Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 52 “Apologies, Thieves and The Ones We Lost”

This week we look at how Bob Iger is apologizing for Disney’s copyright police strong arming a local PTA trying to raise a few bucks while at the same time a former Disney employee is sentenced for over $7,000 in Haunted Mansion props and Disney World plays host to Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and a lucky Make-A-Wish Recipient. We also talk about some new information trickling out about Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel.

In entertainment news we have a recently announced script rewrite of Doctor Strange 2, Pee-Wee Herman himself Paul Reubens is looking to stage a comeback. Then we pay homage to three outstanding actors we lost this week in Kirk Douglas, Robert Conrad and Orson bean before we end on a high note with our Insightful Picks of the Week.

Insights into Entertainment


Speaker 1 (00:02):
Insightful, formative hopes, insights, a podcast network

Speaker 3 (00:28):
To insights or to entertain a podcast series. Taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Your hosts, Joseph and Michelle Whalen, a husband and wife, team of pop culture fanatics are exploring all things from music and movies to television and fandom.

Speaker 4 (00:51):
Welcome to insights into entertainment. This is episode 52 apologies thieves and the ones we lost. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon, and my brilliant and talented cohost, Michelle Wayland. Hi everyone. Besides being tired, how are you doing today, sweetheart? I’m tired, but other than that, I’m okay. I’m doing all right. I know we’re recording a little bit later than we normally do. Kinda had a busy schedule this weekend, so we just make do right. That’s what we do. All right. Do I have a full show today? So today on our Disney detective my friending yours, Bob Iger for some apologies we have a haunted mansion thief who gets sentenced. Then we have a Superbowl news. Cause Patrick, my home’s won the super bowl and where’s he gonna go?

Speaker 4 (01:51):
Yeah. And he did. Then in our star Wars news we have some more information on the star cruiser hotel experience, the F, the forthcoming hotel experience. Then we’ll move onto our entertainment news where we have some doctor, strange news, Peewee Herman in the news. You don’t hear that too often anymore. Then we have a lot of Peewee Herman news. Then we’ll have a a in memoriam. We, we lost several people in the last few days, sadly enough to today. Actually they’re all one Friday and one Saturday one today. So we will, we will talk about those. We lost and pay our respects and then we will wrap up with our insightful picks of the week. Are we ready? Let’s do it right. Go for Disney. Detectives are, as you mentioned, are, are BFF

Speaker 5 (03:03):
Out really. Ah, Bob Iger actually had issued an apology to an elementary school for showing the lion King. So news broke earlier this week that the Walt Disney company had sent a bill to Emerson elementary school in Berkeley, California charging the school a licensing fee for screening last year’s remake. Of the lion King without permission. The school had hosted a parent’s night out back in November and showed the lion King, which would, was purchased by parent for the event. So they bought the, the DVD and they played it for a loud, a large crowd while Disney got word of what had happened and asked the school to pay $250. So the story has since made national news and people actually calling out, you know, Disney for, for charging, you know, the school, this $250 where Disney CEO Bob Iger actually has now, you know, tweeted about it. You went to Twitter on Thursday and offered an apology to the PTA and promise to donate his own money back to the school’s fundraising in order to make up for the, the headache.

Speaker 5 (04:16):
He said, our company apologizes to the Emerson elementary school PTA and I will personally donate their fundraise to their fundraising initiatives. The parents’ night out event was actually a fundraiser for the school and raised $800. So the PTA was obviously very frustrated that here they’re just trying to, you know, raise money. They raise $800 and all of a sudden they get a bill for $250. One person had said it is just appalling that an incredibly wealthy corporation is having its licensing agent chase after a PTA having to raise insane amounts of money just to pay teachers cover financial scholarships and manage school programs. We would be enthusiastic about paying the licensing fee if Disney was willing to have their properties re assess and pay some additional property taxes. And now, you know, you can actually stream stream it, you know, on Disney plus. So yeah, so that was kind of a cool,

Speaker 4 (05:21):
And you know, this, this isn’t surprising. I mean, we’ve certainly had our own run-ins just with this podcast alone with the Disney’s licensing employees and you know, we’ve had a couple of occasions where we’ve disputed it and they’ve backed down, but I think they maintain such a ridiculous control over it for, for no reason. Right. In our instances, they certainly weren’t going to lose any money. If anything we were promoting and clearly they weren’t going to lose money for this fundraiser either.

Speaker 5 (05:53):
Right. You know, if anything, you know where people actually sitting in watching movie, was it just kind of on in, you know, the background. It wasn’t like, it was like a thousand people showed up at the fundraiser. They bought it on DVD know. But by the time your movie is out on DVD, who cares how many people you’re, you’re showing it to, you know

Speaker 4 (06:18):
Me. And this is, this just shows that Disney is, is desperate to improve their image, I guess from a social responsibility standpoint because they are draconian in their practices. So

Speaker 5 (06:38):
Tell us about the next Disney lawsuit. So last year, the website inside the magic covered a story, a revolving around a former Walt Disney world employee who was arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars in props from the classic attraction. Disney’s the haunted mansion and selling the pieces online. Paypal records actually showed over $30,000 was made from the legal sales after refusing to plead guilty despite photographic evidence coming to light. The accused Patrick spikes has now entered a plea with the prosecution spikes and his accomplice received their sentences in orange County court this week and they were scheduled to stand trial last month, but it was canceled most likely because of the plea bargain. So so spikes has to serve 10 years of probation with 250 hours of community service and pay more than $25,000 in restitution. And his accomplice is going to be doing five years probation and 150 hours of service.

Speaker 5 (07:50):
Both men are also never permitted back on Walt Disney world property. Mm. Can’t, can’t understand why. So spikes allegedly entered the magic kingdom using his old Walt Disney world cast member ID. He and his accomplice reportedly snuck into the backstage area of the park and managed to steal costumes and props from the haunted mansion attraction. The theft was valued at over $7,000. But again, PayPal showed the record at being a about $30,000 through the, the different buyers. You know, one included a dress that sold for $1,000 just on its own. The buyers were allegedly unaware that the items were stolen. He actually had advertised that they were pieces that he had owned and had obviously taken with Disney’s permission. Now hang on a second. Let me ask you a question.

Speaker 4 (08:50):
So does Disney have a reputation for letting people take property from a track?

Speaker 5 (08:56):
Not that I’m aware of. It’s, it’s very few and far between because there is the one I can’t even think of what the name of the store there, cause I went there the one year that we were down there, they had an online presence. They also have, they sell on, on eBay and they have their own store and it’s stuff that they’ve acquired and it kind of makes you wonder, you know, but it’s older stuff. So usually whenever there’s a renovation of some sor cast members can purchase it, you know, at a, at a low cost. And that’s probably where they get some of the stuff. But I, you know,

Speaker 4 (09:38):
Let’s be honest, I mean if you’re a avid Disney or haunted mansion fan and you collect high ticket items and someone approaches you and tries to sell you something that, you know, as part of the attraction, you have to know that it’s, you know, it’s not legitimate.

Speaker 5 (09:53):
Yeah. You knew that it’s either a, a fake, you know, or that somebody had sticky fingers and it fell off the truck, you know, in some way, shape or form.

Speaker 4 (10:04):
Now the fact that he didn’t get jail time, but he got 10 years probation, what’s the purpose of that? I don’t know. A $7,000 I’m thinking he probably, if he had that kind of access, he probably has done a lot more damage than that already.

Speaker 5 (10:22):
Right. And that’s the other thing too, is that, you know, all right, so the transactions went through. Obviously eBay can contact, you know, the, the people that bought the stuff, you know, are they going to try and get the stuff back or is it, well, it’s gone. You know,

Speaker 4 (10:39):
You’re still receiving stolen goods. Whether or not you’re new or not is irrelevant. Like Disney can still take that property.

Speaker 5 (10:47):
There was nothing about, you know, Disney reaching out to be like, give us our stuff back here. We’ll give you your, you know, whatever. But yeah. Interesting. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (10:56):
So tell us about the Superbowl winners.

