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View Full Version : Podcasts. No clever thread titles, just podcasts.



M Sparks
11-21-2011, 11:09 PM
I finally pulled the trigger on XM after being a subscriber since 2003 or so. It had deteriorated so much, I was down to listening to one show, Ron & Fez. And only half of that show, since Fez has become a basket case in an uncomfortable kind of way. I decided to invest a big $6.99 on BeyondPod for my Android and depend on podcasts and Audiogalaxy for my driving entertainment.

I subscribed to the basics...WTF with Mark Maron, The Nerdist, stuff from NPR I had always used to listen to when I had a weekend. Faxman recommended Reasonable Discussions and All Songs Considered. I discovered How Did This Get Made? a while back and had listened to it on my laptop a few times, so I picked that up.

But, those are all basically just interview or panel discussion shows. I decided to dig a little deeper today and find something a bit different. The first three things I've tried are all fantastic.

The Pod F Tompkast is my favorite so far. Unfortunately, Paul doesn't put them out very often and I've already listened to 3 of the 13 full episodes. Tompkins delivers a rambling, slightly drunken improvised monologue with live musical accompaniment (piano, and random, disconcerting beeping) to string together various repeating segments. One is a continuing radio play about a film collaboration between an old-timey pretentious blowhard and a lisping Ice-T. He plays a skit recorded at his monthly Largo live show with a guest star. We listen in to a phone conversation with his friend and my comedy crush Jen Kirkman. But the rambling is the highlight.

Comedy Bang Bang, the podcast version of Comedy Death Ray, sounds like a typical comedy interview show, but the episode I listened to turned into a brilliant long-form improv experiment. Andy Daly was the guest, playing a character named Chip who was running for Honorary Mayor of Hollywood...by the end, the host and other guest had pushed the conversation into hilariously dark territory that I shouldn't spoil. I don't know if they are all this brilliant, but I will be working my way back.

Finally, it's a really simple show, but I really enjoyed Mike And Tom Eat Snacks.

One thing I've noticed is how incestuous these shows are...I don't know how many times I've heard John Hodgman. (Always a good guest, though I didn't care for his own show Judge John Hodgman.) It's kind of good because you get introduced to other shows. I discovered Indoor Kids when the host guested on HDTGM? And the next thing I'm trying is Thrilling Adventure Hour, which also features Tompkins. But it would be nice to check out a different clique. Any suggestions? Hey, that's what this thread is for! What podcasts do you enjoy, and why?

I could use some more music related podcasts, All Songs Considered is really the only one I'm listening to.

RedHotSgtPeppers
11-21-2011, 11:47 PM
Hey, Marc. Did you ever listen to Opie and Anthony?

M Sparks
11-22-2011, 08:48 AM
Yes, for many years. Still did, really, but Ron & Fez was the reason I was paying. It just wasn't reason enough.

So...podcasts? I bet Hannah has suggestions.

BobCaygeon
11-22-2011, 08:06 PM
I recommend the Slate podcasts: Hand Up and Listen (sports), Culture Gabfest, and Political Gabfest.

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts.html

Each is about 45 minutes once a week.

This week`s topics (which are typical):
Hang Up and Listen: College Football, Tim Tebow, a book on Lebron James.
Culture Gabfest: J. Edgar, Univision, British magazine Private Eye.
Political Gabfest: Eviction of Occupy Wall Street, Affordable Care Act goes to Supreme Court, John Dickerson`s faux pas at the last debate.

They`re all somewhat left-leaning (except HUAL), but they`re all very listenable.

GolfWang
11-22-2011, 08:46 PM
Doug Benson's Doug Loves Movies is my favorite podcast to listen to. He has great guests and the Leonard Maltin Game is very entertaining. Highly recommended, especially if you love movies.

Mr. Porter
11-22-2011, 09:43 PM
I'm a fan of the usual suspects like Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, and Bill Simmons. Have to check out Benson's as well

M Sparks
11-22-2011, 11:00 PM
I'll check out the Gabfests...I know nothing about sports. There's already too much sports talk on Sklarbro Country, but I deal with it if there's a good guest.

I listened to a little Doug Loves Movies this morning...it had 3 guests in character, including Paul F Tompkins doing the Cake Boss character from his show. I should probably try a normal one.

I do like Joe Rogan on a long drive, but geez his shows are too long. It's pretty interesting for pot talk, though. I love how he will start doing a sponsor promo and go off on a tangent about taking DMT or something and bring it back around 20 minutes later with "...so buy __________. Yeah, that was a commercial!" I've always hated Carolla on everything else, so I haven't tried. I've never heard of Bill Simmons.

