Episode 31: Joal welcomes guest Jay Nordlinger, senior editor of National Review and author of the just-published Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators (Encounter Books). Plus, Joal discusses the pop-culture war over Lamar Odom's legacy, pitting the ESPN crowd versus the Kardashian faithful, and notes milestone anniversaries for Zac Hanson, Johnny Carson and Batman's Bob Kane.
Episode 30: Joal discusses why the days of 15 minutes of infamy are over for U.S. mass shooters. Plus, a very special anniversary for Leave It to Beaver. And, no, there's no segue there.
Episode 29: Joal welcomes Muppets guru Joe Hennes, editor and co-owner of ToughPigs.com (Tough Pigs: Muppet Fans Who Grew Up), to talk the new Muppets series, The Muppets, and whether Kermit and crew are suffering from that old teen-idol curse: Fans who don't want their favorite act to change or, well, grow up.
Ep. 28: Miss America, Betty Cantrell, Betty White, Betty Ford, Betty Crocker, Betty Cooper, Isadora Duncan
Episode 28: Joal asks, "Can Miss America save Betty?" Miss America is the newly crowned Betty Cantrell; Betty is the baby name--once popular, now not. A discussion of all things Betty ensues: Betty White, Betty Ford, Betty Crocker and Archie Comics' Betty Cooper.
- "How Miss America Stopped Being Our Biggest Celebrity" (Yahoo!)
- Popular Baby Names (Social Security Administration)
Episode 27: Joal wraps up the two most compelling pop-idol, pop-culture stories of the summer: Justin Bieber and One Direction, and why the rise of one doesn't mean the demise of the other. Plus, she discusses the 40th anniversary of a clunky, but well-meaning and perhaps important episode of a Chad Everett TV medical drama about a transgender doctor (played by the Brady Bunch's Robert Reed).
Episode 26: Joal watches the Batgirl debut of the late Yvonne Craig (Batman '66's "Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin"), and wonders how much impact the female superhero really had on male-dominated pop culture.
Episode 25: On the day after the 38th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, Joal devotes herself to a story about the actual day Elvis died, costarring Michael Jackson, Willie McCovey and childhood cancer--not her own.
Ep. 24: One Direction, Liam Payne, Burger King, Chicken Fries, Melissa Gilbert, Kim Richards, School Years That Start in August
Episode 24: Joal discusses One Direction's Liam Payne's alleged influence on Burger King's chicken-fries menu, and starts her own movement for the return of Burger King's French-toast sticks, if that is they ever left. She also talks Melissa Gilbert's bid for Congress (good for her!), and the hopeless feeling that is watching someone battle personal problems from either afar or up close. So, yes, that last one would be about Kim Richards.
- "Did Typo in Tweet by One Direction Member Revive BK's Chicken Fries?" (Associated Press)
- "Tax Issues Dog Actress Melissa Gilbert in New Bid for Congress" (Detroit Free-Press)
- "A Tale of Two Titties" (Melissa's Mid-Life Musings)
Ep. 23: One Direction, Drag Me Down, Zayn Malik, Real Music,Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Fuller House, Raven-Symone, Apple Fritters, John Green, Cara Delevigne, Gary Merrill
Episode 23: Joal discusses Zayn Malik, #realmusic and the David Caruso and J.C. Chasez principles, and why One Direction fans' insta-covers of "Drag Me Down" disprove Jeb Bush's implications that Americans don't work hard enough.
- "But Did You Read the Book? Cara Delevigne, Press Junketry, and Me" (John Green on Medium.com)
Episode 22: Joal talks about our reaction to the passing of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 15 million reasons Louis Tomlinson may be staying silent about his reported baby-to-be, the Duggar family's TV-related "heartbreak" and why every under-30 Hollywood actress should raise a glass and maybe get smashed in honor of the 110th birthday of Clara Bow.