Mark Hamill fulfills his Nerdist destiny and chaos returns to Doug Loves Movies

Mark Hamill fulfills his Nerdist destiny and chaos returns to Doug Loves Movies

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.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“It was a huge moment in history. Historically swearing in the first African-American president for the first time twice.” —John Oliver, The Bugle

“I don’t want you to feel bad ’cause your marriages didn’t work out.” —Lucinda Williams, WTF With Marc Maron

“I’m in Los Angeles, which means if I don’t talk about you and something you’re doing, it turns into the Apathy Dome.”—Greg Proops, The Smartest Man In The World

“I’m just laughing because I like that we’re going to go into a whole ‘What’s your favorite gluten-free brand?’ right off the bat. You never know what my podcast is going to be about.” —Mary Lynn Rajskub to Graham Elwood, Kickin’ It Mary Lynn Style

“How many times has somebody in Florida tried to smoke up an alligator?” —Jason Sklar, Sklarbro Country

“We’ve built a bridge of friendship and carried our goats across. Lay them in the grass with me, Jeff! One’s named Petey and one’s named Sweetie!”—Pete Holmes to Jeff Garlin, Doug Loves Movies

“I’m really insecure and scared that you don’t like me, but also I think I’m better than you!” —T.J. Miller impersonating Pete Holmes talking to Jeff Garlin, Doug Loves Movies

NEW (TO US)

Kickin’ It Mary Lynn Style
Just as it has done with recording albums and making movies, technology has empowered just about anyone with a computer to make a podcast. And among those newly empowered creators, there are meticulous craftsmen who really explore the medium, and there are those who crank out barebones material with minimal effort. Kickin’ It Mary Lynn Style, featuring actor/comedian Mary Lynn Rajskub, is the latter. Rajskub invites comedians and actors over to her house for a freeform, casual chat for which she barely prepares. That “no research” tact is a popular one in podcasting these days, though it comes less from a dedication to spontaneous conversation than general laziness.

And that’s how Kickin’ It often feels: lazy. It doesn’t sound like Rajskub has invested in a mic beyond the one in her computer—if she has, she shares it with the guest, but doesn’t feel too beholden to staying close to it. The effect is similar to the “overhearing someone’s conference call” sound of The Dave Hill Podcasting Incident (which has since upgraded its mics), and the content is similarly low-key to a fault. At one point during her interview with comedian Graham Elwood, Rajskub looks up a YouTube clip of a performance of his from 10 years ago. Listeners hear her typing (the loudness of which seems to give away that she’s using the computer’s in-board mic), the two of them looking through the results, and, finally, them watching the clip. Because the computer speakers are close to the mic, the clip’s sound drowns out what they’re saying. It also doesn’t help that the stand-up clip is interminable, or that listeners can also hear her periodic email and/or text-message alerts.

Elwood’s a thoughtful, articulate guy, and the way his discussion with Rajskub touches on some Big Issues surprises her and rescues the episode. Her chat with Riki Lindhome is more casual (and more in the mutual-appreciation vein, like her Jackie Kashian episode), but almost too casual: When she’s telling Lindhome how much she loves a Garfunkel & Oates song, she barely finishes her compliment before she immediately adds “I have to go pee” and abruptly stops recording. And in case there’s any doubt about where Rajskub records Kickin’ It, the talk of transcendental meditation, “abundance whispering,” and The Good Energy Book will make its Los Angeles-ness clear. Rajskub is a funny performer and comedy veteran with a long list of impressive credits, but podcasting—at least in the form of Kickin’ It Mary Lynn Style—isn’t her forte. [KR]


