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Episode 9.2 — Time Crunch: Day 2

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Holy Cow! I just got done listening to the episode as I've been busy all day and then came to the forum to see what others thought. Again, Holy Cow!
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While I disagreed with the judge's assessment of the segments, finding LHR to be funny and laughing out loud at parts of TLDDC, I'm not sure I share the anger that some folks have here about the judging this week. Part of what I enjoy about the Earwolf Challenge is forming my opinions and comparing them with what the judges think. Its the same reason I watch any reality show on television. Its FUN to disagree with people who supposedly know more than I do! I love getting annoyed at the Top Chef or Project Runway judges and thinking of the things I would have done differently as a judge.
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What makes Earwolf (as an entity) fantastic, is that it is willing to put itself, its shows, and its personalities out there for us all to comment on. I think its cool of a company to be so open with its processes and people. I'm afraid that since we have this shiny new toy we feel like we need to beat the hell out of it until it becomes like every other crappy thing we see on the Internet. Let's all take a step back and remember that this is SEASON ONE of the Challenge and the first podcast of its kind anywhere AND Earwolf is only in its first year as a podcasting company. There will be learning pains as with any new entity and show and it will improve its standards and practices over its course of existence.
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What I would hate to see is the nitpicking about small things turn off Matt Besser or others from being involved in the future. It pains me every time one of the contestants says something along the lines of "I check out the forums when I get to feeling too good about myself". While I do NOT think we need to be positive about everything, we need to be respectful of the time and energy the folks at Earwolf, the guests, and the judges are putting in and at least try to keep it civil.
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That being said... If you all eliminate Left Handed Radio... I will come to L.A. and take you all out like Arnold in Commando.

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The judge's comments were right on this week. Totally Laime won this round by ackowledging the no show and turning it into a positive. They have a sweetness about their relationship that is refreshing. The biggest criticism I have is that their "go to" topic usually seems to be of a sexual nature. It's not that people don't want to hear about that stuff, but it does get old to focus on just that instead of a world of interesting topics. I haven't listened to a full Laime podcast, so I could just be getting the wrong impression about that.

The Dum Dum guys had me laughing right off the bat. For pure chuckles per minute, they have always been my favorite, and they didn't let me down this week. I loved that they didn't shy away from the missing guest thing but took it head on right out of the gate. Their (slight) downfall was that they carried the bit too far. I think it would have been better if Tommy had shifted into talking about his recent trip when it came up in conversation. That would have a great take-off point from their opening rant. Having listened to some of their shows, I imagine that's where things might eventually have gone in a regular length podcast. I didn't put these guys first this week because I now have higher expectations from them. I hope they come through strong next week because I'd like to see them win over their presumed competition, Totally Laime. Either way, I'll continue to download their podcasts because they make me laugh.

As for Left Handed Radio, third place isn't bad. I think they put out a bit of a dud this week. As the judges suggested, at least make it a Zach Galifianakis robot. They could have really had fun with it and playfully thumbed their noses at Besser and his lying accomplices.

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The judge's comments were right on this week. Totally Laime won this round by ackowledging the no show and turning it into a positive. They have a sweetness about their relationship that is refreshing. The biggest criticism I have is that their "go to" topic usually seems to be of a sexual nature. It's not that people don't want to hear about that stuff, but it does get old to focus on just that instead of a world of interesting topics. I haven't listened to a full Laime podcast, so I could just be getting the wrong impression about that.

The Dum Dum guys had me laughing right off the bat. For pure chuckles per minute, they have always been my favorite, and they didn't let me down this week. I loved that they didn't shy away from the missing guest thing but took it head on right out of the gate. Their (slight) downfall was that they carried the bit too far. I think it would have been better if Tommy had shifted into talking about his recent trip when it came up in conversation. That would have a great take-off point from their opening rant. Having listened to some of their shows, I imagine that's where things might eventually have gone in a regular length podcast. I didn't put these guys first this week because I now have higher expectations from them. I hope they come through strong next week because I'd like to see them win over their presumed competition, Totally Laime. Either way, I'll continue to download their podcasts because they make me laugh.

As for Left Handed Radio, third place isn't bad. I think they put out a bit of a dud this week. As the judges suggested, at least make it a Zach Galifianakis robot. They could have really had fun with it and playfully thumbed their noses at Besser and his lying accomplices.

