Inspired by a conversation with former “Tom and Jim’s Top 5” co-host (and Power Half Hour special guest) Tom Skull, this episode looks at films that might make a Bottom 5 list. Greg and Chad discuss some of the movies that took moments of their lives without giving anything in return.
Movies from acclaimed directors with award winning actors to movies with lesser pedigrees, no film is off limits. Have you seen any of the movies discussed? Do you agree with our assessments? You can leave a comment on the Greg and Chad’s Power Half Hour Facebook page.
Nostalgia is a popular topic on the Jittery Monkey and Positive Cynicism podcast networks. This episode of the Power Half Hour continues that trend. Greg and Chad look at mall culture and how technology has killed off the thrill of grabbing an Orange Julius and looking through rows of cassettes and CDs at Sam Goody’s. Now malls are basically regulated to Hot Topics and Game Stops.
Reading creates movies in your brain. Then Hollywood comes along and turns the words of the page into a cinematic wonder that usually fails to live up to your mind’s creation. But every so often, the story is too good to screw up. That’s when you get a good film. On this episode of the Power Half Hour, Greg and Chad talk about what makes a good page to screen adaptation. They also throw out some of their favorite movies based on books they’ve read.
Seems like everywhere you go these days one constant question is “Mask or no mask.” On this episode of the Power Half Hour, Greg and Chad turn the tables and discuss some of their favorite superhero and wrestling masks.
It’s the end of August which means one thing. The new school year is here. Even though a lot of schools aren’t technically “open” to start the year, Greg and Chad took the suggestion to share school memories for this episode of the Power Half Hour. Well, they took that suggestion and then flipped it a bit to discuss one of the best shows about school; Saved By The Bell.
From trivia about the failed pilot for the show through the Vegas wedding, they talk about some of their favorite moments from the show and point out that Zach Morris is Trash.
Back in the days before DVR and streaming video, you had very little choice to skip commercials. If you recorded your favorite program on a VHS tape, you could later fast forward through the commercials but if you were watching live television, every 7-8 minutes, you were trapped for 2 minutes while corporations tried to sell your their goods.
On this episode of the Power Half Hour, Greg and Chad talk about why there are commercials and what makes for a successful commercial. Along the way, Greg plays the audio to some of the more memorable commercials from his youth. Come with us on the journey to relive the past through 30 seconds of consumerism.
It’s been awhile since Greg and Chad talked reviewed a film. That’s about to change as the new Power Half Hour looks at the 2019 release, “The Peanut Butter Falcon.” A Tom Sawyer-esque tale of two outlaws on the run form an unlikely friendship.
Shia LaBeouf plays Tyler, an unlicensed crab fisherman haunted by mistakes of his past. Newcomer Zack Gottsagen is Zak, a devoted fan of wrestler the “Red Neck Renegade” who dreams of training at the Renegade’s wrestling school and becoming a popular bad guy. As they make their way down the coast of North Carolina, they come to understand who they are is more than who the world sees them.
What did Greg and Chad think of the film? What life lessons did they take away from the film? Are you reading this far into the description?
No, Greg and Chad aren’t starting an official Jittery Monkey book club. Though, they may be open to the idea if you ask (@thehooch36, @chadsmart). On this episode of the Power Half Hour, Greg and Chad talk about some of their favorite books and reading habits. Chad also spends a lot of time trying to get Greg to veer off into tangents. With only 30 minutes to talk, does Greg take the bait?
Along the way, there is debate of book vs. movie and an surprise movie reference. See if you can find Waldo in this episode.
“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve.” – The Writer at the end of Stand By Me.
It’s an unscientific fact that twelve years old is the greatest year in a person’s life. That’s why personalities are developed and every pop culture occurrence impacts you in a more meaningful way. With that in mind, on this episode of the Power Half Hour, Greg and Chad compare the box office offerings from the year they turned 12 to see who had the better celluloid collection. For Chad, the year was 1986. A year sandwiched between his personal two favorite years of cinema. Does 1986 hold up as well?
For Greg, the year was 1994. A landmark year itself in the world of pop culture. How would the theatrical output inspire Greg throughout his life? He explains that and a lot more in the quick thirty minute discussion.
“The world changes, we do not, there lies the irony that finally kills us.” – Armand. Interview With a Vampire
Continuing the tradition started on Episode 28, Greg and Chad welcome a special guest to the Power Half Hour format. Tom Skull formerly of “Tom and Jim’s Top 5” and current co-host of the “Skullbuster Wrestlecast” podcast joins the show to discuss one of his favorite topics, baseball. With the sports world trying to get back to normal after several months of shutdown due to Covid-19, we’ve invited Tom on to discuss some of his favorite baseball memories.
It’s been a few episodes since Greg and Chad watched a movie they’d never seen. On this episode of the Power Half Hour, they watch the indie film “American Folk.” After their flight to New York is cancelled in the wake of 9-11, two strangers set off on a cross country trek across America. Starring folk singers Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth, the movie examines the people who make up the heartland of America.
Nostalgia is a funny thing. We can often look back at our youth and say, “things were better then” when compared to today. With that attitude in mind, on this episode Greg and Chad talk about what items we have today that didn’t exist during their childhoods they would delete if possible. Even though the item might make some part of life better, the negative effect it’s had might be greater the good.
Most kids have big dreams of what they want to do for a career. On this installment of the Power Half Hour, Greg and Chad share their childhood aspirations. What impact did films have on their decision? Did they follow their dreams or change course as they got older?
As a child of the ’80s, @chadsmart grew up with Mtv. As a child of the ’90s, Greg “@thehooch36” witnessed the last days of Mtv as a viable tool for emerging musicians. Even though both hosts have fond memories of Mtv, there comes a time when they knew they were not the target demographic for the pop culture band leader.
On this episode of the Power Half Hour, Greg and Chad share their memories of Mtv and and explain when they realized their relationship with Mtv needed to end. It wasn’t them, it was Mtv.
