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October 10, 2019
For many of us, high school was a bizarre experience, particularly in hindsight. It turns out that much of what we cared a great deal about in our teens doesn't actually matter whatsoever, but when you're there -- in the moment and living that life -- the gravity is all too real. 2007's Superbad -- starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera -- celebrates that reality, from the seeming hopelessness of young romance to the pursuit of all-important booze. It also doesn't hurt that the film is incredibly funny and outrageously inappropriate. So sit down, kick back, and reminisce along with us about one of the great teen movies of all-time. And if you don't? Well... prepare to be fucked by the long dick of the law. (Not really.)
October 10, 2019
For many of us, high school was a bizarre experience, particularly in hindsight. It turns out that much of what we cared a great deal about in our teens doesn't actually matter whatsoever, but when you're there -- in the moment and living that life -- the gravity is all too real. 2007's Superbad -- starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera -- celebrates that reality, from the seeming hopelessness of young romance to the pursuit of all-important booze. It also doesn't hurt that the film is incredibly funny and outrageously inappropriate. So sit down, kick back, and reminisce along with us about one of the great teen movies of all-time. And if you don't? Well... prepare to be fucked by the long dick of the law. (Not really.)     
October 3, 2019
It took a while for PlayStation 3 to really get going, but when it did, it graced players with a slew of amazing exclusive games that solidified the console's place in industry history. Interestingly enough, though, it was one of its very last exclusives -- launched in the shadow of PlayStation 4 -- that easily takes the cake as PS3's best game. Naughty Dog's The Last of Us came out in the early summer of 2013, and immediately bowled over millions of gamers around the world with its incredible story, amazing characters, award-winning performances, and fantastic gameplay. It's truly, actually, really, and definitely one of the best games ever made, and we are thrilled to dedicate nearly three hours to talking all about it. So take a knee, craft what you need, and let's get going. Oh... and avoid those spores.
October 3, 2019
It took a while for PlayStation 3 to really get going, but when it did, it graced players with a slew of amazing exclusive games that solidified the console's place in industry history. Interestingly enough, though, it was one of its very last exclusives -- launched in the shadow of PlayStation 4 -- that easily takes the cake as PS3's best game. Naughty Dog's The Last of Us came out in the early summer of 2013, and immediately bowled over millions of gamers around the world with its incredible story, amazing characters, award-winning performances, and fantastic gameplay. It's truly, actually, really, and definitely one of the best games ever made, and we are thrilled to dedicate nearly three hours to talking all about it. So take a knee, craft what you need, and let's get going. Oh... and avoid those spores.
September 26, 2019
Yes, it's true: There's a lot to love about the 1970s. But the reality is, it was kind of a down decade. Unemployment was high, and inflation was, too. An oil embargo crippled western economies. The peace and love of the '60s rapidly gave way to stagnation, corruption, and agitation. By 1980, people were ready to break free, and they did just that. Buttressed by a technological boom and a rapidly recovering market, the '80s were a time of excess, a time to be loud and bold. The music, movies, games, and television shows each tell a portion of the overall tale -- and we've talked plenty about 'em here on KnockBack -- but it's perhaps that 10 year span's fashion that spoke (and still speaks) loudest. This was an era when sneakers and caps first became an obsession, when accessorizing reached an all-time high, when the colors you wore better be bright (and preferably neon), or else. So grab your Aquanet, tease that hair, and turn on your answering machine. Let's discuss a time when people wore 10 watches at once, when shoulder pads were considered hot for some reason, and when Air Jordans somehow cost more than they do today.
September 26, 2019
Yes, it's true: There's a lot to love about the 1970s. But the reality is, it was kind of a down decade. Unemployment was high, and inflation was, too. An oil embargo crippled western economies. The peace and love of the '60s rapidly gave way to stagnation, corruption, and agitation. By 1980, people were ready to break free, and they did just that. Buttressed by a technological boom and a rapidly recovering market, the '80s were a time of excess, a time to be loud and bold. The music, movies, games, and television shows each tell a portion of the overall tale -- and we've talked plenty about 'em here on KnockBack -- but it's perhaps that 10 year span's fashion that spoke (and still speaks) loudest. This was an era when sneakers and caps first became an obsession, when accessorizing reached an all-time high, when the colors you wore better be bright (and preferably neon), or else. So grab your Aquanet, tease that hair, and turn on your answering machine. Let's discuss a time when people wore 10 watches at once, when shoulder pads were considered hot for some reason, and when Air Jordans somehow cost more than they do today.
September 19, 2019
By the early '90s, Disney's much-vaunted animation revival was in full swing. The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast had the company buzzing, yet the decade still had much, much more in store. In late 1992, Aladdin joined the roster, packing a rock-solid cast of voice actors helmed by comedian Robin Williams. Yet, while Williams' ad-libbed performance as Genie is the most celebrated part of the film (and the way Disney treated him perhaps the most notorious), a wonderful crew of animators worked tirelessly to bring the world of Agrabah to life. So let's take a step back and remember a movie from the very thick of the so-called Disney Renaissance, and remember why it was so special to begin with.
September 19, 2019
By the early '90s, Disney's much-vaunted animation revival was in full swing. The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast had the company buzzing, yet the decade still had much, much more in store. In late 1992, Aladdin joined the roster, packing a rock-solid cast of voice actors helmed by comedian Robin Williams. Yet, while Williams' ad-libbed performance as Genie is the most celebrated part of the film (and the way Disney treated him perhaps the most notorious), a wonderful crew of animators worked tirelessly to bring the world of Agrabah to life. So let's take a step back and remember a movie from the very thick of the so-called Disney Renaissance, and remember why it was so special to begin with.
September 12, 2019
Children aren't exactly the most rational creatures on the planet, and naturally, the Moriarty Boys weren't immune to this reality in their younger years. Today's episode of KnockBack is structured around that irrationality, specifically when it comes to the things kids fear. Dagan was afraid of nuclear war, sharks, and aliens. Colin (that's me!) lived in silent fear of a recurring nightmare known as The Tickley Monster, being buried alive, and often wondered if was he was going to die of AIDS (thanks, late-'80s and early-'90s Paranoid America!). All of this is easy to look back and laugh at (and trust us, we do), but it's likewise rooted in the mysticism of youth, when we frankly don't understand very much about the world around us, but think we do. So let's embarrass ourselves just a tad, shall we?
September 12, 2019
Children aren't exactly the most rational creatures on the planet, and naturally, the Moriarty Boys weren't immune to this reality in their younger years. Today's episode of KnockBack is structured around that irrationality, specifically when it comes to the things kids fear. Dagan was afraid of nuclear war, sharks, and aliens. Colin (that's me!) lived in silent fear of a recurring nightmare known as The Tickley Monster, being buried alive, and often wondered if was he was going to die of AIDS (thanks, late-'80s and early-'90s Paranoid America!). All of this is easy to look back and laugh at (and trust us, we do), but it's likewise rooted in the mysticism of youth, when we frankly don't understand very much about the world around us, but think we do. So let's embarrass ourselves just a tad, shall we?
September 5, 2019
Dinosaurs are a bit of cultural phenomenon, and have been for a century and a half, since the earliest professional paleontologists ventured out to find the fossilized remains of one of Earth's most mysterious and fascinating prior occupants. Yet, perhaps no single piece of fiction has ever played on that human love of dinosaurs quite like Jurassic Park. While Jurassic Park found its origins as a book, released in 1990 and written by the late, great Michael Crichton, it was intended on a movie from pretty much the word go (Crichton even adapted the novel into film form himself for a cool half a million bucks). It's the movie that captured the world's imagination, and it was such a smash hit that it became the highest-grossing film of all-time following its run through theaters in the summer of 1993. Not too shabby! So let's talk about Crichton's classic, Steven Spielberg's directing, John Williams' score, and the performances of Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and many others. (Like Jeff Goldblum. Duh!) Just be sure you say the magic word.
