Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Podiwan Review 11 - The 40 Year Old Boy

The 40 Year Old Boy Podcast is billed as a stream of consciousness rant or maybe it's a spewing or perhaps an exorcism.  Stream of consciousness doesn't even come close to describing what Mike Schmidt (@the 40 year old boy) is doing.  I've listened to several of the podcasts that Mike has available on iTunes (all from season 3). It looks like he does these weekly and  I'm pretty sure he does this instead of therapy.  Clearly he needs therapy but luckily for us, he does it publicly. 

I don't know that I could take being around Mike every day or all day or any more than the 90 minutes that his show lasts but for that extended time that I've got him in my ears, it is non stop follow the bouncing ball in a room full of bouncing balls and mouse traps and rattle snakes and the occaisional hand grenades.  He calls it random bullshit and I can't argue with him but it is entertaining random bullshit. 

Mike has no filter on his internal monologue.  Everything becomes external just as soon as it's generated.  I'm trying to imagine Mike's filter and I picture it like this; There's a screen door on the back of an old house in the country and nobody lives there anymore.  The wind and the animals have been abusing this building for years and now the door swings freely on the one remaining hinge, smacking the door frame with a loud swak when the wind is just right.  And the screen on the door is now just remnants of screen around the edges of the frame with a gaping hole right through the middle.  That's his filter; a sad, useless remnant; a reminder that some people, in fact most people, have these filters but Mike's no longer keeps the flies, or even the livestock from entering the kitchen and crapping all over the place.

In a recent episode that clocked in at the normal hour and a half, Mike covered just three subjects: an English contortionist and escapologist who was staying with his producer and resembles Russell Brand,  being called a pig while eating at a Denny's after helping a friend move apartments, and going nuts at a post office and then returning minutes later to get the correct package.  All of these things are connected in one long evacuation .  Don't ask me how they're connected but take my word for it, they are.  And in the telling of it, I can't say that I recall Mike ever taking a breath.  I'm pretty sure he'd need an internal oxygen supply or to be a practitioner of circular breathing in order to do that much talking without stopping for air.  I talk a lot and really fast and I can't do what he can do.  It's like crack talk from beginning to end.

I listened to three 40 Year Old Boy podcasts over a period of a few days. They are the kind of podcasts that you can put down for a while and then come back to later when you've got the time.  You'll pretty much remember where you were and it doesn't make a lot of difference anyway.  The story Mike's telling is waaaay not the point.  The way that he's telling it is the thing you want to witness.  It's like when I was a kid and my dad would take us to the carnival.  His favorite thing to do was to head for the side shows and stand there watching and listening to the barkers and pitchmen.  It was an art form that amazed and enthralled him.  My dad couldn't explain it anymore than I can explain why I can stand dumbfounded, staring off into nowhere with ear buds in my head while I try to follow Mike through this week's therapy. It's kind of a train wreck or a public hanging or like poking a dead animal with a stick.  You can't say why you're doing it but that's not really gonna stop you either.

If I had to pick something about the 40 Year Old Boy podcast that I didn't like it would have to be the girl squealing with delight in the background throughout the entire show.  I assume that the female in question is Lili Von Schtupp, Mike's friend, producer and the creator of her own adult based shows and podcasts.  I'm glad that somebody is laughing for Mike as there is no audience during the recording and I think he needs the feedback to fuel him as he drives to, over and through the comedy.  But the laughing, crying and squealing  is constant and quite often inexplicable.  Not everything is funny and certainly not funny enough to make me pee in my pants or stop breathing or have the sort of seizure that this woman is clearly having.  What's worse, it's annoying.  It's distracting and from time to time, I found myself drifting away from what Mike was saying in order to concentrate on the histrionics of Ms Von Schtupp. Some of the laughing is ok just not all of it. Obviously, she's hitting the bong a little too hard but maybe she could just leave the room once in a while and let the listeners have a break from the cackling sobbing giggle from the girl in the corner. 

