Epic Hero

Everybody who's tired of the word “epic,” raise your hand. Wow, that’s a lot of hands. But there is an acceptable time and place for the word. If you hadn’t already guessed, that time and place is here and now.

LanguageEnglish Language
WritingLiterary Devices

Transcript

00:25

More specifically, what makes a hero epic? This is Greg.

00:31

Greg is just a regular guy living in Cleveland, Ohio with his parents, Mary and Jim, and his

00:35

younger brother, Michael. Greg's favorite thing to do is play with his

00:40

XBox 360.

00:41

He can kick some major booty on Madden '13. Greg and Michael also like to play baseball.

00:47

Like... real baseball.

00:48

One day, when his parents aren't home, Michael practices throwing Greg a few fastballs in

00:52

the back yard.

00:54

Greg takes a mighty swing... and accidentally breaks a window.

00:58

With his bat. Smooth move, Greg. When the rents get home, Greg blames the broken

01:02

window on Michael.

01:03

Michael... doesn't take it so well. In retaliation, Michael steals Greg's XBox

01:08

controller.

01:08

Oooh... it's on now. Brand new mortal enemies Michael and Greg

01:12

are at each other's throats for the next week.

01:15

Their fight involves atomic wedgies, boxer shorts in the freezer, and cellophane on the

01:20

toilet. The full package. It only ends when Mary and Jim ground both

01:24

boys and force Michael to return the controller. Definitely not an "epic" tale.

01:29

In fact, it might be similar to something that has happened between you and your sibling...

01:33

... and you haven't gotten any calls from Homer recently asking for the rights to your

01:38

life story. Let's see what happens when we put Greg and

01:40

Michael through the EPIC machine. The epic machine takes ordinary people and

01:44

situations...

01:45

... and makes them larger than life... by adding the elements of an epic.

01:50

This is Prince Greg.

01:51

He is the heir to the Kingdom of Clevelandia<<cleave-land-ee-uh>>...

01:54

... son of King James and Queen Mary, and older brother to Prince Michael.

01:59

Prince Greg's prized possession is his family's ancestral scepter...

02:03

... a magical device that enables him to control the movements of everyone around him.

02:08

It's especially fun to use when someone's on the john.

02:11

One day, when Michael and Greg are fencing...

02:14

... Greg's hand slips...

02:15

... and he accidentally kills his father's favorite servant who is standing nearby.

02:19

Greg is afraid of his father's hot temper...

02:21

...and blames the servant's death on Michael. Michael is angry. Like... someone else ate

02:26

your last piece of Halloween candy angry.

02:30

In retaliation, he steals the magical sceptre and spirits it to the Underworld.

02:34

Without the magical scepter...

02:36

...the kingdom of Cleavelandia is unable to defend itself from its enemies...

02:39

... a band of marauding trolls...

02:41

...with really bad breath. Greg embarks on a quest to the Underworld

02:46

to find the magical sceptre.

02:48

He makes sure to pack an extra pair of shorts, because it can get pretty hot down there. 

02:53

The goddess of the Underworld returns the sceptre to Greg as a reward for overcoming

02:58

all of the obstacles on the way...

03:01

... including a stream of fire, man-eating birds with the heads of dragons, and a field

03:07

of tranquilizing fruit.

03:09

Greg still regrets drinking that entire tranquilizing fruit smoothie.

03:15

The goddess of the Underworld informs Greg of Michael's treachery.

03:18

Greg returns home a hero.

03:21

He kills Michael after revealing what he has done, earning the praise of his father.

03:26

Guess everyone forgot who started this whole mess with his butterfingers.

03:29

Now that was an epic story.

03:33

It had all the elements -- a noble hero, otherworldly stuff going on, a quest...

03:37

...and just a little splash of tragedy.

03:42

Notably absent? Wedgies and noogies. They don't really say "epic" to us.