Entries in improv4humans (8)

Monday
Jul232012

Plop of The Week: The Longshot #517

Sometimes you play favorites because those shows and people just tend to jump out and get your attention and the laughs forthcoming. And maybe because you're emotionally stunted. And lazy. No matter what I end up self diagnosing myself with, this past week in comedy podcasts was pretty stellar.  Thanks in large part to another classic Long Shot mailbag episode and a double helping of young comedian and awesome dude, Jerrod Carmichael, on two different shows. Here's my Splitsider "Week In Comedy Podcasts" recap for my old Long Shot buddies' too funny mail bag episode:

The Long Shot continues to dig in these days. The four co-hosts are as close to a perfect pairing in comedy these days. Especially if you like your pairings with a healthy amount of neurosis and in-fighting. Eddie Pepitone, Jamie Flam, Sean Conroy and Amber Kenny are again at their honest-to-a-fault best in this guestless mailbag episode. The show jumps off to a deliriously fun meta start with the gang analyzing their recent lengthy mention in an all-encompassing AV Club article. It’s fun to listen to Conroy and Pepitone attempt to square away the article’s various shout-outs, particularly to Flam, aka the show’s “deep humanity,” aka “punching bag,” aka “tragic-comic metaphor,” aka “doomed impulse towards self-improvement.” Pepitone’s dismay at not being mentioned more leads to great dueling Pepitone impersonations. Pepitone impersonating Conroy impersonating Pepitone is a treat and classic Long Shot moment. The show does that fairly often – just suddenly breaks into a delirious moment of improvised weirdness and honesty. It’s always a special moment of honest humor, and it’s really what makes The Long Shot not your average chat show. The mailbag segment offers up a bunch more of group self-reflection, including a never-ending stream of Pepitone frustration about his lack of inclusion in many of the letters. Kenny keeps growing in her co-host role, sneaking in a ton of quick hitting observations and taking the guys down a notch. Flam keeps to his “tragic-comic” roots, too. Listeners get a special treat when Conroy acts out a loyal listener’s Long Shot zombie fan fiction letter.

The rest of the Splitisder group offered up another batch of comedy podcast selections:

Comedy Bang! Bang! #167 – Jessica St. Clair, Paul Rust, Jerrod Carmichael
The Comedy Cellar: Live from The Table #20 - Lucas Dick
How Was Your Week #71: "HWYW Live" – Martha Plimpton, Katie Notopoulos, Mike Daisey, Jim Gaffigan
The Long Shot Podcast #517 “The Nephew of Mailbag Episode”
improv4humans #35.5 "Live from DCM Pt. 1"
My Crappy Week with Orny Adams – Eddie Ifft
Doodie Calls with Doug Mand – Phil Lord
You Made It Weird #67 - Jerrod Carmichael

Honorable mentions from the Splitisder group also include Alison Rosen Is Your Friend (Bobcat Goldthwait, Part 1), Pissed Off Man Show with Gavin #30, The Best Show #504 and This Better Be Funny #32 (Katie Crown).

Monday
Jun112012

Plop of The Week: Superego #3:13

Last week's Splitsider duties, picking an episode from the comedy podcast bounty, was a simple choice. Beginning of the month usually means it's time to dive head first into screwball fun with the release of the newest Superego. This month, the "doctors" offered up another offbeat dose of fun. Here's my write-up for Jesse Fox's Splitsider "This Week In Comedy Podcasts" post:

