Episode 116 – Reflections of Society


We talk about horror, sci-fi and comedy this week. Each of these is used to reflect society in different ways.

Alan attended the Just for Laughs comedy fest which is 10 days of non-stop comedy. Most of his experiences were good, but a few went overboard.

There’s a good discussion of horror and an upcoming talk that Stephen is doing with his co-host from Horror Lasagna.

And the Orville and other sci-fi is discussed in our weekly ramble.


The Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror Episodes – IMDb

James Bond music – Wikipedia

Welcome to Horror Lasagna | Horror Lasagna

Toronto | Just For Laughs (

The Orville – Wikipedia



[00:00:00] Stephen: Yeah. I figured it’s Halloween. This is like urban explorer, supernatural type, natural.

[00:00:06] Alan: You’re looking for let’s see, something that your relatives left somewhere in this structure, and of course you keep hearing noises that aren’t natural for that place. So I went with the fall changing here

[00:00:15] Stephen: Okay.

Yeah. I was, looking around it and seeing what I got, so I gotta get some more halloweenish ones.

[00:00:21] Alan: Exactly. Are you watching a lot of scary movies because, any number of, like all the online services have shocktober and Yes. Their Halloween, they got tons of stuff available.

They’ve revived old series. They’ve made like all. I need all the Jasons, all the saws, whatever else is available. They put together little packages of Yes. Of

[00:00:40] Stephen: Halloween. I have, and I’ve started clear back in September now, I mean I’ve been watching each week three or four scary movies and episodes of Crip Keep and Dark Side and Twilight Zone, all that.

In fact, that’s, it’s funny cause I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, I’ve been going through the Simpsons Treehouse of Terror episodes. Exactly. Okay. Which are fantastic. If people have watch ’em, I make it a part of my Halloween ritual. Now that, there’s 30, some of them, they do three little vignettes each episode.

and they’re just so funny in a very tongue and cheek, humorous way. They make fun of everything. The one episode I watched at the very end they were in the kitchen. They started imitating the Charlie Brown Christmas special at the end, where they start singing, and they always have.

Like the first episode they did the Raven from Poe and Barts the Raven. He goes, quote the Raven, Eat my shorts. Eat my short. I

[00:01:37] Alan: remember that from all the way

[00:01:39] Stephen: back. Exactly. Yeah. Colin laughs at that hysterically. That’s his favorite. And then they have the aliens that are always showing up and they do a, each year it’s they imitate something different.

One year. It’s like the Munsters opening one year. It’s like a game show and Yeah. Yeah. We talk about Mad Magazine and it’s very mad magazine, like parody stuff. Exactly. So Trio and Terror is fantastic. Yeah.

[00:02:00] Alan: The time capsules of what was big each of those years. But then also they delve back into, what’s a famous thing that everybody will get the cultural reference to?

Yes. The Monsters or the Adams family or like you said, Twilight Zone, certain episodes. It I love. Smart, they, how sharp they are at, like you said, there’s three little vignettes, each one. So in 10 minutes they’re going to set the stage for a work by Edgar Allen Poe or a Roger Corman movie, whatever.

You know what I mean? It’s, they’re really clever. I love that.

[00:02:26] Stephen: One of my favorites is the classic Chater twilight Zone where he sees the gremlin on the plain wing out the window. Exactly. Yeah. Except in this one, it’s Bart seeing the gremlin on the bus and nobody believes him . And it’s stupid things.

They imitate it, like he knocks the window out and everything like blows. Like they’re in an airplane at 30,000 feet being sucked out, Fuck out. Exactly. It’s these little funny things all over the place. You gotta catch sometimes.

[00:02:52] Alan: Yeah. People often talk about how there are certain movies or TV shows, scenes that left an impression on them forever.

So my mom at one point mentioned that because of psycho. She hated taking a shower when she was the only one in the house. You know what I mean? She just was, she’d locked doors. She’d make sure that no one could come at her with a knife. Spoiler alert cycle. Oh

[00:03:14] Stephen: yeah, that’s old movie.

[00:03:16] Alan: Exactly. But I, that particular twilight zone, I remember that made it so that, you know how there’s a time when it’s getting dark outside so it’s more light inside than dark and so you can’t see out the window.

You see your reflection. Yes. And I had this thing about if I’m gonna have to look outside a curtain, I really am expecting to see that face staring in some intruder looking into my house and. I didn’t paralyze me. You know what I mean? Of course I, But still the fact that every time you reach for that curtain to pull it aside, that’s the thought that comes into your head.

How did it hardwire your brain to always be that ugly gremlin is gonna be looking It’s just amazing the impression that

[00:03:54] Stephen: it can make and Twilight zone. There’s, there’s a few duds and there’s a few that are like, okay, this is boring. But there’s some such classic stories in there.

The one that was always my favorite, and they used this one in the movie also was the one with the little kid that could wish anything and wished for the sibling to have no mouth. And they show that, and very shocking

[00:04:15] Alan: for the time. Exactly. Yeah. Wasn’t that where. He wishes them into the cornfield, Anthony and everybody is the whole, you don’t catch on at first what’s going on, but everybody in the family is being polite.

You know what I mean? Overly polite. Oh yes, Billy, we’re happy to have dinner together and it’s exactly the dinner that he wants, and all that kind of stuff. They were very good at those little and I don’t know why I call it morality play, but just they didn’t hit you over the head with it. They were sometimes very subtle.

And when you look at the list of actors that appeared over the course of the years, everybody put in an early appearance on the Twilight Zone. It was Burges Meredith and William Shatner and just, the list goes

[00:04:53] Stephen: on. I Star Trek crew at one point we’re all

[00:04:55] Alan: on there. Exactly. So that’s a classic thing like you.

If I was gonna go back and really try to watch every episode of some series, and as I’ve done that, I watched all the X files in order cause I really wanted to see the mythology build and I watched all the archers and stuff. Twilight Zone is one of those series, maybe even more than Outer Limits or Night Gallery or things.

I loved spooky stuff when I was young. I watched all of those and it would be worth going back not only to see Recapture the ones that I really loved, but like how did I miss this one? I thought I had seen pretty much all of them cuz it was in reruns for years and years. Channel Line in Chicago always had those things and yet there’s some episodes that I didn’t catch and so it’ll be oh, a new one.


[00:05:34] Stephen: AMC or somebody for new Years’s does a marathon, like a New Year’s Eve through New Year’s Day. Twilights on Colin and friends would sit like all night and watch him. Yeah. Yeah. You mentioned two things, so I really wanna hear about the Comedy Fest, cuz you’ve really been getting a lot of comedy overload lately.

Absolutely. But real quick, with Psycho Yeah. This, me and my friend Reese, that we do the horror movie review thing. We talk a lot about how music affects or doesn’t affect whatever scene or the show overall and how it really has to fit in correctly. And the scene in Psycho With the Shower, the, that little, Just that little,

[00:06:10] Alan: That’s right.

The high string. Yeah,

[00:06:13] Stephen: exactly. At that point, Hitchcock did not want any sound or any music. He thought it was much more powerful with nothing. And it just, The sound of the shower perhaps or something. Yeah, the music director. Sound director at the time, Thought something needed to be in there. So he created the music, added it in, and when they did a showing with Hitchcock, he said, Look, I put some music sound in here.

If you don’t like it, we’ll take it out. I do. To see how it was To compare it. Yeah. And watched it and Hitchcock. This man is a professional. He goes, You were right. That’s much better. I was wrong. That’s perfect. And you imagine that with everybody knows,

[00:06:50] Alan: That’s right. Such a memorable thing. And it was added in like against his wishes, or at least to surprise him, that kind of thing. Yeah.

[00:06:56] Stephen: Such a consummate professional. He can admit when this is better and it makes the product better. That’s what we want. Not my ego that has to be stroked.

[00:07:04] Alan: Yeah. In fact as a quick segue, just last night, Colleen and I watched a documentary on the music of James Bond. As it’s like the longest running series.

It started in 62, so 50 years old, 60 years old. And they, they interviewed a number of the principles, if you will, were still alive. So they interviewed Monty Norman, and it might not have been that they interviewed him today, but they’ve captured interviews over the course of time.

So Monty Norman wrote that original theme, and then they talked about how. John Perry did the soundtracks for the first 15 movies, an amazingly good run. And how he kept playing with it, kept updating, it kept sometimes the it wasn’t only the various different themes for James Bond, it was the big songs. And as Gold Finger you only live twice.

