Friday, May 29, 2015

Show Notes for HMOTD 007: Nowhere Band

0:50 "Your handy TV Guide": I miss you, TV Guide. I am also very upset there is no online archive of the interior of TV Guide issues. I want to look at TV grids from Boston in 1982, dammit, internet, what are you good for?

7:30 "NEVER. Bet against Pete Rose." Oh dear. Ahem.

That's David Hartman, by the way, host of Good Morning America throughout much of the late 70s and early 80s. Here's the full clip, from March 1985. Definitely a firm, welcoming childhood memory for me. When Rob sent me the preview audio of this episode, I thought I was listening to CBS Sunday Morning host and notorious bigamist Charles Kuralt. Battle of the bass-voiced avuncular network morning show hosts!

Speaking of not betting against Pete Rose, HOLD THE PHONE. We may have a new candidate for the Fisher King of Ohio:

"Pete Rose was born April 14, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of four children born to Harry Francis "Pete" and LaVerne Rose. He was a member of the Order of DeMolay as a young boy, and was encouraged by his parents to participate in sports."

Plus his last name is Rose, I mean come on.

9:50 "The early 80s were not neon." Here's an article about the early 80s aesthetic as described by the set designers of The Americans. And here's an article about the Sears Catalog from 1981 on LASERDISC.

11:35 Herb's tux: Yeah. Um. This photo shows my godfather and my dad (l. to r.) next to Frank Bonner. In my dad's wedding party's defense, they were in 1972, and Herb Tarlek was in 1979. So yeah.

11:45 "So, Rob, I have a proposition for you..." Here's the Grasso family in its 1970s splendor. Rob promises to reciprocate next week.

13:10 "Hey, John John, you wanna count?" Yes, this is exactly the kid I was thinking of when I described my late-70s sartorial "choices." In college (obviously influenced heavily and shamelessly by David Foster Wallace's views of television and media and nostalgia) I wrote a short story about a college student who was on Sesame Street back in the 70s and how he deals with it and, again, John John was my internal mental inspiration. If you follow that Muppet Wiki link, you'll see he had a very similar real-life experience with his wife.

(To preview our bit on hauntology later, Boards of Canada has sampled Sesame Street extensively.)

14:10 Jaime Weinman: Jaime Weinman's blog is here. And it is truly a fantastic read; thanks to Rob for making me aware of him.

15:57 "Both of us really want to talk about Edie McClurg." [Rob:] We'll talk more about Edie in the next podcast. Promise.

19:20 Bowling Alone was quite a big deal when it came out. (Here is Putnam's original Journal of Democracy article from 1995.) Our thoughts on how the modern workplace has stolen our third-space time along with the history of the coffee shop and political organizing in person vs. online is I think, modestly, one of the best, most incisive discussions we've ever had on the podcast. Hear it from 19:20 through 31:00. I think it honestly speaks for itself without further gloss.

25:45 "This has long been Starbucks' stated goal." [Rob:] Starbucks' colonization of the "Third Space" or "Third Place" has been widely commented on. Here's an article describing the chain's recent decision to make its stores less comfortable, for some reason.

27:15 "I remember this great interview with George Meyer..." [Rob:] I got the George Meyer quote wrong. He didn't mention coffee shops at all, just living rooms and "generic urban settings." I still like it, though:
When you and I were kids, the average TV comedy was about a witch, or a Martian, or a goofy frontier fort, or a comical Nazi prisoner-of-war camp. That was the mainstream. Now the average comedy is about a bunch of people who hang around in some generic urban setting having conversations and sniping at each other. I remember watching, in the sixties, an episode of 'Get Smart' in which some angry Indians were aiming a sixty-foot arrow at Washington, and Max said something like 'That's the second-biggest arrow I've ever seen,' and I thought, Oh, great, shows are just going to keep getting nuttier and nuttier. I never dreamed that television comedy would turn in such a dreary direction, so that all you would see is people in living rooms putting each other down. [read more]
29:25 "There's a very good book by a friend of mine..." [Rob:] The book is Fred Turner's From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism.

33:05 "Music for people that don't have anything better to do than stay up all night listening to music." Hey, I think I'd enjoy listening to Heavy Early's show, especially if I were insomniac! It also reminds me of the graveyard shift that Alan Partridge ends up on in the first season of I'm Alan Partridge.

35:40 "He was on Lost..." I am really bummed I did not recognize young Bernard.