My Rating Scale
Was I  Entertained?  Yes
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast?  Yes
Will I recommend this podcast to a friend?  You bet.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Podiwan Review 10 – Joe Rogan

This review was posted 5/21/10.  A newer, more up to date review was recently posted on 6/18/11. READ IT

Let me start by saying that in general I like Joe Rogan.  I've seen him do his stand up live and I've watched him on comedy central. I remember him from NewsRadio and his color commentary for UFC MMA fights.  Joe puts on a good show.  He writes good bits and there is an economy to his stand up that bespeaks a guy who has honed his craft to the point where he doesn't make rookie mistakes.  It isn't always laugh out loud funny but it usually comes from a reasonable point of view and there is humor to be had.

That being said, I was really disappointed in the Joe Rogan Podcast.  It wasn't often funny and it was almost never anymore interesting than listening to a couple of guys talk about shit.  Any two guys about any kind of shit.  No real point, no real direction and the only point of view seems to be "The Vast Conspiracy" that Rogan subscribes to that involves just about everybody from the government, to corporations, to individuals, to cabals of every size, type and description.  It was really sad that the only times these conversations became even remotely interesting, Rogan was driving at high speed into tin foil hat territory with a death grip on the wheel and his eyes set to "crazy wide".

Readers of this blog may remember that when discussing Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier's SModcast, I described it as just two guys talking about shit.  The enormously important difference between Rogan's podcast and Smith's SModcast is that Smodcast is funny through and through, interesting front to back, is usually about something.  Also, and pretty damn importantly, SModcast steers clear of "bat shit crazy".  Rogan's show is or does none of those things.  My brain hurt when I got done listening to the last one.  I'm at the point now where I kinda doubt I will ever have interest in listening to Rogan's podcast again.  However, if you are the kind of person who subscribes to every wacko conspiracy out there and you don't require a logical through line on your commentary, you will probably like this show.

Rogan has 21 podcasts posted on iTunes and I listened to 5.  I really wanted to give him a chance.  I really wanted to like it because I like him. But the podcasts were, at best boring and at worst cringe inducing and made me question my opinion of Rogan in general.  It reminds me of the early days of cable access when anybody with a camera and a basement felt like they could make a show even if they didn't have a point of view or anything interesting to say.  A lot of those shows just weren't worth doing.

And this isn't to say that Joe doesn't have a point of view.  On the website for his podcast he blogs well and often.  Sometimes it's funny (he is after all a comedian) and sometimes it's a full blown rant, but there's always a point of view.  And that adds to my disappointment and confusion about his podcast as the show was just stoners being boring, ill informed or crazy.

On a technical note, Joe has audio/video equipment and computer hardware/software issues.  Some of the difficulty stems from the fact that Mr. Rogan may be smoking just a little too much pot to be fully functional.  Also, it may be that he just doesn't give a shit.  He seems to have all of the microphones, computers, cameras and streaming software he needs and his friend Brian Redban is usually there to help with it all.  But even together, their grasp of the tech isn't really up to snuff when something goes wrong (and something went wrong on nearly every show I listened to.)

My Rating Scale
Did I enjoy it - BIG NO
Would I listen to the next one - Seems unlikely
Would I recommend it to a friend - nope, sorry.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Podiwan Review 9 – Fitzdog Radio

Fitzdog Radio is Greg Fitzsimmons (@GregFitzShow) done from the Fitzdog studios in Venice, CA (his garage, I think, but that’s kinda normal for podcasters). I first heard of him listening to Marc Maron. I don’t know enough about their history together and I’m not all that interested but I think they used to work together and do not or cannot anymore. Since Marc was on a satellite radio show, I’m gonna assume that Fitz was too. Feel free to correct me at any time and I’ll update this blog. But I ain't doing homework.

Greg is a better interviewer than Marc Maron mostly because I think he listens to what the responder says and he may even be interested in the response (or at least he can fake it with a Porn Star) whereas I’m almost positive the Marc Maron couldn’t give a shit what the answer is since he’s really only waiting for your mouth to stop moving so that he can start his again. (and you know, as long as it’s funny, it’s OK, even if it is insensitive and rude.  Funny is king. ) Anyway, this isn’t about Maron. Greg isn’t always funnier than Maron but he is a better interviewer and he has better manners.

