This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland Stop by ‘Comedy Bang! Bang!’
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. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy.
Comedy Bang! Bang! – Nick Kroll, John Mulaney
Rob: This week’s Comedy Bang! Bang! features guest Nick Kroll along with John Mulaney, and for veteran CBB listeners, and that can only mean one thing: “Oh, Hello!” It’s the return of those preternaturally misinformed, ambiguously elderly, tuna-obsessed, perpetual New York bachelors: Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland! Recently of Kroll Show fame, this pair hasn’t appeared on the CBB podcast in over two years. This week, we finally get a long look into their past, particularly their wild times living in a hyperbolically stereotypical 1970s New York City (hint, most stories involve lots of “k-caine” abuse). The two guests and host Scott Aukerman also find themselves creating an impromptu celebrity in memoriam list that’s about 99 percent fabricated, give or take. Mulaney’s St. Geegland particularly shines: listen for one moment when he manages to mix three dicey topics — 7th Heaven’s Stephen Collins, Bill Cosby, and 9/11 — into a hilarious one-liner analogy. The A segment, before Gil and George take the stage, is also quite interesting this week. Kroll explains his thought processes behind the decision to end Kroll Show after the upcoming third season ends. He wanted to wrap up his project still on top and when he felt it was right for the show, rather than holding on to his first Comedy Central hit until the show ran out of ideas and simply wasn’t renewed. It was a gutsy decision — and possibly one he’ll regret, Kroll admits.
The Bugle – #263 #JeSuisCharlie
Marc: In the light of last week’s tragic massacre in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, I wanted to see how a news-oriented comedy podcast would handle the event. My go-to in such circumstances is The Bugle, with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman. Both are British comedians and longtime friends but, with Oliver’s stint on The Daily Show, followed by his celebrated kickoff season as host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, they’ve teamed up long distance across the Atlantic for years to keep The Bugle alive. They lead off this episode with the attack as their top story. Zaltzman comments on the element that news outlets expressed “their defiance of the terrorists” by NOT showing any of Hebdo’s controversial cartoons while displaying video footage of the terrorists killing a policeman and shots of the blood-stained crime scene. Oliver is as outraged as his podcast partner, putting a wry but angry spin on his commentary. They also take delight in pointing out one unintended consequence: Charlie Hebdo’s print run for the next issue is jumping to 1,000,000 from a normal figure of about 30,000. The back half of the show deals with the dropping price of oil, traffic laws in Russia, the 2016 elections in the U.S., and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. While the news is often unpleasant, I can count on The Bugle to at least lighten the burden of it all.
WTF – Jeff Garlin
Leigh: Jeff Garlin is the guest on this week’s WTF with Marc Maron, but we’ll get to that in just a second. There’s a bonus conversation at the start of this episode with Judd Apatow. If you’ve been on Twitter at all lately, you’ve already figured out Maron wants to talk to him about Bill Cosby. It’s a really great conversation about why Apatow is being so vocal about it, why so many others in the industry choose not to talk about it or even acknowledge it at all, and how Cosby himself has been publicly trivializing it. But, like I was saying, Jeff Garlin is the guest on this week’s episode. Garlin shares the stuff we all want to know – what he was like growing up, how Curb Your Enthusiasm came to be, and the specifics of his underwear in his pants-less scenes on The Goldbergs. But it wouldn’t be WTF if we didn’t get to hear some of the heavier, more personal stuff like being accepted in the standup vs the improv communities and a recent arrest. The interview also a provides an insightful peek into Garlin and Maron’s relationship. The conversation upfront with Apatow isn’t the only bonus on this episode. Garlin – the self-proclaimed, most relaxed comedian in the business – has a laugh he lets loose a couple of times and it’s one you really should hear for yourself.
Nick Has A Poolhouse – Nick’s Therapist
Pablo: A lot of one-on-one interview podcasts make you feel like you’re secretly listening in on a therapy session. But comic Nick Kaufman of Nick Has A Poolhouse takes that one step further by inviting his actual therapist for the latest episode of his show. Despite the set-up, it’s less of a therapy session and more of an overview of how Kaufman overcame the psychological issues that plagued him as a child. Kaufman first started seeing Dr. Christopher Mulligan in grade school to treat issues with serious anxiety, and given the details of his past it’s clear the good doctor’s methods worked. Since the patient-doctor confidentiality was waived to put out this episode, it did leave me wanting a podcast that really felt like someone placed a tape recorder in a doctor’s office. But I guess that’s already covered by half of the WTF library.
Truth and Iliza – Marc Summers
Elizabeth: This week’s Truth and Iliza offers a dose of ’90s nostalgia as host Iliza Shlesinger chats with Marc Summers, host of childhood staples Double Dare and What Would You Do? and now Food Network’s Unwrapped. Summers talks about going from standup to hosting, working for the Food Network for 15 years (and what that does to your weight), dealing with mouth-breathing bigoted internet commenters, and getting pulled over for driving 120 mph. There’s also plenty of Double Dare and Family Double Dare insider info including what happens when people win the grand prize too often and how Summers got in trouble for making fun of (adult) contestants. Unfortunately the big question on my mind—Whatever happened to Double Dare’s stage assistant Robin?—was not brought up.
Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:
Mohr Stories – Taylor Negron
With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus – Kate Berlant
Nerdist Podcast – Simon Amstel
Dining with Doug and Karen – Steve Agee and Megan Neuringer at Cinefamily
The GameOverGreggy Show – Kevin Smith
The X-Files Files – Matt Gourley
Pablo Goldstein is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
Leigh Cesiro is a writer living in Brooklyn who only needs 10 minutes to solve any Law & Order: SVU episode.
Elizabeth Stamp is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Rob Schoon lives in Brooklyn and writes about tech, media, comedy and culture.