July 19, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Sign-ups are open for the Twin Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game on September 14. For just $36 you get a ticket to the Twins-Rays game, a t-shirt commemorating the event, and a chance to go pregame bar-hopping with me, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and various other people of note from the internet. Space is limited, so go reserve your spot.

Daunte Culpepper, who once received a $16 million signing bonus from the Vikings, just had his 10,000-square foot house in Florida taken by the bank as part of a foreclosure case.

Carly Rae Jepsen looked good throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles game two months ago, but her second try at a Rays game didn't go so well.

• There was an entertaining profile of Mets ace Matt Harvey in Men's Journal and his comments about modeling his dating life after Derek Jeter drew headlines, but here's my favorite excerpt:

"Dirty martinis and music--that's the big motto in our family," he says, describing his extended Italian-American clan as a rowdy tribe, fond of letting loose as often as possible. "We get the booze going, and the music starts playing. Always old-school hip-hop. Jay-Z. Tribe Called Quest. The Pharcyde. My parents love that stuff."

Do you think Harvey's parents would adopt me? Imagine going to a family dinner and everyone is drinking and your mom puts on Tribe Called Quest. No wonder their son is a superhero.

• All-Star game reminder: Mariano Rivera is amazing, but Joe Nathan is pretty great too.

• I have a couple openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode includes a special guest co-host, on-air reactions to the Twins' just-announced roster moves, and lots of Ron Gardenhire talk.

• Oh nothing, just Rosie O'Donnell awkwardly introducing Puff Daddy and Mase to the crowd at the Nickelodeon awards in 1998:

I was 15 years old in 1998, so you can imagine how things got to be the way they are.

Bud Selig says he's never sent an e-mail in his life.

Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey are the cutest.

• Apparently the Kenny Chesney concert screwed up the grass at Target Field.

• My weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen on KFAN included Glen Perkins trade talk, debating the merits of the Twins not spending money, and the apparent return of "Girls Gone Gleeman."

• On a related note, if the Twins trade Perkins this is the picture fans can look at before storming Target Field.

• And speaking of pictures of the Twins' closer, here's Perkins and Joe Mauer through the years as high school All-Stars, World Baseball Classic teammates, and MLB All-Stars. Pretty cool.

Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky forever.

• I'm apparently not the only blogger re-watching "The Sopranos."

Ben Revere, who hit .347 in 65 games since May 1, is now out two months with a broken foot.

• Before that injury Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs wrote a great piece examining how close Revere has actually come to hitting a home run.

• Netflix's new original series "Orange Is The New Black" is definitely worth watching. It's a little uneven at times in terms of tone and some of the performances border on cheesy, but there's lot of good characters, some very compelling scenes, and more humor than I expected.

• "Orange Is The New Black" has a scene in which a prisoner references a YouTube video about the positive impact from minimal amounts of exercise, so I found the video and it's good:

As a lazy person with a sedentary job that's basically the exercise approach that worked for me.

• I'm not sure why, since it was the All-Star break and the team is so depressing, but for some reason I wrote three lengthy Twins articles this week in addition to a two-hour podcast. It would make me feel better about my questionable use of time if you'd read all the stuff:

- Reviewing the Twins' first half: Hitters
- Reviewing the Twins' first half: Pitchers
- Who are the worst All-Stars in Twins history?

Those three articles were written in the span of 72 hours and include about 6,000 words. To put that in some context, many novels are 40,000-50,000 words. This is one of those weeks when I start to think about the amount of Twins content I could produce if it were a job rather than an unpaid hobby and then start to think about needing a new hobby. Anyway, do me a favor and read as many of those 6,000 words as you can.

• I went with a different photo to accompany my "Who are the worst All-Stars in Twins history?" post, but this "Ronald Coomer" baseball card definitely needs to be seen.

• I still can't believe they let my HardballTalk blog-mate Craig Calcaterra (and his HBT Daily co-host Kay Adams) on the field for the All-Star game.

Chris Davis quit Twitter right before the All-Star game and I'm surprised he lasted that long.

• I love when celebrities talk about their Howard Stern fandom and Jonah Hill was the latest to do so on Marc Maron's podcast.

• For my fellow Stern fans: Did you know the morning show that friend of AG.com Dana Wessel now produces on KTWIN-96.3 is co-hosted by longtime Stern show regular Cane? I just pieced that together last week and now I have so many Crazy Cabbie questions for him.

