Spaceballs’ Schwartz is Big, Cage and Travolta Face Off, Ratatouille Cooks, and Benoit Causes Wrestling’s Worst Tragedy – June 23-29

In 1987, Mel Brooks spoofs sci-fi with Spaceballs while Married With Children ends its first season. 1997 delivers a duo of classic flicks with Disney’s Hercules and Face Off. 2007 warms our hearts with Ratatouille, before Chris Benoit nearly destroys the WWE with one disgusting act.


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64 thoughts on “Spaceballs’ Schwartz is Big, Cage and Travolta Face Off, Ratatouille Cooks, and Benoit Causes Wrestling’s Worst Tragedy – June 23-29

  1. The fact that Face/Off and Batman&Robin two of the most perfect camp movies of all time came out back to back is amazing also what a run for Cage with The Rock, Con Air & Face/Off plus Travolta had PulpFiction, Broken Arrow, Face/Off and the legendary WhiteMansBurden a movie I saw with my HS girlfriend(who was black) & her protective(bigoted?) older brother circa 2006 ”twas awkward but man do I love me some Travolta and some Cage both are genuine kinda creepy treasures who are either the best kind of bad or worst kind awesome.

    1. BTW if you’ve never heard of 1995’s WhiteMan’sBurden it’s a Crashesque movie about racism written and directed by a Japanese film maker who’d been in America for about a year. Basically “what if Blacks and Whites were reversed and all the white people are poor and dumb and the blacks are cartoonishly rich and proper…yeah it’s BAD!!) and Harry Belefonte he guy who sang those songs from Beetlejuice plays a guy who’s basically Carlton and Travolta talks “Ebonics” again there’s no self awareness from anyone in this movie and it was Travolta’s 1st of many post PulpFiction “disasters”

    2. It’s interesting that despite a prolific film career Nic Cage has, only two of his films released in 1997.

    3. I looked up White Man’s Burden after reading this comment and HOLY SHIT who ever thought that was a remotely good idea.

  2. Ya’ll spent a bit of time dumping in the Diaz Bros who suck yet praised Connor McGregor? REALLY? He’s a horrible person who makes racist comments about Brazilian opponents ala Chael Sonnen made horrible comments about his opponents wife and kids, made homophobic comments about a black fighter named Tyrone Woodley and his awful to his opponents post fight. Let’s not forget fighters like Demetrius Johnson and Jose Aldo who won countless title defenses whom never got huge pay days because they’re either very respectful or speaking English as a 2nd language meanwhile McGregor gets a ton of money and love because he appeals to the UFC’s base of bigoted assholes who are notorious for their open hostility and bigotry that DanaWhite willingly leans into. Spend five minutes reading about the UFC’s treatment of its other champions and compare that to McGregor and if you can still tolerate this cunt as POS then I’d be disgusted.

    1. Didn’t mean for the Diaz hate to overlook what a tool McGregor is. I only knew about half that stuff you mentioned, and still didn’t like him. I just prefer his charismatic obnoxiousness to the Diaz Bros. Most UFC male UFC fighters seem like dicks, to be honest.

      1. honestly man, you’ve got it all wrong, you really do. nate is by all accounts a seriously good dude, he is just from a terrible neighborhood and has a total lack of formal education. everyone who talks about him (and nick to an extent, but not as much as nate) is how great of guys they are. they definitely have a “from the streets of stockton” attitude about them, but it’s part of their charm. they refuse to ham it up for the cameras, so it sort of comes off as dickish, but nate has shown time and time again he is a really good guy. he literally teaches a children brazilian jiu-jitsu class in his free time, as well.

        the way you view the diaz brothers, and the “most male ufc fighters” in general is off base, it really is. it’s the same sort of attitude that fox news has about ufc fighters, and for similar reasons i’d expect. there ARE serious dicks in the ufc, don’t get me wrong, but nick and nate diaz are not them. but i do appreciate you guys mentioning the sport from time to time. seriously though hank, if you looked into nate diaz, especially in the leadup to the mcgregor fight (the first time nate had EVER gotten any real exposure) you’d see he’s a solid dude.

  3. Mel Brooke’s has done two funny thangz Blazing Saddles and Season for of CYE, also you tell me the difference between a MelBrooke’s movie and a Monty Python movie, you can’t because there is none and that’s an insult to both of them .

    Burn Notice and Psych are two of my favorites of the past 15 years, yes they’re the Bud/Miller Heavy to CBS’ Light shows but they hit that sweet spot of background noise and compelling. I don’t want TBG or NCISLA but I’m not always in a serious comedy/drama mood and those USA Shows found that swing state ground I enjoyed immensely.

  4. First: The Great Milenko was named for Dean’s dad, who wrestled at different times as Boris Malenko and The Great Malenko.

    Second, I somehow managed to see Spaceballs before I’d seen Alien or One Froggy Evening. That sequence consequently made NO god damned sense to me but i still loved it for the dada value. I was also totally convinced that Mega Maid was a riff on Robotech when i was 10.

