Two Cents Plus Tax
Episode Nine: “Don’t Want to Be Abducted”
Transcript has been lightly edited for readability.
(theme song plays)
K: I’m Krystal.
C: I’m Caitlin.
K: And this is …
K & C: Two Cents Plus Tax!
K: We’re back! Two Cents Plus Tax.
C: Hello. (laughs)
K: Hi, everyone! How are you? I know. It’s very much like … let’s check in; let’s take the temperature—
K: —see how everyone’s doing. It’s been a real week in America.
C: Yes. Yes. We are … we’re gonna be saying that, though, literally every week.
K: (laughing) I know! I’m like, we have to really be clear about what we’re actually talking about, because so much is happening all the time forever.
C: All the time. Just all the time.
K: Yeah. But I mean, yeah, M=mostly we’re just talking about the George Floyd trial verdict was this week, and then more people got killed by police officers, so—
C: Murdered by the police.
K: Yeah, it’s just been a really emotional time. Yeah. It’s been a very strange time to like, exist. You know? Having to like, go to work and look at Twitter, and you’re just like … what are we even doing right now, you know? It’s just—
C: I don’t know. I’m actually getting choked up even just talkin about it, which is great because (laughs)—
K: That’s what this episode is about! It’s a great segue.
C: Yeah, the topic is—yeah, the topic that we’re doing today, which is perfectly timed, is crying.
C: Yeah. But before we start, I just wanna say, we need to abolish prisons; we need to abolish the police.
K: Yeah, exactly. None of it. We don’t need any of it.
C: Like we just—and hopefully we’re preaching to the choir with our listeners, but just like … come on.
K: I mean, it was weird because you’re trying to exist in this space where people want to take some small measure of like … I don’t know; joy isn’t the right word, but yeah—
C: Comfort. Comfort!
K: —they want to appreciate the outcome, but you’re just like … I understand that completely, too. I’m not saying that those people’s feelings aren’t valid, because a lot of people related to the actual victim of the crime feel that way, and I would never want to sort of undermine their emotions, but it’s also like, the system is still broken, you know? It’s not … this isn’t working, anyway.
K: Like it’s not like this thing is gonna be the thing that does it. You know? I mean, we still have police officers doing whatever they want, and prison still exists. It’s like, no. No to all of it, so yeah.
K: It’s just a weird time. But uh—
C: Yeah. And then to try and continue to exist in other realms like going to work or, you know, working from home, whatever we’re doing—
K: I literally had a meeting right after the verdict—
C: Oh, my gosh.
K: —like I had a meeting at 3pm or something (laughing) on Tuesday, and it was just like … I mean, I feel like I did okay trying to make it through, but in my head I just was like … it was almost like I was hearing myself talk, and being like, what are you even talking about? None of this is important.
C: That’s how I feel at work constantly within this past year, where I’m like, what are we doing?
K: (laughs) Mm-hmm.
C: Why are we talking about this—
K: Yup. Same recently.
C: —you know, why aren’t we talking about what is actually happening instead of, you know, what we’ re doing, which is, you know, our jobs, but—
K: Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly how I felt when um … you know, the mass shooting in Atlanta, you know, when a significant number of Asian women, Asian people, were killed. It was just like … it just felt like business as usual, you know, literally.
C: Yeah. I know.
K: And you’re just like, can we pause for a moment and maybe acknowledge that stuff is bad, like really, really bad, you know?
K: Um, yeah. It’s just … it’s a weird time right now. But yeah, I mean crying is definitely an accurate … an appropriate response to everything that’s currently happening, so.
C: It sure is. And we should say that producer Toshio is the one who kind of came up with this topic. He again is not here. We have been supplanted by Bowen Yang yet again.
K: (laughs) I love this bit! I love it.
C: He’s off on another date, and I’m sad he’s not here, but I’m glad he’s off with Bowen. Love wins! (laughs)
K: (laughs) He’s gonna love when he hears this. Um, yeah, so I mean … crying.
C: Crying. Let’s get into it.
K: Yeah! Are you like a big crier? That’s something I—
C: Yeah. Clearly! Like I’m … I started crying before we even started the show! (laughs)
K: (laughs) Try to segue into it! Yeah, no, I … I don’t know. I don’t think of myself as a big crier. I guess I’m not. Like I do … for me, I find that I cry mostly when I get very frustrated, like when stuff is happening and I feel like I’m out of control, like I don’t have the control—that’s when I feel like I get to the point where that’s my next, you know, appropriate emotional response, but generally speaking, I’m not the kinda person that just like has a good cry on a regular basis, you know?
K: Unless it’s like something really sad has happened to me, but otherwise I don’t … I don’t really cry very often.
C: I used to cry quite a lot more than I do now, and probably a lot of that, I have to say, is because I’m no longer drinking. So I don’t have that depressant in my body all the time. So I have noticed a huge reduction in my crying. But I do tend to cry out of frustration. I cry in anxiety for sure, just when I’m panicking.
K: Mm. Mm-hmm.
C: Like that happened … (laughs) this week over something unrelated that was personal, which I texted you about and which I’m not gonna get into.
K: Yeah. We don’t have to go into it! (laughs)
C: Everything is fine! Everything is fine. But just—I had a moment, and, you know, I just kinda freak out, but … what about crying from happiness? Do you do that, or have you ever?
K: Um, I think so. Yeah, the first time I ever remember very clearly doing that was when I was in high school and I found out that I got into Berkeley.
K: I remember that day was a happy crying day. It was mostly responding to other people’s emotions cuz like, my sister’s crying; my grandma’s crying; my mom’s crying. You know what I mean?
K: Like everyone’s … so it was kind of … yeah, but not too often. I am a softie in very weird ways in that I totally will always cry at a wedding.
K: Like it does not matter what’s happening, I will always cry. Even though, like we’ve discussed in the past, I am very much mostly anti-wedding.
K: But yeah, if I’m at one, it’s gonna happen. (laughs) I don’t have control over it. It just will.
C: The tears will flow.
K: Yeah. Are you a happy crier as well?
C: (sighs) I’m … I mean, I know I have, definitely. I feel like I’m just … what is the phrase? All … all-purpose crier, I guess. You know? Just whatever.
C: But it is weird, like with the amount that I’m crying now vs., you know, a year ago, it’s very different, so that’s been kinda shocking to me.
K: You mean different in like the reasons that you’re crying—
C: I’m not crying as much.
K: Oh, I see.
C: No! I’m just like, I’m not crying as much, and maybe it’s because, you know, my meds are actually doing what they’re able to do!
C: Shoutout to my fellow mental ill—mental illness people. I started watching this TV show Friday Night Dinner. Have you heard of that?
K: Hmm! No. Is it scripted or is it reality?
C: It’s scripted, and it is a British show that is no longer aired, and also, sadly—I’m sorry to be a bummer, but the guy who plays the dad, Paul Ritter, passed away a few weeks ago.
C: So essentially it’s this–but it’s a comedy. Ha!
C: It’s a family, and the whole premise of the show is this family, and every Friday night they have a dinner, and they have two adult sons, and they come over and they eat. So everything takes place generally at the house, and they have a dinner.
K: That’s cool!
C: And if you’ve ever seen the show Episodes, with Matt LeBlanc—
K: Oh! Mm-mm. Matt LeBlanc.
C: —the woman … her real name is Tamsin Greig. The woman who was, you know, the woman in the show, is the mom in Friday Night Dinner. Anyway, long story short—I’m rambling—but it’s a very funny show. Very goofy, silly, and I was watching it, and there was a[n] episode where I was laughing on something that happened that was so silly, and I was crying, like I could hardly breathe.
K: Oh, yeah. Crying from laughing is for sure a thing. That to me probably is the reason I cry the most, just because, you know, I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts; I watch a lot of comedy TV shows, like … often. Very, very often, like crying from laughter. And to me, it’s like, the situation in which I like it the most, right?
C: Yeah. (laughs)
K: Like I look forward to it. If someone’s gonna make me cry from laughter, then I’m like, yes. This is what I want.
C: Who makes you cry from laughter?
