Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
admin

Episode 6.3 — Sketches: Day 3

Recommended Posts

Hey guys - we try not to ban users or delete posts, because we want to encourage healthy discussion and conflicting views.

@Dirk, the only thing you want to watch out for is grinding the same axe over and over... that's when we start to ban, is when it seems like someone is waiting to pounce on any post that disagrees with them. I think once you've made your point, let it simmer and be discussed for a while before coming in to defend it. I know it's easy to get heated on the internet, but if you're going to start out with something so inflammatory, you have to allow people the opportunity to strongly disagree, or be sarcastic, or even make fun of your post.

I am enjoying this show, as a fan! Carry on discussing your favorites and least favorites.

Share this post


Link to post

@Elliot Imes

Apparently earwolf is still developing and hasn't put in things like 'paragraph breaks' and 'spacing'. The only way to make it look presentable AT ALL is to put those 'bullet points' in between paragraphs. Try it yourself... paragraphs just get slurrrrred together without those points. I'm not faulting them for that- I'm just defending my use of them. Sorry.

Share this post


Link to post

@Scott Aukerman

.

Thankyou. I agree with this 10000 percent. Let it simmer all day.

.

(Im enjoying these comments- be as sarcastic or inflammatory as you want)

.

"the only thing you want to watch out for is grinding the same axe over and over... that's when we start to ban, is when it seems like someone is waiting to pounce on any post that disagrees with them."

.

A-OK

Share this post


Link to post

@Dirk not to sidetrack too much for your troll, but you seem to have a deep misunderstanding of the concept of free speech. It's not an uncommon one, but still upsetting to see. Speech and a platform on which to speak are two different things and you're confusing them. Plus making unfounded inflammatory accusations has never been protected speech anywhere ever. Throw your opinion out all you want, but realize that you can't always fall back on "that's just my opinion, man" there are lines to be crossed where it is no longer ok in any context.
.
Now back to the troll. You are correct that word of mouth plays a big part in the spread of Earwolf, however the mouth the words come out of plays a decent part of that. A blatant asshole such as yourself doesn't make for a good representative and you actively boycotting Earwolf is as likely to attract listeners as you praising Earwolf.
.
I'm absolutely astounded at how seriously you're taking the whole thing, enough to invent conspiracy theories. It's not like the winner is going to walk away with a life changing millions of dollars and be set for life. Literally all the shows featured on the challenge have benefited from increased exposure and Earwolf benefits no matter who wins because of the challenge itself. There is not even any incentive for your conspiracies, they don't make sense.
.
You're nerdraging because people are criticizing the things that you like and praising things you seem not to like and therefore by proxy calling into question your own opinions and tastes. You're clearly not at all confident in the value of your opinions otherwise this wouldn't bother you. Your anger is only you, it's not righteous or justified. So take a step back and relax.

Share this post


Link to post

All right, guys- no more posts about dirk as a person- let's get the discussion back to the content of one's opinions.

Share this post


Link to post

I just listened to the podcast, and I'm particularly unhappy about how openly supportive the judges were of Totally Laime. Yes, I get that they're not a sketch podcast, but Elizabeth bills herself as a writer, says she's done it for years, and yet the sketch was easily the worst of the six, in my opinion. I say that because it just felt lazy. There weren't really jokes, just puns that any teenage boy could make. The Little Dum Dums aren't a sketch podcast either, nor do they make any claim to being writers, and yet they were able to submit a podcast that was in the top 3 (Left Handed, great job this week, by the way!)

Matt Besser was so apologetic for them that I felt immediately like there was an ulterior motive in place, and I'm sure there wasn't, and yes, they're funny and all that. But for such a lame (not Laime) submission, they should've been chastised. Matt has taken other podcasts to task before, and he should've done the same for them.

I'm torn on whether or not they should have been eliminated, because I admit, they do a good job. They don't rely on sketch. But if I was a judge, and the other two were torn between the Fort and Laime, which would I have chosen? As someone listening, I know that I haven't liked the Fort's submissions before. But as a judge who heard just those two submissions..... I think Laime would've gone in a fair assessment.

Share this post


Link to post

I do apologize, Dirk. It appears you're correct.
While there obviously no way that the producers have agreed upon a winner of this contest already, I think what happened this week was similar to what happened with Hamm Radio. That guy turned out some shaky submissions, but he coasted a little because of his show's strong premise and potential. That's the same reason why Totally Laime didn't get eliminated this week. Their sketch seemed to me easily the weakest submission out of the whole field, containing no discernable premise, energy or funny jokes. But The Fort ended up going down because their overall product hasn't been quite up to par with Totally Laime. Whether or not this is the proper way to run the contest is really not my place to say, because it's not my contest and I trust that the judges know what they're doing. Personal bias and a view of the bigger picture would play a part in my voting if I was a judge, so it'd be silly to say these people should be immune to that.

