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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Thrilling Adventure Hour: The funniest thing you've never heard.

I've been a podcast addict going on three years now. That was way back in...2010? When the hell did that become 3 years ago?! (sigh) Anyway, it didn't take long to realize how awesome it is when virtually all my favorite comics have their own radio show. Girl on Guy, The Nerdist. WTF, hell, even Talkin' Toons really hits the spot once in a while. That's right, Yakko has his own talk show. You didn't even know you wanted that, did you?

I've been on the take ever since, filling all my driving hours (which are many) with comedian buddies cracking each other up. I listen to them as many times as I drink cups of coffee a day, so about two or three. They're pretty ingrained into my routine at this point.

Long story longer, I've been a regular at The Nerdist for a few years and always ran across their 20's radio serial satire: The Thrilling Adventure Hour. It was radioactive to me.  I've forcibly been exposed to the decomposed and painfully unfunny stylings of A Prairie Home Companion. Mere words cannot express how much I friggin' hate that show and the less said about Garrison Keillor's labored mouth breathing the better.

There's other aspects at play, mainly plays themselves. I've been dragged to many a local theater production by "friends" throughout high school and college. The tragedies I could take. Because (in my critical jerky-jerk opinion) acting sad is much easier than being funny. Say a twenty year old absolutely nails Othello. That's hard work, good on him. But maybe that praise goes to his head, maybe he thinks he can walk on water, and then maybe he butchers a Steve Martin monologue so horrifically; I wanted to bum rush him off stage and burn him at the stake to appease the comedy gods.

Huh...that got personal quick didn't it? I guess my point is that drama is universal, comedy is harder, and broad comedy is the hardest of them all. Imagine my surprise when I accidentally downloaded an episode of Beyond Belief and almost got clipped in an intersection because I was laughing so hard. Believe it...or don't (TM).


The main takeaway here is that Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster are spectacular as a married couple of ghost hunting alcoholics. Brewster in particular slays me. Her performance isn't something you can easily describe. A drunk, dim, Manhattan socialite doesn't do it any justice; in fact I'm afraid you'll just have to hear for yourself. I've been a pusher of Tompkins ever since he managed to make a routine around corn, but Brewster? Who is this comic angel and which sphere did she come from?

Because believe you me, I have heard many (and I mean too damn many) mock 20's socialite accents from friends and professional actors alike. If you told me that I would some day run across one that would make me laugh out loud I just might have slapped you across the face. Its just so overdone. I couldn't conceive of a way to make it fresh and interesting. Suffice it to say, Brewster did it.

But its not just the Paget Brewster show, there's lots of different little serials circling around each other. There's sci-fi western, Sparks Nevada, which has an pitch perfect theme song and Nathan Fillion sometimes drops in as a guy named "Cactiod Jim" (after a sub-orbital species of cactus) its fun! Then another about a time traveling Amelia Earhart who fights a Joseph Gordon Levitt Nazi. You know you want it

But the writing is pretty sharp too and I have professional writers Ben Acker and Blacker to thank. So to The Thrilling Adventure Hour, I apologize.  I read a book by its cover and I'm sorry. I can tell you I'll personally never miss another...

 Fan art!

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