Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Radio that's far more entertaining than my pathetic excuse for an Internet radio station

My university radio station building never looked this fucking clean and nice. Only three words could explain the cleanliness of Radio Korea's studio: Hardass Asian Parenting.
AMN Radio

And now, a rundown of the "Radio radio" link roll that's located on the right side of this blog.

AMN Radio

L.A.'s Radio Korea, or as stand-up and Walter & PK Show co-host Walter Hong twangily pronounces it, "Radio KOH-rea," has been experimenting with a nightly block of English-language programming for Asian American 18-to-34-year-olds, which is unprecedented in terrestrial radio. Why the hell hasn't this type of programming happened sooner?

I don't live in L.A., so I wasn't aware of the existence of the AMN (Asian Media Network) Radio block until Korean American indie rapper/stand-up Dumbfoundead got his own weekly AMN program, a show that's slightly reminiscent of a podcast he's guested on, Shots Fired, the Earwolf hip-hop industry talk podcast hosted by Nocando and Jeff Weiss. SCRAM Radio, which, like other AMN programs, is archived in podcast form on the AMN site, is a pretty good industry talk show about the indie hustle (take a drink every time either one of Dumbfoundead's guests or one of the mostly teenage guest callers nearly curses on-air), with occasional interludes of ill scratching by DJ Zo.

"Zo is half-Filipino, half-Italian," says the K-Town king of battle rap at the start of SCRAM Radio's premiere episode from June, "which equals..."

"Mexican," jokes Zo.

SCRAM Radio, which gets its title from a track off Dumbfoundead's 2012 EP Take the Stares, has gotten me listening to a couple of other AMN programs, like The Walter & PK Show, which Hong hosts with another stand-up, Paul "PK" Kim (I haven't checked out AMN's K-pop program yet, but I'll get there). Walter and PK's whole entire hour about the abundance of white male/Asian female couples, a chat that also includes input from female hosts of other AMN programs, is one of the funniest and most entertaining discussions I've heard regarding a subject that can be such a heated and humorless one for Asian guys (many of whom resent being desexualized by everyone, whether it's the mainstream media or Asian women who prefer white men over Asian men). Nobody's safe during this frank discussion of WM/AF couples--not even Asian guys. Both guest caller Dumbfoundead and Irene Hsu, co-host of the ESL Show (by the way, the recent ESL Show episode where co-host Yvonne Lu recalls an awkward moment when Oliver Stone, who's known for having an Asian fetish, creepily hit on her is funny as well), refer to Asian guys as sloppier and dumber than white guys when it comes to attempting to hide their infidelity from their wives or girlfriends.

"All the Asian girls I know that date white dudes--[the white dudes] all look wack. They look like Mark Zuckerberg," notes Dumb hilariously at another point in the WM/AF couples episode. "All the white dudes that Asian girls date wear TOMS Shoes."

TOMS Shoes are nowhere to be seen during Dumb's clever video for "New Chick."

The Dork Forest

I've grown bored with WTF with Marc Maron-inspired comedy podcasts where the guests discuss at length the L.A. stand-up scene and how they got started and the thing God would say to them when they arrive at the pearly gates if heaven exists and so on. I've found myself drifting towards comedy podcasts with a different and slightly tighter focus. One such podcast is stand-up Jackie Kashian's The Dork Forest, where, instead of yakking about their career trajectories, her guests, who range from other stand-ups like Aisha Tyler to non-stand-ups like Fatale creator Ed Brubaker and Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, yak about arcane subjects they have a buttload of expertise in. For example, Dana Gould is a Planet of the Apes nerd, so there's lots of talk about Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall and Apes memorabilia during his first guest appearance on The Dork Forest.

Although I went through a brief phase of collecting baseball cards as a kid because I thought the cards I bought at the time would be valuable someday (they most likely aren't), I really don't give a shit about baseball (because I'm from the Bay Area, I care about baseball only when the San Francisco Giants or the A's are in the World Series). When you're a kid, baseball can be fun to play, but it's such a slow goddamn sport to watch. I've seen C-SPAN telecasts that are more energetic. But when Greg Proops, a Giants fan and a Negro League history buff, talks at length about a favorite old-timey player of his (like Satchel Paige or Dock Ellis, who astoundingly once pitched a no-hitter while on LSD) or when he drops science about a really obscure bit of baseball history, baseball suddenly becomes fascinating.

