What a genius, genius booking by Erin McGathy for her relationship podcast This Feels Terrible. Erin recently divorced her husband Dan Harmon. Around the same time her wedding planner went through a divorce. A couple years later they got together to discuss Erin’s wedding and both divorces. There’s three great parts to this episode: 1) discussion of wedding planning (hey, I just got married. It’s still interesting!); 2) post-mortem on two relationships; 3) exploration of life and love after divorce.
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
— TMBWBIT2 (@Trolls2cast) May 30, 2017
Photo by www.earwolf.com
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.