Melissa Mathison is not related to Richard Matheson, whose work Spielberg had adapted. Their last names are homonyms, that's why Phil was confused. Melissa Mathison also wrote Kundun, The BFG and Indian in the Cupboard.
Phil wasn't trying to steal autism valor but his point got mangled. There's a kind of boy that started showing up in movies around this time. The other example Phil could think of was the kid from D.A.R.Y.L. and the kid from Cloak and Dagger (played by the same kid who played Elliot in E.T.). In the past child actors were usually more anglo-looking. Maybe it boils down to Spielberg having enough pull to cast someone who looks like his own kids.
For the record, we don't want to disparage New Age bullshit.
C. Thomas Howell has a small role in E.T. We like when someone's name is also a sentence. It's not such a big deal though since it's a stage name.
E.T. was produced by "Amblin Productions" and of course they didn't have the logo of the bike in front of the moon at the time, since it comes from E.T.
Below are the Top Ten and Bottom Top items on List of Every Damn Thing as of this episode (for the complete up-to-date list, go here):
Dolly Parton - person
interspecies animal friends - idea
sex - idea
Clement Street in San Francisco - location
Prince - person
It’s-It - food
Cher - person
Pee-Wee Herman - fictional character
Donald Duck - fictional character
Hank Williams - person
163. Jenny McCarthy - person 164. Jon Voight - person 165. Hank Williams, Jr - person 166. British Royal Family - institution 167. Steven Seagal - person 168. McRib - food 169. war - idea 170. cigarettes - drug 171. QAnon - idea 172. transphobia - idea
Theme song by Jade Puget. Graphic design by Jason Mann. This episode was edited by Jake MacLachlan, with audio help from Luke Janela. Show notes by Jake MacLachlan & Phil Green.