We’re finally ringing in the New Year on the verge of February! We recorded this almost a month ago, but Jon took a million years to mix it for no reason! Anyway, we’re back to the pivotal year of 1985 for an almost ur-MMIS experience, The Legend Of Billie Jean! Jon wants a Furiosa Glow-Up. Ali wants Jon to remember Yeardley Smith’s character’s name. Both will be invincible…OR WILL THEY?
Happy SCARE-IDAYS from the SICKERSONS!
Ugh, sorry. We had a bad case of Cryptkeeperitis and are just getting over the puns. Anyway, this week Jon exposes Ali to the Trioxin that is Return of the Living Dead from 1985. Jon needs brains. Ali needs more motivation if she’s going to dance naked on a grave. Both might need to be nuked before the night is over.
Return of the Living Dead was directed by Dan O’Bannon, and stars Clu Gulager, the sadly missed James Karen, Don Calfa, and Linnea Quigley (whom we are legally obligated to refer to as a “Scream Queen”, and whom Jon still after decades refers to as “Leanna”).
Note: news that James Karen passed away happened just today, after we had already recorded the episode. This one’s for you, Frank.
It’s some sort of SPOOKTOBERFEST OF SCARES as Ali shows Jon April Fool’s Day, the first official “horror” movie in MMIS history (assuming we aren’t counting Return To Oz or Girls Just Want To Have Fun). But is it horror? Is it comedy? Is it a soft reboot of Just One Of the Guys? Jon wants to know. Ali wants to get out of that dang well. Both are confused by the surprising lack of nudity.
April Fool’s Day stars Biff Tannen, the actual guy from Just One of the Guys, one of the girls from Just One Of the Guys, Ryan O’Neal’s son, and at least one Jason victim.
The Bickersons found out long ago it’s a long way down nostalgia podcast road. Jon is nimble. Ali is quick. Both take a ride down the West Coast Kick.
Okay, that got old fast. Anyway, we didn’t focus on how much of a colossal asshole Chevy Chase is in every waking moment of his life, but assume that’s the subtext. Y’all know who’s in this movie, right?
Who had "Animated Cash-In Licensed Toy Movie" in the "When Is Jon Going To Get Embarrassingly Emotional" pool? You won an extra long episode about 1986's The Transformers: The Movie! Jon has the touch. Ali has the power. When all hell's breaking loose? Where do you think they'll be?
TTF:TM stars Peter Cullen, the late Chris Latta, and some other people. But mostly Peter Cullen and Chris Latta. Oh, and the Micro Machines Man, who (despite what is said in the episode), was almost certainly not sped up artificially.
Is it really true that now the Bickersons have done two Bette Midler movies where she plays a character named Barbara? Or for that matter, two Bette Midler movies? Well, here they are, doing Ruthless People! Jon loses 20 pounds chained in a basement. Ali gets in a found object fight in Judge Reinhold's kitchen. Can both get away with the ransom money?
Ruthless People was directed by Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker and stars Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold, Not Meg Ryan, the principal from Head Of the Class, and Lone Starr.
The Bickersons are back! And you know they can never be wack! And much like that reference, the movie is something no one has thought of since 1985! It's Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (And Also, We Guess, Ends), a failed franchise started by Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton! Jon is the Eleventh Commandment! Ali no longer moves like a pregnant yak! Jordan gives his parents terror for breakfast, pressure for lunch, and aggravation for sleep!
Remo Williams: No Really, This Is Only the Beginning stars Fred Ward, an embarrassingly yelllowfaced Joel Grey, The Brim, and Kate Mulgrew, and Jon forgot to mention features the bad guy from the classic MST movie The Sidehackers (AKA Five the Hard Way) in a bit part!
No Ali this week! No podcast this week! But our son Jackson joins MMIS for a cameo while Jon explains why. Also, from the MMIS vaults, an unreleased song, "The Ballad of MMIS" by friend of the podcast James Murphy of Pex Lives and The Last Exit Show (in which, by the way, Ali's introduction appears at the beginning of every episode).
The Bickersons are back and so excited to do this incredibly long episode about 1986's Down and Out In Beverly Hills that they managed to forget the Elevator Pitch! Jon is excited to do an absolutely terrible Nolte impression. Ali is sad about Chicago Theatre news. Both are dismayed at minor technical difficulties.
Down and Out In Beverly Hills, was directed by Paul Mazursky, and stars Nick Nolte, Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler, Little Richard, and MIKE THE DAMN DOG.
Ali and Jon revisit another classic 80s comedy, 1983's Trading Places. Is it going to be problematic?* Jon attempts to understand how the final plan works. Ali attempts to understand why the 80s still hadn't figured out not to do blackface under any circumstances. Both want eggnog from Denholm Elliott.
Trading Places was directed by Vic Morrow's murderer, and stars Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliott, Don Ameche, Ralph Bellamy, Paul Gleason, Belushi the Lesser, Former Senator Al Franken, and his much less controversial comedy partner, the late Tom Davis.
*What do you think?
Ali nya alunda Jon. Caveman (1981) caca. Ali pooka. Jon macha. Both nya zug-zug.
