Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Succotash Epi97: Podfestin' with Friends #1

At long last, here is Epi97 of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast. I put this installment together while on vacation in Hawaii — not the first time we've come to you from Paradise — but, just as usual these days, I did my recording from Studio F (in this case, a rented Fiat 500C), so the sound quality of my wraparound portions will sound remarkably the same as always.

Went a little bit different with the show this time out. This episode we’ve got not just some comedy podcast clips for you but also a few of the interviews that I did recently at the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival (which was about a month ago now…)

Among the many folks I got a chance to talk to while I was in the SquareSpace Podcast Lab and whose interviews I share this episode include…

Janet Varney from the JV Club podcast. Yes, I FINALLY got my old friend Janet to sit down and chat for a bit. I’ve known her since before she got out of college, when she and her fellow sketch performers (Cole Stratton, David Owen, and Gabriel Diani) were in a group called Totally False People and used to open for my improv group The Riffingtons in the San Francisco Bay Area. Needless to say, she and her compatriots have FAR outstripped my show business career on many fronts and I love it. She’s great and her podcast The JV Club is going great guns.

Christine Blackburn from the Story Worthy podcast. Christine’s always fun to talk to, plus she kept finding new people for me to interview while I was at the podcast festival, which was great – I made some new podcaster friends and found out about some great show I’d never heard of before which we’ll be featuring on future episodes of Succotash. We also talked about working together to try and get Story Worthy on the boards, live, somewhere in the Bay Area soon.

Matt Weinhold, co-host of the Monster Party podcast. Always great hanging out with Matt whenever I’m in LA and I was especially happy to have been asked to jump into the Monster Party with him and the guys. Before that happened, though, he dropped by the podfest after work so we chatted it up, then we wandered around poking our heads into the shows going on, then we gorged ourselves on late night eats at Jerry's Deli in the Valley.

In addition to the interviews, we play clips from all three of their shows, not to mention a trio of other podcasts, which were harvested by our ace Associate Producer Tyson Saner.

NO TWEETSACK OR 10 MOST ACTIVE SEGMENTS THIS WEEK

Because I knew this was going to be a long show, there's no Tweetsack segment this week. And the Top 10 Most Active Shows in Stitcher's Top 100 Comedy Podcasts List is on hold because Stitcher apparently hasn't updated their stats on that list in the past month. Who do they think they are? Succotash? Of all the nerve.

Nonetheless, we do have our Burst O' Durst at the end of the show, featuring political comedian and cultural commentator Will Durst, this time talking about the spooky upcoming midterm elections.

CLIPS

Chillpak Hollywood Hour
A way longer-than-usual visit with Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness, plucked from their somewaht recent "partycast" in Los Angeles, where they took time out to interview…me.


The New Hollywood
Tyson sent along a clip from a podcast I hadn’t heard before this show: The New Hollywood. I’m not sure this qualifies as a comedy podcast – the show’s homesite describes the show as “a podcast interview show about the greatest films from the 70's – by the people who made them.” - but there are sure some great funny stories in some of the episodes. This clip is from a few weeks ago when actor Stacy Keach and host Brian Flaherty discussed Keach’s career, and when he and a partner wrote what could have been a war epic for producer Roger Corman.

The JV Club
Host Janet Varney kicked this podcast off over 130 episodes ago, mostly talking talking one-on-one with female guest from the arts (although her "Boys of Summer" shows allow her to stretch the format a bit.) This clip features her guest, actress Noureen DeWolfe, whom she appeared with in the popular web/TV series reality show spoof Burning Love.


Bad Reception
We have a clip from a podcast that’s just getting started, called Bad Reception, with host Jordan Scherer. It’s only a few episodes in, and the show’s homesite says that Jordan talks to himself and guests about life, pop culture, and comedy. In the clip Tyson pulled, the host is talking his listeners about why they should give podcasting a try themselves.

Story Worthy
Featuring hosts Christine Blackburn and Hannes Phinney. In this clip from the recent "Trouble In My Pants" episode of Story Worthy, we share part of a story that starts out favorably but seems to very quickly head south in a story related by storytelling guest Iris Bahr.


