Sure it’s 2015, but what if you want to dip into the show’s backlog? These are 10 must-listen episodes, as determined by one rabid fan.
It’s a subjective look back at the funniest, most entertaining, and most insightful 2014 episodes that the internet’s fourth leading pop culture podcast. Please make sure to comment below on what you think of my choices, and let me know what some of your favorites are!
Oscar Time 2014
Hosts: Chris, Mikel, Diana, Henry
What would a year of Laser Time be without an Oscar retrospective episode with resident film connoisseur, Diana Goodman? As someone who lives for the Oscars, this was one of the rare years in which I actually liked all of the films that were nominated for Best Picture, and I’m always interested in hearing the crews’ opinions on these films as an annual tradition. Despite the fact that Diana is the only person on the podcast that manages to see all of the nominated films, it is refreshing to hear the crew talk about the “important” movies — something they don’t usually get to do very often. As always, I’ll be eagerly awaiting this year’s Oscar episode.
Chris: “Laser Time exists because of the fallout from me trying to purchase the rights to the songs from Bambi.”
Toys R Us Kids Music
Hosts: Chris, Brett, Grimm, Dave
One thing that will never get tiring is listening to Brett Elston complain about his days of having to work at Toys R Us, and all the grievances that came with it. This brief hour of insufferably annoying children’s songs would be enough to make any sane person go mad; I can only imagine how Brett managed not to murder anyone after being subjected to such garbage day after day for years. The funniest parts of this episode are the reactions of the other hosts being exposed to this for the first time.
Brett: “Now imagine that you’re a sexually frustrated 19-year-old with no outlet for anything, cleaning toilets that someone has just jizzed and thrown Yu-Gi-Oh cards in.”
Hosts: Chris, Mikel, Diana, Henry
Hot off the heels of Edgar Wright’s departure from Marvel Studios over the Ant Man movie came this episode, in which the hosts take a look at some of history’s most notable splits due to creative differences. From Stan Lee and Steve Ditko to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, they go in depth with the conflicts that many of these colliding personalities faced. It’s an interesting debate about artist versus corporation, who’s right, who’s wrong, and how it’s not a simple black and white issue.
Mikel (Stan Lee impersonation): “I turned right at the camera and said, ‘Jack Kirby is a fuckin’ prick!’”
Hosts: Chris, Brett, Henry, Dave
This may not be an episode that Chris thinks of fondly, due to the fact that he and some of the other crew members were laid off from their previous jobs around this time — the main reason why this episode was was made. Despite those unfortunate circumstances, this was an interesting episode, a significant moment in the lives of the Laser Time crew in 2014. The first segment is a conversation about all of the crappy jobs these guys had at one point in their lives and how they quit or got fired from them. The second segment takes a turn, and they discuss the current state of entertainment on the Internet and ask the question, “What do people want to see on the Internet?” in order to make Laser Time a more appealing website for a wider audience.
Chris: “What have I been doing with all this free time? I’ve been lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, and setting land speed masturbation records.”
Hosts: Chris, Henry, Dave, Grimm
An episode like this is something that everyone can relate to, because we all have them: strange phobias that are completely ridiculous, but we can’t help but agonize over. This episode is particularly fascinating because we get to delve into the psychology of each of the members’ minds and learn more about what makes them tick on a level that we would never get from any other episode. Halfway through the episode, Chris asks, “Is this a boring episode?” Absolutely not! Just because an episode isn’t about cartoons or farts doesn’t mean that it’s boring.
Chris: “My irrational fear is that women in gaming are going to ruin Halo.”
Monster Parties/The Filthiest Christmas Songs Ever Made
Hosts: Chris, Brett, Henry, Tyler
I was debating which of these two to include on the list, but since they are both so similar in subject matter, I decided to include them in the same spot. Both include goofy, ridiculous songs about our two most celebrated holidays, Halloween and Christmas. Monster Parties takes a look at all of the numerous “Monster Mash” rip-offs, ranging from old timey cash-ins to recent parodies.
Chris: “Every word that would fit into a Halloween song rhymes with the word ‘fright.’ ‘It was dead of night!’”
Brett: “It was the opposite of light!”
Tyler: “It wasn’t right!”