One knock on the show is a technical problem.  The compression they're using in post is making the sound tinny. That won't make a big difference to most, but I work with audio sometimes and it matters to me.  I think they need to back off the compression just a bit and fix the levels in his little studio (garage) so that the sound doesn't bang so hard. Another knock is that the sponsor plugs for go on for way too long.  I understand that the show is free and the reason it stays free is advertisers and keeping the lights on with sponsor money is as old as radio so one can't really knock it too much.  Just, let's try to keep the plugs shorter than full on bits.  Also, Fitzdog is looking at going to a pay for play format like some of the other podcasters trying to find a way to monitize the medium.  There are enough free things to listen to for me to stay filled up so, if it goes that way, Fitzy would lose me, but he has enough loyal followers that at least he could pay his rent.

All 44 episodes of Fitzdog Radio are available for download at iTunes. There is a new ep every week and the shows are variously from 25 to 55 minutes. The current library of shows only goes back to last August (when he discontinued working with Maron, I think)

Is this podcast entertaining? - Mostly
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? – depends upon the guests listed
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? – considering it

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Podiwan Review 8 – Comedy Death-Ray Radio Podcast

Comedy Death-Ray (CDR) co-creator Scott Aukerman started hosting "Comedy Death-Ray Radio" on Indie 103.1 as a weekly radio program.  Aukerman interviews many of the comedians who regularly appear in the live CDR shows. These one-hour broadcasts are later archived as podcasts that are available on iTunes. The show is a virtual who’s who of stand up comedy, comedy writers and new media comedy producers. If they’re in the business, they’ll end up on Aukerman’s show. Since the sit down interview is done in a studio, there is no audience interaction, it’s just one-on-one with the guest(s).  Occasionally co-hosts, like Aziz Ansari(@azizansari) show up and help out. CDR Radio shows are decidedly low-key, unlike the live Comedy Death-Ray Show’s held at the UCB in LA which are raucous affairs with interplay between audience and players. Because the radio interview is done live on Indie 103.1, Aukerman is able to take phone calls and web questions for the guests.  That's almost never funny (but that's not exclusive to this show).  It's a device as old as talk radio and really just helps to burn time and move things along when the host runs out of convo.  It feels a little lazy but everybody does it so I can't really hang Aukerman for it. 

Usually, when I select something to listen to and it has the word "Comedy" in the title, I’m leery about actual the actual comedic content in the same way that I doubt a place called "tasty food".  Funny folks don’t usually have to title their projects with words like funny or comedy. So I went into CDR with a little chip on my shoulder and expecting disappointment. I listened to three shows (my minimum for a review). Show 35 with Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon and Brett Gelman, Show 21 with Chris Hardwick, Charlyne Yi and Seth Morris, and Show 2 with Aziz Ansari and Kevin Nealon.  All 3 shows were funny and engaging (except that Charlyne Yi was kinda odd, maybe stoned of just not my flavor of weird).  But, I was left wishing that it had been, oh, I don't know,... more.  It was like ordering desert in a restaurant known for really good deserts.  It comes to the table, looks great, has all the right parts to make it perfect.  There's room in my stomach for more food, I'm in the mood for desert and I eat it with gusto.  But when I'm done, it was just a desert.  Is that a shortcoming with me or the show?  Hard to say. CDR Podcast has all of the right cream and chocolate jimmies in the right places.  The crust is well made and the filling is professionally created.  But I've eaten truly spactacular deserts before and I was hoping for more.

My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Yes, I admit it, I was entertained

Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? – I have more, I'll probably listen
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? – I guardedly mentioned it to one friend

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Now This,... about That

I originally intended that my reviews of podcasts and other new media material would only include shows that had been created exclusively for web distribution (as opposed to shows that were produced for TV or Radio and then ported to podcast). Well, that sounded like a noble idea at the time and I’ve made serious attempts to find those kinds of shows. But here’s the rub; most of the "web only" material is either not worth listening to or it is delivered as snippets of stuff and used as inducements to purchase expanded media. (There’s a lot of that.) Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais and even John Cleese are more worried about monetizing their pod contributions by releasing tasty bits and then selling longer pieces. It’s their right. It’s their stuff. And all of them are making a ton of money. But I’m not paying for pod.  If I ever have a budget for paying, maybe I’ll take a look at them and let you know. I think it’s safe to assume that all three of the ones just mentioned would be funny and entertaining, but don’t assume that all of the ones you have to pay for are funny just because you paid for them. Caveat Podae Emptor. (pod buyer beware)

I will continue to look for the funny.  And, since I personally find it more frustrating than entertaining to listen to short stuff, the reviews I do will be for shows or casts that run at least a half hour.  I'm going to, for the time being stay away from anybody who does a 4 hour "Drive Time" show every day.  I'm not interested in Morning Zoo radio and I hope you're not either. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Podiwan Review 7 – WTF with Marc Maron

NYC to Southern California transplant (and soon to be moving back to NYC) Marc Maron is completely neurotic. Not in the socially crippled and emotionally dysfunctional manner of Woody Allan or George Costanza but more like every other person you know who has one or two issues, except that Marc has all of them. As fodder for his WTF podcast, whatever issue Marc is currently stressing over you can be sure that he will rant on it for as long as necessary to make sure that every last drop of festering ooze is expressed. The points are usually cogent, coherent and well written (or at least well organized) and sometimes while not outright funny, they are at the very least amusing. Recently he has been proactively trying to be a “better human” so many of his issues come with the caveat that this is "his problem" with the world, not the "world’s problem" and he has to do a better job of dealing with it. During the opening portion of the show while Marc is monologue-ing, don’t expect a lot of laughs but do expect that you will recognize his talking point as relevant to your life. As soon as he finishes that you’ll get to hear from his guest.  Sometimes the guests are in his home studio but more often they are interviewed remotely via studio hookup or telephone. His connections in the comedy world allow him to grab fairly high profile A and B list comics for one on one interviews that don't seem like interviews; they're just conversations. Depending upon the chemistry it can either be very funny or downright painful but the balance almost always tips towards entertaining. After the guest interview, Marc calls his father, a practicing physician in New York. The father son banter is refreshing in that these two guys who seem to genuinely like and respect each other and only happen to be related.

70 episodes in the library averaging about an hour each, all available at itunes and and you can follow him @marcmaron.

My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Mostly
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? – 50/50
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? – not yet but probably someday

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Podiwan Review 6 – The Bugle

The completely funny faux news style banter fest and one-upmanship contest of the Bugle is to podcasts what the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is to basic cable. And that is completely appropriate because one of the stars of the Bugle is Daily Show Senior British Correspondent, John Oliver. Together with his buddy across the pond, Andy Zaltzman, the Bugle buggers politics on both sides of the Atlantic. Oliver works from a studio in the US and is forbidden to leave until his visa is processed. Zaltzman is at the Times Studio in London. But it feels like they’re in the same room with each other as they try to crack each other up while reading news break downs and cultural reportage through a filter of satire and FU commentary. It moves very quickly and you may find yourself re-listening to make sure you didn’t miss something. My favorite of the two is Oliver because he makes me laugh more, but I’m pretty sure that Oliver’s favorite of the two is his podcast partner and school days friend inasmuch as Zaltzman is fully capable of causing Oliver to blow milk out of his nose with a bawdy metaphor or prolonged description that goes so far down a very wrong road that Oliver very nearly stops breathing.

I follow British politics and several news and political humor (humour) podcasts so I’m not as lost as some might be at times as the show spends about half of the time submerged in British and World politics/popular culture.  The average American seems to be less than interested in knowing what happens outside our borders or anywhere for that matter.  But the Bugle is a good way to get some news on the world in teh same what that the Daily Show has become the number one news source for most folks in the 25 to 39 demographic.

 There are 113 podcasts in the library but currently only numbers #85 through #113 are available for download at iTunes but all 113 of them are available at the Times Online.

