Phil has been chasing trains all over California and he has stories. St. Patrick’s Day was this past week and Dean and Phil have jokes about that. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Oscar-winning actor William Hurt gets remembered and the controversy surrounding celebrations of his legacy will get examined. Star of the original “Godzilla” and a great story about him get discussed, and before the Chillpak Morgue closes, R&B great Timmy Thomas has his praises sung. This is, of course, the biggest week in Hollywood and Dean and Phil “go to the movies” to discuss Steven Spielberg’s next film (a sequel to a 1960s classic), the brilliance and pain and artistry of Richard Pryor as seen in Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip and the inspiring visual storytelling on display in the works of Paolo Sorrentino, specifically his current Oscar nominee for Best International Film, The Hand of God.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that Dean and Phil are offering up a show that is nothing less than a love letter to movies, movie-going AND great comedic acting on television! In addition to a great story about Howard (“Dr. Johnny Fever”) Hesseman that involves the legendary Jack (“Dragnet”) Webb, and analysis of a handful of nominated films, shows and performances, Dean and Phil also engage in free-wheeling discussion about how we judge film and TV, how these works are consumed and what awards shows need to be moving forward. All that, plus a legend of visual effects and the Queen of Italian Cinema both get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
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”.
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”.
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.
After their most drunken episode ever, this week’s show finds Dean back in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham and Phil in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Thanks to an email from a loyal listener and frequent collaborator, they will be revisiting a discussion of Wu Tang Clan from two weeks ago. And thanks to developing news, they will follow up on last week’s discussion of the movement to remove tributes to D.W. Griffith’s legacy in Hollywood. There will be further analysis on the state of the box office in the U.S. and there will be reviews of two new movies: The comedic DC comic book actioner “The Suicide Squad” and a feature documentary about AND photographed by Val Kilmer. Yet another “Night Court” star will get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”, along with the actress daughter of an iconic filmmaker, an award-winning folk music star, and a beloved cast member of TV’s “Sherlock”. Plus, we still have many celebrity death memories (of a Clint Eastwood collaborator, a legendary voice actor, and a best-selling sci-fi author) recorded during last week’s red wine bacchanal that we include at the end of this week’s show!
Phil is back from exploring the east coast of the USA. Dean has been in Los Angeles, celebrating his birthday. You can join them poolside atop a certain “historic building in downtown Los Angeles” for big laughs, a lot of wine, and attempted conversations about Dean’s birthday, the joys of Maine, an awesome bookstore, the influence Jack Benny had a on a great law professor, the movement to tear down a possibly racist monument in Hollywood, Dean’s new show about haunted house renovations, Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney and “sexy Joe Namath”.
Following a “cold open” all about another of Dean’s all-time favorite episodes of “The X-Files”, Dean and Phil open their mailbag to answer questions from listeners like you (yes, YOU!). One email concerns why actor Nicholas Lea never appeared on the spin-off series “The Lone Gunmen” and whether Dean would ever join the internet service “Cameo”. Another is from friend of the show Yoshi Kato, who can’t quite remember whether his friends in podcasting have ever done a show about their favorite movie musicals. They have. And episode #497 is once again available for listening pleasure! Finally, loyal listener and good buddy, Greg Vincent, asks a very compelling question about Blade Runner 2049. Dean offers up a brief review of A Quiet Place Part II, Phil offers up a surprisingly glowing review of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) before launching into an analysis of the head-scratching financial reality of the D.C. Extended Universe. Finally, “The Mod Squad” star Clarence Williams III and 80s “video vixen” Tawny Kitaen get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
Dean and Phil follow up on last week’s awesome show by discussing more about “Hollywood accounting” and how in show biz the “bottom line” is often NOT the bottom line! Last week, while discussing the box office struggles of the brand new In the Heights, Dean and Phil were inspired to look back at two dance films based on the same craze that opened on the same day many years ago, one of which boasted a music score from Phil’s frequent collaborator, Greg De Belles. Greg composed the score for Phil’s Karl Rove, I Love You and for Dean and Phil’s The Truth Is Out There and The Lady Killers. Greg died on Friday, and Dean and Phil speak of their immensely talented friend. Of course, the box office struggles continue, so Dean and Phil discuss how a Pixar movie might have been able to change everything. That leads into a deep dive into Disney +, the movie Soul, the miniseries “WandaVision” and the episodic series “The Mandalorian”. There is also a lot of talk about painting, from the advice given by the great Leigh McCloskey to the thematic approach of the Barbizon school of artists and the brilliance of Julian Schnabel’s Van Gogh film At Eternity’s Gate. Finally, Dean and Phil celebrate the careers of an Oscar-nominated character actor and a beloved sitcom actor and director.