Entries in scott aukerman (15)

Monday
Jan092012

It's Official: IFC Bringing Comedy Bang! Bang! To Television

On the latest episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!, Scott Aukerman announced he will host a television version of his podcast. Like the audio version, the TV show will be an amalgamation of interview, sketch and improv. It will debut this summer on IFC. Naturally, Reggie Watts will provide the music. The series is being produced by Tim and Eric’s Abso Lutely Productions.

Very exciting news indeed for fans of CBB and comedy podcasts! Will the characters Bob Ducca, Dom DeMillo and the Cake Boss be featured on the new show? And what comedy podcast will make the leap from iPods to TV screens next? Let the speculation begin.

You can check-out the Hollywood Reporter report for more details.

Sunday
Sep182011

The Earwolf Challenge Recap - Week 10: The Final Challenge

Deep breath, Challengeers. The long and winding podcast road has led us to Week 10 at long last. We have arrivedPlease, indulge me for a bit as I briefly reflect on the past nine weeks in as self-absorbed a manner as possible.

First, I’ll venture to say that I have probably spent more time listening to The Earwolf Challenge since it began than anyone not employed by Earwolf. Typically, I listen to each episode at least twice, sometimes three times, in putting these recaps together. I’d estimate that I’ve spent six to eight hours a week neck-deep in this podcast.

The first time through’s just for enjoyment: I’m usually driving or out running errands with my son or something errand-ly. And not really in a position to write anything down. It gets me familiar enough to listen more closely on the next listen and get a deeper sense of what’s going on. The third and fourth time -- sometimes there’s a fourth time -- is when I’m actually sitting down to type this thing out, so there’s a lot of pausing and rewinding. Especially if someone’s on a roll and I’m doing a lot of quoting, like with Besser during Sketch Week.

Not having it around is going to leave a sizable hole in my week. It’s become so central to my schedule that I can hardly believe this is only its tenth week of existence. Sometimes I don’t get to Comedy Bang-Bang until, like, Friday. That’s commitment, people.

And when I think back on the podcasts we’ve left behind -- The Complete Guide to Everything, Television Zombies, Ham Radio, et al. -- it seems unthinkable that as recently as late July, I was listening to Beginnings get the boot while riding the trolley down to the San Diego Convention Center for Comic-Con. Two weeks later, on a flight to Indianapolis, I was furiously scribbling notes about the mercurial meaning of the phrase “recurring sketch” in the hopes of giving myself a fightin’ chance of somehow getting a recap out during GenCon. And then two weeks ago, with much less significant demands on my time, I didn’t get one out at all. Life, she is strange.

I’m still gutted that Left Handed Radio got the axe last week, but no more so than I would’ve been if it’d been Totally Laime or The Little Dum Dum Club instead. The Final 3 are a field of strong, proven competitors who can all be proud of their performance on the show. Kudos.

Anyway. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the competition, as well as the chance to put it under a microscope in these recaps. Yes, I know they’re not funny, but I’m leaving the comedy to the professionals.

Speaking of which, enough of my navel-gazing. Let’s get into it!

The Challenge

No coaching session this week! What’s left to say, really? Especially this week, when the challenge -- in the fine tradition of Top Chef and Project Runway and etc. -- is just “Give us a full episode of whatever you want to do.” (Called it!) Our guest judges, joining us Wednesday, are Earwolf founders Jeff Ullrich and Scott Aukerman. (Called that too! But who else could it be, really?)

In the meantime, we’re treated to a full episode from each of our two finalists.

Totally Laime. Elizabeth and Andy bring out the big guns in the form of Charlie Day of the FX series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where he’s a standout in an already outstanding ensemble cast. I only recently discovered Sunny, somehow, and immediately understood why I’d been hearing so much about it. So the timing’s pretty good for me. I guess Andy really is psychic.

True to Totally Laime’s mission statement, the three do indeed address some pretty unimportant questions. Or... sort of. It’s much more conversational than that, really. If anyone gets the ball rolling, it’s Charlie himself, who relates a brief anecdote about a woman -- apparently a neighbor of Elizabeth and Andy’s -- whom he’s been avoiding for years without any conscious effort. That leads into talk of face blindness and distinguishing fans from friends (something that must be especially problematic for Charlie, since he and his Sunny character share the same name), and then we’re off. It’s basically a 30-minute conversation with no particular agenda or direction.

