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HERCULES ON THE RADIO!!
Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Welcomes The Dramatic Return Of BUFFY/GALACTICA/THRONES/ DS9/FIREFLY Writer-Producer JANE ESPENSON!! Also CHEEKS!!
NEW TIME SLOT: Listen And Call In LIVE 10pm PT / 1am ET!!

Published at: Sept. 8, 2012, 12:06 a.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

Tonight the KERN Krew and I (minus Mr. KERN himself, who’s down in Anaheim with his family this week deservedly enjoying its surfeit of theme parks) welcome the return of the great TV writer Jane Espenson, she of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Game of Thrones,” “Firefly,” “Angel,” “The OC,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Andy Barker,” “Dollhouse,” “Caprica,” and “Torchwood” fame. Her latest series, “Once Upon A Time,” returns to ABC with new episodes Sept. 30.

We also welcome (for the first time!) white-hot writer-actor-producer Brad “Cheeks” Bell, Espenson’s collaborator on the uber-gay smash Web series “Husbands,” in which Cheeks stars with Jon Cryer, Tricia Helfer, John Hodgman, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, Amber Benson, Emma Caulfield, Sasha Roiz, Mekhi Pfeifer, Alessandra Torresani, Dichen Lachman and Joss Whedon (as The Agent).

We’ll have a look at the Paley Center’s list of top TV Dynamic Duos.

We’ll discuss why summer movie tickets bought are at a 20-year low. (Hint: Taylor Kitsch, it turns out, is not wholly to blame.)

We may finally talk about the autumn movies to which we’re most looking forward.

And we’re likely to talk about the 2012 finale of “Breaking Bad,” J.J. Abrams’ “Revolution” pilot, the “Louie” Late Show episodes and the Rerestic-centric 100th episode of “Weeds.”

“Ask Mr. KERN” continues to nest in its later football-season timeslot.

The radio show airs its next five episodes on Saturdays 10:05 p.m. to Midnight Pacific Time / 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. Eastern.

No matter where you are you can listen to the show LIVE by hitting the “Listen Live” button at kernradio.com.

Best of all, you, constant reader, can join this very nerdy conversation.

The toll-free call-in line is:
1-800-640-5376

Call in drunk, as I always do, but watch your language. This is not a podcast. This monster goes out over the air on all 50,000 watts of Southern California’s KERN-AM.

Have something better to do tonight? Want to listen to older shows? Head over to the  “Ask Mr. KERN” archives!

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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 8, 2012, 3:37 a.m. CST

    Ugh...fell asleep in my chair. Going to bed now. Good night...

    by adeceasedfan

    and good morning.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Nope. Going to bed now. Right now.

    by adeceasedfan

    I must sleep before the dawn. Listen to PENTAGRAM. That is all.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Jeez Louise! Leno's head and jowells

    by rben

    are getting even bigger as he ages! guess he's the reverse w.shatner (smaller and rounder)

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Last week's show not archived....

    by rben

    will that happen this week too? (because of the time change, no one around to do the archiving? what's the dealio?) On my compaq, if i listen live, it sounds horrible (constant start and stops hiccups) whearas the archives is perfectly fine....

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST

    ASK MR.KERN archives...

    by WeLiveStill...OrNot

    We are having an issue with the website right now. Nothing new has been archived since Aug. 25th. I'm hoping to have this fixed, at least in part, by the middle of this coming week. My apologies to all. I am a firm believer in cracking skulls to get things done, but I have cracked all the skulls I can and it's just going to take a little more time. It is what it fucking is. I ain't happy about it either...

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Dammit! Out of coffee!!

    by adeceasedfan

    Must will myself outside to seek sustenance. grumble..grumble..yawn.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    welivestill...ornot. Have fun today in Anaheim!!

    by adeceasedfan

    Is that one of the nine realms? Jotunheim...Svartalfheim...Anaheim. Yep. Say hi to Loki!