K: When I was thinking about podcasts, I … so there’s a podcast I love, I’m pretty sure I talked about it before, called Stop Podcasting Yourself, and it’s hosted by Dave and Graham, two comedians in Vancouver, and they have, you know … they have comedians on all the time on their show, and they have like a staple of people that they have on frequently, and one of them is a friend of theirs named Alicia Tobin, who is just … she has a very silly sense of humor, and there was an episode where … (laughs) I don’t even remember how it got started, but they kept … she kept breaking in singing (laughs) the … kept breaking in singing “Kiss from a Rose”—you know, the Seal song?
C: Oh, Seal!
K: But she didn’t know the lyrics! so she kept like saying words that she thought sounded correct—
K: —and so it just became like a runner through the whole episode, and I remember having to pause it at least three or four times to catch my breath because it was so funny. And part of it was that she didn’t know the lyrics and was just, like this is what I think it sounds like. But also part of it is that she has kind of a little bit of a fake-antagonistic relationship with one of the hosts, and so he keeps trying to keep it on the rails, and she keeps trying not to; to keep it off the rails, and it’s just … that dynamic is just so fun to me, and so yeah. That is where I went in terms of podcasts. That was my first, most recent thought of like, oh man, that was so funny that I remember almost not getting through the episode (laughs) because I kept having to stop it.
K: What about you? Do you have podcasts that like make you pause from laughter?
C: Yeah. Las Culturistas makes me laugh really hard.
K: Yeah. Of course.
C: With, of course, Toshio’s boyfriend Bowen—
K: Shoutout to Bowen!
C: —and Matt Rogers. They kill me. I love the dynamic between them.
C: Best friends, really funny, really gregarious. They know culture. Very cute. I feel like they’re my friends. So … they crack me up. Trixie and Katya, the two drag queens, who just also I find hilarious. They make me laugh so hard.
C: So I would say those two make me laugh consistently, and with gusto. (laughs)
K: Yeah. The other podcast I was thinking of is the podcast Never Not Funny, which is like, super old podcast.
K: It’s been out for like fifteen years or something. I’ve been listening to it for most of those years, and the dynamic of the hosts Jimmy and Matt is really good, but sometimes they just get a guest that really fits, you know? With their energy and stuff. And the one that I think of, that I go back to most often is the episode with Ben Schwartz. I don’t know if you—
C: Oh, yeah.
K: Yeah. Ben Schwartz, the comedian improv guy, sketch guy Ben Schwartz, he’s … to me, I love his sense of humor because he very explicitly has talked about how he is not really out to hurt anyone’s feelings. His sense of humor is basically like, I wanna be silly, and I wanna bring other people that silliness, and so when he was on that show, like … ugh, man. I remember having to pause it so many times because he just was so funny, and it was his first … I think it was his first-ever appearance on the show, and he was just hilarious. I think too, being an improv person, you can just roll with the punches—
K: —really well, on a … cuz it’s not scripted. They’re just talking or whatever, and there’s no topic. (laughs) They just come in and be like, hey, what’s going on? And the conversation goes from there. And he’s just so funny, and I really love his genial, like “I’m gonna be the butt of the joke,” or “I’m just gonna find a really interesting twist on a joke,” like … ugh, I love Ben Schwartz. I think he’s so talented at comedy that I just really enjoy whenever he’s on the show, because he has such a fun energy. And also too, my other favorite guest is Paul F. Tompkins, because —
C: I was just—
K: —Paul F. Tompkins is just—he’s great on every podcast! He never misses.
C: Yes. I know! I know. And I was just about to talk about Paul F. Tompkins.
K: Oh, I didn’t mean to undercut you! (laughs)
C: No, you didn’t at all! That was perfect, because I was just thinking about … I don’t know if you ever listen to the podcast Spontaneanation—
K: Mm-hmm. I have a hard time with like … sketch-y podcasts that are not just people talking, you know?
C: Talking. Mm-hmm.
K: So, but yeah. I have in the past, like when they have a good sort of … people are like, hey, you should listen to this.
K: I’m like, okay.
C: So, yeah. With Spontaneanation, it would be a group of comics—improv people—but they would do an interview with a guest first, and that guest would give them the location or whatever to talk about, and then they would just kind of come up with something on the spot, and it is so impressive.
K: Yeah. I don’t understand how they do it. (laughs)
C: So impressive. Yeah! How do you do it? And it would just crack me up. It would get so silly sometimes. Yeah, Paul F. Tompkins. Also, what a debonair man.
K: He’s quite good … I know! He’s like in the podcast hall of fame.
K: Like if there’s a hall of fame for podcasts—both guests and hosts, cuz he’s had a number of podcasts himself, like Spontaneanation; he used to have like …
C: The literary one.
K: Yeah. I forget what it was called.
C: Me too.
K: Dead Authors? Something like that.
C: Dead Authors. Yeah, that sounds right.
K: And then he has the podcast with his wife, Stay F. Homekins, which, you know, they started during the pandemic—so yeah, he’s just incredible. He just is a comedy savant. He’s just so funny all the time, and it’s just like, how do you … (laughing) how are you doing it? I don’t understand. And everyone seems to like him, which makes it clear that he’s like not a crappy person, you know,? Like he’s a really good person—
C: Right. That’s refreshing.
K: Yeah, exactly.
C: A man in comedy who has integrity. What an idea!
K: I know! It’s just like, wow. It isn’t racist or sexist, or yeah. It’s really refreshing.
C: I also really liked … I don’t know if you ever saw the show Bajillion Dollar Propertie$.
K: (laughs) Oh yeah! He played the, uh—
C: Paul F. Tompkins is on that. But it had, um … Tawny Newsome on there. She is amazing at improv. She would come on Spontaneanation all the time, and I remember there were several episodes where she wasn’t even supposed to be on the show, but somebody maybe canceled or couldn’t get there, so Paul would call up Tawny and be like, can you get on the show? And she’s like, okay.
C: And just every time killed it. Like that just … that is amazing to me, when people can do things like that. But Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ is kind of like a ripoff—not ripoff, but parody of whatever, like real est[ate]—reality show, real estate agents, LA big properties—
K: Yeah, it’s basically poking fun at all of that, and Paul F. Tompkins plays like this billionaire guy who owns the company. He’s … ridiculous person. Ridiculous outfits, like even more ridiculous than Paul F. Tompkins’ regular outfits (laughs). Like this terrible facial hair … yeah. He’s just really good on that show.
K: I really like Tawny Newsome as well. I always think of her cuz I’m like, not a lot of Black women in improv, so that’s really cool. And she’s from the Valley, or from like … my part of California.
C: There was a bit in one of the episodes of Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ where it revolved around the (laughs) … the movie Predator—
K: Oh no! (laughs)
C: And somebody had on this predator mask and it—I hate it because it was on Seeso, so now you can’t watch it anymore.
K: Yeah, it’s almost impossible.
C: Cuz I think I had bought it, maybe. I was into this show. And there was a scene with someone wearing a predator mask and Paul Tompkins, and that—I’m almost crying thinking about it from laughing. That was so good.
K: He’s amazing. but yeah, so I’m trying to … my mind immediately goes from that show to stand-up comedy, cuz we’ve been talking about podcasts and most of them are podcasts by comedians, so now I’m thinking of stand-up specials that made me laugh until I cried.
C: Ooh, let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about stand-up specials that we … or do you not wanna talk about that?
K: Yeah, no, we can definitely do it.
C: Oh, okay!
K: It’s just—I know—one of them I feel sad thinking about because the person is canceled, and I don’t … you know.
C: Oh. Who?!
K: I mean, it’s Louis C.K. (laughing) Like I can’t—
C: Oh, yeah.
K: I can’t. But I loved his comedy so much. Like it was—
C: I know.
K: I thought he was so talented. Especially because white men of that age and of that stature, they don’t often have a sensitivity to racial issues, and so I thought he was really good at talking about that stuff. It sucks, because every time I think about Louis C.K., I think of one of my favorite jokes of all time, where he talks about how white people are always talking about time travel—
C: Yes! Yes.
K: —and when they talk about time travel, they always talk about like, I’d go back to Shakespeare times, or I’d go back to the Middle Ages or whatever, and if you talk to Black people about time travel, they’re always like, (laughing) nothing before 1980! And I’m just like, that’s exactly right! Like that’s … perfectly captures how people who are white and people who aren’t white feel about the past, right? Like it’s just … it’s such an incisive joke, and it’s like, I have to … all of that is gone.
