The Flopcast

Time to finish what we started (and instantly regretted) last week: A ridiculous Flopcast tournament of 1980s pop stars, as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of USA for Africa and "We Are the World." We're still picking the players and the events at random, so anything could happen. Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon in a pie-eating contest? Perhaps. Smokey Robinson and the Pointer Sisters playing Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots? Why not? In the end, only one USA for Africa member can survive, and this shall be the greatest honor of their career, except for literally everything else they've ever done. That's the plan. There comes a time, when we heed a certain call. A call to obsess over goofy 80s stuff. Just you and me.

Direct download: Flopcast_407.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17am EST

Remember when we made all the Rankin/Bass holiday cartoon characters compete in a bizarre tournament of our own design? Wasn't that fun? And stupid? Well, grab a beverage and place your bets, because we're trying that again. This time we're celebrating the 35th anniversary of USA for Africa and "We Are the World," by making the greatest pop stars of the 1980s do battle in a series of silly competitions. Once again we're choosing each player, and each ridiculous event, at random, so nobody knows what's gonna happen. Will Billy Joel and Diana Ross compete at lawn darts? Maybe. Who's better at Ms. Pac-Man, Bruce Springsteen or Kenny Rogers? We'll figure it all out, and this week's winner will advance to the final round next week. Check your ego at the door and join us. We are the ones who make a brighter day, unless we're napping. Which is most of the time.

Direct download: Flopcast_406.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EST

A couple of important and/or ridiculous updates in this quick little show... starting with a MarsCon update from Kornflake! (Get ready, geeks of Minnesota. In less than a month, Kornflake is bringing you a new album, a concert performance, and Dementia Water Aerobics...) Then we have a follow-up Chickens in the News report, with more details on the giant chicken topiary under construction in Fitzgerald, Georgia! (This is really happening, kids. There's even a live chicken-cam to prove it.) And we recommend a couple of podcasts: the latest episode of Hit Parade is all about Weird Al and novelty music, while the latest episode of The DragonCon Report is all about, you know, DragonCon. All this plus jello shots with Doornail. You win.

Direct download: Flopcast_405.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am EST

It's Oscar season, and we don't care about the Oscars, but it's an excuse for the Mayor of Chickentown to drop by and talk about the movies. However, we're not really looking at the movies themselves; instead we're discussing the experience of going to movie theaters. (It's something we don't do much these days, unless Black Widow or Chewbacca is involved.) Including: cheap second-run theaters of the 1970s; a mysterious asphalt hill next to a goofy theater in Woonsocket, Rhode Island; how to ruin Dragonslayer; clam cakes at the drive-in; obscure Barbapapa-shaped candy; the lost theaters of Boston; weird double features; being all alone in a movie theater; walking out of a movie (we only did it once); how the Mayor got sick of popcorn; how Kevin got sick of fortune cookies; sneaking snacks, humans, and a complete Thanksgiving dinner into the movies; celebrity sightings at the movies (mostly horror writers and cooking show hosts); the weirdness of applauding at the end of a movie; our very first R-rated movies (alas, Phoebe Cates was not involved); and plenty more. Also: Groundhogs, woodchucks, and whistlepigs: we love them all, and their big day is this week. Plus: An amazing night of live music with Lifestyle, Cliff Notez... and two of our favorite bands, Party Bois and Sidewalk Driver, merged into one magic combo supergroup, Party Driver. Our faces were officially rocked.

Direct download: Flopcast_404.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:46pm EST

Live from the horrifyingly cold mid-January Boston waterfront, it's our annual report on our favorite local science fiction/fantasy convention, Arisia! Kevin was locked in for all four days of Arisia, moderating discussion panels, meeting the awesome costumed people, and just observing all the glorious geekery. Meanwhile Kornflake almost couldn't make it, but still managed to arrive for a surprise appearance and catch the last few hours of the convention. So let's break it all down for you. Experienced and/or discussed along the way: Freaks and Geeks, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Stranger Things, George Pérez, Stan Lee, The Wonder Twins, Heathcliff comics, the music of Limahl, Tom Selleck's birthday, the movies of 1999, science fiction and fantasy in rock music, trains in space, the march of the pool people, the perils of Powerpoint, gender-swapped Star Trek with the Post-Meridian Radio Players, ElectraWoman and DynaGirl, and of course, lots more. So please enjoy our little recap. It'll be like you were there with us. Hey, maybe you were there, and we just didn't recognize you in your chicken lady costume.

Direct download: Flopcast_403.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EST

Okay, let's wrap up our tribute to the pop culture legends we lost in 2019. (We've been drinking so many shots in their memory that we're almost out of coffee. And that frightens us.) Part 2 includes more movie stars (Peter Fonda, Sid Haig, Danny Aiello), sitcom stars (Valerie Harper, Bill Macy, Philip McKeon), rock stars (Eddie Money, Ric Ocasek, Ginger Baker), and, uh, Star Trek stars (DC Fontana, Aron Eisenberg, René Auberjonois). There are even a couple of beloved performers from bizarre 1970s variety TV (which did not get more bizarre than The Brady Bunch Hour and The Star Wars Holiday Special). And from children's TV we have Russi Taylor (the voice of Minnie Mouse), Jack Sheldon (the voice of Conjunction Junction)... and Big Bird himself, Caroll Spinney. So hang on, kids, and we'll get through the whole list together. And hey, if you need cheering up, Squirrel Appreciation Day is this week too. You know what to do.

Direct download: Flopcast_402.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

You know we do this every year... yes, it's the first of our two-part look back at all the pop culture legends we lost in 2019. And yeah, a couple of our favorite Peters (Tork and Mayhew) are on this year's list, along with stars from TV (Tim Conway, Katherine Helmond, Luke Perry), movies (Albert Finney, Rutger Hauer, Doris Day), music (James Ingram, Leon Redbone, Dr. John), wrestling (KING KONG BUNDY), and beyond. (Remember, Grumpy Cat is always watching, and is thoroughly displeased.) So crank up a weird Captain and Tennille record, grab your beverage of choice (we're going with coffee, believe it or not), and join us for just one more round, friends. Happy Life Day, Chewie.

Direct download: Flopcast_401.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am EST

Yes yes yes, it's our 400th episode! To celebrate, we're drinking lots of black coffee. (Hey, it worked for the first 399 shows.) We're also reviewing how we spent the stupid holidays, including a couple of festive movies (Knives Out and the new Star Wars, which needed more Bea Arthur), a couple of festive concerts (Dar Williams and Freezepop), and a very Robolar Christmas card. We also have a few classic Flopcast segments: What's in the Bag?, Chickens in the News... and the long-awaited (?) return of Capes or Apes. Also discussed along the way: British comedian James Acaster, a very important Tony Danza movie, a tiny drunk chicken, and the futuristic world of 2020 (according to Superman comics from 1980). And as promised... a MAJOR CONVENTION ANNOUNCEMENT from Kornflake! See, we finally have something to say. It only took 400 weeks.

Direct download: Flopcast_400.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54am EST

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