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You Made It Weird offers the most personal glimpse of Bill Nye to date

The best podcasts for the week of May 24–30

Podmass comments and suggestions for future coverage can be directed to podmass@avclub.com. 


“They don’t do blackface any more—for the most part.” —guest co-host Dan McQuade on the Philadelphia Mummers, Book Fight!

“The European political spectrum is something of a batshit barometer.”
“If there’s one single continent in the world that should know the dangers of swinging politically to the right, Europe would be pretty [beep] high up that list.” John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman, The Bugle

“I don’t normally drink, because it brings out the angels in me. Not the demons. Do you see how I’m an opposite guy? That’s part of my feel.” —Matt Gourley as H.R. Giger, Comedy Bang! Bang!

“Is it The Qolor Purple?” —Moshe Kasher’s stab at guessing a Rae Dawn Chong movie that start with the letter Q, Doug Loves Movies

“Imagine if you’re a little kid, and you want a bedtime story. Then this motherfucker walks in.” —Dan Harmon on how great he’ll be as a father, Harmontown

“You just don’t really think of athletes and musicians of being that similar... It just makes you wonder if we should start talking about certain musicians not being clutch.” —Josh Levin on the crossover impact of the yips, Hang Up And Listen

“As much as possible I like to think of myself as Rosa Parks. I think we have a lot in common. Like, she’s super brave, and, like, I’m super brave, you know?” —Carrie Poppy, Oh No, Ross And Carrie!

“Look, anyone who doesn’t like ZZ Top can go fuck themselves.” —Marc Maron

“The Big Bang banged, and for some reason we’re here. And that’s astonishing. And that we can understand that, that’s the most astonishing.” —Bill Nye, You Made It Weird

“As far as having a pity party, serve finger foods.” —Paul Gilmartin gives a listener a piece of advice on entertaining, The Mental Illness Happy Hour


Oh No, Ross And Carrie!
There’s a lot of free information out there these days, and all of it is obscenely easy to find. Unfortunately, huge chunks of this information has also been handed down through generations of flimsy oral history and old wives’ tales, the results dubiously sourced and rarely vetted. The multitudes of fact-checking groups with at least a twinge of bias outnumber the truly objective and stifle levelheaded debate. Enter Oh No, Ross And Carrie!, one of the newest acquisitions to the Maximum Fun network of podcasts that “shows up so you don’t have to,” reporting on fringe science, spirituality, and claims of the paranormal straight from behind the front lines of their subjects.

Titular hosts Ross Blocher and Carrie Poppy are professional Hollywood types and amateur skeptics. Each episode of Oh No focuses on a recent firsthand investigation that the hosts have completed. Though they wear their secularity on their sleeve–rating their findings on a scientific scale of one to 10, with one being “You’re made of goat sperm.” and 10 being “the theory of evolution”–their bread and butter has always been their infiltrations and deeply sympathetic analyses of fringe religious groups. Perhaps most famously, the duo’s two-part dissertation on the Church Of Latter Day Saints saw them legitimately convert to the Mormon faith. Blocher and Poppy take great care to humanize their guides to the listener even through intense disagreements, a refreshing stance in a growing landscape of shot messengers. The benefit of their compassionate reporting extends beyond the fringe too, and into truly dark territory–even someone like the kooky Christian minister/sequined-denim-jacket mogul/convicted child sex-offender Tony Alamo can expect a fair trial in the court of Poppy and Blocher.

Oh No, Ross And Carrie! epitomizes the do it yourself ethic of podcasting in a brave, new journalistic context. It’s easy to imagine that their brand of legwork will be cited in important conversations about the way the news is reported in the future. [NJ]


Serial Killers Podcast 
Though the idea of Serial Killers Podcast is stellar (but not for the faint of heart), host Brian Combs is definitely still honing his craft. With 66 episodes to date, Combs often sounds like he is reading information from a Wikipedia entry. This is most noticeable when he uses quotes in such a stilted manner—“He appreciated the idea of quote, ‘having sex with someone who is dead, because you wouldn’t get caught.’ End quote.” Episode 60,  an interview with criminology professor and serial killer expert Scott Bonn, is where this podcast finally begins to find its legs. The back-and-forth between Combs and Bonn is a welcome change of pace and an indicator that Combs should not only get more guests on the show, but that additional voices would be beneficial, especially to interject wit into the quotes Combs uses. [BJ]


