Sunday, September 19, 2021

Flopcast 489: I Want My Dolphin TV

Our ten-part celebration of the 80s concludes, just as the 80s did, with 1989. Top 40 radio was ruled by Milli Vanilli, the New Kids, and hair metal. It was a problem. But at least we had telepathic Australian dolphins, thanks to Kornflake's favorite short-lived TV show, Dolphin Cove. Kornflake also has a list of celebrities who showed up for 1989's Circus of the Stars. (Was the cast of Growing Pains mauled by a tiger? Hey, we can dream...) And we're celebrating the 50th birthday of Alfonso Ribeiro, star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Silver Spoons, and goofy breakdancing ads. Also: Chickens in the News brings us all the way to a New Zealand preschool, where the safety of the children has been entrusted to a clueless hen. We approve.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Flopcast 488: DragonCon 2021 - Beware of Sleestak

Kevin and the Mayor of Chickentown are back from Atlanta with a full report on DragonCon, where they joined all the masked and vaccinated nerds for a long silly Labor Day weekend. They had a busy schedule of panels, presentations, and events, and our discussion includes: The Suicide Squad, Smallville, Doctor Who, Pennyworth, DragonCon mead, Saturday Morning Live Roll-a-Panel, Classic Sci-Fi Court, burrito detectors, Fargo, John Scalzi, Louis Gossett Jr., Howard the Duck ribbons, The Geek Girls Run, A Discovery of Witches, The Justice Society of America, the Battle of the Fictional Bands, pizza pie with Kate from Strange Animals Podcast, Kevin's Digital Media panel mishap, and a million Loki variants everywhere you look. But the highlight for us was spending time onstage and offstage with Land of the Lost's original Will and Holly, Wesley Eure and Kathleen Coleman. (And an actual Sleestak too!) Hopefully the world will be less horrifying in time for DragonCon 2022, but meanwhile the geeks figured out how to make it work. Also this week: Happy Birthday to Amy Poehler, and the only part of 1988 that Kornflake remembers is Kylie Minogue.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Flopcast 487: 21 Flop Street

Our ten-part celebration of the 80s brings us back to 1987 this week. For most of us, 1987 means Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise... and that's all. But the year had even more to offer, if you poke around enough. So first we take a quick look at the Billboard chart from this week in 1987, and find more questions than answers: Did Diane Warren write every hit song in the 1980s, or just most of them? Who had better hair, Richard Marx or the guy from Europe? And can most of society's ills be blamed on Starship? Then we examine the TV shows that debuted in 1987, and it's quite a list. Some long-running shows got started, such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Full House, and Married... with Children. (The entire Fox Network started this year, actually, including those crude early Simpsons shorts...) Then there's the short-lived weird stuff: Max Headroom, My Two Dads, Beauty and the Beast, The Charmings, Out of This World (this is the one with the alien girl, not the robot girl), Roomies (Burt Young and Corey Haim, together at last), The Highwayman (Flash Gordon as a futuristic trucker), She's the Sheriff (Suzanne Somers as... you know), and lots more. Next week we'll be back from Atlanta to report on every crazy thing that happened at DragonCon. Meanwhile, enjoy 1987. Say hi to Debbie and Tiffany for us.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Flopcast 486: DragonCon Preview - You're Weird and We Missed You

DragonCon, our very favorite annual gathering of the geeks, was a virtual-only event last year. But this year we're creeping back down to Atlanta and doing it for real! It'll be (mostly) business as usual: five days of nonstop panels, concerts, gaming, costumes, and all manner of nerdy fun. Celebrity guests include actors from Doctor Who, Star Trek, Smallville, Batwoman, Pinky and the Brain, Superman and Lois, and (our favorite) Land of the Lost. Safety protocols are in place, so if you're masked, vaccinated, and know how to play well with others, come on down. Kevin will be busy again this year with lots of silly panels and presentations, and we run through his whole schedule. (Warning: Since this episode was recorded, that schedule has already changed. Check our social media posts for the corrected version.) And we have new Flopcast badge ribbons for you too! (Also on this week's episode: Television of 1986, the Watch-A-Thon of Rassilon, and Barry Gibb's beard.) See you at DragonCon! Beware of Sleestak. And, you know, everything else.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Flopcast 485: Spladunking in 1985

Our ten-episode salute to the 80s creeps along with a quick look at the pop chart from this week in 1985! Dire Straits were computer-animated movers, Phil Collins was an Ocasek-style housefly, Wham met a weird kid in China, and Casey Kasem was very angry about the Pointer Sisters. Then we flip through a summer 1985 issue of Mad magazine, featuring a movie parody (Witness), a TV parody (Kate & Allie), a song parody (We Are the World), hippies vs. yuppies, Beta vs. VHS, Don Martin vs. the Boston Celtics, and lots of cartoon naked people. Also this week: For the first time in a million years, we sneaked out of our underground Chickentown bunker for some actual live music! We were double-masked and socially distant, but we attended the long-delayed album release show from our favorite synthpop band, Freezepop! (Also performing were impressive local metal band Worshipper and our glam rock heroes Sidewalk Driver!) Plus: Stifler's mom's birthday, more Suicide Squad talk with Earth Station DCU, and the Flopcast couch-to-5K-to-intense-pain training program.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Flopcast 484: Robots in Leg Warmers

