Friday, June 03, 2016

Podcast Rec: Hello From the Magic Tavern

The premise of Hello From the Magic is Tavern is that a guy named Arnie has fallen into a portal to another dimension and now he's in a tavern in the town of Hogsface in the magical land of Foon. So he hosts a podcast every week and reports back to Earth what he finds out. He has regulars on his podcast, a shapeshifter named Chunt who is usually a badger and a wizard named Usidore, and occasional other visitors are interviewed. 

Obviously this isn't real.  I mean, it is obvious, right?  But it's a comedy podcast that is sort of improv meets Narnia. The genius behind this show is that it is continuous and ongoing, so if something is established early on as a fact about the world of Foon (say, the most popular sport is something called Mittens), it remains a fact forever.  And I think this is hilarious.

You can't just jump into this podcast, though. You have to start at the beginning and, as of this writing, there are 64 episodes, so there's plenty of fun to be had (each episode runs about half an hour).  I have listened to just over a dozen of these and I laugh my fool head off at just about every episode, so it gets a thumbs up from me.

But there are some caveats. The humor here is crude. There is so much talk about sex it is almost appalling. Maybe since the three recurring characters are all men, it speaks to what men really care about, but I could do with a lot fewer references to sex with animals.  Sometimes the guests haven't done their homework, so they mess up the continuity. Sometimes Usidore is the most annoying character ever. I almost stopped listening after a few episodes because of Usidore, but he does get better. The podcast does reward sustained listening, so it's worth it to put in the effort.

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