Psychiatrists have been conspiring against us for millennia.
July 1, 2015 1:06 PM   Subscribe

L. Ron Hubbard (Andy Daly) is interviewed by time traveler H. G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) on a special 2-part episode of The Dead Authors Podcast. Part 1, Part 2.

For comparison, here is a video of the actual L. Ron Hubbard in interview.

The Dead Authors Podcast previously on Metafilter and previously on FanFare. Episode 50 marks the end of the podcast's regular monthly schedule.
posted by painquale (41 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
This episode is the highlight of a great show that is sadly retiring. Other competitors for the top spot, in my opinion:

Matt Gourley as Ian Fleming
Jamie Denbo as Anne Frank (a surprising interpretation!)
Mark McConville as Aesop
posted by painquale at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huh. That's timely. I mentioned the seeming trend of Scientology teaming up with antivaxxers the other day on Twitter and now my feed is loaded with anti-Going Clear promoted tweets.
posted by Artw at 1:08 PM on July 1, 2015


Oh god I can't believe I was beaten to this exact FPP. The L. Ron Hubbard interviews have been, so far, the absolute apex of this podcast. I wish the Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project lasted longer because Andy Daly is a goddamn comic genius.

I'd also recommend the Dr. Seuss episode.
posted by griphus at 1:12 PM on July 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yes, I just finished listening to part two and I'm just ashamed I didn't even think of posting it.

In fact, scrap the whole Dead Author's Podcast thing: Just make the HG and LRon Power Hour and be done with it.

Wait... retiring? I was just kidding! I take it back!
posted by absalom at 1:23 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know any other podcasts like this or Comedy Bang Bang or Podcast Pilot Project where it's a sort of guided Christopher Guest-style improv rather than SOMEONE NAME A PROFESSION-type improv? I tried listening to Paul F. Tompkin's new podcast Improvination and it was as much everything I didn't like about improv as Dead Authors is what I do like about it.
posted by griphus at 1:25 PM on July 1, 2015


painquale nailed a lot of my favorites have been mentioned above, particularly the Aesop (AESOP!) one.

My favorites of the ones, in no order, that are not already given above:
1. Gore Vidal
2. JRR Tolkien
3. Hans Christian Anderson
4. Gary Gygax
5. Arthur Conan Doyle
6. The Gospel Authors
7. Ayn Rand
8. Edgar Rice Borroughs
9. Shel Silverstein
10. Plato
11. Walt Whitman
12. Rod Serling
13. Oscar Wilde
14. Poe and Salinger
15. Nietzsche and Lovecraft

I couldn't get through the Confucius one.
posted by absalom at 1:31 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Walt Whitman episode is especially hilarious.
posted by cazoo at 1:33 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh man the Confucius episode would be one of my favorites if it wasn't for Cordero doing the incredibly cringe-inducing Old Chinese Man voice/accent. Like the jokes and the banter were great but hoo boy I felt like I needed a shower after finishing the episode.
posted by griphus at 1:37 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this one was fantastic. My recommends are

- John Hodgman as Ayn Rand and
- Kristen Schaal as Tennessee Williams.

If you're working your way through them, be warned that there are some clunkers in there that devolve into lazy caricature (Cervantes left me irritated).

My favorite non-humor part of this was the excerpts from (apparently) contemporary reviews of the Dianetics book. I was thinking to try and create an FPP that collected a bunch of such reviews — I think they would be fascinating. Anyone else can feel free to take the idea and run with it.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh, I couldn't get through the Tennessee Williams episode and I say that as someone who is a fan of Schaal's work otherwise.
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on July 1, 2015


Huh indeed. I won't say it was the deepest or best episode, but I really enjoyed the way she plunged into the role, even if it was a bit broad.

Thinking about it, I am only just now falling in love with Schaal's work (I know, I'm late to the game), so lately I like everything that she does. That might be a factor.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:45 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


griphus: Get out of my head! It was the accent for me both times. In the case of Confucius it was the jumble sale version of Charlie Chan we got, and my Southern bone fides are too strong to listen to an hour of really bad and maybe mean-spiritied faux-Southern. A shame, because I like both Schaal and Tennessee Williams, so I was excited about this one.

