Category: Essential Listening
Published on Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:21
Written by Chris
I recall with (somewhat alarming) clarity a conversation I had with a rabid Apple partisan
a few year back. She was, in between looking hip and wiping the foam away from her mouth, going on about how completely, soul-bleachingly cool podcasts were. Now, the conversation had some precedent, as I had recently purchased a shiny new 120gb iPod, and as the duly-anointed Mac priestess in our vicinity, my friend was obligated to make sure every aspect of my life
became entangled in Apple's velcro. But, enamored as I was with the sheer amount of piracy I was now capable of, I had little desire to get into something as lamely named as pod cast
Now, three years later, I listen to about seventy five hours of podcasts (not in a row)(that number is made up and hyperbolic to underscore the essential truth of the statement)(three sets of parans in a row is rarely necessary and not advisable). Therefore, it is now my obligation to jam some of these in your ear; really, it's in the iTunes EULA. Didn't you read it? Not even after that South Park episode
? Come on, you obviously have time to read 60+ pages of legalese; you're reading this site and that's about as wasteful of time as anything.
Of course. As someone (I don't remember who, don't make me look it up. Just trust me on this.) recently said, if podcasting has a face, it's Marc's. The story goes that after Air America collapsed under the weight of its righteous indignation at right-wing media, Marc's career struggled. Following his second divorce, his blend of anger and sadness on stage did not lend itself to filling the Peoria Chuckle Hut, or wherever. He decided to either try
podcasting or kill himself. Fortunately, he got in at a very good moment for the medium. He wasn't the first; pioneers like Jimmy Pardo's Never Not Funny
and Keith and the Girl
had already been online for a couple of years at that point. But something about the sheer raw vulnerability and the making-amends interviews with comedians he'd alienated on the road made for compelling listening. Over the years that he's been online, he's produced some of the definitive conversations of our age. Check out his Louis CK 2-parter
, or how about Todd Glass
' coming out?
These days one has to wonder if Maron's life is getting to be too good and on-track to remain funny and compelling as it has been. Thanks to the podcast, he's filling clubs, got a pilot picked up
by IFC, got a book contract, and he's said sorry to just about everyone he mistreated (you get the impression he pissed off Jon Stewart a long ago time and Stewart isn't ready to accept the apology, or maybe that's just me).
Just listen, okay?
Others worth checking out
The Dana Gould Hour
- this show is quite new, but it ridiculously well-produced. It's monthly, because he spends so long working on it. The effort shows.
You Had to Be There
- Comediennes Nikki Glaser and Sarah Schaefer offer a hilarious, female oasis in a medium that seems overwhelmed with male voices. They leave nothing off the table, so the conversations can get scatological, sexual, or grotesque, which is great. They also got a pilot picked up recently.
Walking the Room
- Comedians Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony are just plain funny.
The Smartest Man in the World
- Greg Proops, who you might remember from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, brings a sesquipedalian cerebral voice to podcastdom. The show's a bit different than most others in the comedy field, and won't be to everyone's taste.