• Speaking of Maron, he was a guest on Joe Rogan's show and they had a good three-hour talk.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "What did the Twins get for Matt Capps?"
- "Picture of Brendan Harris hitting"
- "Famous people over 350 pounds"
- "Zooey Deschanel fantasy baseball"
- "Aaron Gleeman watches 'Blue Valentine'"
- "Man stuffing face"
- "Elliptical workouts at midnight"
- "Elisha Cuthbert in Minnesota"
- "Nikola Pekovic girlfriend"
- "Who was Roy Smalley?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Royals" by Lorde:


This week's blog content is sponsored by the Twins Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game, where you can join Aaron Gleeman, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs for a day of bar-hopping and baseball on September 14. Space is limited, so book your spot.

June 28, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Richard Matheson, whose brilliant novel "I Am Legend" was made into a mediocre Will Smith movie that completely missed the entire point, died this week at age 87. Read the book.

Big deal. My office has never not served beer. On weekends too.

• There were tons of GIF-able moments in the "Mad Men" season finale, but this was my favorite.

• I didn't have any plans last Friday night, so I was just thrilled to be part of this guy's tweeting.

• There are lots of amazing Byron Buxton stats, but I'll put this one up against any of them.

• Congrats to Tom Pelissero for his new gig at USA Today. Vikings fans were lucky to have his in-depth coverage at 1500ESPN.com.

Glen Perkins was distraught after being left out of last week's Link-O-Rama, so now I'm just mentioning his name to keep the Twins' closer happy. Look how cute he is!

Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Thome, Paul Molitor, and the best old hitters in Twins history.

• I'm very pleased to have inspired someone to be inspired by Mase.

• Speaking of Mase, once the Blackhawks fans in Wrigleyville celebrating their Stanley Cup win started playing "Mo Money Mo Problems" the barriers had no chance:

Almost makes me wish I cared about hockey.

Bobby Bland, a great and underrated soul singer from the 1960s and 1970s, died this week at age 83. Jay-Z heavily sampled his song "Ain't No Love In the Heart of the City" back in 2001.

• I'll be reading this for the articles.

• This week's reminder that I went to journalism school.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com put together a lengthy, well-done oral history of the 2003 NBA draft, which produced one of the most valuable classes of all time. And also Darko Milicic.

• During my weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen we stopped talking Twins when Flip Saunders called in. I even asked him a question (sort of), but he didn't hint at last night's madness.

• As a devoted "Chopped" fan this news made me smile.

• Gotta be a top five couple of all time in terms of most combined talent in the same field.

Manny Machado is 20 years old and on pace for the most doubles of all time.

• "The Sopranos" creator David Chase gave an incredible eulogy for James Gandolfini.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed Kyle Gibson's call-up and lots of Twins stuff, but then spent way too long analyzing our respective plans for a zombie apocalypse.

Jerry Seinfeld was on Howard Stern's show for a 90-minute interview and it was great:

I grew up obsessively listening to Stern back when Seinfeld first got his television show and then angrily stopped coming on Stern, so the ease with which they reconnected made me happy.

• Oh nothing, just a picture of young Paulie Walnuts from "The Sopranos."

John Mulaney on dating a Jewish woman is pretty great.

Julie Klausner's latest podcast episode was basically perfect. She covered two of my favorite topics, Tony Soprano and hating to talk on the phone, and then had on two excellent guests in Chiara Atik and Kat Dennings.

• AG.com reader Liz Rudolph is doing her master's thesis on sports fans and Twitter, so she's looking for people to help her by filling out this survey.

• Not gonna lie, this was one of my most painful breakups.

• Multiple-time AG.com sponsor of the week Curt's Salsa was recently featured in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Baseball blogs"
- "Cuddyer groupies"
- "How long to lose tenths of a pound?"
- "Terry Francona girlfriend"
- "Stan Rizzo shirtless"
- "Troy Aikman has an ugly personality"
- "Alison Brie wearing glasses"
- "Joe Mauer switch-hitter"
- "Obsessed with podcasts"
- "Kevin Love boxers or briefs?"
- "Fat guy asleep"

• Finally, in honor of Wednesday's news this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Let's Get Married" by Al Green:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Curt's Salsa, a locally owned salsa company that believes in fresh ingredients and rooting for the little guy. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 3, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Another week, another example of Glen Perkins being the best.

• Crazy story of the week: A mother of two went missing for 11 years and was presumed dead only to return and reveal that she left voluntarily to live among homeless people.

Jim Thome is still looking for work even as the Indians build him a statue outside their ballpark.

