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Week of Jan. 5-11


“You would never think, ‘Oh, maybe some nuns in Kansas will pay all my bills,’ but sometimes things like that happen.” —Rob Delaney, on his recovery from a drunken car crash, The Mental Illness Happy Hour

“Normally, I wouldn’t buy a human being. But at these prices, I can’t afford not to!” —Mike Siegel on a trip to Vietnam, Never Not Funny

“I’m gonna pick up my baby, and I’m gonna just fuck him up! I’m gonna destroy him for the rest of his life with all my hugs!” —Connie Britton, Nerdist

“The most powerful force on earth is a group of 13-year-old girls … A group of 13-year-olds together could make the earth crack open in two and magma shoot out.” —Greg Proops, The Smartest Man In The World

“If you imagine you are sort of a zucchini, you might cheer up” —Russell Brand on achieving a Zen spiritual state, WTF With Marc Maron

“In senior year of my high school, all the cool kids went to Auschwitz.” —Shalom Auslander, The Moth

“Maybe I should fuck Will Smith.” —Marc Maron, WTF With Marc Maron

“Here’s the thing: Patton’s made of people!” —Greg Behrendt, explaining why a recent Patton Oswalt blow-up is utterly forgivable, on Walking The Room


Monday Morning Podcast
Bill Burr has been doing stand-up since the early ’90s, but his career really took off in the past decade, stemming from appearances on Chappelle’s Show and buoyed by steady national touring. The topics in his stage act (dating, race relations, etc.) have been covered by numerous comics before him, but Burr’s prominence in terms of respect from his peers and ticket sales—not to mention a podcast currently rated No. 47 on iTunes—speaks to the unique strength of his material on those topics. Prior to starting the Monday Morning Podcast in mid-2007, Burr started an XM Radio show called Uninformed with the tagline “No reading, no research, just strong opinions,” and that viewpoint carries over into the MMP: He’s the first to acknowledge his ignorance on certain topics. Acerbic, prone to rambling, and constantly self-deprecating, Burr is a naturally funny person capable of making discursive rants highly entertaining.

The first half of his first episode of 2012 is great: Burr tells of an unpleasant experience with an airline, admits to snoozing during The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and attempts to recap his trip to the Rose Bowl, the details of which are fuzzy, thanks to his decision to drink after spending most of the past year sober. And his advertisement for Stamps.com midway through is about as funny as advertisements get: “I fucking hate the Post Office. They’re a bunch of cunts.” Past that, though, the quality suffers from an extended (and uncharacteristically self-serious) rant about Kobe Bryant’s divorce followed by two listener emails with sexist overtones that are largely unfunny and slightly grating. It’s by no means the best episode to date, but the first half warrants a listen. [CG]

Giant Bombcast
Most gaming podcasts seem to focus on news, insider talk, or personal stories related to gaming, but Giant Bombcast does all three. Part of the Giant Bomb gaming site, the podcast features news and discussion of games host Ryan Davis and regular guests Jeff Gerstmann, Vinny Caravella, Brad Shoemaker, and Patrick Klepek are playing. The informal discussion doesn’t follow a strict format, resembling a conversation among gaming enthusiasts listeners are overhearing—as such, it may seem insular to listeners. With such opinionated hosts, the conversations can get heated, but as with any discussion among friends, it quickly de-escalates into playful insults. Episodes frequently go longer than two and a half hours—and one of the year-end episodes from last month lasted a staggering four hours—which makes them too long for a regular commute or workout, so listeners will need to break them up or reserve a sizeable chunk of time to get through each one.

The 180-minute episode for 1/10/12 focuses on Star Wars Old Republic and Skyrim for a long time before shifting to Super Mario 3D Land and some news. The discussion about the games—the hosts all complain that it takes too long to walk anywhere in both SWOR and Skyrim—gets derailed by a pointless tangent comparing Little Caesar’s and Domino’s pizza. For people curious about the 3DS and its battery life, that part of the discussion offers some insight, but too much of the episode is spent off-topic. Giant Bombcast may appeal to those who want to hear opinions about a wide range of games, but anyone looking for something more substantial will be disappointed. [AJ]