It’s my first time listening to Totally Laime after weeks of hearing it critiqued bit by bit, and it’s a little like following the development of The Lord of the Rings online for years before seeing it in theaters. (Which I did, obviously.) Andy’s more active than I would’ve expected, more of a full partner or co-host than a mere sidekick. We hear a bit about his upbringing in Idaho, which sounds like it could’ve been a subplot cut from an early draft of Napoleon Dynamite, the moon tattoo on his ass, and his dual fear of death-as-the-end and death-as-an-eternal-afterlife.

“You guys aren’t going to win too many comedy podcasts talking about dying,” Charlie says, but you get the idea. Soon after, he delivers what may be the line of the episode when he says that “Life’s too short to be religious.” (It’s either that or when Elizabeth’s use of the word “trim” prompts him to ask, “...Is that pussy?”) .

Most of the other details of the episode, though, just sort of... float by. Charlie’s genial and everything, but I don’t feel like they uncover anything especially mind-blowing about him, and he doesn’t come off as the finishing-move guest I’d hoped he’d be. Indeed, Elizabeth and Andy talk a lot more about themselves (and each other) than anything else. Sometimes it almost feels like they’re guests on Charlie’s podcast, with him throwing in commentary on their conversation.

Overall, I have to admit that I don’t find it especially compelling. I drift a lot, and have to backtrack and re-listen several times to make sure I’ve gotten it all. It’s not funny enough to make me laugh, nor is it interesting enough to consistently hold my attention. I did perk up at the return of “Lame or Totally?” in the final few minutes of the episode, but by the it feels like too little, too late.

The Little Dum Dum Club. Tommy and Karl get the same conversational “coaching session,” but it’s really just touching base before listening to their submission. They seem to still be peeved about last week’s whole Galifianakis fake-out.

Back in Week 1, I’d admitted a bias in favor of The Little Dum Dum Club because I’d heard their episodes featuring Marc Maron and Paul F. Tompkins. So, it’s with some trepidation I say this: Dum Dum’s submission is by far the more entertaining of the two. Totally Laime does indeed have more heart, but Dum Dum has four funny comedians hanging out and telling stories for half an hour.

In other words, it’s a familiar set-up. It lacks structure, but its sheer momentum easily carries it the entire time. Right from the get-go, in fact, there’s a real sense of energy that’s lacking in Totally Laime’s leisurely chat with Charlie Day.

Earlier in the competition, one of the guest judges -- Jesse Thorn, I believe -- said that the problem with most “talk show” podcasts is that they operate on the expectation that a conversation alone is going to be interesting for the listener almost by default. What they don’t understand is that someone needs to drive that conversation forward and make it engaging instead of just hoping it’ll end up that way on its own.

Tommy and Karl definitely get that. The discussion never lags or slows. It just moves on to the next story. Within a short span of time, they and their two guests Luke McGregor and Nick Cody bounce from Tommy’s anecdote/riff about protesters outside a high-end chocolate shop, Luke’s disdain for their theme music and an email sent to the guys from Nick’s mother. None of this feels rushed. Everything gets its due.

Speaking of the guests, Luke and Nick, though likely unknown by most of the North American listening audience -- an inherent problem with Dum Dum’s location -- acquit themselves well. Luke comes off as a sort of nebbishy Australian. The closing story Karl buying him a lap dance and his subsequent awkwardness (especially the nipple-and-nose bit) was priceless. Nick, of course, was previously featured in Dum Dum’s submission for the Using the Guest challenge back in Week 5, and has some funny material about a cruise-ship gig.

By the end, it’s fairly open and shut: The Little Dum Dum Club is the clear winner in my eyes. However, if you’re Earwolf, would you rather produce a show whose hosts live locally in Los Angeles, or one that’s recorded on the other side of the world? And would you rather have a show that routinely features known quantities like Charlie Day, or one that interviews comedians largely unknown to most of your potential subscribers?

It’s a nice bit of suspense heading into the Judgment episode, which is...two hours long.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug082011

Earwolf Launches New Series for Specials

Earwolf launched a new series today. Well, sort of. Earwolf Presents actually aims to be a series of podcast specials from any number of Earwolf hosts, guests or comedian or celebrity friends. It's their mash-up of the ol' network special model. Except fans won't have to wait for "Sweeps" to enjoy one-of-a-kind comedy content. Not everyone has time for a regular show. Not every idea should be a regular show. Well the fun stuff falling through these format cracks will presumably find a home as an episode of Earwolf Presents. There's no set schedule for the series. So, whenever the network stars align...

