What I’m Backing
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I’m a little late to the podcast-parade, typically preferring to listen to my music or NPR (you may now begin forming opinions on me), but when I came across Aisha Tyler’s Girl on Guy, I was basically hooked.
If you have no idea who Aisha Tyler is, don’t worry – she’s more of a recent discovery for me too. She’s a stand-up comedian who’s played a multitude of smaller television and TV roles, the most notable one for me being the voice of Lana Kane on Archer. And seriously if you’re still not watching Archer yet, stop what you’re doing, hop onto Netflix, and go stream the first season. Wait, what do you mean you don’t have Netflix yet? Here’s an engraved invitation – allow me to formally welcome you to the 21st century.
Anyway, Aisha Tyler does some wonderful voice acting in Archer, and not unlike everyone else in the show has fabulous comedic timing and inflection; out of the 2 seasons I’ve watched so far (the 3rd currently playing) I haven’t run into a single episode that wasn’t great.
That being said, when I read in an interview that she has a podcast (thanks again, Twitter, geh) and also learned she’s been a stand-up comedian for years I was naturally intrigued and decided to give it a listen; since my only interaction with her had been auditory (since Archer is an animated show I clearly never get to see her) it seemed like a logical segue.
Girl on Guy is essentially Aisha talking with other comedians about life as a comedian and the business of comedy in general. She has some specific questions she clearly wants to get to, but for the most part their conversation moves very naturally and the back and forth is always interesting. The talks can vary from anything from poop jokes to cultural differences to politics, so it can be a pretty wide-ranging show. For the most part, though, everything revolves around what it’s like being a comedian.
Not that I’ll ever be a comedian myself, but I’ve had a lot of “huh, how about that?” moments while listening. How Aisha and her interviewee handle flops versus successes, how comedy changes depending on what country or region you’re in, and what makes some venues better than others have been enlightening topics, and it’s interesting how comedians work to find jobs and make their careers.
Every show starts with Aisha giving a short introduction about the person she’s interviewing and a quick schpiel on where she’ll be the coming week (if anywhere). When the interview is over she comes back in the same vein to do her “Apologia” in which she apologizes for any off-color or offensive comments.
Just before she ends the interview she asks the interviewee to do a segment called “Self-Inflicted Wounds” in which they share a (typically equally embarrassing and hilarious) story in which they’ve done something terrible to themselves.
I started with the most recent podcast and worked backwards. So far I’ve listened to interviews with Greg Proops, Margaret Cho, Andy Richter, Dwayne Perkins and H. Jon Benjamin, and they’ve all been hilarious and interesting. Greg Proops was probably my favorite; they had a highly varied conversation and he’s absolutely full of interesting stories. Unfortunately the H. Jon Benjamin was probably my least favorite; while he has a voice that is quite literally sex to the earballs, the interview itself was fairly rambling and unfocused (though his Self-Inflicted Wounds is hands-down the best I’ve listened to and the best part of that episode). That was Girl on Guy‘s very first episode, though, so it’s pretty clear that her process has been refined since then.
Girl on Guy is fabulous, and really fun listen. I’ve found it great for running in the gym since it’s light-hearted and entertaining. Spend an hour listening to two funny people discuss comedy with alcohol-filled glasses clinking in the background. And potentially bust a gut.
A few great quotes I’ve heard listening to Girl on Guy…
“We’re in the left aortic chamber of Hollywood. Which is kind of the slummy chamber of Hollywood.”
“Michelle Bachman is going to put something in your soup.”
“…Dick Cheney smoking a cigar made of ivory riding in a carriage made of babies on a golden road to a butterscotch effing waterfall while the rest of us are trying to make our rent…”
“In San Francisco when you turn 18 you get 3 gay friends and a Prius.”