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Episode — Earwolf Challenge Epilogue

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With Season One of The Earwolf Challenge under our belt, we're ready to go back and see what worked, what didn't, and how we can make Season Two even better. This serves as both an episode of The Wolf Den and The Earwolf Challenge as Jeff Ullrich, Frank Capello, and Matt Besser talk to three of our vocal forum participants to find out how we screwed up and what we did right. If we left anything out, be sure to let us know in the forums!

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oh no, frank... thanks for being awesome, and doing some amazing work for us nerdy (grateful or un) fans. thank you to matt and jeff as well, this was an enlightening episode. my only comment belongs to the question of a non comedy season 2. i dont think its apples and oranges if you decide on a general theme, like comedy was. i guess you can take one of the general categories from itunes, so tech or hobbies or music, its still a centered idea. i think its a cool idea, jeff, because i think it could open the doors to a new stable of guests, whether its underground musicians or the comic book artists. some of my favorite episodes of the other shows were when ted leo was on cbb or when warren from the vandals was on who charted, its a fresh voice from what we are used to. in the end, as well, i think it is a positive product to bring in new ears and help grow the earwolf family of listeners. a lot of us are excited for earwolf no matter where it goes, and just happy to be a part of it from the begninning. blah blah, its early, sorry

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Thanks for this extra episode, although it's kind of like someone offering you heroin after you've been in rehab for weeks.
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Regarding the coaching sessions, I think you touched on this anyway, but perhaps the contestants need to be given more time to come up with an idea before the session so that they know what they're going to do. It could be a rule that they have to have come up with a proposal for what they're going to do, before the call. That way, the advice Matt gives would be specific to each podcast, rather than being general thoughts on the weeks challenge.
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Regarding Left Handed Radio's exit, I still feel like the sketch they submitted that week was the best contribution of that challenge, even though I still didn't think it was particularly great and I felt strongly that Totally Laime had made by far the worst submission that week, and I think that's why there was such anger over it. Not only was the challenge much harder on LHR, but they still came up with a better clip regardless. Obviously you can't really do much to argue over subjective opinions, but I was pretty shocked at the time that the judges all thought it was by far the worst clip.
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I really hope you do season 2, I'd still prefer it to be a challenge for comedy podcasts, and I'd hope it would be a similar format to this year, but just with some of the changes you've been discussing. I agree with Matt on the idea of doing genre's of podcasting, that it's too apples and oranges. If you want Earwolf to branch out into other areas of podcasting, I'd start out with a more professional show. Thanks again to everyone involved in working on The challenge, I really did enjoy the show.

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I love you Matt Besser. Host another season and never figure out the rules. The first statement is, very slightly, facetious the second is completely honest.

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My suggestion for Season 2 of the Earwolf Challenge would be to shift the focus away from talking about how bad our bad sketch was.

Not that we can't keep having the discussion, but just that it pains me that we went out on a submission that died so horribly in the room that it echoes across time. Talk about it all you want, but know that it's gutting to keep hearing about how bad it was.

Please know, Earwolfists, that our regular show is funny.

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oh adam, that sketch is like brown v. board of education. it is destined to be dissected and studied for decades to come.

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It was awesome recording this. I came off as an ass-kissing idiot and I was giggling like a school girl through the whole thing, but it was really fun.

I loved the show and can't wait for season 2!

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My advice for season 2: Don't change a thing! Trying to please everyone would take away what was so great about season 1! The show got people talking, and it gave more exposure to the shows that deserved it. Reality competition shows were designed to be divisive, and The Earwolf Challenge was much more real and fair than anything on TV. BESSER. MUST. HOST.

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I like the idea of a non-comedy focused season 2 but Matt is right in thinking that alone is too apples vs. oranges. The subject theme should be more narrowly defined. Also, the criteria for evaluating a political/government debate/talk show are already established but hearing this kind of talk and getting into the political feelings of Earwolf and guest judges is going to turn off some people.

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I thought my voice on the podcast sounded a little like Brady's. I hope folks could tell the difference between us. I got a little amped up for this and probably violated a couple of the goals I set for myself before recording this. The goals:

1. Don't talk too much

2. Don't try to be funny - let the funny people be funny

3. Be honest - if somebody says something I disagree with, then disagree - it will only make the show more interesting.

I was honest, so at least I got the last one right. I think I only left out one thing - that if people want a season two of the Earwolf Challenge, then providing a donation wouldn't hurt the cause. In fact, it would most definitely help. Donation forms are on every podcast's home page and I bet the tech guys know which show is initiating the most donations. If I were Jeff Ullrich, the decision of whether or not to have a season two would be relatively easy if the show was bringing in a bunch of money.

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Don't feel bad, Chris and Brady. I felt like kind of a dumbass too. I think the conversation sounded better than it felt.