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Matt, if the judges were only voting based on how funny the submission was, what was the point of the time crunch challenge? Why didn't you just say, "send us five minutes of your funniest stuff?"
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Based on the judges reaction, you all clearly thought LDDC was the funniest submission. So, given your criteria, should we assume they will be declared safe tomorrow? I went back and listened to the judges comments for Totally Laime. You all called the segment of the man and woman talking about penis size "engaging", "honest", and "relatable". You did not once call the submission "funny". Should we assume that Totally Laime is in danger of being eliminated tomorrow, even though you all jizzed all over their segment? You said on Monday that the extra effort LHR would need should be taken into consideration. You did not mention this today. Should we assume you told the judges that off air, and that they chose to ignore you and focus on the fact that LHR didn't do what they themselves would have done?
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No consistency. No firm criteria. No effort. Clear bias toward Totally Laime. Half-assed.

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Matt, if the judges were only voting based on how funny the submission was, what was the point of the time crunch challenge? Why didn't you just say, "send us five minutes of your funniest stuff?"
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Based on the judges reaction, you all clearly thought LDDC was the funniest submission. So, given your criteria, should we assume they will be declared safe tomorrow? I went back and listened to the judges comments for Totally Laime. You all called the segment of the man and woman talking about penis size "engaging", "honest", and "relatable". You did not once call the submission "funny". Should we assume that Totally Laime is in danger of being eliminated tomorrow, even though you all jizzed all over their segment? You said on Monday that the extra effort LHR would need should be taken into consideration. You did not mention this today. Should we assume you told the judges that off air, and that they chose to ignore you and focus on the fact that LHR didn't do what they themselves would have done?
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No consistency. No firm criteria. No effort. Clear bias toward Totally Laime. Half-assed.

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I think one element that hasn't been acknowledged enough around here is no matter whether or not you think that the nature of this week's challenge was biased against Left Handed Radio, the fact is that their submission wasn't very funny. I don't think that I'd even use the word "amusing." And yes, the same might be said about Totally Laime's submission, but at least that was a conversation that held my interest. Not being funny is a cardinal sin in the sketch format, because there is very little else to fall back on. Comedy sketches are rarely inherently interesting if they are not genuinely humorous.

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I think one element that hasn't been acknowledged enough around here is no matter whether or not you think that the nature of this week's challenge was biased against Left Handed Radio, the fact is that their submission wasn't very funny. I don't think that I'd even use the word "amusing." And yes, the same might be said about Totally Laime's submission, but at least that was a conversation that held my interest. Not being funny is a cardinal sin in the sketch format, because there is very little else to fall back on. Comedy sketches are rarely inherently interesting if they are not genuinely humorous.

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After further review, I've decided that I'm an idiot for saying that Laime won this week. This is a comedy podcast competition, right? The Dum Dum guys made me laugh the most, pure and simple. At first I was thinking they carried it on too far, but after a little more thought, it was a dirty trick that Earwolf pulled and they could have probably carried on a lot longer. The Laime story was nice and sweet, but it now reminds me of this incident: I once sat on a panel of judges at a karaoke contest. One of the contestants was singing a love song. During a break in the song he beckoned his girlfriend on stage. As the song ended, he got down on one knee and proposed to her. People were gasping at the gesture, and he suddenly became the sentimental favorite. I didn't know what to make of it until my buddy leaned over and told me, "Don't fall for it. I saw him do the same thing at another contest last week." Now, I'm not accusing Elizabeth and Andy of that kind of blatant manipulation, but I think the story they told is a little bit like this. We all probably have a relative, say a grandpa for example, who tells the same stories over and over. He might have a good story that he tells at dinner for each new guest. The guest might enjoy the story, but everyone in the family is rolling their eyes because they've heard grandpa's story so many times. I think the Laime podcast pulled out one of their old favorite stories (again, focusing on sex - a pattern with them) while the Dum Dum guys stayed in the moment. Which of those is more repeatable over a long podcast run? In my opinion, the answer is obvious.

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After further review, I've decided that I'm an idiot for saying that Laime won this week. This is a comedy podcast competition, right? The Dum Dum guys made me laugh the most, pure and simple. At first I was thinking they carried it on too far, but after a little more thought, it was a dirty trick that Earwolf pulled and they could have probably carried on a lot longer. The Laime story was nice and sweet, but it now reminds me of this incident: I once sat on a panel of judges at a karaoke contest. One of the contestants was singing a love song. During a break in the song he beckoned his girlfriend on stage. As the song ended, he got down on one knee and proposed to her. People were gasping at the gesture, and he suddenly became the sentimental favorite. I didn't know what to make of it until my buddy leaned over and told me, "Don't fall for it. I saw him do the same thing at another contest last week." Now, I'm not accusing Elizabeth and Andy of that kind of blatant manipulation, but I think the story they told is a little bit like this. We all probably have a relative, say a grandpa for example, who tells the same stories over and over. He might have a good story that he tells at dinner for each new guest. The guest might enjoy the story, but everyone in the family is rolling their eyes because they've heard grandpa's story so many times. I think the Laime podcast pulled out one of their old favorite stories (again, focusing on sex - a pattern with them) while the Dum Dum guys stayed in the moment. Which of those is more repeatable over a long podcast run? In my opinion, the answer is obvious.

