The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

TSOYA Classics: New York Stories (11-3-06)


This week on The Sound of Young America, a new New Yorker and an New Yorker of long standing.

First we talk with Roz Chast, long-time New Yorker cartoonist. Her cartoons have now been compiled into a stately tome called "Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006."

Then a chat with Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader. He talks about how he got the gig after Lorne Michaels came to see him perform in a Southern California backyard, and what it's like to be the new guy at one of television comedy's most revered institutions.
He's TSOYA listener, by the way.

Be sure to check out our bonus audio for discussion of his upcoming movie projects, which involve Michael Cera of Arrested Development, the folks behind Reno 911 and Mr. Show's Bob Odenkirk, among others.

Listen to This Week's Show

Bonus Audio: Bill Hader

Download This Week's Show (mp3)
Subscribe to TSOYA Classic: iTunes / Feed

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe Episode 80: The Brother Ants


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 & Sharpe roll out The Welcome Mat for a newcomer to their city.

Aziz Ansari (Parks & Recreation, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening) Interview on The Sound of Young America

| 1 comment
Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari is a comedian and actor. He's a regular on Parks and Recreation, and a member of the comedy group Human Giant. He's also been in films like Observe & Report and Funny People. His new standup special, "Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening," premiers Sunday, January 17th on Comedy Central. It's released on CD and DVD shortly thereafter.

Patton Oswalt on Conan & Jay

| 1 comment

Our pals Patton Oswalt and Scott Aukerman chop it up about Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno on Comedy Death Ray Radio. As usual, Patton brings some serious insight to the table.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: The Amateur Scientist Podcast


(image posted twice to compensate for smallness)

The Amateur Scientist Podcast [RSS] [iTunes] is about the amateur practice of science in the same sense that the Museum of Jurassic Technology is about the technology of the Jurassic period. That is, it isn't particularly about in, nor could it really be about it, but boy, it's definitely one of the most interesting places in all of Los Angeles. That last part is where the analogy breaks down, but surely you get the drift.

A great many podcasts are too constrained by their formats, but this ain't one of them. In fact, your Podthinker is having considerable trouble simply figuring out how to accurately describe it. The program has real interviews, including ones with the likes of The Mountain Goats/John Darnielle [MP3], The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe ringleader Dr. Steven Novella [MP3] and a certain Jesse Thorn [MP3], but it's not an interview show, exactly. It also has faux interviews, such as one on being a net meme with Caroline "Scandalishious" [MP3] — well, that one might actually be real, though others, like the one with labial surgeon Chip Dipson, are totally faux, probably — but it's not a parodic interview show. It might have 1950s radio drama pastiches [MP3], but it's not a 1950s radio drama pastiche show.

The podcast offers a lot of that sort of variety material, to be sure, but it all seems to constitute a sideshow to the main event, the main event being host host Brian Thompson reading off silly things in a serious tone. This, for those of you playing the Podthoughts Home Edition, is a gleaming example of Ridiculousness Uttered Flatly, a flavor of humor not invented but certainly power-bearhugged by many comedy podcasters. Thompson takes this sensibility just about as far as it can go, firing globs of often striking silliness like a straight-faced tennis ball machine. A few examples, picked at random, follow:
  • "What's all this about [gay marriage's] 'violence against the institution of marriage?' Surely [Mormon church higher-up Michael] Otterson wasn't referencing the fact that these new laws prohibit people from barging into suburban homes during family dinners and mercilessly slaughtering married men and women in front of their catatonically horrified children."

  • "[An XBox-based Bible application's] players will be treated to a deluxe animated intro that leads to a fully searchable Holman Christian Standard version bible, which is a new translation in 'modern youthful English' that includes all the most extreme words, like 'first-born' and 'slaughter' and 'LOL.' Though if they really want some crossover success, the designers should really find a way to include a multiplayer component that encourages children to teabag their fallen foes while calling each other faggots."

  • "Homepaths believe that by diluting a substance in water, the water's magically imbued with the properties of that substance. Scientific testing, of course, says that this is all bunk, but, really, who listens to scientists? Especially since they all tell me my Pixy Stix-powered jetpack will never work. We'll see who has the last laugh when I leave them in my delicious, delicious dust."

  • "I know Christmas is a few days away, but I'm going to be talking a couple weeks off to spend some time with my family this holiday season, and by 'family,' of course, I mean my 'vodka and tears.'"
As you can see, Thompson's gags lean toward the evergreen politico-religio-scientific regions of the subject map. (Don't worry — he periodically visits the realm of the politico-religio-scientifico-sexual as well.) Whether you'll groan or guffaw at them depends entirely on the point of the Ridiculousness Uttered Flatly spectrum on which you reside. One side of this spectrum is labeled "super-subtle"; this podcast occupies the opposite side.

Giving a listen to the show's back pages, your Podthinker can't help but notice that The Amateur Scientist Podcast seems, over two-ish years, to have drifted somewhat from its original mandate of comedy'd-up skepticism. But it still does a job — albeit a strangely nuanced, hard-to-describe one with lots of pointy, irregular borders, which is not necessarily a bad thing — and does it well, often with surprisingly high podcast production value. Maybe it's goofy, but hey, most skeptics are too dour anyway.

Vital stats:
Format: Ridiculous Uttered Flatly comedy with occasional interviews and stunty stuff
Duration: 20m-45m
Frequency: weekly, on average
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Got a podcast to suggest for Podthoughts coverage or any other sort of question and/or comment for Podthinker Colin Marshall? colinjmarshall at gmail.]

The Sound of Young America Presents Laugh Night

02/25/2010 - 20:00 - 22:00
Los Angeles, CA
Venue Name: 
Art Share

The Sound of Young America is proud to present Laugh Night: A Benefit for Art Share Los Angeles, a night of standup comedy in downtown LA.

Half a dozen headlining comics will be taping standup sets for The Sound of Young America, and 100% of ticket proceeds benefit Art Share LA, which provides free arts instruction to Los Angeles students. Art Share was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times - click the link to learn more.

The show's February 25th at Art Share's historic warehouse theater in downtown Los Angeles (801 E. 4th Place). Event parking is free in the lot across the street.

Comics performing include:

Greg Behrendt (The Greg Behrendt Show, "He's Just Not That Into You," The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien)
Donald Glover (NBC's Community, Derrick Comedy)
Karen Kilgariff (Mr. Show, former head writer "Ellen")
James Adomian (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson)
Holly Mills (The Improv)
Nick Adams ("Making Friends with Black People")

Tickets are just $8 ($6 for downtown residents)at the door. We'll see you there!

Edmonton Meetup

| 1 comment
01/16/2010 - 19:00 - 21:00
Edmonton, Alberta
Venue Name: 
Remedy Cafe

I'm headed to Alberta to speak at the College & University Press conference, so I thought I'd organize a little meetup. Join us for dinner, chai, beer or whatever you'd like at Remedy Cafe (8631 109 Street), an easy-going place recommended by multiple Edmonton MaxFunsters. I'll see you there Saturday night at 7.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 122: Martin Mull with Moshe Kasher

Moshe Kasher

Comedian Moshe Kasher joins Jesse and Jordan to talk about race war and other culture clashes. Moshe's new CD is Everyone You Know Is Going to Die, And Then You Are! (Unless You Die First).

Kimmel explains how it works.


A very funny segment from the Kimmel show, in which he explains to interested audience members the mechanics of late night comedy.

Thanks, iTunes.


We'd like to thank iTunes for once again selecting The Sound of Young America as "Best of iTunes" for 2009.

iTunes: you rock, good lookin' out.

Syndicate content