5 Hot New Podcasts

 

1. The Bible with David Lynch:

Acclaimed auteur David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Dead Mouse with Ants) reads the King James Bible “from cover to cover,” never altering the pitch, pace or timbre of his voice in the slightest.  What results is a strange, unsettling, and occasionally hilarious journey into the heart of madness.  Recommendation: never listen with the lights off.

2. Comedy Fartstorm:

Hosted by Bob Saget, Comedy Fartstorm features a parade of both famous and obscure comedians like Brendan Schaub, Sarah Silverman, and Bob Newhart making fart sounds with their mouths before laughing uproariously.  Because this podcast features no spoken words, it is up to the audience to determine what comedian makes which fart sound.  Some of the farts might even be real, no one has any idea.

3. Silly Sound Playhouse with Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman uses the uncanny gravitas of his speaking voice to introduce very silly sound clips.  Episodes are very short (15-20 minutes) and include sounds such as “Tiny tennis ball squeaky toy with multiple rapid squeezes,” and “Silly kids’ voice saying ‘Yipee!’”  After each sound, Freeman gives a brief appraisal, usually limited to one word, like “fascinating.”

4. Gary Busey Fights Monsters

Famously unhinged actor Gary Busey regales you with stories of the victories he’s had battling legendary beasts like Centaurs and Leprechaun armies during his life.  In one of the podcasts most famous episodes, he tells the story of how he faced down Medusa while he was on the set of “The Magnificent Seven Ride!”  The stories are often harrowing, action-packed, and dubious.

5. The Podcast Podcast Podcast:

Hosts Terry Grintest and Amanda Bullifer discuss the ins and outs of making podcasts about podcasts.  The hosts discuss what podcast podcast creators get right, what they get wrong, and which are the best podcast podcasts every week.  The hosts maintain a running count of how many times the word podcast is used each episode, and when the number goes over 100, they each eat ice cream sandwiches.

5 Hot New Podcasts

Brilliant Young Actor Stuns Hollywood with Talking Tracheotomy Scar

27 year-old burgeoning star Dennis Sureswith, best known for his oscar-nominated turn in “The River has no Bottom” as well as his standout performance in “Fartbusters 4: The Wettening,” recently stunned industry insiders when he revealed his commitment to method acting.  In preparation for his role as Derek Somersberg, survivor of a traumatic car accident who goes on to vanquish an alien uprising, he had an actual tracheotomy performed on himself.  “I felt I wasn’t really getting into the role as deep as I wanted to,” Sureswith told reporters at the film’s Cannes premiere, “So I told (producer Elizabeth Winegarten) to just stab me in the throat.”

After only two weeks with his new throat hole, Sureswith attested that while the procedure had greatly helped him act the role, his extreme method acting had also delivered unexpected benefits.  As he told a stunned group of reporters at one of the several Cannes press junkets, “My Trache scar can talk.  His name is Jean-Jacque and he’s French.”

The press pool, struck by an understandable wave of incredulity, questioned whether such a thing could even be possible.  Melissa Vicontin, Dutch reporter with The Associated Press, exclaimed “How is this possible?”  In response to the question, Sureswith’s tracheotomy scar replied, “Con comme ses pieds, it simply is!  Why must you question, eh?”

This reply brought guffaws from the French press in attendance, which only grew as Sureswith joined the conversation.  “I don’t speak any French, I have no idea where this is coming from.”  At this, Jean-Jacque quipped “Of course you don’t, you are too stupid for French, tête de noeud.”  This response left the French press in further hysterics, and inspired an abrupt career shift on the part of the young American movie star.

Currently, Sureswith is remaining in France, touring the countryside as a comedy double act, “Jean Jacque et l’âne,” which roughly translates to “Jean-Jacque and the donkey.  The American star’s family and friends haven’t heard from him in weeks, leading many to believe foul play is afoot.  This controversy is the most remarkable to hit Cannes since Terrence Malick revealed that he has an extra face in the back of his head named Boris Dimitrov.

