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Episode 9.2 — Time Crunch: Day 2

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Dave Anthony and Matt Belknap are two major figures in the world of podcasting. Dave co-hosts Walking The Room, the "comic's comic" of podcasting. Matt co-hosts Never Not Funny, one of the longest running podcasts around. They know full well what it's like to be in a time crunch and they're here to see which of our remaining three podcasts can deliver in a pinch. Join us tomorrow as three becomes two and we inch ever closer to crowing a winner of The Earwolf Challenge.
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Dave Anthony and Matt Belknap are two major figures in the world of podcasting. Dave co-hosts Walking The Room, the "comic's comic" of podcasting. Matt co-hosts Never Not Funny, one of the longest running podcasts around. They know full well what it's like to be in a time crunch and they're here to see which of our remaining three podcasts can deliver in a pinch. Join us tomorrow as three becomes two and we inch ever closer to crowing a winner of The Earwolf Challenge.
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What a rough week. Regardless, I've subscribed to these three remaining podcasts. If anyone has listened to Walking the Room this week, you've got a sneak peak as to what's coming tomorrow. It's going to be a hard listen.

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What a rough week. Regardless, I've subscribed to these three remaining podcasts. If anyone has listened to Walking the Room this week, you've got a sneak peak as to what's coming tomorrow. It's going to be a hard listen.

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Bad judge choice? The guy was overly mean in-studio, then (apparently) let the cat out of the bag. Whoops.

 
I don't take fairness or competition aspects as seriously as some posters. So far it's been a fun, informative contest. But I can't help but be disappointed with this week's outcome.

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Bad judge choice? The guy was overly mean in-studio, then (apparently) let the cat out of the bag. Whoops.

 
I don't take fairness or competition aspects as seriously as some posters. So far it's been a fun, informative contest. But I can't help but be disappointed with this week's outcome.

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I'm really disappointed with how TLDDC reacted to this. I do think it is a great challenge (minus the unfairness to LHR). To get this upset about it and take it this personally is unnecessary.

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I'm really disappointed with how TLDDC reacted to this. I do think it is a great challenge (minus the unfairness to LHR). To get this upset about it and take it this personally is unnecessary.

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This was maybe the funniest the LITTLE DUM DUM CLUB has been in The Challenge as far as I can remember. I think the judges were right that it was a lot of sound and fury signifying not much, but when they hit on the racist angle near the end they had me laughing pretty good. To be fair though, as much as I find Jimmy Pardo extraordinarily entertaining a lot of the time, NNF doesn't always fly as smoothly as Matt "Voice of Velvet" Belknap was purring that it does. Even a cobra-strike mind like Jimmy's doesn't produce non-stop gold and I've heard NNF labour once in a while the same way LDDC did in this clip. WTR isn't perfect in this regard either come to think of it, so judging the Aussies too harshly on this would seem odd.
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Loved Belknap's notes on LEFT HANDED RADIO's post-modern misfire and loved Besser's world-weary reaction to them even more. What a bummer that the funniest minds left in the contest couldn't come up with a funny sketch this round.
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The judge's notes on TOTALLY LAIME were on the money regarding how honesty and vulnerability treated with humour have significant potential to be compelling. The more you let your audience see of your own humanity, the stronger the potential connection and attachment between artist and fan. The note at the end where both Matt and Dave suggested bringing in the real deal stuff and mixing it with the interview stuff is exactly what the Keith and The Girl show has been doing for more than six years now, and that show is huge. And maybe TL decided they didn't want to go that way and risk being called out for copying Keith and The Girl, but the shooting-the-meaningless-shit deal they usually run with isn't an original path to tread anyway. For me this was the best entry from TL in The Challenge so far and while they didn't make me laugh like Karl and Tommy it did make me want to listen to more TL in a way that LDDC didn't.
.
1. Totally Laime
2. Little Dum Dum Club
Bye. Left Handed Radio

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This was maybe the funniest the LITTLE DUM DUM CLUB has been in The Challenge as far as I can remember. I think the judges were right that it was a lot of sound and fury signifying not much, but when they hit on the racist angle near the end they had me laughing pretty good. To be fair though, as much as I find Jimmy Pardo extraordinarily entertaining a lot of the time, NNF doesn't always fly as smoothly as Matt "Voice of Velvet" Belknap was purring that it does. Even a cobra-strike mind like Jimmy's doesn't produce non-stop gold and I've heard NNF labour once in a while the same way LDDC did in this clip. WTR isn't perfect in this regard either come to think of it, so judging the Aussies too harshly on this would seem odd.
.
Loved Belknap's notes on LEFT HANDED RADIO's post-modern misfire and loved Besser's world-weary reaction to them even more. What a bummer that the funniest minds left in the contest couldn't come up with a funny sketch this round.
.
The judge's notes on TOTALLY LAIME were on the money regarding how honesty and vulnerability treated with humour have significant potential to be compelling. The more you let your audience see of your own humanity, the stronger the potential connection and attachment between artist and fan. The note at the end where both Matt and Dave suggested bringing in the real deal stuff and mixing it with the interview stuff is exactly what the Keith and The Girl show has been doing for more than six years now, and that show is huge. And maybe TL decided they didn't want to go that way and risk being called out for copying Keith and The Girl, but the shooting-the-meaningless-shit deal they usually run with isn't an original path to tread anyway. For me this was the best entry from TL in The Challenge so far and while they didn't make me laugh like Karl and Tommy it did make me want to listen to more TL in a way that LDDC didn't.
.
1. Totally Laime
2. Little Dum Dum Club
Bye. Left Handed Radio

