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

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