: Absolutely. We have come up with a cave repainting set, which just allows you, very handily and easily, to paint over these old caves and get them baby room or man cave ready. Folks, those horses are just doodles - lighten up.

BAEDEKER: This is Rob. Designer pets are all the rage these days. Ours is called the Condo Pony. It's a little horse that just kind of clomps around in the condo. The motto is condo doesn't have to mean no pony no more.

SIEGEL: (Laughter) That's a - that solves a major urban problem. Another big category of items that you have on offer in "Sky Maul 2" involve health and medical help.

BAEDEKER: You know, most of us get into relationships of many types and it takes a long time to figure out the other person's character flaws. So we've designed a personality alert bracelet. It lets first responders, or first dates, really know about your issues, you know, whether you are a narcissist...

JAMES REICHMUTH: Yeah, or a diva.

JOHN REICHMUTH: Hypochondriac.

BAEDEKER: A martyr.

JAMES REICHMUTH: A whiner.

BAEDEKER: A baby.

JOHN REICHMUTH: A liar.

BAEDEKER: It just cuts to the chase.

JAMES REICHMUTH: And I wear one of these. I'm wearing one now. It just says tuna makes me sleepy.

SIEGEL: (Laughter) That's the character flaw that it's detected, eh?

JAMES REICHMUTH: Well, it's just something that you want people that are close to you to know, and so I wouldn't eat tuna before an interview, for example, and I did not.

SIEGEL: Now, these are all items from your "Sky Maul," spelled M-A-U-L, "Sky Maul 2," based on the well-known publication that's stuck into the pocket on the airplane seat ahead of you. This week I was flying so I took back a copy of the real thing. There's an item. Why squirrels are such good climbers - a realistic model of a squirrel climbing a tree, wearing a safety helmet and a utility belt.

(LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: And then there's a large yeti sculpture that you can put in your backyard.

BAEDEKER: How many did you buy, Robert?

SIEGEL: (Laughter) I didn't order any but reality is hot on your tail, giving you a run here for comedy.

BAEDEKER: Reality is a little bit ahead of us.

JAMES REICHMUTH: It is hard to out-SkyMall SkyMall.

BAEDEKER: It's that American tradition of giving you things you never knew you needed.

SIEGEL: Well, I think you've outdone them once again and thank you for talking with us about "Sky Maul 2" - maul spelled M-A-U-L - "Where America Buys His Stuff." James and John Reichmuth and Rob Baedeker. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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