Proops has his own podcast, The Smartest Man in the World, but his most entertaining bit of podcasting took place not on his own show but on The Dork Forest. Kashian got Proops to school her and the listeners on old-timey baseball history (for instance, did you know Babe Ruth called everyone "kid," or as the Babe strangely pronounced it, "keed"?). Proops rarely cracked jokes during his Dork Forest baseball episode, but the episode is enormously enjoyable, as is Proops' later Dork Forest guest appearance regarding the Roman Empire and other periods of ancient history. Like Howard Zinn, Proops is the history teacher you always wanted.

Garth Trinidad

You know you're listening to a decent DJ when he or she plays a track or two that makes you say "Who dat?" A terrific DJ causes you to say "Who dat?" during every single track he or she plays. Trinidad is frequently the latter. I like how a typical Trinidad playlist on KCRW is made up of lots of new, not-so-well-known neo-soul joints or deep cuts that catch my ear, and only two or three tracks are ones I'm familiar with, like "No Thing on Me (Cocaine Song)" off Curtis Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack.

If it weren't for Trinidad, I wouldn't have fallen in love with:

The hard-to-find Towa Tei remix of En Vogue's "Whatever."

"Consequences" by Bugz in the Attic.

"Sincerely, Jane" by Janelle Monáe.

"Jerk Ribs," the new Kelis single produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek.

Mission Log

Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, hatched a podcast idea that's hardly new: a series of discussions between a pair of Star Trek heads about a different episode of his late father's classic show each week. But there's a twist to this format: hosts Ken Ray and John Champion intend to cover every episode of every screen incarnation of the franchise in chronological order, including even the least-loved spinoff shows (the horribly animated Star Trek: The Animated Series from the '70s and the didn't-hit-its-stride-until-late-in-its-run Enterprise). So far, Ray and Champion have finished reviewing the first two seasons of the original Trek. They won't reach Enterprise, the last TV series that was set in the Trekverse before J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise, until about 11 years from now.

Produced by both Roddenberry Entertainment and Nerdist Industries, Mission Log isn't as boring as it sounds on paper, thanks to a pair of hosts who aren't too off-putting personality-wise and are able to say way more than just "Dude, that phaser array is awesome" or "Dude, Spock's such a rock star." (Have you ever listened to Zack Snyder talk? All he says during interviews or commentary tracks is "Awesome" or "So-and-so's such a rock star.") Ray and Champion take their episode discussions into interesting directions by spending more time on the characters' ethics and moral dilemmas than on gushing over the show's ships and gadgets.

Ray and Champion also tackle a question that's been asked about the '60s show from time to time: do the show's first two seasons live up to their vaunted reputation or are there episodes before "Spock's Brain" (widely considered the '60s show's nadir) that actually don't stand the test of time? "The Alternative Factor," the "anti-matter universe" episode about a mad scientist with hipster facial hair who slips and falls down a lot, is, for example, one such pre-season 3 episode that's a pain to sit through without downing a fifth of Romulan ale.

They're also willing to criticize some of the '60s Trek's outdated approaches to handling gender and race, a criticism that I appreciate hearing (yes, the show gave us Sulu, but it also chose to slap brownface and Fu Manchu staches on the Klingons to establish them as evil). I'm so looking forward to when Mission Log reaches the Deep Space Nine highlight "Far Beyond the Stars," where Captain Sisko experiences life as a black sci-fi author in the '50s and by the time of that 1998 episode's airing, the franchise had progressed to the point where it could look back and say, "Yes, that early Next Generation episode about that all-black planet was dumb and racist, and it never should have been filmed."

Ray's observations about the '60s show's outdated elements have led to some negative feedback from fanboys who think Trek should be immune from that kind of criticism. I wish Ray would tell those neocons to fuck off, but he's probably too polite to do so. Die-hard Trek heads aren't known for "colorful metaphors."

Secret Agent on SomaFM

San Francisco's SomaFM devotes an entire station to tunes that are either selections from '60s spy genre music cover albums or electronica and acid jazz tracks that channel the '60s spy genre sound. These tracks are interspersed with quick soundbites from 007 movies (and occasionally, Barbarella and Roman Coppola's CQ). Despite these 007 soundbites, SomaFM founder and Secret Agent music director Rusty Hodge rarely puts the themes from 007 movies into rotation. Film score music-wise, Hodge prefers more obscure Italian giallo or poliziotto score cues like Stelvio Cipriani's "Papaya" from 1975's La polizia ha le mani legate (The Police Have Their Hands Tied). Despite not being from the spy genre, these score cues are part of the station playlist because, as Hodge wrote in the station bio, they, like all the non-score tracks on the playlist, are all music that would fit a scene in any spy film.