K: Like I was obsessed with his shows—
C: I know!
K: —and I’ve seen him live like three or four times, and it’s just like, it’s such a bummer that he’s like a crappy person.
C: I know.
K: And actually is. Not like, oh he did a thing, and then we canceled him, and now he’s sad about it.
C: No, he continues to be crappy.
K: Like, no, he did a thing, we canceled him, and now he has leaned into it, and it’s like, that’s … It’s so much worse than the alternative. But yeah. One that I actually … (laughs) when I was about ten, I remember watching the Dana Carvey comedy special on like Showtime or something—
C: Is that the one with broccoli?
K: Lemme get—I’m getting there. (laughs)
C: Oh! Is that—oh, I’m so excited somebody shares that!
K: Oh, my gosh. That special! I watched it … I remember being—I remember exactly everything about it. I was in my grandma’s room, because my grandma had the big king-sized bed and a big TV, and she had cable, which we didn’t, and stuff, and so her room used to be where everyone would hang out if they wanted to watch something in peace, you know?
C: Right. (laughs)
K: And so I remember watching it—I was the only one—for some reason, I was the only person watching TV in there at that time, and I remember watching that special, and he got to the “Choppin’ Broccoli” song, and I laughed so hard that I like basically peed my pants. (laughs)
K: Like I was maybe ten or something? I don’t remember.
C: Oh, yeah. Yes, cuz we … yes. I remember the same thing.
K: God, every time I even think about the song, I just start … I’m already smiling, cuz I’m just like, it’s so funny. I laughed until I cried and also peed my pants. So (laughs) that is, like I said for me an all-time crying experience, cuz it wasn’t bad; it was good, but it was also kind of bad because it’s like, oh no! I think I peed my pants a little bit! (laughs)
C: Yeah. (laughs)
K: Man. What a time for comedy specials, the 90’s.
C: Yeah, all the women in comedy, like the bigtime women, like … I just remember Paula Poundstone, who is also getting canceled. Elayne Boosler—remember Elayne Boosler?
K: (laughs) I do!
C: Rita Rudnor.
K: It’s a very interesting … it’s a very specific type of comedian, woman comedian at the time. The energy was very, like … you don’t see, in the 90s anyways, you didn’t see comedians who looked like Nikki Glaser, or, you know what I mean?
K: Where they’re very … what we might think of as conventionally attractive, you know? Like they’re not slim, necessarily; they’re not … there was a very specific energy that was like, okay, you got it. You’re good enough to get to the, you know, headlining, and then get to have your own special or whatever. It’s just a very interesting time. Cuz even Whoopi Goldberg, right, like not conventional … there are a lot of different kinds of women comedians now that I don’t think there was in the 90’s.
C: No, like you think about how hard it is to a be a woman in comedy now, and then you think about the 90’s. Can you imagine how awful?
K: I actually have a thing about this—
K: —which I’m gonna talk about with what I’ve been watching recently. But yeah, it was … man. Those comedy specials just really made me laugh really, really hard, to the point where I cried and peed, so that was fun. (laughs) I’m sure there were others. I mean, the Mitch Hedberg one, which—
C: Oh, god, yeah.
K: I still am so sad that he passed away—
C: Me too!
K: —but also so mad at myself, because I had a chance to see him at Berkeley. He had come to do a show, and I didn’t go to it. And I still am just like, what … like what could I possibly have been doing that was more interesting than that? But I missed it, and I still am just kick[ing] myself for it every time, because (laughing) that was the only chance I was gonna get! But I didn’t know it at the time, so.
C: Right. Ugh.
K: That special, oh my gosh. To this day, anytime anyone talks about buying a donut, getting a donut, I’m like oh my god, he’s just incredible.
C: Yeah. RIP.
K: Yeah. I know. Really sad. And this comedy part, I thought it was gonna be … (laughs) but it actually got kinda maudlin because of the Louis C.K. stuff and, you know, Mitch Hedberg has passed, and it’s just like, come on, comedy people.
C: Technically … well, yeah. But technically we are supposed to be talking about crying.
K: Yeah. Yeah.
C: Although it doesn’t have to be—
K: But those specials did make me cry, though! Those are the ones I can think of specifically where I’m like … so funny that I can’t handle my emotions or my bladder, so … (laughs)
K: What else did you think of in terms of like … because it’s interesting; when you put the call out to social media, like I feel like most people’s responses were about music. Which … I was kind of expecting people to sort of point to shows and stuff that they … or movies or what have you, but most people mentioned songs that made them cry, or albums—
C: Right. Right.
K: —and I was like, that’s really interesting, but when you think about it a little more, it kind of makes sense, because music is one of those media that we consume repeatedly. Like you don’t watch movies as often as you … you don’t rewatch movies as often as you re-listen to songs, right?
K: So you’re listening to them more frequently, and so you can tap into the emotions more, I think. I don’t know. I just thought it was kind of a … something that made me kinda take notice, because I thought people were gonna respond more with like shows, or other things, but pretty much everyone said music.
C: Yeah. Yeah, no one said any movies or TV that I remember, but they did mention commercials.
K: Oh yeah! (laughs)
C: Several people mentioned certain commercials like the Sarah McLachlan … wait, is it McLachlan?
K: Yeah. McLachlan.
C: Yeah. Sarah McLachlan … and as soon as I saw it, I was like, no. No no no. Not watching this.
K: Yeah. You knew exactly what—you didn’t even need to hear a second of it, cuz you knew exactly what was gonna happen. Yeah. Those commercials are, that’s what they’re … that’s the whole point, that they’re intended to make you cry, because—
C: We need reparations for that commercial.
K: —but everyone knows … like everyone knows them. That’s what’s so funny, because they’re just ubiquitous, and they’ve been running for so long—
K: —that everyone is just like, as soon as they see it about to happen, they’re like, I gotta change the channel. I can’t—
K: (laughing) I can’t do this!
C: Yeah. Anything with dogs, animals, being abused, neglected, et cetera … even if they’re just sad, I’m like, no.
C: No, I can’t.
K: Just sad animals, yeah.
C: Yeah, I’m like a sad dog, no.
K: Yeah. That’s a good one. I can only think of one TV one, so maybe I’ll just start with that. Like music, you’re not rewatching episodes of stuff that often, so—
K: Except for this show. The number one episode I thought of that made me cry, and still does, even just thinking about it, is the episode of The Simpsons “And Maggie Makes Three.” So basically the premise is that the episode starts with Marge talking to the kids—
K: —cuz they’re … I forget what’s happening until they start looking at the photo albums, and then they’re, you know, Bart and Lisa are like, oh it’s weird, there are no pictures of Maggie. And Marge is like, oh, well, you know, there’s a reason for that. And so she starts telling them about before Maggie was born; that they were gonna pay off their mortgage—
C: Right, right.
K: —and Homer was excited because he was like, I could quit my job at the power plant and get a job that I actually like (laughs), and so he does that once they actually finish paying off the last mortgage payment and then he gets a job at the bowling alley, and he’s happy. And at first Marge is too, but then she discovers that she’s pregnant and is like, well I gotta tell Homer, and he’s not gonna be happy because it’s gonna mean, you know, financially we’re gonna be in a different place. So, you know, the episode’s basically a flashback of her trying to tell Bart and Lisa the story of like how Homer responded to a third child, and eventually Homer decides that the right thing to do is to go back to work at the power plant. He has to grovel for his job back, and Mr. Burns, to make him feel even worse about it, he puts a plaque in his office that says “Don’t forget you’re here forever,” and Homer is so dejected about it. But seeing Maggie for the first time after she’s born, he sort of … you know, he changes his feelings about it, and to sort of perk himself up about doing the right thing for his family, he takes all of the pictures that they take of Maggie and he puts them in his office—up around his office—and he puts them on the plaque so that the plaque, instead of it saying “Don’t forget you’re here forever,” it says “Do it for her.”
C: Yeah. Aw!
K: And it’s so sweet! It’s like the sweetest, sweetest episode. And it’s one of those episodes that’s like equally as funny as it is touching, which—there aren’t a ton of Simpsons episodes like that, but to me it’s one of the ones that’s so hilarious but also makes you feel feelings. It’s just … it’s one of the sweetest episodes of TV. I love it so much. Every time I think about it I’m like, haha! Remember that scene where Homer’s like shooting the shotgun in the air? That’s really funny. But then I’m like, oh, no! (laughs) My emotions! It’s so sweet. I love it so much.
