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Doug Loves Movies Podcast
The following is the second entry in a series of articles covering the booming comedy podcast scene. For the purpose of explanation, a podcast is a program-driven form of digital media (audio or video) released episodically by download through web syndication.
Do you love movies? Comedian Doug Benson certainly does. For the past five years, Benson has been hosting a live podcast discussing his love of movies alongside fellow stand-up comics and actors. Taping every Tuesday night at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles and released on iTunes the following Friday, “Doug Loves Movies” is a hilarious informal chat about all things movies.
Benson, best known as a “stoner-friendly” stand-up comic, was a runner-up on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2007 and the star of the documentary “Super High Me.” In between touring the country, Benson makes time to tape his podcast every week in front of an enthusiastic crowd by riffing on movies, actors, and filmmakers. Benson has attracted popular actors such as Amy Poehler, Ellen Page, Zach Galifianakis, and Simon Pegg. Regular guests include comedians Paul F. Tompkins, Patton Oswalt, and Sarah Silverman. In September 2010, Benson scored acclaimed veteran actor John Lithgow (who appeared in the sci-fi film “2010: The Year We Make Contact”) in a memorable episode.
A typical episode usually consists of Benson asking guests about their experiences working in movies or just get into a casual discussion about recent movies they’ve seen. Every episode concludes with the “Leonard Maltin Game,” whereby guests take part in naming movies described in the veteran film critic’s movie guide. Along the line of “name that tune,” guests are given a particular category, the year a film was released, and a few clues from Maltin’s review. They then have to bid how many cast members’ names starting from the bottom of the cast list in order to guess the title of the film. While listeners are given the chance to play at home, the strategy is to not only know films but also the supporting cast roles. Frequent guest Edgar Wright (director of “Shaun of the Dead,” “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”) is not only a fan of the podcast but a superior player at the “Leonard Maltin Game.” Maltin himself has appeared on two episodes and did not fare well at the game that bears his name. Keep in mind, Maltin would have to recall all 17,000 movie reviews he’s written over the years.
Typical podcasts are taped in a recording studio but the appeal of “Doug Loves Movies” is the chance for fans to come to a taping and take part in the “Leonard Maltin Game.” Each guest has to pick out a member of the audience to play for and the lucky winner receives a bag full of swag (usually items provided by the guests). Hoping to be picked, audience members have since made their own creative name tags to attract the attention of the guests.
The show has becoming more popular as fans across the country attend Benson's stand up performances with their own unique name tag. Most shows nowadays will feature an impromptu round of the "Leonard Maltin Game" with select attendees. Consistently listed in the top ten iTunes comedy podcast char, "Doug Loves Movies" has proven to be a hit with both comedy and movie fans.