Robocop protects and serves, Kid Icarus soars, Missy Elliot can’t stand the rain, and Mad Men debuts – July 14-July 20

1987 brings the violence as Jaws seeks revenge and Robocop seeks justice. 1997 gives us Missy Elliot in a puffy suit while Brendan Frasier strips down to play George of the Jungle. In 2007, Chuck and Larry get married while Mad Men makes us fall in love with Jon Hamm.


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29 thoughts on “Robocop protects and serves, Kid Icarus soars, Missy Elliot can’t stand the rain, and Mad Men debuts – July 14-July 20


    Like Chris, I wasn’t able to see it til it got an ABC TV edit. However, by then I had already seen the entire Marvel cartoon (which I haven’t seen since it aired, but felt weird and grim at the time) and the comics, so I was all in. The Robocop/Terminator comic, made by legends Frank Miller (pre-decline) and Walt Sinonson is pretty amazing, as it’s about a time traveler trying to kill Robo since hes a link in the path that leads to Skynet. I could seriously talk for hours about the weird history of that franchise and all its failed reinventions.

    And I loved Beans Baxter when I was 10 but none of my friends ever had any idea WTF I was talking about. Had no idea it was Savage Steve, but that makes sense in retrospect.

  2. I’m very used to enjoying things that aren’t “for me” to the point where I’m often dismissive when I hear others complain about not having enough entertainment for their demo, ha ig said that MAN did MidMin fall flat for me, I think I saw every episode in real time from season 2 through the mid season break of the penultimate season and I maybe “popped” twice (the lawn mower scene & Pete & Alison Brie white people dancing) it was just saw fug’n boring and beneath the genuine comedic talents of Jon Hamm

    1. If I’m not mistaken A4D by Gn’R is 30 next week I’m a HUGE Gn’R fan Appitte is my 3rd fave 80s album behind “Skid Row” & “Purple Rain” and I go by the name Izzy as a nickname from my birth name Elizabeth because if Izzy Strandlin and when I transitioned i choose “Axl” as my legal new “male name” despite not actually being called that socially.

  3. I do love you guys BUT. You guys keep saying that most anime are long when you referred to eva as a “short” show. Most anime are 1 season 13 episodes. Only about 2 or 3 new shows out of the 30ish a season will get second seasons. Long running shonens amd kids shows are in the minority for amounts of episodes anime get. Most high tier anime are 13 episodes. Lain, paranoia agent, kyousougiga, tatami galaxy, kaiba, kemono friends…

  4. I was 9 when Robocop came out so way too young to see it in theatres, but recall really becoming a fan on home video a few years later – another one of those R films that were popular with kids but what I REALLY recall is seeing it again when I was either late high school or early college and watching it as a completely different movie; none of the satire even registered as satire when I was a young kid but when I was a young adult I experienced the film on a whole different level. In fact that may have been the first film I really experienced differently at different stages of my life.

    In regards to Sunshine, yea hard sci-fi films are a lot rarer than one every three years. I might go so far as to say they are closer to once a decade. The Martian is the only other hard sci-fi film I can think of that came out recently.

  5. I remember being very excited about Cow and Chicken getting its own show. Dexter was pretty good and all, but for some reason Cow and Chicken appealed to me more. Maybe they were just filling the void left behind by Ren & Stimpy for me. Re-watching it is almost painful as I really can’t stand the Cow character. Last year I moved to a new house and was able to subscribe to Fios for the first time which has Boomerang as part of its package. I would have had to pay extra for it but I was prepared as I figured the What A Cartoon? stuff went there along with classic Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry shows, but upon checking their programming schedule, I saw it was a bunch of awful and got really bummed. It’s a lot of bad new shows with some Scooby Doo thrown in and if you happen to be watching at 4 in the morning you can catch The Flintstones, if that’s your thing. A good thing that came from it though was that it was the catalyst I finally needed to just buy the Looney Tunes Golden Collection on DVD. Long live physical media!

  6. I consider Evangelion to be the perfect anime. Not because of its quality, but because you can find everything good and bad about the genre in this show. From amazing designs and deep explorations of complex relationships to cheeky fanservice and a plot that’s not nearly as deep as it thinks it is, it’s all in here. If you were a teen in the late 90’s this was a profound experience that really tackled issues in a way no other media targeting your demographic would. Parental abuse, coming to terms with your sexuality (including the darker parts of heterosexuality), the pressure of being thrust into adult situations you are not ready for and pondering if its even worth in such a messed up world, the show is a coming of age story that actually goes into the messed up things we think about and deal with when we are coming of age. Also, giant robots made out of your dead mother.

    1. I think FLCL did basically everything Evangelion did in terms of “everything good and bad about anime” in a more concise package without all the “20 minutes of cicadas” budget cuts. But then, I was a teen when FLCL came out and didn’t see Evangelion until I was in my mid 20s, so that might have something to do with it.