    On Benoit: I still remember that 48 hour period so vividly. Playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance and listening to the Figure Four recap of the PPV he no-showed, the announcement the next day that his family had died,the slow drip of details until it became obvious what had happened, fans arguing and trying desperately to exonerate THE smark icon of the era., the revelation that his suicide had required him to hang there with his feet off the ground for several minutesand Chris Jericho going on tv and saying “the man I know could never have done this.” The brain damage revelation made me seriously reconsider some of my shitty assumptions about humanity and mental health.

    Oh, and y’all really should have played “Show Me Love” from the Robyn album.

  5. In 2008 I was living in Traverse City, Michigan. Micheal Moore among other celebrities have expensive vacation homes there. A local historic theater was announced to be closing and he agreed to buy it and save it. He often would bring Paramont movies like Star Trek (2009) to this lovely little theater early.

    Anyways, there was a showing of the Phillip Seymour Hoffman movie Doubt and I saw Micheal Moore. After the movie I slowly approached him, introduced myself and thanked him for keeping this theater open. He was very excited to talk about plans they had for the theater, local Mackinaw Island Fudge and how despite the good acting we didn’t enjoy Doubt very much.

    Yes Micheal Moore has some legit flaws and parts of his movies aren’t accurate, however that guy was really awesome to talk to, he made some great films, so I will be on Team Moore.

    1. Oh, and thanks for reading my comment from the prior episode.

      This was a fun, long episode that got me through some paperwork. ^_^

  6. Guys no offense and I say this as a gay Liberal but also a business co-owner(albeit a bar) who also works full time in a lab a 30 hour work weeks, 1 year maternity leave and a 2 hour lunch is very easy to ask for when you’re not paying taxes or balancing a budget it’s hard to explain the plight of a small business owner especially one is the 6 figure profit range but your boss is just as effected by Capitalism as you are thus has to play ball. If wages/salary go up then everything else including CoL and CoO which puts us back where we started with things being too expensive. Yadda yadda yadda running a business is hard your boss is not the bad guy (s)he just sees #s you don’t and has to be selfish or sink especially when they have family of their own again I’m a strong social Lib but being financially Liberal dies quickly once you pay taxes your 2nd year as an owner and everything you want requires more taxes at the middle as well as the top. Comedian Jerrod Carmichael has a funny bit about how the moment he reaches a certain tax bracket he’ll become Republican and I kinda understand Taxes hurt everyone but especially “well off but not rich” people because you can’t take the hit but you still pay a VERY healthy amount of your profit + employees and as a bar we don’t even have to worry about paying for employees health car I can only imagine the hit it takes 3000 employees companies that do, I know it’s not sympathitic but there’s a reason so many mid 6figur folk or Republican or Libertarian (which is a lot more socially Liberal than they get credit for in fact it’s just a fiscal conservative who believe in equality) not rich enough to pay high taxes and be ok financially but not middle/poor enough to benefit from taxes either.

    1. I think Henry and co. are coming from a valid position to discuss these things since Chris is literally a small business owner, and likewise Hank & Bob may as well be with TS hitting Patreon and becoming their full-time gig.

    2. But there is evidence they’re “correct”. The Michael Moore movie they’re discussing shows you’re “wrong”, other nations and countries have SAID these basic humanitarian things can exist, and it’s been shown by several reputable sources (seriously, use Google) that even something as simple as company-wide FULL COVERAGE HEALTH CARE is something as little of cost as pennies on the dollar.

      I used to be a massive neo-Republican, from high school to literally 2015, I voted for McCain and Mitt Romney for fucks sake. I have been with these guys since 2008 and I had to learn to just brush off their “lefty” opinions. But a combination of real life (multiple easily preventable family deaths, including both of my parents) and reading up on mountains of text and watching several economic and political videos on YouTube (seriously- they DO exist, they’re just buried with the conspiracy theory alt-right shit on the site) have pretty much made a life-long democrat from here on out.

      I’m going long, but I just wanted to say that I can see where you’re coming from, I really do. But in the wasteful, petty, squandered year of 2017, most companies would rather buy another vending machine or coffee maker, which are NOT cheap, than give their employees health care.

      1. *Also, I put “correct” and “wrong” in quotations because I didn’t want to say your experiences are wrong, emphatically. I don’t know your experiences with your business. I just wanted to say that if all I’ve read is right, there is a wrong side to that (and that includes me if I’m wrong).

  7. Holy Christ, what a week! I hadn’t revisited Spaceballs as an adult until the MNM last week and was amazed by how well it held up. I probably watched it roughly twelve hundred times as a kid.

    I also love me some Sugar Ray and I contend that Hercules is one of the best of the Disney Renaissance. I think it only gets better with age, because rather than drawing on the Renaissance template that was set by The Little Mermaid and used by Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, The Lion King, et al — it draws more from the superhero genre that was coming to prominence around that same time. Hercules is basically a superhero origin film, which is a genre that has barely evolved AT ALL since then. Doctor Strange is basically Hercules, but not as good and without the sweet R&B/Broadway/Gospel hybrid soundtrack.

