My Brother, My Brother And Me: MBMBaM Presents: The Great Switcheroo of 2015
October 7, 2015 7:06 AM - Subscribe

Oh no! All the hosts of all the podcasts on Maximum Fun done got ate up by a twister, and ended up landing in each other's podcasts this week! We didn't let inclement weather slow us down, though -- we're just going to go on ahead and do the podcasts where we ended up. That means this episode of MBMBaM features MaxFun proprietor Jesse Thorn, Wham Bam Pow co-host Rhea Butcher and International Waters host Dave Holmes, who are here to talk about corn mazes, blood moon demon babies and, naturally, ghosts. If you're looking for the McElroy brothers this week, it looks like the tornado set them gently down into the studio of Jordan, Jesse, Go!
posted by drezdn (14 comments total)
A decent episode... I enjoyed most of it, though Dave was a bit more surly than I'm used to based on International Waters.

(JJ Go was a beautiful amazing disaster though... holy shit.)
posted by kmz at 7:32 AM on October 7, 2015

Not crazy about this little gimmick. I'm not that interested in being forced to listen to Maximum Fun shows I have already decided not to listen to, and, as lunatic as the McElroys were on JJGO, it was not them at their best, either.

I mean, personally, I have moved away from a lot of Max Fun shows, because there is an increasing stagnation, an enormous amount of amateurism, and a large number of unfunny people putting on weird radio voices and pretending to be funny. Several of the shows I liked at Max Fun have jumped ship to RadioTopia (most notably Song Exploder and The Memory Palace), and the network keeps adding this glut of shows that feel sort of half baked to me.

And that's all well and good -- it's their network, they can program what they like. But I listen to MBMBAM (as well as Saw Bones and Adventure Zone) because the McElroys have a unique talent to make the most of the anarchy of podcasting, to feed it into comedy. I don't find the same to be true of most of the other MaxFun shows, and so this little experiment wasn't for me.

And I get that they need to grow their audience, and that cross promotion is a good tool for that. At the same time, when you do cross promotion, I think it is worth respecting the fact that there are audience members who are only interested in a show or two.

I've never minded when there are things like having Cameron Esposito as a guest on MBMBAM, because she's a good guest and had a lot to contribute. But, the truth is, I stopped listening to JJGO for reasons, and I never liked the Flop House, so this felt a lot more like when I was a boy and woke up at 1 am to watch reruns of Twilight Zone, which I loved, and instead a hockey game was playing, which I had no interest in.
posted by maxsparber at 8:28 AM on October 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

I think it was a mistake on their part to have Jordan and Jesse take over Stop Podcasting Yourself, simply because both shows are essentially two hander chats with a guest, so it was basically JJGO but with a couple of different jingles.

On the whole though, I like the gimmick. It breaks things up a bit and in theory let's people explore the format. I guess the idea is to get cross pollination on the shows.
Even if it fails, there's another podcast next week, so meh, go for it I say.
Just.. not too often.

Looking forward to seeing how Adventure Zone goes.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:46 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

It felt like it took them a little bit to settle into the rhythm of not actually trying to provide earnest answers to the questions. Once they got past that, it was better.

The hardest part of this episode for me, though, was the lack of Yahoo nicknames. "YahDrew Druid Drew Davenport!" "Game recognize game!" "Climbing that ladder!" And, most difficult of all, "WHO WANTS TO KNOW?!"
posted by pitrified at 9:58 AM on October 7, 2015 [5 favorites]

The missing “Who wants to know?!” was devastating. It was like they didn’t obsessively listen to every episode before taking over as guest hosts.
posted by ivey at 11:32 AM on October 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

Or even pay attention at the live shows where the guest hosts were present.
posted by maxsparber at 11:43 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

I listen to JJGO and MBMBAM, so the Switcheroo doesn't bother me at all. I'll have a bigger problem with the Adventure Zone because one of the Flophouse guys has a voice that is so nasal and irritating to me, I'm not sure I'll be able to get through two hours of it.

