February 8, 2019

Episode 136 - ANNIE (1982)

Leapin' lizards! The lavish screen adaptation of the timeless Broadway smash Annie is a 1930s nostalgia factory, perhaps the rosiest portrait of the Great Depression ever produced. It's also a valentine to American capitalism in its cinematic excess, and in its portrayal of a billionaire grumbling about the system he is all too eager to exploit.

Two Gay Matts co-host (and plucky redhead) Matt Steele helps up keep smiling through this hard knock life. Bet your bottom dollar that you'll love this episode!

(Note: This episode was completed in advance of Albert Finney's passing on February 7, 2019. Consider it a tribute to his portrayal of Daddy Warbucks as an indomitable softie, and his many other memorable roles.)

Annie (1982)
Directed by John Huston
Produced by Ray Stark
Written by Carol Sobieski
Based on the stage musical by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan; and the comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray
Starring Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Geoffrey Holder, and Edward Herrmann

More Matt Steele

Febreze commercial - "Super Bowl Party Prep"
Two Gay Matts on YouTube

January 25, 2019

Episode 135 - UNBREAKABLE

As Hollywood was still casting a wary eye upon superhero films, along came a movie that unapologetically embraced the language of comic books to tell a cinematic story. Unbreakable is still one of the moodiest superhero movies ever: deliberate, somber, and whisper-quiet with a pair of stars playing against type, it stands as perhaps the apotheosis of M. Night Shyamalan's unsettling modern parables.

Sam Stovold and Kevin Young join us to ponder the implications of real-life superpowers and an extended Shyamalan-iverse in an episode that ends with a shocking twist! (Or does it...?)

Unbreakable (2000)
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Produced by Barry Mendel, Sam Mercer, and M. Night Shyamalan
Starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark, Chance Kelly, and Charlayne Woodard

January 12, 2019


And now, a word from our sponsors...

This mouth-watering medley of memorable food and drink commercials features our biggest, boldest, and most nutritious examination of retro advertising to date! You'll love the flavorful insights on everything from cereal and citrus soda to candy bars and Canadian lager. And this time, we're not just reminiscing about the products being advertised...we're consuming them too!

Satisfy your appetite with this brand-new episode, part of a balanced podcast breakfast.

Ads featured in this episode:
Waffle Crisp
Polaner All-Fruit
Ritz Bits Sandwiches
Got Milk? ("Oreo Kane" and "Aaron Burr")
Labatt Blue

December 22, 2018

Episode 133 - WINTER WONDER-THON 2018

Before we enter holiday hibernation, we're gifting our listeners another stockpile of seasonal delights in our third annual Winter Wonder-Thon, including six scratch-off cards, five lumps of clay, four ninja teens, three father figures, two chocolate morsels, and a singing turd on your TV.  And this time, we're snowed in with that manifestation of merriment himself, Nate Tapp.  (You all must have been extra good this year!)

Come celebrate the season with this collection of clips, commercials, sitcoms, and specials all liberally sprinkled with holiday cheer.  We'll be back again in 2019!

Featured in this episode:

Clips and Shorts
Gumby Adventures - "Humbug" (aired 2/20/1988)
Pennsylvania Lottery commercial - "Snowfall" (1992, 2012)
M&M's commercial - "Faint" (1996, 2017)

TV Episodes and Specials
Full House - "A Very Tanner Christmas" (aired 12/15/1992)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: We Wish You A Turtle Christmas (1994)
South Park - "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" (aired 12/1/1999)

December 14, 2018


The first two Home Alone movies didn't just give us ideas for inflicting pain and suffering upon hapless burglars. They affirmed the importance of familial bonds, turned Macaulay Culkin into a prepubescent celebrity icon, and sold kids a dream of heroic self-sufficiency via jury-rigged deathtraps and handheld voice changers. More than just a slapstick romp, Home Alone has blossomed into an essential holiday tradition.

Join us for a yuletide double feature as we thoroughly unpack the McAllister mythos, from its homespun John Hughes-ian roots to its emergence as an unstoppable--and unchanging--comedic force. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals! (And a happy new year!)

Home Alone (1990)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Written and produced by John Hughes
Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, and John Candy

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Written and produced by John Hughes
Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara, John Heard, Tim Curry, Dana Ivey, Rob Schneider, Eddie Bracken, and Brenda Fricker

November 30, 2018

Episode 131 - MRS. DOUBTFIRE

Robin Williams spends the bulk of Mrs. Doubtfire demonstrating the many acting talents from his own résumé as his character vies to retain custody of his children in the guise of an elderly female housekeeper. The perfect vehicle for a beloved entertainer with a deep well of voices and slapstick chops, this poignant divorce dramedy sees the comedian don matronly movie makeup to prove his paternal prowess and remind us why he felt like a filmic father figure to a generation.

In keeping with the theme of family, we welcome our first guest appearance from a sibling! Eric's sister, Amy Ambler, joins us to bring the fourth and final round of our Robin Round Robin full circle with another Williams classic. He's the true champion in the eyes of these nostalgic podcasters, but we invite dissenting opinions! If Mrs. Doubtfire teaches us anything, it's that people can have their differences and keep their distance... and that's okay.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Produced by Marsha Garces Williams, Robin Williams, and Mark Radcliffe
Written by Randi Mayem Singer and Leslie Dixon
Based on Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
Starring Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein, Robert Prosky, Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, and Mara Wilson

November 22, 2018


To modern eyes, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is not unlike a superhero movie. In this retelling, the titular hero resembles Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark--a rich, handsome adventurer driven to vigilantism when he experiences injustice firsthand. There's also a scene-stealing villain in Alan Rickman's delectably evil Sheriff of Nottingham, and even an eleventh-hour cameo that functions as a kind of easter egg.

Still, this Robin Hood is a very '90s affair. It's an earnest attempt to appeal to modern audiences without alienating the traditionalists, and features Kevin Costner at the peak of his laconic powers. So crank up the Bryan Adams for round three of the Robin Round Robin, as we celebrate a pioneering wealth redistributor in this special Thanksgiving episode!

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Directed by Kevin Reynolds
Produced by Pen Densham, John Watson, and Richard Barton Lewis
Written by Pen Densham and John Watson
Starring Kevin Costner, Alan Rickman, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Christian Slater, Michael Wincott, Geraldine McEwan, Nick Brimble, Mike McShane, and Sean Connery