Existential Parachute Pants: A 90′s Pop Culture Podcast

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Some Boats Are On Rivers

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


As I was watching footed ball, and watching the Detroit Lions emerge victorious (actually it was after this that the events I am about to relay happened), I flipped over to the motion picture Maverick. It is a film starring Mel Gibson, which, in these modern times, is always a bit awkward, especially when he is supposed to be playing a charming rogue. The film also stars Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson’s one remaining friend, and also James Garner, which is cool. The late Garner starred in the TV show Maverick, so I like the fact they gave him a nice role here. Also, The Rockford Files is a good show.

The bits of it I saw were pretty solid, although there is a silly Danny Glover cameo which I was not enthused by, although this is a film intent on being light and “fun” so it doesn’t actually feel all that jarring. What was jarring is that right before Maverick they showed Unforgiven on the same channel, a very different Western. A lot of Maverick involved riverboat gambling. Here’s the thing: We need more riverboat gambling films. We get gambling films. But what about gambling on boats on rivers?

In my mind, this is the finest of all genres. So start writing some movies that have riverboats on which people are gambling, Hollywood. And then hope your star doesn’t turn out to be an awful person. I will settle for two dudes in a canoe on a lake playing Connect Four.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Turkey Day

Posted by on Nov 27, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments




You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Black Hanksday

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


In honor of Thanksgiving, and the fact I sat down to write with nothing in mind and with a hard out in a few minutes, let us celebrate Hanksgiving. That is, Tom Hanks. The actor, not the seismologist. What is the best 90′s Tom Hanks movie? Not Forrest Gump. That movie is bad, as we discussed in a podcast. I also haven’t seen a bunch of them, so those are out.

It really comes down to two for me. Saving Private Ryan and Joe Versus the Volcano. I’ll go with the latter. Saving Private Ryan is a fine movie, really gripping and well-made and impressively acted and I know some don’t like the ending but I think it’s pretty alright and affecting. I don’t feel like it’s cheap, even if it does straddle the line. Fittingly enough, I think it earns it.

Joe V the V though, is better. It’s great. It’s funny and well-crafted and Hanks is great and Meg Ryan plays three characters and I think maybe it is the only Meg Ryan movie I’ve ever seen but I really like her in it. Lloyd Bridges is in it too. Remember when he was in Airplane!? Those were good times.

So, if you want to watch a Tom Hanks movie this Thanksgiving, I recommend Joe Versus the Volcano. I’ll be watching football, though. Because football is great and the Lions are great and I can watch Joe Versus the Volcano anytime I want. That’s what we celebrate when we celebrate Thanksgiving.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

You Sunk John Swartzwelder’s Battleship

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


John Swartzwelder is a legendary comedy writer, the most prolific writer in Simpsons history. He is also a legendary eccentric. There are many known stories out there in the ether, and also some that I got straight from former Simpsons writer Jay Kogen when I bothered him by asking him for some insight on the legend that is Swartzwelder. So, for today, here is an anecdote from former Simpsons writer Brent Forrester, as told to John Orvted for his book Unauthorized Oral History of The Simpsons. I saw part of that book, and what I saw was mostly some sniveling former assistant of Sam Simon talking shit about Matt Groening, so I said, “PASS.” However, this anecdote is a different story:

…I remember distinctly one time being a young comedy writer, and Swartzwelder just happened to be sitting there, smoking a cigarette on the lawn. And I though, Man, I’m just gonna ask John Swartzwelder a random question and see what he says in return. And I said “John, what would you do if you had all the money that you could spend?” And without a moment’s hesitation he said “I would buy a battleship and the Empire State Building. With the Empire State Building, I would just let it run down and get decrepit. Because people would say, ‘You can’t do that! That’s the Empire State Building!” I would say ‘No, I can! I own the Empire State Building!’

“The battleship,” he said, “I just think it would change people’s conversations with me if they knew that I had a battleship.”…

Those aren’t terrible ideas. Although, we all know the aircraft carrier is the most prestigious of the ships. It’s the one with… five pegs? Or is it four pegs? It’s the most pegs in Battleship. If I had all the money I could spend, I’d buy love. Which is to say, I would buy up the concept of love, and then nobody else would be legally allowed to feel it again. You might be thinking that’s not possible. But I got all the money I can spend, dudes. Anything is possible. Then I’d dig up John Lennon’s corpse just to rub it in his face. Or his skull. Or his ashes. I don’t know the state of John Lennon’s body at the moment.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter


Basic Chemical Reactions

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


First, an amendment to my last post. At the time, I was trying to deduce how to spell the name Merle. You know, like Merle Haggard. I figured Meryl didn’t work, because that looks like Meryl Streep’s name. I went with Merrill in the end. That too, though, is probably more of a way to spell a name pronounced “mare-ull.” As opposed to “murr-ull.” I think I can get away with it, because Cousin Merle’s name was never shown as written in the episode.

So, Food Network. Ever watch it? I’ve watched it several times, even though I never cook. Good Eats, that’s a good show. I wrote about that before. Chopped is a thing I have flipped over to. People seem to like that. I remember Emeril Lagasse existing. Bam! That’s a reference to a thing he said all the top. He also kicked things up a notch. They also do shows where people learn to cook maybe? I think that’s part of it.

Anyway, for this post, I decided to look at what the show was doing way back in the 90′s. I found the earliest thing listed, some show called How to Boil Water. Now, I’m no expert, but this seems like a pretty by the books thing. You put the water in a thing, and put that thing on a mechanism for boiling. You know, because of heat. Heat makes water boil. FACT. This was apparently a simple, probably cheap, show about teaching people basic cooking. Back before the days when it was all about Cupcake Wars and the Ace of Cakes and other bullshit. The show first aired on 1993. IMDb seems to indicate the show still exists, but I’ve never heard of it before now. Maybe it airs at a weird hour.