  7. Just saw Robocop for the first time a few months ago, its incredible.

    1997- 9th Birthday, saw George of the Jungle abd got very sick.

    2007- 19th Birthday. Bomberman Live with friends as we drank a lot. Played a 10 year old kid online who did terrible Dr. Zoidberg impressions for three hours. Woopwoopwoop97

    (Switch bomberman has got some patches to improve it, its fine)

  8. I’m probably in the minority of listeners who hasn’t​ seen Robo Cop (I know I must rectify this) but has seen Chinese Ghost Story, and would definitely recommend it it. It is a mash up of romance, horror, and wuxia fantasy action that could only come from 80’s Hong Kong cinema and legendary producer Tsui Hark. While not quite as wacky other Tsui Hark productions like Zu Warriors of Magic Mountain or Mr. Vampire (both of which I would also highly recommend) it does feature a giant tongue monster, tar like zombies, and a song and dance number from a drunken warrior priest. It’s my lock of the week.

  9. As popular as Evangelion is, it is nothing compared to that of One Piece which is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this week, the first issue published in the July 19th, 1997 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. At over 800 chapters it is one of the longest running comics by a single creator of all time, but is still beat out by other super huge series like JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure (30 years), recently ended KochiKame (40 years, never missing a week) and the immortal Golgo 13, which is coming up on 50 years, though if I recall correctly original creator Saito pretty much just draws the faces at this point. Also as over 350 million copies sold world wide, it is quite possibly currently the best selling and most widely read comic in the world. Obviously I’m a big fan, and while the series has some some problems with it’s depictions of women and LGBT individuals, and also has characters I really appreciate as a trans fan, like the super camp Bon Clay and Ivankov, who is basically Tim Curry from Rocky Horror as a manga character, and the series in general has a strong anti-facist undercurrent, with the characters frequently clashing with the racist, corrupt, aristocratic world government. It may seem intimidating to jump into such a long series, but I would argue it’s easier than getting into something like Marvel comics. It’s completely self contained and you just start at volume one and keep going until you get to the newest one. It is my second lock of the week.

  10. My dad took a job at UCLA a few years ago and was excited that he got to meet his very first Hollywood celebrity, Peter Weller, who quit acting to become a history professor! He apparently does not want to talk about Robocop.

    1. I was walking to work in Honolulu one day a few years ago, and passed a tent with a man sitting in one of those movie chairs, and it was Peter Weller. I kept walking and thought, “Huh, Peter Weller.” I saw him coming out of a restaurant the next day, and my girlfriend said, “that looks like Peter Weller,” so I told her I’d seen him the day before. I don’t know what he was filming here. I hear about a lot of people who have filmed here, but have never seen any others.

  11. I never finished the Evangelion tv series as the library never had the episodes in stock as other anime fans kept losing the tapes. I did watch the movie released by Manga Entertainment and my 13 year old self thought it was the best thing I ever watched, despite Anime Insider magazine saying they were dreck. Yeah, it is definitely shite, but I don’t think I’ll forget the scenes.

    Loved George of the Jungle and saw it like five times on VHS as my after school program had nothing better to do in the summer.

    Watched all the Robocop movies and the tv shows in syndication as a child. I only remember the beginning parts of Robocop, but Robocop II is what sticks in my mind better. as it was probably less gruesome.

  12. I never saw Robocop until I was just shy of 17 – back in 2013 when we first got netflix streaming in the house, and the whole trilogy was on there. The first one is fucking phenomenal – I had heard great things, and it’s definitely one of the cases where praise & hype were completely right. I ended up buying it on blu-ray a while later, and have since showed it to friends – who now share my appreciation for the movie. Because of when I first saw the movie, it sort of ties me back to my life at the time (which, among teen angst and boredom, also involved binging Kids in the Hall and random movies on Netflix). I may have to give it rewatch this week to celebrate the anniversary.

  13. The What A Cartoon Show, Oh Yeah! Cartoons, and the Cartoon Cartoon Show were all great showcases of young and indie animated talent on the big cartoon networks and were all made by the same guy! Fred Seibert, the dude who runs Frederator and brought us shows like Chalkzone, Bee And Puppycat, and — oh yeah — ADVENTURE TIME, is one of the most influential forces in animation over the last 30+ years. He also was instrumental in creating the look of early MTV interstitials like the Moonman station ident and his shows have launched the careers of people like Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends), Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Lab, Samurai Jack, Hotel Transylvania), and as Chris mentioned, Seth MacFarlane.

