Episode 14 - BOO! Halloween Fears And Costume Theory

Title: BOO! Halloween Fears And Costume Theory (October 29, 2010)

Halloween takes up the bulk of this episode’s agenda, beginning with a segment where the panelists bring up some scary pop culture-related memories from their childhood. Glen begins by bringing up Bing Crosby and the 1949 cartoon The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (the entire short is available on Youtube). The part that young Weldon found creepy is the song “The Headless Horseman" where Crosby sings, "So when you’re ridin’ home tonight / Make for the bridge with all your might / He’ll be down in the hollow there / He needs your head / Look out! Beware!"

Trey’s pop culture artifact, on the other hand, is the Barbie Loves Beauty Styling Head.  (I don’t know which iteration Trey is referring to but this comes close to his description.) He is also terrified of “everything.” Stephen’s scary memory comes from a trip to the Universal Studios Theme Park and his encounter the animatronic shark on the Jaws ride. Linda is vague about her fear, the Golden Pictures Story Book Babes in Toyland but she can’t remember which part terrifies her.

They also discuss a Target commercial depicting a young boy who is mortified at his mother’s attempt at creating an Iron Man costume. Trey, Stephen, and Linda object to the message of conformity, and disdain for creativity that the commercial is promoting. Glen strongly disagrees, however, characterizing this as misguided sentimentality. For a young person wanting to dress up as a superhero, it’s all about being as close as possible to the ideal. It comes down to 3 votes for childhood and 1 vote for consumerismverisimilitude.

What Is Making Them Happy

Stephen - He is made happy by his son’s Halloween costume, a banana suit from Target (linked product a conjecture on my part) and the prospect of Chiktopus art. The list of happymaking things also include “Brett Favre eating it,” CMJ music festival, and Whisky Friday at The Onion headquarters.

Trey - The Big C, a Showtime dramedy starring Laura Linney. Trey praises the performance of John Benjamin Hickey, who plays the lead’s homeless brother.

Glen - Glen praises the first season of Top Chef: Just Desserts from Bravo. He notes the new dimension that a baking competition brings to the Top Chef franchise. The also played a clip from the episode where contestant Seth Caro has a meltdown.

Linda - Comedian Dave Holmes get credit for what is making Linda happy: a series of Youtube videos by Katherine Chloe Cahoon produced to promote her book The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men. Linda highlights a particular gem, her advice for girls who are attending Oktoberfest.

Some Episode Highlights

  • Glen brings up a blog post written in Finnish, which when put through Google Translate’s algorithm, generates phrases such as “squeeze the endcap on this business trip” and “putting a button on people’s ears.” Another Finnish-speaking PCHH-er translated the post on the comments section. (The translation is lost forever due to the recent change in the comment system at NPR.org. Woe.)
  • Glen takes Washington Irving to task by being “no friend to nerds” since the original story of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” focuses on driving the schoolteacher Ichobod Crane out of town.
  • They mentions Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing “Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth.” Stephen calls it his favorite pop culture artifact.
  • In an attempt to cure Trey and Glen’s pop culture phobias, Linda proposes putting the Barbie Loves Beauty Styling Head onto the Headless Horseman to come up with a horseman with fabulous hair.
  • "It’s sort of like being at front row at a Gallagher concert. There’s always the worst possible place to sit if you’re easily startled or four. Or both." - Stephen on his brush with the Jaws shark.
  • Linda’s fear of Babes in Toyland is revisited on a PCHH episode a year later. Stephen’s mother Maggie Thompson gives her with a copy of the book.
  • Stephen talks about his childhood dressing up as Alice Cooper based on his appearance on The Muppet Show (Youtube clip). 
  • During the target commercial discussion, brings up a childhood memory of wanting a Batman costume and having to wear the Ben Cooper Batman costume. He calls the logo stamped on the forehead a “third eye of shame.”
  • Stephen made call for PCHH fans who want to draw the hybrid superbeast Chiktopus to send their art. This eventually resulted to a wonderful gallery of Chiktopusiana.
  • "Come on, friends, do you really think I am being serious?! Of course they are parodies!" - Katherine Chloe Cahoon