The best podcasts for the week of April 19-25 

The best podcasts for the week of April 19-25 

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“What are your crowds like? Sad girls? Nervous guys?” —Marc Maron to James Mercer, WTF with Marc Maron

“I know that they’ve had the Hulk in all the trailers, that’s kind of a lie—it’s Ruffalo’s character in You Can Count On Me.” —Patton Oswalt, Walking The Room

“Messing around with someone’s teeth does not a doctor make.”
“You think he’s just a fancy barber.” —Jimmy Pardo and Samm Levine talk dentistry, Never Not Funny

“I love the musical numbers in that, though. ‘Flying through the sky on his board, board, board, board, I’m bored!’” —Patton Oswalt on Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Comedy Bang Bang

“The license plate said ‘CCROWS.’ So this is somebody who is not from ’round here.” —Stop Podcasting Yourself, “Overseen/Overheard” segment

“There’s a chili chain in Cincinnati called Skyline Chili, and it’s excellent. It’s very, very good. It’s probably made with human meat.” —Julie Klausner, How Was Your Week?

NEW (TO US)

A Way With Words
A Way With Words is a public-radio show all about language: its use, misuse, transformations, and purpose. Hosts Grant Barrett (a lexicographer and dictionary editor) and Martha Barnette (an author with an interest in grammar and language) have a nice, decidedly upbeat rapport and do a fine job of keeping talk of phonemes and paraprosdokians entertaining to the lay listener. The humor is almost prototypically public radio-esque in its occasional corniness, and the hosts seem at least slightly aware of this; either way, it’s more charming than annoying. The show is truly a bastion of non-cynical and sincerely enthusiastic information-sharing in the irony-laden Internet landscape.

Besides a weekly, hyper-specific word quiz, episodes are dedicated primarily to fielding listeners’ language questions, so the quality of each episode depends on who calls in and what they ask. The best questions are those not easily answered by a quick Google search, and luckily that describes the majority of the ones that actually make it to air. Ultimately, listeners’ interest in language and slang will almost directly correlate with their interest in the show, and any given episode serves well as an example of the show as a whole. “Shank Of The Evening” is nicely bracketed by a question about the possible origins of the phrase “the crack of chicken” (a reference to the early morning) at the beginning and one about the precise meaning of the phrase “shank of the evening” at the end. In between is talk of aptronyms, “Black Dutch,” and skeuomorphs. Also of interest is a brief discussion near the end about Internet memes as a form of paralinguistic restitution. [CG]

Guys With Feelings 
Since the prehistoric comedy podcast days of 2006, when the field was more or less barren with the exception of Jimmy Pardo’s Never Not Funny and The Ricky Gervais Show, stand-up comedian, voiceover artist, and writer Jason Nash (known to Sklarbro Country listeners as Bruce Jenner and Bryant Gumbel) has been a habitual over-sharer in the Marc Maron and Pete Holmes tradition. Longtime listeners probably know more about Nash’s neuroses and frustrations than they do about the inner lives of family members. 

True to its title, Guys With Feelings has frequently felt like eavesdropping on Jason Nash and co-host Jeff Bumgarner’s therapy sessions, but since it returned after a brief hiatus with a new video component (fans can subscribe to GWF TV on YouTube), the show has focused less on the guys’ feelings and more on guests and games. The show now feels more like a conventional comedy podcast than an unfiltered glimpse into its hosts’ souls and existential despair. On Episode 103, previous guests David Koechner and Andrea Savage revisit themes explored in earlier episodes. Koechner discusses his evolution as a live performer who’s able to follow his wandering muse while accommodating fan requests for beloved quotes from his roles (Anchorman and, surprisingly, the 2001 snowboarding comedy Out Cold). Savage discusses a pet theory that marriages might benefit if partners were able to take a year off for sexual adventuring after logging 10 years of monogamy. The episode closes amusingly and colorfully with Koechner leading the gang in a quiz of grifting terminology in character as Gerald “T Bones” Tibbons. On a hot streak since its return, Guys With Feelings has trimmed some of its navel-gazing without sacrificing its squirmy personality and messy humanity. [NR]


