It feels very weird to say that podcasters are at the top of their creative game. But that’s exactly what’s going on with the McElroy Brothers. Their main show, My Brother My Brother And Me, is in the middle of one of the funniest stretches of their show’s history; Griffin’s Youtube series Car Boys is art; and the duo’s TV debut on their SeeSo show is as good as anything else I’ve seen on TV so far this year. But with their dozens of projects between the trio, what makes their new podcast worth highlighting? Because it’s the first “prestige” comedy podcast called-shot audio documentary… and it’s fucking hilarious.
After Justin learned that some Youtube stars did guest voices in the animated film Trolls, he wondered if podcasters could get in on the action for the inevitable sequel. So in the purest distillation of The Secret ever put to tape, the McElroys launched their new podcast and declared that they will be in Trolls 2.
And if the idea of the series is great, Chapter 2 is maybe the perfect episode. The boys call their (real life) agent and start the process of getting in Trolls 2. He’s in on the joke in the exact right way: he’s the agent of three guys who want a job far outside their league, but he’s also providing information and pushback for a comedy show. Everyone’s in on the bit and the bit is that there is no bit — the McElroy brothers will be in Trolls 2.
If we get the show to Number One on the iTunes comedy charts, we’re PRETTY sure Dreamworks will HAVE to put us in. https://t.co/9Iy47VNKyT
Last night Nick Robinson and Griffin McElroy livestreamed the (pre-recorded) final episode of their Youtube series Car Boys wherein they experiment with the vehicle simulation game BeamNG.drive. What started as an exercise in creatively smashing cars slowly created its own mythology and story around explained happenings of the physics engine. Can’t pry a crash test dummy out of a vehicle? “Busto” has a mind of his own. The graphics implode upon the boys journeying underwater? It’s a tesseract trying to impart knowledge. Nick and Griffin have created a better mythology around glitches and physics than most authors could hope to do with an unlimited palate.
Like many finales, you might not be that touched by the video unless you were along for the journey. But trust me, it’s been a hell of a journey and this is a perfect ending. Not long ago the boys spawned a giant airbag — intended to cushion gnarly jumps, no doubt — and nicknamed it “The Blob” after it fought off all attempts to pop or crush it. Early in this video Nick and Griffin discover the dammed reservoir has a funnel at the bottom of it. They think if they can knock the Blob into it, that might KO their new unstoppable opponent. What results is the 2001: A Space Odyssey version of the Let’s Play genre. As Griffin presciently guesses: “Maybe this isn’t a trap. Maybe it’s a wormhole to a different universe.”
See You Space Car Boys…
Portugal. The Man share interactive video for “Feel It Still”
What does it take to bring me out of hiding? Apparently a new album from longtime YANP-favorites Portugal. The Man. The song and video for “Feel It Still” debuted a few months ago and have only grown more and more in my esteem. We’re almost halfway through the year and “Feel It Still” remains my favorite song of the year.
The video is next-level as well. Visit feelitstill.com to see the full interactive version. PTM created a video that’s not only a beautiful visual accompaniment to the song, but also a link to 30 ways to resist apathy and injustice.
Woodstock is out June 16. Head to PTM’s website to preorder it in whatever format you like.
Hollywood Handbook episode #183: “Employee Reviews”
I won’t bore you with the my months-long journey to really get the characters of Hollywood Handbook — that’s basically a meme of the show by now. But let’s say that this is a show that rewards 100-fold whatever work you put toward it.
Take, for example, Hollywood Handbook episode #183. The boys pick up on hit podcast S-Town’s claim that they have the “best podcast staff in the world.” This drives Hayes and Sean to starts pulling in any Earwolf employee they can find — including people above them on the food chain — and start grilling them about it. They thought they had the best staff. It’s time for employee reviews.
It’s a small miracle that Hayes and Sean’s plan to involve half a dozen staff in their unscripted show works as perfectly as it does. By the end they have a packed room of employees brainstorming ways they could improve.
I doubt I could do a “best comedy podcast episodes of the year” list justice, but this would definitely be my starting place if I did.