The futuristic and retro, all-at-once, audio sketch show delivers another absurd episode, bursting at the seams from an abundance of silly situations and insane non sequiturs. Superego 3:13 is another quick-hitting example of inspired comedy. The guys treat us to another "Star Wars Squadron" radio talk clusterfuck. During the stream of Star Wars riffing, there’s another dead-on Alec Guinness impersonation with an obnoxious guest appearance by Obi-Wan’s needy and instructional ghost. The night out with Shunt McGuffin and Herve Villechaize is an overload of inappropriateness. The Buffrum’s Fragrance Counter ladies show up again, staying oblivious and gleefully rude to all customers. Another bit of inspired comedy is born from the Leffingwell Grocers grocery store announcement speaker system. The Superego guys find another great audio-specific setting for streaming more absurd characters to your brain. Bonus points for the pop music interludes during the grocery store announcements. The unofficial Superego team member at this point, Paul F. Tompkins, continues to be one of the most versatile performers in comedy. Superego is always an open house for great performers. In addition to Tompkins, this month's guests include Andy Richter, Gillian Jacobs, Erinn Hayes, Chris Tallman, James Bladon, Craig Cackowski, Mark Gagliardi, Nick Ciarelli and Amanda Lund. Again, Superego, is on its own planet comedy-wise and continues to outshine its modest podcasting roots. It’s short but packed with great comedic work. Few projects consistently deliver like this obnoxious and inspired bit of gold. Go Superego Go.

The rest of the Splitsider crew showed some love for an ecclectic mix of shows. Here's the complete list:

Risk! #329 – Kurt Braunohler
Big O and Dukes "Summer Brew Preview"
improv4humans #29 – Adam McKay, Chris Gethard
Superego 3:13
Chillpak Hollywood Hour #264 – French Stewart
Making It With Riki Lindhome #46 - Robert Ben Garant
Podcast on a Plane (“a co-production of Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank and The Joe Rogan Experience”)

The Splitsider group chose the following episodes as honorable mentions this week out: Comedy Bang! Bang! #161 (Reggie Watts, Tim Heidecker, Andy Daly, Jon Daly), Dream Tweet – Jimmy Pardo vs. Kimmy Gatewood, How Was Your Week? #65 (Eddie Pepitone, Paula Pell), The Marc and Tom Show #2 and You Made It Weird #55 (Jenny Slate).

Monday
May212012

Plop of The Week: The Long Shot #509

Another week. Another onslaught of new comedy podcast episodes. Another great episode of The Long Shot. I'm fully in the tank for The Long Shot's ragtag foursome. Episode #509 is a particular thrill because it reveals new group dynamics and points of entry for the funny. Here's my recap for the Splitsider "Week In Comedy Podcasts" post:

The Long Shot Episode #509 seamlessly switches gears throughout – from some healthy behind-the-scenes live comedy talk to hilariously mundane and personal anecdotes. One of the show’s key winning elements is its four distinctly different hosts’ interplay. That’s always been true in a basic sense, but this week’s episode was a revelation on how much more laughs The Long Shot can squeeze out of their group dynamic. The hosts, Sean Conroy, Amber Kenny, Jamie Flam and Eddie Pepitone, create a crazy fun grab bag of honest recaps, on-the-spot sketch work, agitated and meandering storytelling and the holy grail of top-notch fucking-with-each-other hijinks. Their guest, comedian Zach Sherwin, superbly tags a few of the “checking in” stories and manages to keep adding to the fun. The episode is pretty dense in terms of its specifically silly moments worthy of highlight. There’s the comes-too-easy image of Flam working as senile Pepitone’s elderly caretaker. Pepitone’s doctor visit recap leads to the creation of poor old Mrs. Timonarro forever sitting in life’s proverbially waiting room. Pepitone also creates a firestorm of laughter with his unintentionally ridiculous and meandering recap of War Horse. Kenny is on Pepitone’s case throughout. It’s a delight to see the show’s ray of sunshine take repeated aim at Pepitone’s winning combo of boldness and confusion. Conroy remains on top of his host game. His feisty demeanor from past episodes is still there, adding yet another layer to the awesome group dynamic. And, yes, they all find yet another way to torment Flam with repeated mocking call backs. Phew. It’s a true Long Shot classic – a grand reward for both long time and first time listeners.

