I feel like I should preface this one by saying I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith, and have been for awhile. When I was in middle school I lied to my mom so she would rent me Clerks and was hooked. It was the first movie I liked that didn’t have any killing, nudity, sex, or explosions. It’s when I realized I could like a movie that didn’t need those things, it just had to talk about them in great detail.
Anything Smith releases I will see, usually when I can, but opening weekend if possible. I love his sense of humor, the absurdity, and the dialogue. It’s not even the crude humor or creative-use of four letter words, so much as how the dialogue is constructed. Smith’s characters speak how real people speak. Nothing takes me out of a movie more than awful dialogue. Anything could happen in one of Smith’s movies and the characters will react and speak like a majority of people would.
When I came across Hollywood Babble-On I had to listen for the fact Smith was involved. I have been aware of Ralph Garman for a bit, mainly via other podcasts. However, he is a staple of morning radio in Los Angeles and a very good impressionist, which is a staple of the podcast. I don’t want to pigeon-hole him either, as he is very good improving jokes on the fly and hosting the podcast as it is very segment driven. This gave me some apprehension when I started listening though.
While the segments do bring structure and a flow to the podcast, it can be daunting as a lot of them are inside jokes that have developed over the course of the show and even come with their own theme music. The Shout Outs and Email Bag typically come with requests for Garman and Smith to perform impressions, which range from singing someone Happy Birthday as David Bowie, or both doing their own characters The Germans.
While a lot of the show is for long-time listeners it is not hard to pick up on the jokes. It is also done in front of a live audience, which is always very knowledgeable on the segments. So if something falls flat, its not because of a lack of knowing. The live element is perfect for this, as a lot of the Shout Outs and emails are from those in attendance. Garman and Smith are very good to their fans, and ask questions, make jokes, and have even married a few.
The other segments are true to the name of the show, and delve into Hollywood news. Some segments include: Tinseltown Stiffs, highlighting those who’ve passed away; Hollywood Helper, famous people doing good deeds; HB-O Headlines, exactly what it sounds like; and Movies That Will Suck, where they discuss bad movie ides which have been announced. It is actually a very good method of staying up to date on whats new in the entertainment industry.
I would say the real strengths of this podcast are the hosts themselves. Anyone could answer emails, and discuss Hollywood news, but Garman and Smith let their personalities and humor shine through. They of course focus on what interests them, so it’s heavy on comic books, action movies, Batman (both are huge fans), etc., but in a way it makes you want to know more as well.
As stated before, Garman keeps the proceedings moving forward and smoothly, and Smith chips in with some great quips and jokes. There is an occasional guest, but for the most part it’s not needed. Both guys are great, and legitimately love their fans, and it comes out in their interactions. They are also very self-deprecating, which allows their jibes at others to be taken as just what they are, jokes.
While it can be crude and filled with words of the four-letter type, it is a really good look at the entertainment industry, and keeps you up to date. I will reiterate the crude parts of it as I have a very high tolerance for that type of stuff but others may not. It’s all done in good fun, but they love using their bodily fluids. However, if you’re into comedy, entertainment, or just turning off your brain for an hour or two and laughing, this is the podcast for you.