Each week on Pod-Fascination, I recommend my favorite podcasts.
Get Up On This
Get Up On This hosts Jensen Karp and Matt Robinson are the self-described "cool kids" who know about all the cool stuff you haven't heard about yet. Each week, a guest from the world of comedy, film, or music join the two hosts and share something they think people should "get up on." It may sound like there's a lot of douchebaggery that can come of this. On the contrary: the podcast is like the opposite of an annoying hipster. While a hipster would say "Oh, I can't tell you what I'm listening to/watching/reading because you've probably never heard of it and are not worthy of it," Jensen Karp’s basic philosophy is "I happen to know a lot of things, let me share my knowledge so that you, too, can be a pop culture connoisseur." It's really humanitarian if you think about it.
Karp does know a thing or to, at nineteen he had a major label record deal as rapper Hot Karl and now owns the amazing Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. He has the ability to namedrop, but it's just enough to make it interesting and not obnoxious. Many of who Karp brings to the table is upcoming rap artists, which is not my cup of tea, but the enjoyable rapport he has with guests still makes it an interesting listen. Co-host Matt Robinson usually counteracts with rap/hip-hop by mentioning a novel or board game, so there's something for everyone. In general, the dialogue among hosts and guests flows easily and always provides an interesting insider tidbit about the entertainment industry, which is the fastest way to my heart.
Get Up on This also appeals to me because it validates my mission as a pop culture proselytizer: I am always the one trying to get people to watch things I think they would like and telling them about a new book I've been reading. I'd say maybe one out of ten takes my advice, so it's a thankless job. It's nice to somehow have someone doing that for me. Some of my favorite media of the year I've learned from this podcast, including the British show Black Mirror, the film Margaret, and Sex House.
Get Up On This is part of Kevin Smith’s Smodcast Network, and occasionally airs live on Tuesday afternoons.
You Had To Be There
You Had To Be There is based on a concept I usually dislike: the "hey, we are funny people, we should shoot the shit and record it!" type of podcast. There's always the exception to the rule, and Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer are definitely it. They are two comediennes who met and decided to get to know each other through a podcast. For the past year or so, they have recorded the podcast out of Sara's Brooklyn apartment in front of friends, and host a fellow third comedian as a guest.
What makes this more than "people shooting the shit" is that both Glaser and Schaefer are smart, down-to-earth, and "go there," as in, make themselves vulnerable, talk about insecurities, bodily functions, and other relatable "it sucks to be an adult sometimes" topics. I hate to bring attention to and point out that the hosts are female comedians because it's patronizing and contributes to a gender segregation in comedy, but I'd be lying if I said them being women wasn't part of the appeal. It's inspiring for me to listen to smart, funny women able to talk about everything from the trivial, like period mishaps and celebrity gossip, to the intellectual, such as relationships, depression, and career ambitions. It's also nice to see women being funny without trying to one-up each other with funny bits, like so many other comedy podcasts often do.
You Had To Be There is about to get super-meta: because of the success of their podcast, they successfully pitched "The Nikki And Sara Show" to MTV, which will debut next year. As of late, a lot of the conversation on YHTBT is about their anxieties and excitement about the show, and lots of angst about making strides in their careers. On the one hand, you could take that as insufferable, because how can one complain when they just got their own TV show? Then again, anxiety around careers, acceptance, and self-doubt happen to all of us, so listening to YHTBT is both comedic entertainment and life-validation.