Speaker 5 (11:00):
So obviously it’s a tradition for football players to celebrate the Superbowl victory at Disney world and Patrick, my homes help to make the trip a little extra special after beating the San Francisco 40 Niners in Sunday’s game, the Kansas city chiefs quarterback visited Florida, the Florida theme park to enjoy the rides and take part in the magic kingdom parade. However, he wasn’t alone. Disney also partnered with the make a wish foundation and helped ten-year-old Nathaniel’s dream come true. Patrick and Nathaniel, who were both from Texas rode star Wars, ride the resistance together at Hollywood studios and appeared in the parade along with Mickey Minnie and the rest of the pals considering Nathan is a Kansas city chiefs fan and that Patrick is his favorite player. It just made the day extra special. Disney also worked the make a wish foundation to break 17 other children who dreamed of going to the super bowl to the park for the big parade.

Speaker 5 (12:00):
In addition, Disney donated $1 million to the nonprofit in honor of Patrick’s performance. And Disney announced that Nathaniel would be joining the MVP in Walt Disney world during the commercial that played right after their, their win. So it was Cuba in the, you know, so you see, you know, Patrick, you just, you know, one year the MVP, what are you going to do next? I’m going to Disney world. And then they had a shot of Mickey and Minnie with an Nathaniel saying, and I’m going too. So that was, that was really sweet. So now I don’t really have a lot to say about this. I think it’s a great experience and I think it’s a wonderful thing they did. However, last year we did do a Superbowl special and we are, we did at least talk about right, right. What were your thoughts? Any quick thoughts on any of the commercials that stuck out?

Speaker 5 (12:52):
Well, it’s funny because in writing everything, it was kinda like, well, it’s been a week already. You know, since, you know, we didn’t record earlier in the week and whatnot. Obviously the commercial that got me and still like I get teary eyed just thinking about it now and seeing it is the Google commercial that one hands down has, it was a touchy commercial, but it was dairy. No, what they were selling though. Google, that Google will help you remember like that you’ll never forget. And I think it’s a wonderful way to take this whole privacy concern about everyone’s worried about Google knowing everything about their life and put a positive spin on it. Right? So Google is big brother still, but in a nice way. But in a nice, he’ll let you remember that Loretta smiled and snorted and you know, when she laughed and don’t, you know, ignore the fact that it’s watching you and it’s tracking you and it knows every place that you’ve go please between Google and Amazon. Come on. You know? But yeah, there, there were definitely you know, we watched it from beginning to end and this was really one of the first Superbowls in a while. Well, since Eagles were in it. Right. You know, like I usually always end up being the one that’s watching it cause I’m in various different football pools.

Speaker 5 (14:12):
So I usually, but we watched it and it was, it was, it was definitely a good team. You know, the, the commercials were, there were some definite funny ones that, you know, the Cheetos, the Cheetos one wa was good camp MCM. Yeah. You know, I can’t do that, you know. And then the Jeep one with bill Murray in Groundhog day, you know, that was well done. The Amazon Alexa, I woke her up. One wa was funny. So there were a lot of, you know, funny ones. They were, you know, a couple of different ones that were you know, tugged at the heartstrings. Obviously Google, I believe New York life, you know, was the other one that kind of .

Speaker 4 (15:05):
The one that was very tasteful was the Verizon one. All the Verizon ones where they talked about five J and how is this going to help things, right. The one where they actually poked fun at those and basically, you know, the theme of all the, the ones earlier than this one was, Oh five G is going to give change this and it’s going to change that. It’s going to be able to do this. Right. And the one that I’m referring to was the one where they show, you know, first responders running in the building and then, you know, the police officers and the soldiers and, and how five G is not going to change the hero wisdom of these people. That to me was a classy ad because they weren’t at that point in time that that was a lost leader for them. They were not making any money off of them. So I, I give Verizon props for being a class act on that.

Speaker 5 (15:56):
Yeah. Yeah. And as for, you know, we, we could go a whole half hour, you know, talking about the halftime show.

Speaker 4 (16:09):
Yeah they had, they, they sing in that, cause I didn’t, I wasn’t really listening to anything.

Speaker 5 (16:13):
Well you were upstairs cooking. You were, you were heating up stuff. I was actually the only one. And you know what, I got to give props to, to J lo and Shakira, she care. It is 43 years old. J-Lo is 50 years old. And if I could move like that, I would be getting up there and

Speaker 4 (16:35):
If I could move like that, I’d be in traction by now.

Speaker 5 (16:38):
But to be able to, you know, get up there, perform, there are memes going all over the place saying, well you know what, last year Adam Levine was shirtless and people were, you know, like all screaming and nobody was saying for him to put a shirt on or whatever. So

Speaker 4 (16:56):
Say this is the first time in history, you had pulled dancing at the Superbowl.

Speaker 5 (17:01):
You know how hard pole dancing is. It’s not easy. So to be able to stop it is very athletic to be able to, to do that and, and, and whatnot. So I give total props to them.

Speaker 4 (17:18):
I think it’s appropriate for the Superbowl, but I’m not taking away from the physical

Speaker 5 (17:22):
You know, but then it, you know, you can’t say anything about their costumes and then look at Dallas cowgirl cheerleaders and tell me that

Speaker 4 (17:30):
I’m not criticizing them for the costume. They had pole dancing at the super bowl.

Speaker 4 (17:39):
Moving on to entertainment news, star Wars, star Wars. Nah, we did star Wars. Whatever

Speaker 5 (17:51):
You want. Pole dancing. Again, that’s me. Your problem got me with boldness. Anyway. I need a moment. Star Wars. All right, so Disney star Wars, galactic star cruiser hotel video has now been a teaser, has come out that reveal some new details and reservations will soon be opening. So the hotel doesn’t actually open until 2021, but potential guests will be able to book reservations later this year. Disney world has also provided a new video that further explains the insane immersive experience that they’ll be offering to star Wars fans. Obviously both Disney world and Disney land now have Galaxy’s edge that are both fully operational because you have both of the rides that are open now. But however, obviously only the Orlando park is going to have the hotel experience. So for star Wars fans that, you know, have been very excited about Galaxy’s edge. Now this is like giving it that next level of, of plussing. So can I, can I play this video? Are we going to get threatened? Oh, I don’t know. You can try. How about we try and you talk over it? Well, okay, sure.

Speaker 5 (19:20):
Ah, I was waiting for you to start the video so that, you know, we could watch it. And so basically the, you know, so this goes beyond, you know, the bells and whistles of what we already know of galaxies edge. So the hotel is actually also going to have a direct entrance into Galaxy’s edge in an effort to kind of keep you in that immersive experience. You know, besides being in the hotel and being, you know, in the park. So while entering the hotel for the first time, guests are gonna be put into their own pods. That’ll take them to the main star cruiser. From there, the atrium, the hotel is going to look like the star Wars Cantina with vision of the body stature with a lot going on. The rooms will have up to five beds including bunks that’ll look like they were ripped right from the millennium Falcon.

Speaker 5 (20:16):
There’ll be a main quote unquote window that’ll show guests what’s going on in space while they’re in their room. So kind of like if you go on the cruise ships that have the inside cabins that have, you know, like a fake window, that’s basically what they’re going to have here so that, you know, it gives the appearance that you’re, you know, on, on the ship. So you’ll be able to take a tour of the bridge and a cockpit along side that they’ll also be doing lightsaber training for all ages. And that’s just kind of like the surface of the activities that they’re going to be doing. Guests can interact with crew members and the crew members can also send them on a quest. There’s a RPG element to everything that, you know, they haven’t really talked about too much with it.

Speaker 5 (21:10):
So it’s not clear what’s going to happen on these missions. But you know, the first order could have spies planted around you know, and that, you know, basically again, all the windows make it seem like you’re, you know, on the ship in space obviously. So for parents and you know, guests who want to do things outside of the galaxy far, far away, there are normal things to do, you know, as well. Obviously there’ll be bars for drinking and there’ll be a gym where you can work out after having blue or green milk. And that with so much going on as of right now, because of the immersive experience and everything, you’re only going to be able to do the two days and two nights stays at this time. It’s not something, and that was something that, you know, they had mentioned when they were first talking about it, it was basically going to be like a short term, stay tight.

Speaker 5 (22:10):
They talk about praising, still nothing with, with pricing. So I’m sure as it gets a little bit closer, I can’t imagine if each room, you know, has five beds. It’s probably like each room is a suite. Unless they have something, you know, like smaller rooms, it’s gonna probably cost a fortune. Does it come with a park ticket? I’m guessing? Probably not. But then again, I don’t know if they really haven’t said if it’s an immersive experience and it has an entrance to the park, you would think, Oh, as part of your stay with us, you’d get it. But more than likely it’s not. So, but still it, you know, as more and you know, comes out. It sounds cool. Okay. So you never know. We’ll certainly keep our eye on it. Yup. Now’s the time for entertainment news now.

