Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why these are the best Podcasts of 2008

People admire firm opinions, I find. Hitler, in his time, was popular, as was Stalin. And today in Britain we have Mark Kermode, whose views - in his own narrow subject area - are similarly unwavering.

But more about the good Doctor Kermode and similar *wittertainment* later. After a bit more mindless preamble. Heck, this is like the Podcasting Oscars, so we have to pad it out a bit. Make it a bit more of an event... There won't be any acceptance speeches.

Anyway, my point is that if you want to be an Opinion Former, you're probably best to have a point of view - and stick to it. So people know who you are, what you do and where you stand. If you brook different points of view and suggest that what you say may NOT always be true, then you'll rarely do well.

Look at the Liberal Democrats. Go on, look at them. No one ever looks at them. Even if Vincent Cable is the best politician in Britain, bar none. No one knows, no one cares.

Here is my advice to the Lib Dems - get 5 really good opinions - all simple to understand and have them tattooed to your foreheads. Probably as a bulleted list. Then every time we see a member of your party walking down the street or on the telly - we can go, "Oh, look, it's one of those tattooed Liberals that believe in ... whatever it is. Those 5 things."

There you go, Liberals. Simple tactics. Excellent marketing. Just don't do your tattoos while you're looking in the mirror. That would be a big mistake, Libs.

So. I'm still being positive and I'm still accentuating the bestest stuffs of 2008. It's therapeutic at this time of year. It's either this or the weather or the credit crunch or how winter isn't as good as it used to be in the olden days... bla bla bla.

So, here are some more Bests of the Year. And what I say is law, frankly.

I'm right and you're entitled to your own opinions, but your opinions are wrong and worthless. When I say that Very Mature Cheddar was The Best Cheese of 2008, you could disagree. But you'd be wrong. So if you have any opinions on the year in cheese - angry arguments you'd like to make about this year's Stilton crop - don't bother, I'm not interested. Brie is rubbish in the autumn: nice on Boxing Day, good in the summer, but somehow pointless in October - unless deep-fried. That is just a fact, so don't go there.

The same applies to my list of Podcasts. Generally it's fair to say: Comedy Podcasts. I don't think there even would have been enough for a list in 2007. Podcasts didn't really exist. As far as I was aware there were only 2 worth listening to in 2007. And even now it's a short list. I meant to do this list a week ago but got confused by my own brain and ended up writing a bloggage about 'Why are all comedians men?"

I got a bit annoyed by myself for doing that, but, y'know, we all get sidetracked and confused. So long as I don't start wandering around Piccadilly Train Station in my pyjamas, dribbling and wittering on about why Brie is an over-rated soft cheese - I'll be fine. No one can complain. The list that no one was asking for is now here!!!

So then. Where were we? Podcasts? What are podcasts? Why should you care? In all honesty, I could understand if you didn't care, imaginary reader. As far as I can work out the comedic podcasts in this list are either exerpts from radio shows with the music/travel news/time checks cut out - or else a couple of blokes sitting in a broom cupboard talking. That's it. Simple. Sometimes dull, sometimes world shiftingly hilarious.

Wiki describes the podcast phenomena thus:
"A podcast is a series of audio or video digital-media files which is distributed over the Internet by syndicated download, through Web feeds, to portable media players and personal computers. Though the same content may also be made available by direct download or streaming, a podcast is distinguished from other digital-media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added."
Thanks Wiki, my old buddy & source of occasionally dubious information. So let's press on and get to the meat of the matter... People (men) talking. Download em from iTunes & listen to em on your compy or your iPod***
***other Mp3 players are available.

And a drumroll, please, for ... the Best of 2008 + the most notorious + The Worst of ALL Time, The Best of ALL TIME & the 1 I just am not liking even though it's the most cleverist.

The Top 5 Podcasts of 2008***
*** Note, this list is pure fact and based on truth. All other lists are wrong.

In 5th place for the year - but obviously the BEST OF ALL TIME: The Ricky Gervais Podcast: More or less the original comedy podcast, and now available as an 'audiobook' - which means you have to pay for it. Gervais, Steve Merchant and the oddbod little alien on a stick look-a-like Karl Pilkington. A man with views so backward you would think his brain had been fitted by a blind mechanic wearing boxing gloves. A man who Gervais, cruelly, of course, describes as having a "head like a fucking orange." The man who brought us 'Monkey News'. A definite kind of genius product is this podcast, but they've not done too many this year and now you have to pay. So 5th place. Not that they would care.