A number of them became hits, outside of the movie. They were actually big in the world, right? And so they talked about that, about which bands really When they were approached, they were surprised cuz we don’t really do James Bond or soundtrack movie, but they were of the time where, in other words where they really wanted all always to be in that pantheon of who did.

So Duran were just like, Yes, they talked to us. They

[00:08:04] Stephen: called us. Yeah,

[00:08:04] Alan: exactly. So fascinating. And the updating of the music in terms of, now here’s a slightly less orchestra and more techno version. Here’s where they like some people have done excellent, like strong vocals. Tom Jones, Shirley Bassy, others where they, Billy Eilish just did, where she did a whole bunch of, pretty much like vocal intonations besides the lyrics and so forth, and how they found a way to use that within the movie for setting the stage movie, the scene.

And just it was really cool to see how Proud they are of what they’ve done. That it’s very, one of the most recognizable things in the world. It’s right up there with Star Wars entrance

[00:08:43] Stephen: team or whatever. Yeah. Oh yeah. Team, I should say Psycho.

[00:08:47] Alan: And just that I love the James Bond movies. I’ve seen every single one.

Yeah. All through all the James Bonds and stuff like that. And so it wasn’t the course of one of the music, it was a chance to see famous scenes whereas Yes. What you were just talking about, the music so much adds to that scene. Yeah. They had it one where it was let’s see. Sometimes the song was saved till the end.

Sometimes it opened. They made decisions, And in fact, one, which one was it? Maybe it was only live. Know, Live and Let Die, that they played it. When Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli were, it’s still the two main owners and showrunners, he had to please them.

And so one where he just said this isn’t I hate this. I don’t want to, he see this in my movie. And yet they worked on him. They said, it’s of the time. It’s the perfect, et cetera, cetera. And then of course when the movie came out, big hit, big movie, et cetera, he was like, I guess I was wrong.

I’m not as hip as I was in the sixties. So I do need some guidance as That’s interesting.

[00:09:40] Stephen: Generation to generation, that’s interesting how he says, Yeah I don’t wanna to have a Beetle do a song for my movie, like that.

[00:09:46] Alan: Exactly. And I’m hoping it was, I’m not sure if it was Paul McCartney and actually I think that’s, he certainly different.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want the song, he kept suggesting other vocalists, and it’s so it’s Paul McCartney and it’s how about Whitney Houston? It’s Sir Paul McCartney . It’s, and he name all these female vocal, like you, you have a Beatle, you have a Beatle in your hands.

Are you gonna let the heck go? And so it they had very good background vignettes, like for instance Michael Kane and John Perry were like young actor composers living together doing that kind of stuff. And so when John Perry worked out a lot of what James Bond was going to be, Michael Kane was the first person in the world to hear it, because he heard him working out it overnight on the piano in the other room.

And then when he got up, he’s Hey let show you what I put together. You know what I mean? How cool. Who did Okay. Figured into all this.

[00:10:39] Stephen: The music, especially the theme and the opening sequences are almost mythical. You don’t think of it as somebody sitting at their piano in their living room banging and out to figure, but it’s how it all starts. Yeah. And they

[00:10:51] Alan: talked about, there’s like, when they went the first Dr No is said in Jamaica and they filmed them out of order in how Ian Fleming had written them. But that was like, why you get that cool. Jamaican funk, steel drum, whatever’s going on.

There’s a difference to pure orchestra music, European style, and they talked about, wow. That was the reason it was so memorable and arresting because it wasn’t just orchestra music, like singing in the rain or something. There’s any number of great composers that have done that, but they already had a way of making it like modern and earthy and this is secret agent stuff.

This is not dancing on a stage stuff. And so they wanted to get a little thp, a little very, I can’t recommend it enough. It was really a good fun nostalgia and fun revelations as to, I’ve been watching these for 60 years. I never knew that. I never knew that, that kind of thing.

[00:11:33] Stephen: I’ve seen some good.

Featurette and behind the scenes, whatever, with the Star Wars music the Fandom Menace, the big scene between OB won GaN and Darth Mall, and that song that John Williams wrote, John Williams with the orchestra. And the choir, and it was different for him, for Star Wars and it was a big deal, and it’s so powerful.

But they literally played the thing, and he’s watching it to make sure the music’s fitting the scene and they get the right beats going and stuff. It’s like crazy how they do it. And I think it’s so powerful because we’re, a lot of people now are like, eh, we’ll just get somebody with a computer and a keyboard and mid and, set.

But when you get that orchestra, there’s nothing better than John Williams and the orchestra,

[00:12:15] Alan: And they showed that, that not only did they were they benefited by John Perry for the first 25 years, but then they brought in David Arnold and lately haunts simmer. You know what I mean? So it’s like, wow, if you’re going to get someone to work on this, get the heavyweight who’s graded action adventure movies and graded orchestration and so forth.

David Arnold was the guy that actually took the main themes and really orchestrated them into what everybody thinks of as James Va was the Horn Blair, be it, boom, it, you that kind of thing. And when they first, they, I, they were really good in the documentary about staging things where they talk about various different things, but then when they go into the guitar going damn.

Do, it’s like everybody in the world knows that, it’s, and it’s relatively simple and yet it’s so recognizable and so perfect for moving the energy building, energy moving through the plot along and stuff like,

[00:13:01] Stephen: that’s another sign of professional, especially in music that. There’s a saying in music that the music happens between the notes and that there’s a thing where you gotta kinda learn that you don’t always have to be playing a note.

You hear this a lot in rock solo is, you get those guitar soloists where they don’t stop for a second, says the whole time, right? And it’s eh, okay great. But then you get those guys Clapton, they’re very melodic and they sing with their guitar as the solo, a different,

[00:13:31] Alan: it’s, I, when I first discovered Pandora a long time ago, and they have various different ways of classifying all the various different songs.

And one of the things they’ll say is excessive ving. And it’s what does that mean? What’s the technical, How do you understand that? And it is that kind of thing where they don’t stay on the beat. They don’t just leave the note alone. They bend it a little bit. Talk through their guitar.

It has different, just all those little subtleties. I think I mentioned this at one point, I used to go to all the g threes, it’s like where they have three great guitarists all doing a half an hour, 40 minutes during a show. And so you just get overwhelmed by great guitar. But of course they’re not all the same.

So I saw one that was like Alan Holsworth and Robin Truer and who would maybe Steve Yy or something like that. And I couldn’t believe how Robin Truer stood out because he never looked at his guitar. He just like you said, talked through it and everything was so emotional and it wasn’t just wow, Inve Stein sure can play a lot of notes.

It was not technical. Of course it was technical. He was perfect, but he was so emotional. And there’s a different guys that can do that in guys that can’t. George Thurgood, one of the reasons that I love seeing him is because him on slide guitar, it really sounds bar band, dirty it, it’s not perfect. It’s meant to be just that little bit off header, behind the beat, whatever else it might be. There’s guys that really have that thing of Yeah. More emotional, more to it, more humanity to it or something like

[00:14:52] Stephen: that. It a click aside. You mentioned all the great artists who have done, that’s a thing to do the James VA music.

The other one is weird, Al When Al Weird, Al wants to do a parody of your song cuz Nirvana is famous for being quoted as saying you’ve made it when Weird Al wants to do a parody of one of your songs, ,

[00:15:09] Alan: exactly. And I just read this, Coolio just died. I think he made it to 59.


[00:15:14] Stephen: Oh yeah. That’s a little scary.

[00:15:16] Alan: And that, and what’s interesting is that’s one of the few guys that when Weirdo first went to him with, Amish Paradises at a gangster Paradise, he really was like, I hate it. I don’t want you to do it. And after he heard it and got to know it and see how Wi Idiot was.

He actually talked to weird a and said, I’m so sorry. I, yeah, I had no idea that you were gonna do such a great thing, that it wasn’t just, Hey don’t spoil my music. He didn’t spoil it. He.

[00:15:41] Stephen: Julio did give his permission, right? But then afterwards, whoever talked to him said, Oh man, let’s go ruin your rep.

Let’s go ruin your image. And then he kinda went out in the public and I was like, I got permission. You said I could, yeah.

[00:15:55] Alan: Yeah. So I think the only, There’s only a couple that ever refused weird out. I think Prince was one of them. Led Zeppelin’s. The other Led Zeppelin. Exactly. And. I hope that they have a little bit of regret, when they’ve seen that weird, Hell’s so talented and while parodying, he’s so respectful. He captures what makes that song so perfect. Yeah. And then plays with it,

[00:16:12] Stephen: , he did get a little revenge with Led Zeppelin, so he has one of the songs. From an album 15 years ago or so called in the Drive in, and it’s after some like Kanye West or something.