OUTLIERS

Stranger Fan Fiction
Hosts Jon Wiener and Eric Gosselin challenge each other to write erotic fan fiction and play various related games, including making up erotic terms and giving bad sex advice. The stories are more hilarious than titillating, but the duo does put together something vaguely erotic, even if the subject matter is otherwise chaste. Episode 20, Grumpy Old Men/Ocean’s Eleven, features guest Andy Rosen from Totally Laime, as well as a lot of jokes about old men’s balls. For Grumpy Old Men, Wiener tells the tale of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau’s characters ice fishing with their scrotums; the Ocean’s Eleven story is a pun-heavy tale of Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner picking up prostitutes. Skip the first 30 minutes to get to the actual stories, but be sure to stay for the bad sex advice game at the end to hear Rosen offer guidance on how to hug someone. [AJ]


THE BEST

The Best Show On WFMU
Few shows have mined humor from cocaine use and fictional drugs better than The Best Show. Marijuana and bath salts take center stage in this episode, which picks up considerably in its second half. Tom Scharpling reads from the depressingly self-aggrandizing Tommy Chong autobiography, where the comic/pot activist manages to take credit for reality television, film-school curriculumand the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Jon Wurster reprises his Williamsburg character Terrence Shropshire, an over-privileged twit who revels in spineless indie rock, 1980s trash culture, and bongs made of hardened Fun Dip. Frequent Best Show target Kevin Smith gets a tepid book review from associate producer Mike Lisk and a stromboli-bong wisecrack from Scharpling. A Mit Hamine disciple kills the high with a threatening call late in the episode, but the final 90 minutes are still among the show’s strongest this year. [TC]

The Bugle #191: A Secret Servicing 
With global sex scandals as the discussion topic, the jokes are far dirtier than is typical for the show, especially regarding the Secret Service’s “inside investigations.” Add to that what might be the record for most bleeped “fucks” in a Bugle episode, and episode 191 enters NSFW territory. But the winner for “WTF?” moment of the week is surely Andy Zaltzman’s impression of a penguin giving a press conference after biting Newt Gingrich. It’s a bizarre episode, even for this show, but worth a listen. The hosts’ flare for the surreal is always appreciated, and usually accompanies the best The Bugle has to offer. [AJ] 

Comedy Bang Bang #155: Fingerbang Lindbergh: Patton Oswalt, Chris Tallman
Scott Aukerman has long promised an in-depth, career-spanning interview with Patton Oswalt, but Comedy Bang Bang’s open-door policy derails it. This time, the weirdo who gets in the way is new Earwolf marketing guy Mark Van Driel, played with perfect executive sleaziness by Chris Tallman. Van Driel has some terrible ideas about monetizing Comedy Bang Bang—think copious, obnoxious product placement—and provides an amusing foil for Oswalt and Aukerman. It doesn’t all work, of course, but Oswalt and Aukerman have such an easy rapport that any episode with them is worth a listen. And someone, please, get on creating the “Martin Mull, Mall Manager” character. [KR]

Freakonomics Radio 2:5: Lottery Loopholes And Deadly Doctors
Recent Freakonomics Radio episodes have been a tiresome series of “mashupdates,” two previously aired episodes mashed together. But this week’s mashupdate has a much more solid connection. The two episodes, “Could A Lottery Be The Answer To America’s Poor Savings Rate?”  and “What Do Hand-Washing And Financial Illiteracy Have In Common?”, the latter of which Podmass previously covered, are in one way or another about financial acumen. Some of the arguments have holes in them, as is Freakonomics’ wont, but this episode is as interesting as the two episodes were separate. [MM]

Hang Up And Listen: The Humber Games Edition
When Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber threw a perfect game last week, it was diminished slightly by a questionable final strike on a check swing and the fact that perfect games are not the anomaly they used to be. The Hang Up And Listen crew use this occasion to examine the meaning of perfection in baseball and whether analogous achievements exist in other sports. They also look at the racial dynamics of the top two quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, with Andrew Luck being likened to a stay-in-the-pocket Peyton Manning-type (read: white) and Robert Griffin III being tagged as a threat with his speed (read: black). And with Josh Levin’s hometown New Orleans Hornets in the market for a new nickname—the Hornets were carried over from the franchise’s time in Charlotte—they pitch some ideas (the Pelicans, the Krewe) while diving deep into team-naming philosophy. [ST]

