Entries in paul f. tompkins (23)


Plop of The Week: The Nerdist #167 - Conan O'Brien

Picking a favorite epsidoe this week in comedy podcast land was a simple one. Sure, I felt a tad uninspired going for the big gun of Conan O'Brien visiting Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira for an episode of The Nerdist. But I'm not sure there's any denying that O'Brien is a comedy icon of our times and receiving a long dose of the man in a less filtered format such as a podcast is always a treat. AT least that's what I'm going with for this week's submission to the Jesse Fox Splitsider "Week In Comedy" podcast round-up. My thoughts on the episode from Splitsider:

Conan O’Brien visiting audio nerd land with Chris Hardwick and pals isn’t necessarily the most obscure episode choice. Still, O’Brien is one of the few high profile comedians more willing to talk shop and get silly. The episode doles out a bunch of quality detailed revelations about O’Brien’s comedic relationships with guests and coworkers and how the day-in-day-out comedy grind shapes the show and even O’Brien’s own psyche. Chris Hardwick steers the conversation effortlessly, making it a breezy listen. As always, Jonah Ray is on point for several great comments and comedic tags. Matt Mira follows suit with a few quality asides, as well. There are a few fun faux antagonistic moments between O’Brien and Hardwick’s pals — probably not enough, though. During the 90-minute laid back talk, O’Brien is affable and neurotic, coming across like a sharpened version of his on-screen self. The real gems of the episode are just O’Brien opening himself up — both his distant and recent past — and putting on display his passion for comedy writing and entertaining.

The other picks from the Splitsider crew this week include a few newer shows, at least newer to us. Hooray for new things:

The Todd Glass Show #31, Part 2 - Paul F. Tompkins, Daniel Kinno
It’s That Episode #5 – Adam Lustick
The Nerdist #167 – Conan O’Brien
Probably Science #7 – Kyle Kinane
How Did This Get Made? #30 – Brian Huskey, Vanilla Ice

Honorable mentions this week include: Jordan & Jesse Go #211 (Tony Millionaire),  The Best Show on WFMU (Michael Kupperman),  The Dead Authors Podcast Chapter 6: Gertude Stein (John Ross Bowie) and Who Charted? #63 (Paul F. Tompkins).



Plop of The Week: The Pod F. Tompkast #14

Sometimes it's time to get serious about silliness. Not sure anyone takes this adage to heart more than Paul F. Tompkins. No matter the comedic arena - podcast, TV or stage - Tompkins always seems to dive head first into the bit. His steadfast commitment to earnest silliness is on full display in his usually monthly podcast variety show, The Pod F. Tompkast. I finally did the proper thing and gave him a bit of internet props (virtually meanlingless!) by picking it for this week's Splitsider "Week In Comedy Podcasts" selection. Here's the lowdown:

The hardest working man in podcasting is back! Paul F. Tompkins’s latest episode of his kinda, sorta monthly variety show, The Pod F. Tompkast, is another SPLENDID one. Following Tompkins’ lead for more “splendid” usage. The show follows a similar haphazard path of previous episodes: the best kind of rambling, sketches, a Jen Kirkman call and a live show clip with Paul Scheer. The rambles – let’s just start calling them that – feature Tompkins discussing a make believe heaven/hell experience, word usage fun, the importance of milkshakes and much more. The Great Undiscovered Project – the best kind of self-indulgence – returns with another segment, layering the ridiculousness even more. This time Iced-T and the gang debate which characters they’ll play in the project. Characters talking about characters. I told you it was ridiculous. This turns into Tompkins giving himself comedy therapy, examining what all that Great Undiscovered Project business really means. There’s also Tompkins poking fun at Kirkman’s home security neurosis and a fun live show clip with a “sick” Paul Scheer having Tompkins entertain him. Tompkins achieves the “splendid” comedy feat of combining the personal and absurd. Bonus: he also released an extra clip this week, featuring more Jen Kirkman call-in fun.


