Definitely not Peter Rabbit: PETER AND THE ACID KING podcast

Marlene Sharp
3 min readOct 5, 2023

Hello, and happy true crime spooky season from the DOGGONE CRIME gals (Blanche and Marlene)! This is an urgent interruption to post New York Toy Fair deal making news and entertainment industry-wide, WGA strike after-parties. Or in this case, the after-‘Party on, dude!’ (Apologies to Mike Myers.) Joking aside, get ready to behold the most memorable, biographical, murder-themed diversion that comes from a couple of comedy greats.

Starring WAYNE’S WORLD director Penelope Spheeris as silky-voiced, sophisticated, narrator/host, PETER AND THE ACID KING is a new, narrative, non-fiction 10-episode podcast with surprising ties to kids merch-driven entertainment. One clue lies within the pilot’s sole ‘special thanks’ closing credit: children’s media super-agent Annette Van Duren. Annette, who reps top, toy-based TV show runners, filmmakers, and writers — such as Doreen Spicer (MOTOWN MAGIC, JUMP IN!), Ann Austen (BARBIE: A TOUCH OF MAGIC), John Derevlany (LEGO CHIMA), and Martin Olson (PHINEAS & FERB) — is married to PETER AND THE ACID KING architect Alan Sacks (WELCOME BACK, KOTTER and Disney’s Demi Lovato-led CAMP ROCK franchise). Citizen sleuth Sacks portrays himself on the pod in question; in addition to service as outspoken pursuer of vigilante justice, Sacks also contributes credibility as primary source material. He is homicide victim Peter Ivers’ longtime friend.

PETER AND THE ACID KING creator Alan Sacks and Hollywood super-agent/muse Annette Van Duren, as pictured in NEW YORK POST (2016).

Mr. Sacks stands at the forefront of a 40+ year, off-the-record death investigation. He reveals his obsession with the untimely demise of punk raconteur/musician/cable access TV personality Ivers. Ivers’ death remains an unsolved (bludgeoning) murder. As an immersive audio experience, PETER stems from Sacks’ exhaustive yet unofficial inquiry, comprised largely of dialogue with close Ivers associates (Penelope Spheeris herself, Ron Howard, the late Harold Ramis’ family, and more). The docu-series is as compellingly curious as the ’80s alt entertainment landscape. More important, it seems that kids’ content taste-maker Annette Van Duren is at the heart and soul of its orchestration, namely the sweat equity of Alan Sacks. (Way to go, Annette!)

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Marlene Sharp

Marlene Sharp is a creative and business-savvy entertainment multi-hyphenate who originally hails from New Orleans but is now a (San Fernando) Valley girl.