Week of March 8-14

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“What a treat for the fans! So many suicides!” —Scott Aukerman, Comedy Bang Bang

“Indians are the new Jews.” —Mindy Kaling, WTF With Marc Maron

“I finally listened to her episode. I see what all the fracas is about now. It was controversial… I do a really good cartwheel. I don’t understand how she could say I was wobbly.” —Danielle Koenig on her gripe with Rebecca CoryNever Not Funny

“You have to root for the understudy; if you don’t, you’re a dick.” —Julie Klausner, How Was Your Week

“Yo, dude, have you seen The Lovely Bones?” —Stop Podcasting Yourself “Overheard” segment.

NEW

The JV Club
While the comedy-podcast landscape is by no means devoid of female contributors, women are still far more likely to appear as guests than they are hosts. Aisha Tyler’s Girl On Guy and Riki Lindhome’s Making It are noteworthy exceptions, but The JV Club, a new podcast hosted by comedian/writer Janet Varney, might be the only major podcast (it’s on the Nerdist network) to regularly feature all X chromosomes on both sides of the mic. While The JV Club is by no means a “no boys allowed” club, its focus/framing device of awkward female adolescence will likely appeal more strongly to listeners who’ve shared that experience. It might, however, be a “no irony allowed” club, what with its stated goal of “marrying comedy and empathy” and its “This podcast contains sincerity” warning label.

Varney is a host in the Chris Hardwick mode, eager and engaged at all times, sometimes almost to a fault—she talks as much as, if not more than her first guest, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks. But Varney’s enthusiasm is infectious, and she manages to pull the somewhat taciturn Hendricks out of polished interview mode, especially once the topic of their shared past as teenage goths arises. It’s more gab session than probing interview—those looking for Mad Men dish should look elsewhere—but listeners could do far worse than spending an hour listening to Varney and Hendricks’ amiable reminiscing. [GK]


NEW (TO US)

Retronauts
The erudite and nerdy among us—perhaps none more so than gamers—are particularly susceptible to the effects of nostalgia, and 1Up.com’s Bob Mackey is no exception. Every week, Mackey delves into videogame history, focusing on classic franchises such as Mega Man, or more general topics, like 16-bit gaming systems and hardware peripherals. Episodes of Retronauts alternate between a live call-in show format and a roundtable discussion among gaming journalists, typically made up of 1Up staff members. Mackey does a fine job researching each week’s topic and compiling a solid group of guests who are both knowledgeable and varied in their opinions. The conversation is lively and detailed, but not overly complicated for the uninitiated, and despite episodes that can last up to two hours, the show never seems to drag. But Retronauts’ most vital attributes may be its unfailing ability to stick to the topic at hand and the pure enthusiasm for old videogames that Mackey so effectively communicates.

Episode 42 continues a month-long look at movie adaptations of videogames with a discussion of Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil that diverges slightly from the usual bad-movie podcast by going out of its way to compare it to the source material. Unfortunately, its eventual focus on Milla Jovovich crotch shots, rather than errors and inconsistencies from the film, doesn’t make this edition stand out much from We Hate Movies or How Did This Get Made? A better example of Retronauts would be the recent episode about the Resident Evil games themselves, which includes quality questions from the audience about rare games in the series and storyline issues that Mackey and his guest, 1Up’s Jose Otero, answer with authority and charm. [AJ]


OUTLIERS

Lexicon Valley
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo of Slate tell stories about the biggest myths, debates, misunderstandings, and controversies of the English language. The hosts are meticulous in their research, which makes episodes informative, but also often leads to slow pacing and a lot of false starts as they give background information during the show. Regardless, the stories shed light on many topics discussed around American water coolers, such as whether or not Ebonics is a language or just lazy English. Episode 5 switches things up, letting author David Skinner tell the story of the difference between Webster’s second- and third-edition dictionaries. That may sound like the driest topic imaginable, but as discussed, the differences between the emphases on “proper” English in the former and “common” English in the latter is an important reflection of how Americans communicate today. Skinner also fits right in with the hosts, taking his time to meander through the story but peppering it with neat anecdotes about over-the-top personalities and ridiculous debates over usage. [AJ]


