Because Phil is still traveling in Europe, this week’s episode is a very special show. Several weeks back, Slate published a “hit piece” on the comedic actor Martin Short, questioning his talent, his career, and accusing him of being nothing but annoying (while also acknowledging that he might just be the most genuinely decent and kind person in show business). Many people have weighed in and come to Martin Short’s defense since that article. This week, Dean and Phil take their turn, as they count down their all-time Top Ten “Martin Shorts”. Grammatically incorrect? Sure. Fascinating and hilarious? You bet!
Dean came back from PhileFest with a case of the Covid-19 and rumors about the forthcoming reboot of “The X-Files”. Phil questions him about both! Phil also asks about a potential guest on a forthcoming show, before sharing a story of how Ann Arbor, Michigan was named for a family member. Last week’s discussion of some great contemporary Japanese cinema leads to a follow-up about Japan’s entry into this year’s Academy Awards before another cinematic follow-up involves great films made in secrecy. A long overlooked, spooky classic from the 1970s gets celebrated and the latest, rather disturbing news from the Hollywood picket lines gets discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a game show legend, a multiple Emmy Award-winning actor, a chart-topping singer, and two stand-up comedians get remembered.
After a cold open about the founder of Hollywood’s Magic Castle and about the greatest professional football player of all time, this week’s show gets started with Dean discussing upcoming “X-Files” convention appearances. And, thanks to an email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!), Dean will share one of the most hilarious behind-the-scenes stories about the making of “The X-Files”. Another email from friend of the show Maurice Terenzio might just be the funniest Dean and Phil have ever received! It will get shared in all its glory. Movies are foremost on Phil’s mind this week and such titles as Armageddon Time, Renfield and the documentary Lynch/Oz will get discussed, as will a wonderful comedy-horror film called Evil Sublet. The current SAG-AFTRA negotiations with the producers will get touched upon as those negotiations relate to the “Salkind clause”, AI, and soap operas.
On the 8th of May 2007, good friends and collaborators Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness started to “change the way people listen to the internet” with a free weekly podcast called “From the Heart of Hollywood”. Eventually, of course, the show became known as YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour and today the show turns 16 years of age, old enough to drive itself! Your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) commemorate the occasion with very special episode where they discuss the ways the world has changed since they started the show 16 years ago, and how they predict the world will be different 16 years from now!
This week’s show begins with Phil trying to surprise Dean with details of a very famous person who lived in what is now Dean’s hometown of Birmingham, Michigan, and then, Phil tries to stump Dean with a vintage movie ad (from 55 years ago!). Then, because they have been falling behind in discussing “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean and Phil will open the Chillpak morgue to discuss the huge amount of notables who shuffled off their mortal coils in the past week! In part 2, Dean and Phil discuss Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, the latest awards season news (including the SAG, DGA and Producers Guild nominations), and then they conclude with reviews of several films including The Kitchen Brigade, After Yang, Crimes of the Future and Bones and All.
Their cross-country holiday travels behind them, Dean is back in Michigan, Phil is back in Los Angeles, and they will regale you with stories of Hollywood parties, catch you up on awards season news, analyze the merits of two award hopefuls (the disastrous Babylon and the controversial The Whale) and one indie horror film franchise. They will also remember an award-winning cinematographer, an iconic journalist, a revolutionary fashion designer, and one of the most famous athletes of all time in “Celebrity Deaths”.
Happy 2023, everybody! Dean and Phil get the year off to a good start by regaling each other (and you) with their respective holiday week road trip adventures. Dean drove all the way back to Detroit and Phil explored the two-lane back roads of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the mean streets of the Big Apple. Because it’s “in with the new”, your friends in broadcasting and podcasting will reveal their resolutions for 2023. They will also say goodbye to a couple of notables who left us in December 2022, including a key David Lynch collaborator, the “Hollywood Cat” and an editor with whom Phil was working. All in all, a very inspiring and personal and irreverent installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour is on tap!
Next Monday, your friends in broadcasting and podcasting will return with a brand new “live” show that will catch you up on all the news of the season. This week, it’s part two of the road trip adventure Dean and Phil recorded on Friday December 9 when they drove from downtown Los Angeles to Montecito and back. The Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films ever made, the #16 film on that poll, surrealism, dream logic, and the works of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali are the topics that open the proceedings. Then, after a shift to the (very loud) Summerland Beach Café, Phil tackles two films making a lot of Top Ten Lists this year: the donkey adventure tale EO and the latest from auteur Robert Eggers, The Northman. Please bare with the difficult audio, for soon Dean and Phil will be back in the car, riding alongside the sparkling blue Pacific and discussing the Netflix series “1899”, the improv collaborations of Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams, and whole lot of casting “what-ifs”. There is also analysis of a law-change benefiting sexual assault survivors, and a fascinating “trash talk” interaction in the National Basketball Association. Hop in and buckle up!
Recorded late last week from a certain “historic building in downtown Los Angeles”, this episode begins with Phil doffing his cap about what Dean got right in discussing Sarah Polley’s Women Talking a few weeks back AND wagging his finger at what Dean got wrong while discussing Netflix’s “Wednesday” this past week. Phil then hails Joel de la Fuente (of “Man in the High Castle” and most recently “The Mysterious Benedict Society”) as his favorite actor. At that point, Dean and Phil switch gears for a show ten years in the making, analyzing the just-released, decennial Sight and Sound poll of all-time greatest films! What Dean and Phil were expecting and what surprised them leads to what promises to be an ongoing conversation about re-contextualization and the importance of learning how works of art resonate with different groups and different cultures.
Pile into the back of the car, buckle up, and join Dean and Phil, reunited on the mean streets of downtown Los Angeles, as they make their way into Hollywood for a live improv comedy show! On the way there, Dean reveals his Thanksgiving celebrations, Phil reveals his birthday celebrations, and they discuss the life and legacy of Irene Cara, and analyze a very important and interesting weekend at the box office. Such movies as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Spirited and The Fabelmans get reviewed. On the way back downtown, they take a deep dive into different kinds of improv comedy AND improv comics. Dean gets weepy about a robot documentary before he sings the praises of the Netflix series “Wednesday”. Phil does likewise with season 2 of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” before he and Dean close with thoughts about season 2 of “Avenue 5”.