A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features TV Club Wiki Wormhole
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Adam McKay drops Anchorman 2 hints with the Sklars, and a Comedy Bang! Bang! pool party extravaganza

To listen to these and other podcasts, visit Podmass Central, our podcast hub.

Podmass comments and suggestions for future coverage can be directed to podmass@avclub.com

Note: Certain podcasts released on Friday may be added on Monday morning.


“I didn’t hear that—I was too busy screaming into the microphone!” —Marissa Wompler (Jessica St. Clair), Comedy Bang! Bang!

“Who’s the guy with the long blond hair in Lord Of The Rings?”
“Fabio.” —Marissa Wompler (Jessica St. Clair) and Seth Wompler (Brian Huskey), Comedy Bang! Bang!

“What are we tawkin’ about, Skip? I mean come on, what are we tawkin’ ’bout, Skip? LeBron. Could. Serve. On. A jury. I mean, this is a preponderance of the propensity of the evidence and that’s what I’m talking about. Come on, Skip!” —The Sklar Brothers, imagining Stephen A. Smith’s reaction on First Take comparing LeBron James and Michael Jordan’s all-time jury duty accomplishments, Sklarbro Country


Scriptnotes is a podcast for screenwriters, professional and otherwise. And the word “otherwise” should be taken broadly: struggling screenwriters, prospective screenwriters, and people who feel, deep down, that they could write a screenplay one day. The hosts, John August and Craig Mazin, are working movie scribes with many successful films, including Big Fish and Identity Thief, respectively. But they talk so candidly and conversationally, on topics often only tangentially related to screenwriting, that they come off as two affable, sometimes curmudgeonly, friends who happen to know a whole whole lot about the film industry. 

Rarely does the talk turn overly wonkish, such as this past week’s episode when they broke down the WGA’s mostly dismal report of working writers. But that doesn’t last very long, and the episodes are conveniently divided into chapters, so non-insiders can easily skip ahead to the part where they explain the current MPAA slap-fight over the title of Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which is the kind of fascinating inside baseball stuff that makes Scriptnotes valuable to non-writer movie buffs. In their Three Page Challenge, a regular feature on many episodes, August and Mazin critique, tear down, and (usually) build back up the opening pages of works-in-progress supplied by very brave volunteers, providing both useful writing advice and a window into the mechanisms of a well-engineered script. On one occasion, Mazin was sufficiently impressed with a set of sample pages that he hooked its author up with a contact at Pixar. Those results are probably too much for new listeners to hope for, but it’s still valuable to get some useful wisdom from guys who actually know the game. [DD] 


The Pokin’ Around Podcast
The Pokin’ Around Podcast brings together comedians/impressionists/voice actors Josh Robert Thompson—best known for voicing the robot skeleton named Geoff Peterson on Craig Ferguson’s show—and John Mariano for a cynical, vaudevillian exploration of comedy. The episodes vary in length and style, but are linked by virtue of complete improvisation. Some take the form of mock interviews: Thompson speaking with a passive-aggressive Santa (Mariano), or Mariano walking with a Cheetos-loving George Lucas (Thompson). Other times the duo offer a contemplative discussion of comedy—effortlessly moving in and out of bits and impressions, including Morgan Freeman, Kenny Loggins, and Liam Neeson. Of particular note is Thompson’s interview with Craig Ferguson, which gives the colleagues a platform to discuss comedy, criticism, and The Late Late Show. The podcast doesn’t drop episodes consistently, but with only 17 shows, it’s easy to breeze through the run, and the hosts’ comfortable chemistry and talent as voice actors keep things engaging even when the comedy doesn’t fully land. [CS]


The Best Show On WFMU
A recent Fogelnest Files episode paired Philadelphia-area natives Jon Wurster and Jake Fogelnest, who gushed about his love for Wurster’s use of protracted lists in his calls to The Best Show. With Fogelnest in the studio for this strong installment, Wurster plays to the crowd with a delightful list of odd or disgraced celebrities as part of his debut call as chef Jake Divonia. The exchange gives Wurster an opportunity to play the kind of despicable, cocaine-snorting sociopath he’s perfected in more than a decade on the show. Another highlight is Tom Scharpling’s growing soundscape, which somehow gets even better with the addition of Smash Mouth, Andy Kindler as Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, and a prank call to a conservative talk-radio show. The strange mix of Scharpling’s favorite topics or targets has become the most fun ongoing bit on a show that’s been on a real winning streak. [TC]