The rest of the Splitsider comedy podcast crew gave shout-outs to a quality crop of episodes/shows this week, including a stellar debut episode of the new show from Long Shot host, Sean Conroy. Check it out:

International Waters #3 - Andy Daly, Erin Gibson, Humphrey Kerr, Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank - Ralphie May (Part 1)
improv4humans #26 – Jon Glaser, Brett Gelman, Joe Wengert
The Long Shot #509 “The Eddie’s Said Too Much Episode" – Zach Sherwin
The J.V. Club #10 – Jen Kirkman
The Nerdist #206 – Tina Fey
Sean Conroy Presents: The Flabbergast #1 – The Crazy Dance

Honorable mentions include Comedy Bang! Bang! #158 (Jordan Peele, Gillian Jacobs), Improv Obsession #17 (Billy Merritt), Left Handed Radio #16 (Rue Britannia), Sklarbro Country #94 (Jon Hamm) and You Made It Weird #49 (Bo Burnham).

Sunday
Mar182012

Plop of The Week: The Bugle #185

Wow. Talk about neglecting my internet duties for a bit. Here's my pick and excerpt for the Splitsider comedy podcast round-up from the week of March 5th. Another solid Bugle episode. In all honesty, I could save myself time most weeks and just pikc The Bugle and be done with it. It's that consistently funny, smart and biting. That's the kind of comedy we need more of online and real life. Better late than never, here's my thoughts on Bugle #185 for Jesse Fox Splitsider "Week In Comedy" podcast round-up:

Connecting to comedic rage is always a fun way to commune with your fellow man, albeit an obnoxious fellow man. Or men. John Oliver and Andy Zaltman keep offering up a high dose of politically-minded disdain, always at an impressive clip. Episode #185 of The Bugle is a quick-paced jaunt back and forth between quality political satire and good ol’ self-deprecating anecdotes. Oliver and Zaltman go after London’s mad-dash Olympic Games preparations. Zaltman continues to impress with his rapid-fire joke delivery and Oliver relays more artful rage-filled sarcasm. The guys mix in some fun bickering between each other with their usual political barbs. The Bugle still being recently independent from their Murdoch-led newspaper overlord causes Oliver to lament his lack of joy slamming his old corporate podcast boss. He muses over the fruitlessness of going after their new web boss, Soundcloud. The guys even throw in a fun metaphor-laden debate over the various types of political self-interest. Plus, there’s a mundane German parliament Sudoku scandal of underwhelming proportions, among many more stories and riffs. A ton of goodness in well less-than an hour. It’s all dealt with swiftly and soundly by The Bugle duo, the seminal force in political comedy. Long live the rage.

The complete list of picks from the Splitsider crew for the week of March 5th. The gang gave a needed shout-out to Rogan's show and the lot of creative-pushing shows:

The Joe Rogan Experience #190 - Greg Fitzsimmons
The Pod F. Tompkast #16 – Judy Greer, Gillian Jacobs, Jen Kirkman
The Bugle #185 “Burning Rings of Steel”
improv4humans #16 - Chad Carter, Katie Dippold, Gil Ozeri
Professor Blastoff #44 "Kung Fu" - Christian Everhart
Superego #3:12 - Patton Oswalt, Greg Proops, Paul F. Tompkins

Honorable Mentions include Ten Minute Podcast “Deadly Animals,” The Dana Gould Hour #3 “Jailbirds” (Eddie Pepitone, Matt Weinhold), The Mike O'Meara Show #527 “Continue to Water the Garden,” This Week With Larry Miller “Larry’s Little White Lie,” Uhh Yeah Dude #313 and Walking The Room #93 “Spitting Out Homeless and The Wig.”

Thursday
Jan262012

Plop of The Week: The Todd Glass Show

Sometimes you feel lucky to catch a little bit of honest comedy. Comedy podcasts are aplenty and pretty constant these days - it's hard to take it all in sometimes and can even blend together if you're not paying close enough attention. The last few weeks of Todd Glass in the digital realm are truly a special thing. His weekly long-format show is always pushing ahead and waving at the passerbys with something fun to share. You just have to remember to pay attention. The latest Todd Glass Show episode is a two-parter: both a special treat and a prime example of what this riff-happy show is all about. Here's the pick and thoughs for the weekly Splitsider "Week In Comedy Podcasts" post headed up by the esteemed Jesse Fox.

