If ever there was a darkhorse candidate for my favorite podcast, it would most certainly be The Anytime Show. In comparison to the titans of podcast industry that are Nerdist and WTF With Marc Maron, it has very few listeners, and far less glamorous guests on a less consistent basis. The host also has a much smaller resume than his counterparts, making the show the very definition of an underdog.
If you’re a comedy nerd you’ll most likely know the host best from his work as part of the Derrick Comedy sketch group with Donald Glover and DC Pierson. Though if you’re incredibly observant, you’ll also notice him as an occasional character actor on the likes of shows such as Parks and Recreation and The Onion News Network.
But we’re not here to compare IMDB pages, we’re here to discuss the successes and failures of The Anytime Show! Thankfully there are more of the former than the latter.
The show is recorded in front of an audience each week, and each episode begins with a few minutes of standup by Dominic. He has a standup style I really connect with due to the fact that it primarily consists of stories or incredibly peculiar observations paired with fantastic analogies. Instead of stand-up he’ll occasionally read an excerpt from a book by his “favorite author,” a woman who’s made a name for herself writing incredibly convoluted teenage-supernatural-thriller-romances. However he opens, its always worth listening through. At the very least, you’ll grin throughout.
The first interview each week is with a random audience member. Occasionally the guest will be a dud, but for the most part the people who volunteer to get in front of the mic are people with peculiarities that define them, and hence make for an entertaining listening experience. (Highlights include a guest who makes ice cream flavors simply to name them after Keanu Reeves movies, also a guest who brought up the discussion over how different the movie “Billy Madison” would have been had it been called “O’Doyle Rules!”)
The show is still growing – its only 27 episodes old as I write this – and I can already direct you to points in which the format shifted. In the beginning episodes, each episode had a middle interview with a UCB friend of Dominic’s playing a character. This interview period was funny half the time, but dull the other half. As a result, Dominic decided to cut his losses and move on. Occasionally he’ll still have a character interview.
The final interview in each show is a celebrity guest. While his guest lists generally doesn’t boast huge names, he does have an interesting set of connections which result in continuously hilarious interviews. He has a good comedic voice for interviews, as he doesn’t trod over the guest’s stories, but rather extrapolates them further. All of his celebrity interviews are good, but if you want to hear some of my favorite interviews of all time, listen to any episode where he knows the guest quite well. His interview with UCB co-founder Matt Walsh is excellent, and his interviews with fellow Derrick members Donald Glover and DC Pierson are exquisite. He and Pierson, in particular, have a knack for building off one another’s jokes to a never ending extent, something that I’m certain is a side-effect of being roommates.
All in all, not every episode of The Anytime Show is as consistently good as some of the other podcasts, but its my personal feeling that when Dierkes does it well, he does it better than any of his competitors, as I can point out more specific great moments of this podcast than of any other. Keep your eye out, I’ll definitely be recommending specific episodes to download of this podcast.
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About the Author: Daniel O'Connell is a Sacramento based comedian and self proclaimed "Comedy Nerd". Follow him on twitter @DanielofConnell. He's by far the funniest guy named Daniel O'Connell who lives in Sacramento.