Wednesday, June 14, 2017

On Hold No More! HMOTD Season 4 Premiere Date Announced!

Been sitting patiently by your phone, wondering where the fourth and final season of Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser is? Well, wonder no more!

Our fourth and final season of the podcast will kick off two weeks from today, Wednesday, June 28, with a look at WKRP In Cincinnati's memorable two-part Season 4 premiere, "An Explosive Affair, Parts 1 and 2." This is a pair of episodes we've been anxiously awaiting since basically the podcast started, and we had a great time looking at The Last Temptation of Arthur, Black Monday, Purple Cows, and of course the immortal Phone Cops.

Barring the unforeseen, we'll continue with our biweekly release schedule for Season 4, which means this fourth and final season of HMOTD will end right around the end of 2017!

As usual, we'll do a Monday Post before each new podcast with some thoughts on the upcoming podcast episode, and on Fridays at noon Eastern after new episodes drop, you'll get, as always, our detailed Show Notes.

We have some very special guests lined up for Season 4, including one for our look at "An Explosive Affair," and we're looking at some very cool features for our final two wrap-up podcasts after we've finished covering all of Season 4's WKRP episodes.

Until then! Add us on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, and Google Play!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Show Notes for HMOTD 039: Hold My New Order Terrible New Dresser

0:00: "In Philadelphia, thousands remain terribly confused." Good to see Bill Dial maintaining the "horrible things happening in Philly" non-sequitur from the original WKRP.

Also, I'm a little sad we didn't get around to talking about New WKRP evening DJ Mona Loveland, played by Tawny Kitaen. Kitaen was a prominent '80s erotic thriller/video vixen-turned-internet, er, personality in the aftermath of her separation from major leaguer Chuck Finley. Ms. Kitaen's Twitter is also something special.

0:40 "Baby if you ever wondered..." Yes, another pop culture fly trapped in amber, the commercial for The New WKRP in Cincinnati that referenced the video for U2's first single off of 1993's Zooropa, "Numb." This commercial (for the VH1 run of the show, I was right!) subjected Les to a variety of distractions from either side of the screen, just like The Edge. We also posited that this is where the rumor came about that Richard Sanders sang the original WKRP theme song.

4:00 "The loud guy in Dilbert": It was Loud Howard, actually. And if you don't know why Dilbert is crappy now, boy, have I got a longform piece for you to read. I'm probably gonna get sued for even sayin' that name.

7:45 The remixed opening theme song. Gah, puke. When the original WKRP theme song is so bloody perfect, why make it all angular and early '90s like that? Disgraceful. Probably the thing I'm most angry about with respect to watching these two New WKRP episodes.

10:36 The Burt Reynolds-directed episode: The Season 1 New WKRP episode "Jennifer and the Prince." The Wikipedia summary: "Jennifer Marlowe returns to announce her engagement to a prince, and invites the staff to the party. However, a coup by her fiancé's brother and the suspicions of Herb and Les give her a lot to deal with." Whoof.

12:20: Early '90s sampling and remixing. Maybe one day Rob and I will do a track-by-track podcast about Paul's Boutique, another mutual favorite of ours (along with WKRP and The Invisibles). "Car Thief" is still the best track on that album, Rob, sorry.

[Rob: Hmm.]

13:11 Northern Exposure: The first of many gratuitous early '90s references in this episode. So wonderfully meta, that sequence from Season 2's "War and Peace." I watched a ton of Northern Exposure in high school and probably didn't "get" it as much as I would as a grown-up.

[Rob: Not gratuitous, necessary. I'm pretty pleased that every clip used in this episode comes from within a few months of 1992 or references 1992 directly.]

20:20 Rodney King/The LAPD/The LA riots: A tragic story, and one that prefigured so much of what is happening with policing in the United States today with respect to racist killings of black citizens and the continuing militarization of police.

22:32 "It's not a riot, it's civil unrest." [Rob: This audio is from the film adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith's remarkable docu-play, "Twilight: Los Angeles." The stage play was a one-woman tour-de-force where Smith (known to middle-brow TV addicts like Mike and I as an actor on shows like The West Wing and Nurse Jackie, but also an award-winning playwright, oral historian and professor) played more than 40 real-life individuals involved in the L.A. uprising. The film version also includes conversations like this one, where the actual people Smith portrays in the show respond to her performance. In this clip, the voices you hear are: activist Paul Parker, former L.A. chief of police Daryl Gates, Smith herself, and journalist Ruben Martinez.

24:20 Howard Stern and Snapple: I'm not going to link to any old WOR Channel 9 Howard Stern Shows from the early '90s here, out of sheer embarrassment, but trust me, Snapple was unavoidable on those. Back in high school, if you were cool you stayed up late to watch Myers/Carvey/Hartman-era SNL, but if you were really cool, you watched the very blue Stern show.

Also, my official power rankings of trendy early '90s soft drinks: Clearly Canadian > OK Soda > Fruitopia > Jolt > Snapple > any transparent cola >>>>>>>>>> Orbitz (a.k.a. Skittlebräu).

[Rob: I can't argue with that. Was there anything more precisely "1992" than clear cola?]

25:55 The connections between Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and the President: I swear, I didn't know this video existed before I said that on the podcast. Now that's eerie.

27:30 Article in The Baffler: It's called "Outsmarted," and it's by old favorite of the podcast Rick Perlstein.

28:20 The mythology of Steve Bannon: I think I broke Rob in this Twitter thread.

