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TV Guidance Counselor: A Nostalgia-Driven Comedy Podcast You Need To Be Listening To
TV fans canít be expected to just sit down on the couch and watch the boob tube ALL day long. One has to take a break every now and then, to get up and take out the trash or raise a kid or whatever. In dire times like those, you need something portable and audio-friendly; like, say, a podcast! While you think you want to find a podcast focused on the shows youíre currently watching, what you actually need to listen to is TV Guidance Counselor, a slice of delicious nostalgia courtesy of Boston stand-up comedian and all-around brainiac Ken Reid. I canít promise that younger listeners will appreciate it as much as anyone over 25 or so, but itís an endless treasure trove for anyone with a passion for TV history.
Whatís the Premise?Herein lies the genius of TV Guidance Counselor. The early-thirtysomething Reid is an avid collector of all things TV-related, and he happens to own every issue of TV Guide from around 1980-1995. In each episode, Reid and a guest take one issue and dissect each dayís primetime schedule, picking out the shows they would have watched at that time (or currently, when hindsight rears its head). Itíd be one thing if their choices were just namechecked and glossed over, but Reid excels in delivering information about even the most mundane or short-lived of series, often coupled with hilarious and insightful childhood memories from Reid and his guests, who are almost all comedians and actors.
You listen to one episode, and you get a really fun and knowledgeable podcast experience. After multiple episodes, youíll notice that TV Guidance Counselor is more like a social time capsule than a mere podcast. Because of the specific timespan, the show recaptures a time when cable was still in its fringe days and network TV ruled all; when self-awareness was held to a minimum, and repeated concepts and ideologies were as much a sign of the times as they were back in TVís earliest years. Relive the Night Stalker through Punky Brewsterís fear center, witness the decline of a series through craftily-worded TV Guide episode descriptions from successive years, and remember the days when TV knew how to represent blue-collar families and shows like Kate and Allie could be a hit even though they were based on the lives of divorced 40-year-old women. (Gasp!)
Who are the Guests?Like any podcast worth its weight in laughs, TV Guidance Counselor has drawn in an impressively varied crowd of talent in its first 27 episodes, and most of them are his friends. He starts off with wordsmith Myq Kaplan (who has his own extremely enjoyable podcast), and welcomes other excellent comics like Lamont Price, Bethany Van Delft, Jenny Zigrino, Josh Gondelman and many more. If you havenít heard of these comedians before, youíll definitely be looking up some of their non-TV material afterward.
Donít worry, though, there are certainly guests that everyone is familiar with. The picture above shows Reid standing next to Danny Tamberelli, the younger brother on Nickelodeonís stellar series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Just the Ten of Us star JoAnn Willette stops by for a great installment, as well as original Saturday Night Live cast member and voice actress Laraine Newman. I will listen to absolutely anything involving the sadistically sweet comedian/actress Laura Kightlinger and the intelligently silly co-founder of The State Michael Ian Black, so you can bet I was overjoyed that Reid also roped them into it. In the latest episode, released last week, Reid talks Russian porn and Tales from the Darkside with Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani.
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