Sword And Laser
An extension of an online sci-fi and fantasy book club started by podcast veterans Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, Sword And Laser follows the book-club template with a discussion of a featured book, but adds news, upcoming releases, and a brief chat about other books the hosts are reading. Like any book club, they don’t so much review the books as talk about them, such as themes they found interesting and elements that did or didn’t work. The audience participates via forum threads and emails to generate topics for discussion. Episode #86 features Elantris, the debut novel from Brandon Sanderson, and the author’s rookie status tempers Merritt’s critique of the book. Fantasy and sci-fi fans looking for balanced reviews of a wide variety of books should find the hosts engaging and the tips on how to read all these books on a tight schedule helpful. [AJ]


The Best Show On WFMU
After last week’s darkness, Scharpling crawls out of the mire to spend a good bit of time kibitzing with comedian Todd Barry. Whether Barry is considered a regular caller or a guest on the show at this point is worth a conversation of its own, but when he’s on The Best Show, it’s always funny. The cherry on top comes when comedian Chris Gethard makes an appearance to talk about his book with his brother, The Greggulator. It’s a family affair, with everybody in good spirits. [JD]

The Bugle #177: Weapons Of Mass Election
The first of two final Bugle shows for The Times takes a very British look at the Iowa Caucus, with veteran caucus-goer John Oliver explaining all the nonsense to an ambivalent Andy Zaltzman. The highlight of the episode, however belated, is the fuckulogy for Kim Jong Il, which begins with Zaltzman taking credit for his death after The Bugle satirized him so thoroughly in 2011. While not as epic as other fuckulogies, it’s a proper sendoff for the dictator. Also amusing is the sincere sadness in Oliver’s voice when he’s told there is film of Thomas Edison electrocuting an elephant—if that’s acting, he should certainly be in better films than The Smurfs. This truly great Bugle should have the Times reconsidering its decision to discontinue the show. [AJ]

Comedy Bang Bang #139: Win A Farmhouse: Bob Odenkirk, Brian Huskey
Any episode with Bob Odenkirk and the great Brian Huskey (Onion News Network, Childrens Hospital) should be a layup. Scott Aukerman makes clear that he owes his career to Odenkirk, who hired him as a writer on Mr. Show, and the host obviously reveres his guest. Any episode that has one of the giants of sketch comedy goofing around and discussing his role on Breaking Bad seems like an automatic for Best. Add in a very funny guy like Huskey, and it’s automatically one of the best episodes of the year, right? Actually, no. The brief Breaking Bad discussion aside, episode #139 gets off to a bit of a slow start, even once Huskey shows up as Paul Luzak, acting landlord of Comedy Bang Bang’s building. Huskey’s character gets funnier as the episode proceeds (especially during “Would You Rather?”), but #139 is more enjoyable than laugh-out-loud funny. Maybe it feels a little underwhelming because expectations can’t help but go up with Odenkirk (and Huskey) as a guest. That said, any podcast with Odenkirk deserves your time. And there’s all sorts of news, from the new Comedy Bang Bang IFC show to a supposed new album from Tenacious D. [KR]

Doug Loves Movies: Jon Hamm, Paul F. Tompkins, Anthony Jeselnik
The semi-final round of the Leonard Maltin Game Tournament Of Championships gets underway this week, with Doug Loves Movies’ usually ambling pre-show banter cut short so the contestants can dive into the competition. This actually works in the episode’s favor, because not only is it a particularly lively edition of the game, but even the process of picking out nametags proves uncharacteristically entertaining. Anthony Jeselnik selects one from an audience member who tries to bribe him with an Arby’s gift card and the promise to get high for the first time should he win. (Jon Hamm and Paul F. Tompkins choose tags made from a medical marijuana card and an ambulance bill, respectively.) Thanks to a friendly air of competition between Tompkins and Hamm, the Leonard Maltin Game heats up and makes for another solid episode of Doug Loves Movies. [MS]

Hang Up And Listen: The Tebow Is Stranger Than Fiction Edition
With his Denver Broncos’ improbable overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Tim Tebow proved conclusively that God put him on the earth specifically to irritate stat geeks. (For God is a jock, and thus hates nerds.) After predicting Tebow’s recent string of dismal performances would continue against the league’s No. 1-rated defense, Stefan Fatsis gets the cosmic wedgie that’s coming to him—mainly through playback of his own failed prophecy. He will likely have to wait until next season for the “sample size” to be sufficient enough to remove Tebow from NFL starter status and redirect the quarterback’s career toward its inevitable future in far-right evangelical politics. The second half of the episode is devoted to a fine discussion with Chad Harbach, author of The Art Of Fielding, a superb debut novel that centers on a baseball team at a small Wisconsin college. Harbach’s main character, Henry Skrimshander, a defensively gifted shortstop who suddenly becomes error-prone, gives the gang an opportunity to talk about “Steve Blass disease,” so named for a pitcher who mysteriously lost control of his mechanics. [ST]