[Rob: I know Mike has already burned away all his nostalgia in the purifying flames of political pessimism and self-loathing, but some of us are at different points in that journey. "You'll always have Frightenstein," he says...]

30:34 et subseq. Ice-T/"Cop Killer"/Ice-T on Arsenio: I'd be remiss if I didn't link to Charlton Heston's portentous recital of the lyrics to "Cop Killer" ("Catchy number, isn't it."), which was memorably parodied in yet another early '90s SNL sketch. Also, here's a link to Detective Fin's Twitter. And speaking of hip late night things to watch when you're in high school in the early '90s, we all loved Arsenio back then. I think Ice-T's answer on Arsenio very deftly threads the needle.

[Rob: Everything 1992 is new again: Ice-T and Bodycount came out with a new album last week!]

32:32 Hoodlum Hip-Hop: Mentioned in our Season 1 wrap-up episode. Please listen to it; it's pretty good!

37:40 Ned's Atomic Dustbin: Another Twitter thread. So many memories. Seriously, though, check out God Fodder; I listened to it this past weekend and it holds up really well!

39:00 et. subseq. The 1992 Presidential Election: Ross Perot got pretty much 19% of the vote, I was spot-on! (Perot won my hometown in Massachusetts, btw. I bet a lot of those folks, the ones who are still alive, voted for the President in 2016...) I was a bit of a politics nerd back in high school; in fact, I matriculated at Harvard with the full intention of being a Gov major (bleh) until a class on Dante seduced me into the medieval humanities.

Also, if you can BEAR it, watch Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant sing their heartfelt song to Mr. President Bill Clinton. The biggest shocker of that clip? The realization that future archconservative DENNIS MILLER hosted the MTV Inaugural Ball. Yikes. And Dave Mustaine confessing he was a Perot voter. 1993 was another country, man.

41:46 Rock the Vote: Another opportunity to reference this fantastic episode of 99% Invisible on the CD longbox and its part in helping MTV's lobbying for the Motor Voter Bill.

43:55 Studs: Oh man, that show was SO naughty by 1992 standards. Studs also perfectly overlaps with The New WKRP in Cincinnati (1991-1993). Fascinating.

45:20 "Makin' bacon on the beach": [Rob: This episode of The Simpsons (Season 4's "New Kid on the Block") aired November 12, 1992, one month after "Studs of the Airwaves," which contained the very same euphemism. Did The New WKRP actually beat The Simpsons to a joke?]

45:57 Available on YouTube: Sadly, between our prepping for the recording of this episode and today, The New WKRP has been taken down from YouTube.

[Rob: It looks like you can still find episodes, just not this particular two. The two-part pilot is available, which features, I kid you not, a C-plot where Mama Carlson gets interested in virtual reality.]

46:36 Buddy, not Bucky, Dornster: [Rob: Buddy was played by John Chappell, who had actually appeared on one episode of the original WKRP, in "Preacher," as one of the ministers who came to the station to complain about Reverend Little Ed. He also had a recurring role on AfterMASH, so there's a track record there of ill-advised reboots.]

49:50 Far And Away: Not much to say about this film other than the lovely Enya theme tune, confusingly titled "Book of Days."

50:26 "Locked in the Trunk of a Car" Another perfectly timed and appropriate clip from Rob with the Tragically Hip; fantastic job. I had to listen to the entirety of Fully Completely after listening to this episode.

[Rob: Yeah, how perfect is it, for our purposes, that "Locked in the Trunk of a Car" came out in 1992?]

52:32 "It is now 1992!" That montage, well, 1992 wasn't all wine and roses. Kris Kross and House of Pain will both make you jump.

[Rob: Why was it so imperative that we jump around? I know I don't need to tell you, Mike, but for the kids at home, that montage features: Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Ross Perot talking NAFTA, Kris Kross's "Jump," House of Pain's "Jump Around," Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart," and much-quoted lines from A Few Good Men and Reservoir Dogs, all from the Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Two.]

55:25 The receptionist from Twin Peaks: So sad I forgot the name of Lucy from Twin Peaks (1990-1991, which is close enough for government work). VERY excited for the new episodes to begin airing on Showtime, though.

56:08 Mike and Rob in the '90s: Behold. It is an Early '90s Dudes Delight.

58:52 "Get the whiteboard out." [Rob: One more wrinkle in this "perfect crime" just occurred to me. How could Les see the screen at the drive-in from a peephole in the trunk of his car? Did he somehow shoot a hole forward through the car? Or did Les' kidnapper park the car backwards? Wheels within wheels.]

1:00:10 "The Crying Game" [Rob: If you're talking transgender representation in 1992, you're talking The Crying Game. I dunno how people feel about that movie now, but it's safe to say Neil Jordan handled the subject with a bit more gravitas than Bill Dial. The theme song was a post-Culture Club hit for Boy George.]

1:01:19 "I Will Always Love You" [Rob: Originally written and recorded in 1973 by Dolly Parton, but it was of course Whitney Houston's 1992 version, from the soundtrack of The Bodyguard, that became the best-selling single of 1993 and the seventh best-selling song of all time.]

Monday, April 3, 2017

"Let's all have a Banapple!"

Oh, hi everybody. Belated April Fools' from our usual Monday Post! This time around, the Monday post comes after the release of a new episode, because this was our special surprise April Fools', 2nd Podcast Anniversary, Happy Gordon Jump's Birthday episode of Hold My New Order Terrible New Dresser!

