My Brother, My Brother And Me: MBMBaM 388: Face 2 Face: The Mystery of the Seven Parrots
January 10, 2018 8:52 AM - Subscribe

Pretty much everyone in our family is sick this week! Which means we couldn't record. Instead, we've combined the best bits from our TWO shows in Chicago last year into one super episode! Finally, you can find out why the folks in attendance at these shows won't stop talking about ... the seven parrots.
posted by Tevin (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Boy o boy am I getting sick of the "help, my teens dab/vape too much and also Garfield" type of questions at the live shows.
Which, I suppose, is why they instituted their new system, but it still gets me how much time they spend on the obvious brother-bait.
posted by Berreggnog at 11:17 AM on January 10, 2018

Yeah, the questions historically have been getting worse. If I were one of them I would push for a 100% vetted question system, where people with tickets submit questions and then they bring each question asker on stage and give them the MBMBaM TV show treatment. They already do local questions during the shows, just expand on that further. I suspect they don't because it's too much fun to riff off spontaneous questions, but honestly the quality would be better and they wouldn't have to do the weirdly aggressive head to head setup they're doing now.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:33 PM on January 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Then again, the vape question from Candlenights was extremely good if for no other reason than Griffin's absolute exasperation.
posted by Tevin at 1:40 PM on January 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think they keep doing it cause they don't like to disappoint people and the crowds are so wild.
posted by bleep at 10:38 PM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I feel like the Milwaukee questions will be good (IIRC), but I do wish they'd figure out a way to pre-screen the questions somehow.
posted by drezdn at 6:55 AM on January 11, 2018

I've been going back and forth on this since Mr Encyclopedia's comment yesterday.

On the one hand, yes, the quality of questions can absolutely improve. It sucks to have a ton of time taken up by long winded stories that don't lead to a lot of comedy. People who are put on the spot generally tend to ramble even if the destination is worth the journey. The new format is good, but not perfect.

I think pre-screened questions would solve A LOT of that problem but then how does that make it different from just emailing in a regular show? The joy of the live questions is that they are really fun when they're live - canned questions kind of kills some of the excitement.

I guess it's more solving the "how to make a fun, unique, live show experience that is also a good podcast" problem.
posted by Tevin at 7:52 AM on January 11, 2018

I think they need to get their shit together and realize a live show is not like a podcast, and offer extremely edited live shows only in the rare circumstance that they cannot produce a podcast, rather than as replacements for the fact that they apparently are only capable of producing new podcasts once every seven weeks or whatever.

I realize they probably make money on the live shows and don't on the podcast. But the live shows only exist because of the podcast, and you need to do the work that allows for a lucrative side-hustle.
posted by maxsparber at 8:28 AM on January 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think it might be nice if they had a backlog of non-live shows too, because while I enjoy live shows it helps to spread them out a little.
posted by graventy at 10:16 AM on January 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Now having listened to it, I really appreciated that they took the time to record the intro, and I really liked that it was two shows edited down into one with all the tedium removed. I do hope they get well soon and I imagine they'll do fewer live shows this year as Justin and Sydnee are expecting. I think they overbooked themselves the last few months but I think things will get back to normal.
posted by bleep at 11:53 AM on January 11, 2018

And also? "I have too many parrots" seems like exactly the kind of thing that's like, a funny thing that someone wants to tell the brothers but isn't a question. It also stressed me out in that it sounded like an actual not funny nightmare scenario where everyone is miserable. It didn't seem like these people had any business owning even 1 parrot and those poor things should be taken away.
posted by bleep at 12:17 PM on January 11, 2018

FYI: There's currently a good discussion about live-show question quality on the "My Brother, My Brother And Me Appreciation Group" on FB.