It’s something from in, but it’s one of those long 12 minute songs where it’s telling a story. Okay. And he’s in the drive in waiting to get his order and stuff and he gets bored. So in the middle of it, he turns on the radio and when he turns it on, it’s a little eight second clip of a Lead Zeppelin tune because he was never allowed to Pardy Zeppelin.

So he took a clip and put it

[00:16:43] Alan: into a song and then moves on. You know what I mean? That wasn’t enough to keep his attention or something like that. Yeah, exactly. No,

[00:16:49] Stephen: remember that. Okay. So you mentioned the special effects or whatever of movies. Here’s a little fact could be a trivia at some point. So I was watching the Omen.

The classic movie, which by the way, the priest in there is the doctor number two, Peter Trouten. I was watching and I’m like, Oh my God, it’s the doctor.

[00:17:07] Alan: Wow. I don’t remember that, but I’m sure when I saw him I would’ve been, Oh, exactly. That’s,

[00:17:11] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. So there’s a scene in there where the doctor gets killed and Satan basically hits the lightning rod, boom.

And it falls and skewers him. That I remember I did. Okay. Exactly. So the, in the 40th anniversary edition director’s comments, the director says, Yeah, that scene would’ve been $40,000 to do today to hire the special effects and do everything to make. Scene work. He said at the time, it cost us $27. He says, We got fishing line and ran it from the tower to the ground.

And Peter stood 10 feet in front of that with the camera behind. So the perspective you couldn’t tell. And then when it, came just swooping down and thum in the ground, he just kinda slumped and then they cut. He said it costs $27 at the time and it’s still effective and looks great. And co and I were talking about that.

I’m like, there’s so many times that I think movies, TV shows, everything are so high priced and they don’t necessarily need it. Same with thing with video games. Yeah. And we’re seeing all that eight bit revolution in graphics and people are like, Oh, it needs realistic, this and 3D and everywhere. No, not every game does.

And there’s some super games that cost a thousand dollars to make, you know what I’m saying? Exactly. Movies.

[00:18:26] Alan: Yeah, so I think I’ve mentioned before, we, we knew the boys from Bunge when they were in Chicago, right? And working out of a kind of a dilapidated building on the near south side of Chicago and stuff like that.

But I’m enough of a computer geek that I was able to talk to them about how are they doing what they’re doing? How do you make things happen in such high frame rates near real time when everybody else is struggling with that. And they said they, they were very good about what’s the amount of detail that you have to show when you are running around moving all the time.

You just have to give the right impression of that’s a wall versus that’s a hedge versus that’s water or something like that. And you can do that quickly. And I knew about this because I had done an honors course in display devices when I was in college. And that human perception, it only has a certain amount of frame rate it can take in and it fills in the rest for you.

And the more that you understand that, the more that you can say, I don’t need to show a dungeon wall with a perfect SCO and the light flickering just right and the right amount of like mold and mildew and nighter on it. I really just have to give whatever the blotchy impression is of what we think a dungeon wall looks like, and we’ll see it as, oh, that’s an old moldy, underground cetera.

And they were fantastic at having everything not be at the highest resolution. And when, like what they did was they made those things then you could, they were one of the first ones that you could scale your resolution up and down if you wanted the fog of war. When they moved from the early games to myth and stuff like that, you could have every blade of grass moving in the field.

But if you didn’t want that, if you just wanted the highest action level of the game, That’s something that I’m sure they may have made use of in movies again and again. Yeah. People understand perspective, they understand quick movements that you don’t have to have a perfect car about to hit someone.

You just have to have the impression of a big thing moving and then ah, scream and the impact noise. Yes. $27 instead of 27. You know

[00:20:19] Stephen: what I mean? Creativity really comes out when you have limitations, not when you have unlimited everything. My two favorite examples right there is, we all know what Mario looks like, right?

Little plumber net. Mario has a huge mustache. It’s almost a parody of it. You know why he has a huge mustache? Because draw the rest of the, Yeah, they didn’t have enough pixels to draw it all, so they just get the lower half with a mustache and they’re done. But everybody knows it and it worked perfectly.

So again, you don’t need that. And a silent hill of favorite horror game, genre of mine when you walk around in Silent Hill, there’s the fog, which was from the burning coal mines under the thing is what they described in the game. But the reason they had the fog, because the early PlayStation wasn’t powerful enough to show everything in the distance, so they just blocked it all out with the fog.

And you always saw five feet in

[00:21:11] Alan: front of you. Exactly. And if anything, it’s you want that to be like, when you’re looking into the distance, you don’t wanna see with perfect clarity, you want it to be mysterious. As you move forward, things kinda coalesce out of the fog and then it’s whoa, is that a thread or is that a goal, or whatever else it might be.

So that, that limitation led to the perfect atmosphere for what we were trying to do. Yeah. And

[00:21:31] Stephen: those are great games. I was talking to my buddy Reese, I’m like, they made some mobile games, early mobile games, which are like, eh, nobody counts those a lot, but the main line games on the consoles, I’m only missing one.

I’m like, How am I only missing the one? I’m like, I didn’t realize I gotta find it now. Okay. Hunts on not cutting on Amazon. I’m going to stores, know, I gotta find that one. Yeah. Probably gonna be a hundred bucks.

[00:21:52] Alan: But speaking of Reese and plug time, we’re now in the month where you guys will be doing is a cool.

Horror movie talk at the cam at is c Mensa monthly gathering end of this month. You want to tell us a little bit about that? No spoilers, . No.

[00:22:07] Stephen: It’s difficult Okay. So my buddy Reese, when his, We always like horror movies. We’ve watched tons of horror movies for our life. Like you and Stu used to stay up and that Reese Reeses, Why?

My friends, we would get movies from the local VHS rental and watch horror movies, classics. So we’ve always been in the horror movies. And then once he was married, started to have kids in the late nineties. He would, he worked different shifts in his wife, so when the kids were fussy and stuff, he would take on that night and he’d be holding him rocky, him feeding him whatever.

And he’d watch a horror movie, but with the captions and have the sound down. Okay. And he started watching so many, he started keeping track what movie, who the writers were, the producers, the directors, the actors, and then his own little synopsis, whether he liked it. And then after a while, people started, Hey, you got recommendation?

He’s what do you like? You want zombies? Okay, here, look, this movie, this, he started running out of movies and he started getting ’em from other countries. Literally, he’s ordered movies from Turkey and had it shipped in, because that’s the only place he could find it. And so I’ve talked to him, he’s Yeah I’ve listed and watched over 1200 horror movies.

And I’m like, Dude, nobody has done that. You’re like the expert. He’s Oh, I’m not an expert. I’m like, No, it makes you the expert. That’s right. It’s

[00:23:18] Alan: opinion. We talk about that all the time. Everybody has an opinion nowadays that is so much not based on factor experience, it just is, Hey, I got right.

So it’s cool. And if he has that ability to summon all the references and all the, After you’ve seen that much, which ones stand out? Which ones were. Unique

[00:23:33] Stephen: compared to everything else. That’s very, So I’ve been trying to convince him to write a book about that. But I did convince him to do a talk because we do a podcast where we review horror movies and it’s horror movies.

You probably haven’t seen horror lasagna, as I recall, right? Yes. Horror lasagna and Okay. We don’t have Halloween. We don’t have Friday the 13th. Freddy Kruger. Those aren’t on there. These are movies you probably don’t know. Probably don’t. The one movie we watched, it was a zombie movie. It cost the guy $6,000 to make.

That’s it. And it was fantastic. It’s one of my favorite zombie movies now. Okay. So they’re different. And we try and find something different to watch. We have themes for the season, but now I’m pushing him into doing talks. So we are doing one up at the Cleveland Men end of the month, Wednesday the 26th.

He’s doing a talk on horror movies. Basically what makes a horror movie good And opinions on that. And the genres, because when we talk about it, There are so many, Oh, here’s a horror movie. I don’t like that type. Slashers, I don’t like slashers. Okay. I like this type. There, there’s just such a variety of what’s considered horror.

