I have been swamped with both my regular job, which is a full-time, in-the-office, meeting-with-clients, boss-to-answer-to kind of thing, and I have also been doing some writing in my off hours, which is more fun but less profitable. (Several articles coming out for Marin Magazine, the first one in the September issue!) And I’m helping a buddy work on a screenplay long distance, which involves a lot of emails, phone calls and pecking away on a file we keep sending back and forth to each other.
Back to Succotash. Normally we feature a generous helping of clips from comedy podcasts from around the internet. I’m still sort of coming out of “recovery mode” from the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, so the next couple of episodes are going to be a little different than the usual fare.
Although SOME of the usual fare will be in here, too. I do have several clips that have been harvested by our associate producer Tyson Saner. And we’ve got a double dose o’ Durst with TWO Bursts O’ Durst with comedian/social commentator Will Durst, the 10 Most Active Shows in Stitcher’s Top 100 Comedy Podcast List, and a brand new Henderson’s Pants commercial.
I’m going to talk a little bit about Robin in this episode mainly because, in my interview with this epi’s special guest, W. Kamau Bell, he and I talk about it toward the end of our time together. I interviewed Kamau a couple of weeks ago and we had only gotten the news a few days earlier so we kind of had to talk about it.
Kamau has recently moved back to the Bay Area after being in New York to work on his Totally Biased TV show for FX and, fatally, for FXX. We chat about how he got that amazing opportunity via Chris Rock, as well as what some of his future plans may be now that the show is done. (Incidentally, if you’re in the Bay Area, particularly Marin County, Kamau is going to be doing his latest one man show, Oh, Everything, at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre on September 11th. Yep, 9/11. 8 PM. He's got a bunch of other dates and locations as well, including San Francisco, Sacramento and more. Click on his show title to take you to the show site where you can get tickets and more information.)
I had cast Kamau in the pilot episode for a web series called SpamBUSTERS! that ended up not happening, along with Dana Eagle and Shane Elliott. Kamau and I discuss the project during our interview but here, for the first time, YOU get to see the rough cut of this "lost" pilot episode.
I am planning a special Robin tribute episode, which is likely to be entirely clip-based. Tyson is working hard to round up as many clips as he can find where the podcasters mention and reflect on Robin and who he way, as well as what he meant and brought to people. Related to that, I was texting with our friend, Phil Leirness, co-host of the Chillpak Hollywood Hour, just two days after it happened and he asked me how I was feeling. I told him “Stunned.” He responded on their show this week much as he did to me in text form and I have included that response in this episode.
I first saw Robin perform in a little club in Sausalito, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, in 1978. He was a few years ahead of me at the same high school and at the same junior college before he headed off to Julliard. But I never crossed paths with him then. But after I saw him perform the first time, I started hanging out in the comedy scene in San Francisco in the late 70’s and early 80’s and we’d see each every so often. We occasionally even ended up sharing a stage and doing improv together from time to time and he was a fairly regular fixture in my comedy life during the past 30 years.
So when he was hanging out back in Marin County again after his CBS TV show got cancelled, he was down. Depressed, I guess. But not dour or morose. At the most, you might suspect he’d start drinking again. Or using coke or some other drugs that he used to be into. But no one that I know that knew him figured on him ending it all.
So “stunned”, at least for me, was a viable reaction to carry me through the first week and a half without him being around. Then grief starts to creep in, and sadness, and that horrible, horrible knowledge that I’ll never see him hanging around the scene any more. He’ll never be a surprise who you didn’t even know was in town but somehow found out we were doing improv at some shithole bar somewhere and there he was, bounding up on stage out of the darkness and already in character to help move the scene ahead.
But enough of that for now.
We deal, as we do, when one of our own has gotten lost and wanders away. And we hope that others around us will take it as a cue to perhaps say something if they can shake the grip of that demon they’re wrestling with long enough to ask for some help.