Share this post


Link to post

It's hard to make a case for the Totally Laime sketch to slide by, because it was an okay sketch badly performed. But it's harder to argue against the Fort getting eliminated because they ALSO had an okay sketch that was badly performed, and sketches are something they feature on their show regularly. I don't mind Totally Laime getting a pass this week, because it isn't the first during this run that a show has been given a pass for doing something badly their show doesn't feature. Sketch shows have been given a pass in previous challenge weeks due to having difficulty applying the theme, so to have a show that features sketches do less than fine on a sketch-specific challenge is certainly worthy of elimination.

That being said, now that we're down to five podcasts, I'd really like to see challenges be more open-ended to sort of avoid this kind of debate. "Give us ten excellent minutes," is a challenge I would like to see. Maybe with a smooth segue in the middle to show that the podcast is capable of carrying itself effectively over an entire episode.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know why Matt has to introduce Totally Laime as "the frontrunners" to the judges every week. Not that it isn't relevant information, but maybe it could be saved until they've already made their initial judgement.
Calling them the frontrunners just seems to inflame massive nerd rage. But certainly they are the frontrunners. They're frontrunners even among frontrunners, running in the front of all frontrunners. Frontrunners. You can't front on their frontrunning, which is of the frontrunneriest quality, an exemplar of frontrunning for all time. Front... Ruuuuuunnnnners!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think that perhaps a few people have unduly focused on my earlier comment about how "singing is just singing" and bypassed the underlying point of what I was trying to say. First, yes, I am sure that I over-emphasized the degree to which a proficient singer in one genre can transition smoothly into another genre. Fair enough.

What I was getting at, however, is the fact that it strikes me as exceedingly odd that this competition consistently calls upon podcasts to do things that lie entirely outside of what they ordinarily do, and then judges them based on their performance. I suppose that the underlying issue is this: What is it that is being judged here? Is it that 1) this competition is designed to uncover which of these podcasts is the best, and therefore worthy of an earwolf contract wherein it will appear in a form roughly conforming to its current incarnation, or is it that 2) this competition is designed to uncover which podcast hosts are the most gifted and versatile across a wide range of skill-sets, and therefore well-qualified to have a future podcast on the earwolf network that may or may not reflect what they are currently doing? If #1 is the case, then it seems to me that this competition is doing a pretty poor job of determining which is the best currently-existing podcast due to some underlying flaws in the way in which the contest is being conceived and executed. However, if #2 is the case, then there isn't necessarily a problem, although I must say that this version of the competition does not conform to the impression that I was left with at the start of the contest.

Anyway, I'm just saying....

Share this post


Link to post

Totally Laime did have the worst sketch this week, but I still think the Fort deserved the axe. Totally Laime have been one of the more consistent performers, The Fort have been flirting with elimination for a while. I think it would have been very harsh to cut Totally Laime after their first bad entry.

Also, we are getting down to the nitty gritty, here. The competition is going to have a lot of decent entries in the bottom 3 for the remainder of the show. Bob and Dan fell victim to that this week, despite their sketch being above average. I think everyone needs to remember how difficult this has to be for Matt and the judges for the remainder.

@Jeff Ulrich and Scott Aukerman: Dudes! You run this show. I don't even think you need to dignify some of the trolling that goes on in these forums with a response. I understand the urge, but people on the internet are going to troll. No reasonable Earwolf listener thinks you are fixing this competition or playing favorites in any way.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of this, I think all of the shows have done an admirable job, and Matt is a great host.

Share this post


Link to post

First off, @Daniel...great points on the whole Dirkdrama. I think us actual Earwolf fans should institute our own ban of sad attention-seekers such as he. It's such a hard line to balance when these people post stuff like that. Should we defend sanity and actual acknowledge his ignorance with a retort? Or should we just act like nothing happened and never comment on it? I appreciate that Jeff and Scott are both here to keep the peace and make sure the less discernible listener doesn't start toying with ridiculous conspiracy theories for too long, but I would love to see them try to soley comment on the respectful and constructive posts only. Much easier for me to say this, as I'm not the one that the crazies are directing their crap to...but a man can dream. The funniest part of this whole thing is how much of a free pass Chester got after his less-than-stellar wrap up from the outset.
I'm really enjoying the show and look forward to it each week. The judges banter was excellent this week and I love when the Earwolf family is brought in for any of the other shows. Some people may see this as an easy out for a guest spot, but I always feel they end up being the strongest shows because of the studio chemistry and our familiarity as listeners. e.i. Tig can talk about her Supreme Court experiences and since I listen to Blastoff, I already know what cases she has presided over. As she says when she is judging, it's all in the details.

