Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
John Mulaney and Nick Kroll in Oh, Hello On Broadway

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for Oh, Hello: The P’dcast

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll in Oh, Hello On Broadway
Photo: Joan Marcus (Netflix)
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

It’s A Thing
Sourdough Start Me Up

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

Our hosts begin this week patting themselves on the back for predicting that the Tiger King reception would go from sugar to shit. They also despair over having neglected to spotlight sourdough starter fever in its nascent stages, as sourdough is now definitely A Thing, and they failed to deem it one. That oversight is rectified in this episode, which goes deep on stay-at-home food. The sourdough craze is already big enough to produce spinoff interests like biga and crackers. And joining the loaf love is the sudden viral embrace of dalgona coffee, a Korean drink that whips instant coffee, sugar, water, and milk together into photogenic social media catnip, momentarily warding off cabin fever with an imitation café experience. Meanwhile, the nighttime drink of choice for many self-isolators is turning out to be to-go single-serve cocktails, sometimes purchased via kits for at-home mixing. Although takeout booze is a desperate response to a despairing situation, the hosts, looking for the bright side, do appreciate how it makes everywhere feel like New Orleans. [Zach Brooke]


Oh, Hello: The P’dcast
Overture

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon have had more interesting careers than most other sketch comedy characters. After first gaining popularity on Comedy Central’s Kroll Show, the cantankerous, self-absorbed New Yorkers portrayed by John Mulaney and Nick Kroll moved their schtick first to Broadway and then to Netflix. Now, just when the world needs them most, George and Gil have returned with Oh, Hello: The P’dcast and are determined to “win the quarantine.” True to form, the podcast’s premise—which is discussed at length in the premiere episode with unwitting guests Ira Glass (This American Life) and Sarah Koenig (Serial)—is inscrutable. It’s ostensibly about the tragic death of Princess Diana, an event neither George nor Gil had anything to do with and which seems to have had no impact on their lives. Joining them to discuss the People’s Princess throughout the season will be guests Pete Davidson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Oliver, and a professional medium tasked with summoning the late royal’s spirit. No word yet on whether an absurd amount of tuna will be making an appearance, but we can hope. [Dan Neilan]


Radio Menea
One Day At A Time

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

Miriam Zoila Pérez and Verónica Bayetti Flores kick off this episode by confronting the reality of having to take things quite literally one day at a time, considering the state of the world and the current cuarentena. (Pérez and Flores typically record their podcast remotely, so their production is unaffected by sheltering in place.) Next, they talk about Bad Bunny’s song “Yo Perreo Sola” and the groundbreaking ways in which he (a cis-het Latino man) uses drag in the song’s new music video. Hearing the perspectives of two queer Latinx writers talking about music, and allowing that conversation to move fluidly across genres, makes for an amazing listening experience. They touch on music videos, television—like the latest season of groundbreaking Latinx sitcom One Day At A Time—and social issues. [Jose Nateras]


Recode Media
Jeffrey Katzenberg’s $1.75 Billion Bet On Quibi

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

If there’s any podcast that can convey just how ambitious the new mobile-only streaming platform Quibi is, it’s the latest episode of Vox’s Recode Media in which host Peter Kafka interviews an overly enthused Jeffrey Katzenberg. The Quibi founder, who raised $1.75 billion for this project, makes the case that this new platform, with its slate of short-form programming, is where millennial viewers should spend their “in-between time.” Kafka tries to tease out what makes this platform so unique, and Katzenberg, as excited as he is, doesn’t seem to say much aside from deeming Quibi a luxury good. At one point, Kafka asked whether Quibi isn’t just releasing high-quality short videos. No, Katzenberg counters, Quibi is “long-form video, delivered in chapters.” The best moment arrives at the end, when The Verge reporter Julia Alexander joins Kafka to explain how Quibi compares to other major streaming platforms, yet ends up describing the service as something similar to the failure that was YouTube Red. Ouch. [Kevin Cortez]


Shweet! The Ladies Guide To Bro Culture With Jeena Bloom
We’re Gonna See Those Rocks Again (The Shawshank Redemption)

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

Jeena Bloom, a transgender female comedian, grew up steeped in male pop culture. Now she’s got a podcast where she’s bringing “the loudest, bro-iest pieces of pop culture from her old life to her favorite female comics.” On each episode, one guest has never experienced the pop culture at hand, and one guest is already a fan. For The Shawshank Redemption—a film lacking in female roles, to say the least—Bloom is joined by The Bechdel Cast hosts Jamie Loftus and Caitlin Durante. All three of them unpack what makes the film an undeniable classic and one that prompts people of any gender to cry—a lot. In true Bechdel Cast fashion, they view the film through a lens of female and queer representation, which many listeners might not have applied to something like Shawshank before. Perhaps most touching is when Jeena explains how the film maps over the journey of those who don’t meet traditionally masculine expectations. [Nichole Williams]


Sugar Calling
Everything Is Always Keep Changing

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

Author of the bestselling memoir Wild and former advice columnist Cheryl Strayed is back with a new podcast, Sugar Calling, from The New York Times. Except instead of doling out the advice, as in her erstwhile “Dear Sugar” column, Strayed is seeking wisdom—from writers who have inspired her, asking them for insight on how to navigate the current uncertain times. This first episode is a soothing conversation with her mentor and former professor, author George Saunders (Lincoln In The Bardo), on how to view the current outbreak as both humans and writers. Saunders shares the letter he wrote to his graduate students at Syracuse University on the role of the artist in times of upheaval and fear. Looking to the past, his own family, and even Abraham Lincoln, Saunders examines the role of the writer to bear witness, the case for humor, and the moral responsibility to hold on to pleasure. [Morgan McNaught]


The Magnus Archives
Dwelling

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

The premiere of the fifth and final season of this superlative horror fiction series comes with an unexpected content warning. Not because of the horrors that Jonathan Sims and his team at Rusty Quill have conjured—eldritch, unspeakable, and reliably skin-crawling—but because the entire episode takes place huddled inside a single location while unseen doom looms outside the door. As explained by Magnus producer Alexander Newall (who voices the series’ stalwart second banana, Martin), the end game in this tangled story of a British institute’s fight against Lovecraftian evil plays out in a world where the dark side has won and the forces of good are helpless and alone. Thankfully for them and us, the protagonists, Sims (the Archivist) and Martin, have each other, even in the midst of a potential apocalypse. The whole episode creaks with the specter of what’s outside the isolated cabin and includes an exchange between John and Martin that will stick with listeners until the next episode. [Dennis Perkins]


This Game Changed My Life
Abdullah: Escape In An Oil Barrel

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney and Nick Kroll bring their gravelly voices to the mic for iOh, Hello: The P’dcast/i

On each episode of This Game Changed My Life, hosts Aoife Wilson and Julia Hardy dig into the real lives behind video games, as well as what video games inspire. This week, Abdullah Karam explains how he turned his harrowing journey as a refugee fleeing war-torn Syria into the adventure game Path Out. Karam’s love of gaming started when his mother bought a PlayStation to encourage her sons to stay indoors, away from the violence outside. When he turned 18, his family convinced him to leave the country to avoid military conscription. Wilson and Hardy are stunned by the details of Karam’s escape, which he relates with surprisingly good humor: At one point he was forced to travel in a barrel half-filled with crude oil whose fumes were so noxious that they caused him to vomit uncontrollably. And during a perilous sea crossing, he and 60 other refugees were crammed onto a vessel meant to hold only 40 people. Despite everything, Karam’s optimism persisted and inspired him to create a game that might educate players about the refugee experience. [Anthony D Herrera]

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