Why Are Dads? artwork

Why Are Dads?

27 episodes - English - Latest episode: 1 day ago - ★★★★★ - 248 ratings

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.

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Episodes

Saw, the Sawniverse, and Sad Dads with Jamelle Bouie

January 20, 2021 19:19 - 1 hour - 118 MB

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 ...

Magnolia (Dads Can Be Very a Lot) with Emma Copley Eisenberg

January 13, 2021 15:16 - 1 hour - 82.1 MB

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 ...

Teachable Moments, Trauma, and why "Bean Dad" struck a nerve

January 06, 2021 15:48 - 33 minutes - 38.3 MB

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 firs...

Moonstruck with Madame Clairevoyant

December 30, 2020 18:20 - 1 hour - 87.2 MB

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 a...

Feeling Feral and Batman Returns

December 23, 2020 20:17 - 1 hour - 88.3 MB

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 ...

Abandonment Fears and Home Alone w. Anne Theriault

December 16, 2020 17:30 - 1 hour - 73.9 MB

Join Sarah, Alex and guest Anne Theriault as they discuss abandonment issues and—as with any great horror film—anxieties about the horrors of the urban being unleashed upon the suburbs. 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...

Abandonment Fears and Home Alone w. Anne Thériault

December 16, 2020 17:30 - 1 hour - 73.7 MB

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...

Oh, Fudge: A Christmas Story w. Mara Wilson

December 09, 2020 18:47 - 1 hour - 74.4 MB

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 difficu...

Literal holiday madness and Christmas Vacation w. Sovereign Syre

December 02, 2020 20:09 - 58 minutes - 67.4 MB

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...

Heroic Dads and Clear and Present Danger w. Jamelle Bouie

November 25, 2020 05:00 - 58 minutes - 67.8 MB

Clear and Present Danger is a movie about a CIA agent that stands up to corruption, sure, but is it possible that this movie about a convictions-addled father also has some daddy issues to unpack? We were joined by very special guest Jamelle Bouie—New York Times columnist and NBC political analyst—to discuss this 1994 political thriller classic. You can find Jamelle on Twitter and on Instagram (his photos are great!) Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed atte...

Convictions Dad and Clear and Present Danger w. Jamelle Bouie

November 25, 2020 05:00 - 58 minutes - 67.8 MB

Clear and Present Danger is a movie about a CIA agent that stands up to corruption, sure, but is it possible that this movie about a convictions-addled father also has some daddy issues to unpack? We were joined by very special guest Jamelle Bouie—New York Times columnist and NBC political analyst—to discuss this 1994 political thriller classic. You can find Jamelle on Twitter and on Instagram (his photos are great!) Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed atte...

BONUS EPISODE: Saved by the Bell [Patreon episode]

November 22, 2020 20:36 - 38 minutes - 44.6 MB

This is the latest installment of our Patreon-only chats that we wanted to share with y'all because it's the Sunday before Covid Thanksgiving and things are weird! You could probably use a little Bayside in your life, so here we are. If this is the sort of things that appeals to y'all, we have weekly conversations about odds and ends over at our Patreon account. We call these chats "Shootin' the Shit w. Why Are Dads". This week we talked Zack Morris, Richard Belding, and the many dad issue...

Demystifying Dad and Big Fish with Guest Louisa Smith

November 18, 2020 18:39 - 50 minutes - 58.1 MB

Tim Burton's Big Fish is about a man who hopes to get a better sense of who is yarn-spinning father is. Are there larger truths in our parents’ self-constructed myths? In their “amusing lies”? Who were our parents before we were born, anyway? Is it possible to get to know those people? It's another movie about a dad so on the nose with its themes that it is impossible to open with a pithy line about the issues it offers for unpacking. Join Sarah, Alex and guest Louisa Smith as they unpack...

Charismatic con men, grief and The Royal Tenenbaums

November 11, 2020 20:09 - 1 hour - 89.5 MB

We usually tease the episode with some pithy switcheroo about how the movie is about one thing, but is it possible that there are some dad issues to unpack? But this is a movie that refers to an entire family by the dad's name, so join Sarah, Alex and guest Rachel Vorona Cote as they unpack Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. Here's Rachel on Twitter, and here is her wonderful book Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today. We are selling this VERY limited run Why Are Dad...

Invisibility AND masculinity in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

November 04, 2020 16:42 - 1 hour - 71.3 MB

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is about a dad who shrinks his kids, sure, but is it possible there are some issues to unpack in a movie in which dad can't see or hear his children? Sarah and Alex discuss and heap loads of love unto Rick Moranis. As a bit of "reality" counter-programming we decided to expedite our chat about this beloved family classic. It's got Rick Moranis! It's got Antie! It's got big cookies and giant Legos! Turn your brain off for an hour and let's go back to our childhood an...

Robot Daddies and Terminator 2 [with Michael Hobbes!]

October 28, 2020 16:30 - 1 hour - 89.8 MB

Terminator 2 is about a boy, his mom, and a killer robot, sure, but is it possible that a movie about a surrogate cyborg father has some daddy issues to unpack? Join Sarah, Alex and Michael Hobbes as we discuss the best movie of 1991. Our guest Michael Hobbes is a reporter for HuffPost. He is also the co-creator and co-host of You’re Wrong About and Maintenance Phase. Terminator 2 is a movie about two robots from 2029 to present day [1991] Los Angeles. One is sent by resistance leader Joh...

Plague, abandonment and Roy Cohn in Angels in America

October 21, 2020 18:48 - 1 hour - 84.1 MB

Angels in America is about plague in the Reagan 80s but could it be possible that there are some daddy issues to dissect in a work about a people abandoned by God? Join Sarah, Alex and Emma as they talk Angels, Roy Cohn and Cohn protege young Donald Trump. We watched the Mike Nichols adaptation of Tony Kushner’s 1991 play about AIDS and homosexuality in the 1980s. Big, big dad themes. It follows the lives of two couples, one gay and one straight-ish. Louis and Prior are our gay couple, an...

