Apr 1, 2015

Podcast Portal: Spontaneanation

Welcome to Podcast Portal: a spontaneous column that will highlight podcasts of all genres that are lesser known or new shows that are worth giving a listen. With the medium continuing to grow, it is hard to acknowledge all of them. However, I am going to try and find as many noteworthy titles as possible to share and hopefully expand your mind to the greatest growing medium out there. If you have any podcast that you feel is worth adding to the Podcast Portal, please make sure to inform me whether through the comments or through an e-mail (information in sidebar). 

SHOW: Spontaneanation
HOSTS: Paul F. Tompkins, Eban Schletter 
NETWORK: Earwof
EPISODE BEING DISCUSSED: "A Denny's Parking Lot"

It almost seems pointless to have to advertise a new podcast with Paul F. Tompkins. For starters, the man has an enviable track record of appearing on every single high caliber show out there. He makes almost everything better. Yet, with his constant growth of familiarity, he has also decided to create another show, which is also one of the hardest to spell. For fans of his defunct Pod F. Tompkast, which is also one of the best produced shows in the medium, it is refreshing to see him return. Yes, he still has the highly enjoyable The Dead Authors Podcast and has joined Superego, but it has been awhile since we have had something that is wholly just him controlling the direction of a show.
In a sense, this is Pod F. Tompkast reincarnate. It may not be pre-produced in the slightest, but the format is astoundingly similar otherwise. With segments that feature the comedian chatting with someone and an extended skit lead by improvisation, the show is, as the title kind of implies, is spontaneous. Thankfully, Tompkins is one of the finest performers out there and with the return of pianist Ebin Schletter to provide a rip roaring score, it manages to immediately feel exciting. Yes, there are other improvised or skit-based series out there, but few have done it like Tompkins.
It is also hard not to just nitpick the differences between his old show and this. However, it is easier to get lost in the fact that it is more impressive because of its style. There are more offhand moments and the polish is gone. Thankfully everyone on the first episode is some of improvisation's finer voices and allow for the comedy to hit more than miss. The show as a whole is a complete success and there's something anticipatory with the fact that this is the first allegedly weekly show that Tompkins will do as well as his first association with a podcast network (Earwolf).
It isn't too hard to sell. If you liked Tompkins before, you'll like him here. Speaking as this column is mostly to highlight new or lesser known shows, it almost seems silly to talk any further about a show like this. The only question for the future is if he will return some of the old beloved characters that made Pod F. Tompkast so great. I laughed a ton and it's because of the reliably strong team. You'll know if you like this show. Trust me.


OVERALL RATING: 4.5 out of 5
WORTH A SECOND GO?: Yes

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