The Little Dum Dum Club have spent the entire Earwolf Challenge in the top, only once being considered for elimination. Today they pull out all the stops as they invite Australian comedians Luke McGregor and Nick Cody into the fold for a full 30 minute episode. Our charmers from down under talk about parents on Facebook, their crappiest comedy gigs, specialty coffee, and strippers in an attempt to win a spot on Earwolf. Will they succeed? Find out tomorrow on The Earwolf Challenge Season Finale!
Episode 10.2 — The Final Challenge: Day 2
Posted 13 September 2011 - 02:01 AM
I try to avoid the forums for this show to avoid the inevitable drama follows reality programming but I've been listening since the first week and while it's been shaky at times, the concept is too intriguing and I became way too invested in the outcome of it to not want to see a second season.
That said, I'd make a lot of format changes starting with:
1. Scrap having the podcasts compete remotely.
Instead of recording week by week over the course of a few months, schedule the Challenge for a week or two of daily recording in the Earwolf studios and have the contestants come to LA if they want to compete. Now, I know it's not fair to podcasts located in other parts of the country but lets face it, plenty of talented unknown comedians move west chasing the kind of exposure an Earwolf podcast is going to bring them already; if they're really serious about establishing a show and building a name for themselves, finding a way to spend a week in LA to record is something worth doing. What makes for a good competition reality show is watching the contestants develop and you lose a lot of that with people calling in over Skype.
The interactions between the judges and the contestants feels very detached and comes off more like a teacher grading homework than it should. I don't think Matt would have had near as much trouble conveying exactly what he wanted out of the different shows in the coaching sessions had he been there during the creative process.
2. Give people more than 5 minutes to showcase themselves.
The hardest part about listening to the early episodes is a lot of shows are giving very little content and it makes it next to impossible to really get a feel for them. I'd cut down the amount of shows in the contest to 6 and give each show more time to showcase what they do. For first two episodes, split the shows into two groups of 3 and have them do 15 minute 'mini-sodes' right off the bat with an elimination from each group right off the bat.
After you're down to four, largely maintain the current format only this time when you give challenges, have each podcast record an entire episode. For the judging episodes, have the teams take out the best 10 minute segment for the guest judges to hear but make the full episodes available for download, perhaps as 'bonus content' for a buck or two. The passion generally displayed on these forums says something about the audience of the show and I'm willing to bet if people are emotionally invested enough in the show to start flame wars, they'd gladly cough up a buck or two each week to hear their favorite show. You could split the profits from the bonus shows between the contestants who recorded them and engineer Frank and help make the work everyone puts in to make the show great worthwhile and as long as the whole contest was recorded ahead of time before airing, no one could accuse you of just picking the show making the most money in bonus episodes purchased.
No matter what the format for Season 2 ends up being, I hope it happens and I'm already bummed I won't have a new episode to listen to next Monday.
I really hope Dum Dum Club pulls out the win, they've not only been my favorite in the contest, but one of my favorite podcasts period.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 05:20 AM
Well LDDC had the more engaging and funny conversation for me, their stories and questions take things into weirder territory, and they just seem to have a more unique point of view. Totally Laime have somewhat of a gimmick in being a husband and wife team, but they don't have personalities as strong as LDDC.
I will say I found myself wishing there was a woman in the room during the stripper story, it nearly got too much into boys club territory with that, but since the story and ended up being about the guilt and discomfort felt in getting a lap dance, it redeemed it and stopped it feeling too macho.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 06:15 AM
I do enjoy the Little Dum Dum Club, but I don't feel as though the episode presented here is the best showcase for the strengths of their podcast. Honestly, I feel like it may come down to having too many people in the room at once. Although the Little Dum Dum Club does occasionally venture into the territory of talking to multiple guests at the same time, their podcast ordinarily centers around the two hosts speaking with one other person. However, in this case the four-guys-hanging-out-and-shooting-the-shit aesthetic devolved into a bit of a clusterfuck at points. It reminded me of the basic logic underlying the number of villains typically appearing in sequels to superhero movies -- if one villain is good, two villains ought to be fantastic. Except that it almost never actually works out that way.
Having said that, however, these are obviously talented guys, and I wish them the very best of luck in the competition.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 07:21 AM
Luke McGregor is delightful.
At this point I mostly want LDDC to win because they might not take a loss too well, and they might burn some bridges. The frustration they're showing lately is a bit hard for me to listen to. And all of it stems from stupid flights from Australia to L.A. being so expensive.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:43 AM
I found both final submissions enjoyable, and they definitely have a basic similarity in that both are chat shows hosted by two people (no matter that Psycic Andy is billed as a sidekick on TL). I think having two hosts that have a great rapport with each other is a great formula for a podcast, so it's not weird to see LDDC and TL make it to the final two.
