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Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 In Review: Podcasts

Podcasts: I love 'em.  They get me through each day.  See, I work at a job that I pretty much hate with every fiber of my being, so podcasts are essential to my mental health and stability.  A day without podcasts is, frankly, a day I don't want to imagine.  

But podcasts aren't just a workplace distraction.  When I'm not eating, bathing, spending time with my family or sleeping, I'm listening to podcasts.  To be honest, I fall asleep each night listening to podcasts, so, I guess, technically, I do listen to podcasts in my sleep.

Every year around this time I rank my favorite pods and, well, I don't feel like doing that again.  You all know what my favorite podcasts are, but just in case you don't, here's a list, in no particular order:

Comedy Bang Bang; The Best Show on WFMU; WTF with Marc Maron; Who Charted?; Yeah, It's That Bad; Bloody Good Horror; How Did This Get Made?; Gelmania; Tell 'Em Steve-Dave.

I still love and listen to all of these wonderful podcasts, but here are my three, very favorite new discoveries of 2012: 

I like comedy podcasts and movie podcasts.  That's my wheelhouse.  And if there's a podcast that incorporates my love of funny people being funny and funny people talking funnily about bad movies, well, that's the sweet spot.  This year I found We Hate Movies (Although I kind of feel like we found each other, sort of, ya know?  No?) and my life was forever changed.  That may sound overly dramatic and it is, so I apologize.  WHM is co-hosted by a rotating gallery of funny young men (Eric Szyszka, Stephen Sajdak, and Chris Cabin), kept in line by host Andrew Jupin.  The WHM gang, quite simply, watches a bad movie and discusses the plot in painstaking detail, cracking wise and losing themselves in hilarious tangents along the way.  And, hey, do you like James Belushi and Wilford Brimley impressions, because Andrew Jupin does 'em both and it is always (ALWAYS!) hilarious.  It didn't take me long to listen to the WHM archives, and after listening to every episode I happily declared to myself and my sleeping wife (I usually listen to podcasts in bed while my wife sleeps and dreams of a husband who doesn't have earbuds crammed in his earholes all day and all night.), "I will never find another bad movie podcast this perfect and funny ever..."

...and then came The Flop House.  Hosted by Dan McCoy, Elliot Kalan (both writers for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Stuart Wellington, The Flop House focuses on recent flops, those movies that failed with critics and/or audiences.  There is also a rich, silly Flop House universe that, while not alienating to newbies, enriches one's listening enjoyment once you catch on.  Even if you don't catch on though, The Flop House remains one of the funniest podcasts on the internets.  I would listen to these three talk about anything really.  Some of the most amusing business occurs during the Flop House Letters segment of the show and during the myriad tangents the hosts (usually Kalan) get lost in, be they movie-related or not.  

And last, but certainly not least, Lou Reads the Internet for You, a podcast both beautiful and nauseating in its simplicity and purpose, that purpose being to find stories/confessions/shocking admissions/descriptions of horrible sex crimes made by creeps/weirdos/perverts/hatemongers/drug addicts/misanthropes/the generally maladjusted on the internet and present them, as is and without commentary -- unless you count host Lou Fernandez's occasional snickering or pronouncement that something he is reading is "gross"-- to an audience willing to have their day simultaneously ruined and enriched.  Lou Reads the Internet is the only podcast that has ever made me feel physically sick, and I consider this a great compliment.

Heavy Hitters in 2013: I have high hopes for the following podcasts.  They are pods that I discovered or that appeared close to the end of 2012 that I've enjoyed very much so far.

Nerd Poker: Brian Posehn and his friends play Dungeons & Dragons.  It's endlessly entertaining in the nerdiest way possible.

The Fogelnest Files: Jake Fogelnest presents weird clips of things and invites his fellow comedians to enjoy/laugh at them.  Receives extra points for making me aware of this guy:

Dining with Doug and Karen: Doug Benson and his friend Karen Anderson enjoy a meal prepared by a professional chef and are joined by one of Benson's comedy friends for "chatting and chewing."  Always (ALWAYS!) makes me super hungry.

Blame It On Outer Space: We Hate Movies' sister podcast about conspiracy theories and the lunatics who believe in them.

Until next year, Haaaamburger!

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