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST

    a deceasedfan.....

    by rben

    I can't even drink coffee due to heart disease, so i envy you, sir! Losing weight (25 lb so far, woo-woo) but still can't drink coffee. Same heart you see. ("If I only had a heart..." or The Outer Limits: "They took his heart OUT!")

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Espenson

    by RipperGiles

    I wish this site would quit elevating this woman to godliness... she's a talented writer, yes, but have you actually SEEN that DS9 she wrote? A steaming pile of turds is what it was, only to be out-turded by that season one episode with the... well, just about any season one episode after "Emissary" and before "Duet". Except, maybe, the Rumplestilkskin episode, just because midgets are cool. And yes, I said midget. Fuck this PC bullshit! I think "little person" is far more condescending than "midget". Oh well. As I said, Espenson ain't no Chosen One. A good writer? yes. An excellent one? Maybe. But the fucking god this site has elevated her to being, with sunshine coming out her ass and pure television ambrosia leaking out her fingertips? Meh. Could be worse, though. Her name could be "Star Trek Into Darkenss".

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    rben. Sorry to hear that.

    by adeceasedfan

    Then I guess I won't reveal what's on my plate. Needless to say my heart is frowning. Good on you for the weight loss. That is always good news.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    After viewing HUSBANDS Season 2: episode 1 I must admit...

    by adeceasedfan

    That was the gayest thing I have ever seen. And I watch Ross Mathews on youtube. That sounds negative and I don't mean it to be, just an observation. More observations: I find the writing to be funny with sharp, but not preachy commentary. Joss Whedon has to be related to Ed Begley Jr. and Tricia Helfer is unbelievably hot. I'm curious (HELLO!) about how biographical this is for Cheeks? Refering to dialing down his personality. I can't imagine being asked to change...oh wait yes I can I used to be married. That is all for now. Looking forward to staying up past my bedtime.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Goddamn. Where is everybody today? Did I miss the Rapture?

    by adeceasedfan

    I gotta get a life.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Soooooooo mad.

    by adeceasedfan

    I got a new Thundercats t-shirt in the mail today and half the fucking print washed off. My brother says it looks better (aged) ,but I just want it new for at least a day. Thunder...Thunder...Thundercats...NOOOOOOOO!!!

  • I'm actually having trouble convincing a Disney fan, of which I am not, to watch it. Which is pretty crazy. The premise sounds insane.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    So more on topic, but not at all.

    by adeceasedfan

    This week my little one wanted to play Barbie and asked who I wanted to be. Hold that thought baby girl. The dream house needs a protector. So I unearth a Buffy doll and now the term Vampire Slayer has entered her 4 yr old vernacular. She's no longer scared of vampires (Yes!) Buffy rules the house and now Daddy's Once More With Feeling one sheet makes a little more sense. If only I could convince her to be Buffy for Halloween, right now it's Wonder Woman which is also a good choice.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    Yay! I'm not the Omega Man ^^

    by adeceasedfan

  • ...and is she happy with the direction they've taken?

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    I'm sure I'm too late...

    by Jaka

    ...but I meant to submit that earlier this week via email.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Soon it will be Midnight! The We-Bitching Hour!

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Of course, that's CDT.

  • Sept. 8, 2012, 11:54 p.m. CST

    My coach done turned into a pumpkin.

    by adeceasedfan

    Glad to see you. l.h.puttgrass

  • Remarkably, it's about the same as four years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=artGMAqsWw0 Now I just need to find the appropriate wall...

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Dead air!

    by L.H.Puttgrass

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Herc! Are you actually in Bakersfield?

    by L.H.Puttgrass

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:13 a.m. CST

    I MISS FIREFLY SO FRIGGING MUCH!!!

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    I hate you FOX. I really, really hate you.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:14 a.m. CST

    That is a goofy title. The cadence just does not flow.

    by L.H.Puttgrass

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Into Darkness nondescriptive?

    by Shermdawg

    Sounds like Karl Urban's slip of the tongue confirmed to me.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Meanwhile, in the original trek universe...

