The Last We Fake

S3 E8 - The Celebrity by Catherine Hein: Episode 8, Making the Beast with Six Legs

December 27, 2023 Alan Rifkin Season 3 Episode 8
The Last We Fake
S3 E8 - The Celebrity by Catherine Hein: Episode 8, Making the Beast with Six Legs
Show Notes

This was nothing like being a lamp ray glued to the back of Chase McSteve. Still, the weird-looking horse seems safe, until an explosion on the set of Abilene sends both Wanda and panicked beast off course--close enough to the home of television's Cleaver family that she could practically raid the fridge, while no closer to a word from grandmother than when she threw a jealous tantrum at Howard that same morning.

In what one listener describes as "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" if it were written by a woman, Catherine Hein's historical novel traces the journey of Wanda Fleming, the tenacious, calamity-prone co-host fatale of TV's Daytalk who, in the spring of 1962, must face life without her closest ally, settle on one lover, conquer her eating disorder, and ace a round of Password in order to secure a coveted game-show gig. . . if the world doesn't change too much first.

Hein's former life took her from 20 years in the entertainment industry to two years in a homeless women's shelter. That's where Wanda, the reigning spirit of this epic two-volume novel of early ‘60s Hollywood, was born.

Hein's other writing credits include The Bob Newhart Show and a children's story series in The Los Angeles Times about a traveling circus in occupied France.  She now holds a master’s degree in English and an MFA in Fiction from California State University, Long Beach.

Host Alan Rifkin's novels, essays and short stories of Los Angeles have been published widely. Learn more about him at

Intro music is from the song "Slow," performed by Sally Dworsky. Written by Sally Dworsky and Chris Hickey. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and all other streaming platforms.

Closing credit music for Season 3 is performed by Ben Rifkin.

Podcast art by Ryan Longnecker.