THE BEST

The Best Show On WFMU
Of all the characters Tom Scharpling has helped create on The Best Show, the most consistently successful may be his ongoing yarn-spinning about real-life associate producer Mike Lisk. This week’s episode is a three-hour loving tribute to Lisk, who Scharpling has jokingly characterized as a panting ghoul, a hopeless drunk, and an off-mic taskmaster. (“What’s that, Mike?” was a familiar refrain during dud calls for several years.) It’s an affectionately exaggerated characterization that’s allowed the host to indulge his darker comic instincts on the “hard G”-rated program. AP Mike Night gives equal time to Scharpling’s clownish reprobate version and the actual Lisk, an eccentric, whip-smart contrarian of sorts. The episode is not likely to appeal to new listeners, but it’s a fun and occasionally touching appreciation of a man who has become an integral part of an excellent show. [TC]

The Bugle #221: Do EU Really Love Us?
This week’s episode starts out slow with a ranty diatribe against the weather from John Oliver, but hits its groove fast. Co-host Andy Zaltzman shoots off a rapid-fire list of bogus listener queries pertaining to science, like, “Can a horse be a male?” and, “If opposites attract, why can’t I marry my lawnmower?” They carry this momentum into a lengthy speech roundup, covering the inauguration of the 47th consecutive white vice president and an EU address essentially promising to vote on a vote. Of the two speeches, Oliver gets more mileage out of Obama’s, with an inspired peek into his future, where waifish grandchildren struggle to understand why he mocked the historic event. The second half drags in comparison, but remains solid. The funniest moment comes from a fan letter detailing the inescapable presence of The Bugle’s favorite band, LMFAO, in a Bolivian jungle. [MK]

Comedy Bang! Bang! #197: Please Claire-ify: Tim Heidecker, Paul Rust, Jon Daly
Comedy Bang! Bang! debuts its video component this week, which is nice, because listeners would’ve otherwise missed how Jon Daly looked like he stepped in from a three-day bender. When he shows up as Bill Cosby Bukowski, anarchy reigns, and delightfully so. Even when his non-sequiturs and general mania miss the mark, the “WTF?” factor works in his favor. Joining him are Tim Heidecker (funny as always, first peddling Who merch then a terrible George Burns impression) and Paul Rust with a batch of New No-Nos. It all moves along like a typical CBB until Daly shows up. By the end of the episode, he’s singing Doors songs with Cosby Show-related lyrics. It’s very strange, but very enjoyable. [KR]

Doug Loves Movies: Nick Kroll, Scott Aukerman and John DiMaggio
With skilled impressionists Nick Kroll and John DiMaggio—and skilled instigator Scott Aukerman—on the panel, it should come as no surprise that this episode quickly devolves into a lively voice-off, with all three guests fielding requests from the audience (and host) to provide on-the-spot impressions. The confluence of three such hams—DiMaggio in particular is a very, um, vocal presence—leaves little time for games, so DLM listeners in it for the Leonard Maltin Game will be disappointed by this episode’s sole How Much Did This Shit Make outing. (Benson opts for this instead of the LMG because he doesn’t want to try to explain the more complicated game to DiMaggio, which makes sense given the first-time guest’s apparent attention span.) Nonetheless, it’s a lively episode that flies by in a fit of giggles, impressions, and, for the second week in a row, extensive discussion of Les Misérables. [GK]

Doug Loves Movies: Tournament Of Championships 3
After a long, long delay owed in part to contestant Jon Hamm having to film some TV show or something, Doug Loves Movies’ third Tournament Of Championships finally happened, with Hamm taking on Kate Micucci and Andy Wood in a heated round of the Leonard Maltin Game. (The special episode is available in two parts for $1.99 in the iTunes store.) While Micucci and Wood put up a good show—both game-wise and comedically—the real star of the show is Hamm, who’s both charming (as always) and hilarious, even doing lengthy impressions of Micucci’s brain, which sounds like “an old prospector,” and his own, which sounds like “a sad old queen.” The game’s victor will now face Matt Braunger and Samm “The Ma’am” Levine (a.k.a. Lil Wolverine) in the super-championship somewhere down the road. [ME]