September 5, 2019
Dinosaurs are a bit of cultural phenomenon, and have been for a century and a half, since the earliest professional paleontologists ventured out to find the fossilized remains of one of Earth's most mysterious and fascinating prior occupants. Yet, perhaps no single piece of fiction has ever played on that human love of dinosaurs quite like Jurassic Park. While Jurassic Park found its origins as a book, released in 1990 and written by the late, great Michael Crichton, it was intended on a movie from pretty much the word go (Crichton even adapted the novel into film form himself for a cool half a million bucks). It's the movie that captured the world's imagination, and it was such a smash hit that it became the highest-grossing film of all-time following its run through theaters in the summer of 1993. Not too shabby! So let's talk about Crichton's classic, Steven Spielberg's directing, John Williams' score, and the performances of Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and many others. (Like Jeff Goldblum. Duh!) Just be sure you say the magic word.
August 29, 2019
In May of 1999, the very Earth below us shook as Star Wars fully emerged from dormancy. While George Lucas ate around the edges throughout the '90s, re-releasing the classic trilogy multiple times while launching an absurd amount of toys and other merchandise, it all ultimately led to one thing: Episode I. As the first Star Wars film since 1983's Return of the Jedi, Episode I -- subtitled The Phantom Menace -- had immense pressure put on it from the moment it was announced, and for most fans, it simply didn't deliver. But really, there's a lot more here than just (in our opinion) a subpar film. There's a ravenous fandom to discuss, too, one that we were (and kinda still are) a part of. There was the early Internet, forums, leaks, rumors, and more. There's a director who probably shouldn't be directing, a producer who didn't really seem to be producing, and special effects that don't age quite as well as you'd think. What went wrong with E1? What did it do right? And what was it like seeing it in the theater, opening day, opening show, around a lot of very, very, very excited people, about a decade before you could even share the experience on your smartphone? This is the longest episode of KnockBack yet, and you voted for it. (Yes: We're angels.)
August 29, 2019
In May of 1999, the very Earth below us shook as Star Wars fully emerged from dormancy. While George Lucas ate around the edges throughout the '90s, re-releasing the classic trilogy multiple times while launching an absurd amount of toys and other merchandise, it all ultimately led to one thing: Episode I. As the first Star Wars film since 1983's Return of the Jedi, Episode I -- subtitled The Phantom Menace -- had immense pressure put on it from the moment it was announced, and for most fans, it simply didn't deliver. But really, there's a lot more here than just (in our opinion) a subpar film. There's a ravenous fandom to discuss, too, one that we were (and kinda still are) a part of. There was the early Internet, forums, leaks, rumors, and more. There's a director who probably shouldn't be directing, a producer who didn't really seem to be producing, and special effects that don't age quite as well as you'd think. What went wrong with E1? What did it do right? And what was it like seeing it in the theater, opening day, opening show, around a lot of very, very, very excited people, about a decade before you could even share the experience on your smartphone? This is the longest episode of KnockBack yet, and you voted for it. (Yes: We're angels.)
August 22, 2019
What can you really say about The Big Lebowski? Well... a ton, as it turns out. The Coen Brothers' 1998 cult-classic comedy is one of the most quotable films of all-time, with one of the most bizarre cast of amazing characters you'll ever encounter in the genre. Smart, witty, and wonderfully written, The Big Lebowski rings loudly more than two decades after its release not because of '90s nostalgia or hazy retro glasses. It's an authentically hysterical movie, and more than worthy of an episode of KnockBack. So mark it an eight, Dude, and then sit down, do a J, and join us for a fun episode about an enormously influential flick. He asked me to repeat that: Join us for a fun episode about an enormously influential flick.
August 22, 2019
What can you really say about The Big Lebowski? Well... a ton, as it turns out. The Coen Brothers' 1998 cult-classic comedy is one of the most quotable films of all-time, with one of the most bizarre cast of amazing characters you'll ever encounter in the genre. Smart, witty, and wonderfully written, The Big Lebowski rings loudly more than two decades after its release not because of '90s nostalgia or hazy retro glasses. It's an authentically hysterical movie, and more than worthy of an episode of KnockBack. So mark it an eight, Dude, and then sit down, do a J, and join us for a fun episode about an enormously influential flick. He asked me to repeat that: Join us for a fun episode about an enormously influential flick.
August 15, 2019
Even the darkest fiction we watch and read typically has some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. But not Cormac McCarthy's The Road. First published in 2006 (and later turned into a film in 2009), The Road is unlike any father-and-son tale you've ever experienced. Civilization is in ruins, the sun is blotted out by endless smoke, almost everyone is dead, and the world and its few remaining inhabitants are completely unrecognizable. What does it take to survive in such an unimaginably dark situation? And is it even worth surviving at all? Let's delve into this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and ask ourselves a simple question, the question at the very heart of McCarthy's narrative: Is there any limit to what you'd do for love?
August 15, 2019
Even the darkest fiction we watch and read typically has some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. But not Cormac McCarthy's The Road. First published in 2006 (and later turned into a film in 2009), The Road is unlike any father-and-son tale you've ever experienced. Civilization is in ruins, the sun is blotted out by endless smoke, almost everyone is dead, and the world and its few remaining inhabitants are completely unrecognizable. What does it take to survive in such an unimaginably dark situation? And is it even worth surviving at all? Let's delve into this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and ask ourselves a simple question, the question at the very heart of McCarthy's narrative: Is there any limit to what you'd do for love?
August 8, 2019
No matter where we're from, many of us spend something like 14 years in mandatory school systems that served only to distract us from our toys, video games, and watching cartoons. Yet there we were, imprisoned and desperate to escape. But school wasn't always an agonizing experience, especially when you had the right teacher helming your class. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to them, to the teachers we've taken with us, the ones that inspired us, helped us, cared about us, and -- ultimately -- stuck with us. From an English teacher who instilled the value of literature, to the history teacher who ran a tight ship except for one specific day a year. From an art teacher who insisted on seriousness from the truly talented, to a math teacher who was perhaps a little to easy on us. Let's chat about our very favorite instructors from our youth. And some of yours, too.
August 8, 2019
No matter where we're from, many of us spend something like 14 years in mandatory school systems that served only to distract us from our toys, video games, and watching cartoons. Yet there we were, imprisoned and desperate to escape. But school wasn't always an agonizing experience, especially when you had the right teacher helming your class. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to them, to the teachers we've taken with us, the ones that inspired us, helped us, cared about us, and -- ultimately -- stuck with us. From an English teacher who instilled the value of literature, to the history teacher who ran a tight ship except for one specific day a year. From an art teacher who insisted on seriousness from the truly talented, to a math teacher who was perhaps a little to easy on us. Let's chat about our very favorite instructors from our youth. And some of yours, too.
August 1, 2019
When Rosemary's Baby hit theaters in 1968, the horror genre as we know it today didn't really exist yet. The scariest flicks of the era were low budget, poorly lit, and corny beyond belief. But Roman Polanski's film helped define a shift towards the same kind of well written, expertly produced and directed psychological horror that had already found a niche on nascent TV. Written by a bohemian novelist, adapted and spearheaded for the big screen by a highly controversial director, and starring a famous actress who was then known only for her work on a soap opera, Rosemary's Baby is a horror film for the ages. But back in 1968, its religious, witchcraftian premise was utterly offensive to mainstream American sensibilities. That, of course, is part of why it's so great.
August 1, 2019
When Rosemary's Baby hit theaters in 1968, the horror genre as we know it today didn't really exist yet. The scariest flicks of the era were low budget, poorly lit, and corny beyond belief. But Roman Polanski's film helped define a shift towards the same kind of well written, expertly produced and directed psychological horror that had already found a niche on nascent TV. Written by a bohemian novelist, adapted and spearheaded for the big screen by a highly controversial director, and starring a famous actress who was then known only for her work on a soap opera, Rosemary's Baby is a horror film for the ages. But back in 1968, its religious, witchcraftian premise was utterly offensive to mainstream American sensibilities. That, of course, is part of why it's so great.
