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Podthoughts: Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident

Vital stats:
Format: Dave Hill talking to comedians and other people he knows, bracketed by Dave Hill talking (or shredding)
Episode duration: 45m-2h
Frequency: one or two per month

I feel the time has nearly come to define a new genre of podcasting: comedians interviewing their friends and, if they seem entertaining enough, their acquaintances and friends-of-friends. Marc Maron’s Los Angeles-based WTF became a notable early example of this, though he’s found even more success by widening his mandate to include people he doesn’t much like or simply has a curiosity about. More recently, Pete Holmes gave the idea his own peculiar spin with You Made It Weird, and Julie Klausner’s How Was Your Week transplanted it into rich New York City soil. A couple years back, comedian Dave Hill launched a similar project from his own NYC base: Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident [RSS] [iTunes].

Then again, “comedian” doesn’t quite cover it. The man also writes articles, contributes to This American Life, and plays guitar or bass in a bunch of current, former, and semi-fictional bands. He also maintains a faintly Wildean personal style, on display when he hit fashion week as a correspondent for Put This On. Hill, in other words, has made himself into a man of many skills. This would have gotten him all kinds of traction in, say, the eighteenth or nineteenth century, but in our debased modern era, this sort of thing seems to drain one’s notoriety rather than boost it. But I suspect this very range has allowed him to cultivate such a striking podcast guest list: accompanying the comedians like Tig Notaro [MP3] or Rob Delaney [MP3], we’ve got New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell [MP3], no-longer-uptight (so he claims) musician Moby [MP3], and charter Culture Club member Boy George [MP3]. See a mix of names like those, and you more or less have to download a few episodes, just to hear what could possibly be going on.


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