My Pod Week: Week ending 5/04/14

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!

WTF with MARC MARON (Episode #492: Judy Greer)

If you’re not a What The Fucker by now it’s time that you tune in and hear what everyone is talking about. This is one of the first podcasts to become a TV show. Maron on IFC is a great visual companion to the source material. Maron is also the author of two memoirs, “The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah” and last year’s “Attempting Normal.” He’s a revered stand-up comedian, actor, and writer, but as host of WTF he has formed a lasting bond with his audience. 491 episodes ago, I was alone on a mountain at night, literally and emotionally. I was at work and had just started regularly listening to podcasts. I had been a frequent listener of Maron’s various incarnations on Air America Radio. With his familiar voice in my ear talking about where he was at in his life, I was no longer alone on that mountain. Actress Judy Greer has a new book called I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star. She was Kitty Sanchez on Arrested Development and is currently the voice of Cheryl Tunt on the FX animated comedy series Archer. Judy brings some good energy to Marc’s garage and they talk about her growing up as an only child in Detroit with a mother that wanted a piano prodigy. He did his best to get an understanding of her two-household marriage. Greer also tells him what it was like to work with director Alexander Payne and how she felt when she saw herself on the big screen with George Clooney in The Descendants. She will be in theaters again this July in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. According to IMDB.

MODERN DAY PHILOSOPHERS with DANNY LOBELL (Season Three: Episode #31: Andy Kindler and Michel Foulcault)

Danny Lobell is a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. He’s been a guest on WTF with Marc Maron and This American Life. His podcast Modern Day Philosophers has an original format that I find myself coming back to on a regular basis. The show opens with a little bit about what’s going on in Lobell’s world. This week it was brutal traffic while trying to get some medical care and ending up buying a small live chicken. Lobell raised chickens when he lived in Brooklyn. This bit of information makes me like him even more, as I myself am a former backyard-chicken enthusiast. Lobell pairs his guest with the work of a known philosopher and together they dissect and extrapolate. This time it was French philosopher Michel Foulcault (1926-1984). “The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the social worker -judge.” Andy Kindler opens with quick jabs of erratic farce. He might seem all over the place at first, but Kindler has better accuracy than most, and I try to catch every podcast that he appears on. He’s also not afraid to call out his famous peers on what he perceives to be hypocritical bullshit. Jay Leno, Adam Carolla, and Bill Maher seem to be regulars on his list. I don’t always agree with Kindler, but so what? Host and guest dissect the self-sabotage involved with going after big TV comedians. As the podcast moves forward, they read some more from Michel Foulcault and do their best to interpret. This episode might be the closest thing we’ll ever get to a serious conversation with Andy Kindler. The show transitions from a comic looking for his next joke to the guest speaking candidly about life’s heavy questions. When Lobell’s guests really make an effort to find some truth in the philosophy, a bridge is built between the academic-minded and the average comedy podcast listener. I didn’t even get a passing grade in my junior college humanities class, but in this format I might just learn something.

PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER WITH CARMEN ESPOSITO (April 17, 2014: With guests Brooks Wheelan, Sara Schaefer, Andrew Orvedahl, Arden Myrin, David Huntsberger)

Cameron Esposito is a comedian and a regular panelist on “Chelsea Lately” with Chelsea Handler. Her podcast PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER is a live stand-up show recorded at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles. Previous episodes have featured Dana Gould, Jenny Slate, Reggie Watts, and Paul F. Tompkins. I saw Esposito perform recently and really enjoyed her act. Her stage presence is undeniable and it translates well into podcast form. In this episode we get stand-up sets from Brooks Wheelan, Andrew Orvedahl, Arden Myrin, David Huntsberger, and Sara Schaefer. Episode highlights include former MADtv cast member Arden Myrin’s fight at a New York city Trader Joe’s, Current Saturday Night Live cast member Brooks Wheelan’s rejected sketches, and Sara Schaefer, formerly of Nikki and Sara Live on MTV, giving a tutorial on how to get the most out of your fake pregnancy. Esposito attracts the smartest and the funniest so this is one podcast that you should try to see live.

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.

Mike Flinn

After a brief and unsuccessful attempt at a conventional education Mike Flinn started a band in his hometown of San Diego, CA. In 1998 he moved to the San Francisco Bay area and founded Back From Booze Hell zine. It was a collaborative effort dispensing equal doses of pop culture and prose, and made it's way into independent bookstores in the Bay Area, New York, and Los Angeles. Playing in bars and self publishing did not pay the bills. I held, I mean Flinn held many jobs during those years, most of them in warehouses. Like Bukowski without the talent. At some point Flinn walked off the job at Costco, breaking his mothers heart. Things get a little "hazy" around this time. He was an actor for a few years and then went back to songwriting and performing. Let's just skip ahead. When not playing with his iPhone or on a trip to Trader Joe's to pick up salads you'll find him watching live comedy in Los Angeles, recording podcasts, and writing.

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