We've actually gotten a fair number of emails asking us if we were going to take on The New WKRP In Cincinnati after we finish up with original recipe WKRP. I think you all can figure out after our decidedly mixed reaction, no, we're not going to be doing an actual full-on New WKRP In Cincinnati podcast. But this podcast episode definitely was a fun April Fools' lark!

I'm not sure what originally gave us the crackpot idea to do an episode as if we'd been doing a podcast about The New WKRP In Cincinnati all along... obviously, since the election, we've been thinking a lot about other timelines and alternate histories. From my perspective, I mostly wanted to have an excuse to have Season 3 of HMOTD match Seasons 1 and 2 at 13 podcasts long! But also, there's something to be said about the assertion that we would've given the history of WKRP as a whole short shrift if we hadn't at least somewhat covered this syndicated oddity from 1991-1993.

You can hear our deeper thoughts on the podcast, obviously, but I was most struck at how... different the nostalgia for all the signifiers of 1992 felt to me. All the memories of the late '70s/early '80s for me so far in this podcast have been... bittersweet, rich, deep, often moving. But the thing about the early '90s is that they feel just a little bit... tacky? Obvious? I'm not really sure of the best way to put it. While I can definitely enjoy recounting my own favorite media from 1992, they're so mixed up in the other stuff that was going on in my life at the time, being 16, 17 years old. And let's be honest, that's a pretty damn intense time in a young man's life.

My feelings and opinions about Ice-T and "Cop Killer" and the L.A. riots and the first Gulf War and George Bush vs. the Simpsons and Dan Quayle vs. Murphy Brown are so much less... incisive? Because unlike Carter and Reagan and so forth, I can consciously remember those events. Moreover, I remember them mostly through the politically-uncomplicated eyes of a naive teenager.

[Rob: Geez, you just had to mention one more time that you were just a teenager in 1992, while I was a venerable 21-year-old... Anyway, I've heard for years that The New WKRP was awful, a travesty, a desecration of the original. I gotta say: watching it in 2017, I didn't think it was that bad? I'm not saying it was good, and I understand how, back in 1992, it must have seemed blasphemous to reanimate the original in this way. But from the distance of 25 years, with expectations lower than low, it was fascinating to see this weird simulacrum of the show I know and love, so familiar and yet so strange. I will probably end up watching a few more, and if any of you HMOTD listeners feel like doing the same, I'd be very curious to hear your reactions.]

Yeah, I admit: it made me cringe no more or no less than any other middling sitcom of the very early '90s, before Seinfeld truly changed the landscape. These two episodes were as obvious and as corny as any other show I can think of from the era, but there were still weird glimmers of the talent and thoughtfulness that Wilson et al. brought to the original WKRP.

Show Notes of some kind will be coming on Friday! And while our exact kickoff date for Season 4 is still up in the air, you'll be hearing from us again before too long.

Now, what you've really come here to see: embarrassing photos of Rob and Mike in the early 1990s! The first two photos were from my friend Mark and I prepping for a road trip to Lollapalooza '93 in the summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. That's me in the red hat. I think the button on the cap is not from one of my favorite bands but indeed a souvenir button from my senior government trip to Washington, D.C. ("Why do you have a fake ID?" "So I can vote.") The final picture in this row is my senior yearbook photo from 1993. Like Roast Beef Kazenzakis, I have Emotions Hair. And oh, that Stephen Crane quote! *barf*

[Rob: And here's me in 1992, 1993, and 1994: with my brother J and my beloved Queen's University jacket (Super Mario Bros hand-painted by yours truly); with my buddy Chris and I evoking a definite Bill & Ted vibe; and transformation into neo-hippy complete. I know you want to punch that guy, but as I often say when looking at old photographs: he meant no harm.]

Saturday, April 1, 2017

HMOTD 039: Hold My New Order Terrible New Dresser

1992 is in the house as Money Mike G and Easy Rob MacD dive into the NEW WKRP in Cincinnati!

(Full show notes appear at Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser two days after each episode is released. All audio clips are the properties of their owners/creators and appear in this work of comment and critique under fair use provisions of copyright law.)

Check out this episode!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Show Notes For HMOTD 038: Sad In Cincinnati

Here are some of the links to the folks we shouted out and media we referenced in this week's season wrapup.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HMOTD 038: Sad In Cincinnati

Rob & Mike wrap up Season 3 of HMOTD with a podcast as up-and-down mood-wise as Season 3 of WKRP.

(Full show notes appear at Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser two days after each episode is released. All audio clips are the properties of their owners/creators and appear in this work of comment and critique under fair use provisions of copyright law.)

Check out this episode!

Monday, February 6, 2017

"It's a great country, isn't it? We like it."

Well, another season of Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser is at its end. And what a season it was! More guests, bigger episodes, huger Show Notes... and one of the weirder seasons of an already sometimes-weird show. We dish out a lot of meta- in our Season 3 wrapup show, dropping on Wednesday: about this season of the podcast, this season of WKRP, and this season of... our lives?

Let's face it; we all know 2016 was a kick in the gut. And 2017 so far is shaping up to make 2016 look like a walk in the park. Hard times are here, and we can't help but feel like we've seen it all before. Season 3 of WKRP's downward trajectory, its episodes covering serious social issues nearly every week of its final third... it all felt like our once-innocent escape into the past had somehow broken down all the temporal barriers between 2016-7 and 1980-1.