Next up on the Power Half Hour “Movies We’ve Never Heard Of” series is a violent, romantic film starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. The generically titled “Mr. Right” gives away every original element of the film right there in the title.
What did Greg and Chad think about the film? (Chad wrote this write up, so you can probably guess his thoughts) What tangents will they come up with to fill up time? Who is the greatest Harlem Globetrotter of all time? How many seashells did Suzi sell while woodchucks chucked wood? So many questions?
(Editor’s note: HA! We didn’t even get to HALF of those questions! – GM)
Picking up where they left off on the last generational gap discussion, Greg and Chad turn their attention from collecting comic books to collecting baseball cards. How invested were they into the sport of baseball before collecting cards? What card company was their go to for collecting? How many sticks of gum did Chad try to chew at one time? So many questions. So few answers.
Be warned, the first few minutes of the show have nothing to do with baseball collecting. There’s a lot of talk about what’s going on in the world today.
After two years and nine months, the weekly Positive Cynicism podcasts are coming to an end on the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network. After a year and a half of having rotating co-hosts, the decision to move the shows to the Positive Cynicism Podcast Network has been made in an attempt to better brand the shows.
Thanks to Greg Mehochko for the opportunity and encouragement to start Positive Cynicism. Thanks to Kevin Hunsperger for letting me guest on numerous episodes of My123Cents. This is by no means a bitter split, it’s just the next evolution in the podcast landscape.
Greg and I are in talks for a new podcast for Jittery Monkey. Stay tuned for future announcements. For future installments of the Positive Cynicism shows, follow @chadsmart on twitter and stay tuned to www.positivecynicism.com
You got a little change in your pocket, going jing-a-ling-a-ling?
Following up last months twofer, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb are back for another one-two punch of One Hit Wonders starting with the Georgia Satellites band’s hit of 1987 and ending with their lead singer Dan Baird’s solo hit of 1993.
How did a southern rock band manage to bust onto a Top 40 chart overcrowded with Pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary artists? Why didn’t they have any follow up success?
With another Democratic Debate in the books, @chadsmart and Brandon Cooley are back to discuss their take away from what was said and who didn’t get a say due to controversial qualification standards.
Not only do they discuss the perceived front runners and the most shocking (and disappointing) omissions from the debate stage, they also talk about Ben Gleib’s little known Presidential campaign. Does the media have a duty to report on all candidates or only ones with name brand familiarity?
With the 100th NFL season starting @chadsmart and Eric Bennett take time before kick off to discuss the way troubled players are rewarded with big money contracts. Using Antonio Brown’s cross country transition from Oakland to New England as a starting point, they debate what players would have to do for management and fans to say enough is enough.
As Hurricane Dorian had Florida in its sights, @TheTravisYates was busy prepping his house to withstand the storm and trying to keep his family safe. Since he was unavailable to co-host his regular monthly episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart recruited @my123cents host and one half of the newly crowned Stride Pro Wrestling tag team champions, @kevinhunsperger to take Travis’ spot.
Due to the sudden change in co-hosts, there was no topic in place so it was decided to do another random episode where topics were submitted from friends and then drawn from a pile of post-it notes. What are the topics? Where would the conversation go? Would any of it make sense? Listen to the show and find out.
For the first time in the history of the Wonder Why series, we’re looking a two One Hit Wonders. Kajagoogoo hit the charts in 1983 with the single “Too Shy.” Two years later, after being fired from the band, Limahl charted with the theme song to the film, “The Neverending Story.”
@chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb break down the career of both the band and the artist to see if they worked better individually or together. For the first time in the history of the Wonder Why series, the reason for only having one hit may have been discovered. Listen and see if you agree with their insight.
Does an artist or a company have a moral responsibility regarding the content they release to the mass public? Universal Pictures recently cancelled the release of the motion picture “The Hunt” due to mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
On this episode, @chadsmart and @TheTravisYates discuss their opinions on Universal’s decision and if it’s a serious regret or face saving measure. From there the conversation turns to Hollywood’s fascination and society’s acceptance of violence over language or sexuality.
The age of the internet has provided easy access to more information than is probably necessary. This is true when it comes to pop culture. @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss growing up prior to the internet when you’d find out about a movie by seeing a trailer in the theater a few months before the movie premiered. They compare it to now where a movie gets a release date before a script and fans know everything about the movie prior to the release.
Before getting to the main discussion, Eric gives a wrap up and live thoughts on his experience at San Diego Comic Con 2019.
Midway through the conversation, the conversation hits the tangent highway and road trip through thoughts on Disney’s live action remakes.
Another month, another round of trying to make sense of the political landscape. Originally the discussion was to center around the second Democratic debate and President Trump’s tweets regarding Baltimore and Representative Elijah Cummings. Unfortunately, that recording was unusable due to bad audio.
After fixing the issue and re-recording two days later, the conversation focused on the gun debate and the “Us vs. Them” perceived attitude in politics before turning attention to the debates. Sadly, halfway through the discussion, the audio was taken over by static again. The first half was a decent discussion.
It’s the last stop on the throwback to 1999 month of Positive Cynicism. Jumping in the time machine, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb head to great white north to check out a brother and sister who team up with a hip hop crew. The group known as Len burst onto the scene in the summer/fall of 1999 with the song “Steal My Sunshine.” Before the song was off the charts, Len seemed to vanish into thin air. Where did they go?
Chad and Mike break down the history of Len and try to understand why their career fizzled out so quickly. After the history lesson, Mike gives him impromptu thoughts on the hip hop bands he’d like to see on a package tour.
July was supposed to be a month of reflection on 1999. This week, the time machine got jammed from all the political news coming out of Washington. Instead of going back to see what lessons could be learned from 1999 for today’s political scene, @chadsmart and Brandon Cooley simply try to make sense of everything that’s happened in the past month.
