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Rutabaga

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Everything posted by Rutabaga

  1. Rutabaga

    Episode 42 — How Did This Get Made?

    I thought the episode was really great. I haven’t heard Paul talk at all about tech or his involvement, and he was super interesting. Him going out and commenting on some video site about an episode of The League just for fun is very cool. But, terrible transition, please do not add threaded comments to this message board. Threaded comments are awesome on blogs, but they are clunky and awful on a message board. Quotes serve the exact same purpose. This message board looks awesome, and has a few really good ideas in it (like the alternating colors for posts). It is just lacking a handful of really basic functions like line breaks, quoting, a new posts link, and a jump to first new post button on individual threads. I think with those 4 things added you’d see a large increase in back and forth discussion, the one thing this forum is missing (outside of The Earwolf Challenge and Analyze Phish where people struggled to make it work).
  2. Rutabaga

    Episode 2 — Analyze Phish Episode 2

    This is pretty much a perfect podcast. I had never heard a Phish song - that I know of *Hi 5* - before the first episode, so it has been really fun getting to both laugh and be judgmental. I typed it before elsewhere, but I am just so amazingly impressed by Harris' ability to "Yes and..." every single thing that Scott says. It is pretty cool that Phish fans are getting into it too, and Harris should definitely read some critiques from people on the hardcore Phish messageboards. More please!
  3. Rutabaga

    Episode 34 — Who Is Peter Kafka?

