Friday, October 16, 2015

Show Notes for HMOTD 014: We Don't Know Any Chad

For those of you who are new to HMOTD, this is where we explain some of the unexplained references from the actual podcast and expand upon stuff we didn't get a chance to go deeper into. You can read Show Notes for all our past episodes here.

1:00 “I'm The Doctor, Dr. Rob MacDougall, and with me is Mike 'Flytrap Venus Rising' Grasso:" During our recent sojourn on internet radio, it was discovered in assembling our playlists that Rob leans more on the rock side of music from the late ‘70s and I’m definitely more into the smooth music and soul of the era, so these improvised monikers actually work really well in retrospect. *bangs yin-yang-branded gong*

1:35 “Welcome to the show, Lenore.” We are so lucky to have fantastic friends who share our taste in fantastic classic TV, and Lenore’s perspective on Chad & Buffy & Raoul & Jennifer was invaluable. As Rob mentioned in Part 2 of our Season Review last season, some of our co-hosts in the coming weeks and months will actually be people of the female persuasion!

2:55 Michael Kassel: Again, let’s give a shout-out to Michael Kassel’s behind-the-scenes episode by episode look at WKRP, "Baby, If You've Ever Wondered," America's Favorite Radio Station: WKRP in Cincinnati.

3:20 Charles Kaufman and Spike Jonze: Speaking as a neutral outsider, Nic Cage plays Rob in the Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze-written-and-directed movie adaptation of Princess Street and Catherine Keener plays Lenore. Let's hope they can do passable Canadian accents. I'm not sure who would play then-17-year-old Mike who wanders into Canada with his 40-year-old time traveling clone on a mission from the future to save meta for everyone.

3:55 "I am pathetic." This movie's due a rewatch I think, for me personally. I think I consistently underrate it. After the bleakness of Synecdoche, New York, I kind of didn't want to deal with the Jonze/Kaufman continuum for a while.

5:30 Four 20, 21-year-olds: I thought I detected a coded 420 reference here between this and the mention of watching 6-hour VHS tapes due to inertia on the couch, but I might just be reading too much into everything these days.

6:00 "I want you to throw away these old calendars and TV Guides." One day, they'll find my stash of old TV Guides. Probably in a pile that's collapsed on top of me.

9:15 Second-wave feminism. We've talked deeply about the three ages of comics (and sitcoms) but maybe we should also gloss the three waves of feminism.

11:10 "Julie Payne plays Buffy, Johnny's old flame." We'll return a couple more times to Julie Payne over the course of this podcast, but here's her IMDB to get you started. One thing I noticed: she's one of the few woman cast members (playing "Additional Voices") in the famously testosterone-soaked Glengarry Glen Ross.

18:40 "Well, I think the key here is the fact that, well... Chad. I mean, we don't know any Chad." Just picture me poking my head through Jennifer's kitchen ledge to say this. It is tremendously useful as an apologia for in-jokes, though.

22:45: The Raoul-Raoul connection: Well-played, Rob.

23:50: "I looked up the schedule of TV shows on the air in 1979..." Excellent research by Lenore here on woman-led sitcoms at the end of the 70s, and a startling lesson about how in some ways we've gone backwards in the last 35 years. More bricks for our Master Carter-Reagan HMOTD Thesis.

26:00 "You use Skype for Business..." Since you all don't know any Chad, I'll raise the curtain and explain we turned a Skype-related tech hiccup in recording this episode into... yes, another in-joke. Yay! I'm on the inside of the joke this time!

28:20 "There actually was a gigantic orgy to which Les was not invited." I have a side thesis going on right now inspired by Noted Community Fan Jeff Wikstrom's "Les on a Ledge"-related realization that Les never explicitly denies he's gay, that Les is secretly a huge 1970s bisexual swinger. I'll keep my eyes open for this one as we go.

31:15 "You take a woman to a nice place. N-I-C-E." Goddamn, he really had me going there until the obligatory "You get her drunk, stupid!" punchline. I Want To Believe Herb isn't a complete scumbag.

34:55 "After The Love Has Gone." A Grammy-award winning R&B single for the songwriting trio of David Foster, Jay Graydon, and Bill Champlin, three (white) session musicians and songwriters with deep roots in the music industry and a collectively massive string of hits. I am rediscovering Earth, Wind & Fire lately and so much of my childhood, it seems, was soundtracked to their music, including, I am utterly convinced, NBA commercials in the 1980s (sadly, I can find no YouTube evidence of this, but I'm sure there was an NBA "Shining Star" commercial when I was growing up). Nothing beats "One on One," though. It's about basketball, but also about romancing. By the way, if you are not moved by James Worthy, Mo Cheeks, and a startlingly young MJ gliding to the hoop during the sublime sax solo... well, you didn't grow up in the 80s I guess.

38:45 "You looked up the tax law!" Damn it, Lenore, your research kung fu is putting us to shame.

39:15 "King, this case is closed." Another way I'm identifying more and more with Venus; his pop culture references. Hanging out with Venus is like MST3K ten years before it debuted. Another reason I'll wear the "Venus Rising" moniker proudly.

40:10 Les's topical references: a) I think the writers just have it in for Philadelphia; there are a few more "disaster strikes Philadelphia" throwaways in Season 2. Maybe because of the Pete Rose thing? b) Rob, regarding Iran and the Ayatollah: WKRP-Argo crossover fanfic when?

