Friday, June 26, 2015

Show Notes for HMOTD 009: Someday You're Gonna Buy It

2:30 "We're going to record a Season 1 wrap-up and summary podcast." Here's another reminder for you to reach out to us via email at

5:10 "Hey! You're young and swingin'..." Listener, friend of the podcast, and a guy you juuuust may be hearing more from around these parts very very soon Jeff Wikstrom notes we included neither Johnny's v/o nor the classic outro lyrics "Bye-byeeeeee..."

7:30 Outtakes. Orson Welles is pretty much infamous at this point, yeah. Here's William Shatner being all Canadian and pronouncing the word "sabotage" just. How. He. Pleases. Winnebago Man! That's probably the best compilation of the immortal Jack Rebney and you should definitely check out the documentary. And yes, here's Fourth Doctor Tom Baker getting fed up with dumb, dumb advertising people. These clips are Not. Safe. For. Work. Don't sabotaaaage your jobs, kids.

12:25 Richard Sanders sang the theme? The urban legend is confirmed here on Wikipedia. And I am guessing that New WKRP In Cincinnati commercial has dropped off the face of the planet; it's not on YouTube. Gasp!

14:10 Headin' up that highway leavin' you behind... Hearing the other verses from the WKRP theme is kind of like hearing someone sing the third verse to The Star-Spangled Banner. (By Francis Scott Key.)

15:25 So do you think Ferryman the name is a play on Greek mythology, Charon, the ferryman of the dead? As we air this episode, a NASA probe, New Horizons, is approaching both Yuggoth, er, Pluto and its satellite... Charon. SPOOOOKY coincidence.

15:50 "Fred Stuthman started his career as a local TV horror host." This site gives you a list of 337 local horror hosts. That's a big guild.

17:00 The Blood Sucking Monkeys from West Mifflin PA. Yes, that site even lists Count Floyd.

21:30 The funeral home industry. Every five years there's a big mainstream media scare piece where we all pretend to be shocked at the state of the funeral home industry, but it has been in a state like this for at least the last 30 years or so from every bit of evidence out there.

24:35 "Our product's kind of crap; don't buy it." I just finished Thomas Frank's The Conquest of Cool, which honestly I personally wasn't impressed with, but the subject matter (advertising's role in shaping and being shaped by the counterculture) was absolutely fascinating.

25:22 Golden Words. [Rob:] Let's see what my old campus humo(u)r paper looks like in the 21st century. Hmm. Star Wars cover, Cthulhu jokes, "Getting Blackout Drunk: An Introspective." What do you know: you can go home again! (Definitely see an Onion "Area Man" influence on some of these but that would be very hard to avoid, just as the paper in my era owed an awful lot to The Simpsons.) Plus, yes, Reel Big Fish. We loved our ska in the Roaring Nineties.

26:55 National Lampoon's Sold Out issue. They didn't do a Sell Out issue; they did a Sell Out BOARD GAME. More misty 1978 memories, I guess. Thank you, Board Game Geek.

28:20 "This is just like the Ferryman Funeral Homes episode of WKRP!" Friend of the podcast Lenore kicking some Darmok communication in sitcom metaphor there.

33:20 "Alan Alda kind of took over the show..." This isn't a war, it's a murder.

38:10 "You know the movie The Green Berets..." The "Goofs" section of The Green Berets on IMDB is worth a chuckle at.

39:20 "It's kind of the New Hollywood counterculture directors..." It's absolutely shocking to see WKRP in the company of these great filmmakers in taking on this topic. And when you look at 1978 on this list and see this is really the beginning of media being able to take this sort of thing on at all... man.

46:30 The New Earth Army. Yes, this may have been a tiny bit discursive, but one of the central conceits of the fictionalized movie version of The Men Who Stare At Goats was Jim Channon/Bill Django's desire to revitalize a moribund post-Vietnam U.S. Army with New Age beliefs. And while it is apocryphal that Jim Channon came up with the Army's "Be All That You Can Be" slogan, it is interesting to see the cross-currents of California New Age Human Potential thought and Reagan conservatism battling it out in the early 80s in the U.S. Armed Forces, although some might argue there's less daylight between those two poles than we might think.

46:50 "If there was a window for forgiveness, it would have been during the Carter years." Pardoning the draft evaders was indeed literally one of the first things that Jimmy Carter did coming into office, but it came on the heels of Gerald Ford's conditional 1974 amnesty for certain classes of draft evaders. As Rob notes, neither of these acts covered deserters.

50:10 Heart of Glass. Here's a great article on the artists that WKRP played and in some cases broke. Keep in mind that this article has some spoilers for upcoming songs. And I will post the Sifl and Olly version of "Heart of Glass" here without reservation or embarrassment. I feel like the creators of Sifl and Olly are solidly in that WKRP generation, because we're going to see another late-70s song that Sifl and Olly covered coming up soon in a WKRP episode.

