People like gossip – especially when it involves Hollywood’s rich and famous. “You Must Remember This” is a creative nonfiction podcast steering through the secrets and overlooked histories of Hollywood in the 20th century. Since 2014, Karina Longworth’s podcast has released over 180 episodes providing an inside look at the film industry, juicy celebrity scandals, and headline-worthy gossip, making sure these tales aren’t forgotten.
The podcast looks at mythologized eras when the celeb-fueled media industry was just beginning. Each episode researches an individual or a story and Longworth delves into all accounts of the events, both facts and rumors, to link the narrative.
The latest, 2-part season examines sex in Hollywood films from the 1980s and 1990s. “Erotic ’80s” dropped this April, with new episodes available on Tuesdays.
In the last 2 decades of the 20th century, Hollywood explored adults’ sexual lives, customs, and fantasies with elements of realism and imagination portrayed in films. Start this series from episode one, since “Erotic 80s” and “Erotic 90s” will focus on a specific year, films with the same genre, theme, or stars. Topics will range from the politics of porn, to the first camcorder sex tape scandal, to the sexualization of teens, to Hollywood’s lingering fear of interracial coupling.
This season’s premiere sets the scene for the next 11 episodes. Hear about the Production Code, censoring sex in Hollywood movies since 1934, that led to 1968’s ratings system, and X-rated movies including Deep Throat and Last Tango in Paris.
Additional episodes this season will dive into Bo Derek’s debut in 10, Richard Gere in American Gigolo, teen sex comedies like Porky’s and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotapes, Brian DePalma’s Body Double, and so much more.
Last season, “Gossip Girls,” profiled the lives of gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, exploring their power in Hollywood and the often-questionable editorial strategies they used. We learn that these journalists were frenemies who feuded at length. They both played a role in protecting celebrities’ interests by leaving out certain stories from headlines and drawing attention to ones that were less salacious. Their editorials relied on audiences having limited knowledge of movie production and what the stars were like in real life.
Magnate William Randolph Hearst is included in many of this season’s episodes. He is credited with pioneering info-tainment, or sensationalized yellow journalism. This form of journalism sells current events to lure readers. Parsons spent the majority of her career working for Hearst and started the first major Hollywood gossip column. Parsons and Hopper saw public opinion as an important territory to be conquered, and knew they could have a hand in doing so with their editorials.
Longworth’s interest in and reflections on Parsons and Hopper’s stories are mirrored in a major theme of the whole series. The episodes observe how Hollywood’s stories have been released, manipulated, and distorted through the media and consumed by the public’s eye.
Previous episodes reported on the bizarre life of Charles Manson and his affiliates in L.A. and fact-checking the TV series Hollywood Babylon.
Tune into new episodes of “You Must Remember This,” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.