My Pod Week: Week ending 8/24/14

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!

THE B.S. REPORT with BILL SIMMONS (8/18/14: Nathan Fielder)

Bill Simmons takes a break from sports to talk with the host of his favorite TV comedy. “I go to real small businesses and then I give them kinda unorthodox ideas to make more money.” — Nathan Fielder, the host of Nathan for You on Comedy Central. Season two features the Dumb Starbucks episode that became a real international news story. He opened a coffee shop as a parody of a coffee shop and made performance art to give credibility to his parody while making a place for himself in television. The location was swarmed by visitors before it was shut down by the Health Department. Nathan for You has layers of reality-blurring moments. When I watched Nathan physically try to wrestle a signed contract away from his lawyer on the episode I feared for his safety. What if that lawyer had a gun or was one of those mixed-martial-arts guys? Danger does make for some great TV though. According to Nathan, it’s a tough show to make because of the reality elements and takes longer to produce an episode than most shows. Segments get cut sometimes and Nathan says there are many hours worth of footage that have never been aired. Bill would love a deleted-scenes DVD and calls out Comedy Central to make it happen. Nathan’s 67-year-old social worker dad has lots of story ideas for his son’s show, but his humor gets a little inappropriate even for Nathan, master of the uncomfortable encounter. His mother was a tough audience when he was growing up, so his comedic skills were honed by trying to make her laugh at jokes from way outside of her comfort zone. Nathan loves magic and thinks we may be in the beginning of a magic renaissance. He finds the work of David Blaine refreshing to his personal taste, while Criss Angel takes some of the magic out of magic. While sports are definitely the main focus of the B.S. Report, I check in on a regular basis for some of my favorite people in comedy. Bill’s former guests include Adam Carolla, Louis C.K., and Lena Dunham.

HOW DID THIS GET MADE? (Episode #91: The 1st annual Howdies pt1)

Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas celebrate the 88 bad movies examined on this podcast so far. This is a great podcast for revisiting classic garbage from my youth like Ernest Goes to Jail, Howard the Duck, and No Holds Barred. I saw the last two in the theatre when they came out and they left me in a state of confusion that continues to this day. At the 17:20 mark, they played a compilation of guest interviews. The best is Jack O’Halloran’s story. He played General Zod’s silent henchman in Superman II. O’Halloran had a long career as a professional boxer and even slugged it out with George Foreman at Madison Square Garden in 1970. Christopher Reeve talked some shit during filming and Jack almost had to fuck up the Man of Steel. Some revealing show clips made me laugh during the award for best revelations. June watching Mortal Kombat in its entirety before finding out that it was based on a video game was great but the entire group had their minds blown when they put together that Ben Affleck in Reindeer Games plays a character named Rudy, as in Rudolph. They have come across some truly terrible character names. Two of the worst come from writer producer Mike Myers 2008 romantic comedy disaster The Love Guru. Myers gave us Sir Ben Kingsley’s Guru Tugginmypudha and Justin “Dick in a Box” Timberlake’s Jacques “Le Coq” Grandé. Another notable moniker was Fin Shepard from Sharknado, but Jason’s favorite and winner was the aforementioned Rudy Duncan from Reindeer Games, played by Affleck, the man who would win an Oscar, overcome Gigli, then Daredevil, and win another Oscar only to become Batfleck. June and Paul vote Guy LaForge from the Al Pacino thriller 88 Minutes as the absolute worst. Sometimes the enthusiasm behind a good impression is more important than the technique as evident during the best guest impression clips. Kumail Nanjiani did the Leprechaun from the Leprechaun slasher movies and Wyatt Cenac impersonated Sylvester Stallone from Demolition Man, but American treasure Al Pacino pretending to drop a cell phone in a stairway as portrayed by Pete Holmes won best guest impression. Gross sex was up next. Paul doesn’t like to hear an open mouth kiss in movies like he heard in Anaconda from 1997 starring Jennifer Lopez. Jason has a real problem with wet mouth sounds: “I don’t even like it when someone is like eating a peanut butter sandwich next to me.” Jason has been turned on by some strange things on this show, hear the montage at 51:55. “I could come up with a list of ten people that I would fucking pay upwards of a thousand dollars to watch eat a hot dog, Hillary Clinton is on that list.”

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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