It's not a band, album, vinyl reissue, or live show...it's a damn podcast. That's right, the best thing going right now in the world of sound is Comedy Death Ray, a weekly comedy podcast in Los Angeles. For context sake: former Mr. Show writer Scott Aukerman (@ScottAukerman) started a weekly show at M Bar in Los Angeles which brought in comedians each week and after two years moved to the UCB Theater (where the show currently resides weekly). It was in 2009 that Aukerman began doing CDR as a hour long radio show on Indie 103.1 which, like all the best things, quit broadcasting and moved to Internet radio only. CDR moved to Earwolf Studios where it currently broadcasts as a radio program and is posted for download as a podcast. A new episode takes place every Monday and the podcast is FREE.
My love for CDR began last year as Joey (@changingmyplea) from Backseat Sandbar and I drove from Louisville to Austin for SXSW. I created twenty playlists highlighting every song I've loved from the 50's on. I slaved over these mixes and we didn't listen to a single one. Instead, Joey introduced me to the wonderful world of CDR. He pressed play and then, blink, we arrived in Austin. It was incredible. It's hard to be the best in the world at anything, even if it's ridiculously specific, but I can say Scott Aukerman is the best in the world at podcasting. He approaches his hosting duties with such an ease and honesty that it's impossible not to enjoy his show. The key to CDR's success is the fact that Aukerman is not the funniest person on the program. With numerous comedians featured on each episode, Aukerman brings out the best in each of his comedic guests. We're talking about Nick Kroll, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, and many more. They're all at their best on CDR and it's because Aukerman creates an environment to challenge these comedians to reach new levels of humor.
My favorite part of the show are the characters the guest comedians create. The standouts include Nick Kroll doing Fabrice Fabrice (craft service to the stars) Bobby Bottleservice (Jersey Shore/Ed Hardy) and El Chupacabra (Hispanic Radio Host). Paul F. Tompkins does Cake Boss, Ice Tea, and an insane Andrew Lloyd Webber character. My personal favorite is James Adomian who does Huell Howser (an insane host of a PBS program California Gold), Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, and a dead on Paul Giamatti. CDR is responsible for one of the greatest comedic characters of all time with the wonderful Bob Ducca played by Seth Morris (Ducca is Aukerman's ex-step father who is riddled with problems). Check out a clip:
The show is also breaking new talent in the world of comedy. One of my favorite new comedians is Harris Wittels (@wittels). He's a Parks And Recreations writer but on CDR he has a segment where Wittels reads off random thoughts that he has typed out on his phone. I could listen to them for hours. Aukerman and Wittels' have a natural banter that highlights why CDR is special.
It's tough to be funny or interesting for an hour, especially without any moving images or quick cuts in this ADD riddled world we live in. Aukerman has created the best hour of comedy that can be found on any platform. That's right, a radio show podcast is funnier than any current films, television programs, or live comedy shows going right now. WLFY is a music blog, but I needed to write about CDR because if I have any readers who aren't listening to this show, I would be doing a disservice. Last week I moved from Louisville to Los Angeles and polished off 28 hours of CDR on the drive across the country. A driver that should have taken three days was accomplished in two because I didn't want to stop listening to the magic that is Comedy Death Ray. The show comes with the highest stamp of approval WLFY can put on anything.
Also, this is a plea to bring back "What's up, hotdog?"
You can subscribe and download CDR episodes on iTunes. Links and info HERE.