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Okay I've never disagreed with the judges more than I have in that round. It wasn't a great LHR sketch, but it was hardly terrible.
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Putting aside the subjective quality, why are LHR under any kind of impetus to address the Zach Galifianakis situation? The comparison to addressing something if it's happening when you're on stage doesn't quite hold up, because it's a different format.
Supposing they actually did have a guest that cancelled, they wouldn't necessarily have promoted it anywhere themselves, so an audience would be none the wiser that somebody cancelled, and they would have had longer than 30 minutes to deal with it.

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Okay I've never disagreed with the judges more than I have in that round. It wasn't a great LHR sketch, but it was hardly terrible.
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Putting aside the subjective quality, why are LHR under any kind of impetus to address the Zach Galifianakis situation? The comparison to addressing something if it's happening when you're on stage doesn't quite hold up, because it's a different format.
Supposing they actually did have a guest that cancelled, they wouldn't necessarily have promoted it anywhere themselves, so an audience would be none the wiser that somebody cancelled, and they would have had longer than 30 minutes to deal with it.

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I listened to this episode twice; the second time I only listened to the clips submitted by the contestants. My final verdict: The Little Dum Dum Club made me laugh the most.
Left Handed Radio, well, you had me at: "It just quoted Jerry Maguire!"
As for Totally Laime, I liked the concept of going over questions that they would have asked Zach, but the execution of the concept, the clip itself, was the only one of the three that didn't make me laugh.

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I listened to this episode twice; the second time I only listened to the clips submitted by the contestants. My final verdict: The Little Dum Dum Club made me laugh the most.
Left Handed Radio, well, you had me at: "It just quoted Jerry Maguire!"
As for Totally Laime, I liked the concept of going over questions that they would have asked Zach, but the execution of the concept, the clip itself, was the only one of the three that didn't make me laugh.

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Wow. Anyone else completely disappointed with this challenge and how it was handled?
 
This episode more than any other told us nothing about what to expect from the shows if they won the challenge.
The constraints of the particular challenge were such that it wasn't handled like the podcasts would in real life. If this was actually to happen:
 
a) They would skip a week.
B) They could release a "best of" or clip show -- many podcasts do this.
c) They could find an alternative guest.
 
None of these were possible, and it just felt like a poor attempt at a reality TV style gimmick to artificially up the drama by f*cking with people. Except it didn't even do that by not recording the moment of reveal!
 
I have really enjoyed this series, but have to say, this was a really disappointing turn of events. There were so many other options for what could have been done with the final 3 contestants that would have shown more about the shows strengths and weaknesses, or suitability to the Earwolf network.
 
For example, so much of this competition has been about the new listener's perspective -- what about features to keep people tuning in? How about interaction with the audience (this was hinted at but not really fully explored in the recurring segments challenge)? How about a marketing challenge -- how are they using twitter, facebook and other platforms to promote the podcast?
 
I was barely able to sit through the fake coaching session. Who was this for? It didn't serve the listener -- it didn't serve the contestants -- Matt Besser didn't seem to be having fun! WTF?
 
Really hope you guys will recover from this misstep so late in the game, Earwolf challenge. And, please, don't pull this kind of stunt again next season.

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Wow. Anyone else completely disappointed with this challenge and how it was handled?
 
This episode more than any other told us nothing about what to expect from the shows if they won the challenge.
The constraints of the particular challenge were such that it wasn't handled like the podcasts would in real life. If this was actually to happen:
 
a) They would skip a week.
B) They could release a "best of" or clip show -- many podcasts do this.
c) They could find an alternative guest.
 
None of these were possible, and it just felt like a poor attempt at a reality TV style gimmick to artificially up the drama by f*cking with people. Except it didn't even do that by not recording the moment of reveal!
 
I have really enjoyed this series, but have to say, this was a really disappointing turn of events. There were so many other options for what could have been done with the final 3 contestants that would have shown more about the shows strengths and weaknesses, or suitability to the Earwolf network.
 