Speaker 5 (23:09):
So what’s strange going on? So a dr strange in the multi-verse of madness is undergoing some more changes. Days after new surfaced about Marvel studios looking to hire Sam Remeny to take over because Scott Dickerson left. Left Sam Raimi. Yeah. Thank you. Sorry. I’m tired. So so now it looks like they’re actually getting some new writers to come in. Michael wa Waldern that sound about right? Sure, sure. Thanks. Is being tasked to overhaul the script. He is currently the show runner and creator of Loki, the Disney plus series featuring Loki, the as guardian God of mischief. Prior to that he actually worked on Rick and Morty. So he actually takes over for another writer who’s the show runner for Disney’s wand division. So it sounds like everybody’s kinda like lopping her pollination, you know, and you know, so, you know, so it kind of seems like, you know, at first I guess what had happened was the first draft of the movie was it was actually really going to be Marvel’s first scary movie that was, they were talking about it.

Speaker 5 (24:39):
And then I guess after they kind of talked about it and whatever, you know, they didn’t really want it to be that, that horror movie aspects. And now they have this whole rewrite coming in. You know, so basically, you know, they’re, they still wanted to have some sort of that aspect, but I guess maybe not be as scary. The one person had said, you know, like, I remember being a kid and seeing Raiders of the lost Ark as a kid and covering my eyes when you saw the faces, mouth or temple, a dune or gremlins or pole Poulter guys, like there was that scary aspect to it. And now looking at it, it’s not so scary. So, you know, is that kind of the horror aspect that they’re looking for? So, you know, and that, those movies were the ones that actually made PG 13 a thing.

Speaker 5 (25:30):
You had your G rated movies and your PG movies, you didn’t have anything in between. And because of those movies, you, you got that extra, you know, you needed that extra reading. So it was kind of fun to be scared and it not being too horrific. So I think that’s what they’re trying to do is to kind of bring it back down a level and not have it be this ultimate scary, you know, scary movie. But it’s supposed to be hitting theaters next may. So may 20, 21, so they better get better, get moving on the writing, you know, and it, and it sounded like from the article that you know, that there were, you know, scenes that were already done, but you know, now going back and redoing, so, you know, hopefully it, you know, they’re going to stay on track. So, real problem, you know, keeping people on projects these days.

Speaker 5 (26:24):
Yeah. Yeah. So we’ll say, hopefully it won’t hurt the end product. Yeah. Yeah. So what’s PeeWee’s next big adventure? So this was a very interesting article that the Hollywood reporter had basically on, you know, the kind of the, the backstory and history of Peewee Herman and Paul Reubens really you know, it’s been, you know, 30 years since PeeWee’s big adventure, you know, hit the scenes you know, and the actor who is now, you know, 67 years old. Oh my God. Really? Yeah. And you know, he basically became a cult hero you know, with the persona that he, that he had. And he’s kind of making a comeback in, in some way. You know, he still lives out in Hollywood and, and stuff. He’s actually getting ready to go on tour. I believe it’s a 25 city tour of playing the movie PeeWee’s big adventure and doing like a Q and a, you know, type thing afterwards.

Speaker 5 (27:35):
And you know, it’s just so funny to, to read through, you know, the article, cause a lot of it, you know, you knew he was part of a, the Groundlings, which was a comedy troupe and he actually had a bunch of different characters and Peewee was kind of the one that that took off obviously. And you know, he would go into meetings and PB people just thought that Peewee Herman was him. Like he wasn’t, you know, he wasn’t pulling Rubin’s right. Exactly right. That, that was, you know, the real him. And you know, PeeWee’s big adventure put Tim Burton on the map too. That was one of his, you know, first films that he did. So it’s kind of funny to see where everything’s, you know, gone and you know, and after the mu, you know, so before the movie came out, he had had, you know, he had done his comedy, you know, specials and stuff like that.

Speaker 5 (28:30):
And HBO had picked him up in, in 1981 and that was when, you know, the Peewee Herman show came out. And then when PeeWee’s big adventure came out, he was so big at the time, they were like, okay, you know, he basically went to CBS and they were like, you know, what do you want to do? And he’s like, I dunno, maybe like a kid show. And that’s when PeeWee’s Playhouse, you know, came to Bay. So it was kind of funny how it started as this dark humor thing and it kind of, his comedy act was not a key. It was not a comedy. No, it was definitely not. It was meant to have the persona of, you know, a kid show, but definitely not, you know, it wasn’t meant for kids. And then you know, to take it to that, that next extreme and ex and stuff.

Speaker 5 (29:17):
So the stage show that he’s doing here, is it like a one man show of PeeWee’s big adventure or is it his story right now? He’s, he hasn’t come up with anything yet right now. He’s just taking the movie on, you know, the, the plan is to kind of develop something that’s in the works and he’s like, you know, because obviously for a while he, he wasn’t working at all, you know, after his, his incident in 1991 while visiting his parents in Sarasota, Florida. He, he kinda, you know what out for a while and then slowly started, you know, doing things not as Peewee Herman but as Paul Rubens, you know, and kinda did a bunch of things, you know, in like the early two thousands and stuff. And he was actually, you know, he was on Gotham was perfect for the role. He was totally perfect for that.

Speaker 5 (30:16):
And he, you know, did his little cameo in ah, the vampire show that we could narrow that one down one creepy paper. Oh yeah. Things that we do in the dark or, yeah, the dark one, the dark one. You know, the whole scene where they had all the different vampires that showed up. Paul Rubens played the vampire that was from Buffy the vampire Slayer movie. So, you know, so he’s been coming back into, you know, to certain things and, you know, hopefully we’ll, you know, re-emerge and then whatever insightful picks, which obviously didn’t. Yeah, I’m tired. I go, I don’t even know what my name is at this point. So again, it was a really, you know, interesting, you know, historical, you know, thing to read, to, to hear, you know, and, and to think, you know, to look at him and, you know, he, he still looks like himself, you know, at 67, you know, it’s pretty awesome. So I look forward to, you know, seeing more stuff from him. Cause I always liked him, you know, back in the day, the quirkiness of him. So, so that is it for our entertainment news. We will come back with our brief in memoriam.

Speaker 5 (31:39):
Who did we lose dear? So earlier this week Kirk Douglas passed away at the age of 103. So he was, you know, a leading star of Hollywood’s golden age. You know, he was a superstar, you know, before the term even, you know you know, had been coined. He had actually suffered a stroke back in 1996 but had been in really good health, you know, for the most part, you know, since then he was still making public appearances you know, and, you know, coming out and supporting, you know, his family, you know, Michael Douglas, you know, cause he’s been you know, in the awards circuit for various different things and, and, you know, so his dad’s been there. You know, and really for the most part, you know, had been, you know, out and about, you know, very recently and, and you know, and been celebrated and, you know, good to see that he had a, a nice full, you know, full life, obviously.

Speaker 5 (32:50):
He survived by his wife of 65 years and, and obviously his his three sons he actually had a son who had passed away about 10 years ago. So his surviving sons, Michael, Joel and Peter they actually just had the services the other day. So there was news you know, about that to celebrate, you know, Michael has shared, you know, various pictures. You know, and when this past December, Michael obviously who, you know, followed in his father’s footsteps where, you know, the other sons didn’t had shared a photo when he became a golden globe nominee. And it happened to be on his dad’s a hundred and third birthday. So that was really sweet. Even in 2018 when Michael was inducted into the Hollywood walk of fame, you know, his dad was there and he said, it means so much to me, dad, that you’re here today.

Speaker 5 (33:55):
Thank you for your advice, inspiration. And I’ll simply say it with all my heart. I’m so proud to be your son. You know, so just, you know, an a, you know, amazing actor from Spartacus to, you know, so many other films, you know, from, you know he received his first Academy award nomination in 1950. For the champion. And then in 1953 for the bad and the beautiful. But he actually was awarded in 1996 with an honorary Oscar for 50 years of creative and moral force in the motion picture community. And I’m sure tomorrow being the Academy awards, I’m sure there’ll be paying tribute, you know, to him along with obviously you know, others as well. So, yeah, he was also in a great telling me for television movie, the final countdown, the . And he, you know, did Disney movies too.