My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Yes - quite
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? – Yes, oh yes
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? – 3 Times, just today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Podiwan Review 5 – Nerdist

The totally plugged in and constantly available on every podcast known to man nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick ( @nerdist ) is a charming host and an expert snark. He knows everybody in the business including Weird Al Yankovic @alyankovic and Thomas Lennon @thomaslennon (Officer Dangle from Reno 911) and, 'get of gets', he got Stan Lee on a recent podcast doing a Q & A at the NAB in Las Vegas. He does especially well with quick witted people whose minds are razor sharp and amphetamine fast and willing to go way down the path to make a premise pay off. EPs run about an hour and are sitting in the living room comfortable with one or two guests.

True to Nerdist ideals the talk centers on tech but quickly devolves to comedy, popular culture, food, pitch meetings and the issues of writing comedy. My favorite episode was Adam Savage @donttrythis from the Mythbusters TV show. This EP was done in front of a live audience (at UCB, I think) and Savage did his first ever stand up and killed. I was never not interested. Least favorite was the Muppets. It seemed staged (duh) and lacked the rapier repartee that I enjoy most about Hardwick.  However, it was interesting enough to listen to all the way through.

Hardwick also tours doing stand up, recently opening for Joel McHale (the Soup). There are days when the nerdist earns the Explicit warning label at iTunes willingly using marine style language to bludgeon the conversational subject into submission, but mostly, his command of the language allows him to work only slightly blue. He’s a sharp guy and the podcast educates and challenges the listener.  Then, as a payoff for the work, it also makes you laugh.

There are only 14 podcasts in the library at this point, but the venture is new and a fresh podcast goes up every week. Sometimes there's an extra bonus podcast.  All EPs are available at iTunes and on the Nerdist website.

My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Yes
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? – Yes
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? – Regularly

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Podiwan Review 4 – Comedy and Everything Else

Jimmy Dore, Stef Samorano and, as an uncredited regular, Todd Glass get together and talk about, guess what, Comedy and Everything Else @caeeshow. I’ll start right up front by saying, generally, I don’t get Todd Glass. For me, he’s not funny. He’s loud, he interrupts everybody (hosts and guests alike) for what he thinks is a good point but what turns out to be not really.

Have you ever had a conversation with somebody and they say something like, “I know just what you mean,..” and then go on to say something that tells you that they really didn’t get what you said because it was so off point that you have to wonder if he’s that far off on purpose of if he’s just not that bright. This is how I perceive Todd Glass. That said, I know people who really like Glass, I’m just not one of them.

On the other hand, Jimmy Dore and Stef Samorano seem to be levels above Todd. I get the impression that at times, they look at each other with knowing glances when Todd misses something and they know there’s comedy in his obtuse density. They occasionally poke at him for each other’s entertainment knowing that Todd either won’t hear it because he’s more interested in what he’s saying about himself or that it will sail over him. But this is me putting my impressions over the top of it. I also see from their website that Todd has left the show but there are quite a few shows in the library that include his "comedy stylings".

Dozens of great guests have appeared on the show, including Jim Gaffigan, Jimmy Pardo. Sara Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, Chris Hardwick, Doug Benson, Patton Oswalt, Paul F Tompkins, etc. The conversations are topical and unstaged. Jimmy and Stef know how to engage the guests and keep things moving. I’m always happy to hear that people who make their living being funny also seem to be politically aware. This show reminds us, through the topics of conversation, that comedians are keen observers of not only their industry but of popular culture. 88 shows are available in the backlog and they’re downloadable on iTunes, and several other new media outlets. As long as Todd isn’t there, the show is 3 out of 4 stars with highlight moments popping out of the 2 hour shows every 10 or 15 minutes.

I don't always get a warm fuzzy off of Jimmy, but I was never once put off by him either.  I think Dore would go out of his way to make a person feel comfortable and that is, after all, the hallmark of a good host. 

Stef seems pleasant and maybe a little like the funny chick at the party who you'd do if the really hot chicks turned out to like good looking wealthy guys with expensive cars instead of pale puffy overweight stoners with a great D&D story about orcs and fairies and Cheetos dust on their shirts.

