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Judge John Hodgman Ep. 6: The Lovely Couple

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This week, the case of The Lovely Couple.

A dispute between newlyweds: husband Thomas argues that physical attractiveness is an essential component of romance. Wife Kiersten argues that it is irrelevant. Only one man can decide who's right.

To listen to this week's Judge John Hodgman podcast, subscribe in iTunes or using this feed.


Download Directly (MP3)

Discuss the ruling on our forum here.

TSOYA Classics: The Knights of Prosperity (January 1, 2007)

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The cast of The Knights of Prosperity.

In this TSOYA Classic, Jesse talks with Jon Beckerman and Rob Burnett, creators of the "The Knights of Prosperity." The series follows a crew of working-class heroes as they attempt to rob Mick Jagger's luxurious penthouse. Beckerman and Burnett are veterans of David Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company, where they also developed the cult favorite dramedy "Ed."

Listen Now

Subscribe to TSOYA Classics: iTunes / Feed

MaxFunCon 2010 Podcast: Maria Bamford

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Listen to the hilarious Maria Bamford performing her hilarious standup at MaxFunCon 2010. Besides performing, she also led a standup comedy open-mic for comedians of all skill levels.


You can always visit www.maxfuncon.com to find up-to-the-minute information about MaxFunCon 2011. If you've been dreaming of going to MaxFunCon, spots at 2011's con are almost all taken up, so register now!

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The Alumni Newsletter: December 7th, 2010

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Stop Podcasting Yourself 143 - Dan Werb

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Guests: 
Dan Werb

Dan Werb of Woodhands returns to talk about Predators, sleep disorders, and beard paintings. Then we talk to a listener who attended the Spiderman musical.

Download episode 143 here. (right-click)

Brought to you by: (click here for the full list of sponsors)

Our Underwriters: December

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Production of The Sound of Young America is made possible through the support of listeners like you. Additionally, a small but vital group of underwriters allows us to keep operating every month. This month, our esteemed underwriters include:

Ask MetaFilter
For more than three years, we've been honored to be sponsored by Ask.MetaFilter.com and its parent site, MetaFilter. Ask MetaFilter is an online forum for asking and answering "Life's Little Questions." To learn more or set up an account, visit Ask.MetaFilter.com.

Humber College
Humber College supports coverage of the world of comedy on The Sound of Young America. Based in Toronto, Humber offers the only Comedy Diploma program in North America. The college provides instruction in stand-up, acting, improvisation, sketch-writing, and more. Humber welcomes international students to apply! Visit HumberComedy.com for everything you need to know.

VG Kids
Later this month, from December 14-27, VG Kids will join our roster of underwriters. VG Kids handles custom screen-printing jobs, like t-shirts, hoodies, and totes, for clients like touring bands, radio stations, and filmmakers. More information at VGKids.com.

A big thank you to our December underwriters!

Would you like more information about underwriting on The Sound of Young America and MaximumFun.org? Visit our sponsorships page.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 156: Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz with Nick Kroll

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Guests: 
Nick Kroll

Nick Kroll joins Jesse and Jordan to discuss Dr. Phil shoes and fun with Alka-Seltzer! Also, the most important guest in JJGo history calls in for the most momentous of occasions.

Be sure to watch Nick Kroll on FX's The League.

Podcast: The College Years: Hollow Men

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Guests: 
Doug Benson
Guests: 
The Hollow Men

The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program from our salad days.

Today's theme: Hollow Men

Before going on to talk to Doug Benson about the Academy Awards, Jesse talks about a little of his own work as an actor when he gave an Oscar-worthy performance in a commercial for a digital arts college. And if you've been wanting to see Jesse almost completely nude, this commercial makes that dream come true. Jesse and Doug discuss Tommy Chong and then Doug picks the 2005 Oscar winners. He pretty much gets them all correct too! Doug loves movies.

Then Jesse interviews the British comedy troupe and sketch group the Hallow Men who had a Comedy Central show with the same name. Lots of shenanigans and fun times are had.

Enjoy the show!

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Ask the Professor

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Vital stats:
Format: jokey stump-the-panel game show
Duration: 30m
Frequency: weekly
Archive available on iTunes: last 163

Take Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me. Get it off the road and plop it down in Detroit. Yank out the comedians and replace them with academics. Forget about current events; ask questions about all manner of subjects. Toss that desk bell and use the campus clock tower instead. Now you’ve got a pretty fair approximation of Ask the Professor [RSS] [iTunes].

But that’s an unfair comparison for a number of reasons, one of which is that Ask the Professor came first. Like, way first. By some counts, it might well be one of the longest-running radio programs in the United States, august-to-the-extreme institutions like the Metropolitan Opera aside. It seems to have experienced, over the course of its 50 seasons, quite a variation in profile: sometimes it’s been a strictly local show, sometimes it’s been heard on radios all across the country, and now it’s got a global reach by way of the medium known as podcasting. Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me seems pretty bulletproof and all, but damn, this thing’s a survivor.

One respect in which the comparison isn’t unfair: though ostensibly game shows, both programs are concerned less with rigorous score-keeping and rule-adherence than with cracking jokes and having a high old time. You might think this would be the theater of Wait Wait’s decisive victory, since academics, to put it charitably, are not comedians, but if podcasting has revealed one thing to me, it’s the charms of nonprofessional humor. Sure, a lot of the jokes made by the rotating panel of professors fall flat. Sure, a lot of them won’t be 100 percent intelligible to listeners not employed at the University of Detroit, Mercy, from whence the show broadcasts. But there’s such a reality to all of it.

In the field of audience participation, Ask the Professor receives higher marks than Wait Wait. Even though ATP doesn’t get listeners on the phone to compete, it does draw all its questions from what I’ve come to think of as the Professor Nation. Listeners, many of whom mention that they’ve been tuning in religiously since nineteen-dickety-two, mail or e-mail in questions about Shakespeare, hockey, Egyptian geography, Star Trek, the Canadian government, the Periodic Table of the Elements, or what have you. They also send in the answers; the idea is to stump the raw tenure-power collected in the studio. I don’t know which challenge is more interesting: the professors’ often comical struggle to answer, or the question-submitting listeners’ attempt to strike just the right balance of generality and obscurity.

The facts undergirding the questions can be surprising and the quest for the answers is usually chuckleworthy, but what I find particularly fascinating about the show it how it plays with its own history. References aplenty are made to past episodes, past hosts, and past stumpings, but each program also features a clip from the archives. This past summer, the producers even re-aired decades-old episodes in their entirety. I don’t know if it’s just a psychological effect of slightly degraded audio tape, but there’s something especially rich about these back broadcasts, even those from an era as recent as the late 1980s. Are they more theatrical? More deliberate? More radio-y? A question to confound even the smartest panel, I’m certain.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to be the host and producer of public radio’s The Marketplace of Ideas [iTunes], the blogger of The War on Mediocrity and the writer of The Ubuweb Experimental Video Project.]

Cream - Ragtag

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A great sketch from Cream, who are part of something called Comedy Thunder, in which our pals Elephant Larry are also participating.

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