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!
A question from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) leads to a passionate and thoughtful discussion about what television and movies you should be watching while no new television and movies are being made due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes. Moreover, Dean and Phil will discuss the ways all of us can greatly improve the chances of an equitable outcome to the contractual impasses. In honor of the actors, four frequently overlooked films boasting excellent performances by major stars will get remembered. And two of the greatest films of all time will get analyzed. Plus, this week’s show includes more on Raging Bull, further insights into “wabi-sabi”, and the return of “The Live Event of the Week”.
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!
In some ways this week’s episode is a continuation of last week’s show, with more hilarious, puzzling, controversial or just plain delightful movie ads from the 80’s or 90’s, and an email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) following up on last week’s remembrance of David Lander and his death from Multiple Sclerosis. There is also another email that contains a job offer for Dean, who will update us on his ice cream making and on his graphic novel. Phil wants to discuss caramel, Captain Morgan’s spiced rum and an apparently controversial Uber Eats advertising campaign. Two new documentaries available on Showtime, must viewing for those interested in comedy, movies, music and culture, will get discussed. The controversial decision by Warner Brothers to release their entire 2021 theatrical slate directly to HBO Max will get analyzed. Two indelible actors, a giant of espionage and of spy fiction, a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, and one legendary, military maverick 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!
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.
This week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour is a 75 minute, globe-trotting, space-faring, time-traveling adventure. 12 years ago this week, your friends in podcasting were discussing San Diego Comic-Con and “Star Trek”. This week, they are STILL discussing Comic-Con and “Star Trek”! They are also discussing the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, great space movies, the Emmy nominations, great comedy shows, racism, freedom of speech and binge-watching. If you are going to be in Detroit this week, why not see Dean perform his live improv episode of “The X-Files”?