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Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter Interview: The Sound of Young America

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Michael Ian Black (L) and Michael Showalter (R)
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Michael Showalter
Guests: 
Michael Ian Black

Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black helped found the sketch comedy group The State more than 20 years ago. They've worked together regularly ever since. Their projects together have included Stella (with David Wain), several standup tours, and now a new Comedy Central series, Michael & Michael Have Issues.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "Frank and Erik Internet Famous"

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Your Podthinker has admittedly bandied around the label Two Twenty/Thirtysomething White Guys/Girls Bullshitting About Culture (TTWGBAC) quite a lot, but not, he would submit, without good cause: TTWGBACs seem to constitute an overwhelming plurality of the podcasts out there. But over time, a subtler taxonomy has revealed itself within the TTWGBAC. Though the untrained ear may perceive them as all about basically the same topics — the same bullshit, as it were — one practiced in the TTWGBAC-listening arts can distinguish all sorts of shades, all sorts of subtleties, a bit like Robert Parker telling one Bordeaux apart from another of the same vintage or, to a lesser extent, a Star Wars fan explaining to you the differences between two particular Jawas.

Frank and Erik Internet Famous [iTunes] [RSS] falls into the subgenre most accurately called "A Dude's Life". These podcasts grapple with all the big questions that plague, er, a dude, in, er, life. Where to point your crotch on a standing-room-only subway train? How best, exactly, to go about "sexting"? How do we deal with cockroaches too big to step on even while wearing shoes? What did we do before the age of free-flowing internet porn? Marriage: something we're headed for, or are we damned to eternal adolescence? How sad are strip clubs? When is it right — nay, necessary — to up and start punching?

Though they're the show's co-hosts and stars, about Frank and Erik your Podthinker has somehow managed to learn surprisingly little over the episodes. They're both New York guys. They both work at magazines. Erik is very, very tall. Frank has muttonchop sideburns. Erik has occasional "rage issues." Frank is enviably laid-back. Erik lost his virginity to a waitress. For some reason, your Podthinker assumed Frank was black for a while there. Occasionally they spice things up by inviting guests, such as Laura and Dina from Hey Girl Hey, or streaming live. It's quite similar to the previously Podthought-about Low Budget FM, though with a great deal less talk about action figures and great deal more talk about coital mishap. They both place on the same side of another TTWGBAC divide, though: that between comedy and hangout.

You're likely to have noticed, if you're into the genre at all, that some TTWGBACs are more deliberately about comedy and some are more focused on hanging out. The also previously Podthought-about Uhh Yeah Dude lies pretty far on the comedic end of the spectrum; Frank and Erik is a hangout. That's not to say that isn't a funny show. It's amusing indeed, but the point seems more to be about creating a verbal environment where kickin' back, tradin' jabs and sharin' personal stories are all higher priorities than going for the big laffs. That's no bad thing; podcasters constantly, desperately hunting for the lines that kill tend to grow tiresome almost immediately. Listening to Frank and Erik is like listening to a couple of sharp buddies: they don't need to impress you, but they sometimes do anyway.

All that said, your Podthinker now believes it's high time to curb the production of TTWGBACs. Though halting the tidal wave is clearly a pipe dream, perhaps it can be slowed somewhat. We've got enough of these things. Thus, he hereby calls a moratorium on the coverage of TTWGBACS in Podthoughts, at least until it feels right to resume it. In the meantime, can any readers recommend a good philately podcast? Any good podcasts about philately?

Vital stats:
Format: hangout-inclined TTWGBAC
Running since: December 2008
Duration: 25m-80m
Frequency: near-weekly
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Questions, comments, ideas, suggestions or threats for Podthinker Colin Marshall? colinjmarshall at gmail.]

Andrew WK does the weather

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Any weather people out there? Local news directors? Can I do the weather, please? Oh man, this looks like fun. Though I guess Andrew could probably make a game of canasta seem like the funnest thing in history.

Monsters of Podcasting: NYC

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Date: 
09/19/2009 - 19:00 - 21:00
City: 
New York, NY
Venue Name: 
Upright Citizens Brigade Theater

The Monsters of Podcasting (Jordan, Jesse, Go! and You Look Nice Today) are coming to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City.

Featuring special guest Jim Gaffigan.

307 W. 26th Street New York, NY 10001 (212) 366-9176

Reservations are sold out. There will be a standby line at the theater.

Pay our tour bills: get a poster (only $12!) Available at the show!

Trailer Park Boys 101

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Around noon pacific, I'll be interviewing The Trailer Park Boys on the TSOYA live stream (for regular updates on when we're taping TSOYA, you can follow me on twitter). I couldn't be more excited. Earlier this year, I interviewed the show's creator, Mike Clattenburg, who was as charming and hilarious as the show he created. Now, I'll be talking with the boys themselves -- Ricky, Julian and Bubbles.

If you're not already familiar with their oeuvre, I recommend this half-hour documentary, "Trailer Park Boys 101," narrated by Canadian superstar Alex Lifeson from Rush.

Jerry Seinfeld, The Early Years

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In 1977, on "Celebrity Cabaret":

In his first Tonight Show Appearance, 1981:

His first time on HBO, also in 1981:

via

Jordan Jesse Go Ep. 105: Glass Houses with Todd Glass

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Guests: 
Todd Glass

Comedian Todd Glass visits Jordan and Jesse to talk about throwing rocks, touring with Celine Dion, and more.

Download This Episode (MP3 Link)
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The Pope is Coming!

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I'm prepping for an interview with three of the members of The State. Which is to say I'm watching a lot of The State.

A) This is a very funny show.
B) It is distressing to me that they were in their *early* 20s when they made this funny show.
C) This is the dumbest sketch in history, and all I want to do in the world is be in it.

Jeff Harris, Artist/Photographer: The Text Of Young America

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Jeff Harris is a Toronto based photographer who has documented his life everyday for ten years, one photo at a time. His website www.jeffharris.org was nominated for a Webby Award three years in a row. Harris takes a lot of the photos himself, and recruits friends when necessary. When the opportunity arises, Harris will get a celebrity to snap a photo or two. So far luminaries such as Beck, Gene Simmons, and Al Gore (and many more) have contributed. The series has an amplified poignancy due to Harris’ recent life-altering cancer diagnosis. Harris speaks about the challenges involved with a project of this magnitude, turning the camera around on a celebrity, and what happens next.

Chris Bowman: What gave you the idea to start a project like this?

Jeff Harris: In 1998 there was a lot of hype about Y2K and counting down the last days of the 20th century. My grandmother was born in 1900, and I wondered if my grandkids would be impressed that I lived through the year 1999. So I thought I’d make a diary, just take a picture of myself every day because I never quite succeeded with the diary concept. And taking a picture takes five seconds. I just wanted to commemorate every day of the last year of the 20th century. When I was winding down a friend was like “Why don’t you do it for another year?” And I said “Are you crazy?” Then I thought, OK. I’ll document the first year of 2000. After that it just switched to autopilot and we haven’t stopped for ten years now.

For more from Jeff Harris click Read More

Tales of Fraud and Malfeasance in Railroad Hiring Practices

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This is a very special day, folks. A very special day.

Today is the day that we all get to watch probably the greatest Saturday Night Live sketch of all time, or at least the most under-appreciated.

A little sketch, written by a certain Mr. Jack Handey, called Tales of Fraud and Malfeasance in Railroad Hiring Practices.

Rejoice, for our day has come.

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