Men on the Moon is an episode of the Thrilling Adventure Hour Treasury released From the Vault.
Episode audio on Megaphone
- Sparks Nevada - Marc Evan Jackson
- Croach the Tracker - Mark Gagliardi
- Slygo - Craig Cackowski
- Folksy Hal - Hal Lublin
- Opening announcements - Annie Savage
Folksy Hal explains in the opening that Sparks Nevada has been replaced as marshal, and now, dejected, has moved to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars. Croach has followed him to Phobos, and notes that his people refer to this moon as Blerk. Sparks says he went to Phobos to think and reflect as to why he is no longer marshal. Sparks tells Croach he didn't need to follow him to Phobos, and poses the question if Croach's onus is owed to him, or to the position of the marshal. Croach begins to puzzle over this question, and Sparks tells Croach to sit and reflect with him.
Sparks takes his guitar, and the two sing a rendition of Riding the Galactic Trail, despite music being an anathema to Croach's people. As the song ends, a child approaches the pair, crying. The child, Elco, says he's heard of Sparks Nevada from Rebecca Rose Rushmore's book about him, and is excited that Sparks can help his village, Santa Dolce de Leche banish Slygo. Sparks is more interested in how Rebecca talks about their romantic relationship in the post-script of the book, despite Elco saying most of the book is about his heroic acts. Sparks says he can do some heroing and make some punching, though it's not in an official capacity as marshal anymore. Croach isn't sure if he wants Elco to tell him how he is portrayed in the book.
Elco leads Sparks and Croach to Santa Dolce de Leche, and they note that the village looks pretty nice now, although Elco insists it used to be nicer, before all the taxes. Elco asks Croach to track the villain, and supplies him with a lock of his hair to do so, which Elco says he won in a raffle he was forced to enter else face pain of death and looting.
Croach says he has come to a conclusion to the question of whether he owes his onus to Sparks the man or the station of the marshal, but Sparks insists they help Elco first.
Croach tracks the villain to a series of foreboding caves. Before they enter, Sparks realizes that even if he's not marshal, it feels good to still help people. He dons his robot fists and punches through the cave wall.
Slygo meets them, wondering why Sparks and Croach bothered him. He notes he would have brewed some tea had he known they were coming, and asks questions about their adventures from Rebecca's book. He questions Sparks and Croach's motives and why they trusted the word of a child, but Sparks demands Slygo leave. Slygo explains that Santa Dolche de Leche is as pleasant and nice as it is because he taxed the people, and put the money into public buildings, schools, and roads. He says the people used to be dreamers, but now they are put to work.
Slygo admits that he started out by robbing and looting the village, but realized that instead, he could make the place a home. His gang is now city planners, and they are currently planning on making the cave they're in into a learning park for the kids. Sparks decides to investigate, and they all head back to Santa Dolche de Leche.
Back in the village, Sparks asks an old man who recognizes him from Rebecca's book about Slygo. The man says Slygo is both a robber and city planner, but also talks about his own recent vacation to Mars. He says the new marshal is a robot. He also says Slygo started out as a villain but is now doing a lot of good, just like the new marshal on Mars. Sparks tells Slygo and his gang to get off Phobos, and Slygo complies.
Elco asks Sparks to stay and help with the town, but Sparks says that he's a freelance hero now. He asks Croach to stay by his side for freelance heroing, and Croach almost answers the question as to who he owes his onus to when the episode ends.
- Dawn Cartartanaran (Busy Philipps) for Zip Recruiter
- A video recording of the live M Bar show was released to Patreon supporters, which includes a bonus segment featuring Presto Prescott, the radio magician.
- Sparks says in this episode that he has fifteen senses, though later in podcast canon he says he has twenty-eight.
- Folksy Hal notes at the end of the episode that the next episode will take place on March 10th for the show's 2nd anniversary episode, and that the next episode is called Hypercattle Overdrive.
- In podcast canon, Hypercattle Overdrive takes place after The Piano has Been Thinking, during which Croach completed his onus and left Sparks, so Sparks took the Barkeep as his partner. However, in the M Bar TPhBT episode, Croach does not leave Sparks at the end.
- This episode is part of M Bar Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, not the continuity performed at Largo.
- The previous episode is Beyond Belief - If These Walls Could Talk, part of It's Christmas Apparently! (TC #3).
- The next episode is Down in Moonshine Holler - No Assembly Line Required (FTV #4).
This episode was recorded at M Bar on February 10, 2007. It was released on January 28, 2019.
- Writers: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker
- Music: The Andy Paley Orchestra
- Produced, recorded, and engineered by Forever Dog
- Created by Ben Acker & Ben Blacker