Emeril was on this show. Perhaps things were kicked up a notch. History will be the judge.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Cletus? Cousin Merril? Big Hungry Joe?

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


There is an episode of The Simpsons entitled “Brother From Another Series.” Have you heard of The Simpsons? It doesn’t come up a lot here, but it’s a pretty big deal. Anyway, this is a really good episode, and my favorite Sideshow Bob episode. It is the one where he “goes straight” and works at the hydroelectric dam with his brother Cecil. Bob is voiced by Kelsey Grammer, Cecil by David Hyde Pierce.

This is notable because they players Frasier and Niles on Frasier. In turn, this episode has a vaguely different vibe to it than a lot of Simpsons episodes. I wonder if it is a Frasier vibe. All I know is the last time I watched this episode, it really made me want to watch Frasier. But I haven’t yet. For one, I often get wary of diving into shows with extended episode catalogs. I mean, when I watched Scooby Doo!: Mystery Incorporated, it was only 52 episodes. Frasier has a bunch. Do I have to watch them all? No, but if I really like it, I would kind of like to.

Then, there is the Cheers factor. Frasier started as a character on Cheers. I have only see two seasons of Cheers, none involving Frasier. Do I want to watch Frasier, and then go back and watch Cheers episodes with Frasier in them? Then again, I kind of soured on Cheers season two because I do not like the way they dealt with Diane, and with Sam and Diane. So, does it even matter? Does anything matter? Or should we all just give up and kill ourselves?

In short, do not play with your smellhound around a cement mixer. Rest in peace, Geech. And rest assured, if I watch Frasier, I will write about it. Also, I am getting the feeling I wrote about this episode before. Then again, maybe it was somewhere else. I write a lot of stuff, and I write a lot of stuff about The Simpsons. A quick internet search makes me feel I am safe. Hooray for that.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Existential Parachute Pants: A 90′s Pop Culture Podcast – Episode 70: Hackers

Posted by on Nov 22, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


Hackers is the great love of Seth’s life (don’t tell his wife and children) so we finally got along to talking about it, because I finally got around to watching it. If you’ve ever wanted to see a film that encompasses either a vision of the 90′s from the 1940′s or from the 2040′s, then make it Hackers. Angelina Jolie is in it. Fisher Stevens too.


iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/existential-parachute-pants/id680253940 We would appreciate a rating or a subscription or a review.

Twitter: @ExistentialPant, @ChrisXMorgan, and @SethMacy So tweet us up.

The theme song remains “Her Favorite Bra” by Dan Emery Mystery Band. Thanks for listening, all you Phantom Phreaks and Acid Burns.

Chasing Angela Crazy

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


Thanksgiving, right? It’s a way to think of a thing to write about. It’s also an easy way to find an episode of some humorous show to write about or whatever. Take, for example, Boy Meets World.

They had two Thanksgiving episodes. One was called “Turkey Day.” That’s pretty basic. I don’t know anything about it. It’s probably just basic Thanksgiving stuff. Then, there’s the second Thanksgiving episode. It is called “Chasing Angela-Part II.” I find this interesting, because the Thanksgiving episode is the second part of a two parter. It’s both a holiday episode and the second part of an ongoing story. That seems like an odd choice. I don’t know if that happens often. I also don’t know who Angela is, or who is chasing her, or why. All I know is Topanga is a character.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Homer Simpson Lives On The Second Floor

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


How long has it been since I wrote about The Simpsons? Probably not very long, by the standards of all topics, but, in terms of my returning to The Simpsons as a topic, it has been awhile. So, let me take another moment to praise a show I have praised a million times.

In the episode “Realty Bites,” a great episode by the way, Homer buys Snake’s car at an auction, and Snake breaks out prison to get it back, even if it means killing Homer. At one point, Homer is driving Lil’ Bandit, the car in question, and happily singing. What is he singing? “Luka” by Suzanne Vega.

This is brilliant, and hilarious, and awesome. One, it’s a fairly obscure song, making it a nice reference. I mean people know the song, and it was a hit,  but it’s not super well-known. Two, singing it happily while you drive along in a convertible is incongruous to the serious subject matter and tone of the song. Three, Homer singing it. He’s butchering it in his happy obliviousness, and it’s just tremendous.

Could there have been better choices? Maybe, but I can’t think of one off the top of my head. And stay off the west side.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Bleep Bloop Heavy Metal

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments


This week, Metallica are doing a sort of residence on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. They were a guest on Monday, and they are doing musics every night. I do not like Metallica. I do not like “heavy metal,” as the kids call it. I know Metallica is the “pop” heavy metal band, as in they are the metal band that is more palatable to a wider audience. It still doesn’t really work for me.

However, back in the 90′s, things were slightly different. I thought Metallica was OK, I guess. They did represent tough guy rock and roll, at least, which had its appeal to a child of a certain age. But this was a pre-Napster world, but one with the internet. So what was a discerning child to do? Why, listen to MIDIs of course. You know MIDIs. They are sort of like chiptune or elevator music or whatever. They were used to take songs and break them down into something more basic. Honestly, they often sounded pretty alright. I mean, they had a pep in their steps, and were often melodic enough to be enjoyable.

There were a couple of Metallica songs I’d listen to the MIDIs of. “Enter Sandman,” of course. “Turn the Page,” their cover of Bob Seger. And also “Nothing Else Matters.” Here’s the thing; I’ve never heard the traditional, non-computerized version of “Nothing Else Matters.” Just the MIDI version. I have no real reference point for the real thing. All I know is some bleeps and bloops and cheery computer noises. It’s probably an improvement.


You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter