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Episode 8.2 — Using a Famous Guest: Day 2

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I'm the one who suggested an "Everything's Coming Up Wheelhouse" shirt, but that was only in light jest. The abundance of wheelhouses don't bother me because Matt uses them in the proper context.

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I think both of the criticisms of LHR this week stem from the nature of this challenge for a sketch podcast.

Having little interaction with Nick from the cast makes perfect sense, given that they had 10 MINUTES to introduce the sketch to Nick, read through, give notes, run it, tweak it, and run it again. Any scripted dialogue with Nick would have really bogged down the ability to get a great sketch together in a short time. The sketch turned out great and I think they made the right choice, even if it meant not having their voices in it much.

I also think given the limited time, giving some room for Nick to improvise is smart. Rather than dig through a couple lines giving notes, if Nick gave a good ad lib then keeping it is great. We know they can write great fully scripted sketches, so if Nick added a few funny lines on his own, we know he's not carrying or driving the whole sketch.

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@Matt Miller: I heard Besser cried when he read your initial wheelhouse comment.

Meanwhile, I fucking love Doug Benson. Of all the judges we've heard, he seemed the most interested in the Challenge itself, which was very nice. I mean the other judges weren't assholes, but from almost all of them there was just the slightest wisp of condescension when they were talking about the podcasts. It's totally understandable why they'd feel that way, but it makes it all the more refreshing that we DIDN'T get that from Benson. He has a cynic's realism but he doesn't come across as cynical, and he appears to be the least pretentious person in Hollywood. He also considers "fairness" very important; regular listeners to Doug Loves Movies know that, while he clearly knows that the Leonard Maltin game IS just a game, he always takes pains to make sure that everyone gets a fair shake, to an almost obsessive degree. I was glad to see him bring that sense of fair play to the Challenge: I think he's been one of the most objective judges so far, if not the MOST objective. I thought nearly all his criticisms were dead on, and I agreed with just about all of his analysis.
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Harris Wittles was adequate.
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Left-Handed Radio: Awesome bounce back from last week. I thoroughly enjoyed that clip. I'll admit to a fondness for comedy about instructors who don't really know their subject, and I laughed out loud when Thune said "chord". I can see why the judges said they zoned out during the list, but I thought there was enough variety in it to keep it entertaining. Outside of Seth Morris, I haven't heard many people who could pull off a bit like that, but I liked it just fine. I don't know what Thune improvised vs what LHR wrote, and frankly, I don't care. I agree with Besser: the challenge was USING THE FAMOUS GUEST, not GETTING TO KNOW US AND ALSO HEARING A BIT FROM THE FAMOUS GUEST AS WELL. LHR radio clearly "used" Thune better than the rest. That said: it's not really Thune's fault, and it doesn't reflect on his performance, but I couldn't help wondering what Matt Gourley or Jeremy Carter could have done with that script.
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Little Dum Dum Club: I liked how the boys kept up with Thune, but I thought some of the initial questions were awkwardly tossed out there. They came across as very stiff and mechanical, but they loosened up fairly quickly. I think of all the podcasts, LDDC suffered the most from everyone not being in the same room: I think it might have gone a bit better if Tommy and Karl at least were together: their rhythm appeared to be off a bit at first. I wasn't nearly as enamoured with the clip as several others here, but after a slightly shaky start, it ended up okay. I think it's a clear (if distant) #2 this week.
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Bob & Dancast: I agree with the judges: really dull questions that we've heard asked of every podcast guest a hundred times. I also agree that the boys didn't bring much of themselves to the equation. But if we've learned anything about Bob and Dan over the course of this contest, it's that they don't perform well outside their WHEELHOUSE. The structure of their show is clearly the most fragile of any of the remaining podcasts, and they kind of seem at a loss when asked to incorporate new elements or approaches. This doesn't have to be a FLAW; it's a necessary conceit of the Challenge that all the podcasts are being asked to perform components "of a successful comedy podcast", but Bob & Dan have performed just fine left to their own devices, and if they won the challenge, I'd imagine that's what they'd continue to do. More importantly, given the unbelievable amount of extra consideration that Totally Laime always get whenever they perform outside their WHEELHOUSE, I think any criticism of Bob & Dan should take the fact that working with guests is outside *their* WHEELHOUSE into account, which should easily elevate them to third place this week.
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Totally Laime: jarring shift in the beginning from the marriage topic to the "weird hobbies" question (and what the fuck is "dog agility"?). After listening to it twice, I can't agree with Benson that Elizabeth shifted the focus to herself too much; I only heard her do it once, when she stepped on Thune's tattoo story to tell her own (but that one instance was a pretty egregious focus shift)...and in her defense, I didn't think Thune was especially forthcoming. It seemed like his energy was lowest during this segment. Actually, since I think LDDC started out with a similarly subdued Thune and managed to successfully engage him, I think it IS the host's fault. Their questions were almost as dull as Bob & Dan's, and they didn't manage to get much interesting out of Thune besides the tattoo...which they pretty much abandoned instead of pursuing. I will give Elizabeth props for one thing: Nick Thune IS a good-looking man, and I'm glad she said so.
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Given the WHEELHOUSE situation, Bob & Dan deserve to live to podcast another day, but I have no doubt that they'll be eliminated this week in favor of the undeserving-yet-again Totally Laime. I can only console myself with the knowledge that LHR and LDDC are both far superior shows, and unless one of them spectacularly crashes and burns next week, Totally Laime will finally be voted off the island.

