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Pete Holmes and Lil' Wolverine face off on Doug Loves Movies, and John Hodgman judges tattoo placement


“Do you think anyone in the history of law enforcement has ever done enough to get tased but then they said, ‘Just be on your way. Go home.’” —Doug Benson, Sklarbro Country

“Tebow You Didn’t!” —Doug Benson, imagining the title of the Tim Tebow movie Dan Van Kirk's Mark Wahlberg would star in, Sklarbro Country

“It’s impossible to make a good thing every time you try to make a good thing.” — Greg Proops, The Smartest Man in the World

"Capri Sun? More like PISS SUN! I'll stomp ya out, ya dumb bitch!" —Bill Diesel (Paul Scheer) tells juice pouches what he really thinks of them, Comedy Bang! Bang!

“You live in Oak Lawn; the worst thing that’s happened to you is a black gay guy.” —Jimmy Pardo on the phone with a listener from his suburban Chicago hometown, Never Not Funny


Nerdist Comics Panel
Nerdist Comics Panel is a spinoff from one of the more popular episodes of Nerdist Writer’s Panel, a weekly podcast that features writers discussing their craft and business. The mothership concentrates on TV and film, and this new weekly ’cast tackles comic books. (So far, no guests feel the egghead need to call them “graphic novels.”) The Nerdist representative for both is Ben Blacker, a TV and stage writer who also co-authored the Wolverine: Season One graphic novel. Blacker’s pop-culture literacy is extensive, but admittedly reaches its limits at comics—which makes him a perfect moderator for roundtable discussions with industry giants like Ed Brubaker (Captain America) and Len Wein (a veteran editor and writer who created Wolverine and Swamp Thing). With Blacker on hand, magnetic raconteur Wein is the host for Nerdist Comics Panel’s first proper episodes. No. 1—also featuring Adam Beechen (Batman Beyond) and Heath Corson (Aim High)—explores the “secret language” and creative roles that yield this cinematic, collaborative medium. Like Kevin Smith’s Fat Man On Batman often does, the episode ends on a cliffhanger and returns with a chat about character psychology, probing the fictional minds of Richie and the Punisher (with a great nugget about the vigilante’s creative origins). Like a 20-page comic book, they might not be long enough to satiate fans, but they are free, and you don’t have to wait a month for the next one. [DXF]


Started in 2004, Coverville is one of the longest-running podcasts in existence. Host Brian Ibbott scours the Internet and countless cover collections and tribute albums and pieces together three new episodes a week of nothing but song covers that are linked in some way, thematically or otherwise. Naturally, some covers are better than others, but every single one is at the very least interesting. With nearly 1000 episodes released, picking and choosing episodes based on the featured song or artist is the best way to approach the back catalog. That said, chances of discovering something new and unexpectedly great within any given episode are high, especially when an entire episode features only covers of a single song—such as, say, a recent episode with 10 “Blowin’ In The Wind” covers, including a tremendous German rendition by none other than Marlene Dietrich. [CG]


Comedy Bang! Bang! #224: Live From Austin; Paul Scheer, Martin Starr, Brandon Johnson, Neil Campbell
The return of self-hating Troubled Teen Rick Faber gets overshadowed by the debut of a new character who’s one for the Comedy Bang! Bang! record books. Paul Scheer's Bill Diesel is among the most vociferous CBB guests ever, but the helium-voiced, wheelchair-bound, easily riled brother of Fast & Furious 6 star Vin Diesel is so funny, it doesn't really matter that his profanity-filled tangents against popcorn machines and Capri Sun dominate the episode. Bill Diesel is the star of this live episode—which benefits from a particularly appreciative audience—but everyone on the panel still gets time to shine. The aforementioned Rick Faber shares a particularly tragic tale of teenage immaturity involving a certain improv-workshop instructor, Brandon Johnson gets to bust out his rendition of “Sexual Hi Jinks,” and Martin Starr emerges from the personal bubble of silence he spends most of the episode hiding in for a good showing in the Freestyle Rap Battle. Bill Diesel may be what everyone will remember about #224, but he's far from the only highlight. [GK]

