On this episode: We get trapped in the Inescapable Death Box, Skeleton Warehouse has a Christmas sale, a man donates too much blood, “Letters to Santa,” Michael quits drinking, College Basketball Round-up, a commercial for Gold Ribbon dog food, a woman looks for jetpack parts for a new project. Plus some hoppin’ Xmas tunes that are sure to become holiday standards!
See the next Sequel Machine show live: Hobbit 4. UCB Theater East, 3rd Street & Avenue A. Thursday, January 3rd, 11:00 PM.
YO I’MA LET YOU FINISH BUT LEFT HANDED RADIO IS THE GREATEST SKETCH PODCAST OF ALL TIME.
On this episode: The Monster Truck going away party, the guest pastor has a differing set of pronunciation beliefs, The Holy Land Experiences caters to the menfolk, a gay bar comes out to its owner, NPR’s Drive-Time Morning Menagerie makes a prank call, WLFO’s Blizzard Tracker 2012, Tulip at meets the man of her dreams, everyone wants to put on the Christmas tree star
See the next Sequel Machine show live: Harry Potter 9 3/4. UCB Theater East, 3rd Street & Avenue A. Thursday, December 6th, 11:00 PM
www.LeftHandedRadio.com | email@example.com | 413-547-1055
I remembered how to use my Tumblr just long enough to remind you all that a fresh new LHR is out today! I wrote Tulip at Blendy’s and Christmas Tree Star. FUN FACT: That Christmas Tree Star sketch is based on how my brain sounds every day, all day. I’m a mental trainwreck LOL•¶§ª…¬˚∆ˆ•¶ª˜¨¥†.
Come to Harry Potter 9 3/4 next week, please.
On this episode: C100 is having a contest blow-out summer, Groundr coffee shops have a premium service, Blendy’s Southern Style menu, Boots dials 911 again, a retirement commercial for Baby Boomers, two members of Heaven’s Gate decide they aren’t in a cult, the Big Green Pill, Denny doesn’t have Netflix, a clerk get his sandwich blown out, and the Steve Koplitz Development Conference
This month’s show was written and performed by Adam Bozarth, Dan Chamberlain, Matt Little, and Anna Rubanova with Jeremy Bent and Kathy Salerno and our special guests Eric Appel, Jon Bershad, Dave Bluvband, Eric Gersen, Jim Santangeli, Silvija Ozols, and Zhubin Parang
Theme music by Dan Warren. Check out his podcast, The International House of Dancakes.
www.LeftHandedRadio.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 413-547-1055
A reminder: This is also our first show as a member of the Splitsider Podcast Network!!! A huge thank you to all the folk that guested on this episode and helped us make it possible, and a huge thank you to Adam Frucci for bringing our show into his fold.
New episode out today, I think it’s in America’s best interest that you check it out.
On this bonus episode:
We are part of the CBGB Festival, but we also were too drunk to write. Instead, we give Taylor the Punk test, Mister Brizki takes roll call, the Delicious Boys give a speed makeover to an audience member’s aura, the Mike Hadge Trio performs, an audience member plays everyone’s favorite game show “Gimme That Dick,” and we fire off the Donated Clothing Slingshot.
Thanks to Emily Fleming, Kirk Larsen, and Pat Baer in the booth.
Episode Sixteen: Rue Britannia, an audio love letter to merry old England
This month on the show:
Fancy a soak?, an open apology from England, the theme for the 2012 London Olympics, the “Downton Abbey” Parody Challenge, Ralph the Talking Dog meets Percival, Princess Di driving F1, Eric Gersen performs, Entitlement cologne, taking darts seriously, and the fate of the monarchy rests in the hands of a drunk American in a diaper.
Thanks to John Flynn, Alex Adan in the booth, and Sam Bradford and John Robert Wilson for puppeteering.
We’re not just audio! We’re slowly building out visual elements of our show that make it worthwhile to attend live. If you’re in sketch class at UCB, did you know coming to our show counts as class credit? This is not a joke.
Give a listen…this was a wild one to coordinate with a shortened production schedule. And I got to be in a puppet show. Puppets!
New full-length episode of Matt and Brett Love Comics is up! This covers a chunk of Peter David and Dale Keown’s run on “Incredible Hulk.” Thanks to Ben Ragheb for production, and thanks to guest Halle Kiefer. We talk a lot about Hulk sex, “Jersey Shore” and marital problems in this episode. Oh, also nuns!
You can listen to it on our website.
You can subscribe on iTunes.
And heck, why don’t you click on that Facebook “like” button on our website.
