BEST OF: Laser Time’s top episodes of 2016

What were the top 2016 episodes of the podcast that started it all? Read on as we count down the top five episodes of the internet’s fourth-leading pop-culture podcast, Laser Time!

All this week we’ll be looking back at the Laser Time Network’s best stuff of the year, as dictated by you, and by that we mean the raw numbers of views, clicks, downloads, etc. Stay tuned for Best of Top 5s from Laser Time, Talking Simpsons, Thirty Twenty Ten and the best Laser Time videos of the year.

Hey, welcome to our week of back-patting features where we count down the best-performing podcasts and videos with a hint of reminiscing. Up first is good old Laser Time itself, wherein Chris Antista, Brett Elston, Diamond Dog Dave Rudden (that’d be me), and some of our favorite podcasting pals waxed nostalgic on… well, pretty much anything and everything, but usually something related to the pop-culture zeitgeist of any given week. It’s a formula we’ve refined over five years and 250-plus episodes and allows us to jump from fictional nerds one week to the worst covers of classic Disney tunes just seven days later. To that end, our top five episodes of 2016 run the gamut of topics, so you can count on us being just as eclectic come 2017! Okay, now on with the list!

5 – Creators Fired!

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: The sad, strange tales of Dan Harmon, Aaron Sorkin, John K and other creative visionaries forcibly removed from the projects they brought to life…

Sometimes the stories BEHIND shows and movies (and wrestling) can be just as entertaining as what’s being shown on-screen. We’ve explored the subject from other angles before (like creative duos who split up and actors who have LITERALLY killed, but this time we heated things up by discussing the likes of Community, West Wing, Ren & Stimpy, and other classic media that endured the firing of their creators. Some got better, most got worse, and we had a whale of a time drudging up these instances of creative change! That juicy content (and the fact that this was posted back in January) made it a highly-downloaded ep.

FROM THE COMMENTS: “In ten years time we’ll end up finding how difficult dave was to work with because chris didnt want him to keep talking about wrestling. every ten minutes, from Brett’s biography, Podcasts R Us.” – Brendalf

4 – Media Formats That Failed!

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: For every Blu-ray and MP3 that graces the eyes and ears of consumers, there are failed formats that didn’t catch on. Listen to the sad tales of 8-tracks, UMDs, and even earlier formats from the media fiends who hoard them!

If you’ve ever watched a Laser Time video and got a gander of the Tyler Wilde Memorial Studio, you know that we’re big collectors of physical media. From our years in retail to modern-day hoarding, we’ve been buying games, movies, and music from vinyl to HD-DVD. To that end, we spent a good chunk of time exploring almost every format that’s out of print, from the eerie first-ever audio recording all the way up to Viva La Bam on UMD. It was the perfect mixture of clip-based entertainment (like Spock talking to a video disc player) and our own anecdotes, so it’s not surprising that listners liked this one, too!

FROM THE COMMENTS: “I recently had to throw out my family’s old Betamax player when my parents moved away…. also found Beta copies I’d made of Project A-ko and Akira! . <3 BETAMAX FOREVER <3" - CRB

3 – Neutered Sequels

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: Who needs nudity and profanity when you can market movies to kids? We examine the long history of film franchises that toned things down (and usually insulted our intelligence) in sequels.

YIPPIE KI YAY MISTER FALCON. Okay, that’s actually a TV edit, but you get the jist of it. From John McClane muting his own catchphrase with a blood-free gunshot to the removal of blowjobs in the Police Academy sequels, many a movie franchise in the 80s and 90s attempted to skew younger by dropping down from the R-rating, often losing what made the film appealing in the first place. This clip heavy ep showcased some of the dirty language in R-rated originals that got tamed in sequels with stories of our disappointment adding to the festivities. It’s a gosh darn poopshow, mother lover!


2 – Press Conference Fails

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: Instead of announcing new games, tech, or politics, these press conferences only revealed embarrassment for unprepared public speakers and terrible products! Awkward speeches ahoy!

Now here we have my personal favorite episode of 2016. I’m always a fan of seeing press conferences go wrong, so I delighted in capturing not only E3 follies, but other press conference flubs from CES, news events, and a crapton of George W. Bush flubs. We could probably do a sequel episode next year, if our next president actually held a press conference…

FROM THE COMMENTS: “This episode was fantastic. I’ve spent the past hour trying to track these conferences down to watch them online. I also love hearing you guys talk about the Wii/360/PS3 era E3’s. I remember Brett being mad at that Nintendo conference on Talkradar back in ’09” – WaffleRobot

1 – Rogue One Reactions & Star Wars Stopgaps

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: We’ve got an epic-length Rogue One discussion, but before we get into the new movie, we have a RO SPOILER FREE discussion of previous attempts LucasFilm made to add Star Wars media without making a sequel!

Yes, the most recent Laser Time is ALSO the highest-trafficking episode of the year, and is in spitting distance of becoming one of the top five all-time listened-to Laser Times. 2016 is where we really refined the episodes that mixed post-movie reactions on YouTube with a clip-based segment related to said film (it should be noted that our Batman v Superman episode is ranked sixth, so it doesn’t even matter if we like the movie). With Disney on track to deliver a new Star Wars film each year, this looks to be another Laser Time holiday tradition.

FROM THE COMMENTS: “Thought Rogue One was excellent, pretty much everything I was hoping for and more. Disney Star Wars is 2/2 so far, here’s hoping VIII keeps this up.” – batmanboy11

What was your favorite Laser Time episodes of the year? Let us know in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “BEST OF: Laser Time’s top episodes of 2016

  1. I gotta say, the 420 episode was the best for me this past year. It had all the hallmarks of a great Laser Time episode. Clips, anecdotes, historical facts, and TWO quiz-downs.

    Amazing shows this year, fellas. Here’s to a better 2017.

  2. The Worst Disney Song Covers episode is probably my fav, i’ve listened to it soooo many times. It’s hilarious, you really can’t go wrong when Grimm is roasting bad audio

  3. how is that true for #1? are random ppl finding the episode and just listening to a reaction from a podcast they don’t even listen to?

    seems strange

  4. 2016 was a great year for LT, kinda crazy to me that the Rogue One ep was THAT popular though. Oh well, whatever gets people in the door is good.

  5. Batman Vs Superman will go down in all time pantheon of Laser Time episodes if only for what might still be the best Henry rant to date. Personal favorite would be Neutered Squeals because dammit Hollywood! WHY!?

  6. I have to say I was really impressed by the Ernest episode. A deep dive with genuine love into an obscure topic a lot of people have forgotten, or consider mediocre if they haven’t. Just super-well-researched and fantastic.

  7. I did really enjoy some this year but my standout from the last 18 months is the Hecklers episode. That put me on to Bill Burr, for that I’m truly grateful.

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