It’s not unusual for podcasts to bleed into one another. Podcasters often cross borders to visit other lands and chat with their neighbors. Last week was no different, with a guest appearance by the hardest working man in podcasts and a friendly podcast takeover. Last week also saw a new season of a show about old Hollywood, a new sports podcast that turned out to be equal parts political commentary and sports commentary, and a ton more. Enjoy!
Never Not Funny: Two of the greats in comedy podcasting got together last week as Jimmy Pardo hosted Paul F. Tompkins on Never Not Funny. Joined by Matt Belknap and the usual supporting NNF cast, the group talked about singer Buffy Sainte Marie, the secret behind Disneyland employees using two fingers to give directions, and the 1970s phenomenon of Mr. Jaws. Most importantly, though, the show brought together Larry and Jarles, characters that Pardo and Tompkins created in separate podcast universes, for one special moment (basically as long as Pardo could keep his neck jammed back and Tompkins could hold his breath to do the voices of their beloved characters). You’ll need to hold on until the end of the episode to catch this meeting of oddballs, but it’s well worth it.
Reply All: Reply All and Song Exploder came together for a podcast mashup last week. Reply All hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman ceded their podcast to Song Exploder host Hrishikesh Hirway as he deconstructed the Reply All theme song. Hirway spoke with the theme’s creator, Breakmaster Cylinder, who prefers to remain anonymous (even to Vogt and Goldman) so the interview responses were performed by an actor. As usual, Hirway leaves the listener with a much greater appreciation of a song than before the show. For the second half of their mashup episode, Vogt and Goldman chose to play one of their favorite Song Exploder episodes, Hirway’s interview of Phil Elverum about his song “I Want Wind to Blow,” a fantastic example of Hirway’s approach to breaking songs down to their pieces and pulling out meaning from the musician and the music.
You Must Remember This: Everyone’s favorite podcast about 20th Century Hollywood is back for a new season. For its fifth season, You Must Remember This has joined the Panoply podcast network, but by the sounds of the first episode, nothing has changed… and that’s a good thing. Host Karina Longworth reached out to her listeners for suggested topics for the new season, and discovered a lot of interest in the studios of early Hollywood. The focus of this season in particular is MGM, a studio known for its big stars and broad, family-friendly movies. In the first episode, Longworth discussed the formation of MGM and the the vision and power of its most visible founder, Louis B. Mayer. If past performance is any indication, this season’s stories will be well worth downloading each week.
Monday Morning Podcast: You wouldn’t know it by watching his act, but Bill Burr credits Brian Regan as a huge influence on his stand-up comedy career, and last week Burr had a chance to speak with Regan on his podcast. Burr, the foul-mouthed comic from Boston, gushed over the famously clean Regan so much, you could almost hear Regan blush through your headphones. Regan, who is making the podcast rounds promoting his upcoming live show on Comedy Central, talked about how he got started in standup in the early days of comedy clubs and bonded with Burr over their mutual love of alcohol.
Vogue Podcast: Coinciding with Fashion Week in New York, Vogue launched a new podcast last week. Host André Leon Talley kicked off the inaugural Vogue Podcast with the editor-in-chief of Vogue in the U.S., Anna Wintour. Among other things, Talley and Wintour discussed the famed September issue of Vogue, the choice to put Beyoncé on its cover this year, Donna Karan’s decision to step down as chief designer at her own company, and Wintour’s support of Hillary Clinton. Wintour, not short on confidence, said of Clinton, “Of course I’m going to support her and of course she’s going to win.”
99% Invisible: Anyone growing up in the 80s will remember the subject of last week’s 99% Invisible: milk-carton kids. For those born well after the neon-tinged decade, there was a period of time in the mid-80s when dairies across the U.S. put pictures of missing children on their cartons in an attempt to help locate them. Roman Mars looked into how the practice of putting missing children on milk cartons got started, its impact, the criticism it drew and its ultimate end. Mars even tracked down one of the few milk-carton kids (now an adult) who was found, and she tells the astonishing story of how she discovered her milk carton while at the grocery store with her step-father.
Talking Heads: Sportscaster and former ESPN employee Bram Weinstein started a new sports podcast last week called Talking Heads. Weinstein admits to being a talking head earlier in his career, but made it clear from the beginning he does not intend bring that feel to this show. In fact, Weinstein promises he will be covering the sports leagues and networks with a critical eye, and will “call out the hypocrisy and nonsense” of the sports networks when due. In his first episode, Weinstein and Washington Post columnist Marc Sterne talked about the media coverage of Donald Trump, drawing a comparison between it and the sports media coverage of Tim Tebow. In Weinstein’s eyes, neither man is going to get the job they’re after but you wouldn’t know it from the media coverage. Weinstein and Sterne also talked about the first week of NFL games, the Kansas State marching band’s inadvertent x-rated half-time show, and Patriots scandals. Talking Heads looks to be a unique kind of sports podcast from a man with an insider’s view of sports and sports media.