Doug Loves Movies: Jeff Garlin, Pete Holmes And TJ Miller
Doug Benson attempts to recapture the magic of DLM’s first, memorable Most Obnoxious Guest competition, and the reunion of the show’s three most disruptive panelists not only meets but exceeds its predecessor in terms of anarchic lunacy. Even though T.J. Miller is missing for a good chunk of the episode, Pete Holmes and Jeff Garlin do their part and then some to fill the air with a bevy of riffs, impressions, and various nonsense. Garlin seems much more game and less confused this time around, lending to a really nice chemistry with his spastic co-panelists. Holmes’ impression of Michael Moore sends Garlin into fits of giggles over and over, and at one point Garlin stops the proceedings to effusively—and seemingly sincerely—praise the talent of his co-panelists. Once Miller arrives, things get even more insane and tangent-filled, leaving time for only the barest suggestion of games. It’ll all play as hopelessly confusing and irritating to those not in on the gag, but for DLM listeners familiar with the underlying premise and inside jokes, it’s a real treat. [GK]

The Flop House #119: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is the type of bad movie that’s more entertaining to talk about than to actually watch, which of course makes it an ideal candidate for the Flop House treatment. Sure, there are leaves growing out of legs, pencils somehow made out of leaves, and a triumphant delivery of the line, “If this boy can have a leaf on his ankle, then we can make a pencil out of leaves,” but there’s also a half-baked plot, baffling character motivations, and a general sense of confusion about the film’s target audience. So the best way to experience the film is vicariously, through the Floppers. As for the mailbag segment, the letters themselves aren’t all that memorable, but the hosts’ usual rapport and goofiness very easily keep things engaging and funny. [CG]

Hang Up And Listen: The One Man’s Trash Talk Is Another Man’s Treasure Edition
A couple of weeks ago, notorious Boston Celtics trash-talker Kevin Garnett crossed the line, according to New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, when he reportedly told Anthony that his estranged wife, La La Vasquez, “tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios.” That prompts so much great cereal talk from Mike Pesca that a cereal-related spinoff podcast sounds essential, but the gang eventually gets down to the business of discussing how much is too much, and whether trash talk is even all that effective in diminishing an opponent. Better still is the first segment on the NFL gambling scene: Sporting News columnist David Purdum smacks down reports that Las Vegas is actually losing money on NFL games this season while revealing the importance of sportsbooks to casinos (which is minor) and the surge in online betting (which is major). [ST]

How Was Your Week #99: “Fridge Leaners”: Bridey Elliott, Colman Domingo
The best part about listening to Julie Klausner’s talk with comedian Bridey Elliott—whom Klausner had only met once before this interview—is listening to them develop a strong and entertaining repartee. In the first half of the interview, Klausner focuses on Elliott’s family: As the youngest daughter of comedy legend Chris Elliott and sister/former roommate of Abby Elliott, she proves an interesting subject, and Klausner’s questions keep the discussion from feeling rote. Elliott is charming throughout, and her silly, self-deprecating sense of humor helps to loosen things up as she and Klausner find common ground elsewhere. Riffs on organic crackers and Intervention, and stories about her job as a video-store clerk, show that Elliott is an up-and-coming comic to keep an eye on. [DF]

Improv4Humans With Matt Besser #64: Blowjob Accident: Pamela Murphy, Mike Still, Alex Fernie
Matt Besser, one of the founders of Upright Citizens Brigade, has set out to record the best podcast in the universe, one recording at a time. With his guests, he adapts personal stories and obscure YouTube videos into raucous, frequently hilarious improvised scenes. Of this week’s three guests, Pamela Murphy steals the show as a contestant in a jalapeño-eating contest who lost feeling in her tongue during a Ferris wheel accident (an incident she repeatedly insists was more accurately a blowjob accident), and later as a satanic Courtney Love struggling to explain grunge to the Internet. The episode comes to a particularly strong finish with a bit inspired by Besser’s experience witnessing police brutality near a French hotel. The scene’s American tourists are, to put it lightly, more concerned with their minibar than observing a young child being abandoned down a mail chute. That leads to an incinerator. [MK]

Judge John Hodgman: Polly Wanna Justice?
Interested in a pet parrot? Consider these two factors: 1) It will likely outlive its owner, so if there are any regrets about owning one, waiting for the inevitable is not an option. 2) It will become attached to its owner, which means that it will squawk that person’s name over and over again until it gets the attention it needs. In this week’s case, Chris, the patient husband of parrot-owner Kim, complains to Judge Hodgman about how his wife’s bird is driving him crazy, and insists something, short of euthanasia, must be done about it. The case is gratifyingly complex—something must be done about the situation, but what?—and the couple involved are good podcast guests, thoughtful and considerate of each other. Hodgman, as ever, gives good advice in the end. [ST]

The J.V. Club #46: Paget Brewster
It’s always great when one of Janet Varney’s guests creates an incredibly thorough portrait of her adolescence, and Criminal Minds’ Paget Brewster dives right into her teenage years for a delightful and informative episode. There’s a lot of discussion about Brewster’s time at an all-girls high school, talking about how welcoming an environment it can be when there aren’t boys to stir up competition among the women. Describing herself as a nerdy Ralph Macchio-lookalike, Brewster doesn’t have too much drama to impart from her teenage years, although she did fall in love with and lose her virginity to a math genius named Jacques who only wore his soccer uniform or gas-station overalls to school everyday. The casual, friendly conversation leads to Varney opening up about her own experience at school and with her parents, and ends with a great game of M.A.S.H. where Brewster becomes an heiress who lives with Sting in pre-Katrina New Orleans and invented the sandwich. All this, plus the first on-air “toot-and-scoot” of Varney’s dog Scott, who farts right next to Brewster before walking away in shame. [OS]

Mike And Tom Eat Snacks #75: Raisins
Mike and Tom are still on the run in this week’s episode, which sees them being a bit too candid about their whereabouts. Introducing the episode from the “Sunshine State” of California, Mike and Tom launch into a review of some California raisins. Although it would be easy for the duo to quickly exhaust location-based jokes, the episode maintains its energy. The episode abounds with one-liners that nicely punctuate the longer, recurring bits. Mike and Tom aren’t reviewing snacks as routinely as they once did, but that makes these surprise episodes all the better. By finding ways to turn the inconsistency into a theme all its own, MATES hasn’t lost steam even with its sporadic schedule. [DA]

Monday Morning Podcast
Because he’s recording the episode more than a day late, Bill Burr seems to have a sense of slight urgency to his voice this week. Thus he maintains an efficient pace throughout most of the episode, and while there is a good amount of rambling tangents, they somehow don’t feel quite as ramble-y as normal. He’s also more consistently funny than usual on every single topic he hits on, whether it’s his recent 15-hour stay in Hawaii or how to properly watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. The letters segment is pretty monotonous in subject matter, but Burr’s responses to each are still funny, resulting in the most consistent episode in many weeks. [CG]

The Moth: Lisa Lampanelli: Fat Girl, Interrupted
Comedian Lisa Lampanelli tries to put a friendly edge on her brassy-I-talian-broad persona, but it’s fair to say that “vulnerable” isn’t a big part of her act. This Moth story gives her the chance to explore a more fragile side, as she charts her frequently unhealthy relationships with food, men, and both. You’d expect an insult comic to have a harder time opening up, but she manages to do so quite convincingly here—and she doesn’t even have to give up that much profanity to do it. [SG]

My Brother, My Brother And Me #138: Under The Bottom
The McElroy brothers wade deep and often in the waters of absurdity, and there is a shade of that at the tail end of this week’s episode in the form of an insane bit about Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant ripping each other in half, “butthole” first, complete with bad impressions and a cameo appearance by Randy Savage. But what’s more interesting—albeit a bit less funny—is a longer bit near the beginning of the episode about the politics of selecting profile pictures on social-media websites, which is by turns earnest and silly, and serves as an incidental reminder of just how casually funny the brothers can be even when they’re talking about mundane subjects. [CG]