The 10 Most Active Shows In Stitcher's Top 100 Comedy Podcast List
The numbers in the Top 100 Comedy Podcast list on Stitcher have settled down a bit from my last report, but it seems like the Top 10 is finally getting pierced and it’s good to see some action at the top.
6 How Did This Get Made +11
33 What Say You? +42
37 The Champs w/Moshe Kasher & Neal Brennan +36
51 Uhh Yeah Dude +18
56 Beats & Easts -46
70 Answer Me This +17
72 Sawbones: A Marital Tour Of Misguided Medicine -33
87 The Doug Stanhope Podcast -29
88 The NYC Crime Report w/Pat Dixon +41
90 The Christopher Titus Podcast -37
Since we’re not playing a ton of clips this episode, if you’re looking to sample some new meat, hop over to http://Stitcher.com, dip into the Comedy Top 100 list and find something new to put in your ears.
This past week I reviewed Mohr Stories with Jay Mohr and his guest Adam Ferrara for both Splitsider.com and also Huffington Post. I got a nice thank you tweet from Adam for the review. Never expect those sorts of things when I put something out there, but it’s nice when it happens. As part of those reviews, I also listened to Men In Blazers welcome back the Premier League, and We Have Concerns: Immortality Transfusion
The Funny Looking Podcast
We hop across the Pond for this one, hosted by Gav and Pete. I don’t know a whole lot about the guys behind Funny Looking but, from their homesite I took the following: “Funny Looking is a podcast recorded by two men with some terrible audio equipment. Our aim is to seek out the funny in this slowly decaying world. We all need a laugh and hopefully Funny Looking can guide you to something worth your time. At the very least, our podcast should be able to brighten up the commute to work when you are sandwiched between snogging teenagers and smelly sweaty businessmen.” In this clip, from their Epi14, Gav and Pete talk to Teresa Coyne and Mark Silcox, who were involved in the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.
Part of the Great American Broadcast Network, or GABnet, comes a podcast or internet radio show called Getting Geeky with Miranda Janell. Her website says: “She's smart. She's wired in to today's social media. She knows and loves science and technology. She makes all of it easy to understand and more than that, makes it fun. Then there's movies and TV, where she is very opinionated and yes she can get passionate about politics too. All this adds up to make her the snarky geek queen of GABNet.” Our associate producer Tyson Saner found her and sliced off a hunk just for you…
Angry Beards Podcast
We have a standing offer on this show where we offer you the chance to tell us about YOUR favorite comedy podcasts that we maybe haven’t had a chance to cover and play a clip from yet. We recently got a tweet from the Angry Beards Podcast suggesting we pay attention to The Dollop, with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. But come on -- if you tell us your show is called Angry Beards, we have GOT to check that shit out. Here are Alex and Anthony, the owners, one supposes, of the aforementioned angry beards. Not a whole lot of info about Alex and Anthony. What there was Tyson managed to shake out of their podcast app: “Two angry bearded men. Discussing life in a small town and providing useful information along the way.”
The fact is we actually featured a clip from the very first episode of The Dollop, when Dave Anthony was flying solo and trying something new when Greg Behrendt stepped off the grid for a bit and there were no new Walking The Room episodes going on. What's changed is that Dave has been joined on The Dollop by Gareth Reynolds. Tyson clipped this from Epi18, where they’re discussing famous French serial imposter Frederic Pierre Bourdin, aka "The Chameleon".
This epi clocks in at an hour and forty-five minutes. Some people think these Succotash episodes are getting too long. I prefer to think of us as the podcast that keeps giving.
You can remember to give, too, by visiting our Succotash site and either using our Amazon banner every time you want to go shopping in the world’s largest everything store, OR clicking on our Donate button and pitching us some pennines that way, OR click on through from our homesite to our Succotashery to buy some merch. Easy peasy, Succotash squeezy.
Now get out there and pass the Succotash!
— Marc Hershon