    And Ratatouille is the best Pixar movie. End of discussion. Incredibles is still my favorite, though. Brad Bird is my favorite film director because he just continually struts into established franchises/genres like Pixar, Mission: Impossible, 90s animated films, and makes the BEST ONE. Except films based on Disneyland rides. He really fucked that one up.

  8. The Great Milenko was the second release to get the Disney axe at Hollywood Records. Disney must have done very little oversight in the actual signing process because in 1996 Danzig released the album “Blackacidevil” on Hollywood Records and was soon the subject of complaints from conservative groups leading to the record being pulled and the newly minted record deal (Danzig had just had its contract with Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label end and signed with Hollywood) was terminated. As someone who basically wore either a Misfits or Danzig t-shirt seemingly everyday throughout high school, I was far too invested in this ordeal than anyone reasonably should be. It wasn’t a great loss or anything as the album was terrible and would be re-released in 2000 with new, better artwork and some added tracks making an awful album even longer. Probably the best thing to come out of the whole fiasco was a cartoon in Pulse! magazine featuring Michael Eisner and Glenn Danzig getting all chummy in front of “Danzigland” with some kind of devil Mickey Mouse lurking in the background, which you can find at the link below (or just google Danzig Disney):

  9. Dave mentioned he saw Spaceballs before Star Wars,, I’ve heard Bob mention the same thing, and I did as well! there’s like some cohort from our generation who saw Star Wars and thought “this is okay but where are all the funny parts???”

  10. Monk, Burn Notice, Psych, that was indeed the trifecta of shows during my early college days. I remember they had some kind of sweepstakes thing they had on the USA site and I did a lot of those points tasks. and got plenty of merchandise with it! Got two signed scripts, a DVD set, and a t-shirt in the span of one summer. While Chris and his friends did the radio call in thing for free concert tickets, this was mine.

    As we get closer to the end of 1997, it really dawned on me in terms of nostalgia that we were indeed heading to a bright and shiny future, as my friend would like to say. Face/Off and Men in Black were in theaters. Homer Simpson went on a trip. Marvel vs Capcom was in theaters. PlayStation was ubiquitous. And regular syndicated TV had the sweet sweet combination of original programming and awesome movies from a few years ago. This was a high point in my life, but I guess, as an older person, we do have responsibilities to make our own “high points.” 🙁

  11. Sugar Ray has a song that I believe is titled “Mean Machine” featured in Road Rash for the Nintendo 64.

  12. I just got married in May, and my wife, who loves Spaceballs, insist I watch it again, because I greatly disliked Spaceballs. I made a bet with her that I wouldn’t laugh more than three times. She won the bet: I laughed four times. Spaceballs still sucks, IMO. Also, I constantly use Nic Cage’s “WATCH YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!” Great show, as always.

  13. Spaceballs is the worst, and to be fair, I believe that was because when i saw it, I was 18. Those jokes are incredibly lame and do not hold up at all. I refuse to waste my time watching it again. I kind of feel that way about all Mel Brooks movies…. JUST BECAUSE I WAS A HISTORY MAJOR DOES NOT MEAN I SHOULD WATCH “History of the World p1 & 2” THEY ARE ALSO GARBAGE!!!!

    I remember loving Hercules, and I think Meg was my first cartoon crush, I was 10 after all… My only memory of Burn Notice is leaving it’s Saturday morning marathons on TV when I was too hung over to handle thought. I don’t think I have seen that show while not hungover.

    1. Even as a kid, I remember watching Spaceballs at birthday parties and just being bored and wishing we were actually watching Star Wars instead. Watching it again as an adult, I still feel much the same way, but I also recognize that most of the jokes are just bad. Like they talk about in the episode though, the best part is when they have the tape of the movie and play with the meta-ness of it all – that’s actually pretty clever and entertaining.

  14. Face/Off is fucking phenominal and I pretty much watch it on an annual basis at this point. It’s astonishing to think that within about a year period, he had THE ROCK, CON-AIR, and FACE/OFF. Those schlocky action movies are much preferable to crap we get in 2017 like Transformers, though I suppose the new kind of action we get like JOHN WICK and FAST & FURIOUS kind of makes up for that. Maybe they should get Cage into the next Fast & Furious movie…

    I think I first heard about the whole Chris Benoit situation from listening to you guys on podcasts (maybe as far back as TalkRadar), but holy crap is looking at the whole history of it a screwed up and upsetting tale. Hank apologized for running long about it, but I was captivated the whole time, This was a super awesome (even if morbid) episode!

  15. Every time I see an FBI warning at the beginning of a movie – and I mean EVERY time – I playback the “Prepare to fast forward!” scene in my head.

