The comedy world is dynamic and, at heart, an audial medium. On July 27 at the Just for Laughs festival, podcasts You Made It Weird With Pete Holmes and How Did This Get Made? presented live shows. The McGill Tribune saw—and heard—it all, and here is a breakdown of the two standout podcasts.
You Made It Weird With Pete Holmes
The lovable Pete Holmes was like a Swiss Army knife at the 2019 Just For Laughs festival: In addition to his own club show, he hosted the annual New Faces showcases and even brought out his ‘Mean Pete’ alter ego for midnight roast battles with Pistons basketball-player-turned-comedian Blake Griffin. When it came to his podcast, his flexibility continued to shine through. Noticing a pair of children in the front row, Holmes quickly engaged the pair in the show and learned that the 12-year-old’s favourite swear word was ‘double-dicking.’ He then shifted gears and brought out Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen for a goofy conversation, chock full of impressions and sing-along songs. To round out the evening, Holmes brought out several more guests—comedians Chris Fleming, Alonzo Bodden, Sam Jay—and one from the audience, the ‘Roastmaster General’ Jeff Ross. The group enjoyed lightly jabbing each other; for one, Bodden interrupted Holmes’ and Fleming’s conversation about the musical Grease with a comment about the show’s inherent whiteness. The musical, and the discussion of race, came up once more when Fleming name-dropped musician Bruce Springsteen.
The show concluded with a discussion of the grander nature of life itself. The spiritually-minded Holmes enjoys discussing God and the afterlife on his podcast, and the night’s enriching discussion touched on topics such as self-worth and learning to deal with superstitions.
How Did This Get Made?
The moment host Paul Scheer took the stage at Olympia Saturday night, the crowd roared. Scheer, along with co-hosts Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphael, spent over 90 minutes discussing a terrible movie. They warn live crowds a week in advance, so as to allow their audience to watch along and enjoy the group’s nitpicking for all its worth. This show centred around the 1982 action film Megaforce, which was particularly terrible as its impossible-to-understand story of warring nations was poorly edited. The three hosts highlighted the low-lights, discussing Megaforce’s plot holes, star Barry Bostwick’s tight costume and headband, and the film’s many vehicles with lasers.
The podcast has an almost cult-like following at this point, and with over a thousand people in attendance, the crowd had risible energy. The movie may be bad, but the company is good: Scheer, Mantzoukas, and Raphael know how to lead a good time. From the moment the show began, they had their crowd enthralled and engaged—Scheer even travelled around the room and up to the balcony to take questions and comments from passionate fans, some of whom wore costumes to match the film. Somehow, the energy in the room only went up throughout the night.