Brendan L

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, TL had the worst performance, but the premise was sound and they are not sketch performers. The Fort had a better performance, but the sketch made a hard left turn into making fun of a rape victim. The Fort is capable of waaayyy better than their submission this week. Totally Laime , for at least the time being, was not. I think the right choice was made.

Share this post


Link to post

Early on in the contest I'd focused too much on the idea that the "best" podcast would win and the feedback I gave was through that lens, but a round or two ago someone pointed out the fundamental ridiculousness of comedy competition, let alone podcast competition, and after that I could sit back a little and just enjoy the ride.
.
I mean, the flaw in this contest is obvious because the idea of a "best" podcast or "best" comedy product is inherently ludicrous, but that hasn't prevented The Challenge from still being a lot of fun and providing instances of world class comedy nerdery from Matt and the judges week to week. I think it was Rutabaga who pointed out early on that the contestants weren't really the point of the show, and when you watch it from that point of view you're at much less risk of blowing a gasket all over the forums.
.
Even with all that said I stand by what I and others said a couple of rounds back about the importance of delivering the show in a straightforward way and I'm stoked that The Challenge is tending in that direction. Reading out and clarifying the criteria at the introduction of the first episode of each round is key to letting the rest of the discussion between Matt, the producers, the judges and the contestants have the most possible meaning and entertainment value. Simplicity and clarity is a note that's been given to several of the contestants and it's sweet to see The Challenge incorporating that advice into their own production.
.
Onwards and upwards!

Share this post


Link to post

In reference to the fairly short elimination show this week, I had an idea. It may be too late to add this in to this "season" since I know you pre tape pretty far in advance. If you do launch an "Earwolf Challenge mk. 2, what about letting contestants submit a five or ten minute "best of" their show to play after they're eliminated. A kind of "hey, we're not on this podcast anymore, but check here's some of our best stuff, maybe you want to come check us out". Regular reality shows pad things out with endlessly replaying the previous weeks performances, which I think might be boring, but giving the podcasts a last chance to grab some extra ears would be supportive, possibly really funny, and since it would be at the end after the elimination--- totally skippable if you already know you weren't on board. Really hoping for a challenge mark 2, by the way, I've been really enjoying it so far.

Share this post


Link to post

@Jeff: your scenario is much more plausible than the judges actually finding Totally Laime worth saving this week.

Actually, I agreed with their decision. Totally Laime sucks, but the Fort has sucked just a little bit harder, which is a shame because they have potential. Unlike the Totally Laime "sketch", their premise was sound, just poorly written and executed. I agree with the judges that the old-timey feel didn't sync with the harsh language and images. Still, that sketch was totally salvageable. Soften it by taking out the F-bombs, make only ONE reference to the wife being overweight as a zinger, ditch the rape aspect, and you've got yourself a sketch. Nothing could be done to save the Totally Laime sketch, which started with a shitty premise and devolved from there.

So why should TL stay? Because as much as I hate to admit it, until now, they been a slightly better show than the Fort. If you're judging purely on an episode to episode basis, TL should have gotten the boot this week, no contest. But the judges (and by that I mean Besser, since he's the only constant between episodes) have let past performances influence the decision before, so in the spirit of continuity, I have no problem with TL staying this week. However, if they land in the bottom three next week (as I hope and pray that they do), I hope we'll hear a hearty "you suck and get the fuck out!" from the judges, rather than more "I love your voice" prattle, not to mention glossing over the fact that Elizabeth's written and performed in sketches onstage before. No kid gloves? Really?

Anyway, back to the Fort. Like Ham Radio, they've got potential; they just need to keep working at it. I think they have decent comic instincts, and while I don't think they'll ever be as good as Left Handed Radio (or Ham Radio, for that matter), I think they can produce funny stuff, given enough experience. And hey; not everybody can be SuperEgo, right?

Finally, for those keeping score, neither Tig Notaro nor Seth Morris have done the Totally Laime podcast, making this the first week that NONE of the judges have done that show. Draw your own conclusions.

Edit: actually, neither Jason Sklar or Jimmy Pardo have done Totally Laime either, but I heard a rumor that Pardo is Elizabeth's biological father.