How Was Your Week? #59: “The Boyfriend Experience”: Michael K, Jessica St. Clair & Lennon Parham
Julie Klausner admits that her thought pattern is, in fact, cats, cats, cats, dogs, Cher, and some snacks thrown in there. The mention of cats starts Klausner talking about moving on after the passing of her beloved Smiley Muffin, and revealing that she’s met a new cat that she’s going to bring into her home for a trial. Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham stop by to talk about their NBC show, Best Friends Forever, and the three have a hilarious conversation that St. Clair seems to dominate. Michael K from DListed.com finishes up the show and talks about his life as a phone-sex operator. The conversation starts out really interesting, but moves into more generic TV talk as it proceeds. [JD]

The Moth: Carlos Kotin And Julie Benezra: StorySLAM Favorites
This week’s two StorySLAM entries are terrifically paired, because they’re both black comedies rooted in childhood that wind up in drastically different places. Carlos Kotin’s story about adopting a decrepit poodle he never wanted is funny because it never tries to be anything but a series of mishaps. Kotin never claims that he and his family grew to love the dog, just that they managed to bring it some happiness in spite of their aversion to it. Julie Benezra makes herself the unfortunate figure in her entry: Already suffering from many cosmetic problems, she has to lunch on a gross sardine sandwich her mother packs her every day. This one changes up emotionally, and it works because Benezra suddenly finds herself on the verge of tears at just the right moments. [SG]

Nerdist #195: Penn Jillette
Chris Hardwick’s affable personality meshes well with the brash Penn Jillette—one half of the comedic-illusionist team Penn And Teller—as the hosts hold back and allow Jillette’s anecdotes and perspective to fill the episode. It proves to be a great method for interviewing him, because when Jillette goes off on a tangent—which he often does—it remains engaging and always seems to reach a satisfying conclusion. His lengthy story about seeing Dean Martin perform in Las Vegas takes up a solid chunk of the episode, and with good reason. Not only does Jillette find a way to compare Martin’s performance to the Ramones, but it also spills into a bigger discussion of artist-audience relations. Leading up to this episode, Nerdist had been on a hot streak, and this interview proves to be the best of all of them. [DA]

Nerdist #197 Jon Hamm
Mad Men’s Jon Hamm makes a return trip to Nerdist, resulting in a lighthearted yet effective episode. Hamm’s dry wit offers subtle punchlines throughout the interview, capably riffing on topics like the existential Three Stooges as well as the “three-tone fart sound.” Thankfully, Chris Hardwick and Jonah Ray avoid simplistic lines of questioning with Hamm, allowing for a conversation that’s free-flowing, but never completely unleashed. The episode breezes by, as the rapport among the three feels both jovial and genuine. Even when the group discusses slightly overwrought topics—such as the expiration date on calling “spoilers”—it’s fresh enough to make a tired topic engaging. [DA]

Never Not Funny #1020: Drilling Down With Samm Levine
Samm Levine has become a sort of heel in the podcasting world. He often comes off as a smug know-it-all, opinionated without empathy and unjustly defensive. His conversation with Jimmy Pardo, an actual comedian skilled at playing those characteristics as a joke, doesn’t preclude any of that, but it does bring a cathartic moment for Levine’s haters: “I relistened to myself on the last Doug Loves Movies—I would not like me. I say terrible things! Paul F. Tompkins screamed at me once ‘This is why people don’t like you,’ and he’s not wrong!” While those aforementioned traits become more and more apparent as the episode progresses—though not without humor, as Pardo and Matt Belknap combat him in equal measure—Levine proves his redeeming charms with a bottomless well of trivia, humoring Pardo’s questions on the merits of dentistry, and, naturally, in an episode-closing round of MovieKatz. [SM]

RISK! #326: Live From Portland!
This week’s episode is an unusual one in that it’s a live recording of a RISK! show at Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, mention he was in The State, or talk about his sexual adventures, host Kevin Allison tells the ultimate Kevin Allison story about an orgy where someone recognized him from The State. But the two other stories make the show worth a listen: one by Janine Brito, who recalls childhood alienation, and another by Maria Bamford, who candidly discusses her and her family’s struggles with mental illness. [MM]