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
11-22-2011, 11:04 PM
have you ever tried Radiolab? That show is endlessly fascinating. The Dinner Party Download and Too Beautiful To Live are good too.

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-23-2011, 01:24 AM
have you ever tried Radiolab? That show is endlessly fascinating. The Dinner Party Download and Too Beautiful To Live are good too.

Ha. I was about to recommend all of these, Drinkey. I think The Dinner Party Download has been expanded to an hour now. Or maybe that was just a special episode. A couple of others are....

The Story with Dick Gordon. Everyday people tell extraordinary stories from their lives. Everything from an undercover revolutionary in Syria to a college kid who had a disastrous intern experience at McSweeney's. Gordon really knows how to guide the interviews and then step out of the way and let his "ordinary folk" guests be the stars.

Also The Moth. It's stand-up for story telling. Sometimes funny, sometimes just interesting but always (at least by their rules) true.

M Sparks
11-23-2011, 08:04 AM
Those sound perfect, RAtA.

Someone mentioned Radiolab to me early on, but I tried out a different piece of software before BeyondPod, and when I looked up Radiolab, I got like 50 different things. Then I forgot about it.

santasutt
11-23-2011, 08:14 AM
Sklarboro Country is highly entertaining even for non sports junkies. The Chris Cox bits are piss your pants funny, especially "racist Vin Scully".

Freakonomics Radio also worthwhile.

JustSteve
11-23-2011, 09:21 AM
you into kevin smith? a lot of stuff his stuff is too much for me, with him talking and interrupting way too much, but he has a whole stable of shows on his smodcast network. the very first episodes of "jay and silent bob get old" are amazing with jay telling in every little detail his bout with drug addicition. jay mohr has a sometimes decent show. also listen to "hollywood babble on" with kevin smith and ralph garman from kroq a lot.

M Sparks
11-27-2011, 08:09 AM
I'm the same way with Kevin Smith...I like him, but he got a little too far into this podcast business. I listened to a couple of "...get old" and they were interesting, I'll go back to the beginning.

I really just came back to say I listened to every episode of Pod F Tompkast while I was moving this week. His ability to ramble humorously is unrivaled. Also, I didn't realize that the "old timey pretentious blowhard" was supposed to be Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Alchemy
11-27-2011, 08:51 AM
So...podcasts? I bet Hannah has suggestions.

I could have sworn that at one point, we had a thread about podcasts, and that Hannah had a list of suggestions in it... but I think that thread had a clever title, thus rendering it too hard to search for.

Or I could just be thinking of some un-aired episode of the board.

Alchemy
11-27-2011, 08:56 AM
By the way, I used to love listening to The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe (http://www.theskepticsguide.org/archive/podcast.aspx?mid=1). (EDIT: I still love listening to it. I don't listen to it as much as I used to though, simply because I have a habit of wasting my time doing stupid things. But, now and then, I like to look and see if I missed any real interesting ones and listen to them on a slow day.)

It is once a week, a little over an hour (I think), and done by some people of the New England Skeptic Society. It is just the right mix of interesting news, funny commentary, and there have been some great interviews. They basically run-down recent news on pseudo-science, make fun of everything, explain the logical fallacies, and then they answer e-mails and do other segments.

GolfWang
11-27-2011, 07:06 PM
I listened to a little Doug Loves Movies this morning...it had 3 guests in character, including Paul F Tompkins doing the Cake Boss character from his show. I should probably try a normal one.


Haa.. yeah, you should. That's a bizarre episode. Try the one with John Lithgow from last year. Or really any of the episodes that have a live audience.

SoulDischarge
11-27-2011, 07:23 PM
http://www.avclub.com/features/podmass/

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
11-27-2011, 08:15 PM
Haa.. yeah, you should. That's a bizarre episode. Try the one with John Lithgow from last year. Or really any of the episodes that have a live audience.

They do Doug Goes To the Movies live at UCB before Comedy Deathray (the show, not podcast - but Doug Benson is doing is podcast live) pretty often and it is fucking hysterical in person

marooko
11-27-2011, 08:27 PM
Doug Benson's Doug Loves Movies is my favorite podcast to listen to. He has great guests and the Leonard Maltin Game is very entertaining. Highly recommended, especially if you love movies.
Good one.



I'm a fan of the usual suspects like Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, and Bill Simmons. Have to check out Benson's as well

Adam is also good. I can't stand listening to Rogan too much, he gets crazier every time I hear him speak. Makes me not even wanna smoke weed thinking I might start sounding crazy. I use to really enjoy Rogan, now he easily gets on my nerves.

Not too much to contribute that hasn't been listed, but I'm interested in checking out some of what others add to this.