Share this post


Link to post

I was surprised at how nice a job Left Handed Radio this week. The PA skit was really funny. I can't recall any of their clips from past shows. Totally Laime lived up to its name this week, and I think this may be the beginning of the end for them. It was very painful to listen to. On the judges, Tig, I loved you the first time I heard you, but not so much the last few times.

Share this post


Link to post

Hey, here's my two cents!
I figured there'd be some more backlash against Totally Laime again. I wasn't surprised they got through, but I was surprised that they were told they were safe first, since it seemed like their sketch was critcized much more than the Bob & Dan Cast sketch. It seemed anti-climactic since Matt mentioned they liked but didn't love Bob & Dan, so after TL was safe, you already knew that The Fort would be out.
I'll also say that I had the same feeling of like but not love for most of the sketches, but I was expecting a huge train wreck from this challenge so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sketches turned out.

Share this post


Link to post

I personally find all of the totally laime submissions to be sort of bland, which combined with their frontrunner status made me hate them a little, so when they delivered their first legitimately BAD one this week, I had my fingers crossed for a French-Revolution esqe ending to their winning streak; specifically, cake eating. But, I can live with them skating by based on the fact that other people apparently don't share my thoughts. What I AM pissed about is the fact that Bob and Dan were in the bottom three. That was a solidly entertaining, very witty sketch. Seth Morris had it right when he noted that it was actually one of the funnier ones. Funnier than little dum dums certainly, which I do not say with malevolence; I like their show a lot. I also like their chances for winning, given Besser's somewhat patronizing fascination with the adorability of their accents. They can't trick me though! I've figured out that those aren't really British accents at all!

Share this post


Link to post

I think the right decisions were made. TL had the worst sketch, but it's not a show that relies on sketch so they get a pass. I just wanted something like this to shake thing up and show that even the toprunners have a chink in the armor. If you asked me, I might have moved Little Dum Dum into the bottom 3 and moved Bob And Dan to the top 3 only because Little Dum Dum sketch was kinda force upon and didn't make any sense. But this week might have put everybody back on equal levels. Here's hoping Left Handed Radio keeps doing a good job!

Share this post


Link to post

@Bucho: I totally agree with the idea that a comedy contest is so subjective that it's impossible to "get it right." Someone will be disappointed, no matter the result.
Still, it's fascinating, because the Challenge provokes the same kinds of responses in the audience as a televised reality competition show, even without the kind of editing, story-shaping, and outright manipulation that reality competition TV engages in. The producers of Project Runway have to use editing to convince you that Chloe Dao's lumpen hulks of upholstery fabric are better than Santino Rice's slip dresses; knowing the final result, they get to go back and use editing to make the viewers feel okay about it. (I can only assume that kind of manipulation isn't happening here on the Challenge, or else they would have handled the current Totally Laime situation better.) I was kind of shocked at myself for the sharp little pangs of resentment I've felt over the past few weeks as Bob & Dan have been dismissed by the judges. Here I am, knowing that this contest is totally subjective, not invested in the outcome at all, and I'm still siding with the underdogs and bristling at perceived unfairness by the judges-- like I was watching a Saturday afternoon Top Chef marathon. The Challenge is pushing buttons with the listeners without even knowing it's pushing buttons. It's like the control in a psychology experiment.

Share this post


Link to post

I think the right decision was made. The Fort have been on the bottom for a while. For me, I appreciate their production values and the clarity of the concepts they produce, but I just don't find them funny. I actually found them pretty juvenile and crude, which I know they owned up to in the first episode, but it's just not for me. Totally Laime seems to have gone from fan favorite to intense backlash, which is unfortunate. It's not my favorite but I don't get the level of fiery hatred on here.

I wish the judges would decide more definitively if the contestants are going to be judged based on their body of work or the individual challenges. "Well, this isn't really what they do," doesn't seem a good excuse to me in a competition. They knew what they signed up for and they knew they'd be pushed outside of their comfort zones. It's the nature of the challenge. When someone is kicked off of Project Runway because her dress made out of corn looks like shit, it doesn't mean she's a bad designer, she just failed on some level at this specific competition. It's just my opinion, but I think there's too much apologizing on the part of the judges when they have to tell someone they're in the bottom 3. They knew what they were getting into, and rising to the challenge is the whole point. I also think that you should announce a top 3 and a winner for each challenge.

Overall, though, I'm really enjoying the show and the challenges. I think there's much to be learned for those who do comedy and the guest judges have been great.

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
Sign in to follow this  

×