Existential Parachute Pants: A 90’s Pop Culture Podcast

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Wilder-‘n Out

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Guys! Did you know Gene Wilder had a sitcom!? In the 90s!? Seriously. Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka himself, longtime comedic compatriot of Mel Brook and Richard Pryor, had a sitcom in the 90s. And it was called Something Wilder. That sounds so much like a temporary title I don’t think anybody can beat it in that regard.

Wilder didn’t even play a guy named Wilder. His characters name was Gene Bergman. He played a fiftysomething married to a thirtysomething and they had two four-year-old twin sons. It seems like a really broad family sitcom. It lasted only 15 episodes. Gene Wilder had a sitcom, on NBC, and it only lasted 15 episodes.

If the show had been set in Newark, it could have been called Newark Wilder. Pavement joke!

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Love, Satellite Style, Satellite Of Love Style

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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I watched The Creeping Terror of MST3K recently. I also recently watched The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, the first Mike episode, and I realized that Brain That Wouldn’t Die may be the worst movie they ever showed. Worse than Hobgoblins, worse than Manos. Seriously. Anyway, during The Creeping Terror episode, they do one of my favorite host segments, an inexplicable “scathing satire” of Love, American Style.

You may not remember Love, American Style. I do, because I am a ridiculous person who watched a lot of Nick at Nite as a child. It’s a sort of anthology of stories about “love.” Happy Days started there. Apparently a lot of failed pilots ended up there. In MST3K’s version, every little segment is super broad and arch, and sort of on point in its own way. I love it though because of the credits for each segment, and because Mike kisses both of the bots, which is very goofy. What is it about a man in a jumpsuit kissing a puppet of a robot?

There’s a movie about the making of The Creeping Terror, too. Both a documentary and a narrative film. Because the guy who made it was an awful person and con artist, apparently. Having seen the film, I am not surprised.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Soldier Toy Tell ‘Em

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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When we talked about the career of Phil Hartman, we briefly covered Small Soldiers, the Joe Dante motion picture, but we didn’t really have a ton to say about it if I recall. Well, I decided to give it a rewatch, as I am a Joe Dante fan, and I haven’t seen it in like 15 years. Like, when I saw it, it didn’t register with me that I was watching Dick Miller, and that Miller is in all of Dante’s films. These are the things that matter.

Small Soldiers is a good movie. It’s not one of the Dante’s best offerings. He wasn’t trapped by anything, really, as he got to make a PG-13 movie, which is what Gremlins 2 is, and essentially what Gremlins is. The movie is about some toys that get military microchips put in them that are super advanced so they become somewhat sentient, violent killing machines. Well, the soldiers at least. Their “enemies,” the Gorgons, are programmed to hide and lose. They are the good guys, of course, and the Commando Elite are the bad guys. Then the soldiers start attacking people, including Kirsten Dunst, Kevin Dunn, and Phil Hartman.

It has some of that standard Joe Dante anarchy to it. At some point, toy soldiers are shooting flaming tennis balls at people, and the main kid’s mom is returning them with a tennis racket. They send up military movies a bunch. A lot of the Commando Elite are voiced by Dirty Dozen cast members. The movie The Crawling Eye is briefly seen. There’s also some pointedness about the military and big corporations. Big corporations aren’t Dante’s thing. Oh, and at one point, whilst Kirsten Dunst is beating up Gwendy (Barbie stand-in) dolls with a baton, one quips, “It’s a Baton Death March!”

On the other hand, it has problems, too. It’s super slow to get going. Probably a good half hour before it gets interesting. The romance between the main kid (who is pretty much a zero so much so that I just remembered his name is Alan Abernathy) and Kirsten Dunst is awkward and tacked on. Like, they have the scene where they talk and realize they have so much in common. Dunst even says “Do you like Led Zeppelin?” and Alan is like “Yeah,” and she’s all like, “They are my favorite.” It’s ridiculous. This is, like, a 14 year old girl in the late 90s who is super into Led Zeppelin. More to the point, they handle it awkwardly. Also, a couple of the comedy relief Gorgons aren’t very funny.

In short, if you like Joe Dante, it’s probably worthwhile to see Small Soldiers. And Hartman is delightful.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

Existential Parachute Pants: A 90’s Pop Culture Podcast – Episode 104: Series Finales

Posted by on Jul 18, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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104 episodes. That’s two years worth of episodes. To celebrate the occasion, we talked about various series finales from the 90’s. Not ALF, though. We already talked about ALF for a whole episode. Stuff like Newhart and so on.

Links:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/existential-parachute-pants/id680253940 Do iTunes things.

Twitter: @ExistentialPant, @ChrisXMorgan, @SethMacy Do Twitter things.

The theme song remains “Her Favorite Bra” by Dan Emery Mystery Band. Thanks for waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette. And for listening.