Jon Bois does a lot of good writing about sports for SB Nation, so not surprisingly his tales of being homeschooled for Vice are a must-read.

• When it comes to making terrible decisions for breakfast I go with Burger King over McDonald's, but people like me have been waiting decades for this news.

• "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" is one of my favorite albums of all time, so if it takes the threat of prison time to coax the first new music in a decade out of Lauryn Hill then so be it.

Snoop Dogg and Philip Seymour Hoffman are besties, obviously.

• You can't listen to "Gleeman and The Geek" live on Sunday because the Wild-Blackhawks playoff game bumped us off KFAN, but you can hear what we sounded like on the radio last Sunday.

• Podcast listeners know my policy of asking John Bonnes about the parking situation before we record an episode at a new location and my fear of winding up in a video like this one is why:

I'd have just gone home about 30 seconds in.

Tommy Lasorda reacted to seeing Psy at Dodger Stadium exactly like you'd expect.

• What has gotten into Kevin Correia? I'm glad you asked.

Jack Morris has a new radio gig in Toronto and he's accusing opposing pitchers of cheating.

Julio Borbon has a hit by pitch he'd like to sell you.

Mila Kunis was just named FHM's "sexiest woman in the world" after previously being named GQ's "sexiest woman alive." I've been driving that bandwagon since naming her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com back in 2010, but now that it's the consensus opinion it may be time to move on. Kate Mara is the current front-runner, but I'm also considering Lizzy Caplan, Aubrey Plaza, Chelsea Peretti, and Alison Brie. Obviously this isn't a decision that should be made quickly.

• Baseball-Reference.com now has game logs and splits for minor leaguers dating back to 2008, because Sean Forman is a saint.

• What happens when A.J. Pierzynski leaves a team after eight seasons and then faces them for the first time?

• The most shocking revelation from Jason Collins' hour-long chat with Bill Simmons is that he's a Blackberry user just like me.

• As a lifelong Howard Stern fan it always make me happy when he has someone else I like on as a first-time guest and they get along well, so Marc Maron's appearance was great.

• Sunday afternoon the Minneapolis JCC is hosting "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren for a chat about Hank Greenberg and Jewish baseball players.

• "Modern Comedian" is a well-done series of short films by Scott Moran and I especially enjoyed the most recent one about "crowd work" featuring Phil Hanley:

Hanley has also been a guest on my favorite podcast, "Stop Podcasting Yourself."

• I'm very happy with my employers for renewing the most underrated show on television.

• In her latest recap Molly Lambert of Grantland asked arguably the most important question in "Mad Men" history: What did Pete Campbell order from the Chinese restaurant?

• I got into a bar debate about which "Mad Men" character you'd most like to be friends with and my choice was Stan Rizzo, so I'm happy that the actor who plays him, Jay R. Ferguson, seems pretty great too. Especially for a former teen heartthrob.

• On a related note, here's my favorite GIF from the most recent "Mad Men" episode.

• No one cares because reviewing movies six months later is silly, but I finally saw "Silver Linings Playbook" and didn't love it. Lots of good parts, but also lots of rough draft-like parts. I've decided that 2012 had tons of very good movies, but zero great movies.

• Follow-up from last week's Link-O-Rama: Stand-up comedian Rob Delaney actually did a very nice job singing the National Anthem at the Dodgers-Brewers game.

Dayn Perry, whose podcasts with Carson Cistulli are basically my favorite thing ever, has a new book out called "Drinking With Boileryard Clarke."

Parker Hageman of Twins Daily was a guest on "The Sportive" podcast and a good, filthy time was had by all.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "She men's restroom recap"
- "Ribas Twins what team is he in now?"
- "Dick Bremer retiring"
- "Jason Kubel shirtless"
- "Girl in baseball jersey"
- "Zubaz limousines"
- "Joe Mauer personal life"
- "Why doesn't my brain want me to lose weight?"
- "Cybermetrics on A.J. Pierzynski"
- "Binging on macaroni and cheese"
- "Started watching 'Dawson's Creek' on Netflix"
- "Aaron Gleeman is Jew"

• Finally, in honor of me knowingly listening to a Daft Punk song for the first time and actually liking it, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Get Lucky" featuring Pharrell Williams:


This week's blog content is sponsored by "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren's upcoming appearance at the Minneapolis Sabes JCC on May 5. Please support him for supporting AG.com.