[Rob:] Aargh. I absolutely meant to use a clip of the Sifl and Olly "Heart of Glass" rather than the real Blondie version but then I forgot. I won't go back and edit it in now since I guess without the video it would just sound like somebody's karaoke take on the song, but still, Sifl and Olly are the best. Rock!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

HMOTD 009: Someday You're Gonna Buy It

Mike and Rob enjoy two great episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati: the toe-tapping "A Commercial Break" and the powerful reverse shark-jump, "Who Is Gordon Sims?"

(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, June 22, 2015

Updating the Rolodex

Hey everyone! We've got a new episode dropping Wednesday morning: it's "A Commercial Break" (i.e., the funeral home jingle episode) and "Who Is Gordon Sims" (i.e., the Venus Flytrap secret origin episode). And as of last weekend, we've officially recorded our last podcast episode for Season 1 of WKRP in Cincinnati. What does this mean? A few things, actually:

1. We are going to record a Season 1 wrap-up and summary podcast. We won't focus on specific WKRP episodes in this episode, but rather look back at Season 1 as a whole, our favorite moments on the show so far, air some unreleased tidbits from previous podcasts that didn't make it to air, and most importantly... answer some listener mail! So we need you to ask us questions about WKRP, the podcast, bits from the podcast you liked, and so on! You can reach us at:

2. We're going to take a short break releasing episodes after our Season 1 wrap-up episode drops (tentatively on August 5). We're going to work during August to get a few more Season 2 podcasts in the can because...

3. We're releasing to iTunes in September! Not sure when, not sure where, but it will happen. When we do release to iTunes, we're going to need all of your help, our loyal early adopter listeners, during that crucial first week or two to get us the biggest impact on iTunes as possible. That means downloads of our episodes, reviews, and other positive movement on the iTunes Podcast charts to get the most eyeballs and earbuds on HMOTD possible.

As usual, we're indebted to all of you for your support during the production of this first season of podcasts and with your continued help, we're hoping to get bigger and better from here on out!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Show Notes for HMOTD 008: What Do You Want, The World?

4:40 "We get to see Johnny's apartment." Seriously, we need to have someone comb the dusty, fuzzy videotape of these two episodes and find the provenance of all of Johnny's artist and concert posters. There are a lot of weird-looking and Weird-looking portraits on his walls. I swear I saw Aleister Crowley somewhere in there.

5:40 "What you guys need... is hammocks!" Dan Castellaneta? The voice of Homer Simpson? Also an alum of Second City.

6:30 "He's got that great middle-American slob mentality." The "all-American slob" mentality finds its apotheosis in the early 80s in Rodney Dangerfield's Al Czervik and Randy Quaid's Cousin Eddie ("I don't know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper. It does just fine by itself!")

7:25 "There's Herbert Jr." Figured out after this podcast that I'm just about the same age as Herb Jr. Sobering.

10:00 "Well, with your bad knee, Ed, you shouldn't throw anybody! It's true!" I smile every time I hear this minute and a half from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

13:20 The Pee-Wee Herman Show. If you've never watched the original Pee Wee special from the Groundlings, you really have to. And you should also check this oral history of the Groundlings which, yes, criminally leaves out Edie McClurg.

18:40 Plains, Trains, and Automobiles: Another classic Edie role in a John Hughes movie. Surprised to say, I had never seen this movie before this Thanksgiving and my (British) wife was UTTERLY scandalized.

20:50 "I came in on a regular call..." But the Hughes/McClurg collaboration all started on a random casting call. Check out the end of this Edie clip for a little of her Viola Spolin-inspired sentiments toward acting and improv.

22:10 "Did you notice on IMDB..." One of the best things about Edie's self-authored IMDB profile is her description of her portrayal of John Ehrlichman on her Kansas City NPR station's reading of the Nixon tape transcripts: "Thus did Edie contribute to the peaceful overthrow of the government of an unindicted co-conspirator." Sweet, chirpy, slightly dotty Midwestern women building America, indeed.

22:30 Edie McClurg/Paul Sills/Viola Spolin/Jane Addams: I'll just link to all four of these Wikipedia entries, along with Hull House, The Compass Players, The Second City, and The Groundlings.

25:15 "I think that the creative act must transform the one who is in it..." This documentary gives you a very good and deep look at Viola Spolin's influence on both improv and on psychodrama-related therapeutic action.

28:10 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: I suppose Les liking Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is less random than we might initially think considering Les's dreams of flying and which eventually will come true, in a very Saint-Exupéry-ian biplane.

28:30 Terre des Hommes: Here's the skinny on Terre des Hommes being the inspiration for Expo 67. Saint-Exupéry spent some time in French Canada and America during World War II raising funds for Free French forces before his own disappearance in the air while at war in 1944.

29:30 [Rob:] I have to say, and I should have said this in the podcast, that all this stuff I say here about Canadian history and nationalism comes from my brilliant (American) wife, Lisa Faden, an education researcher who wrote her dissertation on history education in the United States and Canada. She identified the "Canada proves itself on the world stage" trope in her research and it's the sort of thing that's so true, once you see it you can't stop seeing it. But we do try to credit people when we discuss their ideas and it was not OK for me not to extend that to my own wife.