My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Sometimes
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? – If I’m out of other podcasts
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? –Not so far

The Podiwan Review 3 – Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show

A person can fly from Dallas to Houston and back again on a single podcast if one listens to Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show (KPCS). The current record holder for show length on KPCS is about 3 hours but the average is two and a half. A single guest,.. two and a half hours; with an intermission for the host and guest to go see a man about a horse. As incongruous as that sounds with the concept of entertainment, it is actually a good two and a half hours. One can watch or listen live on UStream and recordings of KPCS are available in audio and video.  In addition, all shows are viewable on YouTube and down loadable via iTunes.

Kevin is a jovial host and snarky to his production staff when they gaff or when he hits a lull and needs a target. A lot of what Kevin says starts with “I,..” or “For me” and it seems at times to be self aggrandizing. I don’t mind that so much, but I'm not keen on the barely veiled demi-contempt he lets out in Freudian belches to his staff from time to time. Not real insults as much as tweaks and pinches. They are his posse and he is their leader and by pissing on them from time to time, he lets them, the guest and us know it. And truthfully, its usually funny. Also, like a kidnapper, he alternates between sour and sweet with the staff and you can see he genuinely likes them except when something doesn't go smoothly.

Long as the show is, the best part of KPCS is actually the length. All guests everywhere who promote something have 7 minutes of stage persona that they use on every show. They all have an extra 7 minutes they use if they have to go 2 segments and many of them even have another 7 minutes that they can use at cocktail parties.  But nobody has 2 hours of chat.  On KPCS, sooner or later they run out of persona and you start to see the edges of person. By the end of the show, you’ve gotten a pretty good glimpse behind that person's curtain.

Kevin has three standard games he plays with every guest; Tweet 5, played several times per episode, in which the guest answers 5 rapid fire this or that type questions provided by the tweeterverse, and The Larry King Game, played at the end of the show as a closer. The basic premise of the Larry King game is that LK is an old guy and sooner or later he’s gonna say something about himself that reveals too much. The guest does a bad Larry King voice, reveals something about himself (as Larry King) and then throws it to the phone, hopefully with a funny sounding place name. An example: “I have a testicle in each leg of my pants and they tickle the backs of my knees. Taint, Virginia, you’re on the air.”  The third game is Paris, Demi or Oprah in which the guest competes against Kevin trying to discern who of the three afore mentioned celebs tweeted a particular statement.

The format (and set) is largely lifted from Charlie Rose and the opening monologue is all Tom Snyder.  Guests are mostly friends from the world of comedy, poker buddies, personalities of the new media and the occasional iconic star.  All are dissected and examined as fully as possible or necessary,… and really, it won’t seem like 2 hours when you’re done.

There are 47 episodes of KPCS available in the library and lots of edits pieces are available on YouTube.

 My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Yes
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? - Yes
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? –Yes

The Podiwan Review 2 – Doug Loves Movies

Who doesn’t love Doug Benson (Super High Me, Comedy Central and numerous TV appearances? I mean really. The guy is just a big stoned teddy bear and his podcast is little more than a semi organized excuse to joke around and hang out and play a couple of party games for no prizes over 45 minutes with his invited guests (mostly from the stand up community) and to occasionally talk about movies. Recorded live at UCB Theater in LA or the Irvine Improv, Doug’s SOP is to spend a couple minutes warming up the crowd and introducing the guest(s) and then to have a brief conversation that starts with, “So, you guys seen any movies lately?” Depending upon the answer to that question, the next 20 minutes may or may not be about movies but they will be funny minutes. Then comes the Leonard Maltin game (“Name that Movie”, loosely based on “Name That Tune”) in which @dougbenson gives clues and a reverse order (bottom to top) listing of actors to see who can name the movie. Not surprisingly, most of his guests, who by the way are competing for members in the audience, don’t know shit about movies and the inherent breakdown in this situation is always entertaining. The occasional guest will be surprisingly good at this game (Jerry O’Connell is freaky good at it). Sometimes there is enough show left to try an alternative game like Build a Title. Again, this is just an excuse to talk about movies and make off the cuff jokes. Bottom line is, it’s fun and funny and Doug forgets a lot of shit because he smokes dope all the freaking time and everybody knows it. But he's a jovial host and he knows how to keep a show interesting and entertaining.