First up on the docket are thoughts pertaining to the first Democrat debate. Who shined? Who disappointed? Who will be next to drop out of the race? Why won’t Bernie Sanders pay his staff $15 an hour? Does Joe Biden know he was Vice President for eight years? Will Marianne Williamson pass out crystals before the next debate? So many questions? So many questions.
From there the topic switches to the hottest feud in the country: Donald Trump vs. The Squad in “Everything’s Racist.” Will this be the hit of the summer or fade faster than Men In Black: International?
Reflecting on 1999 and how it has shaped 2019 continues with a look at the movies of 1999 and how some of the biggest films of that year helped shape the current state of cinema today.
Using Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace as a jumping off point, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett trace the current trends in modern cinema. What can we learn from 20 years ago? Maybe Hollywood executives should listen to this episode.
We’ve reached 100 episodes!! Since it’s a milestone episode, @chadsmart has invited @my123cents host @kevinhunsperger to fill in on co-host. Together they discuss professional wrestling scene of 1999 and the similarities to the professional landscape in 2019.
Where there once was WWF, WCW and ECW, now there is WWE, AEW with Impact/ROH/MLW fighting for third major company. Will the ghosts of wrestling past come back to haunt wrestling present? Is there enough attention span among wrestling fans for all the product that’s easily consumed? Listen to Chad and Kevin then weigh in with your opinion.
July 2019 on the Positive Cynicism podcast is all about celebrating the 20th anniversary of 1999. The first episode examines the social events of the year as well as events of the ’90s as a whole that led to 1999.
In a bit of shocking revelation for @chadsmart, the 90’s saw the rise in cynical attitudes. @TheTravisYates helps break down sports, music and politics to reason out why and how cynicism rose to popularity and if there are any ways to swing the level back to the positive side.
This month on Wonder Why, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb hit the Santa Monica Pier for some skeeball while discussing the Wishfulness of Skee Lo’s 1995 hit. While Skee Lo may have wished he was taller, a baller, or he had a rabbit in a hat with a bat, maybe he should have wished for more success from his debut album.
While the album did garner two Grammy nominations and had tracks on the motion picture soundtracks for “Money Train” and “Big Bully,” some behind the scene battles derailed Skee Lo’s momentum.
Deviating from the normal schedule, instead of talking Politics this week, @chadsmart is joined by @MikeDeKalb for a discussion about the 2019 NHL Champion St. Louis Blues and their theme song “Gloria.”
After completing the Quest for All 31 NHL Arenas in March with a game in Boston, Chad and Mike returned to TD Gardens for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. What was the deciding factor for going to game 7? What emotions were they feeling as history was made?
The bigger question is how did a hit song from 1982 become the rallying theme for the St. Louis Blues? Who is the singer behind the song? What other songs have been adopted by sports teams as rallying cries? All this and more on this episode of Positive Cynicism.
In the age of easily watching episode after episode of a TV show, binge watching has become an almost preferable method of viewing. On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss their habits with binge watching as well as the effects watching so much TV at once has on their viewing.
Why do we as a society value athletes and celebrities as role models? Is this idolization warranted or unjust expectation? On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and @TheTravisYates examine how athletes with discipline or criminal records get rewarded with new contracts. How fans still cheer for athletes despite their off field antics and try to determine if fandom trumps individual actions.
Before getting into the main discussion, the hosts discuss the recent death of baseball player Bill Buckner and if it’s disrespectful to bring up his World Series error as a notable aspect of his career.
Everyone was podcast listening. The latest edition of Wonder Why goes back in time to the early 1970s to a time when dance clubs were popular and martial arts were experiencing a rise in popularity. Combining these two elements, Jamaican singer/songwriter Carl Douglas created a chart topping smash with the song “Kung Fu Fighting.”
Hosts @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb debate whether “Kung Fu Fighting” is a novelty hit or if future singles by Carl Douglas were hampered by the perception of a gimmicky singer. Whatever side of the debate your on, one thing can’t be disputed, if you’re making a movie with a fight scene, “Kung Fu Fighting” must be included at some point.
*There is some static in portions of the audio. Hope it’s not too distracting.*
Before recording this episode which focuses on politics, host @chadsmart came to the realization that due to the political climate, he didn’t want to talk politics. What’s the point? Our political discourse is so fractured that the idea of having a discussion that will have any impact on how people think is an exercise in frustration.
While there may have been some discontent with the topic at hand, the conversation with Positive Cynicism Political Expert Brandon Cooley was civil and had some valid points. After the discussion, the future of the political episodes of Positive Cynicism was addressed. What does the future hold? Listen and find out.
After ten years, Marvel has completed the most ambitious story in cinematic history. Over the course of 22 movies, Marvel has taken some lesser known superheroes and crafted a roughly 50 hour story using six different main characters.
Marvel isn’t the only franchise breaking the traditional celluloid story telling method. Warner Bros. and DC have tried to copy Marvel’s game plan with the Justice League universe. Horror film, The Conjuring has its own interwoven stories and then there’s Kevin Smith’s Viewaskewiverse.
On this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss the different cinematic universes regarding what works, what doesn’t and what they’d like to see in future film franchises.
Inspired by the awesome YouTube series, “Cobra Kai,” this episode of Positive Cynicism was originally set to discuss recent film and televisions reboots and revivals. Unscripted conversations though have a way of taking on a life of their own.
While @chadsmart and @TheTravisYates start off talking what shows they’d like to see brought into the modern day, the conversation moves to a discussion about shared experiences related to media.
With the recent success of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Rocketman” soon to hit theaters, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb take a break from overanalyzing one hit wonders to warm up their singing voices and break down the musical biopic genre.
From “The Buddy Holly Story,” “La Bamba” and “Amadeus” to “Selena,” “8 Mile” and “The Dirt,” Chad and Mike delve into the world of musical cinema to discuss what makes a good biopic, what tropes are overused and what musical artists’ story would make a great film.