32:55 Expo 67: SO CUTE GUYS. Teach us about Canada, British Pathé!

[Edited to add: I forgot Mike asked me to include a link to The Northern Magus, one of a series of alternate Canadian histories I made up JESUS CHRIST TWELVE FREAKING YEARS AGO. In this one, Pierre Trudeau makes contact with eldritch forces at Expo '67. - Rob]

35:05 "There's one actual shot of an actual human baby..." I'm not going to be as delusional to think anyone from the original WKRP crew is listening to this podcast at the moment, but if you are? Someone please tell us why y'all didn't use infant stock sound in this episode?

36:40 The Wilhelm Scream. I love the story of the Wilhelm Scream. So inside baseball.

37:50 "Weisenheidel. Look for the smiling face of the Archduke Ferdinand on every bottle." No particular reason to call this out, I just think it's another classic underrated WKRP one-liner.

39:05 Hold The Line, by Toto: "I will turn to you, my brothers in Toto, to help me write a song so smooth and awesome that Rosanna Arquette will have no choice but to fuck my brains out."

40:45 "WKRP was shot on videotape..." Very interesting article on how the first WKRP DVD release was stymied sales-wise due to the music rights... and quite intriguing how people were throwing around Shout! Factory as a possible solution even as Fox was putting out the inferior Season 1 DVD.

43:05 "Do we want to explain the title of our podcast now?" The whole while we were debating whether or not we should explain Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser, all I could think of was that classic line from The Prisoner: "That would be telling."

44:40 We were a bunch of Pallies. One of my favorite Mr. Show sketches ever. Don't you tell me what to do, you little piece of [shoe].

48:20 Black Acting School! I can't explain how much of an injustice I find it that Robert Townsend didn't break bigger, especially after the pointed satire of Hollywood Shuffle. Granted, Townsend himself in 1987 was not trading in the most progressive views of women and gays, but he had a lot valuable to say as a black actor and comedian trying to break into Hollywood and not play a stereotype himself.

51:00 Tim and Tom. A lot of people of my parents' generation have a lot of fond memories of Tom Dreesen as a solo stand-up in his years after teaming up with Tim Reid, and this book, for which Tim and Tom did a press tour back in 2008 (including the Letterman clip heard on the podcast), is a fascinating read.

55:35 "It's like Archie Bunker." I think about Archie Bunker now and I want to again point people to Rick Perlstein's excellent book Nixonland, which breaks down the white blue-collar ethnic "silent majority" that Nixon and later Reagan yoked to victory on the backs of racist fears in the aftermath of the urban upheaval of 1965-1968. This article talks a little about the anxiety around people loving Archie Bunker for himself, not as a satire.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

HMOTD 008: What Do You Want, The World?

Rob and Mike plead "Never Leave Me, Lucille" and deal with unconvincing infant voice actors in "I Want To Keep My Baby."

(This episode is rated TV-MA for Gratituous Midwestern Use of the F-Word. 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, June 8, 2015

Suits, Dungarees, They All Adore Her

They think she's a righteous dude.

New Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser drops Wednesday morning.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Shakedown 1979

So Mike totally came through last week with an adorable collection of family photos from the 1970s, including the astounding revelation that his dad was married in Herb Tarlek's tux. (OK, it's not that astounding, maybe--do an image search for "1970s tuxedo" and you will see that both Herb and Mike's dad were totally on trend.)

Now it's my turn to reciprocate, but I'm afraid the Seventies runs less strong in my family. As I said on the podcast, my parents were married in the 1960s--1965 to be exact, and we celebrated their 50th anniversary just last week!--so the pictures from and around their wedding are more Mad Men than WKRP in their vibe:

Which is not to say there weren't some memorable sartorial choices:

I could definitely imagine Herb in that jacket, fourteen years later, but 1965 Dad is just daring you, or maybe the dude directly behind him, to crack wise.

Since I know Mike loves the CanCon, I'll include this cute one of Mom, from the height of Trudeaumania in 1968:

My parents seem to have escaped the 1970s largely unphotographed, especially once you take out the ones of now-offensive Halloween costumes. (I hope those were all Halloween costumes...) But here's a big family gathering for my great-grandfather's 90th birthday in maybe 1975:

That's me in the front row, with shorts and black socks, looking enviously at the plaid pants on my cousin Rob and uncle Pat. My mom is in the second row behind my great-grandfather. The whole back row is my aunts and uncles--lots of serious 70s haircuts there. Note my grandfather's astounding moustache.

Here's me and my sisters at the cusp of the 1980s, Christmas 1979, rocking the wide selection of velour turtlenecks available that season:

And here's the most WKRP-y picture in my collection--proving, I suppose, which side of the Suits-Dungarees divide I was fated to fall on:

Three-piece. Brown. Corduroy. Neutral Good with Suit Tendencies. What would Mr. Carlson do?