    Beeteedubs Seth’s original two shorts on WAC that set the template for Family Guy are fantastic. Very unlike FG and feature wacky, energetic, stretchy animation, over the top action, and of course, Star Wars references. The original pilot he made as his senior thesis at RISD is also worth watching, but is basically the first episode of Family Guy with a lower budget. Then he made a second pilot, which is basically the first episode with a lower budget. Then they largely remade it for the official FOX pilot, still with a pretty low budget.

  14. if i’m being honest, i grew several small rage tumors when you guys shit on Nothing To Lose. i have a weirdly strong affection for that movie. after the setup it’s essentially Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins as shitty, inexperienced crooks vs seasoned criminals played by John C. McGinley and an unrecognizable Giancarlo (Gus Fring) Esposito.

    i can quote the movie front to back, Tim Robbins is at his comedic best, and for the icing on the cake you’ve also got Michael Mckean as Robbins’ femmy boss who idolizes a Mayan fertility statue with a massive penis. please give this movie another shot.

  15. I’d seen all four Jaws movies when they were pretty new, but I watched them all again last year. I remember liking 2 as a kid, and 3 was one of the handful of of 3D movies I saw in the 80’s, the best thing about 4 must be “This time it’s personal!” Pretty terrible movies, but like a lot of 80’s movies I’ve watched the last few years, not unenjoyable.

    I don’t remember watching that many kid shows in the 80’s that had very many kids in them, the way all kids shows from the 90’s to now just seem to be completely about kids at school and stuff. The 80’s ones seemed to have a main kid or two interacting with adults, frequently getting into danger. I never knew Savage Steve Holland had done anything other than Eek the Cat, but I watched a couple of his movies a couple of months ago, and wish there were more of his stuff to check out.

    I watched all of John Waters’ movies a few years ago, the 70s ones are very weird, and hard to watch if you’re delicate, but the 80’s and 90’s ones don’t feel that transgressive anymore, and in spite of Waters being a well-known gay fellow, I don’t remember anything that seems really gay in any of his stuff, he’s more interested in being part of an outside group than having sex with men, I think, and “camp” is just synonymous with “homosexual” in modern audience’s mindsnow, instead of just being considered more “fluid” than the standards of the 60s to the 90s or so.

  16. One interesting thing about Crash – it was in competition at Cannes the previous year, amd was so controversial amongst the jury (some insisted on giving it the Palme d’Or, others thought it was garbage) that they ended up creating a one-off award to give it. Essentially, it was a recognition of the audacity of Cronenberg to make such a movie.

    Anyway, thanks for the great show and have a nice day.

  17. Working at Hollywood Video in 1999, I would come to manage the “Special Interest” section. It covered documentaries, work out videos, DIY, self help and foreign film (which to corporate included anime). I had been a fan of anime since I first started going to a local video store that let you rent anything for a dollar a night. We had several different anime series at Hollywood Video at this time, but only the first few tapes of each. One of those series was Neon Genesis Evangelion. After watching the first two tapes I was hooked and abused my tiny bit of power and ordered the remaining 9 VHS Cassettes of the series for “Inventory”. The series was intriguing and thought provoking to my teenage mind. Then the series comes to a screeching halt as the entire cast is plunged into crippling self doubt and depression. Years later I would buy a fan sub on eBay to finish the story and as you stated on the podcast, the series still has no end.

    Thanks for the amazing podcast. I found you guys a little over a month ago and have binged the entire thirty-twenty-ten series in that time. It’s been a fun ride and I can’t wait until we get to 1994 and you discuss one of the most memorable Phil Hartman roles from my childhood, “Greedy” with Michael J Fox and Kirk Douglass.

  18. When Mad Men came out I was listening to a lot of Bill Simmons podcast, the former ESPN writer who exec produced the 30 for 30 docs. He talked about it constantly (and I think is the reason that I never got i to it) basically worshipping Don Draper and his shitty behavior and the culture that empowered him, with the undertone of wistful yearning for that kind of thing to be acceptable again in todays society (which I didn’t really see/realize at the time). After the first few times listening I would just skip those sections or episodes in which he discussed that stuff and just get to the sports content, because I just didn’t really care to hear about it, but not really realizing why, assuming it was just because I didn’t watch the show. Now I realize that Simmons is a brilliant mind for certain things, trapped in the attitude and life experience of a shitty frat bro from Boston. I should go back and give Mad Men a shot, now that I’ve recognized why I had an aversion to checking it out, but with the way media and especially TV is produced these days, there just isn’t much time to stop and watch something from 10 years ago.