    Face/Off blew me away when I first saw it. For a brief time, it was actually my all time favorite movie. It’s still an amazing action movie, no doubt. The boat chase is especially spectacular. And there is probably no greater moment of “Movie Symbolism” that the mirror shoot-out (when they look in the mirror, they do not see themselves, but who they are trying to kill). But, boy howdy, has my overall opinion of the movie cooled off over the years. It’s still fun, but it has fallen way out of my top ten.

    SICKO – Wow. What a week to mark that movie’s anniversary. I still say this is Moore’s best work. Definitely his angriest, most brutal taketown of any of his subjects, at it is well earned. For profit health insurance is a god damn tragedy.

  16. Spaceballs is great because it’s one of those things that will never be made again: a Star Wars parody with Borscht Belt humor. Sure, a lot of the jokes are really corny and I don’t like it as much as I used to, but it’s still good for plenty of laughs. Also, count me among those who saw Spaceballs before seeing any Star Wars (born in ’84).

    I saw Hercules at a drive-in in Oklahoma with my aunt and uncle. This is absolutely the best thing James Woods ever did and I prefer to remember him this way instead of, you know, how he is now.
    I believe the British guy Diana was blanking on is Gerald Scarfe, who did the art in Pink Floyd’s The Wall. They showed a lot of his Hercules concept art in Disney Adventures around the time it came out and so much of it is burned into my brain.

    I’ve been waiting since the fay 30 20 10 premiered to write that. Yep, Benoit, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Grover Cleveland all died on my b-day. I don’t what any of that means but since my last name is Waugh I guess I owe it to the man to name my first born Chris-Ben Waugh.

    1. I wanted to reply with “see, famous people die on everybody’s birthday” so I looked mine up – naw dog, your birthday is fucked. I mean, yea, some folks died on my birthday, but the most notable one was the judge from Liar Liar. Chris Benoit, The King of Pop AND Farrah Fawcett? damn.

      Also, name your kid “Crispen.” It’ll seem more subtle that way.

  18. Two weeks in a row with Hank back and the show is brimming with new energy. I was already on board with the Talking Simpsons Patreon but now I’m hoping that if their Patreon is successful enough we could see him more regularly guesting back on 30-20-10 (maybe alternating with Oh Boy Bobby?). Needless to say, after this episode I’ve been inspired to bump up my TS (that’s Talking Simpsons, not “Tough Shit”, Marge) pledge in the hope of somehow willing this lofty wish into reality!

  19. Based on this week’s recommendation and because it’s included in my free Starz week trial, I decided to check Face/Off and it definitely did not disappoint. It’s definitely stupid and dumb, but boy howdy is it fun just because of how blissfully over the top it is. And they could not have chosen two better hammy actors to impersonate each-other. I read that originally John Woo wanted to have Jean Claude Van-Damme or Michael Douglas in the lead role… Man, would that have been a colossal mistake.

  20. This is a week or so late but I’m commenting on the Bigfoot mentions before. LUCKILY FOR YOU GUYS, I’m a biologist and teach this shit at a college so ima break this down.

    To start, the ‘bigfoot’ as you think of it does not exist in North America. IF it exists, Asia would be more likely.

    1)In North America, fossils have not been found of any extinct ape resembling bigfoot. Ape is an important distinction because as we know, monkeys live in South America. However monkeys and apes are VASTLY DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER (I emphasize this because I see the terms used interchangeably and it drives me up a fucking wall). This is significant because otherwise how would it be here? We have found fossils of several different creatures on pathways and what used to live in NA (including lions bitch!) but not the apes.

    2) Basic ecological principals show a creature like the ‘bigfoot’ isn’t here. We have a pretty solid understanding of the ecosystems of North America (it’s just people don’t give a fuck) and how things are, were, and how we’ve impacted them. We’ve driven out the once dominant alpha predators like cougars, bears, and wolves from their historic ranges and they are in much smaller territories now. Why would Bigfoot be immune from this? It wouldn’t because due to it’s place in the food web, it would be just as affected or even more so. I’m going to bring some science shit in here now so brace ya self. There are these things called food chains, something you made with crayons in kindergarten. These food chains represent the classic hierarchy we know of like producers (plants, algae, things that convert chemical/solar energy into something others will eat), primary consumers (your run of the mill herbivores), secondary consumers (eat the primary), tertiary, and quarternary. Food chains peak at quaternary because the ecosystem can’t sustain anything higher due to another key component associated with food chains called the TROPHIC PYRAMID (capitalized for excitement). The trophic pyramid shows biomass of these groups in an ecosystem. In a healthy ecosystem, you have your highest biomass in the producers, 2nd highest in primary, so on and so forth. This is because there is an inefficient transfer of energy between chains as energy is lost as heat. Now what the hell does this have to do with bigfoot you ask? WELL, the ecosystems couldn’t support a massive carnivore/omnivore like bigfoot. The biomass would be skewed or we would see it in the data we collect in our environment. This is getting long so I apologize and will add in my next ecological point into 3.

