The show begins this week with a lot of questions for Dean. What is Sci-Fi Valley Con? Who is Julian? There is/was a TV show called “Supernatural”? Is Detroit really Canada’s Tijuana? And a listener wants to know if Dean got bit by a monkey on “The Lone Gunmen”! You will learn the answers to all these and many more, including what Dean and Phil think of the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special. You will also learn about one of the greatest voices in comedy, about perhaps the greatest Hammond organist of all time, and about one of the most groundbreaking indie filmmakers of all time in “Celebrity Deaths”. After the break, Dean and Phil offer analysis on the new James Bond film’s box office performance in the USA and put that performance into historic context. They will do the same with the film’s quality. Finally, they will reveal what upcoming movies might get them to go back into a movie theater in the coming weeks.
Last week, Dean and Phil ran out of time while discussing a vampire show from Norway that Dean has discovered and is enjoying. They kept recording, however, so this week’s show starts (as a cold open!) with that brief and hilarious discussion. Once the show proper starts, your friends in podcasting send love and best wishes to a dear friend who is having surgery this week. Then, they leap into discussions of the latest show business news, including the IATSE strike authorization vote that might lead to the halt of most television and film production, the resolution of Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney, James Bond saving the global box office, Venom: Let There Be Carnage setting the domestic box office ablaze, and the #1 worldwide box office hit of 2021 that neither Dean nor Phil have seen or even heard of! Phil and Dean then discuss Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and the importance of taking the time to do “nothing”, and what “Loki” season 1 might be telling us about the existence of multiverses. Finally, Dean and Phil celebrate the lives of a pioneer of Japanese anime, one of the best funk and soul bandleaders of all time, a character actor beloved on both the small and big screen, a groundbreaking singer-turned-activist, and two very popular comedians.
Dean fills us in on his spooky adventures at MIParacon (the Michigan Paranormal Convention), including the hilarious new one-man improv show he performed for the first time. He and Phil discuss the return of conventions in the wake of Covid-19. Then Phil regales with a little story about David Duchovny’s new music that took place in Montecito. After that, Dean and Phil get personal, remembering three friends who died recently: the enchanting character actor Howard Fong, the luminous singer Pamela Lillard and the delightful researcher, reviewer, and journalist Skylaire Alfvegren. This leads into a thoughtful conversation about “magical thinking” and “blood sports”. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths” the most Emmy-honored actor, a groundbreaking musical theater performer, an influential rock drummer, a trailblazing rock vocalist and the story of one of rock’s most iconic songs get celebrated.
On last week’s show, Phil introduced what will be a recurring segment for the near future: The overlooked films of 2020. This week, a unique, uniquely painful, esoteric and funny take on both the family drama and the con-artist picture, as well as a superhero movie that really did deserve to be overlooked! Last week, Dean panned a Tom Clancy adaptation written by Taylor Sheridan. This week, another new Taylor Sheridan-scripted actioner gets discussed, this one directed by Sheridan and starring Angelina Jolie. “Celebrity Deaths” is a long-standing segment of the show, but never before have Dean and Phil discussed an actor who worked for 9 decades and died at 106! Phil, is, as listeners will know, a state certified Violence Prevention Specialist. In the wake of the horrific hatred and violence being directed at members of the AAPI community, he decided to augment his training by taking bystander intervention training. He will report on this training, and offer up tips that everyone can use to both #stopthehate and #spreadthelove. And speaking of spreading the love, over the past couple months, your friends in podcasting have begun to check in “on air” with friends of the show who have appeared on past episodes, to see how the year plus of pandemic life has treated them. This week, the great storyboard artist Rob Consing drops by. He discusses the big movies he has been working on, including Morbius and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and he competes against Dean in a round of our new, and apparently popular, vintage movie ad game (where Dean tries to guess the movie from the ad copy Phil reads)!
This week’s show really puts the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! The cold open starts with a quick, wicked and insightful recap of the Writers Guild of America winners for Best Original and Best Adapted screenplays. Spring has sprung and your friends in podcasting are high energy, high-stepping their way through remembrances of 3 actors, a journalist, a beloved children’s book author, a Tuskegee Airman, and the inventor of cassette tapes, as well through a diversity-inspired round of their almost weekly celebration of vintage movie ads from the 1980s and 90s! From there, Dean and Phil set sail for the “Season of Self-Congratulation”, focusing on the forthcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars. They discuss such TV shows as “Ted Lasso”, “Dead to Me” and “The Crown” and such movies as Minari, The Father, Da 5 Bloods, Wonder Woman 1984, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and more! All that plus several of the best directors working in film today: Christopher Nolan, Chloe Zhao and Kelly Reichardt.