Book Fight! #61: Sylvester Stallone, Rocky II 
There is absolutely no fight this week. Guest co-host Philadelphia writer Dan McQuade joins Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister for a relatively Philly-centric conversation. They kick off by discussing the novelization of Rocky II (written by Sylvester Stallone himself, allegedly), and all three agree this book is terrible. But the conversation evolves to touch on what may be an interesting note of racism that seems to pop up around Rocky fandom, just how much brain damage Rocky seems to have suffered, how the city has finally gotten its act together for a Joe Frazier statue, and McQuade’s journey as a freelance writer working in the city. McQuade is also kind enough to attempt to explain the Philadelphia Mummers and their parade. [ABa]

Comedy Bang! Bang! #289: The Exorcism Of Cake Boss: Paul F. Tompkins, Matt Gourley 
A pleasant conversation between Scott Aukerman and Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro (played, as always, by Paul F. Tompkins) descends into one of the most harrowing episodes of Comedy Bang! Bang! in its five-year run, when the supernaturally gifted baker is confronted with a disturbing Star Wars canon-related reality paradox and, in his weakened state, finds his body overtaken by the recently deceased H.R. Giger (Superego’s fantastic Matt Gourley). The darkly obsessed surrealist artist remains unable to return to his new job redesigning the aesthetics of Hell until he completes a strange and unknown task. In the meantime, he and Aukerman have a nice chat. Until, that is, a mysterious, wizened old man appears at the door, sent there by the Cake Boss himself. Any episode with Tompkins is going to be good, but this one goes above and beyond, managing to pull an actual compelling narrative arc out of the chaos. [DD]

Doug Loves Movies: Scott Aukerman, Moshe Kasher, David Wain, Kevin Allison
Despite being a first-time guest, They Came Together director David Wain is more prepared and gung ho for the Leonard Maltin Game than many returning favorites. Wet Hot American Summer fans might hope his enthusiasm, camaraderie with The State buddy Kevin Allison onstage and the loosened-lips nature of podcasts would result in some disclosures about the possible upcoming Netflix series based on the 2001 cult hit, but nope. No matter—the lineup at Upright Citizens Brigade this week almost guarantees a fun and easygoing episode, and everyone delivers. Doug Loves Movies briefly becomes Doug Loves Books (he doesn’t, but the dais keeps coming back to it), and a special all-names-given game just for Allison opens up a problem-solving solution for whenever Tig Notoro drops by next. [DJ]   

The Cracked Podcast #35 Tipping Points: The End Of Seafood And Tequila: Jason Pargin 
This time around, The Cracked Podcast staff dissects significant cultural tipping points and sudden shifts in the zeitgeist over the last century or so. Jack O’Brien engages writer and frequent panelist Jason Pargin on topics like the imminent disappearance of seafood, the evolution of the frequency of home runs in baseball, and Starbucks attaining omnipresence seemingly overnight. O’Brien and Pargin spend the entirety of the episode having a great back and forth on a wide variety of well-researched topics. Naturally, O’Brien and Pargin discuss the theories presented in divisive author Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference in a way that’s palatable and fun. [MS]

Filmspotting #492: X-Men: Days of Future Past / Cannes Recap / Top 5 Movie Teams 
The Filmspotting team is unfortunately down one member as they embark upon a daunting mission to name their top five movie teams. Unsurprisingly, Michael Phillips—who’s subbing for an absent Adam Kempenaar this week—nearly manages the amazing feat of filling his list with all Hollywood golden age classics, even going so far as to wangle a Vincente Minnelli MGM musical in there. However, he does toss the 1975 Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jaws in there, though that’s probably just to seem contemporary. Josh Larsen, to his credit, only lists one 44-year-old French arthouse film, with Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge. The rest of his list is a lot more relatable. This week’s theme was obviously inspired by the release of Bryan Singer’s newest X Men installment, which both men liked, but didn’t love. Phillips, just back from Cannes, also spends a few moments running through some of the festival’s highlights. [DD]

