Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Shane & Ryan Visit A Secret Breakfast Club • Weird Wonderful World

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(mysterious ping)

- The world is weird.

- And/or wonderful.

- I'm taking my curious little pal Ryan Bergara

around to explore every last little bit of it.

- Where are we today, Shaney boy?

- We're at the Los Angeles Breakfast Club

(retro triumphant music)

- [Ryan] Los Feliz, California.

Founded in 1924 by a group of chatty,

entrepreneurial equestrians,

the Los Angeles Breakfast Club was the social club

for the kind of person who was fed up

with being in social clubs.

And for nearly a century,

the club has convened on a weekly basis

here in the Friendship Auditorium,

where they swap tales, meet new friends,

and scarf down a bountiful breakfast.

Now, before we get to our square meals,

a special thanks to Squarespace

for sponsoring today's episode.

Hey, need a website?

Squarespace! Obviously.

Now, onto the ham and eggs.

My colleague and I met up at the Friendship Auditorium

one funny, sunny morning and we're immediately swept up

into a world of breakfast based ritual

as we learned the secret handshake, cool.

After adhering some very official name tags,

we caught up with Phil Leirness,

who was more than happy to give us the skinny.

- Phil.

- Yes, Shane, Ryan.

- Thank you for having us here.

- Oh, thank you for being here.

Thank you for dressing like you're a professor

with a secret.

- Well, that's my overall vibe.

- He also does look like Jack Torrance,

we are in the Shining kind of environment.

- [Phil] Okay. - [Shane] That's true.

- [Phil] Shining is good.

Breakfast club has been described as

a Prairie Home Companion as directed by David Lynch.

- Oh, I love that

- That's gorgeous. That's a gorgeous description.

So the club initially started out as sort of

a way to book the tradition of clubs, right?

- Yeah, and what they create is this ritual

of not being able to take yourself seriously,

which I respect,

but within 10 years, it's the organization in LA

that anyone who's anyone has to be a member of.

- It's kind of funny how that works out.

- You die a hero or live long enough to see yourself,

what does Two Face say?

- Well you somehow butchered a two sentence saying.

- What does Two Face say?

- You either die hero

or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

- There's a lot of talk about death in my interview

all of a sudden.

- I apologize.

- I'm made very uncomfortable by that.

- I apologize.

- [Shane] With little time to lose,

we set on our way to the buffet,

but as you'd expect at a place called

the Friendship Auditorium, we took maybe five steps

before we were intercepted by Dawna.

You'll love Dawna.

- We have so much fun here with different people coming.

Producers, writers, a lot of creative people are here.

I painted cartoons in the seventies, so that's my thing.

- That's incredible.

- Yeah, Scooby-Doo? - Oh!

- And all that.

There's just so much talent in this room

and such beautiful people.

- I love it.

And you've only been coming here a couple of years

and you've already made some fast friendships.

- We're out together all the time.

- [Phil] You have a wonderful buffet breakfast.

You sit down with friends you've known for a while

or friends you're meeting for the very first time.

No one here has breakfast with strangers.

That's a guiding principle of the club.

- It's hard to make friends in a big city is what I've,

I moved here from Chicago.

I only made one friend.

And my girlfriend, so that's two.

- Well you can't say that now.

- Well now I got three.

With Dawna's welcoming words ringing in our hearts,

we descended upon the panoply of breakfast booty.

I have a real problem when it comes to buffets.

So does my colleague.

We're sick, sick in away you can't fix.

Look at that pile of bacon.

- Oh, I can't wait to stuff myself silly.

- Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

- Think of my body as like a giant water balloon.

I'm going to pack it full of food and pastry and eggs-

- You know we don't have to do this?

- Until I burst like a Rorschach blot on the canvas of life.

- Moderation is key, I think.

Oh there's cake here.

- I don't like cake, the frosting makes my stomach hurt.

I get a little-

- Oh, suddenly you're backtracking, huh?

- Well cause cake, the frosting makes my tummy hurt!