THE BEST

The Bugle #186: An Insult To Civilized Society
Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver are in the same room for a change this week, and the result is the most powerfully adorable bromance in the history of podcastdom. A sense of friendly familiarity and cheer replaces the bitter insults that fly across the telephone wires on some episodes, and the energy in the room is borderline frenetic. Oliver and Zaltzman operate at a breakneck pace, delivering top-quality jokes about bad elections and psychotic home-schooling websites. Especially notable is the run of quips about Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s “nuclear duck” speech, which goes where few other comedians have gone. This episode is a reminder of what makes The Bugle work: quick-witted absurdity piled high, paired with that uniquely British mix of self-deprecation and a superior sense of self-worth. If Zaltzman and Oliver could stop being afraid of interrupting each other over the phone, as in most episodes, or if Oliver could just get deported already, then The Bugle would likely never land in “The Rest” section again. [AJ]

Comedy Bang Bang #148: Jason Mantzoukas, Andy Daly
Earwolf favorite, master improviser, regular Comedy Bang Bang guest, and 3D Yogi Bear nemesis Andy Daly specializes in crusty, geriatric characters whose old-timey preoccupations and professions serve as cover for unfathomable, often criminal perversity. On the latest Comedy Bang Bang, Daly introduces Dalton Wilcox, a self-styled “poet laureate of the range,” whose folksy Western persona doesn’t quite mesh with his literary and personal obsessions: cowboys making sweet, passionate love to holes in the ground and/or facing down the many vampires that, in his reckoning at least, plague cowpokes and the people who love them. Endlessly game guest Jason Mantzoukas (of How Did This Get Made? and The League) amusingly focuses on Wilcox’s lazy rhyme schemes instead of the self-incriminating nature of the demented cowboy’s prose. The podcast mounts in ridiculousness until Daly is spontaneously resurrecting seemingly all of his previous Comedy Bang Bang characters (there are a lot) to dark ends, making this the ultimate Andy Daly episode and a delight from beginning to end. [NR]

Hang Up And Listen: The Bracketology-ology Edition
On the occasion of a typically solid episode of HUAL, it’s worth mentioning how good the “Afterball” bits are, when each of the three hosts dig up some quirky little story that wouldn’t usually appear on the sports page. With the NCAA tournament kicking off this week, Josh Levin, Stefan Fatsis, and Mike Pesca get into the expected bracketology, particularly the mid-major-vs.-big conference-debate. The other segments deal smartly with Peyton Manning’s search for a new team and the dreadful possibility of the National League adopting the designated hitter and taking the bat out of pitchers’ hands. But the basketball-centered “Afterball” anecdotes are a real highlight, including Pesca on the journey of his favorite college mascot, the Wichita State WuShock; Fatsis on the far-flung adventures of the New Jersey Institute of Technology basketball team, which crosses many time zones in the Great West conference; and Levin on the weird phenomenon of college teams turning down the opportunity to play in lesser invitational tournaments like the CBI and the CIT, rather than cough up the $60,000 or so required to enter. [ST]

How Was Your Week #53: “On Improv”: Simon Doonan, Eric Lefcowitz
Julie Klausner celebrates one year of How Was Your Week by telling us how she saw husky understudy Jesus onstage, but she puts aside any other pomp and circumstance to talk with Monkees historian Eric Lefcowitz about Davy Jones’ death. During their conversation, it becomes pretty evident how great Klausner has gotten at interviewing people in the past 365 days of her podcast’s existence. She keeps the enthusiasm of a true Monkees fan, but engages Lefcowitz in a smart conversation.  Klausner also talks to Simon Doonan about his new book, Gay Men Don’t Get Fat.  Doonan backs up the claim that, yes, gay men are in fact deviants who go into parks at night wearing crazy outfits, and the duo talks about sorta-old Hollywood (1970s, not the Golden Age), both of which make for good conversation. [JD]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #51: Kristine Keese
The Mental Illness Happy Hour tends to focus on private hells, a mission that’s harder to reconcile with the unthinkable scale of the Holocaust. Host Paul Gilmartin wisely comes off as deferential, then, in his interview with Kristine Keese, who was a little girl in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. Gilmartin doesn’t drive this conversation as much as he tends to in other episodes—he can’t quite identify with a lot of Keese’s experience, and has enough respect to not pretend he does. But Keese is a powerful guest anyway, laying down a hard line between “survivor” and “victim” mentalities, and exploring some of the perverse economies and moral judgments that life in her ghetto created. [SG]