Happy Sad Confused 
Our associate producer Tyson tossed us an episode from Happy Sad Confused with host Josh Horowitz. He talks to celebrities about "everything and anything", according to the show's homesite. I don’t know about that but he recently chatted up Justin Long about working with Kevin Smith, who directed him in the oddball film Tusk.

Monster Party
We've featured clips from Monster Party before, with co-hosts James Gonis, Shawn Sheridan, Larry Strothe, Matt Weinhold, and a different guest each episode. This particular episode, MAd Doctors, which dropped this week, features ME! It's funny in spite of that fact…

Just a closing note to let you know that I appreciate all of you who have been mentioning the show on Twitter and Facebook and especially everyone who has taken the time to rate and review us on iTunes and "Thumbs Upping" us on Stitcher Smart Radio.

And a reminder that, if you’re shopping on Amazon.com, visit us first at http://SuccotashShow.com and click on the Amazon banner at the top of the page. That will take you to the Amazon site and anything that you buy, they’ll send us a tiny cut of it.

If you want to help us offset the costs of production, you can also click on our Donate button at the Succotash site or you can even buy some merch in our Succotashery. So many ways to help pass the Succotash and so little time, really.

Thanks once again to Tyson Saner, our associate producer, Joe Paulino, our engineer/producer, an Bill Heywatt, our booth announcer.

Thanks for passing the Succotash!

— Marc Hershon
 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Succotash Epi96: Documentin' with Robert Campos & Donna LoCicero

I'm your host Marc Hershon and this IS Epi 96 of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast. (If you missed it, there WAS an Epi 95.5 which I did from the road when I headed down to the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival - check out the blog entry just beneath this one!)

I was hoping to record this episode as I was sitting in the Squarespace Podcast Lab, surrounded by podcasters interviewing other podcasters. But the time got away from me – it seems there was always someone else to interview or to be interviewed by for THEIR show. I will be featuring my own interviews with other podcasters over the next bunch of shows but not on THIS episode.

This episode features my interview with Robert Campos and Donna LoCIcero, the movie makers behind 3 Still Standing, a documentary that looks at the San Francisco comedy scene back to the 1980s through the lives and careers of a trio of local comedians: Will Durst, Johnny Steele, and Larry “Bubbles” Brown.

I found one of the interesting things about Robert and Donna is that they’re not from a comedy background but are real, bona fide documentarians who have done hours of material for television. You'll hear about their fascinating background and how they cooked up the idea for the project. This is their first feature-length film and they’re coming at it as fans of comedy. I think you’ll enjoy our chat…

…Not to mention catching a sneak peak of the film itself! Here's the trailer…

3 Still Standing from beanfieldproductions on Vimeo.

 Chillpak "Partycast"

I made the drive to Los Angeles from San Francisco in time to catch the Chillpak Hollywood Hour live "partycast" from the Bottle Rock bar in downtown LA. I was a lively time but I haven't had a chance to snip a bit of that show for you yet. But thanks to hosts Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness for putting on the dog.

The 10 Most Active Shows On Sticher's Top 100 Comedy Podcast List

As mentioned before, this feature may be cut in the near future in order to save us time on the podcast UNLESS there are some vocal or social advocates who want to stand up for it. Where else can you get a run down of the ten shows that have moved up or down the list in the past week? Call the Succotash Hotline at (818) 921-7212 or email me at marc@SuccotashShow.com if you'd like to show your support for this segment.

AT                                                                                MOVED
9 The Duncan Trussell Family Hour                                  +  7
24 What Say You?                                                            + 10
35 SModcast >> Jay & Silent Bob Get Old                         + 10
36 Off The Air – Chick McGee                                          + 11
55 Christopher Titus Podcast                                          -   9
70 Cashing In with TJ Miller                                            +  9
78 The Dana Gould Hour                                                 + 29
85 The Mick Betancourt Show                                         +  9
94 Fernando & Greg’s Daily Podcast                                + 56
95 U Talkin’ U2 To Me?                                                   - 14

Clips

Mike And Tom Eat Snacks
It’s been about a year but, at long last, Mike And Tom Eat Snacks, aka MATES, is back! Everyone, including themselves, thought that hosts Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanaugh, were dead. But they’re not. They’re alive and snacking. And they celebrated their returns with a snack as old as snacks themselves…the humble hard boiled egg.

