85: “The Chameleon Strikes In The Dark” – The Thing

Is this a podcast, or is it merely pretending to be? It’s 2020, so we’re celebrating the holidays a little differently this year. We’ve swapped twitching tentacles for twinkling lights, exploding wolfdogs for red-nosed reindeer, lighting killer space beasts aflame for roasting chestnuts, and a creeping existential dread for jolly good cheer. Ho, ho, ho!

The 1980s saw a revival of 50s sci-fi B-movies, with notable remakes offering similarly bizarre chills and thrills with one major upgrade — some of the most stomach-churning special effects ever put to the screen. John Carpenter’s THE THING (1982) is a horror staple now, but it wasn’t so warmly received when it opened for audiences who had just fallen in love with Spielberg’s cuddly alien pal E.T., and Carpenter’s career never fully recovered.

We discuss how late 20th century horror masters took the traditions of drive-in camp classics and made them their own with gross-out gore and cringey body horror, then hunker down and contend with The Thing in all its goopy, arm-chomping glory. Did Carpenter’s classic deserve to be left out in the cold? Or was it a masterpiece merely imitating a box office bomb? Zip up your parka, secure your blood bags, and prepare for a not-so-silent night, because this is one story of immaculate reproduction that isn’t so blessed.

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31: “Deck Them Halls and All That Stuff” – Christmas TV Specials


In our first holiday episode, When We Were Young looks back on Christmas and Hanukkah traditions from childhood, debates the pros and cons of believing in Santa Claus, and shares favorite festive pop culture (or mourns the dearth of good Hanukkah music).

Then, we check in on the annual animated Christmas specials we watched as kids: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Do these family-friendly specials still make us shout out with glee (“yippee!”), or have they held up as well as a bad banana with a greasy black peel? We hope you’ve practiced your Snoopy dance, because this is When We Were Young’s holliest, jolliest episode yet. Happy holidays! Not just Christmas!

When We Were Young is a podcast devoted to the most beloved pop culture of our formative years (roughly 1980-2000). Join us for a look back to the past with a critical eye on how these movies, songs, TV shows and more hold up now. You can follow us on Twitter at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at @WWWYShow, you can Email us at, and don’t forget to subscribe and review us on iTunes!

You can help us defray the costs of creating this show, which include purchasing movies/shows/music to review, ordering delivery food to eat our emotions, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles CA, by donating to our Patreon account at