Pop Culture

Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros

From Cesar Romero to Jack Nicholson to Heath Ledger and finally to Joaquin Pheonix, the role of the Joker has taken on a number of appearences. On this episode of Pop Life, Joe Lee takes a look at the various iterations of the famed gotham villain and the pyschological profile of the character himself.

First up, Joe is joined by  Dr Kendall R. Phillips, Professor of Communications and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University to chat about the various joker cinematic appearances and discuss some of their favorites.

Then, Travis Langley editor of The Joker Psychology, joins the show to breakdown the mental and emotional state of the joker. 

The vampire horror genre is making a comeback and the science fiction anthology show Black Mirror has a few new episodes available on Netflix.  Those are the topics on this week’s Pop Life podcast.

Host Joe Lee is joined by Dr Kendall R. Phillips, Professor of Communications and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University and author of Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture, to discuss Joe’s long-held fear of blood-sucking vampires and the recent slate of vampire themed shows appearing on cable television.  The two also discuss the terrifying neural implant technology that appears in several episodes of the Netflix show Black Mirror.  Take a listen as Dr. Phillips helps Joe work through his issues.

Imagine former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama on an action-packed ride across Chicago where they encounter a range of enigmatic characters from burlesque dancers to Russian masseurs to Oprah Winfrey.  It is the focus and plot of a new book by New York Times Best Selling author, Andrew Shaffer.  Hope Rides Again is the second book in a series of fictional stories about Joe Biden and Barack Obama as a dynamic crime-fighting duo.  In Hope Rides Again, the two team up to solve the mystery of Obama’s missing Blackberry, and the death of the thief that stole it.  Together, they uncover a deep conspiracy that threatens to derail their lives if they are not careful.

On this episode of Pop Life, Joe Lee discusses the book and the inspiration for writing the Obama, Biden mystery series with New York Times Best Selling author, Andrew Shaffer.  It’s just in time for summer reading consideration.

On the heels of a historic box office showing of Avengers: Endgame, Central New York doesn't have to look very far to get it's fill of comic books and popular culture. The 6th annual Salt City Comic-Con plans to bring the best of comics, toys, entertainment, collectables, and more as the convention moves to it's new location at the New York State Fairgrounds.

This week on The 315 Joe Lee and Kevin Kloss tap into their inner geek and chat with the gentlemen running the Salt City Comic-Con, Allen LaVenture and Thomas Yeldon. They discuss what's new at the convention, what talent will be appearing and we talk a little cosplay.

flickr- Etienne Salvant

About 4 years ago, at a time when streaming service Netflix was in need of original content, Marvel fans were pretty excited when it was announced that the comic legend was entering a partnership with the streaming giant to produce a series of Marvel superhero shows starting with the premier of Daredevil.  Subsequent shows followed including Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Luke Cage. 

One by one, most of those shows fell off with Jessica Jones as the lone survivor.  That show is now in its final season.  So what happened?  Pop Life host Joe Lee is joined by Hall of Justice podcast host, Seth Everett to make sense of it all.

This week on Pop Life Joe Lee is joined by Kendall R Phillips, Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University as the two discuss a number of big budget movie sequels coming to the big screen.

They'll also dip their toe into the genre of horror and discuss what makes some of those films so appealing for many viewers. Also, what has actor and director Jordan Peele done to put a unique twist on the genre. 

Helen Sloan / HBO

After 8 seasons of epic storytelling, Game of Thrones, the HBO television show based on author George R.R. Martin’s series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has come to an end. 19.3 million US viewers tuned in to see who would capture the Iron Throne and offered mixed reviews. 

This week on the Pop Life podcast, Joe Lee is joined by fellow Game of Thrones geeks Kevin Kloss and Frank D’Agostino.  The trio discuss the reactions of a divided fan base, the high and low points of the series finale, and offer some reflection on the best moments of the epic series.

Helen Sloan / HBO


While the action might have settled down after the Long Night episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the plotting and scheming did not.  Season 8, Episode 4 The Last of the Starks focuses on the reaction and revelation that Jon Stark is really Aegon Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne.  

Joe Lee is joined by super-fans Adam Alter and WAER’s Kevin Kloss on this episode of Pop Life.  The three discuss Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen’s tug-of-war for Jon’s loyalty, Jaime and Brienne’s “friends with benefits” relationship, and the latest fan theories for how it will all end.


It’s taken 7 and a half seasons of Wight Walker threats of invading Westeros to get to this point.  HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 chronicles the Battle of Winterfell in epic fashion.  The battle scene was the longest battle sequence in film or TV history. 

Joe Lee breaks down all of the action and dives into fan theories with fellow Game of Thrones geek Matt Lincoln, host of CBS12 This Morning out of West Palm Beach, FL.  This episode contains spoilers.


Game of Thrones continues it's historic 8th season with additional plot twists, startling revelations and immense intrigue. As Pop Life continues to follow along with the final season, Joe Lee is joined by Leslie Gray Streeter of The Palm Beach Post to look back at episode two.