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    People have begun to worry about the vast amount of newspapers and mail that have collected at the front door of their neighbor, Mr.Spock. Rumors are begining to spread...

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    vampire diaries the books predate twilight by a decade

    by walt

    and are the teen version of dark shadows

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Has someone turned Herc into a Dalek?

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Jane! Jane Es-Pen-Son! Stop! Stop! Or You WILL Be Ex-Ter-Min-Na-Ted! Stop! Es-Pen-Son! STOP!!

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Hmm...boy slayer.

    by adeceasedfan

    First reaction. No, I don't like it.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST

    trek into darkness/slippin into darkness

    by walt

    and i dont care what lindelof says...he doesnt get it heres an idea...come up with your own friggin sci fi uni and see if it sells dont piggy back on a name brand and spit on its memory

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Sherm!

    by CelluloidNitrate

    UPS ground is ridiculously slow. The package has been sent out again and is scheduled to be at your door on 9/17. Any faster would have cost $30, so I apologize that money towards the Indiana Jones blu-rays took priority =\

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Deceased

    by CelluloidNitrate

    Nothing wrong with a boy slayer... that's basically what you could call Connor!

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Okay, that's one hour gone. Time for the Half-Time Show!

    by L.H.Puttgrass

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Crystal Skull

    by CelluloidNitrate

    Or, as I call it, that Sky-Captain-ish movie that was made with b-roll from the Indiana Jones trilogy.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Hey mike.

    by adeceasedfan

    Did they tweak his character in the comics? (Which I haven't read) I never gathered that from the show.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Deceased

    by CelluloidNitrate

    I can't really speak for the IDW Angel comics... Connor came into play after I stopped reading those stories. As for the Angel and Faith comics, Connor is still very much the Connor we saw at the end of Angel season five: attending college and trying to live a normal human life but very much appreciative of what Angel did for him. The current arc is actually very Connor-centric, with Angel, Faith, Connor and Willow traveling to Quor'Toth to bring magic back to earth.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Celluloidnitrate

    by adeceasedfan

    Man, I've gotta catch up. I've got several trades collecting dust.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Dunno if I would've went with that list.

    by Shermdawg

    If you're gonna do something while the guests are on the line, it should at least be something they can interact with. Remember that if you're ever given the reins again, Herc. They sat through the news, came back with that, then on to another break.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Damn you imposter Shaggy.

    by adeceasedfan

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Revolution Spoiler.

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    The world's electrical power is out due to a dampening field. The field was invented and is controled by a guy named Jacob...

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Puttgrass! You've got me to watch the whole series.

    by CelluloidNitrate

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Revolution Spoiler Continued.

    by Shermdawg

    The world's electrical power is out due to a dampening field. The field was invented and is controlled by a guy named Jacob......who turns out to be Lucifer....

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:44 a.m. CST

    MR.KERN sounds slighty intoxicated.

    by Shermdawg

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Thank you Mike.

    by adeceasedfan

    That's what I wanted to ask.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Sherm

    by WeLiveStill...OrNot

    Just over tired. No fire-water consumed here.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:55 a.m. CST

    celluloidnitrate - I haven't seen the show yet.

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    I wish I could sarcastically say that you have my condolenses, but I have nothing to base that possible remark on. Unless I were to continue lying about it... Jacob is based on an island in the Bermuda Triangle. And his last name is Hanso.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Thanks to the Krew...

    by WeLiveStill...OrNot

    ... for letting me get outta town. You guys did a good job.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 1:59 a.m. CST

    welivestill...ornot - Krew is actually spelled, Krewe.

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    If you are deriving it from the original Mardi Gras source.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST

    puttgrass

    by WeLiveStill...OrNot

    I stand corrected,sir. :)

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Okay, it's 2:00am CDT, it's dark outside, and I'm still alive.

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Now what?