- I understand.

- Also, I don't really like ham.

(Ryan screams)

- Careful buddy, sausage almost got away from you, there.

- It did.

- Almost lost your sausage!

- Happens to me every day.

- Wait, what?

- Morning.

- Morning! It's our first time.

- Welcome!

- Thank you! I love you hat.

- [Man] You should sit at the Rooster Table

- I've heard good things about the Rooster.

Dawna has told us that the Rooster Table is where to be.

- Oh yeah, Dawna's right on the money.

- Okay. Have you guys frequented the Rooster Table?

- We are the Rooster Table.

- You're the Rooster Table. - Oh, hell yeah.

I'm Shane, this is Ryan. Oh, sorry,

yeah, I keep forgetting the handshake thing.

No, do the handshake.

- I'm doing the handshake.

Hi, nice to meet you.

- [Shane] After sitting down

and saying hello to many more people,

we settled in for the festivities,

which began promptly.

Announcements, funny folks, applause.

Exactly what you'd hope for while comfortably sitting back

and shoveling eggs into your gaping mall.

- [Man] Happy birthday, Breakfast Clubbers!

I have to tell you this morning that it took Lily,

Phil, and I to keep Richard from wearing his birthday suit!

(Crowd cheers)

Please welcome to the podium, your master of ceremonies

and our favorite ham and egger, Mr Richard Gilson!

(crowd cheers)

- Happy birthday, Breakfast Club!

- [Crowd In Unison] Happy Birthday!

- This club is older than I am.

Yeah, I'm only 88 and you're 95!

- [Ryan] Then, in what would be the first

of many participatory exercises,

we as newcomers were involved in the introductions contest,

in which people are introduced.

So, we were introduced.

- [Man] Ryan's hobbies include:

a love of the Los Angeles Lakers,

(one or two cheers)

- He creates, well, as you can see, cultural documentaries.

(a few more cheers)

- Oh! And he acts.

(crowd laughs)

Next we have Shane, if you would please stand, sir.

He has a wonderful kitty who makes him smile every day.

He is peripatetic philosopher,

practicing walking meditation.

He's also a producer, director,

and writer of documentary films.

(crowd cheers)

And now, the moment you've all be waiting for,

where Richard Gilson uses no judging criteria whatsoever

to decide the winning table.

(banging cutlery)


- The Mafia table gets it this morning!

- [Shane] Apparently, we weren't introduced well enough

because we didn't win the contest.

But it's not about winning.

It's about breakfast and friendship.

So, whatever, I didn't like that stupid contest anyway.

We got up to meet more people.

- [Phil] The diversity of membership,

especially the diversity in ages.

We have members who are 18 years old,

members who are older than the club itself.

Where else do you go to see such a free

and easy mingling across generations,

where everyone is a peer to each other?

And I can't think of it.

- Our generation,

when there's groups of people who have something in common,

it's online in forums or things like that.

- It's nicer to be more present

and talk, in person, with people.

- Well, and to get to explore the art of conversation.

- Yes.

- As opposed to the art of written communication.

- I love the suit by the way.

- Thank you.

- Corduroy.

- [Ryan] It's about more than eatin' and greetin', though,

as Phil explains.

- After about a half hour, we do calisthenics.

- [Ryan] It is a curious combination,

eating to the point of combustion,

but also moving your body in a way that is entirely alien

to a slovenly hog like myself.

But I do recommend it,

especially in a room full of people wearing pleasant hats

and nice slacks.

Oh, look,

now we're doing a different kind of funny dance.

A couple of jazzy fellas.


Look at that lady, really getting into it.

I guess everybody's kind of enjoying it.

That lady, especially.


- Out. In.

(All That Jazz playing on the piano)

- Up. Up. Out.

- Jesus, I never got it.

- Up, out, in.

(crowd cheers)

- I yelled it on that last one.

- [Shane] And then, faster than you can flip an omelet,

the lights were dowsed,

and the hall was filled with the thunderous sounds

of a piano as everyone launched

into the spirited howling of breakfasts singalongs.

