I just recently finished listening to my first episode of the podcast You Look Nice Today. I think I added it to my phone’s podcast app after Glen Weldon of NPR (Pop Culture Happy Hour and more) recommended it for the umpteenth time. Given my blog, the latest episode‘s title—”Lobster Farm”—obviously piqued my interest, so I finally took the plunge.
If you’re unfamiliar with YLNT, let me quote from Evan Minsker’s list of 10 essential comedy podcasts over at Paste: “Premise: Merlin Mann, Adam Lisagor and Scott Simpson just talk. Their tagline? ‘A journal of emotional hygiene.’ Why you should care: Of all the podcasts in this list, You Look Nice Today easily has the least structure—it’s always an absurd conversation between the three guys spliced between ukulele riffs. It was gone for about two years, but it looks like within the last month, they’ve finally begun to make their triumphant return.”
Based on the “Lobster Farm” episode, the guys seem smart and funny, in that “you can tell I love comedy deep in my bones because I will sacrifice anything, including humor, in the service of a joke” kind of way. Listeners who are feint of heart might want to stay away. As the YLNT website warns, “You Look Nice Today is an audio program that has been prepared by and for ‘adults.’ As a Journal of Emotional Hygiene, our program tackles many of the painful issues typically encountered by persons of this awkward age. Consequently, an uncontrollable level of candor and seemingly non-stop tsunami of profanity may be encountered by listeners. Please do not present this material to non-adults.”
They can be absurd, yes, as well as crass, vulgar, and decidedly non-PC, all in a certain flavor of maleness that I haven’t quite put my finger on. And yet … there was genuine food for thought in this food-themed episode, about everything from the ethics of meat eating to modern urbanites’ lack of knowledge about farms and farming. The litany of topics covered—”Sushi DMV, pupu platter, Tuna Corn Mayonnaise, kiwanis roll, the Andrew Jackson with extra hickory, two types of foreigner, $50 squid, lobster drag, dinner theater, is it vegetarian if she throws it away, Tevas, ‘My mussel’s name is Sandy,’ ma, the jute chewers, churn for a living, Andie MacDowell and a Sofia Mini”—only hints at what awaits brave listeners. If you think you can handle 1) both cringing and laughing as someone not unthoughtfully talks about eating a live squid while it watches him, 2) initially funny lobster references that long overstay their welcome, and 3) fun had the expense of well-to-do locavores, check it out.