We Have Concerns
I dropped a mention of the podcast We Have Concerns a couple of months ago in the This Week In Comedy Podcasts column on Splitsider.com. But we hadn’t yet played a clip. Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboni have a lot of fun delving in the wonder and dread hidden inside seemingly innocuous things. F’rinstance, this clip is from their recent episode Algorithm is a Dancer.

Dom Irrera LIVE from the Laugh Factory
I can’t believe that comedian Dom Irrera is almost 100 epis into his podcast, Dom Irrera LIVE from the Laugh Factory, and we’ve never featured a clip from his show before. Thanks to Tyson Saner, our Associate Producer, we are now. He does his show, interviewing comedians and talking about Hollywood, right from Hollywood’s Laugh Factory comedy store. Our clip is from a recent episode where Dom is talking to comedian John Heffron.

Stick a fork in Epi96 because it’s done! We had clips. We had chat. We had pants.

Coming up next episode will be more clips and one or two of the miniviews I had with some of the podcasters at the 3rd Annual LA Podfest.

If you’d like to get in touch with me, shoot me an email at maarc@SuccotashShow.com. Or listen for the number for the Succotash Hotline when our friendly booth announcer Bill Heywatt says goodbye in a moment.

You can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, CWERadio.com – that’s Clutch And Wiggle Entertainment Radio, where we replay all the time – and sometimes SoundCloud – been having some upload woes there – and please Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and, as always, thanks for passing the Succotash!

— Marc Hershon

Friday, September 26, 2014

Succotash Epi95.5: Travelin' to the 3rd LA Podfest

Time for another Succotash "halfisode", one of those short, off-the-cuff, podcast installments that I spew into my digital recorder while plying the "Kessel Run". (That's my nickname for the 5+ hour jaunt on Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The occasion is the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival, taking place this Friday through Sunday, Sept. 26-28. Haven't missed one yet. I'm writing this accompanying blog on Friday morning, after successfully navigating my way to Big Smoggy.


This kept me going on the six hour drive yesterday…
I took a half-day off of work so that I could make the drive in plenty of time to not only make the Podfest but also to drop in on the Chillpak Hollywood Hour "partycast" that was going on at the Bottle Rock in downtown LA last night. Which I did, as evidenced by my photo of hosts Phil Leirness and Dean Hagland that appears below.

During this particular halfisode, I finally give out with some details on the upcoming format changes in store for future episodes of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast. My idea - in an attempt to move to a more easily consumable format - is to split the show up a bit. By that, I mean that each episode will be either primarily comedy podcast clips or an interview. And you'll be able to tell which is which by the title, because the former will be under the banner of Succotash Clips, while the latter will be called Succotash Chats.

Make sense?

The reasons for making this move in "Season 2" of the show - these changes will transpire beginning with Epi101 - are several. One is that episodes are getting very long. Lately our shows have been coming in at between 90 and 120 minutes. So they're getting increasingly more difficult to produce and taking more and more time. Another reason is that I's like to make a bit more of a consistent product, by aiming for 30 minute shows for the Clips editions, and no more than an hour for the Chats versions.


Phil & Dean of the Chillpak Hollywood Hour
As I mention in this epi, no one ever says much about the show's format as it is but, if you either support or object to the planned changes, feel free to reach out and let me know. You can call the Succotash Hotline, at (818) 921-7212. Or email me at marc@SuccotashShow.com. Or just tweet your comments to @SuccotashShow.

Also during this episode, we had a surprise guest drop in via cell phone! Out of the blue, friend of the show Rick Overton, brilliant comedian and the host of podcasting's Overview, happened to call while I was recording. So I just left the call in.

BTW, the quality of the show is a bit sketchy. Recording in Studio F while it's moving is always a little difficult. I filtered a lot of the road noise out but it's still a less-than-optimum production. Still, it's only about 20 minutes long, so you can certainly muddle through that much. I did.