Hang Up And ListenThe 90 Percent Of The Game Is Half-Mental Edition: Jonathan Hock
A strength of Hang Up And Listen is the show’s knack for delving deeper into stories than the easy hot takes of sports talk radio. A course-changing decision by U.S. men’s national soccer team coach Jürgen Klinsmann to leave Landon Donovan off the World Cup roster gets the thought-provoking HUAL treatment in this installment. Jonathan Hock, producer of  ESPN’s Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March To Brazil, provides an intriguing, behind-the-scenes look at the removal of the country’s most famous soccer player by the German-born coach, whose sociological approach to international soccer gets explained and dissected. Hock’s unprecedented access to the team provides the kind of deep insight that could only come from someone who was in the room with the squad. An examination of the yips, a malady that robs its sporting and musical victims of the ability to perform, is also worth a listen in this solid episode. [TC]

Harmontown #101: Paloma: DeMorge Brown
It makes perfect sense that this episode is named for Dan Harmon’s as-yet-unconceived daughter. If listeners end up taking only one thing from this week’s show, it’s that Dan Harmon, comfortable as he is in a happy romantic relationship, really wants to be a dad. After making his case for why he’d be a decent-enough parent—“Worse guys than me have done it, right?”—he shows off his bedtime storytelling skills with an improvised tale of a talking jellybean plant that is destined to be illustrated by some industrious fan, if it hasn’t been already. Later, Kumail Nanjiani and DeMorge Brown join Harmon and Jeff Davis onstage to talk about the politics of arranged marriages and the nuances of Barack Obama impersonations respectively. Ultimately, everyone winds up on the magical Isle Of Paradise, locked in battle with a very persistent tarragon-hating malevolent ghost.  [DD]

The Mental Illness Happy Hour #175: Mick Betancourt
Great podcasts can go through periods of barely listenable dreck and interesting blunders, but truly excellent episodes can periodically remind listeners about all of the show’s best qualities. The Mental Illness Happy Hour adds another one of those exemplary installments with this memorable conversation with comedian Mick Betancourt, who talks with Paul Gilmartin about his horrific upbringing and everyday battles as an adult. The comedian delivers an intensely moving account of a childhood spent hungry, abused and alone. While the subject matter is heavy, the episode is continually buoyed by Betancourt’s outstanding talent as a storyteller. It’s a raw, gripping conversation that takes several turns without ever getting too impenetrable or hopeless. The overarching theme of the 145-minute discussion is survival, which gives the installment an extra dose of humanity and meaning. MIHH’s 175th episode is a remarkable achievement. Don’t miss this one. [TC]

The Moth: The Story Of Boris
Emotionally stirring stories on The Moth can come from even the most peculiar of topics, and for Blue Hill chef Dan Barber this week, that means boar semen. When farm favorite Boris The Boar stops performing sexually, Barber solicits advice from his colleagues on what to do with the beast. Slaughtering and eating it is a no-go; testosterone-soaked meat tastes like “licking a urinal at the bus terminal,” and letting him live out his days is impractically expensive. What begins as a simple day-to-day farm matter unpacks itself to reveal larger implications, some of them comical and some of them challenging. Sows unable to get pregnant, someone points out, are killed on the spot. Another blames Barber’s choice to name the animal to begin with. Barber eventually relates Boris’ plight with that of his own testicular cancer, elevating the quirky story into something thought-provoking, darkly comedic, and deeply intimate. [DJ] 

Nerdist #526: Dr. Drew
Nerdist takes a departure from its usual interview and/or riff-heavy structure for Chris Hardwick’s one-on-one conversation with addiction specialist Dr. Drew. The duo’s 20-year-long friendship allows them to skip the small talk and move into more serious subject matter fairly quickly. Drew helped Hardwick with his decision to get sober, and he shares a poignant story about how much Hardwick’s recovery meant to him. This episode doubles as a therapy session for both men with the conversation centering on alcoholism, over-medicating, and co-dependency, as well as Drew’s battle with prostate cancer. Unfortunately, that leaves little time for exploring Drew’s career, although his short background on the genesis of his radio program Loveline is a highlight. Listeners will need a high tolerance for hearing Hardwick discuss his personal life as much of the conversation centers around his past and current problems. That said there’s also a good chance this episode’s honest, blunt conversation will help those struggling with similar issues feel a little less alone. [CS]

