It’s time to deepen your ear holes, Unrealtors! I’m going to be talking about three podcasts you may not have heard yet but you really should give a listen to. Fire up your iPods—since, presumably, you’re a time traveler visiting from 2004—and get your ears in gears.
THE JEFF RUBIN JEFF RUBIN SHOW
A Millenial’s wet, audible dream. Hosted by…believe it or not…Jeff Rubin, this show advertises itself as interviews you didn’t know you wanted to hear, and it’s pretty spot on. I can admit it: I once wondered what happened to Bulk and Skull from the Power Rangers. Well, so did Jeff and you can listen to his interview with both of them. One of them became a doctor. Believe it.
From Kirk Fogg, former host of Legends of the Hidden Temple to bestselling Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, there isn’t a corner of the pop culture multiverse that Jeff hasn’t interviewed. And while talking to water slide experts and Mo from Nickelodeon’s GUTS is definitely entertaining, it’s Jeff himself that’ll keep you coming back.
There’s something to be said for the affable, charming voice on the radio. Whereas many podcasts are persistent stabs at humor or just audio therapy for the hosts, Jeff harkens back to classic radio voices that were there to enrich and enlighten your days. Call him this generation’s Paul Harvey. Really, he’s that charismatic. Only funnier. And he knows a shitload about Pokemon.
Homestar Runner, Monopoly, managing Weird Al, there really isn’t a subject Jeff won’t talk about. And with his amiability and personality, you’ll be eager and happy to hear his voice again
WHAT SAY YOU?
If you’re not a fan of TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers”, you really should give it a shot. After you become a fan, make sure to check out the What Say You podcast featuring Impratical Jokers Sal Volcano and Brian “Q” Quinn. Even if you hate the show, and shame on you if you do, still check out this podcast.
Love sitting around with friends telling stories? So do Sal and Q, and they do it better than anyone. With “Stuff happens when you leave the house,” being their motto, this duo has had a series of adventures that would put most costumed crusaders to shame. Between Sal’s experience as a bartender and the invention of “Shaq Time!”, Q pissing off football icon Boomer Esiason at a charity softball game, and the infamous Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy’s game, these longtime friends have no lack of hysterical happenings. Or very bizarre text-messaging games. Or killer honey bears.
I really believe comedy is a rare treat in many podcasts, since most fail at it. But the down-to-earth, so-bizarre-it-can-only-be-true types of tales these two tell are genuinely hilarious and make the pair incredibly endearing. Seriously, you’ll be really bummed you’re not friends with these two when the episodes end. Frank without being abrasive and naturally funny storytellers. Yup, we could all use more friends like Sal and Q.
This is the youngest show I’ve mentioned in this series, so, please, help it grow. It deserves it.
Oh, and there’s an episode all about N’Sync. And it’s riveting. Don’t miss out.
TELL ‘EM, STEVE-DAVE!
I have never encountered a more acquired taste of a podcast than Tell ‘Em, Steve Dave. Hosted by lifelong friends Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, joined by their buddy Brian Quinn (of What Say You fame!), TESD is…well…
Kind of inexplicable.
On the surface it’s just three friends talking and cracking jokes which is nothing new to podcasts. But once you really start to listen you realize…these aren’t three ordinary guys.
This is perhaps the most interesting trio of men to come together and speak. Weekly.
You have Walt Flanagan: comic book store proprietor and all around family man. Just your average Joe, 9-to-5er, etc. Only…Walter really should have been a game show host, even though he would’ve hated it. As you listen you start to notice that deep inside, despite his hatred of attention and bright lights, Walt Flanagan is a tremendous showman constantly at war with his inherent, undeniable curmudgeonism. This dichotomy goes from being extremely entertaining to thoroughly fascinating as episodes progress. Just wait til he starts inventing games for them to play. You’ll be spell-bound…and you won’t be able to stop listening…
Then there’s Bryan. Bryan…is often not well. Despite being incredibly intelligent and with a razor sharp wit, Bryan usually finds himself in deep, dark pools of hard thought and harder situations. Really, the guy doesn’t always have it together despite him obviously not being a dummy and actually having an incredible personality. Again, dichotomy is the name of the game here, and Bryan Johnson is a continuously fascinating study of humanity. And so is his mom’s Josh Groban obsession.
And finally there’s Q, who I’ve sung the praises of already, but I’ll take it a step further. Whereas What Say You is Q the showman, TESD is Q the human being. You see, before he was impractically joking, Q was a New York City firefighter for years, and he has stories. And when you’ve looked the fiery reaper in the face that many times…it affects you. And it certainly has Q. No, he’s not some PTSD ridden wreck, instead he’s just…unique. His outlook, his insight, his dreams, his cats, there’s no one really quite like Q.
No one…really…quite like any of these guys.
Or this show.
I’m reading over this and I’m realizing that I have no idea how to properly explain Tell ‘Em, Steve-Dave. Of any show I’ve recommended in this series, of any anything I’ve recommended in my Unreality career, TESD is the finest example of you just have to check it out. There’s no other way. But beware, once you’re hooked, it’s a bad, bad addiction.
I’ve listened to the entire catalogue twice, watched the TESD puppet movie (oh, yeah, did I mention there’s a feature length ((BRILLIANT)) TESD puppet movie? Well, there is. And a Claymation TESD flick on the way) several times, and even visited Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash (their recording location) just to see where this esoteric bit of magic is conjured.
But know that it might take more than one episode. But when you hit that point, you’ll know. Tell ‘em, Steve-Dave.
Alright, Unreality, consider your coff-ears filled. Give a listen and let me know what you think!
Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent. His plays have been produced across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City, as well as in Canada and Japan.
He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over Level 2, which can be found at http://jimmyjew.libsyn.com/ and http://schmameoverlevel2.libsyn.com/ respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to www.GamersSchmamers.com.
He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.