Somethin’s comin’, somethin’ good: this week, Paul and Arlo pirouette through a discussion of Steven Spielberg’s new take on West Side Story, nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. Is it a spoiler to say they love it? The boys discuss how Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner’s changes enrich the text, why choreographer Justin Peck’s bold choice to discard Jerome Robbins’ iconic choreography was the right move, what it means for the Sharks to be played by Latinx actors, and the joy of watching Spielberg treat every musical number like his and Janusz Kaminski’s playground. Plus, Taco Bell sends Arlo spiraling into an existential crisis, and the boys chat about this year’s other Best Picture nominees.
NEXT: Si Spurrier and Jeff Stokely’s Six-Gun Gorilla is locked and loaded for this month’s Four-Color Flashback.
Gobbledyween has come to a close for another year–and we’re going out with a fang! To round out our month of frightening films, we’ve chosen a movie most people have probably never heard of: Rockula, a vampiric musical from 1990 starring Dean Cameron as the bloodsucking Ralph, cursed to try and win back the love of his immortal life every 22 years. We have also chosen to torture none other than Mimesis author Eric Sipple, who has been forced to endure this film with Paul and Arlo. The gang discusses mirror selves, farting bats, resentful stars, and of course, Bo Diddley.
NEXT: enough inner darkness, how about some Outer Darkness? For our next Four-Color Flashback, we explore the interstellar terror of John Layman and Afu Chan’s 2018-19 Image series.
Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda in ‘Hamilton’ (2020), directed by Thomas Kail.
Gobbledygeek episode 409, “Hamilton (feat. Sarah Kosheff),” is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
2020 may be an absolute shitshow, but thanks to Disney+, we can all be in the living room where it happens: the filmed performance of Hamilton, recorded in 2016 with the original Broadway cast, is now available to stream. Paul and Arlo may have talked about Hamilton, oh, once or twice or 18 times since its debut five years ago, but luckily über-fan Sarah Kosheff is on hand to help them find new things to say. Arlo talks about getting to see an actual production of Hamilton for the first time, Paul relays the time he was sprayed with Groff sauce, the gang discusses the up-close nuance of the troupe’s acting, and they address some of the political and cultural criticisms of the show.
Next: we get all dolled up for a Geek Challenge featuring Puppet Master and Seed of Chucky.
Total Run Time: 02:15:20
00:00:18 – Intro / Guest
00:01:34 – Main Topic
02:09:40 – Outro / Next
“Alexander Hamilton” by Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton, Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2015)
“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” by Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton, Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2015)
Gobbledygeek episode 402, “Normal People Like Peanut Butter,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Another week, another reckoning with the apocalypse. As the country gears up to reopen, Paul and Arlo discuss how their home states of Alabama and Ohio are handling things. They are not optimistic! Crowds packed close, restaurants teeming with teens, maskless mugs–these things, and more, contribute to our hosts’ reluctance to get this society back on the road. After they’re done ruminating on our impending doom, Paul raves about Hulu’s Normal People; Arlo recommends two more Hulu series, PEN15 and Ramy; they’re both excited about the forthcoming Sandman audio drama; and the announcement of a much sooner release date for the filmed performance of Hamilton leads Arlo to go negative on negativity. Plus, bones slathered in peanut butter.
Next: senior British correspondent Wesley Mead updates us on life in Boris Johnson’s UK.
Total Run Time: 01:37:20
00:01:00 – Intro? (Time has no meaning anymore…)
01:34:30 – Outro / Next
“Theme From Cheers (Where Everybody Knows Your Name)” by Gary Portnoy (1982)
“Peanut Butter Sandwich” by Raffi, Singable Songs for the Very Young (1976)
‘West Side Story’ (1961) directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
Gobbledygeek episode 402, “West Side Story,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
When you’re a geek, you’re a geek til ya die, from the stupid reviews to the heaviest sighs. And so, tonight, tonight, the geeks are out tonight–we’re talkin’ finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’ street gangs, daddy-o! Out of seemingly nowhere, Arlo pressures Paul into watching Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ 1961 adaptation of the 1957 Broadway show West Side Story by Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein. You might have heard of it! Somehow, though both of them love musicals–as documented extensively on this podcast–neither Arlo nor Paul had ever seen one of the most famous, and the most Oscar-adorned, musicals ever made. And so the boys discuss how, in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, Tony and Maria are kind of boring; George Chakiris and Rita Moreno being the film’s true stars; Robbins’ dynamic dance choreography; how you’ve just got to stay loose, boy, and accept the movie’s campy, colorful world; and more. Plus, a quarantine update and an exciting new behind-the-scenes development.