Like an episode of Game of Thrones, a month in the world of politics offers a lot of ground to cover. On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Brandon Cooley try to break down most of the major moments of the last month. Starting with the eagerly anticipated Mueller Report, Chad and Brandon discuss what the report says or doesn’t say and if the report will change anyone’s opinions on Donald Trump and Russian involvement in the 2016 Election.
After the Mueller report, the big news is former Vice President Joe Biden’s pending announcement he’s joining the crowed Democratic field for the 2020 nomination. Will Joe’s literal being in touch with potential voters be a detriment to obtaining the nomination? Will Mayor Pete Buttigieg be the spoiler in the Democratic race? So many issues to cover, so little time.
Don’t forget to order a “Vote Smart: 2020” shirt from the Jittery Monkey shop.
As the 2019 NHL playoffs heat up, this special episode of Positive Cynicism covers all 31 teams of the National Hockey League. From October 2013 to March 2019, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb traveled the United States and Canada in order to see a game in every NHL arena.
After completing their journey in Boston, Mike solicited questions from friends regarding their curiosity about the trips. Now in an extended Positive Cynicism, Mike and Chad try to cover all their favorite aspects of their travels as well as giving props to their favorite arenas and cities.
Last month @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discussed some of their favorite films they feel are underappreciated. This month, they do a 180 degree flip and go for movies they feel are overrated. What constitutes the criteria for a film to be overrated? Are there beloved classics Chad and Eric don’t feel are worthy of the praise? Do they think Oscar winning films are unnecessarily beloved? Listen to their discussion to find out what movies they list and let them know if you agree or disagree.
Warning, if you are a cinefile (or were in college in the late ’90s early 2000’s), you will most likely be upset with our discussion.
The 2019 baseball season is underway and the biggest question besides will the San Diego Chicken run for President is, is baseball a dying sport? On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and @thetravisyates offer up their views on baseball’s seemingly waning popularity.
From their childhood fondness for the game to their current feelings, Chad and Travis break down several potential reasons for fans either passively watching or walking away from the game for good.
On this edition of Wonder Why, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb travel back to 2006. Once there the question changes from why did Saving Jane only have one hit to how to did Saving Jane manage to crack a chart dominated by hip-hop, R&B and without the aid of anyone guesting on their track.
Saving Jane hailed from Columbus, Ohio and hit the charts with their song “Girl Next Door.” A song that a few years later, some say was redone by one of the most popular artists of the 2000s. Is it plagiarism or simply a case of an age old story told through song?
After breaking down the career of Saving Jane, it’s time for the picks of the month. Mike goes with a band he recently saw in concert while Chad pulls inspiration from Saving Jane to make his pick.
For more podcasts, check out the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network and while you’re there, buy some cool merchandise.
Another busy month in the political spectrum. More Democrats enter the race for 2020. A former “controversial” CNN Democrat joins Fox News. Colorado’s Governor wants to change who gets the state’s electoral votes and in a shocking turn of events, some college students didn’t get into college based solely on their merits. Brandon Cooley joins @chadsmart to discuss these topics and offer up thoughts on the current political landscape.
After listening to this episode, your political fire will be lit. The best way to stoke it is to go the Jittery Monkey Shop and pick up the “Vote Smart 2020” t-shirt. It’s the hit of all political gatherings.
With Oscar season behind us, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett turn their attention to movies they feel fly under the radar. Picking five movies each from their libraries, they discuss films that have had an impact on their lives but feel few people have seen.
From all night scavenger hunts to high sea adventures. Low budget film shoots to independent films. Two movies with devil in the title and nothing else in common.
After listening to the show, share your own underappreciated movies on twitter with @chadsmart. Then head over to the Jittery Monkey Shop and pick up a Positive Cynicism shirt.
As a fan of 1980s cinema, March 10, 2009 was a dark day. That was the day former teen star Corey Haim died. For this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Travis (@PopCultIQ) Yates pay tribute to one of their favorites actors.
From his early roles in Firstborn and Lucas to the classic three films with Corey Feldman, Chad and Travis discuss the talented teen actor who appeared to have a bright future ahead of him.
Unfortunately, Haim didn’t make the jump from child actor to adult without succumbing to the demons that have haunted child actors for decades. Substance abuse and poor choice of projects hampered Corey Haim’s career in the ’90s. Corey kept acting in various films but couldn’t reclaim the success of his early days.
Time to jump back into the time machine and examine another One Hit Wonder* from the ’80s. This month @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb break down the career of English band Scritti Politti. Hitting the U.S. charts in late 1985 with The Perfect Way, Scritti Politti were poised to follow up their British success. Or so it seemed. Unfortunately, future songs wouldn’t fare as well.
Mike gives all the details on the band’s formation and post The Perfect Way career while Chad adds very little to the conversation. After the discussion of Scritti Politti, it’s time for the Picks of the Month. Chad chooses the return album of an early 2000’s pop star while Mike goes with one of the 1990s/2000s alternative heavyweights.
Pick up some fresh gear in the Jittery Monkey shop (www.jitterymonkey.com/shop) and listen to all the shows on the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network.
It’s been a whirlwind month since the last Political edition of Positive Cynicism. Since then, we’ve had more politicians declare their candidacy for President, a group of high school students accused of racism on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a TV star who may or may not have been attacked in a racist/homophobic hate crime, a New Green Deal that was mocked by all sides and a national emergency declared.
In this episode @chadsmart and Brandon Cooley break down all the events of the past month and try to understand what’s going on in this crazy world. A discussion of what to expect as we prepare for even more Democratic candidates to enter the race.
Part of the appeal of pop culture is ability to suspend disbelief and escape reality. In this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss falling in love with film due to the escapist nature of the blockbuster film vs. the realism of adult aimed films (no, not those adult films).
