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Episode 5.3 — Using the Guest: Day 3

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@Niall If you're clown from the neck down, you know Cuddlahz don't attack as a pack.

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@Adam Bozarth that really speaks to parts of my soul, mostly the confused parts normally consumed by sexuality and the distances at which i should hold doors open for people.

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So far the little dum dum club is the only one I would listen to regularly. To me the sounds like a cleaner, more Australian Walking the Room. Which is great.

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"Earwolf's next great podcast" is clearly the Earwolf Challenge. It's been dominating forum activity since it began.
IMO the judging has been fair and the show has been great. I'll leave the page-stretching analysis to you guys ... ;-)
 
And while I've been indifferent to TL (chat show fatigue), since they're receiving some harsh jabs I'm officially joining the backlash backlash.

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Jeff, I've never heard this podcast but I did want to pipe in and tell you how much I love Earwolf and all the great work you do. To see you engage with these folks (even in an admittedly hurt manner) is more than any of us should expect considering the ground-breaking high quality work we see from Earwolf. You've done a shit ton of work with this thing, it's amazing to think that just two years ago CDR was a new show, now CBB is the flagship of a dozen spinoffs (or branch-offs, or tree-dick-offs if Lil Gary is correct) each unique and special.

Keep up the great work. I apologize for the unabashed fanboy response here, but you guys bust your ass every day to provide me with outstanding free entertainment, and I hope you know how much we appreciate it. If this comment isn't proof enough, I did order a $20 Wolf Dead tee shirt... anyone who knows me would not believe that I spent more than ten bucks on any shirt, so make of that what you will.

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Marc was a fantastic judge this week!

It was refreshing to hear from a judge who presented a strong point of view and didn't shy away from giving positive feedback.

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Thank you Sean, I really appreciate the kind words. And thanks for supporting us with the purchase of the shirt, it really helps!

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i think that a major problem with some of the argument on these boards is saying "this is funny and this is not", because in the end it is all subjective. it is like saying "i listen to the descendants, have been listening to punk rock my whole life, and do not think kelly clarkson is good, and therefore should not have won american idol." we do not all think alike, we do not all laugh at the same things. i personally, for the last few days since i first posted here, have tried to listen to both bob and dan cast and totally laime. for me personally, b and d won me over because its nerdy voice spoke to me (already jammed through 13 episodes, i work in a stationary position at a warehouse 12 hours a day), whereas totally laime was more hit and miss. i enjoyed the pft episode, which someone else had mentioned on either here or 5.2 as being what sold them, but i have to say there has not been anything that pft hasnt sold in my opinion. outside of earwolf, maron and dlm, paul f. tompkins has been the reason i investigated other shows. some have stayed in my rotation, others were not up to par without pft... i forgot my point...

oh yeah...
a)comedy is subjective
b)paul f. tompkins is god (not subjective)
c)don't be a jerk.. we're all just one mind man (now analyze phat)

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This week all the contestants made good efforts to use guests, especially the podcast that are not usually formated for such content. For being the underdogs, Bob and Dan a really hanging in there and I hope they really do something in the next week or two to get them up to the top of the pile with TL and LDDC who seem nigh-untouchable. F+ will probably go next week for reasons similar to TvZ. I am surprised they have hung on as long as they have. Matt still does not seem to understand their premise, much less the weekly judges. Bob and Dan have shown a great deal of variety and for a couple guys with no entertainment background who record in a Chicagoland basement, they have shown great skill and devotion to quality sound.

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Bucho hit it on the head. I'd rather Mr. Besser gave a brief description to the judges prior to the clip than having the confusion, then asking the judges what they thought they were hearing, and then explaining it all anyway.

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First, @Jeff. The only note I would add about your comments is that a brief intro by Matt to the judges before each clip would only have to be one line, just a quick explanation of what they do. I think when you consider the amount of time spend after the fact rehashing, with the judges having to ask what they do, and Matt having to go back and explain what they do while adding the context of the current challenge, I think a quick, clear line up front describing the show from Matt would be extremely helpful for the judges, and as for your concerns about repetition, it would at least eliminate the repeated theme of a lot of the judges comments, that they don't know what they do.