  19. Robocop was my first R-rated movie.
    In the summer of 87 I was 10 years old and I loved movies. I would watch Siskel & Ebert every week to keep abreast of new films (no internet!). Robocop had a lot of TV commercials but it was their ringing endorsement that convinced me I *had* to see that movie, despite the rating and their repeated warnings regarding the violence.
    I don’t know what it took but I somehow wore my parents down, and late that summer my dad took me to a second-run theater in Mt Kisco NY (an out-of-the-way spot we never went to) to see the movie. I was SHOCKED by how adult it was, from the casual nudity in the locker room to the extended ED-209 execution scene (Siskel & Ebert had shown an edited version) and worst of all, the murder of Alex Murphy. I remember I had to cover my eyes during most of that part, and because I would later tape a safe-for-TV broadcast of Robocop, it would be DECADES later that I would finally see the scene uncut on DVD complete with exploding hand and the Murphy puppet getting shot in the head.
    As a kid, however, I loved Robocop despite being shocked and I was grateful my dad made the choice to take me to a movie that was clearly over my head. I would later really enjoy Robocop 2 as well, even though that also had plenty of gore that tested my limits as a teenager.
    Robocop 3, on the other hand, I regret ever renting. At this point its only merit is seeing Rip Torn as the new OCP chief.

    1. also this week marks the tenth anniversary of me getting engaged! my girlfriend came to visit me from Japan and she wanted to see Niagara Falls so we flew to Buffalo and drove across the border. It was tricky concealing the ring in my pocket when we went through airport security but I pulled it off. I ended up proposing inside a Ferris Wheel overlooking the falls which I didn’t know was there until I saw it. I said everything in Japanese and she said yes.
      The kicker of this anecdote is: we were walking around the town of Niagara Falls which is a super touristy area full of chain restaurants, wax museums, and the like. If you remember, there once was a dedicated restaurant/gift shop called WWF New York in Times Square back when the brand exploded in the late 90s and Vince was spending money like crazy (ie the XFL). The New York location closed in 2003 but there was also a location in Niagara Falls called WWE Niagara Falls which was still open in 2007 (it’s long gone now). When I saw it I couldn’t help but notice a series of giant posters of Superstars outside with one space being conspicuously empty. It took me a minute but then I put 2 +2 together and realized the vacant poster slot must have belonged to Benoit. WWE must have hastily torn down the poster without preparing a replacement, a solution to a PR problem that only casts a spotlight on the situation.

  20. WTF? The thumbnail for that Robocop trailer is a shot from Robocop 3? Anyway. My favorite moment from Robocop: “Can I help you?” Robocop hesitates. “No.” And walks away.

    And yo know the “FRIDAY” guy you always mention in the 80s TV segment? His name is Ernie Anderson (father of Wes Anderson), and he was the voice of all things ABC TV. Here is a montage of NSFW outtakes:

  21. Funnily enough, when you mentioned Brendan Fraser on this weeks episode, it made me remember that as a kid growing up in the 90’s my only introduction with Brendan Fraser was through Encino Man and George of the Jungle. SO, for a long time I thought Brendan Fraser was not able to speak english or at the very least not a native english speaker (like Arnold Schwarzenagger in Conan). I thought maybe he was learning English and by the time Blast From the Past came out, I was blown away at his progress at learning to speak our language. Later I saw Airheads and realized the truth, but it was definitely one of those embarassing realizations reality vs. the movies.

  22. I first saw Robocop when it first came out on video and I was being babysat by some less than qualified babysitters who were the sons of my parent’s friends. I was 8 or 9 and it was the greatest thing I’d ever seen up until then. The violence, the coolness of a robot/cyborg cop, the middle finger spike that he uses to access the database. But the thing I remember most about Robocop is how it changed throughout the years. First time I saw it, the bad guy who falls in toxic waste and gets hit by the car, you can see his head splatter on the windshield. A few years later, I rented it again and you see the guy get hit by the car but they cut out the part where his head splatters. Finally, it was on TV some more years later and the scene showed the car actually going around the guy. Not even getting hit, no cuts, just a brand new scene. So weird.
    Anyways, I think I had as many of the Robocop toys as possible and broke a lot of my GI Joe figures as they would end up getting shot in the dick.

  23. Regarding Beckham’s move to the US, although I can completely understand that the LT crew aren’t across major footballing (sorry, I can’t call it soccer) transfers, but Beckham’s move to LA was strictly a business decision. As Henry said, he got paid a shit tonne of money, but MLS wanted his name and cache to build up the league as a viable move for quality footballers.

    Without Beckham, the league wouldn’t have had Robbie Keane, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard (these are all former international standard footballers guys). MLS’s current standing in the international game may not be as high as it is today without Beckham making that move.

    As a final point, Beckham was never the best footballer in his career, but he was the first celebrity footballer in the modern era who very quickly learned how to use his name to earn money off the field. However, as a Manchester United fan I am indebted to that man’s wand of a right foot and would gladly lie in a puddle so he could cross the street.

  24. Every February in Detroit there is a local production of Robocop the musical. I highly recommend it if you like the original movie. It’s ridiculously funny and we’ll written.

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