Easter Beats The Simpsons

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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The Emmy nominations came out yesterday. So, naturally, I decided to go check out The Simpsons’ track record in terms of Outstanding Animated Program in the 90s. They were nominated every year save one. I think that year they tried to win Outstanding Comedy Series or something. They won five times. Here was what was up when they lost.

First, they lost to A Claymation Easter in 1992. Sounds dumb. The episode The Simpsons nominated was “Radio Bart,” which is great and should have won. 1993 was the year they weren’t nominated. Batman: The Animated Series won for a part one, which feels weird. If half a two-parter was to win, you’d think it would be the culminating part.

They also weren’t nominated in 1994. I was wrong about stuff. The Roman City won. It beat Duckman. They won in 1995, shout out to “Lisa’s Wedding,” but then lost in 1996 to Pinky and the Brain’s Christmas special. They nominated a Treehouse of Horror. That’s why they lost. I’m pretty sure it’s the one with the 3-D. Finally, in 1999, they lost to King of the Hill. Futurama and The Simpsons both got nominated. The PJs too! Big year for FOX. The Simpsons nominated “Viva Ned Flanders,” which is solid. Futurama had the best episode probably.

The Simpsons won a bunch in the 2000s too.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

You Don’t Have To Go Home But You Can’t Stay Here. Because This Is A Post On The Internet.

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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In the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic, at one point he sings “One last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer.” Does this presuppose this bar only serves whiskey and beer? If you want vodka or scotch or wine no dice! Or, does it presuppose that only those with whiskey or beer must finish their drinks, or should finish their drinks. Got a whiskey? Finish that shit off! Wine? Leave it be! Don’t finish it, whatever you do! Do they serve wine in bars? I bet some do, and that also some do not.

I know who I want to take me home.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

What’s The Deal With The 70s?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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In a first season episode of That 70’s Show, Hyde runs into his estranged mother, played by Katey Sagal, best known as Peg on Married with Children, or perhaps Leela on Futurama. Her character, named Edna, is a lunch lady. This is a very good name for a lunch lady, on an aesthetic level.

However, this reminded me of another, similar situation in a more classic 90s sitcom. I speak, of course, of Kramer and his mom. Like Kramer, Hyde goes by his last name. Like Hyde, Kramer is estranged from his mother. Edna is a lunch lady, whereas Kramer’s mom Babs is a matron, which means she works in a restroom, like, giving people towels and stuff. It’s a similar job to being a lunch lady, in many respects.

Although, in truth, Fez is more the “Kramer” of That 70s Show. Eric is definitely a Jerry. Donna is probably the Elaine. Would Hyde be the George? Eric’s sister is Newman. Kelso and Jackie have no equivalents. This isn’t a remake, you know?

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

It Sure Is, Billy

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Even to this day, after watching a million hours of The Simpsons, and watching some episodes dozens of times, occasionally I will be hit by a more subtle joke in a way it has never hit me before. Something simple, usually a visual joke or a “sign gag,” that I know I’ve seen, but it never really struck me.

This happened to me last night as I watched “Bart the Mother” on FXX. It was cut down for syndication quite a bit, unfortunately. It’s weird. Sometimes, they add stuff back in. Sometimes, they take more away. Anyway, Bart turns out the Troy McClure video about birds, and the subtitle of the educational film is “Our Fine Feathered Colleagues.” It’s so subtle and barely a joke, but I laughed and laughed and laughed. Because they said “colleagues” instead of “friends.” That simple. That funny. Long live The Simpsons.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

You Can Mario Check Out Anytime You Like But You Can’t Mario Leave

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Hotel Mario is considered by many to be the worst Mario video game. At least, in it’s Philips CD-I form. I mean, as Seth could tell you, and has many times over, that was a shitty game system. I never played it. I didn’t even know it existed until Seth started talking about it from time to time on the podcast. As such, I can’t tell you much about Hotel Mario, but I can tell you this. On the game cover, it looks like there is a Koopa or Goomba or something dressed like Elvis Presley. Therefore, I argue this is the greatest Mario game of all time.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter

What Is Love?

Posted by on Jul 12, 2015 in Existential Parachute Pants | 0 comments

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Barney, the dinosaur for young children, is one of the most facile targets in all of comedy. He is who seven-year-olds who want to be edgy make fun of. They made a joke about him in the movie Mafia!, which says it all. Seriously, that movie literally ends with Barney watching porn and getting harpooned by an Inuit.

However, recently Barney came into my mind, and I have an actual critical point to hurl at Barney. What’s his key song? “I Love You,” right? The thing is, that song is super aggressive in its way, and also very clingy. Like, this dinosaur meets all these little kids, and he’s like “I love you, you love me.” And he says “Won’t you say you love me too.” Relax, dude. These small children don’t even really understand love. You don’t love them, dinosaur! And don’t ask them to love you! That’s not your decision to make.

Barney is creating all sort of weird notions of love for these small children. Also, he’s making them think dinosaurs are still alive and can talk.

 

You can find Chris Morgan on the Twitter