Pod People 06.04.18

The Imposter E63: For the past several months Aliya Pabani, host of Canadian arts investigation podcast The Imposter has dove-deep into the art of comedy, taking classes in improv and standup at Second City Toronto and talking to people in the industry. The series has an illuminating look at this world by someone who doesn’t accept things at face value, questioning if consent exists in a world that encourages yes-and, or if there’s value in getting out every single idea at the risk of punching down. One of the bigger questions often pondered by the pros is – “Am I making art?” and often it comes into relation with money more-so than status. Comic Sandra Battaglini talks about her petition to recognize stand-up comedy as an art form (and so apply for government grants) and duo Life of a Craphead talk about swimming somewhere between comedy and art. Aliya also talks about her own comfort levels in talking about her life experience in a comedic way. The Imposter is a fascinating show, prodding and poking at the art world and the people inside it, and doing so in an easy and welcoming fashion.

Aunty Donna E98: Fans of Australian based comedy group Aunty Donna love them for their energetic sketches that break conventional forms and give off loose, unpolished vibes. Their podcast aims to give fans of the group more of what they love while slightly deconstructing their process – not through going into the behind the scenes of what makes a sketch work, but through loose improvisation and even looser conversation. Broden’s aim for the episode is simple – he wants to go through a quiz about American landmarks but keeps getting interrupted by his two colleagues Mark and Zach. Half-way through the episode this transitions into improvised scene/bit/sketch “Good News, Bad News with Broden Kelly” which shows the groups incredible timing and commitment to the most silly of things. Aunty Donna could be a way to re-purpose the group’s sketches or serve as a plugbag for their live shows. Instead, they create something original and fun, which could be put right-aside long-running shows shows like Comedy Bang Bang.

The Limit Does Not Exist E98: A few years back Forbes.com made the decision to allow anyone to publish on their website. No matter how opinionated, advertorial, or off-topic the posts may be they would hit publish on them to get that sweet SEO juice. I can’t say for sure that Forbes have the same approach for their podcasts, but The Limit Does Not Exist comes close. The show aims to be a conversation with people who find themselves in the “human venn diagram” of STEM related fields and creativity, and in that regard guest Kayla Drescher is the perfect guest – a close-up magician who decided that working in energy reduction was a waste. What the episode turns out to be is a somewhat blushing conversation on a mish-mash of topics, randomly jumping between talk on the business side of being a magician and Kayla’s life story. Questions are not directly re-asked but rephrased in different ways, and you can tell that there’s been a skimread or two of the interviewees website. The conversation gets interesting around the 45 minute mark when Kayla talks magic history and how biased the industry has been towards men. Sadly, that topic is moved on from very quickly. Add in the jarring commercial interruptions (seemingly almost every ten minutes) and some correctable sound quality issues, and this listener has found his limit reached. The Limit Does Not Exist could be a great podcast, but it didn’t reveal itself in episode 98.

In Brief: Gillian Jacobs gets distracted and angry about Taco Bell on Doughboys (the boys also hit at a Midwest tour). Nick has gone missing on the season finale of Critical. Investing in 401Ks is broken down in short yet great detail on Oh My Dollar! The story of open-micer Rick is told on The Little Dum Dum Club.

Pod News: Episode 329 of The Dollop is taken down due to legal action (~!). Podcast startups are HOT according to venture capitalists. Advertisers don’t like podcasts because of the lack of statistical standards (therefore, the mattress ads continue). Sheldon County is a podcast created in full by artificial intelligence (expect a review soon). Farmers use podcasts to talk to one-another. People are attracted to podcasts with regional accents.

The Final Question: Do you own any podcast merchandise? Recently I found myself at a local comedy house watching streams of podcast fans enter in – the majority of them outfitted in t-shirts referencing their and other similar shows. I have one shirt for a show I listen to but rarely wear it. How do you do?