How Was Your Week? “Twiddling And Eight-Balls”: Rob Tannenbaum
While Julie Klausner is undoubtedly a hardworking professional writer/funnyperson, it would be reasonable for people who listen to her podcast to think, “Wow, all this person does is watch television, laugh at her cat, and pay a lot of attention to random things on Twitter.” Like so many episodes in the past, that’s the formula for the opening of this week’s episode—but it works. It’s what keeps people tuning in. Here, Klausner talks about discovering the Bareback Brotherhood from a Twitter friend, and it’s off to the races. “Best” and “Rest” designations usually hinge on the guests, and thankfully, this week’s discussion with Rob Tannenbaum about the MTV oral history he co-wrote is interesting and funny. [JD]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #42: Rob Delaney
Comic Rob Delaney’s turn on Paul Gilmartin’s informal couch begins with a DWI that left him with two broken arms. With the incident 10 years behind him, Delaney’s able not only to speak frankly about alcoholism but also join Gilmartin in finding some grim humor in the whole thing. The two frequently steer the conversation into broader topics, like the follies of pessimism—and Mental Illness episodes are always better when they pull back for the bigger view. But the real kicker is how willing Delaney is to convert his own experiences into some well-balanced advice for the depressed and their loved ones. Gilmartin reads two reader-submitted surveys this week, one of which is incredibly disturbing and the other of which leads to some good-humored cracks about masturbation. [SG]

Mike And Tom Eat Snacks #45: Chex Mix
The internal politics of Chex Mix are more complex than you might think, at least in the fabulist universe of Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh. This week’s MATES arguably peaks early, thanks to Black’s elaborate anecdote involving adultery and an entire high-school marching band. But once they wander around to the food portion of the food podcast, there’s still plenty of strange improvisatory schemes to go around, not to mention some choice words about pretzels. [SG]

The Moth Shalom Auslander: Death Camp Blues
There’s your typical “frazzled Jewish childhood” story, and then there’s Shalom Auslander’s Moth entry about traditional death-camp pilgrimages. Probably the most jarring thing about it is the crowd, sounding raucous and eager for a good, inappropriate laugh. After all, not everyone would go along with the crack, “Ugh, the train ride is just gonna kill me.” Auslander sustains the dancing-with-a-corpse-caliber black comedy even as it subtly turns into something more nuanced. The resulting moments are all the more rewarding for being uncomfortable (and sickeningly funny). [SG]

Nerdist #156: David Cross
David Cross has been making the rounds lately to promote The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, merrily bashing Chipwrecked along the way, and his appearance on Nerdist is no exception. But the real attraction is hearing him talk about the early stages of his career, the definition and evolution of “alt-comedy,” and, in particular, his experiences with Mr. Show. Cross goes into the process of producing the show, the differences between sketch and stand-up, and offers a few tangents about his modest fame. While it’s not particularly revelatory, the episode still does what Nerdist does best, getting the subject to delve into his process and evolution of it. [MG]

Sklarbro Country #75: Live From Sklarbro Country! Laraine Newman, Brett Gelman
Randy and Jason Sklar always welcome what they refer to as “Lady Energy” on their podcast, and this time it comes in the form of Laraine Newman, original Not Ready For Primetime Player, voiceover artist, and, in the brothers’ overly generous estimation, first-ballot pick for Comedy Hall Of Fame. (Gilda, yes, but Newman not even in a weak year.) After riffing impishly on Dennis Rodman’s innate sense of schlock (he’ll be coaching a lingerie basketball league this year) among other sports ephemera in the early going, the brothers largely skip the jock antics to pepper Newman with questions about the early days of Saturday Night Live and her love of alternative comedy. She waxes indignant about Saturday Night Live histories that have her, for example, shooting up heroin (something she disputes), but otherwise comes off less like a comic elder stateswoman than the brothers’ daffy but endearing aunt. Eccentric comic genius Brett Gelman stops by later to debut one of Sklarbro Country’s weirdest, most conceptual characters, a sleazy publicist who represents disgraced coach Jerry Sandusky’s only slightly less disgraced lawyer. It’s a clever if purposefully obscure bit for those who like their comedy a little on the conceptual side. [NR]