We won't say any more about our season-ending episode, but keep all those parallels we've been drawing between two election years, 36 years apart, in mind. We're also doing a lightning round of answering your listener mail questions and comments, as well as our usual look at our favorite and least favorite episodes of the season. Tune in on Wednesday, February 8 for our season finale, "Sad In Cincinnati"!

Edit: Oh, and we'll be back to our usual schedule of biweekly podcast releases on Wednesdays after another between-season hiatus! Watch our usual social media outposts for announcements on Season 4!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Show Notes for HMOTD 037: Imagine There's No Heaven

0:50 "Our traditional season wrap-up episode..." Still not too late to get your cards and letters in to us!

1:20 Steve Kampmann leaving: As we've mentioned before, he was sort of the Mark Brendanawicz of the Newhart cast, playing obnoxious café-owner Kirk Devane for the first two seasons. Jaime Weinman has observed that Kirk had a few Herb Tarlek-esque traits and mannerisms; Kampmann was not above channeling his favorite WKRP character.

4:00 Jamaica as a tourist destination in the '80s: Jamaica went through intense political turmoil in the Hinge Years, but by the Reagan '80s, the "Come Back to Jamaica/Make it Jamaica Again" tourism campaign developed by ad giants Young & Rubicam was in full swing.

6:15 "Get to know me!" Anyone else reminded of Jon Lovitz when Hamilton Camp read this line?

9:37 John Matuszak: Yeah, definitely a sad story. This obituary is a pretty good summary of his reputation when he passed away (don't forget to click through to Page 2), and this longform piece immortalizes some of his rowdy exploits (this one's a 6-pager).

15:47 "Re-do 'For Love or Money'..." Here you can check out our look at Howard Hesseman knocking one out of the park with Julie Payne.

19:30 Ruth Silviera: Oooh, she played the female announcer voice in THX-1138! I wonder if anyone else from the Committee was hanging around with George Lucas back in the day. You know who was, though? HIRSCH!

20:50 "Michael Scarn, FBI!" Best improv artist ever.

25:20 Mickey: I can't believe I forgot both Justin's character name and the name of the great Larry Hankin! End-of-season podcast fugue state, obviously.

26:05 Travel agents, computers, and the 1980s: God bless the internet. There is an article on the history of travel agents that describes in great detail how computer access to flight bookings was slowly opened up to individual travel agents, which removed the stranglehold that the airlines had on the process. And from the "The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same" department, American Airlines even got in trouble for trying to manipulate SEO on the booking system they developed!

27:35 TripTiks and 17th century equivalents: The TripTik is still alive! But it's electronic now. I wish I still had some of those 1970s and '80s TripTiks to show y'all, but here's a couple of remembrances of them. This is the kind of stuff I get MASSIVE nostalgia about. Bespoke and handmade expressly for you.

The clever name "TripTik" of course comes from the medieval art form of the triptych, which was a fold-out set of three panels. And speaking of which, the map I was talking about on the podcast can be found here; it's John Ogilvy's Britannia, one of the first dedicated travel maps of Great Britain. Fun fact, former Python member and of-late historian Terry Jones posited that Ogilvy, a Catholic sympathizer, put the maps together to help a proto-Jacobite takeover of Britain in the 1670s at the hands of the recently-Restored Charles II. Jones's four-part BBC Wales series on the maps can be found here (1, 2, 3, 4). Maps are powerful, y'all.

28:10 Rob goes to look for America: [Rob: Oh man, what a great trip that was. Two months, 26 states, every oddball Death Car Museum and Concrete Folly and Mystery Spot we could find. And we found a lot, considering this was before Google Maps, or even Google: we tracked down all the places we were going to visit at our local public library! Ten years after the trip, I converted the zine into a blog (because it was the 2000s). That site is sadly defunct, but about 2/3 of the posts live on in the Cyrillic half-life of my old LiveJournal.]

33:45 Rob's Bowtie Theory: I really like this theory, that bowties are the cultural signifier of both tweedy conservatives and fey weaklings. Photographic proof exists.

35:53 "Imagine": We'll talk a lot about "Imagine" in this episode, and talk a lot about its outsized cultural influence, but here are the basic facts. Released in 1971 on the album of the same name, which was arguably a more mainstream production than Lennon's first solo album, the primal scream-influenced John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, "Imagine" later went on to bequeath its name on two movies, one made in 1972 full of home movie footage of Lennon and Ono, and one I saw repeatedly as a kid, released in 1988, at the height of late-'80s nostalgia for the late-'60s.

37:35 Richard Paul: Much like Edie McClurg's IMDB bio, Richard Paul's has the distinct whiff of being written by him (or someone close to him; Paul died in 1998), and it's pretty funny. Fun fact: he was actually a registered minister in the Universal Life Church (i.e., the church you can send away for a ministerial position from for a nominal fee). Good on him, and RIP.

42:05 Hoodlum Rap: Here's part 2 of our Season 1 wrap-up, which includes Rob's rumination on a Season 5 or 6 episode of WKRP where Venus has to deal with a young punk named... Ad-Rock.