Ham and eggs, ham and eggs

I like mine fried good and brown

I like mine friend upside down

Ham and eggs, ham and eggs

Flip 'em, flop 'em

Flip 'em, flop 'em

Ham and eggs

(crowd cheers)

- [Shane] Whoa, boy.

- [Ryan] What's happening now?

Sea, sea, sea

Oh why are you angry at me

Ever since I left Dover

I thought the boat would go over

Dear, oh dear

I've a queer sort of feeling in me

If I once reach the shore

I shall say au revoir

To the sea, sea, sea

Sea, sea, sea

Oh why are you angry at me

Ever since I left Dover

I thought the boat would go over

Dear, oh dear

I've a queer sort of feeling in me

If I once reach the shore

(singing breaks down into indistinct shouting)

(crowd cheers)

- That was like Willy Wonka on the boat!

- [Ryan] Lunacy!



Also, cake, I guess.

- [Shane] Oh my. That is a large cake.

- I love the smell of cake.

Just can't eat it.

- Why can't you eat cake?

- The frosting upsets my little tummy.

- I've seen you eat like a garbage can full of,

just, garbage.

- A garbage can full of garbage.

- It's very early in the morning.

- How long'd it come up with that one?

(slurps tea)

- And now the birthday boy,

Maurice Terenzio will lead us through the mysteries

of the cryptogram!

- [Shane] Hell yeah, all right.

Now it's time for the cult stuff.

I mean just kidding. Kind of.

Anyway, this is the Breakfast Club's famous cryptogram.

See if you can crack it here and if not,

don't worry, we'll explain.

- Okay, let's go for it.

- [In Unison] F, V, N, E, M?

S, V, F, M.

F, V, N, E, X?

S, V, F, X.

Oh, I, C,

V, F, M, N eggs!

- Am I getting hypnotized like the Winter Solider right now?

- You are.

Wait to you see what you're gonna be doing on camera.

- I just got activated.

- [Shane] F V any ham?

Yes, we have ham.

F V any eggs?

Yes, we have eggs.

Oh, I see.

- I get it, I just want to hear you say the rest.

- We have ham and eggs.

- Shortly after I'd became a member or just before that,

I was at the farmer's market in Los Feliz.

Some man that I'd never seen before,

went up to his companion,

looked in the bag

and said F, V, N, E, X?

S, V, F, X.

- Yeah.

- And, you know, my mouth is a gape and hers is, too.

And she asked him, what the heck are you talking about?

And he says, oh,

it's something my father listened to every week,

because the Breakfast Club was, at one time,

the longest running radio show, anywhere in the world.

Warner Brothers Radio in the late 1920s

started broadcasting the meetings nationwide.

- So what you're saying is the best approach,

now that we'll have been to one meeting,

is to every stranger we see on the street,

whisper F, U, N, D, X.

- No, don't start with F you.

- I was about to say, maybe not.

- Don't start anything-

- Sorry, F V.

- [Ryan] Physical exertion done and over with,

we sputtered through some historical club trivia.

We knew none of the answers because, you know,

we'd never been here.

- What did Maurice DeMond do for a living?

- He was a painter, he's a painter.

A banker? A banker?

- Juliet Leach?

- Was he a lawyer?

- He was not a lawyer, that cost you three points.

(crowd cries out in shock)

- A college professor?

- He was not a college professor!

He had a shop, downtown, on Broadway, Maurice DeMond,

the founder of the club,

you should all be ashamed of yourself.

(crowd laughs)

- There is a hidden compartment on the back.

- Like a magic trick.

- This is good, this is some David Blaine stuff.

- In the hidden compartment?

- Yes, sir?

- [Man] The hidden object.


- Can we be less specific?

Anybody, anybody?


- [Carole] The gavel?

- That's a real thing, that is not in there.

So let's give her three quarters of a point.

Don't frown,


That's costing them a point.

(crowd boos)

- "Don't frown, Carole".