Sample Pilkington quote:
On cutting open avocados- "It's a food that ain't worth injuring yourself for. If it's a hassle to get into, leave it to the experts." [from the Pilkipedia]

4th Place - Phill & Phil's Perfect 10 - Jupitus & Wilding are the Phil(l)s. Classic "wrong" pub conversations. Often inspired, occasionally self-indulgent or just offensive, but sometimes *wallop* you're listening to it in Asda and rocking with laughter like an imbecile. All I can say is: Bob Hoskins - what an image, ooooohhh....

3rd Place - Collings & Herrin Podcast - Andrew Collins & Richard Herring talking shite about the news, but mainly just about bumming (o boys!) and their love of Jon Gaunt. Longer than the others and they get lost a bit at times. But there are flights of fancy that are quite fancy. (None of these descriptions is much good, I now realise. Listen to em & find out what you think. You may decide that Collins sounds too much like Mr Bean.)

2nd Place - Adam & Joe - 6 Music Podcast. It has the advantage that it's a 3 hour radio show distilled like, like an alcoholic beverage that gets distilled. Lots of love and attention goes into it. Two ex-public school boys and childhood friends. Silly voices, silly songs, silly arguments, silly text-in competitions. It sounds really crap when I describe it. But it is - like all of these - one where you either get it or you don't. Don't go to the gym and listen to this as you might end up falling off the running machine. Adam & Joe are just talking - then conversation takes a turn for the bizarre and you've forgotten where you are and you're hopelessly falling backwards.

1st Place in my affections - Mark Kermode's Film Reviews -
Keeping the description short - Mark Kermode ranting in an insanely rational style about rubbish films and elugizing any genius films that come along. Absolutely essential. He is a genius. The end. As Kermode would say, "You can disagree, but you'll be wrong."

  • On Guy Ritchie's Revolver: "Things got so bad I half expected oxygen masks to drop down from the ceiling while red and white lights guided us all to the nearest exits."
  • "Is that a nest of tables? NO. It's Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley having some red hot passionate embrace that is positively teaky."
  • Norbit - "If you paid to see Norbit, look deep inside yourself. Look deep inside yourself and take the same amount of money you paid to see that movie and give it to a good cause because believe me, you're karmically unbalanced if you paid to see that film."
The Most Notorious Podcast of 2008
That'll be the Russell Brand Podcast then <<- see previous bloggage. Good ole BBC. It's all quite funny in retrospect. The young lady involved in the scandal has made lots of money taking her clothings off. Andrew Sachs will make money from his biography selling more. Brand is off in Hollywood. Jonathan Ross gets to have an extended holiday & rewrite his autobiography. "Sticks & stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. " As I was told to tell the boys that were teasing me when I was an 8 year old. I can't even remember what they were teasing me for, so it can't have been that bad.

The Podcast I know I will hate without even listeningclick to see Viz's George Lamb cartoon

It's a tough one this. Obviously the Chris Moyles Podcast would be the natural 'unheard' hate object. But there is a man I hate more. A man so handsome, so tall, so full of natural self-love that he needs a few of my sticks & stones just to bring him down to the level of us mere mortals. Yes, it's Ray Davies' best friend - the gorgeous and pouting George Lamb with 'comedy' excerpts from his execrable 6music show. The nadir of Zoo radio. Lovely George and his equally nice sounding mockney posse laughing at each other's jokes. Lovely. My brain hurts re-imagining listening to him. If I hadn't made a vow to P O S I T I V I T Y, I'd be tempted to slag it off. In the circumstances, I'll just say, it might be quite good, it's just not my thing... in the same way that sticking a carving knife in my sternum isn't my thing...

The Podcast I should like but can't listen to
So. Stephen Fry. Always good on the telly, but I find his novels unreadable and his podcast, sorry, *Podgram* unlistenable. It's just him talking and that's it. He's very clever, but... not for me, Steve. Soz.

Too many words. We're out of time. Goodbye...

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you havent heard it but the Times Online podcast 'The Bugle' by John Oliver and Andy Saltzman is very funny indeed.

    Oh yes.. and George Lamb must be terminated!