A truly amazing week of comedy podcasting took place last week, including the seminal WTF Todd Glass episode. I'd be remiss if I didn't also give props to Pop My Culture for its 2nd-parter to their nifty dinner party best of episode. The other picks from the Splitsider crew:

Comedy Bang! Bang! #140 – Nick Offerman, James Adomian
WTF With Marc Maron #245 – Todd Glass
The Pod F. Tompkast #14 – Paul Scheer, Jen Kirman
The Bugle #178
Sklarbro Country #77 – Andy Daly, Jason Nash, James Adomian

A great week of shows means we all offered up a bunch of honorable mentions including: Best Show on WFMU (Todd Barry, Chris Gethard, Gregg Gethard), Doug Loves Movies #519 (Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Wayne Federman), Pop My Culture #64 Part 2 "Pop The Cork: The Worst of 2011,” The Dead Authors Podcast Chapter 5 "Carl Sagan" (Matt Gourley) The Long Shot #416 "Live From The Improv Lab" (Morgan Murphy), Thrilling Adventure Hour "Beyond Belief – A Dave At The Races,” You’ve Made It Weird #14 (Marc Maron) and WTF With Marc Maron #244 (Steven Wright).


Plop of The Week: You Had To Be There

The Splitsider Week In Comedy Podcasts is out again. My pick this time out was the insanely fun You Had To Be There episode with Paul F. Tompkins. 

Worlds collide. Podcast guest extraordinaire, Paul F. Tompkins, weasels his way into an apartment visit with Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser on the latest You Had To Be There. Schaefer kicks off a spirited and fun string of audition horror stories. Just a few of the gems: the hamburger threesome voice-over and Tompkins explaining the art of the three-tiered Nutrageous audition ("really go for it," "just lose your mind!" and "do whatever you want!!"). Tompkins kicks off some on-and-off again shit-talking by playfully going after Paul Scheer and Pete Holmes for their past un-ironic kale talk on the show. Like any good You Had To Be There, there’s a healthy amount of bouncing back and forth between honesty and hilarity. Schaefer explains why she has the worst friends. Glaser gets into her extreme childhood stage fright, including the classic revelation of needing to do her school presentations in the dark (glow-in-the-dark dioramas aplenty). There’s some great insight into Tompkins’ character work, including some fun riffing on inappropriate time and place for practicing. The group laments getting yelled at. Then, the episode basically climaxes with a crazy fun and inspired gotcha moment orchestrated by Tompkins. He confronts Schaefer about a past episode dig and all hell breaks loose – complete with an audio playback. The entire time, Glaser giddily goads him on. Very real and funny as hell. An episode worthy of the show title, indeed.


The Splitsider episode picks this week:other 

improv4humans “Eurythmic”
Left Handed Radio #11 “I Remember I Couldn’t Sleep”
How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner #36 “HWYW LIVE” - Fred Armisen, Billy Eichner, Paul F. Tompkins, Jackee, Ted Leo, Anthony Atamanuik, John Gemberling, Jessica Chaffin
You Had To Be There #42 - Paul F. Tompkins
Cinematic Method "Twilight, Happy Feet 2"

Honorable Mentions include Comedy Bang! Bang! #131 (Andy Daly, Jason Mantzoukas), WTF with Marc Maron #227 (Adam Scott), The Long Shot #406 (Andrew Secunda) and The Nerdist Writers Panel #15 (Bob Odenkirk, Jen Kirkman, Brian Stack).

For the complete recaps, click here.


More Paul F. Tompkins Podcast Goodness On The Way

Paul F. Tompkins announced via the ever-so-formal Twitpic method the podcasting of his regular Dead Authors show. Coming this Tuesday, the popular live Upright Citizens Brigade live show will release a podcast version.

We're presuming it's going to a be a monthly endeavor to match the output of the live show at the Los Angeles theatre. The show typically has Tompkins and various comedian friends converse as famous dead authors. It's a fun comedic format, throwing together various dead authors, stripping away their academically anointed elitism and forcing them into the Oprah-era book club pedestrian characters.

Tompkins upcoming second season of his popular Pod F. Tompkast is scheduled to start in the near future, as well.


Earwolf Weekly Update: August 22

Paul F. Tompkins & Gillian Jacobs *Photo by Liezl EstiponaEarwolf announced another lively group of shows via it's weekly newsletter. Paul F. Tompkins highlights with a double dose of appearances - Who Charted? and The Apple Sisters. Baron Vaughn and The Sklar Brothers join Tompkins on The Apple Sisters. Comedy Bang! Bang! features visits from Gillian Jacobs and Andy Daly, Jordan Morris talks Skyline with the How Did This Get Made? crew, Paul Gilmartin stopping by Sklarbro Country and Glitter In The Garbage plops it's live episode this week. A lot of guests. A lot of shows. So, Earwolf fans should start listening.