Speaker 5 (34:56):
He did a 20,000 leagues under the sea, so, yeah. Yup. Who else did we lose? So another one who we, it was just announced a couple of hours ago was Robert Conrad the star of television series, wild, wild West passed away at 84. His family spokesman said he lived a wonderful long life. And while the family is saddened by his passing, he will forever be in their hearts. He was born in Chicago in 1935. He worked as a milkman while pursuing a career at a local nightclub as a singer before moving to in 1958 and getting a recurring role on the show Hawaiian eye in 1959. Then obviously he went to star as James T. West and wild wild West, which went from 1965 to 1969. And it obviously followed the character of West and Artemis Gordon as the country’s first secret service agents exploring the West during Ulysses S grant administration.

Speaker 5 (36:06):
After wild wild West, he started in other television shows. And he had, you know, did some movies as well. And he also had a recording career for, for a little while in the 50s and the 60s. He said, you know, back in 1988 he had told people magazine that there are three cycles in showbiz. While he was filming a new show, he said, they either don’t know you, they love you, or you’ve been around so long that they hate you. And he goes, and now I’m starting all over again. So small private services actually scheduled for March 5th, March 1st, I’m sorry, which would have been his 85th birthday. And in lieu of flowers, the family had requested a donations be made to wounded warriors project and the Marine Corps scholarships on he survived by 18 grandchildren and eight children who he shares with two of his ex-wives.

Speaker 5 (37:07):
So loved him on a black sheep squadron. He was great in that great actor. Yeah. Yeah. Just watching a wild, wild West this weekend. They played it played on the weekends. Yeah. Yeah. That, that was always a show, like even to this day, you know, just because of the steam punk newness, where back then they didn’t call it that, you know, so it’s kind of, you know, that always had me in, you know, and always, you know, remembered him, him from that. So, and one more we lost. Yeah. This was, this was really a sad news actor Orson bean who was a local theater Mainstage and who, you know, Rose to fame in the 1950s, you know, TV personality died Friday night. He was actually hit by two cars in Los Angeles. The story was that his wife was rehearsing a play and he was going to see her and was crossing the street and unfortunately got hit by, by two cars.

Speaker 5 (38:11):
You know, in the fifties and sixties, he was on, you know, what’s my line? I’ve got a secret to tell the truth. The ed Sullivan show, he, you know, made his way on, on Johnny Carson and stuff. And then later he started, you know, a Dr. Quinn medicine woman. He was in being John Malcovich also on desperate Housewives. Two and a half men, the closer modern family. How I met your mother. You know, so he’s been, you know, you might not have known his name, but if you saw his face or you know, you, you would definitely know who he was. One of my, one of the people I am friends with on Facebook who’s in the movie business had posted a clip where there was a pilot that he had done back in, I guess it was 1980 something or whatever.

Speaker 5 (39:02):
And he had given him a call to say, Hey, you know, we’re testing this pilot, you know, I need, you know, this grandfather type, would you mind coming in and doing it? And he said, sure. And did it for no money, just, you know, did it to, to help out a friend and whatever. So. Right, exactly. So, you know, just very sad, you know, and, and, you know, tragic little, you know, accident that that happened. So it’s a sad way to go. Yeah. Yeah. That is all we had for our in memoriam, thankfully. Yeah. We’ll be back with our insightful picks of the week. Go for your insightful. So my insightful pick is a show that we both enjoy on Netflix and it is the remake of .

Speaker 5 (40:01):
Let me do this already. No, I didn’t have it on my list. I went back through my list. Right. So unless you did it. So if not, we’re doing it again. So second season, the second season, so lost in space is an American science fiction television series that is the re-imagined version of the 1965 series of the same name, which itself was a re-imagined version of the 1812 novel. The Swiss family Robinson. Did you know that? Yeah, that’s why they’re named the Robinson. I know. I was kinda just like, Oh no, I didn’t know that. Thanks for letting me know. It wasn’t in the script. Oh, okay. So basically it follows the adventures of a family of space, colonists who shipped veers off course in the aftermath of aftermath of an impact event that threatens the survival of humanity. The Robinson family is selected for the 24th mission of the resolute, the 24 colonists group. I’m an interstellar spacecraft carrying selected families to colonize the alpha century star system before they reach their final destination. Though an alien robot breaches the resolutes hall and they are forced to evacuate the mothership in a short range. Jupiter spacecraft and scores of colonists among the Robinsons crash on nearby habitable planets. And that is where they must deal with these strange environment and battle own personal demons as they search for a way back.

Speaker 4 (41:36):
Ooh. Do you know why they’re the 24th? Why? Cause there’s 23 before. Duh. Total dad joke. Wow. I got you on that one hook though. Shh.

Speaker 5 (41:53):
So I’m very, very good show. Very well done. What, what’s really cool is the, you know, it’s a Le obviously it’s a re-imagined version of the, the original TV series. What’s neat is the actor that played will in the original series kind of makes a little cameo in season one and season two, we actually got to see him. So that was kind of dry. So they, they didn’t technically kill them off, so they had that whole thing. So that was kind of an interesting thing. You know, so there’s a twist where, you know, you know, somebody that was one gender and one series is now a different gender and, you know, and, and we’re, you know, the dad was kind of ahead of things, really. It’s the mom that’s kind of ahead of things. So it’s, you know, it’s girl power, you know, so it’s, it’s definitely, you know, interesting. You know, their take on it.

Speaker 4 (42:58):
And what I like about the dynamic between the mom and dad, whereas in the original, the mom took a very sub secondary role where here the mom is predominant in the brains of the family, but they don’t diminish the father’s role because they offer a more complicated backstory to it, but he still plays an equally critical role. So they did a, you know, agenda reversal, but not in a, in a derogatory way. Right.

Speaker 5 (43:33):
And like the kids have a much, you know, bigger role and everything and we’re diverse too. Right. You know, so, yeah, definitely a, you know, and, and, you know, they kind of left it with a cliffhanger.

Speaker 4 (43:49):
And I think, I actually think the second season they stepped it up a notch. The second season you could tell there they certainly invested more of the sets were much more elaborate and much more expensive than the first season. And the writing I think has been, you know, they, they of course, the first season they were kind of bogged down a little bit and setting up origins and that was the thing because they were kind of starting fresh, right? Because the first season dragged at the beginning, second half of the season, it got really good. Second season picks up hitting the ground running and doing a fantastic

Speaker 5 (44:24):
Slow down at all constantly, you know, kept going and, and you know, it was nice the last couple of episodes where they were a lot of little twists and turns where you’re like, Oh great, this is going to happen. And you know, it completely turned on you and you’re like, yeah, you know. So it was, it was definitely very cool and, and definitely one of, one of our favorites. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (44:47):
Cool. Good pick. Even if we might have done it before

Speaker 5 (44:50):
And if we did, it was like a year ago. So

Speaker 4 (44:53):
Still a good pick. Okay. All right.

Speaker 4 (45:00):
So my pick this week, I actually changed not the last minute, but it’ll last minute. My pick this week is a website, blog and Instagram called the financial fix. You can reach is a blog. An Instagram pen by Dan Fukes stands a 21 year old college student who knows the value of a dollar despite being a full time student majoring in computer science with a minor in business administration, Dan manages to maintain multiple streams of income. He doesn’t lead an extravagant lifestyle or drive expensive sports cars or buy the most expensive clothes and spend foolishly like so many of the youth of today. Instead, Dan uses these multiple income streams to fuel his real passion in finance since the age of 16 when Dan opened his first brokerage account with the help of his dad, he’s had a passion and a uniquely insightful grasp of how to make his money work for him.

Speaker 4 (46:08):
Dan doesn’t purport to be a financial expert, but he’s had proven success in growing his own money very wisely. It’s that passionate experience that Dan brings to the financial fix. After developing his own savings goals, understanding the importance of saving money at a young age and learning how to grow his money through investments and learning about market strategies and habits. Dan did something exceptional. He chose to share that knowledge so others could benefit from it as well. We had the pleasure of interviewing Dan this past Friday in the studio for our insights into teens podcast and I found them to be an exceptional individual. Not only does he have a unique perspective and foresight, nearly unheard of from young people his age. He also is selfless in his determination, educate others on how they too can be successful in finance. Dan’s blog, the financial fix at the financial fixed dot.