July 25, 2019
Our beloved KnockBack is a lot of things. It's a celebration of nostalgia and memory, of reminiscing and remembering, and, as it turns out, the many characters that make up The Moriarty Cinematic Universe. As our listenership (that's you!) knows, our dad -- Gerard Moriarty -- comes up all the time, sometimes in jest, other times in seriousness, and always with reverence. So this week, we thought we'd invite him on the show so that you can all meet the man himself. What does Mr. Moriarty think about his sons' popular podcast? How does he feel about being brought up almost every week? And, perhaps most vitally, does he want to correct the record in any way, shape, or form? Without further ado, allow us to introduce our father, the Air Force veteran, the retired FDNY lieutenant, the man who used to make meatloaf with cereal. The person, as it turns out, who makes Colin cry for the very first time in KnockBack history. In a good way, of course. It's Onion Man's time to shine!
July 25, 2019
Our beloved KnockBack is a lot of things. It's a celebration of nostalgia and memory, of reminiscing and remembering, and, as it turns out, the many characters that make up The Moriarty Cinematic Universe. As our listenership (that's you!) knows, our dad -- Gerard Moriarty -- comes up all the time, sometimes in jest, other times in seriousness, and always with reverence. So this week, we thought we'd invite him on the show so that you can all meet the man himself. What does Mr. Moriarty think about his sons' popular podcast? How does he feel about being brought up almost every week? And, perhaps most vitally, does he want to correct the record in any way, shape, or form? Without further ado, allow us to introduce our father, the Air Force veteran, the retired FDNY lieutenant, the man who used to make meatloaf with cereal. The person, as it turns out, who makes Colin cry for the very first time in KnockBack history. In a good way, of course. It's Onion Man's time to shine!
July 18, 2019
In 1998, Capcom followed its beloved survival horror game Resident Evil with a sequel. But Resident Evil 2 wasn't just any sequel. It experienced a tortured development, coming to store shelves a full year later than intended, which -- at the time -- was an absolutely catastrophic delay. So expectations were incredibly high. But, with now-famous game dev gods Shinji Mikami (Producer) and Hideki Kamiya (Director) helming the project, it turned out that the wait was more than worth it. Resident Evil 2 is one of Capcom's best-selling games ever, and its modern remake is considered one of 2019's finest titles. We think it's more than worthy of a lengthy episode of KnockBack? Wouldn't you agree?
July 18, 2019
In 1998, Capcom followed its beloved survival horror game Resident Evil with a sequel. But Resident Evil 2 wasn't just any sequel. It experienced a tortured development, coming to store shelves a full year later than intended, which -- at the time -- was an absolutely catastrophic delay. So expectations were incredibly high. But, with now-famous game dev gods Shinji Mikami (Producer) and Hideki Kamiya (Director) helming the project, it turned out that the wait was more than worth it. Resident Evil 2 is one of Capcom's best-selling games ever, and its modern remake is considered one of 2019's finest titles. We think it's more than worthy of a lengthy episode of KnockBack? Wouldn't you agree?
July 11, 2019
The Brothers Moriarty co-host KnockBack, but it's no secret who the star of the show is: Dagan. So let's focus solely on him today, and hear some of his stories from the '70s, '80s, and '90s. The through-line? These random events -- from his first experience seeing real-life gore to getting chased by the cops through the streets of Philadelphia (and more!) -- are completely unassociated with almost anything else we'd talk about on our retro and nostalgia show. But that doesn't mean these stories shouldn't be told. They should definitely be told. So let's let Dagan tell 'em!
July 11, 2019
The Brothers Moriarty co-host KnockBack, but it's no secret who the star of the show is: Dagan. So let's focus solely on him today, and hear some of his stories from the '70s, '80s, and '90s. The through-line? These random events -- from his first experience seeing real-life gore to getting chased by the cops through the streets of Philadelphia (and more!) -- are completely unassociated with almost anything else we'd talk about on our retro and nostalgia show. But that doesn't mean these stories shouldn't be told. They should definitely be told. So let's let Dagan tell 'em!
July 4, 2019
In America, The Fourth of July -- our so-called "Independence Day" -- is a time of raucous celebration. Families and friends gather around the country for burgers and hot dogs, slaw and baked beans, beers and cigars, and plenty of fireworks (of course). As children, though, The Fourth of July takes on an almost mystical air, when permutations of people get together you don't often see at once, where entire neighborhoods collapse under the weight of visitors, when adults seem to get hammered at light speed while their kids play in the pool from dawn 'til dusk, and where you don't have to ever get up to catch the school bus in the morning. In the end, celebrating Fourth of July is all about Summer in America, and all the awesomeness that comes along with it. So let's reminisce.
July 4, 2019
In America, The Fourth of July -- our so-called "Independence Day" -- is a time of raucous celebration. Families and friends gather around the country for burgers and hot dogs, slaw and baked beans, beers and cigars, and plenty of fireworks (of course). As children, though, The Fourth of July takes on an almost mystical air, when permutations of people get together you don't often see at once, where entire neighborhoods collapse under the weight of visitors, when adults seem to get hammered at light speed while their kids play in the pool from dawn 'til dusk, and where you don't have to ever get up to catch the school bus in the morning. In the end, celebrating Fourth of July is all about Summer in America, and all the awesomeness that comes along with it. So let's reminisce.
June 27, 2019
When it comes to Nintendo franchises, Metroid sticks out like a sore thumb. It's completely unlike almost any other Nintendo fare. It simply doesn't fit. But that's what makes it so interesting. It all started humbly enough in the 1986 original, but underneath the unassuming facade of a side-scrolling action game was a shockingly deep (and ruthlessly difficult) adventure, one that required its earliest players to make maps by hand, distinguish between items and weapons with unclear uses, and keep their wits in a sprawling map far harder to decipher and navigate than its cousin, The Legend of Zelda. There were even multiple endings! By the early-'90s, Metroid returned with a Game Boy-exclusive sequel created with the same explorative mantra in mind, and, well, the rest is history. Or herstory, perhaps, since Metroid also introduced gamers to one of the medium's first iconic female protagonists. But enough delay: Let's chat about Metroidvanias long before that term even existed.
June 27, 2019
When it comes to Nintendo franchises, Metroid sticks out like a sore thumb. It's completely unlike almost any other Nintendo fare. It simply doesn't fit. But that's what makes it so interesting. It all started humbly enough in the 1986 original, but underneath the unassuming facade of a side-scrolling action game was a shockingly deep (and ruthlessly difficult) adventure, one that required its earliest players to make maps by hand, distinguish between items and weapons with unclear uses, and keep their wits in a sprawling map far harder to decipher and navigate than its cousin, The Legend of Zelda. There were even multiple endings! By the early-'90s, Metroid returned with a Game Boy-exclusive sequel created with the same explorative mantra in mind, and, well, the rest is history. Or herstory, perhaps, since Metroid also introduced gamers to one of the medium's first iconic female protagonists. But enough delay: Let's chat about Metroidvanias long before that term even existed.
June 20, 2019
Christopher Nolan is one of the modern world's most talented filmmakers, full stop. If you ask 10 people what their favorite Nolan flick is, you may very well get 10 different answers. (Really. He's directed 10 films.) Yet, in a catalog of works-of-art, Interstellar may very well be greatest of them all. Released in 2014 to an astounding critical reception and with hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars grossed, Interstellar tells the unusual (and riveting!) story of the end of the world, and how a daring trip through space and time might just be able to undo Earth's dire, apocalyptic situation. When it comes to storytelling, Interstellar is thorough, but in terms of its rigorous and realistic science that hinges upon what's actually possible, Interstellar's a movie so deep, you could drown in it. So let's drown for a bit, shall we? Not like Dr. Doyle on Miller's Planet, mind you. Metaphorically.
June 20, 2019
Christopher Nolan is one of the modern world's most talented filmmakers, full stop. If you ask 10 people what their favorite Nolan flick is, you may very well get 10 different answers. (Really. He's directed 10 films.) Yet, in a catalog of works-of-art, Interstellar may very well be greatest of them all. Released in 2014 to an astounding critical reception and with hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars grossed, Interstellar tells the unusual (and riveting!) story of the end of the world, and how a daring trip through space and time might just be able to undo Earth's dire, apocalyptic situation. When it comes to storytelling, Interstellar is thorough, but in terms of its rigorous and realistic science that hinges upon what's actually possible, Interstellar's a movie so deep, you could drown in it. So let's drown for a bit, shall we? Not like Dr. Doyle on Miller's Planet, mind you. Metaphorically.