37:20 "I have the worst [bleep]in' attorneys." - George Bluth Sr.

38:33 "Have you heard about Charles Nelson Reilly?"

39:00 Payola: For payola, a good primer is the Wikipedia entry because there's a very long detailed history with this issue going all the way back to the very beginning of music on broadcast radio. You can also see a reference to our second Stan Freberg clip of the podcast, "The Old Payola Roll Blues." Stan Freberg: eternally relevant.

44:50 "Welcome Back, Johnny": Yeah, we seem to slip into calling "Johnny Comes Back" by the title "Welcome Back, Johnny," no doubt influenced by Welcome Back, Kotter. Or by weird videotape hauntings. And yes, here's Josh Glenn's blog HiLobrow.

46:00 Nowhere Band: I still can't believe the Soundtastics weren't real. Styx was real, though, and you can read about their exploits with payola and cocaine and payola cocaine here. "Thank goodness for cocaine." Indeed, Tommy Shaw. Indeed. Also, color me unsurprised that Styx's manager now works for Fox News.

51:45 "We're the Tres. And you know more about the Tres than we do."

53:00 Small Wonder. For you, dear readers and listeners, I have prepared a Storify of my Twitter observations while watching "The Bad Seed", i.e., the second rape-iest episode of a crappy syndicated 1980s sitcom next to, yes, "For Every Man, There's Two Women." Share and enjoy.


55:20 Candle Cove. Please, PLEASE give the excellent Kris Straub all credit for his seminal creepypasta.

55:30 "This idea of being haunted by the past..." Hauntology primers: yes. Needless to say, I have a lot of very strong feelings about hauntology. I watched a lot of the seminal hauntological television programs from England when I was very young: Children of the Stones was on Nickelodeon's The Third Eye anthology series in the early 80s and I watched it and it buried itself deep deep in my subconscious and influenced a lot of my aesthetics in the intervening three-plus decades. I'd count some of the Tom Baker episodes of Doctor Who, particularly "The Android Invasion" and "The Hand of Fear," as hauntological in that decaying technological British countryside in the 1970s way. For information on the hauntological aesthetic today, yes, Mark Fisher's Ghosts of My Life is absolutely indispensable. I'd also recommend this very very long essay/podcast by Adam Harper, from when hauntology was beginning to become a thing back in the late 00s. (Two side notes: 1) he notes in 2009 that hauntology is already passé, which I find hilarious, and 2) this essay shows off a lot of hauntological visual artists, which I think is a medium that we hauntology aficionados sometimes ignore.) Ghost Box Records, very very yes. Throw in Boards of Canada while you're at it: specifically the albums Music Has The Right to Children and Geogaddi. The films of Ben Wheatley, absolutely. He's doing J.G. Ballard's High-Rise next, holy crap. And yes, Scarfolk, while parodic, distills the aesthetic exceptionally well. Also old friend Warren Ellis has just started a new comic series called Injection that, while very very Ellis, also has aspects of the hauntological aesthetic in it. And of course, you could do worse than reading Derrida's original paper which introduced the term.

Whew. See you next time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

HMOTD 007: Nowhere Band

Mike and Rob scare even themselves discussing the WKRP in Cincinnati episodes "Goodbye Johnny" and "Johnny Comes Back."

(Full show notes appear at Hold My Order Terrible Dresser two days after each episode is released. All audio clips are the property 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, May 25, 2015

The Pain From an Old Wound

Happy Memorial Day (U.S.), loyal listeners.

In a matter of previewing our upcoming episode on Wednesday, let's talk a little bit about memory. About looking back. About nostalgia.

Earlier this week I happened to be at a book signing for my wife's debut novel, and was browsing the immense floor of the New England Mobile Book Fair. I came across a hardcover copy of political historian Rick Perlstein's 2014 opus, The Invisible Bridge, about the rise of Reagan during the late Nixon and Ford administrations. It's alternately banal and terrifying, and the way Perlstein describes Reagan haunting the periphery of the political mainstream at this time is sort of like watching a locomotive barrel towards a fuel truck.