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@Matt Miller: I heard Besser cried when he read your initial wheelhouse comment.

Meanwhile, I fucking love Doug Benson. Of all the judges we've heard, he seemed the most interested in the Challenge itself, which was very nice. I mean the other judges weren't assholes, but from almost all of them there was just the slightest wisp of condescension when they were talking about the podcasts. It's totally understandable why they'd feel that way, but it makes it all the more refreshing that we DIDN'T get that from Benson. He has a cynic's realism but he doesn't come across as cynical, and he appears to be the least pretentious person in Hollywood. He also considers "fairness" very important; regular listeners to Doug Loves Movies know that, while he clearly knows that the Leonard Maltin game IS just a game, he always takes pains to make sure that everyone gets a fair shake, to an almost obsessive degree. I was glad to see him bring that sense of fair play to the Challenge: I think he's been one of the most objective judges so far, if not the MOST objective. I thought nearly all his criticisms were dead on, and I agreed with just about all of his analysis.
-
Harris Wittles was adequate.
-
Left-Handed Radio: Awesome bounce back from last week. I thoroughly enjoyed that clip. I'll admit to a fondness for comedy about instructors who don't really know their subject, and I laughed out loud when Thune said "chord". I can see why the judges said they zoned out during the list, but I thought there was enough variety in it to keep it entertaining. Outside of Seth Morris, I haven't heard many people who could pull off a bit like that, but I liked it just fine. I don't know what Thune improvised vs what LHR wrote, and frankly, I don't care. I agree with Besser: the challenge was USING THE FAMOUS GUEST, not GETTING TO KNOW US AND ALSO HEARING A BIT FROM THE FAMOUS GUEST AS WELL. LHR radio clearly "used" Thune better than the rest. That said: it's not really Thune's fault, and it doesn't reflect on his performance, but I couldn't help wondering what Matt Gourley or Jeremy Carter could have done with that script.
-
Little Dum Dum Club: I liked how the boys kept up with Thune, but I thought some of the initial questions were awkwardly tossed out there. They came across as very stiff and mechanical, but they loosened up fairly quickly. I think of all the podcasts, LDDC suffered the most from everyone not being in the same room: I think it might have gone a bit better if Tommy and Karl at least were together: their rhythm appeared to be off a bit at first. I wasn't nearly as enamoured with the clip as several others here, but after a slightly shaky start, it ended up okay. I think it's a clear (if distant) #2 this week.
-
Bob & Dancast: I agree with the judges: really dull questions that we've heard asked of every podcast guest a hundred times. I also agree that the boys didn't bring much of themselves to the equation. But if we've learned anything about Bob and Dan over the course of this contest, it's that they don't perform well outside their WHEELHOUSE. The structure of their show is clearly the most fragile of any of the remaining podcasts, and they kind of seem at a loss when asked to incorporate new elements or approaches. This doesn't have to be a FLAW; it's a necessary conceit of the Challenge that all the podcasts are being asked to perform components "of a successful comedy podcast", but Bob & Dan have performed just fine left to their own devices, and if they won the challenge, I'd imagine that's what they'd continue to do. More importantly, given the unbelievable amount of extra consideration that Totally Laime always get whenever they perform outside their WHEELHOUSE, I think any criticism of Bob & Dan should take the fact that working with guests is outside *their* WHEELHOUSE into account, which should easily elevate them to third place this week.
-
Totally Laime: jarring shift in the beginning from the marriage topic to the "weird hobbies" question (and what the fuck is "dog agility"?). After listening to it twice, I can't agree with Benson that Elizabeth shifted the focus to herself too much; I only heard her do it once, when she stepped on Thune's tattoo story to tell her own (but that one instance was a pretty egregious focus shift)...and in her defense, I didn't think Thune was especially forthcoming. It seemed like his energy was lowest during this segment. Actually, since I think LDDC started out with a similarly subdued Thune and managed to successfully engage him, I think it IS the host's fault. Their questions were almost as dull as Bob & Dan's, and they didn't manage to get much interesting out of Thune besides the tattoo...which they pretty much abandoned instead of pursuing. I will give Elizabeth props for one thing: Nick Thune IS a good-looking man, and I'm glad she said so.
-
Given the WHEELHOUSE situation, Bob & Dan deserve to live to podcast another day, but I have no doubt that they'll be eliminated this week in favor of the undeserving-yet-again Totally Laime. I can only console myself with the knowledge that LHR and LDDC are both far superior shows, and unless one of them spectacularly crashes and burns next week, Totally Laime will finally be voted off the island.