C: It’s a really good choice.
K: It’s maybe in my top ten episodes of The Simpsons, which is hard cuz there’s (laughing) so many episodes that are good. But that one is like … that’s an all-timer, for sure.
C: Yeah, that’s a great episode. What else do you have on your list?
K: So I have some movies that I was thinking of. It’s funny, when we were thinking of crying and media, the first thing that came to mind was the scene in A League of Their Own with Tom Hanks and “There’s no crying in baseball!” (laughs) That is the first thing that I came up with, but it’s interesting cuz I was trying to think of like good criers—
C: (gasps) Yes!
K: —or scenes where people are crying a lot, and I was coming up with … coming up on a blank. But the one person that—we talked about her a couple episodes ago—but Kerry Washington is a very good crier, I think, in terms of actors. Some people are good and it makes you … you know, their display of emotion sort of can tweak your own, but some people aren’t that great, and I think it’s kind of a skill that people don’t always have.
C: Yeah. One of the best criers—cuz I had that same thought too, of who’s a good crier—Viola Davis.
K: I know! I was gonna say, she has a great cry. I just always think of that scene with her in Doubt, where she’s confronting the Philip Seymour Hoffman character—another RIP—
C: I know.
K: —and she’s like … you know, tears are just … her face is just soaked and she has like the … her nose is runny, but she’s like gotta get that speech out to him because it’s just so important. Yeah, it’s just … she’s incredible at it. She’s so … (laughs)
C: She is.
K: I mean, is she bad at anything? I don’t think so.
C: I don’t know, but I wanna know who her stylist is. I follow Viola Davis on Instagram, and lately … maybe it’s just me paying attention now more. Probably. But like who is styling her, and how do I get them to style me as well?
C: Because she has been wearing, and just … I mean, she’s a beautiful woman–
C: —but the sense of style, amazing. Like, stunning! Stunning.
K: It’s really good. Almost nobody does bright colors the way she does, like it’s just …
C: No! And she does it so well.
K: She kinda reminds me of Angela Basset in that way, where you’re like, have I ever seen them look bad? I don’t think so.
K: I don’t think there’s been a moment when I’m like, that’s kinda iffy! I’m like, no, how are you doing this? Truly.
C: I know!
K: You’re making everyone who’s way younger than you feel terrible about their choices (laughs), cuz yeah. You look great. You look great.
C: Another person that when I was thinking of crying—and this isn’t necessarily someone I enjoy—but I feel like they are a … they’re in the canon of criers. And that would be Claire Danes, I think.
K: (laughs) Oh, yes! She really really has a really good—that’s an incredible one, yeah. For sure.
C: To me, I don’t enjoy it, but other people seem to.
K: Oh, do you not like her as an actor, or?
C: You know, I used to love her, especially as a teen. My So-Called Life, I loved at the time, and I don’t … I think when she got with Billy Crudup—
K: Billy Crudup, yeah.
C: —when what’s-her-face, Mary Louise Parker. So when Claire Danes got with Billy Crudup when that woman was nine months pregnant, I got so mad.
K: Yeah. That’s a bummer.
C: And it really tainted … I mean, stuff happens.
C: Whatever. But now I feel like, ehh … and then she did Homeland, which I’ve never seen, which I’ve heard is a very good show, but I’ve also heard it’s Islamophobic—
K: I watched it for the first few seasons … yeah.
C: —and I’m just … I feel a bit—
K: Yeah, I don’t know. Homeland was … I totally agree, she’s an incredible crier. Every time I think about her, I think of … (laughing) I don’t know. Do people remember the movie Brokedown Palace? With her and—
C: I do!
K: —okay. Her and Kate … what’s-her-face? Gosh, what is her name? With Toshio not here to google everything …
C: Kate—I know. See what happens when you’re not here, Toshio?!
K: (laughs) But no, it is Kate Beckinsale. Yes. And I remember my best friend had that movie on VHS, because she was also obsessed with My So-Called Life.
K: And so when that movie came out, she was like, oh my god it’s so great, cuz I love her—
C: Oh, yeah. I loved Claire Danes at the time!
K: —and so her cry-face in that movie … so, so good. But yeah, I liked her in Homeland. Well, I don’t know that I liked her in Homeland. I liked Homeland, the first season. I actually liked the second season too. They made a … they took a big swing in that season that people were like, is this gonna pay off? And I think people kind of were like, wow, it’s … that’s ambitious.
K: But yeah, I liked it. I don’t think I watched past season 3. I know it went on for many more seasons after that, but yeah. She was frequently crying in that show because, you know, in the show, she played a person with mental illness, I think bipolar disorder?
C: Yeah. Okay. This—sorry, I have to interrupt, because I will forget. This is—I remember now another reason why I dislike her.
C: So she plays, in that show—which again I have not seen—she plays someone who’s bipolar. She said, and I remember reading this interview, that she prepared for the role by watching YouTube clips of people who are bipolar.
K: (grumbles) That’s like—
C: And that infuriated me. As someone who has mental illness—I don’t have bipolar, but it runs in my family, and even if it didn’t … like, maybe do some actually work on this.
K: I did not know that about her preparing for that role, but I did watch the show and I do remember people having issues with its portrayal of Islam and Middle Eastern countries and whatnot, but yeah. That show got really annoying. She is an incredible crier, Claire Danes.
C: She is. I’ll give her that.
K: She’s really good at it. That’s probably … I think her and Viola, like … they just have the faces for it. There’s a … rubberiness.
C: Very expressive.
K: Yeah. You need to have a lot of control over your face to make it really work. But that’s a really good one. So for me, the other ones that came to mind were mostly movies, and one movie that I basically sobbed through the entire time, from start to finish, is just Color Purple.
C: Oh, yeah!
K: I don’t … You put that movie on and I’m crying immediately. (laughs) It’s such an intensely emotional movie, and I think … I mean, I talked about it in the past, but it’s one of those movies that like, I don’t remember the first time I ever saw it; I just feel like I’ve always known it. Like it’s just been in my DNA. But there are two scenes in that movie that always, even from the time I was a kid, would just ruin me, and the one scene is the god is trying to tell you something scene, where Shug … oh man, I sorta have to get into … lemme see how I can quickly get into the plot of The Color Purple.
K: So Celie is this sort of poor, kind of forgotten woman. She, as a young girl, her mother dies. She’s left with her father and he basically … I mean, trigger warning—assaults her for her entire teen years. Every time she gets pregnant and has a baby, he gives it away to a charity. And eventually he gets sick of her and her sister, and he marries her off to a much older man, played by Danny Glover. Danny Glover doesn’t love her; they’re not in love. They get married because he needs a mother for his children because his wife has, I think, died? Or left him? I can’t remember. I think died. And one day a woman shows up at their house. Her name is Shug. She’s a singer, kind of like a … a loose woman, you might say, in the parlance of the time, in the early twentieth century. She shows up at their house basically to dry out. She’s been on drugs, she’s drinking, and she needs a place to sort of get herself together to get clean. And she and Celie sort of … they form a bond, because you know, they both have had relationships with Mister, played by Danny Glover, and they don’t like him that much. (laughs) So they kind of bond over that, but they bond over you know being women, being Black women in that time, and the choices that are available to them. Eventually, Shug gets clean, she leaves, she comes back to visit, she’s married, she looks beautiful, and we basically learn that she has … her father, who’s a pastor in the town, has basically cut her off. When she decided to become, you know, “worldy,” as religious people would say. And so they don’t have a relationship, and she desperately wants one. After she’s clean and married and everything, she’s visiting and she hears … you know, she’s at Danny Glover’s house, the little juke joint that they built, and she hears the church playing the hymn “God Is Trying to Tell You Something” and she basically starts singing and marches the entire group of people at the juke joint from the juke joint to the church, singing the entire way. And it’s just like such a beautiful moment, and she bursts in through the doors of the church, and she embraces her father, and she’s like, “See Daddy, singers have souls too.” I’m just like, no! (laughs) I can’t!
C: Ugh, yeah.