Comedy Bang! Bang! #238: Marissa Wompler’s Birthday Pool Party LIVE: Jessica St. Clair, Lennon Parham, Jason Mantzoukas, Brian Huskey, Melissa Rauch
Earlier this year, Scott Aukerman promised Marissa Wompler (Jessica St. Clair) to repeat last year’s excellent Womptacular at the pool party for her 17th birthday, and episode 238 delivers while upping the ante. Along with Lennon Parham as Miss Listler and Brian Huskey as Seth Wompler, Jason Mantzoukas returns as Eric “Gutterballs” Gutterman and Kareem, Listler’s love interest. Also joining the fray and making her Earwolf debut is The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch as Wompler’s busty nemesis, Danielle Bartiromo, and one of the Asians in her crew. That is to say the episode is packed with personalities and hilarious tangents, along with a couple of big twists in the Wompler mythology. Essential listening. [KR]

Doug Loves Movies: The Sklar Bros and David Huntsberger guest
Doug Loves Movies ventures out to Tempe for another breezy, unrushed 90-minute episode. Since the Sklar Brothers are on the panel, naturally there’s talk about sports movies, as the brothers and guest David Huntsberger have a lot of fun with James Van Der Beek’s atrocious “I don’t want your life!” line reading from Varsity Blues. There’s also some lively debate on the best and worst films from Matt Damon’s body of work, including some divisive assessments of his role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! It’s the Sklar’s comfortable back-and-forth that makes this episode truly enjoyable. Hopefully, they become a regular addition to future panels. [MS]

Doug Loves Movies: Geoff Tate, Willy Wonka, and Graham Elwood guest
Admittedly, it’s a little disappointing that the Geoff Tate on the panel isn’t the singer from Queensryche. However, anyone listening to this show can attest that Geoff Tate the comedian is most likely infinitely funnier than Geoff Tate the singer. Frequent out-of-town panelist Graham Elwood engages in a hilarious rant about Johnny Depp’s questionable portrayal of a Native American in The Lone Ranger. The audience seems to love Elwood’s moments of contained rage, especially when he’s yelling at Tate for his asinine idea of putting a 3-D screen over the movie screen so that he doesn’t have to wear glasses. So far, Doug Benson’s track record for good DLM road shows is damn near unimpeachable, and this is no exception. [MS]

The Flop House #132: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
There were really very few places for The Flop House hosts to go but down after the insanity of last week’s Marmaduke episode, and down they go indeed—but only slightly. Whereas last week they seemed to overflow with humor in reaction to the farting-dog tragedy of Marmaduke as a self-defense mechanism to preserve their psyches, this week they’re actually able to find a few admirable aspects of this year’s gritty reboot retelling of the Brothers Grimm tale, and everything turns down a notch or two as a result. It’s the Original Peaches being the Original Peaches, though, so there’s still silly humor aplenty, and they could talk about The Great Bikini Off-Road Adventure for days on end before it ever lost its luster. [CG]

The Fogelnest Files #50: @dogboner: Michael Hale
One of Jake Fogelnest’s assets as a curator and a host is his consistent willingness to engage with pretty much any aspect of the Internet’s weird side. This week’s episode exemplifies that perhaps more than any other as Fogelnest welcomes Michael Hale (Twitter alias @dogboner) as interview subject and guest curator. Hale gives off somewhat of a Jonathan Katz-ian vibe—made more fascinating by the fact that he’s somewhat of an Internet-surfing veteran: He’s been in chat rooms and searching for videos for so long that when he started, he was using dial-up and his Sega Dreamcast browser. In addition to offering an oral history of the beginnings of the weird Internet phenomenon, Hale also selects the most grotesque array of clips ever featured on the show. Those who are fans of the Tim & Eric sensibility will love it; those who aren’t will just think it’s gross. [AB]

Hang Up And Listen: The Smart In Moderation Edition
The biggest mistake in the run-up to Fox Sports 1’s debut on August 17 was the network attacking ESPN for being too highbrow, too intelligent, and too far from the zippy, entertainment-first mindset of the average sports fan. That incorrectly identifies the entire tone of ESPN with a dismissive outlook of the network that celebrated Tim Tebow’s birthday as a bunch of elitist stat nerds. Thankfully, the best HUAL segment this week delves into the ways that ESPN’s expansion—Grantland, Nate Silver’s hiring—have marked new, intelligent territory for a network that has also removed smart conversation from Numbers Never Lie, turning it into yet another yelling debate show. [KM]

