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Podcasts

LA Journos Launch Local News Podcast

Too cheap to pay for the LA Times? Too busy doing the robot in your car to the smooth electronic grooves of KCRW to bother with the news? Local journos Alex Schmidt and Hillel Aron may have the answer for you. The duo recently launched a weekly podcast devoted to “anyone who cares about local news, but…feel like they have a hard time keeping up.”

Schmidt tells FishbowlLA the podcast is called L.A. Redux. “It’s 15 minutes of real talk, once weekly, on the most important, and amusing, L.A. news headlines.”

The duo plan to have a different guest journo sit in to discuss the news each week. Commie Girl/Wonkette Rebecca Schoenkopf was the show’s most recent guest. You can check out the show here.

Marty Keegan’s The Halo Effect is a Podcast Home Run

A compelling name and some equally compelling audio content. That’s the FishbowlLA boxscore for the first two innings of The Halo Effect, a brand new Los Angels Angels-focused podcast hosted by SoCal native Marty Keegan.

It starts with Keegan’s voice, a regal rasp that is one part Crispin Glover and many parts hubby of Rebecca, film writer for the Los Angeles Times. Then there’s Keegan’s wry sense of humor, fed by his experience as a stand-up comedian and one-time host of nowlive.com pop culture talk show Hollywood Babble-On.

In this week’s The Halo Effect episode, Keegan continues his conversation with former Angels pitching great Jim Abbott, author of the new book Imperfect. Among the topics covered are Abbott’s memories of late Angels owner Gene Autry:

“Mr. Autry was a sweet man, completely different from some of the other owners I’ve played for… He’d come down into the clubhouse and he’d look around. And no matter if we’d won or lost, he was always immaculately dressed in a western cowboy suit and hat, and a fresh pair of cowboy boots that were monogrammed with a G.A. Every single one of them. He always had a kind word and loved his ballplayers.”

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The Ballad of Bill Hader’s Harshest Internet Critic

SNL cast member Bill Hader has told this story at least a couple of times, last spring on “Kevin & Bean” and currently via Bill SimmonsThe B.S. Report. It’s definitely a keeper.

During his first few seasons on the NBC show, Hader would spend Sunday mornings surfing the Internet and reading his worst critics. One of the most notable pans took the form of a long April 2006 blog post titled “The Ballad of SNL’s Bill Hader.”

As Hader tells it, he was in LA the following year for some Superbad re-shoots and found himself being driven by a friend of his roommate’s from the days when he lived here and worked as a PA. During the drive, that mutual acquaintance accidentally revealed himself to be the author of the blog post. Per Hader:

“As we’re talking, he’s like, ‘Yeah, I run this website, it’s called blah blah’… And I go, ‘How do I know that name, and I’m like, oh, that’s the affiliate of…’ Do you know this thing called “Ballad of Bill Hader”? And he’s just silent.”

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Elizabeth Banks Plays the Slate Podcast Game

It was a big night Tuesday at the Petersen Automotive Museum for Slate’s LA based audio-video producer Andy Bowers. For the first time since the website’s “The Culture Gabfest” podcast ramped up in 2008, the program’s sharp-witted gang hit town for a SoCal audience taping.

FishbowlLA was in attendance as deputy editor Julia Turner, film critic Dana Stevens and critic at large Stephen Metcalf discussed the recent Mike Daisey-“This American Life” controversy, Zooey Deschanel‘s pixie-ish charms and the blockbuster adaptation of The Hunger Games. Joining the trio on stage for the last topic was the film’s co-star Elizabeth Banks, who proved to be a very fun participant and helped close out the show’s “personal endorsements” segment with a shout-out for graphic novels.

Bowers, once with NPR, still works out of the public radio network’s Culver City facilities, where he now rents space. Tuesday night’s event, co-presented by Zocalo Public Square, offered the unique pleasure of listening to an Internet podcast while surrounded by vintage cars from the days when vehicles had no radios. Among the second floor stunners flanking the Slate journalists was a shiny black 1949 Alfa Romeo Villa D’Este, the only known such model to exist in the U.S.

