Episode 47 – F for Fake

“Do you think I should confess? To what? Committing masterpieces?”

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we’re joining librarian and artist, Kit DeForge to turn our critical eyes to the final film directed by auteur Orson Welles, a conventions-defying documentary about frauds, fakers, and art forgery: F for Fake.

Welles delves into the world of two (or is it three?) spectacular liars. One is Elmyr de Hory, notorious art forger who paints replicas of masterpieces so convincing that they’re said be hanging in many prominent museums, and even the original artists claim to have created them. The other is Clifford Irving, the novelist and writer who exposed Elmyr’s forgeries in a tell-all book, before being revealed as a charlatan and fraud himself. It’s a deeply philosophical and nonlinear exploration of art, authorship, and who the real phonies might actually be.

Mike is Back on Ryan Daly’s Cheers Cast!

Mike is back on Ryan Daly‘s Cheers Cast, for a chat about the ninth episode of Cheers‘ fourth season, “From Beer to Eternity.”

After being handed another humiliating softball defeat by their rivals at Gary’s Olde Towne Tavern, the gang at Cheers is looking to turn their luck around. Sam challenges Gary to the one sport that he hasn’t been beaten them at yet: bowling. And Woody just might be their secret weapon, if only he hadn’t been traumatized in a tragic bowling accident years before.

Check it out!

Mike Appears on Paul Hix’s Dial F for Flanger Podcast!

Mike joins Paul Hix on his Dial F for Flanger podcast for a…discussion of a sensitive nature. We talk a bit about our shared history as cancer survivors.

Mike shares — in greater detail than ever before — his experience both finding his testicular tumor, being diagnosed with stage 2 seminoma, countless imaging, having surgery, lengthy recovery, and finally undergoing radiation therapy.  And Paul divulges his comparable experience with prostate cancer.

And we talk about how hearing that you have “one of the better types of cancer to get” doesn’t make you feel much better, and the weird guilt you sometimes feel that your cancer wasn’t more serious.

Check it out.

Fun Size Episode 58 – A Human Soup of Band-Aids and Pee

We continue our chat with Michael Warbington, as we look at the trajectory of big-budget franchises and the knee-jerk fan anger that Martin Scorsese’s criticisms of “theme park” movies vs. “cinema”….and maybe he has a good point?

And maybe we should really stop complaining about the apparent theatrical monopoly of blockbusters and start championing smaller independent films, like The Paper Tigers instead.

And finally, has toxic fandom finally drifted into a form of self-harm for some people, as one Disney fan on social media starts drinking water out of Walt Disney World’s public fountains and rating its taste?

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 23 – The 6th Day

They picked the wrong man to clone.

After more than a year, we’re back! We’re backing up our syncords and eating some nacho-flavored bananas with the Camp Director and President of Camp Quest NorthWest, Michael Warbington, because this month we’re talking about the near-future sci-fi thriller: The 6th Day!

After a case of mistaken identity, charter pilot Adam Gibson returns home to find himself replaced with a clone. Suddenly, he’s on the run from seemingly unkillable cloned assassins and marked for death by a powerful businessman who must keep his illegal human cloning program a secret at all costs. Now Adam must team up with his own clone to save his family, uncover the truth, and prove his own identity.

Fun Size Episode 57 – The SJW/C.H.U.D. Alliance

We’re joined again by Tobiah Panshin to dig into some movie talk. Is there really a hard divide between popcorn blockbusters and what Martin Scorsese calls “cinema”? Will the shadow of the pandemic change anything about movies going forward?

And we talk about the oddity of Zack Snyder’s 4-hour cut of the Justice League film, and how it inexplicably exists beyond all probability — both through the world-changing crises, scandals and events that even made its creation possible, and probably made critics and audiences kinder to it.

CORRECTION: Ava Duvernay turned down directing Black Panther, not The Eternals.

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Episode 46 – Wonder Twins by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne

“Wonder Twin powers — Activate!”

This month, we’re balancing teen angst and superheroics with returning guest Paul Hix of Waiting for Doom – the Doom Patrol Podcast to gush over over the hilarious satirical DC Comics maxi-series: Wonder Twins!

Exiled to Earth from the utopian planet Exxor, super-powered teens Zan and Jayna must now juggle high school with their after-school internship with the heroic Justice League! But they must also grapple with strange new Earth concepts like crippling debt, shocking inequality and mass incarceration; and they begin wondering if beating up costumed criminals and throwing them in jail is really making the world a better place…

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Fun Size Episode 56 – “The Customer is Always Right”

We continue to work the registers with Tobiah Panshin, going to places both weirdly metaphysical and painfully mundane.

First, Mike thinks it might actually be preferable to live in a hypothetical computer simulation than a “real” universe. What is real, anyways? Does that make our programmers gods?  Is the act of creation inherently selfish — and if it is, does that even matter?

Then, we look at a recently unearthed-on-YouTube reality show, Airline, about ticket agents and flight attendants weathering often-drunken customer abuse and demands. It triggers all sorts of all-too-familiar customer service flashbacks. Plus, Mike remembers that one time he almost got into a fight at the airport.

