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Episode 9.3 — Time Crunch: Day 3

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To Matt, Scott, Jeff and all the Earwolf staff: please don't take these negative comments to heart. It may seem like you're getting hammered, but if you look at the names, you'll see it's the same 3 or 4 disgruntled kooks posting over and over again. I guarantee that most of your listeners are loving the show. Satisfied customers don't often take the time to sing your praises, they just keep enjoying the product. But I want to sing your praises. The Earwolf Challenge is a great idea, and you're doing a terrific job. I do think the judging parameters could use some fine-tuning, but it's only the first season and I know things will be even better in the second. And I dearly, dearly hope there is a second season. I subscribe to a lot of podcasts, but every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the very first one I listen to is Earwolf Challenge.
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To all the competing podcasters: you're great, too. I may not have enjoyed all the content of each podcast, but I admire how you put yourselves out there for criticism. It's a lot harder to do than sitting in front of a keyboard, childishly pointing out what you perceive as flaws in the hard work that others do.
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And lastly, to those of you leaving pissy reviews for Walking the Room on iTunes: go fuck yourselves. WTR is a hilarious podcast, my favorite after CBB. Admittedly, it's not a podcast you can just jump right into, it helps to know all the backstory (and especially the terminology). But for you to listen to pieces of one episode and then run to iTunes to vote 1 star makes you a douchebag.

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To Matt, Scott, Jeff and all the Earwolf staff: please don't take these negative comments to heart. It may seem like you're getting hammered, but if you look at the names, you'll see it's the same 3 or 4 disgruntled kooks posting over and over again. I guarantee that most of your listeners are loving the show. Satisfied customers don't often take the time to sing your praises, they just keep enjoying the product. But I want to sing your praises. The Earwolf Challenge is a great idea, and you're doing a terrific job. I do think the judging parameters could use some fine-tuning, but it's only the first season and I know things will be even better in the second. And I dearly, dearly hope there is a second season. I subscribe to a lot of podcasts, but every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the very first one I listen to is Earwolf Challenge.
.
To all the competing podcasters: you're great, too. I may not have enjoyed all the content of each podcast, but I admire how you put yourselves out there for criticism. It's a lot harder to do than sitting in front of a keyboard, childishly pointing out what you perceive as flaws in the hard work that others do.
.
And lastly, to those of you leaving pissy reviews for Walking the Room on iTunes: go fuck yourselves. WTR is a hilarious podcast, my favorite after CBB. Admittedly, it's not a podcast you can just jump right into, it helps to know all the backstory (and especially the terminology). But for you to listen to pieces of one episode and then run to iTunes to vote 1 star makes you a douchebag.

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If this was a contest for a spot on the Oprah Winfrey Network, then TL won the week. If this is a comedy podcast challenge then TLDDC won. As far as LHR goes, I just didn't find them funny but I realize comedy is subjective and they seem to have a lot of fans. I hope they are successful and pick up some listeners due to this challenge.

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If this was a contest for a spot on the Oprah Winfrey Network, then TL won the week. If this is a comedy podcast challenge then TLDDC won. As far as LHR goes, I just didn't find them funny but I realize comedy is subjective and they seem to have a lot of fans. I hope they are successful and pick up some listeners due to this challenge.

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The ideal final challenge would be to actually give them an hour with Zach Galifianakis.

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The ideal final challenge would be to actually give them an hour with Zach Galifianakis.

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Here's my prediction. Final challenge: one entire episode. Any length, any topic. Final judges: Scott Aukerman and Jeff Ullrich.

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Here's my prediction. Final challenge: one entire episode. Any length, any topic. Final judges: Scott Aukerman and Jeff Ullrich.

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I don't really have anything to add (I'm happy with the final 2), but I think it's great that Scott, Jeff and Matt have been so involved in this forum.

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I don't really have anything to add (I'm happy with the final 2), but I think it's great that Scott, Jeff and Matt have been so involved in this forum.

