Sociable

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Deathsquad

Deathsquad is the podcast network masterminded by Brian Redban. Redban grew up in Columbus, Ohio. As a youth, he messed around with computers and played video games. He was even featured in Nintendo Power Magazine. Redban tried a little stand up comedy in Ohio, but focused more on Sega Dreamcast and AOL chat rooms. Later on, he worked at a Gateway Computer Store and made internet videos. Joe Rogan saw one of these videos and offered Redban the chance to be his personal videographer.

Redban moved to Los Angeles and soon started the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. In addition to being the tech guru for the show, Redban often chimes in and offers his perspective on whatever Joe and the guest are talking about. Redban will sometimes even tell his own stories, such as things the happen when you date porn stars and/or get robbed at gunpoint by black wizards.

A lesser man may have stopped at one podcast, but Redban has put together a whole network under the Deathsquad label. Sam Tripoli's Naughty Show, Teeb and the Heeb, What's Good? with Freddy Lockhart, Your Mom's House, Little Esther's Piecast, and Last Pod Casting with John Heffron and Jon Reep are not only great podcasts, but an insight into the Los Angeles comedy scene. Each podcast brings a different perspective and serves a different purpose. And each will get their own post on this site. I just wanted to spotlight Redban for making his mark on the podcast world. If you want to know what its like to be friends with comedians in Los Angeles, check out any of the Deathsquad podcasts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Lavender Hour

The Lavender Hour began as an effort to create an old-fashioned salon, in which participants could talk about the issues of the day and let the conversation meander to wherever it wanted to. Though hosts Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell are comedians, they speak about real issues and offer real solutions, even if the solutions may be amusing or unorthodox. The Lavender Hour is one of the most unique shows on the internet.

You might know Natasha Leggero from her stint as a judge on Last Comic Standing, but her first big break was a role on The Joe Schmoe Show. She has appeared as a stand up comedian on Leno, Kilborn, & Carson Daly along with several Comedy Central programs, but is probably most well known for her appearances as a panelist on Chelsea Lately.

Duncan Trussell has been performing as a stand up comedian in LA for quite a while. He had a stint as a booker for The Comedy Store, and is known for his Drunk History Short about Nicola Tesla on Funny or Die.

Apart, Leggero and Trussell are funny in their own right, but put together the two are transcendent. The Lavender Hour is thought-provoking, insightful, and original. It is the kind of show that program directors would put on the radio if they had any balls at all.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Pod F. Tompkast

It is nighttime on the internet. An Albino Auto Tunes the Three's Company Theme Song. A face-ripping monkey checks his email. Buddhist monks order Dominos. Its time for the Pod F. Tompkast.

Paul F. Tompkins began his comedy career in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. He soon made it out (along with fellow funnyman & podcaster Todd Glass) to Los Angeles where he became a featured player in Mr. Show with Bob and David. From there, he worked with Tenacious D on their tv show and movie, The Daily Show, and is probably most recognized as the host of VH1's Best Week Ever.

But Tompkins' talent is best suited for the long-form, variety & comedy show that one can only achieve on a podcast. Or should I say a Tompkast? He is a top-notch impressionist, mastering such diverse voices as John Lithgow, John C. Reilly, Dame/Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ice-T, and The Cake Boss. Tompkins is a great writer, performing an ongoing story with multiple characters each week. And he is a delightful interviewer, having weekly discussions with his friend and fellow comedian Jen Kirkman.

Part of the reason why its taken me so long to profile the Pod F. Tompkast is that there is no possible way I could do it justice. Paul is a singular talent who has no problem filling an hour with masterful comedy. You just have to listen to see what I mean. You'll be hooked.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nerdist



Gibert: I just wanted to say that I'm a nerd, and I'm here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds. I mean uh, all our lives we've been laughed at and made to feel inferior. And tonight, those bastards, they trashed our house. Why? Cause we're smart? Cause we look different? Well, we're not. I'm a nerd, and uh, I'm pretty proud of it.
Lewis: Hi, Gilbert. I'm a nerd too. I just found that out tonight. We have news for the beautiful people. There's a lot more of us than there are of you. I know there's alumni here tonight. When you went to Adams you might've been called a spazz, or a dork, or a geek. Any of you that have ever felt stepped on, left out, picked on, put down, whether you think you're a nerd or not, why don't you just come down here and join us. Okay? Come on.
Gibert: Just join us cos uh, no-one's gonna really be free until nerd persecution ends.