Let's leave aside the politics for a moment, though, and talk about how absolutely seminal this book has been for squaring the circle of the 1970s with respect to this podcast and understanding on a deeper level the conditions that led to the late-Carter malaise we've mentioned as we begin to barrel towards the 1980s. Especially when it comes to pop culture. You want to talk hijackers-as-heroes, like we did in Episode 3, Speed Kills, Del?
In Esquire Tom Wolfe noted the fact that people who hijacked airplanes and took over buildings were becoming cultural heroes to an alienated populace -- seen as men "at the end of their ropes" risking it all in a struggle against the "system." The terrorist, as his fan construed it, created "his own society, his own system: in the bank vault, in the Olympic quarters, in the prison courtyard... striking out against the endless exfoliation of American power... I finally cut through the red tape... I am a celebrity!" (Perlstein 193)
Or how about disaster movies and crumbling infrastructure, like in last week's The Dungarees vs. The Suits?
But fans of the former Hollywood now got to enjoy the good old days in comforting visits: in disaster movies cast to the gills with all the familiar stars... (Perlstein 165-166) 
...and in Boston, the collapse of the shabbily constructed Tobin Bridge, where a single strike by an errant truck caused two hundred feet of the upper roadway to collapse into the Mystic River. (Perlstein 167)
Or going back to Episode 3, the golden age of UFOlogy and the Bermuda Triangle?
Back home, a UFO scare was afoot: two men from Pascagoula, Mississippi, reported a cigar-shaped vessel with flashing blue lights pulled them up in its tractor beam; there claw-handed beasts paralyzed them and performed a medical examination... three books battled it out on the paperback bestseller list: The Gods from Outer Space and Chariots of the Gods, both by Erich von Däniken, which proposed "ancient aliens" had build monuments like the Pyramids, Stonehenge, and the sculptures on Easter Island; and Bermuda Triangle, which wondered whether the lost city of Atlantis was responsible for the supposedly mysterious disappearances there. (Perlstein 175)
Or even in the pilot, when we talked about cults?
Sometimes, and even more frighteningly, children made themselves disappear. They ran away. They became willing captives to strange Svengalis and gurus, their personalities suddenly changed... Steve Allen, the TV personality, discovered that his missing son had joined the "Love Israel" cult and now went by the name "Logic."(Perlstein 207-8)
So yes. Reading this book this week, in between Episode 6 and this week's episode has been eerily appropriate and prescient. Because all these things are half-remembered in my mind, a faint echo forward from the 70s, when I was ages 0 through 4. Because there's going to be a lot of the half-remembered, a lot of haunting in this week's episode, a lot of childhood memories curdled and turned sour and wrong and uncanny in the intervening decades.

And so, with that in mind, here are some photos of me and my family from the 1970s which may help you get in the mood for some of the topics we cover, fashion-wise and nostalgia-wise, in this week's episode, dropping Wednesday morning. Disappointed to report I could find no photos of me either in a red-and-blue-striped John John-from-Sesame Street ringer tee or in a Danny-from-The Shining New England Patriots tee, but still, these are pretty good. And remember: your dad didn't need Instagram filters. Damn right he used a Polaroid.

Circa February 1977. "Walk This Way" was in the Top 20 this month (and probably being played incessantly by WBCN in Boston), so picture me doing that Joey Kramer drum break that got sampled by Run-DMC or something.
This is probably late 1978, right around the time WKRP debuted, and look! I am within five feet of a television set. THIS MEANS SOMETHING. Or, maybe, I was just always within five feet of a television set.
My fourth birthday, August, 1979. Check out a) the Superfriends cups and plates and b) that proto-gamer cake, replete with bowling pins and 2d6. I rolled a 4, because that's how many years I was.
The wedding party of my parents (4th and 5th top row), August, 1972 (erratum from the podcast episode). No words here. Should've sent a poet. Keep this photo in mind during our episode as we talk about Herb's tux.
My mom the cover girl, on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Extended Benefits department newsletter. Inside caption calls her a "telephone correspondent," but in 1973, the boys in the office still called her and her colleagues "phone girls." She's been a Director/VP for 25+ years now, so... suck on that, gentlemen.
My dad, late 1975, packing on that newlywed/newborn weight assiduously, with an entire plate full of pie, cake, and Italian pastry. No one said getting married/quitting smoking/having a screaming newborn would be easy, pop. Also, be careful, because you just might be Charlie Manson.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Show Notes for HMOTD 006: The Dungarees vs. The Suits

0:00 I'm sad we didn't get to include the clip of Don Pesola successfully guessing the 6 songs because his line read of "National Anthem. By Francis Scott Key." always kills me.

6:05 Yeah, my parents listened to this episode and stated with great and wounded sincerity that they still call them "dungarees" on the regular in 2015.