As the 2019 Oscars get closer, Chad tried to watch nominated movies and realized he was bored by the serious nature of the majority of the films. This realization opened up the pathway to explore other topics regarding the nature of present day films.
Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Thirty years ago, Billy Joel gave a crash course in history with his song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” A lot has happened since then. In this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Travis (@PopCultIQ) Yates discuss topics they think should be included in an updated version of the song.
While Billy Joel may not think the song is one of his better musical offerings, the catchy tune is sure to get stuck in your head after listening to this episode. What items do you think should be listed? Do you think you can come up with a good rhyme scheme to fit a new version?
Special thanks to Noelle Smith for the closing song. You can find her on Twitter @NoelleSmith5, and noellesmithmusic.com.
Be sure to keep up to date all things Jittery Monkey at jitterymonkey.com.
The latest edition of Wonder Why features an artist whose musical career was short-lived due to a more successful television career. That’s not really a spoiler given the prolific nature of Tracey Ullman’s body of work over the past thirty years. Taking her comedic career out of consideration, could Tracey Ullman’s musical career lasted beyond her one hit in 1984?
That’s the focus @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb examine. Breaking down Tracey’s album “You Broke My Heart in 17 Places” track by track, with discussion about Stiff Records staff and song writer Kirsty MacColl the dots are connected to artists and people ranging from the Beach Boys to Alice Cooper to Charles Manson. And of course, there’s talk about The Simpsons.
Wrapping up the episode, Mike and Chad give their picks of the month. What do they think you should be listening to at the start of 2019? What are the options for next month? Will Mike say “interesting and fascinating?” Will Chad work in a reference to the band Extreme? All these questions and more you weren’t asking are answered in the episode.
What does everyone like to talk and listen to people talk about? Politics, of course. With the government shut down and a day before @chadsmart embarks on a trip to Washington D.C., he is joined by Brandon Cooley to discuss current political events.
Chad and Brandon try to show that people with differing views can have a honest, open and civil discourse about polarizing subjects. There is no “my side is right, you’re side is wrong” attitude here. It doesn’t matter side of the aisle you support. This podcast attempts to bring the two sides together. Or at least point out the fallacies of thinking one side is better than the other.
For their first episode of 2019, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett start the show discussing Eric’s most anticipated films of 2019. From there, Chad explains how the cost of going to the movies keeps him away from the theater which leads to a bigger discussion regarding the price of extracurricular activies.
New year, new Positive Cynicism. On this edition, @chadsmart and Travis (@PopCultIQ) Yates take on a random assortment of topics. The show starts with a tribute to legendary wrestling announcer “Mean” Gene Okerlund. From there, Chad and Travis “spin the wheel to make the deal.” Topics are chosen at random. Neither knows what topics are on the wheel so each spins provides a surprise.
As 2018 comes to a close, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb take a break from the normal Wonder Why formula as the month of nostalgia on Positive Cynicism continues. From discussing their first albums and concerts to their memories of Mtv, Chad and Mike stroll down the musical memory lane.
It’s a Christmas miracle. Continuing the @JitteryMonkey holiday crossover event, @kevinhunsperger joins @chadsmart to continue the Positive Cynicism month of nostalgia to discuss how and why they’re fans of professional wrestling. Starting with their earliest memories of wrestling and going through their thoughts on the current state of wrestling, Kevin and Chad touch on favorite moments from the last thirty years as well as things they would like to see change. Along the way the discussion delves into a meeting of the Becky Lynch mutual appreciation society.
Be sure to check out the rest of the shows on the Jittery Monkey podcasting network.
Yippie Ki Yay Mister Falcon. In this installment of “Culture Popped*” @chadsmart and guest host Eric Bennett exmine some movies that are non-traditional Christmas offerings. What is Shane Black’s obsession with the holiday season? Would you want Steve Martin on the other end of the phone if you were calling a suicide prevention hotline? Is an old Chinese store the best place to buy a pet? And most importantly, why are people throwing away a perfectly good white boy? Most of these questions aren’t answered but the movies that inspire them are discussed.
The biggest shocker of the episode are the discovery of what holiday “classics” Eric and Chad have not seen. The second biggest shock is how they managed to get through the show without a reference to Ernest Saves Christmas.
Check out all the shows on jitterymonkey.com and pick up the latest swag. Promote the shows you enjoy listening to on a weekly basis.
‘Tis the holiday season and with it comes the feelings of nostalgia. On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Travis Yates (@PopCultIQ) discuss why nostalgia conjures strong feelings. From the simple pleasures of our youth to the yearning for how things used to be, what is the driving force for nostalgia? Not only in our personal lives but in the pop culture realm of entertainment. Everything old is new again. From movie and television remakes to “toys” being geared more for collectors than kids, there is a growing sense that nostalgia and name brand recognition matter most.
What affect will this have on the current generation of kids when they hit middle age? What will they be nostalgic about to their kids? Chad and Travis try to answer this question.
This month on Wonder Why, Chad “Limited Effort” Smart and Mike “Rabbit Hole” DeKalb attempt to talk about Sly Fox’s 1986 hit “Let’s Go All The Way” and figure out why the duo of “Mudbone” Cooper and Michael “Not Hector” Camacho didn’t find success with any follow up singles.
Breaking down the history of Sly Fox does get a bit funky at times. Find out the interesting use of the back beat of “Let’s Go All the Way” as well as what a couple of clowns had to do with exposing one of Mtv’s worst kept secrets.
Once they’ve exhausted the history of Sly Fox, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb give your their holiday picks for the month.
It’s the holiday season and what goes better with the holidays then a discussion about politics? @chadsmart invites political junkie Brandon Cooley to the show for a new series called Politicalamity. While covering a wide array of political topics, Chad and Brandon show that it’s possible to have a reasonable, friendly conversation even when you don’t agree on everything. Is there that big of a difference between President Trump and President Obama? Should President Trump step away from Twitter? Why does Congress have such a low favorability rating yet has a huge re-election rate? Should Congress have term limits? These are just some of the topics covered in the first installment of Positive Cynicism’s newest themed edition.
