Film & Water #72 – Defending Your Life



Rob and fellow Little Brain Max Romero take a trip to Judgment City to talk about Albert Brooks' 1991 comedy DEFENDING YOUR LIFE, also starring Meryl Streep!

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12 responses to “Film & Water #72 – Defending Your Life

  1. I’m just starting to listen to the episode so I’m not sure if the topic will come up. Albert Brooks’ father had one of the most notable deaths in Hollywood history. Brooks’ father was the comedian Harry Einstein (yes, Albert Brooks is really Albert Einstein) who was known as “Parkyakarkus.” The character had been a hit on the Al Jolson & Eddie Cantor radio shows. He eventually got his own radio series (Meet at Parky’s) in 1945. His career began to cool in the 1950s, however. In 1958, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz were being honored by the Friar’s Club at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and Einstein was asked to perform. He got up and literally knocked ’em dead. Moments after giving one of his best performances he sat down and died. Here’s the story from those who were there including Milton Berle & Art Linkletter:

    Albert Brooks was about 11 years old at the time of the incident so it must have had a tremendous impact on his own life and perhaps this film.

  2. I should have known you’d be on top of things. I think my favorite Brooks moment on film is his “nest egg” riff in Lost in America. My favorite Brooks moment on TV was when he was showing Johnny Carson his “Impersonation Kit.” Carson’s reaction to Brooks doing Burt Lancaster is great!

  3. I’ll admit I haven’t seen a single Brooks film. To me he’s always been Nemo’s dad and the brother of one of the co-producers of The Simpsons. I know that makes me a horrible person.

    I guess when I was first exposed to his comedy, I was way too young to be interested. Now, as a beat-down middle-aged man, I think I could relate to it very easily, and I want to check out this film.

    Mission accomplished gentlemen!


    1. FYI: Albert Brooks is not related to James L. Brooks (Simpsons, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Room 222, Terms of Endearment). You may be thinking of Bob Einstein (Super Dave Osborne; Marty Funkhouser from Curb Your Enthusiasm). Bob Einstein recently sat for a very funny interview on the Gilbert Gottfried podcast).

  4. This is one of those films that I’ll drop every thing and watch No matter when I come in to the movie. You have great taste in films and I hope you will do the zero effect.

  5. I have slowly become more of a Brooks fan as I have become older, mostly because I see more and more of myself in his character.

    When I was young, I didn’t like this movie because I thought Brooks’ character was a complete loser. Who would go through life like that? Now, in my mid-life years, I see way more of myself in his concerns and decisions and snark. And so this movie makes much more sense to me.

    Thanks for covering.

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