My Pod Week: Week ending 6/15/14

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!

BERTCAST (Episode #79 Ms. Pat & ME)

“Someone said, ‘Ask her about the time she got her nipple shot off.’”
“That was a drug deal.”

Today, Bert Kreischer is the host of Trip Flip, Wednesday nights on the Travel Channel and has a new book out, “Life of the Party: Stories of a Perpetual Man-Child.” In 1997, Rolling Stone called him “the top partier” at Florida State University and he became the inspiration for the 2002 movie Van Wilder. Bert grew up in Florida and misses summertime in the south. Today, Ms. Pat is a successful stand-up comedian and suburban mother, but at age 15 her right nipple took a bullet from an unsatisfied customer. Pat claims the nipple recovered nicely, all things considered, but adds: “They always said don’t feed the baby on that side, it could get lead poisoning.” But that was only the first time that year she would be shot. After an argument with her abusive boyfriend he shot her in the back of the head. Sounds bad, I know. The bullet only cracked her skull, and she was soon released from the hospital. She had a friend style her hair to cover the open wound so that she could go out to the club. “15 was not a good year for me.” Pat grew up on the West End in Atlanta, and when she became a mother while still in her teens, selling crack seemed like the only option. In fact, it was a customer high on product that taught her how to drive a car. Pat went to jail for a year at 17, and when she got out she started forging checks to get by. Pat’s sister had a serious drug problem and lost custody of her children. Pat and her new husband took them in and then had a total of six kids to raise. Pat was 19 and her husband 21. She also describes life under curfew during the Atlanta child murders (79’-81’) believed to have been committed by Wayne Williams. Her siblings were the first to break the curfew and it landed her intoxicated mother on the local news; many bleeps ensued. Sadly, one of Pat’s cousins would be counted among the victims. After being encouraged by a social worker to give comedy a try, she found a new path. Early in her new career she got the opportunity to tour with Katt Williams. Pat learned a lot from working with Williams. When they first met, her father had just died. She had not even worked the first show of the tour yet, but Katt helped her to bury her father. When he overheard Pat on the phone talking to her family he stepped in financially. That’s a story you’ll never hear on TMZ. After listening to Bert and Pat talk for an hour I felt like they had only scratched the surface on this amazing story. I hope they get together again soon.

THE JV CLUB (Episode #113: Boys of Summer: Bruce McCulloch)

Actress and podcaster Janet Varney talked with Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall about growing up in Calgary, Canada. Her Boys of Summer series has also featured great interviews with Phil LaMarr, Jimmy Pardo, Cole Stratton, Oscar Nunez, and Steve Agee. Janet and Bruce start at the beginning of a life framed by divorce and alcoholism. Young Bruce didn’t have much guidance; in fact, he did what he wanted pretty much all of the time, like eating candy bars for breakfast and dropping acid at age 13. “I was taught to be polite but that was about it.” His mother had a heart attack on his 18th birthday when she came home to find a drunk Bruce and his friends had wrecked her house and destroyed most of her glassware. Suddenly Bruce was really on his own. While his mom was in the hospital recovering he did odd jobs to get by, like shoveling sand and driving a forklift. The subject matter might seem dark, but McCulloch can’t resist making light of dire chapters in his story. When he describes some of his early unfortunate fashion choices I can’t help but flash back to episodes of Kids in the Hall where he clearly parodied his younger self, from guitar battles with Satan to street fights in platform shoes. For a pure Brucio experience, track down his comedy albums Shame-Based Man and Drunk Baby Project. Those two records have seen me through periods of isolation, tedious commutes, many breakups, and one year on the graveyard shift.

STOP PODCASTING YOURSELF (#325 – Paul F. Tompkins)

Graham Clark, Dave Shumka, and Paul F. Tompkins have a real conversation that covers Mark Wahlberg as a parent, air travel, the new app for kegel exercises, the challenges of moving into a new house, and how to have make-believe fun with raspberries. This episode runs at a brisk pace from beginning to end and the laughter was so infectious that I cackled like a mad man into a sink full of dirty dishes on a warm day. Tompkins is the host of No, You Shut Up! on the Fusion channel, and the web series “Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins.” For even more of Paul F. Tompkins download The Dead Authors Podcast.

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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