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Harris,

Humblebrag alert: "That's the kind of honesty and vulnerability that gabfest connoisseurs such as myself and Matt Besser are drawn to. . ." - Bucho

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Harris,

Humblebrag alert: "That's the kind of honesty and vulnerability that gabfest connoisseurs such as myself and Matt Besser are drawn to. . ." - Bucho

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Nothing humble about that buddy. I don't do humble brag or passive aggressive or any of that half-assed horseshit. I go whole-hog every time. In fact, being a New Zealander, I have such a limited understanding of etiquette and social niceties I'll often go hog-and-a-half without realising it.

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Nothing humble about that buddy. I don't do humble brag or passive aggressive or any of that half-assed horseshit. I go whole-hog every time. In fact, being a New Zealander, I have such a limited understanding of etiquette and social niceties I'll often go hog-and-a-half without realising it.

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I think this has been one of the best weeks of the challenge so far. Nice long episodes. Great submissions overall. It's gotten more and more interesting as it has gone on. LDDC and LHR definitely came out on top for me this week. TL was pretty good, and BADcast was just kinda boring to me. Seems like a pretty easy choice. Sorry for repeating what has been said a million times.

Also glad to see they're already planning on doing a season 2 (from what Matt said in Monday's ep). And I really liked hearing Matt defend himself. I think he's been a great host. This is a new concept for a podcast, and they've done an awesome job. I find myself waiting until Tuesday to listen to the Coaching sessions and then the Challenge. Then listen to the Judgment on Wednesday.

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I think this has been one of the best weeks of the challenge so far. Nice long episodes. Great submissions overall. It's gotten more and more interesting as it has gone on. LDDC and LHR definitely came out on top for me this week. TL was pretty good, and BADcast was just kinda boring to me. Seems like a pretty easy choice. Sorry for repeating what has been said a million times.

Also glad to see they're already planning on doing a season 2 (from what Matt said in Monday's ep). And I really liked hearing Matt defend himself. I think he's been a great host. This is a new concept for a podcast, and they've done an awesome job. I find myself waiting until Tuesday to listen to the Coaching sessions and then the Challenge. Then listen to the Judgment on Wednesday.

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All of the podcasts left are pretty good. I still enjoy the dum dum guys the best. I agree that they threw a couple of overly tough questions out at first, but I disagree that they got "lucky" with their practical joke question that resulted in the pizza story . There's an old saying that you make your own luck, and I think that's what they did. When the first question or two hit a dead end, Tommy quickly moved on and kept the conversation flowing until they hit paydirt. Then they ran with it. They seem to adapt really well on the fly and I'm not sure some of the other podcasts do that quite as well.

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All of the podcasts left are pretty good. I still enjoy the dum dum guys the best. I agree that they threw a couple of overly tough questions out at first, but I disagree that they got "lucky" with their practical joke question that resulted in the pizza story . There's an old saying that you make your own luck, and I think that's what they did. When the first question or two hit a dead end, Tommy quickly moved on and kept the conversation flowing until they hit paydirt. Then they ran with it. They seem to adapt really well on the fly and I'm not sure some of the other podcasts do that quite as well.

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I was just listening to this today to hear some more Harris Wittels (though I listened to it at the time and loved it). It's crazy to think this show precedes Matt's improv4humans, and now that's my favorite podcast. I think they should bring this contest back now that Totally Laime is over. Let's get some new blood in there, and let's give The Little Dum Dum Club another chance to reclaim the throne. Ha ha.

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