  • Miss you welivestill...ornot. To bed now.

  • I can relate. I just spent a week's vacation with Isaac, no power, and several hours of his eye right on top of me. Fun times. Push forward and have some fun if you can.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Whew!

    by Hercules

    Trickier than expected with so many phone calls! Thanks as always to everybody who listened, called or posted!

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Wow, Herc. Were you doing the show from Vegas?

    by L.H.Puttgrass

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST

    My (largely unused) notes re: Dynamic Duos

    by Hercules

    THE PALEY CENTER'S LIST 30. David Addison & Maddie Hayes, Moonlighting 29. Sam Malone & Diane Chambers, Cheers THE LAST TWO SHOULD BE MUCH HIGHER 28. Laverne & Shirley, Laverne & Shirley LENNY & SQUIGGY More Dynamic 27. Wayne & Garth, Saturday Night Live BECAUSE THEY WERE IN THE BIGGEST MOVIE FESTRUNK BROS. , BELDAR AND PRYMATT, IRWIN MAINWAY AND JANE FACE, FRANKEN AND DAVIS, HANS AND FRANZ, BRUCE DICKENSON AND THE COWBELL, VIRGINIA AND ROGER CLARVIN, THE FALCONER AND DONALD, THE BIDET COUPLE, MIKE MYERS AND KANYE WEST, DEANDRE COLE AND LINDSAY BUCKINGHAM, THE A-HOLES, THE NASA POTATO CHIP GUYS, CHRISTOPHER WALKEN AND THE DIRTY CENTAUR, ALEX TREBEK AND SEAN CONNERY, THE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO 26. Ralph Kramden & Alice Kramden, The Honeymooners NOT RALPH AND ED NORTON??? 25. George Jefferson & "Weezy" Jefferson, The Jeffersons 24. Jack Donaghy & Liz Lemon, 30 Rock 23. Johnny Carson & Ed McMahon, The Tonight Show THE MILTON BERLE OF THE ERA 22. Kevin Arnold & Winnie Cooper, The Wonder Years 21. Cliff Clavin & Norm Peterson, Cheers 20. Pat Sajak & Vanna White, Wheel of Forture INCLUDED TO FOSTER CONTROVERSY 19. Tony Soprano & Carmela Soprano, The Sopranos HATED CARMELA, PAULY WALNUTS Instead 18. Jack McFarland & Karen Walker, Will & Grace 17. Bert & Ernie, Sesame Street 16. Jack Shephard & John Locke, Lost 15. Beavis & Butt-head, Beavis and Butt-head 14. Dan Conner & Roseanne Conner, Roseanne 13. Meredith Grey & Derek Shepherd, Grey's Anatomy 12. Archie Bunker & Mike "Meathead" Stivic, All in the Family 11. Cameron Tucker & Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family 10. Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy, The Muppets 9. Richie Cunningham & The Fonz, Happy Days NO CHEMISTRY 8. Dwight Schrute & Michael Scott, The Office SHOULD BE DWIGHT & JIM HALPERT 7. Dana Scully & Fox Mulder, The X-Files I HATED DANA SCULLY 6. Captain Kirk & Mr. Spock, Star Trek 5. Chandler Bing & Joey Tribbiani, Friends 4. Homer & Bart Simpson, The Simpsons 3. Cliff Huxtable & Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show CLAIR HUXTABLE SUCKED, SHOULD BE DENISE 2. Lucy Ricardo & Ethel Mertz, I Love Lucy OVERRATED 1. Jerry Seinfeld & George Costanza, Seinfeld HERC'S SUGGESTIONS: LARRY DAVID & LEON BLACK ROGER STERLING & DON DRAPER JACK BAUER AND DAVID PALMER LARRY SANDERS AND HIS PRODUCER ARTIE NUMBER 6 AND NUMBER 2 (LEO McKERN version) DALE COOPER AND HARRY TRUMAN (OR GORDON COLE) TITUS PULLO AND LUCIOUS VORENUS JOSH LYMON AND LORD JOHN MARBURY JOHN CAGE AND RICHARD FISH BASIL AND SYBIL FAWLTY RUSTY VENTURE AND BROCK SAMPSON ANGELA DARMODY AND RICHARD HARROW JIM ROCKFORD AND ANGEL MARTIN SETH COHEN AND SUMMER ROBERTS NICK ANDROPOLIS AND KEN MILLER BILL HAVERCHUCK AND NEAL SCHWEIBER AEON FLUX AND TREVOR GOODCHILD BILL ADAMA AND LAURA ROSLIN DARIA MORGENDORFFER AND JANE LANE SERVO AND CROW THE CONCHORDS, JEMAINE AND BRET JIM HALPERT AND PAM BEESLEY MAURICE MINNIFELD AND ED CHIGLIAK TYWIN LANNISTER AND ARYA STARK DOUG ROSS AND CAROL HATHAWAY VERONICA MARS AND MAC MACKENZIE ZAPP BRANNIGAN & KIF KROKER BUFFY SUMMERS AND WILLIAM THE BLOODY LORELEI AND RORY GILMORE HANK & BOBBY HILL CONAN O’BRIEN AND PREPARATION H RAYMOND WALTER BISHOP AND GENE THE COW DANIEL GREYSTONE AND SERGE CLINT EASTWOOD AND HIS STOOL ANGELA CHASE AND BRIAN KRAKOW CHARLES RYDER AND SEBASTIAN FLYTE THE TICK AND ARTHUR JOEL FLEISHMAN AND MAGGIE O’CONNELL LOU GRANT AND TED BAXTER MARY RICHARDS AND RHODA MORGENSTERN WESLEY WYNDAM PRYCE AND WINNIFRED BURKLE THEODORE MORRIS & MICHAEL WISEMAN RUPERT GILES AND JENNY CALENDAR

