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DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Welcome to Dennis Anyone, a podcast about making things up and making things happen. I love to talk to creative types about what they do and how they do it. Hope you enjoy my conversations as much as I do. - Dennis H.

Oct 26, 2023

Dennis is joined via Zoom by Dion Labriola, the filmmaker and the subject of the documentary Dear Ike: Lost Letters to a Teen Idol, which is screening on World Animation Day on PBS SoCal and is also available for streaming on The movie documents Dion's teenage obsession with the child actor Ike Eisenmann from Escape to Witch Mountain and also a Doublemint gum commercial that was ubiquitous is the late 1970's. As a teen, Dion had a vision for an animated movie that he wanted to make and he was determined to convince his iold Ike to be one of the voices. In fact, he was so determined that he spent much of his teen years trying to track Ike down. Dion talks about what it was like to eventually be face-to-face with his teen idol, how his intense focus on the project related to his being a closeted gay teen, his attempt to get Larry Wilcox from CHiPs to help him get to Ike and the art teacher Pat Bishop who gave him a safe haven in school. Other topics include: that time Geraldo Rivera came to Dion's hometown of Akron, Ohio to chase after a pimp, Battle of the Network Stars-era cuties like Mike Lookinland, Gregory Harrison and Willie Aames, the fig gelato Dion had on his 30th birthday that he still dreams about and that time the comedian Carrot Top visited Dion in his deejay booth in a Chicago nightclub.