Podcasting History / Best Of

As I kid I remember being flabbergasted at the fact that my father would almost exclusively listen to talk shows when in the car, as opposed to music.  I just couldn’t see the appeal of listening to a bunch of boring people talk about boring things.  I still don’t see the appeal (who would) and I haven’t found anything on the radio that doesn’t adhere to this description..  My car radio has not been on anything except my FM transmitter station since I bought it.  The second car I owned didn’t have a working radio in it for over 3 years.  So lets just say I’m picky about what I listen to.

Now it turns out that there are a lot of entertaining “talkies” out there but as with the music I like it is not to be found within the constraints of mainstream media / radio.  Oh podcasting, what would I do without you?  Here is my Brief History of Podcasting and Nothing Else:

Step 1 – cultivate a decades long love of Superchunk and everything related.

After many years of knowing about the existence of Sharpling & Wurster but not knowing what it was I finally downloaded their CDs from eMusic.  Funny, oh so funny, but I couldn’t figure out why the premise of every skit was a call in radio show.  What up with that?

It did not take much searching to find The Best Show on WFMU (WFMU? That’s where I used to listen to live Superchunk on the Terre T Cherry Blossom Clinic!!).  The Best Show is a 3 hour program on WFMU (i.e. live radio) on Tuesday nights, hosted by Tom Scharpling.  It features music, live callers, guests (such as Paul F. Tompkins, Ted Leo, Aimee Mann, Patton Oswalt, Zack Galifianakis and John Hodgman) and of course almost weekly Sharpling & Wurster bits.  The Best Show is the “best podcast of a live show” podcast.

In my search for further digital entertainment I stumbled upon Keith and the Girl.  This podcast features two “regular people” who started podcasting every day about their “interesting” lives.  It captured my attention because of its shear honesty (also read vulgarity) and the fact that these two supposed nobodies built up an insane following out of next to nothing.  I grew tired of the podcast as its daily output resulted in a low percentage of actual interesting content, but it is a great example of how you can make a living from a successful podcast.

At the same time I got into SModcast, hosted by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier.  I have been a fan of Kevin’s movies and “lecture series” and I really enjoyed this podcast in the beginning.  My favourite stories have been those about their past and things happening when making movies, but when they just start making fun of the news I have found it less engaging.  There are still enough strong episodes to keep me coming back (especially when Mosier is drinking).

The other podcast that I stumbled across at the time was Doug Loves Movies (formerly I Love Movies).  Makes sense, ’cause I love movies too.  This is a live weekly show at the UCB theatre in Los Angeles hosted by Doug Benson.  Every week he has different guests and they talk about movies (duh) and play movie related games.  It is very entertaining and one thing that I started to find is that a number of the guests (generally comics) would show up on The Best Show as well.  As I delved deeper I started to come to an understanding of the true comedy community.

One show in particular jumped out at me.  One of the guests what a fast talking comedian who sounded like he came from another era.  His cadence and demeanor spoke to an older generation but his words and jokes were much more of this time.  This was my introduction to Jimmy Pardo.

Never Not Funny, hosted by Jimmy Pardo and sidekick Matt Belknap, is by far the funniest, most entertaining true podcast available. The format is perfect for Jimmy’s comedic style, Matt’s ying to Jimmy’s yang creates a great dynamic (ug, did I just type that…quick, get me an editor) and they have top notch guests every week.  One truly unique aspect is that the podcast is subscription based ($20-$25 for a 26 ep season) and is 100% worth the cost.  I would drop most of the podcasts that I listen to if they moved to this format, but Never Not Funny deserves to make money for what they do.

So that is my podcast history.  There are a lot of other worthwhile podcasts out there, no doubt, but The Best Show and Never Not Funny give me 4+ hours of entertainment a week that cannot be topped.


About OneGoodMinute
Blogging about the fun and interesting things in life. Nerd stuff - movies, music, comedy, podcasts Social Media - Documenting my way through social media, blogging and online promotion. Learn from my experiences, mistakes and successes.

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