The Smartest Guy In The World: Elbows
It’s been a few weeks since the last proper Proopcast, and Greg Proops has clearly built up some bile in the interim. The episode gets 2012 off to a rousing start as Proops launches into a searing rant on the Los Angeles arsonist, which carries over into scathing tangents about New Year’s Eve television specials and Anderson Cooper. But Proops reserves a particularly large amount of vitriol for Gwyneth Paltrow, at least until the Iowa Caucus comes up and Rick Santorum draws his ire. It’s a fantastically cranky start to the new year. [MG]

Stuff You Missed In History ClassÖtzi: Everyone’s Favorite Copper Age Man
Twenty years ago, a couple of hikers in the Alps stumbled upon a body that turned out to be the frozen corpse of a 5,300-year-old man later called Ötzi. He would go on to become a perennial favorite among history buffs—host Sarah Dowdey is even charmed that he apparently had a girlfriend. The ice so well preserved his body that scientists were able to learn his age (45, old for his era), his birthplace, where he lived, his day-to-day health issues, tattoos, social status, and numerous other small details that make it startlingly easy to determine his personality. As details of his life unfold over the decades, so do aspects of Ötzi’s murder. Historians know so much about him, knowledge of the Copper Age is beginning to expand outward from his body. And when it comes to whimsically ruminating on an ancient corpse, there are no better guides than Dowdey and co-host Deblina Chakraborty. [DT]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: Public Enemies: Five Gangsters To Know
Wonder why George Kelley Barnes became Machine Gun Kelly, despite no evidence that he ever fired a machine gun? He and other gangsters of the time had a surprising amount of intelligence behind their motivations, and it’s this backstory makes this episode so fascinating. Loving a good character study more than anything, Deblina Chakraborty and Sarah Dowdey find sensationalist press less interesting than the story of Katherine Barnes, George’s wife, who orchestrated some Lady Macbeth-level schemes for him to earn a reputation as a brutal murderer. The rest of the list centers on Chicago (no surprises there) and the kidnappings, robberies, and murders therein, providing a fascinating and unflattering impression of the Windy City in the 1930s. [DT] 

Stuff You Should Know: Was There A Curse On King Tut’s Tomb?
Stuff You Should Know hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant have some experience debunking the supernatural and delight in disproving it. Compared to Penn and Teller’s Bullshit, they tend to take it easy on the “believers.” Right off the bat this episode reveals how desecrated King Tutankhamun’s body was after he died. Whatever parts of his body weren’t smashed or torn apart by the time conventional historians found him were badly disfigured by the effects of inbreeding. Mix in the ancient Egyptian rituals for preparing a body for the afterlife, and the poor king’s body was in a sad state by the time archaeologists discovered it. But as the hosts point out, archaeologists of the day were wealthy, naive treasure-hunters looking for trouble. So when you look at all the facts together, it only makes sense that George Herbert, a wealthy adventurer known for arrogantly crashing the world’s first cars, would lop off an infected mosquito bite while shaving and give himself blood poisoning. The myth easily unravels, but the facts are fascinating nonetheless. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How Yo-Yos Work
Chuck Bryant jokes this episode should have been called “Physics Through the Eye Of The Yo-Yo,” and it really should have, as physics and history buoy a potentially dreadfully dull subject. In fact, Josh Clark playfully berates his co-host for any sarcasm, and the two go tumbling into topics such as the origins of the word “yo” and human civilization with genuine enthusiasm. Clark’s sincerity even compels him to deadpan, “I don’t think yo-yos can be compared to a hoop and a stick!” With the exception of the doll, yo-yos may be the oldest toy in history, varying in design and style around Europe and Asia. They had arrogant, goofy names and a simple design. Worried that the modern ball bearings, clutches, and other affectations are a part of what makes a yo-yo obnoxious? So do the hosts, who dismiss such things and refuse to talk about them. The result is well-distilled nerdery that any connoisseur of fine tales will find interesting. [DT]