Never Not Funny #1417: Jesse Thorn 
Jesse Thorn—the warm-voiced patriarch of the Maximum Fun podcast network and host of Bullseye—is truly a force of positivity in the world. Even when he’s trying his stir up a think stew of umbrage, such as for the annoyingly arch commercials that are clearly attempting to ape the comedic sensibilities of Tim and Eric, it comes off more charming than enraged, and his mere presence in the Never Not Funny studio has a calming effect on the whole team. “Calm,” though, is not a euphemism for “boring.” It’s a fun episode that builds to a great end, when Thorn falls into hysterics upon realizing that Jimmy Pardo is preparing to unleash his much-maligned Mad Dog impersonation and Matt Belknap tries in vain to hold back the inevitable. Listeners who get very annoyed by the character (and apparently that’s a significant percentage) shouldn’t worry too much. Unlike in previous episodes, he’s used sparingly. [DD]

Professor Blastoff #157: Materialism: Tim Minchin
It’s briefly unfortunate that this week’s conversation about materialism, like any chat with music and comedy powerhouse Tim Minchin will, invariably strays to atheism, but Minchin heads to the hatch on a mission and hits the hosts with a barrage of expertly articulated points of view that challenge their preconceived notions. In particular, he takes aim at “marketing terms” like gluten intolerance and organic produce right to Tig Notaro’s self-identified hippie face; he then endears himself to Kyle Dunnigan by critiquing the “solipsism” of the afterlife and to David Huntsberger by admitting he doesn’t have the stats in front of him to back it up. Something about his unfiltered stream of consciousness brings the hosts out of their comfort zones for a surprisingly touching installment. [NJ]

Sklarbro Country #201: Sheep Boy
Randy and Jason Sklar welcome David Wain into the studio and it’s clear from the get-go that they have a lot of history with this guest. The Sklars start off by reminiscing about the New York alt-comedy scene of the mid- to late-’90s by getting nostalgic about the Stella shows Wain used to perform with fellow State alums Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter. Naturally, there’s plenty of talk about the legacy of the classic Wet Hot American Summer, which is a topic that has somehow avoided exhausting itself after all these years. The show also ends with a great unreleased clips where Adam McKay does some fantastic character bits, including Sam Elliott and Vin Scully. [MS]

Stuff You Missed In History Class: Deaf President Now
Usually SYMIHC goes out of its way to live up to the H in its title, rarely venturing into recent history from the 1970s and beyond. But with the story of Gallaudet University’s push for its first deaf president in 1988, hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey have hit on a story vital enough to make the exception worthy. Gallaudet was created in the 1960s as a part of the country’s effort to give the culture of the hearing impaired its own voice and chance to learn. Edward Gallaudet, the university’s namesake, was a part of a tradition of “manualists,” who wanted those with hearing impairment to learn sign language and focus on their own community; a more commonly represented point of view supports the hearing-impaired learning lip-reading and language so that they may be better integrated. Frey and Wilson do well to consider both ends of this spectrum, and the discussion is an absolute must-listen for those unfamiliar. And with brilliant forethought, the podcast posted the episode’s entire transcript. [DT]  

Stuff You Missed In History Class: The Red Ghost Of Arizona And The U.S. Camel Corps
If SYMIHC has any one common theme, it’s that the facts of history often pale in comparison to the bizarre tones that once cast their shadows the past. In an episode that is alternately odd and delightful, hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey explain the bizarre demon-turned-camel known as the Red Ghost Of Arizona. In 1883, local Arizonans described the camel as death incarnate, and as being ridden by the devil himself, or by a corpse. Camels had been used throughout world military history, but a failed attempt to breed them (without telling rural residents what a camel was) by the U.S. government had led to this mix-up. Frey and Wilson have collected a highly charming chain of hysterical accounts. And in spite of their incredible and innate sensitivity, they cannot help but laugh at the way this creature allegedly trampled someone and carried skeletal remains on its back. The episode includes a lengthy history of the failed breeding process, but is accessible to anyone who has laughed at a YouTube video of an animal frightening a human. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: Archaeology In A Nutshell
Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant use this episode to explore the true value of collecting artifacts, and Clark in particular reveals his infectious passion for things dug up from beneath the earth and the oceans. They kick things off with an examination of the Renaissance, when mankind realized the value in things previously seen as merely “old.” This caught on worldwide in 1809, when Napoleon’s obsession with ancient Egypt led to a publication that got the whole world interested in the long lost culture. At about the same time, Thomas Jefferson was also methodically digging up burial mounds in America. Around these curious, wealthy people, a community of actual scholars sprang up, and the science began to develop. At many points in the podcast, Clark’s interest flares up, and listeners can practically hear him leaning forward in his chair with excitement. The latter half of the episode deals more with contemporary archaeology, and though the international laws are a bit dense, it’s worth it to hear Clark rant about the true meaning of a captain going down with his ship. [DT]

