Wednesday, 9 September 2015

A tribute to How Did This Get Made?

This post could have just been a chance to rhapsodise over the comedic talents of that Hellenic love god Jason of Mantzoukas. But more on that later.

If you like podcasts that make you laugh, you cannot go wrong with How Did This Get Made? In terms of belly laughs, this one is the most consistent of the lot. Made by a trio of veteran US comedians, the show is based around dissecting bad movies. Now, by their very nature bad movies are funny -- but under the expert stewardship of co-hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas, even minor cinematic fumbles like Fair Game or The Tourist can be elevated into unintentional comic gold.

The interplay between Paul, June and Jason is what makes the show. No matter what train wreck they are reviewing, Paul, June and Jason provide all the laughs. And while the home shows are good, the live shows give them a chance to really strut. Jason is always willing to cross any line of taste, and June possesses an uncanny ability to use the most minor of problems to launch off into a gloriously nonsensical tangent (for a prime example, check out her rant on the rights of animal actors in the Monkey Shines episode). Somehow, Paul manages to rise above it all and keep the show on course (although when the show hits a pot hole, as in the A View To A Kill episode, their inability to work out of it can provide some of their best bits).

While the hosts are great, added value comes from the roster of guests they bring on. The guests cover a wide spectrum, from veteran comedians and writers like Nick Kroll, Paul F. Tompkins,  Chelsea Peretti, Adam Scott and Kevin Smith. They each bring their own flavour to the HDTGM gumbo -- primarily using the cinematic shit heaps the team has forced them to watch as a launching pad for depraved hypotheticals about the behind-the-scenes drama which led to the film in the first place. For a good taster of these skits, check out any episode involving the cinematic canon of Sly Stallone (or, if you want to hear Jason's awesomely brutal takedown of Steven Seagal, the Glimmer Man episode).

Still going strong after 5 years, Paul, June and Jason have only scratched the surface of how these movies get made. Long may their quest for answers continue.

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