Improv4Humans Bonus: Ask The UCB 2: Brennan Mulligan, Ryan Haney, Carrie McCrossen
The first of two Improv4Humans episodes this week finds Matt Besser in wizened improviser form. The episode was taped live from a workshop during the recent Del Close Marathon in New York, and is essentially about how to make funny improv into good improv. Besser walks three journeymen (and very funny) improvisers through Improv4Humans’ format for the length of a normal episode. Whenever the three hit a snag in a scene, Besser interjects and dissects what went wrong and where the scene should have gone. Best of all, when a scene goes sour Besser shuts it down, and gives an extended lecture that’s as funny as it is interesting. Listeners wary of tinny-sounding voices might be wary of this episode, but otherwise all unlearned fans of comedy would enjoy this one. [MK]

Improv4Humans #94: Hands In The Air: Paul Rust, John Gemberling, Lauren Lapkus, Brandon Johnson
“Hands In The Air” is a glorious, gross, and extremely strange culmination many weeks in the making. In recent episodes, John Gemberling has been on a deadpan warpath advocating for certain kinds of bestiality—when the animals are fine with it. The Earwolf forums have been raging in both directions, so Matt Besser finally puts an end to the discussion this week with a “Case Closed” debate segment. Leading up to the debate is a half hour of strong scenes, made especially off-kilter by Paul Rust’s atypical choices. While Gemberling and a college student debate the finer points of bestiality for much of the last hour, the real star might well be Lauren Lapkus, who provides the lone voice of knee-jerk disgust in cavalier talks discussing the ethics of human-on-elephant sex. For those with the stomach for it, this is a standout Improv4Humans episode. [MK]

The J.V. Club #74: Jackie Kashian
Stand-up comedian and The Dork Forest host Jackie Kashian is about to go to her first high school reunion in 30 years, making her conversation with Janet Varney a sort of pep talk as she dusts off memories of her adolescent years. A wallflower at school who preferred books to people, Kashian’s academic experience isn’t that dramatic, but she more than makes up for it with stories about her turbulent home life. The youngest of six children in the care of a single mother, Kashian didn’t know her father until she was 7, when her mother died in a motorcycle accident. She paints an incredibly detailed portrait of her childhood as she tells Varney about her drug dealing older brothers and class president older sister, using her stand-up skills to keep the tone light and hilarious for the entire episode. The highlight is when she starts talking about the Facebook group for her upcoming reunion, launching into a bit that belongs in a regular comedy act. [OS]

Judge John Hodgman:Reckless Endungeonment
It’s all fun and games until someone’s imaginary character loses an imaginary eye. This week’s mediated dispute is a hoot, regardless of whether you’re pro- or anti- RPG—but skip it if you don’t know that RPG stands for role-playing game. After 13 years of adventure, Dan and Ryan’s game has settled into dull doldrums. Dan is ready to cut loose and live a little—no, a lot. He adopted a rash new playing style that’s causing friction with Ryan, who claims these daredevil ways are making the game less fun for the other players. The plaintiff wants the game to remain in its current character-based, risk-averse direction. Early on, Hodgman summarizes the charges: “So Dan is playing this nerd game like a jock?” Ryan adds, “Like a jock with ADHD.” One of the parties is definitely averse to character development—take a listen and see if you can guess which one. [DXF]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #127: Offspring Of Holocaust Survivors
While the overall premise of The Mental Illness Happy Hour has remained relatively unchanged, the show’s diverse list of guests makes each episode different. The same podcast that started with one of Paul Gilmartin’s Dinner And A Movie co-hosts can also have a fascinating conversation about inherited trauma with the sons of Holocaust survivors. Michael Rozbruch and Amir Tiles tell Gilmartain and psychotherapist Joel Schwartz about their lifelong battles stemming from their parents’ pasts in Nazi concentration camps. Each guest could have an entire episode to himself, but the men sound at ease opening up with others who have similar experiences. It’s a significant, difficult installment for a show whose 100-plus guests are connected by their shared humanity. [TC]

Monday Morning Podcast
Bill Burr is a few weeks into his extended stay in New Orleans, and now, finally, he produces something of note from his hotel room in the Big Easy. And yet, even just shortly after listening to this week’s episode, it can be difficult to remember precisely what he spent 80 minutes talking about. Even more than usual, Burr simply rip-roars through topics, riffing on each one briefly and then moving on to the next. And most of the time, those riffs are on point. There really aren’t any instant classic bits to be found, let alone anything of real substance, but instead Burr provides the occasionally necessary reaffirmation of his ability to simply be funny no matter the topic at hand, and it serves as a reminder of just how funny he can be when he’s in fine form. [CG]


