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Why Are Dads?

Author: Sarah Marshall + Alex Steed

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Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.
36 Episodes
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We take a close look at The Shining—both the Stephen King classic and the Stanley Kubrick classic—and discuss Jack Torrance's multiple shortcomings in the fatherhood department. We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!
It is about good dads and bad dads; present dads and absent dads; biological dads and adoptive dads. Join us as we discuss Marvel dads and daddies, space losers, mediocre white dude heroes, and Guardians of the Galaxy with Fangirl Jeanne! We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie. You can find Fangirl Jeanne online here, and on Twitter here! Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!
Clarice Starling was a revelation while the portrayal of "Buffalo Bill" became a bane for many trans people coming of age. The impeccably constructed film is the gold standard of copaganda. We unpack The Silence of the Lambs' complicated legacy with Harmony Colangelo! We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie. You can Harmony's essay A Reluctant Defense of Silence of the Lambs' James Gumb here. You can find Harmony on Twitter here. You can find A Year of Queer Cocktails here. You can find This Ends at Prom here! Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!
A few Halfling hippies assemble an eclectic fellowship and go on the adventure of a lifetime. Dads and daddies abound. We talk Hobbits, fan fiction, thirsting for Viggo, and The Lord of the Rings with our pal Talia Lavin. You can find Talia's book Culture Warlords here. You can find Talia on Twitter here. We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!
One time in the 1990s a scary litigator melted the hearts of millions of kids by reminding his daughter that "you divorce wives, not kids." We discuss Mel Horowitz—the loveliest shouty dad in popular cinema—Cher, Josh, Tai, Murray, Travis and the rest of the Clueless gang with our pal Kristofer Thomas. You can Kristofer on Twitter and on TikTok! We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!
The Wrestler w. Gaby Dunn

The Wrestler w. Gaby Dunn

2021-03-0301:13:362

It's a movie about a big, messy sweetie who can't get out of his own way and all of the folks who suffer as a result. We talk The Wrestler, alcoholic dads, and more with the wonderful Gaby Dunn. You can Gaby on Instagram and on TikTok! We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Ethan Hawkins of Corner House accompanied her on her rendition of The Wrestler. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!
An effervescent dark comedy that addresses the crushing nature of patriarchy while also paying tribute to ABBA on a number of levels? We gushed about Muriel's Wedding with the endlessly marvelous Laura Lippman. You can find Laura's books here, and you can find Laura on Twitter here! Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.
A bunch of men have competing views on how best to parent their city, though they all agree the task of dadding around is a thankless, back-breaking, and secretive operation. A lovable anarchist literally tells the Bat Dad that they complete each other. We unpack the plethora of dad issues presented in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight with the delightful Aubrey Gordon. You can find Maintenance Phase here. And you can find Aubrey's book What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat here. You can find Aubrey on Instagram here! And on Twitter here! Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.
We're putting last week's episode of Shootin' the Shit w. Why Are Dads [our Patreon bonus series] over here on the main feed because it sounds like a lot of y'all are dealing with some of that heavy-heavy and a few folks said it was helpful for them to hear and think about. Also, it's not just heavy stuff! We also talk about Oceans 11 and Crash Bandicoot. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon.    
10 Things I Hate About You is Shakespeare seen through a 90s teen comedy lens and it remains such a treat. Along with special guest Sanpriti Ireland, we talk about Kat, her over-protective dad, Heath Ledger, and teen movies that don't treat their protagonists like scary humping machines. You can find Sanpriti on Instagram here! And her Patreon here. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.  
Fargo with Clementine Ford