[pagebreak]

Nerdist #313: Peter Farrelly
Having spent the bulk of his career working with his brother, Peter Farrelly talks openly with Chris Hardwick about his creative methods and speaks frankly about his experiences within the Hollywood studio system. When talking about the success he’s had with films such as Dumb & Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, he appears both gracious and thankful to those who worked on his films. Farrelly balances his career overview with stories concerning some of comedy’s best performers, with a few Bill Murray stories sprinkled in for good measure. The director may not always be the best at what he does—Movie 43 being the most recent and perhaps most prime example—but his skill and personality come across on this appearance. [DA]

Nerdist #314: Mark Hamill
Recorded in front of a live audience, Chris Hardwick’s interview with Mark Hamill strikes a balance between informative and incredibly gleeful. Hamill is willing to discuss any and all of his work, giving Hardwick—as well as the audience, in a short Q&A at the episode’s close—an opportunity to get a transparent look at his career. The conversation about his work as a voice actor is engaging for the sheer amount of pressure Hamill placed upon himself when starting work on Batman: The Animated Series, and how disappointed he was that he appeared on The Simpsons and only voiced himself. Predictably, it’s the topic of Star Wars that elicits the most excitement out of Hardwick and the audience, and Hamill recounts how he was unsure whether it was going to be a satire when he first auditioned for the film. [DA]

Nerdist #315: Dave Grohl
Dave Grohl is making the most out of the press tour for his forthcoming documentary on the legendary recording studio Sound City. With his appearance on Nerdist and his previous interview with Marc Maron on WTF, he’s reaching out to some of comedy’s best podcasts to inform listeners about both his past and Sound City’s rich history, while fully displaying his playful nature. Over the course of the hour he spends with the Nerdist hosts, listeners get a look into Grohl’s early days in music, his difficulty of finding an outlet post-Nirvana, and how he’s transitioned into fatherhood without losing his ability to continue making music and touring. For the most part, the episode is lighthearted and humorous, only getting heavy when Hardwick gently brings up Kurt Cobain. It’s an exciting listen that should be enjoyable to both fans of Grohl and Nerdist. [DA]

Never Not Funny #1204: Muddying The Waters With Regan Burns
A lot about this week’s episode suggests a boilerplate episode of Never Not Funny, and in some respects, it is. Jimmy Pardo opens the show on a tear, raves about minutiae and his various health concerns, and there’s tons of musical trivia and talk of Oscar nominations. But a guest like first-timer Regan Burns, who’s both affable and retaliatory, justifies the template, as he fits right in and offers his share of unexpected laugh-out-loud moments. The highlight comes when Burns—a cast member of Disney Channel’s Dog With A Blog, an Oliver Pardo favorite—details at length his Tough Mudder courses to a horrified Pardo, who questions its legality. Plus, Burns proves to be one of the more informed film buffs the show has had. It may be lacking for out-and-out laughs, but only slightly, and there’s never a down moment in the 110 minutes. [SM]

Professor Blastoff #89: Freedom
Prompted by the non-news article on Tig Notaro almost performing stand-up at a screening of In A World…, which she filmed just before contracting to pneumonia, David Huntsberger asks Notaro whether she would travel back in time to alert her younger self of her oncoming crises. Notaro’s preference of free will dovetails nicely into this week’s discussion of freedom, which considers its figurative and literal definitions, whether legal parameters infringe upon rights, and how traumatic events tend to encourage an enlightened appreciation of freedom. It’s a heady and nuanced episode that’s especially timely given the current debate over constitutional rights, but the hosts keep it grounded with silly banter by using material like jazz, scriptwriting, and a great Maria Bamford joke to suss out their opinions on the matter. [SM]