Comedy Bang! Bang! #225: Taran Killam, Paul Brittain
Saturday Night Live’s Taran Killam and Paul Brittain prove themselves more than worthy of future re-appearances on their Comedy Bang! Bang! debut, either as themselves or, preferably, as Mark Johnson Sr. and Lon Smudge, of the well-known dad-rock/boner-commercial musical group Hey Kiddo (which comprises drums, keytar, and five basses). Scott Aukerman has a lot of fun throwing curveball after curveball at the two veteran improvisers, and they rise to every occasion, turning what initially seems like a slight retread of Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s “Oh, Hello” guys into their own memorable, mythology-deep characters. The many, many, many tangents Aukerman leads the rock ’n’ woolers-turned-rock ’n’ rollers down doesn’t leave any room for games, but they make up for it with some excellent impromptu performances of tracks from Hey Kiddo’s album. Here’s hoping Mike/Mark and Lon will be back to promote their follow-up (and perhaps a round of Would You Rather, please). [GK]

Doug Loves Movies: Pete Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Posehn and Samm Levine 
The long-awaited meeting of Doug Loves Movies' two most reliably obnoxious—in a good way—guests, Pete Holmes and Samm "The Ma'am" Levine (a.k.a. Lil’ Wolverine), is surprisingly focused, relatively speaking. Maybe it’s the extremely small space this episode was recorded in during Chicago's Just For Laughs festival, or maybe it's the ball-busting camaraderie between Holmes and his best comedy bud Kumail Nanjiani, but there's an intimacy to this episode that keeps Holmes from going full-on Annoying Pete, allowing for some actual gameplay this time. Of course, Levine still makes a point to call out Holmes and Nanjiani for not giving their full attention to the Leonard Maltin Game, and Brian Posehn all but disappears from the proceedings, but it still winds up a remarkably well-balanced, consistently funny, and only mildly uncomfortable episode. [GK]

Doug Loves Movies: Zach Galifianakis, Riki Lindhome and Samm Levine
The UCB audience is super enthusiastic in this edition of Doug Loves Movies, including a severely soused guy who can’t stop inserting himself into the show. Doug Benson and Zach Galifianakis have a little fun at the drunk’s expense. The chat portion is pretty relaxed and evenly paced, allowing Benson to keep control of the show without having to rush through the games portion. It’s also refreshing to hear a good-natured banter session after the other week’s heated tiff between Marc Maron and Kumail Nanjiani. Also. Samm Levine returns as a result of his previous week’s Leonard Maltin game win. [MS]

The Flop House #128: Red Dawn
As far as pointless and ill-conceived remakes are concerned, it doesn’t get much more pointless and ill-conceived than last year’s Red Dawn—an attempt to bring a time capsule of Cold War paranoia into the modern age over which no real analogous threat looms. The Flop House hosts hammer this point home hard in their treatment of the film, which Elliott Kalan suggests should have been titled Warfare: No Adults Allowed, highlighting along the way the film’s racism, general stupidity, and, most offensively, its rampant dullness. But, as usual, the comedy meat lies within the silly tangents that pop up throughout the episode—tangents involving a urinary tract infection turning into bees and Stuart Wellington’s idea for novelty folders for kids—which are reliably great. [CG]

The Fogelnest Files #41: The Superstars Of Vine: Steve Agee, Marlo Meekins, James Urbaniak
This week’s bonus show featuring notable Vine users is really an implicit defense of the medium—if 6-second video loops can be considered a medium. And while the discussion between Jake Fogelnest and his guests isn’t as intellectually rigorous as it could have been, the host deserves credit for attempting to create a low-pressure forum on an aesthetically controversial topic (insofar as a lot of people calling something stupid and pointless can be construed as “controversial”). Marlo Meekins, whose recent bump in popularity is due almost exclusively to the app, probably offers the most worthwhile commentary of the three guests, in large part because she’s the only trained visual artist in the bunch. The Vines of hers that Fogelnest selects may also be the most compelling evidence that the service is in fact capable of hosting real art. On that note, unlike other episodes of the podcast, this week’s really only makes sense when the content being discussed is watched alongside it. (Since Vines can’t be posted to YouTube, the clips are on a special Tumblr page.) The Tumblr alone is required viewing for those unfamiliar with Meekins’ work. [AB]