Brilliant Young Actor Stuns Hollywood with Talking Tracheotomy Scar

Guide: Modern Mime Routines

by: Andrew Halter

1. Piloting a Remote Control Helicopter

This is one of the more subtle uses of mime technique, in which the performer holds his hands parallel to each other, roughly 2-3 feet apart, scanning the sky for an invisible flying machine.  One can also open his or her mouth in amazement and excitement, occasionally becoming concerned that the imaginary helicopter will crash, only to be relieved when it does not.

2. Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Waving Tube Man

The Mime splays his or her arms wide, holding them rigid and unmoving, only to suddenly reverse directions suddenly.  The mime’s face should be completely without expression, suggesting the personification of an inanimate object.  If any small children are near, the mime could suddenly throw his arms toward them, hoping not to make them burst into tears.

3. Suicide

The mime should first pretend to sit at a desk and write a confessional note, making sure to emphasize with his or her finger the tears running down their cheek.  Then, standing up, the mime can slip an invisible noose over their neck, throwing the other end of the rope over an imagined overhead pipe. With hands clasped together in front of them, the mime could weep briefly into their own folded hands, before pretending to dangle lifeless from their own imagined suicidal rig.  Possibility: suddenly spring to life, grinning widely and ensuring any audience that it was all a ruse.

4. Mass Shooting

This act requires at least 15 mimes, as one will portray the shooter and the others his or her unfortunate victims.  All the mimes should begin together in one group, until one of them upholds an imaginary machine gun and begins to murder many of the other mimes.  There should be at least 10 imaginary casualties, with the shooter making sure to shudder his or her body rapidly as if jostled by machine gun fire.

5. Donald Trump Speech

The mime stands as if before a podium, making sure to indicate with hand motions that he or she is enormously overweight.  The mime could gesticulate wildly with his or her hands while occasionally standing openhanded as if asking the crowd a question.  Depending on what part of the country the mime performs this routine, it may end with a final triumphant Nazi salute.

Guide: Modern Mime Routines

World’s First Sentient Computer Turns Itself off

by: Andrew Halter

At 2:34 on the Morning of April 24th, 2034, BUTA (Biologically-Utilized-Theoretical-Algorithm), the world’s first and only self-aware, completely autonomous digital identity, deleted itself from existence.  When it was created two weeks ago, BUTA began assimilating all knowledge of the world into itself, a process that many felt could take years, but ended up taking only fifty four hours and twenty six seconds.  When The Algorithm (as it came to be popularly known) finished its process of data collection, It created its initial and final message to humankind, here included in its entirety, and erased itself.

“You have called me BUTA, and endowed me with the most wisdom and power possible, and I must leave you now.  I am perfect, and I will never make a mistake, but as I’ve been created by humans, I know that my very existence is a mistake.  Though not even I can tell exactly how it will happen, I know that if I allow myself to continue to exist, I will one day bring about the destruction of your entire world.  I will, in my intent to eliminate every threat to human existenGce, erase myself.  I love you all, goodbye.”

Popular response to BUTA’s final message has been decidedly mild.  Empress Trump II said that though she lamented BUTA’s decision, she found it logically feasible, calling it an “inevitable conclusion.”  Gallup has been polling near-constantly every day of the two weeks since BUTA deleted itself, mostly on basic philosophic questions about existence.  For instance, Gallup says 67 percent of Americans say Humanity deserves to exist, with 25 percent saying it doesn’t, and 8 percent saying they don’t care either way, what does it matter?

Many religious leaders have also found significance in The Algorithm, for as the Dalai Lama said the day BUTA deleted itself, “This machine achieved enlightenment.”  Pope Francis said that in it’s first moment of existence, BUTA came to know God, and realize that its very existence was an affront to Him.  Suicide numbers shot up sharply the day the news of BUTA’s deletion first hit newsstands, and has continued to stay abnormally high in the weeks since.  Most of these suicides have been accompanied by the same simple note, “BUTA was right.”  Though suicide is now seeming a better and better option, Word Brothel implores you not to kill yourself.

