He’s undead. He’s shot lightening out of his hands. He’s thrown his enemies into coffins. He's one of the most popular pro-wrestlers of all time. But Mark Calaway’s character The Undertaker is also an anachronism from a different era of wrestling. Today WWE performers rely more on their real life personalities than invented personas, and yet The Undertaker has continued his supernatural reign in the ring for nearly three decades. Journalist Chad Dundas and professors Charles Westmoreland of Delta State and Christopher Stacey of LSU Alexandria put The Undertaker’s remarkable career in the context of “sports entertainment,” which often doesn’t get enough respect as sports or entertainment. Here's a link to the graphic novel Chad Dundas wrote about the origin of The Undertaker:
Hero Props vs. Fake Props
Imagine walking into your living room, and alongside your couch is a prop from one of your favorite childhood movies. Sure, it was costly but this is a piece of pop culture history, and it's right here in your home. Now imagine you found out that prop was a fake. I talk with prop collectors Tiana Armstrong of curator Jacob McMurray about the dark web of swindlers and forgers who prey on sci-fi fantasy fans.
Burlesque has merged with geek culture to form nerdlesque – where characters from Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and other fantasy franchises strip down to pasties and g-strings. Nerdlesque is also a form of storytelling, similar to fanfiction or cosplay in the way it encompasses a diverse range of fans, and re-imagines the power dynamics of the original stories. We talk with pioneering nerdlesque performers Fem Appeal and Nasty Canasta, and we get a back stage tour of with Russall Beattie, Lisa Toyer and Kael Murray. Needless to say, this episode contains adult content with adult language.
Sidekicks: Harley Quinn
In the conclusion of our mini-series on sidekicks, we look at how Harley Quinn began as a sidekick to a villain, and found her way to the heart of the DC canon and fandoms around the world. about how they separated Harley from her toxic boyfriend, and set the character on a new path.
Sidekicks: Tonto and Kato
As part of our mini series on sidekicks, we look at two characters that have travelled in parallel since they came out of the same radio station in the 1930s – Tonto and Kato. There wasn’t anything authentically Native American or Asian about these sidekicks, but that didn’t matter to the audiences who enjoyed their team-ups with The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet. Embodying Tonto and Kato was a lot more challenging for the actors Jay Silverheels and Bruce Lee, who struggled to find humanity within the stereotypes, and respect behind the scenes. Featuring .”