My Pod Week: Week ending 5/11/14
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!
Pete Holmes has been making it weird since October 2011. Most episodes are around two hours and that’s about the right length to achieve maximum weirdness. With the debut of The Pete Holmes Show on TBS, I half-expected You Made It Weird to fade away and I'm glad it didn't. If you only know the televised version of Pete Holmes, you are missing out on some thoughtful and well-rounded comedic insights that can't be compressed into 22 minutes for TV. On the podcast, Holmes is at ease and naturally friendly with his guests. You Made It Weird is always more of a conversation than an interview. Guest Wayne Federman has had supporting comedic roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Larry Sanders Show. You've also seen him in 50 First Dates, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Step Brothers. Holmes and Federman talk about the power of profanity and their shared love of David Mamet's work. Pete claims to have watched Glengarry Glen Ross at least 50 times. That statistic makes my annual Glen-a-thon seem somewhat reasonable. Every episode ventures into the big questions: comedy, sex, and God. Do you have a higher power? Are you in a grateful position? Pete shares details about his journey to self-improvement and he seems like a happy and successful guy, so I, for one, am interested in hearing what works for him. They also discuss Pete's reasons for being a vegetarian, Wayne's rational optimism, the joy of self-help books, and the possible lack of absolute truth.
Actress and comedian Chelsea Peretti plays detective Gina Linetti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) and also stars in the Comedy Central series Kroll Show as multiple characters. As brilliant as she is on TV, nothing has made me laugh as hard as the dialogue on her podcast. Adventure, it's essential. Sure, sometimes it ends in flaming wreckage or in the jaws of a hungry lion, but we all need it. Peretti opens the show with a little song about its importance and then debuts a new catchphrase -- "Green it, mean it." People call in for a spontaneous exchange and are met with a generous amount of sound effects and signature drops. If a caller doesn't get to the point quick enough they might get blasted by a robotic voice "BORING ANECDOTE IN PROGRESS"! Part of the fun is saying to yourself, “I’m glad that robot just yelled at somebody else and not me.” Nothing turns my mood around faster than listening to Chelsea belt out a song like she did at the 43-minute mark of this episode to a nervous virgin. The show is abstract and silly in ways that most podcasts never achieve and our host is clearly having a great time. Chelsea takes a call about Mad Men and then breaks down all the new shows that she is watching and the cryptic morals people use when writing about Game of Thrones. Two callers had information regarding the dangers of Lyme disease. Also covered in this episode are the wonders of quality ceviche and how to prepare it best. I even learned that sticky tooth syndrome is a real thing, people, despite what dental health-care professionals say.
Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini love to talk about movies. Most of the time the guests are comedians but sometimes they have filmmakers on or even Graham's dad. On this episode Chris and Graham have TV host Zane Lamprey. Zane is a comedian, actor, editor, producer, and writer for television and movies. The guys discuss drinking movies. Zane made an important distinction right away, there are movies that are fun to drink to and movies that feature drinking. The latter is not as fun. For instance: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, fun; Leaving Las Vegas, not so much. Graham brought up a couple of boozy classics, Arthur (1981) starring Dudley Moore, and Strange Brew (1983) with Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. Zane likes to raise a glass to Blazing Saddles and The Big Lebowski. It's been a while since I've drank to excess while watching a movie but for a few years that was how I spent most of my nights. Kingpin, Casino, Observe and Report, Bad Santa, The Godfather II, Jackass, Dr. Strangelove, and Heat were a few of my favorite drinking companions.
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.