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I'm actually surprised a lot of people didn't think the Robo Borat sketch was funny. Come on, 98% accuracy? That was great.

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I'm actually surprised a lot of people didn't think the Robo Borat sketch was funny. Come on, 98% accuracy? That was great.

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@Chester Douglas: No, LHR's sketch wasn't very funny. It almost sounded like it was put together in 30 minutes. And it was still funnier than TL's high school sex show.

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@Chester Douglas: No, LHR's sketch wasn't very funny. It almost sounded like it was put together in 30 minutes. And it was still funnier than TL's high school sex show.

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@Chester - Well, I think you're wrong. I laughed four or five times during LHR's two minute bit. I laughed five or six times during LDDC.'s five minutes. I laughed once or twice at TL.
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But, of course, you're not wrong. "Funny" is subjective. It is probably the most subjective thing humans experience. There are a damn lot of people who think Dane Cook is "funny." I don't know that I've ever laughed at a Dane Cook bit. There are a shit-ton of people who think "Napoleon Dynamite" is a terrible, unfunny mess. I laughed my ass off in the theater watching that movie.
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Which is why a lot of people are so ticked off about this. A lot of people posting here didn't find this TL submission "funny." And, if the fine folks at Earwolf are honest about it, neither did the judges, as many people have already pointed out.
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And so, for me, I'd like to see the challenges actually matter more. I'd like some objective criteria laid out that judges can take into consideration. I'd like LHR to be rewarded for taking on really difficult tasks two weeks in a row and absolutely crushing them. Whether you found their Nick Thune bit or this week's sketch "funny" is subjective. The fact that they were wildly creative and super-professional and produced solid bits under ridiculous circumstances is NOT subjective.

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@Chester - Well, I think you're wrong. I laughed four or five times during LHR's two minute bit. I laughed five or six times during LDDC.'s five minutes. I laughed once or twice at TL.
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But, of course, you're not wrong. "Funny" is subjective. It is probably the most subjective thing humans experience. There are a damn lot of people who think Dane Cook is "funny." I don't know that I've ever laughed at a Dane Cook bit. There are a shit-ton of people who think "Napoleon Dynamite" is a terrible, unfunny mess. I laughed my ass off in the theater watching that movie.
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Which is why a lot of people are so ticked off about this. A lot of people posting here didn't find this TL submission "funny." And, if the fine folks at Earwolf are honest about it, neither did the judges, as many people have already pointed out.
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And so, for me, I'd like to see the challenges actually matter more. I'd like some objective criteria laid out that judges can take into consideration. I'd like LHR to be rewarded for taking on really difficult tasks two weeks in a row and absolutely crushing them. Whether you found their Nick Thune bit or this week's sketch "funny" is subjective. The fact that they were wildly creative and super-professional and produced solid bits under ridiculous circumstances is NOT subjective.

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@Foam Corner, the 98% was great. And you know what, it wasn't a great sketch. But 5 people sat down, wrote it out, gave notes, recorded it, and added some fx to it in 30 mins. It wasn't two funny people riffing about a funny thing for 5 mins. They stuck to their guns, kept to the sensibilities of their show, and the first words out of the judges mouths is "bullshit."
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@Matt Besser Wiping the slate clean from previous weeks makes total sense. But you said on Monday (last Sat) that LHR would be given a bit of leniency because they did have it harder this week. Maybe we'll hear that come up tomorrow, but it didn't today. And they really really should, given that this challenge put their process to an extreme test, and they did a professional job of dealing with it.
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If LHR get eliminated tomorrow, it should be because their submission was not as funny—factoring in the additional difficulties this challenge for them. I would be really upset if they got eliminated because they didn't mention the Zach fake out. 1) That was never established as part of the judging to anyone. 2) It would make no sense in the context of their actual show if they did that.

Again, are they writing material just for this challenge, just for the judging audience? Or are they showing their chops as podcasters and making material that could fit into their show anyway? LHR did the latter, and maybe it wasn't as funny, but that they did so should factor in. If I was judging, I would have called bullshit on LDDC for focusing solely on the Zach thing. Would they do that any time something goes wrong before recording a show?? Was that really in the spirit of this challenge?! We don't know. The produces don't seem to know. And the judges don't seem to know.