Sklarbro Country #131: Tiny Hunk: Nick Kroll, Glossary, Dan Van Kirk
The band Glossary is in the studio, delivering a couple of live performances throughout the show. The Tennessee musicians aren’t particularly exciting interviewees, but their songs give a nice energy to the segues into the Sklars pimping Bonobos or Stamps.com. Luckily, Nick Kroll’s appearance livens things up considerably. The Sklar Brothers’ banter can be so fast-paced that guests are sometimes scared off from joining in, but Kroll’s humor fits seamlessly, bringing a bit more absurdity to the show’s usual discussion of recent headlines and major-league sports. The Sklars save the best for last, though, with Dan Van Kirk’s dead-on impersonation of Mark Wahlberg. [NC]

Sklarbro Country Sklarbro County #36: Judah Friedlander, Dan VanKirk
With the end of 30 Rock, Judah Friedlander may be out of work for just a bit, but he certainly has some stories to tell about one of the great modern sitcoms. During casting, he was offered roles on both 30 Rock and Aaron Sorkin’s calamitous Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip—and many told him to take the Sorkin show despite it being a recurring role instead of a regular on 30 Rock. But he chose the New York show because it allowed him to maintain his stand-up image, instead of forcing him to clean up and act as a sketch performer. The news stories are funny but almost superfluous to the Sklars digging into Friedlander’s career and his favorite moments on 30 Rock. [KM]

The Smartest Man In The World: Balls
Because Smartest Man is taped live, Greg Proops usually has to spend a moment or two each podcast telling some drunken listener to shut up. This week is different, though: It seems like the entire audience is made up of hecklers. From a woman who constantly voices her agreement with Proops’ politics to a guy shouting out “Abraham!” every time President Lincoln gets mentioned, the crowd in L.A. is more interested in partying than letting Proops talk. It could have been a disaster if not for Proops’ uncanny ability to publicly shame his interlocutors. The last 20 minutes or so, where he takes the “Abraham!” shouter to task, are glorious, both for their hilarity and the seething anger Proops shows toward this particular douchebag. [NC]

Sound Opinions #374: Trey Parker And Matt Stone
Last week’s episode of satirical songs was good and fine, but it was just the appetizer for Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kott’s interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. This lengthy interview covers how they got into music in the first place, their technique of writing songs first instead of squeezing them into a narrative, and getting to work with some of their favorite musicians almost by accident. The guys are clearly riding high from the recent success of The Book Of Mormon, and that leads to an effusive and enlightening conversation. Tacked on at the end is a review of New Order’s new record, Lost Sirens, which is about as useless as you’d expect for an album of castoffs from the band’s previous album sessions, only with less Peter Hook. [KM]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: The Booth Conspiracy
With a certain popular film giving President Lincoln yet another new wave of attention, the SYMIHC podcast takes a look at the bizarre plot leading up to his assassination. Hosts Sarah Dowdey and Deblina Chakraborty note that John Wilkes Booth was not just some down-on-his-luck actor; he was a national celebrity living in the shadow of his even more famous father and older brother, who were also actors. And though Lincoln was the one who was actually murdered, there were coordinated attempts on the lives of Secretary Of State William Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson. As these two latter assassinations failed, Booth escaped into the wilderness, where the story becomes even more shrouded in mystery. Dowdey and Chakraborty revel in Booth’s arrogance and hubris, and the three-dimensional character he becomes makes for a great listen. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How Stuntmen (And -Women) Work
It might seem strange to make an audio podcast on filmed stunts, but it works thanks to the fascinating research hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant have put together. In the beginning, casting stunts only took “finding someone crazy enough to do this.” Once filmmakers realized how perfect slapstick comedians were for the art of taking a fall, big players began to take shape. Buster Keaton leads a tour of film history ending with an appreciation of Quentin Tarantino favorite Zoë Bell. Clearly Clark and Bryant love the industry, as evidenced by how they repeatedly refer to the actors as “stunt dudes.” It’s a fun listen, and there’s even discussion of how to start a stunt career, which functions as a good primer for those interested in being set on fire for a living. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: Fecal Transplants: You Gonna Drink That Poop?
Taking on a topic sure to make many listeners groan, hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant take a risk and digest the subject of fecal transplants. Though much of the episode will rattle germaphobes, the science is both valid and valuable. As society uses more and more antibiotics (which are only meant to kill bacteria), our collective immune systems lose their effectiveness when battling viruses, which cannot be destroyed with the medicine. Only a small percentage of the show focuses on what it’s like to “drink poop,” with Clark and Bryant spending more time discussing the biological benefits of breast milk. The episode serves as a highly topical discussion on how our overmedicated immune systems function in 2013, and what our remaining options are. It’s a must-listen for anyone obsessed with hand sanitizers. [DT]

