(*Sigh*) People. PEOPLE. What am I going to do with you? Last time Uproxx did a Buyers Guide, I did America a favor and recommended the hilarious Comedy Death Ray Radio Podcast. This was supposed to enlighten the masses, and trigger a popular comedy revolution that would lead the pandering, cut rate hacks of the world on a path to irrelevance. Yet here we are, three months later, and I’m still see being ruthlessly assaulted news to the contrary. For example, did you know that the kid from “Two and a Half Men” makes $300,000 AN EPISODE? That is so unsettling that it almost justifies my hyper-dramatic usage of bold, italics, underline, and all caps to point it out. Almost. So, I feel it is my duty to try this again. To right the wayward ship of American humor. I am the hero the Internet needs.
This time I come to you humbly (as humbly as one can come literally one sentence after calling himself a hero) to recommend the Pod F. Tompkast, the monthly podcast released by veteran comedian Paul F. Tompkins. A mixture of scripted bits, stream of conscience monologues, discussions with guests, and recorded material from his live performances, the podcast features a much higher production value than most. Tompkins uses this wide array of formats to bring together his eclectic mix of talents: everything from a conversation between Ice T and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (with Tompkins portraying both characters), to hilarious phone calls with his friend, and fellow comedian, Jen Kirkman. It ends up being more like a play than a traditional podcast, albeit one you can attend at your desk. In your underpants.
To give you a little taste of what the Tompkast brings to the table, I’ve pulled out of one my favorite moments from Episode One. In the clip, taken from a live performance, Tompkins discusses one of his favorite new topics: Google Voice’s horrific transcripts of voice mail messages. To drive the failure home, he reads the transcript of messages left as a result of accidental calls his manager’s phone made. Hilarity ensues (Audio NSFW).
Note: The full segment is here. Another highlight is at the 9:00 mark, where he brings Tim Meadows on stage to recite Google Voice’s attempted transcription of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which includes the moderately inaccurate sentence, “Thank you for oppression.”
So there you go, America and other English-speaking parts of the world. I’ve helped you out again. By listening to the Pod F. Tompkast (and other fantastic podcasts like Doug Benson’s “Doug Loves Movies,” and Marc Maron’s “WTF Podcast”), we can begin to stem the tide of hacky, lazy comedy permeating the entertainment landscape. Yes, that last sentence described a “tide” that “permeates a landscape,” which is a horribly mixed metaphor unless there has been a tsunami. If there has been, consider these podcasts a star-studded relief effort headed by George Clooney.