Chris Hardwick isn't your run of the mill, everyday nerd. He is Nerdist. For decades, nerds have been made fun of, marginalized, and as it turns out misunderstood. Chris Hardwick, himself, is probably different than the guy you thought he was on MTV lo these many years ago.

Hardwick is the son of a Professional Bowler, so he grew up in his father's Bowling Center (do not call it an Alley) back when bowling was cool. Chris was being groomed to be a professional bowler, even appearing as a 240-scoring wunderkind on television talk shows. Since he worked at the Center, Chris pushed for an arcade, which is where he spent most of his quarters as a youth. But the nerdery doesn't end there. Hardwick went to computer camp and was in the chess and latin clubs at school. After his parents got divorced, Chris quit bowling and focused his nerdiness on comedy.

Having experienced the 80's comedy boom on the audience side of the tv, Chris wanted to flip the script, so he went to college at UCLA, eventually becoming a Philosophy major because Steve Martin said it screws up your brain just enough to become a comedian. While at school, Hardwick performed comedy several times a year, but he really got his start when he tagged along with some friends to audition for the Marc DiCarlo dating show "Studs." Hardwick was a contestant on Studs, but did not win (or hook up with the girl). He then was cast as the host of the MTV show "Trashed." That show was cancelled, but the MTV people liked him and gave him his breakout shot as a host (along with Jenny McCarthy) of the dating show "Singled Out."

Since then, Hardwick has been doing stand up comedy, hosting G4's Web Soup, performing in the musical comedy duo Hard n' Phirm with Mike Phirman and many more Hollywood-type things that I don't feel like listing. But most importantly, he's created the Nerdist Podcast.

Nerdist celebrates nerd culture, which has become pervasive in today's tech-savvy world. Hardwick's co-hosts on the show are Matt Mira and Jonah Ray. Guests have included comedians, entertainers, music acts, and other nerd-friendly folk. The podcasts is a conversation from a nerd point of view. If you grew up watching Dr. Who or the British Whose Line is it Anyway or MST3K and played video games or did anything traditionally nerdy, this is the podcast for you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Le Show with Harry Shearer


From deep inside your radio...

What can one say about Harry Shearer that hasn't already been said? The man who has brought so many laughs to our lives as a cast member of Spinal Tap, The Simpsons, The Christopher Guest Mockumentary movies, and more keeps on giving with his weekly podcast: Le Show.

Le Show comes to us (mostly) from Santa Monica: the home of the homeless and is Harry's take on the news of the week. The great thing about having F.U. money is that Harry can really say what he wants and does not need to bow down to corporate ownership or sponsors. Le Show's point of view is refreshing and unique in this way, even if much of the news is depressing. Still, Shearer's wry sense of humor and impeccable delivery help the medicine go down in the most delightful way.

The format of Le Show is somewhat fluid, with News, Sketches, Music, Interviews, and perhaps other segments I'm missing. Le Show is what The Daily Show could be if The Daily Show was on PBS. This show is for anyone who loves Harry Shearer and wants to hear a logical take on the news without a filter. Because if you need to hear the news, listen to someone who isn't beholden to anyone. Comedians are the last people who can truly speak their minds.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Talkin' Shlt with Jim Jefferies & Eddie Ifft

Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to live with two comedians? There's apparently a lot of sh!t talkin'. Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ifft are comedians and roommates. Jim was born in Australia but moved to London to do stand up comedy. Eddie was born in Pittsburgh, but moved to New York City to do stand up. Jim is most known for being assaulted on stage and his stand-up specials. Eddie survived a stint as Danny Bonaduce's radio co-host and is huge in Australia.

Eventually, both moved to Venice, CA, where they picked up a neighborhood vagabond named Jason Auer. Jason was T** Cr***e's barrista, lived in an apartment with no door, and sleeps on a massage table. The podcast centers around Jim and Eddie telling stories, talking to each other, and making fun of/helping Jason try to get a job (other than his hair coloring sales job). There are also guests, such as other comedians, porn stars, and Lilit: the Armenian psychologist.