I love this.
Halle was awesome on this episode.
I’m really liking our new book club format - it keeps us from feeling the grind of staying on top of comic book news…everyone else is doing that already anyhow. We get to have a funny person in to talk about something they’d never read before and get their fresh take on what is old hat to us. It’s really fun!
Why not like us up on the Facebook and let us know what YOU think about the show?
Episode 9 - The Fightin’ Iceberg Mummies
This month on the show:
We lock the Roller Rink DJ in his booth, WFFN wraps up all the college football scores you need, LHR38 has a rerun of “Boss Man and Wife”, guided meditation guru has a scratchy throat, a jingle singer starts to rebel, A graphic designer explodes, Tulip tries to get out of screw duty, and the principal breaks the bad news about Mister Pinder’s horrible death.
This month’s show was written and performed by Adam Bozarth, Dan Chamberlain, Matt Little, Taylor Moore, and Anna Rubanova.
All original music by Dan Warren. Check out his podcast, The International House of Dancakes.
Oh hai, we heard you wanted podcasts? Your afternoon is set!
So this week’s show caused a lot of talk. Here’s how it went down on our end:
Zach Galifianakis! Zach Galifianakis! It felt like the hard work we’d been putting in to this competition was going to pay off in the best way possible. NYC was in the middle of a “hurricane” - I think we can use quotes around it now - and even the shitty weather couldn’t bring us down off that high.
The coaching call was the next day, and I’d already written two sketches. The rest of the group was also tossing around ideas…only for us to find out during the call that we couldn’t use sketches. It had to be an interview/improvisation that could be boiled down to a 5 minute segment.
We spent the next two days going back and forth over email regarding how we should interpret the coaching call, and what the parameters were surrounding the call. In between, we were doing TONS of research on Zach, trying to figure out how best to approach the interview (5 straight men? Do we just let one person speak and feed them questions off mic? Hit on a subject then riff? Treat it like a Daily Show-style interview sketch?). Lots of work went in to this because it felt like our moment to actually step up to the big time; however it came out we would have a comedy segment produced by us featuring one of the biggest comedians/actors in America right now.
Then, at 7:00EST on the dot (when our call was scheduled), we got an email.
Zach’s not coming. Zach was never coming. Guests cancel. You now have 30 minutes to…
I stopped reading and ran to my computer. I knew what the rest of the sentence would be, and it was 7:01. We had 29 minutes to put together our submission.
Some process background - when LHR produces a show, we take a week or 2 for writing and rewrites. Then we record. Then…EDITING. For a typical sketch that airs on LHR there’s anywhere from 1-5 hours of editing involved (the 5 hours is on my end because I’m not very good at it yet). Editing includes SFX, mix, producing, notes, then producing again. But, as stated above, we didn’t have that time. Everything had to be created in that 30 minutes. EVERYTHING. The clock was ticking.
Our back was to the wall and every second that went by was a second that we weren’t recording. Therefore, we needed to make decisions as quickly as possible as we knew the next 30 minutes were going to be VERY INTENSE work. Plus, we were dealing with the growing disappointment that we would not be working with Zach.
As I opened my computer, I saw a sketch outline for RoboBorat, an idea that I’d had months ago that we would throw around as a bit when we were hanging out. I love the idea of someone creating something so close to their heart but ultimately so useless. I yelled out “Let’s do RoboBorat!” and we jumped on the idea immediately.
Adam, Dan, and Taylor recorded all their lines in one take each with all of us contributing lines and ideas for them to say. We had it recorded by 7:15 and Dan grabbed the files and began editing while Anna and I searched for SFX online. Meanwhile, Taylor and Adam began prepping the 15 second intro.
At 7:27, we were out of time. It had to export from Dan’s computer and we had to upload by 7:30. What we had did not have a final mix, complete sound effects, or sound effects for the robot voice, or even cleaner line reads. There was LITERALLY no time to do those things. However, we felt good about what we’d done - we proved that we could work and produce under pressure. Bottom 2, but we could defend ourselves. I don’t want to sound like a dick here, but I would challenge anyone to try to do what we did in 30 minutes and produce better results. If you can do that, please also build a time machine, go back to last week, and help us produce our submission. :D
I got to Adam’s at 8:00 on the dot Friday (TRAINS!!!!), which was when the call was supposed to begin. I was surprised to hear him talking loudly as I approached the door…Anna shushed me as I walked in the door and I realized we were on the call. I was taken aback at how the call was going but again, I think we did a great job of defending what we did and why we made the decisions that we did.