44:05 Hugh Wilson vs. Jerry Falwell: Here's the quote from Michael Kassel's book America's Favorite Radio Station:
"Those bastards---they put us on their list," recalled Wilson. "...a show that had too much sex and too much violence. So I wrote this guy---Reverend 'Jerk-off' down in Mississippi or wherever...See, I'm from the south and I grew up knowing these guys were bad cats because before the issue was abortion and all it was 'Catholics' and 'N------,' you know? I mean, they've always got something---The most anti-Christian group I've ever run into.
"Anyhow, they were very powerful at the time and they put us on this list, so I wrote this guy, this Moral Majority guy, and I said, 'I'd like to know why I'm on this list?'
"He didn't write back. I called him a couple of times with no reply, so I said, 'To hell with it. I'm going to do a show about it. But I'm not going to make it---I'm not just gonna create a straw dog and burn him down. I'm going to research this and listen to him and let him state the argument. But, then, definitely in the end, show why they're dangerous."
45:45 The American Family Association: I mixed up Donald Wildmon with various Catholic watchdog groups of the time. Fun fact: the old school Catholic Legion of Decency, who'd acted as a foil to the motion picture industry throughout most of the 20th century, had actually just shut down in 1980, just in time for Evangelicals to largely carry the torch of censorship.

47:30 "They want to get a few guppies before they go after the big whale." Boy, again, if this isn't the watchword of the extreme right-wing these days, picking on the weak but being afraid of concerted solidarity...

49:30 John Lennon's assassination in 1980: I'm not sure if I need to remind the TV obsessives among our listenership that most of America found out John Lennon had been shot on Monday Night Football from Howard Cosell, who'd, a few years earlier, introduced Lennon to the sport of American football.

50:35 Quantum Leap: The episode is "The Leap Home, Part 1," where Sam Beckett leaps into his own teenage self to put his family's lives right before his brother dies in Vietnam. This article talks about "Imagine"'s journey from shocking to mawkish and blames Quantum Leap, in part, for this transition.

52:20 "Imagine"'s power in 1970 and in 1981: The U.S. vs. John Lennon is a fantastic film which you should definitely check out; it covers Lennon's persecution by the U.S. government, notably the CIA, not the FBI.

57:05 Mainline Protestantism: We've mentioned Arthur's membership in a Mainline Protestant church again and again on the podcast; I believe he was supposed to be Presbyterian? That Wikipedia entry for Mainline Protestantism, by the way, hits you over the head with its rapid decline over and over again: but even the most recent data continues to bear that out.

57:55 Gordon Jump and Mormonism: Erratum on my part: Gordon Jump was already a Mormon in 1981, and had been for over a decade. In fact, he'd starred in some Mormon educational films, the titles of which are damned intriguing; some of the Mormon films he starred in include: Marriage- What Kind For You?, When Thou Art Converted, Pioneers In Petticoats, and What About Thad? He also played the Apostle Peter in a "temple ceremony" film, which just gets my Weird Mormonism feelers twitching.

59:03 "The next witness will be Mr. Frank Zappa." While in our Monday Post we said that John Denver was the secret weapon of the music industry's witnesses, it's definitely Frank who brings the biggest guns to the fight. Gotta say, there's a little bit of misogyny in Zappa's comments to Mrs. Gore and Mrs. Baker, but, you know, that's Frank. He's not one for the politically correct niceties.

[Rob: We could've said a lot more about the PMRC hearings, but that oral history Mike linked to on Monday is great, from the marvellous photo at the top of "Mrs. Gore" and "Mrs. Baker" on down. I watched a bunch of the clips this week and continue to think John Denver was the most effective witness, but Zappa's mansplaining offered the best soundbites for the podcast. Plus how could I ever face Adam again if I gave up the opportunity to use a clip of Frank Zappa? As for Dee Snider, well, it's fun to see his big 80s hair square off against Tipper & Susan's big 80s hair, and he's more articulate than the "We're Not Gonna Take It" video might lead you to expect. It could've been worse: apparently there was some talk of having Motley Crue's Vince Neil in his slot. They might have outlawed rock music entirely.]

1:03:30 Clear Channel list: Here's the Clear Channel list of songs not to be played after 9/11, and incidentally here's the PMRC Filthy Fifteen, which I didn't link to in the Monday post. I should mention our buddies at the Beyond Yacht Rock podcast did a whole episode on "Rock Bans" which is well worth a listen if you miss 2 Live Crew.

(I should also plug the recent Billy Joel point/counterpoint that I did for the Beyond Yacht Rock Captain's Blog where I took the, yes, PRO-Billy Joel position, and vinyl-hearted vixen and author of The Big Rewind, Libby Cudmore, took a very forceful ANTI- side. Watch Twitter tomorrow night, kids, for a rematch live on Libby's #RecordSaturday hashtag!)

1:05:13 Harvey Green: This scene, yeah, I'd completely forgotten. Breaks my heart just thinking about it now. Poor Harvey, and poor Arthur. I kinda wish they had gone off to Florida to fish. Here's Ralph Manza's IMDB, what a career!

1:05:44 Morality of boycotts: Here's a conservative take on boycotts from The American Spectator of the ilk I was referencing on the podcast, and here's a tale of American hero Rosa Parks very thoughtfully taking control of her economic and social destiny with a concerted show of solidarity through a complete economic boycott. I'll let you all judge the morality of either argument.

1:07:23 Direct mail: The innovator in conservative direct mail was Richard Viguerie, who began his campaigns in the 1960s. Often further to the right than mainstream Republicans like Gerald Ford, he sought the nomination in 1976 of the American Independent Party, who ran Lester Maddox in 1976. Of course, direct mail has always been a way for everyone on the right to keep in touch with each other, from mainstream Republicans to Birchers and Klansmen... rather like the internet is today. Also? Viguerie is cited as one of the founders of? The Moral Majority.

