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Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 254: Wood Boner with Eric Drysdale

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Guests: 
Eric Drysdale

Eric Drysdale from the Colbert Report joins Jordan and Jesse for a discussion of egg nogs, Jewish holidays, teenaged hobbies, clown skills, and the sad state of biker culture.

My Brother, My Brother and Me 133: Candlenights the IIIrd

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As with past installments in our annual Candlenights spectacular, we've managed to talk to one another for an entire hour without cursing, so it's good to share with the fam. Well, we actually cursed a lot. But we edited that out.

Suggested talking points: Holiday MagiQuest, A Collander of DVDs, The Buckiverse, Frosty the Homunculus I Made Out of Wet Sand, Book in a Sock, Two Turntables, Tim Curry's Pokemon Treats

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: The Danny Baker Show

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Vital stats:
Format: Danny Baker, his co-host, his callers, and a bunch of (mostly British) celebrities talk football — but mostly go on tangents therefrom
Episode duration: ~1h30m
Frequency: weekly

“Because all of the subjects are British, there are qualities that leap out for an American viewer,” Roger Ebert once wrote about Michael Apted’s Up documentaries. “One is how articulate the subjects are [ .. ] they speak with precision, and often with grace and humor. One ponders the inarticulate murkiness, self-help cliches, sports metaphors and management truisms that clutter American speech.” As an American all too eager to run down his less fortunate countrymen, I certainly ponder those things. Yet I also ponder something I heard Lewis Black say years ago: the Brits need those accents to mask a stupidity even deeper than ours. Best, I think, to see each side of the pond as expressing its dimwittedness in different ways. Here in the States, we compulsively elevate the least thoughtful and (therefore) least articulate among us to the highest planes of media exposure. We consequently become colonials again, genuflecting to almost every Englishman sitting before a microphone. This goes for their workaday non-celebrities like those in the Ups as well as their craggiest, most donnish and experience-curmudgeonified broadcast hosts — or, as they call themselves, “presenters.”

Danny Baker may qualify as one such genuflection-worthy presenter, though you wouldn’t call him craggy or donnish. (As for the state of his curmudgeonification, it varies with the topics.) “It's almost inconceivable that Colin would be interested in covering this particular podcast,” a certain Alistair Johnson wrote on the Maximum Fun Forum, “but I'd love to see him take on BBC's The Danny Baker Show [RSS] [iTunes].” He went so far as to make a list of the reasons for my probable disinterest, including its being “an edit of a radio show,” “a phone-in show,” one whose “subject is (supposed to be) football,” and on top of all that, one that’s “British, and deals with British topics.” Though no Anglophile, I like to think I relish the opportunity to step outside my own culture in any medium possible, and Alistair added that “Danny Baker is considered a genius of radio by many in the U.K.,” and that his show is “not really about sport.” His personal testimony: “I have no interest in football, but listen every week.” Holding fast to my principle that few behaviors make one lamer than only taking interest in one’s interests, I began listening immediately.

We could always, it seems to me, use more shows ostensibly about a thing that nevertheless attract listeners with no interest in that thing. The medium of podcasting in particular tends to produce a few too many programs so fixedly about a thing that they actually turn off even enthusiasts of that thing. Now, I don’t really know the rules of football. (It feels wrong to write “soccer” in this context, and besides, I don’t really know the rules of football football either.) But I do know strong enthusiasm when I hear it, and boy, do I hear it in Baker, his callers, and most of his guests. (I won’t soon forget Baker’s reference to the “almost sexual thrill” of knocking the mud off one’s shoes after a rainy match.) Many of the latter two groups play or played football themselves, not that I’d know if they were just lying about it. The ones who haven’t played football, usually having earned their fame in music or comedy, seem rarely to do sit-downs in this kind of context: Mick Hucknall recently passed through Baker’s studio, as did Rob Brydon, Midge Ure, and even Alice Cooper — and even with them, football comes up.

Baker also has a co-host named Lynsey Hipgrave. Their scattershot conversations make her exact degree of investment in football difficult to discern, but, given her career spent mostly in sports broadcasting, she certainly has one. On the rare occasions they and their guests, present or telephonic, remain on the subject for more than five minutes at a stretch, she tends to provide just the right football-related factoid or ask just the right football-related question. But Baker himself, as engaged a football fan as I’ve ever heard, deliberately undermines the show’s potentially hardcore footballishness by taking phone calls. Though they occasionally want to make a point about football, callers usually ring up to answer one of the questions Baker throws out throughout the broadcast, seemingly offhand and in a build toward bewildering simultaneity. “What unusual animals have you ridden?” he may ask, or “What have you stolen without realizing it?” or “What jobs did you hold in primary school — hall monitor, milk monitor, blackboard monitor?” Sometimes he tacks on a proviso, as he did when asking the audience what they’ve stumbled over: it had to be something better than the life-size One Direction cardboard cutout that once caused his own midnight spill.

The supreme digressiveness of The Danny Baker Show culminates in a trademark feature called the “Sausage Sandwich Game.” Though I have by this point heard it played a dozen times, I can only vaguely describe its rules. A footballer calls in. A couple of listeners get on the line, each competing in the name of their favorite team. Baker asks the footballer a personal question — do they mark a book with a bookmark or just fold down the corner of the page; do they actually take the microwave dinner out midway to stir it like the instructions say — and the contestants guess at the answers before the footballer reveals them. This culminates in the same final question every time: does the footballer eat their sausage sandwich with red sauce, brown sauce — here you begin to understand how British cuisine earned its old reputation — or no sauce at all? In this as in every other aspect of the program, a matrix of British hypermundanity provides Baker the framework to exercise his freakishly formidable skills of comedic oratory. Those articulacy-loving Brits, even the ones calling Baker a “radio genius,” may have grown desensitized to it — a fish can’t tell you about water — but the man frees his appeal from the shackles of subject completely with laser-precise word choice, thorough self-deprecation, and cool, perpetually flattening tonal control. But these, I suppose, are just the demands of the old dry humour.

Comment or suggest a podcast on the Podthoughts forum thread

[Podthinker Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture [iTunes] and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. Contact him at colinjmarshall at gmail or follow him on Twitter @colinmarshall.]

Judge John Hodgman Episode 88: Probable Claus

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Andrew brings this week's case against his wife Alex. The birth of their first child last year made real a long-running dispute which had been hypothetical up until that point: should parents foster a belief in Santa Claus? Andrew says no -- he believes perpetuating the Santa myth damages parents' credibility, and he doesn't appreciate a fictional character getting the glory for bringing the best gifts. Alex says yes -- she claims Andrew is unable to appreciate the joy Santa brings to children because he grew up without the belief himself. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman decides.

Thanks again to The Cave in Long Island City, New York for generously allowing us to use their recording facilities this week and to engineer Marcus Parks. The Cave hosts several comedy podcasts, and you can find them at CaveComedyRadio.com.

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International Waters Episode 11: Live at MaxFunCon East

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International Waters at MaxFunCon East. Photo by Zac Wolf zacxwolf.com + thedangerbooth.com
Guests: 
Michael Ian Black
Guests: 
Graham Clark
Guests: 
Dave Shumka
Guests: 
Jordan Morris
Guests: 
Carol Kolb

Recorded live from the inaugural MaxFunConEast, International Waters 11 sees Canada and the USA finally face off against each other.

Special guest Michael Ian Black dropped in, with Stop Podcasting Yourself’s Dave Shumka and Graham Clark squaring up against America’s Carol Kolb and Jordan Morris.

Thanks to Alex Adan, Brennan Bullock, Tina McElmoyl, Rebecca O’Malley Donna Vakalis and Kurt Andersen. Written by Sarah Morgan, Jordan Morris, Rob Lim and Colin Anderson. Hosted by Jesse Thorn.

Come and find us on Facebook for more photos and Alice's animated Gif.

And if you weren't at MaxFunCon East, register now for MaxFunCon West at Lake Arrowhead in May.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Judd Apatow, Dolly Parton, Jason Reece

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Judd Apatow
Guests: 
Dolly Parton
Guests: 
Jason Reece
Guests: 
Alex Zalben
Guests: 
Brian Heater

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to the show in iTunes or via the RSS feed, or check out our SoundCloud page to share any or all of these interviews or recommendations!

December Comics Recommendations: King Cat and Tune: The Vanishing Point

Brian Heater and Alex Zalben join us this week to share some comics picks. Alex suggests you check out Derek Kirk Kim’s Tune: Vanishing Point, a charming, insightful graphic novel with a great twist at the end. Brian recommends the 73rd issue of John Porcellino’s King Cat, a long-running, autobiographical mini-comic featuring tight, minimalist artwork and storytelling.

Brian Heater curates Boing Boing’s comics column, and Alex Zalben writes about comics for MTV Geek.

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Judd Apatow on making movies with his family, staying funny and provoking audiences

Judd Apatow is a man who wears many hats: director, producer, screenwriter, husband, and father to name a few. His new movie, This is 40, explores the struggle many married couples face as they try to keep careers and children sorted while nurturing a strong relationship. Apatow talks about his relationship with his wife and collaborator, Leslie Mann, grappling with insecurity, and the source of his lifelong aversion to being the “bad guy.” He also fills us in on the latest Pee-Wee Herman movie news.

This is 40 opens in theaters December 21st.

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Jason Reece of ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, The Song That Changed My Life

Jason Reece of the band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead spent many of his teenage years listening to stereotypical punk music from the 80s, and while he loved music, he felt stuck and uninspired by the genre. Fortunately, he stumbled across the Fugazi album 13 Songs in a record store. The song “Waiting Room” changed his perception of what punk music could be.

…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead’s most recent album is called Lost Songs.

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Dolly Parton on show business and sacrifice

Dolly Parton’s beautiful voice could have easily carried her through life. Parton’s unwavering drive and embrace of hard work meant she was ready and willing to carve her own path, however, despite the great sacrifices such commitment required. Parton joins us this week to discuss some of these sacrifices, how they have affected her life, and how she feels about them now. She also shares stories from her childhood (having grown up in a large family in the mountains of Tennessee, Parton has no shortage of fondly remembered anecdotes) and relates the story behind one of her most well-loved songs, "I Will Always Love You."

Dolly Parton’s new book is called Dream More, and it is available now.

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The Outshot: ego trip's Big Book of Racism

ego trip’s Big Book of Racism takes the beloved coffee table book genre and flips it on its head – it’s a book you might hesitate to display in your living room, just based on its provocative title. The content, however, is a pitch-perfect analysis of the absurdity of racism in modern and historical times – observations any host should be glad to broadcast to his or her guests.

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Throwing Shade #57 - Gay Supreme Court, The Power of Negative Thinking, Ikea Monkey, Beyonce

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Crunk does not even BEGIN to describe this episode of Throwing Shade. DOMA, Prop 8, negative thinking AND BEYONCE!?!? You ARE welcome and have a holly, jolly Christmas, bah bah bah bah bah bah bup. 
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@gibblertron & @bryansafi #tspod
bryanyerin@gmail.com
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Stop Podcasting Yourself 247 - Kurt Braunohler

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Guests: 
Kurt Braunohler

Comedian Kurt Braunohler joins us to talk about the world's largest truck stop, western movies, and prank videos.

Download episode 247 here. (right-click)

Get in touch with us at stoppodcastingyourself [at] gmail [dot] com or (206) 339-8328.
Brought to you by:

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RISK! #410: Women on Men

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Show: 
RISK!
Guests: 
Melanie Hamlett
Guests: 
Lillian Devane
Guests: 
Julia Wiedeman
Guests: 
Aubrey O'Day
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