Speaker 4 (47:09):
CIO is a collection of articles, analysis and personal experiences presented in a down to earth, easy to understand manner targeted at the average person reading his insights in, into whether or not the Apple card’s the right choice for you or even his thoughts on Disney plus and the effect the streaming industry has on trends and finance is a breath of fresh air. I learned a lot from Dan in our discussion. More importantly, I think a lot of people who are either not concerned about wealth management but should be or are scared of the financial playing field could learn a lot from Dan and his insights. We had a very good time talking to Dan in studio. He was able to convey complex terms of finance in a way that Madison who’s 13, understood. And he had a great message for, you know, everyone regardless of what your age is. Some of his philosophies were spot on with, you know, start your savings as early as possible. The percentages that you put in your savings and his website takes everything that he talked about in Friday’s podcast and expounds on it even further. So the financial fix is a blog by Dan Fukes Good.

Speaker 8 (48:30):

Speaker 4 (48:34):
So we’re gonna hammer on these upcoming events again right now. We don’t have to know, well, we’ve got to talk about this weekend.

Speaker 5 (48:43):
Well, obviously if you’re watching us live, Zowlow con was today but is also tomorrow and we will be there tomorrow and someone will be in cosplay. Hopefully, hopefully tried it on today. Yeah, you tried it on like three or four different times or you get in and get out of, right. Exactly. So we will be there tomorrow then obviously coming up March 13th is monster mania at the crown Plaza, Philadelphia cherry Hill. Then the great Philadelphia comic con April 3rd through the fifth at the greater Philadelphia expo center. And then Darksome art and craft is April 19th, and then we got pop mania June 5th through the seventh at the crown Plaza.

Speaker 4 (49:33):
You know, I hear that Thailand, I can’t help but think I’m just walking through our convention with little popups like pop-up video.

Speaker 5 (49:39):
There you go. That would kind of be cool. Yeah. So that, that’ll be interesting to see because you know it’s run by the same people that do monster mania. Obviously monster mania is always horror monster themed. So here it’s basically just a regular comic convention, you know, pop culture convention. So be interesting to see. Then obviously Keystone Comic-Con in August and then retro con in September. So,

Speaker 4 (50:08):
And that’s all of our major announcements. Yup. So how can people talk to us?

Speaker 5 (50:14):
They could email us at comments, at insights into things that come. You can get us on Twitter at insights on this score, things on YouTube at YouTube, com backslash

Speaker 4 (50:28):
Insights into things. You can get our Obviously our audio podcasts slash insights into things podcast. Before we do go, I want to offer a quick apology to those who subscribe to our video podcast. It was, it was discovered this past week that we did have a technical issue with one of the service providers that we were using. And our video podcast hasn’t been updated since the episode 40 something. Now, that’s a lot of episodes. That’s a lot of episodes. All of our video episodes are available on the YouTube channel. But if you’re subscribed, you will still, you will start getting updates on these effective this week. So my apologies for that. I’ll, I will try to be a little more in touch with them. We’ll forgive you. I appreciate that anytime, and I think that’s it. We’re done. That’s it. All right. We’re outta here. Have a good one.

Show Notes


  • Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 52 “Apologies, thieves and the ones we lost”
  • My brilliant and talented co-host Michelle Whalen

Disney Detective

  • Disney CEO Bob Iger Apologizes to Elementary School for The Lion King Screening Bill
    • News broke earlier this week that The Walt Disney Company had sent a bill to Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley, California, charging the school a licensing fee for screening last year’s remake of The Lion King without permission. The school hosted a “parents night out” back in November and showed The Lion King, which had been purchased by a parent for the event, to a large crowd. Disney got word of what had happened and asked the school to pay $250. The story has since made national news and plenty of people have called out Disney for charging the school. Disney CEO Bob Iger is now speaking up about the issue, apologizing for everything that has happened so far.
    • Iger took to Twitter on Thursday and offered an apology to Emerson Elementary’s Parent-Teacher Association. He also promised to donate some of his own money to the school’s fund raising, in order to make up for the headache.
    • “Our company [The Walt Disney Company] apologizes to the Emerson Elementary School PTA and I will personally donate to their fund raising initiative,” Iger wrote in a tweet.
    • The parents night out event was a fundraiser for the school and reportedly raised $800. The PTA was understandably frustrated that some of that hard-earned money would have to be sent back to Disney.
    • “It’s just so appalling that an incredibly wealthy corporation … is having its licensing agents chase after a PTA having to raise insane amounts of money just to pay teachers, cover financial scholarships and manage school programs,” Berkeley City Council member Lori Droste told CNN after the bill arrived. “We would be enthusiastic about paying the license fee if Disney was willing to have their properties reassessed and pay some additional property taxes.”
    • Iger is now looking to right the situation and keep the school from having to pay any fees for The Lion King. That should settle that.
    • The Lion King is now streaming for free on Disney+ so it probably won’t be an issue in the future.
  • Ex-Disney Employee Who Stole $7,000 in Haunted Mansion Props Receives Sentence
    • Last year, Inside The Magic covered a story revolving around a former Walt Disney World employee who was arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars in props from the classic attraction, Disney’s The Haunted Mansion, and selling the pieces online. PayPal records showed over $30,000 was made from the illegal sales.
    • After refusing to plead guilty, despite photographic evidence coming to light, the accused, Patrick Spikes, has now entered a plea deal with the prosecution.
    • Spikes and his accomplice, Blayton Taunton, received their sentences in Orange County Court this week. They were scheduled to stand trial last month, but it was canceled, most likely because they agreed to a plea bargain in which each defendant agreed to take on relatively softer sentences and save face rather than doubling down on their “not guilty’ plea and go on to challenge harsher sentencing in the public trial.
    • Spikes must serve ten years of probation, complete 250 hours of community service, and pay more than $25,000 in restitution.
    • Taunton received a much easier punishment: Five years of probation and 150 hours of community service.
    • Both men are never permitted back onto Walt Disney World Property. However, the ghosts of the mansion still have to deal with them, and they are keeping their sentencing a secret. There are 999 not-so-happy haunts that probably don’t like having things stolen from them.
    • Spikes allegedly entered the Magic Kingdom using his old Walt Disney World Cast Member ID. He and his accomplice reportedly snuck into the backstage area of the park and managed to steal costumes and props from the Haunted Mansion attraction.
    • The total theft was valued at over $7,000, but PayPal records showed over $30,000 received by Spikes through transactions for the pieces from two buyers. Including one dress which alone sold for over $1,000. The buyers were allegedly unaware that the items were stolen. Spikes also allegedly advertised his stock as pieces he owned, taken with Disney’s permission.
  • Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes Celebrates Win at Disney World With Make-A-Wish Recipient
    • While it’s tradition for football players to celebrate a Super Bowl victory at Disney World, Patrick Mahomes helped make this trip extra magical.
    • After beating the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s Big Game, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback visited the Florida theme park to enjoy the rides and take part in Magic Kingdom’s parade. However, he wasn’t alone. Disney also partnered with the Make-A-Wish-Foundation to help make 10-year-old Nathaniel’s dream come true.
    • Patrick and Nathaniel, who are both from Texas, rode Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance together at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and appeared in the celebratory parade along with Mickey, Minnie and the rest of their pals. Considering Nathaniel is a Kansas City Chiefs fan and that Patrick is his favorite player, the day was extra special.
    • Disney also worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to bring 17 other children who dreamed of going to the Super Bowl to the park for the big parade. In addition, Disney donated $1 million to the nonprofit organization in honor of Patrick’s performance.
    • Disney announced Nathaniel would be joining the MVP in Disney World during a commercial after the Kansas City Chiefs’ big win.

