Three Strikes You're Dead is an episode of Beyond Belief.
- Harlan - John Hodgman
- Civil War Ghost - Matt Gourley
- Civil War Ghost - Mark McConville
- Civil War Ghost - Jeremy Carter
- Righty - Mike Phirman
- Stan Carnasata - Scott Adsit
Frank and Sadie arrive in Maize County, Iowa, excited to try the county’s speciality: corn whiskey. They stop by a Corn Whiskey stand and are served by Harlan, when they interrupted by Harlan’s father, Righty. Harlan is surprised the Doyles can see his father, as his father is a ghost. The Doyles tell him that they are mediums who often help with “ghost problems” and are therefore used to seeing ghosts.
Harlan is excited to hear that they solve ghost-based problems, as he is having one. A mysterious voice told him “if you build a baseball field in your backyard the ghosts of baseball players will appear to you, including your father who as you know was a baseball player, then you and he will reconcile the conflicts you two had in life“. He did so and was able to reconcile with Righty, but afterwards his father continued to haunt him, demanding that Harlan watch him play baseball at all times and throwing ghostly tantrums when he would not.
Since he served them whiskey, Sadie and Frank decide to help Harlan. They go outside to watch Harlan’’s father and the rest of the ghostly players. Harlan explains that he and his father originally reconciled during the middle of a game that his father lost, and Frank suggests that that may be the reason and that Righty is trapped there until he wins a game. Harlan does not feel hopeful about that, as his father is a terrible baseball player.
They’re interrupted by ghostly laughter, celebrating revenge. Harlan recognises the voice as the mysterious voice that told him to build the baseball field in the first place, and Sadie recognises the voice as the mysterious voice that told her to go to Maize County. It’s Stan Carnasata, “the goat”, and Righty gives the Doyles a lengthy explanation of how Stan got his nickname - losing a game. After losing the game, he died choking on a sub sandwich.
Stan tells the Doyles that he got Harlan to build a baseball field so that he could beat Righty in a baseball game and move into the afterlife, and the he summoned the Doyles to Maize County so that they could help him do it (as they solve ghost problems, and he is a ghost with ghost problems). If Stan wins, he will release his hold on Righty and free both of them, and if Righty wins, he’ll go into the afterlife having finally won a game. Harlan promises the Doyles whiskey if they help, and the Doyles enthusiastically agree.
As Stan died without a team, the Doyles summon up the spirits of five civil war ghosts (who were killed on their way to the war), and join with them to form Stan’s team.
Spooky Hal gives a brief narration of the game - both teams are evenly terrible, but Righty loses the game for his team. The civil war ghosts, having finished something they started, go into the afterlife.
Stan is confused that he isn’t moving into the afterlife - he’s won against the team he hated, but he isn’t moving on. Sadie suggests that what he wanted wasn’t revenge, but to be part of a team. Righty offers him a place on his team, and the two set out to play baseball.
Stan is up to bat first, against the pitcher who was the pitcher in the game that gave him the nickname of “the goat”. With Sadie’s encouragement he doesn’t choke and hits it out of the park. Stan fades into the afterlife, and so does Righty, going into the corn fields as he fades away.
Sadie: "I promise, Frank, from here on out the only voice from which I'll take orders is yours."
Frank: "And I promise I shall only issue orders as a puppet dictator."
Sadie: "And I promise to never stop pulling your strings, darling."
- A version of this episode was originally performed at Largo in April 2014 with different set of actors, including the inclusion of Harlan’s wife played by Busy Philipps.
- Clink count: 5 (4 are at a lower tone than normal, as the Doyles are drinking out of mason glasses during the episode)
- This is the 204th episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The previous episode is Phillip Fathom, Deep Sea Detective - Right the One Inlet.
- The next episode is TAH Panel from WonderCon.
- The previous episode in Beyond Belief canon is The Skeleton Grief (TAH #201).
- The next episode in Beyond Belief canon is Stabbin' in the Woods (TAH #208).
This episode was recorded at SF Sketchfest on February 7, 2015 and released on April 20, 2015.