Supernatural Producer Ben Edlund Previews His 'Comedic' Nazi Necromancers/Golem Adventure
Nazi necromancers, a rabbi and a golem — it’s all in a day’s work for Supernatural‘s Sam and Dean in this Wednesday’s episode, “Everybody Hates Hitler” (airing at 9/8c on The CW). And who better to bring such an offbeat case together than writer/consulting producer Ben Edlund, who’s penned such memorable hours as “Bad Day at Black Rock,” “Monster Movie” and “Clap Your Hands If You Believe”?
Edlund recently hopped on a conference call to talk up his latest kooky episode, the Winchesters’ new home base and finding an actor to top Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.
A NEW HOME | In last week’s outing, the last member of the Men of Letters warned Sam to lock up the “key” in the bunker and destroy the information. But the Winchesters’ new digs aren’t going anywhere. “That was then, this is now. Sam, if anything, is a little starry-eyed and voracious the way he was at Stanford” upon seeing the secret hideout, says Edlund. “This is a library. You don’t burn the Library of Alexandria. It may come to pass that later, as maybe thorns start to grow down there, Dean will bring up [destroying the place] independently, but that’s not in this episode.”
A JOB LIKE NO OTHER | As the brothers settle into their new home, they’ll find a mystery that leads them to their next case, involving a rabbi (played by Barney Miller‘s Hal Linden) researching Nazis interested in communicating with the dead and a golem (The New Addams Family‘s John DeSantis) – an animated anthropomorphic being created entirely from inanimate matter, per Jewish folklore – who belongs to the rabbi’s grandson (Adam Rose).
“Sam’s really excited that they’re in this place, and he’s really jazzed about this wealth of information and the library there and everything that comes from inheriting the Men of Letters headquarters,” previews Edlund. “Dean is a little less geeked out in that regard and points out that all of the information terminates in 1958.” As Sam investigates how it relates to the present, he “gets a hit on something that draws them into [a] case that they wouldn’t otherwise have pursued.”
THERE WILL BE LAUGHS | With a mixture of characters as odd as those in “Everybody Hates Hitler,” the hour definitely will be comedic. “It’s got a lot more funny than I’ve had in a few episodes,” says Edlund. “Even though it revolves around some very dark material, as all of my episodes do, in it is this natural comedy team of a giant golem with a kind of old-school sense of purpose and then a young, Jewish man [who is] supposed to be a rabbi by the rules of the awakened golem, and he’s far from it. It lends itself to some of my favorite kind of writing. The boys, in dealing with this new comedy team, get to be comedic themselves.”
SEEKING A GIANT | When it comes to finding an actor who can play an otherworldly giant opposite series stars Padalecki and Ackles, well, that’s no easy task. “Usually when I’m writing something for Sam and Dean and I say, ‘This person towers over Sam and Dean,’ I’m in a really bad place to begin that discussion because Jared is 6’6” or something and Jensen is [also] really tall,” explains Edlund. “They’re just both very big. And so trying to get them to be towered over is pretty much an impossibility. Or to get them be towered over and then have [the other actor have] any acting quotient is an especially unfortunate assignment for casting, but this fellow [DeSantis] was great. He was amazing and has this voice that sounds like a church bell rolling down the hill. It’s great. He adds such presence to the intent of the comedy that’s written in the script that it’s really just amazing. There’s physical comedy and there’s just this physics issue of the golem just standing there, which is comedic.”Follow @VladaGelman