Splitsider

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

James Adomian and Marc Maron Talk Handjobs, Mulaney and Kroll Stop By 'Bang Bang', and More!

The comedy podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. We're here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. There are a lot of great shows and each has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy.  Each week our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. Also, we'll keep you posted on the offerings from our very own podcast network. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural funny.  

Bradford: WTF with Marc Maron #310 – James Adomian

During his interview with comedian James Adomian, Marc Maron says he’s surprised he hasn’t had him on the show yet. Both guys have been swirling around the same comedy scenes for years now, and Adomian’s visit to Maron’s garage is a long time coming. The resulting chat is fun and entertaining throughout, while the pair is able to tackle some serious stuff, as well. It’s an in-depth look into Adomian’s past, from his self-proclaimed “right wing asshole” phase in his teens and early 20s to him shedding those beliefs and building a career in comedy and transitioning from being an impressionist to a stand-up who talks about his own life. James Adomian does a great Marc Maron impression, and Maron gets him to do it for him, which leads Maron into performing a couple of his own impressions of Andy Kindler and Eugene Mirman that are quite impressive, despite being phonetic only and not containing any words. It’s an enjoyable and engaging WTF, even if it doesn’t end in Maron and Adomian giving each other handjobs on mic as promised.

Jay: Penn's Sunday School #29 - Adam Savage

This week, Adam Savage stops by Penn's Sunday School to test the myth: "Can you build a successful live Las Vegas show around a popular Discovery Channel science program?" That's right. The "Mythbusters" are now performing on the Las Vegas strip. You may think of Adam Savage as just a guy who does physics experiments on TV, but he explains that he has performed live with Jamie for colleges and corporate events and even was the opening act for The Rally to Restore Sanity. So he is no stranger to the stage. He and Penn tell stories about performers being made to feel uncomfortable by audiences and Adam discusses learning how the audience informs his act. Penn then gives his theories about live performance. They talk about the differences between the sexes (to the extent they exist) and how the Mythbusters tested them. Then they get into a discussion about changing ones mind and behavior. The conversation somehow turns to Penn's recollection of using Dean Martin's shower, the unreliability of human memory, Clint Eastwood's "Chair Speech," Rashida Jones getting chomped by Bubbles the Chimp, and so much more. This podcast is a nice glimpse behind the curtain of "Adam Savage," the character and a must-listen for anyone who performs in front of live audiences. As for those of you who think Adam is just a nerdy television host, after hearing him you will agree: that myth is BUSTED.

Jesse: improv4humans #42 – Jason Mantzoukas, Lennon Parham, Jessica St. Clair

Guys, guys, GUYS! Are we serious with this one? If you are familiar with these guests, you should be so excited that you just cannot hide it. Jason and Jessica used to be writing partners and are on the same improv team and have been for years. Lennon and Jessica are current writing partners and creators of the super funny Best Friends Forever. Jason and Lennon regularly perform two-man improv together at UCBLA. The point is these people know each other. As host Matt Besser remarks early on, they already have a great rapport, which will only help the improv. The fact is, sure the improv was awesome, but what made this episode super special was that certain podcast feeling it had of friends just hanging out. These guys are the best and the funniest and as result, this episode of i4h was as well.

Marc: Comedy Bang! Bang! #174Lizzy Caplan, John Mulaney & Nick Kroll

Although Scott Aukerman is the alleged ringleader of CBB, he makes it sound like all he has to do is sit back and let the funny happen. He’s become a master of appearing to be completely out of control as his guests – both real and fictional – roll right over him. It takes first-time guest Lizzy Caplan (The Bachelorette) a little while to find her sea legs when the podcast deck starts rocking, especially when comedians John Mulaney and Nick Kroll leave the studio, to be abruptly replaced by “series regulars” Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland. Their patter about auditioning for HBO’s The Newsroom is hilariously ridiculous (as you can tell by how they can hardly keep a straight voice), as is their riff on sugary booze. “If I can’t get a Mike’s Hard Lemonade due to no ATM money,” says Faizon, “I just drink Scope and chase it with Splendas.” The pair’s tales of being hapless Hollywood losers spin out, from making Robert Evans vomit so that Gil could have it on his sports coat as a memento, through sex tours in Viet Nam and George’s singing with Nirvana. You’d think that the prevalent format – crazy people wandering unannounced into the CBB studio – would wear a little thin after so many episodes but it just refuses to stop being funny.