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-27-2011, 08:27 PM
If there are any Phil Hendrie fans out there, the legendary (in certain circles) radio comedian now has a Classic Bits (http://www.philhendrieshow.com/classic-podcasts/) podcast in which he introduces a bit from one of his prior broadcasts in the late 90s to mid 2000s. They're usually no longer than 10 minutes. I wish he'd make the full segments available, but I guess you have to pay for more extensive stuff. If you're not familiar, Phil hosts (or at least used to host) what at first seems like a seemingly regular radio talk show. He has a guest on each hour to talk about a certain subject. The hour usually starts relatively normally but fairly soon the guest is saying something completely outrageous. For example, regular Bobbie Dooley (a snooty West Side stay-at-home-Mom) was on to talk about how she was having her husband shoot the neighbors cats because she believed they were engaging in non-consensual sex and, as a result, setting a bad example for her daughters. People call in and argue with these outrageous guests but they don't realize that Phil is actually doing all of these voices himself; sometimes 3 or 4 of them in the same segment. It's utter madness. Men, women, young, old, every race and background imaginable. I think he's also done voices on King of the Hill, South Park and Team America, but his real forte is the radio stuff. Here, Gary Oldman explains why he's so brilliant...


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M Sparks
11-29-2011, 11:46 PM
Wow, I haven't listened to Phil Hendrie in years. Yeah, seems like you need to listen to the whole hour to get the full effect.

HunterGather
11-30-2011, 08:58 AM
SiriusXM is still good stuff...
As far as talk radio..Stern, OutQ (the gay channel), ...but then again that's not what you're looking for.

Podcasts/internet shows I like and recommend:
This American Life
Radiolab
Savage Love
Totally Rad Show
Diggnation

Hannahrain
02-19-2012, 08:25 PM
Very much enjoying Roderick on The Line:

The city of Luxembourg is like a train set [...] they built it on this ravine, and it's always kind of shrouded in fog, and it looks like people have taken lichen out of a bag and glued it to little pieces of rock that they've made out of felt. It's a beautiful place. If I was ever going to go on a honeymoon somewhere, and it wasn't to a beach, I would go on a honeymoon to Luxembourg. Because you feel like a princess there. Even the groom feels like a princess in Luxembourg.

For fans of: John Roderick, Merlin Mann&/orYLNT, sheep dismantling, office supplies, shame.

eMpTyFox
02-19-2012, 09:45 PM
http://www.maximumfun.org/shows/stop-podcasting-yourself

M Sparks
02-19-2012, 11:15 PM
Thanks for the bump, Hannah.

A few months later, and I still haven't found anything to beat The Pod F Tompkast. But I've listened to all the old ones now, and it only comes out once a month.

I found I can't stand Radiolab, even though so many people suggested it. The editing/rhythm of it drives me nuts. I do like The Smartest Man In The World, which is pretty much a full 60-90 minutes of Greg Proops stand up every week or two, which is amazing that he can produce so much. His voice can be grating, and he's a huge asshole, but he certainly has an interesting worldview. I admit I turn it off half way though sometimes.

The Thrilling Adventure Hour is usually great, depending on what series it is. Apparently, it's a stage show where they perform several different serialized old-time radio shows. My favorites are "Sparks Nevada, Marshall On Mars" and "Beyond Belief." But there was a terrible series about 40s movie actors , narrated by the Lone Ranger's sidekick. Luckily that seems to be over.

I like Too Beautiful To Live . I'm not sure why, for one thing it's somewhat regional (from Seattle). Apparently, it's a canceled nighttime radio talkshow that they turned into an afternoon daily podcast. It's kind of poorly produced, but the hosts are pretty charming and they just ramble about what's going on in the news for 45 minutes or so. It's my backup podcast if my favorites didn't release anything that day.

Hannahrain
03-08-2012, 06:35 PM
This exists (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/heresthething/). Apparently.

ALSO, new You Look Nice Today after more than a year of dormancy? Holy fucking shit?

buddy
03-08-2012, 06:55 PM
This exists (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/heresthething/). Apparently.

His interviews with Lorne Michaels and Chris Rock were pretty good.

PulpOne
03-10-2012, 10:11 PM
'm a drone at a typical office job that allows headphones. The fact that his podcasts are close to 3 hours long and his guests have gotten progressively better, The Joe Rogan Experience is my favorite podcast. If you don't like a good 2 1/2 hour talk with Joey Diaz, you can go fuck yourself.

Also, Deathsquad's The Naughty show. Comedy podcast interviewing porn stars.