The Moth Kemp Powers: The Past Wasn’t Done With Me
Journalist and playwright Kemp Powers is barely able stay composed through this story about a senseless tragedy from his youth. In painful detail, Powers recounts the lead-up to and aftermath of accidentally killing his 14-year-old best friend with his parents’ gun. Miraculously, as he puts it, no charges were filed, which turns out to be a mixed blessing that left him with an opportunity to live a full life under the emotional weight of never feeling absolved. It’s all the more harrowing by how, years later, the confession feels new and still grievously intimate. [DJ]  

My Brother, My Brother And Me 163: The Smoochatorium
It’s unclear whether it was intended or coincidence, but this week’s questions feel unusually thematic compared to the brothers’ typical lineup. Specifically, there’s a heavy focus on gender relations and the etiquette of casual intimacy (in addition to an endearingly cautious attempt to advise a furry poised to purchase a surprisingly expensive suit). As a result, the show also feels more cohesive and consistent than usual. The McElroys even deliver the first solidly excellent installment of “Farm Wisdom,” a segment that has yet to match up with the brothers’ enthusiasm. Throw in an inexplicable opening reference to Robert Loggia and an in-depth discussion about the progression of Family Feud hosts and you have the best episode amidst a series of hit-or-miss weeks. [AB]

Nerdist #394: Gerard Way
Former My Chemical Romance frontman and comic-book author Gerard Way seems to fit right in with the Nerdist crew. In this case, there are just two hosts as Jonah Ray joins Chris Hardwick in conversation with Way. The downsized host crew is actually a good fit, because Way clearly likes to talk, whether it’s about getting dressed down by Samuel L. Jackson at the Eisner Awards, indulging decadent aesthetic whims for his band’s live show, or responding to monotonous questions with Internet memes. His laid back presence and self-aware candor is a pleasant surprise for even the biggest My Chemical Romance detractors. [MS]

Nerdist #396: Eddie Pepitone
Coming the same week as Eddie Pepitone’s announcement that he’s leaving The Long Shot Podcast, he turns up on Nerdist with no agenda. Pepitone’s recent endeavors are covered—notably The Bitter Buddha, a documentary about his life—but he’s not there to publicize anything in particular, so the episode focuses on his rapport with Chris Hardwick and Matt Mira. Although Nerdist fluctuates wildly when it has a loose, shifting focus, it proves successful as Pepitone works out bits with the hosts that would feel at home in his act. It succeeds because it puts comedy first, letting everything else fall by the wayside. [DA]

Radiolab: Rodney Versus Death
It’s been a while since Radiolab took on a whimsical subject that makes for perfect road trip fodder. This week’s rabies-centric episode continues this anti-whimsy streak, and with good reason, because rabies is terrifying. The first 10 minutes of “Rodney Versus Death” are steeped in hold-your-breath horror as the Radiolab crew tells the story of a young volleyball player from Wisconsin who slowly succumbs to rabies. The true terror surfaces once they start talking about rabies, which has been around as early as man was able to write about it, and has never had a survivor. Revisiting the state of mind of the girl’s parents is nearly unbearable, but the story takes a turn when her doctor miraculously saves her in a ramshackle way, and the episode spirals out from there. [MK]

Sklarbro Country Sklarbro County #64: Dave Holmes, Dan Van Kirk
Every now and again, it’s nice when the Sklars bring on a guest who shares their love of sports teams from St. Louis, and that’s exactly what Dave Holmes provides. They’re all total homers for St. Louis sports, and fans of rival teams will find their jabs unnecessarily vicious at times, but when they can get past the petty bullshit, they have more entertaining fan conversations than almost any other podcast. Dan Van Kirk’s stories add more insanity, from a creepy man wandering Walmart trying to trick women into letting him touch their feet, to a Chinese man who attempts to smuggle his turtle onto an airplane in a fast food container. [KM]

Sklarbro Country #160: An Overweight Four: Adam McKay, Chris Cox
Big-name guests who show up on podcasts without a new project to plug always have funnier appearances than their promo tour counterparts. Former SNL writer and Anchorman director Adam McKay has a big-budget movie coming out this winter, but not feeling required to spout out PR minutia frees the podcast to relax into catching up on shared comedy experience. McKay’s stories of Will Ferrell and David Koechner’s auditions and watching the beginning of Tina Fey’s career at 30 Rock. McKay even drops a few tidbits about the upcoming Anchorman sequel, including a Paul Rudd joke that cracks him up, and being on the fence about a Barbra Streisand music cue. [KM]