Sklarbro Country #91: The Sembello Pull: Jordan Peele, James Adomian, Dan Van Kirk
Sklarbro Country originally planned to have Key & Peele stars Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele as guests at the same time, but Peele’s appearance illustrates that each half of the Comedy Central duo deserves an episode of his own. Peele gets thoroughly nerdy with the twins, deconstructing the lyrics to “Maniac” from Flashdance and Bobby Brown’s hilariously literal Ghostbusters 2 theme song, while providing insight into his Obama impression and Key & Peele’s singular combination of the personal and the universal. Dan Van Kirk phones in as Mark Wahlberg to deliver bite-sized hilarity about a Wahlberg theme restaurant named Wahlburgers, before James Adomian as an MMA-obsessed Tim Gunn regales listeners with an amusingly far-fetched account of his time at Coachella. This doesn’t quite reach the heights of the stellar earlier Keegan Michael-Key episode, but it’s strong all the same. [NR]

Stuff You Missed In History ClassFour Flights Of Female Aviators
The hosts have been covering a great deal of female aviators lately, the abundance of which has likely surprised regular listeners. To further their point that Amelia Earhart was only one of many professional female pilots, this episode spends 30 minutes describing the exploits of four who changed the aerial landscape. Raymonde de Laroche participated in the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers directly, and despite her early frustrations, she was the first woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license. Harriet Quimby was the first woman to fly the English Channel, Amy Johnson was an accomplished record-setter who served in World War II, and Jacqueline Cochran was the first woman to break the sound barrier. These aviatrixes (a word every writer dreams of using in context) are every bit as interesting as recent episode subjects Beryl Markham and Bessie Coleman. Those who skipped those episodes should check out this one, as the multiple stories in small portions makes time fly by. [DT]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: Who Was The Great Imposter?
Ferdinand Waldo Demara excelled at impersonating individuals whose skills or lives were difficult to mimic—like doctors. A second-string athlete and a mediocre student in his youth, he ran away from home at 16. After going AWOL from the military, he started dabbling in identity theft, first with psychologists then moving on to doctors. But there was always some sincerity in his scams, and he often excelled in his continuing education as a doctor even though he was a poor student in real life. The challenge of Stuff You Missed In History Class lies in all the information hosts Sarah Dowdey and Deblina Chakraborty cram into each episode, but that’s not a problem with a subject as fascinating as Demara. [DT]

The Todd Glass Show #41: Eddie Pepitone, Daniel Kinno
Eddie Pepitone created one of The Todd Glass Show’s signature bits in “The Bail Outs,” a fake improvisation group whose name gives it a perpetual excuse to abruptly end bits that aren’t going well. Pepitone doesn’t come up with anything quite so memorable this time out, but he proves a predictably engaged, energetic, and enthusiastic partner who’s always willing to throw himself into the silly scenarios that are the podcast’s raison d’être. Glass and his co-conspirators continue to make smart, incisive use of found audio, in this case a profane and hilarious clip of Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon pandering to affiliates, followed by a strangely poignant clip of McMahon discussing his working relationship with his boss. Glass and Pepitone make for a formidable team, and their delight in each other proves infectious. [NR]

Walking The Room #100: Live With Patton Oswalt & Karen Kilgariff
After sharing some familiar absurdities about their children to open Walking The Room’s live 100th episode, Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt welcome Patton Oswalt into a frenzied, often-esoteric discussion of careers, bad impressions, and Oswalt’s old house parties that loses a bit of its focus in the scrum. But when Oswalt describes the terror of rooftop sex in a lightning storm, the co-hosts envision a new fetish and run with its quintessential WTR premise, and close Oswalt’s guest spot with strong bits on celebrity-related triumphs and a spoiler-free riff on The Avengers. Comedian and “highly canceled” The Rosie Show writer Karen Kilgariff closes with revelations on the show and a lovely (and hilarious) new song, “Couldn’t Love You More.” [SM]

Who Charted? #73: Ooey Gooey Sui: Natasha Leggero
For this episode, hosts Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack welcome back repeat guest Natasha Leggero, whom they nickname “Natty Leggs.” Leggero shines during the music chart; it’s always entertaining when a guest who’s disconnected from pop music tries to make sense of someone like Nicki Minaj. But the real star of the episode is Kremer, specifically his impression of his older brother Lee. Who Charted? has already done an episode where Vilaysack interviewed Kremer as Lee, but it might be worth it to get the real thing in the studio. (Imagine the “dueling Kremer” possibilities.) Kremer also provides an entertaining impression of comedian Brody Stevens, but it’s doubtful that will ever earn an entire episode. [MS]

