Episode 44 – The Call of Cthulhu – Part 3

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The end is nigh! It’s The Madness from the Sea!

Join us and guest/reader Andrew Leman as we conclude our shocking expose on The Call of Cthulhu!

Featuring the gargantuan talent of musician Reber Clark!

Dig on some Futurism (and Fifer’s favorite painter, Umberto Boccioni).


NEXT WEEK: A Call of Cthulhu wrap-up with none other than Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi.

Post Comment 36 comments on “Episode 44 – The Call of Cthulhu – Part 3

  • J Christopher on

    “The angle that should have been acute but behaved as if it were obtuse… just like Chris himself!” HAHAHAHA

  • The Gneech on

    But … where’s the analysis? You summarized the story and then just stopped! How about some extrapolation? How about some thoughts on the gargantuan nature of R’lyeh and parallels to New York? You were just getting started!

    -The Gneech

  • Chad Fifer on

    We were running outta time – BUT, we’ll have some more thoughts next week as well as some commentary from S.T. Joshi, on New York and all sorts of stuff!

  • Regus on

    I can’t wait to listen to Joshi on your show! That guy has a great voice.

  • The Gneech on

    Okay, cool. 🙂


  • MyFinalHeaven on

    Wait, is that Joshi himself or will you be reading commentary Joshi has written?

  • Sarah on

    good episode fellas! I’m really looking forward to your Colour out of Space discussion. And to hearing the almighty God of superfluous footnotes next week! It would be great if Joshi read a bit; his voice is marvellous.

  • Chad Fifer on

    The man himself^(;,;)^

    Getting the hang of this Cthulhu emotinomicon…

  • Aram on

    OK, so… I feel bad even mentioning this, but I’m curious… was anyone else let down by the part where Johansen turns around and drives the boat into Cthulhu and it just sort of dematerializes? All that about the stars being right and the vigintillions of years and then *poof!* no more Cthulhu. Seemed a bit anticlimactic.

    That is the only problem I have with the story, Sunfish or no.

  • J.B. Lee on

    I downloaded all three of these presentations, something I haven’t done for any of the others — not that they haven’t been insightful and amusing. Glad we’ve got a little more Cthulhu goodness coming our way next week, with Joshi on the panel. Lovecraft came to think little of this story as time went on; in a certain letter he decries it as “rather middling—not as bad as the worst, but full of cheap and cumbrous touches.” He would be absolutely flabbergasted to find out how famous his cheap, cumbrous and unpronounceable invention has become in the decades since his death. One of the greatest tales he ever penned, and a landmark of horror literature, with a monster design that has been imitated countless times, even in cartoon comedies like ‘Futurama’ and ‘Freakazoid.’ But it started with Lovecraft; without his imagination, tentacles and wings would not go hand in hand. ^(;,;)^

  • Cultmember on

    I like how the sailor dies laughing, I kinda pictured it like he’s just stared into the gaze of Medusa. The way Cthulhu’s material form was described by Castro was interesting that in a way it prefigured the existence of dark matter.

  • Genus Unknown on

    It’s also left a bit unclear as to just why he isn’t currently destroying the world. I mean, he’s free, the tomb is open, the stars are right, and he can reform himself after being destroyed. What’s the holdup? So R’lyeh sank again, but… he’s not stuck in the tomb anymore, so why would that even be a problem?

    The only explanation is that the stars are fickle, and only remained “right” for a week or two. Taking a boat to the head was a minor inconvenience, but he was gonna be going back to sleep again in a few days anyway, when R’lyeh sank (is the implication that R’lyeh will rise to the surface when the stars are right?). This wasn’t so much Cthulhu’s Grand Awakening as Cthulhu getting up in the middle of the night for a pee and a snack.