Got it. And people have different opinions on what’s good, what’s not, what’s scary, what’s not. It really makes a fascinating study of the American psyche in that regard. So horror

[00:24:53] Alan: movies have often mirrored whatever our fears are, whatever our main things are. And what if that goes wrong, radiation gone wrong? Is it a plague that gets out? Is, those kind of things is it just, that nice house on the street that you think everybody is like picture perfect white picket fence? No, they got a basement. You

[00:25:08] Stephen: know what I mean? , they do barbecue . I would, and it’s funny because I was watching Kujo the other day based on the Stephen King book, and the synopsis for it said A rabbit dog terrorizes an American town. And I read that and I’m like, They’re wrong. That is not the story. And this is where it’s the

[00:25:26] Alan: woman being trapped. Like alone, not,

[00:25:28] Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. And I’m like, this is where Stephen King’s genius really does come out for all the faults you can find in his writing or whatever.

The man knows how to target the right thing. The story is focused on a mother with her son trapped in a car by this rabbit dog, not the town. We don’t involve everybody. It’s her emotions, her feelings, what she’s going through. That’s what draws people into it, into the story. And that’s what makes it the horror story.

Not just a dog terrorizing the town that would be a thriller, more than horror. You know what I’m saying? So that’s the genius of that story. God first of all, he was high when he wrote it, so that it been part of I never knew that. That’s funny. Okay. But it’s, a 400 page book you’re like, wait a second, a 400 page story about a mother trapped in a car by a rabbit dog.

[00:26:16] Alan: But how did you extend that one scene into

[00:26:18] Stephen: all of that? Yeah, exactly. And it’s how, that’s his genius that he does well. Are there things Stephen King doesn’t do that well? Yes, but he has that down Perfect. That’s what makes him the master Masters do not have to be the genius and perfect at every aspect of their craft.

It’s what they do well that they can draw out, and he does that. So yeah,

[00:26:42] Alan: I was a long time subscriber to Entertainment Weekly. I think now it’s only online as a website is no longer being published, but for maybe 10 years ago for a year Stephen King wrote a monthly column, a weekly column, sorry about, impressions of everything in culture, if you will.

And he was so canny. So how you would describe so many things so well that you could see why he’s a great writer, a great wreck, Onur a great person that, like you said, taps into what are our current fears, that kind of thing of being alone, of, yes our some, somebody that you’ve come to trust turns on you like a dog with rabies and that kind stuff.

And I just, I already liked him as a writer, but seeing just how. How sharp he was in picking up on all those things and being able to talk about them. Like when he had his, here’s my perfect summer reads. It was like, I just might have, should have torn that page out of the book and said, I’m gonna go to the store and trust his taste because these really are gonna be, and whatever that, that the summer read is, the book that you read while you’re on the Beast, that’s a good thriller or a good adventure or whatever else it might be.

And so I really respect him. I think that he’s such a good, he takes it all in and then what he does isn’t derivative. It isn’t just, Oh, I spew out another TV episode. He really has a way of taking it to a place where there’s a really. Twist or really big change in what makes that normal thing suddenly abnormal threatening.

That kind of thing. So a good funny

[00:28:07] Stephen: example. Much respect because he’s not just horror supernatural. So many of his stories are not like that at all. It’s only a couple of the big ones take those short story The Body, which became Stand By Me. The movie. That’s, what’s the story about when you say, Oh, it’s a bunch of boys going to find a dead body.

That’s not really what the story about. It’s a coming of age story. It’s a discovery of yourself story, exactly. Uses that relationships

[00:28:32] Alan: between the kids and that they’re all not fully formed yet. And so who’s gonna. The leader and who’s the victim and who’s the co, that I yes.

[00:28:38] Stephen: And that’s a perfect story to use, to demonstrate, is this horror or not? Cause they’re visiting a dead body. You’d consider that horror, but that’s the most minor part of the whole

[00:28:50] Alan: story. The dead body doesn’t come alive. That’s not what’s gonna be the tough thing about it, yep, yep. Yeah.

[00:28:55] Stephen: And like the, another real two good ones are in the night shift gallery short stories. The one is revenge. This guy is sleeping with a rich man’s wife. The rich man finds about it and gives him a choice. I’ll kill you right now, or you walk around this building on the ledge and I’ll let you live.

And that’s the horror. Oh my God. The heights and walking and all that. And then the other one is this hitman who comes home to a package and it’s little toy soldiers that come out and they hunt him and they’re, and he’s fighting back and they bring out the guns and they’re shooting it’s little pepper, then the helicopters with missiles.

And and then the very last thing is a nuclear bomb that they set off and blow everything up. And it’s just that escalation and it fits in horror. But I wouldn’t say it’s like ghost scary, but it’s such a good story

[00:29:44] Alan: Yeah. About an implacable enemy, about, they will do anything to win.

Yes. Even if it’s self sacrificed, even if it’s Cause tell me that isn’t an analogy for what we see in the world. Yeah. You know what I mean? When it used to be that war was This is such crap or has never been gentleman, but there have been rules for engagement, the Genevan conventions and so forth.

And what’s happened in my lifetime is what we often just called terrorism nowadays, but it’s all the ways in which those rules get broken by fanatics, By desperation, by how do you fight someone that’s willing to do anything? Anything. Yeah. And so now we have bullies and terrorists that are like, If I don’t get my way, I’m gonna set off my nuclear weapons all over your country.

It’s like, how did it escalate from boots on the ground, tactical, strategic to it’s my way. Or destruction. There’s a great quote from doing that says, the, you have the people who have the ability to destroy something, have the power over it. And the fact that we have people nowadays that are willing to do that, I will release siren into this place.

I will release nuclear weapons and set, like that. That’s their. Terrible way of getting their way is to be willing to kill themselves as well. And like how do you deal with an so unreasonable, Of course.

[00:30:57] Stephen: Like that. Yeah. Yeah. That’s definitely not near the Star Trek mindset.

[00:31:04] Alan: Absolutely. And that’s what’s the war that’s really going on?

Is the metic war over how we’re gonna go for infinite diversity and infinite combinations. Like Star Trek talks about that we peacefully explore the gather gall gallic, the, and that we have a way of saying, we’re gonna meet all kinds of things that are far different than us. Are we gonna just say it’s tentacle, shoot it.

Are we gonna find some way to communicate, find some way to get mutual benefit,

[00:31:28] Stephen: et cetera, et cetera. Not even, it’s tentacle. It’s Oh, you don’t agree with my opinion? I’m gonna kill you .

[00:31:33] Alan: Exactly. So just that, we’re fighting. Rationality versus fanaticism as opposed to any particular brand of fanaticism.

That’s what kind of weirds me out the most, and I know we’re like, does any period, does any 1, 2, 3 year period pass without people fighting over things going on in Jerusalem where multiple of the world’s religions finds these sites holy. But they want them, They don’t want the other side to have them.

And what happens? Just incredible. There’s no negotiating there when you believe to death. This thing is holy to you, that your God spoke to his people there, that infidels are in it and you must get them out. And yet all three of the world’s religions have stakes in that. Yeah. What, where, how do we ever think there’s gonna be peace there?

How do we ever think that it’s not going to escalate? How are we ever gonna have a piece that’s not shattered in the next six minutes by, no matter what the people at the negotiating table might say, there are fanatics on every side all around, and how much are they willing to

[00:32:35] Stephen: And they’re doing it in God’s name and Yeah.


[00:32:40] Alan: Exactly. So they get to feel all righteous and correct about it. I.

[00:32:43] Stephen: Here let me segue. Change, change the subject. Less somber. Here’s a thought I had and then we gotta hear about the 10 day comedy fest. But here’s the thought I was having. So we talk about tech and the good and bad of tech and techs, can be evil or not.

And we were just talking about weapons of mass destruction. One of the newer things that we’ve talked about is all this tech with the deep fakes and the AI voices and all that jazz. With the deep fakes people are, we’ve had Luke Skywalker in Mandalorian. And Young. And Young

[00:33:12] Alan: Skywalker.

[00:33:12] Stephen: Exactly. , Yeah. It didn’t look perfect. I’ll give you that, but come on, nothing ever does the first couple times you gotta figure it. But come on. Who did not get excited to see Young Luke Skywalker again on screen? And that was good. And I just heard James Earl Jones signed off to use his voice to do Dar badder in the future with AI Voices.

Not him

[00:33:33] Alan: doing it, but Yes. The captured version.

[00:33:35] Stephen: Exactly. Yes. Which, and Colin’s Oh, I don’t like that. There’s plenty of actors they could get to do it. I’m like, Yeah. He’s The AI just doesn’t sound good. I’m like, But it will I, I he’s No, I don’t think it will. I’m like, Okay. I know you’re totally wrong on that because 10 years ago they couldn’t even do it.

