This Week in Podcasts: Nerdist Writers Panel with the ‘New Girl’ Staff and ‘Comedy Bang Bang’s Third ‘Parks and Rec’ Spectacular
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 comedy.
Nerdist Writers Panel #86 – New Girl’s Liz Meriwether, Brett Baer and Dave Finkel
JOSH: The Nerdist Writers Panel has become appointment listening for aspiring television writers, and this week’s episode is no exception as host Ben Blacker welcomes the creative team behind the popular program New Girl. Meriwether, Baer and Finkel examine the challenges of producing such an ambitious network sitcom with a delightful brand of insightful self-deprecation that perfectly encapsulates the charming, offbeat voice the series has developed. Meriwether and company discuss their attempts to find the perfect balance between humor and emotional storytelling, their late season success in implementing a group writing strategy and of course, the evolution of everybody’s favorite douchebag, Schmidt. Part of the insecure, “what the hell am I doing with my life” tone that makes New Girl such a genuinely relatable program are on full display as Meriwether candidly discusses dealing with the difficult production schedule. “For people like us who are perfectionists, there are moments where it’s just not gonna be exactly what you wanted,” Meriwether said. “Okay, it’s not exactly what I had in my mind, but then there is this other thing that might work.” Added Meriwether, “It ain’t HBO. It’s fucking TV.”
The Todd Barry Podcast #4 – Janeane Garofalo
MARC: It’s not often I jump so quickly back to a podcast I recently talked about, but in the case of The Todd Barry Podcast (I covered Episode 2 a couple of weeks ago), I’ll make an exception. Not only does he have Janeane Garofalo captive in his kitchen for about 80 minutes, but, through artful conversation and no hint of duress, he has has her calmly opening up about her social anxiety (“I do not enjoy ‘hanging out’ if I can help it. I’d much rather be at home with some Cheez-Its.”), how bad show hosts/emcees unintentionally lay waste to the entire night, why she has no internet presence (“I have no desire to tweet. There’s a fake “me” tweeting, which is very annoying. There was a fake Facebook (page) made, but I don’t do any of that stuff.”), and how painful it was to have been cast in the CBS Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior spin-off. In the more-than-an-hour-long interview, Garofalo touches on a number of other subjects as well. She’s sharp-tongued and sharp-minded, a combo that plays well with Barry’s laidback, sly wit.
Comedy Bang Bang #219 – Farts and Procreation 3
JENNY: Comedy Bang Bang has been on a pretty solid streak lately, and the show celebrated its fourth anniversary last week. This week CBB celebrated a different (sort-of) anniversary. Two years ago, Parks and Recreation actor Adam Scott and writers Harris Wittels and Chelsea Peretti joined Scott Aukerman for the now legendary moment in CBB-history, an episode called “Farts and Procreation,” and though Peretti no longer writes for Parks and Rec, the trio came back last summer to record another. Back by popular demand, this “Farts & Pro” three-quel had the gang talking dentists, wife swapping, and which zombie body part would come up first out of the graves of various dead celebrities. Then everyone launches into their character bits, the crux of each episode in the “F & P” series, and something that Aukerman has said made the first “F & P” one of his favorites. The four friends have such good chemistry, and hearing them riff of one another, whether it’s spending ten minutes building up to Peretti’s one-note character or delving deep into a series of characters played by characters played by characters, makes for high-quality comedy.
The Dana Gould Hour – Yer Feet’s Too Big!
ROB: The Dana Gould Hour is like the public radio show of comedy podcasts, Wits notwithstanding. This is a good thing, and the amount of time you have to wait between episodes is worth it. In this installment, Gould and two sets of comedians talk about Bigfoot and other myths or conspiracy beliefs with Bobcat Goldthwait leading off the conversation talking about his new movie Willow Creek, a semi-mockumentary horror film that just premiered at the Independent Film Festival Boston about a couple looking for footage of sasquatch. Goldthwait has some great stories behind the shoot, which alone is worth a listen. Gould takes off from Goldthwait’s fascination with Bigfoot culture into conversations with Eddie Pepitone and Monika Scott about Bigfoot, UFOs, Zombies, and conspiracies. Or maybe it’s the other way around; In any case, the two separate conversations, as always in this podcast, compliment each other perfectly. And Gould is a great interviewer with often-hysterical interjections. Mixed with a well produced informative interstitial monologue by Gould, the episode really feels like good cultural radio programing, tackling a social phenomenon from many angles with many different voices, except that it’s consistently hilarious and the jokes can go blue. And while there are plenty of interesting talk shows or documentaries devoted to this topic, few will feature philosophical gems like Pepitone’s: “The creation of these mythical creatures are a way to alleviate the reality of the absolute butcher that goes on in–say–even a Starbucks.”