In the mid-to-late '00s, I would frequently log on to Secret Agent, but I don't do it as much anymore. That's because the playlist doesn't seem to get updated that much, so I've heard everything that's on it. (The soundbites don't seem to be updated either--when I hear those soundbites, it's as if the 007 movie franchise never moved past Pierce Brosnan.) But there are lots of nifty obscurities on the playlist, like this one particular little-known track about Paris I lost the name of after my most recent PC died and took with it all the info I typed about that track on WordPad. I got worried about never being able to find the track again because ever since I first heard it on Secret Agent five years ago, I've been crushing on the breathy voice of the American spoken-word artist who chuckles over her memories of Paris. I wasn't able to Shazam it because I currently don't have a smartphone. I have what I call a dumbphone. The phone is an older Samsung that's not sophisticated enough to carry Shazam, so it took me a whole week to Google it.

The track turned out to be 1996's "Paris" by the German jazz group Trance Groove.

Damn, I feel like I'm in bed with this lady.

Sklarbro Country

From 2004 to 2006, the highlight of ESPN Classic was Cheap Seats, the show where twin brothers and sports nerds Randy and Jason Sklar made fun of ancient footage from both the ESPN and ABC Sports vaults. Cheap Seats did to second-tier sports events like "Kids Putt-Putt" what MST3K did to B-movies: it took a massive dump on them. Sadly, it will be impossible for most of Cheap Seats to hit DVD due to footage clearance issues, so we'll have to make do with either the 10 Cheap Seats episodes that are available on iTunes (or the bootlegged episodes that were posted on YouTube by Sklar Brothers fans) or the weekly Earwolf podcast that's currently carrying on the irreverent spirit of Cheap Seats, the Sklar Brothers' Sklarbro Country.

Instead of archival sports footage, Randy and Jason react to the latest sports news stories or the nuttiest bits of sports celebrity behavior off the field or court (shark-owning Gilbert Arenas is a frequent comedic target). They're joined each week by a special guest from the comedy world (or a friend to the comedy world like the ubiquitous Jon Hamm, who's to comedy podcasts what Tony Randall was to pre-'00s talk shows). Because there are so many crazy sports stories out there that Randy and Jason want to make fun of, the brothers launched in 2012 a companion podcast, the slightly shorter Sklarbro County, where they cover stories they weren't able to get to on the main podcast.

One of the most entertaining Sklarbro Country installments is the episode with a rare in-studio musical guest, The Henry Clay People, and special non-musical guest Amy Poehler, whose improv skills enliven a "Quick Hits" segment about an MMA fighter who subdued a carjacker and a creepy high school basketball coach who was arrested for showing Internet porn to his players. Poehler also has the best laugh. We get to hear a lot of that laugh during a hilarious concluding segment with impressionist James Adomian as conspiracy theory-obsessed Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who believes that the Iron Sheik's induction into the WWE Hall of Fame was a cover for 9/11.

Another standout Sklarbro Country installment is the episode with Richard Simmons, whom the brothers first met during an experience at a New Orleans airport lounge that turned into a surreal plane ride with Simmons, Laura Dern, her mother Diane Ladd and the RZA. You'd think Randy and Jason, who are fans of Simmons' appearances on Late Show with David Letterman, would have a difficult time keeping up with the hyperactive fitness guru, but it turns out to be the other way around. Simmons is the one who ends up occasionally getting exhausted or puzzled by the hosts, due to their rapid-fire delivery and their similar-sounding voices.

But when Simmons starts to genuinely choke up at one point while recalling the letters of gratitude he received from General Hospital viewers for an obesity storyline that he was involved with when he appeared as himself on the ABC soap in the '80s, the Sklars do something interesting: instead of wincing like Letterman often would, they don't ridicule Simmons for tearing up. It's a great example of the brothers' kind nature, which can sometimes be forgotten amidst all the jabs at Arenas' Bond villain-style shark fetish or Oscar De La Hoya's coke-in-the-butt-fueled orgies with hookers.

The Smartest Man in the World

I've talked before about how much I enjoy Proops' podcast. However, I think the Proops Film Club episodes, which are recordings of Proops addressing the audience at the movie screenings he hosts at the Cinefamily in L.A. (and are frequently and stupidly dismissed as inessential listening in the A.V. Club's Podmass column), are even better than the regular episodes.