Freakonomics: Do You Really Want to Know Your Future?
Hereditary genetic disorders such as Huntington’s Disease can be tested for, which poses a heartbreaking choice for people who might have it: test and find out they’re going to die of an incurable condition, or stay in the dark, and not let a disease in the future dictate their lives in the present? This week’s Freakonomics is all about that question, and how most people answer it. Very few people are interested in finding out whether they will have the disease (only about 5 percent of those with a parent with Huntington’s get tested). People who do find out they’ll have Huntington’s typically get less education, retire earlier, and are more likely to get divorced than people who don’t. This helps explain why no one really gets tested: They want to pretend that everything is fine, and live their lives normally. As one guest argues, why would someone want to know if there’s nothing they can do about it? [NC]

Hang Up And Listen: The Derecho Finals Edition
In an episode with a bunch of easily dated segments—NBA and Stanley Cup finals, the US Open at Merion in Pennsylvania—the Afterballs take center stage. Stefan Fatsis revisits Rollerball, the 1975 film based on a William Harrison short story, and its many parallels to modern corporate action and the tyranny of professional sports, particularly the NFL. Josh Levin give some publicity to the Tahiti national soccer team, the smallest nation to ever compete in a FIFA senior tournament this year at the Confederations Cup in Brazil, with a team made up mostly of non-professional players. The panel always dispenses with the typical narratives built around the current sporting events, but it's far more interesting when they dig deep to talk about something more obscure that interests them. [KM]

How Was Your Week #119: Harris Wittels, Ben Nugent: "Curating the Linens"
This week’s episode is a near perfect encapsulation of the two sensibilities at the center of HWYW. While Harris Wittels focuses on topics he’s discussed on other podcasts before (namely drugs and his Humblebrag book), a chunk about Wittels’ early porn-watching habits shows HWYW at its comedic best. The second half with Ben Nugent focuses on American Nerd, his book about the origins of the nerd in popular culture. Nugent writes the sort of pop-sociology that Julie Klausner loves to unpack, and the more serious-minded conversation on the some of the racial and gender ideas that are wrapped up in nerdiness makes for a nice compliment to the more comedic first half. [DF]

Improv4Humans #85: Animal Lovers: Matt Walsh, Paul Rust, John Gemberling
As Paul Rust says less than 10 minutes into this week’s episode, this might not be the perfect episode for the first-time listener. Though it’s filled with familiar faces from the podcast world, the assembled crew almost immediately launches into an extended discussion about bestiality that’s hilarious as well as disgusting. Amazingly, one of the YouTube videos lined up for the show broaches this very topic, and leads to two unbelievably funny scenes. In particular, the second one features a family of speaking monkeys intent on breaking free of their incestual tendencies that is so silly and gross that the cast can’t help but crack up. The episode continues on in rare form with similarly outrageous scenes. Even if it’s not a good jumping-off episode, it’s got scenes with classic-in-the-making written all over it, and fans of the show will not be disappointed. [MK]

Judge John Hodgman: Permanent Record
This week on the real people’s court, a dispute between an Australian couple: John brings the case against his girlfriend, Emily. Emily has several tattoos, and now she wants one on her wrist. John has concealable tattoos, too, but he’s afraid visible ink could compromise her professional credibility and future career prospects. She works as coordinator of volunteers for a non-profit community center, and occasionally deals with influential professionals, like the mayor of Melbourne. As always, Hodgman’s jurisprudence is impeccable. He solicits full disclosure of previous tattoos, their location, and significance. Not only does he consider the conflict in the context of her workplace and the country’s cultural norms, the judge also brings in a third-party expert witness, Josh Clark, the tattooed—and de-tattooed—co-host of the Stuff You Should Know podcast. His ruling may not be legally binding, but future cases should cite it. [DXF]