This show is hard to describe. You just have to hear it. Although much of it consists of mean jokes, they are good-natured jokes. The kind only close friends can get away with saying to each other. Please ignore how horrible this post is and listen to Talkin' Sh!t with Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ifft. If you like liberal use of the word "c@#t," you'll like this podcast.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Comedy Bang Bang


Funny or Die knows a thing or three about comedy, so it should come as no surprise that Earwolf Podcast Network has joined the site to supply its stable of comedy podcasts. The crown jewel in Earwolf's roster is founder Scott Aukerman's Comedy Bang Bang.

Writer and comedian Scott Aukerman, who according to Wikipedia, is best known for his work on the seminal Mr. Show with Bob and David, co-founded the Comedy Death Ray stage show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles. He then transitioned the stage show to a radio show on Indie 103, but also podcasted the show under the Comedy Death Ray moniker.

Eventually the show grew enough that Aukerman stopped doing business under the Comedy Death Ray name, went straight to podcast, and founded Earwolf Studios, with Comedy Bang Bang as its first show. Earwolf also offers other comedy podcasts such as Sklarboro Country and Affirmation Nation with Bob Ducca.

Comedy Bang Bang is hosted by the aforementioned Hot Saucerman, who moderates over a panel of comedians, some of whom play characters throughout the podcast. Guests have included Zach Galifianakis, Jimmy Pardo, Paul F. Tompkins, Thomas Lennon, Rob Heubel, Nick Kroll, James Adomian, Amy Poehler, Adam Scott, Eddie Pepitone, David Cross, Harris Wittels, Patton Oswalt, and many, many more of the best comedians and actors working today. The podcast is conversational in nature, but also includes improv-style games such as "Would you Rather" and "What am I Thinking?" Segments are separated by comedy songs from acts like Weird Al, The Lonely Island, and Garfunkle and Oates. The podcast culminates with everyone's favorite segment: "Plugs."

Comedy Bang Bang is a unique comedy podcast with all the Hollywood comedy stars you'd expect to be part of Funny or Die. Unlike a show like WTF, which is an interview, Comedy Bang Bang is a performance. It is unlike anything you've heard. In a good way. Comedy Bang Bang is the next step in comedy podcast evolution.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mohr Stories with Jay Mohr


Jay Mohr has one of the newer comedy podcasts available on the interwebs, but don't think he's just warming up. Mohr is sprinting out of the gate.

Jay got his start as a stand up comedian in New York. He is one of the best impressionists out there. That skill, along with his humor got him noticed by Lorne Michaels, who hired Jay for Saturday Night Live. As detailed in his book, "Gasping for Airtime," Mohr suffered from crippling panic attacks and eventually left the show.

Mohr arrived in Hollywood with a bang, starring as the ungrateful, unctuous agent Bob Sugar opposite Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. He's since starred in several different tv shows and movies and even co-created the NBC comedy hit: Last Comic Standing.

Most claim, including Jay, that all the early success went to his head and that he was kind of a bastard to other people. That all changed when he met his future wife: Nikki Cox. She leveled him out and Jay has become a more pleasant, centered person.

Mohr Stories focuses on both Jay's career and the lives of his friends, who frequently guest star on the podcast. Such guests include: Barry Katz, Bert Kreischer, and Tom Segura. Jay will frequently dive into impressions and tell inside stories about his career. This podcast is not to be missed if you love Tracy Morgan impressions, behind the scenes SNL tales, or levels of black audience member's reactions to jokes (there are 5).

Say what you will about Jay Mohr, but with this podcast, he's putting his name on it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe Rogan is quietly putting together one of the greatest Hollywood careers in recent history. He began his quest as a stand up comedian in Boston. Rogan relocated to Los Angeles and like so many others, got his start at The Comedy Store. After one misfire (a sports sitcom that never caught on), Joe started on his path and never looked back.

News Radio was one of the great ensemble comedy shows of all time. Joe acted alongside such greats as Phil Hartman, Maura Tierney, Dave Foley, Stephen Root, and even Andy Dick. When Phil Hartman was brutally murdered by his wife, News Radio never really recovered and lasted only about one more season.