The most hysterical of the Film Club installments is the episode about Point Break, Kathryn Bigelow's pre-Hurt Locker/Zero Dark Thirty masterwork, in which you hear how superb Proops' improv skills are as he waxes poetic about the works of Patrick Swayze during his mock-profound introduction to the 1991 Bigelow blockbuster. Best of all, he intentionally mispronounces Keanu as "kee-nu" or "kay-nu" and never sticks with a consistent pronunciation, alternating between "kee-nu," "kay-nu" and the correct "kee-ah-nu." Much like how Keanu doesn't have a consistent accent in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

"When a scissor kick is thrown backwards while wearing mom jeans," proclaims Proops while dropping science about Road House in his intro to Point Break, "it's Pat Swayze time."

Sunday Night Sound Session

DJ Hyphen and J. Moore's eight-year-old hip-hop program on the Clear Channel-owned KUBE 93 in Seattle is noteworthy for bumping hip-hop and alt-R&B tracks that aren't found on the very corporate and very automated Clear Channel playlists. Some of these tunes end up getting played to death months later on the regular Clear Channel playlists.

Sound Session is archived in mp3 form (with all the commercial breaks awesomely edited out) at Hyphen's Audacity of Dope site, which is how I catch the program. I once tried tuning in to Sound Session live on a Sunday night through Clear Channel's ad-heavy iHeartRadio site. Don't try it. Clear Channel always be interrupting and shit! In fact, Hyphen's battles with malfunctioning Clear Channel technology are a frequent source of comedy on this program, like when Moore clowned Hyphen for picking 2Pac's "Dear Mama" as an instrumental bed right after playing "My Kinda Girl (Side Chick Anthem)" by South Bronx rapper The Kid Daytona. The Clear Channel equipment that Hyphen often complains about experienced a technical glitch and cut off the bed he chose while he was speaking, so Hyphen had to quickly replace his disrupted bed with a different bed, and it ended up being the "Dear Mama" instrumental.

"After 'Side Chick'? To 'Dear Mama'? That's blasphemous," giggled Moore.

"Yo, some side chicks turn into moms. You know it's true!," joked Hyphen.

"This is a break gone bad," said Moore. "Breaking bad."

That's another thing I enjoy about Sound Session: the back-and-forth between Hyphen and Moore. A fixture of Seattle hip-hop who manages the Seattle duo THEESatisfaction, Moore is the slightly more earnest half of the Sound Session duo, while the younger Hyphen is the sarcastic jokester whose jabs at, for instance, how Pras' Ghetto Supastar broke the Fugees members' three-album winning streak, frequently cause Moore to react with an amused "You're stupid." The varying quality of mainstream hip-hop--boosted last week by Kendrick Lamar's murderous guest verse on a leaked Big Sean track (although I think K-Dot's Spanglish-inflected guest verse on Schoolboy Q's "Collard Greens" is a more impressive Lamar verse)--is a topic that's frequently discussed by the hosts on Sound Session. Their often humorous exchanges about hip-hop's peaks and valleys (for instance, Migos and Drake's "Versace" and the current obsession with molly are viewed as valleys)--as well as more serious exchanges about gun violence and Trayvon Martin--elevate Sound Session from average hip-hop radio show to intelligent hip-hop radio show.

Talkin Toons with Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen, who's currently voicing Donatello on Nickelodeon's popular new version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, interviews other fellow cartoon voice actors on his podcast Talkin Toons. He gives those talents a chance to speak as themselves (and sometimes as their characters), presumably because Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight very rarely let viewers get to know any of those immensely talented voiceover artists (those showbiz news shows would rather interview the celebrities who land all the Pixar and DreamWorks Animation feature film gigs). Stories like how Talkin Toons guest Kevin Michael Richardson came up with the voice for an elderly Martin Luther King in the classic "Return of the King" episode of The Boondocks (discussed at 33:12 in Richardson's Talkin Toons episode) will always be way more interesting to me than Jennifer Aniston's engagement ring.

If WTF with Marc Maron has its Lorne Michaels (the person Maron's been most obsessed with interviewing for his podcast), then Paulsen has legendary voice actor Frank Welker, who was recently heard juggling the roles of Scooby-Doo and Fred on the two-season wonder Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (also, during Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!, blink and you'll miss Welker in a rare on-camera appearance as Matt Damon's dad). Paulsen wants Welker to be a guest on his podcast, but unlike all the actors who have been enthusiastic about chatting on Talkin Toons, Welker's reportedly too bashful to be interviewed.