April 5, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Roger Ebert, who's the greatest film critic of all time and still had his fastball at age 70, passed away yesterday after a harrowing battle with cancer. Even as cancer ravaged his body his mind remained incredibly sharp and he never ceased being the first review I read for every movie. And beyond his greatness as a writer and film critic Ebert lived a fascinating life and was a hilarious regular guest on Howard Stern's radio show for many years. Truly a legend.

Parker Hageman of Twins Daily escaped from his parents' basement long enough to interview Glen Perkins about the role of sabermetrics in his career and I'm confident it's the best baseball article you'll read this week. Perfect mix of blogging, reporting, stats, and quotes.

• Speaking of Hageman, as part of his Opening Day trip to the Target Field press box he co-stars in this amazing GIF of Sid Hartman sipping hot chocolate.

• Believe it or not, the headline "Hopkins man trying to connect with woman he met at drunken driving class" is not about me. But can you audit those classes without the whole arrest part?

Brett Favre's bedroom on draft day 1991 was absolutely spectacular.

• Who should be batting second for the Twins? I'm glad you asked.

• I jokingly asked via Twitter for someone to start a Tumblr page devoted to Roy Smalley's hair and the internet being the internet it now exists.

• I'm really hoping that J.J. Barea becomes a trend-setter.

• Probably my biggest regret in life was not having my breathalyzer to test John Bonnes midway through this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode.

• My mom weighed in on the podcast.

• Someone over at "MLB 13: The Show" decided to make a video of me as a player in the game and they even included the glasses, constant five o'clock shadow, and slow bat. Screen shot:

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 10.24.45 PM

Honestly, those frames are hipper than I'm comfortable with and I don't have that much range.

• I've been letting my NBC bosses know that I'm available to take over Jimmy Fallon's old spot.

• As a lifelong Howard Stern fan I loved that his guests on Wednesday were Drew Magary from Deadspin and Louis C.K. from being the funniest person alive. Stern and C.K. had a tremendous hour-plus chat and afterward my main thought was: "I really hope they liked each other." Because for some reason that would make me incredibly happy.

• If you like "Parks and Recreation" you'll love this.

• Apparently there's now a third sports radio station in the Twin Cities, as Love 105 has become The Ticket, with programming that includes syndicated CBS Sports Radio shows.

• With free agency around the corner Robinson Cano fired Scott Boras as his agent and hired Jay-Z, which has me wondering what type of commission Mase charges.

Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland wrote an awesome visual, statistical, and analytical article about how LeBron James became the best player in basketball and then got even better.

• Presented without comment: For three games this year the Twins are hosting a "Wine, Women, and Baseball" event at Target Field, sponsored by Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Skincare and featuring "pamper yourself stations."

• During my weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen we discussed Eduardo Escobar's Hall of Fame candidacy for a half-hour or so. Plus some other stuff, probably.

• "Mad Men" returning is exciting enough, but in promoting the upcoming season Jon Hamm was a great guest on "Comedy Bang Bang" and very amusing on "Seven Minutes in Heaven":

"I thought that would make you kiss me."

• My attempt to figure out exactly how bad the Twins will be this season.

• Hebrew school expellees aren't much help in trivia contests.

• If anyone cares, here's my roster for the 13-team Rotoworld fantasy baseball league.

• A long time ago lots of people thought Delmon Young would be really good, so that's cool.

• "Blue Valentine" is one of my favorite movies--it came out in 2010 and I've seen it at least 10 times--and you can watch it for just 99 cents this week on both Amazon.com and iTunes.

• Maybe it was just low expectations because everyone seemed to hate it at the time, but I finally saw "This is 40" and really liked it a lot, especially Albert Brooks and Maude Apatow.

• I donate to Maximum Fun every month because they provide tons of great, free content in the form of several of the best podcasts around. They rely on donations to keep afloat, so please join me in sending them some money for the annual pledge drive.

• Stand-up comic, "Parks and Recreation" writer, Twitter must-follow, and fellow "Bar Rescue" fan Joe Mande is coming to Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis next month. We should all go.

• Interested in sponsoring a week of AG.com and advertising your product, service, local business, or website to thousands of readers per day? Click here for details.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Jared Burton girlfriend"
- "Darin Mastroianni girlfriend"
- "Robb Quinlan girlfriend"
- "Fat Zubaz"
- "What happened to Scott Erickson?"
- "Who did the Twins all trade?"
- "Twins future prospect"
- "Is Drew Butera married?"
- "Dick Bremer hates Aaron Gleeman"
- "Husband says I'm fat"
- "Alexey Shved shirtless"
- "Byron Buxton shirtless"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "You and Me" by Penny and The Quarters from the "Blue Valentine" soundtrack:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Territory Train, which takes the heavy lifting out of planning and executing Twins road trips. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

November 2, 2012

A podcast-obsessed podcaster’s guide to podcasts

I've always loved talk radio. As a kid I stayed up late listening to nationally syndicated sports talk and as a teenager I was so obsessed with Howard Stern that I recorded his shows on cassette while at school, later paying a New Yorker to send me tapes when he went off the air locally. As an adult I've been lucky enough to do quite a bit of radio, including co-hosting a show on KFAN, but sitting in a studio with a mic in front of me never ceases being a thrill.