WTF With Marc Maron #272: Kevin Hart
In a stand-up comedy realm of dysfunction and self-destruction, Think Like A Man star Kevin Hart stands out for his maturity, perspective, and gratitude. They’re predictably hard-won: As he recounts in an engaging conversation with Marc Maron, Hart came close to experiencing a series of professional breakthroughs throughout his career, from a television deal in his early 20s that dissipated mysteriously to a would-be breakthrough film (Soul Plane) that was a massive hit with bootleggers but died an unmourned death at the box office. So when Hart finally reached the pinnacle of his field as one of the biggest touring acts in the world (and the star of a successful concert film called Laugh At My Pain), he had the experience to deal with his success gracefully. This is a surprisingly heartwarming conversation with a funny, nice, and grounded man who may not have it all figured out, but seems to be in an enviable place personally and professionally. [NR]

You Made It Weird #43: David Koechner
In real life, David Koechner is a far cry from the enthusiastic yahoo he plays in Anchorman and The Office. Koechner’s visit to You Made It Weird reveals the actor and comedian to be a thoughtful, introspective, and compassionate family man and expansive thinker. Koechner’s episode consequently deals more with philosophy and ideas than show-business anecdotes. When Anchorman comes up, for example, much of the discussion revolves around Koechner’s perception of the film as an elaborate metaphor for evolutionary function and the changing face of masculinity at an anxious time, a concept that’s pretentious but not nearly as insufferable as it might sound. The episode closes with a typically engaged defense of marriage and monogamy, a welcome segment deliberately designed to offset the frequent anti-monogamy rhetoric of previous You Made It Weird guests. [NR]


THE REST

Doug Loves Movies: Sarah Silverman, Aaron “P-Nut” Wills, Ti West, Kyle Dunnigan
Pacing proves to be the fatal flaw in this episode of Doug Loves Movies. Although guest Sarah Silverman is instrumental in an impressively long round of Build A Title, all of the side conversations and asides cut into the time allotted for the Leonard Maltin Game. As usual, the nametag selection eats into the game time, so the panel only has time for one round. But the rushing doesn’t stop Doug Benson from taking a call from his car service, oddly enough, while recording. [MS]

Judge John Hodgman: A Wing And A Player
The case of a not-quite prematurely balding Kentuckian and a concerned friend who serves as a poor wingman has a lot of potential, but the incident under review—a possible flirtation with a waitress at an Indian restaurant—doesn’t develop into a particularly compelling anecdote. And the plaintiff’s Skype connection is about as good as the time Jake Tapper guest-bailiffed from a Minnesota hotel room. [ST]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #57: Sklar Brothers
Paul Gilmartin has a sure setup for this episode: He deliberately tries to make it a little lighter than most Mental Illness Happy Hour fare, and interviews the excellent identical-twin stand-up duo, Randy and Jason Sklar. It’s indeed a congenial discussion and a chance to learn more about the brothers, yet it doesn’t turn out to have a lot of meat. [SG]

Mike And Tom Eat Snacks #56: Tasti D-Lite
The biggest problem with Mike And Tom Eat Snacks is its reliance on established talking points, such as callbacks to jokes from earlier episodes and long, unrelated tangents. Those are also part of the podcast’s charm, but sometimes the duo drifts too far afield, as it does here. Unfortunately, this episode never really finds its feet. [DA]

Monday Morning Podcast
For the second time in three weeks, Bill Burr brings a guest on the podcast, this time his frequent opener, Paul Virzi. Listening to the first 45 minutes—all sports talk—feels like sitting in a sports bar and overhearing a loud conversation between two ardent fans of rival teams. The topic of sports keeps coming back, even as they read listener emails about cartoons, alcohol, and God. The typical format of the podcast allows Burr to wallow in self-deprecation, but having a guest on hand precludes that, and the result isn’t all that interesting. [CG]

