Title: Late-Night War, Merged Freckles, And The Pet-Petter (November 19, 2010)
Glen Weldon returns from the magical land of hammocks and macitas de puerco. He renders his co-panelists helpless with laughter as he riffs about his Welsh heritage, vacation culture, and UV protection.
The A segment considers the premiere of Conan on TBS following the notorious late-night wars that pitted Conan O’Brien against Jay Leno and NBC. The panelists find the first few episodes funny and engaging, though they opine that staples of the late-night format (e.g. topical monologues and celebrity interviews) have become stale and innocuous.
They then tackle the concept of nostalgia in a technological age that allows people to access obscure types of pop culture. Glen brings up the PBS show The Electric Company, and how his nostalgia erased the kitschy aspects of the show in his mind. Trey considers theater as a medium that primarily exists in memory, but some moments (such as Judi Dench’s affecting rendition of Sondheim’s “Send In the Clowns”) can now be available, thanks to recordings.
A recording of the cartoon “The Great Toy Robbery” and sports recordings are the pop culture artifacts that have eluded Stephen. (On the next PCHH episode, the cartoon quest came to a happy conclusion, thanks to an NPR librarian.) He also cites a beloved Nichols and May sketch, which he gifted to his mother Maggie Thompson. Linda cites the TV show It’s Your Move as one of the catalysts of her friendship with Stephen. (“Don’t make it ugly, Glen Weldon.” - Linda)
What Is Making Them Happy
Glen - He praises BBC One’s Sherlock, particularly the dialogue and chemistry between Martin Freeman (Watson) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Holmes). Much fun is also had regarding Cumberbatch’s J.K. Rowling-esque name.
Trey - Having watched the Country Music Awards for the first time, Trey was moved by the performance of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for Loretta Lynn, who was honored during the event. It reminded him his special affection for the grand ladies of country music such as Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Tammy Wynette.
Stephen - Dikkers.com, a cartoon website founded by former Onion editor Scott Dikkers. Stephen also mentions a short called “The Astounding World of the Future.” He also mentions The Complete Hank Williams Box Set.
Linda - A gag product called the Pet Petter and Linda’s credulity causes Trey to have an extended giggling fit. Linda vigorously defends herself by invoking the Harriet Carter catalog and considers her knowledge of the consumer industry as the thing making her happy.
Some Episode Highlights
- Linda Holmes declares that Barrie Hardymon is, in fact, a permanent member of the PCHH crew. Callback to Barrie dropping the T-bomb.
- The show plays a segment of a sketch that features O’Brien discussing sexual euphemisms with a TBS censor. They also sample an interview with Tom Hanks regarding the origin of “Coco.”
- The panel points out that the shows that actively compete with Conan are actually Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report and not Leno.
- During the 2010 TCA Press Tour, Louis C.K. gave some insights on why Conan O’Brien wanted the Tonight Show franchise.
- Linda contrasts Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno’s comedy styles, arguing that Fallon creates a much more positive rapport with his audience. New York Magazine published a profile that also highlights Fallon’s positivity.
- Youtube video clips of The Electric Company as listed by Glen: Introduction, The Plumber, We’re Out of Sweet Rolls, The Adventures of Letterman. (Fun fact: “The Adventures of Letterman” was narrated by Joan Rivers.)
- TV shows that hasn’t been released in DVD as listed in the episode: The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and China Beach. Shows that swapped music due to prohibitive costs: WKRP in Cincinnati, Quantum Leap, Felicity, Party of Five, and The Wonder Years.
- Theatrical productions with available TV recordings: Cinderella musical and Thorton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth.
- “From now on, you are Charlie Bumblinsqueak! From now on you are Templeton Hamsterwheel! Go and make cheaply produced science fiction television.” - Glen Weldon channeling J.K. Rowling.
- Trey’s happy-making pick involves a discussion of how sad country songs by male and female musicians differ. Linda mentions George Jones’ “She Thinks I Still Care.”
- Another digression occurs as the panel complains about unnecessary and annoying appliances such as vacuum-sealed coffee bean storage.
- On the tribute episode for outgoing producer Mike Katzif, they added a giggly outtake from episode 17.