Mike And Tom Eat Snacks #52: Moon Pies And RC Cola
Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh set a raucous tone this week, testing just how many times they can apply the phrase “raw-doggin’” to their debate over how to serve green tea. As for the actual food commentary, it attains a certain semi-professional inanity, especially when Black refers to Moon Pies as “kind of a Rust Belt snack.” Cavanagh upstages Black early on, though, when picking up on last week’s banter about Wolf Blitzer. Since the hosts surprise each other with randomly chosen snacks this week, that competitive spirit feels appropriate. [SG]

The Moth: Randi Skaggs & John Crotteau: StorySLAM Favorites
During a Moth event in Louisville, Randi Skaggs turns a rather terrible childhood revelation into dark comedy. She manages to squeeze other dimensions into the short StorySLAM format, channeling the story through the eyes of another child who was more wise to the world. John Crotteau’s story, on the other hand, begins with the simple matter of needing to write down a phone number, then balloons into a much bigger problem. The StorySLAM podcasts are a grab-bag by nature, but these are both fine examples of the potential of compact storytelling. [SG]

Nerdist #178: They Might Be Giants
In its 30th year as a band, Brooklyn’s They Might Be Giants join Chris Hardwick for an hourlong interview. The Johns (Flansburgh and Linnell) are candid throughout the conversation, which ranges from their early experiences playing around Brooklyn to the merits of Bill Cosby’s doctorate. Hardwick’s fandom benefits the interview, as his deep knowledge of the duo leads to some interesting lines of questioning. It only helps that Flansburgh and Linnell are always willing to go wherever Hardwick takes them. The episode is a treat for fans of TMBG, as the Johns continue to prove how quick-witted and funny they can be in casual conversation. It also serves as a sort-of return for Nerdist, which had been missing its mark as of late. The inclusion of a soundcheck recording of a track from last year’s Join Us only makes the episode that much more essential. [DA]

Nerdist #179: Tim And Eric
The absurdist duo of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim join Chris Hardwick and Jonah Ray for an episode of Nerdist that, luckily, avoids many of the cliché topics that Heidecker and Wareheim often field. Instead of Hardwick focusing solely on the group’s process and inspiration, he allows Heidecker and Wareheim to discuss their formative years and how technology affected the development of their comedic approach. By getting them to speak about the difficulty of finding a place for their work before the Internet took hold, Hardwick brings out a much more low-key side of the enigmatic duo. The episode isn’t especially deep, and it has some technical difficulties—notably some painfully quiet pieces of audio—but overall, it’s an enjoyable look at Heidecker and Wareheim’s creative outlook that avoids reducing it to “Look how weird these guys are!” [DA]

Never Not Funny #1014: Guessing Games With Danielle Koenig
It’s always fun to hear a peeved Jimmy Pardo, even if it comes at the expense of a thoughtful article he interpreted as a call to end podcasting, because “it’s over.” (Not what was argued, but it sets up a nice recurring bit on retiring, so all right.) Fittingly, Pardo channels his inner Scharpling to deride guest Danielle Koenig, then his inner Todd Glass, asking, “What if I really talked like that to my wife at home? What if that was the way I spoke?” Matt Belknap gets in his jabs too, suggesting Pardo guest on NNF spinoff Rock Solid to share his story on how Cinderella finally convinced him grunge was necessary. All griping aside, #1014 is a welcome return to classic Never Not Funny; after last week’s spectacularly flawed episode, it’s refreshing to have a regular guest like Koenig, who understands the pace and direction of the show. Her chemistry with the crew keeps the conversation brisk, but the episode’s highlights center on Koenig’s stories about working the Oscars’ red carpet for E!, the delightfully weird antiquity of a local ’40s station, and her confounding love for the “blond Ray Liotta,” Neal McDonough. [SM]

Sklarbro Country #85: Graham Elwood, Phil LaMarr, Dale Murphy, Earl Christensen, Dan Van Kirk
Graham Elwood of Comedy Film Nerds is a veritable powder keg of irrepressible, Sklarsian energy during his visit to Sklarbro Country’s calming shores. The film buff and frequent USO performer is funny and compelling sharing stories about acclimating back to the superficial ridiculousness of Los Angeles after intense tours entertaining troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, stints that were documented for posterity in his tour documentary Laffghanistan. Elwood’s smartass cinephilia and the Sklars’ love of sports overlap enjoyably in Elwood’s impassioned evangelizing on behalf of Gymkata, the notorious Reagan-era action Kurt Thomas vehicle that cast the Olympian as an expert practitioner a newfangled martial art that, according to its tagline, combines “The skill of gymnastics” with “the kill of karate.” Then the brothers bring in retired baseball superstar (and Mormon) Dale Murphy and “Earl From Toshiba” of Cheap Seats fame for a spirited chat that will appeal to fans of the Sklars’ cult TV show, before ending with an appearance by Phil Lamarr as a weirdly cash-strapped Jimmy Smits. This podcast begins stronger than it ends, but Elwood and the brothers generate enough momentum to keep things lively throughout. [NR]