If you're going to be the LA Podfest this weekend, you can track me down in the Podcast Lab or you can also message or call me through the Succotash Hotline number (see above) - I'll have it on live this weekend rather than voicemail.

Thanks for passing the Succotash!

— Marc Hershon
 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Succotash Epi95: Interfacin' with The Amazing Johnathan

Just four more shows after this one and we hit Epi100, the last show of the first season of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast.

Seasons in podcasting seem a little silly to me, so I figured after almost 3 years and 100 ‘sodes, we’ll make THAT the end of season one.  (I’m still trying to figure out if I have it together enough to do a live show somewhere for the 100th episode. Don’t know. We’ll see…

I’ve also been talking with our Associate Producer Tyson Saner– or messaging him, more precisely, about a couple of format changes that Succotash is in for in the second season of the show. I’ll tell you more about that soon. Nothing major in terms of what you hear, just going to tighten up the struts on this rust heap a little bit and see if we can’t keep it flying a little longer.


We only have a few comedy podcast clips to share with you this episode because the main attraction is my interview with comic–magician The Amazing Johnathan. He recently announced his retirement from performing live on stage and we find out during the interview.

I had heard Johnathan on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast – a great interview, by the way. If you didn’t hear it, think about tracking it down over at WTFpod.com. But because I’ve known Johnathan for years, I figured it might be neat to get him on here to chat and we’d no doubt find some other things to talk about. Which we did…

He's had an interesting career, starting out trying to do stage magic in Michigan, then street magic in San Francisco, before finding his unique "punk magician" spin on an act that has always been more about the laughs than the magic. Johnathan talks about those early days on the street - competing for sidewalk space with the likes of Harry Anderson and A. Whitney Brown. We also find out how a bet he made with a friend ended up keeping off Late Night with David Letterman for years after he made his debut.

And once upon a time I was the head writer on a short-lived game show called Ruckus for Merv Griffin. Johnathan was the host and we talk about some of that craziness, too.

We talk at length about Ruckus, actually and one of the things we bring up - in fact, something I did in this particular segment Johnathan uses to kick off and close our chat - was a gag called The Ultimate Blindfold. I came on stage as a"stooge", pretending to be a member of the theater audience, which was where we pulled our contestants from for each episode. That bit lives in perpetuity on YouTube, so I figured I'd slug it in the blog here…


The 10 Most Active Shows on Stitcher's Top 100 Comedy Podcast List

Nowhere else in Podcastland are you likely to hear a list featuring the 10 most active shows on any list. But we have it for you here! These are the shows that moved up OR down the most in the past week on Stitcher’s Top 100 Comedy Podcast List. (Some weeks we get big, massive swings in the numbers. Some weeks, not so much. Mostly single digit moves this week with a couple of exceptions.)

AT                                                                                MOVED
8   SModcast >> Tell ‘Em, Steve-Dave!                               + 6
22 The Bugle                                                                    + 8
26 Judge John Hodgman                                                   - 10
32 Bertcast’s Podcast                                                       +10
46 The Christopher Titus Podcast                                      + 6
47 Off The Air – Chick McGee                                            - 7
68 Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine           - 7
81 U Talkin’ U2 To Me?                                                     +30
90 DVDASA with David Choe and Asa Akira                         -12
95 By The Way: In Conversation with Jeff Garland              - 7

As much as I kind of get a kick out of this feature, we may need to trim some fat if we move to a shorter show in a few episodes so this could be on the chopping block. Do YOU like the 10 Most Active? Enough to keep it in the show? Call into the Succotash Hotline – (818) 921-7212 – and let me know.

Other Stuff In This Episode

We have a fresh Burst O' Durst with our resident crankpot, comedian and social commentator Will Durst, who's talking about the new iPhone 6. This episode is sponsored by Henderson's Peer Sucker Pants. And we've got a few things to talk about in the Tweetsack.

Clips

Greg Proops’ Film Club
This past week I reviewed Greg Proops’ OTHER podcast for the This Week In Comedy Podcasts column on Splitsider.com, then I shaved it off and put it up on Huffington Post, just for good measure. So I’m not talking about his The Smartest Man In The World podcast. This is his Greg Proops Film Club. It’s a once-a-month movie screening of something that Greg likes – and the most recent one film was The Man Who Would Be King, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine at their most dashing but, in the segment we’re about to listen to, Proops goes off on a tangent about spending teenage nights at the local drive-in movie theater.

P.F.’s Tape Recorder
We recently got hit up to revisit the P.F.’s Tape Recorder podcast, hosted by P.F. Wilson and to check out a recent episode featuring the Sklar Brothers – very funny comedians and hosts of the Sklarboro Country and Sklarboro County podcasts. P.F. wanted us to pay particularly close attention to his It’s Facebook NOT Factbook part of that epi, so that's what we do.

The Geek Generation
I saw on the Independent Podcaster Association page on Facebook that The Geek Generation podcast hit its 200th episode. Congrats to host Rob Logan and his co-host Mike Volpe. These guys love talking about movies, TV shows, video games…pretty much anything their audience enjoys geeking out over. Our snippet is from their big Epi 200 where they get into…Oreos.

Hitting The Road

I'll be on the road later this week, heading to Los Angeles and the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival. (This year, BTW, for the first time they're offering a "virtual ticket" to the PodFest - for $25, you get to watch their "livestream" of the entire event online.)

I'll kick off my Southland visit by dropping into the big "partycast" being thrown by Chillpak Hollywood Hour hosts Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness Thursday night. So I may toss a Succotash "halfisode" up online between now and Epi96.

Thanks for passing the Succotash!

— Marc Hershon
 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Succotash Epi94: Rememberin' Robin

Welcome to Epi94 of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast. This is the podcast where we feature clips of other comedy podcasts to help you to try and sort through the, literally, thousands of comedy podcasts you could be listening to when you fancy a comedy podcast or two.

Since I’m always skimming the podwaves, listening to what’s out there (I also review podcasts as part of This Week in Comedy Podcasts for Splitsider.com and on the Huffington Post as well – I know a number of podcasts have taken time out to mention the tragic death of Robin Williams in the past month. Joan Rivers, too. But Robin in particular seemed to touch a nerve across the board with his passing.  I spoke about it a bit last episode.

I knew Robin some, having grown up in the same area – Marin County – as well as going to the same high school and junior college just a few years behind him. And I had the opportunity to do improv with him on stage a number of times as well as just hangout with him from time to time. So I’ve had my say, really. (Although, if you’d like to see something I’ve written on it, I have a remembrance of Robin and his connection to Marin County that's up on the blog for Marin Magazine here.)

Our associate producer Tyson Saner came up with a great idea and that is to give you a smattering of what some of the other podcasters have been saying about Robin. I said, “Go for it!” and he went out into Podcastland and clipped an even dozen different shows and that’s what our show this episode is going to be about. Tyson asked if I would relax our usual policy of playing only three to five minute long clips. I thought that was an appropriate request, given the nature of what we’re doing here. So some of these are pretty long. Hope you don’t mind (and I hope the hosts of the shows we’re playing these from don’t mind us taking a bit more of a liberty that usual…)

I know theres been a lot of about Robin's life – and his death – since his tragic suicide a month or so ago on August 11th. Maybe you’re tired of hearing about it. I can understand that, but he was a personal acquaintance of mine and a great friend to San Francisco comedy, not to mention a global icon. But if this sort of tribute is too heavy or not you cup of tea, I get it. Feel free to give this episode a pass if you want, but you’re going to miss some great words spoken about a comedian, actor, father, husband and friend who was truly beloved.

Also In This Episode

We still have our usual roundup of the stuff we like doing, like our Burst O’ Durst segment with comedian & social lampooner Will Durst (It's actually a double dose o' Durst this episode!), a classic Henderson’s Pants commercial, our Tweetsack segment, and an extra big clip mention/clip/message from the Chillpak Hollywood Hour with Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness. Plus our exclusive feature that we like to call…

The 10 Most Active Shows In Stitcher's Top 100 Comedy Podcast List

We're not satisfied just to look at the top 10 shows on the list of Top 100 comedy podcasts over at Stitcher - mostly because those rarely change. Instead, we like checking out the shows that are moving the most up OR down the charts. Here's how they looked this past week…

AT                                                                                MOVED
39 The Cracked Podcast                                                 +11
42 Bertcast’s Podcast                                                     -10
47 SModcast >> Edumacation                                          +18
60 The Brian & Jill Show                                                  - 7
69 The Champs with Neal Brennan & Moshe Kasher           - 7
79 WMMR’s Preston & Steve Podcast                                - 7
83 Fernando & Greg’s Daily Podcast                               +38
91 Straight Outta Lo Cash                                               + 7
96 The Mick Bettencourt Show                                        - 8
98 NYC Crime Report w/Pat Dixon                                  +12

Latest Podcast Reviews

This past week on Splitsider.com, as part of This Week In Comedy Podcasts, I reviewed The Louie Anderson Podcast Epi5, "Robin Williams: A Friend and Legend Remembered", which was chock full of comedians' remembrances of Robin. That same review appears on the Huffington Post.

World Premiere of 3 Still Standing

The documentary film that I've been mentioning on Succotash, entitled 3 Still Standing, is about to make its debut in the fairly prestigious Mill Valley Film Festival! I did a bit of bheind the scenes work, some consulting and even some on camera stuff for this movie, which take a look at the San Francisco comedy scene, from the early 1980s through present day. It does by examining the lives and careers of a trio of working comedians: Our own Will Durst, past guest Larry "Bubbles" Brown, and Johnny Steele.

The movie's premiere is set for Saturday, October 4th, 5 PM, at the Sequoia Theater in downtown Mill Valley, California. Then, at 8 PM, just down the street at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre, I will be hosting the 3 Still Standing Live On Stage comedy show with the three comics, the film's directors and producers, and more. If you're interested in tickets, hop on over to the film festival's online box office at http://MVFF.com

The Clips

The Christopher Titus Podcast
We start the clips off with a slice from the top of The Christopher Titus Podcast, the section Chris Titus calls “The Armageddon Update”. This was cut just two days after Robin moved along, and you can hear the emotion in Chris’ voice as he talks about his personal hero.

The Evil Teddy Bear Podcast
In the clips we have for this episode about Robin, there's only this one in which we hear from a woman. The host of The Evil Teddy Bear Podcast, Korey Epps, did his own Robin tribute and one of the people who spoke was actress Stephanie Erb. (We get a lot of Twitter love and support for our show from Korey, so thanks as always for passing the Succotash!)

The Nick Di Paolo Podcast
I like that we’re getting a chance to hear from some podcasts we’ve not had a chance to clip so far in the two and a half years that Succotash has been plying the podwaves. The Nick Di Paolo Podcast is one of those. Nick Di Paolo a great comic, a very real guy, and his Epi42 was entitled R.I.P. Robin Williams.

About Last Night
Nick Di Paolo’s not much of a Mrs. Doubtfire fan but someone who is? Adam Ray, co-host of the About Last Night podcast with Brad Williams. (BTW, I just met Brad for the first time a couple of weeks ago, at the first comedy show that was done after Robin’s death at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley. He's San Francisco-bound to take over morning drive duties on KITS 105.5 FM. Good luck, Brad!)

The Smartest Man In The World
 Here are some wonderful remembrances from Greg Proops, host of The Smartest Man In The World podcast. I know Greg very well from being in an improv group with him in San Francisco before he got onto Whose Line Is It Anyway. And we’ve both done stage work with Robin, separately and together. This was recorded while Greg was over at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Nerd Poker
We have another tribute from some more of Robin's hometown boys. This was at the end of an episode of Nerd Poker with Brian Posehn & Friends. In this case, Brian Posehn, Blaine Capatch and Ken Daly, along with guest Dave Anthony, talk about their memories of Robin. Everyone chatting here except Ken really got their comedy chops in San Francisco and so crossed paths with Robin a number of times.

The Chong & Chong Show
One of the clips Tyson grabbed is from a podcast by a comedian who’s been in the game longer than Robin by more than half a decade. Tommy Chong, along with his son Paris Chong, hosts The Chong & Chong Show. And we have Tommy giving his perspective on Robin.

This Week with Larry Miller
Larry Miller, host of This Week with Larry Miller, prefaced his thoughts about Robin by talking about Lauren Bacall. Larry has got to be one of the classiest guys in comedy and he had a narrow brush with death himself a couple of years ago when he took a fall and smacked his head pretty badly. Here’s his take on Robin…

Stuck In The 80s
Here’s a clip from a show we’ve never featured before – Stuck In the 80’s. It’s all 80‘s stuff all the time – movie, TV, music, pop culture – and host Steve Spears and his rotating pool of co-hosts dive into the “Reagan Era” with gusto. Robin Williams is a personality who transcended 40 years of show business and our culture and the 80’s was a big chunk in the middle of that.

Harmontown
Dan Harmon, the creator of TV’s Community as well as Adult Swim’s Morty & Jack, is the mayor of Harmontown, a live podcast, aided by his Comptroller Jeff Davis. Harmon and Jeff had a few things to say about Robin recently.

The Todd Glass Show
Here’s some personal memories of running into Robin by Todd Glass on his The Todd Glass Show podcast, along with his guests Ian Karmel and Rob Gleeson.

Miller Time
The last Robin clip we have this episode is from Dennis Miller, who has been doing Miller Time, a daily radio show/podcast, for years now. As a major comedy fixture and trained observer of pop culture and society at large, his is a particularly moving reminiscence of Robin.

Thanks to all the hosts and guest of the podcasts we clipped this episode to make this special Rememberin' Robin episode happen. Our next episode we'll be back with an interview with The Amazing Johnathan, as well as clips from more comedy podcasts from around the internet!

Until, then, please remember to pass the Succotash!

— Marc Hershon

Monday, September 1, 2014

Succotash Epi93: Workin' It with W. Kamau Bell

Yes, it’s me, your old – or, perhaps, new – friend, Marc Hershon and I'm your concierge for Epi93 of Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast. First off, let me apologize for the delay in bringing you this episode of the podcast.

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.)

SpamBUSTERS!

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.



Personal Reflection

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.

AT                                                                                MOVED
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.

Reviews

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

Clips

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.

Getting Geeky
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 Dollop 
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".
 
Final Word

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
 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Succotash Epi92: Talkin' with Team Speechless

This show is a veritable pastiche of comedy podcasts from all over the interwebs as, each week, my self and our esteemed associate producer, Tyson Saner, get out there and harvest clips from shows both far AND wide.

Sometimes comedy podcasters themselves even send along clips from their shows – which they are always welcome to do – after all, who knows their shows better than they themselves?

In this show, Epi92, we have got not only a solid handful or so of clips but also an interview with three guys who are behind a show some Succotashians will have heard me mention before. The show — Speechless – is a live comedy show with a whole new format that’s been running San Francisco for the past year and a half. (Full disclosure: I’ve been a part of the behind-the-scenes action.) It’s beginning to get some real notice and it’s also starting to get out beyond the Bay Area. In fact, coming up on August 25th, Speechless will make its debut in New York.

Very exciting stuff, and later on in the show I’ll have my interview with Sammy Wegent (who was our guest way back in Epi35, talking about his web series Everybody's A Comedian) and producers Scott Lifton and Anthony Veneziale.


The Usual Stuff

On tap this episode we have TWO Burst O' Durst segments with political/Cultural comedian Will Durst, a classic Henderson's Pants commercial, and our Tweetsack segment.

They're Back (Almost…)

One of the things we're playing for you in this epi is a teaser announcement from our friends at the Superego podcast. They will be back with long-awaited season 4 in September and, as part of the announcement, it seems that Paul F. Tompkins - who was a frequent guest with Superego in the past - is now a regular cast member.

The Top 10 Most Active Show in Stitcher's Top 100 Comedy Podcast List

Normally when I look at the Top 100 Comedy Podcasts on Stitcher, I don’t even glance at the top ten any more because it never seems to change. But this past week, it looks like some shifting has been going on – there’s even a show up there I’ve never heard of!  And normally the moves are pretty meek – get a load of the swing numbers this week:

AT                                                                                MOVED
7 Fernando & Greg’s Daily Podcast                                 +16
27 SModcast >> Edumacation                                          +25
37 Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4                       -34
57 About Last Night Podcast                                           -47
62 This Week In Blackness Radio                                       +39
65 The Dead Authors Podcast                                          +48
69 Vos & Bonnie’s “My Wife Hates Me”                            +29
83 Wits                                                                           -67
98 Kumail Nanjiani’s The X-Files Files                              +60
100 Who’s Paying Attention                                             +99

There was a LOT of action in that Top 100 list this week – those were just the top movers. Hop over to http://Stitcher.com and you can check it out yourself.

The Clips

Here are the comedy podcasts that we're featuring in this episode. To visit each show's homesite, simply click on the title to the show listed below.


Attaboy Clarence
Okay, so this podcast that is not a comedy podcast per se. The host is not a comedian and the subject matter, although some it may venture into the comedy area, is also not about comedy. Nonetheless, the Attaboy Clarence podcast IS a funny offering, as served up by the host, Adam Roche. The focus is classic movies and old time radio shows – which, for my money, is the closest thing there has ever been, historically speaking, to podcasts. This clip is actually the opening to the show from recent episode 17, harvested by our AP, Tyson Saner, and recommended to us by both @Good_Podcasts and Megan M aka @PodcastWhore.


The Snooki Podcast OR The Naturally Nicole Podcast
I was not a fan or even a viewer of The Jersey Shore when it was taking TV by storm. Not a fan of reality TV at all, actually. (Mostly because I write for TV and why would I be rooting for content that gives me LESS of a chance of writing than I already fight against?) Anyway, Jersey Shore. Not a fan. Not really sure who Snooki is. Nor is she, apparently. She has a podcast now – so you KNOW podcasting is beginning to hit the mainstream – and even she can’t decide to call it The Snooki Podcast or The Naturally Nicole Podcast, because Nicole Polizzi is her real name.
 
Grumpy Young Men
Tommy and Justin are a couple of Canadian lads who host the Grumpy Young Men podcast. And they grouse about everyday topics like movies, technology, business, and life in general. Like most of the podcasts featuring guys sitting around and chatting about stuff, they’re about as well informed as anyone else who gets their news from Twitter, Google, and web chatter in general.

Broken Filter
Got a request via the Twitter to check out a podcast called Broken Filter, hosted by Rockstar Joe and Jonesy. I get the feeling after checking out their site that they frequently have guests, although I clipped a chunk out of a recent show that featured just the two hosts together. (They actually do a “livecast” every Tuesday night at 8 PM EDT from Port Chester, New York, via video on ZenTV.tv, then audio podcast it later.) The clip we have features one of their usual feature, Random Thoughts.

WANHTPY (We Are Not Here To Please You)
If you’re new to Podcastland you may not know that podcasting is truly an international phenomenon. And here on Succotash, we regularly features shows from all over the place, including the US, Canada, Britain, and Australia. I think THIS is the first time that we’ve gotten a slice from a show in Finland, all thanks to the hosts – Rafael and Arttu – suggesting that we give their show a listen. Our man Tyson grabbed a chunk from W-A-N-H-T-P-Y, that’s how it’s listed on iTunes. It stands for We Are Not Here To Please You and that’s a tough call which of those you’re even going to remember. Rafael is German. Arttu is Finnish. And their website says they decided to record a podcast “just for the hell of it.” Huh. I think that’s everybody’s story, really. But these guys do it in Finland, so that’s something different. Their guest this episode is J. Scott Peter, who has something to do with the video game biz.

That's it for Epi92. Feel free to help us out in defraying the costs behind doing this podcast. There are THREE different ways right on the Succotash homesite itself that you can use: The Amazon banner at the top of the page, the Donate button on the right-hand side of the page. Or the Succotashery - where our merch lives - also on the right-hand side. Little help?

Please remember to pass the Succotash!

— Marc Hershon