Pod-Fascination: The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show And The Thrilling Adventure Hour

Last week, I talked about how podcasts have changed my life. Each week, I will bring you two podcasts that are worth a listen and will hopefully change your life, even just a little bit. And each week I will continue to plug my own podcast.

The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show
A funny person interviewing another funny person is not a wildly original concept in the world of comedy podcasts, but Jeff Rubin brings enough variety and people of interest to do the format justice. Rubin himself is enjoyable intelligent in his humor, and if I had to make up a story about him, it's that he was the nerdy misunderstood kid in high school but parlayed his intelligence and quick wit into a successful career. He currently works for College Humor, whose brand of humor is actually more sophisticated than the name implies. That may not actually be his story, but I like to think it is.

Rubin has large interests in all things intellectual, academic, comedy, and pop culture based, so it seems this show is perfect for me. Recent shows have included his friends bringing in interesting facts to discuss, an interview with the editor of The A.V. Club (my dream job, natch), a look behind the scenes of the game You Don't Know Jack, and an interview with the filmmakers of porn paradies of well-known shows. I'd call The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin show a less serious, more quirky Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

The Thrilling Adventure Hour
TTAH is a recording of a weely live show at Largo in Los Angeles, and is a scripted story in the style of old-time radio. Podcast regular and everyone's favorite comedian Paul F. Tompkins often performs, and there are also recurring appearances by Nathan Fillion, Busy Phillps, and other "big names." The other actors, although not as well known, are at the top of their game in voice acting.

All the stories are written by the writing team of Ben Blacker and Ben Acker (yes, their real names) and are brilliant. They effectively keep the style and motifs of the broad comedy of old-time radio, but also make the comedy current. The shows play more of an homage than a satire.

Although there are recurring stories ("Sparks Nevada," "Marshal On Mars," "The Cross Time Adventures Of Colonel Tick-Tock"), it's enjoyable no matter where you pick it up, and the characters are often broad and absurd, but still grounded. The musical numbers are also clever and well-constructed.

Seeing the Thrilling Adventure Hour live is on the top of my to-do list the next time I visit Los Angeles.

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