My Pod Week: Week ending 6/29/14

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!

COMEDY BANG! BANG! (“Taking the Bladder Out” #296 David Wain, Michael Showalter, Neil Campbell)

David Wain and Michael Showalter joined Scott Aukerman on Comedy Bang Bang to have a ludicrous conversation about their filmmaking partnership. Wain and Showalter come from The State, the early 90’s sketch comedy troupe who had a half-hour show on MTV. The first time I saw them was on the 1992 show You Wrote It, You Watch It hosted by John Stewart and also on MTV. Viewers would write in, Stewart would read their letter, and then The State would perform a sketch based on the letter. It was probably one of the lowest-budget shows at that time, but The State made esoteric choices in every aspect of their contribution and that specific absurd tone has been a constant in every alumni project since. Wain and Showalter have written their first film together since 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer. The film is now considered a cult classic and it’s cast has gone on to have big careers: Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, and Janeane Garofalo, to name a few. Their new movie is called They Came Together. It’s directed by Wain, and arrived in theaters on June 27, starring Poehler and Rudd. Wain calls it “a romantic comedy spoof” and “a machine gun of laughs.” Showalter invites listeners to enjoy the film now On Demand in the comfort of their own homes with a Diet Coke and some “penis M&M’s”™. Host Aukerman speaks exclusively in a comedic language that his guests are fluent in. Hearing Wain and Showalter in character takes me back to the 2005 late-night Comedy Central show Stella, a show that had very little tethering it to reality. Aukerman walked a similar path as a cast member of Mr. Show with Bob & David (HBO) and brings that sensibility to the TV version of this podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! on IFC. Writer and performer Neil Campbell comes into the conversation like Shemp Howard in a Three Stooges short, out of nowhere but so interesting that he can share time with a trio that you already know and love. It’s a trick that never disappoints, talented comedians sit in as a character and provoke host and guest into a radio play on a runaway train.

LADY TO LADY (EP. 81 “Popped Balls” ft. Stephanie Beatriz)

Stephanie Beatriz from Brooklyn 99 (FOX) and her dog Banjo sit in on this episode of Lady to Lady with comedians Barbara Gray, Brandie Posey and Tess Barker. Earlier in the year I saw Gray and Posey perform, a Google search later and I had found a new podcast for my regular rotation. The ladies inform us that Oprah’s words of wisdom have reached the cups at Starbucks — “Be more splendid, be more extraordinary, use every moment to fill yourself up.” Not everybody needs Oprah’s instructions. Our hosts work day jobs, perform comedy at night, and do all the extra tasks to keep the night job moving forward. Barbara willingly offers up an embarrassing story about her indecent exposure to Trader Joes shoppers after a quick costume change in her car. The Ladies also talk Tinder situations, the Craigslist massage community, the temptations of fetish work, and…ah, and then, something happened at the 25-minute mark. My girlfriend and I were halfway through dinner as we listened. *See episode title. Stephanie had a graphic yet cautionary anecdote about a former roommate’s lesson in male reproductive durability. I didn’t stop eating but I did need to “hold” myself and rock back and forth in my chair for a minute. If you ever hear the words “I’ll pay you an extra two grand” just get as far away from that person as fast as possible. The next night I listed to the latest episode of The Dr. Drew Podcast because I really felt like I needed to hear some soothing clinical tones. Scrotal trauma aside, I still highly recommend Lady to Lady for its spontaneous true stories that you can’t get in any other form of media. This kind of show is a perfect example of why I’m so invested in podcasts.

THE LAUGHSPIN PODCAST (Ep. 92 – Gilbert Gottfried interview)

Laughspin editor Dylan Gadino had the privilege of talking to Gilbert Gottfried about his new podcast. Gilbert welcomed Dylan into his Manhattan apartment wearing a stained and threadbare bathrobe from a TV show that no longer exists: “If you made a bathrobe out of toilet paper it would be stronger than this.” GILBERT GOTTFRIED’s AMAZING COLOSSAL PODCAST is a guide through the labyrinth of old Hollywood folklore and has featured interviews with Dick Cavett, 91-year-old comedy legend Larry Storch, Gianni Russo (Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather), and Paul Shaffer (I reviewed episode number one a few weeks ago on My Pod Week). In addition to getting Gilbert’s
thoughts on his recent guests, Dylan finds out how the original Aflac duck felt about being fired for making some ill-timed tweets about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Gottfried is also candid about his “horrible” 1980 season of Saturday Night Live. After listening to Gilbert for years on The Howard Stern Show as Dracula Gottfried, Dice Gottfried, and Old Groucho Marx, this interview is the longest I’ve heard the man speak in his own voice.

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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