Now they can do it, so you know, it’ll get better. But I was thinking about it more. I’m like, and I know there’s arguments, we don’t wanna replace actors, we don’t want to do that. But what do you do when Mark Hamel is 80 years old? But you wanna do a show with a young Luke Skywalker? People complain that actor doesn’t look like Luke or whatever.

What do you do? We can use the deep fakes. Get an actor that can mimic him, but just put a different face on, get his voice and ai. Do the voice, that’ll get bad. We can do it. And I was thinking about that. I’m like, Okay, I can understand why people get torn or why people don’t like that fact.

But think about this, Al, we could get year four of the Enterprise’s mission with the original crew, . Stop and think about that for one moment. They’re almost all gone except Shaer. And he really couldn’t pass off as his younger self anymore. , right? But we could take actors that have similar body shapes that act, use the voices.

We have all their voices. And

[00:34:51] Alan: use the AI mapping that they do in the various different movies so that, Golum is played by Andy Circus, but it sure doesn’t look like

[00:34:57] Stephen: Antis. Exactly. I don’t, And he co said, I don’t think the episodes would be that good. I’m like, Really? Have you seen season three?

It’s not always the best episode anyway, but I think. We’re, we’ve got so much Star Trek going on and we’ve got the Chris Pike series and we’ve got the newer discovery and we just got all of this. I’m like, Man, to get a real gear four of the Enterprise’s mission with Spock and Kirk, I think people would like that, that if they do it right they could definitely screw it up and ruined people’s love affair,

[00:35:27] Alan: So I would suggest that there is a season four and it’s called the Orville.

[00:35:30] Stephen: I, Yes. What

[00:35:33] Alan: I’m of a dozen minds about this in terms of. I have that thing of, I’d love to see continuation of things that I’ve loved. I’d love to see season two of Firefly and indeed they have all dispersed and I don’t think anybody’s died, but you know what I mean.

They’re not who they were 15 years ago. But having said that’s, it’s 20 years now, why remake something that’s already been out instead of going with something new? People talk complaining often about why are we remaking psycho again, orle again, or whatever else it might be. It would be okay to have new works as well.

And yet there are some things that we are set up to be a serial, to be a, an episodic series. And so you’re, you like those characters and want to return to the further adventures. And so I guess I don’t have I don’t care one way or the other. I just want it to be. I don’t want it to be that they do it, the cash in.

I don’t want it to be that they, oh boy, it was so good. And then they put out that force series and it forever besmirched what I think of that series. Exactly. Try, you would think that they have to find, and we’ve talked about this a little bit, quite a long time ago, get John Frow, who really understands what makes Star Wars wonderful.

And when he did the Mandalorian, it was like, this is really all those almost good movie. Are not as good as what this guy gets about. What’s cool about that universe? What’s cool about the various different characters and the mythologies and all that kind of stuff. And you have to find good showrunners, to do that.

A good writing team. I really like the series called Millennium with Lance Hendrickson. He’s an arresting actor when he’s on the screen and I’m not looking at anybody else. Season one great. Season two, they strayed because they got a different writing team and they didn’t get what that was all about, if you will.

And then season three, a big return. And so you can see that it is so much a matter of that. Do people understand what makes that good and continue it instead of they got what? Too expensive. They got pulled to other projects and I hope that another one of the things that goes on nowadays is a lot of people started doing a lot of animation instead of acting because, hey, acting is a nine week shoot in Morocco and I’m gonna be away from my family and all that kind of stuff.

As opposed to, I go in the studio in LA for five days this week, do all my voiceovers and I’m done. So start that as, an animated series that was a continuation of both the first series and the second, if I remember right. And so maybe that’s what we have to be satisfied with almost, is that deep fakes are like a live action version of animation.

Yeah. We’ve already got a whole bunch of good extens extensions of those series, so we even use those as templates for some of the episodes. I’m not sure. Cause people didn’t watch the animated series as as avidly take it back. They probably watched the animated series more because the first one was canceled because it had low ratings.

You know what I mean? Yeah. And hat off, by the way, Lucie Ball. As she’s like the one that made great things come into being through Delo and through her faith in the people that were doing this. And just there’s unsung heroes in a lot of ways. Hu Seal Ball kind of z redhead really was instrumental just this was not head.

Who am I thinking of that invented wifi? Figure skater Movie star. Yeah. Dr. Lamar Head. Is it Head Lamar? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. For as much as her movies are, what she’s known for, the world wouldn’t exist without her understanding frequency hopping. Yeah. You know what I mean?

How brilliant. How wonderfully Brilliant. And I’m sure that there’s more stories that we could start spitting out that’s did you know that this was the person that was involved in? But I don’t know. How did Monte Python movies get made? George Harrison put up money, like including his house and stuff like that, because he said, I wanna see this movie.

Yeah. These guys are so fucking funny. They’re so talented. I wanna see it. And there’s all kinds of cool heroic stories like that. Maybe that’ll be a whole episode. We’ll dig those out, do some

[00:39:19] Stephen: research. Yeah, that’d be cool. And you mentioned the Orville, and I know I, I’ve talked to some people that get torn in different reviews, depends on how you approach it.

When they first advertised it and started, it was really supposed to be a comedy parody. A comedy what Star Trek was. Yeah. But by the fourth episode, they totally started to switch and they started doing real science fiction stories. And my comment was, this is how Star Trek would be if it was never created until 2000.

It is how the, I approach Orville and I. Whether you agree with what they’re showing or not, it’s science fiction. And that’s kind, like with horror it’s showing our society in a spacey way, a science fiction way, and it has reflections of our society and they have real Star Trek like episodes.

[00:40:07] Alan: Absolutely. Absolutely. Another sweeping statement, but I think it’s worth I’ve seen any number of actors attempt to do comedy and kind of fall flat because comedy’s tricky. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s a matter of not only of comedic chops and timing, you just have to have the right mindset, the right attitude.

Whereas I’ve seen any number of comedians be a dramatic role and it’s wow, that it’s cool that they’re playing against expectations and instead of being the funny guy, they’re the threatening guy like Albert Brooks in some movie where he was a monster and it. Wow. He’s not like Mr. Talk with his puppet.

He’s actually a pretty menacing gangster. This is pretty cool. Bob Odenkirk has done things with Better Call Saul, and especially he was just in an action adventure movie. I’m trying to think what it was called. But the, so that’s a little bit of what we’re talking about with the Orville, is that my expectations of, and why am I blanking on his name, The guy who did Family Guy Seth McFarland.

My expectations going in would be, it’s a comedy. It has to be he’s already made his fortune done, his chopped by showing off this, and then to find out that they really can play it straight or that the acting isn’t even the main thing, but it’s still there. So you know that they’re witty enough to come out with Equip, but that’s.

Their only behavior, that’s not their self-defense, et cetera, cetera. It’s very cool to see comedic people in dramatic settings, if you will, because you find out, wow, they’re a rounded human being. They’re not just the chatter box comedian, that kind of thing.

[00:41:26] Stephen: So yeah. So I love Orville. I thought, And they, Disney got it.

And cuz it was on Fox, I believe. Of course. And now they didn’t they just do a fourth season that came out or? I think so, yeah. It’s been a couple

[00:41:38] Alan: years. But this is a quick yeah, it’s because of Covid, because of other factors maybe again, because many of the people are busy, they got multiple projects, irons in the fire.

Some things are not year, by year, the series, it’s more oh, we’ve had four series in seven years. They kinda took some time off in between or they had to put the financing together or whatever else it might be. And that’s real world stuff nowadays that when it’s not the network and it has to be on in their time slot every year or it, it gets canceled now they really can.

From Netflix, from Amazon, whoever the big producers, hbo, Disney, they can say, Hey, take whatever time you want and maybe we’ll release it one a week, or maybe we’ll release it all at once and let people binge. But they’re, they’ve broken all those rules of, Yep, oh, you have to do an episode a week.

And it like South Park really bridled under that. Then in order to be on their schedule, they had to do all their work front, load it, send it off to Korea, if I remember correctly, South Korea to get animated. And then, that some of the pressure that I’ve heard them talk about in interviews was, Oh, for a funny show.

We weren’t feeling at all funny for a lot of the run because it was just so much work to get done in short periods of time.

[00:42:44] Stephen: Yeah. Okay, so we’ve mentioned comedy a couple times and you’ve been out watching a lot of comedy. So give us an overview. Give us an update here on what focus on,

[00:42:54] Alan: It’s the.