For example, so much of this competition has been about the new listener's perspective -- what about features to keep people tuning in? How about interaction with the audience (this was hinted at but not really fully explored in the recurring segments challenge)? How about a marketing challenge -- how are they using twitter, facebook and other platforms to promote the podcast?
 
I was barely able to sit through the fake coaching session. Who was this for? It didn't serve the listener -- it didn't serve the contestants -- Matt Besser didn't seem to be having fun! WTF?
 
Really hope you guys will recover from this misstep so late in the game, Earwolf challenge. And, please, don't pull this kind of stunt again next season.

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@Ben I'm also a little floored that not addressing the Zach situation in LHR was a sticking point for the judges. If having to address the event was part of the judgment, it should have been stated in the rules. For a sketch show, I wouldn't want to hear about the guest they didn't get to use anyway! If you have a live sketch show and lose an actor or guest on the day of a show, you cut their sketch and replace it with something from the vault.
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I think a different mindset applies for the chat shows depending on how they recover. If it's just the two hosts on a show that normally has guests, then you have to address the no guest situation. If you recover with another guest, then you wouldn't say anything! I also feel I wouldn't want the hosts to dwell on the loss or name the guest in most situations, unless I was going to an event billed as having that certain guest.
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I'm hoping that not mentioning Zach in LHR's submission doesn't factor into the judgment. They wrote, recorded, and did fx for a passable sketch in 30 mins. That's amazing! Especially considering they spent all week prepping for an interview, which is something they never do!

The other shows did not have to write anything and needed very little prep time; they just had to be funny. TL did a great job, and appeared to actually think on how they might handle their recovery. LDDC are funny guys and have a great vibe with each other, but them stringing together indignant, repetitive jibes at the situation hardly feels like a good use of their time in this challenge. How long would that go on if this was an actual episode (which is part of the conceit of the challenge)??
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If LHR gets eliminated because of this challenge, I don't feel like this reflects on them at all as up-and-coming comedy writers. That they managed to pull anything funny out of this situation I think is a credit to them. But man did they just have really tough competition this week.

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@Ben I'm also a little floored that not addressing the Zach situation in LHR was a sticking point for the judges. If having to address the event was part of the judgment, it should have been stated in the rules. For a sketch show, I wouldn't want to hear about the guest they didn't get to use anyway! If you have a live sketch show and lose an actor or guest on the day of a show, you cut their sketch and replace it with something from the vault.
--
I think a different mindset applies for the chat shows depending on how they recover. If it's just the two hosts on a show that normally has guests, then you have to address the no guest situation. If you recover with another guest, then you wouldn't say anything! I also feel I wouldn't want the hosts to dwell on the loss or name the guest in most situations, unless I was going to an event billed as having that certain guest.
--
I'm hoping that not mentioning Zach in LHR's submission doesn't factor into the judgment. They wrote, recorded, and did fx for a passable sketch in 30 mins. That's amazing! Especially considering they spent all week prepping for an interview, which is something they never do!

The other shows did not have to write anything and needed very little prep time; they just had to be funny. TL did a great job, and appeared to actually think on how they might handle their recovery. LDDC are funny guys and have a great vibe with each other, but them stringing together indignant, repetitive jibes at the situation hardly feels like a good use of their time in this challenge. How long would that go on if this was an actual episode (which is part of the conceit of the challenge)??
--
If LHR gets eliminated because of this challenge, I don't feel like this reflects on them at all as up-and-coming comedy writers. That they managed to pull anything funny out of this situation I think is a credit to them. But man did they just have really tough competition this week.

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@Linus- Your suggestions for what a podcast would could do (Record a best-of, skip a week, etc) doesn't figure in the fact that many podcasts hire producers and interns who will be at a certain place at a certain time and you have to pay them no matter what. Yes, many podcasts are recorded from home by the talent, but look at
Maximum Fun shows
Never Not Funny
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks
Pod F. Tompkast
WTF with Marc Maron
Pop My Culture
All those podcasts have paid producers (and sometimes paid studio time) and if a guest cancels, they can't just throw away that money. A few weeks back there was a guestless JJGo because of a last minute guest drop out. I think it's a genuine problem, or else Scott Aukerman himself wouldn't have had the idea.

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@Linus- Your suggestions for what a podcast would could do (Record a best-of, skip a week, etc) doesn't figure in the fact that many podcasts hire producers and interns who will be at a certain place at a certain time and you have to pay them no matter what. Yes, many podcasts are recorded from home by the talent, but look at
Maximum Fun shows
Never Not Funny
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks
Pod F. Tompkast
WTF with Marc Maron
Pop My Culture
All those podcasts have paid producers (and sometimes paid studio time) and if a guest cancels, they can't just throw away that money. A few weeks back there was a guestless JJGo because of a last minute guest drop out. I think it's a genuine problem, or else Scott Aukerman himself wouldn't have had the idea.