To Frank, Matt and Jeff - You guys have gone above and beyond in discussing the fan's criticisms (which are themselves a testament to the show's success), and I'd like to say thanks for doing so, and for putting on a really entertaining show. I hope to see it continue, in whatever form you choose. Nice job.

Adam - We're talking about it so much because we like you guys :) I found the judging fair, but you guys had a tough challenge that week, and producing something competitive in a half hour is not easy. I've listened to all nine of your episodes - some more than once - and really enjoyed them. Keep up the good work!

Late in the episode, I brought up the idea of replacing the "coaching session" with "the pitch," and Matt's concern was that he doesn't want to coach and judge - which makes sense (although that's essentially how Season 1 worked). If you add a host, maybe that person could take on the advisor role. On any other competition, the coaches are separate from the judges, for the very same reasons Matt is uneasy about it. I think Matt made a great coach for the shows that actually brought ideas to the table, and he made a great judge, but it would be best if he was only doing one of the two.

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My votes for future host:

Jimmy Pardo

Graham Elwood

Greg Behrendt

My votes for judges:

Matt Besser (obviously)

Doug Benson

Marc Maron

Mike Schmidt

:)

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Getting rid of the coaching segments? That was one of the few interesting things about this show. This is getting more and more half-assed by the episode.

Not surprised you had to talk Little Dum Dum Club into doing it, I'm sure they knew they were going to get dicked over because they were in Australia.

Why would any podcast want to waste their time on a season 2?

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Here's an idea for the host of next years show - Elizabeth Laime. She's got the right voice and energy to be the host of this kind of thing and it'd be a cute idea having last years winner hand over to next years winner.

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Some of the suggestions would require a bit more production/editing time. But what about simply staggering the episode release to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday to give Frank time to edit in clips from previous episodes, etc.?

By the way, glad Matt liked my idea of letting all the contestants hearing the coaching session at once.

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The fact that Dirk didn't respond to Jeff and that he hasn't responded here just gives more credit to my theory that he either killed himself or died of rage upon hearing the final results.

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1. I agree with Matt that going non-comedy next season would be lame. I listen to tech and history and science and political and sports podcasts. I don't need to hear a game show about them. Matt is a comedy genius so give him comedy to play with.

  
2. You missed the point on the Criteria criticism. Yes you discussed it a lot. And like Jeff said, that was great to listen to. The point wasn't that it should be discussed more, it was that at the end of the discussion it should be CLEAR to your audience what the criteria are. "We still don't really know what 'recurring segment' means and it doesn't actually affect the judging anyway," is wishy-washy horseshit. If it doesn't matter then don't bring it up. You're only confusing your listeners.
 
Remember over and over and over and over how guest judges gave the note to contestants that something wasn't being communicated CLEARLY and so confusion was ensuing? You guys were commiting the sin of which you were accusing some of the contestants. Remember all the flak you got for not judging a COMEDY podcast network contest based on funniness first and foremost? That happened because a) some people don't understand the concept of subjectivity, B) some people didn't understand that you were aldo judging things such as likability, engagingness and coherence as well as funniness and c) some people didn't understand that you had actually chosen the one you thought was funniest. All of these misunderstandings occured because you didn't communicate clearly enough.
 
3. Loved Matt going into the sports analogies and now I want him to talk about boxing on every show. Or even better, talk MMA. It is 2011 after all.
 
4. The three guests from the forums contributed nicely. Admitedly I also got lost every time Chris insisted that what we need is for the show to be riddled with character arcs but everything else lead to good discussion whether it was agreed with or not.
 
5. I've never heard it suggested that the show could work even better if it was on a more Maron-esque release schedule of Mon, Wed, Fri instead of Mon, Tue, Wed. I'm suggesting it now because waiting four days for another installment hurts my soul.
 
6. I agree with Jeff 170,000,000% that having a season with only new podcasts would be a bad idea. Whatever the 10 from season one could be criticised for they certainly weren't flakes and the last thing Jeff needs is to be taking Earwolf's private jet (Ear Force One) to Milwaukee every couple of weeks to light a fire under half-assed hipsters with no staying power.
 
7. Where the hell IS Totally Laime?
 
8. I stand by my brilliant suggestion that it should be two regulars and one guest judge each week. I love what Jeff says about how the range of guests has lead to something which is in some way a class on producing entertainment but I feel like shifting the balance toward consistency would help both the guest judge and the audience and possibly even the producers too.
 
9. At the end of the day for all the hoo-ha I still consider Season One of the EC a raging success. I was hooked from the second week onward (blame Jesse Thorn) and loved the ride, so great job Jeff for conceiving this monster and very nice work Frank and Matt and Peter for shepherding it towards greatness.

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@Elliot Imes
 
You wish
 
"Dirk didn't respond to Jeff"
 
Did 'Jeff' call me out or something? I must have missed that. I can go back and listen... maybe....
 