Oddly enough, I found Han's Christian Anderson's accent kind of wonderful. I can't explain it.

Also, bonus points for Dorthy Parker's doppelganger actually being hammered during that particular performance, I think. Actually, not really, it doesn't work as often as it does in that episode. It's easier to think you're being funny than actually be funny, unless you're actually Dorthy Parker, I guess.
posted by absalom at 1:54 PM on July 1, 2015


Does anyone know any other podcasts like this or Comedy Bang Bang or Podcast Pilot Project where it's a sort of guided Christopher Guest-style improv rather than SOMEONE NAME A PROFESSION-type improv?

I finally just dove into Hollywood Handbook in the past couple months, and I can now understand why their fan base is so rabid. It's the best. Listen to the first one with Brian Huskey, and also listen to the CBB with Hayes and Sean as guests where they do an amazing script read.
posted by Think_Long at 2:00 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


griphus: it's not exactly what you're looking for, and there's a strong chance it's already on your radar, but on the off chance you've never given it a try, the improv underpinning the Ronna and Beverly podcast is extraordinarily good.
posted by saladin at 2:01 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've found a lot of variance in which episodes people like most. I mean, the ones I list in my first comment are the objective bests, but other people seem to like episodes that don't do much for me. I find the show pretty hit-or-miss, but the heights are very high indeed.

Andy Daly is fantastic, so I'm glad he found his stride with L. Ron. His previous episodes weren't very successful, IMO. Gourley was the all-star up until this point. Fleming is his best, but Sagan and his Brother Grimm are also really good.

Does anyone know any other podcasts like this or Comedy Bang Bang or Podcast Pilot Project where it's a sort of guided Christopher Guest-style improv rather than SOMEONE NAME A PROFESSION-type improv? I tried listening to Paul F. Tompkin's new podcast Improvination and it was as much everything I didn't like about improv as Dead Authors is what I do like about it.

I was prompted to make this post because of the comments section on the thread about Hello From the Magic Tavern. But really, Earwolf has this market cornered. They're defining this form. There are the podcasts that Think_long and saladin mention, as well as CBB spin-offs like Womp It Up!

On episode 168 of Improv4Humans, Matt Gourley tried doing a continuous narrative about characters in an apartment complex through a whole episode. It was hugely successful and one of the best episodes of that show.

(I always thought I didn't like improv --- I always found it too silly --- until I heard Improv4Humans, which changed my mind. Improv4Humans is sometimes too juvenile, but it's not goofy. It always feels vibrant and edgy and charged with energy. Spontaneation is, sadly, just the silly kind of stuff that kept me away from the medium.)

Han's Christian Anderson's accent kind of wonderful

To hear Joe Wengert keep up a different hilarious accent, try this episode of With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus. I love it.
posted by painquale at 2:04 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, and I cannot forget to mention The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project, which is the pinnacle of the form. The August Lindt episode is easily my favorite single episode of a comedy podcast.
posted by painquale at 2:06 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


griphus: I don't know if you're lumping in Improv 4 Humans with "name a profession" type improv, but if you haven't yet given it a chance, I would recommend listening to every episode featuring Andy Daly.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:09 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes. I have recommended August Lindt several times on the blue. It is the only podcast I listened to many times. Superego is also great for character based wacky improv.
posted by blahblahblah at 2:13 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


The "Kiss Me, I'm Patrick McMahon" episode of The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project is perhaps the only podcast I can recall where a drunk and rowdy live audience has *significantly* enhanced the show, a show which already includes insulting Irish tunes, Scott Aukerman's spectacular Irish accent, Paul F. Tompkins's petite miracles, and a limerick-off.