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@Raymond
 
"Seriously, anyone who thinks that this challenge is deliberately fixed or biased needs to take off their tinfoil hat and let the government satellites beam some reason into their heads."
 
Perhaps not deliberately fixed, but you're kidding yourself and everyone else if you don't agree that the show has clearly been biased at times. It's simply undeniable, so you're going to have to do better than personal attacks about aluminum foil hats.

Harris stated openly that he was bias towards Totally Lame. Sure the statement may have been tongue n cheek, but it's reasonable to assume that on some unconscious level that he was genuinely rooting for them. Other judges have been familiar with other podcasts, and some had even been guests. Whether you like it or not, this is going to effect their perception of the people behind the shows, and it could creep into their ultimate decisions.
 
On shows like American Idol, you have judges who are considered experts to some degree or another in their field. The contestants are nobodies that the judges haven't been predisposed to in any way. The fact that they are all looking at these performances from the same perspective of the uninitiated lends to the judges credibility. 
 
Now, when you look at a show like Earwolf Challenge, the bias problem stems from the fact that SOME of the judges and people involved were familiar with the different teams while other judges were not. The contestants aren't necessarily unheard of up-and-comers either, but are actually the peers of the judges, often times with more experience and possibly more credits. Since podcasts are a relatively new art form, there isn't always a lot of difference in the stature of the judges and those being judged. As far as I know, this can't be helped, but as they're essentially judging the competition, bias is there and can't be helped.
 
I'm not saying ANYONE was intentionally bias, but I'm not saying anyone wasn't either. The fact remains it's there and it's not worth denying. You saying that "anyone who thinks that this challenge is deliberately fixed or biased needs to take off their tinfoil hat" is akin to me saying "anyone who thinks that wrestling is scripted should be thrown in an asylum".
 
This whole conspiracy thing was started when I mentioned bias for totally lame a few weeks ago and Jeff immediately went on defense with a elaborately sarcastic scenario in which the entire EWC was just a ruse to sleep with Elizibeth (or something like that). It was cleverly (?) crafted in a sensationalist way as to make it sound as if anyone that would even suggest there were forces at play beyond the surface was a 'conspiracy theorist' and should be discounted. That's what I mean when I say the only person talking conspiracy is Jeff, and he seemed to be joking.

That said, why waste your time screaming about 'conspiracies' and that there 'is no bias' when it's clear that it's inescapable? A better thing to do would be explore ways that the framework of the challenge could be better structured to try and give the judges a more clearly defined criteria on which to base their decisions. That would put them in a 'walled-garden' so to speak, but it wouldn't be simply a random opinion from a random judge on a random week. There are ways to cripple the effects of built-in bias, they just need to be implemented.
 
While the staff and most of the people involved seem to have integrity and are consciously trying to be as unbiased as possible, the mechanics of the show itself don't really have any structural integrity to speak of, and this lets in a certain amount of bias. If you continue to say otherwise, you're not worth responding to. If you have anything else to say about the 'conspiracy' of EWC, you'll need to address Mr. Ullrich, not I.
 
good day sir.

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@Raymond
 
"Seriously, anyone who thinks that this challenge is deliberately fixed or biased needs to take off their tinfoil hat and let the government satellites beam some reason into their heads."
 
Perhaps not deliberately fixed, but you're kidding yourself and everyone else if you don't agree that the show has clearly been biased at times. It's simply undeniable, so you're going to have to do better than personal attacks about aluminum foil hats.

Harris stated openly that he was bias towards Totally Lame. Sure the statement may have been tongue n cheek, but it's reasonable to assume that on some unconscious level that he was genuinely rooting for them. Other judges have been familiar with other podcasts, and some had even been guests. Whether you like it or not, this is going to effect their perception of the people behind the shows, and it could creep into their ultimate decisions.
 
On shows like American Idol, you have judges who are considered experts to some degree or another in their field. The contestants are nobodies that the judges haven't been predisposed to in any way. The fact that they are all looking at these performances from the same perspective of the uninitiated lends to the judges credibility. 
 
