Not My Job: We Quiz The Duplass Brothers On Sibling Rivalry

Feb 13, 2016

Some siblings find it hard just to be under the same roof, but Mark and Jay Duplass have teamed up to make more than a dozen films. They've recently branched out into television with their HBO show Togetherness.

Since these brothers get along so well, we've asked them to take a break from writing, directing, acting and producing to play a game called "Hating you is like hating myself." Three questions about brothers who didn't see eye to eye.

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And now the game where we ask people who do a lot of interesting things to do something dull. It's called Not My Job. If you turned on your TV recently, especially to premium cable, and you saw a smart, funny, kind of sad movie or TV show about people struggling with family relationships - shows like "Transparent" or "The League" or "Togetherness," chances are you saw a Duplass brother. Jay and Mark Duplass are writers, directors, actors and brothers. And they join us now. Jay and Mark Duplass, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


JAY DUPLASS: Thank you.

SAGAL: All right...

MARK DUPLASS: Is that applause all for us?


SAGAL: It is. It's for you. So let me ask you something, how do we tell you apart to begin with?

M. DUPLASS: You don't.

J. DUPLASS: You don't.

SAGAL: Really? Is this...

M. DUPLASS: We look very different, but we have the same exact voice, so you guys are just screwed.


SAGAL: I mean, we were wondering 'cause we were thinking oh, the Duplasses are on the show - like the Duplassey (ph), like Duplasseyi (ph). Do you have a plural to describe you guys?

J. DUPLASS: We have been referred to as the Dupli (ph). That is our preferred method of plural reference.

SAGAL: All right, the Dupli.

MAZ JOBRANI: Not the Duplasse (ph)?

M. DUPLASS: It's got a certain Latin flavor. I believe it's ablative plural.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: If you were Jewish, you would be the Duplassim (ph), I guess.

MO ROCCA: Duplassim, yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah, now...

JOBRANI: (Singing) Duplassim, Duplassam, life goes on. La, la, la, la, life goes on.


SAGAL: So you guys basically - it is impossible now to turn on a television and not see you. So let me ask you this - I mean, everybody knows the Coen brothers and they have certain hallmarks in their films, a kind of quirky humor, certain kind of themes. How - is there, like, a Duplasse brothers themes or formula that you could describe that holds your work together?

M. DUPLASS: Well, we - the other - I guess it was a few months ago, we were approached about doing kind of - kind of like a big action-ey kind of movie. And we said, we would be open to that if you are willing to have your main villain stop in the middle of a car chase, get out, sit on the sidewalk and talk about his feelings to his mother for 10 minutes straight. And they said, I don't think we make that movie. And we said, well, that's what Duplassian is called. That's what we do.

SAGAL: Yeah, it's like Kubrickian had a certain kind of cold, austere sense to it. But Duplassian means people basically just being inarticulate about their feelings.

M. DUPLASS: And crying a lot.

SAGAL: Crying a lot.

J. DUPLASS: Our autobiography would be "Feelings And The People Who Feel Them."


SAGAL: "The Duplass Story."

ROCCA: Could that be a mumblecore superhero?

SAGAL: Oh, yeah, I wanted to ask you about that because I said oh, we're having the Duplass brothers on the show. And the person said oh, you mean the mumblecore pioneers? Because apparently, some people call your genre of filmmaking mumblecore - people mumbling their feelings to each other over a period of time.

M. DUPLASS: I mean, when I first heard that word, I just assumed it was, like, referring to some sort of pretty extreme pornographic trend in the Nordic regions...


M. DUPLASS: ...And I don't know how it applies to us.

ROCCA: I thought it referred to the parents in the "Peanuts" cartoons.

M. DUPLASS: Oh, yeah, there you go, yeah...

ROCCA: The way they talk - (imitating "Peanuts" mumbling).

J. DUPLASS: That was the original mumble core.

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, Jay and Mark Duplass, we have asked you here to play game we're calling...

KURTIS: Hating You Is Like Hating Myself.

SAGAL: So you guys get along really well, which is great. In fact, you get along so well, it's a little weird. So we thought we'd ask you about pairs of brothers who hate each other. Answer two questions about those and you will win our prize for one of our listeners -- Carl Kasell's voice on their voicemail, berating his evil brother, Bob Kasell. Bill, who are the Duplass brothers playing for?

KURTIS: Jean Allen of New Orleans, La.

SAGAL: All right, Mark and Jay, he is your first question. Which of these famous people had a feud with their brother? Was it A, Leonardo da Vinci, who was constantly being confused with his brother Guillermo da Vinci, who was a house painter, B, the comedian Gallagher, who ended up suing his own brother Ron Gallagher, aka Gallagher II, for stealing his famous Sledge-O-Matic bit or C, Jerome Flatley, brother of the Irish "Lord Of The Dance" Michael Flatley, who advertised himself, quote, "as the one who moves his arms, too."


M. DUPLASS: You see, "The Secret," where you use the secret and you will things into being - "The Secret" wants me to choose C because I really want to see the Flatley feud happen on stage someday.

SAGAL: That would be awesome. It would be like Jerome Flatley dancing and fighting with his brother Michael Flatley, and Jerome Flatley keeps hitting him with his arms and Michael Flatley can't do that because he can't move his arms.

