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Episode 6.3 — Sketches: Day 3


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#1 Earwolf Admin

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 11:01 PM

We started the competition with ten podcasts and after today we will have whittled it down to five. Hear how the chat shows fare and if the sketch shows proved themselves in today's elimination episode. Leave your comments here on the forum and on our Facebook page.



#2 astralweeks

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 12:01 AM

I really like the Totally Laime Podcast but I feel that they should of been eliminated this week. The sketch itself and the delivery was by far the worst. Again, the podcast itself is good but judging it on this week alone the answer should have been no mas.



#3 Bucho

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 01:15 AM

I think you're right Astralweeks, but The Fort was dancing close to the edge and it's no surprise they tumbled over this time.
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Also, Tig is magical.



#4 Chester

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:46 AM

I think that this week really went a long way toward revealing an underlying fundamental flaw in the entire concept behind this "competition," which is that there are far too many instances of podcasts being forced to do things (produce sketches, use "guests," generate recurring segments) that they would never otherwise do. In effect, this forces these podcasts into a situation where they are judged based on elements that are completely foreign what they ordinarily engage in. It's great that the Totally Laime podcast was not eliminated this week, for instance, because they are clearly among the best in the contest, but they never should have been put in a position where they were forced to come up with something so far outside of their wheelhouse. The same can be said for other podcasts that have already been eliminated.

When this subject comes up, Matt likes to refer to the fact that American Idol will sometimes force country music singers to sing rock music or vice versa in an effort to get them outside of their comfort zones and see what they can do. However, that is not an apt analogy. Singing is still just singing, no matter what the style is. Compelling interview-based podcast hosts with no significant background in sketch comedy to produce a sketch out of thin air would be more like asking a country music singer on American Idol to paint an abstract watercolor landscape. It's ludicrous.



#5 Caroline Anderson

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:03 AM

Chester, I'm going to have to disagree with you on the "singing is still just singing" comment. I trained for 10 years as an opera singer (please, please, everyone stay calm. I realize that's pretty much the COOLEST thing a person can do) and as a result, I am ABSOLUTE GARBAGE at singing pop music. I try, trust me. I really do. When nobody else is home I pull up karaoke tracks on Youtube and see if I can approximate good-sounding-ness, but the technique is just SO different that I can't handle it. However, I can sorta pull of country music, and have done pretty well at musical theater. R&B is 50/50 (I can do Mariah Carey-esque runs, but none of the brassy low stuff).
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All genres of music require different skill sets, although they share an instrument. I don't think comedy is too different. You are using the same muscle but in a different way. And if Scott Aukerman (and many others) can do sketches, interview comedians, interact with characters, perform comedy songs, and play improv games I don't think it's ludicrous to at least challenge the contestants to widen their range in a similar way.
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Elizabeth Laime has sketch training and yet Totally Laime was still one of the weakest of the week. I think that should prove that it's not about ability but about execution.



#6 Clint F

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:40 AM

@Chester... I have to disagree with you too my friend. I think you are WAAAYYYYY off in that comment. I have been a guitar player and singer for many years and the ability to sing or play one style absolutely does not automatically give you the ability to do so in another. As a rock guitarist I have zero ability to play classical or flamenco. I think Matt's comparison is spot on actually. Comedy and music are a lot alike. In both there are many disciplines. Far too many for anybody to be a master of all them. I challenge you to find one comic or musician who can do ALL styles well. Some comics are good at improv, others are good at sketch, while others are good at stand up.
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I think it's imperative that the challenge requires the podcasts to try things that they don't normally do. Otherwise it would be incredibly boring and there would be no competition. First off you would have to have all the same kind of show. I personally do not want to listen to 10 chat shows compete at being a chat show. That would be lame & boring and there wouldn't really be any challenge to it. The part where it get's sticky & confusing is in how it's judged. Are the shows judged based on each week individually or on their overall performance so far? Totally Laime is a good example. If you judge them on overall performance then they should stay. If you Judge them on a single challenge they should be gone. I sometimes get the feeling that how the shows are judged changes from week to week but I'm not sure if I can back that up. The Little Dum Dum club is another example. If they are being judged by a single challenge then I think they should have seen the bottom three this week. Is the fact that they have a strong show overall what kept them out? Maybe someone can help clear it up for me.