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 2:47 a.m. CST

    l.h.puttgrass

    by Hercules

    I hosted from Vegas. Not ideal audio-wise I reckon -- but it saved me 12 hours of driving to and from Bakersfield. And, candidly, this was I week I needed those 12 hours!

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    When you say, CLINT EASTWOOD AND HIS STOOL...

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    You are talking about something that you might sit on at a bar, right? Not something that you might be holding in a bag as you sit in the doctor's waiting room.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Herc, awesome for including Mary & Rhoda.

    by MovieManStill

    MTM" is my favorite show, and many of the first season's episodes are sitcom writing at its finest - and "classiest.

  • Sept. 9, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Once Upon A Time season 1 is streaming on Netflix. Yay!

    by adeceasedfan

    Now I can catch up, assuming it's good of course. Worth my time? Anybody?

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Once Upon a Time

    by rben

    ABC showed the first four eps of season 1 Sunday night, and though i thought the showrunner's hearts were in the right place, i felt that the execution and internal logic were off. I was only able to go untill the 9:30 mark when i thought: "man this is pointless.." I don't want to spoil by getting into it but i am one of the few that wasn't into it. If you go to Amazon to purchase season1, you see alot of reviewer talkbackers who give it four stars. The fantasy premise seemed to exist uneasily with the real world conceits but probably would not have been so bothersome if you were reading it on the page. Gaiman or Fritz Leiber would have knocked it out of the park. But that's always the case with reading (the theater of the mind.) But see it yourself, you may have a different opinion. In the words of John Airy: "But those are just my thoughts"...

  • Sept. 11, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Thx rben.

    by adeceasedfan

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Actually...

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    ABC did show four EPs of Once Upon A Time Sunday night. But they were Season 1 Ep 1, 15, 21 & 22. 22 was the season finale. I had never seen the show but was interested so I watched all four. It was pretty good and I figured out most of the parts I missed when it jumped EPs. The first EP sets it up very well and the finale echoes back to the begining in places. After seeing only 4 out of 22 Eps it looks like a good one.