Podcasts have taken that to another level, as both a listener and a talker. I do a weekly podcast of my own with co-host John Bonnes called "Gleeman and The Geek" that's been an amazing experience for 65 episodes and averages 7,500-10,000 listeners per show. Podcasts also provide the daily soundtrack to my work life, as I subscribe to more than 40 of them and listen non-stop while writing about baseball for NBCSports.com.

All of which is a long way of saying that I listen to an absurd, perhaps even unhealthy number of podcasts on a regular basis and people who read this blog or follow me on Twitter know that I also talk about podcasts constantly, recommending good episodes and pointing out new shows I've discovered. With that in mind I thought it would be worthwhile to create a guide to my favorite podcasts, so I've highlighted 15 that are absolutely worth checking out.


"WTF With Marc Maron"

I'm not sure if "WTF" is the most downloaded podcast, but it's definitely among the leaders and can probably lay claim to being the most influential podcast. Marc Maron started the show in 2009 after being fired from radio and it has turned into a 300-plus episode collection of long-form, probing, occasionally confrontational interviews with the biggest names in comedy. And in the process Maron has found the following his emotional, honest stand-up comedy deserves.

In a relatively short time Maron has become so synonymous with interesting, revealing chats that he's constantly referenced on other podcasts and many comedians seem to view going on his show as a career achievement. If you have a favorite comedian and want to know their story or what they're like in real life, there's no better place than the "WTF" archives. And along the way Maron will probably become one of your favorite comedians too.


"The Best Show On WFMU"

Tom Scharpling predates podcasting by hosting his radio show on an independent New Jersey station since 2000, but like many listeners I know "The Best Show on WFMU" as a podcast. It's hard to explain Scharpling's brilliance because his weekly three-hour show is unlike any other. He interacts with callers, monologues about music and pop culture, has comedians and musicians as guests, and does lengthy sketches with an always in-character Jon Wurster.

Scharpling's tag line for the show is "three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem" and that's just about right. It took me a while to get into the show initially, because the world he's created is often so absurd and the lines separating people from characters isn't always so clear, but now it might be my favorite podcast. Wurster's characters are great, the callers are great, the guests are great, the music is great, and Scharpling is a spectacular puppet-master and comedic genius.


"Stop Podcasting Yourself"

Here's how good "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is: I didn't discover it until March and yet have already plowed through their 240-episode archive. Friends and comedians from Vancouver who make for a perfect odd couple, Clark and Shumka come across as effortlessly hilarious and endearingly silly. And they do it largely without big-name guests, relying on friends from the Canadian comedy scene who're inevitably great.


"My Brother, My Brother, And Me"

My latest "consume their entire archive like a crazy person" discovery, "My Brother, My Brother, And Me" is an advice show hosted by brothers Travis McElroy, Griffin McElroy, and Justin McElroy. They field questions from listeners, some serious and some not, and dispense mostly ridiculous and silly advice as a conduit for comedy. As you'd expect from three brothers their rapport is pretty amazing and few podcasts get me actually laughing out loud like MBMBAM.


"Doug Loves Movies"

One of the first podcasts I stumbled upon and still a weekly listen, Doug Benson brings on three guests each episode to chat (ostensibly about movies) and then play a name-that-movie contest called "The Leonard Maltin Game" in front of a live audience. I often enjoy the pre-game chatter more than the game itself, but Benson is always great and books tons of well known comedians, actors, and directors on what's basically the world's most laid back game show.


"Throwing Shade"

Erin Gibson was consistently one of my favorite guests on other people's podcasts, so I was thrilled when she started a podcast of her own called "Throwing Shade" about a year ago. Along with co-host Bryan Safi they discuss pop culture, politics, and their personal lives, going from farcical to serious and back again without missing a beat. My crush on Gibson has reached epic proportions at this point--she's a must-follow on Twitter--and Safi is a fantastic foil.


