Jump to content
JulyDiaz

EPISODE 36 - A Dinner Theater

Recommended Posts

Paul F. Tompkins welcomes all, including those who feel unworthy, back to SPONTANEANATION! This week, Paul’s special guest is acclaimed screenwriter Ben Garant of The State and Reno 911! They chat about which children need to learn a useful trade, the unexpected pitfalls of dinner theater, and the life-changing revelation Ben had in acting school. Paul is then joined by Annie Savage, Colleen Smith, and Stephanie Courtney to improvise a story set at A Dinner Theater. And as always, Eban (only the best) Schletter scores it all on piano!

 

THE NEXT SPONTANEANATION LIVE HAPPENS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5th, FEATURING IMPROVISERS HAL LUBLIN, ANNIE SAVAGE AND JANET VARNEY, WITH SPECIAL GUEST RON FUNCHES! HURRY! IT’S ALMOST SOLD OUT! ALL PROCEEDS FOR THIS SHOW WILL GO TO CHARITY. TICKETS

 

PFT's EPISODE NOTES

- “

, you’re gonna like this show!”

- This is Greater Tuna!

- The title of the show Ben and Kulap Vilaysack

ended up being Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, as the original title was deemed too close to the copyrighted phrase “Billion Dollar Brokers”!

Share this post


Link to post

Anytime I see Colleen Smith is in an episode I know we're in for a treat! Does anyone else when seeing her name say "Colleen Smee" in their head? Or is that just me!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

This was, maybe, the finest episode of anything in podcast history. In tears 'And we can't get PREEGNANT!'.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Fantastic episode! I made an explosive Jimmy Pardo laugh-bark when the "dinner theater ambiance" sound effects started right out of the gate. Incredibly, it doesn't seem to be a callback to the dinner theater scene in 10th Circle of Hell, because there's no guest overlap.

 

Does it strike anyone else as odd that Paul works disproportionately hard to sell out live SPONT performances? Given his pedigree, and the top-shelf improvisers and celebrity guests he manages to secure, I'd figure these shows would be sold out in a matter of minutes. What's your deal, Los Angeles?

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

Does it strike anyone else as odd that Paul works disproportionately hard to sell out live SPONT performances? Given his pedigree, and the top-shelf improvisers and celebrity guests he manages to secure, I'd figure these shows would be sold out in a matter of minutes. What's your deal, Los Angeles?

It bums me out, too. If I lived in LA, I'd be at every show. (It also kind of made me sad/worried a couple weeks ago when he didn't have any advertisers =\ )

 

This episode was so great all the way through. Ben Garant is so enthralling that by the end of his interview, I had completely forgotten what the original question from the previous guest was and had to go back and check to be sure there actually was one.

 

Annie and Colleen were delightful as always, but I was really happy to see Stephanie Courtney. I just finished watching all of You're the Worst, and I totally love her in the few episodes she's in.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This episode was gold from top to bottom. Everyone was on point and the songs? THE SONGS.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Colleen Smith has such, really great chemistry with Paul. (Obviously due to working together on No You Shut Up)

Another great episode. I can't wait to see Diffo's poster for this one.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

so good.

paul's incredible robert frost impression just slayed me -- we use to have to listen to old timey records of him reading his poems, so i'm actually an expert on robert frost's voice and i'm quite impressed at how well he nailed it.

 

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT!

 

EVERYONE NAILED IT ALL. THIS IS THE BEST P-CAST EVER.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

The actual musical performance was exceptional! Just insanely funny!

 

"It was a dark and stormy night!" - for some reason, I know right from that first line, it was going to be amazing!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

1. Dogsponsability.

 

2. I need to start a band called The Beef Council.

Share this post


Link to post

The pacing of this episode is amazing! And as always, an amazing line-up. Keep up the good work, Paul and Eban! Keep Spontaneanation Weird!

