Harmontown: 129 - Best Of A Bad Lot
December 9, 2014 6:41 AM - Subscribe

Harmontown welcomes the return of comptroller Jeff Davis, Mayor Harmon wants you off his lawn and creator of The IT Crowd, Graham Linehan, meets Dan on stage for the first time and they exchange their transcontinental show runner blues.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm about a week out of catching up to this episode, but wow, Jeff's back! It got really weird the last time he was on, when he went on a rape spree in the DnD session and then promptly vanished from the show for weeks. "Scheduling" was the reason offered as to why he wasn't around, which makes some sense with some of the trips to promote the Harmontown movie, but was still kind of weird for the other absences. The fact that it comes after the wedding made me wonder if Jeff was having some issues with Dan finally tying the knot with Erin. Guess I'll find out if it's discussed or not!
posted by Atreides at 2:12 PM on December 9, 2014

Great to have Jeff back. Guest comptrollers are good in moderation, but hearing a dozen of them bumble around constantly asking "Am I doing this right?" gets old quickly. Also nice to have a kind-of-serious discussion about the mechanics of TV comedy with Graham Linehan.
posted by adrianhon at 2:59 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I haven't quite finished the episode but so far no coverage for Jeff's absence. I'm pretty sure he was just off filming for a tv show though.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2014

Jeff was on tour with "Whose Line" for a while. For the most part that's where he was.

It is so good to have him back. I did think he went too far with the rape jokes in D&D on his last episode, but he is an important part of the dynamic of the show. He's the best a pushing back on Dan, and I think he does a lot to shape the general pacing of the show.

Graham Linehan was a great guest. I never fell in love with IT Crowd, but I'm a big fan of Black Books. I should try Father Ted.

Here's a wiki link to the Mountain Dew campaign Dan mentions, which didn't quite play out the way he remembers, in that of course they never actually produced a soda called "Hitler had some good ideas"
(But if they had, it would have been Green Apple flavored.)
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:20 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is my first time listening to Harmontown. It was my impression that the part with the guest was way better than the preceding bit (kind of like WTF with Marc Maron). Is that how it usually is?
posted by ocherdraco at 11:43 AM on December 10, 2014

Is that how it usually is?

Having listened to many (most?) episodes, I think the actual rule is that shows are best when Dan is drunk and worst when he's hungover. Beyond that, there's not much of a pattern. For a long time every episode ended with a D&D session, but they recently broke that streak.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:10 PM on December 10, 2014

Harmontown isn't really a guest-driven show. In fact, it is a running gag what a bad interviewer Dan is.

The opening bits are funnier to me when Dan is talking about his life, rather than current events.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 1:05 PM on December 10, 2014

The impact of the guest relies heavily on the guest and everyone's comfort shooting the breeze on whatever comes to mind, from what I've discerned so far from about 40 or so shows (the same holds true for DnD!).

Sometimes Dan and Jeff just really hit the ball out of the park prior to the guest and sometimes it turns into a slow drag waiting for the guest.

The one magical ingredient I've discovered in terms of my enjoyment, it's always more reliably entertaining once Spencer hits the stage as his personality and sense of humor are not as similar as Jeff's and Dan's. And as much as Dan's inebriation can affect the show, Spencer's level of being high, can also affect the show, though not as severely.
posted by Atreides at 1:34 PM on December 10, 2014

I too wanted more explanation for Jeff's absence (and sorry if this is gauche, also for the fact that he wasn't at Dan's wedding), but I was glad to have him back.
posted by purpleclover at 1:49 PM on December 10, 2014

Jeff's also been shooting a travelling game show, so depending on the tightness of that schedule it's definitely possible to miss a wedding without bad blood.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:43 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

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