Check-out the complete newsletter for the full guest and Earwolf news for the week.


Stellar Pod F. Tompkast Fan Art From James Fosdike

The internet and the enterprising team of artists did it again. Austrailian artisit, James Fosdike offered up this stellar character poster for the Pod F. Tompkast. The creative and playful Paul F. Tompkins monthly show is a worthy recipient of the fan art treatment. Bonus points for the inclusion of the snazzy Jen Kirkman at the top. Thanks to Earwolf's Caroline Anderson for the heads up.

If this keeps up, I'm guessing comedy podcasts will be receiving the mandatory pop culture art exhibit treatment in the near future.

Check-out more Fosdike news and art via his Twitter.


Earwolf Weekly Update: August 8

David Cross *Photo by Ali SmithA day late, we know. Yet, it's we're talking the time-shift world of podcasts so I'm going with there's no such thing as "late." Earwolf announced another fun week of shows via their weekly newsletter yesterday. Highlights include the launch of their new series, Earwolf Presents (first special is "Anaylse Phish"), David Cross and Ruben Fleischer on Comedy Bang! Bang! and Paul F. Tompkins talking Smurfs with the How Did This Get Made? crew. Plus, Los Angeles locals can attend a live recording of Glitter In The Garbage Wednesday night.

Check-out the complete newsletter for the full scoop.


Paul F. Tompkins Talks Podcasting & Live Shows With Splitsider

Splitisider's Phil Davidson offered up a fun and informative interview with the podcast-fan-favorite Paul F. Tompkins. There's quality Pod F. Tompkast insight, as well as talk about Tompkin's current live and filmed projects. Check-it out the interview.


The Earwolf Challenge Recap - Week 3: Concept & Content

Greetings, Challenge-keteers! One down, nine to go. The theme of this second contestant-eliminating challenge: content. Initially, host Matt Besser is skeptical of a challenge so broad, comparing it to a “song” challenge on American Idol, but then he boils it -- and possibly most of The Earwolf Challenge -- down to its quintessence:

“You gotta be more than just your best guest.”

This aphorism will come to have more and more significance as the week progresses, culminating in some actual reality-show-style drama! Or as close as we’re likely to get with the Challenge. As the Sklars say, “Let’s get into it.”

Episode 3.1: Coaching Sessions

This episode is pretty uneventful, by and large. I’m getting a sense we can probably expect this every Monday going forward. There’s a lot of the contestants basically asking Besser, “What should we do with our 2 minutes?” and Besser more or less giving them the ol’ Ben Kenobi: “You must do what you feel is right, of course.” No surprises here.

The challenge itself -- a 2-minute chunk showcasing your podcast -- pretty clearly favors some formats over others. For example, Totally Laime will surely have no problem delivering by carving out two minutes from a past interview. And Left Handed Radio can offer up a two-minute sketch. But it’s a lot harder to encapsulate, say, the oft-meandering Complete Guide to Everything with a mere 2-minute sample or for a show as varied in content as The F Plus to find 2 minutes that gives the listener a true idea of what they do. However, that, as the saying goes, is life.

When presented with the question of what makes their podcast stand out from all the rest, most of the contestants sound like they’re at a loss. In a way, this just pretty much a continuation of the previous week’s challenge, which also tasked the contestants with summing up their shows briefly and succinctly. The pitches run the gamut from Totally Laime’s catchy “Asking the most important people the least-important questions” to The Little Dum Dum Club’s offer to provide surrogate idiots in the form of Tommy and Karl.

Television Zombies clearly loses some points with Besser (and me) when they insist, every man-jack of them, that Falling Skies is better than The Walking Dead. Likewise, when Besser asks Left Handed Radio for another example of a sketch-oriented podcast, they offer up Superego. They then suggest they’re funnier because “we’re longer so we have more jokes.” Left Handed Radio’s one of my picks to win this thing, but that rationale doesn’t really hold.

