Live from 12 Ossington in downtown Toronto, Hogtown Talks presents its first live debate. The subject of discussion: Is Toronto a playground for the rich? Barry moderates a formidable planel including Andray Domise, Shawn Micallef, Mackenzie Keast, and Jacquelyn West. Unwieldy topic be damned, the panel talked about the poisonous effects of gentrification, how the City has abandoned the suburbs, and Toronto’s ongoing problems with racism. They also touched on the impossiblity of owning land, culture’s ostensibly invisible impact on the poor, and what we can do to fix this place we call home—with or without City Council.
In the first episode of Hogtown Talks‘ new podcast on movies, we meet filmmaker Bronson Allen, a Toronto mensch and one of Barry’s best friends. Barry and Bronson talk about bonding over Goodfellas, Scarborough douchebags, and the problem with TIFF. They also talk about Cumberland Cinema (R.I.P.), Toronto’s most cinematic location, and Sarah Polley’s journey into Young Adult filmmaking.
Celebrity therapist Dr. Phil Stutz has a magnificent exercise to calm down anxious people: Shut the fuck up for a second, and think about all of the things that you’re thankful for—not the big things like being alive—the little things like having clean laundry or seeing a traffic light turn Green. And it works. Eventually you reach a place of calm where you’re not the Last Man On Earth and reason prevails.
So, as I enter the most sentimental time of the year, I know that I am thankful for little things. I’m thankful that people who are not my Mom listen to the show; that my guests have been so kind and candid; that I can record this podcast in my apartment and drink beer while doing it.
And I’m thankful to people who made this show possible just because I asked them to. The brilliant artist Shannon Jager designed my site. My friend since we were fucking fourteen years old Chris MacDonald drew our logo. Sam White and Bronson Allen provided moral support and alcoholism.
We’ve got a lot of great episodes coming up. Non-white male guests included. I’m not getting tired of this, so you better stick around, too.
So, Happy Holidays, to you, the people that care! I love you all.
In short, as Seth (please come on the show) has said: “It’s a good life if you don’t weaken.”
It really is.
Brittany Allen is an actress, singer, and entertainer. She’s starred in All My Children, and appeared in numerous films and TV shows. And she graduated from Barry’s favourite circus, the Etobicoke School of the Arts. Brittany spoke with us about growing up in Scarborough, acting as therapy, and how Mirvish Productions can break hearts. She also talked about winning an Emmy, the ordeal of auditions, and the joy of rediscovering her hometown.
Yes, the podcast exists. Yes, the podcast is coming. And what better proof of those facts than the arrival of a trailer?
Below is a terrific video directed by Hogtown friend Bronson Allen. It’s supposed to make you excited and happy. Please enjoy.
And Rob Ford: Thanks for the memories.
Hello Hogtonians. Nice to see ya.
I started Hogtown Talks, because  I like talking to cool people about cool shit,  I love listening to interviews, and, as I see it,  there are no good, uncensored, Toronto-centric podcasts. I’m filling a hole, people.
If you love Toronto and have the attention span for long form, I think you’ll like this podcast. I know this, because I am tragically obsessed with this city, and being able to chat with and learn from my amazing guests this past year has been unreal.
On deck: Chef Anthony Rose, ROM mammalogist Burton Lim, TCHC executive Sheila Penny, art historian Sara Angel, City of Toronto health inspector Owen Chong, writer and poet Michael Lista, and film critic Thom Ernst. Many more will be announced in the coming weeks.
I’m a lucky shmuck to have spoken with these people, and I thank them so much for their time and candour.
Other people worthy of praise: Shannon Jager for designing this site and making my inept ass look professional; Chris MacDonald for illustrating our perfect pig logo; Bronson Allen for directing a special soon-to-be-released video; Sam White for being my muscle; my little brother for letting me steal his mic; my parents for not putting me up for adoption.
Creating Hogtown Talks has been, as Woody would say, a “sincere sensation.” If one person outside of my friends, family, and GoDaddy enjoy this podcast, I’ll be thrilled.