6:45 We did not include Les's weird sorta-kinda-quasi-anti-Semitic accusation that he suspects "Levi Strrrrrauss" is behind the conspiracy. There's just something about the way he pronounces the name, but I think the implication is there.

8:55 Old scary white men making gnomic declarations, atmospheric lighting and set dressing, ironic counterpoints (in this case a 1950s sales training film)... yes, of course, it's Oliver Stone, in this case Nixon, with Ed Harris as Howard Hunt and John Diehl as G. Gordon Liddy.

10:05 Well hot dog! We have a wiener! Listener Jeff Raymond answered us a few hours after the podcast went live Wednesday with a link to this great Watergate break-in review, almost an oral history, really. The money quote, when it was revealed undercover beat cops in "young people" garb – almost certainly dungarees among them – were trailing the suspicious activities of the Watergate burglars:
As Officer Barrett recalls, “We were up on the sixth floor of the DNC walking around with guns out” when Baldwin finally got on the radio and asked how Watergate burglar James W. McCord Jr. and his men were dressed.
“We’re wearing suits and ties,” McCord replied.
“Well,” Baldwin said, “you’ve got a problem because there are hippie-looking guys who’ve got guns.”
Jeff does NOT win $5,000 in cash.

10:45 Okay, weird digression, but when I heard Animal say, "EAT DRUMS EAT CYMBALS," all I could think of was the indie rock band Cymbals Eat Guitars but the band did not get their name from this Muppet Show sketch, but in fact from Lou Reed's statement that the Velvet Underground sounded like "cymbals eat[ing] out guitars." Welp.

13:05 See here for Rob's spot-on nostalgia-inducing WKRP version of E. Gary Gygax's alignment chart from the 1st Edition AD&D Player's Handbook.

[Rob] But see also the criticisms and suggested revisions from our friends and listeners in the comments to that post.

17:00 This whole conversation tickled me to no end. It worked a little TOO well. "The one with the cubes" is not, in fact, a lost Friends episode, but in fact the plane of Nirvana or Mechanus if you kick it Planescape style. Modrons rule OK

For the record, here are your home planes for all seven eight cast members:

Andy: The Seven Heavens/Mount Celestia
Johnny: Olympus/Arborea
Herb: The Abyss
The Big Guy: Hades/The Grey Waste ("grey waist," i.e. his three-piece suits?)
Les: The Nine Hells/Baator
Jennifer: Acheron
Bailey: Arcadia
Edit: Venus: Concordant Opposition/The Outlands (Yes, I overlooked the center of the Great Wheel. Shame on me for forgetting true neutrals everywhere.)

20:10 D-E-V-O. My reference to J.R. "Bob" Dobbs should not in any way imply that we are not aware of the well-known fact that Devo and the Church of the SubGenius are great friends and allies.

23:00 Nice morning, huh?

27:00 Here's the mentioned post. The thread goes for 832 posts. *low impressed whistle*

30:10 I was never a big fan of Clue, honestly, despite its stellar cast. Or Gremlins 2: The New Batch, for that matter, but the Hulk Hogan in-theater gremlin smackdown reminds me of the famously meta- beginning of the best film adaptation of Hamlet/best film to feature the talents of Max von Sydow/best film to come out of the Canadian film industry... Strange Brew. Not sure who Rob is remembering in the John Wayne-like role, though. Maybe Dick Butkus?

[Rob] No, for once my memory was correct: it is in fact a clip of John Wayne in the video version. Wikipedia says: When the film made its debut on home video, the filmmakers replaced the scene, to make it seem as if the viewer's VCR had been broken by the gremlins. ... Their antics stop at a broadcast of Chisum, where John Wayne forces the gremlins into continuing the film, although voice impersonation was needed since Wayne had been dead since 1979. 

37:10 Desastre! drops the science. Came out in 1979 and everything! Also, sorry, Livejournal. But you are in the hands of Russian mobsters now. mood: disappointed

[Rob] Hey, I would trade 90% of the modern internet to get back LiveJournal circa 2004. Here's the relevant post.

38:10 "Maximum effort." Goddamn. 1970s film trailers were four minutes long and ludicrous.

39:00 I'm going to post my Andromeda Strain/Jade Helm theory here again, by posting the similarity between the Jade Helm map and the Wildfire/Andromeda maps.