Second, and I'm going to say this again because last time I did nobody commented... Does the audio for TL bother anyone else? There is like a weird buzziness to it or something, but I can't put my finger on it and I want someone else to confirm what I'm hearing. Sometimes it feels like the show is being played through a kazoo or something... I don't know how to describe. Does anyone else out there hear it? Should I see my otolaryngologist?

Just a final note, GODDAMN I love listening to this podcast. I find it exceptionally captivating, I think because it combines humor, shop-talk, and a competition all in one. KEEP IT UP.

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As a (former) contestant, I understand the thinking behind wanting to bring the judges up to speed on each podcast before the submissions. I'm not sure if it would make a difference, ultimately. The overall submission probably rises and falls even with little to no context.

I *do* think that that's what the intro that we put together before each challenge is for, but 15 seconds is possibly too short. I think if we had 30 seconds to explain our show, it might make a small difference. Food for thought for the hopefully inevitable Earwolf Challenge 2.0.

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I wanted to post an addendum to my comment from earlier (yeah, I realize it is on the first page). I personally have a bias against Totally Laime because I haven't been grabbed by that podcast like a lot of other ones on this challenge (I've gone and listened to episodes of every cast on the challenge). So I guess what I'm saying is, take my criticisms about thinking there is a bias in favor of TL with a grain of salt as I have a bias for a few of the other shows.

Also to add, this podcast gives me the motivation to get up in the morning on monday, tuesday, and wednesday. I now get less excited for every Thursday and Friday because I know I have to wait 5 days for another Challenge episode (although Sklarbro does turn my frown upside down). Earwolf is making the television obsolete.

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@Jeff Ullrich, Please know that most of us appreciate the fact that not only do you guys put out show after show of great content for free, but also take the time to interact with us on these forums. It is amazingly generous and inclusive.
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The fact that a competition podcast arouses such passionate responses is awesome, but not surprising. People will have their favorites, obviously, but people will also have opinions on how the competition is run. We as an audience can only give input based on what we hear and read, but I'm sure there are a lot of other considerations behind the scenes, some of which Jeff, Matt, Caroline, et al. have pointed out. I think we are just excited to participate and perhaps improve this new and wonderful show. Frankly, most of us know nothing about podcasting, but audience reaction can be helpful in illuminating possible areas of improvement the producers may not have thought of because they are too close to the product. It just goes to show that we care. Too much at times. So much that it hurts. (Not really that dramatically.
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Anyway, thanks, and keep it up! Looking forward to the rest of the season.

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@Jeff U, I apologize for the comment about Left Handed Radio and certainly didn't mean to imply that you would bias one podcast or the other. I love the show and don't think anything untoward would go on. I do think that LHR (whose content has been up and down for me; I don't want to sound like I'm shilling for them) has a unique format within the competition, which is a worthwhile thing to consider as the competition continues and we speculate on how its going to shake out.

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I am just going to assume that the final challenge will be judged by Ulrich and Aukerman? It seems appropriate, and I think their judging makes the most sense as for what show (or multiple, depending on if you like more than one, who knows) goes on their website/podcast network. And at that point, I think "which is the best podcast for our network" is certainly a valid question. It might not make the difference between one podcast and another (especially if one podcast is clearly superior in the final challenge), but I don't think it's insulting (and certainly not meant to be) to mention if one podcast fits the feel and tone of what Earwolf provides or allows them to diversify their offerings, if that is the truth.

No insult intended, but keep it up! I am intrigued to see which podcast wins!

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Our farewell post is up on the Blog section. Thanks to the various folks who've passed along kind words. It feels great.