The Smartest Man In The World#149: Antilles
Greg Proops pauses a few times to acknowledge when this week’s Nashville crowd isn’t quite getting him, a nice reminder of the self-awareness behind Smartest Man’s topical sprawl. But who needs self-awareness when you’re turning yourself into a carnival barker extolling Angelina Jolie? Proops’ eye for minutiae serves him well in a bit about Hank Williams’ physique, and less so in a marathon naming of country musicians, but it’s worth being patient with this typically lurching ride. [SG]

Stop Podcasting Yourself  #208: Bita Joudaki
A belligerent jaywalker receives a righteous comeuppance in a brief but dramatic “Overheard” segment, SPY’s weekly collection of quotes and incidents witnessed by the hosts and listeners. It’s a highlight from an episode listeners will either find intriguing or esoteric. Return guest Bita Joudaki is a comedian and art-school student in search of a productive outlet. Joudaki emerges as a capable and creative force, but says she doesn’t want to be an artist—though her interview segment reveals an odd approach toward that goal as she discusses her background in video, film, and various other media. After talk of stalled sculpting projects subsides, the conversation settles into a discussion of guilty-pleasure reality shows. Hosts Graham Clark and Dave Shumka round out the episode with some stories about their road trip for SPY’s previous live episode. [DXF]

Stuff You Missed In History ClassGrowing Up Brontë
The subject of the Brontë family’s youth makes up the entirety of this week’s episode, which becomes an obvious strength early on when we learn how young most of the Brontë children were when they died. Unfortunately, this episode dives into the deep end of literary history, and the facts get incredibly dense. Anne, Emily, and Charlotte became literary giants in Britain, but little time is spent explaining this, and much of listeners’ interest will rely on knowledge of their works. But it’s still a rich and interesting story, from Emily’s strange accident as a child to what it felt like to have a house look out over a cemetery. These kids heard bells tolling for the dead daily, lost family members with supernatural regularity, and got to know the local tombstone chiseler. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: Duels: A Guide To Throwing Down The Gauntlet
Duels are awesome, and hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant approach the topic with appropriate giddiness. For those who’ve ever felt a deep, simmering resentment toward an idea or person and wished they could retain some relative dignity when threatening deadly violence, this episode is a delightful leap into the catharsis pond. The point of a duel is to regain honor after an insult, technically a more cerebral approach than out-and-out murder, and so Clark and Bryant have a wealth of codes and rules to wade through as they describe the traditions of these bloody rituals. Duels also became a strange way of showing “who God favors,” allowing people to escape their crimes, which makes this episode a surprising source for quirky historical anecdotes as well. [DT]

Thrilling Adventure Hour #62: Cactoid Jim, King Of The Martian Frontier: Space-Coach
This episode is a test of Thrilling Adventure Hour’s old-time radio-drama bells and whistles, especially sound effects and theme songs (and running jokes based on theme songs). Nathan Fillion stars as a hardened Western-style hero on Mars, and there’s plenty of comic tension to be mined as he escorts three scheming Earthling businessmen across the dangerous planet. That said, it doesn’t off the show’s most immediate laughs (with the exception of the shooting of a riddle-making Martian cat). This is the kind of episode in which the big joke is only realized as the plot unravels, which is rewarding in its own right. [SG]

The Todd Glass Show: Bonus! Paul F. Tompkins
Todd Glass hasn’t discussed his sexuality much on The Todd Glass Show since he came out during a much-talked-about episode of WTF With Marc Maron. As he told Maron, Glass doesn’t want his sexual preference to define him as a man or as a performer, but on a very special episode of The Todd Glass Show, Glass talks forthrightly and candidly about his sexuality and answers emails from listeners alongside guest Paul F. Tompkins, who some may know from his constant appearances on The Todd Glass Show and every other podcast, ever. This two-hour bonus episode covers some of the same ground as Glass’ coming-out episode of WTF and a post-coming-out chat on his own podcast with Sarah Silverman, but his trenchant points bear repeating. As Glass passionately articulates, he’s less interested in breaking new ground than in ramming home relevant points in a convincing and persuasive fashion. In that respect, he succeeds with a podcast that isn’t as funny or conventionally entertaining as previous episodes (it’s not supposed to be) but is pretty damn essential all the same. [NR]

