This week’s show really puts the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! The cold open starts with a quick, wicked and insightful recap of the Writers Guild of America winners for Best Original and Best Adapted screenplays. Spring has sprung and your friends in podcasting are high energy, high-stepping their way through remembrances of 3 actors, a journalist, a beloved children’s book author, a Tuskegee Airman, and the inventor of cassette tapes, as well through a diversity-inspired round of their almost weekly celebration of vintage movie ads from the 1980s and 90s! From there, Dean and Phil set sail for the “Season of Self-Congratulation”, focusing on the forthcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars. They discuss such TV shows as “Ted Lasso”, “Dead to Me” and “The Crown” and such movies as Minari, The Father, Da 5 Bloods, Wonder Woman 1984, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and more! All that plus several of the best directors working in film today: Christopher Nolan, Chloe Zhao and Kelly Reichardt.
In the first half of this week’s show, Dean and Phil discuss the latest controversial news surround filmmakers Joss Whedon and Woody Allen and ask how do we separate the art from the artist? And should we? After that, a Motown great, a rap great, the Godfather of salsa, a groundbreaking singer and DJ, and a pioneer of jazz fusion all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. The second half of the show is part 2 of the roundtable discussion that began last week, where special guests Marc Hershon and Suli McCullough compare notes with Dean about pursuing careers in comedy. On this week’s agenda are the topics of the pandemic and how it has and will change professional comedy, and the importance of pain in comedy.
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!
Frequent contributor and good friend to the show Marc Hershon takes time out of his birthday celebrations to join Phil Leirness for a conversation about several current and recent television series, including “Fargo” Season 4 and “Lovecraft Country”. They also discuss HBO’s “The Watchmen” and Amazon’s “The Boys” in light of recent comments by creator of the original “The Watchmen” graphic novel, Alan Moore, who called superheroes and superhero movies “blights” on our culture. Finally, Marc hits us with a sitcom suggestion from Apple TV+ starring Jason Sudeikis.
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.
Dean and Phil discuss Leap Day, tackle the challenges and joys of teaching (improv and acting respectively) and then open the Chillpak morgue to remember a novelist-turned-adventurer, a talk show host-turned-soap opera producer, a quick draw specialist-turned-western star, a psych-rock innovator-turned-dream pop icon, and a mathematician-turned-space program hero in “Celebrity Deaths”. Dean offers up analysis on the “38%” in “Explanation of the Week”. Then, after some appreciation of a Canadian television series (available on Hulu), John Mulaney, David Byrne (and the “Sack Lunch Bunch”), the gents tackle an email from a loyal listener and frequent contributor about the recent practice of releasing “de-colorized” modern movies. Finally, a couple more great movie monologues performed by women get discussed. Something for everyone? We like to think so!
For many years, your friends in podcasting, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness, would reveal their resolutions for the coming year and hold each other’s feet to the fire as they looked back to see how they had fared on the previous year’s resolutions. They are a bit too old, and wise, and honestly, have had too much milk punch to engage in an exercise in depressing humiliation. Instead, on this week’s show, they set their intentions for 2020 by comparing notes on what they are looking forward to in this brand new year. Adventures in travel, comedy, movies, art, health and self-exploration beckon …
Tucker Smallwood is immediately recognizable to fans of science fiction for playing Commodore Ross on “Space: Above and Beyond”, for playing Sheriff Andy Taylor in “Home”, the most notorious of all episodes of “The X-Files”, for playing the flight commander in Contact, for playing the Xindi Humanoid in “Star Trek: Enterprise”, for playing Admiral Bullock in “Star Trek: Voyager” and those are just his highest profile sci-fi roles. An actor, an author, a musician and a decorated military veteran, Tucker Smallwood joins your friends in podcasting to discuss two classic Francis Coppola movies in which he was involved.
It’s our final show before the start of Season 2! After a week off, your friends in podcasting will be moving to ODYSY Radio Network starting Monday December 2nd. Once there, shows will “air” live at 9 pm eastern (becoming available as podcast a few hours later)! On THIS week’s show, our last EVER to exceed one hour (!), Dean and Phil discuss a Veteran’s Day-themed “Live Event of the Week”, remember an actress who starred in a handful of cult classics and the puppeteer responsible for Topo Gigio in “Celebrity Deaths”, compare notes on their upcoming travels, and weigh in on six new, upcoming, or recent movies: The LIghthouse, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Just Mercy, Judy, Tell Me Who I Am, Spider-Man: Far From Home.