    I really enjoyed this episode too. When Peter said he didn’t believe that audio was a compelling medium, it was great that Jeff battled back. I still think podcasts are only beginning to explore all the places the audio/podcast medium can go. Mike Detective is a really cool thing, and more serialized things with a story / arc could be really popular. Even the through-line created in The Earwolf Challenge provided a ton of interest to people on the forums, and created more real discussion than probably any other podcast. Serialized stuff was out of vogue on TV 10 years ago, and now TV is better than ever since it has come back. Even Comedy Bang Bang maintains its own canon as the characters return and continue to develop, and that adds so much to the listening experience. I wonder if in weeks where a character returns to the show, if back episodes with that same character get downloaded more in the following week? Every time I listen to The Wolf Den I get more excited for the future of everything.
  4. Congrats to Totally Laime! It was a well deserved win. I thought the reasoning for the judges only looking at the 30 minute submission was perfectly laid out and totally logical. It would be cool if marketability and fit were a challenge though at some time in next season’s competition, and it could easily be a part of making them do an actual show pitch to the judges. I am a huge Wolf Den fan though, so maybe that’s not something everyone wants to hear about. I also want to echo people’s comments about how great the show was. The producers did an awesome job. This seemed like so much work, and I think they really nailed it. And, Matt was an amazing host. People have commented that they thought the show needed to be more concise in the beginning, but I thought the absolute height of the show was Matt just going off on what defines things like a good recurring segment or theme song / intro. If anything, I think the show could have easily had more somewhat meandering conversations about those topics with Matt and guest judges or even just Matt and the producers. I learned so much about comedy in the first couple weeks of the show, and I think once the challenges started repeating a bit, the show got away from that more than it needed to. There were a handful of places where I really wanted the guest judges to tell more stories of really bad or really good experiences they had relating to a challenge’s theme. During the Bait and Switch challenge, Matt Belknap didn’t tell the tale of NNF having Maria Bamford just not show up for a taping and Dave Holmes showing up 30 minutes in to the show as a guest. But during the Using the Guest challenge, having Matt Besser talk about all the great things Howard and Kulap did on Who Charted was one of my favorite discussions of The Challenge. Even though it is a lot more work, I really agree with the comments that there should have been notes / discussion time given to the top podcasts each week. The Challenge maybe had too much discussion of what didn’t work and why instead of what did work, and how others can do it too. At the end of the day, I really really really hope there is a Season 2!
  5. Congrats to Totally Laime! It was a well deserved win. I thought the reasoning for the judges only looking at the 30 minute submission was perfectly laid out and totally logical. It would be cool if marketability and fit were a challenge though at some time in next season’s competition, and it could easily be a part of making them do an actual show pitch to the judges. I am a huge Wolf Den fan though, so maybe that’s not something everyone wants to hear about. I also want to echo people’s comments about how great the show was. The producers did an awesome job. This seemed like so much work, and I think they really nailed it. And, Matt was an amazing host. People have commented that they thought the show needed to be more concise in the beginning, but I thought the absolute height of the show was Matt just going off on what defines things like a good recurring segment or theme song / intro. If anything, I think the show could have easily had more somewhat meandering conversations about those topics with Matt and guest judges or even just Matt and the producers. I learned so much about comedy in the first couple weeks of the show, and I think once the challenges started repeating a bit, the show got away from that more than it needed to. There were a handful of places where I really wanted the guest judges to tell more stories of really bad or really good experiences they had relating to a challenge’s theme. During the Bait and Switch challenge, Matt Belknap didn’t tell the tale of NNF having Maria Bamford just not show up for a taping and Dave Holmes showing up 30 minutes in to the show as a guest. But during the Using the Guest challenge, having Matt Besser talk about all the great things Howard and Kulap did on Who Charted was one of my favorite discussions of The Challenge. Even though it is a lot more work, I really agree with the comments that there should have been notes / discussion time given to the top podcasts each week. The Challenge maybe had too much discussion of what didn’t work and why instead of what did work, and how others can do it too. At the end of the day, I really really really hope there is a Season 2!
  6. Both final episodes were good. It is a tossup. I think they should both win because that would probably anger the most people.
  7. Both final episodes were good. It is a tossup. I think they should both win because that would probably anger the most people.
  8. I too have really enjoyed the whole season and think you must do a second season or continue the show in some form. I am really interested in hearing what LDDC does now. Totally Laime set a very clear bar to compare them against. This TL episode wasn’t the funniest or the most compelling thing, but I can definitely see why people listen. It seems like the one downside of TL is that they are always interviewing someone they don’t seem to know that well. A lot of my favorite podcast episodes are ones where the hosts and guests have a real friendly relationship regardless of how big the guests are. It is what made the original Scott Aukerman episodes of NNF so awesome even though I had no idea who he was then, and is what made the recent Wittels, Peretti, Scott episode of CBB so so so amazing. That’s probably a dumb criticism since it goes against everything their show is, but I am just not compelled to subscribe to their show, and I think that is the reason. I could see 9 out of 10 TL listeners saying Totally Laime is their 10th favorite show, but I would be surprised if many put it in their top 1-2 because it just doesn’t have that pizazz (or potential for it) that many of the top podcasts have. At this point I don’t even listen to 10 weekly podcasts, so I just can’t get that excited about it. Though I’d guess if someone prefers a relaxing conversation with famous people as their entertainment, this would be the perfect show.
  9. I too have really enjoyed the whole season and think you must do a second season or continue the show in some form. I am really interested in hearing what LDDC does now. Totally Laime set a very clear bar to compare them against. This TL episode wasn’t the funniest or the most compelling thing, but I can definitely see why people listen. It seems like the one downside of TL is that they are always interviewing someone they don’t seem to know that well. A lot of my favorite podcast episodes are ones where the hosts and guests have a real friendly relationship regardless of how big the guests are. It is what made the original Scott Aukerman episodes of NNF so awesome even though I had no idea who he was then, and is what made the recent Wittels, Peretti, Scott episode of CBB so so so amazing. That’s probably a dumb criticism since it goes against everything their show is, but I am just not compelled to subscribe to their show, and I think that is the reason. I could see 9 out of 10 TL listeners saying Totally Laime is their 10th favorite show, but I would be surprised if many put it in their top 1-2 because it just doesn’t have that pizazz (or potential for it) that many of the top podcasts have. At this point I don’t even listen to 10 weekly podcasts, so I just can’t get that excited about it. Though I’d guess if someone prefers a relaxing conversation with famous people as their entertainment, this would be the perfect show.
  10. Rutabaga

    Episode 32 — Who Runs Cracked?

    I never realized Cracked.com has only been around since 2006 and that it has only been the main focus for less than that. I don’t read it that often because there are just too many pictures and too many awesome jokes that make it pretty obvious I am not working, but man is Cracked.com funny and weirdly informative. I thought it was pretty interesting and cool the way Jack responded to Jeff’s comment / question about Demand Media being somewhat of a freelance content farm. Anyone who hasn’t read about them at all should check out this info graphic. Jack seemed really proud of Cracked, and he should be. It must be frustrating sometimes being lumped in with eHow when the quality of writing at Cracked is so so much higher. Their content could actually play really well as a podcast if they found the right format.
  11. Rutabaga

    Episode 32 — Who Runs Cracked?