Stuff You Should Know: How Temper Tantrums Work
Banking on the idea that even listeners without children have at least seen a child melt down at Target, Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant explore the murky waters of what it means when a child goes on a screaming spree. Children, it turns out, have only been viewed as something other than “tiny adults” for a relatively brief span of time. But scientists have discovered that the pre-frontal cortex is the last part of a child’s brain to develop, and this part of the brain is what regulates a person’s emotions. Until approximately age 3, this part of the brain cannot process a certain amount of anger and sadness and tantrums are all but unavoidable. Though Clark and Bryant occasionally refer to infuriated children as things like “simpletons” and revel in the option of ignoring an angry child, they make it clear that such teasing comes from a place of empathy. Particularly of interest is that the most scientifically supported reaction to have at the onset of an emotional explosion is a neutral and observational one, subverting most instincts to give either positive or negative reinforcement. [DT]

Welcome To Night Vale #48: Renovations
The episode starts out as a chipper Desert Bluffs report by Strexcorp puppets Kevin and Lauren. The two muse on the hellish “company picnic,” which has stretched on for two weeks. 

The studio door creaks open and after a heart-pounding few seconds… Cecil is back!

In his absence, he found intern Dana and she brings him to the lighthouse, a parallel universe both like and unlike Night Vale. He learns that people can pass back and forth between the two worlds. We are still unsure where Carlos is.

Night Vale often spouts meta social critiques, but “Renovations” is a particularly sobering listen. Towards the end, Cecil gives an encouraging call to action that will spur even the deepest cynics. “Listeners, all is not well,” he says. “Here is what’s right: Night Vale Community Radio is back. We will not be controlled by a smiling god. We must continue to fight and resist, be the heroes we look for in others. We must no longer speak in code, but in action.” [PM]

WTF #500
Much could’ve gone wrong with the 500th episode of WTF—it’s long, there’s no specific guest, etc.—and in fact, the beginning of the episode doesn’t inspire any high hopes. At times it feels like one of Marc Maron’s usual opening monologues stretched out to just short of two hours. However, he avoids self-indulgence, and instead manages to mine his own insight even after having talked for so many hours across so many episodes. The highlights are an extended chat with his old friend/foe Steven Brill, and the two hash out their issues to an entertaining (if not completely successful) end, along with conversations with each of Maron’s parents, both of which are poignant in their own ways. The initial success of WTF itself was unlikely, but the fact that it’s still going—and still going quite strong—is a testament to the fact that it’s well deserved. [CG]

WTF #501: Vince Vaughn
This week’s episode is a live recording from the Wild West Comedy Festival, which the “surprisingly tall” Vince Vaughn produced. Both Maron and Vaughn are a little nervous about the live format, which gives their patter a giddy, “this could go off the rails at any moment” quality. Vaughn doesn’t hesitate to make fun of Maron, who is clearly the more uncomfortable of the two (probably because he isn’t in the warm embrace of his garage), and it’s a nice change of pace to see the host a little on his heels. The interview format is just about the same as usual, going through the guest’s past and how they got where they are now, but weirdly enough, Vaughn is the one who keeps the proceedings on trajectory, with Maron typically going off-topic. [NC]

You Made It Weird #209: Bill Nye
Bill Nye The Science Guy clearly had no idea what he was getting into when he sat down with Pete Holmes to discuss all manner of things, including science, God, vegetarianism, swing dancing, and divorce. However, despite Holmes’ disclaimer that it’s “one of the weirdest episodes ever,” Nye—who probably assumed he was going to answer the same 20 questions about climate change and evolution—seems perfectly happy to recalibrate his expectations at various points of the conversation. And, while he does get in a number of evangelical testimonies for the beauty of science, he also opens up enough to give one of the most revealing glimpses so far of who he is as a person when he’s not being an advocate. That said, one source of actual weirdness appears to the two men’s differing approaches toward comedy, and, like unfamiliar swing dance partners, they seem to often step on each others feet. [DD]


