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!
Alison Rosen talked with Sarah Colonna about her life before breaking into comedy and becoming a best-selling author. Sarah grew up in Arkansas and would visit her father in Los Angeles every year after her parents divorced. She was a theater major in college and moved to Hollywood to pursue stand-up comedy right after graduation. Alison grew up in Southern California and wrote for the Los Angeles Times while still in high school and later went on to write for Rolling Stone, the New York Post, the Village Voice, and People just to name a few. Sarah worked as a waitress and bartender in Hollywood before she would become a roundtable regular on Chelsea Lately. I find Alison to be a genuinely interested interviewer and she got Sarah to speak in detail about writing for television, developing projects based on her life, and dealing with network decision makers. During the Just Me Or Everyone? segment Alison and Sarah talk about avoiding Facebook drama while in creep mode, and how shopping without a list had one of them standing in the checkout line with two Father’s Day cards, a bottle of vodka, and a box of tampons. They also tackle dealing with shitty waitstaff and the pitfalls of punitive tipping in restaurants. Alison tells us about a misjudged tip to a cab driver at the 1:22:35 mark and most people who don’t frequent cabs will find his reaction surprisingly physical in nature. Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend drops two shows a week but you can also enjoy Alison as co-host of The Adam Carolla Show podcast Monday through Friday. Sarah has a book coming out next year about balancing her career as a touring stand up and trying to have a personal life. For more of the brilliantly funny Sarah Colonna download the Off The Rails with Josh and Sarah podcast.
Comedian Matt Braunger gives his listeners the behind-the-scenes story of his recent accidental gig at a comedy class graduation. Random looking white dudes and a magnificent mix of people flooded the sidewalk as Matt went on stage after “tank top guy.” Racist street jokes and false confidence permeated the air. Matt was preparing to record a special so he was trying to get onstage as much as possible that week. He only did a short set but got “the light” aggressively and instead of leaving with tension in the air Matt doubled back and found that a little communication goes a long way, for both parties. We all run into a little conflict at work sometimes and I was glad to be reminded of this simple truth. Lesson Two: Don’t drink so much. Lesson Three: Drinking the pain away never really works. Matt points out that alcohol is quite the occupational hazard for most comedians and the plan for now is to eat healthy and detox. He was also excited to see how his episode of Maron (IFC) turned out. He plays a veterinarian and tells us what his furry castmates were like on set. TV takes a long time, they shot that back in November. I saw the episode and really enjoyed Braunger in that role. Cats are the sub-plot of the entire series so I hope we see Matt’s character return to provide high-quality feline health services while being as judgmental toward Marc as possible.
EMPLOYEE of the MONTH with CATIE LAZARUS (Paula Pell)
Catie Lazarus records her podcast in front of a live audience at Joe’s Pub in New York. Former guests include Rachel Maddow, Lewis Black, Gloria Steinem, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. This week I listened to Catie talk to writer and producer Paula Pell about her life in comedy. Paula had some interesting jobs before writing for Saturday Night Live. She was the face of a state lottery ad campaign. Perks of that job included getting paid to drink and sing in bars, and getting her own parade float. When Paula landed a meeting with Lorne Michaels at age 30 she was terrified. She describes her boss of 20-plus years now as “a truly gracious wonderful person” but admits that rumors of his strange interview style are accurate. At the 14:40 mark, Catie asks about the legendary pace of the SNL work week and Paula gives insight on her experience in the form of a cat-tastic anecdote. She has cut back on her work load at SNL lately to work on other projects and is now making the transition to writing feature films. When this episode was recorded she had just gotten the green light on a movie based on her pre-teen journals. It’s called The Nest and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will star. Paula read a few entries from that journal to Catie and the audience. After seeing the movie Rocky, “Well, I have a new love. He is an absolute positively completely super fantastic fox. His name is Sylvester Stallone also known as Sly. He is the star of all stars in the movie Rocky, which is an excellent flick…””
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.