One of the most fascinating times in the history of stand-up comedy was the 1979 strike at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Joel and Corey are well read on the history of the strike, but were too young to have any first-hand knowledge. So this week, when a vintage list of all the phone numbers of all the big future stars that participated in the strike found its way into the hands of your hosts, they couldn’t help but to call. Would Jay Leno answer? Any chance Garry Shandling picks up? Has Elaine Boosler changed her number? Listen as the guys find out for themselves. Later, their joined by Ken Sevara, a friend and fellow comic who lived through the strike, joins the show to share his memories of that time, gives his advice to comedians and shares his memories of Robin Williams. It’s a great, insightful interview with someone who lived through comedy’s golden age and lived to tell about it. Also, Joel gets another ten seconds of screen-time in a major motion picture – even though it’s awful, The Emmys become a “cool kids” clique party, Joel impresses a TV star, and The Simpsons get ruined again, this time in a whole new way. Plus, goodbye to Chelsea Lately, a show neither Joel nor Corey nor anyone with a penis actually watched.
Comedian Ken Sevara, and the list of all the strike participants from 1979 (click here for full size)
There’s tragedy everywhere on this week’s Joel Radio. Robin Williams passed away this week and Joel and Corey have their memories of his amazing career, including Corey’s interview with him on a movie junket, and Joel being mocked by Robin on a podcast just a few years ago. The guys also recap his stand-up and movie work from the brilliant The World According to Garp and The Fisher King to later misfires like Flubber and Bicentennial Man. While lauding his wit and creativity, the guys also discuss Robin’s well-documented joke thievery – a fact, but still overshadowed by his tremendous success and personal largesse. The also discuss depression, Joel’s personal stories about the affliction and why it’s too simplistic to say that all comedians are depressed. Also, hear Joel’s awful story about a high-school screening of Dead Poet’s Society and why he’ll never see the movie the same way again. Plus, Joel and much of Metro Detroit are affected by recent floods, John Tenney calls in to promote that he’ll soon have something to promote, the internet changes stand-up comedy, and finally some respect for the ladies of The View – well, some of them anyway.
It’s a huge honor for this podcast to get an exclusive interview with Gilbert Gottfried, a hero to both Joel and Corey who recently appeared at the 15th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos. Listen as Gilbert complains about his backstage accommodations, sings the Thicke of the Night theme song, and waxes nostalgic about old Hollywood – much in the way he does on his terrific new podcast. Joel inquires about Jerry Lewis impersonators, Scott Baio and Jimmy Fallon, all in a delightful 12-minute conversation captured for eternity here on Joel Radio. But the Gilbert coverage doesn’t stop there, as you’ll get Joel’s blow-by-blow account of the ensuing show which involved bong hits, AFLAC ducks, and the Aristocrats. Listen for Joel’s personal highlight as the Juggalos chant “Fuck David Susskind!” to the delight of Gilbert himself – just one of many incredibly surreal and weird moments from a very memorable evening in Thornville, Ohio. Also, Joel’s new appreciation of Gilbert’s genius, the various levels his comedy works on, and why Penn Jillette is correct in calling Gilbert the Miles Davis of comedy. Plus, Jesse Ventura is both an idiot and an asshole, Guardians of the Galaxy is very good, and Let’s Be Cops is not. All that and Joel’s hilarious “big announcement” to end a really fun, funny show.
The movie referenced by Gilbert – now playing in your nightmare, or on YouTube………
….. and Gilbert’s first few minutes from the Gathering show (via Luke Hadley on YouTube)
It’s rare when there’s a new film in the (arguably) greatest science fiction franchise to talk about, so with the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this weekend, Joel and Corey Hall set out to give a definitive review. Joel’s in some position to do that too, as he binge watched all eight movies in the series, including all five of the original films and Tim Burton’s forgettable 2001 remake before screening Dawn. Corey is also a big fan, joining Joel in splurging on some Blu-rays, and while both enjoyed the new films there are criticisms such as the pacing and the tone of the film not fitting with past episodes. Joel breaks down – and spoils ! – the timeline and plot of the series, pointing out where the new films dovetail with the old and how even the original films have paradoxes and alternate histories within them. It’s hardcore sci-fi geekery, as the guys tell you how Tim Burton’s film inexplicably changed the narrative in a way you may not have noticed and proceed to rank the Apes film 1 to 8 from best to worst (Mr. Burton, you may not want to listen to that part). Also on this show, Corey gives a definitive winner in the battle of Keith Urban vs Toby Keith – listening to both Country Music superstars and determining which is least awful, Joel extols the virtues of New York Pizza, and Miley Cyrus tries and fails to make a gymnastics outfit sexy. Plus, the guys hate Last Comic Standing and will tell you why it is the worst vehicle ever for creating a new comedy star and the hard-to-understand reasons why that is so.
Apes from the new movie – not a picture of Joel and Corey!
And the Mad Men/Simpsons/Planet of the Apes mash-up no one’s been waiting for
There’s a full plate of nonsense on this episode, highlighted by a Joel Radio investigation into the recent hip-hop feud between Rick Ross and Detroit’s own Trick-Trick. Since Joel and Corey can’t make any sense of what went down, the call in the help of the help of their friends in the hip hop community. And since those guys don’t answer they end up calling their old sports reporter buddy Chill who is amazingly helpful considering he’s from the mean streets of Westland. The whole thing strikes the guys as ridiculous, but not before Joel starts claiming turf in the comedy scene and adopting his own rap moniker – Joke-Joke. Also, the guys get World Cup fever but that will clear up, Gilbert Gottfried gets a podcast but Joel can’t take it, and The Transformers get a new movie and Corey can’t stand that either. Plus, Joel explains the story of “The Beatle Who Vanished” including a musical trip back to the ’60s before the guys get nostalgic for their own youth and tell the sure-fire way to tell the difference between the ’90s music that was great and ’90s music that sucked.
