#TBT 'Wizard People, Dear Reader,' the unauthorized retelling of 'Harry Potter' that changed the Internet.

#TBT 'Wizard People, Dear Reader,' the unauthorized retelling of 'Harry Potter' that changed the Internet.
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"I am a beautiful creature! I am a destroyer of worlds! I am HARRY F**KING POTTER!!"

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This is a tale of magic. This is a tale of comedy. This is the tale of "Wizard People, Dear Readers"--the greatest fan project that has ever been or will be. This is the tale of how Brad Neely created the funniest, craziest, and most sublime unauthorized narration of a movie in any realm, magical or Muggle. (Note: Chapters 15 and 18 are missing from the playlist, so I've included them at the bottom)

Chapter 1: POWER BABY

Gather round, you little monsters, and hear about when the Web was young. It was early in the Muggle year 2004, the Harry Potter book series still had two more installments to go, and the third movie had only just come out. People turning 30 now were the terrifying teenage "hackers" of their day; their ability to download movies and music seemed more like black magic to adults than any spell Harry or Ronnie the Bear or even the Wretched Harmony could cast. It was the dawn of the "You Wouldn't Download A Car, Would You?" anti-piracy campaign, which probably sped up the development of 3D printing by 10 years.

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Chapter 2: PORK FAMILY PROJECT

In the midst of this glorious kleptomania, a new file started to spread from the now-defunct site Illegal Art. A much different kind of file, loaded with entertainment that (except for its cursing) was refreshingly pure. It was ostensibly an audiobook; an unauthorized retelling of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by a seemingly crazy old man. In reality, it was Austin, TX comedian and comic book artist Brad Neely narrating the movie as if it was a book, a much more adult and hilarious book. The "chapters" of the book matched the chapters of the official DVD, so even though it is in some ways a copyright infringement, it probably sold a few extra DVDs. This was a self-contained argument for how allowing people to adapt copyrighted materials improves sales of the original (not that Warner Bros. listened).

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Download the original audio files here, or stream them on Neely's site.

People had parties to watch the movie on mute with "Wizard People, Dear Reader." Others actually enjoyed it as an audiobook. I did both. It wasn't just funny as hell. Sometimes it was better. I'll never forget the scene about pulling into the station at Hogwarts: "Finally, the moment of truth! The God-wheel of fate has stopped for all of these kiddies on "yes." Yes in-fucking-deed, you will be a wizard. And this moment is the first in a series of moments that no matter what feelings the moments embody, yes, "yes" is still the answer. Yes to life, and yes to magic."

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CHAPTERS 3-14, 16-17, and 19-35: The Rest Of The Movie Except for Chapters 15 and 18, which I put down below.

One thing everyone had in common, however, was a burning desire to hear the sequel. Sadly, that would never come, as Neely decided it was a one-time thing. It became a hit on the Internet after being played over a muted copy of the movie at the New York Underground Film Festival, but he originally intended it to only amuse his friends. Considering how badly I STILL want a sequel, he was probably right to leave it be. In case you're wondering how the idea came about, this is how Neely explained it:

Anyway, we were at a bar and were getting a good laugh at a guy who was playing pool all by himself while wearing a hoody over his hat, sunglasses under that and headphones on the outside of all of it. So we started riffing on "What could he possibly be listening to?" Someone who I don't think was me said that he was listening to a book on tape of Harry Potter. And out came the Wizard People narrator. I joked that night that I was going to rush home and record an entire misinformed book on tape of The Sorcerer's Stone, because I had not and have not ever read any Harry Potter books. Once I started making notes for it I realized that an audio track alone could get boring, so I decided to sync it with the movie. Then I took a week or two and made the damn thing. I love it.
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Chapter 15

Chapter 18

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