This American Life #454: Mr. Daisey And The Apple Factory
It’s rare for Ira Glass to hand over the majority of an entire hour of This American Life to a single monologue, but just 10 minutes into Mike Daisey’s excellent excerpt from his one-man show, The Agony And Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs, it’s easy to see why he did. By then the strange cadence and repetition of a live performance has normalized, and Daisey is deep into his obsession with Apple products. His questions take him to Shenzhen, China, where all of “America’s crap” is made, and where he fibs his way into factories to see the conditions. Daisey’s truly a masterful storyteller, breaking up the tougher moments in the story with the self-deprecating humor of a giant, bumbling American. [EW]

The Thrilling Adventure Hour #53: Sparks Nevada, Marshal On Mars: War Of The World 
This week’s installment of the Sparks Nevada saga (Western-style earthling cop on Mars) introduces some elements more modern than westerns or hokey sci-fi, including a drilling controversy and some clever references to fantasy-novel geekery. The highlight would have to be a confrontation between two high-pitched aliens trying to start a war on Mars, including one who repeatedly uses the word “technology!” with an idiotic but admittedly infectious zeal. Plus, the serial plot keeps moving ahead somehow, thanks in great part to the put-upon-tough-guy deadpan of Marc Evan Jackson as Sparks. [SG]

Uhh Yeah Dude #305
This is one of those weeks when Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette seem to goad each other into extra-punchy comedic back-and-forth and get a little off their weird chosen topics, but in a positive way. It takes an extra spark to urge folks to “bring your switchblade and your grandkids” to an upcoming live show, or for the hosts to dare each other to make up some cheesy Anthony Kiedis raps. Their preview of the People’s Choice Awards shores up Uhh Yeah Dude’s news-you-can-use credibility—also, happy National Oatmeal Month—but it’s worth it this week for the goofy little riffs, including a long rationalization about why people should not use the bathroom at home. [SG]

Who Charted? #58: Critter Sandusky: Brett Gelman
Actor and Comedian Brett Gelman has been a ubiquitous presence on the various L.A. alt-comedy podcasts, in addition to launching his own Gelmania podcast on Earwolf. By inviting him on Who Charted?, Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack run the risk of having a guest who’s been spread a little thin. But Gelman usually plays an angry/intense character on other podcasts, and here he’s open and comfortable—he also really clicks with Kremer, mainly due to their shared passion for comedic rap. Some of the best moments occur during the final segment, where Gelman reveals how his inability to relate to other kids during childhood contributed to his ongoing anger issues. However, to keep things from getting too serious, he eventually recites a rap about a woman’s “fat upper pussy region.” [MS]

WTF With Marc Maron #242: Russell Brand
There is a sense of a passing of the guard when Marc Maron opens his WTF interview with Russell Brand with an anecdote about Bill Hicks arguing with an audience member who answered Hicks’ angry boast “I am a poet!” with a request to hear some of his poetry. (Needless to say, he was a poet in the more abstract sense.) Brand is one of the preeminent heirs to Hicks’ outlaw legacy, and on a stellar WTF, he gets along swimmingly with Maron as they discuss the different ways Brand tried to fill the spiritual hole left by abandoning drugs, alcohol, and sex addiction as a young man. For Brand, that meant embracing meditation and a spiritual consciousness to transcend the temptations of the physical world. He may be a seeker, but he’s also a funny and self-deprecating entertainer who speaks eloquently and candidly about his misadventures through show business and the difficulty performers sometimes have subverting their egos and need for validation enough to connect with other people. Listeners hoping for salacious details about Brand’s much-publicized break-up with wife/pop star Katy Perry will be disappointed, but those seeking a spirited meeting of the minds between two of comedy’s most audacious and distinctive talents should come away satisfied. [NR]