June 13, 2019
Every month, our lovely Patreon audience gets to vote on a topic we cover here on KnockBack, and today, we deliver one such episode. Batman made his comic book debut all the way back in 1939, and his amazing staying power is due, in part, to the exceptional number of ways DC has allowed him to be portrayed. Perhaps one of Batman's most iconic portrayals, however, is in cartoon form. Batman: The Animated Series -- which initially ran from 1992 through 1995 -- is a stellar piece of art, an accessible-yet-deep look at all the Batman franchise has to offer. From its portrayal of Gotham to its amazing villains (to its treatment of Batman/Bruce!), Batman: The Animated Series has earned its sterling reputation. So allow us to be your billionaire caretaker, and you our boy ward, and let's learn a thing or two about The Bat-Man.
June 13, 2019
Every month, our lovely Patreon audience gets to vote on a topic we cover here on KnockBack, and today, we deliver one such episode. Batman made his comic book debut all the way back in 1939, and his amazing staying power is due, in part, to the exceptional number of ways DC has allowed him to be portrayed. Perhaps one of Batman's most iconic portrayals, however, is in cartoon form. Batman: The Animated Series -- which initially ran from 1992 through 1995 -- is a stellar piece of art, an accessible-yet-deep look at all the Batman franchise has to offer. From its portrayal of Gotham to its amazing villains (to its treatment of Batman/Bruce!), Batman: The Animated Series has earned its sterling reputation. So allow us to be your billionaire caretaker, and you our boy ward, and let's learn a thing or two about The Bat-Man.
June 6, 2019
Video gaming began after World War II, when primitive punch card and oscilloscope games were played exclusively on university and government supercomputers. But what started as a small niche for the educated and elite quickly found its way into venues every person could enjoy, like bars, lounges, and restaurants. Before you knew it, pinball machines were everywhere, and by the late-'70s, so too were arcade machines. Space Invaders. Pac-Man. Galaga. Arkanoid. While it may be hard for the younger generations to fully grapple with, for older gamers, the arcade really meant something. And it still does today. So let's hearken back to a time before smart phones, or even the Internet. Hell, let's even hearken back to a time before mainstream home console gaming, and show our appreciation for the quarter-gobbling machines that spawned one of modern entertainment's most vital verticals.
June 6, 2019
Video gaming began after World War II, when primitive punch card and oscilloscope games were played exclusively on university and government supercomputers. But what started as a small niche for the educated and elite quickly found its way into venues every person could enjoy, like bars, lounges, and restaurants. Before you knew it, pinball machines were everywhere, and by the late-'70s, so too were arcade machines. Space Invaders. Pac-Man. Galaga. Arkanoid. While it may be hard for the younger generations to fully grapple with, for older gamers, the arcade really meant something. And it still does today. So let's hearken back to a time before smart phones, or even the Internet. Hell, let's even hearken back to a time before mainstream home console gaming, and show our appreciation for the quarter-gobbling machines that spawned one of modern entertainment's most vital verticals.
May 30, 2019
With Rugrats, Doug, and Ren & Stimpy, Nickelodeon launched a cartoon revolution in the early '90s. These three initial Nicktoon-branded offerings toted completely unique art styles, stories, tones, and even target audiences, and the trio proved to be animated powerhouses that persisted in popularity long after their initial runs. Nicktoons' positive reputation continued right on through the decade, though, as shows from Hey Arnold and Real Monsters to Rocko's Modern Life and The Angry Beavers delighted audiences around the world, replacing those older offerings with something fresher. Today's episode of KnockBack -- as voted on by the show's Patreon supporters -- is all about the Nicktoons of the 1990s. And no, this won't preclude us from doing specific episodes on specific shows in the future, so fret not. (There's a Ren & Stimpy episode of KnockBack, after all!)
May 30, 2019
With Rugrats, Doug, and Ren & Stimpy, Nickelodeon launched a cartoon revolution in the early '90s. These three initial Nicktoon-branded offerings toted completely unique art styles, stories, tones, and even target audiences, and the trio proved to be animated powerhouses that persisted in popularity long after their initial runs. Nicktoons' positive reputation continued right on through the decade, though, as shows from Hey Arnold and Real Monsters to Rocko's Modern Life and The Angry Beavers delighted audiences around the world, replacing those older offerings with something fresher. Today's episode of KnockBack -- as voted on by the show's Patreon supporters -- is all about the Nicktoons of the 1990s. And no, this won't preclude us from doing specific episodes on specific shows in the future, so fret not. (There's a Ren & Stimpy episode of KnockBack, after all!)
May 23, 2019
It can't be overstated how unusual it is that so-called "Nerd Culture" has taken over the world. Not too long ago, it was completely unthinkable that something like Game of Thrones or The Avengers could be the biggest entertainment properties in the world. But along with the mainstream popularization of fantasy, superheroes, and the like has come a quieter revolution that we definitely take for granted: The influence of Japanese media, particular when it comes to its animation. It seems incredible to think that we're only a few years removed from anime itself being a truly underground phenomenon, but it's true. And one of films that help popularized Japanese animation in the west during its more niche days was My Neighbor Totoro, the gorgeous Studio Ghibli picture that hinged on a unique sense of eastern post-war nostalgia the likes of which only a master like Hayao Miyazaki could capture. This episode of KnockBack is dedicated entirely to Ghibli's 1988 classic, and all of the conversation, points of interest, and even conspiracy theories that come along with any thorough analysis.
May 23, 2019
It can't be overstated how unusual it is that so-called "Nerd Culture" has taken over the world. Not too long ago, it was completely unthinkable that something like Game of Thrones or The Avengers could be the biggest entertainment properties in the world. But along with the mainstream popularization of fantasy, superheroes, and the like has come a quieter revolution that we definitely take for granted: The influence of Japanese media, particular when it comes to its animation. It seems incredible to think that we're only a few years removed from anime itself being a truly underground phenomenon, but it's true. And one of films that help popularized Japanese animation in the west during its more niche days was My Neighbor Totoro, the gorgeous Studio Ghibli picture that hinged on a unique sense of eastern post-war nostalgia the likes of which only a master like Hayao Miyazaki could capture. This episode of KnockBack is dedicated entirely to Ghibli's 1988 classic, and all of the conversation, points of interest, and even conspiracy theories that come along with any thorough analysis.
May 16, 2019
Sometimes, The Brothers Moriarty get a little too ambitious, and this particular episode of the show is a good example of how. That's because we went into recording this entry of KnockBack assuming we'd be able to talk about both of our eras collecting Star Wars toys all at once. But such an idea quickly proved too unwieldy for just one episode. So instead of trying to cover literally decades all at once, we thought we'd focus on Star Wars' original era -- A New Hope through Return of the Jedi and the couple of years that followed -- and dive deep into Dagan's experience in particular collecting the action figures, vehicles, and playsets as they came to market. Dagan has a near-complete collection of Kenner toys from 1977 (well, technically 1978) through 1985, so let's just say he has quite a bit of experience. And alongside that experience, thankfully, comes a head full of memories and stories to share.
May 16, 2019
Sometimes, The Brothers Moriarty get a little too ambitious, and this particular episode of the show is a good example of how. That's because we went into recording this entry of KnockBack assuming we'd be able to talk about both of our eras collecting Star Wars toys all at once. But such an idea quickly proved too unwieldy for just one episode. So instead of trying to cover literally decades all at once, we thought we'd focus on Star Wars' original era -- A New Hope through Return of the Jedi and the couple of years that followed -- and dive deep into Dagan's experience in particular collecting the action figures, vehicles, and playsets as they came to market. Dagan has a near-complete collection of Kenner toys from 1977 (well, technically 1978) through 1985, so let's just say he has quite a bit of experience. And alongside that experience, thankfully, comes a head full of memories and stories to share.
