This week’s show runs the gamut culturally, from a production of “Uncle Vanya” in “Live Event of the Week” and a discussion about whether the play is a comedy, to stories of jury duty prompted by a “Lawsuit of the Week”, from an excellent documentary recommendation by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) to a deep dive analysis of the U.S. box office (including a quiz!). The success of Where the Crawdads Sing gets paid particular attention, as does the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. The once-every-ten years Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films ever made leads to a discussion of the Daniels, Edgar Wright and Roy Andersson. Finally, great stories about the making of David Lynch’s Dune, Blue Velvet and The Straight Story get shared.
Because Phil had to travel to Turlock, that means two things for this week’s show: 1) It features a cameo by Dean’s “Lord Turlock” character, and 2) The show was pre-recorded. And it’s a good one, wherein Dean and Phil drill down into the improv form known as “deconstruction” in “Live Event of the Week” and while posing the question “Why can’t we have nice things?” the bombing and destruction of the Georgia Guidestones gets discussed. In a “What We’re Reading” all about the FBI, the influence of “The X-Files” and misogyny, Dean provides a full book report on a terrific work in anticipation of its author being a guest on a future episode of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! Instead of “Celebrity Deaths”, your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) celebrate the 100th birthday of Hollywood’s greatest icon, which leads to favorite stories about Kenny Rogers and Steve Martin. Finally, the Emmy Award nominations get unpacked, with Phil wagging a finger at the omissions of “Reservation Dogs” and Selena Gomez, and particular attention gets paid to “Abbott Elementary” and to the horse race for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Dean and Phil knew they were going to be celebrating the career of the great actor and star James Caan on this week’s show and then the floodgates opened, with many beloved character actors exiting the stage, so after a brief and hilarious cold open, Season 3 Episode 23 begins with “Celebrity Deaths”. Then, the whole concept of “celebration” as a lost “art” gets explored, before your friends in podcasting use it as a springboard to discuss several current television series and a handful of truly brilliant performances. The big screen will not be ignored either, as the cinematic output of Edgar Wright gets examined through the prism of his recent ghost story (Last Night in Soho) and a baseball comedy classic from the 1970s gets revisited.
This week’s show is a bit of a pastiche, cut together from snippets of different conversations Dean and Phil have had these past couple weeks. So, after a hilarious “audio check” cold open, if you hear references to topics not yet covered, don’t worry, it all weaves together wonderfully by the end in what might just be one of our best shows of the year! Phil discusses the forthcoming Netflix reboot of Beverly Hills Cop and the (unwanted by the producers) role he might play in it, and whether its filming location means he lives closer to Detroit than Dean does! The subject of “soft tissue” and the importance of stretching and yoga get discussed in the wake of Phil learning about what it means to “pop a rib”. The reason firefighters carry axes gets explained. The graphic design creative explosion that was the late 70s and early 80s is the subject of a gallery exhibit at the Pacific Design Center and it leads Dean to reminisce. When he was in London, did Dean experience the magic of the Elizabeth Line? And did he get to England through the worst itinerary ever? And what exactly did he get wrong when describing the Billy Wilder failure Kiss Me Stupid? These questions all get answered and the great improv comic turned successful character actor Mike Hagerty gets remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. And if that weren’t enough, Phil takes the time to interview Russ Haslage about his career in radio, the “wonder” of Subspace, and the history of the fine works by The Federation (and how YOU can help)!