Nerdful Things – Podcasts I’m Listening to
I’ve been listening to podcasts for years – back when I had my iPod Classic 160GB. I was absolutely gutted when it broke as it had over 10,000 tunes and all my podcast subscriptions. I ended up opening the beast up with the grace of a bumbling surgeon to find the disk had snapped (a loose shard was rattling about inside). At the time, iPod Classics were discontinued and the then-current alternatives lacked the generous storage space. Later on, the Classic would be re-released but I had moved on.
My podcast consumption was either limited to the house where I would play it through my laptop using iTunes or I’d stream it from my NAS drive through my phone using Plex at home or out and about. I knew there were podcast apps available on Android but I didn’t really want to download them to my phone because of the sheer number of episodes I had and Plex served me fine.
Financial reasons forced me to stop using Plex as we had to tighten our belts with the arrival of our youngest daughter, Georgia. As her due date loomed, we found ourselves cutting the majority of extra sending and focusing on the necessities. It would be about two years before I’d properly get back on top of my subscriptions.
As I said in a previous post, I dabbled with ‘WeCast‘ before eventually finding and loving ‘Pocket Casts‘. The aforementioned post would also give you an idea of what I listen to thanks to the thumbnails, but I thought I’d talk about them in a bit more depth.
It’s no secret that I am a huge Kevin Smith fan so it should come as no surprise that my first foray into the podcast world would be one of his.
SModcast has been a staple part of my podcasting diet. For the most part, it’s Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier shooting the shit and having fun by just talking about random stuff as well as life events, work, family life and so on. I was a latecomer to the show so I think I jumped on around the release of episode 95 but I started from episode one onward. I managed to get bang up to date with it as well as some others in this list and now…well, I’ve fallen waaaaaaaaaaay behind again!
SModcast is a show I can just stick on and enjoy having it as background noise. No because it’s boring but there are times where they go so off the rails that you easily lose 5-10 minutes or more and you haven’t missed anything as they’re still talking about the same thing. When Scott is AWOL, Kev normally has a guest or two and those are the episodes I concentrate on more because the shenanigans are kept to a minimum and I’ve discovered some great music, books, comics and podcasts from some of his guests like Matt Kennedy who appears later in this list, ‘My Chemical Romance‘ – I’d heard of the band but never really listened to their music. ‘The Black Parade‘ and ‘Desolation Row‘ were known to me because of movies like ‘Watchmen‘.
Because SModcast is one of the oldest shows that I have on my list, it’s interesting to see the changes that have taken place from episode one until now. Things like the introduction of live shows instead of two guys in a room chatting, guests, the change in sponsors and the overall sound quality as time has gone by to allow the show to become very polished and great quality audio.
Tell ’em Steve-Dave, or TESD for short, was the second subscription. As a result of it being mentioned in one of the SModcast episodes, I subscribed and downloaded the entire back catalogue. I’m not sure how many episodes deep it had been but it took me a few months to get up to date with the episodes and, surprise surprise, it’s another one I am way behind on.
Named after the line you would often hear Walt Flanagan’s ‘Fanboy’ character say to Bryan Johnson’s character in Kevin Smith‘s movies (Mallrats etc.) the show is mainly Walt, Bry and Q (who is also one of the ‘Impractical Jokers‘) just shooting the shit, much like Kev and Scott, and discussing things that have happened in the store (Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash). The name ‘Steve-Dave’ comes from the original owner of the store Kev now owns and is ran by Walt. As youths, they would frequent the store but they never new if his name was Steve or Dave so they would say Steve-Dave really quickly.
In later episodes, games like ‘One, True, Three’ or ‘2 Live Crew or 1 Middle-Aged Jew’ take place which are hilarious and usually end up with Ming Chen (from ‘I Sell Comics’ and ‘Comic Book Men’) or Gitem being the brunt of the mockery and fun.
Hollywood Babble-On (HBO), another SModcast network show, quickly became one of my favourites. Each show, which is usually a live show, follows the same format. It does get quite samey with fans making similar requests for Ralph to do impressions which, in a lot of cases, are for one half of a couple having a request for anal (giving or receiving) or some other sexual act in the voice of Arnie, David Bowie, Pee-Wee Herman and so on.
