Ben and Matt squeeze into tiny red hoodies and sit down for a fascinating conversation with special guests Angela Santomero and Rachel Kalban, creator and research director, respectively, of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, among other hit children’s programs. The dads learn about the development process of PBS shows, parse the Inception-like enigma of where the Neighborhood ends and the Land of Make Believe begins, and hear what it’s like to get hate mail from fans of Mr. Rogers.
A GIRL (!!!) sneaks into the clubhouse this week, and it’s a good thing, too, because she joins the other dads in convincing Ben that he’s been doing Avatar: The Last Airbender a gross disservice by thinking of it as not much more than The American Idiot’s Guide to Hindu Spirituality. They pretty much win him over, thanks to some sweet, sweet trash-talking of M. Night Shyamalan. Come for the discussion of Airbender’s post-colonial subtext; stay for the special recurring cameo by Ben’s annoying beagles!
Seatbelts, everyone! On this “back to school” episode, Ben, Matt, Cory, and Luke revisit vintage PBS educational programming and talk about all the neat things it teaches, like body horror for kids and the scandal of runaway field trip budgets.
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Ben, Matt, and Luke have bologna in their slacks this week, as the dads take a deep dive into Animaniacs. Matt gets distracted by Bugs Bunny being racist, Luke ponders the sexual politics of “Hello Nurse,” and Ben won’t shut up about old Hollywood. Naturally, there are dueling Pinky & the Brain impressions.
In their inaugural episode, Ben, Matt, and Cory put on their cardigans and boxing gloves, pitting Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood against its scion, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. (Spoiler: one neighbor gets canonized; another gets compared to Jonathan Taylor Thomas singing a Lipitor ad jingle.)
This episode contains explicit language. But just a little.