I am a big podcast nerd, particularly comedy podcasts. I love hearing my favorite comedians on a weekly/monthly basis instead of waiting for their next album, which might not ever come. I came across Comedy and Everything Else by accident while browsing through the podcasts on iTunes. What caught my eye was that it featured one of my favorite comedians, Todd Glass. The other two names attached (Jimmy Dore and Stefane Zamarano) were completely new to me at the time. What I discovered was a podcast that was both funny, but also explored the nuances of comedy and how comedians view their craft. The episodes are long, many topping over two hours, and I love it. The conversations these people are having are the kind I want to listen to for hours and hours more. The earlier episodes are a little rough in terms of sound quality, but they improve quickly.
The focal point of CEE is Jimmy Dore. Dore is a Chicago transplant to L.A. and comes from your typical large Irish-Catholic family. He’s worked with Doug Benson and Arj Barker’s Marijuna-logues and a highly rated Comedy Central special, Citizen Jimmy, in 2008. Dore’s focus in comedy is on the political, though he works to keep from becoming didactic and aims for a tone of satire in his work. His paramour is fellow comedienne and improvisationalist, Stefane (pronounced Steh-fuh-nay) Zamarano. The duo collaborate on the regular feature “Tuesdays With Moron”, wherein Jimmy has a conversation with himself as the ultra-conservative, Fox News uber-fan Moron. Stef plays Moron’s constantly nagging in the background wife, Terese. Sadly, Todd Glass left in the fall of 2009 after a falling out with Dore. The details of the bad blood has not been publicly released but the absence of Todd was definitely felt while the show worked to redefine and regroup. Glass recently returned to the show as a guest for the 100th episode and, since he suffered a heart attack a few months ago, has reunited with Dore and Zamarano and the conflict seems to have passed.
On the most recent episode, Dore has tackled a controversy in the comedy community surrounding a “Comedy Boot Camp” run by comedians Kyle Cease and Louie Anderson. The program came under fire after Doug Stanhope posted a strong missive about it on his blog, calling up notorious comedy class shills from the past. Dore’s three hour interview with Cease is very interesting and allows the comedian to explain what his program is. Cease doesn’t come off in a great light though, and at time sounds awfully defensive towards hypothetical criticisms Dore throws at him. Dore is also very upfront about his feelings towards comedy classes, particularly ones that cost upwards of $3000 for a week of workshops. There’s some interesting talk about when a comedian is ready to sell himself to the television/film industry and about how a comedian pays their dues and learns their craft. If you are a comedy geek like myself, and appreciate comedy as an art and craft, then I think you will enjoy the topics covered and guests who pop up on CEE.