Because this show was recorded early Sunday morning, before America awoke to the horrific news of a 2nd mass shooting in a handful of hours, your friends in podcasting only address their thoughts concerning the El Paso shooting – thoughts that concern conspiracy theories, their film The Truth is Out There and more. 12 years ago, Dean and Phil were discussing the “dog days” of summer, “slow news weeks”, the stars that Entertainment Weekly were in love with, a true-life nightmare plane flight, and great sci-fi movies. All those topics get revisited, and a clip of CHH #14 gets shared, in an hilarious segment. Dean and Phil finally answer two emails from listeners, one about an interesting documentary and the other about the lost (?) art of long-form conversation on TV as well as the “rebirth” of Detroit, and the rebuild of one of that city’s icons. All that, plus a great voice performer and a Broadway legend (perhaps THE Broadway legend) get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. 

Although this show is 85 minutes long, there’s no truth to the rumor that we will be changing our name to YOUR “Chillpak Hollywood Hour AND A HALF!” Celebrities just keep on dying and your friends in podcasting keep right on remembering them! On this week’s show, music legend João Gilberto, Disney star Cameron Boyce, “Laugh-In” comic Arte Johnson, and automotive icon Lee Iacocca have their lives and accomplishments celebrated. Then, Dean and Phil dig into the archives to sample what they were talking about 12 years ago this week. Roswell, UFOs and an ill-fated “sister” podcast all get discussed. After that, Dean and Phil share an email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) involving the best ways to ensure a television series’ quality during its entire run. This leads to a conversation about the best TV finales, the worst TV finales and how lucky we are when some awesome shows don’t even GET finales! Oh, yeah, and Phil has eye surgery and post-op procedure stories to share! 

Oh, man, is this week’s show a good one! 72 minutes long and featuring a “cold open” AND an “Easter egg” (post-credits scene?), this epic installment boasts big laughs,. two poems, celebrations of the lives of poet Mary Oliver, Tuskegee Airman John “Jack” Lyle, Broadway legend Carol Channing, CIA Operative Tony Mendez, and a tribute to good friend of the show John Girodo, who was feted as one of L.A.’s Impact Makers to Watch in 2019. There is all that, PLUS Dean and Phil engage in a thoughtful, fascinating discussion about recent movie casting controversies and Dean regales us with reviews of three TV series available now for binging!

We were going to say that after a one-week absence (during which they released a spectacular pre-recorded episode with a special guest), your friends in podcasting come out with guns blazing … And then, as they were getting set to record, ANOTHER mass shooting in the USA occurred. Dean and Phil address the event and get into a seriously fascinating conversation about rage and despair and about how people can obtain the tools necessary to explore these bedrock emotions without being taken by them. Then, in the return of “Live Events of the Week”, Tchaikovsky and a non-binary gender identifying performer are celebrated, and Dean discusses his “Down Under Bucket List”, including scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef (a list item he has checked off, thank you very much!). Romantic comedies and diversity both get discussed in the wake of Crazy Rich Asians‘ box office success (and surprisingly decent reviews) and the documentary profile Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda gets recommended. Finally, the Chillpak Morgue is opened for “Celebrity Deaths” where the lives, accomplishments and lasting impacts of a true American hero, a giant of international diplomacy, the Oscar-nominated actress who founded modern improv, the journalist who coined the phrase “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” and the Queen of Soul are all remembered. All that AND Phil finally learns the usage of modern-day pronouns!