*There were some technical issues and the audio does have some static issues throughout the show. We’re working to fix this on future episodes.
Continuing the discussion from EP. 65: Judging the Past, @chadsmart is joined by once again by Eric Bennett to discuss using standards and morals of 2018 when viewing movies from the past. Is it fair to label teen comedies from the ’80s as sex crimes on film? Is it acceptable to write off derogatory speech as just a product of the time? These topics and others examined as Chad and Eric cover their history as pop culture connoisseurs to see if they’ve view items from their youth differently today.
Should the past be held to the standards of today? That’s the topic @chadsmart and Travis Yates (@PopCultIQ) tackle in this installment of Positive Cynicism. While attending PolitiCon 2018, Chad heard a panelist talking about immigration and criticizing the evil white men who conquered America. This got Chad to thinking if Christopher Columbus hadn’t “discovered” America or the other explorers and early settlers hadn’t been the first ones to America wouldn’t whoever tried to settle the land have committed the same atrocities? Not that that excuses the behavior, only that can we judge people’s actions in the past if they don’t line up with the standards of today?
With that as a jumping off point, Chad and Travis jump all over history to discuss how attitudes and societal norms have to be taken into consideration when looking at the past. As society advances and things that were once deemed okay are now viewed as wrong, instead of demeaning the past, should use the situation as a teaching moment. For those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Strike up the band cause we’re getting The Party started on the latest edition of Positive Cynicism’s monthly series Wonder Why. @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb break out the festive hats (or are those mouse ears) to discuss the pop group The Party’s biggest hit and career. Formed by members of the new Mickey Mouse Club, The Party hit the charts in 1991 with a cover of the Dokken classic “In My Dreams” off their second album In the Meantime In Between Time. Unfortunately, the dream would end after a few weeks on the charts. The group would release one other studio album before the party was over.
Chad and Mike break down the In the Meantime album while giving their impressions on why the group didn’t reach the success of other similar early 90s pop groups. There are some interesting cover song choices and interpretations on the album.
After the discussion about The Party, it’s time to reveal the picks of the month. This month’s choices are a southern country/rock band from Nashville and a purple phenom from Minnesota.
A special bonus edition of Positive Cynicism this week. @chadsmart after running his first half-marathon talks with @kevinhunsperger (a veteran of multiple 5Ks, a couple half-marathons and a full marathon) about the experience. During their conversation, chad talks about his reasoning for doing the half-marathon at his age and with no prior running experience, the decision to raise funds for St. Jude Children Hospital and how depression affected his training.
With the midterm elections quickly approaching, @chadsmart ventures into the convention halls to experience his first PolitiCon. Speakers from all sides of the political spectrum take over the Los Angeles convention center to share their thoughts on the current political landscape.
Chad samples a little of everything. From reasons why not to be a liberal to #MeToo to former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken moderating a discussion with conservative fireball Tomi Lahren, no topic was left unspoken. What was the takeaway? Are we heading to a political showdown with swords drawn or is there a chance to coexist even if you don’t agree with the person next to you? Find out Chad’s thoughts in this edition of Positive Cynicism.
“Ain’t it funny how a melody sounds like a memory. Like a soundtrack to a July Saturday night.” Eric Church sings those lines in his song “Springsteen.” While he was referring to how a song makes him think back to a concert, music can also spark the memory of a movie. When used correctly, songs become married to specific cinematic scenes. In this edition of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and Eric Bennett discuss the different ways music is used in movies and offer up their top five soundtracks.
A new month brings a new co-host to the Positive Cynicism family. @chadsmart is joined by Travis Yates (@PopCultIQ) for a new monthly series. What the series will cover is still being determined. The first installment does have a focus.
Chad gets to show off his lack of sports knowledge as he tries to discuss the current state of the NFL. Thankfully Travis has enough knowledge to spread around. Topics include surprises through the first three weeks of the season, Colin Kaepernick, and Travis’ new devotion to the Miami Dolphins.
Drop the Beat. In this edition of Wonder Why, we’re kicking it old school style. Taking it back to the streets of Brooklyn as @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb break down the history of Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock. The two rap pioneers hit the Top 40 chart with the infectious crowd-pleaser “It Takes Two” in 1988. Personal issues and a changing musical landscape are two reasons the rap duo may have only had one chart hit. Even without chart success, Rob Base has had a steady career and still performs regularly on ’80s and ’90s throwback concerts.
After the discussion of Rob Base, Mike and Chad offer up their picks of the month for Septober. One’s a band with over a decade of of success, the other pick is a new band promoting their first album.
Social media is a tricky minefield to navigate. This edition of Question Everything, @chadsmart has the founder of Harness Digital Marketing, @iTomHarness on to discuss the reasons for why an online presence is important as well as how to brand yourself successfully. In addition to social media, the discussion also touches on Tom’s latest endeavor with a friend to start the Southern Illinois Film Commission in an attempt to bring more film production to the region known for it’s scenic beauty.
Due to scheduling conflicts and lack of forethought, the newest edition of POPPED CULTURE, or CULTURE POPPED* takes a page out of Tom and Jim’s Top 5 playbook. Don’t call it a rip off. Call it an homage the way Brian DePalma’s films are an homage to Alfred Hitchcock. @chadsmart and Eric Bennet offer up widely different lists of guilty pleasure films. Films ranging from “what were they thinking” to “box office successes that aren’t held in high regard” these ten films will have you reaching for your streaming service of choice to check out an extreme range of cinematic quality.
We’re traveling back to 1996 asking deep philosophical questions on this edition of Wonder Why. Traveling from Anchorage, Kentucky to New York City, we examine the career of Joan Osborne. Is she a folksy Americana singer? Soulful funk singer? Or Top 40 Pop singer? Based on the sound of her Top 10 hit, “One of Us,” audiences expected one sound but listening to her album Relish, might have been surprised at the other songs.
