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!

THE CHURCH OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW: WITH JOEY COCO DIAZ (#198 Christina Pazsitzky)

This two-hour discussion between Joey Diaz, producer co-host Lee Syatt, and Christina Pazsitzky covers everything from the power of “NO” to bathroom issues described with clinical precision but delivered in plain English. It gets colorful. Christina claims to not be skeeved out easily but I think Joey got her there with a story about an amazing discovery he had before taking a shower. This is all fun and gross but the same episode also has great stories about the long, albeit very different, road both comics took to the stage. Joey Diaz lost his father at age 3 and his mother at at age 15. Several families in North Bergen, N.J., looked after him and did the best they could to be a family for him. He worked a union job in a warehouse as a senior in high school, but soon after being laid off, he found easy money with drugs and burglary. A few bad decisions later he found himself in front of a judge. He plead guilty for being an accessory to a felony; that felony was kidnapping. Joey’s lawyer was able to show evidence that the crime was non-violent. On Aug. 15, 1988, Joey was sentenced; he did eight months. Joey was able to find a few laughs on the inside once he got past the fear. “I had a lot better time than I thought I was gonna have is what I’m trying to say, I really did.” Pazsitzky told Joey that her biggest fear is prison life after watching many episodes of Lock Up on MSNBC. While Joey was fighting a biker behind bars, seventh-grader Christina was getting her ass kicked by bullies on a playground in the San Fernando Valley. “I saw them pull a braid clear off a girl’s scalp.” After Joey was released, he came to Los Angeles and started his career as a stand-up and actor. Pazsitzky took a break from college in 1998 to appear on Road Rules (MTV) in Australia and after that tried improv at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She quickly realized during the warm-up exercises that the conventional study of improv was not for her. “Fuck this, fuck you, fuck paying 400 dollars for some jackoff to tell me how to be funny…” Soon after she tried stand-up and was hooked on the danger and the freedom that came with it. Christina and her husband, comedian Tom Segura, host a podcast called Your Mom’s House that I keep in regular rotation. The Church of What’s Happening Now is a sanctuary for uncensored conversation. I’m a believer.

The Church of What’s Happening Now #198

 

OCCASIONALLY AWESOME with Nick Youssef and Kevin Christy (#57 April Richardson)

This episode starts with Kevin Christy recounting a spray tan from a stranger in a little spray tan tent “it’s real weird.” Kevin and co-host Nick Youssef are joined by Chelsea Lately panelist April Richardson to talk about music. The first cassette tape she bought as a kid back in Atlanta was GREEN by R.E.M and they continue to be her favorite band. April and the guys talk about her love of nostalgia — “You don’t like any new shit” “The new shit I like sounds like old shit.” She can be a bit of a music snob at times so the guys quiz her with a few of their favorites. April approves of the Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and Radiohead (up to Kid A, she hung in longer than I could). She gets a little bummed out that no one can match her level of “psyched” when it comes to seeing her favorites in concert and it’s been a problem in past relationships. She admits to being less than honest when she dragged a boyfriend to a festival in Scotland for a Pulp reunion, they broke up soon after. Nick saw Tool three days in a row in three different cities. That’s above-average dedication, right? April has seen Morrissey over 100 times! Kevin wishes he loved anything as much as April loves the mozfather. She buys imports and bootleg CDs and is a real collector, even acquiring multiple formats and leaving them unopened. I guess I can identify with this compulsion to collect as I command a battalion of Star Wars action figures from a fort made of comic books. Kevin and Nick didn’t have enough time to get into all of the things that April is super into, but one of the main things is the early 90’s sitcom Saved By The Bell. April does a podcast about it called Go Bayside. Nick Youssef’s debut comedy album Stop Not Owning This comes out tomorrow. He talks about how done he is with music festivals and the imagery of those expensive, hot, and crowded endurance challenges had me laughing out loud from my air-conditioned comfort zone.

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.

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