Episode 3.2: The Challenge

Paul F. TompkinsJesse ThornPreviously, I offered up the first two guest judges, Jason Sklar and Jimmy Pardo, set a high standard for future guest-judge casting. Who else could follow them but Jesse Thorn and Paul F. Tompkins? Jesse’s a godfather of podcasting. Specifically, he’s the godfather with the Pillsbury Dough-Boy laugh and commedia dell’arte training and Founder of Maximum Fun. Thorn’s brought us quality programming such as Jordan, Jesse Go! and Judge John Hodgman, and was among the first wave of podcasters starting way back in 2004. Tompkins may not have the same level of podcast experience or ubiquity, but he does appear on an awful lot of podcasts (including on two of the contestant shows). Over the past year, his Pod F. Tompkast has become required monthly listening for comedy nerds. Plus, it was voted Rolling Stone’s "Podcast of the Moment" that one time.

Thorn and Tompkins are full of great, practical advice for the contestants, breaking it down to the podcasting nuts and bolts. They drop science about mic placement, tape syncing, Garage Band’s default settings and more. It’s becoming increasingly clear: no matter who wins this reality show, it’ll serve as a master class in podcasting when it’s all over. Especially since, as Tompkins insightfully points out, in the absence of a way to reliably monetize podcasting, The Earwolf Challenge contestants can only be judged by art, as opposed to marketability. It’s So You Think You Can Dance, not American Idol…if that helps.

My favorite entries more or less align with the judges. So, that’s convenient. Totally Laime continues to defy my early classification of it as just another sitting-around-and-talking podcast. I mean, it may still be that, but Totally Laime’s submission is an engaging 2 minutes with Paul Rust. Underdogs, The Little Dum-Dum Club and The Bob and Dan Cast, charm the pants off the judges, Aussie-style and Seattle-style, respectively. Left Handed Radio’s 2 minutes of sketch is indeed funny, especially “Salad Horse,” but I wish the “Cash Taxi” bit had ended right after the car crash instead of going through the motions with the whole question-answering thing. It just keeps going without progressing or getting any funnier. Longer does not necessarily equal better. Your words have come back to haunt you, Left Handed Radio! I also laughed at the performance on The F Plus’ clip, but agree the recording quality is a pretty big problem.

In fact, the judges have a lot to say about the necessity of decent audio quality. But in terms of material they reserve their harshest comments for Ham Radio. Brett’s 2 minutes take a shot at hack comedians, and the judges do not like that at all. Besser contends making fun of hack comics is itself hack. At the end of the episode, it doesn’t look good for Ham Radio.

Episode 3.3: The Judgement

Sure enough, come Wednesday Ham Radio’s in the bottom three, along with The Complete Guide to Everything and Television Zombies. It’s good to hear Tompkins admit he’d be hard-pressed to find 2 minutes from his own show that would truly give a good idea of what you might hear in a typical episode. Again, The Challenge definitely favors some formats over others. And that’s pretty much how The Complete Guide to Everything bites the dust.

Before the elimination happens, there’s that aforementioned drama! During the critique, Besser labels Ham Radio’s clip a “bad song choice” and tells Brett “You have no right” to mock other comics.” Brett defends himself, in part, by saying he doesn’t have the luxury of “falling back” on a guest. This doesn’t sit well with the judges. So much so, that in the middle of the eliminations, the judges make time for a second round of criticism. This time it’s not so much about his submission, but his willingness and ability to work with others. Besser doesn’t like the amount of “push back” he was feeling from Brett, and both Thorn and Tompkins point out the only thing a famous guest does is get people listening. It doesn’t automatically make the show good. You gotta be better than your best guest.

Meanwhile, Tim and Tom from The Complete Guide To Everything wait patiently to be told to clean up their workstation and go home. I’ll be listening to your take on Bigfoot, guys.


Earwolf Weekly Update: July 25

Earwolf announced another slew of fun episodes this week via their weekly newsletter. Comedy Bang! Bang! leads the way with a fittinly timed partial Wet Hot American Summer reunion episode featuring David Wain, Ken Marino and Paul Rudd. Other announced highlights include The Apple Sisters welcomingThe Banana Brothers (Brian Huskey, BJ Gallagher and Colin Trahan) to their radio-land show, Jackie Clarke reliving the dread of The Backup Plan with Paul Scheer and company on How Did This Get Made? and Nick Kroll making another quality Earwolf appearance on Who Charted? The Earwolf Challenge also welcome a dynamic judging duo of Paul F. Tompkins and Jesse Thorn this week.

Check-out the full Earwolf newsletter here.