  • Christian Schmidt on

    First of all I want to thank you for your great podcast. For the last several month I’ve been listening to every episode several times and I love them all (oddly enough one of my favorites is “The Street” and of course “The Temple” since it appeals to my own “iron German will”….only kidding). Having said this I think this “ongoing” three parter very probably is the best show to date, partly of course the story is probably the best you covered to date, although I have to say that, except for the second chapter,I do not care much for it. Mainly because the world and mankind is not destroyed in the end. I mean really! I say! The stars were right, weren’t they? And secondly if he doesn’t want anyone to piece it all together again why doesn’t he destroy all evidence? Of course we wont have this story then…
    I especially enjoyed the second chapter of course an therein especially the vision of mankind becoming as the Great Old Ones and the “Holocaust of ecstasy”. I must say it doesn’t sound very Judeo-Christian, but more like Nietzsche to me, like in “Thus spoke Zarathustra” and his “Uebermensch” mumbo-jumbo, you know, beyond good and evil… 🙂
    So thanks again, and all the best from Germany

  • John on

    Is anyone else having problems with the I-Tunes Feed as of this episode?

  • David Clark on

    No, no, no! While the Stars may have been right for Cthulhu to rise, the Stars were also just right to ram a damn ship straight through his semi-material fool head!! That’s right, those stars are damn fickle. Almost as fickle as Farnsworth-Wright’s literary taste and market sense.

    I totally love your podcast, which I have just discovered in the last few days. I have been devouring the early shows and really digging the Call of Cthulhu coverage. I have been a Lovecraft fan for over forty years and i couldn’t be more pleased with the job you guys are doing spreading the word on my still-all-time-favorite writer.

    Keep up the good work.

    David Clark

  • Sonia on

    I believe that the gentleman’s name is pronouned ‘Yo-shi’, not ‘Josh-i’.

  • Big Jack Brass on

    Three excellent episodes. Delightful to hear you all so enthusiastic about a story.

    The ramming of Cthulhu always put me in mind of HMS Thunder Child attacking the Martian tripods in “The War of the Worlds,” although a fair bit less exciting, to be truthful. I wonder if it was a deliberate nod toward Wells’ story?

  • Chuck on

    I’ve been loving this podcast since I found it a few months back. Finally caught up with the archives and I’m up to date. Congratulations on an entertaining, informative and thought-provoking venue for discussion.

    This may be a bit off-topic, but I recall some conversation about modern nods to Lovecraft in popular culture and I have an example from The Venture Brothers, a show of which I’m sure you’re aware. I think reference has been made to the fairly recent episode where the necromancer Orpheus stumbles upon the opening of a doorway into Hell and a creature that looks a whole lot like Cthulhu pops out. What I haven’t heard mentioned is an episode in the first season (Eanie, Meenie, Miney…Magic) where Dr. Venture builds a very Lovecraftian machine, powered by the soul of a dead orphan, that gives you the illusion of your heart’s desire. It is even mentioned that the emanations can be felt in one’s pineal gland. Have you seen this episode? As a bonus, the aforementioned necromancer is introduced in this episode.

  • Keith McCaffety on

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone in being tremendously let down by this story. Like I said before, it bored me. I re-read it to make sure it wasn’t my mood that day or something, and it took me several days to get through it because I kept falling asleep. Your podcasts make it sound SO much better than it is! YES, it has some very creative and impressive individual lines of text, but if it isn’t entertaining, so what.

    HPL does something with his climax that I hate with a passion: he removes the protagonist altogether and tells the ending in a bland, twice-removed descriptive account. Heinlein did this with ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ and it turned the book from one of the best I’ve ever read into one of the WORST I’ve ever read.

    And then there’s Cthulhu… he slops out of his hole, he stumbles around a bit, then he pops like a “bladder.” Feh. At least the Ghost Busters cartoon* made him hundreds of feet tall and ended him with a proper Lovecraftian “cleaning blast of lightning.”

    The ONE thing that I really dig in this story is the extra-dimensional nature of the city. The guy falling into the interior of a solid object… that’s some good sci-fi there.

    It’s really remarkable how many of my impressions have been opposite yours. ‘Rats in the Walls,’ ‘Horror at Red Hook’ and ‘Shunned House’ are some examples. I’ll go back and write about those.

    *Link to Ghost Busters vs. Cthulhu! – –

  • Keith McCaffety on

    Oh! Extra thanks to Chuck for the early Venture Bros. reference! Most excellent!

