A couple of weeks ago we brought you the classic interweb hit from circa 2000 - Lobster Magnet.
Well now we bring you what might be our greatest interview ever. Forget about Jane Goodall and eminent biologists, today we have the sacred words of Ben Apgar, co-creator of Lobster Magnet. When we caught up with Ben, he was unemployed and apparently Canadian. And now without further ado, we bring you the briny stylings of Ben Apgar and the secret history behind Lobster Magnet:
Name: Ben Apgar
Weight: 160 lbs.
Blood type: Unknown
Song: Lobster Magnet
By: Ben Apgar & Garrry Norman
What were the sources of inspiration for your interweb classic, Lobster Magnet? Lobsters perhaps?
Indeed! Also, magnets. Wandering around aimlessly was (and still is, no doubt) all the rage in the town where I grew up. It was frequently folllowed up by a visit to a coffee shop to buy doughnuts, discuss various strange and amusing ideas, draw mustaches on people in the newspaper, complain aboot hosers and how the town sucks and there's nothing to do.
Now this all happened back in the day, so I can't recall exactly how it went down but, one foggy night, Garrry and I were wandering around, as usual, and one of us comes up with a metal riff about lobsters, and then one of us adds something about "and you got a magnet."
Garrry selfishly maintains it was him who came up with that first riff about lobsters, I humbly maintain it was me and that Garrry is wrong and an idiot. But we were clearly on to something. Something involving a lobster and a magnet. Lured by the prospect of marshmallow-topped brownies, we retired to the coffee shop and fleshed out the lyrics and the music. The rest, as they say, is history.
Please tell us about lobsters
Lobsters are creatures of the deep. You never know when you will see a lobster. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow. It depends. Sometimes they are in the ocean, and other times they are on TV or the Internet. A lobster will use his claws to catch food. Other times a lobster will use them to fight another lobster or to fight a crab. Crabs are more warrior-ish, so crab battles are more intense, but lobsters are still pretty good at fighting. Lobsters are also pretty stupid and they get caught in traps a lot. According to Wikipedia, lobsters are crustaceans (the pro-lobster community refers to them as "crusties") and apparently there's a lobster named Eric who is a homosexual.
Please tell us about magnets
Magnets can come in many forms, such as bars and Us. For some reason, a U-shaped magnet stays in a U-shape and doesn't bend itself into a bar like you would expect. This is one of the many mysteries of magnets. While scientists don't fully understand how magnets work, they are still used in a wide variety of industrial applications such as electrical generators, particle accelerators, frozen pizza sauce delivery systems, and perpetual motion machines. Many things can be magnets or become magnetic, such as lobsters or cheese, thus magnets should be considered armed and dangerous.
My lobster doesn't have a beak. Is something wrong with my lobster?
He could be depressed and his beak has fallen off. Cheer up your lobster by providing him with lots of soft lobster food (rabbits are out). Lobsters love food and soft food will be easier for him to eat. His beak should grow back within 2 weeks. Another possibility is that your lobster's beak has broken off in a fight. Test your lobster to see how magnetic he is by placing a cathode ray tube approximately 2 feet from his claws. If it changes colour at 2 feet this means your lobster is angry and should be placed in a quarantine tank until he calms the fuck down. Angry lobsters can cause serious injury, especially to the face. Lastly, ensure that your lobster is not a crab. The way to tell apart a crab and a lobster is that a lobster has a beak and a crab has a comb for filtering diamonds out of the sand which he eats. This is why keeping a crab is more expensive.
How rich are you now because of Lobster Magnet? Would you care to "share
Hey, I'm not one to sell out and I wasn't in it for the money, so don't say I was. I'm sure if I had kept on doing my website thing and really leveraged the lobster magnet paradigm, then I would have made hundreds of dollars over the last few years. Maybe even one thousand dollars! Seriously though, it's a lot of work and I hate work so I didn't want to do anything that didn't fall into my lap. Animating is fun when you're learning... after a while it's just work and you want someone else to do it for you. I saw a lobster fridge magnet recently and kicked myself for not thinking of selling those. I thought that, after figuring out how the fridge magnet industry works, developing the product, securing suppliers, networking with the dollar store big wigs, marketing research, startup investment, finding sales outlets and you know what, forget it. Plus I'd have to split the money with Garrry.