I listened to to the final LDDC, and I listened to most of the TLR submission. LDDC preamble was funnier than TLR.
 
I got at least 3, possibly 4 emails from Frank asking that I skype chat them (as I'm sure you all did?) but it was only ONE DAY notice, and I didn't feel like contributing free content to a show I feel is as phoney as all the rest of reality shows... with one day notice... I have work to do after all!
 
Thanks for caring about my well being tho lol
 
So I didn't listen to the final episode... the ACTUAL last episode... I'd already read the results on twitter and didn't particularly feel like listening to Scott and Jeff 'lie' into a microphone for 2 hours. Meh. I listened to all the rest tho.
 
And I Just NOW listened to the epilogue... just to have SOMETHING on in the background. Tapped out a few notes as it went along. I'll post them here knowing that scott will label them as a /manifesto/ lol

I'm really only posting this as a shout out to everyone! Everyone that's been talking about this challenge on other forums.
 
After hearing the cravens that they/you got to call in (sorry guys you sounds pretty weak!) , I regret not volunteering. What was it... 2 out of 3 were rooting for TLR from the get go>? Even if I don't 'care' I'm not going to be less entertaining than you guys!
 
I've heard a lot of 'judges' and 'producers' explain that LHR wasn't funny enough to compete... and they've even partially explained why. I haven't heard ANYONE explain exactly WHAT THE FUCK was funny about the final TLR submission.
 
The easiest thing to do, to dodge reality, is ignore it. Much like the opposite of love isn't HATE, it's indifference. Sorry If I lost interest in the entire production after that BS LHR week. Get real guys. At least explain WHAT WAS FUNNY about TLR. Was it the tiny cock talk? Was is the highschool musical vibe? It's all subjective right? Just explain what was funny about TLR!

I won't edit them, but here are the few notes I jotted down during this final episode... between getting blowjobs and bong hits...
 
@Chris I found myself tending to agree with a lot of your opinions. They shut you down pretty well, and you're a little bit nonsensical, but I agreed on a few. I DISAGREE about the skype with 10 people being 'undoable'. GET REAL. Earwolf pays $100 a month for internet? That's what I pay and I'm not even a bandwidth hog. I typically talk to 20+ people on computer games!- and the sound quality is better!
  
LOL Scott Aukerman - Wow.... just WOW
  
@Frank At the beginning you said LHR was the the 'hardest elimination' (or something like that) but you fail to realize the reason it got the most traffic was because it was the turning point for folks like me who thought this was a 'legit' podcast. Turns out it's just as fake as every other 'reality' show out there. If you didn't get as much traffic after that episode it's because me and a bunch of other folks just left. derp derp.
  
@Matt .... uhhhggg.... Matt Matt Matt. ......
  
MATTY B BABY!
  
You think it would be a good Idea to have a bimbo young girl keep track of all the shit you fail to keep track of? GOOD IDEA. I love it. All podcasts can benefit from this. Yes... we need that. Maybe even get Kulap?
  
Matt I love you bro... BUT... I think your burning out a little bit (a lot?). I'm sure your smoking copious amounts of bud now that you've got a 'card' but damn man... give your head a shake! Jeez Laweez
  
I AM a doctor, and if your not eating any- I prescribe a 1 dose regiment, 3 days a week of L S D baby! For at least 2-3 weeks. Get your head together man! LSD is GOOD FOR YOU!
 
As far as the format goes... it's clear you should let them ALL stay on the line (All ten of them) during the coaching.
  
@Jeff You really are flattering yourself to say that you bent over backwards getting all the judges that you got. Half of them had shows on earwolf anyway (more than half)
  
Also, it sounds a 'little' daft to say that a 'monday, tuesday, wensday' format is unrealistic or is 'unorthodox' in any way. Please look at your competition... daily shows BAY-BEE!
  
So yea. I'm beyond caring about this... I just thought I'd throw my two cents in with the rest of you. How bout if you do a season two call it the 'EarWolf Farce'? Then maybe put a disclaimer at the front of each episode that mentions that it's all bullshit and predetermined. Or at least explain your BS reasoning to keep TLR around.
  
I 'may' look back at this forum- but I might not. If you really need to retort this send it to @lordthree on twitter. I'll read it at least. maybe.
  
@jeff I know SOMEONE at earwolf will read this eventually (frank?).... Has anyone pointed out to you that your 'earwolf app' doesn't send 'push' notifications on the correct day? It's aways one day late. It's been that way for a while. I'm a IOS programmer (In addition to blowing glass pipes and selling e-cigs to highschool kids lol) and this is getting old. Throw me a couple bucks and I'll fix your shit for you. It's a matter of changing a SINGLE LINE OF CODE...
 
GG

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