The J.V. Club #66: Clea Duvall
After a series of heavy conversations dealing with mental health, it’s refreshing to have an episode of The J.V. Club that brings the focus back to pop-culture nostalgia and teenage social drama. Janet Varney’s chat with actress Clea Duvall (Argo; Girl, Interrupted) begins with the two women discussing Wikipedia’s unreliability, specifically citing how Duvall’s page used to say she dropped out of high school. That topic launches them into the truth of Duvall’s high-school experience, which was difficult but not unconquerable. A turbulent home life, overly accelerated curriculum, and poor social standing made Duvall’s adolescence a challenge, but she also has plenty of memories to celebrate and laugh about. The women fondly reminisce about early PJ Harvey records and Zima, but their conversation is most interesting when they look at adult habits and how they’ve been shaped since adolescence. Duvall also has the distinction of being one of the show’s few guests that has played MASH as an adult, coming to the show prepared with an arsenal of strong options for the final game. [OS]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #118: Kulap Vilaysack
The Mental Illness Happy Hour gives guests an opportunity to share their history of pain and recovery from childhood to present day, which often makes for a fascinating listen. Recent disappointing guest encores have revealed that the format also limits the appeal of repeat appearances with a fraction of the experience and perspective found in the original installments. The second appearance by Kulap Vilaysack bucks that trend with a moving story about trying to reconcile with her mother. The episode starts slow before Vilaysack opens up about an unexpected path to deeper peace when confronted with her mother's gambling addiction. Vilaysack is a terrific storyteller who sounds comfortable speaking candidly with an excellent listener like Paul Gilmartin. A beautiful post-interview listener survey from a nursing-home worker who writes about a resident with Alzheimer’s is a wonderful reason to keep listening until the end of the two-hour episode. [TC]

Nerdist #369: Joe Manganiello
Although Joe Manganiello is perhaps best known—at least to the vampire-loving sect—for his work on True Blood, his Nerdist appearance reveals layers to his person that are likely overlooked. Although Manganiello had small roles in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man outings, it's here that he puts his love of comics and superheroes on full display. In perhaps the episode’s strongest section, Manganiello takes on the personas of various wrestlers, as he and the show’s hosts workshop a film about the life of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, aptly titled Savage, that would be a welcome addition to the current lineup of summer blockbusters. By the episode’s end, a wealth of topics have been covered, and throughout the 90-minute interview there's rarely a piece that feels superfluous, showing Nerdist at its most energetic and enjoyable. [DA]


Nerdist #371: Fred Willard Returns!
Although Fred Willard previously appeared on a live edition of Nerdist, a sit-down with the iconic performer seems long overdue. Chris Hardwick and his crew sit down with the bona fide comedy legend and discuss the craft without getting too inside baseball or alienating to anyone who isn’t a comedian. Willard is particularly insightful when discussing the challenges of writing sketches and his aversion to watching and performing improv. Willard and the hosts also get into a fun tangent about the assumed superiority of game-show hosts including Hardwick’s failed takedown of Alex Trebek and Willard’s lackluster performance on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? [MS]

Professor Blastoff #109: Eugenics (w/ Mo Hassanein)
Stuck in an RV on a cross-country road trip is enough to make anyone slaphappy, and with that mindset already the hosts’ default, it was only a matter of time before the live episodes reached a fever pitch. Luckily, the longtime friends have also been growing more synchronous; particularly Tig Notaro and Kyle Dunnigan, whose improvised duets, faux-romance, and “chicken scenes” highlight this week’s episode, tepid audience or not. Guest Mo Hassanein waits dutifully in the wings, chipping in eugenics-related facts to course-correct David Huntsberger’s verbose philosophizing and offering the occasional insight on the societal aspects of human genetics. But mostly it’s a showcase for Notaro and Dunnigan, and when they’re this on, for Hassanein as well as the audience, it’s best to just sit back in awe. [SM]