    3) So continuing the excitement of ecology terms, we introduce the COMPETITIVE EXCLUSION PRINCIPLE. This principle states that if two species share a niche and overlap in their environment, one will be driven out and one will adapt. Many ‘bigfoot experts’ paint the bigfoot as existing in a similar niche to bears. See the problem? Same niches but the principle states (and EVIDENCE SHOWSSSSSSSSSSSS) that shit don’t fly. We know the bear exists so yay we have a winner. Bigfoot? Not so much. It has direct competitors that actually exist that would make it hard to find food and exist. Let’s touch on that food bit for a moment. Bigfoot is said to be an ape which we know is a mammal. You know what it’s like to be a mammal? Fucking expensive. Being an endotherm (what the layman call warm-blooded) is costly, requires food (and lots of it), so the bigfoot would have to be eating a lot of shit. Deer, and other bits. Again competition with others in their environment. The natural predators have dipped due to habitat loss (I’ll touch on later) so they can’t even hang. We know these populations are exploding with no real control (which bigfoot would be) in the case of deer. But what about all the other foods? We’d see evidence of something unknown foraging on them. We don’t. There’s no mystery animal out there confounding ecologists. And on that food note, let’s talk about shit. Literal shit. Bigfoot would eat a lot and shit a lot. We’d find evidence of that and there are some experts at identifying shit and where it comes from. They’d spot something unusual unless Bigfoots have the ability to mimic other shit.

    4) Next let’s tackle the habitat AKA where these fuckers supposedly live. We have had widespread habitat loss and fragmentation (meaning not connected) which has greatly disrupted wildlife. The fragmentation is significant because it greatly disrupts communities of animals and what can live. It’s because of these we don’t see many of these wolves and cougars any more. They need significant areas of land (tied to that whole biomass thing and trophic pyramids) and have died because the don’t have it. The bigfoot would not be immune to this and would be greatly affected as well. Not to mention we’d fucking see them. The habitat we have can barely support the animals we know exist, not to mention a fictional one. In short, animals on a similar food chain tier or even lower have seen decreasing population sizes because the environment can’t support them so something as massive as a bigfoot would be even harder to support.

    5) Since we’ve touched a bit on population sizes and habitat, let’s talk about that some more. There is something called fucking that animals do to make kids. If you’ve got a species spread out greatly and in small numbers then it is harder to fuck. These bigfoots would be in rough shape and have to walk all over the god damn place and have a way to communicate with each other to find them to fuck. All that walking would burn a fuckload of energy (which we’ve covered above) and would greatly increase risk of exposure. Good luck walking through fragmented habitat making tons of noise trying to find ya fuckbuddy to make a kid. Now this is also important because populations have thresholds for population sizes for it to be supported. If this bigfoot is so rare, it would struggle to meet this and then would make it even harder to find each other to bang out a bitch ass kid. This whole thing is why you can have animals in the wild classified as extinct even as some members live. There isn’t enough to support the species and it will die.

    6) So this fucking list keeps going eh? YES IT DOES! Let’s talk animal discoveries. One of the things I always see from bigfoot hopefuls or believers is “scientists don’t know everything and discovery new species every day.” Yeah that’s true. Science wouldn’t fucking exist if we knew everything because the whole point is to learn shit. Also new species are discovered frequently however, and this is big, they’re not large fucking mammals. Most new species are insects (especially beetles, those fuckers are everywhere), amphibians (which are also facing extreme extinction even in California so donate to local places to help save them please), and other small creatures like mice. And when new mammals are discovered, it’s not in North America. It’s in places we just haven’t explored much like the rainforests in Asia/Indonesia. Rarely you’ll see a new deer discovered and it’ll be in that region (or you’ll get a new species by technicality since genetics will reveal what we thought was one species is actually two). Super rarely you get something like the Sumatran rhino which is endangered as is and in a remote location. Not one of the most populated areas on the planet in North America. In short, the likelihood of a massive mammal going undiscovered officially in North America is next to nil.

    7) We’re nearing the end so god love ya if you have read all of this. Next up, let’s look at what some of these ‘bigfoot experts’ have said what bigfoot is. According to some, it has eye shine which is made possible by a structure called a tapetum lucidem which is a badass fucking structure that dogs and many other animals have that helps them see better at night by allowing for light to essentially reflect twice in the eye. Awesome shit. You know what doesn’t have that structure? Apes. The same thing bigfoot is said to be. Humans don’t have it (red eye in pictures is a different thing) and other apes lack it. What about the size of this sunvabitch? Massive right. Well here’s the deal, that size is tough to find and the closest thing to it are relatives of Orangutans, notably Gigantopithecus blackii (that’s supposed to be italicized) which is the largest living known ape. Look it up, it was massive and also went extinct thousands of years ago due to a changing climate that rendered it unable to survive in the environment. I’ve also seen them say they eat things like berries and crayfish. Bulshit a massive animal like that is living off a crayfish in your stream that exist in low population numbers.