In addition to the discussion about Joan Osborne, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb give their picks of the month. This month they choose an actor/musician and female alternative icon.
The show concludes with the reveal of choices for the September edition. Bust out the converse, track suits and gold chains.
The latest Question Everything has gone to the dogs. Travis Yates returns to the show as a hyphenated guest. In addition to being a professor of mass communication, Travis we add the title of Author to his introduction. Travis (@popcultIQ) joins @chadsmart to discuss his new book, “Nobody Told Me My Legs Don’t Work: Journey of a Down Dog.
The book details the steps Travis and his wife, Renea took after one of their dogs suffered a stroke and lost mobility in its back legs. From scouring message boards to six hour round trips to get some of the best treatments, Travis recounts all the emotion and stress of caring for an immobile dog along with caring for four other pets at the same time.
As the summer movie season winds down, @chadsmart is joined by Eric Bennett. Before the topic of the month, Eric gives a recap of San Diego Comic Con 2018 and fan reaction to Chris Hardwick missing Comic-Con as well as the news of James Gunn’s firing from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 which broke during the 5 day pop culture convention.
Once the recap is over, the focus switches gears to examine Hollywood’s fascination with sequels and franchise movies. Trying to figure out how the box office has gone from two sequels in the yearly Top Ten for 1980 to nine sequels/remakes/reboots in the Top Ten for 2018 so far, Chad and Eric attempt to break down the shift in focus from making a wide variety of movies to movies that appeal to the largest audience. Along the way, Chad does make a mistake when talking about the movie Cedar Rapids. The movie stars John C. Reilly not John McGinley.
What is your opinion? Do you think there are too many sequels? Do you enjoy the franchise series?
Has a celebrity said something that offended you on social media this week? Why do we care what celebrities do or say? What happens when something someone did in the past that wasn’t socially acceptable comes to light? Should all actions and words be held against someone no matter how much time has passed? On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and @kevinhunsperger look at recent social media outcries involving celebrities.
From Hulk Hogan’s reinstatement into the WWE Hall of Fame after a three year suspension due to using the N-word in a private phone call to James Gunn being fired from directing Guardians of the Galaxy 3 due to old tweets involving rape and pedophilia being thrust into the spotlight, plenty of online discussion has been spent debating whether the penalty fits the crime. In each situation, there seems to be an underlying layer to people’s reaction. Personal fandom and politics taint the opinions of justifiable penalty or overreaction. Should this be the case or should their be a universal standard for reacting to hurtful or inappropriate words? That’s the answer Chad and Kevin try to determine.
The seventh edition of Wonder Why is one for the books. Taking a trip back to the summer of 1970, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb examine the hit and “career” of English artist Ray Dorsett, pka Mungo Jerry. Mungo Jerry had a summertime hit with “In the Summertime.” A catchy jingle that peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart and then Mungo Jerry was only heard from again if you were in Europe. Why was there not a follow up hit?
Before the discussion begins, Mike talks about attending a recent concert by previous Wonder Why artist, Thomas Dolby. After the Mungo Jerry discussion, Mike and Chad turn the focus to their picks of the month. Find out what Gary Cherone, Tupac and Scott Caan have in common.
On the latest Question Everything, host @chadsmart welcomes his cousin Miranda Mize to discuss her efforts to bring medical services to the remote village of Churcampa in Peru. Upon graduation from high school, Miranda was encouraged by RAKlife Executive Director, Matthew Foster to write about something she was passionate about. Knowing the struggles her relatives in Peru have with receiving basic medical care, Miranda expressed her desire to help bring medical services to the tiny village. Impressed by her essay, Matthew decided to use RAKlife’s resources to help Miranda’s dream come true.
During the Question Everything episode, Miranda explains how the trip came together and what plans are in place to continue trips in the future. As well as telling stories about the events of a yearly festival that involves some less than safe firework usage.
If you’d like to get involved or help out, check out the following websites.
@chadsmart is joined by new monthly co-host Eric Bennett to discuss the hype surrounding this year’s annual San Diego Comic-Con. With the largest gathering of pop culture fans preparing to descend on San Diego for five days, Chad and Eric breakdown who, or what, will be showcased with panels and displays. The bigger factor though is who won’t be soaking up the sun this year. With no major Disney, meaning no Marvel and no Star Wars presence will this year’s Con be a let down for fans who bought tickets months in advance. Or does this open the door for other properties to step and create their own hype?
How does this year’s exclusives stack up to year’s past? What about offsite experiences? Lastly, is San Diego Comic-Con too crowded? Eric offers his thoughts on all these topics.
Whether your a Comic-Con newbie or seasoned attendee, there’s plenty of information in this episode to either get you excited or make you dread long lines and close quarters.
Episode after episode, @chadsmart has encouraged listeners to “do something positive.” What happens when he’s forced with an opportunity to follow his own advice? That’s the crux of this episode of Positive Cynicism. A chance run in with a homeless man has Chad questioning if he’s capable of doing something positive automatically or only when he has time to process the situation first.
Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too. Albert Schweitzer
Another month, another edition of Wonder Why. This month, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb examine the career of 80’s hair metal band, Autograph. Opening for Van Halen and scoring a top 30 hit with their debut single, “Turn Up the Radio,” Autograph looked poised to make it big on the charts in 1985. Unfortunately, their success peaked with the first single. After the first album, Autograph continued to record throughout the 1980s releasing two more albums before the band members decided to go their separate ways.
Since the breakup, Autograph have reformed and released new albums including their 2017 release, Get Off Your Ass. During this edition of Wonder Why breakdown the career of Autograph and offer their assessments of why the band’s career didn’t reach continued heights alongside other 80s metal bands like Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and Ratt.
Wrapping up the show are the picks of the month. Find out why Mike thinks everyone should keep a Bob Marley CD in their car. While Chad advocates for everyone to buy Butch Walker’s latest (and every) album.