Then we sat for a WHILE waiting for the call back. We had been in the bottom 3 in the first week and (barely, by their admission) in week 8 as well. Each time the follow up call came within 15 or so minutes…it was a much longer time than that that we were waiting, which made us more anxious. As you know, the axe came down shortly after.
I was surprised and a little bummed that people interpreted this as a meta sketch or even a commentary on other comedians. It wasn’t, in our minds at least. I was also bummed that people felt we were just using another comedian’s work for our own laugh lines. We liked the idea that Borat was SUCH an intense cultural phenomenon for a few months in 2006 that people began to turn on it because of the sheer amount of their friends constantly quoting it. It could have been Star Wars, or Spider-Man, or countless other pop ephemera…ugh, okay, I’m stopping here because I’m starting to sound bitter, but I’m not. I’m just surprised when I’m part of creating something and others see an intention that isn’t there or interpret it in a way that had nothing to do with the piece. The price of commercial art though! We’re adults, we can handle it.
At the end of the day, the competitor in me was mad that we didn’t make it to the end of the line, but other than that I was okay with the result here. We have gained hundreds of new listeners (hopefully they are also subscribers!). We got to work with professional comedians. We got to talk to Matt Besser every week about sketch for 9 weeks. We spent our summer pushing ourselves on deadlines to produce sketches for the express purpose of public judgement and we did a great job.
Personally, this is what I got out of it:
I listened to comedians that I have followed for YEARS listen to work that I had created. Stuff that I’d made and felt strongly about. I heard them listen to it and like it. And quote it on air. I heard them say that we were doing great work. I heard them say they respected the way we work with other talent. I finally had the ear of people in the industry I have spent the past several years trying to find a way in to, and they liked what they heard. It reminded me that I DO know what I’m doing.
This isn’t some kind of ENDING for our show; we’re not going away after this. In fact, it’s fired us up to do more. I’m really excited about our future. Also, with the way the forums have reacted, I have a feeling that when people remember The Earwolf Challenge they’re still going to remember us as part of it. Even though we didn’t win the competition, I think we won the attention we were hoping for.
I will say this though - if you are reading this and were on the Earwolf forums, PLEASE do not put energy into trashing other shows. You can always be constructive, sure, but you have to learn how to temper that. Instead, ignore them and double down your efforts to get behind the show you LIKE. It’s so easy to dislike something publicly; you’re simply pushing away things and shouting…that’s the BASEST reaction we have as humans. It’s what babies do. I mean that literally. Babies only know how to react initially by pushing anything away it perceives as out of the ordinary and scream and scream. It takes a willingness to be open about who you are as a person and what your tastes are to openly like something. You have to be vulnerable and say “I stand behind this” and then take the criticism that may come with that stance.
Thanks to everyone that stuck with the show and offered us support, encouragement, and more. Thanks to Caroline for shouting out these navel-gazing musings I’ve been doing on my Tumblr. Thanks to Anna and Adam who are AMAZING comedy writers and contributed some of the best material for the show. And thanks to Taylor and Dan for doing the heaviest lifting in producing all of our submissions for the competition. Those guys deserve a gold medal made of chocolate but is also worth what gold is worth but is also delicious to eat.
If you have a chance, why not sign up for our mailing list? Head to lefthandedradio.tumblr.com and enter your info in the widget in the left column. Or leave a review on iTunes? Or just keep listening to our show.
If ever there were a summer that were bitchin’, surely it was this one passed.
So! We come to a challenge that is exactly what we do. We were nervous as Matt immediately let us know that the scrutiny was on us this week. We were also surprised at his amazement when we said we would be submitting new material for this challenge. That’s the one thing I’ve been really proud of throughout this competition: we have viewed this as a chance to push ourselves and grow. So aside from the first week, for each challenge we have created original material. I guess the other shows have been submitting stuff from the archives as it fit to each one, but we have viewed every challenge as something to work towards rather than a search term for our past episodes. I’m not disparaging the other shows for submitting old stuff, mind you; I’m just explaining how we have approached the show. We’re of the belief that we’re only as good as our last sketch, and whatever we’ve written isn’t as good as what we will write.
Speaking of writing, let’s talk about process for a sec. I submitted Dinner with Batman in an original draft that was 6 pages long (I like to cram as much as I can in those early drafts to help pick a direction because I’m bad at decision making). It also included an appearance by the Penguin and…well, it wasn’t great, but Bozarth had some good notes about what was working which helped me grind it down to 3 pages, then he took a pass that beefed up the jokes and added some great new ones, and eventually we had a sketch. My point is, that first draft that isn’t that great? Don’t worry about it. Find what works, ditch the rest, and go from there.