Star Wars News

  • Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel Video Reveals New Details, Reservations Open Soon
    • The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel doesn’t open until 2021, but potential guests will be able to book reservations later this year. Disney World has also provided a new video that further explains the insane immersive experience that they will be offering to Star Wars fans. Both Disney World and Disneyland have their Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge locations up and fully operational with Rise of the Resistance now open on both coasts. However, only the Orlando park is getting the fully immersive hotel experience.
    • For Star Wars fans that have been, they know that Galaxy’s Edge does a pretty great job of bringing people to another planet. For the most part, it’s a fan’s dream come true, but even with all of the bells and whistles, it’s not going to compare to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel. For one, the hotel will have a direct entrance into Galaxy’s Edge, in an effort to keep the immersive experience going on outdoors as well. While entering the hotel for the first time, guests will be put into their own pods that take them to the main Starcruiser.
    • From there, the atrium of the hotel looks like a huge Star Wars cantina with a lot going on. The rooms will have up to five beds, including bunks that look like they were ripped directly from the Millennium Falcon. There’s a main “window,” which shows guests what’s going on out in space while they’re in the rooms. A tour of the bridge and the cockpit are also offered, along with Lightsaber training for all ages. However, that’s just scraping the surface.
    • Once aboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Disney Resorts, guests can interact with crew members, which can put them on quests. There is an RPG element to this experience and might not be for anyone else except hardcore Star Wars fans. It’s not clear what will happen on these missions, but the First Order could very well have spies planted just about anywhere on the cruiser. All of the windows in the main area look out into space, which looks pretty great from the mockup video, which you can see below. For parents and guests who want to do things outside of the galaxy far, far away, there are “normal” things to do too.
    • There will obviously be bars on board the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, along with gyms to work off whatever blue or green milk guests are ingesting. With that being said, there’s a lot to do within the hotel and then out in Galaxy’s Edge too, which is why Disney World is only offering two day and two night stays at this time. As for when the reservations go live, that has not been revealed, though it will more than likely be towards the end of the year. You can check out the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser video tour below, thanks to the Disney Parks YouTube channel.

Entertainment News

  • Doctor Strange 2 Hires Rick and Morty Writer to Rewrite Script
    • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is undergoing even more change. Days after news surfaced Marvel Studios was circling Sam Raimi to take over the director’s chair from Scott Derrickson, the mystical sequel has landed a new writer as new reports from THR suggest Michael Waldron is being tasked with overhauling the script. Waldron currently serves as showrunner and creator for Loki, the Disney+ series featuring Tom Hiddleston’s Asgardians God of Mischief. Prior to that, the scribe worked in the writer’s room for Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty.
    • Waldron takes over for Jac Schaeffer, the showrunner for Disney+’s WandaVision. And prior to that, rising screenwriter Bartlett was attached to the project. Now, it’d appear Marvel Studios has complete freedom to overhaul the script as need be.
    • Before, Derrickson has pushed through the idea Multiverse of Madness was going to be Marvel’s first scary movie, a comment that ended up resulting in more than one explanation from studio head Kevin Feige. One of those comments came at the New York Film Academy last October, when he suggested the movie would have scary moments, rather than being a full-on horror flick.
    • “Multiverse of Madness is the greatest title we’ve ever come up with, by the way, which is one thing that’s exciting about it,” the mega-producer said at the time. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a horror film, but … it’ll be a big MCU film with scary sequences in it.”
    • He added, “I mean, there are horrifying sequences in Raiders [of the Lost Ark] that I as a little kid would [cover my eyes] when their faces melted. Or Temple of Doom, of course, or Gremlins, or Poltergeist. These are the movies that invented the PG-13 rating, by the way. They were PG and then they were like, ‘We need another [rating].’ But that’s fun. It’s fun to be scared in that way, and not a horrific, torturous way, but a way that is legitimately scary … but scary in the service of an exhilarating emotion.”
    • The move is very on-brand for the Marvel Studios umbrella and promoting within. Most executive producers on the flicks now, such as Trinh Tran, Johnathan Schwartz, and like, started at years ago as assistants before working their way up.
    • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters May 7, 2021.
  • Pee-wee Herman’s “Dark” Reboot: Paul Reubens Is Ready to Stage a Comeback
    • Three decades after ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ and a career-threatening scandal, the 67-year-old has become a comedy cult hero with a shocking new Pee-wee script: “I make the rules about when I’m coming back.”
    • Paul Reubens has chosen the meeting place: a retro diner not far from the Hollywood home he’s lived in for 35 years, paid for with his earnings from 1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. But he does not arrive, as one might hope, on a red beach cruiser outfitted with a Tiger Super Siren Horn. He pulls up in a silver Honda Accord. And he’s not wearing a two-sizes-too-tight gray suit and red bow tie; he’s in rimless glasses, a brown corduroy jacket and a navy button-down. He might easily be mistaken for a tax attorney.
    • “You know, my picture used to be up on the wall here,” he says after settling down in a booth and ordering a hamburger. “And then they sold it and all of a sudden it wasn’t show business pictures anymore. But it used to be.”
    • Picture or not, Reubens, now 67, is having a late-career moment — or at least trying his hardest to make one happen. Twenty-nine years after a notorious run-in at a Florida adult movie theater derailed his career — which was heading toward becoming the biggest children’s-programming phenom since Mister Rogers — he’s still hoping to pedal his red Schwinn back into America’s hearts. In a few days, he’s embarking on a 25-city road show celebrating the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure — the film that put Tim Burton on the map — that’s selling out at 2,000-seat theaters across the country. He’s at work on a radio project — something akin to a Pee-wee podcast — and is in talks to develop an animated series centering on Pee-wee and the puppets from his old TV show’s Puppetland. Most intriguing of all, he’s been pitching studios on The Pee-wee Herman Story, a very un-Pee-wee-sounding screenplay that takes his puckish TV persona into dark and unexpected territory (Pee-wee gets sent to a mental hospital for shock treatment for his alcoholism, no joke).
    • Reubens has become a beloved icon among today’s cool comedy people (Taika Waititi loves him so much, he put him in a 2019 episode of FX’s What We Do in the Shadows), but even so, achieving a late-career comeback promises to be an uphill ride for his oddball alter-ego. In today’s overstuffed entertainment landscape, it’s hard to imagine a lane for a sexagenarian man-child who talks to his furniture. If Reubens is showing his age a bit — his iconic baby face is now covered in fine lines — he’s still pedaling away, upbeat about his future and determined to keep Pee-wee in the race.
    • “People have argued I’ve done everything consciously or unconsciously to destroy [the character],” he says. “But it’s the brand that won’t die. It’s still around.”
    • It all started in the early 1970s at the California Institute of the Arts, where Reubens — who grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Sarasota, Florida — was enrolled in an acting class alongside David Hasselhoff and Katey Sagal. “The really big thing at the time was conceptual art, performance art, that kind of stuff,” Reubens says. He later moved to L.A.’s Echo Park and found a group of like-minded collaborators at The Groundlings, the legendary sketch-comedy theater on Melrose Avenue that launched many a Saturday Night Live star. “Me and Phil Hartman and John Paragon, who was Jambi the Genie, we were the three male ‘stars’ at The Groundlings,” he remembers. “We would sit in my car in the parking lot and fantasize and talk about what it would be like to be working actors.”