Joe moved on to his next opportunity. Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel had decided that 100 episodes of The Man Show were enough for them and gave up the reigns. So Joe and Doug Stanhope took over. Unfortunately, unlike with Carolla and Kimmel, the network and the producers got their hands all over the show and didn't just let the artists create. The Man Show was not the same and ended soon thereafter.

Rogan's next move was back to network TV, with the reality stunt show: Fear Factor. This was wildly popular and exposed Joe to even more people. That show ran its course and Joe eventually made his way to being an octagon-side announcer for the UFC. Joe's history with Jiu Jitsu and his improvisational ability made him the perfect fit for this job.

But none of those jobs are what is most interesting about Joe Rogan. On The Joe Rogan Experience, Joe questions everything. He is a big proponent of sensory-deprivation tanks and mind-altering drugs. Joe and his guests go deep. Sometimes over two hours deep on subjects ranging from Peruvian Ayahuasca to Brock Lesnar, to interdemensional travel, to government conspiracies, to just about anything else you can think of. These are free-flowing, open-minded, stream of consciousness conversations that if you were lucky enough to have good friends and lots of time, you probably had in college.

If nothing else, take a listen to this podcast if you have a preconceived idea of who Joe Rogan is. I promise you will be surprised.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Doug Loves Movies

Hi everybody. My name is Kupe Dog and I love podcasts. This is what you will hear if you tune into Doug Loves Movies, only replace Kupe Dog with Doug and Podcasts with Movies. You get the idea.

Doug Benson broke into show business as a background dancer in Michael Jackson's 3-D masterpiece, Captain E-O. But Doug has always loved movies. Working as a stand up comedian allows Doug lots of free and travel time to watch many, many movies. He's even made his own movie: Super High Me. Its kind of like Super Size Me, but replace Morgan Spurlock with Doug and Big Macs with weed. You get the idea.

The world has Leonard Maltin to thank for Doug's podcast. When Doug would hand out with his friends (Steve Agee and Sarah Silverman if I'm correct), they would take out the Leonard Maltin Movie Guide and play a little something called the Leonard Maltin Game. In this game, the emcee (master of ceremonies [M.C.]) gives the year the movie came out, picks out a few vague quotes from Len's review, and the number of people in the cast. The challengers bid on how few people (named from the lowest billed cast member up) they can hear and still correctly guess the name of the movie. If you name the movie, you get a point. If you miss, whoever challenged you to name the movie gets a point. First to two points usually wins.

But wait, there's more... If a challenger names the movie in zero or negative names, they automatically get a spot in the Leonard Maltin Tournament of Championships. Negative names? Thats right. The bidding can get so intense that challengers will say they not only know the name of the movie, but can name the cast, beginning (in order) with the star and working down. I believe the record is negative 3 names.

Doug Loves Movies stars Doug Benson and (usually) 3 guests. Sometimes they are comedians. Sometimes they are TV or movie stars. Sometimes they are directors. Even Len Maltin has stopped by. Normally Doug likes to talk about recent movies, followed by the game or games. The celebrity guests will pick an audience member to play for by choosing their pre-made nametag (on which they have another name written on the back). The audience member who wins will take home a bag of assorted prizes from the guests and Doug. The ones that lose will have the names that they wrote on the back of their nametags called out at the end of the show. Then its time for Doug and the guests to plug their upcoming appearances. And, as always...Comedy K is a shithead.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WTF with Marc Maron


Marc Maron and I have no beef. In fact, we've never met. This is important to establish because most of the WTF podcasts begin with Marc trying to apologize or explain why he was a dick to his comedian guests. But this isn't a bad thing. Marc has been around the comedy world long enough to have problems with just about everyone. He's just not that guy anymore. He's introspective and calming enough to really get into the minds of many comedians, while inquisitive and ballsy enough to get them talking about their demons.

Marc began his comedy career in Boston, but soon moved out to Los Angeles, where he became a doorman at The Comedy Store. It was then that the young Maron joined Sam Kinison's wild group of comedy outlaws. Drugs, women, and comedy were what those guys lived and breathed. They were rock stars. And Maron was no stranger to any of it. The party ended when Sam died. Maron then left LA for New York and a new start.