Who Charted? #67: I’m Lovin’ It
In this return appearance from Harris Wittels, it’s easy to see why he’s become both a Who Charted? fan favorite as well as an Earwolf staple. He has a rare ability to joke about his myriad sexual conquests without sounding too much like a gross frat boy, and his goofball, nonthreatening little-brother demeanor seems to resonate with fans, despite his monumentally crappy taste in music. Speaking of music, at one point, Howard Kremer pitches his own version of Wittels’ intermittent podcast Analyze Phish where he and Wittels consume a steady diet of drugs while foregoing Phish altogether. Although Kremer poses it as a joke, the idea is definitely intriguing. As an added bonus, this episode is also peppered with random appearances from another Who Charted? fan favorite, Howard’s gruff older brother Lee. [MS]

WTF With Marc Maron #261: Mindy Kaling
This Monday’s installment of WTF is an especially excellent one if you’re a fan of mild tension. First, Maron takes issue with The A.V. Club’s own Steve Heisler for his piece on whether we’re reaching comedy podcast overload. (Maron, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn’t love the piece, but his reaction is pretty measured.) And while Maron’s discussion with The Office’s Mindy Kaling doesn’t reveal much beyond what she’s discussed in her book or other interviews, Kaling calls out Maron throughout the chat for backhanded compliments about her being “career-minded” and fancy. Eventually the tension comes to a head when Kaling opines that it sounds like Maron is downplaying her talent when he compliments her on being “focused and punctual.” It all works out though, with Kaling’s feistiness netting not only a more interesting interview but also what seems like a bit more respect from Maron, even though she never delivers on his quest to dig up her demons. [CZ]

You Made It Weird #31: The Sklar Brothers
How could a You Made It Weird with the Sklar Brothers be anything other than an exuberant love-fest? The Sklar Brothers and Pete Holmes are three of the nicest, most positive and gracious people in the history of the universe, not just in comedy. Their three-way romp is consequently the antithesis of a typical dark and brooding WTF angst-fest. Yet the brothers’ infectious optimism, effortless effervescence, and innate affability don’t keep them from discussing substantive matters like the sacrifices comedians make once they have families and are forced to weigh their ambitions and aspirations against their responsibilities as fathers and husbands. The brothers also open up about their creative process and share a great closing anecdote about the needs, real and imagined, of Tommy Davidson. The Sklars distinguish themselves on this standout You Made It Weird—now Holmes needs to repay the favor by taking a trip to the calming shores of Sklarbro Country. [NR]


THE REST

Monday Morning Podcast
Bill Burr sure sounded good at the beginning of his touring hiatus last week, but after five days of, in his words, “doing nothing,” he just doesn’t have much to talk about. The most interesting thing that happens in this episode is when Burr repeatedly yells at a squirrel to get it off his property. It’s more jarring than funny, though, as it takes on a markedly different tone from the humorous shouting he does in his act, and it’s enough to make things uncomfortable for a moment or two. [CG]

Doug Loves Movies: Zach Galifianakis, Rachael Harris, Jeff Garlin, and Robbie Pickering
Doug Benson has stumbled into an unfortunate string of forgettable episodes of Doug Loves Movies. Judging by this episode, perhaps Benson should institute a temporary moratorium on Jeff Garlin, given the man’s tendency to overshadow potentially more interesting guests like this week’s Zach Galifianakis, whose superior zingers are repeatedly steamrolled by Garlin’s showboating. [MS]

How Did This Get Made? #32: 88 Minutes
A flawed real-time premise, a nonsensical plot, and a hammy central performance from Al Pacino add up to 88 minutes of pure crap. Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael are joined by You Made It Weird host Pete Holmes to rip into the film that continues Al Pacino’s transformation into an older Nicolas Cage, casting the legend as a mahogany-fleshed forensic scientist. Holmes does a fantastic Pacino impression, which is useful during a new segment in which the group reads from the script. However, the movie is an exercise in cinematic tedium, and the group’s critiques end up consisting of more frustration than comedy. [OS]