Comedy is Colleen and I’s Favorite Night Out. It’s just, we love laughing. We love smart people. We love people that can look at things and see it in that parapros dokey way of you set up with a premise and then you take that left turn and the surprise is part of it or the awareness of what makes something funny or serious and how to play with that so that you, many things are taboo, but you bring the audience right up to that line and then you get ’em to step across it with you.

And that’s an incredible skill to be able to get people to move past their preconceptions, their expectations, to say, Please do surprise me. Please do shock me and sometimes gross me out, or whatever else it might be. I love it because I just love seeing that the word play and the craft of it and the, it’s like what could be more elemental than there’s a single person up on that stage with a microphone and maybe like a spotlight on them, and somehow they’re gonna fill this room with entertainment that the crowd is going to.

Laugh together, love them, et cetera, et cetera. So there’s a festival called Just for laughs. It’s been long running in Montreal, I think like 40 years. They branched out probably 10 years ago to also be in Toronto, and it’s been running there for 10 years. For a while they tried Vegas in Chicago cetera.

We discovered Toronto is such an easy drive from Cleveland, just up around the lake, right? It it runs for 12 days, like from, let’s see, Thursday night through the week, later Sunday. And they just pack the place with comedians. It’s not one hall or venue, It’s all over the city.

So we went to the, like punk crawl, Royal, the Garrison and the Queen Elizabeth and the Jane Mallet and all this kind of stuff. The first weekend, not only featured comedians doing their stuff, but also a whole bunch of what they called Comedy Con behind the scenes interviews with the people that around this hit Canadian comedy show, or, talk up to let’s see.

I guess just interview so how did you, what’s your career been like? What do you like, in some cases it’s, they’re a rising star and so it’s like they’re just getting to know what it is like to be on the road 300 days a year. In some cases they’re grisled veterans, and it’s wow, back in my day when I was working with Humphrey Bogart, it’s cool. We go there to, to immerse ourselves. So we made a point of on every night that we could, we saw three shows, seven, nine, and 11. Wow. And we, they have a very cool thing where they have not only do you pay for individual shows, what they call the headliners, and there were probably 10 or 12 of those.

And out of all those we went to Amy Schumer, that’s the one that Colleen Most wanted to see, but they also had Mike Burbiglia and Dion Cole and many other good ones. They also have thing, what they call the 42, where if you get credits and we bought out pass that had 12 credits and you sign up for individual shows, that’s just general admission.

But they’re all, when you use a credit up at a show, it returns to your basket, if you will, and you can apply credit to the next show. So we saw 30 shows over the course of our time while we were there between 25 and 30. We don’t have an exact, because in some cases their app wasn’t working correctly and we weren’t getting the credit back, et cetera.

But we kept having enough credits so we could all sign up for the next shows. So not only did we do it at front, load it as the ones we wanted to see on that first Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but there were some that were in the 42, even though they’re absolutely worthy of being headliners like Maria Bamford and Mark Meen and Craig Ferguson and Todd Berry, some of our favorites.

And so for the, a little amount of money that we spent, probably, honestly 200 bucks each, we saw half a dozen, $50 shows Nice. As well as all these other smaller shows. And every, there’s so many different, like Maria, nobody in the world is like Maria Banford. Nobody can do her stuff. Nobody can imitate her.

She’s. Confessional and so like stream of consciousness, but so smart in what she’s saying. You really gotta listen to every word and the intonations. And she does multiple voices. And I don’t think I’m revealing anything. Maria Banford has mental health issues and she’s dealing with them, but instead of hiding them and taking the drugs and trying to even herself out, I think she does just enough to make it so that she can live in the world but not quash the artistry that comes from interest not being fully together.

And so it’s not a train wreck. It’s not at all awful. It’s amazing how many, like how she captures the perfect voices of her parents or her friends, or various different people in her life, but flits amongst them as quickly as Robin Williams ever did. And Wow. And just the way she looks at things is kinda like the hardest stuff in the world and yet finds a way to make it.

Humorous or at least human. So to, at one point she revealed she can’t have kids. They, somebody operated on her or didn’t treat her correctly, and now she probably can’t have children. And how do you make that into a joke and yet amazing. Wow. Wow. So one of the things we get out of this is we often see everybody, We don’t really have any preconceptions going in as to if there’s all kinds of Canadian comedians or international comedians that we don’t know how good they’re gonna be.

So let’s just try ’em all. And so this year we discovered Mark A. Little so funny and so accomplished, and he’s been around for 10 years without us knowing it, because mostly it’s been in Canada. And Reese Nicholson and Nick th know, I’m trying to think of who the other, like never heard of ’em before standouts, but we laughed our butts off at how good they were.

And this is a. It’s funny, odd thing we, because we learned well how to use public trend and could get in between the venues so that we were almost always there to get good seats. And so we almost always sat in first, second, third row and almost not always in the middle cuz we don’t need to be crisp for the comedic mill.

A lot of people’s fear of going to a standout comedy show is they think it’s gonna be, everything is Don Rickles. Everyone’s gonna get made fun of and savagely and it’s not like that. But for whatever reason, when they ask questions of the audience, we don’t try to be smarter than the comedians funnier.

We just tend to give him material to work with. Mark Little and Colleen and I got along so well that he kept on coming back to us and we kept having a chance to. Funny things. Not at his expense, but just it was like we were a little bit part of the show. Nice. And it was so nice that people at later shows were coming up to us and saying, You were the guys that Mark Little was, Yeah.

As Colleen and I are a memorable couple, were, until unusual size, I’m big, she’s 50. And yet what we said wasn’t like, Oh, you were the assholes at that show. It was more like, were you a plant? Were you Right. That’s cool. Happened to be on that night. So at one point, ,

And I just can’t.

So that’s all in the evening. During the days, of course, we’re wandering around Toronto, so it’s like Toronto is a huge cosmopolitan city. Yeah. All kinds of restaurants to go to. We walked a lot of places. Hey, I’m the Apple Watch. I closed my rings every day in terms of how many, how much exercise I was getting.

We discovered a cool thing, a very Mensa thing called the Museum of Illusions. Where it’s optical illusions, made big a whole gallery of them, probably 30 different things. Oh and cool. So well done. And like just all the mind altering the perspective changes and the, how your eye tracks.

You can be fooled with. Here’s the the grid of white lines and there’s black dots in the intersection. You’ve seen that illusion, but there’s not, and yet and they have a little placard that explains this one’s called Lay’s illusion, and I didn’t know how many of them had been named

[00:50:07] Stephen: Discovery.

Perfect. I

[00:50:08] Alan: love that. So what a, maybe only an hour and a half worth of wandering around, but what a cool discovery. I think that they’re franchising that out and putting it in various different cities. So if it ever comes to Cleveland or anywhere in Ohio, I’m working. Go immense event. Let’s go get, hey, big.

Let’s go see that. No matter how much you think your highfalutin brain, it can still be fooled in all these ways because we’re limited by our chemistry, by our, the

[00:50:32] Stephen: physiology, our mind work. But, we always love learning why it’s fooled and why these different things work with different people in different ways or Absolutely.

That’s the

[00:50:42] Alan: thing. You hit a whole gallery of here’s here’s the arrow that has the things pointing outwards or pointing inwards, right? And the lands are exactly the same lengths, but they sure don’t look like it. And even after you like, hold the stick up and say yep. And then you take the stick back away, it’s no, this one’s longer.

You know what I mean? You, your mind can’t unsee what

[00:50:58] Stephen: it thinks is there. That’s, when Colin was big into the crypted and supernatural stuff, that was one of the biggest problems talking to people with investigations. And cops have this problem all the time. People will say, Yeah, I swear.

That’s exactly what I saw. That’s exactly what happened. And someone else will say something completely different, but they’re both telling the truth. Our we gotta remember our brains are what, See things not our eyes. Our eyes are just the mechanics of it. It’s, they’re dumb.

Exactly. It gets so interpreted and it’s so biased based on our thoughts, our background, our culture, so many things. Yeah. Uh, So that, I love that.

[00:51:35] Alan: I really, I love, This is funny. Another thing that’s cool about comedy is, and I think I’ve mentioned this, a lot of the world to me is in slow motion.

I usually am quick on the uptake and get there fast. And comedians really love it when you get their jokes and especi. Multiple times, Nick, soon for sure it happened with where like he tells a joke and almost nobody in the audience gets it, but we did. And then he looked out and he like, gives you a little nod.

