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 (in Detroit) and Phil (in Los Angeles) celebrate the lives of three amazing women: Performer-turned-novelist Echo Brown, Pilot-turned-architect Beverly Willis, and Detroit’s very own screen legend Piper Laurie. The latest implosion in the negotiations between the actors and the studios gets discussed, analyzed, and what it means for TV and Film production gets predicted. Where television is concerned, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting offer up thoughts on the recent social media furor surrounding Martin Short, and the merits of “Only Murders in the Building” season 3, “Reservation Dogs” season 3, and “Our Flag Means Death” season 2. Where movies are concerned, Dean checks in with a review of The Creator, while Phil weighs in on William Friedkin’s final film and Wes Anderson’s brand new Roald Dahl adaptations for Netflix.
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.
This week, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off … With Dean enjoying the weather in Michigan, Phil in COVID isolation in Los Angeles, and Robert Blake’s Cinefantastique interview about David Lynch’s Lost Highway providing the basis for a “cold open”. The themes of transition, embracing what wants to come forward, emotional intelligence and more get explored deeply in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal-themed discussion doesn’t end there, as Pablo Lorrain’s Princess Diana biopic Spencer goes under the microscope. That just starts the movie talk, though, as after raving about Joanna Hogg and her films The Souvenir and The Souvenir: Part II, Phil previews her new film, a mysterious ghost story, The Eternal Daughter, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Praise gets heaped upon filmmaker Steve McQueen and two of the films he made for his “Small Axe” series available on Prime: Mangrove and Lovers Rock. Finally, Dean and Phil wrap things up by analyzing three comic book movies (and the industry built on comic book movies): Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (NOT a comic book movie, you say? Just listen – you might change your mind!).
If you’re in the USA, we hope you are having/had a wonderful Labor Day. If you are elsewhere in the world, we wish you a wonderful Monday! Either way, we think this installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour will help you get the week off to a good start! Phil is playing hurt, battling COVID, migraines AND the intense L.A. heat wave, yet nevertheless brings his “A” game as he and Dean take their talk of “transitions” to a whole new level, thanks to a beautiful email from a listener like you (yes, YOU!). Dean saw Bullet Train and has a lot of thoughts. Phil weighs in on The Souvenir: Part II and shares a wonderful story about acting based on Robert Blake’s experiences making David Lynch’s Lost Highway.
It’s Halloween season, so this week, Dean and Phil will get into the spooky spirit of things by celebrating “All of the Them Witches” – programming a dream film festival of witch-themed double-features! Of course, there is a ton of spooky, unsettling and downright terrifying show biz news for them to cover as well, including the potential resolution of the IATSE conflict with the AMPTP prior to almost all film and television productions getting shut down, the messy publicity slaughterhouse that continues to ensue following Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ response to it, and a little bit of “inside” info regarding Marvel’s Black Widow. All that, plus really good box office news and a pioneering animator, a chart-topping bassist, and a best-selling YA novelist get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
This week’s show begins with birthday wishes for Page Branson and Dean Haglund, both of whom turn one year older this week! Then, the show makes the ol’ Chillpak pivot from celebrating birthdays to “Celebrity Deaths”! The fascinating lives and careers of two-time Oscar-winning Best Actress Olivia De Havilland and perennial television host Regis Philbin get discussed before Phil and Dean remember Phil’s friend of more than 20 years, John Saxon, who appeared in more than 200 movies and TV shows, including Phil’s 1998 film The Party Crashers. In the second half of the episode, your friends in podcasting pick up on a conversation from a couple weeks back about the all-time greatest Canadian films. Dean and Phil each share five Canadian movies that might not be worthy of that august list, but are certainly worth your time!
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!
From the inner space of quiet, self-quarantine lockdowns, to the outer space of “Star Trek: Picard”, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness take you on quite the journey this week! It starts with their latest observations about themselves and others in the wake of another week of isolation. Sadness, quiet and dehumanization are on the thematic menu! They then compare notes on their respective Easter celebrations, which leads to a discussion of a couple of classic musicals: 1934’s Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle The Gay Divorcee and 1948’s seasonal staple Easter Parade, starring Astaire and Judy Garland. The recent, modern classic, Uncut Gems gets championed by Phil, who tries to get Dean to overcome his trepidation surrounding Adam Sandler performances (and yet, Dean once championed You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, so go figure!). The second half of the show consists of Dean and Phil comparing the years in cinema 1973 and 1974, discussing all the notable films from those two halcyon years, in hopes of determining which year might challenge 1962 as the greatest year in cinema. Finally, your friends in podcasting beam up to the La Sirena to discuss and debate what went right and what went wrong in season one of “Star Trek: Picard”, a show so successful that a big-screen movie version is already in the planning stages.