MMIS nya bobo Ringo Starr! Nya bobo Dennis Quaid! Nya bobo Diane Chambers! Nya bobo Dr. Jellif! Nya bobo Sloth!
In what might be a first at MMIS, Ali shows Jon a movie (1988's Running On Empty) that is just legitimately good, with no caveats about cult themes or nostalgia attached, which means they can barely stay on topic throughout. Jon is amazed he sat through a movie without explosions without complaining. Ali is amazed Jon sat through a movie without explosions without complaining. Both have been running from the FBI for so long and are so, so tired.
Running On Empty was directed by Sidney Lumet, and stars Judd Hirsch, Christine Lahti, River Phoenix, and Martha Plimpton.
Ali and Jon put on the sunglasses and take a long look at John Carpenter's made-in-1988-but-depressingly-still-applicable anti-Reagan agitprop film, They Live. Jon is here to podcast and chew bubblegum. Ali is all out of bubblegum. Both spend at least 5-1/2 minutes fighting about whether that fight scene was necessary (spoiler alert from Jon, who writes these episode descriptions: it totally was).
They Live stars Rowdington Roderick Piper, Keith David, and more character actors than you can spray with an M-16. Oh, and a couple of ghouls.
Ali and Jon are back an on schedule with 1986's tragicomic/dramedic/sadlarious coming of age film, Lucas. Jon is disappointed that it isn't a biopic about the early days of Star Wars. Ali is disappointed that Jon spent the entire move unaware that it starred Corey Haim. Both spend several minutes of this surprisingly long episode making an unsolicited commercial for a local hot dog restaurant.
Lucas stars a phenomenal amount of young actors that we would end up seeing a lot in other things, and also, supposedly Gary Cole, though the Bickersons never noticed him and forgot to talk about that. It also is now apparently kind of tinged with scandal now, but the Bickersons really didn't want to talk about that, either.
2017 was a rotten year, and it gets in a parting shot on Ali and Jon with 1985's Volunteers. Jon can't believe how insane Tom Hanks' lockjaw accent is. Ali can't believe how terrible Jon's New York accent is. No one can believe this is how Hollywood tried to capitalize on Hanks and Candy's chemistry from Splash.
Volunteers stars Tom Hanks, John Candy, Rita Wilson, Gedde Goddamn Watanabe, Xander Berkeley, Expert Video Falconer George Plimpton, and the Psychiatrist from M*A*S*H. Oh and Jon forgot to mention director Nicholas Meyer wrote and/or directed all the even-numbered (good) original cast Star Trek movies. What he did wrong here is even more baffling when this is taken into account.
It's a Holiday Miracle: Ali and Jon are back! It's 1988's Scrooged, a Murray Family Extravaganza directed by Richard Donner. Jon may be an undigested bit of beef. Ali? A blot of mustard. At any rate, there's more of gravy than the grave about this podcast.
Scrooged stars a metric ton of Murrays, Indy's best girlfriend, Latka's best wife, the New York Dolls' best vocalist, Dynasty's...best (?) patriarch, the guy from Bonnie and Clyde (no, the other one), Ma Fratelli, Alfre Goddamn Woodard, JOHN DOUBLE GODDAMN GLOVER, and THERE AREN'T ENOUGH CAPS OR GODDAMNS TO COVER ROBERT EFFING MITCHUM.
NOTE: Jon mistakenly credits Brad Garrett for Muldoon in Car 54 Where Are You? but it was John C. McGinley. Oops!
The Bickersons barely bicker a bit, son, while watching this 1985 gender-swap teen farce. Ali questions whether this was really a Shakespeare adaptation. Jon questions whether this wasn't really a USA UP ALL NITE movie. Both question whether this film's depiction of gender is or isn't problematic.
Before this episode, Jon had only seen about 30 seconds of this movie. Can you guess which 30?
Halloween comes early, as Jon has no concept of timing when he shows Ali 1989's The 'Burbs, from the tail end of the Tom Hanks Is Just a Comedic Actor era. Jon learns mid-show that Henry Gibson already beat him to the Henrik Ibsen joke. Ali learns all about Jon's probably misguided obsession with Henry Gibson's ear. They both learn THEY might be the Klopeks of their neighborhood.
The 'Burbs was directed by Joe Dante, and stars Tom Hanks, Debbie Reynold's daughter, Laura Dern's dad, a Canadian guy, and a Corey, as well as A Distinguished Norwegian Playwright, Brother Theodore, and Malachi from Children of the Corn.
The Bickersons are back with the Not At All Fictional Movie, The Beniker Gang! Jon still refuses to believe this is an actual movie, even though Ali insists he saw it. Ali refuses to believe Jon is not a jackass. This movie is actually available on Amazon, despite being a figment of our collective imagination.
Ali and Jon take a trip down memory lane with the Police Academy's less successful sister film, Moving Violations, starring Bill Murray's brother, Meg Tilly's sister, and Stacey Keach's Brother! Ali's having trouble getting moving in the morning. Jon can't find the beef. Will either of them regret this movie? Will Jon get tired of writing this description and stop mid-sent