You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘You Must Remember This’ Podcast Brings Showbiz History to Life

“Join us, won’t you?”

For fans of “You Must Remember This,” a buzzy 2-year-old podcast from former L.A. Weekly critic Karina Longworth, those words, delivered in a tone that’s ever so arch, serve as an invitation to go behind the Hollywood sign to examine the love lives, passion projects and scandals of the industry’s biggest icons. Part social history, part fan magazine, part seance, the podcast plays like a mashup of Turner Classic Movies and Elvira.

At a time of Google trends and clickbait conformity, it’s a digital original. Shows range from a 12-part examination of Charlie Manson’s links to the entertainment business to deep dives into the lives disrupted by the Blacklist, or appreciations of largely forgotten stars, such as Gloria Grahame.

“The whole idea was that it would be something about film history that sounded cinematic,” Longworth said.

To that end the host doesn’t offer a staid history lesson. At times, Longworth or guests, who have included Dana Carvey and Adam Goldberg, will assume the voices of various characters, from hardened studio executives to damaged starlets.

Max Linsky, co-founder of the journalism site and podcasting show Longform, says he got hooked on “You Must Remember This” by listening to the Manson series. “It felt like great TV or a great book,” he said.

“I hope it shows that if you make something that is true to yourself, it’s possible to find an audience.”
Karina Longworth

And while no one gets rich podcasting, Longworth noted that after earning “close to zero dollars last year,” she is now making more than she pulled in at the Weekly. That’s because in September, her podcast joined the Panoply Network, a platform for Web broadcasts run by Slate Group that pays creators a portion of ad revenue.

A podcast’s popularity can be hard to measure, but Longworth estimates that listenership has doubled in the past few months.

“It’s the most personal and idiosyncratic thing that I’ve ever produced and just the fact that people like it is baffling to me,”  she said. “I hope it shows that if you make something that is true to yourself, it’s possible to find an audience.”

The podcast also has helped land Longworth a book deal. She’ll write about Howard Hughes from the perspective of the women in his life, including Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn.

The dive into podcasting came after Longworth left the L.A. Weekly in 2012, feeling burnt out as a film critic, to write a book on Meryl Streep.  The grind of watching a half dozen movies a week and finding clever ways to write about what she was seeing took a toll. Her diet was nutrient-deprived, she developed eczema from the stress, and had trouble sleeping.

“Most movies aren’t good,” she said. “I found it was very difficult for me to generate opinions about things I didn’t care about.”

But old movies have always had a special pull on Longworth. She compares them to a painting — something that demands analysis and investigation, and works of art that can reveal a lot about their creators and cultural backdrops.

“The thing I always return to when I’m researching the stories of making these movies is what did it feel like to be alive at that moment.”

More Digital

  • NPR Releases Open Source Podcast Metrics

    How NPR Aims to Bring Transparency to Podcast Metrics

    NPR unveiled a new open source podcast measurement project Wednesday that aims to bring more transparency and granularity to podcast metrics. The project, dubbed Remote Audio Data (RAD), has been developed in partnership with a number of podcast app developers, ad tech companies as well as tech and media heavyweights including ESPN, Google and iHeartMedia. [...]

  • 2019 Variety Predictions

    2019 Predictions: What's in Store for Film, TV and Music Next Year?

    It would be hard to top the drama of 2018. From media mega-mergers to the rise of Time’s Up, it was a year that had more than its fair share of twists and turns. Leslie Moonves resigned in disgrace, AT&T snapped up Time Warner, Disney inched closer to subsuming Fox and “Black Panther” shattered box [...]

  • apple brooklyn october 2018 event

    Apple Looking to Launch Magazine Subscriptions in Early 2019 (Report)

    Apple is preparing to relaunch Texture, a news subscription app it acquired in March, as a premium tier of Apple News early next year, according to a Bloomberg report. To prepare for the launch, Apple has been trying to get prominent newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to come on [...]

  • Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for

    Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for IPO, Much Less Than Expected

    China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group said it raised nearly $1.1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, according to Reuters. Earlier this year, the company was expected to be valued at as much as $30 billion and raise $4 billion for its IPO, but those estimates were slashed in September. he IPO [...]

  • Netflix Orders ‘I Am Not Okay

    Netflix Orders ‘I Am Not Okay With This’ From Producers of ‘Stranger Things’

    The producers of “Stranger Things” and creator and director of “The End of the F***ing World” series are making “I Am Not Okay With This” for Netflix, a coming-of-age tale about a girl with mysterious powers. 21 Laps will make the series, which was co-created by Jonathan Entwistle, who was behind Channel 4 and Netflix show [...]

  • Netflix Logo

    Netflix’s India Content Head Swati Shetty Makes Exit

    Swati Shetty, who has headed Indian content operations at Netflix is to step down from the global streaming giant. She joined the streamer in August 2016 as director of international originals and acquisitions. The company said it is placing more emphasis on India and that the role should ideally be fulfilled form Mumbai, rather than [...]

  • Oculus Rift

    ZeniMax Agrees to Settle Facebook VR Lawsuit

    Game company ZeniMax Media said it is has agreed to settle litigation against Facebook, Oculus and individual executives alleging misappropriation of its virtual-reality technology. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as chief technology officer. In the suit, which sought as much as $4 billion in damages, alleged [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content