    • Another person around at that time was Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira. “The first time I saw Paul, I thought he was the funniest person I had ever seen in my entire life,” she says. “I just remember staring at him and going, ‘I want to be his best friend.’ “
    • Pee-wee was just one of a stable of characters Reubens had been developing (another was Moses Feldman, a 100-year-old comic strip creator). At first, he was conceived as a super-geeky stand-up comedian who cracked extremely blue jokes. But the character evolved, with Reubens drawing inspiration from the children’s entertainment of his youth — Howdy Doody, Captain Kangaroo and Rocky and Bullwinkle in particular. And then one day Reubens slipped into the now-iconic costume — the suit was a loaner from Groundlings founder Gary Austin, the bow tie he grabbed from a pile of accessories backstage — and something inside him clicked.
    • “It dawned on me that I could actually become Pee-wee Herman,” he says. “I could do something that was conceptual art, and the only person who would really know it was conceptual was me.” He tested the waters by auditioning for The Dating Game in character as Pee-wee. He was instantly cast — his first paying Hollywood gig.
    • It was in 1980, after returning dejectedly from a trip to New York for a failed SNL audition, that Reubens decided to take his fate into his own hands. “I just got off the plane and went, ‘I’m doing a show.’ I made some phone calls and two days later I had the whole cast.” The Pee-wee Herman Show, mounted first at The Groundlings and later at The Roxy on the Sunset Strip, introduced live audiences not just to Reubens’ high-pitched oddball but also to the denizens of Puppetland, including Pterri the pterodactyl, Clockey the talking clock, flirty neighbor Miss Yvonne (played by Groundling Lynne Marie Stewart) and the grizzled Kap’n Karl (Hartman).
    • The show was a buzzy enough hit to land an HBO special in 1981. That led to semi-regular Pee-wee appearances on Late Night With David Letterman, which gave Reubens enough of a national profile to embark on his first tour, a 22-city circuit billed as The Pee-wee Herman Party, which included sold-out shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall and L.A.’s Universal Amphitheater. Warner Bros. executives at the L.A. date were so impressed that they greenlit Big Adventure on the spot.
    • In those early days, film executives often mistook Reubens for his character. “I would go into meetings as myself, and people would look at me and call me Pee-wee,” he recalls. “They would be like, ‘How does $200 for this project sound to you, Pee-wee?’ ” He credits an unlikely inspiration — Sylvester Stallone, who had famously refused to allow anyone else to star in or direct Rocky — with giving him the chutzpah to demand creative control over his movie debut. “When I look back on it, I was extremely self-assured,” he notes. He rejected the first director assigned to him by then-Warner chiefs Terry Semel and Bob Daly. He remembers the studio heads telling him, “You have one week to find somebody who’s approvable, affordable and available — the three A’s.” It was Lisa Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter and a Warners executive at the time, who recommended that Reubens see Frankenweenie, a short by a promising Disney artist.
    • Big Adventure was released Aug. 9, 1985, and was immediately recognized as something of a bizarro masterpiece. Made on a relative shoestring budget of $7 million ($17 million in 2020) it went on to gross $41 million ($98 million today). At the premiere, attended by the likes of Eddie Murphy and David Lee Roth, a CBS executive approached Reubens with the idea of turning Pee-wee into a Saturday morning cartoon. “I immediately went, ‘What about a live-action show?’ And they went, ‘Sure. Fine.’ “
    • Everything about Pee-wee’s Playhouse, which ran on CBS from 1986 to 1991, was ahead of its time. The sets were designed by the punk-rock cartoonist Gary Panter, while the stop-motion animation was created by the same company that designed MTV’s eye-popping interstitials. Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh co-composed the theme song, which was sung by an uncredited Cyndi Lauper. The cast drew from some of Reubens’ Groundlings favorites (Hartman reprised his sea-captain character for one season before going on to bigger things at SNL) plus some new faces like S. Epatha Merkerson as Reba the Mail Lady (until she found Law & Order fame) and Laurence Fishburne as Cowboy Curtis (who, of course, would play The Matrix’s Morpheus).
    • Apatow had no interest in making that movie and instead urged Reubens to collaborate on something more in step with the upbeat Big Adventure. The result was the 2016 Netflix movie Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, which the streamer’s content chief, Ted Sarandos — a comedy aficionado with a soft spot for Pee-wee — greenlit at a budget of $30 million. Reubens had a hard time making it. He remembers repeatedly clashing with Apatow over how Pee-wee looked on camera. “Judd kept going, ‘You look great.’ And I’d be like, ‘No. Sorry. It doesn’t work for Pee-wee Herman. I don’t mind looking my age in something else, but I don’t want to look like that in a Pee-wee movie. There’s a creepy weirdness to it. It looks like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’ “
    • But then Reubens saw what modern-day postproduction de-aging technology could do. When the final results were screened, Reubens couldn’t believe his eyes — and it gave him an idea. “I was so buoyed by that, I realized, I could do [Pee-wee] for 10 more years if I wanted to,” he says. “I think I could do it for a while longer, and just fix my face.”
    • Undoubtably he could. Except Reubens, now more than ever, still wants to make his Valley of the Dolls Pee-wee movie, even if nobody else does. According to several well-placed sources, he’s been aggressively shopping the Pee-wee Herman Story script around town and is open to making the movie for as low as $15 million, half the budget of Big Holiday. Apatow still isn’t interested and Sarandos passed on the project for Netflix, saying it “doesn’t check off all the boxes” of a Pee-wee movie, according to a source with knowledge of the exchange. Undeterred, Reubens approached the Safdie brothers, the sibling-director wunderkinds behind Uncut Gems, who are considering the project. With his quote being $3 million, and de-aging technology alone running around $1.5 million, the viability of the film has drawn skepticism from the finance departments of CAA, UTA and Endeavor Content.
    • Still, not all hope is lost for The Pee-wee Herman Story. One deep-pocketed super-fan from the U.K. — he showed up to a meeting decked out in full Pee-wee regalia — has offered to put up $10 million of his own money for the budget, according to the source (Reubens wouldn’t confirm). It’s now up to Reubens to find the rest. “I do feel like it’s going to probably happen,” he says. “I have a couple of people that are interested. But this is Hollywood. A couple people interested and five bucks will get you five bucks.”
    • At some point there might even be a Pee-wee Herman movie, dark or otherwise, that doesn’t star Paul Reubens, at least not in the flesh. “I think actors are going to be obsolete really quick,” he predicts. “And part of me would love to sell the whole thing. That would include my digital scans, a couple of scripts, some other stuff. I don’t for one second feel I’m George Lucas or that Pee-wee Herman the franchise is Star Wars, but it’s worth something, you know? And I feel like I could step away from it.” (Reubens retains ownership of the Pee-wee character and his Playhouse entourage.)
    • And with that, Reubens politely excuses himself from the booth at the diner. The first of his Big Adventure roadshow appearances is just a few days off, he explains, and he’s still not entirely sure what he’s going to say to the audience after the screening is over. This show will be different from his previous live tours. For one, he’ll be appearing as Paul Reubens, not Pee-wee Herman. “It’s advertised as interesting stories, or never-before-told stories,” he explains. “It’s going to be mostly trivia that people won’t know. In 35 years, all kinds of weird stuff’s happened from that movie. I think it’s going to be really fun.” The rare opportunity to spend some face time with their hero has proven an irresistible draw for Pee-wee superfans (in fact, Reubens spoke for more than two hours to a capacity crowd at the first performance in Ventura, California, on Jan. 24).
    • Still, even after he reminisces for two hours onstage — or spends three in a diner answering a reporter’s questions — there remains a nagging sense that you’ve barely pierced the surface. Because, to paraphrase Pee-wee’s iconic cri de coeur in Big Adventure, when it comes to Paul Reubens, there will always be things you wouldn’t understand, couldn’t understand, shouldn’t understand.