I'm guessing the show may serve as a model for Earwolf's pending development of shows with Funny Or Die. It also shows how a branded network has flexibility in bringing one-off shows to listeners and providing a sense of legitimacy to the content. A performer releasing a single audio show out into the world could find the show quickly lost in the internet noise. Having a branded home should help the specials reach listeners and have an archival quality to the content. The real fun will be seeing the wide range of creative comedy born from a structure-less format.

The first offering of Earwolf Presents is a lively conversation show between two Earwolf staples - Scott Aukerman and his on-and-off again comedic sidekick, Harris Wittels. You can check-out "Analyze Phish" here.

You can watch Scott Aukerman's intro video and read about the details over at the Earwolf blog.

Thursday
Aug042011

Splitsider Top 5 Comedy Podcasts: August 4

     

Splitsider's comedy podcast authorities, Jesse Fox and Joe Berkowitz, released another fun-packed Top 5 list. Recaps included, too. Bonus. It's the beginning of the month, which means Superego earns another round of raves. The rest of the Top 5:

Comedy Bang! Bang! #116 - featuring Todd Glass, Jessica St. Clair
Superego #3:6
Uhh Yeah Dude #282
Who Charted? #35 - featuring Scott Aukerman
WTF with Marc Maron #196 "Live" - featuring Kevin Allison, Sam Lipsyte, Tom Scharpling, Wyatt Cenac

Honorable mentions include another stellar week of Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca, a lively Sklarbro Country #53 (featuring Paul Scheer, Kevin Seccia) and a guestless Jordan, Jesse Go! #186.

Check-out the complete lowdown on the episodes here.

Saturday
Jul232011

The AV Club: Podmass July 14-20

The A.V. Club released their weekly Podmass podcast recap, again highlighting comedy shows and episodes. This week's favored shows featured a bunch of strong personalities. Plus, everyone's favorite made-up trivia game, Doug Loves Movies, reached dramatic heights with its semi-regular tournament of champions episode. The comedy episodes receiving the Podmass recognition:

The Best Show On WFMU
Doug Loves Movies: Tournament of Champions Final - featuring Paul F. Tompkins, Scott Aukerman, Samm Levine 
How Was Your Week? #19: “She’s A Cold Soup” - featuring Rob Delaney, Michelle McNamara
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks #26: Toblerone
Never Not Funny #907 - featuring Maria Bamford
Sklarbro Country #51 - featuring Chris Cox
The Sound of Young America - featuring Errol Morris
Walking The Room #60: "Douche Fruit and The Shame Run"
WTF with Marc Maron #193 - featuring Richard Lewis

Check-out the full Podmass post here.

         

Thursday
Jul072011

Podcasts Take Center Stage In Bumbershoot Comedy Lineup

Doug Benson and Scott Aukerman are bringing comedy podcasts to the center of Bumbershoot, the popular Seattle music and arts festival. Bumbershoot released its 2011 comedy lineup this week. Live recordings of Doug Loves Movies and Comedy Bang! Bang! (co-hosted by Paul F. Tompkins) will be headlining shows at the festival this year. Quite a feat for the supposedly sideshow podcast wonders. Other performer highlights include Eugene Mirman, Anthony Jeselnik, Rory Scovel, Kurt Metzger, Hari Kondabalu and The Gregory Brothers.

The Seattle Times has a solid recap of the lineup. Stop Podcasting Yourself will also be making an appearance, adding to the comedy podcast fun for festival goers. Northwest comedy and comedy podcast fans will have a full weekend of quality shows this September.

Thursday
Jun302011

More Comedy Bang! Bang! Secrets

Alan Rickman as The Sheriff of NottinghamJames Adomian *Photo by Mandee Johnson - www.mandeejohnson.comI promise not to repost all of these great Scott Aukerman Earwolf blogs about past Comedy Bang! Bang! shows. It's been a slow few days of comedy podcast news and posting for us and Aukerman's second behind-the-scenes post really offers great insight into the stellar improv taking place on the show regularly. It's a special treat for comedy fans and podcast fans.