Sound Opinions #402: Lindsey Buckingham
With Jim DeRogatis out of the studio when legendary guitarist/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham stops by for a visit, Greg Kot takes the one-on-one interview opportunity to cover all of Buckingham’s career. Stretching from Buckingham/Nicks to set list selection on his current tour, Buckingham is open about all the production and personal difficulties behind the scenes. It’s not a sordid, detailed account of all the rampant drug use or horror stories, but for fans of those iconic Fleetwood Mac records who haven’t devoured every bit of Buckingham’s story, it’s an informative listen. [KM]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: The Mysterious Hope Diamond Pt. 1
The Hope Diamond is infamous, but its twisted history has many nooks and crannies worthy of unearthing by hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey. About the size of a walnut and bright blue in color, it is 45.52 carats. (It was once significantly larger, but has been re-cut several times.) That’s an unusual series of qualities for a diamond to have, and has led to royalty obsessing over it and a reputation for being cursed. Its modern history begins in the 1630s, and this first part chronicles the story through the 19th century. The jewel survived the French Revolution, passed through the collections of sultans, and was haggled over by wealthy auction winners. But its association with Marie Antoinette and her beheading kept the curse rumors alive, and it makes the diamond’s travel through time especially colorful. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How Cockroaches Work
If listeners flinch at the idea of hearing cockroach anatomy described for 45 minutes, fear not, because hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant are just as uneasy. Though Clark reserves enough pity to stop short of killing the insects on sight, neither host has an easy time describing how a cockroach breathes through trachea in its abdomen and hides a parrot-like beak behind trembling cockroach lips. Clark and Bryant also make sure to provide more functional facts from the mechanics of a roach sprint, to how cockroach droppings are far more diseased than the actual bug, to how to kill a roach (it turns out a nuclear winter is plenty deadly). The end of the episode also includes a particularly bizarre but amusing viewer email about the human brain’s response to two simultaneous visceral reactions. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: Why Was Davy Crockett King Of The Wild Frontier?
Though one might expect a biographical episode like this to appear on Stuff You Missed In History Class, hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant do a fabulous service to the legend of American frontiersman Davy Crockett. Made into personified Manifest Destiny by a five-episode Disney series in the 1950s, Crockett spent most of his time in 19th-century Tennessee. Those hoping to hear tales of bear rasslin’ will be disappointed to hear that Crockett was more of a flamboyant fighter who bounced between police forces and military duty, and as a militia volunteer he was in close proximity to Native Americans massacres. His famous death and/or capture at the defense of the Alamo has its many conflicting points of view explained, so those curious about getting a full historical account of Crockett will hear a wealth of stories. [DT]

This American Life #502: This Call May Be Recorded…To Save Your Life
There are episodesof This American Life that incite deep anger in American issues, whether on economics or social reforms—but those can’t compare to the heart-pounding tragedies of episodes like this. “This Call…” recounts the story of Meron Estefanos, an Eritrean journalist who becomes the de facto spokesperson for hundreds of hostages on the Sinai Peninsula. Harrowing phone calls depict her everyday conversations with hostages, negotiating ransoms with family members and interacting with the testy Eritrean immigrant community across the world. It’s harrowing and disturbing material, but an absolutely riveting story. [KM]

Who Charted? #141: Jersey Bonding
At the beginning of this edition of Who Charted?, Howard Kremer and guest Chris Gethard weren’t much more than passing acquaintances. But over the course of the episode, Gethard and Kremer seem to fall in love with each other. Hopefully, this delightfully quirky pairing leads to future collaborations, perhaps an Austin Stories-type series about all the serial killers and teen idols from Gethard’s hometown of West Orange, New Jersey. Gethard also shares a great story about his encounter with Diddy at a comedy show, effectively painting the rapper/producer as a handsome lunatic who has done away with the need for sleep. [MS]

WTF #414: Alex Guarnaschelli
With all of the chatter about Chopped Marc Maron has scattered throughout various episodes of WTF over the past several years, it’s no surprise that he went out of his way to get another celebrity chef from that show onto the podcast, after Scott Conant earlier this year. Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli makes for a fine guest. She’s smart, passionate, funny, and has a bit of an edge, which makes her appeal to Maron fairly obvious. It’s easy to get distracted when the two go deep into food talk for several minutes at a time, but otherwise the episode is akin to a throwback to some of Maron’s best earlier episodes, featuring a slightly out of left field guest who just might surprise you when she gets behind the microphone. [CG]