K: I can’t do it! It’s such a beautiful, beautiful scene. And then the scene at the end, where when Celie’s kids return to her, unexpectedly, like as a surprise, and she sees them for the first time.
K: And they’re grown adults, and they’re just embracing, and she’s touching their faces, like oh my god! Cuz she never thought she would see them again obviously, you know? Her dad gave them away, and she was like, they’re just gone. You know? How would she ever have found them? But man, what a beautiful movie. That whole … the whole thing just makes me just … ugh! It’s so good. (laughs)
K: It’s so good, and I cry every time I watch it. Every time.
C: Yeah. The Color Purple definitely makes me cry as well.
K: This has just been happening to me recently; it did not happen when I used to watch this movie when I was younger. But for some reason, (laughs) the parade scene in Ferris Bueller[‘s Day Off] makes me cry now!
C: When he’s singing “Danke Schoene”?
K: No, when he’s singing “Twist and Shout.”
K: When they sing “Twist and Shout” … I don’t know what it is. I’m like, is my brain broken? (laughs) I have no idea what’s going on, because … I honestly think—and it’s very recently happening, and I think it’s partially the pandemic, because I never used to feel that way. I thought it was fun and cool, and I was like, Wow! What a great thing to be a part of. And I think now, because we’re not allowed to—like we can do stuff, but like, it’s not safe to do things—I think watching that scene, it makes me feel like, oh yeah! Remember human connection? (laughs) You know what I mean? Like being in a crowd of people and doing something super fun, and everyone’s coming together, and it’s just like … now every—I watched it the other day, and I was like, what is happ—like why am I crying?
K: (laughing) What is going on? And so … but yeah, I tear up every time, and it’s such a … I mean it’s a very fun scene to watch—
K: —but like for some reason, it … I don’t know. I think probably after the pandemic, I won’t feel this way, but in the last two years when I watch that scene, I’m just like, man! That would be really cool. (laughs)
K: Never gonna happen, parades are not a thing, you know? It’s not—can’t do that. So yeah, it’s just every time now. I’m just like, okay. I guess this is just my life now. This is the kind of thing that makes me cry. Alright.
C: I think that’s very valid. And it makes sense.
K: But it’s weird. It’s weird though.
C: I don’t think it’s weird. I think it’s sweet.
K: Yeah, maybe that’s it. because it’s like, aw, man! What a nice display. So it’s not like—yeah. Yeah.
C: Yeah! And you’re sharing a moment with other people. I mean I know people in real life who will cry at parades.
K: (laughs) Okay. I’ve never done that before.
C: Yeah, so … yeah. I mean, I was not one of them. But my old neighbor used to cry every time we had the parade in our neighborhood.
C: Which I thought was really sweet! And I get it. It’s like, aw, you know, people from the community! And there were like … you know, the marching band from the high school, and floats, and it’s just a sweet community moment, I think.
K: Yeah. I think that’s definitely what it is. I think that’s what I’m responding to with the Ferris Bueller thing. But it … maybe it’s just like … I would be interested to see, once the pandemic has started to ease—which it kind of is and also kind of isn’t—once it’s better, or getting better, I wonder what my response to that scene will be. I’ll have to check in with myself in two or three years. (laughing) See if I still feel that way.
C: Right. Let’s circle back in three years. Let’s check on you.
K: Yeah, for sure. Remind us, listeners! So yeah, do we wanna move on to songs? I think you have some songs.
C: Sure! Oh, well, I was just thinking … and in general, we did post this on our Twitter and Instagram, just what made people cry, and as you said, a lot of it was music. So some of the responses were “Life on Mars” by David Bowie, which I totally understand.
K: Sarah, @hikikonormie on Twitter, said Dolly Parton.
C: Dolly Parton, which I also understand. It was Dolly Parton and EmmyLou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. I’m forgetting one, though.
K: There was also the Muppets and John—not John Lennon! John Denver album—
C: John Denver and The Muppets. Which my sister also cries to. So when I saw that, I was just like, yes! And I’m gonna have to tell my sister about it.
K: Not the only one!
C: No. And this is something—and it was so funny to me, cuz we’ve talked about this so many times, her crying over the Muppets album and the John Denver album. And that’s another example, I think, of being touched by something very sweet. Also the chord changes, and the music is more melancholy.
K: Yeah, that’s what Sarah mentioned about EmmyLou Harris, is that the chord changes and certain keys, they have an effect on you.
C: Oh, yeah. Dolly Parton is kind of a master at writing the songs that make you cry—
K: Those kinds of songs, yeah.
C: —like “Coat of Many Colors.” That song makes me cry. You know, about growin up poor, and they have no money, and she didn’t even have a coat and so her mom sews her this coat. It’s like, oh my god. Tears.
K: (laughs) Mm-hmm. Yeah, I was gonna say, like I think generally speaking, country music tends to be very good at that, so yeah. That makes total sense. My song that I thought of … the first one that came to mind was I think maybe an unusual choice, but the song “Bag Lady” by Erykah Badu.
C: That makes me cry.
K: Okay. I’m so glad you said that! (laughs) Because I remember when that song came out, when I was in high school, and I got that CD, that album, and I listened to that song on repeat for … I don’t know, like a month, it felt like. I just … I don’t know what it is about it.
C: It’s an amazing song! It is an amazing song.
K: It’s so good! It’s so good. But every time I hear it, I just well up and I’m like, (laughing) oh no! But I think that’s what I like about it, is that it’s very … you know, it’s talking about like, as a woman, there’s just a lot of stuff that you deal with, you know? And so you just gotta—
C: Right. The metaphor of bein a woman carrying all this baggage, with a homeless woman carrying all this baggage, rushin for the bus.
K: Exactly. Exactly.
C: Oh, my god. That song. Yeah. Tears. Tears.
K: It’s really good. I think it was one of the first songs that I listened to and I was like, oh, shit, it’s gonna be real weird being a woman!
K: Being an adult woman is gonna be really hard, like, okay, I guess I gotta get ready for that! But that song really, it just always … it always just pierces my heart every time. It’s definitely in my top-ten favorite songs of all time. Like, not even a question.
C: Oh, me too. Me too. Yeah, when she sings “Pack light,” and her voice—
K: Ugh, my god! So good.
C: —yeah. I’m gonna cry now.
K: A really good video, too!
C: It is a good—yeah. Somebody on Instagram too—I thought this was an excellent choice—mentioned “Ex-Factor” by Lauryn Hill.
K: Oh, my gosh yes. Also a good video!
C: Oh my god, I watched the video yesterday after she mentioned it. Talk about Lauryn Hill in her prime.
K: I mean, just incredibly gor[geous]—like skin? You’re just like, how are you a real person? Like she just—
C: She … radiant. Luminous.
K: Beautiful. (laughs) So beautiful.
C: I mean, and she’s wearing this white jumpsuit, and … oh my—I mean—
K: Just like perfectly sculpted shoulders, arms …
K: You’re just like, what? Like it’s not—
C: I know. And her voice? I mean, oh my god.
K: She’s incredible.
C: And just fuck Wyclef forever, too.
K: I know, I was gonna say, that song … when you learn who it’s about and the situation, you’re like … god, men. Again. Like it’s one of those things where you’re like, man, being an adult woman is gonna be rough, I guess. (laughs)
C: Real rough, yeah.
K: One album that I do feel like just gets to me is this album called Will You Find Me by the band Ida.
C: Oh! I know the band, but I don’t know the album.
K: Yeah, the album … oh my god, I think it came out in the year 2000. The band is Beth Littleton—Elizabeth Littleton—and her husband Daniel, and I think her sister and his brother. So like it’s kind of a family band, but a weird amalgam of people. And they … it’s just such … Elizabeth Littleton has an incredibly … how do I explain it? It’s a very clear voice. You know how some singers, their voices maybe have a little bit of rasp, or they’re just a little bit sharp?
K: Her voice is very smooth, but also incredibly clear. Like a bell. It reminds me of like the indie-folk version of Whitney Houston.