40:25 Whither Bill Simmons? These are some of the best words ever committed to pixels about Battle of the Network Stars. I can't improve on it. "Farrah, baby, I'm not in charge of the rules committee!"

49:40 Seriously guys, you can browse through the Weekly World News cover archive here. See how many Lonis you can find. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

HMOTD 006: The Dungarees vs. The Suits

Mike & Rob try to solve "The Contest Nobody Could Win" and attempt to survive a "Tornado."

Full show notes appear at Hold My Order Terrible Dresser two days after each episode is released. All audio clips are the property 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, May 11, 2015

Dungarees and Dragons

A brand-new episode of Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser airs this Wednesday.

Monday, May 4, 2015

AfterM*A*S*H: Reschedulings, Hiatuses, and an Important Announcement

We talked a lot in last week's podcast about WKRP's first-season hiatus, retooling, and eventual move to Mondays at 9:30 Eastern, 8:30 Central after M*A*S*H. Of course, WKRP didn't get to enjoy this cushy time slot for long; this was only the first of many moves "up and down the dial" that WKRP experienced in its four-year run. This fantastic WKRP tumblr, "Carlson Industries," run by "Melanie Carlson," gives us a quote from Howard Hesseman from the Toledo Blade in the off-season summer between Seasons 1 and 2:
I’m getting flak now, through my agents, of the most preposterous kind of nonsense coming out of the network.  They’re saying we’re not a hit, we’re not even a marginal hit.  Nor are we a success.  We are a marginal success, due almost totally to the fact that ’M-A-S-H’ is our lead-in.*
It's a timely place for us to note this, because in an attempt to not be as erratic as the suits at the Columbia Broadcasting System, and to give you, our loyal listening audience, a regular and predictable listening experience, we are moving this week to a biweekly release schedule for the podcast.

Our first several episodes were pretty much in the proverbial can by the time we began releasing the podcast, so we had a lot of time to edit (and by "we," I definitely mean "Rob," who did such a stellar job editing our first four episodes). Now that we've burned off that buffer, we're recording and editing as we release, and weekly podcasts are just a little bit ambitious for two dudes whose day jobs demand that we work with other areas of history than just the years 1978 through 1982.

This means we're going to release our next episode, Episode 6 (on "The Contest Nobody Could Win" and "Tornado"), on Wednesday May 13, and then release a new episode every two weeks thereafter. On release weeks, we'll stick to our usual Monday/Wednesday/Friday blog post schedule: Mondays will be a meta-post of some kind, Wednesday will feature the podcast recording, and on Friday you'll get our detailed Show Notes. We may, on our "off weeks," continue to post to the blog observations, notes, and other cool ephemera that we find in our editing and recording processes.

We're totally chuffed at all the attention, feedback, and support we've gotten from all of you out there who love WKRP and have enjoyed our sometimes quite discursive look at it. We want to keep this little engine going and this schedule is our way of giving you a set time to expect our podcast rather than having an erratic, "sometimes weekly, sometimes not" release schedule. Don't forget that you can subscribe directly to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast app (the URL is and then each episode will download automatically as soon as it's released, whether you like it remember or not.

Thanks again, and may the good news, as always, be yours.

* Boy, these actors really loved leaking their gripes about the network, about the audience, and about anything at all to small-town reporters, didn't they? (See also Gordon Jump's quote about Little House in this week's podcast.)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Show notes for HMOTD 005: Hot Blooded

Please note: when we've got multiple authors for the notes from here on out, we'll make sure to mark the notes from guests with brackets, as seen at 3:15 and 5:55 below.

3:00 I could explain all the in-jokes in this first 3 minutes or so of the podcast, but it's probably better just to leave this here and say all our jokes and jibes about faeries and Frankensteins and steampunk are in good humor. That being said... man, fuck that Matt Grasso guy.

3:15 [Chris] I think the podcast may have been my [Chris’s] idea actually (being inspired by Just One More Thing – the deep-dive Columbo podcast hosted by RJ White and Jon Morris. The astute reader will note that I then bailed before any of the real work began. Typical.

5:55 [Chris] WPNS used those call letters only for about a year (September 1986 – October 1987) before someone explained the joke to the station owners and ruined everything.  From 1956 to 1986 it was known as WCAT, and it reverted to those call letters after the WPNS days. The station went on to have more colorful adventures in the exciting, glamorous world of radio call letters, briefly using WWBZ until the much larger WBZ in Boston took umbrage (its sister station on the FM band snatched up the call letters WFNX in 2013 after the legendary alt-rock station in Boston folded).