J. DUPLASS: Because we've all been waiting for that dance-off where they actually do punch each other.


M. DUPLASS: I'm feeling B. How about you?

J. DUPLASS: I'm feeling B.

SAGAL: You're right. It was, in fact, Gallagher.


M. DUPLASS: Oh, yes.

SAGAL: Gallagher sued his brother.


SAGAL: Gallagher sued Gallagher II for copyright infringement. Next question - recently, The New York Times featured an article on identical twins who are engaged in a lifelong feud. Who are they? Are they A, Mikkel and Jeppe Bjergso, identical twin Danish genius craft brewers who loathe each other’s beers, B, Giovanni and Christian Reyardi of Brazil, who are competing Frank Sinatra impersonators, or C, Marvin and Irving Frankel, the two competing rabbis of Chicken, Alaska, competing to attract the town's only other Jew to their synagogue.


M. DUPLASS: Something tells me the way that bearded Nordic men feel about their alcohol could be the deepest thing on the planet.

J. DUPLASS: And that the lifelong feud has been fueled by hops...


J. DUPLASS: ...And wheat.

M. DUPLASS: And wheat. So...

J. DUPLASS: Perhaps they are gluten intolerant as well.



SAGAL: By the way, for people who have not seen any of the Duplass brothers' films, this is it. This is basically - this could be a scene.

M. DUPLASS: As good as it gets in the mumblecore Duplassian genre.


J. DUPLASS: We retain the rights to this episode...


J. DUPLASS: ...By the way.

SAGAL: I understand.


M. DUPLASS: Let's not think about it. Let's count to three and say a letter. One, two, three...



SAGAL: You're right.


SAGAL: That's it.



SAGAL: Said Jeppe Bjergso of his brother Mikkel's blueberry beer, quote, I think it's disgusting. It tastes like Kool-Aid. This really actually is your next film - two craft brewers who hate each other.

J. DUPLASS: It's incredible.

M. DUPLASS: Well, because what's going to be so amazing is that moment right around minute 70 when Giuseppe (ph) finds his brother, who has been criticizing his blueberry beer the whole time...

SAGAL: Yeah.

M. DUPLASS: ...Secretly enjoying it lasciviously in the garage. And then he cries to him and says I always knew you were better than me.

SAGAL: Oh, man.

JOBRANI: Wow, nice.

SAGAL: All right, last question - sometimes siblings have to come up with creative ways to express their distaste for each other, like when a man in Florida did what? A, used his mom's obituary in the newspaper to talk smack about his siblings...

JOBRANI: Hilarious.

SAGAL: ...B, change his name from Anthony Goodson to The Goodson...


SAGAL: ...Or C, bought his brother's favorite bar in Tampa just so he could ban him from ever coming in.


M. DUPLASS: I have a very strong feeling here that it's A or C. I put B away in my brain.

J. DUPLASS: I agree.

M. DUPLASS: I put Mr. The away. I want see to be it very, very badly.

J. DUPLASS: I want C to be it. I would like the rights to that story...

M. DUPLASS: Oh, it's so beautiful.

SAGAL: Seriously, they're going to leave this show with two more TV series ready to go.


J. DUPLASS: I'm leaning heavily towards A, however.

M. DUPLASS: Yeah. And you know what? Just because we're here and we want people to know how things really work between us, sometimes we disagree. I'm going with C.


SAGAL: Oh, well, not only have you disagreed, now we have to see how you resolve your disagreement because you've got to pick one.

M. DUPLASS: Right now, Jay Duplass is dead.


SAGAL: All right, actually, I think what...

M. DUPLASS: It makes sense.

SAGAL: I think what we're going to do is because you've already won the game, I think we'll do this. So which of you picked A? Who wanted A?

M. DUPLASS: Jay picks A.

SAGAL: Jay picks A, so that means that Mark picks C?


SAGAL: All right, and in this particular instance, Jay wins. It was a.

M. DUPLASS: He's dead.


M. DUPLASS: (Unintelligible).

SAGAL: Well, not only is he dead but so was this woman. Her name was Josie Anello. And her obituary, as printed in the local paper, read in part, quote, "she is survived by her son A.J., who cared for her, and her son Peter, who broke her heart.



JOBRANI: That's great.


J. DUPLASS: Oh, man...

SAGAL: Totally harsh.

J. DUPLASS: So let's talk about the rights to C and...


M. DUPLASS: We'll be wrapping that up shortly.

SAGAL: There you are. Bill, how did the Duplass brothers do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, we have two contestants, so we'll have to give them an asterisk. But three is a perfect score. So congratulations, brothers...

M. DUPLASS: Thank you

J. DUPLASS: Thank you very much.

KURTIS: ...You won.

ROCCA: You got two and half, two and a half.


SAGAL: The Duplass brother's show "Animals" airs on Fridays on HBO and "Togetherness" premiers on Sunday February 21, also on HBO. Jay and Mark Duplass, thank you so much for playing with us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

J. DUPLASS: Thanks for having us.

M. DUPLASS: Thanks guys.

J. DUPLASS: It was fun.


THE HOLLIES: (Singing) The road is long with many a winding turn.

SAGAL: In just a minute, it's been one week since we last played limericks. And we have a lot to confess. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a bit with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.