Other than that, I strongly recommend Psychedelic Salon. They showcase archived lectures from the great Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary and other great writers/scientists. Brilliant.

nathanfairchild
03-10-2012, 10:17 PM
my favorite podcast has to be the boiler room. seriously great mixes.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/boiler-room/id416373570

bleep
11-04-2014, 11:24 AM
been scarfing down episodes of Serial
http://serialpodcast.org/

WHAT IS SERIAL?

Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial will follow one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season.

...

SEASON ONE

On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She'd been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnanís friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae's body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Haeís death. Some people believe heís telling the truth. Many others donít.

Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she's been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators' notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence - all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a personís character? How can you tell what theyíre capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.

LickTheLizzard
11-04-2014, 12:05 PM
It is seriously good, I look forward to the new episode every week.

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-07-2014, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the reminder about Serial. Adding that to my list.

Hey, Android users - what app(s) do you use for podcasts? I'm using BeyondPod, but I hate it. The interface/user experience is terrible.

Starraven
11-07-2014, 05:07 PM
I had been listening to a comedy radio show named Don & Mike since I was 12 years old. I used to listen to Loveline religiously as well. I like that kind of humor. Does anyone know an awesome comedy podcast? I've been testing the waters but I can't find one that I like. I tried Chris Hardwick's podcast called The Nerdist but it wasn't anything special to me. I have a 55 min commute to work now so I'm trying to find something to fill it with.

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-07-2014, 05:20 PM
Starraven - though not strictly comedy, there are often very funny stories on The Moth Radio Hour - the best of the storytelling podcasts. There's also Risk, another storytelling podcast which, because it doesn't air on the radio, gets a lot more blue than The Moth.

There's also the aforementioned Phil Hendrie Show podcast, Professor Blastoff, Judge John Hodgman.

Ellsworth
11-07-2014, 07:21 PM
It is seriously good, I look forward to the new episode every week.

I don't think I can say it any better than this.

JustSteve
11-07-2014, 07:48 PM
They have all the old Loveline episodes available. Have listened to several back when Adam was taking over for Riki rachtman. Most of it still sounds fresh today.

Mr. Porter
11-12-2014, 10:49 PM
http://www.lovelinetapes.com/

Now you don't have to wait five years for Classic Loveline to get to the prime years (01-'05)

Starraven
11-13-2014, 02:13 AM
Thanks, that's really awesome.

Vasoline Groove
11-13-2014, 09:32 AM
I had been listening to a comedy radio show named Don & Mike since I was 12 years old. I used to listen to Loveline religiously as well. I like that kind of humor. Does anyone know an awesome comedy podcast? I've been testing the waters but I can't find one that I like. I tried Chris Hardwick's podcast called The Nerdist but it wasn't anything special to me. I have a 55 min commute to work now so I'm trying to find something to fill it with.

Look on Earwolf, they have a ton of shows on there. I'm partial to How did this get made, but obviously Comedy Bang Bang and others are also good. And Bill Burr has a great podcast called Monday Morning Podcast. I think he runs another podcast site with Al Madrigal which has a bunch of shows as well.

And if you like sports or popular culture, there are some good ones on Grantland, specifically Do you Like Prince Movies and Hollywood Prospectus.

Since I don't work in an office anymore, I would be going crazy if I didn't have podcasts to listen too. They make me feel like there's at least a conversation going on around me even though I can't participate.

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
11-13-2014, 10:19 AM
April Richardson's Go Bayside is a podcast where she and a guest watch an episode of Saved By The Bell and then desconstuct it and it's hilarious.

And like others here, I am addicted to Comedy Bang Bang and How Did This Get Made. Also on Earwolf, I really like Who Charted?

JustSteve
11-13-2014, 06:19 PM
Haha, yeah, that Saved by the Bell one is great.

gillster17
11-14-2014, 08:37 AM
The dude from Fucked up has a new podcast where interviews people that were touched by punk music in some way. Could be interesting

SoulDischarge
11-23-2014, 04:17 AM
So I'm working on a project where I do some write ups as part of a primer to introduce new listeners to Comedy Bang Bang up through the first 300 episodes. I just finished with my choices for the first year of the program and figured I'd share it here.


Comedy Bang Bang, the long running comedy podcast hosted by former Mr. Show writer and bit player Scott Aukerman, has been producing content for over five years now, with episodes exceeding 300. From its humble beginnings as a comedy interview show on an LA indie radio station to spearheading the Earwolf podcasting empire and spinning off into a fairly succesful IFC faux talk show, the podcast is something of a pop cultural phenomenon that stands as beacon of modern alternative comedy. Featuring guests from the world of comedy and music both famous and obscure, it has created a singular comedic universe that has spilled out into the world at large, joining and intersecting with fellow comedy podcasts such as Jimmy Pardo's Never Not Funny, Marc Maron's WTF, Chris Hardwick's Nerdist and Doug Benson's Doug Loves Movies to define a new generation and format of comedic entertainment.