"Fan Graphs Audio"

Along with Bill Simmons' show "Fan Graphs Audio" is one of two sports podcasts to which I'm subscribed, although I listen solely for Carson Cistulli's weekly chat with Dayn Perry that has nothing to do with sports. I was once a guest on Cistulli's show and loved it, but my mom listened and offered this review: "I don't understand what's funny about it." That's probably the perfect tag line for the Cistulli-Perry chats and I find them to be more or less perfection.


"Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

"Stop Podcasting Yourself," "Throwing Shade," and "My Brother, My Brother, And Me" are all part of the Maximum Fun network run by Jesse Thorn, who hosts an interview show called "Bullseye" that can be heard on public radio. I discovered Thorn by way of "Jordan, Jesse, Go!," his other, far less formal podcast with co-host Jordan Morris. Thorn's radio polish and podcast goofiness is a wonderful mix, Morris is an excellent running mate, and their guests are top notch.


"Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast"

Bill Burr is an incredible, well-respected stand-up comedian and in addition to being really funny his podcast is also unique in that it's just him. He occasionally has guests, including his hilarious girlfriend, but 95 percent of the episodes are simply Burr talking/ranting for an hour. I realize that doesn't sound particularly appealing and in most cases it wouldn't be, but Burr makes it work and the more podcasts I listen to the more impressed I am by his ability to entertain solo.


"How Was Your Week"

I could not possibly be more charmed by a woman than I am by Julie Klausner. Her book was a great read, her tweets are 140-character gold, and "How Was Your Week" is a must-listen. She opens each episode with a monologue that somehow manages to seem off the cuff while being way too amusing to actually be improvised, and then welcomes one or two guests, often from totally different walks of life, for half-hour chats that would best be described as delightful.


"The Long Shot"

Sean Conroy is the capable, sarcastically funny host, Eddie Pepitone is the grizzled comedy veteran who's equal parts lovable and bitter, Amber Kenny is the fresh-faced, sharp-witted optimist, and Jamie Flam is the awkwardly amusing punching bag. Together they form an unlikely but incredibly likeable quartet, sharing tales of complaints and triumphs in the Los Angeles comedy world before welcoming a guest to what is, if nothing else, the most crowded podcast.


"Who Charted?"

"Who Charted?" is a rare podcast with a truly unique format, as co-hosts Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack use charts as a jumping off point for hour-long chats with guests. They often stray from the format, sometimes hilariously so, but the ability to come back to a discussion about the No. 1 song in the country or the week's highest-grossing movie keeps things rolling smoothly along with their great chemistry and playful humor. Oh, and Vilaysack is a Minnesotan.


"Totally Laime"

Hosted by Elizabeth Laime and her husband/sidekick "psychic" Andy Rosen, the mix of silliness, sweetness, and occasionally raunchy humor found in "Totally Laime" is hard to resist. Each show features a guest, usually a comedian or actor, but the hour-long episodes definitely seem more like chats among friends than traditional interviews. Laime is consistently funny and charming while encouraging the guests to go as far down the silliness path as they want.


"The Joe Rogan Experience"

Joe Rogan is a stand-up comedian, actor, reality television host, and UFC analyst, but his best work might be as a podcaster. Multiple times per week he and sidekick/podcast network kingpin Brian Redban welcome a guest for the longest of long-form conversation, often lasting 2-3 hours. Rogan is never short on interesting stories or weird theories and seems to genuinely love digging deep with people, which makes for consistently entertaining episodes.


"Comedy Bang Bang"

Scott Aukerman is runs Earwolf, which is home to "Who Charted?" and "Totally Laime," among other podcasts. Before all that he hosted his own show, which features interviews with comedians, actors, and musicians mixed with crazy, improvised sketches in which characters interact with those same (real) guests. It's so good and so weird that it became a television show on IFC, but the "Comedy Bang Bang" podcast remains as fun as when I started listening a few years ago.


Just missed the cut: "Your Mom's House" - "Fitzdog Radio" - "The J.V. Club" - "The B.S. Report" - "You Had To Be There" - "The Todd Glass Show" - "Professor Blastoff" - "The Champs" - "Weird Adults" - "Nerdist" - "This Feels Terrible" - "You Made It Weird" - "Bullseye" - "Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend" - "The Adam Carolla Show" - "Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident" - "Making It With Riki Lindhome" - "Call Chelsea Peretti" - "Pop My Culture" - "Fixing Joe" - "You Know What Dude" - "Mental Illness Happy Hour" - "Sklarbro Country"

And if you haven't already, please check out my podcast: "Gleeman and The Geek"


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