I wrote that joke, not sure if it would land. And that, thank you for being here because yeah, like he was talking about military time and it’s it’s the, that this is the one time I’m gonna tell this joke or maybe like the 13th time and that’s, and it just was I, it’s not a, I’m trying how to say this, It’s not a up rous belly splitter of a joke, but it’s witty and it’s, that’s, it’s like subtle.

Sometimes comedy comedians will say that one was for me. You know what I mean? And also this is fun. I, so besides the people that we really did enjoy, there was also there’s a woman named Megan Stalter, who apparently is on a show called Hack that she plays a really unlikable character, egotistical and bossy.

And , and that’s what she did on stage. And Wow, we were ready to leave in the first 10 minutes. She was abusive of the staff at the theater. And when she talked to people in the audience, it wasn’t even like Don Rickels witty, it was just nasty, pushy, put down type stuff. And another comment that we got from people after this show, so we actually though we wanted to leave at 10 minutes we kept, is she just like doing this as an intro and then she’ll break into, Oh, that’s my character from Hacks.

And here is more at 40 minutes. We got up and left and we were in fourth row. And as we’re getting up, she goes, Oh, are you going to the bathroom? And I turned back, go no , to let her know that there was no we’re not making an excuse. And we didn’t get into a confrontation. I didn’t say, no, it’s because you suck.

But people afterwards said, Thank God you did that because after you left without you seeing it, multiple other people got up and left because you gave them the permission to get the hell out of this train wreck of a show. And sadly, it was not in a small club, it was in a theater. She sold well enough.

TV fame is a whole different level then on the road, comedy, fame, and but just not, it was all kinds of people in the audience were laughing with her no matter what she was doing. And so that’s wow, how much the comedy of cruelty has taken hold in certain people, that they just love people getting put down, people getting embarrassed, someone acting really badly, the worst brat of the world and yet they just love it.

They drink that in and I don’t get anything out of that. Yeah. You know what I

[00:54:11] Stephen: mean? No

[00:54:12] Alan: fun. We had that, really that was like the only really bad show that we saw that we actually did leave, but other ones were just. Okay, they’re working on their material. They got 10 minutes worth of material, but they had to do 20.

You know what I mean? So they, it was, but overall, it was at least one, if not two great comedians a night and just, we will go back every year. We love this event. We love this city. Can’t recommend it enough. Folks thinking about going to standup comedy, and you’re worried about, Oh no, if I sit too close, I’ll get mocked.

That’s not what it’s about. It’s about, and I say this all the time, More truth is told in a half hour of standup comedy than in four hours of news. You know what I mean? They’re just, they’re very perceptive about what’s going on in the world and how to look at it in a way that don’t keep, don’t get fooled.

Don’t let your fanatics and your bad leaders and your celebrities like, who don’t know anything somehow still lead you astray. Why in the world is anybody still putting a microphone in front of Herschel Walker or Green or Bogart or guests or just awful, terrible. Irrational people and yet you put that microphone in front of ’em, you give ’em that opportunity to spew their crap.

It’s the weirdest thing. Comedians are hardly ever like that. With the exception of Megan that I just talked about most of the time they’re really good. An analyst of human nature of what’s going on in the news and just how to, I don’t know, go through tough times, laugh about it a little bit, and you get some power over it.

You get some ability to get through it. So what a tonic it was for. We got midterm elections coming up, and it’s not only here in the United States, but in Canada, they still have their own brand of Nazis, their own brand of prejudice. One of the things we went to was an NAACP panel. There are black people, Native American people, indigenous, I think is out there for term.

They don’t have it any easier in Canada than here. There’s all kinds of still redlining and maybe more silent instead of people coming out and being more overt about it. Like we become in the United States, they’re still 20 years behind and they’re hiding it, but still doing it. And so it was tough to see the one of the things comedians have to talk about is get people to think about these things in a way that they’re not immediately gonna be repulsed, but it’s.

Yeah, that’s not right. That doesn’t make sense. That’s not fair. And that’s, How about the word fair? It’s not fair, don’t you? What society be that everybody gets treated equally. We’re all citizens. We’re all decent to human beings. They point out where it’s

[00:56:33] Stephen: not . It interesting you say that because that’s of the theme of our episode.

We never planned it. We mentioned three forms of entertainment that are all reflecting society in their own way to show us without beating us over head, comedy horror and science fiction. All three of them have that aspect in them. Not always, but it can. Yeah. This is society. Let me show it to you in a different light, in a different way.

[00:56:56] Alan: Exactly. And one more, one more plug. We’re not really, I just love doing our podcast. This is so cool. We’re gonna get a chance to do a live podcast. Live meaning taped, but with live audience. Yeah,

[00:57:05] Stephen: we gotta figure that out for sure. But we ever doing it,

[00:57:08] Alan: It won’t just be you and I Jawbone and it’ll be like people that are yelling out suggestions and

[00:57:11] Stephen: stuff.

It won’t be deep fakes or AI voices honest. That’s true.

[00:57:15] Alan: Exactly. I just think of how handsome I’ll be, . So this voice is characteristically me though. They’ll be able to identify my voice, we’re gonna be at Chicago area mens’ regional gathering called Halloween, and at the end of the month, for the Halloween weekend.

And we’re both doing a program, each of us as well as doing our podcast together. And the theme for this is reunited. And it feels so good. So not only because of Covid having had us hide for a couple years and not doing Chicago not doing it, but also it’s the disco theme. And so that’s what I, I think I mentioned, in my email to you I roped us into embracing that theme.

So we just talked about some things today. What are we gonna talk about if we’re reunited and it feels so good. What’s the reunion special? That was really good. You mean a fourth season of Star Trek? Something like that. That would be cool. You what I mean, There really are, There’s something really interesting about that, about continuations of things that we thought were done or that when a musical group gets back together, do they still have it?

Sometimes they do. Sometimes it’s the lead vocalist and the bunch of roadies and it’s Oh, I so much wanted more. But We’ll, if that we can easily fill our hour with Oh yeah. All those things of a book that came out I don’t know, maybe I’m stealing somewhere. Own Thunder. I really love Philip Jose, Farmers River World Books.

The first three are really. And then a fourth one came out and it really wasn’t as good. And people like interviewing him asked him why. And he said They backed a dump truck of money up to my house, . And I wrote a fourth book. I thought I was done with my first three. So sometimes that’s what happens too.

It isn’t, I still have something to say. It’s more Wow I created this cool thing and no one should cash in but me. It should be me that gets to play that character again. Write that book again, et cetera, et cetera. So we can talk about the wins and the losses of that thing, of something that’s gone on too long.

[00:59:01] Stephen: I’ve got one right now. I’m reading the newest Dragonlance book by Weis and Hickman, and they haven’t done one in over 12 years. Wow. Uh, The two of ’em are maybe 15 years and there hasn’t been a new Dragon Lance book in eight or 10 years or something. That’s a reunion I’m reading right now.

Okay. I’ve got been thinking hard. Cause you know, you could, it, there’s some easy ones out there. We don’t wanna do the easy ones. We wanna find some of the more interesting.

[00:59:26] Alan: Yeah. And in fact that, to go all the way back to, one thing I’m really looking forward to, from your cool horror lasagna talk at the multi gathering.

One of the wonderful things about Mensa conversations is don’t just tell me about the top 10 that everyone else knows. What’s the one, unless you told me about it. I might not discover it on my own, but it’s really good. It’s the undiscovered gem, It’s the, the hidden coolness. And so I’m hoping that we’ll have that chance at, Halloween and in your talk to be able to say, Here’s things that it’s now with the world being digital and everything kind of being available via streaming services or libraries or whatever like that.

Don’t miss this. You know what I mean? Did the Babadook stay long enough in theaters that everybody got a chance to see it, but boy, it’s really good, that kind of thing.

[01:00:06] Stephen: So we’ve got plenty of those. Yeah, it’s gonna be a good talk. Are Wes gonna, I’m, October’s so exciting for me. , I’m in this Saturday, I’m going camping with my cousin out at West Branch and they’re doing trick or treat with the kids and it’s one of the few places where the kids dress up and still walk around and visit you.

It’s that old school feel. So I like that.

[01:00:25] Alan: Exactly. I will also say this, since we haven’t talked about this for a long time, my, I have collector software, have my comic book collection in there. They lost the source for their comic pricing data. And had to start working with another place called Cover Price in this case.

