My Pod Week: Week ending 10/26/14

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!

YOU’RE THE EXPERT (Live at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival)

Host Chris Duffy guides a panel of comedians through his guest’s field of study through a series of questions, games & quizzes. He begins the episode 20 questions style, and guest expert Dr. Katie Hind can only respond with yes’s or no’s. Panelists earn one point per yes answer. This episode was recorded at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival in New York City. Festival founder Eugene got a point by asking “Is your main focus sort of, uh, above the hoo-hoo and below the throat?” Katie replied with an emphatic yes. Chris Duffy supplied the panel with their first hint by asking Katie, “What’s something you would never do based on your research?” “Taste it, I would never taste it.” More questions followed and we learn the favorite part of Katie’s work involves baby monkeys. Through wordplay and a brief process of elimination, Wyatt Cenac from The Daily Show finally got a point on the board by guessing Katie is a macrobiologist. With a generous hint from Chris, Eugene is able to guess that Katie’s field involves the study of “monkey boobies.” Chris reveals, “Katie is the head of Harvard’s Comparative Lactation Lab. She is an evolutionary biologist who studies the behavioral biology of mother’s milk across species.” He adds that her groundbreaking research has implications for the future of nurturing and nutrition. Katie got involved in the study of comparative lactation because very little was known about the warm & creamy, somewhat banana flavored, life-giving nectar that is a monkey’s breastmilk. During Skimming the Surface the audience erupted with a round of applause when we found out that Katie hand milks monkeys, let’s picture that for a minute. Later we also found out that Katie’s most challenging set of monkey mammaries belongs to the Titi monkey, whose nipples are located in the armpits. During the post-game conversation Katie shared that professional athletes have acquired breast milk with the false assumption that it will enhance performance. This mostly unpublicized, misguided, misinformed, selfish, and infantile quest for a competitive edge potentially diverts a precious resource from mothers in need. After the score was tallied Eugene was declared the winner, and author Sarah Vowell seemed somewhat suspicious “Oh really, Eugene Mirman wins at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival?!”

PAULY SHORE’s INTERESTED (Interested Episode #7 — Joan Dangerfield talks Rodney Dangerfield with commentary from Andrew Dice Clay)

Joan Dangerfield was married to Rodney Dangerfield for over 20 years. Pauly Shore was shocked to find out Joan will turn 61 in December, and though not a grandmother he described her as a GILF. She first saw Rodney on TV in 1969. “I was the ultimate fan.” Joan was in love before she ever met Rodney. Pauly conducts an episode within an episode and an interview about an interview when Andrew “Dice” Clay shared his memories of Rodney and Joan. Rodney was a selfless champion for young comics. He brought Sam Kinison, Louie Anderson, Bob Saget and many others to television for the first time with his HBO Young Comedians specials. When Pauly did a spring break special for MTV he went up to Rodney’s room with a producer to rehearse. They found that he liked to walk around in a very loosely tied robe. “Basically his balls were hanging out.” Dice brought his parents to visit Rodney once and his mother had to request that Mr. Dangerfield put his testicles away. Joan confirmed “he loved being comfortable.” She says that the truth is Rodney would have preferred to be a nudist. Joan also explains the origin of Rodney’s well-known lovable loser persona. He didn’t want to just be a “mouth spitting out jokes”, he wanted a memorable image. It was the early 70’s when he developed his “No Respect” catchphrase. Club audiences identified with the phrase and he knew he’d hit gold. Pauly cuts back to his chat with Dice, and the interaction between the two comedians is like hearing a family conversation around the dinner table. Pauly can word-for-word recite Dice’s famous nursery rhymes, having grown up at The Comedy Store. Dice says of Pauly “I still look at him like he’s 12.” Wherever those nursery rhymes originated from, they became synonymous with the Andrew Dice Clay persona, much in the same way Dangerfield’s persona was synonymous with “No Respect”. Rodney was 82 when he slipped into a coma after having heart surgery. Joan had seen him come back from a coma before and believed that he could do it again. Jay Leno, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Roseanne and many others came to the hospital. They told him jokes in an effort to bring him back, but he never woke up. This inside look at the life and times of Rodney Dangerfield changed the way I think of him. Offstage he was loved, respected, and rich beyond measure with a very special woman like Joan at his side.

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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