I am adding episodes of the Dead Authors podcast to my queue because I really have no excuse for not having listened to any this late in the game.
posted by memento maury at 2:24 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


that was the most beautiful fuckin' insult I've ever 'eard
posted by griphus at 2:30 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would also HIGHLY recommend With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus. The premise is that each episode has a different host, and Lauren Lapkus is always the guest, in a character the host makes up on the spot. It's pretty awesome.

It's probably not a starter episode, but the one she did with James Adomian doing Leykis is BRILLIANT.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:38 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Andy Daly really is a goddamn genius. His "Nine Sweaters" is one of the funniest things I've ever heard.
posted by putzface_dickman at 2:39 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh man I get to disagree with people more! I couldn't make it through the August Lindt episode; does it get better than the first 20 mins or so?

On the other hand I've listened to the Wolfman Hotdog one at least four times now and it's probably the Christopher Guestiest thing I've encountered that wasn't by Christopher Guest.
posted by griphus at 5:43 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I always thought I didn't like improv --- I always found it too silly --- until I heard Improv4Humans, which changed my mind. Improv4Humans is sometimes too juvenile, but it's not goofy. It always feels vibrant and edgy and charged with energy. Spontaneation is, sadly, just the silly kind of stuff that kept me away from the medium.)

I love both for different reasons, plus a lot of the character based improv podcasts Earwolf produces. I've also been taking a long form improv class for the last eight months taught by a former student of Del Close, who is a major figure in the origination of long form improv, namely The Harold. We work with many different forms, excepting most of the short form games. If I could somehow get paid to do this, I would, because it's the best thing ever.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:50 PM on July 1, 2015


I admit, I listened to Part one of this 4-5 times between when it broadcast and now, and have laughed every time. I've not listened to part two yet, because I'm waiting until I can really listen to it, because the first one was just brilliant. It really was the best episode so far of this series, but there are so many good ones. And a few bad ones, but it's considerably outweighed by the good. My faves are Ayn Rand/Jon Hodgeman, Marquis de Sade / Andy Daly, Charlotte Bronte / Jessica St. Clair, and Benjamin Franklin / Scott Aukerman.

I am sad that it is ending. It's a unique thing, and I'll miss it.
posted by dejah420 at 8:24 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this, painquale, and thank you all for recommending specific episodes, so I can listen not just to the cream of the crop (best podcasts) but the cream of the cream of the crop (best episodes of best podcasts).
posted by Bugbread at 2:04 AM on July 2, 2015


Thank you so much for posting this! Just what I needed for the holiday weekend.
posted by EinAtlanta at 7:01 AM on July 2, 2015


AESOP!!

No mention of Mark Twain?? Go listen, it's up now!

Episode 50 marks the end of the podcast's regular monthly schedule.

I'm thrilled that I had the chance to see many of these episodes live, (including LRH) and I'm so, so sad that this is ending; it was always a real high point of the month. Be sure to watch the promo videos; they're like little extra bonus tracks.

Thanks for posting this!

Oddly enough, I found Han's Christian Anderson's accent kind of wonderful. I can't explain it.

Yes!

And I guess this is as good a time as any to tell this story:

Last year a gentleman friend and I were talking about what a possible future together would look like. He asked what I thought about changing my name if I got married and when I said I would change it he paused a beat and said, "You know 'Mrs. Paul F. Tompkins' is already taken, right?"
posted by Room 641-A at 8:29 AM on July 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


holy shit yes griphus you must listen to the august lindt thing the whole way through
posted by neuromodulator at 9:28 AM on July 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm thrilled that I had the chance to see many of these episodes live, (including LRH)

I am beyond jealous.
posted by griphus at 9:31 AM on July 2, 2015


Oddly enough, I found Han's Christian Anderson's accent kind of wonderful. I can't explain it.

I was so irritated by that episode because Wengert kept saying that Andersen was Dutch, and no one ever corrected him to say Danish!

One of my favorite moments in the series is when Ben Schwartz playing Roald Dahl discovered that Dahl had said a few anti-semitic things, and Schwartz was just so sweetly crushed.

