Studio: Doug Benson
What It Is
Comedian Doug Benson and guests talk about movies and play games about movies in front of a live audience.
The show drops an episode every week and this weekly episode is usually around forty-five minutes long. The show also goes on the road, however, and the shows recorded at festivals or other venues around the country tend to go around an hour and a half. The show page on iTunes has the most recent fifty episodes. For more, go to the official website, where old episodes are available for download, some of them for sale.
What About It
Well, as I’ve said before, this is my favorite podcast. As with Comedy Bang-Bang, this podcast really helped me get through my intense depression of 2012 by being one of the only things that could actually make me laugh. I love movies, so it’s right in my wheelhouse. The comedy is fast, furious and generally hysterically funny. There are at least four or five big belly laughs to every episode. I love the discussions about movies and the anarchic nature of the episode lends itself to some wonderful, wonderful riffing and genius callbacks. The Leonard Maltin Game that Benson invented is, I think, a genuinely great game. Benson gives a couple of obtuse clues from a movie review from Leonard Maltin. Then, based on the category he gives the movie and the year of its release, the guests bid on how many cast member names (reading from the bottom of Maltin’s list) they will need to figure out what movie it is. The game is genuinely the best part of the podcast. Most comedy podcasts that have games have terrible games (*cough*Professor Blast-Off*cough*), but this one excels totally. The guests are always cream of the crop when it comes to comedians. Occasionally, genuine movie stars appear and Leonard Maltin himself has made a number of appearances. This once, perfectly, wonderfully, hilariously, led to Chris Evans calling Leonard Maltin, to his face, a “bitch.” You think those kind of moments happen every day? I think not.
You like movies and comedy.
Avoid Like the Plague If
You’re an idiot.
Best Entry Point
My Lord, where to begin? I’m going to give you about five or six episodes here, probably. And I decided to go back to some older ones that are really great, so I picked a few from 2012. I don’t know why exactly, maybe because this is when I really fell in love with the podcast and it kind of helped me survive some really tough times. These are all available for purchase, so if you want to try some free episodes first, then just subscribe. But once you’ve decided you love it, go back into the archives for a few of my favorites.
Let’s see, the first one that leaps to mind is a wonderful episode with all female guests. It’s episode 613 with Tig Notaro, Sarah Silverman, Nikki Glaser & Amy Schumer; I’ll just say “eggnog” and leave it at that; it’s really a must listen. The very next episode, 614, was recorded at the LA Podfest and it’s simultaneously one of the most ridiculously awful episodes and one of the best; suffice it to say that things don’t go as planned. Guests include Todd Glass, Marc Maron, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Agee & Dave Anthony. Episode 619 is fantastic; Paul F. Tompkins, Pete Holmes (another true DLM legend) and Jen Kirkman. Episode 632 is beyond classic; Benson purposely assembled the most annoying guests he has on the show in order to create a cluster of epic proportions: Jeff Garlin, Pete Holmes and T.J. Miller are all in great form here. I have somehow included no episodes with Bert Kreischer, which feels weird. Chris Hardwick is always a great guest; somewhere in there is a run of episodes where he was unstoppable and had to keep coming back every week because he kept winning the Maltin game. And then there’s the show’s biggest rivalry between Graham Elwood and Samm Levine, a couple of comics with a near encyclopedic knowledge of movies – games that include them are always among the most entertaining, so just download any episode with those two. But I could go all night. Oh, yes, Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings appears quite often; and Leonard Maltin himself as well (hilariously, Maltin always does terribly on the game named after him). Any episode with either of those guys will be fun. Oh, man, there’s an episode with Fisher Stevens that has one of the most painfully, gut-bustingly funny endings of all time. Oh, well, you know, I have to stop.