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@Foam Corner, the 98% was great. And you know what, it wasn't a great sketch. But 5 people sat down, wrote it out, gave notes, recorded it, and added some fx to it in 30 mins. It wasn't two funny people riffing about a funny thing for 5 mins. They stuck to their guns, kept to the sensibilities of their show, and the first words out of the judges mouths is "bullshit."
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@Matt Besser Wiping the slate clean from previous weeks makes total sense. But you said on Monday (last Sat) that LHR would be given a bit of leniency because they did have it harder this week. Maybe we'll hear that come up tomorrow, but it didn't today. And they really really should, given that this challenge put their process to an extreme test, and they did a professional job of dealing with it.
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If LHR get eliminated tomorrow, it should be because their submission was not as funny—factoring in the additional difficulties this challenge for them. I would be really upset if they got eliminated because they didn't mention the Zach fake out. 1) That was never established as part of the judging to anyone. 2) It would make no sense in the context of their actual show if they did that.

Again, are they writing material just for this challenge, just for the judging audience? Or are they showing their chops as podcasters and making material that could fit into their show anyway? LHR did the latter, and maybe it wasn't as funny, but that they did so should factor in. If I was judging, I would have called bullshit on LDDC for focusing solely on the Zach thing. Would they do that any time something goes wrong before recording a show?? Was that really in the spirit of this challenge?! We don't know. The produces don't seem to know. And the judges don't seem to know.

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For the record, I really do enjoy the concept of a dude completely oblivious to fickle pop culture trends, and ultimately wastes his time spending years making a RoBorat or training a parrot to spout out Austin Powers quotes and not realizing by the time he succeeds in his endeavors everyone will see his efforts as played out and 'old news.' I love that kind of zeal and the failure attached to it, and I think we've all been there at one point or another, holding onto something out of sentimentality long after its lost all relevant interest and/or usefulness. I wonder what that fictional guy's next project will be...

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For the record, I really do enjoy the concept of a dude completely oblivious to fickle pop culture trends, and ultimately wastes his time spending years making a RoBorat or training a parrot to spout out Austin Powers quotes and not realizing by the time he succeeds in his endeavors everyone will see his efforts as played out and 'old news.' I love that kind of zeal and the failure attached to it, and I think we've all been there at one point or another, holding onto something out of sentimentality long after its lost all relevant interest and/or usefulness. I wonder what that fictional guy's next project will be...

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@KAJUS: Nice post.
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@PAUL CAMP: You're right about LDDC being the funniest this week and the rightful winner of the round. In general LHR's humour has been much more imaginative and creative than LDDC's but I think the fact that LDDC sticks to well-trodden comedic paths serves them well and gives them the consistency that's lead them so far in this contest.
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@MATT LITTLE: I don't think the whole thing came off as meta-based, it was really just the way in which invoking such a massive comedic property as Borat brings a whole load of hack baggage that can easily weigh down and even break genuine attempts at jokes told from a somewhat original viewpoint. So even though you guys weren't aiming at a meta target, the gravitational field of a comedic black hole like Borat can easily engulf the purest of intentions.
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I felt like Left Handed Radio ended up in third place for this round of submissions but overall it's been the funniest and most impressive podcast of the ten.

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@KAJUS: Nice post.
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@PAUL CAMP: You're right about LDDC being the funniest this week and the rightful winner of the round. In general LHR's humour has been much more imaginative and creative than LDDC's but I think the fact that LDDC sticks to well-trodden comedic paths serves them well and gives them the consistency that's lead them so far in this contest.
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@MATT LITTLE: I don't think the whole thing came off as meta-based, it was really just the way in which invoking such a massive comedic property as Borat brings a whole load of hack baggage that can easily weigh down and even break genuine attempts at jokes told from a somewhat original viewpoint. So even though you guys weren't aiming at a meta target, the gravitational field of a comedic black hole like Borat can easily engulf the purest of intentions.
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I felt like Left Handed Radio ended up in third place for this round of submissions but overall it's been the funniest and most impressive podcast of the ten.

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With all this controversy (some of which I agree with and some I don't) I just want to say that LHR has definitely won a subscriber in me during this competition. They are imaginative, well produced, and hilarious. Each week they've impressed me with the quality of their submissions. Even if they don't win the challenge I think they've proven they are worth listening to.

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With all this controversy (some of which I agree with and some I don't) I just want to say that LHR has definitely won a subscriber in me during this competition. They are imaginative, well produced, and hilarious. Each week they've impressed me with the quality of their submissions. Even if they don't win the challenge I think they've proven they are worth listening to.

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Theoretically, Left Handed Radio would cast a statistically 80% wider net over potential listeners if they were called Right Handed Radio.
(has anyone made that joke yet?)

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Theoretically, Left Handed Radio would cast a statistically 80% wider net over potential listeners if they were called Right Handed Radio.
(has anyone made that joke yet?)

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