At that time, the New York alternative comedy scene was taking shape with Luna Lounge as its hub. Marc fit right in, since his act is not traditional jokey material. When the progressive radio station, Air America came calling, Marc answered and became an anchor. This experiment yielded the results that most already knew: liberals don't like listening to politics on the radio. Air America died. Still, Marc persevered.

He moved back to Los Angeles to a Cat Ranch in the barrio and started a podcast where he interviews comedians he may or may not have offended or been a dick to over the years. This has been Maron's most successful venture, getting amazing confessions of people like Robin Williams, Carlos Mencia, and a rare walk-out by Gallagher. Maron's style is personal and probing, allowing the guests to feel comfortable enough to really share. They know Marc has been in the comedy trenches, so they can open up about things they would potentially never otherwise say. If you enjoy the behind the scenes gossip of the comedy world, WTF is a podcast you should not miss.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big O and Dukes


In 2009, a crack broadcasting unit was sentenced to cancellation by a corporate board for a crime they did not commit. These men promptly escaped from oblivion to the DC underground. Today, still wanted by the public, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you need entertainment. If no one else can help. And if you can find them, maybe you can listen to: Big O and Dukes.

Oscar Santana and Chad Dukes met while interning at WHFS. Even though Chad is into guns, video games, and Star Wars while Oscar likes tight clothes, expensive gadgets, and bottle service, the two became friends. One day they decided combining their differing personalities would make a great show and The Big O and Dukes was born.

When WHFS flipped formats to Spanish, the pair was given a chance to work mid-days in Baltimore. The show was in its infancy when the duo was fired. But fate (and Oscar's hustling) took them to Arizona, where the show really gained momentum. It was at this point that they met Drab T. Shirt, a young producer who hails from several different cities in the Pacific Northwest and promoted the wildly popular Club Get Right at Arizona State University.

The Arizona station flipped formats with a terrible Free Paris Hilton stunt and Big O and Dukes were once more out of a job. As luck would have it, WJFK was looking for a mid-day show at the time and the guys were a great fit. The show was sandwiched between the Junkies in the morning and Mike O'Meara in the afternoon.

Once again, during the great format flip of 2009, Big O and Dukes were casualties. Chad stayed with the station to do sports with Lavar Arrington (with Drab as producer) and Oscar joined The Mike O'Meara Show. But fans wanted the original format. The Big O and Dukes went back to the bunker, recording podcasts as a labor of love for the fans.

Now the Big O and Dukes Show has expanded to a podcast network, including shows about Chad's band: Harp & Eagle, Oscar's technology show (Tech 411), a show about the show (Rally the Horde), and bonus material. The Big O and Dukes have even sold out live shows in area venues such as Jammin' Java and The State Theater. Oscar Santana, Chad Dukes, and Drab T. Shirt are some of the hardest working men in podcasting.

Unlike many shows that rely on guests, The Big O and Dukes Show centers on the personal and professional lives of its hosts and producer. Friends and co-workers are the characters. They are real, honest, and hilarious. They offer at least one free podcast a week, along with a pay bonus episode. If you are a male in your 30's its like listening in on a group of your own friends... but funnier.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Mike O'Meara Show


Mike O'Meara arrived in Washington, DC to finish out his collegiate career at American University. After graduating, Mike began working at radio stations in the area. At one point, he was a program director for the famous Bob White. Mike knew he wanted to get back on the air and wound up working with Don Geronimo, calling in with his "agent" character. This was the beginning of a great partnership.

Don and Mike began as a "Morning Zoo" type show on WAVA in DC. I believe their morning drive time competition at the time were Howard Stern (who had relocated from DC to NY), Jack Diamond, and The Greaseman. Don and Mike pushed the envelope with their content as well as their disdain for playing records. Eventually, WAVA flipped to a Christian format and the pair needed to relocate to another station.

WJFK brought the duo in to shore up the afternoon drive spot. With Howard Stern in the morning, G. Gordon Liddy mid-days, and Don & Mike in the afternoon, the station had broad appeal. At this time, Don and Mike brought in Buzz Burbank to report the news and an intern named Robb Spewak, who was used in many capacities including the game show: "Dialing for Transvestites with Dolores." Both newbies would stick around and become part of the permanent lineup.