Todd Glass is settling into his podcasting position quite nicely. The unlikely combo of confidence and unease is on full display again. The latest episode of The Todd Glass Show starts out with a lengthy epilogue to his stellar WTF With Marc Maron appearance. Buddy Sarah Silverman joins him for a recap of the days following his public coming out. Glass continues to amaze with his honest and fun take on it all. Silverman is settling into her comedy elder position with a welcoming grace. She’s a new kind of veteran to the scene, bringing heart and warmth to her discussions. Glass doubles down with a regular edition of his show, featuring studio appearances by Anthony Jeselnik and Jonah Ray. The usual Todd Glass Show format is on full display – it’s morning radio deconstruction on the fly. Glass and friends pretty much dole out nonstop riffing to listeners. Every conversational turn is a chance for comedic self-examination and excoriation. The repeated faking of coming in and out of radio breaks is pure joy. There are fake callers, what ifs and role-playing aplenty. Jeselnik plays a great dickish foil to the eager Glass. Jonah Ray shows off his versatility, playfully switching between eager go-along and reluctant guest. The show overflows with comedy gems in both the moment and from larger isn’t-this-silly perspective. The whole show is in the weeds and that’s the fun of it. When it’s hitting its stride, the show’s battle with its own format and sincerity make it a truly heady and fun listen each time out.

     

The Splitsider crew took on an off-beat group of comedy episodes. improv4humans continues to dig in for the long haul, bringing improv from the stage to the internet. Plus, T.J. Miller makes a few appearances. The other picks from the Splitsider crew:

improv4humans #10 – Andrew Daly, Horatio Sanz, Joe Wengert
Doug Loves Movies – T.J. Miller, Pete Holmes, Ti West
The Todd Glass Show #28 – Sarah Silverman, Anthony Jeselnik, Jonah Ray
The Thrilling Adventure Hour #55 "Captain Laserbeam: Even Bluebirds Get The Blues”
You Made It Weird #16 – T. J. Miller

Honorable Mentions this week out: Get Up On This #26 (Hannah Hart), How Was Your Week #46 (Chris Gethard, Katie Notopoulos), Sklarboro Country #78 (Rob Riggle) and This My Show #30 (Cole Stratton).

Thursday
Jan122012

Plop of The Week: Pop My Culture #64

I'm still living in the past it seems. A podcast highlight of the past week reflected the same remincing spirit. I picked the Pop My Culture part 1 2011 recap show for my Splitsider "Week In Comedy Podcasts" selection. It's an incredibly fun listen. Even includes your obligatory Paul F. Tompkins guest appearance, too. Here's the lowdown via my Splitsider excerpt:

Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland, the ever upbeat and often offbeat Pop My Culture hosts, take this whole intimate just-hanging-out-don’t-mind-if-we-do podcast thing up a notch with their first installment of their 2011 Year-In-Review show. They bring back five of their favorite guests from the past year for a jovial party to discuss their 2011 favorites and loathsome least favorite things pop culture-y. Part 1 focuses on the positive. Pop My Culture doesn’t take the easy way out and offer up some half-ass clip show with commentary. They basically recorded their own party. A party with lists! It’s a treat to listen in on an honest, adult and free-flowing conversation among a group of talented and fun folk. Don’t worry – Stratton and Ragland are still in charge, keeping the loose format from bursting into full party chaos. Their party/podcast guests for the night include: Tony Hale, Rob Paulsen, Meredith Salenger, Paul F. Tompkins and James Urbaniak. Each of them adds their own perspective to the proceedings. Above all, Stratton and Ragland’s force of personality and likeability again manage to make pop culture something grounded, adult and enriching. Go figure. Although, Part 2, turning to the what-I-don’t-like game, could always descend into a brawl.

     

Here's the complete list of the Splitsider episode picks from the other contributors. Special points for improv4humans going on a crazy good run of late. The Long Shot, too.

Jordan, Jesse Go! #206 - Eddie Pepitone
improv4humans #8 - Sean Conroy, Brett Gelman, Curtis Gwinn
Pop My Culture #64: “Pop The Cork: The Best of 2011, Part 1” - Tony Hale, Rob Paulsen, Meredith Salenger, Paul F. Tompkins and James Urbaniak
The Smartest Man In The World "Elbows"
Comedy Bang! Bang! #139 - Bob Odenkirk, Brian Huskey

Honorable mentions include: Fitzdog Radio (Andy Richter), The Long Shot #415 (Brett Gelman), The Nerdist #156 (David Cross), WTF with Marc Maron #224 (Russell Brand) and You Made It Weird #13 (Nick Kroll).