Now, when you look at a show like Earwolf Challenge, the bias problem stems from the fact that SOME of the judges and people involved were familiar with the different teams while other judges were not. The contestants aren't necessarily unheard of up-and-comers either, but are actually the peers of the judges, often times with more experience and possibly more credits. Since podcasts are a relatively new art form, there isn't always a lot of difference in the stature of the judges and those being judged. As far as I know, this can't be helped, but as they're essentially judging the competition, bias is there and can't be helped.
 
I'm not saying ANYONE was intentionally bias, but I'm not saying anyone wasn't either. The fact remains it's there and it's not worth denying. You saying that "anyone who thinks that this challenge is deliberately fixed or biased needs to take off their tinfoil hat" is akin to me saying "anyone who thinks that wrestling is scripted should be thrown in an asylum".
 
This whole conspiracy thing was started when I mentioned bias for totally lame a few weeks ago and Jeff immediately went on defense with a elaborately sarcastic scenario in which the entire EWC was just a ruse to sleep with Elizibeth (or something like that). It was cleverly (?) crafted in a sensationalist way as to make it sound as if anyone that would even suggest there were forces at play beyond the surface was a 'conspiracy theorist' and should be discounted. That's what I mean when I say the only person talking conspiracy is Jeff, and he seemed to be joking.

That said, why waste your time screaming about 'conspiracies' and that there 'is no bias' when it's clear that it's inescapable? A better thing to do would be explore ways that the framework of the challenge could be better structured to try and give the judges a more clearly defined criteria on which to base their decisions. That would put them in a 'walled-garden' so to speak, but it wouldn't be simply a random opinion from a random judge on a random week. There are ways to cripple the effects of built-in bias, they just need to be implemented.
 
While the staff and most of the people involved seem to have integrity and are consciously trying to be as unbiased as possible, the mechanics of the show itself don't really have any structural integrity to speak of, and this lets in a certain amount of bias. If you continue to say otherwise, you're not worth responding to. If you have anything else to say about the 'conspiracy' of EWC, you'll need to address Mr. Ullrich, not I.
 
good day sir.

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So the bias, essentially, is that the comedians guest judging on the show already have a confident view on what comedy is, and have a solid opinion of what they think is funny. Are you one of the guys who gets bent out of shape when death metal isn't represented on American Idol? EWC season 2, only infants can be judges, for the next 17 years we cram 10 podcasts into their brains. When they turn eighteen, we drop them off at a presidential polling office, whoever is elected president will represent which podcast wins the challenge. Shahruz, can you set up a baby donation button on the donation page?

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So the bias, essentially, is that the comedians guest judging on the show already have a confident view on what comedy is, and have a solid opinion of what they think is funny. Are you one of the guys who gets bent out of shape when death metal isn't represented on American Idol? EWC season 2, only infants can be judges, for the next 17 years we cram 10 podcasts into their brains. When they turn eighteen, we drop them off at a presidential polling office, whoever is elected president will represent which podcast wins the challenge. Shahruz, can you set up a baby donation button on the donation page?

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I think that anyone using American Idol as a benchmark of "fair" probably hasn't done much research into the process of choosing contestants for that show. There really is not a more un-fair competition/reality show on television.
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" It was cleverly (?) crafted in a sensationalist way as to make it sound as if anyone that would even suggest there were forces at play beyond the surface was a 'conspiracy theorist' and should be discounted."
^You give Jeff too much credit. I love him dearly, but his involvement in Earwolf has nothing to do with cleverness, either achieved or attempted. Listen to The Wolf Den. You'll not find a more sincere individual who is open to whatever anyone has to throw his way. He's the least scheming person on the planet.