The Don and Mike show ruled afternoon drive for quite some time, getting syndicated to many different cities, including the oft-maligned Sacramento area. The gang would even travel to New York and broadcast from there regularly. On September 11, 2001, The Don and Mike Show was in New York and forewent the normal show to broadcast the terrible news of the day. Soon thereafter, Don's wife was tragically killed in an automobile accident. Don took some time off, but eventually came back with a touching tribute to his wife, Freda.

Don tried to make the show work again, but could not emotionally come back because everything reminded him of his wife (who had been a regular part of the show). Don realized he could not do the show anymore and retired to the beach. Faced with this adversity, Mike, Buzz, and Robb stayed together and formed The Mike O'Meara Show, which took over the same afternoon drive time on WJFK.

Things were going pretty well for TMOS, but at this time, CBS had decided to kill the hot talk format. Mike had been a radio fixture in Washington, DC for 17 years, but the show was apparently not a fit for the new sports talk format. The Mike O'Meara Show and Big O and Dukes were let go from WJFK on a sad, rainy day in the nation's capital.

With Chad Dukes being retained to talk sports with LaVar Arrington, Oscar Santana found himself out of a job. He immediately told Mike O'Meara about the new wave in podcasting. Adam Carolla wasted no time in setting up shop as a podcast, and neither did The Mike O'Meara Show with new addition: Oscar Santana. The show streamlined itself into about an hour with hot talk, audio clips, and the news.

The Mike O'Meara Show stars: Mike O'Meara as the host and voice talent, Robb Spewak with the Audio Vault, Buzz Burbank with the news, and Oscar Santana bringing the younger single guy's perspective. Sales manager Marc Ronick and "butler" RJ Diaz chime in as well. The show discusses current events, pop culture, politics, and just about anything else the guys think of.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Smodcast


Kevin Smith has always been ahead of the digital curve. Smodcast is no exception, being one of the first podcasts on the interwebs. The history of Smodcast dates back to when Smith went to film school in Vancouver and met Scott Mosier. The two struck up a friendship which led to the making of their groundbreaking independent film "Clerks." Clerks was eventually picked up by Miramax, which led to other films in the View Askewniverse, such as Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

One of the major plot points of Jay and Silent Bob Strike back was the main characters' seeing negative reactions to them on the fictional website MoviePoopShoot.com. Smith created this website to be a fan forum. The site eventually turned into QuickStopEntertainment.com and housed a message board, news, and the first Smodcast podcast. Soon thereafter Smodcast became its own site and the backbone of Smith's new media focus.

While shooting "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" the non-pot-smoking Smith was approached by the very-pot-smoking Seth Rogan to smoke some weed. Smith finally relented and wound up liking the experience, finding that pot made him ignore his inhibitions and become more of the man he actually was.

When Zack and Miri did not make normal Seth Rogan movie money, Smith became a wake and baker, but tied his weed smoking to productivity. What followed were Smith's most productive years, creating the Smodcast podcast network, filming Red State, and getting one reality show made on AMC and potentially another one made soon.

Smodcast is: Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier shooting the S. Two creative guys talking about things that eventually digress into talk of bears, sharks, sex, Hitler, and role-playing scenarios. If you like inside Hollywood talk and hilarious improv, you'll love Smodcast.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Adam Carolla Show


This is the first of my "Glossary" type posts, where I will attempt to explain what each podcast is about and how we got here. Please don't fact check these. I am doing it all by memory and my heart is in the right place, even if some of the times/places/etc. may be slightly off. Please to enjoy...

Adam Carolla got his start in radio back when he was a boxing trainer and carpenter. One day he heard Jimmy "The Sports Guy" Kimmel get volunteered to box someone else at his Los Angeles radio station. A call went out for boxing trainers and Adam went to the radio station early in the morning to offer his services. He showed up so early that the doors were locked and he had to wait for a delivery man to let him in to the building. Originally, Adam wanted to train the other guy, but when Kimmel showed up to greet him, Adam went with Jimmy.

Adam had taken improv classes at the Groundlings Theater and even built and started the Acme Improv Theater, so in addition to training Jimmy in boxing, he wanted to prove he was funny on the air. He got that chance when he said that he had wanted to come up with an imposing boxing nickname for Jimmy, but after training him, he settled on "Jim." Jimmy and Adam struck up a friendship and eventually Adam created the character "Mr. Birchum" (a high school shop teacher who served in Viet Nam and hated kids) to get on the radio. This led to Adam being signed by an agent and his show business career took off.