(Shane laughs)

- I love this.

This is like Who's Line Is It Anyway.

- What's actually inside the pyramid?

- A lady who thinks she's in a cake.

- Bones.

- Bones?

- Kinky, but wrong.

- Nothing!

- 'Nothing' is the right answer!

(crowd cheers)

- Our winning table, right,

is the Konrad Monti Smoking Section!

So as you welcome into your midst Rocking Horse Ham-

- [Ryan] You know, that horse could have been ours.

- [Shane] We didn't know any of the answers.

- Whose fault is that?

- I mean, both of us, I guess.

- Before we started filming, Shane said,

"I don't need to know history; I am history".

What'd you mean by that?

- I mean, I am history.

That sounds bad, like I'm going to die.

I was never very religious growing up,

but I sort of understand what church is.

- This is, this is church to me.

I didn't know that I had a hunger for anything like that,

until I was here once a week, early in the morning,

with a hundred other Angelenos

to be brought closer to the nourishing truth of

what it means to be a human being

and what it means to be living in this city in particular.

- [Ryan] And to cap things off: poetry. Aw.

- First is about breakfast.

Sorry I spilled it.

The ham's on your pillow and the egg's in your sheet;

the bran muffins rollin' down under your feet.

There was milk in the mattress and juice on the spread.

Well, you said that you wanted your breakfast in bed.

(crowd laughs)

Of course, what our club is actually about: friendship.

I will not play a tug o' war.

I'd rather play a hug o' war,

where everyone hugs instead of tugs,

where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,

where everyone kisses and everyone grins,

and everyone cuddles and everyone wins.

(crowd applauds)

- Nice way to wrap it up.

A little bit sentimental.

And that about did it for our maiden voyage

with the Los Angeles Breakfast Club.

Let's enjoy some parting words

and then bring this puppy on home.

- See you next Wednesday, March 11th,

when we welcome SpongeBob head writer, Steven Banks.

- Lovely!

- A lovely ceremony.

- A lovely ceremony.

- [Woman] Did you have fun?

- I had so much fun.

- I had a lot of fun.

- I am very full right now.

(women laugh)

- I am sedate.

- Thank you.

- Thank you guys.

- Nice to meet you.

- Oh yeah, we'll talk.

- Oh, what are these?

- There we go.

- Sorry.

- Oh, thank you.

- There you go.

Thank you, I hope you come back.

It was so much fun having you guys here.

Thank you for shepherding us.

- Okay, I know the weathers different up there.

- Are you giving them lemons?

- She gave us lemons.

- To see what they do with them?

- Make lemonade.

- They need lemons to remember us by!

- What'd you think of that?

LA breakfast club.

(Ryan groans loudly)

- Okay.

Somebody had a lot of bacon.

- That was nice.

It's nice to walk into a room full of people

who you don't know

and make some friends.

- But it's true, you can go to any sort of club,

but a club that is specifically focused

around being friends.

It's a nice thing to visit.

- If I talk to a stranger,

the way I talk to strangers in there,

I'd probably be in handcuffs in five minutes.

- Well, you're a weirdo.

If you too are looking for friends

and happen to be in Los Angeles

on a sunny Wednesday morning,

stop on by the Friendship Auditorium

here in sunny Los Angeles.

- I thought you were going to go:

'If you're ever looking for friends in the sunny town,

Los Angeles on a Wednesday morning, may I recommend'-

- Ryan Bergara!

- The Shrine of Friendship!

(Shane laughs)

- Is above your head!

- I thought-

- Man!

- I thought you were saying 'Hey, give Ryan a call,

He'll come hang out with ya'.

- Gah!

- Did we get an answer on the lemons?

Is this a rental?

- I don't know. I'm gonna eat it.

- Yeah, me too.

I love lemons.

- Me too.

(Shane sniffs)

- Don't do that. - We'll see you next week!

(both laugh)

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(retro upbeat music)

The Description of Shane & Ryan Visit A Secret Breakfast Club • Weird Wonderful World