Wednesday, June 11, 2008
We are undergoing what I would like to call the Third Golden Age of Comedy without defining the first two Golden Ages (maybe the "sick comedians of the 1960's- Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman, Bob Newhart, etc and the everywhere a brick wall and a microphone boom of the 1980's) Please try to enjoy this Comedy Renaissance festival. The shear volume of great stand-up comedy going on right now may be unequaled. Todd Barry, Maria Bamford, Brian Regan, Patton Oswalt, The Sklar Brothers, an on and on.
The podcast format would seem to be perfect for comedy. Most ventures into it seem to be doing radio imitations or are poorly produced panel discussions. Of those to leap above the fray, Jimmy Pardo's Never Not Funny, which is kept on the rails by Pardo's unrelenting focus on comedic quality, and Mike Schmidt's The 40 Year Old Boy.
Schmidt approaches his podcast as a roughly 45 minute monologue- no guests, no music bed, just mano on microphono. He is a motormouth, spitting more words in a podcast than I utter in a week. He is unflinching honest, disturbingly so. Many of his topics can be boiled down to "Am I a good guy?" and frequently the answer is, not so much. He is your asshole friend, tons of fun but embarrassing in equal amounts.