One of the very first podcasts I ever got into was Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier’s SModcast. I’m a big fan of their rambling stories and takes on the news. Eventually, Smith branched out and offered shows to some of his friends which lead to Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, which I’ve talked about here, and The Mo and Glo Show which featured filmmaker and Smith’s friend Malcom Ingram (who did Small Town Gay Bar, which I dug) talking with his mom. I actually stopped listening to TMAGS because listening to a dude getting upset with his mother isn’t something I really need to listen to. Smith also purchased a small black box theater, dubbed it the Smodcastle and records many shows there with an audience (see an interview Carson Daily did with Smith at the Smodcastle on Hulu). I was pretty surprised about a month ago when I didn’t stop one of the ‘casts early and heard an ad for a ton of new podcasts from the SModcast Network. When I jumped on iTunes to check out the various offerings I was shocked to see that the new ones had been around for four or five episodes and I had a lot of catching up to do. I’m not all the way done, but close enough to give the shows a ranking. #1. SModcast (Sundays)
The original show on the network is still my favorite. Smith and Mosier have such good chemistry that it’s hard to top. I’m getting a bit tired of hearing them do old live shows, but I understand it’s necessary because Smith is away filming Red State. Smith appears on five of the other podcasts, but Mosier’s only on this one. I miss the Moshe when he’s gone.
#2. Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! (Fridays)
TESD is actually a very close second to SModcast. We’re talking by a nose here. I’ve really come to like listening to Walt, Bryan and Quinn just shooting the shit. For whatever reason, the idea of longtime friends sitting around and talking to each other about shared experiences, life stories and whatever other nonsense is going on in their lives is fascinating to me. Maybe I should start making documentaries.
#3. Jay & Silent Bob Get Old (Thursdays)
The first group of Jay & Silent Bob Get Old episodes were really interesting and moving as the episodes involved Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes talking about Mewes’ dealings with drugs. Smith told stories relating to those struggles using his movies as a backdrop for the tales. Smith spent the first four or five episodes ending with the promise of a story that didn’t happen for a while, but in the end that run is worth listening to. It was touching because Smith really talks with passion about trying to help his friend and feeling like he could die at any moment. For his part, Mewes is incredibly open and honest about everything he went and put himself through. After the initial run of those stories, Smith says that this will be like a weekly meeting for Mewes to help him stay on track with his sobriety. Now it’s two friends talking which you can tell by now that I like.
#4. Highlands: A Peephole History (Saturdays)
Probably the most sporadic show on the network, Highlands involves Smith, his friends and family talking about growing up in the Highlands area of New Jersey. He’s talked with Walt and Bryan from Tell ‘Em Steve Dave as well as Smith’s mom, brother and sister. This was probably the first SModcast show to have a set purpose instead of completely freestyle talking with a focus on the history of a particular area which is interesting because you get a pretty good idea of where Smith came from thanks to the people around him. It might sound a little sycophantic to go on and on about how interesting it is to listen to this dude talk about various parts of his life, but I like that he’s so open about what he’s done and where he’s come from. Plus, I think it’s always fun to get background information on people you’re a fan of and these is like a weekly entry in an episode of Biography. Highlands makes me want to start a similar podcast interviewing my friends from Toledo, seeing how they got to town, grew up and what they’re doing now.
#5. Blowhard (Wednesdays)
I was catching up on Blowhard when I started writing this post. The show usually features Smith talking to his buddy Malcom Ingram about their history together and Ingram being a gay dude (Smith often calls Ingram his avatar in the gay world), but the last few episodes actually had Mewes filling in for Smith while the director was making Red State. Much as I hate to say it, I think Mewes’ co-hosting job might have knocked this one down a few pegs as sections of the episodes came off as sloppy and kind of boring. Hearing Mewes ramble on about various ways Ingram could have sex with an object got old after a while, but maybe that’s just because I listened to a few episodes in a row. This is by far the most sexual of all the SModcast shows, which I’m sure doesn’t sit well with everyone, but doesn’t really bother me. Peeks into other peoples’ lives are always interesting and I think feed my writer’s brain. The latest episode which I just started listening to has Smith return to the stage and even has a good cause by talking about The Trevor Project.
#6. Puck Nuts (Tuesdays)
I don’t know anything about hockey and consider it just slightly less boring than soccer, yet I still like hearing Walt, Bryan, Sunday Jeff and Ming Chen talking about the sport and other sports in general. I’ve only listened to the first episode, so it’s not too high on my listen list, but I’m starting to think I could listen to these guys talk about almost anything. And, this, combined with knowing a lot of people who dig hockey including the missus, might actually get me to watch hockey this season. Living in New York, it won’t be nearly as hard to start watching the Devils (the favored team on the show) as opposed to trying to watch my damn Steelers in this damn dirty state. Rooting for New Jersey in any way doesn’t sit well with me though.
#7. Hollywood Babble-On (Mondays)
I really wish Hollywood Babble-On was higher on the list, but this show featuring Smith talking to radio show host, actor and voice over artist Ralph Garman (who also hosted The Joe Schmo Show back in the day) just isn’t doing it for me. My main problem with the show is that Smith comes off as a little too stoned for the show’s own good. While his predilection for pot seems to help the other shows jump into various flights of fancy, his inability to focus can get a little old. Plus, I’ve noticed that Smith repeats himself a LOT. Again, this might be because I listened to a bunch of episodes in a row. I like Garman’s angry man routine and his ability to do impressions is always impressive. I’m hoping things pick up because I like hearing people talk honestly about Hollywood and this should be right up my alley. I feel like I’m on a different block right now, though. I’m still giving it a shot and haven’t unsubscribed yet. If nothing else, I get to hear up to date info on Red State, a movie I’m really excited to see once it’s done which hopefully won’t be too far off as Smith has been editing it together while filming. Rad.