K: You know how Whitney Houston’s voice was just like … so pure it could just cut through? Her voice is like that, but like an indie-folk singer version. (laughs) And so they have that album—Will You Find Me I think is one of their most popular albums. They have a ton. But that one is just so good, and the lyrics are so good, and there are two songs that always just absolutely crush me. One is called “This Water,” and it’s basically about … it’s a woman singing from the perspective of like a wife whose husband goes away on a ship of some kind regularly, and she always crosses her fingers and prays that he will come back safely to her. And there’s another song on there called “Encantada” that I just … it’s so beautiful. It’s about being in love, and how the person … when you’re in love and it’s good, the person holds you up, you know, you hold each other up—
K: —and it’s just, like, her voice, it’s so good! It makes me so mad. I think she does children’s music now, cuz they have a bunch of kids, her and her husband—Elizabeth and her husband. But yeah, that album—ugh, it’s so good. If you’re like, I just wanna have a really nice cry. But yeah, the album Will You Find Me by the band Ida. It’s a perfect album. I love it so much.
C: I’ll check that out.
K: Yeah. Highly recommend.
C: When I need a good cry, though, if I’m gonna be like, okay, I’m gonna do this, I think I would reach for either old—obviously old—but Elliott Smith … can fucking wreck me.
K: Mm-hmm. That was the one I almost put on the list, but I was like, (laughing) I bet Caitlin’s gonna say that.
C: Yeah. Oh my god. Like … I actually used to do this as a teen, where at night, I would be, you know, be by myself in my bed, and I would put music on. And that would be the time that I would designate to cry, cuz I had a lot going on. So I was like, this will be my time where I’ll cry, and I would put on Elliott Smith. And the song “Pitseleh,” off the XO album—
K: I was gonna say, XO probably. (laughs)
C: Yeah, XO! Uh, I don’t know what “Pitseleh” means. Do you?
K: … No?
C: I googled it too, and I came up with nothing.
K: I’ve never even thought to do that! (laughing) Which is I guess my own problem.
C: Yeah, I googled it … there’s something about that song that just … ugh, it’s so sad. And then going back, you know, to his earlier work, like “Needle in the Hay,” “Between the Bars,” I mean he … his voice, it’s just so evocative, and it breaks my heart. So him, or like old Cat Power, that’ll do it.
K: Oh, yeah. I was actually … the reason both of those came up is because … I picked Ida, but like I was scrolling through my … I have a playlist of sad songs—
K: Not necessarily songs that make me cry, but are generally sad.
C: Yeah, yeah.
K: Not all of them make me tear up, but the … You Are Free album, there’s a bunch of Cat Power songs that I just was like … uh, I could talk about these if we get there! (laughs) But I’m glad you brought her up, cuz she’s … yeah. Man. Really good. See, her voice is one I think of as the opposite of Beth Littleton, Elizabeth Littleton, because it’s not smooth. Like her voice has a little bit of a like … a gruffness to it—
C: Smoky raspiness.
K: Yeah, but I really enjoy it.
C: Yeah, she’s got such a beautiful voice.
K: Another one—speaking of older songs or music, a song that I feel like has been … I don’t know. I feel like has been—the artist definitely gets a lot of appreciation, but I feel like the song has kind of been overshadowed by the cover of it, but “This Woman’s Work.”
C: Oh, yeah!
K: That song—again, another song where it’s like, oh, being an adult … being a woman will be real rough!
K: That Kate Bush, just … aw, man.
C: God. Genius!
K: Just absolutely … it’s just a devastating song, even though it’s just like … it’s about a thing that’s ostensibly good, but man. She really wrings every single drop of sadness out of that song.
K: It always, always, always makes me emotional every time. I’m like, she’s so good at being a singer!
C: I know. I think also for me like old soul songs, like Candi Staton has a voice. Talk about like raspy, smoky kind of voice—
K: I don’t know that person! Who’s that?
C: She’s (sighs)—unfortunately, she’s most known for a remix of the song I think that they used on Sex and the City. But Candi Staton has one of my all-time favorite voices. She used to literally in the studio, before she would record, she would scream—
K: (gasps) Oh, she did “Stand by Your Man.”
C: Yeah. She would scream until she was hoarse and then record so she would get that into the recording.
K: Oh, interesting. I feel like I heard the same thing about—
C: Her songs kill me.
K: I feel like I heard the same thing about Merry Clayton, that she would do something similar—
C: (gasps) Oh god, also one of my all-time favorite singers! Merry Clayton.
K: Yeah. So good.
C: But yeah, her voice. Love it.
K: Very good. Very good.
C: Yeah. Old soul. A singer, Bettye Swann, is someone I really love, and she has one of my favorite voices of all time. Bettye Swann. Okay, well I think that was a great discussion on crying.
K: (laughs) Okay.
C: But now it’s time to move on. So now we have our fan favorite segment, Two Cents, No Tax.
So Krystal, you’re up this week.
K: Wait, am I?!
K: Oh, you mean I’m going to receive the questions.
C: You are going—yes.
K: Oh, okay. (laughing) I got very worried.
C: I give and you receive.
K: I was very concerned.
C: Oh, no no no. (laughs) Do you think you’re ready?
K: Um, I am now that I don’t have to do anything. Yeah. I’m ready. (laughs)
C: You can just sit back. Okay. The first question, or the first topic, rather, that I would like to get your Two Cents, No Tax on is onion rings.
K: Uh, I’m a fan. I think growing up, my mom preferred them to fries, so whenever we would go like, whatever, to get fast food, we would always get fries and she would always get onion rings, so I could always have a couple of hers. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life ordered them.
K: Like, just ordered an order of onion rings (laughs) even though I enjoyed them. Yeah.
C: So have you ever had a—you haven’t had a bloomin onion, then.
K: No, I haven’t. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been to Outback Steakhouse.
C: I’ve been there once, I think.
K: So this is a thing I’d be interested to talk to you about. Maybe we could put it on another about it on another episode about food, or, you know, talking about food. But I … again, I have mentioned it in the past, you know—I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, and I grew up in a smaller town, and we didn’t have a lot of these sort of chain, fast-casual kinds of restaurants, and so when people talk about them and talk about how crappy they are, I’m like, I remember I got to go to Red Lobster once when I was a kid, and I thought it was like, I was like, oh my god. This is the height of luxury, you know? (laughs) So I have a very different relationship to those kinds of places than I think most other people do. But yeah, I have not … I don’t think I’ve ever been to Red—to Outback.
C: And it’s funny that you mentioned Red Lobster, because the episode is crying, and I had an incredibly traumatic—
K: Oh no! (laughs)
C: —experience at Red Lobster that makes me laugh now. But when I was a kid, we took a … just cursed road trip up to where I live now, the town I live in now. And we went to Red Lobster for dinner. Just keep in mind, I’m in Arkansas. It’s landlocked. We are nowhere near the ocean or sea.
K: Mm-hmm. (laughs)
C: But however, we went to Red Lobster, and I’ve always been sensitive. We go in there, and there’s the tank of lobsters—
K: Oh no! Oh, Caitlin. (laughs)
C: —and me not knowing what is happening, and then it gets explained to me that like, yeah, this is dinner. Although we weren’t ordering lobsters. So that’s the first thing that happens.
K: Yeah. (laughs) Oh, god.
C: So I immediately start crying. I have to be taken to the bathroom cuz, I’m like … you know, crying. Okay, you think that’s the end of it? No. We order mozzarella sticks, which I love. Then I start to choke. So I’m choking in the midst of Red Lobster. They have to do the Heimlich.
K: Oh, jesus.
C: The worst road trip we’ve ever—
C: And like, so much stuff happened on this trip. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but yeah. So when I think … when people talk about Red Lobster, I’m immediately like, yes, me choking on mozzarella sticks and crying.
Okay, movin on. How do you feel about camping?
K: Well, I will say, I’ve never been, so there’s that to start. But generally speaking, I don’t know that I would like … I mean, I don’t know. Like I said, I’ve never been, so I don’t know if I would like it, but knowing what I know about myself, I assume I wouldn’t like it. I think it’s fine. I think it’s probably an interesting experience, but the idea of there’s nowhere to pee—
K: —and like, there’s just stuff I’m like … logistically, practically, pragmatically, I’m like, I don’t know how this would work—
K: —but I think it would be fun to try, just once just to see how I feel about it, but I’ve never been.
C: How do you feel about aliens?
K: (laughs) How do I feel about them? I don’t know. I don’t think they exist? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t have any strong opinions about them. I don’t really go in for the like, paranormal or extraterrestrial stuff, really.