With so much back content to shift through, and with so much of it being so strong, it can be hard for a newcomer to the podcast to know where to begin with the show. While any given episode might provide some ample laughs, Aukerman and guests have created a complex, self contained world that continually builds on and subverts itself. With countless callbacks, recurring characters, and continually evolving bit and inside jokes, a new listener runs the risk of feeling quite a bit lost but simply starting with whatever the latest episode might be. Yet, not everyone has the time to sift through a few hundred episodes that can run between an hour and two hours long. Whatever sad reflection of my life this might betray, I've had the opportunity over the last year and a half to catch up with the first 300 of the back episodes and have decided to re-listen to a few highlights and present this primer to those looking for an entry point.

I'm doing my best to whittle (not the Harris kind) it down to somewhere around 50-60 episodes that would generally get any neophyte up to date with the show's running mythology. While the show has an outstanding hit to miss ratio, my focus is going to try to stick to episodes that introduce and develop important characters and bits, while also featuring a few less canonical episodes that capture the spirit of the show particularly well and feature guests that vibe particularly well with Scott and the tone of the show. If after a few episodes you find yourself really enjoying what you're hearing, you might want to choose any random episode that features a guest whose work you enjoy. Additionally, while I try to hit on many landmark characters, it would get a little too unweidly to list every great apperance by some of the more revered regulars, so you can consider almost any episode with Paul F Tompkins, Andy Daly, James Adomian, Harris Wittels, Chelsea Peretti, Jessica St. Clair, Seth Morris, Brett Gelman, Reggie Watts, Tim Hiedecker, Lauren Lapkus, Ben Schwartz, Jason Mantzoukas, Tig Notaro, Weird Al Yankovic, Gillian Jacobs, and Jon Gabrus at the very least worth a listen. That's not the complete list of wonderful regulars by any means, but those are the ones I find most consistent and memorable. Personal taste may dictate otherwise for the hardcore fans of the show.

All episodes (excluding certain live bonus episodes that don't count in the running order) are available for free to stream or download at http://www.earwolf.com/show/comedy-bang-bang/ Additional information about individual episodes, guests, characters, and recurring bit can be found at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Comedy_Bang!_Bang!_episodes and on the Comedy Bang Bang wiki: http://comedybangbang.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

Now, on with the episodes:




12 - The Baby's Sunglasses
Like most long standing creative endeavors, Comedy Bang Bang (known as Comedy Death Ray for about the first hundred episodes) took a little while to find its footing. The early episodes were broadcast on an indie LA radio station over the internet as well as being a podcast, contained several comedy/parody songs, was generally more concise, and was geared more towards casual conversations between host Scott Aukerman and some fellow comedians. Aside from the obnoxious song breaks, these eps are enjoyable enough but don't see the show exactly following the format it has become known for (typically: Aukerman interviews a guest before getting interrupted by some crazy character played by various comedians taking advantage of the show's "open door policy", which turns into a session of long form improvisation).

Although not a classic, this is a good intro episode for the earliest period as it boasts the apperance of the always charming Jon Hamm and is probably the first episode to feature some major recurring characters: Bobby Bottleservice and El Chupacabra, both played by Nick Kroll. The Spanish language radio DJ character of Chupacabra can be (perhaps purposefully) grating and one note, but Bobby Bottleservice is possibly Kroll's best CBB persona. A Jersey Shore style douchebag who promotes himself as a VIP impresario who also dabbles in pool cleaning, Kroll wrings a lot of humor out of the character's habit of trying to sound more sophisticated than he actually is by interjecting an abudance of unnecessary words into sentences.

These early episodes also feature call ins from Doug Benson doing mini-movie reviews that are kind of awkwardly shoehorned into the proceedings, but are entertaining enough. This episode alone isn't going to hook anyone to the show, but it's as good an introduction as any to CBB's origins. The more straightforward approach will probably make it easier for new listeners to delve in as the podcast tends to become increasingly self referential as it goes on, building on and then subverting bits from previous eps. So while this is by no means truly representative of the show and its appeal, it makes for an easy, enjoyable prologue to the craziness and calvacade of recurring characters to come.