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I think that anyone using American Idol as a benchmark of "fair" probably hasn't done much research into the process of choosing contestants for that show. There really is not a more un-fair competition/reality show on television.
-
" It was cleverly (?) crafted in a sensationalist way as to make it sound as if anyone that would even suggest there were forces at play beyond the surface was a 'conspiracy theorist' and should be discounted."
^You give Jeff too much credit. I love him dearly, but his involvement in Earwolf has nothing to do with cleverness, either achieved or attempted. Listen to The Wolf Den. You'll not find a more sincere individual who is open to whatever anyone has to throw his way. He's the least scheming person on the planet.

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Wow, this really blew up. Scott and Jeff, and Matt, I really enjoy the challenge, it's one of the few podcasts I listen to as soon as I download. I'm usually on the same page with the judges, I'm honestly puzzled by the people on here who are enraged, saying the contest is rigged or there's a conspiracy. I don't think Totally Laime deserved to win this week, but I don't think they've gotten a pass either. The fact that some of the judges have appeared on Totally Laime or on TLDDC shows that...those are good podcasts who already get good guests in the podcast-world. No more, no less. Left-Handed Radio was nailing it, I was really impressed by what they had done in the past few challenges, but this week's submission was just not funny. Some of the criticism they got was unfair (e.g. not referencing Zach not showing up), and they probably would've been better off using a sketch that was pre-written, but the one they went with wasn't funny, so I think giving them a pass this week would've been unfair to the other contestants. TLDDC should've won this week, but they're in the finals, now we'll see what happens. For what it's worth, I subscribed to Left-Handed, a monthly sketch podcast at the quality they've been producing lately sounds great to me. I like this show a lot and sincerely hope the principals behind it are taking some of the extra-angry criticism with a grain or three of salt.

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Wow, this really blew up. Scott and Jeff, and Matt, I really enjoy the challenge, it's one of the few podcasts I listen to as soon as I download. I'm usually on the same page with the judges, I'm honestly puzzled by the people on here who are enraged, saying the contest is rigged or there's a conspiracy. I don't think Totally Laime deserved to win this week, but I don't think they've gotten a pass either. The fact that some of the judges have appeared on Totally Laime or on TLDDC shows that...those are good podcasts who already get good guests in the podcast-world. No more, no less. Left-Handed Radio was nailing it, I was really impressed by what they had done in the past few challenges, but this week's submission was just not funny. Some of the criticism they got was unfair (e.g. not referencing Zach not showing up), and they probably would've been better off using a sketch that was pre-written, but the one they went with wasn't funny, so I think giving them a pass this week would've been unfair to the other contestants. TLDDC should've won this week, but they're in the finals, now we'll see what happens. For what it's worth, I subscribed to Left-Handed, a monthly sketch podcast at the quality they've been producing lately sounds great to me. I like this show a lot and sincerely hope the principals behind it are taking some of the extra-angry criticism with a grain or three of salt.

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I think that Earwolf could have a conspiracy to get the best podcast and oh wait, the goal of this competition is to find the best podcast!

An hour with Zach Galifinachas would suck. he has funny moments but you have to wade through a lot of boring shit to get to it. He might be a comedians comedian but they can have him!

It's all a matter of opinion, though. I don't see how anyone could say that Robot Borat skit was remotely funny!! I think LHR definitely deserved to be in the top three but they struck out on this one. I don't care what the criteria was, that was so bad they should have been disqualified, as it more or less was. I'll be listening to their podcast so I'm not an LHR hater.

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I think that Earwolf could have a conspiracy to get the best podcast and oh wait, the goal of this competition is to find the best podcast!

An hour with Zach Galifinachas would suck. he has funny moments but you have to wade through a lot of boring shit to get to it. He might be a comedians comedian but they can have him!

It's all a matter of opinion, though. I don't see how anyone could say that Robot Borat skit was remotely funny!! I think LHR definitely deserved to be in the top three but they struck out on this one. I don't care what the criteria was, that was so bad they should have been disqualified, as it more or less was. I'll be listening to their podcast so I'm not an LHR hater.

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I just subscribed to all 3 finalists. so there's really no problem here.
I'd love to see LDDC win, but if they don't, I'm sure they're not going anywhere soon.

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