This week’s show opens with a brief interview with one of the stars of a “Live Event of the Week”. Dean is in Washington, D.C. and he gives a full report on one of the most beautiful road trip sights he has seen and an exhibit at the National Gallery focusing on Joseph Singer Sargent. Phil has just returned from his (penultimate?) trip to Turlock to finalize “family business” and he is in an exhausted, tormented, philosophical mood, opining on family, marriage, and alternate universes. The comedy of the Marx Brothers, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and See How They Run gets dissected, and in “What We’re Reading” the art of Edward Hopper, the comedy of Martin Short and the poetry of Betsy Holleman Burke get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, the lives and legacies of a Canadian voice actor, a Japanese star of an American miniseries, a blues singer, a sitcom producer and a law student-turned-best selling novelist all get explored.
During this week’s cold open, Dean and Phil finish up their discussion of Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon, offering up some final movie recommendations. Phil is back after a lengthy trip to the east coast and he returns with tales of a Shakespeare Theater production about Leonardo Da Vinci and thoughts inspired by Hurricane Ian about how human beings become fixated on the statistically anomalous and he also shares with Dean the exciting way in which their former podcasting home – the Eastern Columbia Building – had a starring role in the new season of Amazon’s fashion competition show “Making the Cut”. Loyal listener Maurice Terenzio checks in with a thought-provoking email that brings the conversation back to Marlon Brando before the return of Lawsuit of the Week focuses Dean and Phil’s attention onto the ill-fated Alec Baldwin western Rust. Celebrity Deaths begins by bringing the conversation once again back to Marlon Brando (!) with a remembrance of activist and artist Sacheen Littlefeather. Many other notables get remembered as well, including an Oscar-winning actress, a comedic “love goddess”, a comic book artist who dazzled live audiences, and a chart-topping rapper-turned-reality star. Finally, two movies get reviewed: the current whodunit theatrical release See How They Run and the 2020 Netflix offering from Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
On this week’s episode, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off last week when they were discussing the SAG Award winners. Specifically, they will analyze what the foreign-language “Squid Game” winners tell us about the ways Americans in general (and younger generations in particular) consume their entertainment and their openness to subtitles. This conversation continues with a review of the multiple Academy Award-nominated Norwegian film The Worst Person in the World. Other nominated films get reviewed, including Coda, and the 1961 classic Judgment at Nuremberg gets reappraised. The box office triumph of The Batman and what it might mean for movie-going gets examined. An awards season controversy and what it means for the Best Picture odds of The Power of the Dog get dissected. Dean offers up a BBC Series recommendation. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, one author, three musicians, and the “Freddy Krueger of Magic” get remembered.
Dean and Phil get the ball rolling by discussing the most “fun” (?) cities in California. Then they discuss the role film critics play as we emerge from a pandemic. The quality and box office fortunes of The French Dispatch, The Eternals, Last Night in Soho, Dune, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time to Die get analyzed and discussed. Phil sings the praises of a great Japanese film, a legendary Japanese actor, and a charismatic Japanese pop star. Dean sings the praises of Benedict Cumberbatch and his new film about a famous artist. Phil sings the praises of Mike White’s satirical “The White Lotus” and tackles the controversy surround Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” from a much different angle. Finally, Dean intrigues Phil with his description of Channing Tatum’s Amazon Prime series “Comrade Detective”.
After a cold open in which Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness celebrate the fact that YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour becomes a teen-ager this week, they launch into what they do best, trying to make sense of a (Covid-19) world gone wild with humor, insight, irreverence and inspiration. In the return of “Wingnut of the Week”, Dean and Phil offer a wag of the finger at Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and a doff of the cap to UFO “truthers”. In “Celebrity Deaths”, they pay tribute to a true titan of comedy publishing and filmmaking, an international star who broke big in both Bollywood and Hollywood, a character actor-turned-casting director, an influential folk singer, and the musician who turned Hugh Grant into a pop star! Then, your friends in podcasting tackle how Covid-19 will affect the up-coming television season, and how it will affect the Oscars, before turning their attention to what years in cinema might rival 1962 as the best year ever for movies!
Sure, Covid-19 may be no laughing matter, but Phil Leirness gets things started with a quarantine lockdown joke nonetheless before he and Dean Haglund dig down into the protests surrounding stay-at-home orders, the hopes they have for how society might change in the long-term, and about the dangers of placing your faith in “distrust”. Ageism in Hollywood gets discussed, and then “Star Trek: Picard” and season 2 of “Star Trek: Discovery” get compared and get praised before the commercial break. In the back half of the show, Phil regales Dean with “Star Trek”-related tales involving the likes of JJ Abrams and … Toshiro Mifune?! In “Celebrity Deaths”, two of the all-time great character actors, three legendary jazz musicians, a ground-breaking sculptor, a pop-culture influencing illustrator, an award-winning cinematographer, and a glass-ceiling breaking animator get remembered. Keep calm, stay safe, and enjoy YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
This week’s episode spans some serious ground both thematically and geographically. In the USA’s capital, Phil Leirness recorded a very special (and hilarious) opening, before traveling to Baltimore to interview great friend of the show Page Branson, an artist, illustrator and podcast host. Then, it’s off to Brooklyn for a chat with the writer/performer of more than one Chillpak Hollywood Hour theme song, Mr. Jon Lawlor. Then, it’s back to Dallas for some improv comedy courtesy of your friend in podcasting, Mr. Dean Haglund.