Risk! #320: What’s Going On?!
Risk!’s last several episodes have largely been hit or miss, and the most recent episode is definitely a miss. A couple of the stories are clearly trying to go the comedic route, but don’t quite hit the mark. Other stories have notable elements, but are ultimately unremarkable. Skip to the end for Mike Amato’s story about his experience with meeting women on JDate, even though he’s not Jewish. [MM]

Stop Podcasting Yourself: Live from Toronto with Mark Little, Bob Kerr, and Conor Holler
Though the enthusiastic live crowd creates the impression this show was more fun to attend than listen to, each of the three guest comedians leaves a nugget or four on the stage. Filmmaker Mark Little, as seen on Funny Or Die, dishes on his roller-skating movie parody, then moves on to more universal topics like crazy people on the bus. Bob Kerr sounds over-caffeinated when, fresh from a spending spree at a used-CD shop, he talks ’90 soundtracks. And nondescript, last-minute addition Conor Holler closes the show with useful consumer feedback about 3D TV and Final Destination 5. Like the podcast and guests, your enjoyment of the movie may hinge on having some prior knowledge of previous editions. [DXF]

Stuff You Missed In History ClassFrida Kahlo: An Introspective Life (Part 1)
Deblina Chakraborty and Sarah Dowdey have always been good at breaking topics into parts, and this is the first part of just one philosophical facet of Frida Kahlo’s career. This means the topic should be dense, but being that Kahlo is a relatively well-covered subject, it becomes rather confusing what this episode is really about. Early on it seems to be about the authenticity of her work, then it seems like it’s about romance, then references are made to previous Kahlo episodes recorded some time ago. This is an interesting story, but much like the week’s previous Brontë episode, there seems to be a change in approach, and the episode suffers for it. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How Noah’s Ark Worked
Though massive amounts of scientific research have gone into proving the “great flood” occurred, the evidence is all so vague it makes for a shaky SYSK premise. The hosts are quite even-handed in balancing what scientists and religious literalists believe, but in the end, this becomes more of a directionless philosophical discussion. Fans of Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant’s senses of humor should definitely check the episode out, but those who listen to learn something new twice a week may want to skip what’s really just fun riffing on non-evidence of a maybe-thing. [DT]

The Todd Glass Show #35: Paul F. Tompkins
The great Paul F. Tompkins absolutely destroyed during a previous trip to The Todd Glass Show with his foreign juice-store proprietor, a fan-favorite that instantly catapulted itself into the pantheon of all-time great Tompkins characters. The ubiquitous Tompkins briefly resurrects the juice-store guy on another visit to the podcast, but lightning doesn’t strike twice, and while it’s amusing and diverting for a good two hours, the episode lacks the freshness and hilarity of Tompkins’ previous visits to the show. [NR]

Uhh Yeah Dude: #314
Weaker offerings of Uhh Yeah Dude tend to skim the surface of lots of topics without really digging into any one of them, but this episode spends too much time tunneling into a story about a high-school teacher turned porn starlet. It’s a promising subject, but Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette do surprisingly little with it. Even though they pick up the pace later on while discussing take-home fertility tests for men, Adam Levine’s official scent, and Jonathan’s case of “spiritual dyslexia,” this episode can’t get any traction. [CW]

Walking The Room #94: Doves, Peas, And The Gun
Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony cover a lot of ground this week, but don’t give themselves many opportunities to dig into weird, snowballing jokes. Even if the episode doesn’t quite reach the usual momentum of Walking The Room, it’s worth hanging on for a little late-episode riffing about Elliott Smith. [SG]

WTF With Marc Maron #260: Jake Johannsen
Marc Maron’s conversation with elder statesman Jake Johannsen provides interesting insight into the mindset of a working comic who has managed to make a good living from standup for decades without ever scoring his own TV show or other massive break. Johannsen has a good, solid perspective on standup born of hard-won experience, and while this is a nice conversation with a nice man, it’s a little lacking in drama. Such is the curse of the rare functional, well-adjusted comedian. [NR]

You Made It Weird #30: Kyle Kinane
Pete Holmes and Kyle Kinane came up together in Chicago, and the first hour or so of Episode 30 is focused on their time there and the development of Kinane’s career. There are a few interesting factoids there—like that Kinane held a day job until just a few years ago—but overall it’s not very engaging. For the last 15 minutes, they talk about compromising between deeply caring about things like the environment and animal rights while still being able to function in society, which feels fresher, but it’s not enough to make up for the preceding 70 minutes. [CG]

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