WCAT/WPNS was an automated station in the late 80s, receiving all its music and DJ banter via satellite from the creatively named Satellite Music Network. It briefly featured a R&B/Soul format, which was not very popular in rural west/central Massachusetts (and which in conjunction with the whole WPNS thing makes this author question what exactly the station owners were thinking) but switched to adult contemporary/easy listening/not quite Beautiful Music fairly quickly.

Lastly, oh my God this author stole so many records from there you guys. What, it’s not like they were using them anymore.

8:30 Tim Burton not only used Sylvia Sidney in Mars Attacks but also, as you can hear and probably remember here, a memorable turn in Beetlejuice.

10:15 Okay, let's explain this in a little more detail: Raymond Chandler wrote a short story titled "The King in Yellow," which very very obliquely referenced Robert Chambers's story: "The King in Yellow. I read a book with that title once. He liked yellow, I guess." Two notes on this: the combination of hardboiled detective fiction with Robert Chambers of course calls to mind America's recent favorite wacky police duo, Marty and Rust. Second: like Umberto Eco's narrator in Foucault's Pendulum, who sees RCs everywhere in Jules Verne as a testament to Masonic and Rosicrucian lore, I'm seeing this alignment of Raymond Chandler and Robert Chambers as even further indication of Rosicrucian messages in pop culture.*
I would wake up in the middle of the night with the realization, for example, that René des Cartes could make R.C. and that he had been overenergetic in seeking and then denying having found the Rosicrucians. Why all that obsession with Method? Because it was through Method that you arrived at the solution to the mystery that was fascinating all the initiates of Europe... And who had celebrated the enchantment of Gothic? René de Chateaubriand. And who, in Bacon's time, wrote Steps to the Temple? Richard Crashaw. And what about Ranieri de' Calzabigi, René Char, Raymond Chandler? And Rick of Casablanca?
*And, for that matter... RUST COHLE.

11:00 Here's a blog post outlining the barest features of the Oedipal subtext coursing through Frankenheimer's Manchurian Candidate.

11:40 He's cool, he's hip, he's 45.

13:00 I'm going to confess, I've never been a big fan of Chris Elliott, but his early 90s series Get a Life was really seminal for expanding the borders of American situation comedy. I could argue there would never have been a Golden Age of The Simpsons, or a Mr. Show, or a Being John Malkovich, without Get a Life.

16:35 Here's some gorgeous VCR retrotech for you.

19:10 This is the syndicated half-minute promo for the legendarily abysmal Star Trek: The Next Generation second-season clip episode "Shades of Gray."  Also, everyone appreciate the immortal Ernie Anderson (a.k.a. Ghoulardi, a.k.a. The Loooooooove Boat guy, a.k.a. Paul Thomas Anderson's dad) today.

20:30 Check out that Nixon era culture war tag line on the That's Entertainment! poster! "Boy. Do we need it now." Just sheer exhaustion with 1970s outlaw cinema dripping from every word there! There were three That's Entertainment! installments made, by the way. A little bird tells me you can see the entirety of It Came From Hollywood on YouTube as well. Watch Cheech and Chong watch 50s monster movies!

24:30 We used the first bit of this clip last week to talk about Big Guy as Fisher King; here, it acts as a great way to demonstrate exactly how profound the silence Chris was mentioning is.

27:45 The first thing I thought of when I heard the end of the Mr. Macho commercial ("ask for Clarence") is of course: "For the best in men's clothing, call Paul's Boutique. Ask for Janice."

31:35 You may be spoiled if you read this Very Special Episode feature from The A.V. Club on WKRP's second-season episode, "Mike Fright," but if you do you'll see buried in the article the quote from Mary Tyler Moore that Rob references here.

38:30 Fernwood 2 Night exists on the same hoary continuum of Ohio, middle-American leisure suit/polyester kitsch as of course WKRP and Devo. Let's also not forget to mention that Fernwood was a spinoff of the groundbreaking, really quite odd and ahead-of-its-time late-night soap opera, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, another show I have very vague and uncanny memories of from childhood (again, probably in syndicated reruns). This article should give you the full cultural context for Mary Hartman.

39:55 The founders of Fametracker did indeed go on to found Television Without Pity, which I think pop culture historians will decades from now acknowledge as the beginning of internet TV recap culture.