Jewish Comedy with Daniel Lobell (“Reconquistador”) — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #165

Your hosts Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al explore the char­ac­ter­is­tics of Jew­ish com­e­dy with stand-up/­graph­ic nov­el­ist Daniel, whose film Recon­quis­ta­dor explores his ances­tors being kicked out of Spain. What’s the con­nec­tion of Jew­ish humor to anti-semi­tism?

We talk about relat­ing as a cre­ator to your iden­ti­ty, Jew­ish peo­ple see­ing them­selves in film and TV, the expe­ri­ence of lit­er­al­ly see­ing your­self in a film, Jew­ish com­e­dy as phi­los­o­phy or social com­men­tary, and “Jew­ish humor” vs. humor by peo­ple who hap­pen to be Jew­ish.

We touch on Mel Brooks, Lar­ry David, Adam San­dler, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, and fem­i­nist Jew­ish com­e­dy shows such as Broad City, Crazy Ex-Girl­friend, and Inside Amy Schumer.

FYI this was record­ed back in ear­ly Novem­ber when the Gaza war and its accom­pa­ny­ing flur­ry of anti-Semi­tism was a bit more raw.

Fol­low us @DanielLobell@law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Lis­ten to our ear­li­er episode with Daniel about phi­los­o­phy as com­e­dy.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop, includ­ing many recent episodes that you haven’t seen on this site. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This week our sup­port­er-exclu­sive Aftertalk includes our sto­ries of see­ing elder­ly per­form­ers; should you run out and see so-and-so before they’re dead?

This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Holidays Spent with the Muppets — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #164

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For Pret­ty Much Pop’s annu­al hol­i­day episode, your hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er talk all things Mup­pets, but in par­tic­u­lar the 1992 film The Mup­pet Christ­mas Car­ol, where­in Michael Caine gives us just as strong and seri­ous a Scrooge as you might find. What’s the appeal of this pup­pet act? Is the humor actu­al­ly sup­posed to be good, or post-fun­ny iron­ic? How do Mup­pets change the way we expe­ri­ence music?

Even though Jim Hen­son had died by the time of Christ­mas Car­ol, near­ly all the rest of the cre­ative team from The Mup­pet Movie (1979) was still in place, includ­ing scriptwriter Jer­ry Juhl and song­writer by Paul Williams. Should the prop­er­ty still exist now that a new gen­er­a­tion has large­ly tak­en over, and can it ever recap­ture that old mag­ic? We con­sid­er recent iter­a­tions includ­ing the cur­rent Mup­pet May­hem, the clas­sic movies and var­i­ous revivals, past Christ­mas spe­cials (John Den­ver! Emmet Otter!), pre-Mup­pet-Show iter­a­tions of Hen­son’s act, the Dark Crys­tal and Labyrinth films, the role of humans in Mup­pet media, the ide­ol­o­gy of Dick­ens’ sto­ry, and much more. Which Mup­pet per­son­al­i­ty type are you?

Fol­low us @law_writes, @sarahlynbruck, @ixisnox, @MarkLinsenmayer.

For some more Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life net­work hol­i­day antics, watch Mark and Bil­l’s video chit-chat for Phi­los­o­phy vs. Improv. The ghost of Pret­ty Much Pop Christ­mas past brings you episodes about Xmas songs and hol­i­day view­ing. We also men­tion our Peanuts episode.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop, includ­ing many recent episodes that you haven’t seen on this site. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work. Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Black Mirror Predicts Our Technological Dystopia — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #156

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Your Pret­ty Much Pop team Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er talk about Char­lie Brooker’s British anthol­o­gy TV series that began in 2011 and recent­ly released its sixth sea­son.

How has this show evolved from satir­i­cal sci­ence fic­tion to some­thing more often just hor­ror stud­ies that study human nature? We talk about our favorite episodes and what does and doesn’t work. Does the show have to be so dark to make its point? Does it always have a point, or is some of it just fun?

To refresh your­self or learn more about these indi­vid­ual episode names that we keep drop­ping, check out the Wikipedia arti­cle list­ing all the episodesA Guardian arti­cle rates how well ten of the episodes pre­dict­ed the future, and a Vul­ture arti­cle ranks every sin­gle episode.

We men­tion philoso­pher Charles Mills talk­ing about a Black Mir­ror episode on anoth­er pod­cast.

Fol­low us @law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop, includ­ing recent episodes on Bar­bie and Indi­ana Jones. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work. Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Kids’ Films, Adult Messages — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #153

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Today’s Pret­ty Much Pop fea­tures pan­el of par­ents: your host Mark Lin­sen­may­er, NY Times Enter­tain­ment Writer and Phi­los­o­phy Pro­fes­sor Lawrence Ware, edu­ca­tor Michelle Par­rinel­lo-Cason and pop-cul­ture philoso­pher Chris Suna­mi. We take on the mass of large­ly ani­mat­ed films by Dis­ney, Pixar, Dream­works, Illu­mi­na­tion, etc. We’ve all watched them with our kids, and many adults devour them even in pref­er­ence to oth­er types of films.