1:08:13 Left-Wing Cereal Giant: Kellogg's history is part of the history of the religious health movements of the Gilded Age in America, which makes the claim of "Left-Wing Cereal Giant" so funny in historical context. Kellogg's was founded by Will Keith Kellogg whose brother John Harvey Kellogg founded the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which, of course, preached and promoted health through hydrotherapy, enemas, and corn flakes. Remember, corn flakes are good at keepin' down the urges. We talked about Battle Creek, Michigan briefly in the episode with Les's Sneaky Snooper.

1:09:57 "Once They Banned Imagine": [Rob: This is the Drive-By Truckers, from their 2016 album, American Band. DBT has been one of my favorites for years; American Band is a raw, unhappy album, stripped down and probably the most directly political record they've ever done. It's great. "Once They Banned Imagine" is, of course, about 9/11 and after, and the Clear Channel memo "banning" "Imagine" and many other songs at that time. In this review/interview, DBT's Mike Cooley says, "I couldn't get my head around the notion that 'Imagine' was on the list, that it was something we didn't need to hear at a time when it was exactly what we needed to hear." I love how the song gently evokes Lennon's "Imagine," and also the way it plays (at least this is how I read it) with the whole dysfunctional generational tangle of World War II, Vietnam, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: "Since the big one ended we'd been mostly pretending / We'd have had the same gumption and grit ... But once they banned 'Imagine' it became the same old war its always been."]

1:11:15 We Teach Diabetes Survival: [Rob: Context: in the last episode of the podcast, we (ok, mostly me) were wondering about a poster in the bullpen that says "We Teach Diabetes Survival." Some weird conceptual New Wave album title? Apparently not.]

In the aftermath of Mary Tyler Moore's death this week, I have to imagine... was this poster's prominent spot on the WKRP set an edict from MTM herself? She was, as you may remember, a person who'd lived the vast majority of her life with Type 1 diabetes but didn't go public until 1984. So was this a sly way of MTM herself advocating for diabetes research and support before she was ready to do so publicly? Interesting to think about.

1:11:34 "What are you doing?" "Playing computer baseball." This was a delight to talk about. I've covered most of the toys I mention in this segment on my old blog, Renfusa, but you really do need to read about Simon's debut at Studio 54. It's absolutely demented. I kept looking for promo shots of this Simon launch party for that night at the club but all I could find was... a photo of Abe Vigoda and his wife heading in. Abe Vigoda, the computer game Simon, and Studio 54 all coming together is as good a way to end this season as anything!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

HMOTD 037: Imagine There's No Heaven

Mike & Rob wrap up the third season of WKRP in Cincinnati with "Til Debt Do Us Part" and "Clean Up Radio Everywhere."

(Full show notes appear at Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser two days after each episode is released. All audio clips are the properties of their owners/creators and appear in this work of comment and critique under fair use provisions of copyright law.)

Check out this episode!

Monday, January 23, 2017

First you censor a word, then you censor the ideas.

This week we're wrapping up Season 3 of WKRP In Cincinnati with "Til Debt Do Us Part" and "Clean Up Radio Everywhere." On this week's podcast discussing "Clean Up Radio Everywhere," we find a lot eerily familiar in the 1981 ascendancy of the Moral Majority under President Reagan and the first volleys of the culture war lobbed by evangelical Christians against the pop culture of the day.

By the mid-'80s, that censorious tendency had spread from the right-wing fringes right into the mainstream, with the establishment of the Parents Music Resource Center by Tipper Gore and Susan Baker in 1985. The Senate hearings which resulted from the PMRC's advocacy for the record industry to put "voluntary" warning stickers on records loom large in the memory of anyone who came of age in the mid-1980s.

Three artists were called before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in September of 1985: John Denver, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, and Frank Zappa. It's Zappa's testimony that's probably best remembered three decades later, but the testimony of all three men is fascinating. Never mind the spectacle of Dee Snider in front of the Senate in full rock rebel regalia; John Denver not only tells the panel how badly he wants to get on the Space Shuttle, but Nebraska Senator J. James Exon's wife's art instructor, "Rainbow Terrain," was apparently a friend of Denver's.

It was recognized at the time by Zappa and Snider that Denver's testimony was the killer, really powerful statement. Dee Snider says in the oral history linked above, "Everyone expected that he would be on the side of right—right being censorship. When he brought up, 'I liken this to the Nazi book burnings'—that's what he said in his testimony—you should've seen them start running for the hills! His testimony was the most powerful in many ways."

Enjoy these artifacts from the autumn of 1985 as we get ready for our last regular episode of Season 3 of Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser!

Frank Zappa, parts 1 and 2

John Denver, parts 1 and 2

Dee Snider, parts 1 and 2

Friday, January 13, 2017

Show Notes for HMOTD 036: Might I... Move About?

1:30 Meddling: I went to Google Ngram in the hopes of finding a spike in "meddling" in the 1970s but about the only thing I did see is that use of the word has remained remarkably steady since the mid-'70s.

[Rob: Ah, but check out the trend line for "meddling kids":]

3:10 One of Rob’s most useful lines: Everything about the scenes at Lillian's house is great, probably most of all the ominous ticking of Mama's grandfather clock in every scene. And there was really never any question of not using "Might I... move about?" as the title of this episode.