14 - An Old Fashioned Dinner
Only two episodes later, and the show is already making a few more significant steps towards establishing its essential voice. Comedy Bang Bang is defined just as much by some of its MVP frequent guests as it is by Aukerman's hosting style, and Andy Daly is one of the most reliable of those guests. While the bro-out section between Aukerman, Samberg, and Galifinakis in the first half is pleasant enough, the first real glimpse of the heart of CBB comes with the introduction of the first of many dark, deranged characters played by Daly, in this case, Danny Mahoney. One of the defining Scott Aukerman approaches to hosting this show is in trying to poke holes in the backstory of a character, or trying to derail a bit by zeroing in on mundane details. Those tendencies are in full display here and when they clash against the open hostility of Daly's Mahoney character, hilarity ensues. Even though this section is fairly truncated, it feels like the true birth of what CBB would develop into. A second character from Daly isn't as strong, but it's fairly brief as well.

This also marks the inaugural appearance of the show's most popular and endearing feature in embryonic form, the Would You Rather? game, which is another reason to recommend this as an introductory episode, as the game would develop a kind of mythology of its own based on Aukerman's strict policing of totally arbitrary rules.


17 - Live From Downtown Franklin
Critical to the CBB formula is the guest characters played by various comedians. Many regular characters are widely loved by fans of the show, while others are a bit more divisive. One of the most contentious characters of the early days is undoubtedly Lil' Gary, as played by the very funny Tom Lennon. For many people, even those who might be fans of Lennon, Lil' Gary can be hard to take. The main gist of the shtick is that Lil' Gary is a guest announcer for Scott, but with a voice that resembles a munchkin mixed with a toothless elderly wino that makes half of what he says incomprehensible, while the other half is filled with incorrect information. It's purposefully annoying, but if you can tolerate the off putting voice, Lennon and Aukerman know how to have fun with the character. This is one of the earliest episodes where a guest stays in character for the whole show, and there are a few more Lil' Gary apperances down the line that build up some bizarre backstory. Matt Braughner and Matt Walsh are both very funny guys too, and Would You Rather? has really started to take shape by now, so it's a fairly worthwhile episode, although if you just can't tolerate Lil' Gary at all and only want to hear the absolute cream of the crop, it's ultimately skippable.


21 - Morning Becomes Oddly Racist
Seth Morris would eventually create one of the definitive CBB characters down the line, but this early one off appearance as a soft spoken KCRW adult contemporary style radio host who is actually a right wing bigot is hilarious in a very dry, understated way. Chris Hardwick knows how to handle himself considering he has his own podcast, while Charlene Yi seems to not really get the joke most of the time, which makes for a few uncomfortable moments. This episode also showcases Scott's penchant for trying out short lived games that are really just an excuse for absurdist anti-humor, which Morris and Hardwick are more than happy to play into.


29 - Introducing Huell Howser
This episode marks the first appearance of two classic guests, the affable Ben Schwartz (whose chemistry with Scott makes him one of the most reliable non-character guests) and James Adomian's take on California Gold's Huell Howser. He plays Huell as a perpetually wide eyed innocent who is mystified by everyday occurences and enamored with all things California. It's a rare instance of a CBB character that is uproariously hilarious without being excessively profane (well, most of the time, anyway). Plus, there's an early appearance of the long recurring improv game, What Am I Thinking?


31 - Happy Black Friday
Now this is a true CBB classic. It might not be the best place to start, but after listening to the others I recommended, this could be the one to hook someone. There's the first appearance of the dopey yet lovable Phish fanatic Harris Whittels and his inane phone/foam corner, where he reads rejected joke and thoughts he saved on his phone. You've got Nick Kroll as Bobby Bottleservice, James Adomian as Huell Howser, and Paul F. Tompkins as Ice-T. Then there's Michael Cera, who goes along with the proceedings amiably, and Jimmy Pardo, whose own podcast Never Not Funny paved the way for CBB. If that wasn't enough, you also get Scott berating his engineer for fucking up musical cues (a bit he'd pull out quite a lot in the future) and a truly memorable series of Would You Rather? rounds that get increasingly more offensive and hilarious.