This American Life #485: Surrogates
“Surrogate” may not quite be the right title for this episode; perhaps it should have been “metaphor” or “allegory.” But that’s splitting hairs. The theme of those who re-live, live through, or embody the experiences of others is addressed in distinctly different ways. We meet twin principals who deal with brawling twin classmates, learn about “The Petticoat Affair” of 1830, wherein Washington social politics infect actual politics, and experience the disturbing, sad, true tale of a man guilty of parricide who came to be adopted by the narrator’s father, an abusive man who attempts to explain his actions. The episode is a thinker and the stories are interesting, but it’s also intriguing to contemplate the connections after listening. [CZ]

The Thrilling Adventure Hour #102: Behind The Scenes Of TAH
It’s so easy to focus on Thrilling Adventure Hour stars like Paul F. Tompkins and guests like Nathan Fillion. But what about all the other performers who make the radio drama-styled show possible? In this extended behind-the-scenes episode, writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker sit down with two of the show’s workhorses, Craig Cackowski and Hal Lublin. The conversation lends itself well to some of the elements in the show that clearly involve the most work, including theme songs and Lublin’s athletically goofy narration. [SG]

Walking The Room #140: Brian Posehn And Body Shame
Like a certain outhouse gentleman, Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt are at home in the bottomless well of body humor/horror. So it’s no surprise that the strongest segment of this week’s episode is the opening, where bulky, self-deprecating comedian Brian Posehn acts as a willing vessel for all their fat-guy/tiny-dick jokes, Anthony laments the loss of body shame, and the trio riff on the various types of humanoid monsters found in Los Angeles and on the road. Behrendt’s decline into relentless, ribald anarchy continues to give Anthony fits, but Posehn’s alliance manages to calm Behrendt down enough to dish about his San Franciscan idols and a round-up of comedians’ levels of affability. Though, his hyperactivity is well-suited to a closing segment on infuriating Oscar-season movies. [SM]

WTF With Marc Maron#355: Tim Ferriss
The episode description may brand Tim Ferriss as an “author, motivator, and biological experimenter,” but Marc Maron brings him into the garage for one thing and one thing only: to break down a diet he’s heard about from comic friends and suss out if it’s a load of bullshit. Ferriss has had an intriguing path to writing lifestyle books: After leaving Princeton one semester before graduation and eventually ending up as a human guinea pig for old wives’ tales and rumors for dieting and performance enhancement, he started with a diet plan and has since branched out to basically trying anything for two weeks to learn about it. It’s outside WTF’s usual wheelhouse, but Maron’s skepticism and honesty about his own eating troubles keep it interesting. [KM]

WTF With Marc Maron #356: Lucinda Williams
Even without being familiar with her musical background, someone listening to singer Lucinda Williams talk about her life will come away with the impression that she’d a fun lady to pull up next to at a bar. In her distinctive drawl, she chats with Marc Maron about the stuff of classic country songs: poetry, the South, bad relationships, messed-up moms, and substance abuse (not to mention Rick Rubin). Maron is obviously a little bit smitten with her (who can blame him?), and the two enjoy a sort of salty, weather-beaten, platonic flirtation. The whole thing is capped off by a short live performance. [CZ]