PA System is Off Limits was another gem from Taylor, who has a habit of creating characters that are so fun and strange I think they’re not from Earth (a sketch he wrote called “Pussy Monster,” which has a beach blanket bingo-style musical number, confirms this). All in all we were excited to submit this week’s challenge.
About our intro: for this ep, I recorded the intro (after the sketches were in the can), and we were a bit loopy by that point. I had done 5 unusable takes of our 8 second intro because of us just being silly. On the last one Dan decided that, in lieu of saying “Hello!” like the rest of us, he would bray like a donkey. This caused all of us to laugh, or try to stifle a laugh in Bozarth’s case. In fact he stifled it so hard that the second I finished talking he farted something awesome. We thought that was so funny that we actually kept it in the introduction. If you go back and listen with the speakers turned up, immediately after I say “hope you enjoy” you can hear the fart happen. YOU GUYS WE HID A FART JOKE IN OUR INTRO. I FEEL LIKE KEYSER SOZE NOW, HIDING THINGS IN PLAIN SIGHT.
Anyhow, we were incredibly flattered by the critique and the subsequent discussion. Tig is always great, and Seth Morris was once artistic director at UCB, which put us over the moon after hearing him compliment our submission. We are now in the TOP 5! This hill keeps getting steeper the further we climb, but it’s really thrilling. Well, it’s thrilling for a few hours until we get our next challenge, when it becomes a source of anxiety. But if I had to pick something about which to be anxious, this is MOST definitely the thing.
…and we’re still in there!
Okay, so this episode. We decided on using Herb quickly after the coaching call, as he’s really the only recurring character we had that was presentational, and we wanted to get more use out of our phone number (you know you hear the same phone number in every episode for a reason, right? It’s because it’s REAL). Also, we wanted to do one character because we knew none of the judges had ever heard of us, so we didn’t want to fracture focus by throwing a bunch of different points of view at them in less than 2 minutes.
So we whittled down to a few advice calls and wrote to those, maybe 6 or7? Of the ones we picked, I brought in first pass on Spider-Man and Quinoa and Anna brought in Movie Advice, and we punched everything up, recorded, and I headed out the door to be at a show at UCB by 11:00 pm. This was a Thursday night, submission due the next day.
I get out of the show at 12:35 am, immediately my phone rings. Taylor.
“Hey buddy, Dan’s computer crashed, we lost all the audio.”
Again, VERY lucky we only did one character, as I was able to get back to Dan’s by 1:20 am and jumped back into recording. We finished a second time, and heard a heavy sigh. Taylor.
“FUCK, we forgot to set up the mic as the input source.”
So we finished up recording that night at about 3:10 am and I went home to crash, feeling pretty good about the challenge. Dan and Taylor jumped in to editing and producing (those two have been working the hardest during this challenge with all the production work).
Saturday. The call.
I was excited to hear Paul Scheer was one of the guest judges. True fact: I was a page at The Late Show with David Letterman when he made his first appearance on the show. I knew how excited he was about it, so I snagged a copy of that episode’s script, then messaged him on MySpace (early 2007 y’all) to see if he’d like it as a keepsake. He immediately responded and passed along his address at the time. Hopefully it made it…I don’t know, I don’t trust the mail (kidding, sorry Mr. Bozarth).
We got the notification that we passed and were elated. However, when we heard the feedback from the judges, I took it pretty hard. Herb is a character I’d been doing for years (I hosted an insane podcast about Steelers football called Da Burghcast as that character), and being from Pittsburgh, I felt like I had the POV down pretty well. Listening back, I took it harder than I should have, though it was mostly because it was someone I really liked listening to my work and saying “Meh.” You can tell in the episode Paul and Matt Gourley straight up don’t like the character; Matt actually calls them out on this.
THEN! The Pittsburgh accent got called out! If there’s one thing I knew I did right, it was that. Trust me, that is based on 30 years of listening to my insane family. Matt asked Frank about the accent. He and Peter said that wasn’t it, then talked in what sounded like a Canadian accent. Ha ha, so that stung a little too.
However! Our next conversation with Matt started with him asking who did that sketch. I spoke up, expecting to get more critique. Instead, Matt said he listened to the sketch again and liked it a lot more the second time around. THAT felt validating.
In the end, they made some fair points that we can take forward, but that was the one challenge that felt the most outside our wheelhouse. We sweat out week 4 the most…up to that point.