Fargo with Clementine Ford

2021-02-0301:10:212

A group of men have some feelings, don't know what to do with them, and get everyone around them into a big mess. Sound familiar? We discuss Fargo, what me mean by "straight men", and the great Marge Gunderson with Clementine Ford. You can find Clementine on Instagram here! And here is Big Sister Hotline! Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
Is it possible that sometimes folks get so carried away in representing their causes that they overlook the humanity of the people about whom they purport to care? We discuss the criminally underrated Citizen Ruth, the abortion debate, and the heavenly Laura Dern with our wonderful friend Candace Jane Opper. You can find Candace's book Certain and Impossible Events here! You can find Candace on Twitter. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
A series about a broken, sad man who expects way way more from everyone around him? Who lives by a convoluted code? The Sawniverse is about a perpetually disappointed dad and all of the kids who break themselves trying to please him. We talk all this and more with Jamelle Bouie! You can find Jamelle's work here! You can find Jamelle on Twitter and on Instagram. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. In this episode Carolyn covered Worms by Viagra Boys. Boys! Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
We are joined by Emma Copley Eisenberg for a discussion about intersections of fate, Aimee Mann, the enduring beauty of Philip Seymour Hoffman, and one of the most sprawling movies about unpacking dad relationships of all time! Join us as we unpack Magnolia. You can find Emma's work, included her book The Third Rainbow Girl, here! You can find Emma on Twitter and on Instagram. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
We meant to take this week off but then a thing happened. Musician, podcaster and public personality John Roderick struck a collective nerve by telling a story about his daughter, beans, and a can opener. In doing so he became known to many as "Bean Dad". We use this surprise phenomenon, and how and why it resonated negatively for many, to talk about "teachable moments", anxiety, trauma and collective PTSD. It's about Bean Dad, sure, but really it's about us all. We'll be back with our first proper episode of 2021 next week. Magnolia, y'all! Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!
We are joined by Claire Comstock-Gay (AKA Madame Clairevoyant) for a discussion about the cuckoo-bananas masterpiece that is Moonstruck. Fate! Stars! Chaos! Love! Lust! 80s New York! Men are wolves and they are afraid of death. This one has it all! You can find Claire's horoscope column on The Cut here. You can find her book Madame Clairevoyant's Guide to the Stars here. You can find Claire on Twitter and on Instagram. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produced the beats in this episode. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
Attention-seeking, resentment, a healthy desire for retribution, and boundless parallels to the Trump debacle. Also, is Batman Returns in fact the most anti-corporate superhero movie ever made? Join Sarah and Alex as they unpack all this and more. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
Join Sarah, Alex and guest Anne Thériault as they discuss abandonment issues and anxieties about the horror of the 'urban' being unleashed upon the suburbs and threatening THE CHILDREN. This week's movie, of course, is Home Alone. Anne is a feminist writer and author based in Toronto. Why Are Dads has gone international once again! You can find Anne on Twitter and on Instagram. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. Fresh Lesh produced the beats in this episode. Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
Join Sarah, Alex and guest Mara Wilson as they discuss "gleaming sex", deranged easter bunnies, and Jim Jones' connection to the America portrayed in the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story. You can find Mara on Twitter and on Instagram. You can find Mara's book Where Am I Now? here. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. The Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
It's a movie about a father who drives himself mad by holding himself to unrealistic holiday expectations, sure, but is it possible that there could be some daddy issues to unpack? Join us and guest Sovereign Syre as we talk about National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. You can find Sovereign on Twitter and on Instagram. Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. The Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!  
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Comments (7)

Heidi M. Fanning

That song at the end of the episode was so beautiful! I sang I love you baby to my oldest daughter when she was born. She was in the NICU at first and I would sit next to her bed and sing to her when I was not allowed to hold her. When I got to that line "I wanna hold you so much" I cried. She got well and came home!

Feb 10th
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Heidi M. Fanning

I watched this movie when I was too young to enjoy it and in a very weird circumstance where I was in the midst of trying to support a grieving parent. So I registered absolutely none of the comedy and saw only the grisly tragedy. Maybe all these years later I should try watching it again to see why people like it so much.

Feb 3rd
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alli lent

they mention the name Will Bloom being significant.. like he will bloom in the future.. but also Ed Bloom could be written as Bloom, Ed like he already bloomed!

Nov 19th
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Kerri Ray Olobri

I love this episode. I listened to it once on the “you’re wrong about” feed and then again here. Thanks for talking about dads the way we all need to hear it.

Nov 3rd
Reply

alli lent

Michael is 100% right - I want 7 days of You're Wrong About and adjacent content

Oct 28th
Reply

Heidi M. Fanning

This is an excellent episode!

Oct 14th
Reply

Liz Flagler

Is Saturday Night Fever on your list? There's a few dad's in that one. Tony's dad, his surrogate dads in the paint store and dance studio, his friend who is going to be a dad, his brother who is a "father".

Sep 16th
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