Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Musical Gag Tim Heidecker Didn't Get To Do For Moonbase 8 - Exclusive

Tim Heidecker, who's currently starring in Showtime's comedy series Moonbase 8, knows that a lot of ideas that start out with a bang end up fizzling out. With such a prolific career — including years of doing sketch comedy on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! with his partner in creative crime Eric Wareheim, as well as acting, directing, producing, and making music — Heidecker is well aware of that growing pile of plans and schemes that parallels a performer's career. Some of those ideas find a way back into the development process, and others are eternally scrapped — it's just all part of the process.

Heidecker experienced this flash of inspiration that wound up a tossed-out idea during the making of Moonbase 8, as he told Looper in a recent exclusive interview. 

Moonbase 8's main characters are Professor Scott "Rook" Sloan (Heidecker), Robert "Cap" Caputo (John C. Reilly), and Dr. Michael "Skip" Henai (Fred Armisen), who are living on a space substation in the desert, getting a taste of what life might be like if they get ever achieve their goal of residing on the Moon. Though the trio does encounter a handful of other humans, they spend most of their time with one another — day in, day out. Naturally, there's a tension that the monotony of that kind of living environment breeds, and Heidecker had an idea to make things even tougher for Rook, Cap, and Skip.

"There are always tons of stuff that gets left and cut. I had this original idea — that I do want to do one day but I thought it might work well in this show — that the three main characters only had one piece of music they could only ever listen to," Heidecker told Looper. Only one album to listen to? Yeah, that could very quickly push a person already feeling stir crazy into a state of insanity.

Why Heidecker liked an original composer's music more than his own idea

Heidecker absolutely had a particular album in mind: "There was a record by the Beach Boys made in the '70s called The Beach Boys Love You, and it's really an album that was made by somebody going through a full psychotic breakdown." Heidecker is referring to band member Brian Wilson, who wrote the record while receiving treatment for mental health troubles and issues with substance abuse. "It really sounds that way," Heidecker added. "I thought it would be cool if that was the only soundtrack to the show, if the score was basically that record."

However, this musical gag didn't end up in Moonbase 8. After pondering it for a bit, Heidecker changed his mind, and is seriously happy with the result of that choice.

"It's a cool idea, conceptually, but probably wouldn't fly [with the audience] for more than a couple of minutes," he explained. "The score we have from Steven Drozd from the Flaming Lips is so great. There's so much emotional work there that he did that's better than my smart-a** joke."

Viewers can hear Drozd's soundwork and dig into the space comedy's subtle humor Sundays on Showtime. The next episode of Moonbase 8, entitled "Move the Base," premieres on Sunday, December 6. The season 1 finale airs the following week, on Sunday, December 13.