Invasion of the Pod People
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An Emmy Award-winning TV writer, Dan Harmon is most famous for creating cult comedy shows Community and Rick and Morty. After getting fired from his own show, Community, in its third season (he was brought back for its celebrated fifth), he turned his attention to his live comedy show and podcast, Harmontown. The weekly show – co-hosted in LA by Jeff B. Davis and featuring a stable of hilarious, sometimes eccentric regular guests – has earned a devoted international fan-base, and is the subject of the celebrated Harmontown documentary.
Unscripted, unpredictable and sometimes unhinged, it’s a show where stand-up meets self-help and star cameos are squeezed in between live Dungeons & Dragons sessions. At the centre of the show is Harmon himself: a man with a rare genius for storytelling and a sense of humour that teeters at the edge of self-immolation.
At the Comedy Theatre in December, Harmon will be joined by Davis as well as much-loved series regular Spencer Crittenden. Join us for a night of fast, loose and unruly comedy with the Harmontown crew.
Dan Harmon is the Emmy winning creator/executive producer of the comedy series Community as well as the co-creator/executive producer of Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty.
Harmon’s pursuit of minimal work for maximum reward took him from stand-up to improv to sketch comedy, then finally to Los Angeles, where he began writing feature screenplays with fellow Milwaukeean Rob Schrab. As part of his deal with Robert Zemeckis at Imagemovers, Harmon co-wrote the feature film Monster House. Following this, Harmon co-wrote the Ben Stiller-directed pilot Heat Vision and Jack starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson.
Harmon has an extensive slate of upcoming projects including History’s Great Minds, on which he serves as both the host and executive producer, and Seeso’s HarmonQuest, a fantasy comedy adventure series that melds live action comedians, a live studio audience, and animated sequences.
Spencer Crittenden is a writer/producer from Moorpark, California. Growing up in the shade of Hollywood, Spencer Crittenden toiled in the back rooms of an Apple Store until a freak podcast appearance transformed Crittenden from audience member to podcast regular on Harmontown, a liquor fuelled, rant-soaked two-hour weekly comedy show in Hollywood's Meltdown Comics.
Jeff B. Davis is an actor and comedian from Los Angeles. His TV credits include Whose Line Is it, Anyway?, Happy Family, The Sarah Silverman Show and Drew Carey's Green Screen Show .
Over the past couple of years, podcasts have matured into the storytelling format du jour – with a little help from a certain sensationally popular true crime serial (ahem). Yet the surge of interest and excitement around audio features and podcasts has been gaining momentum for several years, propelled by a diversity of formats.
Take the narrative artisanship of This American Life or the sonic vivacity of Radiolab; the topical deep dives of Slate’s Culture Gabfest or Phillip Adams’s Late Night Live; the animated storytelling of The Moth or Snap Judgment; or the intimate conversations found in Lea Thau’s Strangers or WTF with Marc Maron. The influence of these and countless other shows can be felt in today’s most interesting podcasts (insert shameless plug for the Wheeler Centre’s own successful forays into richly-produced feature-making, including Andrew Denton’s Better Off Dead, and The Messenger, here).
Beloved for their sense of proximity, their active listenership, portability and in some cases, ambitiously-crafted audio, podcasts have a unique ability to keep listeners in the company of their own choosing – and to render mundane tasks bearable. And since design show 99% Invisible’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns – podcasts have also shown promise in otherwise dim times for media businesses. What’s next for podcasting – and how could it be done better?
In celebration of all things audible, we’re bringing you some of podcasting’s best and brightest to share their thoughts and insights on the art (and business) of listening.