It's time to see what the contestants have come up with for their recurring segments! Matt Besser is joined by Matt Gourley from Superego and Paul Scheer from How Did This Get Made? to judge the podcasts' submissions. Let us know which segments you liked and which didn't work for you on Facebook and on the Earwolf forums.
Episode 4.2 — Recurring Segments: Day 2
Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:34 AM
Feel kind of sorry for Brett here. I'm not sure what else the sketch shows can do. It was a bit of a weak parody, but it seems like he's drawn the short straw again this week (although we'll see tomorrow I guess). A shame because he's one of the more interesting podcast's here, and he has a huge amount of potential, but it doesn't seem like Matt Besser is particularly fond of it, so it's hard to see him having any chance of winning this.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:39 AM
This week I really liked the Left Handed Radio segment. At first wasn't on board with the idea but the more calls they took the better it got for me. I really like the idea of a sketch show that answers caller questions. I love how the calls were serious but pretty mundane questions and that is really what sold it for me. If they do what the judges suggest and have different characters answers questions, it could be a really amazing part of their show.
Also as always the little dumb dumb club did an amazing job.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:43 AM
Little Dum Dum Club was my winner this week. I'd be interested to hear if the judges have a favorite for the week from here on out. Just talking about the 3 worst is kind of a downer; lets get some positivity going with telling us who you think did the best.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:10 AM
@TeamSpaceBug Thanks so much! We'd love to have any characters on our show answer questions, we went with Herb since he's been on the show before and gives tips about how to do stuff on the cheap. It's the first time we had tried writing new material to a listener-suggested topic, and it was a lot of fun! We'd love to do it more and get better at it.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:39 AM
As usual I am loving this challenge. I had two favorites. 1) Totally Laime. They keep hitting it out of the park for me. I feel like when listening to the show their is ease about elizabeth and Andy. I also feel that there is a lot of laughter but it isn't about inside jokes or things that I would need to know from previous epsidoes. It was really easy to follow along with the game and I thought it as a good ice breaker. 2) I also thought the Little Dum Dum club was pretty funny. As I think Matt said I don't know how sustainable the segment is but I was lol when he was doing his impression of how they would call out that girl. Boys are so mean (and funny).
Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:03 AM
Oh my garsh, I loved Left Handed Radio's segment. I'm from Steelers country, and the accent & references were so good. I'm definitely going to listen to the backlog on that one now.
I hope Ham Radio stays in. It's probably the highest concept one, and it hasn't come across as well as it could in bite-sized pieces, but I've listened to whole eps and it's very slick and works well and makes me laugh.
And as someone who listens to The Little Dum Dum Club regularly, the Maryborough well has a lot of water in it, and they dole it out in little pieces, so it could last a long, long time.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:10 AM
-- The wishy-washy awkwardness of this round was summed up by Matt trying to work out exactly what "recurring segment" even means. If the host doesn't really get it it's hardly surprising that some of the contestants didn't either. "If it's on every episode is it really a recurring segment or just a normal part of the show?" should never have had to be asked by any of the contestants let alone the host. What kind of contest asks its contestants to operate within parameters which are so half-assedly defined?
-- As for this round's entries I felt the opposite to Paul with his comment that he prefered the things that went by fast. To me the faster the segment was the more it felt like commercial radio emptiness - like the rapidity and barrelling momentum was more designed to distract its ADD listeners from realising there isn't anything actually creative or imaginative happening.
-- For me the sketch shows were the ones which shined most this week. When it comes to audio entertainment Recurring Segments immediately bring to mind the skeevy desperation of morning radio for me and because one of the things I love about podcasts is that they let me avoid the shit out of cack morning radio I wasn't a fan of being reminded how forced they can sound. The sketch shows, particularly Left Handed Radio and Ham Radio, avoided giving off that feeling by just being themselves as much as the goofy parameters of the round allowed. And I thought the pretend Dating Game thing that The Fort did, even though it had a little of that dodgy morning zoo vibe, transcended what could have come across like a played-out premise just because they have a great, relaxed, familiar chemistry.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:27 AM
I think Bucho brings up a very important point - it seems like Matt is handed the week's theme right as the first episode of the week starts. It's fine to listen to him wax philosophical about what makes for a good recurring bit, but he should have a clear idea of what it is before the show starts.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:59 AM
My favorite in today's challenge was The Little Dum Dum Club. It was the most original, easy to understand and funny of the segments.