Bertcast #25 – Zane Lamprey
JAY: We are living at the dawn of a new era in media. If you told the 17 year old me that I would be writing an internet website column reviewing comedy podcasts, I wouldn’t have understood what half of those words meant. A mere 15 years later, as traditional print media and terrestrial radio are in their final death throes, the next evolutionary step of the transformation will naturally be television. This week on Bertcast, Bert Kreischer welcomes a man who is on the bleeding edge of the television revolution: Zane Lamprey. You may remember Lamprey from such programs as Three Sheets and Drinking Made Easy. Zane is currently crowdsourcing his next project: Chug. This episode of Bercast is a lesson on the perseverance of both of these men, who are trying to carve out a career in this ever-changing world of show business. Some highlights include: Lamprey’s oral history of his tv career, the power of Yelp, Anthony Bourdain: the troll, what it takes to fund a show onKickstarter, and failed pilots. Internet-based television will soon be the norm and it is guys like Zane Lamprey who will prove it. Chug will be on Kickstarter until June 1st. If you would like to be part of this historic project, click here.
Brainwarp: The Baby Eater #4 – Five and a Half Brains Too Many
ROGER: Former Mr. Show writer and performer Eric Hoffman made a short film ten years ago about Brainwarp, “the world’s dumbest supervillain,” who will stop at nothing to be able to pay his $200 rent (!) on time. The 45 minute short doesn’t seem to be uploaded anywhere on the Internet, but Hoffman decided to bring his crass, smelly creation to the podcast universe. Bob Odenkirk, Matt Walsh, and Brian Stack are the most notable comedians that provide voices for the show, who after a five month break returned with “Five and a Half Brains Too Many” the other day. The profanity uttered by not just the protagonist but particularly from the appropriately named Captain Lunatic can sometimes be very funny, particularly when spoken during a cop noir scene. While not as sprawling and unwieldly as the plot to Trapped in the Closet, I was reminded of it whenever new characters popped up, references to previous installments made their appearances, and the occasional completely random musical performance from a band or solo artist (Liam Lynch has made two appearances already.) Those numbers, in addition to the surf band documentary tacked onto the first episode, makes me wonder if Brainwarp’s future could be a meld of a subversive version of those campy rock n’roll movies of the 50s and 60s with classic books both pulp and comic into a contemporary, profanity laced comedy, and if that has always been the idea.
This Week on the Splitsider Podcast Network:
This week Tim discovers a fun new activity for Saturday nights if you’re tired of going to the dog park week after week. Also the guys discuss biking! Well, mostly Tom discuses the arduous task of receiving a free bicycle helmet from the city of New York while Tim accuses him of taking advantage of the government. NYC’s upcoming Citibike program is talked about in hazy detail and we solve a viewer problem concerning a young lady’s Special Ops. boyfriend who wants to have fun being single.
Natasha Rothwell (UCB’s The Curfew) drops by to watch a feel good episode of The Cosby Show. Listen as Natasha and Craig discuss why the Huxtables should make big money decisions together, how you shouldn’t be truthful if you hate a gift and the time an eight-year-old Natasha was humiliated while reading a poem about Martin Luther King Jr.
This week on the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, Jeff is joined by Patrick Cassels to talk about the upcoming summer movies.
This week, Sara and Nikki investigate the dangerously awesome allure of Vicodin and share tales of stepping back from the painkilling brink. Though he’s made a couple cameos in the past, this episode marks Cory Cavin‘s (@corycavin, the Talking Pee-approved webseries Model Wife) first official appearance onYHTBT. He and Sara boil down the origins of their long friendship and the trio of now-coworkers commune on nicknames, head-fashion, and Christian in-jokes. When Sara bounces early, the two stragglers recall their most awkward encounters and generally make up for the Nikkilessness of Cory’s first kinda episode. Carpet drapem, hobots.
Our story this week: Christian Capozzoli is your new host of A Funny Thing. Listen as he takes the reins in our first ever studio session and leads the story carriage right over a cliff of fire fog, adolescent gore, unrequited tan-lust, sun blindness, and arguably the most nightmarish family vacation ever.
In this week’s episode, Christian Capozzoli (Bucky), Chelsea Clarke (The Curfew), & Don Fanelli (The Stepfathers) join Abra to create a world where getting on a boss’ dick isn’t sexual, Yo-Yo Ma performs at Yankees games, & Notre Dame Judi Dench is incorrect.
Roger Cormier has no idea that he just uttered a Don Knotts joke.
Rob Schoon lives in Brooklyn and writes about tech, media, comedy and culture.
Josh Sorokach is a comedy writer living in NYC who was once referred to as a “Poor Man’s Joshua Jackson” while on a date.