My Pod Week: Week ending 4/20/14
Mike Flinn (@realmikeflinn) isn't just a podcast producer and engineer; he's also an avid fan of the form. "My Pod Week" recaps and reviews the many varied comedy podcasts Flinn listened to or attended live tapings of during the previous week. Enjoy!
If you don’t know Jim Florentine, you’re wrong, you do know Jim Florentine. Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla’s crank-call puppet show Crank Yankers first aired in 2002 on Comedy Central and ran for 70 episodes. Jim’s "Special Ed" character was a huge part of the show's success. " I WANNA GO TO HAWAII! I WANNA GO TO HAWAII! YAAAAAAAY"! These days Florentine is one of the hosts of That Metal Show on VH1 classic. Florentine sat in his car outside of a comedy club and talked to Joe Matarese about their first years as working comics. Jim spent part of those years opening for Andrew Dice Clay and on one occasion got blown off the stage by a rookie Kevin James. Yes, Paul Blart: Mall Cop. This is a great episode for anyone starting a career in comedy. Listen to Joe explain what makes a real headliner at the 38:30 mark of the episode. The guys also take us through some rough network auditions where they had five minutes to make it count and spent most of that time dealing with the crowd. Joe has documented his battles with unruly club audiences on his CD, "When a Comedian Attacks." Would you rather change a diaper or deal with hecklers? Both of these guys have young kids and when they talked about the challenges involved in raising a child, it made me want a vasectomy (hit me up on Twitter if you have a Groupon). Comedy on medication, getting dumped on Valentine's Day, and weekends with the wife’s rich friends are also included. This is a well rounded conversation and good hang. Joe Matarese also has his own podcast, called "Fixing Joe."
Bob Saget tells Greg Fitzsimmons about his new book "Dirty Daddy" (HarperCollins). Most people might remember Saget as Danny Tanner, TV Dad to the Olsen twins, or as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Bob Saget also directed one of my favorite comedies, Dirty Work (1998) starring Norm Macdonald and Artie Lange. Greg and Bob have a great time tossing jokes at each other.
- “My Dad died young, he was 51.”
- “I’m sorry.”
- “It was tough.”
- “Did you kill him?”
After all the digressions we get down to some of the real-life events from the book. As you’ll hear in this episode, he had some very difficult losses in his life. Humor helped Saget's family get through it, and jokes are woven into his language even when talking about the pain. Bob touches on parenting, acting on Broadway, and the duality of being known as a sitcom Dad and a legendary “dirty” comic. Bob Saget is also passionate about charity work and is a board member of The Scleroderma Research Foundation, an organization that has been helping families affected by the disease for many years.
Dan St. Germain and Sean Donnelly hosted fellow New York comic Janeane Garofalo on this episode. My Dumb Friends is consistently funny in its casual format of uncensored and honest conversation. Dan is open about his proximity to the drinking lifestyle and the ups and downs that go with it. I found his candor hit close to home. If intoxicated and anxious would describe the way you travel, then I'm sure you'll appreciate Dan's story about a rough flight where he was talked down by director Michael Moore’s confusing logic that found O.J. Simpson innocent. When Janeane talks about her drinking days she’s talking about the serious kind, the dangerous kind. There’s nothing poetic or glamorous about blackouts, concussions, and waking up in strange places. It’s a heavy topic that stays buoyant in a room full of funny people. One of Janeane’s noteable drinking-related injuries involves Zach Galifianakis. Hear it at the 19:08 mark. With the help of some good friends she put those days behind her. But there's so much more in this episode like Sean's criminal record, the isolation of the Alaska wilderness, and cringe-worthy moments on stage.
LAUGHMATIC (Episode #80: Eddie Pepitone)
Yelling on stage till you need a doctor and being emotionally crazed are just a few of the things that Eddie Pepitone talked to Atlanta comic Mo Arora about. Mo has been host to a long list of interesting comedians in the previous 79 episodes and shows no signs of slowing down. Pepitone shares his thoughts on how we are entertaining ourselves into extinction with technology and social media, and how corporations continue to destroy the world. Arora navigates through many topics. Together they really get into the ways that artists approach their work. Is it who they are or is it just what they do? Recognition didn't come early for Pepitone. "Everybody's path is different" is his answer when asked about the hard years. If you have the opportunity to see Eddie Pepitone perform live, you'll find it's like watching a one-man show. It's theater. He has his own podcast "Pep Talks With The Bitter Buddha" and his life has been documented in the 2012 film The Bitter Buddha. I saw this film when it came out. I was not doing well at the time and seeing the things that Eddie has struggled with and endured in his life helped me. If you enjoy a good documentary get this film. And the LAUGHMATIC podcast should be kept in your regular rotation.
Mike Flinn is a podcast producer/engineer based in West Hollywood, Calif., for All Things Comedy. The views expressed in My Pod Week are purely his own.