Here to HelpSamantha: Here to Help #46 – David Bluvband and Alan Starzinski

This week on Here to Help — the show that has comics answer questions meant for advice columnists — David Bluvband and Alan Starzinski prove that the best way to work out a problem is with a) practical reasoning and b) completely absurd improv. Bluvband and Starzinski are both UCB performers (on house teams Dance Break and Sandino, respectively), and as we get to know our guests at the top of the show, we learn they were also both involved in 'the industry' from a young age (getting their breaks as a Baby Gap model and on Forensic Files, respectively). Their high-energy chemistry turns the questions posed by hosts Andy Rocco and John Robert Wilson into increasingly unhelpful bits, from advising a woman caught up in a workplace romance to retroactively not get involved in the first place, to answering a wife sick of chauffeuring her family by acting out an awkward, bee-filled car ride. As usual, amid the fast-paced fun and occasional jabs at sad folks' weird problems, some legit life advice manages to shine through (like always trust your instincts, and always color-code your homework).

This Week in the Splitsider Podcast Network:

A Funny Thing #25 – Christian Capozzoli "I come from you"

Parents. They're supposed to be our rock, our paragons of sure-handed, stoic capability. Oh, but aren't they all too human? Maybe no one ever says "divorce", maybe we still go out to dinner as a family, and maybe this makes as much sense as driving from France to America, but they'll do it. And maybe, in their desperate all too human effort to hold it all together, to stave off the chaos of the world for just one more precious, fleeting moment, they leave a Buick-wide wake of mutilated animals and stunned children. Perhaps that is just the cost of doing business, the cost of being a parent, the cost of family. A cost that is counted in silence and goose heads.

It's That Episode #32: LIVE! – Henry Zebrowski, David Young, Connor Ratliff

It’s a special LIVE episode of “It’s That Episode” with guests Henry Zebrowski (Murderfist), David Young (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) and Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers) recorded at the UCBEast Theatre. Learn about Connor getting fired by Tom Hanks from Band of Brothers, meet the love of Henry's life from The Bad Girls Club, listen as David and Craig give director's commentary from their time as extras on Stella, and experience the weirdest TV crossover, when Kramer was onMad About You.

Left Handed Radio: 'Grow Up!'

On this episode: Tammy's Tavern but a suds & foam machine, an immortal must face his financial instability, two dudes accidentally have phone sex, the Big and Tall Mall on DePaul, "My Turn" with Rich Ditchbauer, Bane takes a stab at VO work, an art museum docent goes for the hard sell on the Degas, Dateline's Steve Morris can't believe the Blue Bluffs Killer is for real, a doctor can't bring himself to give bad news to an already bald man, Socrates overdoes it, and the principal forgets a very important announcement.

Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak #1- Neil Casey, Shannon O'Neill, Brian Faas

Every week, Abra will invite three comedian friends to improvise unscripted scenes all made up on the spot. In this premiere episode, improv extraordinaires from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC, Neil Casey (brand new SNL writer), Brian Faas, and Shannon O’Neill, join Abra in getting comfy and creating a world in which airplanes have an upstairs, babies question their identities, and nothing is more burny than a shot of Grand Marnier.

The Complete Guide to Everything: Doctor Who

High concept experimental episode time! This week Tom spends 20 minutes trying to explain 50 years of Doctor Who lore to Tim, someone who does not know or care about Doctor Who in the least. After Tim's insistence that Doctor Who is really just Quantum Leap with an attractive redhead, Tom bets Tim that if he watches three hand selected episodes of Doctor Who("Blink," "The 11th Hour," and "Victory of the Daleks") he'd be bound to like it. We then hop in the TARDIS and travel 4 days into the future to see if it worked. Will he succumb? Well we're certainly not going to tell you here, that would be giving spoilers! Oh, also be careful for the end of this episode as it gives a bunch of spoilers for the first episode of Series 7: "Asylum of the Daleks."

You Had To Be There #77 – Andy Haynes

This week, Nikki explains the virtual babies in her life and Sara gushes about her new writing job with a familiar award show. The ladies welcome back comic Andy Haynes (ConanModern Comedian) to tackle the napping and nerves brought on by Sara's stress, Nikki's gig-on-a-boat, and Andy's most recent TV set. Andy recounts a hilarious childhood peeing mishap, which leads to a discussion on the intricate etiquette of easing bodily functions into a relationship. Finally, this loopy episode ends with Talking Pee, YHTBT's new life-affirming semi-regular segment to keep you in a positive mood until next week's installment.


Jesse David Fox is a writer, cat person, and Jew (in that order). He lives in Brooklyn. His iPod is broken.

Bradford Evans is a writer living in Los Angeles.

Jay Kuperstein is a writer, founder of ComedyK.com, and attorney working in Washington, DC.

Marc Hershon is host of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast and author of I Hate People!

Samantha Pitchel does things for HuffPost Comedy and SXSW Comedy.