Friday, May 01, 2009

Podcast Plugs #1 Never Not Funny and The Sound of Young America

I have been a very inactive blogger lately. It seems that when I moved from Northern Kentucky to Anderson I left my desire to blog behind. This is not a statement of “I will be better in the future” just an acknowledgement that I am pretty much hit or miss.

Moving on…

I am a fan of quite a few podcasts which range from theology to the absurdly funny. There are only two podcasts which I have ever felt motivated to pay for however.

The first is Never Not Funny, a podcast run by comedian Jimmy Pardo. The format is simple, yet extremely entertaining. He and his producer Matt Belknap host a guest and they just talk for roughly 90 mins. There is never a set topic, and he generally has guests from the world of standup but also others including Mad Men’s John Hamm. They offer a free truncated version but in order to get the full version you must be a paying subscriber. It has been required listening for me every Wed/Thur for at least 3 years now. I should mention that if they gave podcasts ratings, this one would be a very high R or even an NC17 at times. The conversation can go into some places you can’t un-listen to. This is not to say that they are all cussing all the time or all raunchy all the time, but they also don’t make efforts to avoid those kinds of things either.

The second one that gets some of my money is one which I could easily get for free. The Sound of Young America is a free podcast and Public Radio International program which you can find at

Like Never Not Funny, I have been listening to it for a bout 3 years. Only recently did I decide to pledge a monthly contribution though. TSOYA is an interview program hosted by Jesse Thorn and recorded live in his apartment. This may sound cheap, but he actually gets many high quality guests from authors to comedians to actors and actresses. For instance he recently had Jenna Fisher from The Office on as a guest.

I had always taken it for granted that the show was offered free, but I am glad to be a donor now. There are a few things that have really impressed me about this show. For starters the guests are always interesting even if I have never heard of them, or they do something of which I am not normally a fan. Secondly, Jesse Himself is a wonderful voice of sincerity in the midst of our ironic generation. He actually coined a term called the New Sincerity which is about embracing the sheer awesomeness of things without needing to put some sort of ironic spin on it or coat it in cynicism. This really shows in his interviews with how he treats his guests with actual interest and admiration. If they are on the show, it means he wants them to be there, it is not some random assignment. And finally, he himself has a really great sense of humor and rapport with most of his guests.

I write this all for two reasons- 1. If you haven’t listened to either of these podcasts before, I can’t recommend them highly enough. And 2. especially with TSOYA, if you do find you listen and enjoy it, go ahead and pledge a monthly donation. Jesse is a hard worker and unfortunately the show is on his dime. You can donate anywhere from $2 to $200. Right now is their pledge drive, so you can learn more about it by going to the above website.