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I love that the host and guests really do genuinely criticize the participants (after all they are bringing new exposure to all of the podcasts) so in that sense it feels like a genuine competition. It is always painful to listen to the phone calls to the departing 'cast but I think this show really exposes how difficult it is to pitch anything creative b/c yr only going to be given a limited amount of time and they are going to have very little context as to who you are.

At the risk of sounding negative, I don't really get why Totally Laime is on here. I listen to and enjoy their show but they clearly have access to guests that are going to get them a lot of hits already. I found them b/c they had guests like PFT, Blaine Kipatch, Aubrey Plaza etc. It's something any comedy nerd or podcast freak (i.e. me) is going to find. And they're not doing anything crazy original (although they nailed their one-sentence pitch). They seem to need this way less.

Granted that's how i came across The Little Dum Dums (any PFT guest slot I listen to) as well but that seems to be a much smaller part of what they do as I've enjoyed plenty of their episodes that involve random Aussies who I have no idea who they are.

Not trying to rip on Totally Laime (like i said, I'm a listener) but i'd love to know why they were included.

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The judges were spot on this time. Those bottom three were painful to listen to. Side note, I always slide past the opening rant section of WTF to get to the guest interview, so Marc would lose points there in a competition. Also, I am now skipping day one of the segments, I just want to hear the judges and their opinions.

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I originally downloaded this challenge with no intention of listening to more than an episode or two, but they hooked me. I've even gone so far as to download podcasts from all the contestants that intrigued me during the contest segments. I have to say the Dum Dum guys are hands down my favorites. They don't do anything elaborate and I usually have no idea who it is that they're talking to. That is their major drawback. It is also their biggest advantage. I find myself intrigued and ready to book a flight Down Under. Even though I've never played footy their way and I don't know all the locations or people they discuss, there's something universal about their humor. It's Seinfeld-esque in this sense - it's basically a show about nothing, but it almost always flows effortlessly and makes me laugh. That's enough for me.

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I've got to agree with criticisms levied against The Fort. In my opinion, I think B&D and F+ were both stronger submissions (especially B&D). The challenge was about the involvement and utilization of the guest, not the selection of the guest. Sure, Braunger is a great straight-man, but The Fort recognizing that and still turning in a mediocre sketch that none of the judges particularly liked doesn't do much to their credit.
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As far as F+ is concerned, I agree that their 15-second intro could have been used much more efficiently. Listen to the content of your clip, then use the intro to fill in the holes of context. Stating the same thing twice was a poor choice. That being said, I feel like their guest was utilized well (I'd liken the bit to Brett Gelman's appearances on CBB/CDR), and that the only weakness of the clip itself was the staleness of the "No!" reaction from the F+ hosts. It could've built on itself more, yes, but it was still a better use of the guest than others.
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For B&D, I'd just reiterate the slight unfairness of calling their device 'trite.' If podcasts like LDDC and TL get points for chemistry and such (and B&D in previous episodes), that segment should have received more credit for their ability to interact and build, regardless of the device that got them there. Yes, it could have been better if it was tailored to the guest more, but where they took it should have placed them above The Fort at the very least.
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Finally, I'm sad to see TVZ go, but they absolutely were the weakest submission this week, so ultimately I'm on board with how everything has turned out thus far.

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My ultimate frustration with the judges' apparent love of the Laimecast, is that I feel like these people don't need the help. I don't know how they're as well-connected as they are, but when you're already pulling prominent comics and have "made it" as much as a podcast really can, I don't see what would be special about them winning.

I came into listening to this with big love for Bret Hammil. While I'm sad to see him go, I've found a new favorite in the wonder that is "The F+ Podcast." I was on the edge of my seat this week when they were in the bottom three, and I'm thrilled they've been given another chance.

My fear for them, is that their concept is extremely original, and if you haven't heard it executed fully, you're missing out on something really great. The Laimecast and Little Dum Dum Club are lovely, but they're a very familiar format which I'd be hard pressed to distinguish from most other radio or podcast shows out there.

I"m sure you'll all get the pleasure of me whining more about this later.

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