What It Is
Earwolf Studios puts an answering machine on a special phone line. Comedians are asked to call in and leave short messages, messages of thirty seconds or less. Every day, a sequence of those messages is released as a podcast.
Episodes run pretty short. The longest I’ve seen is around fifteen minutes, but they typically run five minutes or so. There’s an Explicit tag; a fair amount of language. Episodes came out every day for a few months and then dropped off to coming out every few days. The show’s went dead after about five months; the last episode was back in July of 2011. The entire run of the show can still be found on iTunes.
What About It
It’s not a bad concept, but it’s a really bad show. I’m not at all surprised it lasted less than six months. It’s a rare misstep for Earwolf. They typically put out amazingly funny shows. There’s a couple of reasons this show doesn’t work. I think the main reason is that the technical aspect of the show is pretty awful. The phone line sounds pretty crappy, to the degree that you often can’t even understand what the callers are saying, which defeats the purpose entirely. If the caller is doing some kind of accent/impression, just forget it. There’s a guy who calls in and does a Gollum impression and I understood about zero words that he ever frigging said. Secondly, unfortunately, the show just isn’t funny even when you can understand it. It seems that most of the humor on comedy podcasts comes from riffing and callbacks and the structure of this show just doesn’t allow for those things.
You’re just not getting enough horrible phone connections from your AT&T contract.
Avoid Like the Plague If
Comprehensibility is something you value in a podcast.
Best Entry Point
Well, hmm, I’m going to say the last episode, ironically. Doug Benson calls in and says he’ll give a special prize to the first person to come up to him at a specific comedy convention and call Samm Levine (aka Lil’ Wolverine) a ****head. He then muses that no one’s listening, so he’ll get to keep his prize. That’s the whole episode. That’s a nice ignominious ending.