Each live episode typically covers the latest celebrity deaths, news and dick-moves by Justin Bieber and the like and finished off with hilarious facts about Liam Neeson’s Cock.
Jay & Silent Bob Get Old (Get Old) is another, predominantly, live show which focuses mainly on Jason Mewes. Touted as an ‘intervention podcast’, it gave Jason something to focus on and enjoy while recovering from his addictions. Another long-running show that has evolved over time.
The show usually starts with a story from Kev, most recently a story just prior to the show starting, followed by an intro to what the actual show is and then it delves into Jay‘s past. The formula is pretty simple and it culminates in a sex story from Jay (generally a story from his younger days/during his dope period) and finishes with three audience members getting to take part in ‘air sex’ by getting to pretend-fuck Jay in ‘Let us Fuck’.
The Talking Dead podcast was my first non-SModco related podcast. I joined it fairly early on but, as usual, downloaded them all and started from episode one. I ended up falling so far behind, that when I switched to Pocket Casts, I couldn’t download the older episodes as they are no longer available. I also ended up deleting some episodes like the ‘Fear The Walking Dead‘ ones as I haven’t watched the show (I got about three episodes in – not that I didn’t like it, just down to time constraints thanks to all the other shows I have to watch).
Their formula is pretty simple too; discuss the last episode and discuss any news for upcoming shows/series or talk about other zombie related content during TWDs mid-season and end of season breaks. After the main episode, they then do a feedback follow-up to discuss listeners’ feedback from the last podcast episode.
It’s usually the two hosts, Chris and Jason, but they do occasionally have guests on – other Walking Dead podcasters, actors from the show and so on.
The Nerdist podcast was well into its run when I came upon it. Having heard a lot about the Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick, across a number of podcasts I decided to give it a go. Again, I downloaded them all but soon found myself overwhelmed as here would often be anything up to five episodes a week put up!
I soon found myself deleting episodes with people I wasn’t a fan of or of subjects that didn’t interest me but even then, I still find myself way behind.
Because of Chris‘ varied interests, each episode varies dramatically. There isn’t really a set formula as most episodes dive right in without any introduction (aside from a post-recorded message at the start in some cases) and a ot of the ‘guests’ don’t even realise the recording has started. The show generally has a more casual feel where it’s just a chat as opposed to an interview or having any particular structure so it’s a natural flow. Other episodes are live from Comic Cons, Sketchfests, Improv sessions and then you have the ‘Hostfuls’ which are sometimes live and other times not and it features Chris, Matt Mira (who appears later on in my list) and Jonah Ray.
Thanks to Nerdist, I have discovered many great shows, movies and musical artists as well as books, comics and more. Subjects covered vary from science, music, pop culture, life, addiction – you name it. No episode ever feels the same and it does keep the interest levels up. Especially when a guest returns (Weird Al, Max Brooks, Patrick Stewart and other great individuals).
FEaB is another SModcast network show featuring Scott Mosier and Matt Mira. It stands for ‘Four-Eyes and Beard’. The podcast is one of the less regular offerings due to Scott and Matt’s schedule so they don’t get to record all that many shows. The is currently the only show I am up to date with thanks to their erratic schedules!
Each show is basically a chat between the two regarding work and home life with random musings about the latest movies and shows they have watched or books they have read.
Fatman on Batman started off as a mainly Batman-centric show. It kicked off with Paul Dini whose work I have loved since I first set eyes on Batman: The Animated Series. Initially it was just Kevin Smith chatting to folks like Paul Dini, Mark Hamill, Grant Morrison and a ton of other talents from comics, movies, TV and so on.
Later on, Marc Bernardin would join Kev after appearing in a couple of episodes and has become the co-host. The show doesn’t really have a formula per se but it has become more than just about Batman – to some fans dismay, it has evolved into a podcast about anything and everything comic book or pop culture related. From sit-downs with talented artists, writes and so on to actors and news and, most recently, live shows the show has evolved faster than Kev’s other shows which can only be down to his experience across his other shows as well as the recent links he has made with folks like Andrew Kreisberg (writer for ‘The Flash‘, ‘Arrow‘, ‘Supergirl‘ and more).
