A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE

A regular podcast in which the hosts of Saved by the Bell Reviewed and friends discuss "very special episodes" from across pop culture!

 

Ryan Alexander-Tanner is a cartoonist and educator living in Portland, OR, who has an unhealthy obsession with pop-culture.  The most damning evidence of this is the blog Full House Reviewed and the Podcast Saved By the Bell Reviewed

Carolyn Main is a cartoonist, writer, and game maker from Portland. She loves her pug, her dude, Billy Joel, and butts.

Austin Gorton dunks his butt in batter and fries it once a year at the state fair. He has a wife and child, and maybe also an evil twin.

I am David Bitz, and Bitz stands for shits. I eat poop at night, full time.

 
 

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episode 11

In honor of the recent passing of Mary Tyler Moore, the Aluminum Four reunite for this week's episode to discuss the third season premiere of her eponymous sitcom, "The Good-Time News", in which Mary learns she makes less money than the man who did her job before her, just because she's a woman, then fights with her boss over whether the news should be more informative, or more entertaining. So needless to say, our discussion gets...political. If that's not your bag right now, consider this your trigger warning. But we also talk about Minnesotans' furious need to claim all the celebrities we can as our own, the real inspiration for Ron Burgundy, and the awesomeness of morning meeting drinking.

 

episode 10

In this special "All Minnesota" episode, Austin & David are joined by a very special guest, Austin's wife, Kristi, to discuss the fourth season episode of 24, "7:00 PM - 8:00 PM" aka "24 tries to shoehorn a message into a random episode that not all Arab-Americans are terrorists". And because this is 24, we end up talking torture, EMPs, and looting, all the while doing our best to keep David's head from exploding due to the lack of logic throughout the episode.

 

EPISODE 9

It's back to the 80s, as we discuss an episode of Growing Pains in honor of the recently-departed Alan Thicke. And though the lesson of this episode is ostensibly about the dangers of drunk/buzzed driving (featuring a young Matthew "Could I be any more of a guest star?!?" Perry), in true AVSE fashion, we spend just as much time talking instead about how everyone really needs to just stop constantly shitting on Carol (TV Carol, not Podcast Carol). Also, because this is Growing Pains, and us, we spend more than a few minutes talking about Boner, even though he's not even in this episode.  So grab your still clunky but not-laughably-large camcorder and crouch in the bushes, then download and listen here, rate & review us on iTunes or listen via Podbean, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line and let us know what you think of the show! Also, A Very Special Episode is now part of the Rivercity Podcast Federation, a group of like-minded podcasts from across the internet. 

 

episode 8

AVSE goes post-modern this week as we discuss Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 1, episode 7, "Charlie Gets Molested", a very special episode whose creators were well aware of the tradition as they tackled the titular event (which may or may not have happened). Carol, Austin and Dr. Bitz are joined by very special guest Aaron Walker, aka Carol's hetereosxual lifemate, and because this is a Carol-directed episode, the Saved by the Bell references are run especially hot and heavy, inspired by the actor playing the alleged molester. So grab a can of pledge and your therapy doll, then download and listen here, rate & review us on iTunes or listen via Podbean, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line and let us know what you think of the show! 

 

Episode 7

Merry Christmas Happy Life Day everyone! With the holidays in full swing and a new classic era Star Wars movie in theaters, what better time to take a look at the most infamous bit of Star Wars storytelling, the Holiday Special, in which Chewbacca's family awaits his arrival home on a vaguely-defined Wookiee holiday while under Imperial occupation. In between appearances from an embarrassed Harrison Ford, a dead-eyed Carrie Fisher, and a frighteningly-glam Mark Hamill, the Wookiees are joined by the the brightest (or most-available) stars of 1978 for sequences involving a black-face cooking demonstration, a phallic rock 'n' roll performance, holographic space porn, and more! Is the whole thing painful to watch? Does it have any redeeming value? Is the world better off with this in it, or does it deserve to be obliterated from existence as George Lucas would like? Download and listen here to find out, then rate & review us on iTunes or listen via Podbean, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line and let us know what you think of the show!

