The Music of Smiling Friends with Brendan Caulfield

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Brendan Caulfield is the composer for Smiling Friends, YOLO Crystal Fantasy, Koala Man, Bushworld Adventures… and that’s just the beginning. He’s developed a long-term collaborative partnership with Michael Cusack, and the release of Smiling Friends gives us a perfect opportunity to talk to Brendan about the process of setting deranged art to music. That includes setting the Mr. Boss breastfeeding scene to song. 

The nature of animation like Smiling Friends means that Brendan has to run an incredible range of tones and moods. You’d think that would require a tremendous amount of detailed guidance, or at least a really good draft of the animation – but no. It turns out he gets a brief storyboard and then gets the job done. WHAT?!

We need to talk about the sounds of a grandma hyper-fellating a lollipop, because that’s a thing.

Michael and Brendan go way back, and their story of working together more and more over time is probably the most classic example of everything we’ve talked about for 125 episodes. He does what he says he’s going to do and doesn’t have a problem spending 5 years working in grandma’s basement to get it done. Part of his success is due to admitting what he sucks at, which helps everyone.

When it comes to Smiling Friends, Brendan says he’s like Ringo Starr: he’s just happy to be working on it. Everything about Brendan suggests that he’s going to be working on impressive projects for a long, long time. 

Thanks to Brendan for spending so much time with us and setting the perfect stage for next week’s episode with Pebbles and Michael Cusack. Everyone who joined in with us live really got to witness a good one – and a special thanks to the Patrons who make this show happen each and every week. Keep Smiling, Friends!



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Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 

Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → 

“Created in the Unknown” theme by Basswaite:  

Theme by Mega Drive →  

Opening Animation: Kidmograph 

City Animation: Eric Langlay 


“The Create Unknown” is produced by Unknown Media. 



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