Welcome to our TENTH annual summer robot Top 4 ½ List! (It's an odd tradition, but it's all we have.) This year's theme is... 80s robots. Of course, lots of notable 80s robots have appeared on previous lists, so they're not included this time (sorry, Johnny 5) to make room for some all-new, all-weird entries. We have robots from 80s cartoons, 80s television, 80s movies, 80s commercials, and even a bizarre 80s PSA from Canada. In the 1980s, robots were completely ridiculous, and we loved them, so let's count them down. Also: The music and movies of 1984, Earth Station One's review of The Suicide Squad, and nerds on a roller coaster.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Flopcast 483: 1983, Oh Yeah

We're celebrating 1983, which the history books already call "the year of Mr. Roboto, and not much else." But we did notice that a bunch of actors who played comic book characters (Spider-Man, Thor, Superman, Lois, Luthor, Wonder Woman, and more) were born that year. And we run through some our favorite 1983 movies (DC Cab, The Outsiders, Wargames), 1983 comics books (Batman and the Outsiders, Omega Men, Alpha Flight), and 1983 music (new wave, new wave, and new wave). Also: The Kiss guys take the makeup off, the Teen Titans replace Robin with the Protector, Kornflake rides a party bus to Hooters, and we have questions about the anatomy of the Kool-Aid Man.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Flopcast 482: The Backs of Life 5 - The Big Fight

We're up to 1982 in our series of 80s-themed episodes, and it's time to review another Facts of Life backdoor pilot! This one looks eerily similar to a previous backdoor pilot, as the boys of Stone Academy get another shot at a spinoff series! But this time instead of a school dance, the plot involves a school boxing tournament. (Back in 1982, viewers probably thought they were watching Rocky III.) And the cast has been expanded to include a pretty nurse, a scary kid named Mongo (probably working for Ming the Merciless), a cameo by (then unknown) Crispin Glover, and 80s supernerd Eddie Deezen! (You know Eddie from Grease, Wargames, and a billion other things. He out-nerds us all.) Did it all work? Of course not. But it's magnificent. Also: 80s trivia with the ESO Network Board of Directors, and Happy Birthday to Tootie's real life mom. Next week: 1983. Of course.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Flopcast 481: Look at What's Happened to 1981

Our ten-part series about the 1980s continues with a look at all the TV shows that debuted in 1981! Prime time soaps were on the rise (Dynasty, Falcon Crest), the Six Million Dollar Man became the Fall Guy, and Hill Street Blues premiered alongside 600 other (instantly forgotten) detective shows. We had a Brady Bunch spin-off (with Marcia, Jan, and their goofy husbands), a Jeffersons spin-off (Florence gets her own show... for a month), and an almost-but-not-quite Little House on the Prairie spin-off (the even-weirder-in-retrospect Father Murphy). Only one long-running sitcom started in 1981, and it was... Gimme a Break! (Congratulations to Ms. Carter and Mr. Sweet.) Love, Sidney and Private Benjamin lasted a couple of years, which isn't bad compared to the stuff only Kevin remembers, like Best of the West and Open All Night. Then there were some truly obscure short-lived oddities starring Gabe Kaplan, Sam Jones, and the Smothers Brothers. It was a weird year, but that's how we like it. And we give special attention to our favorite 1981 series, The Greatest American Hero. Kornflake saw the extra-long pilot episode for the first time just this week. Believe it or not.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Flopcast 480: Yacht Rock and Yoda

We're kicking off ten weeks of 80s-themed shows... because when do we ever get to talk about the 80s around here? And this week we're looking at the year 1980. It was the year that brought us Flash Gordon, Caddyshack, Pac-Man, the Rubik's Cube, and a cheater in the Boston Marathon. (Some of us also cheated at the Rubik's Cube...) We also review the Billboard pop chart for this week in 1980, and find Billy Joel's first number one song, a couple of Xanadu favorites from Olivia and ELO, country rock from Eddie Rabbitt, early new wave from Gary Numan, and just a massive heap of yacht rock. (So... much... Ambrosia.) Also this week: Taskmaster is a Black Widow villain AND Kornflake's favorite game show; Baby Yoda is a Chia Pet; and Happy Birthday to our favorite Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter. All the world is waiting for you.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Flopcast 479: Movies of 1986 - My Eyeball Tutor

With the long-delayed release of Black Widow this week, many humans finally returned to actual movie theaters, where the $14 boxes of Raisinets had been waiting patiently since last year. Meanwhile Kevin and Kornflake are flopping back to 35 years ago, when the only Marvel movie in theaters was... Howard the Duck. We run through a big crazy list of movies from 1986, including some all-time favorites (Stand by Me, Karate Kid Part II), science fiction classics (Aliens, Star Trek IV), fantasy classics (Big Trouble in Little China, Labyrinth), and random oddities (Maximum Overdrive, My Chauffeur). The Brat Pack was out of control, Molly was pretty in pink, Kevin Bacon was a bike messenger, Jeff Goldblum was a fly, Johnny 5 was alive, Rodney went back to school, Ferris did not, Peggy Sue got married, and Audrey II just wanted to be fed. Yikes. In 1986, the only time we left the theater was when the government forced us to participate in Hands Across America. Also this week: Kornflake brings you... the Weird Eyeball Game. Talk to your favorite optician before playing.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Flopcast 478: We Are Boomer

Just some miscellaneous silly talk this week, including: Kickball with Kornflake; cursing your enemies with R2D2 ceramics; TV talk (we recommend Girls5eva, Rutherford Falls, We Are Lady Parts, and This Way Up); punk rock with The Linda Lindas; crazy screaming peacocks; fun with a giant book of 80s pop chart stats; fun with Wallace and Gromit on Earth Station One; Happy Birthday to the kid from One Day at a Time and Jennifer Slept Here; and after an entire year (!), as demanded by absolutely no one... the return of Chickens in the News.