Sklarbro Country #151: Dudity: Damien Fahey, Jason Nash
It’s impossible to imagine the Late Late Show without Craig Ferguson now, but it’s hard to remember just who else was in the running to follow David Letterman when Craig Kilborn opted not to renew his contract. Other finalists included D.L. Hughley, Michael Ian Black, and former MTV VJ Damien Fahey, who has gone from hosting TRL post-Carson Daly to become a prolific comedian on Twitter and host of various programs. The behind-the-scenes story of auditioning for the post-Letterman slot makes up the most intriguing story of his conversation with the Sklar brothers, but his anecdote about Derek Jeter—who once dated his TRL co-host—also makes for great banter. [KM]

Sklarbro Country Sklarbro County #56: Doug Benson, Dan Van Kirk
Whenever Doug Benson takes a break from all of his various podcast duties to do a guest spot on another show, it’s refreshing to see him out of the barely-there confines of the structure on Doug Loves Movies. The tangential discussion of Game Of Thrones with the Sklar brothers and Dan Van Kirk proves intriguing, and a bunch of news stories with random, unexpected nudity gets the riffing going to create a wealth of excellent quotes. Van Kirk’s appearance as Mark Wahlberg is the unusual impersonation that actually feels vital to the episode, as Benson has a great time coming up with potential Leonard Maltin Game categories. The camaraderie between Benson, Van Kirk, and the Sklars is fantastic, and it makes for one of the best bonus episodes in months. [KM]

The Smartest Man in the World: Greg Proops Film Club: Dog Day Afternoon
This week’s episode is an edition of Proops’ Film Club, in which the host views a classic movie with a live audience. But it plays a lot like a regular installment, with the 1975 bank-robbery drama Dog Day Afternoon as the central topic. The short episode isn’t a full-length running commentary, but rather an introductory program followed by post-movie comments from Proops and members of the audience. Proops’ liner notes provide historical context for both the movie and the true story it’s based on. Actor Chris Sarandon even weighs in, via an email exchange, about his role as Pacino’s boyfriend. Full disclosure: Proops references the A.V. Club article about I Knew It Was You, a documentary that takes a look at the short, pitch-perfect career of Dog Day Afternoon’s John Cazale, best known as The Godfather’s Fredo Corleone. [DXF]

Sound Opinions #394: Family Bands
In light of Father’s Day and a recent studio appearance by brother/sister duo Wild Belle, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot decide to go through their favorite bands made up of family members. Eschewing the more obvious pop choices like The Jackson 5, they play songs by Heart, The Staples Singers, Wu-Tang Clan, and The Breeders, delving into what makes each family connection so compelling. DeRogatis’ introduction for Heart’s “Barracuda” is particularly memorable for delving into the anti-rock-critic roots of the song. A review of The Handsome Family’s new record, Wilderness, and a discussion of Sonic Youth’s “Death Valley ’69” round out a solid episode that highlights some well-known and obscure musical families. [KM]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: The Irish Potato Famine: An Unnatural Disaster, Pt. 1
Hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey wisely break this story up over two episodes, given the complexity of how the Irish Potato Famine came to be. Noting that these episodes may get far darker than listeners might expect, the first chapter is largely expository. Much of this episode is dedicated to the legal and political woes of Irish citizens, specifically Irish Catholics, and even more so the working class that had so recently been put out of work by the late-19th century’s industrial era. Everyone was relying on potatoes because of both poverty and laws restricting imported goods. While the second episode may include most of the drama, this episode is essential for anyone who wondered as a child why everyone back then didn’t just eat something else. [DT]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: The Irish Potato Famine: An Unnatural Disaster, Pt. 2
The second part of this two-part series on the Irish Potato Famine, this episode unravels the effects of the first episode’s socio-political causes. The year the tragedy turned into a terrible horror was 1848, when the blight came back in a big way and the English government insisted that Ireland pay for its own relief. Irish hoping to immigrate to North America were packed into “coffin ships” where many of the immigrants were sick, starving, and dying. Cold plagued Ireland as the population exploded into the Americas and England, where they faced deportation even after spending their entire savings to flee. Near the end of the podcast, hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey have a great deal of empathy for the situation, revealing deep prejudices that still exist in British and Irish politics. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How Bitcoin Works
Bitcoin has only operated as a currency for 5 years, but it’s already enough of an institution for it to be a contender for SYSK’s most requested topic ever. Hosts Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark do a bang-up job of taking one of the most geeky and anarchistic topics available and dissolving it into their easily digested format. Part of what the hosts love is the mystery of bitcoin; it’s a virtual currency created by an anonymous figure and managed by complex computers across the planet via peer-to-peer software. But equally interesting are its troubles, as a bitcoin’s worth fluctuates between one and 30 dollars over the course of a single year. By admitting which parts of the process confused them (neither hosts own a bitcoin), Clark and Bryant never let the topic feel as overwhelming as it ought to be. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How Ghosts Work
A perfect follow-up to last week’s “How Coffins Work” episode, hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant treat ghosts as things to be both admired and skeptical of. Bryant starts with a ghost story that he readily admits could just have been a spry and spooky old lady. Apparently 48 percent of Americans believe in ghosts and 45 percent don’t, a statistic that fights against the fact that it is virtually impossible to disprove that a scientific phenomenon could exist. The hosts spend as much time on the human senses as they do more anecdotal evidence, like how stories traveled before the Internet. It’s a great combination of storytelling and science that will make people wish their college had a parapsychology degree available like Clark’s did. [DT]