In the first half of this week’s show, Dean and Phil discuss the latest controversial news surround filmmakers Joss Whedon and Woody Allen and ask how do we separate the art from the artist? And should we? After that, a Motown great, a rap great, the Godfather of salsa, a groundbreaking singer and DJ, and a pioneer of jazz fusion all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. The second half of the show is part 2 of the roundtable discussion that began last week, where special guests Marc Hershon and Suli McCullough compare notes with Dean about pursuing careers in comedy. On this week’s agenda are the topics of the pandemic and how it has and will change professional comedy, and the importance of pain in comedy.
This week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour is part 1 of a 2 part special episode as Suli McCullough and Marc Hershon return to the show to participate in a panel discussion with Dean, moderated by Phil! Dean, is, of course, known the world over for “The X-Files” and “The Lone Gunmen”. In addition to his many and varied pursuits, he is a veteran of the Vancouver Theatre Sports League, is a renowned improv comic, and has toured the world with his one man improv comedy shows. Marc is a teacher of improv comedy, he has run comedy clubs, he is the creator “Succotash”, the now long-running Comedy Soundcast Soundcast, he has reviewed comedy podcasts for both the Huffington Post and Splitsider, he is the writer of a trio of made-for-TV movies, he is the co-author of “I Hate People” (the guide for getting along in the workplace), and he’s the award-winning editorial cartoonist for the Half Moon Bay Review. Suli has been a stand-up comedian for more than 30 years. As an actor, he has appeared in such movies as the popular spoof Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood and on television in a recurring role on “The Jamie Foxx Show”. He has both written and produced for television, boasting such behind-the-scenes credits as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, ESPN’s “ESPY” Awards, “Lopez Tonight”, the MTV Music Awards, the BET Awards, “Last Comic Standing” and “Def Comedy Jam”. He recently appeared discussing the legacy and influence of Garry Shandling in the Emmy winning documentary, “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” and he produced the documentary feature film about stand-up, Dying Laughing. In part 1, the three men field questions about, and compare notes on, pursuing careers in comedy. They discuss their influences, and reveal when it was that they knew comedy was the life for them!
Frequent contributor and good friend to the show Marc Hershon takes time out of his birthday celebrations to join Phil Leirness for a conversation about several current and recent television series, including “Fargo” Season 4 and “Lovecraft Country”. They also discuss HBO’s “The Watchmen” and Amazon’s “The Boys” in light of recent comments by creator of the original “The Watchmen” graphic novel, Alan Moore, who called superheroes and superhero movies “blights” on our culture. Finally, Marc hits us with a sitcom suggestion from Apple TV+ starring Jason Sudeikis.
Best laid plans … Phil had to hit the road for an emergency trip this week, which inspires him to ask Dean whether “plans” are a thing of the past, a luxury one is foolish to consider in our contemporary world. Of course plans are being made to re-start motion picture and television production, and your friends in podcasting will analyze these plans and how movies and TV shows will be different both on-screen and behind-the-scenes as the industry moves forward. A headline-making shakeup in show business occurred at the vaunted comedy institution Second City in the wake of recent social justice protests. This will get discussed in depth, as will America’s empathy deficit, with some insightful analysis and heartfelt and hilarious stories about empathy, or the lack thereof, from Dean and Phil. So, buckle up, and if this week’s show seems a bit all-over-the-map topically (technically?), well rest assured, that’s because it IS coming at you from … all over the map!
Phil Leirness is joined by music journalist (and friend of the show) Yoshi Kato, who briefly fills in for a tardy Dean Haglund, to discuss the lives and legacies of six notables from the world of music in “Celebrity Deaths”, as well as to set the table concerning a later discussion of Asian Pacific American Heritage month and the 1961 film Flower Drum Song. Dean then arrives just in time to remember a prolific character actor, the decorated police officer who played Eddie Haskell on TV’s “Leave it to Beaver”, and the great Fred Willard. Dean and Phil then answer an email from a loyal listener about an upcoming Michael Bay film set in the world of Covid-19. This leads to a fascinating discussion and argument before attention is turned to the ramping up of film and TV production and the announcement that the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned this September. Dean then sings the praises of two different television series, Phil sings the praises of two classic movies about gambling. Then the conversation turns to the careers of Sessue Hayakawa, one of the first heartthrobs of the silver screen, the hilarious and brilliant Jack Soo, and the tragically overlooked Reiko Sato.