You might not know the name Don Phillips, but you will definitely know the names of many the performers whose careers he launched as a casting director, and the films with which he was involved. He is one of four cultural titans that Dean and Phil remember in “Celebrity Deaths” on this week’s show, including a poet and founder of the mythopoetic men’s movement, an iconic Broadway composer, and a trombonist who received the highest honor ever bestowed on jazz musicians. Dean will update us on the latest in his bout with Covid-19, his travel plans, his live ghost hunts and his “Hellacious Renovations”. Phil will regale us with his birthday adventures, his deep dive into historic movie locations, and his exploration of the Manzanar “War Relocation Center”. Several movies will get analyzed as well, including a Kurosawa classic ripe for a modern-day remake, a film noir with a claim to the best dialogue of any movie ever, and a current box office hit that begs the question, “Does bustin’ make Dean & Phil feel good?”
After a funny cold open where Dean tells about another of his haunted house adventures, Dean and Phil kick off this week’s show by sharing what they are thankful for during this Thanksgiving week, Dean battling Covid-19, Phil reflecting on his mother’s death two years ago. The career of Dean Martin, his work with Jerry Lewis, and a terrific TCM documentary “Dean Martin: King of Cool” all get discussed. A great jazz film from the 1980s, Round Midnight, and the “sacred” aspect of cinema get celebrated. The box office success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife and No Time to Die get analyzed through a very optimistic lens. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean’s love of funk gets exposed, as two great funk stars get remembered, along with a star of HBO’s “Oz”. And speaking of HBO, Dean and Phil tease an upcoming discussion about HBO’s “Succession” and about Will Ferrell’s considerable behind-the-scenes clout in Hollywood.
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.
Saturday was International Ghost Hunting Day and Dean was at the forefront of it. Phil has been thinking a great deal about Buster Keaton, his influence, and other films and filmmakers that might have influenced the making of his beloved Wings of Desire. Phil asks Dean about legendary actress Ruta Lee, and an episode of “The Twilight Zone” in which she starred. One of the greatest banjo players of all time, a giant of reggae, and a founding member of a chart-topping UK pop band all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. In the return of “What We’re Reading”, Dean discusses an artist who was once the most popular in Amsterdam and who has fallen into obscurity. This leads into a fascinating discussion about communicating with the future. Phil is reading a novel that explores two different timelines in the marshes and on the coastline of North Carolina in the 1950s and 60s. Dean and Phil then re-visit last week’s Emmy Awards and do an analytical deep dive into the furor surrounding “Ted Lasso” season 2 and the concept of “public ownership” before reviewing season 1 of “Hacks”. Finally, we want to wish our sponsor, Empire State Gas, Many Happy Returns! Thanks for sponsoring us all these years. You’ve got great gas!
On this week’s installment, you will hear a touching email written by a Dean Haglund fan, one whose entire career path was influenced by Dean! You will also learn what Dean’s 3 favorite places are! One MIGHT be The Magic Castle in Hollywood. At least ten movies will get discussed, including classics starring a few of Dean and Phil’s all time favorite actors as well as two of the best films from 2020 – one an all-time great documentary and the other perhaps the most relevant film to be released all of last year. Finally, Phil wants to discuss three 2021 cinematic releases all starring legendary comedians. One is a horror film, one is an action film and one is a comedy about dementia! And speaking of comedians, Norm MacDonald will get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths” as will one of the greatest contemporary actors, an icon of movie musicals and a pioneering female writer and producer.
The Mayberry Effect is a documentary feature film all about the legacy of, and the continued love for, “The Andy Griffith Show”. On this week’s show, Dean and Phil welcome documentarian Chris Hudson to talk about the movie as well as his career. You might just learn something surprising about Dean Haglund in the process of a delightful, thought-provoking, heartfelt and frequently hilarious conversation!
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.
Pre-recorded this past week in Los Angeles and Birmingham, Michigan, and edited at the Montecito Club weekend, this week’s show features irreverent, insightful and occasionally inspired and inspiring discussion on a wide range of topics, including: The California Gubernatorial Recall Election, a paranormal convention Dean was attending, some long-awaited good news at the North American box office, the recent CinemaCon (a convention for theater owners) and what we learned about Ghostbusters: Afterlife and The Matrix Resurrections, and the 2018 Japanese TV series “Miss Sherlock” and its terrific star Yuko Takeuchi, who committed suicide one year ago. All that, PLUS Phil explains his passing, yet specific, reference to moving back east, which he uttered during episode 88’s drunken, red-wine fueled bacchanal. Safe to say, he is definitely Los Angeles-based for the foreseeable future.