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!
This week, your friends in podcasting definitely put the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour, not only with the topics they discuss but by recording the show in, you know, Hollywood! That’s right, the “Turlock” drinking game might need to take a couple weeks off, while Dean and Phil discuss jury duty, a forthcoming X-Files/Lone Gunmen virtual convention and a spate of recent “Celebrity Deaths” (including a Supreme Court justice, a founder of Women’s Studies, the founding figure of reggae, a controversial jazz journalist and cultural critic, and more). Phil and Dean sing the praises of the late, great Bea Arthur (discussing both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls”). A comparison of Martin Scorsese to David Lean leads to a conversation about Robert Mitchum. A conversation about last week’s show leads to a discussion of the Vincent Price/Diana Rigg vehicle Theatre of Blood, which leads to a discussion of what it will take for movie theaters – and moviegoing – to survive the pandemic and the digital streaming age. Finally, there is the return of “Lawsuit of the Week” featuring everyone’s (real? phony?) favorite heavy metal act, Spinal Tap!
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.