Nerdist #196: Live From Chicago
Although this live episode features guest Alison Haislip, it functions more as a hostful episode than an interview one. It starts fairly strong with an energetic audience response, but because the hosts put their focus on interacting with the crowd instead of putting together a solid podcast, it quickly falters. While it sounds like a great time if you were actually in the audience, it doesn’t really translate to the recording. [DA]

The Smartest Man In The World #154: Mendicants
Do people come to Greg Proops’ shows hoping he’ll make a great point about Jackie Robinson, or some such thing? Not that it prevents him from being funny, but the slightly more serious bits and long rants about crappy amusement parks combine to give this week’s Smartest Man installment a rather tiring start. [SG]

Sound Opinions: #334: Best Second Acts And Spiritualized Review
The chief pleasure of this week’s Sound Opinions is Greg Kot chiding Jim DeRogatis for putting “Everlast” and “Johnny Cash” in the same sentence, amid a long and anti-climactic discussion about music’s great second acts. If only DeRogatis’ bit about Mission Of Burma came a bit earlier in the episode—unlike a lot of the other comeback discussions here, it offers both an unusual choice and a compelling discussion. [SG]

Stop Podcasting Yourself #214: Ivan Decker
Stop Podcasting Yourself hosts Graham Clark and Dave Shumka banked a few episodes in advance of a road trip, so this week’s material is understandably spread a little thin. But ’90s alt-rock and Hulk Hogan are conversational wells that never run dry, and comedian Ivan Decker keeps things pumping with brief bits about his chance encounter with David Cross and Bob Odenkirk and an idea for a reality show (Canada’s Next Top DJ With Armin van Buuren). A delirious, long-shelved drunk dial is the highlight of a blasé Overheard segment.  [DXF]

Stuff You Should Know: How Air Traffic Control Works
Early on, co-host Josh Clark declares the 1999 John Cusack/Billy Bob Thornton air-traffic-controller comedy Pushing Tin an awesome movie. So while his taste might be questionable, he at the least has interest in the topic—more so than some air-traffic controllers, no shortage of whom fall asleep due to exhaustion or heavy drinking. Clark and co-host Chuck Bryant seem reluctant to stick to the subject for fear of their own boredom, and instead spend a lot of time on the unrelated topic of air passenger peanut allergies. It’s a shame, because if more time had been spent on individual stories, this episode might have, ahem, taken off. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: Social Security Numbers: Less Boring Than You’d Think
In an episode involving finance, things are bound to get dry. The conversation forks early into whether Social Security is just a Ponzi scheme (maybe) or socialism (yes). But socialism isn’t a bad word to everyone, and dry podcasts aren’t the worst thing in the world. The cost of Social Security is in massive flux right now with America’s largest generation ever entering retirement. Is this all sustainable? The podcast can’t really say. Although listeners get a detailed history, it’s far more educational than entertaining. [DT]

The Thrilling Adventure Hour #68: Beyond Belief: Nuns The Word
The supernatural-meets-alcoholism tales of “Beyond Belief” tend to be among Thrilling Adventure Hour’s funniest, what with their playing to Paul F. Tompkins’ impeccable instinct for preposterous situations. This episode, concerning nuns and a possible Antichrist baby, is solid but doesn’t quite reach the segment’s admittedly high bar of hilarity, perhaps because it departs from its usual focus on the interaction between Tompkins and co-star Paget Brewster. [SG]

You Made It Weird #42: Rob Delaney
Compared to his stage and Twitter personas, Rob Delaney is very subdued on You Made It Weird. Thankfully, that means he doesn’t come off as gratingly hyper-masculine; unfortunately, it also means that he sort of counteracts Pete Holmes’ energy. Hearing about how much he loves his child is endearing, but he makes a point of never revealing too much about his private life. That’s fine, of course, but overall the episode isn’t quite engaging or funny enough to compensate for that lack of insight. [CG]

WTF With Marc Maron #273: James Mercer
James Mercer of The Shins and Broken Bells seems like a down-to-earth family man, although Marc Maron’s chat with him takes a while to get off the ground. The first 40 minutes of the interview cover Mercer’s musical background, equipment, and inspiration. The conversation picks up closer to the end as Maron hones in on some entertaining stories Mercer has about his family, but just as the duo develops a rhythm and rapport, the episode closes with an acoustic version of The Shins’ new single, “Simple Song.” [CZ]

Filed Under: Film, Mad Men

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