You Made It Weird #13: Nick Kroll
Nick Kroll’s appearance on You Made It Weird offers an anomaly in the often angst-filled world of comedy podcasting: a conversation between two relatively stable, well-adjusted comedians who overcame perfectly happy, prosperous childhoods to become genuinely funny people in a field overrun with neurotics and depressives. Like seemingly every guest on You Made It Weird, Kroll is a good friend of Holmes, so when he spends much of the podcast playfully ribbing Holmes for his ego, his height, and particularly his laugh, it sounds affectionate rather than mean. Holmes boasts one of the most infectious, irrepressible laughs in comedy, and few people make him laugh as consistently and explosively as Kroll. That said, the comedian seems genuinely irritated by Holmes’ outsized, booming guffaw, which lends the podcast an interesting tension. Kroll here exudes confidence bordering on cockiness; in an amazingly cringe-worthy anecdote, he tells Holmes he was so unreasonably sure of himself as a young comic that he invited the famously surly Bill Murray to watch him perform at an open mic, with predictably disastrous results. Kroll and Holmes have an easy, playful chemistry, though Kroll is definitely right when he insists someone as smart, thoughtful, and knowledgeable as Holmes really should know who the fuck Harry Belafonte is. [NR]


Nerdist #157: Connie Britton
Even though Connie Britton has appeared in one of 2011’s most buzzed-about shows (American Horror Story) and an all-time favorite of The A.V. Club (Friday Night Lights), her Nerdist appearance disappoints. She and Hardwick have a great rapport thanks to a long friendship (though Britton used to call him “Steve”), and Britton’s story about battling her nanny over the level of affection she shows her adopted Ethiopian baby has some humorous moments. While fun, there’s not much meat to the episode and, sadly, barely a mention of her time as Tami Taylor. [MG]

Never Not Funny: #1005 Coming Home With Mike Siegel
There are road stories, and there are travel stories. Road stories, especially from comedians, tend to recount late-night, boredom-fighting debauchery; travel stories detail the inherent awkwardness of unfamiliar cultures. Frequent traveler Mike Siegel—whose recent stand-up gigs sent him to Southeast Asia, Germany, and Israel—has only the latter to share, though Jimmy Pardo edges in a number of jokes about the former. Siegel’s stories are certainly fascinating and rife with well-constructed beats, but his comedy and conversation with Pardo rely a little too heavily on being a fish out of water. [SM]

Sound Opinions #319: Record reviews
Like everybody else, intrepid Sound Opinions critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis are spending the opening days of 2012 desperately playing catch-up from the holiday break. Unlike most episodes, which center on an artist interview, the bulk of this installment consists of album reviews for big, recent releases like The Roots’ Undun (which they both predictably love), Guided By Voices’ Let’s Go Eat The Factory (which DeRogatis predictably hates), and The Black Keys’ El Camino (which DeRogatis somewhat unpredictably calls a masterpiece). It’s not quite as cohesive as the best Sound Opinions episodes, but it’s a worthwhile roundup of buzzed-about records you might want to buy or burn. [SH]

Stop Podcasting Yourself #199: Pete Johansson
Hosts Graham Clark and Dave Shumka return from a long holiday break with celebrity sightings that include Salt-N-Pepa and a brush with a Beatle. Canadian comedian Pete Johansson takes a backseat to the hosts, and a consistent if not stellar “Overheard” segment offsets exceptionally rapid-fire riffing about sex guilt, fake boobs, a racy Ikea commercial, mediocre skiing ability, the lesser works of director David Cronenberg, and a popular perception the show perpetuates: that Canada—like New Zealand in Flight Of The Concords—is a pleasant little community where everybody knows everybody. [DXF]

Walking The Room #85: Blog Fight And The Mesh Patch
Probably one of the best things about Walking The Room is that it’s not all that taken with talk about being a comic. Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony try to bring some reason this week to an Internet controversy over Patton Oswalt blowing up at a women for taking video of his set, and it’s welcome enough. It doesn’t even take up that much time, but it’s noticeably not as entertaining as the hosts swapping stories about crackhead encounters. [SG]

WTF With Marc Maron #243: Bert Kreischer
Maron’s Monday installment is compelling despite itself, starting with a disturbing anecdote wherein he tells his girlfriend to “mind your own fucking business” after she suggests he should stop obsessively reading his Twitter feed while they’re on vacation. Meanwhile, his conversation with comedian Bert Kreischer is off-putting yet entertaining. Kreischer became famous in 1997 for being featured in a Rolling Stone article as the top partier at the top party school—a story that more or less inspired the movie Van Wilder. Thus a lot of Kreischer’s tales sound like boozy fratboy bragging, but at the same time, who doesn’t want to hear some anecdotes about drinking with Russian mobsters and hanging out with Will Smith? [CZ]