This American Life #497: This Week
This American Life revisits a theme for an episode that examines stories that took place last week. This framing device is made even more effective by the way stories focus on the small dramas in the big stories, and the big dramas in the small stories. For example, a story on the NSA leak focuses on attorneys whose phones have been tapped, delving into the ways that living under constant surveillance has affected their lives and work. The episode is most compelling during segments that feature stories listeners likely didn't see in the news: a class going on a field trip, a man getting a hand transplant, and an exceptional teacher forced to quit his job due to budget constraints. These stories show how important personal triumphs and failures can be, especially when they are deeply intertwined with larger political issues. [DF]

Walking The Room #155: Cranking and Junk People 
With the release of Dave Anthony’s new album, an examination of the sad state of the hosts’ careers is in order. Greg Behrendt is quick to qualify his downslide, and while an upcoming book and Reigning Monarchs record signal otherwise, his giddy embrace of has-been hallmark Dancing With The Stars is worth the faux self-deprecation. Following a rant familiar to listeners of The Dollop, Anthony shares how his Twitter-sourced mob beat the shifty folks at iTunes, details behind his email being hacked, and the kind of world he’s leaving behind for his 4-year-old graduate. It’s all a bit more expository than it needs to be, but the many gut laughs and absurd vocabulary should more than hold attention. [SM]

WTF #397: Marshall Crenshaw/Thomas Dolby
A double dose of the “Where Are They Now?” hour stacks back-to-back interviews with Marshall “Someday, Someway” Crenshaw and Thomas “She Blinded Me With Science” Dolby. Marc Maron’s years toiling in obscurity has left him with an insatiable curiosity to talk with anyone and everyone who once had a moment of popular recognition—and a bit of that comes from Maron accruing good karma from giving people a chance to tell their story. Though this is a nearly two-hour episode, Maron picks away at the details of each musician’s life, and how they’ve dealt with their heydays having passed years ago. [KM]

WTF #398: Danny Lobell
With his interviews of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Dick Van Dyke, Marc Maron has recently dedicated a veritable bounty of airtime to stories from a different era of comedy, and to interactions with the legends of those eras—but always from the perspective of other comedy legends. Danny Lobell, comedian and host of Comical Radio, a sort of proto-comedy podcast, provides a different perspective on encounters with some of the greats—that of a lucky, wide-eyed young comic still finding his footing—as he details the odd experiences of receiving a voicemail from George Carlin, becoming a casual friend of Woody Allen, and bonding with Jackie Mason, all of which is fascinating. Lobell is also very open and very funny during the interview, making for a terrific listen from beginning to end. [CG]

