Sometimes a new podcast can win you over on premise alone…
You fall for the pitch first and foremost, and the host is just a blank vessel on which you are delivered your tasty tidbits of information. Other times, the host can advance a podcasting predilection to a full blown obsession. Podcasting ‘identities’ like Maron have proven this to be the case. A show in which a butthurt, aging comedian talks chronologically through his guests entire life doesn’t sound like an enthralling premise on paper, but Maron’s intellect and dry, self-depreciating tone have made him the poster child for interviewing practices.
And so it is with comedian Pete Holmes‘ podcast You Made It Weird. A casual chinwag from a comedian you’re likely to know little about sounds pretty average, but Blerg guarantees you’re gonna fall in love with Holmes kind voice and ridiculous laugh after approximately .75 episodes of Nerdist series You Made It Weird.
When it launched back in 2011, the show’s premise was that Holmes would ask his guests (more often than not fellow comedians) about three weird things he had heard about them, but the show has since evolved heavily, and almost accidentally into a general discussion which ventures into darker topics like religion, death and sexuality. These topics are even more engaging coming from Holmes who regular listeners will know, has a fascinating past. He grew up extremely religious and conservative and married super young before eventually divorcing his wife, abandoning his religion, and exploring life and death via other spiritual pathways. He also discusses these things with such a kind and respectful filter, that they really do bring out some magical moments for the listener. He has most memorably spoken to Jon Hamm and SNL’s Pete Davidson about the death of their parents and both were almost every bit as hilarious as they were haunting..
Holmes has said of the tough questions, ” this show has become a vehicle for me to have the kinds of conversations I’d like to be having. And when I hear you say you listen to these conversations and then go home and have more of them, that’s the juice. That’s good stuff….One of my obsessions in life is that we have the tools to manufacture moments and real things, but it’s overwhelming and there’s a lot of fear and you think maybe you’ll be rejected or embarrassed or somehow hurt emotionally. So we don’t do the things we know we can do, but we can make people feel better and make people happier with compliments or just being positive and that sort of thing and sending it their way. We also have profound little moments, but it’s hard. It’s so much easier to eat a taco and jerk off and go to a movie. “
Blerg recommends acquainting yourself with You Made It Weird’s vast catalogue of interviews via episodes featuring Jermaine Clement, Zach Galafianakis and Andy Samberg.
The You Made It Weird podcast releases episodes weekly, all available for free via The Nerdist, your podcasting app or Soundcloud (above).