    So I’ve written an essay and feel I’ve gotten the point across. I’ve watched more bigfoot shit than I’d like to admit. I used to watch Finding Bigfoot as a gag and continually make fun of the quacks on that show and their psuedoscience shit. They don’t following anything even closely resembling the scientific method or common scientific practices (like the law of parsimony which says simplest explanation is best). They hear a noise in the forest and say it’s bigfoot knocking. Not maybe a branch falling or a fucking RACCOON DOING SHIT which is far more likely. They don’t test hypotheses, they only seek confirmation and that’s not how shit works in true science. They’re quacks who mislead people and encourage bulshit. Hell I’ve been to a BIGFOOT MUSEUM in Georgia and it’s pretty insane the shit they have. I couldn’t tell if they were being serious or not.

    Let’s sum this shit up nice and neat. For bigfoot to exist in North America, it would have to have SEVERAL exceptions (which violates the law of parsimony) and is pretty much inconceivable. There’s no record of an ape ancestor in this region (it sure as shit didn’t build a boat and come over), we don’t have enough habitat to support it, the trophic pyramid and food chain wouldn’t allow for it to exist, it’s rumored features are highly improbable, and large mammals just aren’t found anymore. If these fat fucks exist, it’s out in Asia and not North America. You can ‘pretend’ it exists or like to think it does but that’s about the same as liking to think Hogwarts is in North America and secretly training a new generation of witches and wizards. Or that the X-man Wolverine is roaming the countryside as a rogue biker/truck driver. Same level.

    Well, that’s it. If you have other science (ideally biology) issues come up, just fucking ask.

    ALSO. To address something on the same issue, the subject of extinctions was brought up. They are ABSOLUTELY STILL BROUGHT UP AND A MAJOR ISSUE. I put this in all caps because you guys seemed to think that wasn’t the case. We are considered to be in the SIXTH mass extinction event right now and we are causing it. Species are constantly going extinct or being threatened with extinction and it is a major problem. Awareness is critical in this so please BE AWARE. And for god sake send 5 bucks a month to any place that does good for animals/environment (not that bulshit PETA or organic food scam). An actual place that does good for animal conservation or for the environment. These places are always in need of funding and you can help save species. If you can spare 5 bucks for a kickstarter for a game you won’t play, you can spend 5 bucks to help save an actual living creature that is way less of an asshole than our sorry excuse for a species is. /rant

    1. That’s pretty much all the explanation you’d ever need. It’s always been simple to me, undiscovered/classified species DO exist in the world, but NOT something that’s 7 feet tall and living around heavily populated areas in North America. Like you said, we’d fucking see it when we disturb its habitat and force it to GTFO.

    2. I read it all! Yes plz donate to anyone/place that actually preserves animals and the environment. No one really conceptualizes “extinct” but once a popular zoo animal (orangutan, tiger) goes away get ready for a lot of “if only we could’ve prevented this!”

      BTW I’m not super caught up on the state of various animals’ threat levels so maybe there’s already been a “famous” animal that’s been driven to non existence? There’s a rhino that’s just POOF gone from the Earth because ppl can’t NOT hunt them.

  21. I wonder if it’s true that “Speed 2: Cruise Control” was going to be Die Hard 3, but was rejected by Bruce Willis.

    1. Die Hard 3 would have been in production at the time of Speed’s original release. So, no. Actually, DH3 started out as a completely different movie called “Simon Says.” It was later converted into the DH3 script, and originally planned to have Brandon Lee as the co-star, not Samuel L Jackson. This was all revealed in an article that interviewed the writer, Jonathan Hensleigh (who later wrote/directed The Punisher 04). I believe it was Premier Magazine, but I’m not sure. This was 20+ years ago, after all.

  22. June 25th 1997 marks a very special week in my life, the original release date for ICP’s most famous album, “The Great Milenko“. As a Michigan kid and former juggalo, I have a unique take on the Hip-Hop duo’s rise to fame.

    Most people don’t realize that ICP had a MASSIVE frat boy fan base in Michigan during the mid 90’s. In early 1996 they were thrust upon me when visiting my older sister at Central Michigan University. ICP was the talk of the campus; Dorm rooms, music stores and head shops all sported Ringmaster and Riddlebox posters and cd’s. They were local, cursed in very creative ways, and would play any venue that would have them. The frat boys loved them.

    Returning home I quickly introduced my gaggle of pseudo cyberpunk nerdlings to this new anti-social performance art. As proto-millennials desperately aspiring to be the cast of Hackers, we ate that shit up. It peaked in the summer of 1997 leading into our senior year. ICP and KMFDM were the soundtrack to lots of sex, drugs, and hacking pranks that, in retrospect, were very serious federal crimes.

    The ICP fanbase (and music) started deteriorating by 1998 and by our freshmen year of college none of my friends wanted to associate with the group or its followers. Some of us sold drugs and ran pirated software websites to pay for school, but being an ICP fan was just too embarrassing.

