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119: “Don’t Forget To Breathe” – Interview with Author Chris Clews

The Karate Kid features one of the most beloved movie mentors of all time in Mr. Miyagi, who teaches young Daniel valuable lessons about patience (taking time to breathe), efficiency (putting the whole body’s strength into a single punch), and achievement (if you can catch a fly with chopsticks, you can accomplish pretty much anything).

In this special interview episode, When We Were Young talks to author and keynote speaker Chris Clews about more life lessons that can be found in ‘80s pop culture, whether in films with iconic movie mentors like The Karate Kid and Dead Poets Society, or those with much more questionable role models like The Lost Boys and Road House.

In his new book Raised on the ‘80s, Chris Clews identifies 30+ life lessons from the music and movies that defined pop culture’s most excellent and totally awesome decade, including Trading Places, Cocktail, The Breakfast Club, Die Hard, and the music of Prince. We talked to Chris about his favorite bits of wisdom from our favorite ’80s films, as well as his experience growing up in the ‘80s, why Patrick Swayze is the ultimate ‘80s icon, and the best way to reboot an ‘80s blockbuster while staying true to the original.

Follow When We Were Young on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts (or wherever you get your podcasts) so more folks check out the show! And after you check out this interview episode with Chris Clews, check out his new book Raised in the ‘80s here: https://chrisclews.com/books

96: “Draw a Crazy Picture, Write a Nutty Poem” – Shel Silverstein

If you’re a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a magic bean buyer, or you just hate doing dishes and taking the garbage out, you’ll surely find something to relate to in our episode on celebrated author, illustrator, poet, and all-around Renaissance Man Shel Silverstein.

Though WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS was first published in 1974, long before we were even born, Silverstein’s groundbreaking poetry collection was a staple in classrooms, on library shelves, and at bedtime throughout our childhoods, along with later volumes A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC and FALLING UP.

Award-winning author Elissa Brent Weissman joins us for a look at how writing for young readers has changed in the decades since we were young readers ourselves. Then we discuss Uncle Shelby’s salacious origins (far outside the realm of children’s fiction) and have a heated debate about what his massively popular children’s book THE GIVING TREE is really about. Finally, we dive back into Silverstein’s poetry to share which pieces still strike a chord with us.

Revisit Hungry Kid Island, get reacquainted with Ridiculous Rose, and fire up the Homework Machine one last time, because we’ve got some flax golden tales to spin in the latest episode of When We Were Young — the only podcast that 10 out of 10 tree stumps agree makes them happy.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts so more folks check out the show!

Donate to help us defray the costs of creating this show, which include recording remotely, purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California via our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung

90: “It Rubs The Lotion On Its Skin, Or Else It Gets The Hose Again” – The Silence Of The Lambs

Have the podcast hosts stopped screaming? Not yet! We follow last episode’s discussion of the Best Actress nominees of 1991 – including the groundbreaking, genre-defying tale of female outlaws Thelma & Louise – with a look at the night’s big winner, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. The serial killer thriller not only won the Best Actress Oscar, but also Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture – a feat accomplished by only two other films in the Academy’s 93 year history.

Like Thelma & Louise, The Silence Of The Lambs is now known for inserting intelligent, fully realized female characters into a genre typically dominated by men. And like Thelma & Louise, The Silence Of The Lambs generated plenty of controversy upon release, especially around its gender-bending antagonist, Buffalo Bill. Of course, it also birthed one of the most memorable and quotable screen villains of all time, with Anthony Hopkins’ brief but tasty turn as cannibal psychologist Hannibal Lecter.

In this episode, we dissect the film both as a crowd-pleasing, nail-biting thriller and through the lens of its sexual politics. Jodie Foster’s much-lauded performance made FBI trainee Clarice Starling one of the greatest screen heroines of the 90s, but does she still hold her own against the infamous Dr. Lecter 30 years later?

Is The Silence Of The Lambs still a snack? Or should we send this thing back to Baltimore? Grab your best bag and your cheapest shoes, lodge an exotic moth in your throat, and get a nice bottle of Chianti ready, because this podcast is going all the way to the FBI. Bon appétit!

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts so more folks check out the show!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which include recording remotely, purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California, by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung