Margaret Cho enters the podcasting arena and Flop House contracts Oogieloves fever 

Margaret Cho enters the podcasting arena and Flop House contracts Oogieloves fever 

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QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“Fathers, knock up your daughters… Because watch out: You’re going to have to repopulate the earth after this one.”—Elliott Kalan exhibiting symptoms of prolonged exposure to The Oogieloves, The Flop House

“I would watch network TV after I put an Easy-Bake Oven up my butt and fucking give birth to a pie.” —Greg Proops

“I call it Diabetes 2, like it’s the sequel.”
“This time, all bets are off!” —Pete Holmes and Glennis McCarthy riffing on health, You Made It Weird

“I don’t want to compare Judaism to pornography, but I know it when I see it.” —John Hodgman, Judge John Hodgman

“So do you have a wife or anything?”
“I have a wife and anything. That’s the arrangement we have. I have a wife, and she’s cool. And also I have anything I want.”
—Nick Thune and Philip Seymour Hoffman (James Adomian), Comedy Bang! Bang!

“There’s a giant chasm between, ‘Hey, we like to shout ‘Steve’ at the bald dude who drags the trash away so they can’t punch each other’ to, ‘Why doesn’t that guy have his own show?’” —Tom Scharpling on the mystery of The Steve Wilkos Show’s existence, The Best Show on WFMU

“The differences between New York and Hollywood have been highly exaggerated. It doesn’t matter what coast you’re on. In show business, superficial is always flavor of the month.” —Stephen Tobolowsky, The Tobolowsky Files

“This really is our finest work, that little eight-second chunk. If you want to know what this podcast is about, that eight seconds will tell you everything.”
“Yes, everyone takes a turn just saying things that come into their brains. The end.” —Scott Aukerman and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Paul F. Tompkins) after another homonym-laden riff, Comedy Bang! Bang!

NEW (TO US)

Monsters Of Talk 
It’s surprising that it’s taken Margaret Cho this long to start a podcast, considering she’s always shown an avid interest in Internet-based comedy, especially in her support of people like Liam Kyle Sullivan. Cho recently started the Monsters Of Talk podcast along with Australian comic Jim Short, who has an affable, laid-back manner and talks more than Cho, but isn’t overbearing. In fact, the podcast often seems more like two friends having coffee than a comedic platform for Cho and Short. There’s no sense of competition between the two, as on many podcasts where co-hosts continually try to one-up each other. Cho has favorite topics familiar from her stand-up (gay rights, her Asian-American identity) that appear now and again, but Monsters Of Talk isn’t overtly political. When Cho and Short talk about the recent marriage of Jim Nabors to his longtime partner, they use it to discuss Gomer Pile as a gay icon, rather than to make a point about gay rights or marriage equality. The pair has an uncanny ability to talk about tense subjects with ease. For instance, Cho was recently mentioned in the manifesto Christopher Dorner wrote before starting his killing spree. She and Short have a good time with the fact that Dorner praised her as a beautiful woman, but did not include her in a list of “funny people.” The conversation is successful because neither Cho nor Short has a point to make about Dorner, aside from how strange it is that he mentioned Cho. That seems to be the modus operandi of Monsters Of Talk: Just have a conversation, not an objective. [NC]


OUTLIERS

Food Is The New Rock
Each week on Food Is The New Rock, KCRW DJ Chuck P and Midtown Lunch’s Zach Brooks sit down with either a musician to talk about food or a chef to talk about music. The idea is that food and music complement one another, that they’re both born of the same creative impulses. It’s a nice concept, but one that doesn’t always bear fruit. On the whole, episodes with chefs do a better job of showing how food can be inspired by music. For example, in Episode #8, baker and stoner-rock aficionado Duff Goldman talks about how he’s influenced by the adventurous songwriting and eclectic style of Primus bassist Les Claypool, which puts Goldman’s baking ambitions in an interesting context. When a band stops by, interviews tend to settle on favorite foods and places to eat while on tour; they’re less substantive and, so far as stories from the road go, pretty tame. That said, Episode #7 with Henry Rollins is fantastic, and features Rollins sounding off on topics as varied as the American diet, food scarcity, and the time he ate rat in India. Channeling Rollins’ signature intensity and ethical sense, the episode is compelling and demonstrates the podcast’s appeal for both foodies and music fans. [DF]


THE BEST

The Best Show On WFMU
One of the elements that separate The Best Show from most podcasts is the live radio show’s instant feedback from listeners. Tom Scharpling abandons that dynamic this week as he experiments with the first-ever prerecorded installment, and the results are the largely positive. The episode gets off to a slow start as the host settles into the new setup before taking off in its second half with a call from Jake Fogelnest. Scharpling and the former Squirt TV host work well together during an entertaining reflection on the good fortune of Jerry Springer muscle-turned-host Steve Wilkos, a longtime Scharpling target. A misunderstanding about the episode’s topic produces a wonderful listener call about actually living the common nightmare of being in public in underwear. The show clearly works best as a live free-for-all, but this installment is an enjoyable exercise that fans will likely prefer to the occasional Best Show-less week that comes with having a host who works for free. [TC]

The Bugle #225: Waffles Are Forever
The Bugle continues its hot streak this week with a certifiable tour-de-force of jokes about diamonds, waffles, and trousers. John Oliver kicks off the episode by launching into an account of his mismatched run-in with R&B legend Keith Sweat, and before long, co-host Andy Zaltzman announces that it’s “crime time.” The two trade off absurd-yet-true stories of criminal conducts, including a notable Belgian diamond heist, and before long, Oliver has Zaltzman snorting with laughter by reporting the equivalent damages in terms of Belgian waffles. Crime continues its Bugle reign as the two guffaw their way through British imperialism, touching on India’s calls to return the Koh-i-Noor, a large diamond that controversially rests atop Queen Elizabeth’s crown. The episode winds down with a look at obtuse laws recently overturned—Parisian women may finally wear trousers! Liberté, égalité, fraternité!—capping off a must-listen edition. [MK]

Comedy Bang! Bang! #202: Philip Traumatic Seymour Disorder: Nick Thune, James Adomian, Lauren Lapkus
Not even Comedy Bang! Bang! is immune to Oscar fever, and the show ends up with a near-fiasco to show for it. Scott Aukerman relishes in introducing his two guests in terms of nominated and non-nominated: A cocksure Nick Thune (non-nominated) is quickly taken down a peg by none other than James Adomian as a seething Philip Seymour Hoffman (nominated). The three play off each other well, and Adomian brings a madcap energy to the show with an impression that borders Sgt. Slaughter territory more than a few times. Things pick up when Aukerman’s angsty nephew Todd (Lauren Lapkus) shows up, on the lam from being grounded. Hoffman attempts to take him under his misguided wing, and the more we learn about Scott’s peculiar nephew situation, the crazier everyone gets. After Hoffman literally pulls out the twist ending of the year, the episode devolves into a glorious, primal mess of hilarity. [MK]

Comedy Bang! Bang! #203: The Vicar Of Yanks: “Weird Al” Yankovic, Paul F. Tompkins
Fan-favorite “Weird Al” Yankovic and Paul F. Tompkins in top form as Andrew Lloyd Webber. That’s pretty much all listeners need to know, but adding to it: Scott Aukerman and his guests are on a roll this week, with some inspired, homonym-laden riffing and general good cheer. The Andrew Lloyd Webber character is probably Tompkins’ best, as it suits his predilection for nonsensical wordplay, which is on display this week—the Batting Gentleman, the Additional Terrestrial—and there are a couple of funny moments where it’s revealed Webber’s accent goes cockney when he shouts. Aukerman jokes at one point that the episode is their finest work, and it’s easily one of 2013’s highlights so far. [KR]

Doug Loves Movies: Chris Hardwick, Kumail Nanjiani and Gillian Jacobs 
Gillian Jacobs rings in a new Doug Loves Movies tradition, wherein the winner of the Leonard Maltin Game has an open invitation to return the following week, a privilege Jacobs happily takes advantage of. She plays well with fellow guests and DLM regulars Chris Hardwick and Kumail Nanjiani, and their easygoing riffing is so enjoyable, it hardly matters that it leaves little times for movie talk and games in this somewhat shorter-than-usual episode. They do manage to squeeze in some Oscar talk ahead of last weekend’s ceremony, and while the Leonard Maltin Game is unfortunately truncated, the forehead-slapping conclusion is ample payoff. This episode could have easily been a half-hour longer. [GK]

Doug Loves Movies: Felipe Esparza, Chris Cubas, Matt Bearden and John Erler 
Doug Benson returns to Austin’s Cap City Comedy Club for an episode that features a bunch of Texas-based DLM standbys. It’s a long, loose episode punctuated frequently by Chris Cubas’ booming laugh, and while the vibe occasional strays into drive-time-radio territory, there’s enough good stuff to make it worthwhile. Most of the guests come armed with solid movie knowledge and/or stories, which makes for good discussion, and the episode’s extended length allows for a lot of time allotted to games—including a new, fun one that’s sadly not long for this world, “Bane Or Lincoln.” It’s really just an excuse for Benson to trot out his indistinguishable impressions of the two characters, but it makes for a surprisingly enjoyable round. While Build-A-Title is sadly passed over for How Much Did This Shit Make, an Austin-centric round of ABCDeez Nuts turns out surprisingly robust, and a lengthy round of the Leonard Maltin Game plays out in very entertaining fashion (despite some sound problems that caused one round to go missing). It’s a packed episode full of peaks and valleys, but overall it’s a lot of fun. [GK]

The Flop House #121: The Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure
Coming off one of their best episodes ever, the Flop House hosts tackle one of the biggest bombs in recent memory, The Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure, and the result is about as great as one might expect. The Flopsters almost seem a little loopy from watching the film, but their analysis remains incisive despite being a bit sillier than normal. The listener mailbag segment takes on an unusual tenor, with some offbeat emails, a conspicuous trend of Elliott Kalan-bashing, and a welcome reopening of the Dingdonggate case file—all of which is hilarious. The Flop House is pretty much always good, but it’s on a hot streak right now, and listeners would be wise not to miss it. [CG]

Fogelnest Files #24: That One Guy: Fred Stoller
Many comedy podcasts have a tendency to fixate on the early days of the most recent class of alt-comedians, so this week’s Fogelnest Files with Fred Stoller is a welcome change of pace. Stoller’s not “old,” but he has enough years behind him to remember how a previous generation of stand-ups rose to prominence—as well as how much of a behemoth Seinfeld really was in its time. (Part of the reason for Stoller’s visit is to promote his Kindle Single, My Seinfeld Year.) As an old-school nebbish, he’s also just a pleasure to listen to. This week’s show is also notable because Jake Fogelnest breaks with his normal format to take a page out of the Marc Maron playbook. Most of the clips this time around are directly relevant to Stoller’s past, and the episode in general feels much more like an interview than usual. [AB]

Freakonomics: Women Are Not Men
“Women Are Not Men” looks at examples where statistical data show differences between the genders, and tries to see why those differences exist. The episode offers a bunch of facts about how men and women differ (ladies are less likely to be struck by lightning, for example, but more likely to have a phobia), and Stephen Dubner rattles them off every chance he gets. But, in a nice change of pace, the women on the Freakonomics team host the bulk of this week’s podcast, exploring gender discrepancies in Wikipedia, competition, and crime. The most intriguing find is that given the right cultural circumstances (i.e. when women are treated as equals in a culture), women are more competitive than men who live in a patriarchy. This means that even if scientists could prove men are evolutionarily predisposed to be competitive and women are not, those dispositions are run over by cultural norms. [NC]

Hang Up And Listen: The Twist My Arm Edition
Last weekend, NASCAR driver and GoDaddy pitchwoman Danica Patrick made history by becoming the first female to post a Top 10 finish at the Daytona 500, and Ronda Rousey defeated Liz Carmouche in the first-ever women’s UFC bout. In the first and strongest segment on this week’s show, the HUAL crew brings on Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Segura to talk about the tricky politics of female athletes competing in sports that have long been dominated by men. They also talk to the always-lively NHL blogger and podcaster Greg Wyshynski about the causes (and the deceptive scoring) behind the Chicago Blackhawks’ historic start. And Josh Levin’s “Afterball” goes down another of his fascinating Internet rabbit holes to reveal how an arsonist saved baseball in Seattle by burning a stadium down. [ST]

How Was Your Week #105: “How Was Your Exorcist?” Ted Leo, Jesse Murray
Julie Klausner’s burgeoning interest in horror movies reaches its zenith with this week’s episode-long discussion of The Exorcist. Klausner comes to the film from a decidedly feminist point of view, and many of her critiques—such as a discussion about the priests continually mansplaining things to Regan’s hapless mother—are spot-on. Ted Leo’s discussions of exorcisms, demons, and Ouija boards make ample use of his Catholic-school education, and offer an interesting counterpoint to some of Klausner’s ideas. Jesse Murray’s ability to make Klausner and Leo laugh is what sets this episode apart, though, contributing to a lighthearted and easy rapport that makes things enjoyable from beginning to end. [DF]

The Moth: Christopher Hitchens: Mistaken Divinity
Certainly the late Christopher Hitchens would appreciate the irony: The Moth honoring the fiery atheist’s memory by replaying an old story about Hitchens being mistaken for a god. Recorded in 1999, this episode at least occasionally reveals a more playful side of Hitchens’ oft-boorish conviction. (At the beginning, he tells the crowd it will take “more than a fucking saxophone” to get him off the stage, mocking The Moth’s tradition of musical time-limit warnings.) Hitch’s conclusions in this story won’t surprise anyone, but the adventure he recounts from a trip to Sri Lanka is still captivatingly visceral and strange. [SG]

Judge John Hodgman: Judge And Jewry 
One of Judge John Hodgman’s best episodes featured a rabbi who wanted the judge to compel his teenage daughter to watch classic movies like The Third Man with him. The rabbi makes an unexpected and delightful return as an expert in a dispute between two sisters—one who wants to lay claim to her Jewish heritage and another who think it’s a stretch. The siblings share a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, but they were raised and confirmed Catholic and their father was mostly non-practicing. The case gets around to fascinating points on ethnic and religious identity, but it’s the many jokes about what constitutes Jewishness that make the episode particularly lively. [ST]

My Brother, My Brother And Me #141: Dan The Man With The Flan Plan
With some bland jokes about the Oscars followed by what amounts to a non-question about how to have self-confidence asked by someone who already has self-confidence, this week’s episode starts weak. After all that, though, things start to pick up, and it gets good in a hurry. Bits about butt-enhancing iPhone apps and a man named Dan with a very special relationship to flan are both prototypical McElroy Brothers bits, featuring absurd premises, silly pronunciations and wordplay, and a general sense of dirtiness. To top it all off, there’s some earnest advice given near the end about living in exciting places versus living where one is happy and feels at home, which should be of interest even to those who aren’t in the position to relocate any time soon. [CG]

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Nerdist #325: Mick Foley
In recent months, the Nerdist podcast has taken steps to include guests from a variety of disciplines, none more surprising than professional athletes and wrestlers. This week, Mick Foley sits down with Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira, and Jonah Ray to talk about his career, but also about the discipline of wrestling and how its reputation has changed over the years. Like many of the recent Nerdist episodes, it does a great job of balancing the guest’s work with his passions, as the soft-spoken Foley talks as much about his love of dressing up as Santa Claus as he does his signature characters. Hardwick has been doing an excellent job of showing the people behind the personas and making it engaging to those that wouldn’t necessarily resonate with the subject itself. [DA]

Sklarbro Country #135: Loads Of Lady Energy: Jenny Slate, James Adomian
The Sklar Brothers’ interviews usually veer into an hour of goofing off with their guests, but their discussion with Jenny Slate remains surprisingly on point. Slate is very open about her short tenure on Saturday Night Live and her unfortunate dropping of the F-bomb on live television in her first episode, which gives a nice peep into the inner workings of the comedy institution. Slate seems to have made peace with her accidental swear, but there’s still a whole lot of pathos to her story. She’s upfront about how working on SNL was her dream job, and how one mistake lost that for her. It’s rare for an episode of Sklarbro Country to be bittersweet, but Slate proves to sympathetic as well as hilarious. [NC]

Sklarbro Country Sklarbro County #40: Ben Hoffman, David Krumholtz, Dan Van Kirk
In a story that sounds ripped straight out of a Dave Barry novel—and one that could only happen in Florida—Dan Van Kirk cracks everyone up with the tale of a couple who get into a fight outside a beachfront restaurant, light a car on fire, and get caught having sex in public on the beach. As if that isn’t crazy enough, there’s also the story of a Michigan man who tries to recoup insurance money when his voluminous porn collection gets stolen. A voicemail from David Krumholtz as Alan Arkin rounds out a typically hilarious episode. [KM]

The Smartest Man In The World: Marbles
Greg Proops has a tendency to go on long, fantastical tangents, but “Marbles” has more than usual, including a fabricated genesis story for The Smartest Man In The World. It’s the 100th episode, and though Proops doesn’t do anything special for the occasion, his monologue does touch on the show’s two-year lifespan. But his best moments come when interacting with written material sent to him: first a fan letter correcting him about something he said in a previous episode, and then the advertisement he has to read for his latest sponsor. Proops’ boredom with the latter eventually leads him to play “Ride Of The Valkyries” by Wagner and reenact Apocalypse Now while still reading the advertisement, one of his best bits in a while. [NC]

Sound Opinions #378: Sound Opinions Unearths Buried Treasures
This week Vice published a column titled “How Online Advertising Is Killing Music Journalism,” with a big chunk about how little exposure obscure bands get in high-profile publications not geared toward the discovery of new artists (not to mention a purposely click-baiting title). But Sound Opinions’ “Buried Treasures” episodes focus on anything but well-known bands, and as such it’s a great mish-mash of worthwhile music that doesn’t catch too many headlines. Highlighting L.A. duo Foxygen, Dawn Richard, Dallas rockers Spookeasy, Chilean “cosmic music” band Föllakzoid, and others, it’s the next best thing to another edition of the Music Alliance Pact. And since Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis can’t go an entire episode without covering an established artist, there’s a review of the solid new Nick Cave record at the end. [KM]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: The Other Pope Benedict Who Resigned
Pope Benedict XVI is not the first pope to resign, and hosts Holly Frey and Sarah Dowdey take listeners back to the first Benedict to abdicate the Catholic Church’s highest station. Pope Benedict IX was the first pope to resign, and the only one to have served more than once. Though the first Benedict’s reign falls into a “historical dead zone” 1,000 years ago, the records were destroyed due to the shame involved. Benedict IX came into power at approximately 18 years old, elected not because of a lifetime of work, but because of his powerful family. Almost immediately he began to indulge in orgies, rapes, bestiality, ritual murders, and more. He was described by historian Ferdinand Gregorovius as a “demon from hell” and the Catholic Encyclopedia as a “disgrace to the chair of Peter.” The hosts do their best to piece his multiple elections together, and the result is quite fascinating. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How CPR Works
Who wouldn’t like to know how to save lives? Hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant seize upon this well-meaning impulse in this highly useful and educational episode, which posits that those wishing to stave off death need only learn a few basic steps. While Clark and Bryant can’t teach an audio-only CPR class, the history and background of CPR technique should definitely spark lots of interest among listeners. And some tips like checking for blue skin and a rising chest are practical reminders. As recommended by the episode, those interested in learning CPR should check out the classes available at heart.org. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: What Would Happen If The World Stopped Spinning?
Earth is constantly slowing down, and hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant are eager to inspect why the planet spins in the first place. Every 400 million years, a day is extended by a couple of hours, so odds are this won’t happen in our lifetime. But if it did, anarchy would ensue across the globe, considering the planet’s complex combination of gravity and magnetic fields is what keeps everyone from spinning off into space. Clark and Bryant do an excellent job of explaining things in easy-to-understand terms, but still manage to work in some big surprises, like the fact that Earth is also slowly drying up. While there are hard-to-process moments (it’s never entirely clear what the Coriolis effect is) the episode is chock full of science and amusing asides. [DT]

This American Life #488: Harper High School, Part Two
The second installment of This American Life’s award-worthy two-part feature on Chicago’s Harper High School is somehow even more gut-wrenching than the first, as it delves deeper into a terribly depressing version of Neverland where 9-year-olds wave guns and pledge allegiance to gangs dedicated to their fallen neighbors, where a teenager glumly says “I hate myself” and you don’t exactly blame him, and where high-schoolers can acquire guns but not food. If it sounds depressing, it is, but the episode is reported and produced so well that while the show is sad, it’s also engrossing and educational, and likely to make listeners grateful for their own wonderfully boring and stable-in-comparison lives. [CZ]

The Thrilling Adventure Hour #106: A Beyond Belief Valentine’s Day
This TAH podcast is a rarity in a few ways: First, it draws on a very recent show, from this past Valentine’s Day; second, it offers an epic helping of the crowd-pleasing “Beyond Belief” serial; and third, it brings in guest writers in addition to the guest stars. Elaborately framed with a couple of new songs, Theremin instrumentals, and a mysterious narrator who visits Paul F. Tompkins’ and Paget Brewster’s protagonists, this episode suggests that the serial’s themes of drinking, love, and the supernatural are inexhaustible. But the most entertaining story is the first, in which our dashingly drunk paranormal explorers face down a succubus. [SG]

The Tobolowsky Files #59: The End: An Introduction
The only thing better than a new episode of The Tobolowsky Files is the promise that more upcoming episodes have been written and just need to be recorded. “The End: An Introduction” is the first of hopefully many new episodes this year. Stephen Tobolowsky’s stories oscillate between two fascinating poles, unbelievable hilarity and deeply philosophical emotion, and this episode leans more toward the latter. In telling the story of the first production of then-girlfriend Beth Henley’s future Pulitzer Prize-winning play Crimes Of The Heart in Louisville, Tobolowsky tries to reconcile his friendship with the uniquely gifted actress Susan Kingsley. He jumps around the timeline of their friendship, from the failure of Henley’s next play on Broadway to Tobolowsky unexpectedly booking a FedEx commercial to the tragedy that cut Kingsley’s career short. And then Tobolowsky rescues a heartbreaking story of attending memorial services on both coasts with one glimmer of hope: meeting his future wife for the first time. It’s a typically riveting episode, and a sign of more great stories coming soon. [KM]

Uhh Yeah Dude: #360
With 360 episodes in the can, it’s as good a time as any for Jonathan Larroquette and Seth Romatelli to take stock of Uhh Yeah Dude’s past and hatch plans for the future, most of which revolve around Svengali-ing suggestible Californians into joining a juice-bar-sex-cult-dojo out in Joshua Tree. The rest of the episode addresses scandal in the self-defense community, attitude-heavy T-shirts of yesteryear (“Take it sleazy” “Do me a flavor,” etc.), and a get-rich-slow scheme that requires the schemer to star in a little-seen ’70s drama about a boy raised by wolves and then wait 30 years. Nice work if you can get it. An especially digressive, lively, and good-natured episode. [CW]

WTF With Marc Maron #363: Aimee Mann
Unlike Aimee Mann’s appearance a few weeks ago on Sound Opinions, Marc Maron doesn’t adopt a particularly reverent tone when approaching Mann’s music. He knows her from the old Boston days when she frequented comedy clubs, so they go back enough that he can rib her about ’Til Tuesday and make her laugh instead of feel defensive. And instead of focusing on her career, Maron digs into Mann’s fascinating early childhood, and asks about how she made the transition from a band rotting at the end of a record deal to a fruitful solo career. As Mann says early on in the interview, this episode proves she’s a “friend of comedy.” [KM]

WTF With Marc Maron #364: Mike White
Sure, Mike White can brag that he worked on Freaks And Geeks and created Enlightened, not to mention a host of other beloved shows and movies, but is he having any fun? It may be that the writer-director-actor is getting over being ill, but White’s interview comes off more neurotic and fatalistic than most, lacking much of a happy ending in terms of “At least I love what I do” or “I have a happy home life.” That said, it’s an enjoyable discussion, especially when it covers White’s religious background, his appearance on The Amazing Race, and his feelings about Good Will Hunting, but it sounds like even the irascible Maron wants White to lighten up and enjoy himself more. [CZ]

