S01E01 - Minimum Viable Product
No: 1 | Season: 1 Episode: 1 | Air Date: 6-Apr-14
Richard Hendricks, a low-level programmer with fictitious Google clone "Hooli", lives in a technology incubator with fellow programmers Nelson "Big Head" Bighetti, Bertram Gilfoyle, Dinesh Chugtai and the owner of the "Hacker Hostel", Erlich Bachman. Richard is taunted by his work colleagues, especially over his "Pied Piper" app, a music copyright checker. However, when the curious Hooli engineers discover that his app contains a very powerful file compression algorithm, a bidding war begins. Richard finds himself caught between a $10 million buyout by Hooli CEO Gavin Belson, and a $200,000 investment from eccentric billionaire Peter Gregory. After having a panic attack and vomiting on the street, Monica, Peter Gregory's assistant, convinces Richard that he should maintain control of his company and simply take Peter's offer of an investment.
Director and Writers
Director: Mike Judge
Written by: Mike Judge & John Altschuler & Dave Krinsky
Big Head: (regarding the mansion they're visiting) Fucking Goolybib, man. Those guys build a mediocre piece of software that might be worth something someday, and now they live here. Money flying all over Silicon Valley but none of it ever seems to hit us.
Gavin Belson: It's weird. They always travel in groups of five. These programmers, there's always a tall, skinny white guy; short, skinny Asian guy; fat guy with a ponytail; some guy with crazy facial hair; and then an East Indian guy. It's like they trade guys until they all have the right group.
Javeed: A few days ago, when we were sitting down with Barak Obama, I turned to these guys and said, "ok, you know, we're making a lot of money. And yes, we're disrupting digital media, but most importantly we're making the world a better place. Through constructing elegant hierarchies for maximum code reuse and extensibility.
Erlich: Richard, if you want to live here, you've got to deliver. I can't have dead weight at my incubator, ok? Either that, or show some promise for fuck's sake. Like NipAlert, Big Head's app. It gives you the location of a woman with erect nipples. Now, that's something people want.
Gavin Belson: What is Hooli? Excellent question. Hooli isn't just another high tech company. Hooli isn't just about software. Hooli...Hooli is about people. Hooli is about innovative technology that makes a difference, transforming the world as we know it. Making the world a better place, through minimal message oriented transport layers. I firmly believe we can only achieve greatness if first we achieve goodness.
Erlich: What do you got?
Pitcher: Okay, here it is. Bit Soup, like alphabet soup but ones and zeros instead of the letters. Cause binary... Binary is ones and zeros.
Erlich: I know what binary is. Jesus Christ! I memorized the hexadecimal times tables when I was 14 writing machine code, okay? Ask me what 9 times F is. It's fleventy-five. I don't need you telling me what binary is, just like I don't need you thinking about soup or taking pictures of it. I need you thinking about apps, software and websites. This is Silicon Valley, not... (uses his phone) Paris, Texas... which is where Campbell's Soup is.
Richard: Look, guys, for thousands of years, guys like us gave gotten the shit kicked out of us. But now, for the first time, we're living in an era, where we can be in charge and build empires. We could be the Vikings of our day.
Peter Gregory: (Speaking at a TED talk) Gates, Ellison, Jobs, Dell. All dropped out of college. Silicon Valley is the cradle of innovation because of drop outs. College has become a cruel expensive joke on the poor and the middle class that benefits only the perpetrators of it. The bloated administrators.
Monica: Hi, Monica. I work with Peter Gregory. We met outside the TED...
Richard: Yeah, I remember you. What how'd you know I was here?
Monica: Peter Gregory is invested in a company that uses GPS in phones to track people.
Richard: That's creepy.
Monica: You don't know the half of it. And neither does congress.
Richard: I have a meeting with Gavin Belson. He wants to talk about Pied Piper.
Erlich: I own 10% of Pied Piper.
Richard: You said it was a shitty idea.
Erlich: It was a shitty idea. I'm not sure what it is now.
Erlich: I am the founder of Aviato. And I own a very small percentage of Grindr. It's a men to men dating site where you can find other men within 10 miles of you interested in having sexual intercourse in a public restroom.
Jared: (explaining)) In the homosexual community there's sometimes anonymous...