I do agree with an earlier post that it was a little weird that LDDC relied on two guests - maybe it was to hedge their fears of any dead air. With Tommy and Carl's quick wit and banter, though, I don't think that should've been a worry. When they said they'd have two guests, I thought it would be one at a time and be edited together, or maybe only have both on mic at the end. At times it got a little hectic and busy, but they all told interesting and funny anecdotes, so the entertainment value was still there.
With the final criteria being that only of preference, I'd have to give a slight edge to TL, if only because I think their show has a little bit more of a natural conversational feel to it. LDDC delivers more laughs but at times can be a little one-note. Anecdotes, riffing, more anecdotes, more jokes... it's very high energy, but if they only have one gear, then even that high energy can feel flat. That seems oxymoronic, so I'm probably not explaining it very well.
Whereas TL doesn't have the same laugh-a-minute ratio, it feels like they allow their conversation with their guest to develop organically. Often they go to funny places - unsurprisingly so, because they book guests from the comedy world - but they're not afraid to delve into tangents that aren't necessarily funny but are more interesting or dark.
Either way, Earwolf is gaining a great podcast, and the Challenge has been a FANTASTIC show to listen to. Always compelling and entertaining, often very funny, and even informative at times. It was really a pleasure to hear luminaries from the podcasting world debate and discuss this relatively new and developing art form. Great job producers, and great job Matt Besser for doing a sometimes thankless task of hosting. I look forward to Season 2 of the Challenge!
P.S. Not sure what you have in store for Day 3 of Finale Week, but I would love an overall retrospective show to hear Matt and the producer's thoughts on the show overall - whether it met their expectations, how their perspective changed along the way, how they would approach a second season, etc. I'm not sure if that belongs on tomorrow's show, as it might take away from the spotlight of the winner, but it would make for great listening.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:51 AM
I'd be fine with either of these podcasts winning. It seems to me they have pretty similar strengths and weaknesses. If I had to choose I'd probably give the edge to TL which has more of a hook with the married couple thing. It's probably very unfair (and typically narrow-minded American) of me, but I can't help thinking of LDDC as "TOFOP's baby brother". On the other hand, LDDC would bring a nice international flavor to the Earwolf lineup, whereas there seems to be some crossover between TL's guests and the usual gang of Earwolf guests.
As far as judging just by this week's submissions, it's pretty close. My attention started to wander slightly more during LDDC, but maybe that's only because I was busier when I listened to it.
I suppose it's a little disappointing that the competition came down to two gabfests, but the truth is Earwolf doesn't have a show that's just straight up, free form chat without a theme or a gimmick. While I would have liked to see something more conceptual in the running, either one of these will be a good addition to the lineup.
Sorry this post wasn't more condescending and confrontational.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 02:46 PM
I thought the rapport with Besser was better from yesterday's episode, though I still did like the coaching theme of responses to past judges notes. I think the skype connection hampers the natural give and take - though that it nobody's fault given that LDDC is in Australia and Matt and Frank are in Los Angeles.
As others have stated, I thought the LDDC submission got a little antic and crowded with all of the voices in the room - though sometimes the chaos is part of the fun. There have been many classic CBB moments featuring a large cast of characters. A solid submission from LDDC nonetheless.
Oh, and apparently there is another poster on this forum that also goes by "Chris Anderson"....and he's a fan of Phish. That is not me - I prefer my songs much shorter than 6-25 minutes. I like tracks the length of most Pixies or Robert Pollard songs.
EDIT: Username fixed now. Thanks Shahruz!
Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:42 PM
It's funny to see that people on here actually think LDDC doesn't like Matt and that they were actually upset about anything! I guess there needs to be clueless folk out there for the rest of us to laugh at! Like I said on the TL thread, there wasn't anything LDDC could do this week to be worse than TLs submission this week but they won't win and it probably would be better for them if they don't. Surprisingly, I find myself not caring about the outcome after being invested in the competition throughout. The LDDC submission was actually very good except most of the time the guy with the weird voice spoke. But, he even had a couple of good lines that paid off in the end. Comedians sitting around in a gabfest are not easy to do and fail more often than not so it's nice to hear it work and also nice to hear about comedy outside of LA. I fear that winning would end up making the show bad trying to focus on the US too much and TL can probably benefit from the guidance, support and recognition so I'm really good either way.
Definitely have another season!!