You Made It Weird #128: Glennis McCarthy
When Pete Holmes and Glennis McCarthy begin naming silly foods in twangy accents (“this is my daughter, Nee-cho-tos”), it’s a good reminder that You Made It Weird is a podcast listeners should just sink into without worrying too much about the broader point. (The point, in this case, is probably just to be adorable and quite funny.) In this case, the slap-happy exchange of weird banter runs pretty deep into the episode, and the twangy voices keep coming back without getting old. [SG]

You Made It Weird #129: Gabe Liedman 
Pete Holmes begins this episode by announcing that his recently picked-up TBS pilot won’t interrupt his podcast. Which is doubly good news, since YMIW is all about relishing things that can’t be squeezed into even the best TV show. With comedian Gabe Liedman, those things include playfully meandering riffs about racism, stomach problems, and how guys like watching movies with prominent workout scenes. It’s always easy to complain about YMIW’s super-long episodes, but their loose format allows for such revelations as “I think of Street Fighter when I’m doing yoga.” [SG]


THE REST

Improv4Humans #68: Devil’s Penis Pass: Kevin Dorff, Robert Dassie, Fran Gillespie 
Matt Besser does his best to keep the laughs coming, but between endlessly dead-ending scenes and a wildly unfunny Sandy Hook bit from guest Kevin Dorff, this week’s episode falls flat. [MK]

The J.V. Club #50: Carla Gallo
Contributing to the extended length of this week’s episode, Janet Varney and Bones star Carla Gallo take too long getting to the discussion of the guest’s adolescent years. [OS]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #102: Peter Morrison
A listener letter about a day spent playing the Apollo 13 pinball game with his recovering-alcoholic father is a touching highlight on an episode that occasionally gets bogged down by fruitless talk about religion. [TC]

Mohr Stories #135: Kevin Farley
Comedian-director Kevin Farley sits for an hourlong appreciation of his late, great brother Chris; Mohr diehards will recognize his anecdotes as reruns, but they age well. [DXF]

Mohr Stories #136: John Moore
Mohr Sports alum John Moore discusses mixing humor and sports, writing celebrity zingers for Comedy Central roasts, and crafting the staged-reality show The Joe Schmo Show. But after a bit about Mohr’s menstruating dog, the conversation becomes increasingly private and impenetrable. [DXF]

Monday Morning Podcast
Bill Burr’s fascination with the word “bugger,” used in an odd listener email, is very entertaining, but not enough to sustain the full hour. [CG]

Nerdist #324: Neil Patrick Harris, Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimaraes
Frequent Nerdist collaborator Neil Patrick Harris returns for an episode that focuses heavily on his love of magic. While interesting, the topic’s limitations start to show, making it a lengthy and largely one-note affair. [DA]

Nerdist #326: Ben Hoffman
Despite the hosts’ shared experiences with Ben Hoffman, the star of Comedy Central’s The Ben Show, this episode never finds a way to transcend the feeling of being a press obligation. [DA]

Never Not Funny #1207: Wilding Out With Harland Williams
Episode #1207 ambles along like the recent one with Steve Agee—slowly, with the funny moments coming in clusters. It opens with an interminable discussion of the new studio’s cord situation, but doesn’t pick up too much speed from there. [KR]

Professor Blastoff #93: Youth
After months of separation, it’s nice to have the hosts back under one hatch-roof, but the interview with Daniel Alberto—a high-school-aged fan who offers less insight on youth than a unique glimpse into the life of one—tends to rein in the hosts’ rambling charm. Fans of crude Professor Blastoff should tune in for the first 10, though. [SM]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: Unearthed!
King Richard III is a timely topic thanks to the recent discovery of his remains in a parking lot, but his reign is well-known enough that this episode is skippable. [DT]

The Todd Glass Show #91: Family Show
This installment follows the same format as the previous episode, except this Family Show edition has lost last week’s momentum and cohesion. [MS]

Who Charted? #117: Live from SF Sketch Fest 2013: Michael Showalter
Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack couldn’t be more excited to bring a live edition of the show to SF Sketch Fest. Unfortunately, guest Michael Showalter goes into the show with about as much enthusiasm as you’d reserve for oral surgery. [MS]