You Made It Weird: John Gemberling
Pete Holmes’ chat with UCB staple and Fat Guy Stuck In Internet star John Gemberling is probably the most compelling YMIW in weeks—largely because Gemberling may be the most unabashedly candid interview subject imaginable. He discusses his love of improv with the same level of comfort he exhibits when talking about having sex with a blow-up doll or his not-so-secret belief that he’s better than other people. This makes things considerably easier on Holmes, who, as an interviewer, is often guilty of fishing for profundity where none is to be found. But this time around, he barely has to broach the surface for Gemberling to fully divulge himself of any relevant philosophies or anecdotes. And while Gemberling’s prolonged diatribe against organized religion veers decidedly into the realm of old hat, his seeming lack of a filter is consistently surprising. In fact, rather than petering out, the episode hits its funniest point—Gemberling’s anecdote about harassing a masturbating neighbor—almost at the very end. [AB]


The Bugle #238: Imprismed
Though enjoyable, this week’s edition of The Bugle has a pace that feels a little off and jokes never totally hit their mark. [MK]

The Fogelnest Files #40: Boy, Am I Glued!: Julie Klausner, Jon Hendren, Shelby Fero
This week’s live show is definitely not one of Fogelnest’s bests. Most of the gags feel forced, and the few that the panel of guests are able to run with fail to gain much traction. To make matters worse, the onstage dynamic never moves beyond its initial awkward phase. [AB]

Monday Morning Podcast
The entire episode is at least engaging, but, like last week, actual laughs are few and far between. [CG]

The Moth: Steven Puente & Adam Wade: StorySLAM Favorites
A social worker overestimates his impact on a young client, and an unemployed man underestimates his capacity for rage in these two poignant open-mic shorts. Both are slight, but 18-time StorySLAM-winner Adam Wade is particularly charming. [DJ]

My Brother, My Brother And Me #156: The Sound Of One Hand Twerking
While it’s good to have the brothers back after last week’s absence, they seem to be on autopilot this week with a stale show that never really finds its footing. [AB]

Nerdist #370: Man Of Steel Press Conference
This bonus episode of Nerdist sees Chris Hardwick moderating a press conference for Man Of Steel, and while both the audience and the film's cast seem excited, at its core it's a lengthy advertisement for a film that, while successful, is hardly noteworthy. [DA]

Never Not Funny #1223: Taking Your Calls on the NNF Hotline
While Jimmy Pardo riffing with Matt Belknap and lampooning morning-zoo DJs may never stop being funny, a guestless special episode on the phones marks this week as for-fans-only. [SM]

Radiolab: The Trouble With Everything
This week the Radiolab crew tackles the lofty task of describing everything ever. The first half features a beautiful short story by Jenny Hollowell, but the back half is a bit of a recursive nightmare that’s hard to follow. [MK]

The Todd Glass Show #107: Troy Conrad Part 2
The second part of last week’s Troy Conrad episode is definitely worth a listen, but it’s noticeably sloppier and more unfocused than the first part. [MS]

Uhh Yeah Dude: #376
Despite an enthusiastic, over-the-moon Denver audience, the hosts of UYD sound nervous throughout this live episode and have trouble rustling up their usual charming back-and-forth. [CW]

Who Charted? #133: Summah Semantics
Guest Alie Ward has red hair, so naturally Howard Kremer does some thinly veiled hitting on her, resulting in the most memorable part of a not particularly compelling episode. [MS]

You Made It Weird: Live From JFL Chicago 2013
Although Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani’s guest GameFly spots early on are exceptionally well devised (Call Of Judy: Judgment), Holmes isn’t quite able to manage the shortened format necessitated by theater constraints. There aren’t really any satisfying callbacks, and everything’s a little too rushed to fit into the show’s usual groove. [AB]