I thoroughly enjoyed Dave Holmes' tough love for some of the question askers. I was annoyed at some of those humblebrag questions.
posted by gladly at 5:39 PM on October 7, 2015

Not crazy about this little gimmick. I'm not that interested in being forced to listen to Maximum Fun shows I have already decided not to listen to

I think I agree. I was looking forward to this week, but now that the episodes are coming out, I'm finding that I almost immediately want everything to go back to how they were. But the JJGo with the McElroys was stellar because they basically just went haywire.

Some of the hosts were grumbling about the Switcheroo beforehand. I don't think Dave on Stop Podcasting Yourself liked the idea, and Dan on the Flop House seemed like he didn't enjoy playing D&D on the Adventure Zone.

I'm especially looking forward to the Oh No Ross and Carrie swap with Sawbones. Those podcasts are similar, but Sawbones explicitly shies away from dumb spiritual treatments that some of their listeners might actually believe, whereas that's all that Oh No Ross and Carrie is about. Either episode that comes out of that switcheroo could be a gem. I'm also looking forward to the Flop House and Adventure Zone swap, but I have lower hopes for those.
posted by painquale at 6:12 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a deep and abiding love for Surly Dave Holmes.

I was super excited for The Great Switcheroo (I have always had a soft spot for Crisis on Infinite Earths type stuff), but I have to admit, it has really made me appreciate how skilled all of the hosts are at managing their own format. It seems like you could just drop any old funny person into most any podcast and do fine, but that's not the case. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed all the Switcheroos so far, but they are clearly a struggle for the hosts.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:00 AM on October 8, 2015

I like the Crisis on Infinite Myrths in theory, but I wish they would have left The Adventure Zone out of it. We only get two a month, and it was at such a pivotal moment.
posted by drezdn at 9:35 AM on October 8, 2015

I'm getting to this late (hi FanFare! I forgot you existed!), but my thoughts were nearly exactly those of maxsparber: I've chosen the podcasts I listen to for a reason.

I understand the gimmick as an attempt to introduce people to other podcasts/personalities on the network, and I can actually respect it as an idea that I don't think is inherently bad. But with this particular network I made a very conscious decision to stop listening to certain podcasts, so while I wasn't excited about listening to this episode I gave it a try. I had to give up in the middle of it for precisely the same reason I gave up on Wham Bam Pow and JJGO: the hosts get unnecessarily and weirdly negative about perfectly harmless things, and that's not really something I can get on board with. It started pretty early but by the time they were telling adults who carve pumpkins for Halloween to "grow up" I was done with it. I quit Wham Bam Pow because there were consistently things in episodes where innocent interests/concepts were mocked, and JJGO was the same.

I like the McElroys because they very rarely introduce this kind of negativity, and they make a conscious effort not to alienate their audience about things that ultimately don't matter. The goofs are most often just goofs and not insults. So this was a major whiff for me. I can't dig cynicism apparently for the sake of being cynical (or with comedic intent I guess? it's a pretty low form of comedy imo).

So while I can respect the attempt and I think the concept of a switcheroo was kind of a clever way to try it, because of the people involved it made it unlistenable for me.
posted by nogoodverybad at 10:13 AM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, the temp hosts hating on Halloween and telling question-askers to grow up really made me dislike them. The McElroys would *not* be on board. Whereas, on JJGo, Griffin made his usual Pokemon jokes and called Justin's everyday uniform Steven Universe cosplay. They love being forever-children.
posted by painquale at 10:23 AM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, my issue with the Switcheroo is that I listen to the podcasts I do because of the hosts, not the format. Half the time I don't even know what the hell is going on in The Adventure Zone but I still like it because I love the McElroy brothers. I didn't listen to this MBMBaM and I doubt I'll listen to the switcheroo Adventure Zone, either, because the brothers are the whole point for me.
posted by something something at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Normally I am very set in my podcasting ways, but I will admit it, the switcheroo worked on me--I've added MBMBaM to my rotation after years of resisting. Mostly due to the song, but also because my curiosity about the format prompted me to go back a couple episodes, which was how I experienced "Gift of the Magi II: This Time For Sure" and imploded with joy.

It's also better now that I know they actually ARE drunk some of the time, and don't just sound drunk for no reason.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:20 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

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