    Our weird circle to Jaggalos all went on to become business men, engineers, IT professionals, lawyers and parents. I’m the Creative Director of a luxury appliance manufacturer, therefore making me the least successful of the bunch. We still see each other a few times a year and the spectacle of business casual, middle aged Dad’s drunkenly belting out the lyrics to “Chicken Huntin” in a white collar bar never fails to turn heads.

    And to set the record straight, much of the appeal of ICP’s early music was their self deprecating humor and budget production. Much like lo-fi punk rock, their energy masked their lack of ability. Once they had the cash for quality production, the mystique disappeared.

  23. Benoit, along with Hart, Jericho, Edge and Christian, is one of those dudes I loved as a kid in wrestling cause thy proved all the best wrestlers came from Canada. I hadn’t been watching wrestling at the time of his murder suicide but remember my Facebook feed blowing up with the news. I even watched Raw for the first time because of his death. William Regal’s comments were so chilling and out of place and even though I don’t believe conspiracy theories, I think he knew something was up before it was revealed just because of his experiences with people and concussions.

    That said, I still get a chuckle when people refer to Benoit as *RETRACTED*, Tioneb, or any other alias because of WWE’s attempts to unperson him

  24. First time I ever had to fast forward and skip over an (extremely long) section of the podcast. You get so many complaints from overly sensitive regressive right-wing nutjobs, but then spend a huge chunk of the show talking about some ‘rassler and going on and on and on about ‘rasslin as if its some sort of entertainment. I just don’t get it, how anyone that otherwise comes across as a healthy well adjusted person somehow finds anything even close to being entertainment value out of ‘rasslin. I just don’t get it and never will.

    1. Yeah I’ve never gotten the love for wrestling either. I have friends who love the crap out of it are in their 30s and “play wrestle” when they get together and I just don’t fucking get it. The LT crew is entitled to like anything they want, but I’m definitely one of those people who immediately skips ahead when I’m listening to something and they bring it up.

      I totally get loving wrestling when you’re a kid or in your teens but when you get to a certain point…I don’t know…

      1. YMMV but after I stopped watching around age 18, I felt I like was “too smart” for wrestling, or that it was just too silly for me. That stood for about 13 years and once we watched that ’13 Royal Rumble on a lark, it really clicked in my head again. The idea that this still exists, a giant nebulously real / fake / pre-planned / unpredictable live TV / are they fake arguing or are they actually pissed at each other / etc etc is fuggin’ fascinating. Most of the weekly wrestling is forgettable and the “storylines” are pretty bad by and large, but as a giant theatrical performance, one where the goal is to hurl your opponent around as hard as possible and try NOT to hurt them, it’s so interesting. I’d never suggest watching RAW every week, but it’s a blast for the big shows. SummerSlam, Mania, RR are always a treat.

        Again the main thing for me is the meta-ness of it all. They know we know it’s planned, but knowing we know, they fake us out. Or get actually mad at each other and we think it’s still part of the story. And it’s been happening EVERY WEEK for decades.

        It’s a Landis thing which is whatever, but give this a look?

        Also totally fine to not care <3

    2. I’m not an avid wrestling fan, but I’ve never been bothered by the wrestling talk (I even listen to Cheap Podcast every now and then) – it’s always nice to hear the guys discuss stuff they’re passionate about, and the stories are often interesting. To me, the appeal of wrestling is that it’s like a stage play with stuntmen at the top of their game pulling off insane feats – yes it’s “fake,” but you get to see crazy feats of athleticism none-the-less. As for how a well-adjusted person can be entertained by it, well you could ask the same of boxing, UFC, or any action movie, couldn’t you? It’s fun because it’s exciting (and campy).

    3. I remember when I told my dad I didn’t believe in God, he was confused and said something to me along the lines of “well, your grandfather was a really smart guy and he believed in God,” to which I let him know that the aren’t correlated. You can be a smart person and believe in God, you can be dumb one and not, or any combination of the two. Likewise, you can be smart, dumb, left, right, and still enjoy wrestling. It’s a farce, a performance, there’s a carnie like atmosphere to it that’s not present in a lot of entertainment. Plenty of people enjoy bad movies or slapstick comedy, soap operas, or whatever else without their intelligence or state of being questioned.

  25. I watched Face/Off a lot as a kid on VHS, and loved every minute of it. I was too young to notice that it may have been silly, and the premise was outlandish, I was just enthralled by the action, swearing, cool story. It wasn’t until years later that I realized just because a movie featured John Travolta & Nic Cage, doesn’t mean it’s a AAA film, because of this movie.

    Live Free or Die Hard was the first movie in the series I saw, and liked it quite a bit. Having never seen the previous films in the series, I didn’t know the tone of the 4th movie was lessened, and can understand why people were so upset about the PG-13 rating. I have seen the original trilogy now and think those movies are amazing, though I still like the 4th, just not as much now. The 5th movie, A Good Day to Die Hard, is trash though.

    I legit loved Burn Notice when it was airing, and really need to go back and finish it.