May 9, 2019
When you're a kid, you can't escape breakfast cereal. (And frankly, why would you want to?) You ate it in the morning, or maybe out of a sandwich bag on the bus or at lunch. When you got home from school, you may have helped yourself to half a box while watching afternoon cartoons. And who hasn't snuck a bowl or two late at night? The point is, cereal rules, and we wanted to dedicate an entire episode to it. From marshmallow-filled favorites to the bizarre stuff your parents ate -- and everything in between -- let's reminisce about milk's favorite companion, and how it quietly defined our childhoods.
May 9, 2019
When you're a kid, you can't escape breakfast cereal. (And frankly, why would you want to?) You ate it in the morning, or maybe out of a sandwich bag on the bus or at lunch. When you got home from school, you may have helped yourself to half a box while watching afternoon cartoons. And who hasn't snuck a bowl or two late at night? The point is, cereal rules, and we wanted to dedicate an entire episode to it. From marshmallow-filled favorites to the bizarre stuff your parents ate -- and everything in between -- let's reminisce about milk's favorite companion, and how it quietly defined our childhoods.
May 2, 2019
Hey bud! Way back in 1981, Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe wrote and published a book chronicling his time spent undercover at a Southern California high school. It was called Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and it's something of a collector's item today, having never even been republished since. Indeed, it would have no doubt become an obscure (albeit interesting) piece of early-'80s trivia, save for one thing: It shares its name (and some of its characters and plot) with a tremendously well-regarded film. Fast Times (as the movie is commonly referred) is a seminal teen flick from an era where that term hadn't really been defined yet. It stars young actors in believable, yet archetypal roles, provided near-unheard of amounts of candor and realism in its dialogue and situations, and -- perhaps most importantly -- introduced the world to the majesty of Sean Penn's Jeff Spicoli. So listen in to our conversation that's longer than the film itself, and perhaps you, too, can answer the immortal question: "Where did you get this jacket?!"
May 2, 2019
Hey bud! Way back in 1981, Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe wrote and published a book chronicling his time spent undercover at a Southern California high school. It was called Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and it's something of a collector's item today, having never even been republished since. Indeed, it would have no doubt become an obscure (albeit interesting) piece of early-'80s trivia, save for one thing: It shares its name (and some of its characters and plot) with a tremendously well-regarded film. Fast Times (as the movie is commonly referred) is a seminal teen flick from an era where that term hadn't really been defined yet. It stars young actors in believable, yet archetypal roles, provided near-unheard of amounts of candor and realism in its dialogue and situations, and -- perhaps most importantly -- introduced the world to the majesty of Sean Penn's Jeff Spicoli. So listen in to our conversation that's longer than the film itself, and perhaps you, too, can answer the immortal question: "Where did you get this jacket?!"
April 25, 2019
For many of us, being a child during the summer largely revolved around one thing: The swimming pool. Whether you had an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool, or you had to rely on your friends' pools for your aquatic adventures, or even if you spent the dog days of summer at the municipal pool or at the local Y, there's a decent chance you've got some swimming-related memories tucked away in your head. That's what today's episode of KnockBack is all about: All the games, the toys, the friends, and the stories that took place in, around, and under that (usually) blue, (sometimes) pee-infested water. Oh, and of course the dives, flips, and other jumps that probably could have killed all of us at one point or another. Cannonball!
April 25, 2019
For many of us, being a child during the summer largely revolved around one thing: The swimming pool. Whether you had an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool, or you had to rely on your friends' pools for your aquatic adventures, or even if you spent the dog days of summer at the municipal pool or at the local Y, there's a decent chance you've got some swimming-related memories tucked away in your head. That's what today's episode of KnockBack is all about: All the games, the toys, the friends, and the stories that took place in, around, and under that (usually) blue, (sometimes) pee-infested water. Oh, and of course the dives, flips, and other jumps that probably could have killed all of us at one point or another. Cannonball!
April 18, 2019
Way back in 1985, a most unusual flick came to the silver screen. It was called The Goonies, and for most people that saw it (both then and now), it morphed into an instant classic, a memorable movie in an era of memorable movies. Thing is, it's an interesting product well above and beyond it '80s cult status. It stars some famous actors, it was conceived by one of the film industry's most famous names (both then and now), it wasn't a merchandising cash cow, and -- perhaps mercifully -- it's never been remade. There isn't even a proper sequel (though there is that Konami game...). At the end of the day, The Goonies was all about childhood adventure and imagination, and it's those two aspects of our younger days that we celebrate during today's episodes. See, it turned out The Goonies were good enough. Question is: Are you?
April 18, 2019
Way back in 1985, a most unusual flick came to the silver screen. It was called The Goonies, and for most people that saw it (both then and now), it morphed into an instant classic, a memorable movie in an era of memorable movies. Thing is, it's an interesting product well above and beyond it '80s cult status. It stars some famous actors, it was conceived by one of the film industry's most famous names (both then and now), it wasn't a merchandising cash cow, and -- perhaps mercifully -- it's never been remade. There isn't even a proper sequel (though there is that Konami game...). At the end of the day, The Goonies was all about childhood adventure and imagination, and it's those two aspects of our younger days that we celebrate during today's episodes. See, it turned out The Goonies were good enough. Question is: Are you?
April 11, 2019
Let's face it: Nostalgia is often heavily rooted in locations, and not only events. Today's episode of KnockBack seeks to explore that idea, going over the homes we've lived in with a fine-tooth comb in order to extract some deeply-held memories. From a few houses on Long Island for the both of us, to Colin's experience living in Maine and New Hampshire for a few years as a kid, it turns out that by focusing on where we lived, and not only when, we can grab onto the past in ways we never thought possible. And listener memories of your own childhood homes -- of which we include many -- round things out to an even greater degree.
April 11, 2019
Let's face it: Nostalgia is often heavily rooted in locations, and not only events. Today's episode of KnockBack seeks to explore that idea, going over the homes we've lived in with a fine-tooth comb in order to extract some deeply-held memories. From a few houses on Long Island for the both of us, to Colin's experience living in Maine and New Hampshire for a few years as a kid, it turns out that by focusing on where we lived, and not only when, we can grab onto the past in ways we never thought possible. And listener memories of your own childhood homes -- of which we include many -- round things out to an even greater degree.
April 4, 2019
What can you say about the best-selling home video game console of all-time? PlayStation 2 -- launched in 2000 -- completely morphed the way we looked at gaming machines. The fact that PSone could even play audio CDs was a revolution; now we were looking at a machine that could play game discs and DVDs alike, opening up even more entertainment possibilities. More than 150 million units sold later, PlayStation 2 is a staggering 50 million units ahead of the second place console on the vaunted Best-Selling Home Consoles of All-Time list. Let that sink in. Think about how incredible that is. And then listen to our 2+ hour reminiscence of Sony's beloved second foray into gaming, the wonderful experiences that it brought with it, and the memories it left with us all.
April 4, 2019
What can you say about the best-selling home video game console of all-time? PlayStation 2 -- launched in 2000 -- completely morphed the way we looked at gaming machines. The fact that PSone could even play audio CDs was a revolution; now we were looking at a machine that could play game discs and DVDs alike, opening up even more entertainment possibilities. More than 150 million units sold later, PlayStation 2 is a staggering 50 million units ahead of the second place console on the vaunted Best-Selling Home Consoles of All-Time list. Let that sink in. Think about how incredible that is. And then listen to our 2+ hour reminiscence of Sony's beloved second foray into gaming, the wonderful experiences that it brought with it, and the memories it left with us all.
March 28, 2019
If there's one true reason why the American adaptation of The Office resonates so much with people, it's because it feels hauntingly real. Lots of us know a Michael Scott or a Dwight Schrute, a Pam Beesly or a Jim Halpert. And lots of us understand, in one fashion or another, the 9-to-5 grind, and all that comes along with working in seemingly soul-sucking corporate environments. While The Office first premiered as a British show starring Ricky Gervais back in 2001, its 2005 to 2013 run starring Steve Carell is widely considered to be one of the greatest television comedies ever made, and today's episode of KnockBack -- the longest in our podcast's run so far -- we take the time necessary to show this monumental cringefest the love and respect it deserves. So let's travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania, the home of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, and get to know some folks. If you're good, we can stop by Schrute Farms on the way home.