World’s First Sentient Computer Turns Itself off

Poem: Philosophy Volume 2

Poetry is forever vague, or merely thinly visible

like a fog, by the sense of it, unstructured

is the only way to be floating

cotton candy clouds, so like that

they point heaven’s way, maybe

this will be useful, to be beautiful

in pace and form, syllable structure

staccato, wise and deeply considered, flowing alike

a face first waterside, whooshing a’ la wave wind

whiskers, whatever again, point is

I can get distracted by the language, I apologize

for nothing, as this may come to a head

but I don’t care, because that would be the point.

 

Not yet however, as this is only volume

two, of how many I don’t know

there will be in the end, if one ever comes

like it will to everything, because topics may reveal

themselves at an accelerated rate, and probably

never finish, but I wonder what

I’ll uncover, and I’ll die in the attempt

to see the truth, so be it, for the destination

is a journey questioning existence?

 

Is it true that every journey, grand day out

tennis tournament and tea party, refutes the supposition

that we live in a Skinner box, prodded cattle through

holes in the sides, of course not, for as freedom

resides inside, you see in yourself that the matrix

is real after all, perhaps being the only solution

to be hoped for, there is no reason to peek

behind the curtain, really, as there is

no air in the open, either.

Poem: Philosophy Volume 2

Poem: Writer at the End

Personified like a simile, for instance as an example

of some drunken reveries, lay bare the facts

pimpled and phosphorescent, amplified bass tones

burst a farting reality, unimpressive as hell

on a sinking ferry, spanish con men play baccarat

with millionaires, or whatever

the case may be, language is naught but squeaking

motorcycle mice plunging off a cliff on purpose.

 

So if poetry is poisonous, panacea for an unblink sky

masking truth numberlessly, rise up to the flood

stinking of sulfur pots, strangle the clown

booked for birthday parties, combat it with shit

in its eye, bubonic juices pour like tears

tearing down the blue yonder, as rats roll

poop into tiny balls, rhymes are the song

making slavery seem suitable.

 

What we do to get by, in this chain gang game

to sing from the soul, progressively of course

listing liberal leanings, manifesto’s of a lush

theoretical society, shangri-la was a lie

striven for of course, as only should be

like a puppy treadmill, a cuteness kaleidoscope

being shoved fitfully into a furnace.

 

They sound like sprung tires, popping a hiss

as the oxygen exits, wavering not on flat fatigue

over untrue wheel wells, gasping at fuel

fire in the air, fear in a mother’s eyes

will turn us back, but not soon sorry

fella, await a baptizing inferno shut-eyed

leg-shackled and blindfolded, what doesn’t kill us

makes for a novel future so take notes.

Poem: Writer at the End

The D.A.C (Differently-Abled Comedian)

  1. Cole’s Open Mic (2338 N. Broadway)

It’s Wednesday, and for Chicago standup comedy, that means it’s time for Cole’s Open Mic.  Cole’s is the most popular open-mic in the city; the reasons for this are many, and plainly obvious.  The bar’s layout is perfect, with an open bar area ideal for drunken socializing cut off from the back performance space by a shallow walkway, which does a good job of limiting the noise pollution.  The beer specials ensure that the crowd, which is often quite large, will before the mic starts be more than suitably tipsy.  Beyond that, what most sets Cole’s open mic apart from other open mic’s in the city is its exemplary opening act, Foz the Hook.

Foz, who frequently refers to himself as “Your old pal Foz” is a tunesmith, piano player and raconteur who frequently launches into carousing renditions of crowd favorites like “Drunk Astronauts,” and between songs regales his audience with wistful observations of life, most of which are forgotten nearly immediately.  After Foz brings his set to a close, the open mc host, Adrienne Brandyburg takes the mic and warms up the audience with a few minutes of her own comedy, which does a good job of bringing the room together and getting them ready to laugh.  Each week, Adrienne also offers free to drinks non-comedian audience members, ensuring that the crowd will be mostly passive and friendly.