Lennon Parham's Flannery O'Connor started slow, but once Parham did her peacock scream, I was totally in love.
posted by gladly at 9:46 AM on July 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just realized that my favorite episodes are ones where the humor is derived by the performer entirely throwing themselves into the character, and a lot of my least favorite episodes are ones where the humor is derived from the performer breaking character. Ben Schwartz, Jason Manzoukas, and Scott Aukerman (for instance) were nearly completely ignorant of their characters; each of them just tried to get laughs by acting like a modern person instead of someone really from their author's time period. Compare that to Gourley, who hosts a podcast about Ian Fleming and knows more about him than anyone I've ever spoken with, or Andy Daly, who clearly did a ton of research on Hubbard.

Andy Daly admitted that for his second-to-last Comedy Bang Bang appearance, he relistened to all his previous appearances and took notes. He might be the only podcast improviser who dedicates that much care to his characters. It really pays off.
posted by painquale at 10:37 AM on July 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


I also tend not to enjoy the ones where the performer clearly didn't do any reading up as much, but Ben Schwartz realizing that Roald Dahl was an anti-semite was hilarious.

I was pretty impressed by the Anne Frank episode. When that came up on my podcast app, I gave it a dubious look, wondering how much comedy could be mined out of Anne Frank, what with the unrelenting tragedy, but Jamie Denbo did a great job and focusing in on Anne Frank as a teenager was a surprisingly hilarious choice.

My favorite episode remains the Walt Whitman one. These LRH ones are climbing up the list, but the Walt Whitman episode had me in literal tears of hilarity.
posted by yasaman at 5:55 PM on July 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would just like to report back that after seeing episode 48, with Tymberlee Hill as Dr. Maya Angelou, it will forever be known as "The Legendary Episode 48." It's really a shame these aren't available on video. I'm hoping they have been recorded and will be end up on a DVD collection one day.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:16 PM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Secret Stash: New episodes for the next five Fridays
posted by Room 641-A at 12:19 AM on July 7, 2015


Oh wow. I spent a little while trying to guess who they all were until I realized that the authors are identified in the tags. I only got Yeats (duh) and Aleister Crowley right. Matt Gourley as Crowley should be hilarious.

Episode 50 is clearly going to be Jules Verne.

There are still so many authors left undone! I really wanted episodes on John Wilmot, Sir Philip Sidney, Dashiell Hammett, Augustine, or Aquinas. (Some might be a bit too obscure for the podcast, but they have great biographies and characters that would make for good episodes, I think.)
posted by painquale at 7:13 AM on July 7, 2015


The secret weapon is the audience. When the show's hitting on all cylinders they're so raucous and infectious that you can hear PFT and the Dead Author trying to get a grip. Hottest crowd in podcasting.
posted by whuppy at 8:37 AM on July 7, 2015


Adomian's Walt Whitman is a tour de force. It's one thing to prep for a role by studying up on your character, another thing entirely to improv so completely immersed in the author's voice at full throttle for 60 minutes.
posted by whuppy at 8:46 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Episode 50 is clearly going to be Jules Verne.

I desperately want this to be true!

Is it Kurt Braunohler as Burroughs where he forgets and calls PFT "Paul"? I can't quite remember which guest did that, but I did love hearing that little break and then he did it a second time!
posted by gladly at 8:56 AM on July 7, 2015


I really think they're missing out by not doing the Earl of Rochester. His story is crazy. He was a drunken lusty rake of a poet who kept pissing off the King in court and getting thrown in the Tower of London. Eventually, he had to go on the lam. From Wikipedia:
Rochester briefly fled to Tower Hill, where he impersonated a mountebank "Doctor Bendo". Under this persona, he claimed skill in treating "barrenness" (infertility), and other gynecological disorders. Gilbert Burnet wryly noted that Rochester's practice was "not without success", implying his intercession of himself as surreptitious sperm donor. On occasion, Rochester also assumed the role of the grave and matronly Mrs. Bendo, presumably so that he could inspect young women privately without arousing their husbands' suspicions.
That's even weirder than L. Ron.
posted by painquale at 3:29 PM on July 7, 2015




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