Absentee dads, legacy, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein

October 14, 2020 18:13 - 1 hour - 94.7 MB

Frankenstein [1931] and Young Frankenstein are about mad scientists who have to come to terms with their creations, sure, but is it possible that movies about men who create monsters have daddy issues to dissect? Frankenstein is about a man who tries to figure out how to create life without the involvement of his fiancée and—surprise!—he becomes an absentee dad. Young Frankenstein is about a dad who tries the opposite. Join Sarah and Alex as they discuss. - In Why Are Dads, Sarah Marsha...

Self-Absorption, Dad and The Squid and the Whale

October 07, 2020 12:18 - 40 minutes - 46.2 MB

It’s a cult classic about 1980s Brooklyn intellectuals falling apart at the seams, sure, but Sarah and Alex sort through The Squid and the Whale’s many dad themes and issues. What happens when mom and dad decide to go their separate ways and everybody has to come to terms with how much of a prick dad has been this whole time? We were joined by the delightful writer, actor and musician Sean Nelson to discuss The Squid and the Whale, the 2005 Noah Baumbach classic starring Jeff Daniels, La...

Manhood and Friday

September 30, 2020 15:56 - 23 minutes - 69.3 MB

It's a classic 90s stoner comedy, sure, but Sarah and Alex sort through Friday's many dad themes and issues. What happens when, confronted with bullies and vengeful drug dealers, you feel compelled to stand your ground? Friday is, of course, the 1995 cult classic. It was written by Ice Cube, who also stars in the film, and was directed by F. Gary Gray. Taking place in South Central LA, it's about Craig, who just got fired from his job on his day off. He spends the day with Smokey (Chris Tu...

Dad issues abound in Top Gun

September 23, 2020 14:36 - 54 minutes - 62.1 MB

It's about a handful of guys competing against each other at a top tier Navy flight school, sure, but Sarah, Alex and special guest Clementine Ford unpack Top Gun's dad themes and there is plenty to sort through. What happens when, haunted by questions about your father's death and legacy, you become the cockiest fighter pilot in the Navy? Top Gun is, of course, the story of Maverick, Goose, Iceman and a bunch of 1980s cool dudes competing for the Top Gun trophy but it's also stuffed to th...

Deescalation with Dad... and Kevin Costner

September 16, 2020 17:20 - 1 hour - 73.6 MB

What if dads taught their kids to deescalate rather than to retaliate? To prioritize love over conflict? What if men learned from their trauma, and shared their lessons with their families? The War is an under-appreciated classic — a kids movie that tries to show the destructive nature of cycles of violence. It is hokey and fantastic, but it dares imagine another way for dads to be. You don’t have to have seen this 1995 Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood vehicle about addressing post-Vietnam tra...

Surviving Dad and A Nightmare on Elm Street

September 09, 2020 16:48 - 1 hour - 76.2 MB

It’s about a lascivious dream demon, sure, but Sarah and Alex unpack Nightmare on Elm Street’s Dad themes and there is plenty to sort through. What happens when you realize that your parents' self-serving attempts at keeping you safe push you even further into harm’s way? And when you find yourself on the hook for their sins? Nightmare on Elm Street is, of course, the story of Nancy Thompson—a teenage girl who is stalked by Freddy Krueger, a burned man equipped with razor-like fingers. S...

Disappointing Dad and Dirty Dancing

September 02, 2020 17:34 - 57 minutes - 66.2 MB

It’s about dancing, sure, but Sarah and Alex unpack Dirty Dancing’s dad themes and there is plenty to sort through. What happens when you disappoint your father by putting his own ethical code into action? A young woman gets radicalized and dance becomes a metaphor for sex and revolution. Dirty Dancing is, of course, the 1987 Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze oft-maligned “chick flick” that is about dancing, yes, but also lefty politics, reproductive rights, and—if you’re Sarah—imagining Jer...

Emotional Intimacy and Jaws

August 26, 2020 05:53 - 47 minutes - 54.1 MB

It is about a shark, sure, but Sarah and Alex unpack Jaws' Big Dad Energy by looking at its larger themes in the context of their own experiences with fathers and dads. Jaws, of course, is Steven Spielberg’s wildly popular 1975 adaptation of Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel. The film is about at least one literal dad: Brody. And it’s about other men who remind us of our respective dads, sorting through their egos and masculinity while in pursuit of this shark. Sarah is also the co-host of You'r...

Why Are Dads: THE TRAILER

August 17, 2020 15:46 - 2 minutes - 3.4 MB

Sarah Marshall [You're Wrong About] and Alex Steed [Nashville Demystified] 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. They try to understand their own dads, their relationships with those dads—and very possibly your relationship with your dad—by looking at fatherhood, and masculinity in television, film, and other popular [and un...

Hey! This is the trailer.

August 17, 2020 15:46 - 2 minutes - 3.4 MB

Sarah Marshall [You're Wrong About] and Alex Steed [Nashville Demystified] 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. They try to understand their own dads, their relationships with those dads—and very possibly your relationship with your dad—by looking at fatherhood, and masculinity in television, film, and other popular [and un...

Twitter Mentions

@whyaredads 15 Episodes
@carekendrick 8 Episodes
@jbouie 3 Episodes
@anne_theriault 2 Episodes
@sovereignsyre 1 Episode
@mmeclairevoyant 1 Episode
@frumpenberg 1 Episode
@rvoronacote 1 Episode
@cmoneyburns 1 Episode
@marawilson 1 Episode
@louisathelast 1 Episode