    I never realized Cracked.com has only been around since 2006 and that it has only been the main focus for less than that. I don’t read it that often because there are just too many pictures and too many awesome jokes that make it pretty obvious I am not working, but man is Cracked.com funny and weirdly informative. I thought it was pretty interesting and cool the way Jack responded to Jeff’s comment / question about Demand Media being somewhat of a freelance content farm. Anyone who hasn’t read about them at all should check out this info graphic. Jack seemed really proud of Cracked, and he should be. It must be frustrating sometimes being lumped in with eHow when the quality of writing at Cracked is so so much higher. Their content could actually play really well as a podcast if they found the right format.
  12. Rutabaga

    Podcast Listening Habits

    I started listening to podcasts before I knew anything about comedy. I was lucky and found NNF and Doug Loves Movies very soon after they started. At that time I had never even or barely heard of Jimmy Pardo, Doug Benson, Paul F, Scott Aukerman, and Todd Glass, who are now all very much my favorites. Half the value of listening to the podcasts was finding out there is someone out there that I had no idea existed and am now in love with. But now, there are just so many great podcasts that I am getting to a point where I don’t know if I can justify listening to every episode of the podcasts I like, because then I never get to some of them. However, if I only listen to people I already like, how do I discover someone new? . My questions to you all: Do you listen to every episode of the podcasts you like? Do you follow certain guests around to different shows, if so, who? Do you skip guests you’ve never heard of? Do you download every episode of podcasts you’ve never listened to? (I do). What’s the longest you’ve listened to a podcast for and then just stopped listening, and why? . Please add more questions too! I want to know how you all think.
  13. I love Doug Benson talking seriously almost as much as I love him being silly, which is a lot. I think Bob and Dan just got a bit scared to be themselves with Nick Thune and I think the judges’ criticisms were spot on. I would have loved to see them just fit Thune into one of their recurring games or topics and try to let him be funny. It may have failed spectacularly, but at least it would have been them. Several of the contestants have tried to say, “But you told us not to do that last week…” and to me that is a bit of a cop out. I liked that Matt battled back at them and told them that they didn’t follow his advice. It was true of The F+ and Totally Laime as well, but over correcting on a note is the contestants fault, not the previous judges or Matt. I wish we got to hear more of the notes come to fruition / get implemented. That's the only thing missing from the show for me thus far, and it is one of the downsides of elimination reality shows in general. . Super good week of shows. I can’t wait to find out what the last two challenges will be.
  14. I love Doug Benson talking seriously almost as much as I love him being silly, which is a lot. I think Bob and Dan just got a bit scared to be themselves with Nick Thune and I think the judges’ criticisms were spot on. I would have loved to see them just fit Thune into one of their recurring games or topics and try to let him be funny. It may have failed spectacularly, but at least it would have been them. Several of the contestants have tried to say, “But you told us not to do that last week…” and to me that is a bit of a cop out. I liked that Matt battled back at them and told them that they didn’t follow his advice. It was true of The F+ and Totally Laime as well, but over correcting on a note is the contestants fault, not the previous judges or Matt. I wish we got to hear more of the notes come to fruition / get implemented. That's the only thing missing from the show for me thus far, and it is one of the downsides of elimination reality shows in general. . Super good week of shows. I can’t wait to find out what the last two challenges will be.
  15. Rutabaga

    Suggestions

    Maybe just have Matt do a final “What We Learned” wrap up of the episode with Frank, and send that to everyone. I’d be pretty interested in what Matt believes are the most important things he talked about in the coaching sessions anyway. Obviously he won’t re-hit every single point made during the episode, but any huge revelations that might come out after 2-3 calls won’t be missed by those first 2-3.
  16. Rutabaga

    Suggestions

    Maybe just have Matt do a final “What We Learned” wrap up of the episode with Frank, and send that to everyone. I’d be pretty interested in what Matt believes are the most important things he talked about in the coaching sessions anyway. Obviously he won’t re-hit every single point made during the episode, but any huge revelations that might come out after 2-3 calls won’t be missed by those first 2-3.
  17. Rutabaga

    Episode 120 — Farts and Procreation

    I feel sad for anyone who didn't enjoy this episode. So funny, so much fun. People's first reaction to hearing Foam Corner is always so great, and Chelsea's might have been the best yet. And, the second time she shut out Adam with her "That's so interesting" character, I absolutely lost it. The entire Jack scene must appear on any Best Of as well. Analyze Phish and this prove that I could listen to Scott and Harris chat and fuck around pretty much endlessly. Harris is a "Yes, and..." machine. He never denies anything and adds so much fun stuff. Also, Adam Scott plays the straight man so perfectly. I think it gets lost a little because he isn't always being the funny one, but he does everything anyone says and is always rolling with it. Such a great episode.
  18. Rutabaga

    Episode 30 — Who Works for SModcast?

