Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Listen to this podcast

I've started listening to a lot of podcasts at lunch lately. Naturally I listen to Scriptcast and Scriptnotes, but over the past week I've really gotten into the Nerdist podcast.

Are you listening? I remember tuning into one of the earlier Nerdist podcasts and being a little underwhelmed. They mostly shoot the shit and talk about things I don't understand. I thought I was nerdy, and then I listened to these guys and realized how cool I must have always been.

But recently I was looking around for something new to listen to, and I picked out a few of these podcasts. I don't know if I've gotten better at listening or they've gotten better at focusing, but they're really good now.

Today I listened to the one with Conan O'Brien, and if you write comedy at all, you should listen too. He gives a really philosophical discourse on the emotional toll of comedy writing.

He asked this question: Would you rather be funny or happy?

I had to take a second. You'd think the answer would be easy. Happy, right? Except the idea of not being funny struck me as horrifying. How could I not be funny? Who would I be without jokes? Deep, deep stuff.

He talks about the Tonight Show debacle, why he doesn't do insult comedy, his regular battles with self-loathing, and how much of himself you see on stage (hint: all of it). It's one of the best discussions on comedy and this business I've heard in a long time.


  1. You may also be interested in:

    WTF with Marc Maron

    Doug Loves Movies

    Comedy Bang Bang

    Never Not Funny

    Also, on the Nerdist Podcast channel, there are some writing related podcasts. Among the interviewees, Dan Harmon, Damon Lindelof, and many former Buffy writers.

  2. What can I say but to concur with my fellow commenter-writer. While Scriptcast is, oddly, a revelation with the other podcasts I feed upon (Scriptnotes is the top-notch latest; On the Page, The Q&A interviews), the Nerdist Writers' Panel is gold. I've never thought of myself as a comedy dude but I appreciate Marc Maron and Aisha Tyler (ok, Girl On Guy is another add-on). There is a clear reason why so many stand-up comedic vets can get pathos in drama - and not the other way around; I'm willing to get/hear it as often as possible. Vigilance...

  3. I stopped listening to screenwriting podcasts, with exception of the always informative Screenwriting Magazine interviews, after On the Page went subscription-based.

    It's not that I wouldn't have paid; but it made me question whether I'd actually learned much after a few months of listening. I eventually concluded it was more of a distraction than anything. I get much more out of simply continuing to read and write scripts.

    I agree RBR's recommendations on comedy podcasts fully. however. The only Nerdist program I've kept up with is Pete Holmes' You Made It Weird because I'm just not a fan of Chris Hardwick.


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