Share this post


Link to post

I *just* finished watching The Jinx so that Robert Durst reference hit the spot.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

We should acknowledge one of strengths of this episode: the fact that Paul is the only one at the table with even a vague notion of what the actual plot of Dracula is.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

We should acknowledge one of strengths of this episode: the fact that Paul is the only one at the table with even a vague notion of what the actual plot of Dracula is.

It was almost like a musical, non-Superego version of Forgotten Classics.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Ben Garant's Earwolf picture has changed since he did this episode, and as I swoop in for my second listen I just want to say that I approve. The new pic makes him look like a detective who busts sexual predators, but is also himself a sexual predator.

 

I also recently saw a headshot of Paul where he looks dapper, handsome and very charismatic, but without the moustache I felt like I was looking at a complete stranger. I will re-find that headshot and post it below these words.

 

paul-f-tompkins-vh1-headshot.jpg

 

Also, I'm sincerely sorry if this is somehow offensive (I never know these days) but I'm just going to say what I feel: every single episode of Spontaneanation could be used as evidence against the claim that females aren't funny (not that any such evidence is necessary). I have come to absolutely adore some comedians, such as Janet Varney and Colleen Smith, that I probably wouldn't have appreciated without Spontaneanation. Don't get me wrong, I love that racist squirrel from NYSU and Ginny West from Sparks Nevada, but Spontaneanation has really allowed me to value these talented comedians on a different level. Oh, and fucking Sarah Burns, I'm just gonna be honest and say I had no idea who she was before Spontaneanation, now I'm convinced she's one of the funniest people on the planet. Stephanie Courtney was fantastic and I was already a big fan of Annie Savage, and of course I love many other guests, these are just some of the names that come to mind as I reflect on how fucking awesome this show is. With regards to this episode specifically, I felt like Colleen really asserted herself more than ever and took control of the narrative in a great way. I'm really noticing it on my second listen.

 

One last thing while I write stuff that nobody is ever going to read: I still lament Speakeasy because Paul is such a damn good interviewer. This may sound like an exaggeration but I mean it 100% sincerely: Paul is only second to Howard Stern in how great he is at interviewing a guest. I've never come across anyone better. Paul is like the anti-Stern in a way, because he keeps things relatively light and funny while still managing to create a very interesting interview, whereas Stern attempts to disarm his guests and get as deep as possible. I don't mean to say that Paul can't dig deep, he often does, but I think he does it in a funny and comfortable environment whereas Stern seems to coerce people into letting their guard down. All things considered, Paul might actually be even better than Howard Stern when it comes to interviewing a guest.

 

I'm one of the people who asked for a musical episode, and I feel like I got it. It seems like Paul really steered it in that direction so I'm very grateful for that, but I still hope there's more musical episodes in the future!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

 

Also, I'm sincerely sorry if this is somehow offensive (I never know these days) but I'm just going to say what I feel: every single episode of Spontaneanation could be used as evidence against the claim that females aren't funny (not that any such evidence is necessary).

 

I couldn't agree more! I appreciate how of the 36 episodes that have been released, plus the 4 live episodes that have been recorded and not yet released, there has only been one all-male episode, and many with multiple women. This is almost unheard of in the realm of comedy podcasts that aren't hosted by women. Just one of many examples of Paul's caring about inclusiveness and showing strong ally behaviour. This should be the norm instead of being remarkable, just as you shouldn't have to apologize for saying something so uncontroversial as women are funny.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I agree 100%, it shouldn't be remarkable at all but it's definitely very refreshing and awesome. I wasn't apologizing for saying women are funny, these days I just feel like I need to add a disclaimer to most things I say in order to mitigate the chances that it will be misinterpreted as a microaggression against a certain group. As a white heterosexual male, I need to constantly keep my privilege in check even if it severely limits my ability to think and speak freely.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks to a relisten, I've had the "Blood full of HIV" song stuck in my head all day! I've had to stop myself from singing it because that song would be inappropriate while working in a hospital.

 

I like how Paul and Colleen's audience characters were discussing the difference between upstage and downstage, and he cited the mnemonic "You go too far downstage, you fall down," and days later in the next episode, Paul fell off the stage upstage!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×