The latest Question Everything features the Jittery Monkey Podcast Empire’s Godfather, Greg Mehochko. @chadsmart and @thehooch36 discuss the origins of the Jittery Monkey Network, Nebraska sports, and superheroes among other topics in the longest Positive Cynicism to date.
Don’t forget. @chadsmart is running his first half-marathon in October. Click here to make a donation.
Awareness of mental health issues such as depression and bipolar disorder is currently on the rise. In the past, such disorders went either undetected or were simply disregarded as an excuse for erratic behavior. @chadsmart fit into this category. Inspired by a blog post from professional wrestler @GentlemanJervis Cottonbelly detailing his battle with depression, Chad knew it was time to confront what was becoming a too frequent occurrence.
Joined by @my123cents host @kevinhunsperger, Chad opens up about his personal battle and recent steps to contain the depression. Chad attempts to be as open and honest as possible. Shaking off the stigma of being ashamed or embarrassed by the disease, sharing the details and being candid is a cathartic experience.
If you think, or know, you have have depression, no matter what level it may be, please reach out to someone. You are not alone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
@chadsmart and @mikedekalb return with another edition of Wonder Why. This edition features a listener suggested One Hit Wonder Choice. Chad and Mike break down the 1979 hit song What You Won’t Do for Love by Bobby Caldwell. While Mike was familiar with the song, Chad had never heard it before. What opinion do they have of the song and the debut album which included the song?
In addition to the discussion of Bobby Caldwell, @chadsmart continues the #SummerOfPositivity #GiveawayGalore by offering a unique prize which ties in with Bobby Caldwell’s late 1980s era. This is one giveaway on which you don’t want to miss out.
For the wrap up segment, @mikedekalb chooses the options for the June edition of #WonderWhy and Mike and Chad give their #PicksOfTheMonth. What albums do they think you should be listening to this month? What do bicycles have in common with both their picks?
The #SummerOfPositivity kicks off with Question Everything guest Teacher/Author @jennarpjamieson. Jenna is the author of Giving Back: Lessons from an adopted immigrant on why a happy life is about helping others.
In addition to the interview, @chadsmart gives details on giveaways happening over the next three months. The first giveaway is a copy of Jenna’s book.
Check out the other shows on the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network. There’s something for everyone. Well everyone except Luis.
Buy the book: http://www.jennarpjamieson.com/buy-the-book-page/
A big summer is brewing in the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network studios. Positive Cynicism has a lot planned for the next 4 months. Host @chadsmart runs down the plans for the summer with Question Everything, Wonder Why and the as of now untitled History and Evolution of Summer Blockbusters. If you have a title suggestion for the Summer Blockbuster series, send your suggestions either on Twitter or on the Positive Cynicism Facebook page.
In addition to the updates to the show, Chad gives an update on the training for the half-marathon he plans to run in October. If you’d like to make a donation to help Chad reach his goal of $1000 to St. Jude’s Children Hospital you can make a donation Here.
Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network
@thehooch36 – @NerdsUnitedShow @5heartpodcast
@kevinhunsperger – @my123cents
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams
Positive Cynicism 41: Pledge of Positivity. After a weekend filled with non-stop negative news, from the White House Correspondents Dinner to Kanye West to a Las Vegas Golden Knights double overtime playoff loss, @chadsmart has decided enough is enough. He is taking a pledge of positivity as he vows to focus more on the good things in life. Part of focusing on the positives means eliminating negative influences. Hear how he plans to accomplish these goals in the latest installment of Positive Cynicism.
Be sure to check out the other shows on the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
Positive Cynicism Episode 40: Wonder Why; The Proclaimers.
Once again, @chadsmart and @mikedekalb try to understand why certain bands only had one Top 40 hit in the United States. This month they examine the duo of Scottish twins, Charlie and Craig Reid. The Proclaimers, as the twins are collectively known, achieved their US success in the summer of 1993 even though their song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) was was their 1988 album “Sunshine on Leith.” How did a five year old song finally break into the Top 40? What did The Proclaimers do before and after the success of their “one” hit? Why does everyone in Scotland proclaim the duo as a national? Who is the Doctor who used a Proclaimers song as his wedding song? All these questions and more are answered in a very thoroughly researched discussion.
Wrapping the episode is a discussion of what acts to book on the 2020 ’80s Cruise.
Twitter handles of Podcasts you should listen to after finishing Positive Cynicism
On the latest installment of Question Everything, @chadsmart welcomes My 1-2-3 Cents host @kevinhunsperger to the show. Topics discussed range from Kevin’s inspiration for starting the My 1-2-3 Cents blog and podcast to branding to charity work. In addition, we also talk about Kevin’s work with Stride Pro Wrestling and his recent physical altercations with Stride Wrestler Roger Matheus.
This episode, @chadsmart is joined by Associate Professor of Communication at Quincy University, Travis Yates (PopCultIQ) to discuss the circular argument of does society shape television or does television shape society? We look at child programming from the ’70-’80s compared to today. Then transition to programs aimed at adults and reliance of violence and negativity on said programs. We need to get back to the roots of Mister Rogers Neighborhood and treat each other as neighbors instead of strangers.
There are some slight audio issues with the episodes. Occasional muffling and repetition of audio. It doesn’t make the show unlistenable. Just tossing out a disclaimer.
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes. – Mister Rogers 1994
The madness of March brings the next installment of the Wonder Why series. This monthly feature examines the career of artists who achieved success with one hit song. This installment @chadsmart and @mikedekalb (www.hockeytransplant.com) break down the interesting career of Thomas Dolby. From session musician to professor, Thomas Dolby has perhaps one of the most interesting careers of any “One Hit Wonder.”
If you have any suggestions for future Wonder Why segments or any ideas for future shows, leave a comment on the Positive Cynicism Facebook page or on Twitter.