  • Tim Scurr on

    a bit late. Anyone think ‘Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ would have been much better as a Cthulhu story rather than a piece of crap? Replace dodgy prop skull with incongruously small idol of lovecraftian nature, Denholm Elliot’s character Marcus Brody could replace Professor Angell (they are both schollars of ancient languages and both convieneintly resting in piece, if there be any piece in the universe), and Harry Ford did a great job portraying someone getting too old for all that. And something intereting rather than intergalactic space aliens. That look suspiciously like they did in Close Encounters. Thanks Senior Spielbergo, thanks Goitre Lucas, for screwing my childhood favourites! What a dog of a film.

  • Chris Jarocha-Ernst on

    Aram, I didn’t read it as Cthulhu dematerializing. I read it as the ship pushing through the unearthly substance of its bulk, boring a hole in it but unable to harm it, then watching that hole close up again. (Although another interpretation might be that Cth allows the ship to pass harmlessly through; more conscious dematerialization, along your line of thought.)

    But the ship didn’t make Cth go poof like a puffball mushroom.

  • Andy U on

    The excellent BBC podcast “A History of the World in 100 Objects” included a Taino ritual seat that seems to fit right in with the Cthulhu carvings. Made of wood so dense it does not float — and utterly unknown to Europeans before their arrival in the Americas — these seats are made to look like monsters, do not serve well as seats, and are generally freaky. Have a look and/or a listen. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/nknww6EoQO-nKTncBvhNbw

  • Christos on

    I was rereading CofC after the podcast inspired me and caught a nietzschean reference I had previously missed. Specifically the “beyond good and evil” in:

    “Then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside”

  • Oranse Taylor on

    Excellent series! I have struggled with CoC for a few decades now. Your podcast has inspired me to tackle it again by the pool.

  • Elderac on

    While looking around the web, I found an image with many tentacled horrors including the Great Old One itself.


    Most of these I recognize, but a couple I don’t.

    It looks like first row: the squid from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Davey Jones from PotC, the newborn alien from Men in Black, (unknown), and the mind flayer from DnD.

    Second Row: Quarren from Star Wars, (unknown), Dr. Zoiburg from Futurama.

    Last Row: Needs no introduction.

    I would appreciate any help on the two I missed.

  • Christos on

    The thing holding the newborn from MIB is an Ood from Dr Who, don’t know about the other one!

  • Elderac on

    Hey, this was on Facebook and I found it somewhat amusing.


    If the link doesn’t work, look for Call of Cthuhlu under 2 Minutes.

  • Christos on

    Very cool.
    Did you manage to track down that last squid guy? Really curious to know who the missing one is!

  • […] some Futurism (and Fifer’s favorite painter, Umberto Boccioni). LOOK OUT! IT’S A […] HPPodcraft.com – The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast Comments […]

  • engineer27 on

    This is WAY late, since I just discovered these podcasts and I’m trying to catch up.
    The sunfish simile communicated to me right away, since they are known not only for being extremely oily, but also for smelling really bad (talking Bog of Eternal Stench here).
    The odd thing is how Lovecraft would have known that, since the sunfish is a Pacific Coast fish and not well known in New England.

  • Joe on

    I just found the podcast and I am currently trying to catch up. I love the show and I am looking forward to getting to The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

    Andrew Leman threw out a small joke about Cthulhu waking up and having coffee and I found it really funny because I had that same thought a few years ago and drew this.


    Thanks again for a great podcast.

  • […] Call of Cthulhu – The title of the game, the RPG and what many consider (including me) to be Lovecraft’s finest work.  The HP Podcraft version is in 3 parts; Part 1, Part 2 &Part 3. […]

  • Raúl Moreno on

    As you shared some painting, I just discovered the great paintings of M. Hutter, depicting worlds with horrible beasts, some of them enormous, strange woods, nude women, Machen/Bierce/Chambers and probably Lovecraftian atmosphere…

    He has works inspired by Bierce’s/Chambers’ “Carcossa” city:

    And I think some Lovecraft, in some way at least (big monsters who evoke cosmic horror…). E.g:

    And a lot of Hieronymus Bosch alike:

    Website paintings:

  • Raúl Moreno on

    Those were just some examples I found quick, not the best at all!
    I really encourage you to dig the website. I think you’ll like it as we like weird horror.

  • DerSpeigel on

    Ermm..since the cultists all died before they could do the proper rituals I always kind of figured the big guy didn’t actually wake up and we just dealing w Cthulhu’s doorman.

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