The Bugle #260: Fruitcakes And Loonies
John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman savage the right-wing swing in recent European elections, which is something of an academic concern for your average American (until the continent goes up in flames, prompting economic reverberations and U.S. military action). [DXF]

The BugleMaychive II
Co-host Andy Zaltzman apologizes for John Oliver being M.I.A. filming his “telly show,” so the audio newspaper serves up more best-of clips from Mays past, including skeptical takes on Guantanamo Bay, British abortion policy, the Louisiana oil spill, and other humans behaving badly. [DXF]

The Fogelnest Files #91: Vintage Watch Collector: Nick Thune
Nick Thune reveals how nervous he was before sitting down with Marc Maron to hash out their personal issues on one of the early episodes of WTF and fills Jake Fogelnest in on his firsthand knowledge of singer Scott Weiland’s questionable footwear on The Tonight Show and terrible airplane manners. [DD]

How Was Your Week #169: Jolie Kerr “Pus Town”
A good if unfocused monologue highlighted by Julie Klausner reviewing Marc Maron segues into her most shallow interview in recent memory as she chats with author and columnist Jolie Kerr about nothing more interesting than how the human eye perceives color in clothing. [NJ]

Improv4Humans #136: Hallelujah The Hills: Lauren Lapkus, Mike Still, Jeff Hiller
Despite a stacked guest list that includes Earwolf favorites Lauren Lapkus and Mike Still, this week’s episode doesn’t make the grade. The music of Hallelujah The Hills eats up much of the episode’s time and never quite inspires scenes as hilarious as usual. [MK]

Judge John Hodgman #162: Laissez Hair
Husband Beau is tired of spending money on dying his wife Leala’s hair pink. Leala doesn’t want to start paying a professional. Hodgman has fun ribbing the punk-rocker-turned-graphic designer, but an hour discussing the business wears thin, so a full day of it must be maddening. [DXF]

Nerdist #525: Clark Gregg Returns
Beloved character actor Clark Gregg returns to the show. Gregg has great chemistry with Chris Hardwick, but because they did a fairly comprehensive interview not too long ago, it seems a little too soon for a return appearance. This sounds more like a lively chat between two friends that didn’t necessarily need to be recorded. [MS]

Nerdist #527: Jaime King
Hart Of Dixie’s Jaime King stops by Nerdist for a one-on-one chat with Chris Hardwick. The conversation eventually wanders to King’s role on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but the majority of the time she and Hardwick discuss her newborn baby and their joint love of dogs. This is perfectly pleasant small talk, but certainly not an essential episode. [CS]

99 Percent Invisible #166: Breaking The Bank
While a look at conceptual and actual bank heists is an interesting concept, 99 Percent Invisible’s look at how someone could, with unlimited resources and no regard for human life, rob a bank plays a bit thin, more like a lark than an actual story. [ME]

Sound Opinions #444: Warpaint
Shoegaze-y all-female indie rock outfit Warpaint is a charming bunch, but no one involved in their interview takes the time to say anything of note. The accompanying music news and review of Neil Young’s new A Letter Home are fine listens for the more diehard Sound Opinions fans. [NJ]

This American Life #526: Is That What I Look Like?
Listening to Molly Ringwald recount how her perspective of The Breakfast Club changed after she watched the film with her daughter is as charming as expected, but overall this week’s episode doesn’t quite fully flesh out the complexities that arise from moments of acute self-realization. [DF]

Who Charted? #182: Gandalf Vs. Snape: Matt Besser
The good news is that this is the last episode featuring inept co-host Armen Weitzman. The bad news is that the focus of this episode is on Weitzman’s inability to form an actual opinion and not on the stellar guest Matt Besser. Fortunately, Besser plays audience surrogate and repeatedly calls Weitzman out on his weird affectation where he refuses to articulate a complete sentence. Seriously, Howard Kremer can not return quickly enough. [MS]