Ep. 21: One Direction, Louis Tomlinson, Melissa Benoist, Blake Jenner, 50 Cent, The Runaways, Jackie Fox

July 18, 2015

Episode 21: Joal discusses confirmed reports that are not confirmed reports, the myth of "secret marriages," complex Chapter 11 maneuvers that are boiled down to someone "going broke," and one sad, hard truth: the music business really does eat its young.  

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson, former Glee costars Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner, 50 Cent and the Runaways' Jackie Fox are name-checked. 


Ep. 20: Reconsidering Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and the Dixie Chicks, Quitting Lark Voorhies-and Amanda Peterson and the Sadness Scale

July 10, 2015

Episode 20: Joal explains why Ariana Grande's bad, doughnut-licking week made her see the light on Justin Bieber, and, in a related matter, defends the Dixie Chicks from Rob Lowe. Elsewhere, she asks the media to take a timeout from Lark Voorhies, and she discusses the death of Amanda Peterson (Can't Buy Me Love) and why we insist on ranking celebrity deaths in terms of their sadness and tragedy. 


Ep. 19: The Difference Between Channing Tatum and Elizabeth Berkley, Star Wars’ Jake Lloyd Did Not ‘Go Bad’–and Why Miley Cyrus Is the Madonna That Not Even Madonna Could Be

July 3, 2015

Episode 19: Joal discusses why Magic Mike XXL's Channing Tatum was able to embrace his real-life stripper past while Showgirls' Elizabeth Berkley felt compelled (until recently) to run away from her fake-stripper past, why mental illness is an illness, and not a child-star failing, and why Miley Cyrus' openness about her life makes her feel bad for young Madonna.  

Also name-checked: Heather Matarazzo, Greta Gerwig, Dylan Sprouse and, on the occasion of her upcoming 35th birthday, Jessica Simpson.

Articles discussed: 


Ep. 18: Spider-Man Gets (Even) Younger, Dustin Diamond a Potential 1 Percenter–and How Funny Do You Think Jake Lloyd’s Arrest Is Now?

June 26, 2015

Episode 18: Joal discusses the casting of Marvel's latest big-screen super-actor, Tom Holland, the sentencing ex-Saved By the Bell star Dustin Diamond and what a select group (percentage-wise) he'd be joining if and when he begins his jail term and the unfunny twist in the sad saga of Jake Lloyd (Phantom Menace).

She also notes the respective 30th anniversaries of St. Elmo's Fire and Back to the Future, but really gets worked up about the 40th birthday of The Apple Dumpling Gang because she knows nothing if not how to drive traffic. 

Articles discussed: 


Ep. 17: Lindsay Lohan, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart, Jonathan Lipnicki, Bea Arthur

June 19, 2015

Episode 17: Joal talks Kristen Stewart's mom (again), Jonathan Lipnicki's sense of humor, Miley Cyrus' brand of awesome and, for the kids, Bea Arthur and Maude. Most of all, she tells the demi-epic story of Lindsay Lohan and Herbie: Fully Loaded, the career-changing film (for Lohan) that marks its 10th anniversary on June 22.

In the podcast, Joal says the demi-epic story has 13 parts, but Joal can't count. It has 15 parts. You're welcome.  

Follow Joal on Twitter  

Ep.16: Kristen Stewart’s mom, Jerry Seinfeld’s daughter, Lark Vorhies, Bob Costas, Melissa Gilbert, Kathy Coleman, Land of the Lost

June 15, 2015

Episode 16: Joal discusses why we should focus on how cool Kristen Stewart's mother, Jules Mann-Stewart, is (rather than on whether Mann-Stewart outed her daughter), why we should stop looking for the wacky in everything Lark Vorhies does, why Bob Costas is so Bob Costas (and pretty old for a young, dumb guy), why Jerry Seinfeld's 14-year-old daughter is right and her PC-suspicious father is wrong, and why Melissa Gilbert's tax troubles aren't all that remarkable. 

Mostly, she discusses the new autobiography by Land of the Lost child-star Kathy Coleman. It's the new former- child-star memoir you shouldn't read--but that every parent should.  

Things discussed:  

Ep. 15: Caitlyn Jenner, Drake Bell, Connor Cruise, Justin Bieber, Shia LaBeouf, Jill Duggar, Jessa Duggar, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bindi Irwin, Magda Gabor

June 5, 2015

Episode 15: Joal discusses the difference between prison and jail as it relates to Dustin Diamond's bar-fight conviction, and the overuse of the adjectives "bizarre" and "weird" as they supposedly relate to Shia LaBeouf's art-school project. 