Among the diehard and vocal Comedy Bang! Bang! fans, Episode 98 was one of it's most controversial airings. The episode featured appearances by Adam Scott and James Adomian (as Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham). Check-out Aukerman's full post for some quality insight on the razor's edge that is Comedy Bang! Bang!

You can listen to the entire original episode #98 here.

Monday
Jun272011

Making Of: Scott Aukerman Reveals Comedy Bang! Bang! Process

Earwolf co-founder and Comedy Bang! Bang! head honcho, Scott Aukerman, took to the Earwolf blog over the weekend to provide a peek behind the curtain of his popular podcast. Aukerman recaps Comedy Bang! Bang! #109: The Andy Samberg Special. The behind the scenes look shares some insight on how the show is made, segment to segment, and how Aukerman interacts with his special guests. Adam Pally was the other guest for the Andy Samberg show. Plus, Aukerman gives the insider scoop as to whether the pizza was real. Comedy Bang! Bang! fans should be on the lookout for more quality behind the scenes insights from Aukerman.

Check-out the full Comedy Bang! Bang! post here.

Friday
May272011

The AV Club: Podmass May 19-25

Smarty-pants collective, The A.V. Club, released another strong Podmass recap. The crew recapped a strong selection of shows this week. A ton of variety and irreverence on the podcast airwaves, of late. Perhaps, this is the common tonal thread and I'm just now noticing it. Podmass highlights include:

A.V. Club's introduction to Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell's irregularly released Lavender Hour, featuring the always "on" Thomas Lennon.

Andy Richter and Paul F. Tompkins visiting with Scott Aukerman for a raucous episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Scott Aukerman abandoning his hosting duties to mess with Jimmy Pardo's head on the Season 8 finale of Never Not Funny.

Nerd worlds colliding when Patton Oswalt guests on The Nerdist, full of informative pop culture tangents and revelations on Oswalt's career.

A mostly heavy Gary Shandling and Marc Maron conversation on comedy on WTF With Marc Maron.

Check-out the full A.V. Club Podmass post here - lots of quality thoughts on the week's comedy podcasts plus some non-comedy shows for those of you with cold hearts.

     

Monday
May232011

The Nerdist Live and Possibly On TV

The Nerdist gang recently announced a slew of live shows including a most likely packed Comic-Con live recording in July. On top of their heavy load of live shows in Southern California, head of Nerdist Industries, Chris Hardwick signed a television deal with BBC America to produce a pilot version of the popular Nerdist podcast.

The BBC America deal has Hardwick hosting its new Saturday night comedy programming block, "The Ministry of Laughs." Hardwick will produce segments to air throughout the night in between the various shows, including The Inbetweeners, Come Fly With Me and the United Kingdom's popular talk show, The Graham Norton Show

Here are a few details about The Nerdist podcast-turned-television show pilot (according to the official announcement):

The show will cover all things relative to geek culture from LA to London and feature celebrity guests with their own nerd obsessions. Hardwick will executive produce alongside K.P. Anderson and Jay James for Comcast Entertainment Studios.

Photo by Jordan NuttallThere's no direct mention of involvement, but we're hoping the current podcast co-hosts, comedians Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, find a way to stay along for the ride into television land. There's no word yet on when the pilot might take shape.

Having The Nerdist possibly make the television leap is another positive development for fans of comedy podcasts, in general. The legitimacy of the comedy podcast programming seems to be gaining steam. Scott Aukerman of Earwolf and Comedy Bang! Bang! has his own deal to develop his weekly podcast into a television show for IFC. These are examples of a few decision makers seeing creative value and a viable audience in the comedy podcast realm. This move from podcast medium to television might turn comedy podcasts into a natural incubator for new versions of the shows. It's not that one format is better than the other on creative terms. It's just that television has history and the numbers on its legitimacy side of the fence. Television has an established larger audience and that nifty little aspect of money making for the talent and producers involved. Pushing money and exposure to those involved is certainly a positive for the content producers and fans alike.

While you wait to hear about the television version of The Nerdist, check them out live. Here are the current live dates:

Thursday, May 26th: Robert Kirkman - The Nerdist Theater at Meltdown Comics, Hollywood, CA

Friday, June 10th: PS Nation - The Nerdist Theater at Meltdown Comics, Hollywood, CA

Saturday, July 23rd: The Nerdist Podcast at Comic-Con (Guests TBA) - 4th and B, San Diego, CA