Episode 45 – Willow

Adventure doesn’t come any bigger than this.

We’re back in the studio and ready to cross swords with Tobiah Panshin, the author of The Game Master: A Guide to the Art and Theory of Roleplaying, and dive into George Lucas and Ron Howard’s high fantasy tale of magic and child endangerment: Willow!

When a diminutive farmer, Willow Ufgood, finds a baby princess prophesied to destroy the evil Queen Bavmorda, he is recruited by magical forces to be the child’s guardian. Now, aided by a roguish swordsman, a wise sorceress, and an annoying pair of impish brownies, Willow must overcome his fears and save the entire realm from evil.

Fun Size Episode 55 – Jerkbeast

We’re continuing our talk with Patrick Johnson, and we’re waxing nostalgic.

We look back at the sliding timeline of The Simpsons and try to count the anachronisms as they pile up. But nothing could prepare us for the existential crisis triggered as we realize that under current show continuity, Homer Simpson is now a Gen-Xer.

We also reminisce about our brief time as public access TV producers on the Seattle Community Access Network. We dealt with shoddy equipment, a menagerie of conspiracy-minded weirdos, and a city council budget crunch that ultimately killed the station. We’ve got boxes full of Pepe!

Episode 44 – Fight Club

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

In the first Single Serving Selection in over a year, we are Jack’s complete lack of surprise. We’re stealing human fat from dumpsters and peeing into fancy soup with friend of the show Patrick Johnson. This month, we’re breaking the first two rules, because we’re talking about 1999’s Fight Club.

Is this David Fincher dark comedy a brilliant and scathing satirical deconstruction of toxic masculinity and how disaffected men can be drawn into extremism and violence? Or is it a shallow and pretentious edgelord glorification of the same thing? Or is it somewhere in between? We dig into the cult film we all adored as young twenty-somethings and dissect it under the harsh light of 2021.

Fun Size Episode 54 – Birds Aren’t Real

We’re joined by Australia’s own Paul Hix from Waiting for Doom – the Doom Patrol Podcast, to dig into the latest and strangest conspiracy theory: Bird Trutherism!

Counterfeit avians? Feathered Cameras in the Sky!? Why does it feel like the desire to answer serious questions in the most unserious ways has gone frighteningly mainstream?

Has the legalization of marijuana in many states left us doomed to a future where pot smoking will be branded tragically…uncool?

And we get an opportunity to grill our Aussie guest on an outsider’s view of American culture and cuisine. Do we have things that scare and confuse others as much as vegemite does us? (Spoiler: yes, we do.)

Black Ops Episode 20 – Difficulty Is Kind of the Point [CLIP]

After over a year, we’re back with a new Black Ops podcast, now exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we join Joe Preti to continue our conversation from last month.

We talk about Mike’s acquisition of a hardcover omnibus collection of the 1983’s Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, a remarkable creation of a pre-internet age and a time capsule of a time gone by, and wax nostalgic for why obsolete continuity can be a treasure to revisit.

We dive into one of the more contentious discussions on the topic of video games: difficulty settings. Where some games like Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls strive for unforgiving challenge, other games are trying to make themselves more accessible and less frustrating through “Story mode” difficulty that doesn’t try to murder you.

And then there’s the Battletoads jet ski level…

To unlock this episode in its entirety — and many episodes more! — just support us on Patreon with at least one measly dollar a month!

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Fun Size Episode 53 – Rest in Piss, You Piece of Shit

In our latest plot to lose any conservative listeners, we’re back!

We’re chatting with Joe Preti, who offers his defense of the much-maligned and frequently buggy Cyberpunk 2077. We dig into the often unreasonable expectations of both gamers and game companies, and why the video game industry exploits their workers and releases unfinished, broken games.

Is online gaming inevitably toxic and ugly? Are we doomed to racism, selfish teammates and endless griefing? Can we bake solutions into the programming of the games themselves?

And why does it seem like everyone on the political Far-Right from Ben Shapiro to Steve Bannon to Adolf Hitler, is a medicore failed artist, movie producer or screenwriter?

And we say goodbye to a dead radio icon with all of the respect and dignity he deserves.

NOTE: The Skype audio was not up to our usual standards, but we still think it’s listenable. Our apologies! No apologies are offered to Rush Limbaugh.

Fun Size Episode 52 – The Show That Launched a Thousand Vasectomies

Broadcasting live through the smoking ruins of the ‘Quar, we’re back! Again! This month, we’re joined by Patrick Johnson to try and make sense of it all.

We dig into everything from obscure – but real – DC Comics characters, to the limits to which Casey’s kids can make him rewatch the LEGO Batman Movie.

And we look at the massive outpouring of parental joy and relief at the cancellation of the infuriating PBS children’s show Caillou. How has that show influenced and modeled bad behavior in kids, and has the impact of shows like Beavis and Butt-Head and MTV’s Jackass had a similar negative effect on older viewers?

And finally… is the age of the movie theater, at least, dead?