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!
Those of you who have been longtime listeners know that Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness have a lot of practice in trying to make sense of a world seemingly gone wild, and having witnessed them do that for almost 13 years on YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour, you know that they can bring insight, irreverence and the inspirational no matter the circumstances. On this week’s show, they will discuss how they had apparently been preparing to be on lockdown for a year or more, what they have witnessed in the wake of Covid-19’s rapid spread and what’s right about it all. They will discuss the potential future impacts on movies and television. They will discuss what they have been watching of late. They will remember a great comedic TV actor, an Oscar-nominated actor, a ground-breaking radio host, and a trailblazing playwright. Oh, yeah, and they have a fascinating discussion analyzing the marketing of a Matthew McConaughey movie that bombed in 2019!
This week’s show is a little more than one day late, but we think it proves worth the wait! Dean gets things started with a “Live Event of the Week” review of Madonna in concert (in Chicago) and a preview of his own Halloween night improv episode of “The X-Files” (in Detroit). In “Celebrity Deaths” the lives and accomplishments of a giant of the U.S. Congress, a country music radio legend, a television creator and a sitcom star are remembered. This leads to a brief discussion of two current television series that are absolute crushing it (the second of which is a must-see for fans of “The X-Files” and which leads to an appraisal of the tone shifts in “The Lone Gunmen”)! A short while back, Dean and Phil dipped their toes into the National Basketball Association’s strained relationship with China and posited that rough days could be ahead for Hollywood in its never-ending quest to open the Middle Kingdom. And that was before Quentin Tarantino got involved! So, this topic gets re-visited and re-examined before Dean and Phil launch into an all-out analysis of the restored “classic”, The Cotton Club Encore.
Phil was out late imbibing. Dean has been battling a bad late summer cold. Yet, somehow, they both come out guns blazing! This week’s show begins with several “Live Events of the Week”, ranging from immersive theatre to a Halloween X-Files improv show, from Leif Erikson Day to the first mixed cocktail! Then, it’s time for “Celebrity Deaths” wherein legendary journalists Cokie Roberts and Sander Vanocur, and performers Suzanne Whang, Aron Eisenberg and Sid Haig are remembered. From there, it’s on to the silver screen, where one of the all-time greats gets discussed in relationship to how we consume movies now, and a legendary “failure” gets re-appraised. In fact, the importance of “failuring” (Dean’s term) gets championed! Finally, the Emmy Awards were this weekend, and your friends in podcasting discuss “Fleabag”, Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”, and season 2 of “Big Little Lies” and the behind-the-scenes chicanery that may have been responsible for the season’s lack of focus.
Let’s not kid ourselves … The holidays are never easy. And putting together this week’s episode of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour was particularly trying …
In fact, after an hour-long Skype-based conversation with their trans-Atlantic guest, Alex Lewczuk, your friends in podcasting, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness, were shocked to discover that almost none of it was recorded!
So, they just kept talking … Without starting over! If it seems a little bit like joining a conversation in the middle, well … that’s EXACTLY what it IS! It’s a fun, free-wheeling conversation, however, about such a wide range of topics as ageism in the media, science-fiction, academia, Roman settlements, ancient cathedrals, Christmas markets … and more!
Those of you familiar with Phil’s extra-curricular activities know that he is a regular contributor to Alex Lewczuk’s Midweek Drive program(me) for Siren FM and Southside Broadcasting in the UK. You also might remember hearing Alex as part of the 28 hour Mayan podcastathon Dean and Phil conducted last year at this time.
Though, it lacks structure, due to the structure not being recorded, this week’s show is sure to stuff your stocking with audio good cheer. The elves at Rational Exuberance have edited together several holiday-themed goodies for inclusion in this week’s show – another way in which its like no other episode you’ve heard!
Happy Holidays, one and all!