She notes how the "hot police" have chosen to smile upon the all-growed-up Bindi Irwin, and she marks the centennial birthday of trailblazing famous person, the late Magda Gabor.

But mostly, she discusses how young, dumb guys, such as Drake Bell and Connor Cruise, spent the week showing how young and dumb they were in the wake of Caitlyn Jenner's public debut, and how young, dumb guy patron saint Justin Bieber managed to actually distinguish himself from the pack (even if he is looking forward to the Entourage movie).

Oh, and while not judging how sisters Jill and Jessa Duggar have decided to process their assault by their brother, Josh Duggar, she offers a Netflix suggestion. (Three words: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.)  

Read more: 


Ep. 14: Lindsay Lohan, Paris Jackson, Demi Lovato, Jenny Lewis, Tatum O’ Neal, Dustin Diamond, Sam Shepard

May 30, 2015

Episode 14:  Joal compares and contrasts Demi Lovato's smile versus Paris Jackson's, finds no humor in the stabbing trial of Dustin Diamond, finds utter sadness in the mugshot of Sam Shepard, discusses Tatum O'Neal's news-cycle hot streak, and politely suggests that Jenny Lewis be described as a "former child actor" rather than a "former child star." Mainly, she talks why Lindsay Lohan, debt paid to society or no, will always have a strike against her in Hollywood.      

Plus, honorary former-child-star status is bestowed collectively upon former spelling-bee champs. 


Ep. 13: Gary Coleman, Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Matthew Lewis, Tatum O’Neal, Terry Sue-Patt, Todd Bridges, Poltergeist

May 24, 2015
Update (5-28-15): Joal marks the fifth anniversary of the death of Gary Coleman with a listicle (podsicle?): the "5 Things That Made Gary Coleman Gary Coleman." It's about the most sobering listicle (podsicle?) you'll ever experience, but then Gary Coleman's life was sobering. 

Episode 13: On the podcast formerly known as Former Child Star Central, Joal explains why the Sprouse twins are cool (and not under threat of a "Disney child-star curse"), why the Olsen twins likely passed on Fuller House, why Hot Police-approved underpants pics or no, Matthew Lewis will spend years contending with our former memories of him as Harry Potter's Neville Longbottom and why Todd Bridges (turning 50 on May 27) was just about the only really, truly good thing in Diff'rent Strokes

She also notes the passing of British TV actor Terry Sue-Patt, discusses a fine New York Times Q&A with Tatum O'Neal and her eldest son, the novelist Kevin McEnroe, and expresses general feelings of "ugh" regarding the Joshua Duggar child-molestation revelations.

Oliver Robins is named Former Child Star of the Week for his clear-headed response to nonsense talk of a "Poltergeist curse." 

And, oh, yes, Joal renames her podcast The Joal Ryan Thing because she has not yet reached a Don Draper-level state of enlightenment wherein she is comfortable with being who she is: a person who talks about child stars, teen idols and other human beings of the popular culture.         

Ep. 12: Mad Men Finale, Ariel Winter, Andrew Keegan, Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber, Louis Tomlinson, Jordan Knight, Ben Savage, Alisan Porter, Jon Gosselin, Kevin Spacey, Burt Reynolds

May 16, 2015
Update (5-18-15): Joal adds a new intro to discuss the Mad Men series finale because, one, she likes Mad Men, two, she's got something to say about it, and three, she's got something to say about it as it relates really, truly to the teen-idol and child-star experience. If you didn't watch the finale, and you don't want it spoiled, the click ahead to about the 11-minute mark.    

Episode 12: Joal talks Ariel Winter's emancipation, Andrew Keegan's kombucha-tea issues, Justin Bieber's drumming gig on Late Late Show, Jordan Knight's age, Louis Tomlinson's healthy perspective on Zayn Malik's One Direction departure, Ben Savage's healthy perspective on Boy Meets World fans, Keisha Castle-Hughes' and Alisan Porter's recent respective interviews, Jon Gosselin's sad child-star-ness, Kiernan Shipka's (and January Jones' and Mad Men's) awesomeness, and why girl baby names (like Britney, Miley and, to a lesser degree, Susan) are like teen idols. 

As an added bonus, Joal bestows honorary former-child-star status to Burt Reynolds, and adds her two cents on how American Idol should've plotted its upcoming final season.  
For your reading pleasure: