Welcome to season two of Coyle & Sharpe: The Imposters! In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. These original recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.
On this episode: Coyle and Sharpe attempt to confiscate a motorcycle.
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Author and raconteur John Hodgman welcomes attendees to MaxFunCon 2009 with a rousing address and a friendly camp song. Also, a stiff drink.
It's not quite KHraigslist, but it's always nice to hear from Weird Al.
Video directed by Liam Lynch. Features Ray Manzarek on keys.
Brody Stevens is a gifted man. I once saw him do an entire set that was basically just him drumming on different stuff, and I've rarely laughed so hard. Sometimes he would point a drumstick at someone and challenge them to fight.
After the jump: "I get lonely. Sometimes I go down to the batting cage. Just to play catch."
Jesse and Jordan talk about summer camp and high school teachers with Martin Starr, then argue a case before Judge John Hodgman.
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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records
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They say that less is more. They say to keep it simple (, stupid). Simplify, simplify, said Thoreau. These are broad rules, to be sure, but, in what has become your Podthinker's humble opinion, they apply just as well to podcasting as they do to any other, healthier pursuit. When you're putting out a podcast, going elaborate is a dangerous gambit; sometimes you pull it off, but most of the time you wind up with an unholy mess. While what the hosts of Uhh Yeah Dude [iTunes link] do may indeed be unholy, it adheres to about as simple a format as formats get, and good lord have they scored a following by so doing.
Now bear with, because this is going to sound less promising before it sounds more promising. Like Arrive Having Eaten, Uhh Yeah Dude straddles the line between Two Twenty/Thirtysomething Guys/Girls Bullshitting About Culture (TTWGBAC) and Ridiculousness Uttered Flatly, Segmented By Music (RUFSBM), except it out-simplifies the latter genre by not having any interstitial music, and it isn't even segmented. That is to say, it's not sharply segmented: the dudes behind the mics simply talk to each other, no breaks, with vanishingly subtle or spun-on-a-dime changes in subject, for about an hour per episode. It's one solid conversational texture, all the way through.
Given the unfortunate title, this more than likely sounds, to the uninitiated, like a recipe for a meaningless, desultory yammerfest. And to some listeners, perhaps that's precisely what it is. Thing is, though, the show's actually quite funny — and it's not clear why. Co-hosts Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette — no, not the horny lawyer from Night Court, but it might be his son — don't make what one would normally call jokes. Theirs could more accurately be called a tonal humor, or at least it would be if the phrase "tonal humor" didn't conjure so many unpleasant memories of A Prairie Home Companion. It's worth noting, though, that 90% of your Podthinker's Uhh Yeah Dude-related laughs are set off by Romatelli's delivery style, which is tricky to describe but somewhat resembles a foulmouthed, more masculine, more slacker-y version of David Sedaris. At a certain point, the listener starts Pavlovianly chortling at whatever the guy happens to be saying.
Topic-wise, the program is no great shakes, but nor is it impoverished. Ostensibly surveying the United States of America in all its bizarre glory, Romatelli and Larroquette cover and ridicule happenings across this great land including but not limited to the release of Kanye West's "book", the threat of a Sugar Ray comeback and whether "Nougabot" counts as a racial slur. And after 170 episodes, they've got it down, trading riffs with and blasting through the issues of the day with almost startling quickness. Hence, one supposes, the large, devoted fanbase; they're admirers of the pure craft.
Format: two dudes and America
Running since: February 2006
Archive available on iTunes: all
[Podthinker Colin Marshall shakes his fist at all of you who were able to live large at MaxFunCon this year, but vows revenge — specifically, that he'll be at the next one. Tell him how maximally fun it was at colinjmarshall at gmail.]
And if you're in New York, don't be an idiot: go to Sketchfest NYC. So many amazing groups to see.
Pharoahe Monch is one of underground hip-hop's most respected MCs. Beginning with his rise to prominence as half of the group Organized Konfusion, and continuing into his fruitful solo career, he's always been seen as a paragon of both technical mastery and lyrical passion on the microphone.
I find myself, every time I watch one of these O-Span videos, laughing like an idiot. By myself, in my office.