You Made It Weird #120: Adam Pally
You Made It Weird episodes should come with a little measure of how much Pete Holmes cackles, giggles, and squeaks with delight, because that’s generally a good indicator of how engaging they’ll be. In this conversation with fellow comic Adam Pally, Holmes seems extra-jolly and hyped-up, even as the two dig into assorted confessions about Pally’s family life and Holmes’ failed marriage. At one point, Holmes recounts making juice and singing about said juice, which is a good sign for this episode’s momentum. [SG]

You Made It Weird #121: Dwight Slade
One thing that consistently works about You Made It Weird is that it encourages guests to open up their more gentle and contemplative sides. Dwight Slade brings a lot of that to this episode, getting Pete Holmes into discussions about grief and transcendental meditation. (They go easy on the obvious topic, which is that Slade grew up with Bill Hicks.) Holmes and Slade know each other well enough to ground the talk with the occasional silly anecdote, making for a mellow but largely rewarding listen. [SG]


THE REST

Comedy Bang! Bang! #196: A Different Huelliverse: Jeff Garlin, James Adomian
Jeff Garlin is good on his podcast and funny in the Doug Loves Movies scrum with Pete Holmes and T.J. Miller, but on his own he can be a blowhard, especially when he slips into Comedy Guru Mode. On CBB, Garlin likes to explain and critique jokes as the show progresses, or, as Podmass has mentioned before, go into a “no, but” style of improv. For instance, he steps on James Adomian’s attempt to give Huell Howser a funny, surprisingly sweet, sendoff. What could’ve been great ends up just okay. [KR]

Fogelnest Files #20: Great American Dream: Rachel Lichtman
This week’s episode offers further proof that the podcast is more entertaining when the guest is someone less grounded in the past than Fogelnest is. There are one or two high points, but overall, his discussion with Lichtman feels too esoteric and exclusionary to be any fun. [AB]

Freakonomics: Introducing “Freakonomics Experiments”
This week is basically an infomercial for Steven Levitt’s new project, “Freakonomics Experiments.” It’s an interesting idea, but not worth a listen. [NC]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #98: Ed Crasnick
A conversation that Paul Gilmartin delayed posting for more than a year is frequently engaging, but begins to wear thin as Ed Crasnick unloads a seemingly endless supply of self-help rhetorical tricks. [TC]

Mohr Stories #127: Sam Sheridan And Uncle Dan
Sam Sheridan, author of the popular martial-arts mediation A Fighter’s Heart, leads an entertaining and unsettling discussion of The Disaster Diaries, his book that examines apocalypse survival and disaster preparedness from engaging new psychological and logistic angles. [DXF]

Mohr Stories #128: Daryl Wright
Daryl Wright—comic, black NASCAR podcast host, and a regular guest on the Jay Mohr Sports talk-radio show—has an easy rapport with Jay Mohr that translates into a freeform conversation that weaves in and out of a series of disjointed stories about yogurt, Mike Tyson, and an unnamed late-era member of P-Funk. [DXF]

The Todd Glass Show #87: Todd And Daniel Kinno From A Hotel In DC!
This installment takes place on the road, in a hotel room in D.C. While it’s funny, it lacks all the bells, whistles, and jingles that make up the full Todd Glass Show experience. [MS]

Uhh Yeah Dude #357
Jonathan Larroquette’s awesome anecdote about a clueless, coked-up A&R guy is the highlight of episode 357, but Seth Romatelli’s late-episode spiel about his two-day acting workshop that teaches you, among other things, “where you can park” is a close runner-up on this unremarkable but enjoyable outing. [CW]

Who Charted? #113: Pullin’ Wool: Rob Huebel
The fact that guest Rob Huebel sometimes sounds like he doesn’t want to be there prevents a good episode from being a great episode. [MS]

Filed Under: Comedy

More Podmass