And they did a lot of work to get the API working correctly and so forth. So probably since February till now, I haven’t been able to get an update of my comic book collection. And I’m happy to report that while my stock market stuff is not doing as great, I just made a hundred K in these last, my collection went by a little bit and maybe it’s cause some things that hadn’t been priced are now included. Some things that have prices are now gone up, but it’s just wow, I, for all of my, Hey, I’m doing well in the stock market. It’s of cool that. Obsessive kind book collecting. Yeah, it’s doing okay for it.

Very cool. You know what I mean? So

[01:01:11] Stephen: and speaking of that, how exciting of a week yesterday Cole and I watched the newest episode of and or Star Wars. Today we watched the newest episode of She Hulk, which spoiler alert had Daredevil with his new costume. And it was a fantastic episode.

[01:01:28] Alan: It’s very funny.

I was watching some Haws and I haven’t finished ’em all. I think I got up to the one with Titania was trying to steal her name under her. So I’m behind in a number of things by having been up in Toronto,

[01:01:39] Stephen: yes. . And then tomorrow, this is gonna raise your collection price a little bit more.

Where Will My Night comes out? Black and white and homage to all the old Universal monster movies. So we are so excited. We’re getting wings tomorrow night. We’re like, cause there’s something else coming out tomorrow. He mentioned there’s two things we’re watching tomorrow night. I don’t remember what the second one is.

I forget. But yeah. Of

[01:02:01] Alan: my collection. That, that let’s see. It’s not Where Will by Night? Bear with me. I think it started in Marvel Spotlight where by night number one is not his first appearance. So Marvel Spotlight has gone up a ton. The wherewith by night number 24 was his first appearance of Moon Night has gone up a ton to where because I have them in near perfect condition compared to my amazing fantasy number 15 for Spider-Man, which is I don’t like a 4.5.

It’s not in great condition. But that’s actually some of those books have surpassed amazing fancy number 15. My giant size Xmen number one is more, so it’s like I really will, I swear to God, cash in it’s, as Colleen and I are looking towards retirement and we’re We’ve my mom is doing fine, but the family fortune is still based on my mom being alive, and so we’re making sure that she’s taken care of and so forth, right?

But there’s enough ends of trust for my brothers that some of that might be forthcoming, and yet it’s not like retirement money. It’s not, Hey, we go buy an island. And so the combination of Colleen and my 401k and that and so forth, we every step we take, We’re gonna be okay. We’re gonna be safe, we’re gonna have options, we’re gonna be able to travel.

We, we can buy more. When the new iPhone comes out, I don’t have to get seven years out of it. I actually get to maybe every two years I’ll get a new phone or something. It’s looking nice and I know that money talk makes America nervous, and yet it’s very nice after a whole lifetime of working hard to, to the reward stage.

Yeah. You know what I mean? Where we really our horizon is not that long. We really can spend a little bit of money and not worry about what if we run out, we’re going to be

[01:03:28] Stephen: okay. I know you totally realize this, but. You could just tell Colleen how admirable she is and how much, how lucky you are, because how many women would be saying You have three storage lockers of comics worth how much you need to go sell those.

I’m done with this. What’s this bull crap? And she’s not doing any of that. And she’s still married you. Dear God, that woman’s gonna be a saint.

[01:03:52] Alan: I, You know what, This is very funny. The acid test, the litmus test we’re all speeding together, was not all of our dates and how well we got along, it was when I took her to the storage lockers in California because she came out to visit me and like I showed her the Indiana Jones going back into the distance level of how much stuff I had.

And she didn’t say, Oh my God, a order. Oh my God, I need to go now. , she might have had some misgivings, but she thought that I was worth all. Appendage . And so here we still are together. That’s a good, nice. Just the reason we had our anniversary, 20th anniversary on the 21st just before leaving for Toronto was a fun thing, was, we’re, it’s our anniversary, we’re doing what we most like to do in the world, and we’re getting along even though we’re in our hotel room, like in each other’s pockets for 12 days.

Like we’re, there was no escape. Our little hotel room was smaller even than we expected. And yet, once in a while I’ll be like, Hey you’re not hungry, but I’m gonna go grab lunch. And it was just that little bit of, she’s gonna take a walk, I’m gonna grab lunch. Just that little bit of a alone time that you need.

Because as much as you like each other, it’s just nice once in a while to not be on somebody else’s schedule, not have to coordinate everything cetera. So we’re still finding that, that happy medium, I guess

[01:05:03] Stephen: so. That, yeah. Honestly, trust me, I understand getting the right person that understands that and you can work off that.

That’s difficult. That’s very difficult. Exactly. And the fact that you have uber amounts of comic books, and you’re a grown man, .

[01:05:18] Alan: Yeah. It’s kinda funny. I, out of kind of a weird misplaced sense of pride, I really am looking forward to the first time that I sell something for a lot of money and come in with the check and say who we really get to go to Europe.

We really get to just like new car money. We can really like down the street and buy whatever car we want with what I just sold. Amazing fantasy for and stuff like that. Colin

[01:05:40] Stephen: mentioned there’s a thing now where certain people, when they sell these big collections that have so many things in such good shape, they it’s almost a so Beat’s thing where it’s this is the so and so collection.

I guess some of his favorite comic artists and writers of past years have these collections of comics that they’ve been selling, and you get it certified. This is the Mark Begley collection, and I’ve

[01:06:04] Alan: read about those kinds of things. Exactly.

[01:06:06] Stephen: said, You should check on it, He says, But the thing that may disqualify you is that you’d sold some of those fantastic fours in Spiderman before.

[01:06:14] Alan: That’s right. It’s not a complete thing. Yeah. Yeah. And also it’s of funny. At one point I was talking to Heritage and they had that, am I gonna be the Bist collection? The Lithuanian collection or something like that, . And they had odd things were like, Did you buy each thing individually off the news stand?

And it’s No, I used a buying service for the, like the last 40 years, once I knew that I could get it through the mail in perfect condition. But they had some kind of stipulations that it hadn’t been, and had you bought any previous, buy any collection to add to your collection? It’s like mid seventies I did, but that’s 50 years ago, and that’s not anywhere near the prime stuff.

The bulk of my collection that was bought by buying ’em off the stands or going to Chicago ComicCons and filling in my Ironman and my Daredevil and my Justice league and my floor and whatever else it might be. So I don’t know that I qualify for that. Yeah, but you know what? As much as that little label might, oh, that gives me a 10% bump or something like that, it’ll just be nice to finally make the story come true of.

Thanks for not throwing away my comic books. Mom and dad, Thanks Colleen for putting up with, this weirdness of keeping him in the storage locker and yet when it turns into money, it’ll just be, it’ll be so nice to be like, Hey, we got a new fence for our house. And what is that? Where did that fence come from?

Not only because we scripted and saved and we’re smart because we got a bucket of money at one point, right? Maybe not a dump truck, but we got some money that bought fence. We bought a

[01:07:37] Stephen: car and whatever. Trust. Trust me. I totally understand. At some point A, it’s better to sell these and you know that, but I totally understand what you’re gonna go through when that actually happens when you’re handing that off.

I totally get that. You know what may have to be a Let’s go out drinking night .

[01:07:53] Alan: You know what’s funny? There’s some part of me that wants to say, Okay, if I put my series in rank order of what I really wanna hold onto, I’m willing to sell all my GI Joe’s. They got some value, but I just never had love for them.

Whereas I’m gonna have a real trouble with selling the journeys into mystery floors. Yeah. And the xmen and the things that really mattered to me when I was growing up their daredevils. Other things, even I guess as because I really loved Fantastic Foreign Spiderman, but at that time in my life, what I really wanted to do was start that next phase of, I’ve got a consultancy and we’re building it, and that kind of stuff.

And this is where I can get the most capital quickly. And I don’t know. I hope that I will not, I still miss them. Yes. You know what I mean? If I still had those, I’d be even more proud and happy and seeing the values go up and stuff like that. My friend Al that I sold them to, I hope that he’s done well with them because he really got some good bargains there.

Yeah. And that in this intervening time, he helped me out when I really needed it, and I hope that this helps him out in that same way. So good for him. All right, here we go. Here we go. We’re as usual. Wonderfully over, cuz it’s been a couple weeks.

[01:08:54] Stephen: It has, yeah. It’s been a couple weeks

[01:08:58] Alan: And so we’ll see you again in a week. We

[01:09:00] Stephen: will do or sooner Maybe by Tuesday. I

[01:09:02] Alan: That’s by Tuesday. Exactly. A little less than a week. Week as opposed to in a week. That’s right.

[01:09:05] Stephen: Yeah. All right, man. Take care. Took Colleen said hey. Okay, bye.

[01:09:08] Alan: Bye.

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