In Memoriam

  • Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Icon and Spartacus Star, Dies at 103
    • Kirk Douglas, one of the leading stars of Hollywood’s golden age, has died. He was 103.
    • The Spartacus acting legend, who had been in good health since suffering a stroke in 1996, is survived by his wife of 65 years, Anne, and his sons Michael, Joel, and Peter.
    • “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Michael Douglas said in a statement to PEOPLE. “To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.”
    • Michael continued, “But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”
    • “Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet,” Michael added. “Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”
    • In December, Michael, who followed in his father’s footsteps as an acting icon, became a Golden Globe nominee for The Kominsky Method as his father rang in his 103rd birthday.
    • To celebrate, Michael, 75, shared a sweet Instagram photo of his famous father and himself, thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for nominating him on the same day as Kirk’s milestone birthday.
    • “What a great day. Thank you HFPA for the Golden Globes nomination and for making my Dad proud on his 103 birthday!” Michael wrote.
    • In November 2018, Douglas attended Michael’s induction at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in November — where the Basic Instinct star honored his father.
    • “It means so much to me, Dad, that you’re here today,” Michael said, tearing up. “Thank you for your advice, inspiration, and I’ll say it simply and with all my heart: I’m so proud to be your son.”
    • With more than 92 acting credits, including some 75 movies, seven of which costarred his friend Burt Lancaster, Douglas became a superstar even before the term was coined.
    • He received his first Academy Award nomination in 1950 for Champion, and was nominated again in 1953 for the Hollywood expose The Bad and the Beautiful, and once more in 1957 for his performance as Vincent Van Gogh in the biopic Lust for Life.
    • In 1996, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community.
    • While Douglas’ on and off-screen bravado could be overpowering, and even difficult at times, he was a man of heartfelt conviction, hiring blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo — and giving him full-screen credit — to write the 1960 epic Spartacus, which Douglas executive produced and starred in.
    • “It was such a terrible, shameful time,” Douglas told PEOPLE about the purge of alleged Communist sympathizers in the entertainment industry during the ’40s and ’50s. “Dalton was in prison because he refused to answer questions, so I decided, the hell with it! I’m going to put his name on it. I think that’s the thing I’m most proud of because it broke the blacklist.”
    • As told in his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son, Douglas — who was born Issur Danielovitch Demsky — was born the poor son of an illiterate Russian-Jewish immigrant.
    • Douglas spoke about his father to PEOPLE, revealing that, “My father was not very affectionate, he was never interested in what I was doing. I had six sisters and no brothers and I wanted to be close to my father and he just ignored me.”
    • Instead, he says he found affection from his mother and became determined to not be as distant with his children as his father was with him.
    • “I’m much more demonstrative with my kids about hugging and kissing them and telling them that I love them,” he said. “My father wasn’t like that.”
    • Then known as Izzy, Douglas had some 40 jobs growing up in Amsterdam, N.Y., including newsboy, before acting in high school plays sent him on the course that would eventually make him a household name. He studied at Manhattan’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts alongside classmate Lauren Bacall, who later helped get him a screen test that led to his first movie role opposite Barbara Stanwyck in 1946’s The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.
    • Another Academy classmate was Diana Dill, to whom Douglas would be married from 1943 until their 1951 divorce. She is the mother of two of Douglas’s sons, Michael, born in 1944, and Joel, born in 1947.
    • Heading a Hollywood family, though, was often as difficult as being in one. As Michael has said on several occasions, including during his 1987 Best Actor Oscar acceptance speech for Wall Street, growing up in his father’s shadow was not always easy.
    • In 1979, Michael told PEOPLE, “Kirk Douglas was certainly a hard act to follow. I mean, there he was hanging from the cross in Spartacus, walking across the ranks of oars in The Vikings …” Added Kirk: “I think having a famous father was a pain in the ass for him.”
  • Robert Conrad, Star of Television Series The Wild Wild West, Dies at 84
    • Robert Conrad, the actor best known for his role in the television show The Wild Wild West, has died. He was 84.
    • “He lived a wonderfully long life and while the family is saddened by his passing, he will live forever in their hearts,” family spokesman Jeff Ballard tells PEOPLE.
    • Born in Chicago, Illinois on March 1, 1935, Conrad worked as a milkman while pursuing a career as a local nightclub singer before moving to Los Angeles in 1958 and booking his first big recurring role on Hawaiian Eye in 1959.
    • After Hawaiian Eye, the actor went on to star as Secret Service agent James T. West in The Wild Wild West, which ran from 1965 to 1969. The show followed the characters of West and Artemus Gordon as the country’s first Secret Service agents exploring the west during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.
    • After the success of The Wild Wild West, Conrad starred in other television shows including The D.A., Assignment: Vienna, Centennial and Baa Baa Black Sheep (which was later syndicated as Black Sheep Squadron.)
    • The actor also had a career in film as well. Conrad was seen in movies including Wild Wild West spin-off movie More Wild Wild West, as well as Murph the Surf, The Lady in Red and Samurai Cowboy. His last appearance was in the 2002 movie Dead Above Ground.
    • Conrad was also a singer, and recorded music under the name of Bob Conrad in the 1950s and ’60s.
    • “There are three cycles in showbiz,” Conrad told PEOPLE in 1988, while he filmed his then-new show High Mountain Rangers. “They don’t know you, then they love you, and then you’ve been around so long they hate you. Now I’m starting all over again.”
    • A recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in Broadcasting and an inductee of the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame, Conrad was a longtime supporter of amateur boxing, the Wounded Warriors Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the United States Marine Corps, and the Jimmie Heuga Endowment, which provides support to those affected with multiple sclerosis.
    • A small private service is scheduled for March 1, which would have been Conrad’s 85th birthday. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project and The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
    • Conrad is survived by 18 grandchildren and eight children, whom he shares with ex-wives LaVelda Fann and Joan Kenlay.
  • Actor Orson Bean, local theater mainstay who rose to fame as a 1950s TV personality, dies
    • Actor Orson Bean, a veteran television personality, all-around entertainer and master raconteur who worked on the small screen and in film while becoming a mainstay of Los Angeles’ small theater scene, has died.
    • Bean was hit and killed by a car Friday night in Los Angeles, authorities said. He was 91.
    • The showman, a distant cousin of President Calvin Coolidge and father-in-law to the late Andrew Breitbart, has maintained a steady career since the 1950s and cut his teeth on and off Broadway before becoming a live television staple.
    • Bean’s onstage antics included stand-up comedy and magic tricks as he made the rounds on game shows and late-night television. He was fondly remembered by baby boomers for bringing his wit and sophistication to “What’s My Line?,” “I’ve Got a Secret” and “To Tell the Truth” and guest starring in variety series and talks shows, including “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” and “The Mike Douglas Show.” Later in his career, he starred in “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” “Being John Malkovich” and “Desperate Housewives” while racking up dozens of guest appearance credits, with “Two and a Half Men,” “The Closer,” “Modern Family” and “How I Met Your Mother” among them.
    • Bean, who penned several memoirs and a cookbook for cats, was briefly blacklisted, became a hippie, a peddler of a self-help method and a beloved Venice, Calif., resident as he bolstered the local theater scene with wife Alley Mills. All along, his true passion was the stage, though he acquiesced to television, films and even commercials just to pay his bills.
    • “Make a living doing commercials or soap operas or tending bar — and then do theater,” he once told The Times. “People shouldn’t get into show business because they want to become stars or become rich; they should get into it because they can’t help but put on a show.”
    • Born in Vermont in 1928, Bean, whose real name was Dallas Burrows, grew up during the Depression in a cramped Cambridge, Mass., apartment that he shared with his volatile parents. Bean recalled his troublesome childhood in his one-man show “Safe at Home,” which was based on his eponymous memoir. He noted that his parents’ lovemaking was as loud as their screaming fights, and his mother — a jealous type — had a penchant for sherry. She fell apart after his father left home and committed suicide the day after Bean refused her plea to visit her.
    • Bean, who said he peed on his cousin — sitting President Coolidge — when he was 6 months old, survived by building a wall around himself and developing a set of entrepreneurial skills that allowed him to make an early break from his mother’s boozy embraces. He began as a magician, mesmerizing the neighborhood kids with his tricks. He tested his sleight of hand on the professional circuit before switching to stand-up comedy when he returned from Japan after World War II. Bean played small clubs near Boston and Philadelphia for a year, honing his acting and writing, before setting out for New York, which opened the doors to “The Ed Sullivan Show” and Broadway.
  • Insightful Picks of the Week
  • Michelle
    • Lost in Space – Netflix
    • Lost in Space is an American science fiction television series and is a reimagining of the 1965 series of the same name (itself a reimagining of the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson), following the adventures of a family of space colonists whose spaceship veers off course.
    • In the aftermath of an impact event that threatens the survival of humanity, the Robinson family is selected for the 24th mission of the Resolute (24th Colonist Group), an interstellar spacecraft carrying selected families to colonize the Alpha Centauri star system.
    • Before they reach their destination, an alien robot breaches the Resolute’s hull. Forced to evacuate the mothership in short-range Jupiter spacecraft, scores of colonists, among them the Robinsons, crash on a nearby habitable planet. There they must contend with a strange environment and battle their own personal demons as they search for a way back to the Resolute.
    • 2 seasons both 10 Episodes
  • Joe
    • The Financial Fix
    • A website, blog and instagram penned by Dan Fooks. Dan is a 21 year old collect student who knows the value of a dollar. Despite being a full time student majoring in computer science with a minor in business administration Dan manages to maintain multiple streams of income.
    • He doesn’t lead an extravagant lifestyle, or drive expensive sports cars, who buy the most expensive clothes and spend foolishly like so many of today’s youth. Instead Dan uses these multiple income streams to fuel his real passion, finance.
    • Since the age of 16 when Dan opened his first brokerage account with the help of his dad he’s had a passion and uniquely insightful grasp of how to make his money work for him. Dan doesn’t purport to be a financial expert, but he’s had proven success in growings his money wisely.
    • It’s that passion and experience that Dan brings to The Financial Fix. After developing his own savings goals, understanding the importance of saving money at a young age and learning how to grow his money through investments and learning about market strategies and habits Dan did something exceptional. He chose to share that knowledge so that others could benefit from it as well.
    • We had the pleasure of interviewing Dan this past Friday in studio for our Insights Into Teens podcast and I found him to be an exceptional individual. Not only does he have a unique perspective and foresight nearly unheard of from young people his age, he also is selfless in his determination to educate others on how they too can be successful in finance.
    • Dan’s blog The Financial Fix at is a collection of articles, analysis and personal experience presented in a down to earth easy to understand manner targeted at the average person. Reading his insights into whether or not an Apple Card is the right choice for you or even his thoughts on Disney+ and the effect the streaming industry has on market trends and finance is a breath of fresh air.
    • I learned a lot from our discussion with Dan. More importantly I think a lot of people who are either not concerned about wealth management and savings or are scared of the financial playing field could learn a lot and earn a lot from Dan’s insight.
    • The Financial Fix is a blog by Dan Fooks available at

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