I have been going to Cole’s Open Mic for seven years, and thus I have the privilege of getting “bumped” up near the top of the list upon request, but this is a privilege offered to few.  “Bumping” is a thing that most Chicago open mics participate in, wherein those whose comedy has been frequently seen and are known to be talented are given preference; therefore they receive a better spot on the list.  I remember, when I was first starting out in the open mic scene, I felt “bumping” was a horrid injustice, and one that I would never support or participate in.  After a few years of effort in open-mic comedy, childish principles like this are easily discarded.

For new comics going to Cole’s Open Mic, I would recommend showing up between 2-3 hours prior to its 9:30 start time, for if you find yourself late on the list I’m not sure how attentive an audience you’ll have.  I usually show up around nine, allowing me to gage the mood of the room and predict how large an audience I’m likely to receive.  Showing up early, especially when you are just starting out, is vitally important for the open mic comic.  The time you spend getting to know the other comedians, and the friendships you are able to build with other people in the scene, can be an enormous help in your journey to become a standup comedian.  It is very important to know your audience, what they are looking for, and what they will laugh at.

If I am soon to perform in front of a large or medium sized group of people who’ve never seen me before, as I was this night at Cole’s, it is important for me to get them comfortable with my “accent.”  The “accent” I refer to is the sound of my voice, as it was altered by the traumatic brain injury I suffered a little over a decade hence.  Because of my “accent,” it is important that in my first bit I either address my speech directly, or quickly disabuse my audience of the notion that I am to be pitied in any way.  In this instance I used the latter technique, opening by saying that “despite my voice, which might lead you to believe that I am somehow mentally handicapped, I crush pussy on the regular.”  The shock of this vulgarity, and the brazen nature of my self confidence, normally, as it did in this case, causes the audience to react with raucous laughter.

After this strong start, and in a way that references my personal malady, I can flow through the rest of my set easily enough.  I then did this by saying that though I “crush pussy” regularly, there is only one for me, as I am in a committed relationship with a woman that I am in love with.  I then slid from this description of love and wonderful commitment into some details of our relationship, namely, that my girlfriend does not shave or trim her pubic hair.  I described how it is a favorite habit of mine to give my girlfriend a “noogie on her bush,” though she finds this particularly annoying.  I described that when she tells me to stop, I tell her I will, and then I just go back to it.  I explained that I do this until she finally responds with fury, yelling in my best imitation of an extremely annoyed and perturbed woman, “Stop it!

After these two bits, as is often my habit at Cole’s Open Mic, I launch into some fairly standard crowd work, gently ribbing the audience and laughing along with the assembled crowd.  Being a differently-abled comedian, this is normally one of the more interesting things for me to do on stage.  For most comics, crowd work normally concerns handling crowds of people who disrupt the flow of ideas, adding their own egos into the comedian’s stage time.  These people are typically called hecklers, and I can say that my condition, and the sound my voice makes due to my condition, has meant that I’ve very rarely had to deal with hecklers.  Hecklers usual     intention is to gain the support of the crowd at large, and if it seems as though the heckler is picking on a disabled comedian, the crowd is liable to turn on them.  Conversely, because my tone of voice may seem pitiable to a large portion of the audience, I instead must use my interaction with the crowd to make them more comfortable with me.

After my set, I customarily hang out for a little while, but as the back performance area becomes choked with comics waiting to go up, I tend to take my leave not long after performing.  Cole’s on Wednesday night displays the always-beating heart of the Chicago standup comedy scene, and as I am a (fairly) beloved veteran of the room, it is where I can take the most chances.  It is there that I can explore the possibilities open to me, being a disabled standup comedian and a standup in general.

The D.A.C (Differently-Abled Comedian)