    Very cool episode. I sort of glommed onto the thread where they were talking about cross over audiences, and whether people have heard of Earwolf or not. I think there are a lot of people in the podcast world that have never heard of Earwolf, not because Earwolf is doing something wrong, but because they just aren’t seeking anything new out. A lot of podcast listeners have probably never even listened to a comedy podcast, and may have never even heard a comedian perform outside of a comedy central presents or other TV standup thing. Educating people about the existence of actual good comedy is almost as difficult as educating them about podcasts. I’d bet a lot of people who listen to podcasts all day have never even listened to a podcast that didn’t already exist as a radio show on NPR or a local station. . Freakonomics talks a bit about part of the problem here: http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/07/06/maybe-our-tastes-dont-calcify-as-we-age/ . A lot of the time older people aren’t set in their ways because they just love the stuff they grew up with, they are literally just too busy to seek out new stuff that they might like. Basically, finding out about cool stuff is a young person’s game. Jeff and Matt touched on it a bit, but a large part of the growing podcast audience is just people bringing an already established audience into the medium of podcasting. Getting those new ears to check out Earwolf seems like a huge part of the challenge. . Apple has really created a couple interesting marketplaces in both iTunes Podcast section and the App Store. Both are largely dominated by large corporations like (Electronic Arts or NPR) using the marketplace as a dumping ground for known properties. But, both also have a huge independent producer presence. The absolute biggest hurdle is that Apple controls the means of visibility in both markets. Nothing is better for an app than being featured in iTunes’ New and Noteworthy section. It can mean 50-100k downloads in two weeks for a $.99 independent app that would otherwise only do 10-20k over its lifetime because the marketing budget for most independents is nil. I have no idea what being featured on the front page of iTunes’ podcast section means, but I am sure it is equally important. These are basically just Black Swan-type events though and while you can do everything in your power to make a quality product and try to make them happen, it isn’t a guarantee. Imagine if The F Plus was featured on iTunes' front page. It could mean a 100,000 people who never even knew that style of comedy existed become potential zealots and a million others write to Apple with complaints. . It will be very interesting to see how the Funny or Die partnership affects total number of Earwolf listeners. I don’t think any Earwolf hosts have done talk shows recently, but I wonder what sort of impact them mentioning it is right now. Hardwick was on Conan where Conan mentioned the podcast as a credit and he was on a Doctor Who special where they put the podcast as his credit under his name. Maron was on Bill Maher because of his show. Todd Glass was on Kimmel right before his show started and got a mention. Is that going to be the new way to get listeners?
  19. This episode could have been a week’s challenge all on its own. The show Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den is the same thing with businesses, and it is one of the best reality competition type shows on TV around the world. Matt bailed anyone who was faltering out a bit because he already knew what they should have said, but it would be really cool to see them do a similar thing to two guest judges who know nothing about the show. I’ve heard a million joke movie / show pitches in sitcoms and sketches, but I’ve never actually seen a real successful one. . This challenge has the potential to be won or lost in the editing room. I’m rooting for a week where none of the judges need to talk about how confusing something is. This week it is clearly all on the podcasts themselves to make sure they avoid that note through their own actions.
  20. Rutabaga

    Episode 29 — Who Is Baratunde Thurston?

