Podcasts are awesome. Next to Steam and legally free streaming episodes of South Park, podcasts rank pretty high on the list of awesome things to come out of the Internet. Great as they are, I tend to not venture far from the shows I’ve been listening to for a few years. There are, unfortunately, only so many free hours in the day. My attention drawn to The ManBuyCow Podcast because it was described as a mashup between the absurdity and lunacy of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the sharp, clever humor of Douglas Adams. With that pedigree, it HAS to be good, right? To my joy, it is. And I was hooked after the first episode.
ManBuyCow is a sketch comedy podcast show featuring a British comedy duo, Rufus and Howard, who perform the show’s numerous characters, write its content and perform the music. The pair engage one another in a variety of wacky situations, such as reminiscing their pasts using a time travelling cupboard and engaging with eccentric locals. The sketches are framed by musical interludes and fake commercials. Rufus and Howard clearly try to earn a laugh from listeners but there are moments that suggests an intention to get a rise out of each other, often resulting in uncontrolled and infectious laughing fits.
Funny as the show can be, what makes ManBuyCow so enjoyable to me is the post-show content which consists of a Round Robin writing exercise to produce an original story called Grett Binchleaf and the Adventure of the People Turning Into Books. Each week, the pair trade off writing duties that results in an irreverent and hysterical story about a detective’s quest to solve a mystery that leads him through all sorts of unpredictable left turns. This part of the show is so lively and fun because it comes off as personal and genuine. They set out to entertain listeners but it really feels like they’re having a good time with each other. In season two of the show, the hosts dig deep into their past and pull out a Doctor Who fan fiction, “The Candle of Ever,” and a rejected erotica story that is equally filthy and incredibly funny.
Whether it was from fan demand or to make their narrative content more accessible, Rufus and Howard created a supplementary podcast that just contains each entry in the Grett Binchleaf saga. The mystery of people turning into books has concluded but the official website indicates a brand new story will begin again on July 14th. Hurrah!
Bad puns, musical numbers, and a trip to hell, ManBuyCow has everything. And because each episode doesn’t last very long, the jokes tend to not overstay their welcome. ManBuyCow is a great show that is definitely worth a listen.