The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

My Brother, My Brother and Me 45: The Loom

| 6 comments

It's part two of our two-part, extra-super-long, unreasonably-and-needlessly-hyphenated MaxFunDrive special. Come, join us as we share all the wisdom we have left in our bodies. Just kidding! Our advice glands are as productive as ever. These bad boys are just ripe for the draining.

Suggested talking points: Ol' Bub, Slaughterhouse Saturdays, Bible.com, The Crimson Tide, Pizzacrime, A Broken Hat, G'Day, Bus-Guy, A Goofus, The Permanent Wink, Sexy Proposal Time

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Overthinking It

| 1 comment


Vital stats:
Format: multi-man pop-culture scrutiny
Episode duration: 55-75m
Frequency: weekly

“Subjecting the popular culture to a level of scrutiny it probably doesn’t deserve.” There we have the entire mission of Overthinking It [RSS] [iTunes], baldly stated in its subtitle. Yeah, you veteran podcast-listeners might respond, so what else is new? Fair point. Functionally, most of the podcasts I’ve ever heard come down to the subjection of popular culture to undeserved levels of scrutiny, but here’s the difference: none of them aim to do that. They just wind up there when their declared themes become too hard to maintain.

This show thus possesses a sort of purity, in that it didn’t devolve into what it is; it set out that way. That strikes me as a savvy act of prolepsis. Podthinking about nearly 150 podcasts has rendered me cold, hard, and unreasonably stern toward discussions of anything referred to by the phrase “pop culture.” But why? Beyond overbroadness, nothing inherent in it makes it a particularly unworthy subject. The problem lies in the fact that you need never go far to find pop culture; some of it always lays around right there. This attracts those with both an intellectual spark and a slathering of laziness, a combination even worse than laziness without intellectual spark. It smacks of the unambitious kind of American Studies grad students, the ones you’d have found heavily pierced and enrolled in one of Andrew Ross’ seminars fifteen years ago.

So unlike being about old issues of The Flash, West African pop music of the seventies, or Proust, 1910, mimetic desire, and the inflationary universe, being about pop culture demands little in the way of initial effort. I suspect the Overthinking It boys know this, since they seem to compensate with an unusually high degree of conversational effort. Shockingly, they mostly eschew the standard hand-waviness for nonstandard thoughtfulness. While four or more of them get together over Skype to discuss the issue of the day, be it Lady Gaga, the Oscars, Super Bowl commercials, or Justin Bieber’s cracking voice, they don’t shout or cut one another off; they fully make and respond to one another’s points. A true internet rarity.

Can I give this show a greater endorsement than saying that on no other podcast will you hear the sentence, “Happy crunk is all alike; unhappy crunk is unhappy in its own way”? Many times I found myself thinking, “Hey, one of these dudes I still can’t tell apart except by the varying sound quality of their Skype connections actually made a pretty sound observation.” Yet in the realm of pop-cultural discussion, you can hardly ever prove or disprove an argument, no matter how well you argue; the information at hand just doesn’t come in that fine a grain, even if certain ways of framing it produce chewy food for thought.

And of course, we have an (admittedly acknowledged) elephant in the room: most of this stuff really doesn’t deserve scrutiny, of any level. All of Overthinking It’s participants come off as so sharp and articulate that I can’t help wondering about the possibilities of a podcast where they discuss... well, anything other than pop culture. They accomplish their mission more skilfully than most, but a slightly higher mission couldn’t hurt. You can reach the top of a hierarchy, but consider the hierarchy itself: as the best tweeter I know once twote, “Humanity for the first time is burdened with a vast proletariat of literate, ambitious, and demanding people who can't really do anything.”

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to host and produce The Marketplace of Ideas [iTunes], a public radio show and podcast dedicated to in-depth cultural conversation that, this week, needs 200 new subscribers to survive the year.]

Jordan, Jesse, Go! with My Brother, My Brother & Me

| 3 comments
Date: 
04/17/2011 - 22:00 - 23:59
City: 
Chicago, IL
Venue Name: 
The Second City

Join Jordan, Jesse, Go! and special guests My Brother, My Brother & Me for a night of podcast hilarity at The Second City. All of the bad advice and swear words (respectively) you can handle, 100% live and in-person! Hosted by acclaimed standup comic Dan Telfer.