Totally Laime was great, though there are lots of word association or rapid fire style segments already out there. I do like the piece though, and agree with the judges that it'd be interesting to have the hosts follow up on a few of the guest's most surprising answers after the game concludes.
I also think the segment ideas of answering Yahoo questions and the Mark Mark Mork game are fun (though the rules to the latter of the two could be summarized in a more simple way to understand.)
Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:29 PM
I agree that unfortunately the advice show I think served as bad advice in some cases since by the end of the submission show they had come up with somewhat different ideas for what they wanted and what constituted a recurring segment. I'm sure that will factor into the judging though, I suspect it will boil down to enjoyable the pieces were not the technicality of what counts as a recurring segment. Still some may have chosen a different piece to submit given slightly different parameters. For instance I think the bits on Ham Radio with the podcast support line that I've heard are quite good and that to me counts as a recurring bit even more than the movie previews and I think Brett was kind of advised against using those which to me is a shame.
I will say personally I think this is the first time I've enjoyed the majority of the submissions, everyone has really stepped up their game a little, or maybe these types of segments are just inherently more funny. I think I'd actually be hard pressed to come up with a standout winner this week.
The F+ was my least favorite, it was a confusing bit out of context. They also continue to be plagued by audio quality issues, which made it more confusing, for me at least, since my brain had trouble parsing what they were saying at times and figuring out who was talking. I may not have that issue if I was a regular listener and more familiar with everyone's voices. They're not the only one with that issue, but I think were hit hardest by it this week.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:31 PM
I disagree with the idea that Matt’s lack of preparation hurts the show. I think he has been clear he isn’t looking for one set thing. To me, the most interesting part of this whole podcast is hearing Matt talk about what a recurring segment is and isn’t, what a theme can and can’t be, and all the dissecting of the current podcast formats. Or stuff like hearing Paul F talk about how he wasn’t sure what 2 minutes of his podcast he would play during the content challenge and having the judges discuss that. The contestants are secondary characters in this whole thing. They provide the jumping off point for all the interesting discussion. The Host and Judges are the real stars. Getting rid of the process of how they come up with the judging criteria, or the discussion of what the challenge means would make this into just one long public job interview. This challenge was especially weird because no one would force a show to actually have a recurring segment if it doesn’t fit in at all, but a good podcast should be able to at least put something out that fits the challenge, even without set in stone guidelines.
I was really surprised Ham Radio went with the movie trailer. I thought Matt’s talk about how everyone does movie trailers, and that it isn’t really unique enough to be considered a recurring segment would dissuade him from it. I like the idea that a recurring segment of a show is something that if someone else did it, they'd basically be stealing from you. I could see him being in the bottom 3 based purely on “song choice” again.
Every time I hear the Bob and Dan Cast, I like them more. They have such a cool vibe and some really creative, silly topics. I think I’d love their show if I listened to it, but I’ll only do that if they win this whole thing, so I am rooting for them.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:33 PM
Another great episode guys! I always look forward to hearing the content from all of the podcasts. I think my favorites this week are The Little Dum Dum Club, The Bob and Dancast, and Totally Laime.
Definitely agree with Bucho about the week's challenge being clearly more defined for both the hosts/judges and the contestants. I guess that's one of the wrinkles that comes along with blazing the trail of competition podcasts.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:03 PM
--I am really enjoying this competition and podcast, because as I suspect with most of you who've bothered to post on here, I get really nerdy and obsessive with the pop culture entertainment that I enjoy.
--What I think is fun from a comedy nerdery perspective is that podcasting is such a relatively new art form that rules and conventions have really yet to be codified. In some instances Matt & Co. are doing it before our very ears, e.g. when judges had that discussion over "well what IS a recurring segment?" This makes for interesting listening to those of us who crave the inside-baseball aspect of this competition.
--At the same time, the lack of consensus on podcasting concepts can make for a confusing rubric on which to judge the contestants. I think there's definitely a learning curve not just for the competition contestants, but for the Earwolf team of producers who are creating the framework for this competition for the very first time.