5:16 "Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration" What's really great is as I was listening to this episode in the car with Jenny (as I predicted I would be during our anniversary discussion), Jenny got mad at me for forgetting Bob Vance's name and then, boom! This classic Office clip played. For the record, I honestly did not intentionally forget Bob Vance's name for comedic purposes. When I was editing, there was no way I couldn't include this classic bit.

8:22/10:50 Herb and the Big Guy/Herb and Lillian: "A Simple Little Wedding" is a really funny episode. Herb gets to do his hyperventilation shtick again, but for my money one of the funniest bits is the Big Guy doing a 180 as soon as he hears that Les planned the bachelor party. Carol Bruce, though, is by far the MVP of "A Simple Little Wedding." From start to finish (including the final scene with Herb), she's a comedic dynamo. Let's be honest, kids, without Carol Bruce and Mama Carlson, we never would've gotten Jessica Walter and Lucille Bluth.

13:00 Monopoly: Here's a précis of the tale of Monopoly, from reformist Quaker roots to Depression-era wish fulfillment. And if you want to hear more in podcast form, go to the always excellent 99% Invisible and listen to their episode/check out their piece on it.

20:08 Hirsch/A Silver Bullet: Again, Ian Wolfe is a delight and I'm so excited that I know we get to see more of him in Season 4. Also, a silver bullet cocktail is a martini, but instead of vermouth, it has scotch. Yikes. I cut a bit in the episode of Rob and I discussing the... debatable palatability of such a cocktail, but ultimately, it's perfect for Mama, isn't it?

23:04 The Wizard Traquil: I want Rob to know about the dusty corners of the internet that I had to comb to find audio clips of Wizards and Warriors. Fansites with links to .wavs, gaudy HTML wallpaper... WEBRINGS, Rob. But you can avoid all these because the complete series is out on DVD! It's available as a "made to order" title from the Warner Archive, like print-on-demand, except on DVD.

[Rob: WHAAAT. New podcast idea!]

24:10 Dungeon Majesty: This is a pretty niche reference, I will admit. Back in those halcyon hipster early-to-mid-'00s, we all became pretty infatuated with an internet/public access show called Dungeon Majesty, where four D&D players and their GM acted out their D&D campaign, complete with public-access-cable-level special effects. We then named our OWN Prime Time Adventures campaign about people playing a fantasy RPG at the time Dungeon Majesty in their honor, and things got even more meta from there, as people started writing fanfiction and Television-Without-Pity style recaps about our imaginary TV show-in-an-RPG. I sometimes miss the old days, when you could get that self-referential and not feel guilty about it.

25:00 White telephone films: This discussion just didn't fit into HMOTD 031 but it fits perfectly here. We actually cut about five more minutes of telephone history in our burglar alarm discussion, but I think the most interesting fun fact I found out about white telephone films is that, of course, the Italian film industry had their own ripoffs of them, and in Mussolini's Italy, they reinforced Fascist ideology (while needing to resort to foreign authors and settings to cover for controversial topics like adultery). Fascinating!

I have been told by my wife of 10 years that I should mention that I learned about those deco-era "white interiors" from her on our podcast, The Whole Shebang and our discussion of Syrie Maugham.

27:48 N.C. Wyeth: I gotta be honest, I find N.C. Wyeth an odd choice for Mama to display in her living room. Not because I can't picture her putting up a painting of a hanging (if anyone knows which specific N.C. Wyeth painting this is a reference to, by the way, let me know, I couldn't find one), but because the elder Wyeth was not considered a fine artist in his day or even decades later in the early '80s. He was primarily an illustrator, doing paintings of boys' tales like King Arthur and Robin Hood, pirates and the Wild West, as well as images of American patriotism. He was sort of the Frank Frazetta of his day.

28:30 Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians: Much like Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, Fred Waring founded a wholesome musical troupe with a geographic name and made a name for himself catering to the middle-of-the-road "sweet music" tastes of listeners from the '20s and '30s onward. The blender bit is fascinating, as is this little tidbit from the Fred Waring Wikipedia page: "In the 1960s and 1970s, popular musical tastes turned from choral music, but Waring changed with the times, introducing his Young Pennsylvanians, a group of fresh-faced, long-haired, bell-bottomed performers who sang old favorites and choral arrangements of contemporary songs." One toke over the line, sweet Jesus.

30:05 “If you’ll excuse me, The Brady Bunch is on.” Still baffling, still random. But I think one thing that we'll be talking about in a future episode is that it's yet another in a long line of "exit lines" in WKRP that are just complete non-sequiturs, like "I gotta go buy a car," or "I gotta go bowling."

32:00 “Why The Brady Bunch?” Ah yes, this clip baffled Rob, who didn't stick out The X-Files to the bitter, painful end of Season 9, but who can blame him, really. This penultimate X-Files episode, "Sunshine Days," guest-starred Lost's Michael Emerson as a sad psychokinetic who turns his home into an illusion of The Brady Bunch house. In retrospect, this was kind of a genius meta-take on the power of television and long-running shows to inspire something close to (obsessive) love in their fans. The AV Club did a pretty great review of this episode a while back.

37:30 Happy anniversary, Jenny! I'm embedding this right into the Show Notes, I don't care. I think of it anytime anyone mentions an anniversary anywhere. Fred! You remembered!

(And excuse my Alan Partridge-like anniversary spite about people doubting us back in 2007. But needless to say, we had the last laugh.)

