Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Dead Authors Podcast - by Matty Jacobson


Podcasts come in every shape, size, color and any other noun that would metaphorically but not literally apply to something you listen to.

But one thing you'll usually find is podcasts tend to stay within their genres. If you're downloading an educational podcast, its goal is to educate. If you're downloading a comedy podcast, its goal is to make you laugh, and so on.

So when a podcast can combine genres, it's something special, and "The Dead Authors Podcast" does just that.

"Dead Authors" is hosted by a time-travelling H. G. Wells, of "The Time Machine" fame (and played by the multi-charactered Paul F. Tompkins), who pulls dead authors (played by an array of comedians) out of time and brings them to the UCB stage in Los Angeles. The authors then discuss their lives and works with Wells -- unscripted.

It's educational because Tompkins and the guests talk about the authors' lives. We get insight into what an author was like, what he or she found inspirational, what his or her vices were, etc. Of course, since they're all comedians, the podcast is less of a lecture and more of an improv show.

And best of all, "Dead Authors" also benefits 826LA, which is a non-profit writing and tutoring center "dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write," according to 826LA.org. 

Some of my personal favorite guest authors were John Hodgman as Ayn Rand, Kristen Schaal as Tennessee Williams, and Jessica Chaffin as Agatha Christie. Make sure to check those out!

You can get information about the podcast and stream it here. You can subscribe to it on iTunes here.

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