This podcast has quickly become my geeky go-to that I manage to get caught up on and then fall behind again.
Edumacation is a show I have managed to stay on top of, for the most part, thanks to another erratic schedule. The show features Kevin who is baked off his nut and Andrew McElfresh, who is sober as a judge. The show follows a formula of the ‘Sci’ the ‘Fi’, the ‘Why’ and then ‘Bye’.
Kev and Andy talk about various scientific scenarios and questions and challenge Kev’s stoned-logic before Andy explains the reality.
The show started off with the two of them and then went on to having the occasional live show featuring Jason Mewes now and again.
The Kevin & Bean Show (K&B Show) found itself on my list because of Ralph Garman (Hollywood Babble-On). I decided to check it out and immediately fell in love. The show’s formula is comprised of some news articles to get the show going and making fun of them, some jokes at Kevin or Bean’s expense, the ‘Showbiz Beat’ with Ralph, some call-in games to win tickets and stuff, a celebrity phone-in interview as well as a spoof celebrity call (usually Ralph doing an impression), music talk and more.
Their shows run daily from 5am until 10am Monday-Friday in LA and the podcast episodes are edited, condensed versions to fit into about 1.5 hours or so.
The podcast has introduced me to a number of top tunes, artists and other talents as well as news stories I would never have heard of otherwise. My favourite has to be the episode in which a spoof call complains about the ‘Sadness’ doll from ‘Inside Out‘ – the call was based on this article.
I subscribed to Talk is Jericho after episode 316 of SModcast in which Chris Jericho appeared with Kevin Smith. I downloaded the back catalogue but, over time after almost getting caught up, I am way behind but due to the lack of older episodes I have missed a few as they’re no longer available.
The podcast features folks from many careers – it’s not JUST wrestlers. It’s another show that has introduced me to the work of folk I probably would never have discovered otherwise. Plus, it also introduced me to the band in which Chris does vocals, ‘Fozzy‘.
I have found the majority of episodes interesting and it has led me to look into the backgrounds of his guests and check out their work.
I decided to check out the podcast after looking into Dan Harmon‘s work and downloaded the entire back catalogue. Some episodes wouldn’t work due to old/dead links but I’ve managed to get right up to episode 218 – not bad going.
The shows are live and feature audience members getting up to talk about their lives as well as guests from other walks of life. Dan then generally raps before the show ends or, occasionally, has a few riffs throughout the show.
I discovered Pod Sequentialism, thanks to episode 109 of Fatman on Batman. After hearing the episode with Matt Kennedy I decided to subscribe to his podcast and have managed to get to episode 51 as of the time I am writing this.
The podcast features guests who are comic book artists/writers as well as folks from other backgrounds.
I find the whole business interesting as to how artists get paid to movements like the creator-owned concept and getting started etc.
Radio Labyrinth is the latest show to make it into my list – yes, yet more catching up to do – after being recommended by my friend (who I didn’t realise until I started listening is also IN the show), Jeff. Another slice of pop culture chatter, Tim Andrews does a number of impressions to break things up but the show pretty much centres on talking about movies, TV shows and the latest news in pop culture and it is well worth a listen!
SHOWS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT
There are a number of shows I have checked out and they’ve either been discontinued or I stopped because I wanted to focus on my more regular shows so I’ve given them a mention below.
Blow Hard – I listened to them all up to the point where the shows stopped due to a falling out between Malcolm and Kev but haven’t listened to the newer content now that Jason Mewes is on it…
The Breaks – I checked out a handful but cut it to focus on my other shows
Having Sex With Katie Morgan – I listened to a lot but had to cut it because I preferred my other shows and now it’s archived
I Sell Comics – I listened to a ton of these but found I got bored after a while
Last Week on Earth – I got bored, to be honest, and now it’s archived
Nooner – I listened to a load of them but had to make the cut to focus on my other shows as this went a little stale
PlusOne – I listened to every episode
SMInterview – I listened to every episode
The SModco SMorning Show – I listened to every episode
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