34 - Have A Merry Christmas
If the previous recommended episode didn't sell you on the podcast, either this one will or it might just not be for you. This outing sets a precedent of holiday and year end episodes that are jam packed with guests and become increasingly more insane. Jon Hamm returns and is in fine form, especially when he joins Kroll's El Chupacabra to endorse the idea of masculinity by talking in exaggerated Hispanic accents. Podcast staple Doug Benson hangs around to interject and man sleigh bell duty, James Adomian premiers one of his signature characters (the hyperactive, conspiracy minded former wrestler and Governor Jesse "The Mind" Ventura), and King of Podcasting Paul F. Tompkins rolls out one of his less prolific aliases in actor John C. Reilly, played as an insecure man-child intimidated by Hamm's presence. The ensuing acting-off between Hamm and Reilly is the peak of the episode, but the whole thing is deliriously funny up until Aukerman and his wife close out the show with a limp medley of holiday parody songs. Despite the throwaway ending, this episode embodies many of the show's best qualities: Scott's gonzo faux naive interview style chock full of misdirection and absurd tangents, a panel of endearingly flimsy characters that place improvisation and humor over continuity and logic, and the infectious joy of some of the funniest people working just fucking around and bouncing crazy ideas off each other. Certain features would further evolve, and the interminable comedy songs would eventually be replaced with slightly less interminable sponsor promotions, but the basic core of the Comedy Bang Bang style is pretty fully formed here and is an accurate representation of what this show is all about.


35 - And A Happy New Year
Another Lil' Gary episode? You bet. The character is grating as ever, but also fairly funny. It helps that special guest Patton Oswalt is a very accomodating foil for improv and character building. If you still can't appreciate the stylings of Lil' Gary, this is still an essential episode for Brett Gelman's appearance in the second half where he reads a short story that starts off as a parody of hamfisted sci-fi satire before taking an unexpected turn. This sets up a recurring bit between Aukerman and Gelman that pops up on a few future episodes. The cherry on top is Tom Lennon doing a brief bit as a different character, singing a catchy and funny song in a faggy voice (that's simply the only way to describe it) over a chintzy drum machine beat about being a better Christian in the new year. One of the most laugh out loud funny episodes of the show's first year.


39 - The Premiere Of Bob Ducca
In the pantheon of CBB characters, Seth morris' Bob Ducca has no equal. As Scott's terminally depressed, hypocondriac, self-help addicted, emotionally starved ex-stepfather (for 6 months while Scott was in his 30's), he manages to convey a black hole of a personality that somehow still manages to steal the scene every time he appears. His initial appearance isn't quite as riotous as on later episodes, but the character is fully formed from the very beginning, and the interplay between Ducca's neediness and Aukerman's annoyance with him is endlessly rewarding. One of the hilarious highlights of the character is his trademark lists, the first of which appears here in the form of the increasingly ridiculous names of people Ducca is expressing gratitude towards as part of some kind of 12 step recovery program. Additionally, Garfunkel & Oates are fun guests and give Morris another energy to bounce off of, while Brendon Walsh kind of fades into the background here. Since Bob Ducca is one of the finest components of the CBB canon, this introduction to his strange and singular presence is an absolute essential listen, even if it would only get better from here.


43 - Good One!
Tig Notaro is a very funny comedian in her own right, but her rapport with Scott makes her an especially good fit for CBB, and just about every appearance by her is recommended. Add in Casey Wilson playing a girl who once went on a date with Scott and is now obsessed with him and Rory Scovel playing a fictionalized version of himself, and the result is over an hour of top notch banter. There's not much canonical going on here that's essential for the continuity of the show, but there are a few early bits that get alluded to that would develop into their own beasts: Notaro's "Good one" Robot, a reference to the term "my wife" as pronounced by Borat, and the idea that listeners are most excited about the plugs section at the end of the show. This episode is a good example of how, without a lot of structure, CBB is engaging by just throwing a bunch of very funny people in a room.


44 - We Got A Caller On The Line
No one has made more guest appearances on CBB than Paul F Tompkins under a vast variety of guises, and aside from a live bonus episode, this marks the emergence of one of his most celebrated characters, Sir Dame Andrew Lloyd Weber. It can some times take awhile to get acclimated to the particular charms of many PFT characters, especially since they tend to get funnier as more absurd mythology gets developed around them over multiple appearances, but his sharp mind and attention to detail makes even the flimsiest seeming of characters a lot richer than most. His version of Weber is as a pompous aristrocrat who fills his speech with unnecessary embellishment to hilarious effect, for example referring to Aukerman always as "Scottrich". This episode also features Human Giant alumni Jason Wollner, who is a good sport about being the butt of some jokes about his career and a boring story he tells, along with Kroll, who redeems the one note, funny voice reliant El Chupacabra character with his quick wit and barbed jabs. It's an episode of inspired silliness that embodies the CBB spirit heartily.