C: Mm-hmm. Would you want aliens to exist?
K: I feel like, knowing everything we know about the world and the universe and galaxies and how many there are and how big they are, I feel like statistically, it’s probably that they do. You know what I mean?
C: Right. But do you want them to?
K: Do I want them to? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I really care.
K: Do I want them to? I don’t really know what that would mean, wanting them to.
C: I want them to exist, and I want to be abducted, forever, away from Earth.
K: Okay. (laughs) Okay. Relax. Relax. Yeah, I don’t want to be abducted. I can say that for sure. I don’t want them—
C: If they’re nice.
K: No. But you don’t know if they’re gonna be nice! That’s the point.
C: This is like, best-case scenario. I meet up with some cool aliens …
K: (laughs) When does best-case scenario ever happen, though?
C: (laughing) True. In my life? Yeah.
K: (laughs) Yeah, no. My take is they probably exist.
K: I don’t necessarily want to meet them. I don’t also care if they do. If they do, great. If they don’t, okay.
C: I mean, the Pentagon—and this is the Pentagon—
K: Oh my gosh, Caitlin. (laughs)
C: They have confirmed—they’ve confirmed UFOs.
K: Mmm. Okay. I guess if I had to take a stance, I would say that I’m like a skeptic, but that they probably exist. Like if I had to take a stance.
C: Okay. But you don’t want to … if you had an opportunity—
K: (laughing) No, I don’t want to be abducted, Caitlin!
C: What if it wasn’t an abduction? What if it was like, a friendly meeting?
K: Uhhh … no.
K: I don’t know.
K: I mean, I don’t know! Yeah, I mean … maybe? Cuz when I think of Independence Day, I think of that Randy Quaid character, who like—
C: Oh, god.
K: —had been abducted, but nobody believed him for like twenty years, so he basically became a pariah, because he’s like, hey, aliens did this and everyone’s like, alright dude. You know what I mean?
K: So like, maybe not? Because then you have to deal with like no one taking you seriously, and the people who do take you seriously are people you don’t necessarily want to take you seriously.
C: Mm, they’re people like me.
K: (laughing) I mean … I think you’re on the less intense end of that, but yeah. I don’t, uh … I’m a skeptic, but I’m like, if they exist, that’s fine too. I just don’t … let’s just keep our distance, everyone. That’s all.
C: Okay. Tough but fair. Okay, the final one I think I will go with is: I would like to hear your opinions on Nicole Kidman.
K: Mm. Okay, I think I have some unpopular, maybe, opinions. I think she’s a good actress.
K: I’m not anti-her acting. I think she’s great. I think she’s kind of a weirdo. (laughs) Like, personally maybe?
C: Is she?
K: I don’t know. I just feel like she was married to Tom Cruise all those years, and now she’s married to Keith Urban which is like, what?
C: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
K: I mean, he seems fine. He seems like a perfectly fine person. But it’s just a very weird, like … alright, I guess. And this is not fair, and I absolutely have no right to have an opinion on any of this cuz it’s not my body, but I wish she would stop doing things to her face. (laughs)
K: Like I think it’s really hurting her, and it’s hurting my ability to look at her—and that feels cruel. I don’t mean that. I don’t mean look at her, but I just feel like she looks so different from how she used to look that I just can’t focus really on her performances a lot of the time.
K: And I feel like there are a lot of actors where I feel this way. Another one that I think of that—I liked her in Ocean’s 8, but I just kept focusing on like … the fact that her face is a different face, and that’s Sandra Bullock.
K: I’m like why are you doing stuff to your face? It’s fine. It was fine before. But yeah, I think she’s a great actress, really talented. I think she’s made some weird choices in the last couple of years, but I just wish she would stop doing things to her face.
C: I do too.
K: I find it really upsetting. I don’t mean that in a judgmental way, like I truly am just like, ugh, what a bummer. You know?
K: It makes—like it bums me out to know that people have this like—again, like I said, it’s her body and she has agency to do with it what she chooses, and I understand the pressures that everyone is under, especially if you’re a woman who’s aging, which we all are. But I just feel very … it’s unsettling to me.
K: And I find it harder to watch the more stuff she does to her face. It’s a bummer, cuz I think she’s really, really, really talented.
C: Yeah. I agree with you on all that. I definitely, before I started watching The Undoing, my friend Stephanie—shoutout to Stephanie—she was like … essentially said exactly what you said, that she was literally distracted, watching it, by her face. And again, that was not meant in any kinda way other than like, Nicole has been around in this industry for years and years. We know what you look like!
K: Yeah, that’s the thing! That’s … and that’s my question, is like … the idea that we’re supposed to, or expected to, like … not feel unsettled when an actor who we knew what they looked like for decades suddenly looks different, and we’re just like, that’s fine.
C: Yeah, I think too just with the Botox, it’s like, just chill with the Botox, Nicole.
K: It’s very intense.
C: Just take a breather.
Well, thank you for your Two Cents, No Tax. Always giving me something to think about.
K: I was expecting weirder stuff. I guess the alien thing was pretty weird, so I guess we’re fine.
C: I mean, I have others on this list—
K: No, that’s good. It’s good.
C: —but I feel like you did a good job. I need to save some, you know.
K: Okay. Good.
C: I gotta leave the fans wanting more.
K: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
C: Okay, so now is the time where we’re gonna talk about what we are listening to or reading or watching this week.
C: So for me, I think I … yeah, I already mentioned that I had been watching that Friday Night Dinners, which is on amazon and is a British show. So one thing with British shows that I’ve noticed is they’ll be on in like 2016 and then they go away and then two years—
K: (laughs) For like five years.
C: Yeah, and then they come back and there’s a new season. So I think it started in 2015, maybe, 2016, and I think it had a cult following, or maybe it was really popular. I’m not English; I don’t know.
K: I honestly had never heard of it, so I feel like if it was popular, it was very much a cult thing. Not that I’m any kinda Anglophile, but like I do … I’m always plugged into the internet (laughs) so I feel like stuff bubbles up, I hear about it.
C: Yeah. I just saw it because it had been … the thumbnail came up on my amazon. And then sadly, Paul Ritter died this month, and he was trending on Twitter and I didn’t know who it was, and so I … you know, was seeing who it was, and everyone was talking about what a great actor he is. And he was in Chernobyl, which I have seen, and he’s been in lotsa things—
K: Oh, that guy!
C: Yeah! So then all these comedians that I liked were talking about Friday Night Dinner and just how funny he was on that, so I decided that might be a good thing for me to watch. And I’m glad I did. It is really, really funny. So I binged all the seasons that are on amazon. That was great comic relief. I really needed like a silly, funny, just good show. So I recommend Friday Night Dinner on amazon prime if you have it, and then … this is not funny at all. the book I’ve been reading is called Empire of Pain—
K: Oh, yeah.
C: —which is the new book by Patrick Radden Keefe, who I love. He wrote Say Nothing, about the IRA and this … I mean, that book was phenomenal. That’s one of my favorite books. But so Empire of Pain is all about the Sackler family, who essentially are the architects of the opioid crisis in America. So again, not light reading. It is so thorough; prodigious reporting; it spans generations. Like it goes to the beginning of the Sackler family and their wealth and what happened. It is like Succession on steroids.
K: (laughs) Literally.
C: Yeah. Right? Yeah. And so I’ve learned so much. It’s so intriguing; it’s so compelling. It’s a really long book. It’s like … I don’t know, I’m reading it on my kindle. I think it’s like 600 pages or something, so I am not done. (laughs) But highly, highly recommend Empire of Pain. And also really recommend the book he wrote before, Say Nothing, if you are into nonfiction.
C: And even if you’re not, his writing just grabs you. And he does such an incredible job with reporting. So those are the two things that I thought I would highlight this week. So how bout you?
K: I love that you always bring a book. Again, you are the literate one.
K & C: (laugh)
K: I’m always like, I watched a show! I did actually read a book this week, so … proud of me.
K: I finished Passing and Quicksand, the Nella Larsen novellas, cuz I was gonna have a little mini-book club with my manager at work—
K: I know, right?
C: It’s cute!
K: It is cute. We’re very cute. Um, so my things … I had two, and none of them are from HBO Max—
K: —so (laughs) I’m proud of me for branching out! So I watched a documentary on Hulu this time. We kind of touched on it earlier, but it’s a documentary called Hysterical about women in comedy and stand-up comedy.