Trick-Trick chills in the studio with his favorite website
Joel Radio welcomes John Tenney to the panel for the first time in a while. John was present at the recent live show disaster and reminisces with Corey and Joel about how bad the show was, the etiquette of heckling, and how the venue really failed the show. From there it’s a grab bag of stuff including, Joel’s story of his Italiain heritage (which includes a donkey), John doesn’t like the look of digital TV, Corey hates 3D, and a new Cheetos flavor gets rave reviews. Plus, Joel does a big show and gets booed for a great joke, a rundown of the E3 video game conference, and the economics of comedy – what it takes to hire a headliner and why John is looking to do so.
John gets friendly with Upchuck tha Clown, but oh, those cuts…………….
Some shows are released, others escape. That’s what happened with this recording of Joel Radio’s recent live comedy show at O’Mara’s in Berkley, MI. It’s a poor enough start with the club unable to dim the room lights and leaving the background music on to fight with the comics’ PA. Joel makes a genuine effort with some new jokes before bringing up the entire line-up of the Comedy Castle show from across town. Still, with little audience, Kevin McPeek turn his spot into a workshop, Dwayne Gill brings his “A” material to a “D” room, and Tom McCarthy reminiscences about open mikes past – sharing a hilarious story about the legendary Club Bart show. The bombs keep getting dropped with Joel Radio’s own Cory Hall, comedy student Jim VanHavermaat, and a returning Esther Navarez. A debuting Jonathan Jude gets a big intro from Joel but can’t keep it going, and his buddy Jeff Thomas tries his best but can’t seem to remember his material. You’ll also hear the lovable Larry Marino go down in flames, and Avery Sommerfield has a new biggest fan in John Tenney. Through no fault of the comedians, this is easily the worst comedy show ever committed to podcast, so enjoy it if you can, listen if you must, but let’s never, ever do something like this again.
Comedian Dwayne Gill wishing he was somewhere else. Not unlike the audience!
It’s a comedy-heavy podcast, and we’re not referring to the weight of the hosts, as Corey and Joel sit down to discuss the return of Last Comic Standing to TV and the treatment of comedians on NBC’s other talent competition America’s Got Talent. Turns out the guys have a good friend who received fair treatment on LCS, but otherwise the show seemed a mish-mash of bad edits, questionable judging and low production values, reminding the guys why they hated the show since the beginning. Joel even pulls up a the past seasons’ results to show how the show has passed up big talents and proclaimed nobodys to be America’s next big comedy star only to have their careers fall flat. And AGT isn’t much better, but at least the always funny Dan Naturman was able to prove himself on the debut episode, even if the producers wanted you to think he would fail. Speaking of failing, TBS cancels The Pete Holmes Show while renewing Conan an example of how cruel network politics can really be. And in future comedy/fail news, Joel gets booked to open for an indie rock icon and is already feeling the flop sweat forming, and Corey gives his best advice on opening for rock bands – one of comedy’s toughest and potentially most humiliating gigs. Also, black celebrities are the greatest celebrities of them all, kindergartners shouldn’t graduate, old jokes aren’t always the best ones, and Keenan Ivory Wayans sends Corey into a hilarious multi-state rant that has nothing to do with the LCS judge. Plus, summer movie mania continues with a review of the new X-Men movie, Joel’s thoughts on Godzilla, and A Million Ways To Die In The West proving that you can’t die from not being funny.
Tom Petty’s water is hopefully never coming to a retailer near you
Weird candies and nasty-flavored chips can mean only one thing – the return of Corey Hall to Joel Radio! Joel has stocked the studio with “test”-flavored Doritos and “Sour Watermelon” Peeps “Minis”. While one host summarily rejects both would-be snacks, the other finds the Peeps quite charming even if they look like dead chick-lings or undersized male (or female) genitalia rather than the robust marshmallow chickens from which they spawned. Hear the full breakdown of the snacks and Joel’s theory about why snack food makers do weird flavors – it’s probably not what you think. There’s also much debate about the changes in late-night TV, as Corey is welcoming Steven Colbert with open arms, while Joel thinks they should have thought outside the box a little more. Ultimately Joel’s suggestion is the worst idea Corey’s ever heard for a late night host, at least since Jimmy Fallon and you’ll never guess who Joel suggests. Plus, Corey reviews Godzilla and Amazing Spider-Man 2, Joel has a must-see music documentary on Netflix, the guys call for an end to movie sequels, and John Turturro lives out every man’s fantasy and makes one of the worst movies ever in the process.
That’s either a worm, a snake, a flaccid penis, a sugary green clitoris, or a baby chicken, but whatever it is, it’s delicious
It’s another live night of satand-up comedy from O’Mara’s Irish Pub in Berkley, MI. Joel gets the proceedings going with a new set including his reasoning for why every girl should date him. It takes a long time to get to it, but after jokes about CNN and Oscar Pistorious, Joel’s ridiculous premise pays off with big laughs – it’s funny ’cause it’s true! The laughs keep coming with comedy superstar-to-be Brad Wenzel who’s dry and deadpan delivery always works . Also, seasoned veteran Gary George makes a rare flub that is undoubtebly Joel’s favorite moment of the night, Heather Kozlakowski gets heckled – but not for her previous relationship with Joel – and Hailey Zureich shares an outlandish way for women not to be kidnapped. Plus, sets from Julie Lyons, Ron Lutze, Jibtron Zero, Ben Langworthy, Loyd Digg, Avery Sommerfeld, and the return of Nino Brown, who is unconvinced that Joel does not host The Price Is Right.