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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Podcast Review: I wanna Live in Harmontown.

Why yes, they are schlitzed out of their minds.

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of NBC's Community.  And when that  bubbling crock pot of drama that is the twilight years of said network got the show's creator kicked off his post, I was left with a few questions about it. Mostly, what was Dan Harmon going to do next?

A podcast... yeah I wasn't sold on it at first either. Professional stand ups have a hard time keeping a podcast funny for over an hour, how could a writer/show runner pull that off? I love his work, but what would I think about his uncensored id in front of a live audience? The simple truth is that he's actually much funnier in some respects than Chris Hardwick or Marc Maron and if you can get past his increasingly awkward freestyle raps about mother f**king (along with the "toddler dance"), this is one of the best podcasts I've ever heard.

NOT safe for work. Look at me, both eyes. Not.

Turns out, a drunk Dan Harmon and Jeff Davis are more articulate and funny than I could hope to be at the best of times. Whether Dan is reading from his vaguely sociopathic teenage journal or Jeff is recanting how having his name gets him free stuff in South Carolina, these guys rarely have nothing to say. Or they'll make having nothing to say funny somehow. Its fascinating to see the ways in which they make talking about nothing marginally profound. Marginally. Dan has a habit of making sh*t real out of nowhere, yet always manages to bring the room back almost immediately. Took me a while to realize that's exactly what I loved about Community in the first place. A perfect marriage of tragic honesty with a gleeful sense of humor. Did I mention they're drunk off their ass for most of this?

The man really knows how to work a room, its a room full of avid fans, but still. The audience is always as much of a part of the show as either Dan or Jeff or Erin McGathy if she's feelin' it. Though there is this one dude called Adam that rushes the stage more often than not. I personally think he's funny in a David Sedaris kind of way, but you do get the sense he's constantly riding Jeff's last nerve and neither host is ever convinced of his sanity. It's never as much of a buzz kill as I must have made it sound... but you do feel like Dan's worried about the guy, and I'm not gonna pretend it doesn't put a damper on things sometimes.

It's called "Pringles Dick." 
Wear some headphones if the thought hasn't already occurred.

Normally I'd tell you about the best jumping on points in its 60+ library, but the show has a fair amount of continuity and in jokes, mostly due to it's long running D&D campaign run by Spencer Crittenden. It's like drunk kitchen but with rage dwarves and a bored Ryan Stiles that one time. Lets just say its my kind of game of D&D, where its taken just seriously enough to make sense and that's about it. The name Sharpie Buttsalot tells you all you need to know.

So I say start at the beginning, but if you're still unsure/disturbed by the rap, start with Turtle Panties.  Patton Oswalt scares Dan and Eric Idle pops out of nowhere and sings a song. Its glorious. I'm happy I've come across Harmontown for all this alone, but you do finally get a satisfying peek behind the BS of the Harmon/Chase feud. I don't remember what episode that was, but the way he tells it, they're both bigger men than I thought... and Peirce is a carbon copy of Chase's sense of humor, apparently (I had a feeling).

So try to swing by Harmontown, you might not want to leave.

Ha Ha!, adventure!

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