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!
“It is so difficult to begin the opening moments of a podcast’s life.” It may have taken months to find the right words, but settling on “Welcome everyone” worked perfectly. Moshe Kasher and a panel of experts, including Jillian Lauren, Pete Holmes and Beth Stelling, recorded this debut episode before a studio audience at the UCB Theater in Los Angeles. The idea for the show came to Moshe in a dream. He immediately enacted the imagery that he saw within that vision to bring us Hound Tall Discussion Series “I will be your guide, spiritual and otherwise through the life of this podcast.” Guest Jillian Lauren is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem. Her experience as a part of the harem belonging to Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei is the topic of this episode. Moshe points out upfront that his idea of what a harem is and the facts are not even close to an exact match. Jillian explained, “A harem is a living situation that is only women. There are many of these all over the world and not all of them are quite as twisted or salacious as the one that I was in.” Jillian was working as an exotic dancer when she was invited to travel to Borneo as the personal guest of Prince Jefri. Beth asked, “How long did it take you to decide to go?” Jillian did some library research and saw an intriguing picture of the handsome prince. His worldly persona was attractive to her at the time. She was 18 and wanted a life change so she gave up New York’s Lower East Side for adventure in Southeast Asia. Pete’s imagination painted the scene in Brunei as strippers in glass heels being hunted for sport as after dinner entertainment. Pete said this in jest, but is it really that much of a leap when talking about predatory behavior coupled with unlimited financial resources? Jillian was not hunted per se, but did experience waves of panic at times. Her story is a fascinating one with more twists and turns than I can chronicle here, so buy the book and download this episode. Moshe also ran down a tantalizing list of upcoming show topics that is sure to keep listeners coming back. Time travel, renegade history, death, polyamory, and gravity waves at the birth of the universe are all episodes on the way. For more Moshe check out The Champs podcast with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher.
Listen to Hound Tall #1
Last week Amber Kenny was caught in the snarling beast of L.A. traffic. I think of it as a giant sloth made of asphalt with garbage fur and flaming eyes. She was at a light and got hit from behind, then got angrily honked at, and then accused of backing herself into an accident. “It wasn’t like a boom pow situation.” Her attacker drove off rather than talk about it. Sean Conroy points out that Amber is a decent human being with a soul unlike the typical L.A. motorist whose first thought post-accident is “Attack!” Jamie Flam’s week went much better than anyone else’s. He met with a well-known director, did yoga for the fourth time, and attended the 40th anniversary screening of Young Frankenstein. The event was hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin. Jamie said Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and producer Michael Gruskoff stood by while Mel Brooks pointed out all the “brilliant” things that he did in the film with a delivery that blurred the line between ego and comedy. Well played, Mr. Brooks. Comedian Laura Kightlinger arrived in time for the “crime and punishment” segment of the show. Jamie got caught smoking pot in college, and as a punishment he had to do data entry for the blind. It was the “whitest” story that Laura had ever heard in her life. Amber was not really punished as a child. She grew up 25 miles away from anything like a neighborhood and always felt like she was grounded. “So you’ve never been punished in anyway?” “No, I think that’s what’s wrong with me.” She did get a lot of “We’re disappointed in you lectures” in high school for not living up to her potential. Sean was once grounded for a week by his parents for getting drunk on Canadian beer in the afternoon with his friends, even though he was a 19-year-old college sophomore at the time. Laura Kightlinger was an American Foreign Service student and studied abroad when she was a junior in high school. She went to Spain and ended up reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment three times while babysitting a disgusting child from a wealthy family. During the parting shots segment, Laura asks “Is anybody here on antidepressants besides me?” She told the gang that she almost threw her purse out of her car window to save a parking space and even considered sending an arm out the window with it. She also cautions if you are having strange thoughts on your new medication, tell your doctor, but don’t be surprised when they want you to give it three more weeks. Sean’s parting shot was a story about a great set he had recently at the Echoplex. He met a mysterious bearded old man (maybe the president of showbiz) that claimed to have been around comics all his life. He told Sean “…You sir, wear the mantle well.”
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.