Is this podcast entertaining? - Yes
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? - Yes
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? –Yes
My rating scale

The first Podiwan Review – Smodcast

Available on iTunes and at and, SModcast is the brain child of writer director actor Kevin Smith @thatKevinSmith and his best friend and producer, Scott Mosier. He’s written and directed (and been a featured actor) in a string of hit (and near miss) movies and his writing style is very much his talking style. Banter, banter and more banter. And when that fails, bizarro movie ideas, dick jokes and references to anal sex flow like water. His partner in this, Scott, is more circumspect in his contributions. No less witty, but more guarded.
 These are the conversations they would have even without a microphone. SModcast was recently shown to be one of the most popular podcasts available on iTunes. Smodcast doesn’t have guests per se, but from time to time somebody will sit in for Scott like Kevin’s wife Jennifer Schwalbach (former USA/Today writer), Walter Flannigan, Bryan Johnson, Malcolm Ingram and Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob) all of whom are childhood friends and who also owe their livelihoods to Smith. There have been podcasts that included nearly all of those names but normally, it is only two or three voices in the room. SModcast is also occasionally taken on the road and recorded before a live audience (LIVE Nude Smodcast). Kevin claims to be a guy who hates to go out, but truly, he comes alive in front of a crowd and the live shows are generally better by an order of magnitude.

I am comfortable with the average guy-ness of both Smith and Mosier. However, this is not a podcast for kids or those who are easily offended. The talk turns smutty almost from the beginning and stays in the gutter through to the end. Subjects include sex in all of it’s variations, crime, punishment, crime and punishment as they pertain to sex (both as crime and as punishment), Smith’s sex life, drugs, movie making, agoraphobia, food, travel and just about anything else. There are times when Smith and Mosier can downright pound a subject into the ground before finally releasing it, but, by and large, the conversations are real, fun and engaging. It is, as much as is possible, like sitting in a room with Kevin and Scott while they horse around and discuss,... stuff. As a final note, SModcast is not a place of factual, technical or historical accuracy. In fact, inaccuracy and common misconceptions seem to be a stock in trade. Smith and Mosier know the movie business inside and out, but as for nearly everything else, they are as lost as the rest of us and more so then many.
My rating scale
Is this podcast entertaining? - Yes
Am I likely to listen to the next podcast? - Yes
Do I recommend this podcast to friends? –Yes

My God: The Interweb

Sold my motorcycle over the weekend. One of the three. The best one of the three. 1982 XJ750 Maxim. Sweet bike. Is craigslist the best goddamn place to sell shit in the world or what? No fees, local sales, 4 pictures, you can even get a date!! In less than 20 years we have become so dependant on the internet!  It's just crazy. Try to spend a week without it. You'll stop breathing. Cars come with internet now.  That's a really bad idea but still, it's waaaay cool.  Who wouldn't want that?  It's like asking a teenage boy if he'd like sex with that hand job.  YES is the only answer.

Do you have a question about a movie or TV star? IMDB. Wonder if a word really exists? Wanna know about God, a god, all gods, any god or no god at all? Again, seek thy answer on the web. (start with wikipedia and work your way out from there.) Are you looking for a certain lunch box from 1965 with the thermos intact?; eBay. Need a cheap car for your out of work brother? craigslist. Got a strange growth on your back, Web MD. Wondering if your meds are reacting with each other, Point is,.... every answer,.. on the web.

The interweb (my wife hates it when I say it that way, so I keep saying it that way) represents the collected knowledge of mankind with a healthy sprinkling of hokum, hoohaa, hate speech, conspiracy theory and opinions.

Podcasts, YouTube, web radio; new media all. Fresh, funny, musical, media savvy talent from the backyard, the garage, the kid's room upstairs is blossuming like new life in a fertile ocean. And most of all, best of all, in quantities beyond comprehension, there's porn. If you can imagine it, there is somebody on the web who will play with it, insert it, lick it, speak sternly to it, oil it up and offer it a happy ending in somebody else's happy end.

So yes, I am in awe of the web. It is my new god; my only god. It talks to me. It answers me. It provides for me and connects me to the world. Things my old god never did.