#7 Naylor

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:08 AM

I can see why people think it may seem unfair that people are being asked to produce things they wouldn't normally do, but I think there's a flaw in people's expectations.
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You're never going to find an entirely scientific method that determines which is the best podcast, but this contest isn't just abou that. Surely part of the fun of the challenge is being asked to do thing outside your comfort zone, and what was interesting was how well some of the chat podcasts took on the challenge of writing a sketch, and some of them to their credit did very well considering it's not what they do.
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I agreed with the judges decision again this week. The fort had a good idea but they went in a bad direction with it, and that's going to be a serious problem if they are doing a sketch every week.



#8 Oldschool Ways

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:18 AM

Yeah I agree with the "singing is not just singing" contingent. A reality competition show has to push the contestants out of their comfort zones at times, it's just the nature of the beast. I agree with the judges' decision this week. The Fort had a funny idea but then when it just became a vehicle for "I rufied your wife/your wife is fat," well, pass. I'm glad Totally Laime gets another chance, clearly not their best week but they've had a lot of good ones in previous weeks. Very interested to see what happens from here on out. I'm expecting the final 3 to be Little Dum Dum Club, Left Handed Radio, and Totally Laime.



#9 J Pangelinan

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:47 AM

Totally laime podcast will win, not because I think it is the best but because alot of judges have already made their allegiances clear (she is probably the local favorite) This weeks pass of totally laime, cemented my opinion



#10 Summer

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:50 AM

I think everyone this week would have benefited from a little more refining of their sketches. I've never recorded a sketch, but I do a lot of writing and I think you need to almost do more "proofreading." Record a "draft" of your sketch, then take some time away from it, maybe a few hours, take a walk or something. Or better yet, have another set of ears listen to it. Then come back to it and you will be able to hear things you didn't hear before. Sometimes I look at a writing project and feel "this is my baby! It's amazing and I have to hand it in NOW. It's GENIUS." But then I make myself put it down for a while and when I come back I find tons of room for improvement. I think some of the "it sounds like you guys were reading from a script" or the "slow down" comments could have been avoided this way.
LOVED Left Handed Radio's PA sketch!!



#11 Jason E

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 06:59 AM

I found the bottom 3 a little weird this week. I know the judges weren't crazy about the Bob & Dan, but in the initial call Matt told them he really liked it, and then when they were in the bottom 2 he told them they did a really good job - then told The Fort that they thought the bottom 3 were all about the same quality, when he had just told TL that their sketch was pretty bad. Seth also said he liked their submission, so I'm confused why they went through the wringer instead of F+ or LDDC, which none of the judges particularly liked.



#12 Dirk

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:13 AM

WTF was this? talk about FIXED. I smell BS.

Totally Laime is TOTALLY LAME. I didn't laugh once at that POS sketch. Poor concept, poor execution. why are they still here? You trying to 'change it up' or 'do the unexpected'?

Go back and listen to totally Laime first appearance. ALL THEY DID was name drop, name drop, name drop. O-K SURE. That would be cool if they had any talent or comedy chops, but in their case it seems like she is literally coasting on this 'cute voice' vibe. Is this highschool? Why do they get multiple free passes?

I expected more from Seth, Tig, and Matt... WTF WTF WTF

That said, I'll boycott the entire fucking earwolf network if totally laime wins this. This is gearing up to be the phoneyest show this side of american Idol.

Also- More filler guys! wtf. As you eliminate these podcasts the shows get shorter and shorter! how long is the final episode gonna be? 6 minutes?

dumb dumb dumb.



#13 Naylor

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:43 AM

@Dirk
I doubt anyone at earwolf is going to be worried about losing you as a listener if you make lame threats and unfounded accusations.