March 28, 2019
If there's one true reason why the American adaptation of The Office resonates so much with people, it's because it feels hauntingly real. Lots of us know a Michael Scott or a Dwight Schrute, a Pam Beesly or a Jim Halpert. And lots of us understand, in one fashion or another, the 9-to-5 grind, and all that comes along with working in seemingly soul-sucking corporate environments. While The Office first premiered as a British show starring Ricky Gervais back in 2001, its 2005 to 2013 run starring Steve Carell is widely considered to be one of the greatest television comedies ever made, and today's episode of KnockBack -- the longest in our podcast's run so far -- we take the time necessary to show this monumental cringefest the love and respect it deserves. So let's travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania, the home of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, and get to know some folks. If you're good, we can stop by Schrute Farms on the way home.
March 21, 2019
Do you remember your first "girlfriend" or "boyfriend?" Your first date? Your first kiss? Today's episode of KnockBack -- as voted on by the show's Patreon supporters -- is dedicated to just such topics. As adults, matters of the heart are often incredibly complicated and high stakes. That's why it's so important to occasionally reminisce about our far more innocent, far more straight-forward days, when we were just figuring everything out. When we were discovering who we were, and who we are.
March 21, 2019
Do you remember your first "girlfriend" or "boyfriend?" Your first date? Your first kiss? Today's episode of KnockBack -- as voted on by the show's Patreon supporters -- is dedicated to just such topics. As adults, matters of the heart are often incredibly complicated and high stakes. That's why it's so important to occasionally reminisce about our far more innocent, far more straight-forward days, when we were just figuring everything out. When we were discovering who we were, and who we are.
March 14, 2019
We don't often talk about music on KnockBack, which is strange, considering it's a massive part of Moriarty Life. So for only the second time in our show's run, we're dedicating an episode entirely to music, particularly live music. What have been our very favorite concert experiences? What were our first concerts, our most memorable concerts, and the worst concerts we've been to? How has live music inspired us and driven us? Which acts have we seen the most, which acts do we long to see, and which acts -- because of time and place -- we'll simply never get to see? We discuss it all, and give you a little glimpse into the sonic accompaniment that helped (and still helps) define our lives.
March 14, 2019
We don't often talk about music on KnockBack, which is strange, considering it's a massive part of Moriarty Life. So for only the second time in our show's run, we're dedicating an episode entirely to music, particularly live music. What have been our very favorite concert experiences? What were our first concerts, our most memorable concerts, and the worst concerts we've been to? How has live music inspired us and driven us? Which acts have we seen the most, which acts do we long to see, and which acts -- because of time and place -- we'll simply never get to see? We discuss it all, and give you a little glimpse into the sonic accompaniment that helped (and still helps) define our lives.
March 7, 2019
Video games have unrivaled narrative potential, and 2007's BioShock is possibly the single greatest example of how gaming and storytelling can expertly intertwine. BioShock is the story of an underwater libertarian utopia run by a brilliant business magnate, and how the weight of his own stringent ideology leads to his dream's rapid undoing. But in reality, it's about far more than that. It's a master class in gameplay, in environment, in design, in voice acting, in writing, in combat, in pacing, and much more. So let's celebrate Ken Levine's most famous game -- one of the greatest ever made -- and dodge the men in Washington, the Vatican, and Moscow, who may just seek to rob you of all you've rightly earned.
March 7, 2019
Video games have unrivaled narrative potential, and 2007's BioShock is possibly the single greatest example of how gaming and storytelling can expertly intertwine. BioShock is the story of an underwater libertarian utopia run by a brilliant business magnate, and how the weight of his own stringent ideology leads to his dream's rapid undoing. But in reality, it's about far more than that. It's a master class in gameplay, in environment, in design, in voice acting, in writing, in combat, in pacing, and much more. So let's celebrate Ken Levine's most famous game -- one of the greatest ever made -- and dodge the men in Washington, the Vatican, and Moscow, who may just seek to rob you of all you've rightly earned.
February 28, 2019
'80s movies are a goldmine for a nostalgia and retro podcast like this one, but few films of the era are held in as high esteem as 1984's Karate Kid. The story of Daniel LaRusso and his trials and tribulations as "The New Kid" -- a new kid who just happens to learn lethal karate from an old, unassuming man -- is an undeniable classic. So let's chat about Daniel-San, his sensei Mr. Miyagi, his nemesis (or is it victim?) Johnny, the bizarre Kreese, and more. And let's also delve into Karate Kid's two questionable sequels, and try to make sense of it all, because no Karate Kid conversation is complete with Parts II and III, too. So let's strike first and strike hard, shall we? No mercy.
February 28, 2019
'80s movies are a goldmine for a nostalgia and retro podcast like this one, but few films of the era are held in as high esteem as 1984's Karate Kid. The story of Daniel LaRusso and his trials and tribulations as "The New Kid" -- a new kid who just happens to learn lethal karate from an old, unassuming man -- is an undeniable classic. So let's chat about Daniel-San, his sensei Mr. Miyagi, his nemesis (or is it victim?) Johnny, the bizarre Kreese, and more. And let's also delve into Karate Kid's two questionable sequels, and try to make sense of it all, because no Karate Kid conversation is complete with Parts II and III, too. So let's strike first and strike hard, shall we? No mercy.
February 21, 2019
When we launched KnockBack, we didn't know what to expect. We had this idea to do a nostalgic, retro-driven podcast, but nothing was set in stone, and Dagan had never co-hosted a show before, so we had no idea how it'd turn out, or if anyone would like it. The end result, though, has been extraordinary. KnockBack is a passion project for us -- the Brothers Moriarty -- and convening every couple of months to record a handful of episodes is a highlight for both of us on our respective calendars. But, more than that, it has become thousands of people's favorite CLS show, with a hardcore, thoughtful, and connected community. Watching as more and more people find their way to our podcast (last month was its biggest month ever!) is the definition of gratifying. So as we move into Year Two, we first thought we'd reflect a bit on Year One, and reminisce about our own journey tapping into our memories like we never have before.
February 21, 2019
When we launched KnockBack, we didn't know what to expect. We had this idea to do a nostalgic, retro-driven podcast, but nothing was set in stone, and Dagan had never co-hosted a show before, so we had no idea how it'd turn out, or if anyone would like it. The end result, though, has been extraordinary. KnockBack is a passion project for us -- the Brothers Moriarty -- and convening every couple of months to record a handful of episodes is a highlight for both of us on our respective calendars. But, more than that, it has become thousands of people's favorite CLS show, with a hardcore, thoughtful, and connected community. Watching as more and more people find their way to our podcast (last month was its biggest month ever!) is the definition of gratifying. So as we move into Year Two, we first thought we'd reflect a bit on Year One, and reminisce about our own journey tapping into our memories like we never have before.
February 14, 2019
Today's episode of KnockBack is very special, because it stars our mother, Betty Ann Moriarty. Our mom was born in Brooklyn in 1950, and grew up in the shadow of New York City -- on our beloved Long Island -- during a storied era of American history. Our (too) brief discussion centers around her childhood and teen years, reminiscing about days long gone. Brought up in an Italian household with an Irish twist, our mom lived through a great deal, including the seminal Vietnam War years that engulfed her generation and saw her real life friends sent to war. Some even died. Yet, this was also an era of great music, of "peace and love," and of Leave It to Beaver-style sensibilities that have long since gone extinct. C'mon: What's more retro than chatting about the days before Dagan and Colin were even born?
February 14, 2019
Today's episode of KnockBack is very special, because it stars our mother, Betty Ann Moriarty. Our mom was born in Brooklyn in 1950, and grew up in the shadow of New York City -- on our beloved Long Island -- during a storied era of American history. Our (too) brief discussion centers around her childhood and teen years, reminiscing about days long gone. Brought up in an Italian household with an Irish twist, our mom lived through a great deal, including the seminal Vietnam War years that engulfed her generation and saw her real life friends sent to war. Some even died. Yet, this was also an era of great music, of "peace and love," and of Leave It to Beaver-style sensibilities that have long since gone extinct. C'mon: What's more retro than chatting about the days before Dagan and Colin were even born?