Talkin Toons is continually a treat for viewers like myself who grew up watching The Simpsons and Batman: The Animated Series (which, by the way, broke with tradition by recording the voice actors together in one studio instead of separately), but the lack of an apostrophe in the podcast title kind of bugs me. It's like people who never use apostrophes in their tweets. Get over your apostrophobia, player.

I'd rather see a procedural of this each week instead of having to see that torturous procedural Paget Brewster used to star in, Criminal 'fucking conservatives only watch it because they get off on this kind of torture porn shit' Minds.

The Thrilling Adventure Hour

Whoever wants to revive the Thin Man movies should just give up. Whatever they have in mind won't be as satisfying as the Beyond Belief episodes of screenwriters Ben Acker and Ben Blacker's Thrilling Adventure Hour, the L.A. stage show/podcast where comedians--as well as actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, his Looper co-star Emily Blunt and her husband John Krasinski--perform fake old-timey radio dramas like Beyond Belief in front of a live audience. The funny Beyond Belief thrives off the chemistry of Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster as tipsy husband-and-wife mediums Frank and Sadie Doyle, the Nick and Nora Charles of the paranormal (personal favorite Beyond Belief episode: Gillian Jacobs' mostly non-verbal guest shot as a goat). You know the character you're playing on stage or screen has caught fire when fans start cosplaying your character. Such is the case with Frank and Sadie.

Another sign that your character has arrived is when he or she appears in comic book form. The Thrilling Adventure Hour bears the distinction of being the first of the podcasts on my link roll to be made into a Kickstartered graphic novel. Archaia Entertainment's new Thrilling Adventure Hour GN features Frank and Sadie, as well as other characters from the stage show like Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars and a time-traveling Amelia Earhart--the aviator, of course, not the traffic reporter of the same name who's currently making headlines because she wants to be like her. I can't wait for WTF with Marc Maron (which has already spawned Maron on IFC) to spawn a GN where Maron battles adversaries and defeats them by making them listen to him read his list of WTF audience nicknames for five hours ("How are you, What-the-Fuckers, What-the-Fuckbuddies, What-the-Fuxtables, What-the-Fuckipinos...").

The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell

Filmmakers are the most frequent guests on former New York Times and Movieline film critic Elvis Mitchell's half-hour KCRW program (this was the program where guest Justin Lin interestingly cited The Golden Girls as an influence on his Fast and the Furious sequels). But for me, The Treatment really soars when Mitchell gets comedians like David Alan Grier and the fast-on-his-feet Joel McHale to do his program. McHale's jokes about the enigma that was Chevy Chase on the Community set never get old.

Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Podcast

Funny podcast, horrible fucking mics. Seriously! The Kondabolu brothers need to step their mic game up and cop themselves a couple of Yeti multi-pattern USB mics. Are they aware that listeners like myself prefer listening to podcasts through headphones or earbuds? The brothers' mics are so wack that every time Hari Kondabolu shouts (which is only occasionally because he's not really a shouty comic), the mic makes his voice sound as shrill and loud as a jet engine, and it's torture on my eardrums.

Except for that, I'm all about the Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Podcast. Kondabolu, who's joined on his podcast by his rapper brother, former Das Racist member Dapwell, a.k.a. Ashok Kondabolu, is one of the sharpest stand-ups around and perhaps currently the funniest at humor centered on race.

WTF with Marc Maron

Everybody praises Maron's interviews with Robin Williams, Carlos Mencia, Judd Apatow, Louis C.K., Todd Glass, Mel Brooks and Iggy Pop or the time Maron got veteran Onion writer Todd Hanson to open up about his struggles with depression and a suicide attempt during an affecting and sometimes difficult-to-listen-to installment. But my favorite WTF episode isn't either of those installments (although the Apatow two-parter is fantastic, simply for the archived clips of a teenage Apatow interviewing his favorite stand-ups about the craft of telling jokes, for what was basically a precursor to WTF at his high school radio station).