40:50 "I was so, I dunno, COOL." Let's go back to the MST3K well and my reaction when I heard Bailey's bubbling over at asking Johnny out... I was immediately reminded of the protagonist of the MSTied industrial short "Young Man's Fancy," which asks us to consider the wonders of the modern electric kitchen. Two money riffs from the Satellite of Love crew: "Thank goodness for my electric dress!" and "She's squishy, she's got the reds... what's going on around here?"

42:10 "...while a man with a... wiggling noodle is coming out asking them silly questions." Ahem. Well... the Fisher King is impotent after all. Also, here is Mary Maguire's IMDB.

45:20 Jennifer as Galahad or Percival. Now that I've had some time to ponder the link between a woman as healer of the Fisher King and the two "pure" knights that Lenore cites here, Galahad and Percival. Galahad was a later English addition to the Grail myth, the son of adultery between Lancelot and Elaine (while disguised as Guinevere), and his link to continence, purity and celibacy might, in gender studies terms, "un-man" him. Percival is from the French and German tradition, more a holy fool figure, a child of nature... perhaps that's more of a Johnny figure, but again, Perceval is pure, virginal and conflated in later collections of tales with the virgin knight/Galahad figure.

(Not totally related, but Monty Python very slyly links Galahad (played by Michael Palin) and actually Lancelot too (played by John Cleese) to different types of sexual farces in their respective Tales in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

48:40 Buffy's greatest hits: They are all great lines.

52:15 "Baby Boomers were materialistic." Yuppie literally came from the same portmanteau impulse as hippie, and yippie. Check this article from the Schenectady Gazette in 1986.

53:40 Wizards and Warriors. NOT the video game, as this late Gen-Xer thought, but this TV show, which I literally had never heard of before we recorded this episode. If we're going to talk Jeff Conaway, by the way, we need to link to this closing credits riff-fest from MST3K where Mike and the bots come up with titles for new erotic thrillers for the mid-90s USA Network, most of which star Jeff Conaway.

55:00 "You know those yellow actual official TSR D&D character sheets?" Yeah, Rob, I know. *laugh* They're remarkably difficult to find online though! There are modern PDF re-creations but very few original scans. But here's the bit I love: these sheets were released in... 1979. Hinge year! Grognardia cites them as "the greatest character sheets ever made for any iteration of Dungeons & Dragons, possibly for any RPG," and we all know OSR grognards NEVER EVER exaggerate. [/RPG inside baseball cattiness]

57:00 et subseq. Palimony. First of all, the song "Palimony" courtesy Leon Rausch, proving again that country music is a great barometer for what Middle America thinks of social trends. That "have my cake and Edith too" pun is awful, though, come on Leon.

Okay, palimony. First, Rob's incredulous fury at the realization that the media have been making stupid, facile portmanteaus (portmanteaux?) for social trends since the late 70s is priceless here. The condescension with which Rob cites "bromance" and "funemployment" is hilarious. Marvin v. Marvin is indeed the seminal case here, and as we noted in the podcast, the rich white men (or rich white women, see below) usually won these things or got them settled on the cheap. In the cases of gay palimony, Scott Thorson and Liberace did settle out of court, and both Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King fended off palimony cases with their longtime partners.

The SNL skit indeed lives on long past the events of Marvin v. Marvin. Transcript here. And yeah, people ended up treasuring Dan Aykroyd's rant and totally ignoring Jane Curtin's fantastic Point.

1:07:25 "That's our headcanon." This podcast is wrecking my brain, man...

1:08:35 "He's kind of her requisite bad boy..." ...although Lenore is also guilty of having a rich interior WKRP headcanon too, it seems. :)

1:10:15 Dig our new outro! And yeah, listen to the words, we want your stars on the iTunes store!


  1. Here's my dream cast for the Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze joint entitled "Princess Street".I agree with Cage as Rob,and Keener as Lenore. That leaves me, to be played by John Cusack (with a beard) and Pete, to be played by either Joaquin Phoenix or Cameron Diaz. The latter choice would be both for the necessary requirements to play early 90s Pete accurately of both feminine energy and really long and really great, frizzed-out hair (see Cameron's do in "Being John Malkovich"). Finally, my choice for the only current name actor who could plausibly play both a 17-yr old and a 40 yr-old for the dual role of young Mike and also time-traveling clone Mike would be Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And thanks for the mention in th show notes of my namesake, Mary Maguire (no relation known).

    1. I'm going to suggest someone with a bit more heft, so to speak, and say 17- and 40-year-old Mike could be plausibly played by 17- and 40-year-old Philip Seymour Hoffman, using the mullet from Sydney/Hard Eight for 17-year-old Mike:

  2. How difficult was it for you to not use the Ned Flanders "And then there's Maude! AND THEN THERE'S MAUDE!" clip instead of the show's opening theme?
    (Yes, I'm just catching up on my podcasts now)

    1. And I am just catching up on my podcast comment replies. Sorry!

      It wasn't too difficult, because the Maude theme is a thing of beauty! But yes, that's a good bit. I also admit to laughing at the Family Guy bit I found while searching for that clip, where the theme just goes on and on and on and Whatsisname keeps interjecting "And then there's Maude!"