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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Stephen King Podcast The Losers’ Club Joins the Bloody Disgusting Network – Stream These Essential Episodes

Like The Beatles’ song Let It Be, the road through Stephen King’s dominion is both long and winding. For nearly half a decade, The Losers’ Club has kept their high beams on as they weave through the Master of Horror’s never-ending oeuvre.

Since January 2017, the Losers have been clutching their shovels with a chronological deep dive into every page and every adaptation involving Sai King. From eight episodes surrounding 1986’s It to four hours dedicated to 1991’s Golden Years, nothing is spared.

They’ve hardly been alone, either. Along for the journey have been a number of familiar faces among these parts: Thomas Jane, Mary Lambert, Wil Wheaton, Mike Flanagan, Joe Bob Briggs, Tananarive Due, Jerry O’Connell, Tom Holland…they’ve all stopped by to chat.

It’s been a long walk for the Losers over the past half-decade, and they’re far from reaching their proverbial Tower. Currently, they’re in the mid-’90s with King, mere weeks away from sitting down to palaver over 1997’s Wizard and Glass, and the road ahead is ever winding.

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (Grant)

Yet the road is also constantly revolving. After all, King has hardly slowed down behind the typewriter, delivering book after book each and every year. Because of this, the opportunity for adventure — and the nightmares and dreamscapes within — are seemingly infinite.

So, there’s always time to catch up. To help you along the way, we’ve strung together a handful highlights in The Losers’ Club back catalogue. It’s a collection of episodes that are as diverse and eclectic as the voices within — and, yes, there are many.

The ka-tet behind this Club is more or a less a family that includes co-hosts Jenn Adams, Daniel CaffreyRandall Colburn, Ana Marie Cox, Ayisha Gatson, McKenzie GerberJustin Gerber, Mel Kassel, Dan Pfleegor, Rachel Reeves, Michael Roffman, and Lara Unnerstall.

Join the Club over long days and pleasant nights via iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, RadioPublic, Acast, Google Podcasts, and RSS. You can also become a member of their Patreon for commentaries, King rarities, exclusive interviews, a Discord community, and much more.

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IT Coverage

In the Fall of 2018, the Losers went deep into King’s magnum opus — and the source of the podcast’s namesake — with eight exhaustive episodes. Each section of the book receives its own episode with a special preamble dedicated to the history of the novel. What’s more, the two-month run extends to the 1990 miniseries featuring an interview with director Tommy Lee Wallace.

Danse Macabre

In 1981, King sought to unpack his own influences and examine horror’s evolution through mediums in a dense work of nonfiction called Danse Macabre. In this far-reaching episode, the Losers intertwine the personal and the analytical as they zero in on some of King’s pop cultural theories and apply them to the author’s work. One question dominates the discourse: What makes something scary?

Pet Sematary Coverage

Sometimes … two episodes are better. That’s a lesson the Losers learned in Winter of 2018 when they scaled the deadfall of King’s coldest novel. The book has always been a Club favorite, and the Losers prove it with a discussion that digs six feet under the terrifying prose. It’s not all chilly as talks about bathtub foreplay keep things relatively balmy. Bonus: Seek out the accompanying adaptations episode that features a hilarious interview with Mary Lambert.

Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes on Stephen King and the Power of Genre Writing

During the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo of Spring 2019, the Losers were fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. Together, they discuss their respective histories with Stephen King (the likes of which include a little rock ‘n’ roll), the Master of Horror’s history of Black characters, the enduring power of genre writing, and the exciting diverse future of horror. It’s a chat that’s as informative as it is inspirational.

The Tommyknockers

Surprise, King’s tale of psychic, battery-obsessed aliens in a small Maine town divided the Losers as much as it has his fans, resulting in a spicy chat that touches on inaccessible characters and irredeemable endings, not to mention its underlying themes of addiction. No matter your view of the book, you’ll find a Loser to root for in this heated and delirious episode.

Thomas Jane on The Mist, Dreamcatcher, and Parisian Absinthe

From the get-go, the Losers have been championing Thomas Jane. Much to their surprise, their hero stopped by the Barrens to chat in October of 2017. In addition to promoting 1922, Jane shares wild anecdotes surrounding both Dreamcatcher and The Mist, waxes poetic about Paul Westerberg and The Replacements, and talks up Twin Peaks as the best slice of TV he’s ever seen. It’s an unpredictable chat that left the Losers’ smiling from beginning to end.

Night Shift Coverage

One of the podcast’s earliest episodes finds the Losers delving deep into the 20 stories that make up this excellent collection, as well as their so-so film and TV adaptations. Recorded in a marathon session that ate up the bulk of a day, it gets goofy, insightful, and even emotional—specifically about two of the collection’s non-horror entries, “The Last Rung On The Ladder” and “The Woman in the Room.” A suitably exhaustive dive into what’s still probably the author’s best collection.

The Stand Miniseries Recap

A new adaptation of The Stand was always going to be an event. The fact that CBS All Access — sorry, Paramount+ — dropped the 10-episode miniseries in the midst of a pandemic only exacerbated that notion. For two months, the Losers were on this apocalyptic beat, delivering weekly chats and a potpourri of interviews: Owen Teague shares his approach to Harold Lauder, Katherine McNamara defines Julie Lawry, and showrunner Benjamin Cavell stops by twice.

The Best of ’80s Stephen King

When the Losers finish a decade, they hand out some awards. The Kingies are those awards, and in this funny and freewheeling episode they celebrate the best and worst of King’s ‘80s output, from Firestarter to The Dark Half, with some detours in between for one Richard Bachman. Consider it a retrospective on a landmark decade that found the author getting sober, slaying his alter ego, and introducing us to the likes of Pennywise, Annie Wilkes, and a poor dog named Cujo.

Desperation Coverage

In 1996, King released Desperation and The Regulators on the same day, presenting them as “mirror” novels that, despite existing in different universes, featured variations on the same characters. While the latter is by and large a disposable bit of splatter, Desperation is one of King’s most challenging and thematically rich novels, an exploration of “dark Christianity” that’s been informed by his recovery journey. Like the book, the Losers’ discussion veers from the sacred to the profane, with discussions of King’s vision of God folding into musings on the book’s most goriest sequences.


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