I agree with above comments - as the brothers get more famous and the live shows get rowdier, more and more question-askers are, to borrow a Bachelor catchphrase, "In it for the wrong reasons." Three types of live-show questions make my skin crawl:

-- The shameless self-promotional "Listen to MY podcast or see MY show" questions (btw, nothing makes me LESS likely to listen to someone's podcast or show than them inappropriately promoting it during a live MBMBAM show -- you have just pooped in my happy place, my dude)
-- The probably-fake pandering questions mentioned by Berreggnog (hey, can we please not talk about vaping anymore thx)
-- Somewhat similar to the first kind -- people just being weirdly exhibitionist (I didn't listen to the recording so don't know if they kept it in, but when I attended a West Coast live show a few years ago, one of the 'question-askers' was this person who just went on stage and started monologuing about their sex life and sex practices to the audience, with no real question)

I agree with Mr. Encyclopedia, the TV show strategy of presenting a vetted question would be better. I wonder if they are reluctant to do that because of the coordination involved; asking for audience questions requires no planning. A compromise could be people submitting written questions at the beginning of the show and the brothers choosing (maybe during Griffin's bathroom break!) mid-show.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 1:37 PM on January 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I doubt it has to do with planning. They already get questions in advance from attendees. I think it has more to do with them not wanting to let anyone down. The audience is right there and it makes sense as performers to want to optimize the show for the people who are there and give them what they expect and are, indeed, horny for.
posted by bleep at 2:21 PM on January 11, 2018

Geez, am I the only person who enjoyed the episode?

That Facebook group thread is maddening--so many gossipy hints to what happened at live shows, but none of the details.
posted by meese at 9:08 PM on January 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

That Facebook group thread is maddening--so many gossipy hints to what happened at live shows, but none of the details.

I read the MBMBAM facebook groups far less than I used to because they've become really intense for groups that are essentially about three goofy brothers being goofy.
posted by drezdn at 6:19 AM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was at the Brooklyn show this summer, which might have been the nadir for bad audience questions. Mostly people just trying to tell a funny story for the reaction with maybe an "Am I Good" at the end, and then one dude who used the stage to try to challenge Lin to a rap battle. The two-questions-semi-vetting is working well to bring us back from that particular shitshow.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:16 PM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I skip the audience questions when I listen at home. I listened to this episode because I attended the second Chicago show and figured it couldn't be worse than having to sit through all that live. Not surprisingly, they did edit out the woman who gave her name as Taako and asked if Texas exists.
posted by MaritaCov at 2:29 PM on January 12, 2018

I want to make it clear that as a listener I don't actually have a problem with them doing live off-the-cuff questions, or routinely posting live shows as episodes. They're doing what they want to do and live shows are probably one of their biggest sources of income. They enjoy it, I enjoy it, it's not actually a big deal.

Thing is, they clearly think low quality questions is a problem and that's why they've started doing this competitive question asking thing. I don't think that's a great change. If they want to do something other than a free for all then they should do pre-screened questions where they bring the question askers up on stage with them.

Letting the audience ask questions sounds fine on paper, especially when your show started from a convention panel format, but let's not kid ourselves. These are guys doing a comedy show that can sell out the Chicago theater. There's no obligation for them to let randos take up any of the show's time. Vetted questions with the asker on stage gives the listener the exact same experience, and if they really wanted to keep the surprise aspect they could ask someone else to do the vetting for them. 99% of the people at these shows never get to ask a question anyway, so it's not like the attendees are even losing something valuable.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:23 PM on January 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

the woman who gave her name as Taako and asked if Texas exists.

Ok I take it all back, I would be pissed if I paid money to be there and had to listen to that. Burn it all down.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:39 PM on January 12, 2018

I don't mind the questions that much (with a few exceptions), but if the Bros. want to keep doing them, maybe the solution is to just release question only sections as bonus episodes later?
posted by drezdn at 9:05 AM on January 13, 2018

Yeah, I dislike the questions as well. I'd be okay with having them removed from the live eps with maybe a 'best of' edited episode released now and then.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:56 AM on January 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

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