K: And I liked it. I think it’s good. I definitely—as someone who’s like a comedy person, I don’t think I learned stuff that I didn’t know, but I did like the breadth of people that they featured in it. And I think too, maybe if people were to say like, I thought they focused on too many people and I didn’t really get a sense of any one person’s sort of background or their perspective, I would totally see that criticism of it, but it basically just touches on the work of a number of different women comedians. They’re at various different stages; you know, you have the early comedians. Judy Gold is in it; you know, these comedians who are very well-established, and then you have more younger comedians, who are established, but not maybe as established as a Judy Gold. Like a Nikki Glaser, and Iliza Shlesinger, and then you have women from different backgrounds, so you have Marina Franklin, who’s a … you have Loni Love, who are you, know, Black comedians—
K: —and they also talk about like they have … one of the women who’s like very, very, very new at comedy is a woman named … oh, I can’t remember her name, but she was the woman whose comedy set went viral when she like—
C: Kelly Bachman?
K: Yes. She was at the comedy—
K: Harvey Weinstein was in the crowd when she was doing stand-up one day and she totally dragged him. (laughs) Like it was really incredible. And as someone who was very young and also not established in comedy, that was a very … it was a really—
K: Yeah, exactly. She was very brave for doing that. That was an incredible choice that she made, and a lot of the women comedians who they talked about—who they talked to in the movie were just like, I’ve been doing comedy for twenty years, and I don’t know if I would have done that, you know? And so I think it just speaks to a different way that younger female comedians sort of engage with not just the … you know, the act of being a comedian, but also like … what kinds of things they talk about in their comedy, and that they’re not afraid to bring in these topics like sexual assault; like, you know, racism; you know, all kinds of things that maybe wouldn’t have been fodder for material for people who were coming up in the 80’s and 90’s and stuff. I don’t know, it was just really interesting, cuz some of the comedians, like I said, are people you know, like Judy Gold. And some of them are people who are I think up-and-coming but deserve attention, like this Kelly Bachman, but also like Marina Franklin, who’s a Black comedian in LA who has a podcast that I’ve listened to like forever—
K: —and she’s just really, really funny, but I feel like she never really gets the—or has gotten—the attention that other people in her cohort have gotten. And yeah, it was pretty good. Again, like it’s not gonna teach you anything new or revelatory, and you don’t really have a lot of the sort of bigger female comics at the moment, like Amy Schumer’s not in it, you know? Ali Wong’s not in it. Like these comedians—Phoebe Robinson; they’re not in it, you know? (laughs) So it’s not … you’re not getting the bigger names, but I think that makes it a little more interesting, that you get sort of these people who are working towards that, and you get a sense of what it’s actually like to be a working comic. It’s called Hysterical. Again, if you’re a comedy person, it’s probably not gonna be that eye-opening, but it’s gonna be an interesting sort of cross-section of people working right now. And then I watched the Bob Odenkirk movie action-thriller called Nobody. If you’ve seen—
C: Is that the new one?
K: Yeah. It just came out.
C: You’ve got the hookup though, where you get to watch these new movies.
K: (laughs) I watched it on Plex, which—again, I don’t even know what it is.
C: We know! You’ve got a hookup. Brag.
K: I can’t explain how it works, so I can’t even tell you (laughs)—just google it and you’ll find out what Plex is, cuz I haven’t done it yet, but I need to. (laughs) It’s just a weird movie. I don’t even know how to describe it, because it’s played completely straight. Like all of the action—the scenes with his family; the scenes with the other actors; like everything is … nothing is truly played for laughs, but just by the fact of it being played so straight, it becomes funny. I don’t know if that’s necessarily—
C: Mm. No, it makes sense.
K: Yeah. I don’t know if that’s even the like … even the intent (laughs) of the people who made the movie. But basically imagine Taken, but if Taken took itself even more seriously (laughs), right, than that. Like it’s already silly. Everything about it is silly. But like, if it was even more ratcheted up, that’s what this movie is. I don’t know how I felt about it. I was watching it and I’m like, this is a ridiculous movie. Like everything, (laughs) I’m like, everything about it is ridiculous. Everything that’s happening is ridiculous. Christopher Lloyd plays his dad; like RZA plays his like … adopted brother?
C: Oh, god.
K: I don’t even—they never explain that.
C: (laughs) What?!
K: Like they never explain what the deal is. This is not a spoiler, like you could google who’s in the movie right now. You could find out. They never explain what happens—it’s just such a weird … I’m like … okay.
C: That’s a choice. Yeah.
K: It is definitely … it’s definitely a choice. Basically, it’s not—I don’t think it’s pitched as like a send-up of those kind of Taken-style middle-aged guy action movies, but I think it is that. And I think Bob Odenkirk’s really good in it, honestly. I have been on record as saying like, he’s good at comedy, but he might be better at drama. Like he’s so good on Better Call Saul. Like so good. And he’s so good here. And also made me realize, like … Bob Odenkirk … kinda hot? Like I mean, I don’t know. I put it to Twitter, and they were like, yes.
C: Everyone agreed with you.
K: I know! So I’m like, yeah. I think I’m validated in my opinion there. But yeah, it’s an interesting movie. It’s very extremely graphic in places—
C: Oh, okay.
K: —so if you’re like, I can’t do like, action violence, like maybe skip it. Cuz I didn’t know that that was gonna happen.
K: I thought it was gonna be more like, punchy, you know? Like physically punchy, like punching people, not like … you know, a lotta blood.
K: But, it was. So if that’s maybe too much, maybe skip it, but it was very … it’s a very weird movie, and it’s very silly, and I’m just like, Bob Odenkirk. He’s so … he makes choices, and I think they’re really interesting. So this movie was very … it’s very something. (laughs) I don’t know what. But yeah, that was Nobody. I think you can rent it on like all different places.
C: For twenty dollars!
K Oh, can you? Is that how much it costs? Okay.
C: Yeah! Yeah, or if you’re Krystal, you get to watch it for free. (laughs)
K: No, I’m definitely gonna—I have to catch up on all my Oscars stuff, cuz it’s tomorrow—
K: —so like I feel like I’m gonna be renting The Father, cuz I feel like that’s a movie that doesn’t exist, but (laughs) apparently it does, and you can rent it for twenty bucks, so I’m probably gonna do that and check out some Anthony Hopkins.
C: Ooh. Well there you go. You can watch, um … what is it called? Nobody?
K: Nobody. Yep.
C: Nobody. And then if you need a chaser for comedy—
K: Yeah, check out Hysterical.
C: —you can watch a little Friday Night Dinner.
K: And Hysterical.
C: And then Hysterical! Okay, so watch all of these things, and then report back.
K: Yeah. Hysterical is like one hour, or one hour and a half. Ninety minutes, maybe? It’s like a documentary. It’s not a show, so. In and out.
C: Yeah. And then if you do watch these things, let us know what you think!
C: I wanna hear!
K: I’m always interested, when I give people recommendations, how they respond to them—
C: Yeah, me too!
K: —so like if you guys ever watch any of this stuff and you are like, Krystal’s totally wrong (laughs)—
K: —like definitely let me know. Cuz I have been wrong once or twice, but, you know. I am open to being wrong again in the future.
C: And contact us at @TwoCentsPlusTax on Twitter and Instagram, and also please please support our Patreon.
K: Two Cents Plus Tax! Yeah, definitely.
C: Become a member! And we are always conspiring to think of new and fun rewards.
C: We already have fun rewards, but we’re always kinda thinkin up more stuff, so please check that out, and everything’ll be linked in the show notes.
C: And we’re gonna blast it on social media.
K: Exactly. And also, you know, TwoCentsPlusTaxPodcast.com. Is that the website?
C: Dot com!
K: Yep! TwoCentsPlusTaxPodcast.com. That’s where all of our transcripts live for the shows.
K: We are very adamant about having those, so, you know. We wanna make sure that everything is accessible as we can make it. So yeah. Check that out there as well. I think that’s everything? Maybe?
C: That is everything. I’m just gonna go cry a little bit now.
K: Cleanse. Cleanse for the rest of the day. Yeah.
C: Alright. Well, until next time. Bye!
K: Bye everyone!
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