#14 Jeff Ullrich

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:44 AM

Well it looks like Earwolf is going to lose Dirk as a listener because he's right, Totally Laime is going to win because, well...I've fixed it.

Here's the back story...Elizabeth Laime and I are having an affair. I've been in love with her for years. She wanted to have a successful podcast so I put together a plan. I would convince my wife (who didn't know about Elizabeth until right now) to let me quit my job and invest all of our money in a podcasting business. I then infiltrated the comedy world, starting first with Scott Aukerman, so that I could create Earwolf. But since Elizabeth didn't have a "big name", I couldn't just add her to Earwolf, it would have looked suspicious. So I spent an entire year adding other shows, biding my time, waiting for my chance. In the meantime, I was casually mentioning to all the comedians I know that they should be a guest on that great "indie" podcast, Totally Laime and they fell for it. I would stock her show with people I planned on guest judging the Earwolf Challenge, which no one else knew about yet. Then I convinced Scott that we should do the challenge, hired producers and even got Matt Besser to host. I wanted it to look as much like a real, legitimate reality show as possible. And my plan was working. No one knew of my love for Elizabeth (sorry Andy) and the comedians never put two and two together that I had suggested they guest on TL. As you can see, my strategy has paid off. TL will win, finally get to have a successful podcast and no one will know that I was behind the whole thing. The annoying thing now is that I'm broke and all I have to show for my efforts is this stupid podcasting network that I never wanted anyway. It's a small price to pay for love. No thanks to Dirk and J Pangelinan for blowing my cover.



#15 Ronald Riley

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:24 AM

I guess I must be in on the fix, too, because I correctly picked the bottom three and said the Fort would be eliminated in my comment on yesterday's episode. Clearly, I had advance knowledge of the outcome. I'm not sure exactly HOW I'm in on it, since I live in flyover country and have never even seen any of these people, let alone met clandestinely with them. It could be that Jeff is such an evil mastermind that he's built some kind of mind-ray into the new Earwolf studios and has taken over my brain.
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Also, I have to agree with Cliff that without these unique challenges, things would get boring really quickly. Plus, more than one of the contestants has said that the challenges have given them new ideas for ways to improve/liven up their podcasts.



#16 Jeff MacDonald

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:24 AM

@Jeff Little did you know is that Dirk is actually Psychic Andy. He found out about you and Elizabeth and planted the idea of her wanting a popular podcast in her head. This created you to go down the road you have all culminating in him making a comment on the forums so that you would reveal your secret. Now he has this clearly documented evidence of his wife's infedelity and can now cash in on her parents' oil fortune, the only reason he married her in the first place.



#17 Julia Hays

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:28 AM

Summer, I think you have a good point regarding the editing and proofreading of sketches. The judges had some great feedback about the submissions this week and how they could have improved upon their ideas. I especially liked Matt's comment today about how you need to focus on the funny aspect of a skit. It sounds like a simple note, but I think some of the contestants were so wrapped up in stocking their sketches full of ideas that the "funny" part of the sketches were lost or muddled. Comedy is a lot of work, but if done right, it can seem easy. I'm not saying that people should forget about the details, but it's imperative that you focus on what the purpose and hook of a piece of comedy is going to be. Sometimes "going all out" can leave a sketch confusing or overly complicated.



#18 Dirk

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:47 AM

@Jeff Ullrich
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Cute story Bro!

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"Well it looks like Earwolf is going to lose Dirk as a listener because he's right, Totally Laime is going to win because, well...I've fixed it."
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nice lead in to your bit...

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"I then infiltrated the comedy world, starting first with Scott Aukerman"

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Like me saying... I infiltrated the Apple corporation by befriending a bum on the corner of 1st and Market.

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"So I spent an entire year adding other shows, biding my time, waiting for my chance. In the meantime, I was casually mentioning to all the comedians I know that they should be a guest on that great "indie" podcast, Totally Laime and they fell for it."

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This sounds plausible.