My favorite WTF episode is the suitably numbered episode 69, the "Live Portland Super Show" with the aforementioned Kondabolu and Jamaican American comic Ian Edwards of the Preposterous Sessions podcast. Each of Maron's guests (except for Al Madrigal and Brody Stevens) took turns making fun of Maron's abrasiveness in front of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival audience (episode 69, like almost all WTF episodes, is available only to the podcast's premium subscribers). Edwards gave the slightly ignorant and immediately remorseful Maron a hard time about confusing Jamaica with Haiti and referring to an earlier phase of Edwards' stand-up act as "leaning on the Jamaican thing."

"You don't lean on it. You're from there. How the fuck you lean on some shit you're from? I don't really understand that one, Marc... You're really leaning on this white thing. I hope one day it goes away, Marc," retorted Edwards. I always laugh my ass off whenever I play the Edwards segment back.

Yo, is this studio console the scribbliest?
(Photo source: Earwolf)
Yo, Is This Racist?

I'm amazed that Earwolf is still producing Andrew Ti's daily podcast, even after all the shit-talking during Ti's podcast about either some of Earwolf co-founder Scott Aukerman's comedian friends or subjects that are near and dear to those comedians' hearts. Like Ti's delightfully profane, anti-racist, anti-conservative and anti-Beatles Tumblr of the same name, the eight-to-15-minute Yo, Is This Racist? takes no prisoners and is something I wish had existed when I was a teen, when--in the days before Yo, Is This Racist? or Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell or Bell and Kondabolu's Twitter feeds--there was only one thing that made me feel a little better about dealing with dumb racists whenever I'd listen to it, and that was Paul Mooney's comedy album Race.

When I attended this year's V3con, the annual Asian American blogger conference in L.A., I was bummed that nobody brought up or praised Ti's podcast in conversation or at the panels I watched. Maybe nobody at V3con listens to Yo, Is This Racist? because they're repulsed by Ti's nonstop profanity. If that's the case, be a little less tight-assy, people. Have you forgotten that witnessing so much rampant racism is bound to make you curse nonstop?

You Had to Be There

I'm glad for the comedy podcast explosion because most of the podcasts that had been around before stand-ups entered the game were terrible and interminable. I used to occasionally check out a podcast about comic books that will remain nameless, and whenever that podcast would stray from its subject of comic books, either the host would make it all about himself or he would become lazy about reining in a rambling guest of his who would veer from the subject of comics, and it would just become unlistenable. That's because the host isn't a stand-up. Because they've trained themselves to be concise speakers and to tighten things up and get all their points across before the club flashes them the red light, stand-ups like You Had to Be There hosts Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer are far better at storytelling--and far more disciplined at it--than those podcasters.

All that's missing from this music video shoot full of barnyard animals is Gene Wilder.
Glaser and Schaefer's ease with exchanging with their You Had to Be There guests so many entertaining stories of accidental humiliation and similarly embarrassing moments--hence the title You Had to Be There--has led to MTV giving the duo their own weekly talk show, the not-exactly-live Nikki & Sara Live (which recently shot an inspired gender-reversed parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video). Although Glaser and Schaefer have now eliminated the guest-of-the-week format from You Had to Be There, their podcast is worth checking out also because you gain a lot of insight into the mystery that is the opposite sex. Thanks to You Had to Be There, I've learned that the Leonardo DiCaprio/Vera Farmiga/"Comfortably Numb" love scene in The Departed turns women on.

Like stand-up Michael Che says when he reacts to Schaefer praising the way DiCaprio takes Farmiga's pants off, really?! The Departed?

"I didn't even remember there was a sex scene in The Departed, and I've seen The Departed literally 40 times," says a puzzled Che to Glaser and Schaefer.

In a hilariously bawdy episode where guest Kristen Schaal tries to get Glaser to feel less ashamed about masturbating, Glaser tells Schaal, "I YouTubed the sex scene from The Departed, and it worked [in helping me masturbate]. It's really steamy and hot."

During the Che exchange about porn vs. Hollywood love scenes like the Departed scene, Glaser adds, "[Leo] comes over to her apartment, she has a boyfriend, it shouldn't be happening, but there's totally an attraction there, there's such a build-up and then it just comes out of nowhere. The whole scenario is super-hot, and it's Leonardo DiCaprio. I mean he's easy on the eyes."

Moments like these silly discussions of a scene that, for me, was the least memorable thing about The Departed--or a recent mishap in which Glaser got hit by a car while crossing a New York street (when Glaser recalls that the accident caused her skirt to fly up over her head, Schaefer asks her, "Had you shaved your pussy recently?")--are why comedy podcasts rule.

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