February 7, 2019
The 21st century has brought with it the slow-but-steady demise of malls across the United States (and elsewhere, of course). But in the post-World War II era, when families started sprouting up in the suburbs in huge numbers, malls weren't only centers of commerce, but centers of pre-Internet socializing, too. So today, let's chat about the mall during the latter end of its triumphant era, in the '80s and '90s. The stores we loved and hated. The people we met. The food courts. And, of course, the toy stores, game shops, and all of the other nerdy things we relied upon a great deal before the advent of Always Online.
February 7, 2019
The 21st century has brought with it the slow-but-steady demise of malls across the United States (and elsewhere, of course). But in the post-World War II era, when families started sprouting up in the suburbs in huge numbers, malls weren't only centers of commerce, but centers of pre-Internet socializing, too. So today, let's chat about the mall during the latter end of its triumphant era, in the '80s and '90s. The stores we loved and hated. The people we met. The food courts. And, of course, the toy stores, game shops, and all of the other nerdy things we relied upon a great deal before the advent of Always Online.
January 31, 2019
For many children, one of growing up's great traditions is having a pet or two. (Or maybe even five or 10.) This episode of KnockBack revolves around our memories of the pets we grew up with, our many cats, our rabbits, and even a scorpion named Wellington. We also solicited a ton of entries from the audience, and go through your pet stories, too. What did these animals mean to all of us? How did they shape our adolescent and teen years? And what kind of funny, sad and meaningful stories about these creatures have we carried through to today?
January 31, 2019
For many children, one of growing up's great traditions is having a pet or two. (Or maybe even five or 10.) This episode of KnockBack revolves around our memories of the pets we grew up with, our many cats, our rabbits, and even a scorpion named Wellington. We also solicited a ton of entries from the audience, and go through your pet stories, too. What did these animals mean to all of us? How did they shape our adolescent and teen years? And what kind of funny, sad and meaningful stories about these creatures have we carried through to today?
January 24, 2019
When Nickelodeon launched its original Nicktoons lineup in the late summer of 1991, it did so with an eclectic collection of three shows. You had the young adult-friendly Doug, Rugrats for the younger viewers, and The Ren & Stimpy Show for... well... for some other strange reason. For four years, from '91 until 1995, only 52 episodes of Ren & Stimpy would be produced and aired, but the misadventures of the Odd Couple-like cat and dog duo enraptured cartoon fans around the world with its absurd characters, heinous humor, and completely bizarre aesthetic. But where did it come from? Who made it, anyway, and why? And where has it gone these last two-plus decades? Let's jump in and find out. And then, when we're done, I'll teach you to be happy. I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
January 24, 2019
When Nickelodeon launched its original Nicktoons lineup in the late summer of 1991, it did so with an eclectic collection of three shows. You had the young adult-friendly Doug, Rugrats for the younger viewers, and The Ren & Stimpy Show for... well... for some other strange reason. For four years, from '91 until 1995, only 52 episodes of Ren & Stimpy would be produced and aired, but the misadventures of the Odd Couple-like cat and dog duo enraptured cartoon fans around the world with its absurd characters, heinous humor, and completely bizarre aesthetic. But where did it come from? Who made it, anyway, and why? And where has it gone these last two-plus decades? Let's jump in and find out. And then, when we're done, I'll teach you to be happy. I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
January 17, 2019
There's probably no single trilogy more responsible for the trajectory of the video game industry than Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3 on NES. The first game, in particular, was revolutionary, while the third game showed the true power of what Nintendo's aging hardware could do. (As for the second game, well, we love that one, too.) Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to remembering these three classic games, not only for what they meant, but for what they are: Master classes in design, graphics, music, and -- perhaps most importantly of all -- gameplay.
January 17, 2019
There's probably no single trilogy more responsible for the trajectory of the video game industry than Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3 on NES. The first game, in particular, was revolutionary, while the third game showed the true power of what Nintendo's aging hardware could do. (As for the second game, well, we love that one, too.) Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to remembering these three classic games, not only for what they meant, but for what they are: Master classes in design, graphics, music, and -- perhaps most importantly of all -- gameplay.
January 10, 2019
If you're one of the many KnockBack listeners that loves when Dagan dives deep into animation, this episode is for you. Today's nearly two and a half hour-long chat is dedicated to Don Bluth, a man famous for his work at Disney in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. And then there's his own independent work in the decades since, works ranging from An American Tail and The Secret of NIMH to The Land Before Time and All Dogs Go To Heaven. So sit back and let Dagan regale you about the career and films of an extremely fascinating man, a man far more important to the American (and global) animation scene than he may get credit for.
January 10, 2019
If you're one of the many KnockBack listeners that loves when Dagan dives deep into animation, this episode is for you. Today's nearly two and a half hour-long chat is dedicated to Don Bluth, a man famous for his work at Disney in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. And then there's his own independent work in the decades since, works ranging from An American Tail and The Secret of NIMH to The Land Before Time and All Dogs Go To Heaven. So sit back and let Dagan regale you about the career and films of an extremely fascinating man, a man far more important to the American (and global) animation scene than he may get credit for.      
January 3, 2019
For those of us that grew up with the NES, Metal Gear was a fun -- albeit strange -- game that kinda just came and went. It wasn't until 1998's Metal Gear Solid, about a decade later, that we understood the full ramifications of what creator Hideo Kojima was really trying to say and do. A tale of politics, espionage, and warfare, Metal Gear Solid is a beloved franchise today, and although it didn't technically begin here... it kinda, sorta did. So let's chat about one of PSone's very best titles, a mind-bending adventure that exerted incredible influence on many a game that came after it. And don't forget to change controller ports, either, or we may just be able to read you.
January 3, 2019
For those of us that grew up with the NES, Metal Gear was a fun -- albeit strange -- game that kinda just came and went. It wasn't until 1998's Metal Gear Solid, about a decade later, that we understood the full ramifications of what creator Hideo Kojima was really trying to say and do. A tale of politics, espionage, and warfare, Metal Gear Solid is a beloved franchise today, and although it didn't technically begin here... it kinda, sorta did. So let's chat about one of PSone's very best titles, a mind-bending adventure that exerted incredible influence on many a game that came after it. And don't forget to change controller ports, either, or we may just be able to read you.
December 24, 2018
For a podcast about all about nostalgia, we'd be crazy to skip the so-called Holiday Season, the section of the annual calendar perhaps most rife with memories. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to Christmastime (or whatever you might celebrate), and all of the amazing remembrances of festive times past. Presents. Family. Food. Togetherness. And that time Colin knocked down the tree, and claimed he had nothing to do with it. So let's explore all of the grand memories this time of year gives us (and some painful recollections, too). And if there's time, we'll get to an Airing of Grievances, too.
December 24, 2018
For a podcast about all about nostalgia, we'd be crazy to skip the so-called Holiday Season, the section of the annual calendar perhaps most rife with memories. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to Christmastime (or whatever you might celebrate), and all of the amazing remembrances of festive times past. Presents. Family. Food. Togetherness. And that time Colin knocked down the tree, and claimed he had nothing to do with it. So let's explore all of the grand memories this time of year gives us (and some painful recollections, too). And if there's time, we'll get to an Airing of Grievances, too.
December 20, 2018
In the early '80s, the home console vanished as quickly as it arrived. But only a few years later, a new champion emerged -- Nintendo -- and gaming on your television has only grown since. Nintendo was a force to be reckoned with during the NES era, with no real competition, but as the decade turned and the Super Nintendo appeared poised to continue NES' dominance, a fresh-faced challenger arrived on the scene: SEGA. A corporate afterthought in the '80s, SEGA's Genesis console rose to battle the SNES, and the melee that ensued is one of gaming's most memorable multi-year fights, one that coined the term Console War. So let's dive into what it was like to be a Nintendo or SEGA kid growing up, and all that entailed. Mario vs. Sonic. SNES vs. Genesis. And Big Kids vs. Little Kids... or so some people thought.
