Saturday, January 21, 2012

Succotash Epi18, With Our Guest: Cole Stratton

It's January, which is S.F. Sketchfest time in San Francisco. Now in it's 11th year, Sketchfest has bcome a Big Deal in the national sketch scene, taking place in multiple venues across the city with over a hundred shows. And with some very big names gracing the stage — this year bigger than ever —the festival has gained massive attention. That was one great reason to have Cole Stratton as our guest, as he is the co-founder and co-organizer of the event.
If you've never had a chance to check out S.F. Sketchfest and you're within driving distance of The City By The Bay, you should definitely try to get in to see at least one of the shows (if you can still get tickets - many of the bigger name shows sell out quick!) For the full lineup, hop over to

The other great reason to have Cole on is that he's also the co-founder and co-host of Pop My Culture, a very popular podcast that's about ten years younger than Sketchfest. It made a bunch of Top 10 Podcast lists last year and just fell in as one of fleet of p'casts under the Nerdist banner. Cole and his co-host, Vanessa Ragland, make for an engaging team and have had an impressive lineup of comic and celebrity guests on their show.

It's always a little more fun for me to have a fellow podcaster on a Succotash 'sode (the last time was Epi8 with Rob Celli from What Duvet Said), because they're invited to chime in on the various clips that we feature. Normally we don't play as many clips when we interview a guest but, this being one of our out-of-Studio-P interviews means that the guiding hand of engineer/producer Joe Paulino wasn't there to keep me more professional. so we have ten clips, a Burst O' Durst, a classic Henderson's Pants commercial...and the episode runs 17 minutes over our usual one hour time.

We also have a Skypversation with Kelly Carlin, spoken word performer and friend-of-the-show, who is performing her show A Carlin Home Companion at S.F. Sketchfest on Friday, January 27th.

Succotash News: We have merchandise! What's a podcast, after all,without something to try to sell you? Now we have it! There's not much in the "Succotashery" so far — several styles of t-shirts, coffee mugs hats and some other stuff, all sporting the spiffy new Succotash logo. We'll bring more stuff online in the coming months but, for now, click on this link (or over on the ad on the side) and check out the swag!

Succotash Reminder: Yours truly is a contributing reviewer for This Week In Comedy Podcasting, Jesse Fox's delightful column at There's a fresh rack of the funniest and hottest comedy p'casts reviewed every week.

For a full lineup of who Cole and I talk about on this show, it's right here! (As always, just click on a show's title to be taken to their website. All the shows are available through iTunes. And some of them (including Succotash) can be found on your smartphone or tablet's Stitcher Smart Radio app.)

As is our custom whenever we have a fellow podcaster along, their show gets to ride shotgun. Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland's hot p'cast features guest comics, actors and celebrities chewing the fat about the latest trends, movies, music and media. The guest this clip is Jim Rash, familiar to fans of NBC TV's Community as Dean Pelton, and also co-writer of the hit movie The Descendants.

This fun news-based comedy show straddles the Atlantic with one host, John Oliver, based in New York and the other host, Andy Zaltzman, holding down the fort in England (where the show originates from.) Epi178 is a historic episode of sorts as it is the last one produced under the banner of the London TimesOnline. From here on out the lads are on their own (but if you already subscribe to The Bugle on iTunes, you should receive the new episodes without interruption.)

Fast n' furious Jimmy Pardo is the host of this long-running comedy podcasts - one of the firsts to get out there, actually. He's also got a pay-to-play model going for the "Pardcast", so you'll have to visit his site to get the whole magilla. You can sample every episode through a free 20 minute hunk that's up on iTunes, though.
Jesse Thorn and Jordan Morris host fast-paced conversational show. Our guest, Cole Stratton, has worked with them a lot over the years and says they're as fun in person as they sound on their podcast. In this clip they're joined by "the Bitter Buddha", comedian Eddie Pepitone.
Pepitone again? Yep, only here he's on his home turf, where he is a regular along with Sean Conroy, Jamie Flam and Amber Kenny. This quartet often has a guest but, even when they done, they hold court and laugh it up about current events, disturbing dreams and pretty much anything their wide-ranging conversations turn up.

Our guest, Cole, has lots of good things to say about this imaginative show, which is a monthly comedy staple in Los Angeles as a live stage show. Done in the motif of an old-time scripted radio, the cast and their slate of impressive guests consistently deliver a great listen. And since it's meant to be a radio offering, it's translation from stage to podcast is dead on.
Comic Pete Holmes and his show is now part of the Nerdist network of podcastery. Patterned in the spirit of Marc Maron's WTF show, Holmes has a knack for making his guests (often fellow comedians) feel a little uncomfortable at some point in the show but seems to usually all end in laughter. Here he talks with the very funny Nick Kroll. (Side note brought up by our guest this week: Holmes is the voice of the E-Trade baby on the TV commercials!)

We've featured this very creative show before and with good reason - host Paul F. Tompkins is one of the funniest, fastest and inventive comedians around. The scripted longform material performed on the Tompkast is difficult to do justice to in the time we have, so do yourself a favor and grab a full show soon.

Podcaster Jeremy Wein is a tribute to the idea that if you want to do a podcast, just go ahead and do it. He's not a comedian himself but he's managed to crack the code to get a lot of funny people to sit still with him long enough to do a decent interview. Here's he's caught up with NBC-TV's Parks & Recreation's Aziz Ansari. (Apologies to Jeremy - in the episode, I give out his site as's actually ThisMyShow.NET)

Another Nerdist family podcast? Yeah, I'm not sure why they're so prevalent on Succotash this episode — I swear there's no payola involved (but a fellow can dream, can't he?) — but they do have a quality lineup over there. This one is a young p'cast, hosted by veteran comedian Tom Wilson, most famous for his role as Biff (and Buford) Tannen in the Back To The Future movies. He's also a good interviewer as you can hear in his 3-part chat with comedian/writer/director Steve Oedekerk.

We close out the show with our Burst O' Durst feature, faithfully supplied to us by the politically bent comedy stylings of Will Durst.

That's it for this batch. Write me sometime at and let me know what's on your mind. You can also call into the Succotash Hotline at (818) 921-7212 and sound off about something you've heard or something you want to hear.

Thanks for listening! (You are listening, aren't you?) Don't forget to pass the Succotash!

— Marc Hershon

Monday, January 9, 2012

Succotash Epi17: Happy 2012!

Back with producer Joe Paulino in Studio P for this New Year kickoff show! Succotash Epi 17 is stuffed full o' clips, this time a look back at some of my personal favorite p'casts. But we're only retreading a couple of cuts — I've selected a bunch of recent clips from amongst the podcasts I tend to listen to most (when I'm not scanning, scrolling and slicing up bits n' pieces of the known and unknown p'casts that have yet to grace our show...)

2011 was a banner year for Succotash, mainly because we kicked this whole mess off last April. Our first lucky break was getting a kickass theme song provided to us by our musical director Scott Carvey. And we've gotten a lot of nice ratings on iTunes (but we can always use more!), kindly comments on Twitter, got picked up by Stitcher Smart Radio, and yours truly started contributing reviews weekly to This Week In Comedy Podcasting over on

On the downside, we have yet to attract a sponsor (besides Henderson's Pants who, between you and me, doesn't pay us squat), which led to the brilliant idea of trying out being listener supported. While I'd love to be able to say this is your Succotash, not a single soul has clicked over there on the sponsor button since we put it up. Which means this is still my Succotash, damn it!

We're sure glad you're listening, of course, and we welcome your emails, tweets, and voicemails called into our Succotash hotline (1-818-921-7212). We're looking forward to an amazing 2012 — in addition to our usual lineup of funny, new, and interesting podcast clips from around the internet, we're looking into doing some live shows, hooking you up with some more amazing interviews, and just having a whole lot more fun before the Mayan prophesy takes over and kicks our butts in December...

Here's what we're serving up this episode:

Can I play too much of Bob Ducca? I think not. To prove it, here's a rundown of everybody's favorite ex-stepdad with a list of his New Year's resolutions. Seth Morris kicked off this series over on Earwolf this year and the world's never been a brighter yet sad sackier place.

Another offering from Earwolf — this time from one of its founders and operating partners, Scott Aukerman — CBB changed its handle from Comedy Death Ray Radio this past year but has retained its commitment to keep providing warped, weird and funny stuff thundering down the pipeline.

Ringmaster David Feldman is an old buddy of mine from his San Francisco standup days, but that's not why we feature him on Succotash. It's because his show is inventive, funny and often hard-hitting when it comes to taking the world's politicobankstershitheads down a peg or five.

There's something endearing about Greg Fitzsimmon's sincerity even when his humor gets biting. He has few qualms when it comes to exposing his own faults to his audience, a disarming quality which tends to make his guests open up (probably more than they were expecting to.) This clip is a sample of him at his soul-bearing best.

I probably play clips from MATES more than is good for me, just from a calorie intake standpoint alone. But the repartee between hosts Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh, based around the simple notion of picking, tasting and rating snacks, is unique in the realm of podcastery and always makes me laugh out loud even when I'm by myself, which is vaguely disturbing.

What?! Yes, I'm narcissistic enough to think some of the shit we do on this show is hilarious. Witness one of our Boozin' With Bill segments. Or any of the Henderson's Pants commercials. Then, of course, our occasional guests can rip the place up. One of our most pointed-out pieces is from Epi3, when Dana Carvey was our in-studio guest and we got a call from Sir Paul (no last names, please...)

I only discovered Superego this year - they've been around for a few - and I'm glad I did. Rooted in improv, this four-man team is always joined by a crew of some of LA's funniest improv, sketch and standup performers. And they never fail to throw together some stunning audio comedy.

I've been a fan of standup comedian Larry Miller since he first worked a week headlining at Seattle's The Comedy Underground, which I managed in the mid-80's. His podcast has already had over a million downloads and it's a delight to see this raconteur storyteller capturing the attention spans of some younger listeners who have maybe never seen him on stage.

Arguably the hottest podcast on the interwebs for the past couple of years, Marc Maron and his combination of manic self-introspection and probing, insightful interview style makes for a thoroughly entertaining show. Grab you some right here.

We round out the first show of the year with a shot from our regular contributor, raging moderate politcal wag and wit Will Durst. He started shooting his reports to us early in our inception and continues to be a terrific flagpole in our comedy podcast bigtop.

That's quite a little lineup for you - hope it keeps you sated until the next epi is served up. Next time we'll have an interview from an old comedy chum and a bunch of fresh clips from show we haven't featured before. Until then, please remember to pass the Succotash!