51 - One Year Anniversary Party
Comedy Bang Bang's first anniversary show is a perfect primer for the inagural year of the podcast, much more so than the best of the 2009 clip show. While it definitely helps to have the background on some of these characters and guests from previous episodes, if you really wanted just one easy place to delve into, this is definitely the one. The guests include Tig Notaro relaying tales of running into pop singer Taylor Dayne, a phone call from Paul F Tompkins playing three characters (John C Reilly, Ice-T, Andrew Lloyd Weber), James Adomian as both Jesse Ventura and Huell Howser debuting the formation of the Enigma Force Five, Seth Morris as Bob Ducca reading perhaps his greatest list (of ailments he suffers from) and quite possibly one of the most sublime comedy bits of all time, Tom Lennon as the controversial Lil' Gary, Rich Fulcher from The Mighty Boosh, Nick Kroll as Bobby Bottleservice and El Chupacabra, and Mr. Show alumn Jerry Minor who seems hell bent on derailing the show with voice effects (although fortunately not as his undercooked Cyberthug character). Plus there's a rousing game of Would You Rather? and an early fan submitted plugs section theme. The whole thing is always just on the verge of going completely off the rails, which is true of many of the best CBB episodes. If you're looking to get caught up with the essence of one of the most beloved and essential comedy podcasts in its infancy contained in a single two hour chunk, it's hard to think of a better example than this episode.

TomServo
11-24-2014, 12:42 PM
been scarfing down episodes of Serial
http://serialpodcast.org/

I'm trying to get into it, but it's not happening for me yet. The production is excellent, but the murder itself just hasn't gripped me. It's like a season of "The Killing".

RageAgainstTheAoki
11-24-2014, 06:22 PM
Tom, it took me a couple of eps to get hooked. I think it - mostly - lives up to the hype. I've caught up to the most recent episode now and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next. My one minor issue with the podcast is that the host/producer sometimes makes herself and her experience too central to the narrative.

HunterGather
11-24-2014, 09:56 PM
The Champs with Neal Brennan & Moshe Kasher is by far my favorite, but they don't put them out very often. Maybe once a month. Twice if lucky.

Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler is also fun.

And a new one, We Have Concerns with Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboini, is good stuff.

getbetter
11-24-2014, 10:11 PM
The Champ can be sometimes dry and I much more prefer when DJ Dogpound or whatever his name was on it. Yet the Danny Brown podcast was so goofy and funny.


Doug Benson is not funny at all to me anymore once the whole "Super High me" came Out. I was actually at the Ontario Improv when he film that scene with the Dog makes signs joke.

SoulDischarge
11-24-2014, 10:15 PM
I tried to watch a Benson stand up special from a few years back and couldn't get through it, but I've always found him enjoyable on podcasts, including his own.

Phantasma Del Mar
11-24-2014, 10:34 PM
Benson is fine in moderation, but I can't handle his specials either. I watched his latest one, Doug Dynasty, at a buddys and it was such a struggle to get through.

HunterGather
11-24-2014, 11:19 PM
The Champ can be sometimes dry and I much more prefer when DJ Dogpound or whatever his name was on it. Yet the Danny Brown podcast was so goofy and funny.

I dunno. It's like christmas morning whenever a new episode comes out for me. Even if the guest is someone I'm not too familiar, I enjoy it.

I miss DJ Dougpound too, but the show is still fine without him (he has his own podcast now, btw, which is updated just as often as The Champs).

And yes, I really enjoyed the Danny Brown episode :D
"Kindi-garden"

Drinkey McDrinkerstein
11-25-2014, 01:06 AM
The first episode of ...WithSpecial Guest Lauren Lapkus on Earwolf is fucking hilarious, in no small part due to Paul F Thompkins.

http://www.earwolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ll-300x300.jpg

getbetter
11-25-2014, 09:05 AM
I finally pulled the trigger on XM after being a subscriber since 2003 or so.

I REALLY need to do this as well. Ron and Fez is such a weird show now I can't even understand how there's a following still.

CBB so far episode 13 had no laughs from it. Yet Shooter has me laughing in ep 14.

nosurprises12
12-15-2014, 01:24 PM
For better or worse, here are Slate's Top 25 podcasts of all time: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/ten_years_in_your_ears/2014/12/best_podcast_episodes_ever_the_25_best_from_serial _to_the_ricky_gervais.html

I'm only familiar with a few of the comedy ones (nice to see PFT's Dead Authors Podcast get in there!) - has anyone heard of the other shows and/or episodes mentioned here?

RageAgainstTheAoki
12-18-2014, 06:10 PM
So, Serial ended its season in, I suppose, the only way it could. Nothing definitive. My expectations were lowered by the prior two episodes, but I did think they wrapped things up fairly well. I'm glad we got to hear a bit more from the Innocence Project lawyer/professor. In fact, I hope they consider doing a bonus update episode next year - especially if the Innocence Project group is successful in their petition. But even if they are successful and even if the DNA sample is matched to that now dead convict, that still leaves a massive Jay-sized puzzle. Hmmm...