1.8 “Unexpected Inspiration” – The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream

Ben “Not the Playwright” Johnson ordered an old Berenstain Bears book on Amazon last month and wanted to talk about it. The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream, like every other book in the series, tells a simple, wholesome story for children that imparts an equally simple, wholesome moral or message. And that’s it.

What sets “The Bad Dream” apart from all the other Berenstain Bears books, though, is its superhero art, which visually looks nothing like any other Berenstain Bears illustrations and really captivated a young Ben Johnson’s imagination. We discuss how this experience may or may not have influenced Ben’s subsequent love of superheroes, as well as the phenomenon (or lack thereof) of the Berenstain Bears more generally.

And yes, we talk about the stupid conspiracy theory.

Episode image snapshotted from this Youtube video.

Outro Music: The Berenstain Bears Theme (PBS Studios)

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