 

episode 6

We continue to shake things up, format-wise, in this week's episode featuring Carol, Ryan and a very special guest, comedian Amy Miller. Rather than discussing a specific episode of a show, it's the podcast episode itself that's very special this week as the three hosts take part in a retrospective looking at 80s pop culture icon(?) Corey Feldman!  In light of his recent appearances on the Today Show, it seems as though Corey's life has entered a very special phase, and we took it upon ourselves to investigate just when and how things went wrong. Starting with an all-time great child actor filmography and working our way towards the recent morning show debacles, we delve through decades of Feldmania, all the while asking ourselves if all this is his fault for needing our attention, or ours for continuing to give it to him. You don't have to be one of Corey's angels to make your way through this, but it helps. So cue up Lost Boys and pour one out for Corey Haim, then download and listen here, rate & review us on iTunes or listen via Podbean, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line via any of those methods and let us know what you think of the show!  Also, be sure to check out Amy's website, where you can order her brand new comedy album, and follow her on Twitter @AmyMiller! 

 

Episode 5

In this week's episode, the Aluminum Four stretch our mandate a little, as we discuss not a "very special" episode of an ongoing TV series, but rather a one-shot show specifically designed to be "special". So travel back with us to those halcyon days of the War on Drugs, when President Bush the Elder told children to read his lips and watch this animated special, in which the brightest cartoon stars of 1990 (including Alf, Slimer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) team-up with classic characters like Daffy Duck & Bugs Bunny to teach kids about the dangers of befriending floating ephemeral smoke beings wearing a suit, ie doing drugs. The end result is...kind of a mixed, muddled message, but hey, Winnie the Pooh talks about hardcore drug use, so there's that.  So set your Kemit alarm clock and turn off your Garfield lamp, then download and listen here, rate & review us on iTunes or listen via Podbean, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line via any of those methods and let us know what you think of the show!  

 

episode 4

Gobble gobble, everyone! We are back with a brand new Thanksgiving-themed Very Special episode, just in time for the holiday! This week, we review The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's two-part "There's the Rub", in which Will (Will Smith) and Uncle Phil get locked up for visiting an illicit massage parlor (no, seriously), Carlton & Hilary learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving (ie it's a lot easier to help people if you're rich), and Will's aunts spend an interminable amount of time arguing over stuffing and their relative attractiveness (because this show isn't *that* progressive). We also discuss Will Smith's dangle, Ryan's massage parlor, and everyone's favorite Thanksgiving foods.  So grab a bowl of little onions swimming in cream sauce, then download and listen here, rate & review us on iTunes or listen via Podbean, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line via any of those methods and let us know what you think of the show!  

 

episode 3

This was supposed to be an episode about the dangers of refrigerators (or the importance of learning CPR, whatever), but instead, we pretty much just rag on Ryan for pulling an Alan and dicking around on his phone during a CPR class. But we also discuss Carol's unique pronunciation of "George Gaynes", what kids' faces David finds punchable, and Austin's enduring fear of fridges.   So look, listen, and feel, then download and listen here, rate & review us on iTunes or listen via Podbean, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line via any of those methods and let us know what you think of the show!  

 

episode 2

First there was Saved by the Bell, including Miss Bliss/And then a creepy pervo on Diff'rent Strokes/And then there's Maude/And then there's Maude/And then there's Maude! It's dead rabbits for some, and vasectomies for others, as Maude (the always-awesome Bea Arthur) is faced with a difficult decision in the seminal "Maude's Dilemma", with the series (and the Aluminum Four) tackling head-on a tricky hot button issue that is still burning today in a groundbreaking and frank (for its time) two-part episode.  So pour yourself a double and mash together some balls, then download and listen here, rate & review us on iTunes, follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line via any of those methods and let us know what you think of the show!  

 

episode 1

Welcome to the very first episode of "A Very Special Episode", the podcast which reviews "very special" episodes of pop culture!  For our first episode, regular hosts Ryan, Carol, Austin & David (aka the Aluminum Four) tackle the always-hilarious subjects of child molestation and growth-stunting kidney disease via the two part Diff'rent Strokes episode "The Bicycle Man", in which Arnold (Gary Coleman) and his friend Dudley run afoul of the overly- and creepily-friendly owner of the local bike shop, in one of the more well-known "very special episodes" of the 80s. How well does the episode impart its message? How awkward is the required-for-its-time studio laughter when applied to a subject this serious? How do we manage to make an entertaining podcast out of such sensitive subject matter? You'll have to listen to find out!  And you can do so by downloading the episode here and, shortly, via iTunes and various other podcast providers. You can also follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via avsepodcast@gmail.com. Drop us a line via any of those methods and let us know what you think of the show!