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"I wanted it to look as much like a real, legitimate reality show as possible. And my plan was working. No one knew of my love for Elizabeth (sorry Andy) and the comedians never put two and two together that I had suggested they guest on TL. As you can see, my strategy has paid off. TL will win, finally get to have a successful podcast and no one will know that I was behind the whole thing."

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This is an attempt at humor or sarcasm I assume. You're really reaching tho.

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"The annoying thing now is that I'm broke and all I have to show for my efforts is this stupid podcasting network that I never wanted anyway. It's a small price to pay for love. No thanks to Dirk and J Pangelinan for blowing my cover. "

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You're clearly new to 'internet trolling' and responding to trolls. I'll give you a free pass this time (much like you've given to totally laime). You can joke about "oh well I guess we lost a listener with you" but in all honesty- your podcasts and popularity spread more via word of mouth than anything else. I've been SHILLING for you guys since the start.

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I meet a lot of people who have never heard a podcast and sometimes I turn them on to earwolf or acebroadcasting and others. It's a VERY word-of-mouth type thing. Oft-times I download a podcast 3-4 times... once on my Mac, once on my phone, once on my iPod... Don't laugh off my boycott so easily Jeff. Sure, it's not going to make or break you, but making enemies is never good business.

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In reality tho- you and I both know totally Laime is a joke and wont win. I can guarantee you 1000% tho that Dum Dum podcast WILL WIN. why? because you want listeners and clicks. That's a fact -jack(jeff ... errr). Dum Dum is the only podcast on here (now that TV zombies is gone) that people might actually tune into. Totally Laime is, as I've said... totally lame.

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You tried to be insulting and sarcastic to me, now I wouldn't even be surprised if you nazi-crushed my comment/feedback like a evil dictator. Guys on the internet love to abuse power like crazy- I expect you're no different.

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This thing is quickly turning into a farce. Just like REALITY TV shows. I guess if that's the format you think will succeed then by all means go ahead. You even got guys like Besser involved- guys with integrity who people respect. That will make this farce far more convincing.

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Totally Laime hasn't had a single entry that's been better than mediocre. Most of them have been worse. I realize that under the accepted 'American idol'/'dancing with the stars' reality game show format you're keeping them around because- well... Just because. I guess you need a fakey-type plastic show like this in the running till at least the penultimate episode. Or you FEEL that way anyhow.

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I guess I shouldn't be complaining about integrity when it's clear all you want it views/hits. I'm just a little concerned you got people WITH integrity (Besser, Morris, Kremer) to go along with this.

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Also I'll take a moment to agree with everyone that says that this whole thing is a little half assed. I think it was yesterday Matt didn't even know what the rules/official statement of the contest was- didn't know the copy that you sent out to the contestants. Maybe you should call it "Earwolf Challenge beta test 1.0". I can't fault you for making mistakes because this is how we learn- but I can fault you for seemingly keeping around podcasts because you think it will enhance the drama in later episodes. I'm sure this will backfire with totally Laime because they've never shown one iota of anything resembling talent to begin with. Oh- wait... I guess she said she payed for improv classes @ UCB newyork.... Ahhh

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Like I said b4- you'll prolly get an itchy trigger finger and strike this comment from the record- maybe you'll ban me from the forums because I stated my opinion and there isn't room for free speech here. Oh well. My 2 cents (5 cents?)



#19 JW Buchanan

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:57 AM

I can't wait for Jeff's point-by-point rebuttal of Dirk's point-by-point rebuttal of Jeff's point-by-point rebuttal of Dirk's troll spasm.



#20 Rutabaga

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:12 AM

I am really confused. Is Totally Laime going to win this contest or not? And, if they win, am I going to be held down and forced to listen to their show? Because I am ok with that.
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Also, I really enjoyed The Fort’s reaction to getting eliminated and their reasoning for why they wanted to stay in the contest before that. I am looking forward to reading their goodbye letter. I love their show’s concept, and I think they can only continue to get better and better.