    After writing my post I checked out the iTunes Video Podcast section, and I am really surprised Funny or Die does not already have a podcast. I’d assume the biggest issue is hosting / bandwidth costs and the idea that they want to drive more traffic to the actual website. It just seems like sketch videos would work incredibly well in podcast form. Happy Tree Friends looks like the most popular comedy video podcast by a huge margin, and while I haven’t watched any of that in years, I assume it is just quick cartoons like their site was. I agree Bucho that it isn’t necessary to watch an episode of Bill Maher or even Never Not Funny as video, because the audio is wonderful and so much more versatile. All other talking head shows fall into that category to me. But quick sketches or even a web series like Held Up or Layers (something I am not sure you can even watch anymore) would be super cool to be available as downloadable bonus content. . Maybe the Funny or Die partnership will be a gateway for some stuff like this, because I am sure there a million rights / licensing issues that go along with what I am saying. Caroline is always linking to cool stuff in the Earmails, but I am just rarely in a place where I can watch them while I am reading it. Sometimes the best part of the internet is just its ability to let an expert aggregate stuff and filter out the noise. Earwolf already has the expert, if they could just go one step further and deliver it to my phone, I’d be super happy.
  21. Rutabaga

    Episode 29 — Who Is Baratunde Thurston?

    I like Baratunde’s idea of a premium Earwolf service. I think it can be as simple as a gated RSS feed that just throws out some extra content as it becomes available. There aren’t a ton of premium Earwolf episodes, but I’d be happy to have a feed that delivers them to me without having to go into iTunes to buy the individual episodes (which aren't even automatically podcasts). I don’t even think it has to be about giving people $30 worth of brand new exclusive content every 6 months, but instead just taking the hassle out of collecting all the awesome stuff Earwolf people do and throwing it into one feed as a reward for what is basically a donation. A bit like a more selective internet video version of the Earwolf Live App. What I am describing is sort of just a video podcast mixed with the already premium episodes, but I can’t possibly be the only one who just doesn’t watch that many streaming videos on their computer. I want to download stuff (preferably automatically) and watch or listen when I actually have a free minute or five. As long as the hosting costs and time spent are less than the $$$ per customer, I think it would be win-win as a substitute for or complement to straight donations. . Really great episode all around.
  22. Rutabaga

    Episode 6.3 — Sketches: Day 3

    I am really confused. Is Totally Laime going to win this contest or not? And, if they win, am I going to be held down and forced to listen to their show? Because I am ok with that. . Also, I really enjoyed The Fort’s reaction to getting eliminated and their reasoning for why they wanted to stay in the contest before that. I am looking forward to reading their goodbye letter. I love their show’s concept, and I think they can only continue to get better and better.
  23. Rutabaga

    Episode 6.2 — Sketches: Day 2

    @Q. I completely agree with your example being analogous here. To me, what F+ did was definitely “sketchy” enough to be considered one. I thought their submission was pretty much perfect except for the one critique I made earlier. I could even see the sketch being a recurring thing as commercials for different question sites or forums. But, I think it is important that the writing goes into the sales pitch part of the commercial, not the content of the site. . What is sort of funny is we are both criticizing the same part of the sketch. The answers to the questions weren’t particularly funny. I just think the best fix for that would be to find better answers, not write them themselves. Not because that is a particularly bad idea for everyone, it just doesn’t showcase F+’s actual talent.
  24. Rutabaga

    Episode 6.2 — Sketches: Day 2

    @JW I see your point in some respects, but anyone could do stupid questions with answers written by the hosts. Both Left Handed Radio and Bob and Dan did it already in this contest. A good joke is a good joke, and that wouldn’t be unentertaining, but F+’s main feature is its originality. It would be much more impressive to me if they could take their current concept and apply it to sketches, guests or recurring segments, than to just write stuff like any other show can do (and possibly better). If they are the best at finding this stuff, I want them to show that, not show me they are ok at other stuff. . To quote one of the greats: "It's as though if I was a cook, and I worked my ass off to become a really good cook, and they said "alright you're a cook... can you farm?" – Mitch Hedberg
  25. Rutabaga

    Episode 6.2 — Sketches: Day 2

    The competition aspect of it all got really interesting this week. I think The Fort is done after tomorrow primarily because they have faltered more times than any other podcast that might be in the bottom three. I too would be pretty shocked if anyone else got eliminated, especially F+. They still had some confusion issues with Seth thinking they wrote the answers, but their sketch wasn’t one of the bottom three. . @JW I disagree with the idea that F+ should write more. I think the interesting conceit of their show is that all of these are real peoples’ words. My one criticism of their sketch would be that they should have found more responses that weren’t clearly people trying to be funny. I have a soft spot in my heart for unintentional humor, and I think they are trying to say that they are the best at finding that. Trying to capture the essence of unintentional humor intentionally always leads to awfulness (See: Tapped in the Closet vs its sequel).
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