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@Caroline
 
You raise a good issue -- some podcasts do have to hire staff and are in a more rigid position with regards to schedules than those who have the ability / are at the stage where they are simply recording from home.
 
However, how does this play into the challenge? The one participant this was true for was LDDC -- did the consideration of how much of a worse logistical position they've been put in effect the judges? We don't know yet. However, they seem to be chided for bringing it up. They had to kick other programs out of the studio recording space for this stunt.
 
Will whoever the winner is be recording in the Earwolf studios? Seems unlikely for 2 out of the 3 finalists.
 
I just felt frustrated as a listener that this challenge didn't reveal much about the shows dynamics, content or capability. It only showed how they reacted to being pranked.
 
Also, the judging criteria on the challenge has been hazy most weeks, but this week seems completely undecipherable. What were they judging them on? Being funny? Then why did LHR get criticized for not referring to the situation? If the challenge was to riff on the situation, why did LDDC get chided for harping on about what happened to them too long?
 
Just a very frustrating challenge overall, not just for the challengers but also, at least, for this listener.

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@Caroline
 
You raise a good issue -- some podcasts do have to hire staff and are in a more rigid position with regards to schedules than those who have the ability / are at the stage where they are simply recording from home.
 
However, how does this play into the challenge? The one participant this was true for was LDDC -- did the consideration of how much of a worse logistical position they've been put in effect the judges? We don't know yet. However, they seem to be chided for bringing it up. They had to kick other programs out of the studio recording space for this stunt.
 
Will whoever the winner is be recording in the Earwolf studios? Seems unlikely for 2 out of the 3 finalists.
 
I just felt frustrated as a listener that this challenge didn't reveal much about the shows dynamics, content or capability. It only showed how they reacted to being pranked.
 
Also, the judging criteria on the challenge has been hazy most weeks, but this week seems completely undecipherable. What were they judging them on? Being funny? Then why did LHR get criticized for not referring to the situation? If the challenge was to riff on the situation, why did LDDC get chided for harping on about what happened to them too long?
 
Just a very frustrating challenge overall, not just for the challengers but also, at least, for this listener.

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"I just felt frustrated as a listener that this challenge didn't reveal much about the shows dynamics, content or capability. It only showed how they reacted to being pranked."
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^At this point, all three shows have proven themselves on these grounds. This was a challenge of professionalism. A funny podcast that only comes out every few weeks or whenever the podcasters want to will not be successful. The most successful podcasts are the ones that run on a schedule and adhere to it. There is a DIY/Punk Rock mentality to podcasting, yet everyone knows
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Superego and Pod F. Tompkast come out on the first of the month
WTF comes out on Mondays and Thursdays
CBB, JJGo, MATES, and NNF come out on Mondays
DLM comes out on Fridays
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I've seen a TON of podcast criticisms online based solely on "This episode was a day late" and the like. My computer was down for a few weeks and I didn't have iTunes to keep be abreast of new podcasts, so the only ones I was able to listen to where the ones whose schedules I remembered. I won't name names, but I can think of several podcasts that have funny hosts and a have been around forever, but haven't gotten any traction because the shows come out sporadically.
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While I too disagree with some of the notes from the judges, I don't agree that this challenge is without merit.

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"I just felt frustrated as a listener that this challenge didn't reveal much about the shows dynamics, content or capability. It only showed how they reacted to being pranked."
-
^At this point, all three shows have proven themselves on these grounds. This was a challenge of professionalism. A funny podcast that only comes out every few weeks or whenever the podcasters want to will not be successful. The most successful podcasts are the ones that run on a schedule and adhere to it. There is a DIY/Punk Rock mentality to podcasting, yet everyone knows
-
Superego and Pod F. Tompkast come out on the first of the month
WTF comes out on Mondays and Thursdays
CBB, JJGo, MATES, and NNF come out on Mondays
DLM comes out on Fridays
-
I've seen a TON of podcast criticisms online based solely on "This episode was a day late" and the like. My computer was down for a few weeks and I didn't have iTunes to keep be abreast of new podcasts, so the only ones I was able to listen to where the ones whose schedules I remembered. I won't name names, but I can think of several podcasts that have funny hosts and a have been around forever, but haven't gotten any traction because the shows come out sporadically.
-
While I too disagree with some of the notes from the judges, I don't agree that this challenge is without merit.

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Were the podcasts told the whole conceit of the challenge when given the reveal about no Zach? I'm thinking so from the comments made. Why was that the choice, instead of just saying Zach bailed then filling them in on the whole thing later? I wonder if that would have affected the outcome differently knowing the guest bailed vs. we got played for this challenge. Perhaps LHR would have mentioned Zach if they really thought he would have been on the show.

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