Adam's agent got him a tryout for another radio show: "Loveline," where he met his other hetero-lifemate: Dr. Drew. As you know by now, he booked that gig and Loveline took off, getting syndicated and airing on MTV. Eventually, Jimmy and Adam would go on to create The Man Show and Crank Yankers, two very successful shows on Comedy Central.

When Howard Stern left terrestrial radio for Sirius, there was a gaping void left in the morning drive time landscape. CBS decided it would fill this void with different people in each area of the country. Adam Carolla was chosen for the west coast and The Adam Carolla Show was born. Different casts and producers came and went (including a tumultuous run with Danny Bonaduce) until a final lineup was set with Adam as host, Teresa Strasser with news, and Bald Bryan Bishop on sound effects. By all accounts (except for CBS,) the show was really hitting its stride.

Even though the show was #1 in many markets, the ratings systems valued other formats more. Spanish stations and pop stations programmed by focus groups ruled the day. Eventually, CBS killed Hot Talk and heritage talk stations were flipped for more profitable formats. The Adam Carolla Show was on the brink of destruction. But Adam had an Ace up his sleeve. His buddy Donny helped him immediately set up a podcast studio in his home (eventually moving it to the supergarage) and the pirate ship set sail.

The cast has changed a bit with Teresa taking a different radio gig and being replaced on news by Allison Rosen, but the format has persevered. Usually, Adam will host the show with one or two celebrity guests. Allison does the news and Bald Bryan is on sound effects. Adam's honesty and background with improv, Loveline, and Hollywood makes him one of the most insightful hosts out there and draws out people's real personalities. The podcast has won the Guinness Record for most downloads and is simply one of the most entertaining shows out there. With a new show nearly every day, Adam Carolla is prolific.

I highly recommend this podcast for anyone who enjoys Adam Carolla and misses his old radio show.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Skating to where the Puck is Going



Hello and welcome to Comedy K Podcasts.

My name is Kupe Dog and I am a comedy podcastphile. That word may not exist yet, so I am claiming it. I grew up in and around Washington, DC. It was here that Howard Stern, Don and Mike, The Greaseman, and others rose to prominence in the hot talk format. Program directors hated this format because it was personality-driven and the more popular the hosts became, the less control the station had over the content. Eventually, Howard moved on to satellite radio and the format was killed. That is when Adam Carolla, The Mike O'Meara Show, Big O and Dukes, and others fled to the safety of the internet and the comedy podcast radio show boom was on.

Over this past weekend, I watched Kevin Smith’s special: “Too Fat for 40.” Kevin, if nothing else, is a great communicator. He relayed a story about his disappointment in the “Zack and Miri make a Porno” box office numbers and his change of life. To paraphrase, Kevin was looking to make Judd Apatow money ($100 Million) and he wound up making Kevin Smith money ($30 Million.) So he turned from a casual pot smoker to a wake and baker. During this time, he watched a CBC series on hockey and it changed his life.

The series, amongst other things, chronicled the life of the Great One: Wayne Gretzky. Wayne’s first coach and biggest fan was/is his father, Walter Gretzky. And Walter’s greatest piece of advice to Wayne was this: “Don’t skate to where the puck is; skate to where the puck is going.” That piece of advice may have propelled a kid everyone said was too small to become the greatest scorer and assist man in the history of the game.

So Kevin Smith realized he was trying to skate to where the puck currently is. Thus, he ended his directorial career (save for Red State) and moved on to his Smodcast podcast empire.

I, too, realize I have been skating to where the puck not only currently is, but arguably is not anymore. My day job pays the bills, but I am somewhat of an expert on comedy podcasts. That is one place the aural puck is going. And since I believe comedy podcast listenership is something I do better than anyone else, I would like to share my findings with you.

This thing of ours is going to be a work in progress. I have not used this blog format before, so it may take a while before I get the hang of it. But rest assured, I am going to do whatever I can to promote all the best comedian/comedy podcasts out there. My hope is that this type of free speech/insight/entertainment will get more and more fans and become the replacement for the old hot talk radio format.

Let's do it.