When it comes to sharing the wealth, if I may, I think I'll paraphrase Reggie in Double Digest #233 "How much is nothing divided by two? Yuk yuk yuk!" (This was because Reggie was making fun of Archie's band; they played a gig and the Archies didn't make any money, so I can relate to that.)
Looking back, there are things I could have done differently. Using MSPAINT to caption "I CAN HAS MAGNET" onto a picture of a lobster I found in an image search, or better yet if someone else did that and I just downloaded it and made an "icanhasmagnet" website featuring amusing lobsters, it would have been a lot less work. It would also have been 1,000,000x as profitable, apparently.
How many times, would you say, that you had sexual relations
as a direct result of Lobster Magnet fame?
Like I said, looking back, there are things I could have done differently.
What do you do now?
Unemployed right now. I'm in between jobs. Thinking of making a change, you know? A lot of people who are unemployed complain there are no jobs, but I see lots of jobs in the classifieds around here. I'm pretty optimistic. You'll see me driving over curbs in a tractor trailer full of 16 tons of gravel in no time. Or maybe I'll be the one handing the tools to the guy installing your air conditioner. Or maybe I'll be listening in on your phone conversations! Just kidding about that last one. I mention it because last week I saw one job tucked away in the corner off the classifieds from some fancy technology company called "ManService Response Referral Group"--it's something about digital telephones(?) and it said "computer experience an asset" which I definitely have. Seriously though, I am thinking of doing something in widget design, if I can call it that. Maybe I'll iDevelop some iApps for the iPhone.
When the lobster swims towards the oceanliner at the end of the film and then the oceanliner collides with an iceburg, what role, if any, do you think the lobster played in that oceanic disaster? I have often wondered about this.
Agggh everyone wonders this! It seems soooo simple 2 me even my bff jill could figure it out. Yes, the lobster plays a big role. I'll explain i--No, he does not get sucked into the propellers. What happens is tha--No he does not climb on board and attack the captain! Just wait--NO HE IS NOT TOWING THE ICEBERG. WAIT. Ok I'll explain it: The lobster throws the ship off course due to his magnets effecting the onboard navigation systems. There are you happy?!
It just occured to me that the SNL Sloth and Giraffe vids are probably
inspired by Lobster Magnet. Any thoughts on that?
You mean do I think the writers saw Lobster Magnet? Hmm... maybe. They definitely saw the "We like the Moon" one that's for sure 'cause they copied that style more so than good old Lobster Magnet. That guy got a deal to make a Quiznos commercial. Maybe I could get one for Red Lobster? Probably have to ditch the magnet though. I wouldn't be happy with that.
What's up with this "Garry" guy?
Garrry gave up trying to get his parent's car onto two wheels a long time ago, and is now pretty much a full-fledged do-gooder, doing good in the world, leadership training and public speaking. He just headed off to India and then Haiti until the spring. He still plays guitar, though not always as loudly as in Lobster Magnet.
Ã la Barbershop quartet: "His tail is not magnetized, but he has a magnet eye. It's made of cheeeeeeeeese."
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Way to go! A genuine Canadian-he eats doughnuts. (Canada has the highest number of per capita doughnut shops in the world. That's what we stand for! And hockey.)
w000t!! Lobster Magnet RULES!
The one and ONLY magnet I have on my fridge is a LOBSTER MAGNET from Maine.
Fantastic and informative interview. Yes we Canadians love our doughnuts.
Go go lobster...
How can I contact him? I had a question about the video.
Apparently truth is as strange as flash ... lobsters teaching robots about magnets.