Tickets $12: Available Now!

The Sound of Young America Live!

| 0 comments
Date: 
04/13/2011 - 20:00 - 22:00
Show: 
City: 
Chicago, IL
Venue Name: 
The Second City


(Above: Jesse and Steve Albini in Chicago, 2007)

The Sound of Young America is coming to The Second City our second-ever Chicago show!

Guests include:
Host of "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" Peter Sagal
Singer Songwriter Robbie Fulks with guest Nora O'Connor
Professional Wrestler and Comedian Colt Cabana
Comedy From Prescott Tolk and Cameron Esposito

Tickets just $12: Available Now!

Phil Collins: The Song That Changed My Life on The Sound of Young America

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Phil Collins

Phil Collins is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, both as a solo performer and with his band Genesis. His solo sales total has topped 150 million worldwide, his sales with Genesis have topped 100 million, and he has won an Oscar, two Golden Globes and seven Grammy awards.

As part of our ongoing series, he chose "She Loves You" by The Beatles as the song that changed his life. Collins' latest album is "Going Back," a collection of covers of the Motown records that inspired him to become a musician. In recent years, a serious back injury has made it difficult for Collins to play, and he recently announced his retirement from music.

Click here for a transcript.

Buddy Cole Gets His Own Bar

| 0 comments

I really enjoyed getting the chance to talk with Scott Thompson about his amazing character Buddy Cole earlier this week. I agree that you could hardly have a sharper, smarter character than Buddy.

"Maybe that's why God's such a homophobe and Satan's so sexy..."

33% There!

| 2 comments

I made this beautiful image of a thermometer (yes, that's a thermometer, not a weenis) to point out that we're well on our way to our goal of 1200 new donors!

Right now we're at 391, which is just south of 33%.

Become a donor now!

Kasper Hauser Comedy Podcast Ep. 18: News Update

| 0 comments

Your news, in brief, from the Kasper Hauser anchors.

You can find more from comedy at KasperHauser.com.

Stern on Kimmel via HOLLYWOOD MAGIC

| 0 comments

Howard Stern appeared on Kimmel from New York City via green screen technology. Totally amazing. Two A+ broadcasters + Hollywood magic.

Scott Thompson, Actor and Comedian, The Kids in the Hall: Interview on The Sound of Young America

| 4 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson is best known for his work in the sketch group The Kids in the Hall, whose TV show began airing on Canadian and US television in the late 80s and early 90s and continues its presence today. The all-male Kids in the Hall are renowned for their bizarre, compelling sketch comedy and portraying both women and men with equal aplomb, and Scott Thompson himself has played a variety of beloved characters from the Queen of England to the over-the-top Buddy Cole to the humble, everyday yes man Danny Husk.

Danny Husk is the inspiration for one of his newest projects, a series of fantasy adventures in graphic novel form. The first of those is Husk: The Hollow Planet.

You can find more from Thompson at his podcast Scott Free and website, NewScottLand.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. The Kids in the Hall are one of the most beloved sketch comedy groups in the world. From their roots in the rock and roll scene of mid-1980s Toronto, through their television program in Canada and the United States and through today, they’ve been known for some of the weirdest, most bizarre, compelling, hilarious comedy that anyone in the world has to offer.

One of the most singular of their singular members is my guest today, Scott Thompson. The Kids were known for their weird, strange comedy. But one of Scott’s most famous characters was Danny Husk, a man whose only weirdness was how banal he was. In this clip from the kids in the hall TV show Danny Husk is sent by his boss on a woodland retreat to find his inner warrior. The retreat leader is played by fellow Kid in the Hall Kevin McDonald.

So it’s pretty interesting that Scott chose Danny Husk to build a graphic novel around; not just any graphic novel, but a fantasy graphic novel called The Hollow Planet. That book is in stores now, and Scott Thompson is with me today. Welcome to The Sound of Young America, Scott.

SCOTT THOMPSON: Thank you very much.

Click here for a full transcript of this show.

Syndicate content