December 20, 2018
In the early '80s, the home console vanished as quickly as it arrived. But only a few years later, a new champion emerged -- Nintendo -- and gaming on your television has only grown since. Nintendo was a force to be reckoned with during the NES era, with no real competition, but as the decade turned and the Super Nintendo appeared poised to continue NES' dominance, a fresh-faced challenger arrived on the scene: SEGA. A corporate afterthought in the '80s, SEGA's Genesis console rose to battle the SNES, and the melee that ensued is one of gaming's most memorable multi-year fights, one that coined the term Console War. So let's dive into what it was like to be a Nintendo or SEGA kid growing up, and all that entailed. Mario vs. Sonic. SNES vs. Genesis. And Big Kids vs. Little Kids... or so some people thought.      
December 13, 2018
In the early-to-mid '80s, Michael J. Fox was a household name because of his work on Family Ties, the beloved American sitcom. But by 1985, Fox was catapulted even further into the stratosphere by Back to the Future, a film about time travel, and the unexpected -- and often fun and zany -- results of utilizing such advanced technology. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated not only to the original Back to the Future, but to its two sequels, as well, and was voted on by Colin's Last Stand's Patrons. Is your Flux Capacitor ready? We sure hope so. We just ask that you stop saying "gigawatt" incorrectly.
December 13, 2018
In the early-to-mid '80s, Michael J. Fox was a household name because of his work on Family Ties, the beloved American sitcom. But by 1985, Fox was catapulted even further into the stratosphere by Back to the Future, a film about time travel, and the unexpected -- and often fun and zany -- results of utilizing such advanced technology. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated not only to the original Back to the Future, but to its two sequels, as well, and was voted on by Colin's Last Stand's Patrons. Is your Flux Capacitor ready? We sure hope so. We just ask that you stop saying "gigawatt" incorrectly.      
December 6, 2018
It's not terribly uncommon for Nintendo fans to feel that The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the best Zelda game ever released. The third title launched in the series -- coming to stores in 1991 in Japan and 1992 elsewhere -- A Link to the Past marks the fledgling franchise's first jump to new hardware, and represents a serious retooling of the original's winning formula. Of course, it's also impossible not to connect it to today's games, too, both in and outside of Zelda's continuity. We do just that on this episode of KnockBack, delving deep not only into a classic, but discussing at length the newest spin on our Hyrulian Hero, and which style we prefer: The "Old," the "New," or somewhere very much in between.
December 6, 2018
It's not terribly uncommon for Nintendo fans to feel that The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the best Zelda game ever released. The third title launched in the series -- coming to stores in 1991 in Japan and 1992 elsewhere -- A Link to the Past marks the fledgling franchise's first jump to new hardware, and represents a serious retooling of the original's winning formula. Of course, it's also impossible not to connect it to today's games, too, both in and outside of Zelda's continuity. We do just that on this episode of KnockBack, delving deep not only into a classic, but discussing at length the newest spin on our Hyrulian Hero, and which style we prefer: The "Old," the "New," or somewhere very much in between.
November 29, 2018
In 1937, Walt Disney and his fledgling animation company executed a quantum leap when they released Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the first animated feature film of its kind. The rest, as they say, is history. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to those early days of Disney features, from Pinocchio and Dumbo to Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, as well as many others. And who better to learn about it all from than a professional animator with more than two decades of experience, who just so happens to be an authority on these films, the people who made them, and the art scene that fostered their amazing work? See, there's no need to whistle while you work. Just listen to this podcast instead.
November 29, 2018
In 1937, Walt Disney and his fledgling animation company executed a quantum leap when they released Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the first animated feature film of its kind. The rest, as they say, is history. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to those early days of Disney features, from Pinocchio and Dumbo to Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, as well as many others. And who better to learn about it all from than a professional animator with more than two decades of experience, who just so happens to be an authority on these films, the people who made them, and the art scene that fostered their amazing work? See, there's no need to whistle while you work. Just listen to this podcast instead.      
November 22, 2018
There are a lot of classic sports films, from the somber and serious to the wacky and insane. Caddyshack squarely falls in the latter camp. Released in 1980, Caddyshack tells the story of a midwestern American country club via the antics of its most colorful patrons and employees. With an all-star cast including Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Ted Knight, and with Harold Ramis helming the film as both writer and director, Caddyshack's cult status isn't happenstance. It's the result of a brilliant mixture of talent, talent that rewrote, reworked, and improvised through much of production in order to take advantage of their greatest comedic assets. So join us as we show love and appreciation for one of film's great comedies. And put on some weight, will ya?
November 22, 2018
There are a lot of classic sports films, from the somber and serious to the wacky and insane. Caddyshack squarely falls in the latter camp. Released in 1980, Caddyshack tells the story of a midwestern American country club via the antics of its most colorful patrons and employees. With an all-star cast including Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Ted Knight, and with Harold Ramis helming the film as both writer and director, Caddyshack's cult status isn't happenstance. It's the result of a brilliant mixture of talent, talent that rewrote, reworked, and improvised through much of production in order to take advantage of their greatest comedic assets. So join us as we show love and appreciation for one of film's great comedies. And put on some weight, will ya?      
November 15, 2018
For many kids, music is a gigantic part of life, and the bands, albums, and songs we grow up listening to and enjoying often help shape the people we end up becoming as adults. With that in mind, we dedicate the longest episode of KnockBack to date to 10 albums each (or 20 albums total) that indelibly influenced us as children and teenagers. Indeed, much of our focus is on our middle school and high school years, represented by an enormously eclectic collection of music... an assortment of music we'd still gladly listen to today, from hip-hop to rock, and just about everything in between.
November 15, 2018
For many kids, music is a gigantic part of life, and the bands, albums, and songs we grow up listening to and enjoying often help shape the people we end up becoming as adults. With that in mind, we dedicate the longest episode of KnockBack to date to 10 albums each (or 20 albums total) that indelibly influenced us as children and teenagers. Indeed, much of our focus is on our middle school and high school years, represented by an enormously eclectic collection of music... an assortment of music we'd still gladly listen to today, from hip-hop to rock, and just about everything in between.     
November 8, 2018
For virtually all students, lunchtime (and the recess that often followed) was a pivotal moment of each school day. Indeed, going off to eat and goof off with your friends acted as the perfect respite from never ending waves of math problems and reading assignments. Today's episode of KnockBack -- framed heavily around listener comments -- is all about lunchtime and recess, and the many, many stories we (and all of you) have about those times. This episode is full of laughs, and tons of nostalgic memories, too. So grab your lunchbox or bagged lunch, and take a seat with us: The cool kids. (Only kidding. We're not cool.)
November 8, 2018
For virtually all students, lunchtime (and the recess that often followed) was a pivotal moment of each school day. Indeed, going off to eat and goof off with your friends acted as the perfect respite from never ending waves of math problems and reading assignments. Today's episode of KnockBack -- framed heavily around listener comments -- is all about lunchtime and recess, and the many, many stories we (and all of you) have about those times. This episode is full of laughs, and tons of nostalgic memories, too. So grab your lunchbox or bagged lunch, and take a seat with us: The cool kids. (Only kidding. We're not cool.)      
November 1, 2018
It's almost always true that "the book is better than the movie." But when it comes to the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- which is based on the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- the movie is definitively better than what inspired it. Starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a timeless mix of humor, music, and zaniness, and, nearly five decades after its release, it's as amazing as ever. So join us as we take a trip down the Chocolate River and remember the unusual adventure of a young boy named Charlie, his grandfather Joe, and a group of terrible children intent on inheriting a lifetime's supply of goodness, goodness that eludes all but one of them.
November 1, 2018
It's almost always true that "the book is better than the movie." But when it comes to the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- which is based on the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- the movie is definitively better than what inspired it. Starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a timeless mix of humor, music, and zaniness, and, nearly five decades after its release, it's as amazing as ever. So join us as we take a trip down the Chocolate River and remember the unusual adventure of a young boy named Charlie, his grandfather Joe, and a group of terrible children intent on inheriting a lifetime's supply of goodness, goodness that eludes all but one of them.
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