Henry: “A public domain character gave me a fright!”
Meanwhile, Filthiest Christmas Songs takes a look at exactly what you’d expect, and ridicules it to a delightful degree. It’s especially fun to listen to due to how uncomfortably offensive, sexist, and homophobic a lot of these songs can get. I felt bad for Henry during this episode, particularly during that Rudolph song.
Song: “Grandma got molested at the airport…”
Chris: “I’m not playing the rest of that fucking song.”
Henry: “I think we got it.”
Brett: “Clearly the episode is over.”
Hosts: Chris, Mikel, Diana, Hollander Cooper
Notable for its fascinating discussion of infamous conspiracy theories, it’s also the first, and sadly only, Laser Time appearance by Hollander Cooper, formerly of GamesRadar. Aliens, 9/11, Bigfoot, the Denver Airport, Stanley Kubrick and The Shining, and even Jesse Ventura and “Lizard People” are discussed. As someone who has a strange fascination with — but doesn’t strongly believe in — any conspiracy theories, this was an incredibly captivating episode that I’ve probably listened to more times than any other Laser Time episode this year.
Chris: “I especially loved the Sandy Hook shooting conspiracy.”
Hollander: “You loved it? It’s your favorite shooting? 10/10. Not a lot of innovation, but if you’re a fan of the genre…”
Chris: “No, not the shooting. I’m not a fan of those. I’m an orchestrator.”
Hosts: Chris, Henry, Grimm, Dave
This episode is Laser Time in a nutshell: a mixture of insightful discussions about entertainment crossed with poop and fart stories. The first segment is a rather interesting discussion about classic films and comfort entertainment from the good ol’ days. The second segment, however, is a complete tonal shift that diverts into stories about the hardest they guys have ever puked. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that this was the single funniest episode of the year, and it should be the first episode that you show to someone if you want to recommend Laser Time. The results could potentially be disastrous and may turn them off entirely, but if they have a great sense of humor, they are bound to laugh so hard that they receive a “hardest you’ve ever puked” story of their own.
Chris (as Henry tells his story): “I really wish that the Google car was driving by right as you were puking in an Arby’s parking lot.”
Hosts: Chris, Mikel, Diana
Never in my life have I ever seen a celebrity death that shook the world the way that Robin Williams’ did. After weeks of trying to come to terms with this tragedy, this nearly two hour long celebration of Uncle Robin’s life was the perfect closure that we all needed. Despite the dark and heavy subject matter, the crew manages to maintain the usual upbeat and energetic tone, reminding us not to be depressed, but to laugh and enjoy the work that Williams has left us with. There’s not much else I can say about the great Robin Williams that wasn’t already beautifully expressed in this episode. O Captain, My Captain.
The Perfect Score
Hosts: Chris, Brett, Henry, Grimm
This may seem like an odd choice for a recommended episode, but to me, this episode truly encapsulates everything that makes Laser Time as special as it is. This episode came out around the time of the Gamergate fiasco, where people who considered themselves gamers were acting out in unacceptably horrible ways, giving the entire gaming community a bad name. Ever since the days of TalkRadar, this crew has continued to remain a positive voice of reason in the gaming community, and this episode shows that. From the perspective of four game reviewers, they talk about the idea of what “games journalism” really means and the credibility that the job entails. Then they each share the games they’ve given a 10/10 review score while writing for GamesRadar, and their reasons why. This helps give us a better insight as to how different people subjectively perceive art and how to convincingly validate their opinions to the masses who most likely won’t even pay attention to what they have to say, accusing them of being paid off or biased.
Thanks to their level-headed and constructive way of handling situations such as this, they’ve managed to create an environment with Laser Time that is loving and accepting for people to engage in healthy debates and discussions without fear of being attacked or ridiculed. On behalf of the entire Laser Time audience, I am truly grateful for all these guys do in order to simply entertain and provide us with an outlet to escape from the problems of the world for a few short hours.
Thanks for all of the great Laser Time episodes in 2014, and here’s to hoping for even more in 2015.
Chris: “Fuck this topic. When we get back from break we’re going to talk about biggest farts ever!”
Brett: “Henry had a great one today.”
Article by contributor Mike Pisacano.
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