The Dead Authors Podcast

By Paul F. Tompkins

So, I’m still atoning for my recent lack of posts, but haven’t read any new books to review, so here’s a link instead.

I first heard about this podcast in the comments section of a pop culture blog I follow regularly, and several people there recommended it. I’ve only just started getting into following podcasts, primarily because my job currently entails checking long documents page-by-page to make sure nothing screwy happened during the saving process.

The Dead Authors Podcast is a live performance at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, and the premise is that H. G. Wells uses his time traveling machine to bring famous, now deceased authors from a variety of times to be interviewed on his talk show.

The actor playing H. G. Wells, drops interesting true-life biographical details of the various authors into the interviews, which are quite interesting. The actors playing the guest authors have done variable jobs of research, so some seem more in character (H. P. Lovecraft) than others (P. G. Wodehouse), which for me makes the podcasts varyingly entertaining. However, in each episode the actors/comedians are having such a good time doing it that it is very infectious.

Of the nine episodes currently available, I’ve listened to four, and “Appendix B: Friederich Nietzsche and H. P. Lovecraft” was by far my favorite, just for the bat-shit-crazy verve that the actors bring to those two authors. It was also the first one I listened to, and each subsequent one seemed to get a little less funny for me (Emily Dickinson, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Parker), which might mean that the podcast doesn’t exactly match my personal sense of humor or that I was getting increasingly grumpy about my current work document. Those two possibilities seem equally possible, quite frankly.

I am still looking forward to listening to the chats with Aesop and Charles Dickens later this week, though.

— Anna