Latest Podcast: I Am My Own Brand


Because, sadly, Oprah Winfrey‘s was already taken.

Still, I soldier on, and the podcast formerly known as Former Child Star Central is now known as The Joal Ryan Thing.

Name change or no, the podcast remains a pop-culture smorgasbord of discussion about child stars, teen idols and other human beings.

The latest episode is up, and it’s fantastic. The Sprouse twins (Cole and Dylan), the Olsen twins (Mary-Kate and Ashley), Tatum O’Neal, the late Terry Sue-Patt, the nonsense Poltergeist “curse” and the concept of Lindsay Lohan Time are covered.

Latest Podcast: Why Some Baby Names Have the Shelf Life of Teen Idols

baby‘Cause girl names, far more than boy names, are subject to fancy and fad. I’m not saying this is right, I’m just saying this is why Michael stays strong year after year, while Susan, dear, sensible, sturdy Susan, has gone the way of O-Town.


I explore the baby-name/teen-idol connection on the latest Former Child Star Central podcast. (Full disclosure: I am a former baby.)

I also talk the Mad Men finale, Andrew Keegan‘s kombucha-tea troubles and the rise and fall of Burt Reynolds because I obviously I don’t pay for the kind of data that would tell me what I should be talking about in the name of audience-building.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on iTunes!

Latest Podcast: So, About That Time I Advised Child Stars Who Aspire to Act into Adulthood to Grow Up Hot…

indy dayApparently, I was right!

Which isn’t at all a good thing for humanity.

The latest Former Child Star Central podcast  explains it all, except for the puzzling part about why Mae Whitman isn’t considered hot enough for the hot police. Or apparently the makers of the upcoming Independence Day sequel, either.

Now on iTunes, too!


Latest Podcast: Full House Revival and the Olsen Twins Dilemma

full houseTime was when two Olsens—Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen—were needed to play one Full House role because neither Olsen was old enough to work long enough to make efficient TV. Now the Olsens twins are 28, and apparently able-bodied and capable. So, why exactly would both of them be needed on the announced Full House revival, Fuller House? And if they were both on the set, what would they do? Michelle Tanner’s still only one fictional character, right?

These, and other Full House matters discussed in exacting (but interesting!) detail on the latest Former Child Star Central with my special guest, Joe Adalian, West Coast editor of New York‘s, and cohost of the KCRW,com podcast, The Spin-Off.

Latest Podcast: Justin Bieber, Why Can’t You Be More Like Alex Rodriguez?

arodBecause you presumably can’t hit a major-league curve. I’ll give you that. Not that I’ve tried, but I’m betting I can’t hit a major-league curve, either. (Now a nasty slider…)

The larger, less-literal point I make in the latest episode of Former Child Star Central is that Alex Rodriguez, the baseball star-turned-scored PED user-turned baseball star anew, is doing something that Justin Bieber, the pop star-turned-joke, should do. (Hint: It’s not getting kicked out of Coachella.)

Elsewhere, I invent the Former Child Star Central Book Club, and highly recommend that Lindsay Lohan heed its first selection, Amber Tamblyn‘s Dark Sparkler.

Yes, I’m just full of advice. Or something like that.

Latest Podcast: So, Exactly How Many Child Stars “Go Bad” Anyway? Like, Exactly?


I count them up on the latest Former Child Star Central podcast.

And, no, in the scheme of things, 19 isn’t a lot.

In fact, 19 represents just 2 percent of the 763 entries on Wikipedia’s “List of Former Child Actors From the United States” page.

I read said page aloud on the latest Former Child Star Central podcast.

And, yes, I read the entire page, and all 763 entries.

The better to make a very pointy point.

Latest Podcast: “Mad Men,” Jon Hamm, Kiernan Shipka, Mason Reese, Alex Rodriguez

mad men
Did we, meaning I, look for a way to insert myself into the Mad Men final-seven-episodes discussion? Yes, yes, I did.

Did we, meaning I, reach? No, no, I did not.

The latest episode of Former Child Star Central features a legit discussion on who is going to be Mad Men‘s ultimate former-child star: Jon Hamm or Kiernan Shipka? It also features a legit discussion with Mad Men Podcast host Jeremiah Panhorst.

And as if you needed more legit reasons to tune in, as it were, we, meaning I, have two words for you: Debralee Scott.

And also: Mason Reese.

And, yeah, Alex Rodriguez and Justin Bieber, too, but don’t let them deter you.

It’s time to give a listen.