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Chris Hardwick ‘Nerdist’ Book Signing Tonight at Meltdown Comics

Marc Maron isn’t the only comedian who’s turned a podcast into reconstituted celebrity. Chris Hardwick, who used to host MTV’s Singled Out back in the day, has a similarly successful twice-weekly “Nerdist Podcast”–which has an audience of about 200,000. Hardwick was recently profiled in the LA Times and has a new book out: The Nerdist Way. He’ll be making an appearance tonight at Meltdown Comics on Sunset for a reading/signing. And it looks like he’ll have company.

That’s right, king of all geeks Wil Wheaton will be joining tonight’s nerdfest as a moderator. We’ll see if the dual draw is big enough to pull the geek/nerd set away from their battlestations.

A Couple of SNL Alums Remember Chris Farley

Podcasts continue to be a boon for aficionados of stand-up comedy. Around every Internet corner are fabulous, extended reminiscences from comedians chatting (usually) with each other about the good and not-so-good old days.

On the November 17 episode of comedian Jay Mohr‘s “Mohr Stories” Smodcast, he welcomed fellow comic Dave Attell. Way back in the day, the two shared an SNL writers’ cubicle with three others. They chatted about all sorts of 30 Rock moments, including their memories of the late Chris Farley:

Mohr: “Remember, Norm [MacDonald] would do warm-up and then he would bring out Chris Farley, who would just stand there and wave. It was like AC/DC came on stage in Sydney, Australia. The crowd went crazy…”

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Comedian Paul F. Tompkins Racks Up a Dozen Podcasts

If you have not yet sampled the monthly “Pod F. Tompkast” from comedian Paul F. Tompkins, you need to do so.

From the hilarious non-sequitur intro lines – “A 2,000-year-old vampire peruses her Netflix queue with disgust…” – to topics like whether “knucklehead” could have been a term of endearement during Shakespeare’s time, it’s a blast. There are now a dozen episodes archived, including the most recent July 1st posting, recorded mid-June at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles.

One of FishbowlLA’s favorite things about the rise of podcasts by the likes of Tompkins and Doug Benson (“Doug Loves Movies“) is the authentic laugh track. No canned slider-board inserts here; it’s just real folks, laughing (or not) at real gags.

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KCRW to Air Marc Maron’s WTF

No idea how they’re going to pull this off, but KCRW has decided to air 10 episodes of Marc Maron‘s wonderful podcast WTF–which, if for some reason you can’t figure it out, stands for “What the Fuck.” And therein, seemingly, lies the trouble. Maron begins each and every show by saying fuck no less than 12 times, and isn’t shy about using it during his interviews either. Why should he be shy? It’s his podcast.

But the FCC might have something to say about the matter if anything close to an unedited podcast goes over the airwaves. Especially on Sundays at 11AM, which is when KCRW plans to run the program.

The shows KCRW chose to air are all old, so they’ll have plenty of time to scrub them clean. It will be interesting to see what’s left.

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Kevin Smith Powers Up the Jon Lovitz Podcast Theatre

To help cement the June relaunch of the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club on Universal City Walk as a “Podcast Theatre,” filmmaker-turned-new-media-mogul Kevin Smith has a 24-hour live podcast event planned for Memorial Day weekend.

From noon on Sunday May 29th through noon on Monday, May 30th, Smith will preside over “Poddammit,” a live pod-a-thon featuring ten live podcasts and numerous guest appearances. Tickets for the event are $100 and limited to 250 attendees, while fans can also listen live via Smodcast Internet Radio (S.I.R.). Programming premieres include:

The ABC’s of SNL: Smith and Lovitz will kick off a new weekly series about the backstage goings-on at the Lorne Michaels comedy institution.

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CNN’s Don Lemon and Rick Welts Lead Weekend Coming Out Party

It was a good weekend for open and honest discussions of sexuality in the media–aided by the public coming out of two major public figures. Getting a lot of chatter today is CNN anchor Don Lemon’s decision to come out as a gay man. Lemon was profiled by The New York TimesBill Carter in yesterday’s paper. Lemon’s decision to discuss his sexuality comes about a month before the release of his book on the same subject, “Transparent.”

Lemon argues in the Times that his decision to come out was especially difficult because of his race.

“It’s quite different for an African-American male. It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.”

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