  26. Hey I like the episode but why are you guys so sure that OJ’s crime wasn’t impacted by CTE as well? Head injuries are very common in football and there was little to no medical care back then.

  27. Ah, Studio 60. Despite having limited exposure to Sorkin’s previous work, I gave this show a shot. I can still remember the moment I turned on it. One episode had a subplot of a writer’s parents visiting and being dismissive of the work (and apparently comedy) in general. When finally asked why, the father’s response of “BECAUSE YOUR YOUNGER BROTHER’S IN AFGHANISTAN!” still echoes in my head. The writer running to his father at the end, clutching an Abbot & Costello record, arguing for the importance of comedy in our modern world is the moment that made my super liberal self howl with mocking laughter as the show performed a hyperspace jump up it’s own rear end, and locked the sphincter behind it.

    1. That was an incredible moment! That scene had some of the biggest lack of self-awareness among the writer, director, and actor of any scene I’ve ever seen in TV or film. I watched all of Studio 60 but it was pretty much a slog for most of it for just that reason. The big mistake of the show was trying to show the (self-involved) characters as the heroes they thought themselves to be. That is, they all believed that they were doing something incredibly noble by being very well paid comedians for a late-night sketch comedy show. That wasn’t the problem though. The problem was that the SHOW believed it too. It would have been much better off if it had taken the Larry Sanders show as a model and had all the characters be just as self-righteous as they were, but have the camera realize that their self image as heroes was kind of sad. But then it could have left them all room to grow and have better drama from that growth.

  28. I definitely saw Spaceballs before Star Wars, but it wasn’t planned that way or anything. I was at a relative’s house for some holiday or event, and they had HBO or something running in the living room, and at some point Spaceballs came on and I caught most of it.

    Despite being born in ’83, I didn’t actually sit down and see a Star Wars film until I was thirteen. I saw all the clips on Muppet Babies and through other cultural osmosis, so I was aware of it, but no one in my life ever talked about it. When the special editions were announced, my dad said something like “wait, you never saw the originals?” and pulled out a VHS copy of A New Hope that he recorded off of network TV when it aired for the first time – complete with commercials, some of which are still stuck in my head.

    I thought it was okay, but between the poor recording and commercials, it wasn’t too impressive. I really liked seeing the special edition in the theater the next year, and when I went over to a friend’s house afterward, we watched Empire. It was my first time and I really liked it, of course.

  29. Glad to hear some love for Hercules! I love this movie as a kid and I love it now. To add on to the Susan Egan love that Henry mentioned, she also originated the role of Belle on broadway! Hercules also inspired a great parade at the then Disney-MGM Studios, complete with the gospel Greek chorus!

    Keep up the good work!!

  30. This week you guys mentioned the Darkness game, which I’ve never played but I remember this little factoid (which I probably learned from an old Gamesradar list). That game apparently allows you to watch movies on TVs in-game, including To Kill a Mockingbird!

    I figure it would be a chance for Diana to chime in during talk of a videogame. The game also apparently has several other movies in it.

  31. I’ve told Hank this story before, but I suppose now’s the only chance I’ll have to share it publicly. Back in the naughties — probably either 2005 or 2006 — I worked near LAX across the street from a mall which I would frequent for lunch. I was trying to “eat clean” as they say in the wrasslin’ business, so I was standing in line at the Subway, when I noticed that the people in line ahead of me weren’t the usual lunchtime clientele. The group included a little person, some bodybuilders, and none other than Chris Benoit.

    Seeing celebrities in L.A. isn’t too unusual, and I’ve worked in entertainment long enough to know you generally shouldn’t bother people when they are eating, but I figured since we were all just standing in line, it wouldn’t hurt to say hello. I introduced myself, shook his hand, and told him I thought he was the greatest wrestler WWE had on the roster, for which he thanked me. He seemed extremely nice and soft-spoken in the brief interaction I had with him.

    When I first heard the news about his death, it was sad to realize I’d met and said hello to a man who was no longer alive. But when I heard the REST of the story later that week, that sadness quickly turned into shock and a morbid realization that I’d not only met, but shaken hands with a future murderer.

  32. Despite my undying love for Nicolas Cage, I hate to admit that I have not seen the movie Face/Off. But thanks to my grandpa, I sure feel like I have. We were talking about movies and we stumbled onto the topic of Face/Off and my grandpa apparently loves this film and explained to me the entire plot like this: “Ok so there’s this cop, John Travolta, going after this real bad guy, Nicolas Cage, and he goes undercover by STEALING HIS FACE but what John doesn’t know is that Nic has already stolen JOHNS FACE and they are actually chasing THEMSELVES until the very end when they catch up with each other and you don’t remember who’s the good guy or who’s the bad guy and THEY END UP HAVING A FACE….OFF. WITH EACH OTHER WEARING EACH OTHERS FACES. LIKE THE TITLE OF THE MOVIE. WITH THE FACES. YOU GET IT??” My grandpa is a badass.

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