Gavin Belson: I know what Grindr is. I have gay friends.
"Stretch Your Face" by Tobacco (Opening title music)
"Minority" by Green Day (End-credits music.)
Notes and Trivia
When "Salon" initially reviewed the series, they reported, "Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Dinesh, is in fact a regular on 'The Big Bang Theory'." Of course they were mistaking Kumail Nanjiani (who plays Dinesh) with Kunal Nayyar, who plays Raj on "The Big Bang Theory".
After viewing the first episode, Elon Musk said, "None of those characters were software engineers. Software engineers are more helpful, thoughtful, and smarter. They're weird, but not in the same way."
Kid Rock, who appeared at the beginning of this episode, is a friend and neighbor to series co-creator Mike Judge.
When the opening scene, featuring the party with Kid Rock, was filmed it was surprisingly cold. You can see fog emanating from many of the actors mouths.
According to Mike Judge, the house that doubles as the "Hacker Hostel" actually belongs to Los Angeles sports announcer Roy Firestone. The real interior of the house was used to film the pilot, however a complete replica was built in a studio, and used for the remainder of the series.
According to the DVD commentary, T.J. Miller adlibbed the line, "They're all a bunch of assholes, especially Radiohead."
When Richard is being badgered by the Hooli engineers, note the large man in the background preparing himself for the climbing wall.
T.J. Miller originally improvved a line in which he stated he "owned 10 percent of Grindr." However, once they checked the value of Grindr it was realized that this would make Erlich a multi-millionaire. Therefore, they had T.J. redo the line to say he owned a "small percentage" of Grindr.
When Erlich does hexadecimal math and comes up with an answer of "fleventy-five", this is simply a joke. Even though plenty of web nerds have claimed Erlich's math is incorrect, there really is no such term as "fleventy-five".
Check out Erlich's green t-shirt near the beginning of the episode. It says "I Know H.T.M.L. (How To Meet Ladies)".
Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani and Josh Brener were familiar with each other in real life as they often worked together at various stand-up comedy venues.
In the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards (2014) Mike Judge was nominated for "Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series" for the episode "Minimum Viable Product".
Erlich's house is actually located at 5230 Penfield Ave, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, CA 91364. (Google Street View)
The Cal State Los Angeles Student Union Building located at 5154 State University Drive, Los Angeles CA, doubles as "Hooli" headquarters.
The scene where Richard first pitches his idea to Peter Gregory, after his TED Talk, was filmed at the Wyatt Concourse at LAX, 6225 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles.
The scene where Richard and Big Head are taking the bus to work at Hooli was filmed along Charleston Road, Mountain View, CA.
Interior scenes of Hooli were shot at the Los Angeles office of advertising agency Chiat Day, 5353 Grosvenor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.
The establishing shot for Richard's doctor's office "Atherton Urgent Care", and the scene where Monica meets up with Richard after his doctor visit, were filmed at Everest College, 2215 W Mission Rd, Alhambra, CA. (Google)
|Starring||Thomas Middleditch||Richard Hendricks|
|Starring||T.J. Miller||Erlich Bachman|
|Starring||Josh Brener||Nelson 'Big Head' Bighetti|
|Starring||Martin Starr||Bertram Gilfoyle|
|Starring||Kumail Nanjiani||Dinesh Chugtai|
|Starring||Christopher Evan Welch||Peter Gregory|
|Starring||Zach Woods||Donald 'Jared' Dunn|
|Co-Starring||Jill E. Alexander||Patrice (as Jill Alexander)|
|Co-Starring||Rogelio T. Ramos||Another Executive (as Rogelio Ramos)|
|Guest Starring||Herschel Boone||Herschel|
|Guest Starring||Jared Cohen||Jared|
|Guest Starring||Andrew Daly||Doctor|
|Guest Starring||Aly Mawji||Aly Dutta|
|Guest Starring||Scott Prendergast||Scott|
|Guest Starring||Eric Schmidt||Himself|
|Guest Starring||Brian Tichnell||Jason|
|Guest Starring||Jessica Wagner-Cowan||Artist|
|Guest Starring||Bernard White||Denpok (Spiritual Advisor)|
|With||Kid Rock||Himself (as Robert 'Kid Rock' Richie)|
|With||Matt Ross||Gavin Belson|