Monday
Jan022012

Splitsider Goes Rogue With Its Year-end Round-up

Splitsider's Jesse Fox posted a great year-end recap of comedy podcasts this past week. In lieu of a top whatever list, Fox rolls out a random assortment of superlatives for some of his favorite shows both old and new. Shows recieving recognition include:

Who Charted?
How Was Your Week?
Here's The Thing
Superego
Gelmania
You Made It Weird
improv4humans
The Comedy Cellar: Live from the Table

        

It's great to see Fox recognize the shows pushing the creative limits available to the podcast format. It shows it's not always about the guys sitting shooting the shit. Although, that's fun, too.

Friday
Dec232011

Plop of The Week: Jordan, Jesse GO! with Andrés du Bouchet

Okay - we went from last week's 'couple of dudes talking in a closet' to the widely ambitious 'couple of dudes talking in a regular room.' I'm the first guy to laud the more creative and ambitious digital shows out there in podcast land but funny is funny. Engaging seems to come in simple packages. Maximum Fun's Jordan, Jesse GO! is no different. Hosts Jesse Thorn and Jordan Morris have been at it for awhile now and continue to offer up an impressively consistent interview show, meeting all the 'good show' check marks along the way. For these guys, I'm always down when they get silly and Thorn halfphazard crashes back and forth between sophisticated host and his inner 'fuck it all' bastard. With one of my favorite comedians, Andrés du Bouchet, in for a visit, listeners get treated to a particularly loopy episode. #204 is my pick for the Splitsider "This Week In Comedy Podcasts":

A couple of guys talking is pretty much the garage band gathering for digital comedy. Let’s hangout and riff, man. Few duos do a better job of gleefully adhering to this laid back and honest approach than Jesse Thorn and Jordan Morris of Jordan, Jesse GO! The Maximum Fun podcasting partners turned in a particularly loose and jovial episode featuring the smart and always affable comedian Andrés du Bouchet (writer for Conan, to boot). Claiming the title of “Count (or Duke) of Cheeseburgers,” Du Bouchet easily saddles in as another one of the guys. There’s a humorously long dissection of what it means to get lost in the video game world of Skyrim. Morris and Du Bouchet confound Jesse with their video game knowledge. Thorn proposes the Mr. T video game avatar should be the only avatar ever needed. The episode keeps it both grounded and silly, sneaking in some quality pop culture tangents. There’s some quality Conan talk, highlighted by the Morris and Thorn’s complete obsession with the mystery of Du Bouchet’s Gravy Boat Lighthouse segment on a recent Conan episode. Analyzing the merits of the 30-second Gravy Boat Lighthouse for minutes at a time pretty much sums up the delirious fun and pseudo-profundity Morris, Thorn and friends can offer up at any given time.

     

Here's the complete list of the Splitsider episode picks, all the usual suspects and some old favorites, you know a bunch of dudes being funny. Let's a take a moment in rememberance of the missing WTF - gone (until next week, I'm guessing) but not forgotten:

The Best Show on WFMU "The 2nd Best Show Holiday Party" - Ted Leo, John Hodgman, Jon Wurster
Comedy Bang! Bang! #136 - Paul F. Tompkins, Harris Wittels, Brett Gelman, Jon Daly, Seth Morris, Nick Kroll, Thomas Lennon, James Adomian, Adam Pally
Dead Author’s Podcast "Appendix A: Charles Dickens and O. Henry" - Hal Lublin, Marc Evan Jackson
Jordan, Jesse GO! #204 - Andrés du Bouchet
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks #43

The Splitsider honorable mentions: The B.S. Report (Louis C.K.), David Feldman Comedy Podcast "2011 Highlights #3", improv4humans #6 (Ben Schwartz, Danielle Schneider, Alex Fernie), Earwolf Presents: Jon Daly's Rafflecast.