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Podcasts

Early Champion of Stand-Up Jason Stuart Was Convicted Rapist Vince Champ

Episode #375 of Marc Maron’s WTF? podcast was another tremendous one, with gay stand-up Jason Stuart (pictured) revisiting his life as a conflicted youth, closeted actor-comedian and, beginning with a gay cruise booking, fully outed performer.

In typical Maron fashion, the host got all sorts of candid anecdotes from Stuart such as recollections of who the stand-up has had rare heterosexual sex with and a surprising early supporter. From their conversation:

Stuart: When I started, everybody didn’t want me around… You know who really helped me? Vince Champ, the guy who raped all those girls on a college campus and went to prison.

Maron: I remember Vince.

Stuart: That’s the guy who helped me get jobs first, on the road, and I was completely  taken aback when I heard how terrible…

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Phil Hendrie Bobbie Dooley Podcast Off to a Roaring Start

The name of Phil Hendrie’s latest hilarious enterprise sounds a lot like the sort of New York City nightclub Stefon might rave about on Weekend Update. It’s called Mmm Hmmm and really rolls off the tongue when Hendrie, as female alter ego Bobbie Dooley, pronounces those words.

The weekly podcast launched February 15 on the Sideshow Network, home of the Bravo-focused Watch What Crappens, George Lopez‘s Tell Me Your Story and more. The first episode with Patricia Arquette got 15,000 downloads in three days and the show continues today with Jay Mohr.

Other guests so far have been Joel McHale (like Mohr, a two-parter) and Sugar Ray Leonard. During the McHale interview, Dooley asked the Community and Talk Soup actor what advice he might give Hendrie about finally getting a TV pilot picked up. The pair quickly came up with a new pitch for Les Moonves involving Hendrie and McHale as cops who solve crimes committed by the latter’s character. “It writes itself,” McHale raved.

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From a South Central Barbershop to TV’s Top Ranks

At the top of episode #60 of the ScriptMag-sponsored TV Writer podcast, Toronto-based host Gray Jones reminds that he will soon be headed to Los Angeles. And that he’s looking for donations to support the move.

When he does finally arrive here, perhaps he will make his own good luck like guest Devon Shepard. The veteran writer of such shows as Weeds, Everybody Hates Chris, Mad TV and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air started out after CSUN graduation as an intern on Entertainment Tonight. He was later working as an aspiring stand-up and hanging out at a certain establishment at 43rd Street and Crenshaw Blvd.:

His big break came when he met Rob Edwards (The Princess and the Frog) at a barbershop in South Central LA. Because he was always cracking jokes on whomever sat in the barber chair, Rob thought that he was funny and asked him to interview for a writer’s trainee job on Out All Night starring Patti LaBelle, Viveca A. Fox and Morris Chestnut. Devon was hired for the job and has been working in television ever since.

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KCRW’s ‘Strangers’ Podcast Launches Kickstarter for Season 2

Storytelling podcast  “Strangers,” one of the delightful new series spawned by KCRW’s Independent Producer Project, is a weekly show exploring real life tales of encounters with strangers. Buoyed by the show’s positive reception just four months after launching, producer Lea Thau has started a fundraising campaign on kickstarter to keep the podcast going.

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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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