So what’s the under­ly­ing ide­ol­o­gy of this kind of media? What mes­sages are they con­vey­ing, and are these sub­stan­tial or even coher­ent? What ele­ments in these films can adults relate to?

We touch on Puss in Boots, Turn­ing Red, Soul, Trolls, Eno­la Holmes, The Polar Express, tod­dler edu­tain­ment, things we watched as kids, and sto­ries by Roald Dahl, Lewis Car­roll and L. Frank Baum. Our hosts rec­om­mend­ed The Babysit­ter’s Club, The Mys­te­ri­ous Bene­dict Soci­ety, the stu­dio Ghi­b­li films, and the Series of Unfor­tu­nate Events books.

Fol­low us @law_writes, @DaylaLearning (Michelle), @PopCultPhil (Chris), and @MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. If you’re not sub­scribed to the pod­cast, you’re miss­ing lots of good episodes, such as our recent post-mortems on Suc­ces­sion and Ted Las­so. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Considering Rocky/Creed, Our Most Successful Sports Film Franchise — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #149

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Your Pret­ty Much Pop hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er talk through the ups and downs of this nine-film fran­chise that start­ed with Rocky, the high­est gross­ing film of 1976 and win­ner of that year’s Acad­e­my Award for Best Pic­ture. We’re espe­cial­ly con­cerned with this year’s Creed III, direct­ed by its star Michael B. Jor­dan, which is the first entry in the fran­chise that’s entire­ly free of Sylvester Stal­lone.

How can such an appar­ent­ly sim­ple for­mu­la (start as an under­dog, train, and win at least a moral vic­to­ry) stay fresh? Why was there a robot in Rocky IV? Is there any ratio­nale for an extend­ed, con­tin­u­ing Rocky-verse? Does enjoy­ing these films involve approv­ing of box­ing as a sport, or the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of fic­tion­al sports heroes over real-life ones?

For var­i­ous arti­cles about things going on in the fran­chise, check out totalrocky.com. Sarahlyn men­tions the NPR pod­cast The Stat­ue.

Fol­low us @law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. If you’re not sub­scribed to the pod­cast, you’re miss­ing lots of good episodes. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Do Movie Androids Want to Love Us or Kill Us? Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #144

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Your Pret­ty Much Pop hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er talk through var­i­ous eth­i­cal and nar­ra­tive prob­lems hav­ing to do with the cre­ation of arti­fi­cial life.

We all watched M3GAN and Steve Spielberg’s A.I., and also touch on After YangEx Machi­naBicen­ten­ni­al Man, the BBC show Humans, and of course this is an ele­ment in clas­sic sci-fi prop­er­ties like AlienBlade Run­nerStar Trek, etc.

We also go on a tan­gent about A.I. writ­ing aca­d­e­m­ic papers.

We men­tion the short sto­ries E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” and Roger Zelazny’s “For a Breath I Tar­ry.”

Fol­low us @law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Adapting the Unfilmable Story of Pinnochio — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #143

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Your Pret­ty Much Pop A‑Team Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er dis­cuss the orig­i­nal 1883 freaky chil­dren’s sto­ry by Car­lo Col­lo­di and con­sid­er the recent rush of film ver­sions, from a new Disney/Robert Zemikis CGI take to Guiller­mo del Toro’s stop-motion pas­sion project to a heav­i­ly cos­tumed Ital­ian ver­sion by Mat­teo Gar­rone, which is the sec­ond to fea­ture Oscar win­ner Rober­to Benig­ni in a lead role. Benig­ni’s pre­vi­ous try was a 2002 ver­sion that is the most true to the beats of the orig­i­nal sto­ry and maybe because of this has a 0% on Rot­ten Toma­toes. Why do peo­ple keep remak­ing this sto­ry, and how has the orig­i­nal moral of “be a good boy and obey” changed over the years?

Read the orig­i­nal sto­ry. Some arti­cles going through the film ver­sions include:

Fol­low us @law_writes, @sarahlynbruck, @ixisnox, @MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

What Are “Creatives”? Pretty Much Pop #138 on the Role of the Artist in Modern Society

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Is there real­ly a divi­sion in today’s cul­ture between those who cre­ate and the mere­ly recep­tive mass­es? Your Pret­ty Much Pop host gath­ers three artists in dif­fer­ent media about the place of the artist in soci­ety: sci-fi author Bri­an Hirt, art pho­tog­ra­ph­er and aca­d­e­m­ic Amir Zaki, and musi­cian/nov­el­ist/ex-Eng­lish prof John Andrew Fredrick, who leads a band called The Black Watch.

We touch on art edu­ca­tion, the self-under­stand­ing of artists, the rela­tion between artist and con­sumer, art vs. com­merce, bad art vs. non-art, and much more.

Lis­ten to Amir talk­ing about pho­tog­ra­phy on a past PMP episodeLis­ten to John talk about his music with Mark on Naked­ly Exam­ined MusicLis­ten to John’s new EP. Bri­an brings up the Decoder Ring pod­cast episode “The Sto­ry­telling Craze.” Lis­ten to Mark’s tunes.

Fol­low us @blackwatchmusic@amir_zaki_, and @MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.