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!
Esther Povitsky is an actress and stand-up comedian living in Los Angeles. Her podcast chronicles reluctant adulthood and a working life in comedy. Weird Adults is honest, naturally funny, and a refreshing break from the caricatured personas that are locked in a shouting match for the top of the iTunes charts. When I listen to Weird Adults I learn things. I learned about the kinda secret menu at Chipotle and my dining experience has been somewhat enhanced, except at the Sunset and Spaulding location where the outside patio is filthy and covered in flies. Esther’s appreciation for dessert and snack foods has been used as a real guide in my household. I’m forever in her debt for leading me to Katy Perry’s Kettle Corn Popchips and away from Arctic Zero ice cream. Ester’s guest this week was Gabe Liedman. Gabe is 50 percent of the stand-up comedy duo Gabe and Jenny with Kroll Show cast member and Obvious Child star Jenny Slate. He had a role in Obvious Child that featured both his talent as a stand-up and his acting ability. “That is like the best thing that ever happened to me.” Auditioning has gotten somewhat easier lately as he pursues a career in front of the camera, but Gabe’s behind the scenes day job is an impressive career of it’s own. Liedman has written for some of the best new comedies on television, Kroll Show, Brooklyn 99, Inside Amy Schumer, and Billy On The Street. Because he is cracking jokes and acting out scripts in the writers room during the day he finds darker material is required to help him unwind at night. Gabe is into 20/20 and “really fucked up” TV dramas like The Leftovers. Chain-smoking cult members, scary feral dogs, and the tragically miscast Justin Theroux bring him joy. Esther and Gabe covered many topics on this episode; highlights include therapeutic breathing techniques, college weight gain, lifehack.org, and Gaga. They found that they also share a healthy fear of water slides. Esther was recently peer pressured by loved ones to face and overcome this phobia at a pool party. She does not know how to swim, so sliding uncontrollably at high speeds into something that can potentially kill her is a legit fear to have. Water was inhaled and a near-death level of fear followed. “It was really traumatizing.” The remainder of the day she was worried about “dry drowning”, a phenomenon where excess fluid in the lungs can cause a person to drown in their sleep. Her message to other scaredy cats is “…don’t let your fuck’n stupid friends pressure you…” Gabe agreed, “If I was there I’d be like, ‘Guys, she doesn’t want to’.” Watch for Liedman on season three of Kroll Show starting early next year.
Feeling like an underachiever? Yogi and life coach Jim Gaffigan will get you on track for the nominal fee of $2,000. Sara Schaefer has a new podcast and former tattooed gymnast Gaffigan was her first guest. Sara had expected the recognizable portly physique from television and film but instead found a svelte Gaffigan before her. “You’re kinda cut like an Abercrombie model, what happened?” The journey of Jim’s ever changing waistline began while visiting his homeland of Estonia. Gaffigan started training in gymnastics with Adam Carolla’s grandfather, but was soon influenced and distracted by progressive European literature. After years of dealing with crippling perfection he underwent a painful series of treatments to deconstruct the beauty myth. “…I didn’t want to live my life as an Adonis.” Hair and tattoos were removed. His loving wife, Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, stood by his side for many years of painful de-pigmentation surgery. He gladly traded taught bronzed skin for beyond pale dermis. Jim revealed a brief intimate encounter with news host Anderson Cooper while being awarded the CNN Heroes award for the eighth time. Anderson made a daring request, permission was denied, yet passions prevailed. Gaffigan is now back to his slim frame but wears a fat suit in public that was created for him by George Lucas. Jim thinks that society gets caught up in labels and titles “I walk around and people say ‘Oh he’s a good looking guy’ but how do you know I don’t have a vagina?” Jim Gaffigan’s new book Dad is Fat is now available wherever books are sold. Makeup consultation and Bikram yoga DVDs are available at jimgaffigan.com.
The title of Schaefer’s new podcast is “LIES.”
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.