40:38 Rob and Lisa in "The New York Times": [Rob: Here it is, folks. If marrying Lisa is the thing I'm proudest of in my life, this fake "Vows" column has gotta be in the top... ten or twelve? Cheltenham font for the headlines, Imperial for the text, I believe. (HMOTD listeners, take note of the description of our ceremony in the third-to-last paragraph!)]

42:48 Fake Bon Jovi quiz: It looked better and more convincing in the original Livejournal style sheet, trust me on this. [Rob: Agreed - in Livejournal's slow transition from emo dream journal aggregator to hub for Russian dissidents to tool of Putin's hackers, something has happened to the formatting. But also "what X are you" quizzes looked simpler in those days.]

44:15 Rob’s Paris trip: Guys, I would totally do a post-by-post podcast of Rob's old Livejournal entries. I'm a fan, what can I say.

[Rob: Hmm... What about a podcast about early 2000s LiveJournal in general? Think about it, don't answer yet.]

[Mike: Hey, Rob, whatever happened to your post on what I'm assuming was the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers? Did the Tres make you remove it?]

[Rob: Weird... I can't find it! I'm pretty sure I did write something, didn't I? There's this post from my other blog about a Benjamin Franklin action movie, but it's not about the Conservatoire. I thought I remembered writing about all the alternate French inventors of everything, and telling the story about showing Lisa the "boring machine" (as in, for boring holes); I will leave her snappy response for readers to guess. But I'm not seeing it now. Weird.]

48:00 Les’s primal scream: In case you forgot, Les was doing Primal Scream therapy in "Most Improved Station."

49:35 The Tantalus Field/The Agonizer: Yeah, Rob beats me in Star Trek: TOS knowledge. The agonizer was the hand-held pain-inflicter in the Mirror Universe, and the Tantalus Field allowed the captain of a Terran Imperial vessel to literally write a person out of existence. As a long-time gamemaster? That seems a bit overpowered to me.

52:20 The Big Guy’s sense of violation: I may be being too hard on the Big Guy as of late. We are all, after all, products of our own place and time. He's got a good heart, and certainly a better heart than a lot of the folks of his same age and milieu, as we'll see soon in "Clean Up Radio Everywhere."

1:02:50 Escape from New York/Death Wish piece and real-life vigilantes: Here's Kelly's Death Wish/Escape from New York piece, which as Rob says is a must-read. And as far as Bernhard Goetz and real-life vigilantes are concerned, I don't think we can overlook the publicity-seeking Guardian Angels, who were all over New York-area radio and television in the 1980s.

1:07:30 Private security, history of burglar alarms: Again, we cut a large wodge of content on the history of the intertwining of burglar alarms and Ma Bell, but if you want to potted version, hie thee to the Wikipedia entry on Edwin Holmes.

Here's that story about firefighters letting a home burn because they were a subscription fire service. It was Tennessee not Kentucky, my apologies.

Curious George pulled that fire alarm in the very first Curious George book from 1941.

I also want to just say that I am aware of the idiosyncratically incorrect way I apparently say "bur-ga-lar," and that after hearing myself say it over and over again while editing this episode, I can only say in my defense that at least I share this sort of mispronunciation quirk with the famous and powerful.

1:11:48 "Just the Two of Us," Sandinista!: Sorry to harp on about Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers, I just really like that song. Here's the full 7-minute version off of Winelight. It's another childhood, early-'80s WMJX-FM Bedtime Magic radio classic for me.

And I have to admit, as I went to check out interesting fun facts about the Clash's late 1980 album Sandinista! I had forgotten it was a triple album. I like the Clash okay, but sometimes I think they can tend to be a little bloated on their own self-importance. Here's a link to the Sandinistas and to the history of Nicaragua in this period if you feel the need to brush up on your 1980s Reagan-era anti-Communist geopolitics. Which might not be a bad idea these days.

Here's a link to our friends at My Favorite Decade: '76 to '85. And I'm so pleased that a lot of you are Juice Newton fans and came to her defense after my uncharitable assessment of her as a "one-hit wonder."

1:17:25 Boomboxes: This 10-minute video from NPR is a great mini-cultural history of the boombox. In the recently-closed exhibit on the history of radio at the museum where I work, a segment of our exhibit was dedicated to the portability of radio and how it affected the growth of both rock and roll (cheap transistor radios in the 1960s) and hip-hop (the boombox's boom in the 1980s).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

HMOTD 036: Might I... Move About?

Rob and Mike celebrate Arthur and Carmen's 25th anniversary by moving about in "A Simple Little Wedding" and examine the aftermath of a break-in at the station in "Nothing to Fear But..."

(Full show notes appear at Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser two days after each episode is released. All audio clips are the properties of their owners/creators and appear in this work of comment and critique under fair use provisions of copyright law.)

Check out this episode!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Well, it's not a toy, that happens to be an unreasonable response to a reasonable situation.

We're coming up on another season's end for both WKRP in Cincinnati and Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser? As is our wont, we will be having a bit of a hiatus between Season 3 and 4 (our last!) and we will be doing our traditional season-ending wrap-up episode, due to air on February 8, a little under a month from now.

So, as usual... get your cards and letters in to us! We love answering listener mail! There's so many ways to get ahold of us:

New episode drops Wednesday morning, where we cover the adorableness of Arthur and Carmen once more in "A Simple Little Wedding" and look at urban paranoia in the early '80s in "Nothing to Fear But..."