It truly came from a slightly gimmicky and exciting place. I’d read about rains of frogs in the works of Charles Fort, who was a a turn-of-the-century writer who wrote mainly about odd phenomena. Michael Penn was the one who turned me on to Fort, and who, when I went to one of Michael’s shows in New York once, made reference on stage to “rains of frogs.” At that moment I just went, Wow! How cool and scary and fun to do would that be – and what does it mean?!
So I started writing it into the script. it wasn’t until after I got through with the writing that I began to discover what it might mean, which was this: You get to a point in your life, and shit is happening, and everything’s out of your control, and suddenly, a rain of frogs just makes sense. You’re staring at a doctor who’s telling you something is wrong, and while we know what it is, we have no way of fixing it. And you just go, so what you’re telling me, basically, is that it’s raining frogs from the sky.
I’m not someone who’s ever had a special fascination with UFOs or supernatural phenomena or anything, but I guess I just found myself at a point in my life where I was going through some shitty stuff and I was ready for some sort of weird religion experience, or as close as I could get to one.
So then I began to decipher things about frogs and history, things like this famous notion that, as far back as the Romans, people have been able to judge the health of a society by the health of its frogs. The health of a frog, the vibe of a frog, the texture of a frog, its looks, how much wetness is on it, everything. The frogs are a barometer for who we are as a people. We’re polluting ourselves, we’re killing ourselves, and the frogs are telling us so, because they’re all getting sick and deformed. And I didn’t even know it was in the Bible until Henry Gibson gave me a copy of the Bible, bookmarked to the appropriate frog passage.