Podcast - Adam Savage Project

On Comedy and Performing Live – 10/8/2013

This week, Norm and Adam discuss comedy, storytelling, the challenges of taking the Behind the Myths tour on the road, and the benefits of being a talking shell with shoes on.

Comments (36)

36 thoughts on “On Comedy and Performing Live – 10/8/2013

  1. There are a few mainly British standups I really love: Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran, Dara Ó Briain, …

  2. Same. I love UK comedians like Dara O’Briain, Ross Noble, and Michael McIntyre. Growing up in New Zealand, I was exposed to a lot of UK comedy, so there’s something about the British sense of humour that works for me, in ways the US stand up just doesn’t. Though, having said that, in a different environment, like interviews or podcasts or acting, I like plenty of US comedians just fine – Paul F Tompkins or Patton Oswalt, for example, can make me laugh all night when they’re riffing on a podcast, but for some reason when they’re on stage doing a routine there’s a disconnect and it doesn’t work for me.

  3. I’ve always seen good stand up comedy as less of a performance and more of a conversation with the audience.

    Edit:As I read that again I’m sure I’ve heard that sentence before so I take no claim to the idea, but agree with it none the less.

  4. Tim Minchin.

    Pure comic and musical genius and an incredible philosopher in his own right.

    From Australia and now resides in London.

  5. Same here, I love british/irish comedy.

    Ed Byrne, Dara O’Briain and especially Bill Bailey and Dylan Moran is great fun to watch.

    Can’t say i’m that into american standup though.

  6. Great podcast! Here’s a topic I’d like to see you all discuss:

    I agree that getting kids interested in science is vital to our country’s wellbeing, but how do you keep kids interested in science?

    Using myself as an example, I got interested in computer science and robotics in high school and am now studying it in college. I find the subject to be extremely interesting, but I frequently get discouraged by the vast amount of ‘busywork’ I have to do. Yet on the other hand, I also understand the importance of the busywork because it builds one skills and intuition for solving problems.

    I guess, in a general form, my question would this: how do you overcome the drudgery of learning a new skill when it feels like you don’t get any immediate reward for your actions.

  7. Great Great Great show until the add at the end killed everything. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against the add, but and this is a big butt, that will not lie… The volume of the show was softer than normal so I had my speakers up high and then the add came on and was at least 5X’s louder then the show itself. Guys, I love your show but if you start pumping up the volume on your adds like they do on TV or the Radio it is really going to piss your viewers off.

  8. I’m also a huge fan of the UK/Irish/Australian comedians. I watch a lot of panel shows to get my weekly doses of those guys.

    Lately Jimmy Carr is one of my favourites, these days there are a ton of great storytellers, but few people who do actual jokes. His subject matter isn’t for everyone, but the way he handles language is so elegant. Few comedians pack as many laughs into an hour as him and he has a huge catalog of work.

    I also really enjoyed Russell Howard’s latest DVD, where he stepped his game up hugely from his usual routine of silly voices and observational stuff.

    In the US I love a lot of the guys Adam mentioned, Louis CK is a genius. Also, Craig Ferguson, the Late, Late Show is fantastic and I watched every episode for close-to three years running, he is the only talkshow host that isn’t stale, forced and derivative IMO.

  9. I thought that was the Master Sword from the LoZ series. That aside, I happen to like Billy Connolly as far as the standup, Michael McIntyre, Eddie Izzard and Jimmy Carr are others.

  10. Just watched the Hannibal Buress bit Adam was mentioning and loved it. Reminded me of my favorite comedian of all time, the late Mitch Hedberg.

  11. Is there any link to Marcel… Duchelle ? I’m not sure if I have it right … Thanks again for a great podcast … Keep them comming !

  12. Its ok. I really do like the shows and episodes you guys put out. I work in a brewery/pub in Portland, OR and we listen to tested at least 3 times a week, old episodes on repeat when there is nothing new as well. Keep testing.

  13. I have a great love of stand up comedy, though I confess I’m not as ‘well read’ in the area as I’d like to be. That being said; Christopher Titus probably has the best delivery I’ve ever seen.

  14. Broomsticks are good enough swords as kids lol. My brother and I had our share of bloody knuckles from wooden broomstick swordfights.

  15. Eddie Izzard. His shows, Glorious and Dressed to Kill are my bar to which all comedy is judged. Great stuff.

    Absolutely agree. I think his “Death Star canteen” monologue is just brilliant.

    And yes, Hannibal was hysterical!

  16. I’d like to second Adam’s appreciation for Maria Bamford. Her material is often intensely personal, but as a physical comedian there are few more subtle IMO. The Maria Bamford Show on YouTube is a great showcase and thoroughly recommended.

  17. Your comment about comedians (Craig Ferguson?) trying out new material reminded me of a clip I saw of Rodney Dangerfield in his club, Dangerfield’s. He was in character, but had a stack of index cards and a pen. As he delivered the jokes he’d mark the cards (I’m assuming a yes or no; it was quick) with the crowd’s reactions. IIRC, he made several quips about the audience’s reaction as he made his notes, things like “so that’s the kind of crowd you are…”

    There are stories of all of the ‘ad-lib’ comments and ‘improvisations’ by trumpeter Louis Armstrong- all carefully rehearsed beforehand.

    The point is that looking unprepared on stage takes a -lot- of work!

    –PaulMmn

  18. Oops, I had allocated a bit of time to listen to Still Untitled. Who knew it’d cause me to watch a bunch of youtube clips, and then an entire podcast (Hardwick’s with M. Bamford), and even check a few L C.K. clips.

    I was supposed to be coding.

    Oh well, I can play G and C chords a little better now. Not to mention finding great comedians.

  19. My go to for shouting out comedians is Tommy Tiernan who is an Irish comedian that is astounding to watch in terms of the energy he brings to his stand-up. And I’m taking energy, he characteristically sweats from all the movement he does, and often wears ear mics because he can’t stay in one place to use a normal mic.

    It’s funny to bring up stand-up at this stage because as a child I was manic about consuming stand-up on TV, watching Comedy Central Presents regularly and catching any specials I could from the greats, in particular Richard Pryor. Nowadays, that sort of went away when I migrated from TV to the internet. My attitude is always that I’ll be able to return to it, and that’s been true with other things, but this I’ve yet to really revisit in earnest.

  20. Thank you so much Adam for pointing out Hannibal. As some others have mentioned, he reminds me of the late comedian Mitch Hedberg, with his style of non sequitur joke telling, delivered with a cadence that only intensifies the comedy. Mitch was my favorite comic of all time, and although he cannot be replaced, Hannibal’s comedy seems enough in the same vein to satisfy that itch. Thanks again.

  21. On the subject of bias: my favorite quote about it is from Douglas Adams in So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish.

    “But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.”

    It so perfectly encapsulates the aspect of wonder that science has that gets lost in the tedium and procedure. I feel like Jamie and Adam try to keep this aspect in mind whenever they shoot Mythbusters, which is why we all love it so much. And when they miss the mark, the absolute best thing about them is that they take in feedback and are willing to try (most) things again.

    Still loving Still Untitled – thanks guys for putting this together for me to enjoy and re-energize with every week.

  22. Hi guys, I am a science teacher (as many listeners are) and wanted to say how closely to home this particular podcast hit. For me Teaching is a performance and comedy plays a big part. Thanks for commenting on the two.

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