WTF #415: Simon Pegg
On a global press tour for The World’s End, Simon Pegg’s stop into Marc Maron’s garage had the potential for being a meeting of two dissimilar minds. But Maron did his research this time around, and ends up picking away at Pegg’s early history and his theories on why nostalgic entertainment like comic book movies and Star Wars prequels placate a potentially agitated moviegoing public. As a stand-up, Maron delves into Pegg’s early post-university career cutting his teeth at comedy clubs, a part of his history that doesn’t involve Nick Frost or Edgar Wright as much as so many other threads in his career. Those lines of questioning—that separate Pegg from his collaborators and offer the chance for him to expound on his personal career trajectory—make the interview unique to WTF, unlike the many other outlets that will cover the final Cornetto trilogy film. [KM]

You Made It Weird: Luka Jones
Pete Holmes dives right into the heavy with this week’s guest, Luka Jones, as the two begin by discussing the tragic death of Jones’ father. And while the subject matter gets lighter (especially in the final half hour or so when the conversation turns to their experience filming Spike Jonze’s Her), it remains cerebral for the majority of the episode. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Jones, who holds a master’s degree in philosophy, responds to Holmes’ usual amateur philosophizing with the studied knowledge of an academic. He sounds like a guy who has not only thought a lot about the issues that consistently interest Holmes (death, religion, and, more recently, polygamy), but who has also become shockingly comfortable in his conclusions about them. That’s not to say that the two don’t riff and discuss the usual bullshit—they do—but it’s to Jones’ credit that he’s able to do so while maintaining an inviting sense of levity and accessibility. [AB]


FreakonomicsThe Middle Of Everywhere
Thomas Dyja, author of The Third Coast, catalogs 10 ways in which Chicago has influenced American culture. While the exportation of electric blues and modernist architecture could be fascinating given due attention, this short hop between cultural touchstones comes off feeling a bit like a listicle from an in-flight magazine. [DD]

How Was Your Week #128: Sklar Brothers: “America’s Morning”
Those who prefer Julie Klausner’s interviews to her monologues can take the week off, as Randy and Jason Sklar receive comparatively little airtime against the host’s chatter on food issues, the film Lovelace, a sexual encounter with an avant-garde puppeteer, and the benefits of dogs as pets. [NJ]

Judge John Hodgman: So Help You Pod, Or Whatever
Expect an exceptional amount of filler and no bonus rulings when a sun-dazed Honorable John Hodgman returns from summer vacation to rule on whether husband Aaron should be able to move his oversized refurbished egg pod chair into a tiny rental house. [DXF]

Nerdist #395: Lauren Graham
As is sometimes the case with Nerdist, Chris Hardwick puts the focus on his relationship with the episode’s guest. Lauren Graham’s appearance takes on this quality, and as a result, it’s like eavesdropping on two friends catching up as opposed to a comedy-focused podcast. [DA]

Never Not Funny #1305: Going Down The River With Tommy Johnagin
Comedian Tommy Johnagin is a good presence and plays well with the NNF crew, but nothing really sticks out. Skip it this week. [KR]

Professor Blastoff #117: Live From Philadelphia (Family Therapy w/ Emily Moynard)
The impromptu topic, led by a guest expert pulled from the audience, would make for a solid entry in The Moth, but wears heavily on the mood, killing the freewheeling fun that’s made past live shows work so well. [SM]

The Smartest Man In The World: Gums
Live from Dublin’s Vodaphone Comedy Festival, Proops spends half this hour-long episode in an admittedly questionable brogue, running down a cultural travelogue of Irish contributions to American baseball and horror fiction, which pale next to the true terror of bad buskers. [DXF]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: The Flannan Isles Disappearance
Listeners should enjoy this episode as a companion to part one, but it contains more reflection from the hosts than historical surprises. [DT]

The Todd Glass Show #114: Bobby Miyamoto
Todd Glass is uncharacteristically mellow in his hosting duties, resulting in a fun, but ultimately forgettable episode. [MS]

Uhh Yeah Dude: #384
Robin Williams returns to TV and Jonathan Larroquette returns from Iceland. That’s great news for Uhh Yeah Dude, though in all the excitement, this particular outing runs too long for its own good. [CW]

Walking The Room #163: Bummers And Vague Stories
This week has a few highlights, like the bit on a restaurant menu that gives half the episode title, but the story segments feel more half-hearted than vague. [SM]