Total Run Time: 01:48:58
00:00:25 – Intro
00:17:20 – Main Topic
01:46:45 – Outro / Next
“Cool” by Tucker Smith, West Side Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1961)
“America” by Rita Moreno, West Side Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1961)
Gobbledygeek episode 383, “Salty Spiders,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Amazon is burning and all anyone cares about is Spider-Man. Yay! Welcome to another exciting episode of Gobbledygeek! After nixing a fash-bashing Geek Challenge because Paul absolutely could not sit through three hours of The Sound of Music, he and Arlo decide to freestyle it and, well, all is not well! The world’s on fire, the government is imploding, and Spider-Man might not get to be an Avenger anymore! As for that last one, the boys have deeply conflicted feelings about their love for the character and the Marvel movies with their disdain for Disney the Evil Empire. Plus, Arlo still won’t watch all the things Paul says he should watch, and Marc Maron chimes in.
Next: for even more lighthearted family fun, the boys have asked their The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple to join them for a discussion of Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, extremely depressing yet extremely essential, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.
Gobbledygeek episode 367, “Dentophobia,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
In which our daring duo defies devilish dentists. In all sincerity, here’s a big fat content warning: if, like Paul and Arlo, you are one of the 5-15% of adults with dentophobia, we talk about the dentist. A whole bunch. From childhood orthodontic nightmares to phantasmagoric periodontics of the present day, the boys discuss in (perhaps excruciating) detail their toothy troubles. Plus, if that doesn’t turn you off of the whole damn enterprise, there’s also talk of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World in IMAX, Netflix’s take on The Umbrella Academy, and a belated discussion of seasons 2 and 3 of AMC’s Preacher adaptation.
Gobbledygeek episode 364, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks / Chicago: We Both Reached for the Broom,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week finds Paul and Arlo being a coupla ding-dong daddies as another musical Geek Challenge is summoned from a mail-order spellbook. First, Paul challenges Arlo to Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Robert Stevenson’s 1971 follow-up to Mary Poppins. Then, Arlo forces Paul to endure Rob Marshall’s 2002 Best Picture winner Chicago. Witchcraft and murder…this one’s got it all. The boys discuss Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ unlikely connection to The Island of Dr. Moreau, whether or not Chicago deserves its reputation as one of the weakest Best Picture champs, and why Paul refuses to pay Rent.
Next: after a week off, we’re back for our second Four-Color Flashback of 2019, discussing March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.
What if Superman was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger baling hay, trying to till his own farm? That’s part of the appeal of Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come, the subject of our latest superheroic Four-Color Flashback–Ross’ painted artwork brings DC’s pantheon to vivid life. Of course, Superman isn’t one of us. He makes this clear when, after a decade in exile, he descends upon Metropolis to mete out cold hard justice to a new, irresponsible generation of heroes and villains. Kingdom Come was intended as a statement on the Xtreme anti-heroes of the ‘90s, and as its human protagonist Norman McKay witnesses the fantastic devastation around him, the book explores issues of faith and fascism. Paul and Arlo discuss how Ross and Waid’s tale holds up more than 20 years later, how it reconciles the heroes’ godlike power with fragile human will, why it may be Ross’ best work, and its nigh definitive portrait of DC’s Trinity. Plus, Arlo finishes his Disney marathon while catching Pokémon, and we tease a future discussion of Spider-Man PS4.
Next: we switch religions from DC to Marvel as our pal Chance Mazzia joins us to talk Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again.