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Now displaying: Category: Pop Culture Comedy

Smash Fiction is a debate-style comedy podcast in which a rotating cast of nerds argue on behalf of their chosen fictional characters. Only one can win!

Apr 21, 2019

For those of you who understand the title, yes, you read that correctly. For those who don't...well, strap in, folks, because this week, we're putting on our spandex, lacing up our boots, and oiling the living shit out of our upper bodies before heading straight through that curtain and out into the spotlight. Just in time for Wrestlemania 35, it's a very special pro wrestling episode of Surprise Party!

To be fair, it's two weeks after Wrestlemania 35, but honestly, that show was so long it might still be going. Fortunately, this episode is also ridiculously lengthy! But why? Could it be each host's need to craft elaborate entrances for their characters? Could it be Dan's and MeganBob's valiant struggle to understand what in the blue hell is going on here? Or could it possibly be the fact that we're joined this week by Lucas Brown of The Math of You Podcast, who could literally talk about wrestling forever if we let him?

Whatever the answer, know that this Andre the Giant-Sized episode contains magical puppetry, sultry Southern accents, improbable victories, heartwarming collectivism, telepathic calls to action, bunnies with swords, and at least one broken barbershop window. It's a whole lot of fun. Really.

Also, we're extremely sorry. Blame Miles.

Apr 14, 2019

Let's face it -- this one doesn't require much explanation. This one is about as obvious as making a metric crapton of money adapting illustrated children's fantasy stories into major studio franchise tentpoles. And while you can rest assured in the knowledge that Judge Claire Mulkerin will spend the better part of ten minutes setting up the admittedly convoluted but undeniably cohesive narrative in which this week's battle takes place, you already know the real reasons.

Marvel vs. DC. The superhero known as Captain Marvel vs. the superhero who used to be known as Captain Marvel. The boss of space vs. Magic Superman. Over a billion at the box office vs. unusually good reviews for a DCEU movie. Carol Danvers vs. Billy Batson. Let the unrelenting comic book bullshit commence.

Sarah Langan makes her Smash Fiction debut and immediately proves that she belongs right here with all the other dinguses, while Miles, Bob, and Dan basically just grunt and make frustrated noises at one another. Will one of the many, many times somebody says "Shazam" manage to transform this comic book clusterfuck into a decent episode? Or will our audience drown alongside us in an endless sea of semantics, speculation, specific issue numbers, spelling corrections, and salty pickles?

Apr 7, 2019

Our heroes have escaped Phyrexia, but not without some considerable loss. Before they can turn their attention to their next mission, they need to address some loose ends, reflect on what's happened, and ready themselves for what's to come.

Dante is way out of his comfort zone; Stitch goes looney; Mordin completes a very important project; and Luna makes amends.

Additional music this episode is "Run Amok" and "Le Grand Chase" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Apr 1, 2019

Hey listeners! It looks like some of you are taking our ideas and running with them, because we came across this strange little gem buried deep in the dark web! Four friends sit down together to try and craft a movie plot using elements from other stories, and it turns out... um... well, it turns out. So join Rebecca, Neil, Michael, and Werner on a journey into a magical land of talking animals, undead horrors, and an unusually high number of car chases. Happy April first!

Mar 31, 2019

Our hosts welcome a guest to the lab as Claire, Dan, and Meganbob are joined by writer and YouTuber Magdalen Rose!

Magdalen proves to be a natural at crafting stories using mismatched parts, which is a good thing, as we end up with characters and plot elements from Star Trek, Clerks, and A Christmas Carol, and attempt to tie them all together using some misremembered David Bowie lyrics. How does it go? You'll have to listen to find out! And be sure to pay Magdalen Rose a visit at her channel, www.youtube.com/user/SilverScreenReviews.

Mar 24, 2019

Ever wonder what makes the Neverending Story so, well, never-ending? Well, it's largely because certain events just sort of keep happening over and over again, which explains why the unstoppable annihilating force called The Nothing has returned to creep across the land of Fantasia, erasing all in its path.

Last time, a brave hero was given a horse to go rescue the Childlike Empress and save the land from destruction, but that horse didn't make it very far into the quest before it was lost and the hero had to go the rest of the way on foot. This time, the allies of the Empress are leaving nothing to chance, assigning four brave young warriors the task of saving their world... and giving them each a singularly amazing horse to see them through.

But which horse will carry their rider to victory? Can Claire lead Agro to the glowing weak points in her opponents' arguments? Will Dan's increasingly specious claims about Shadowfax's running speed leave his rivals in the dust? Can guest advocate Rafael Medina's assertions prove as invincible as Epona herself? And will Meganbob ever get around to actually arguing for Maximus amidst her pitch for her bold new series, Horse Cop?

All this, plus the return of Kit's recurring fun animal facts segments! Which reminds me, extra-special thanks to Kevin McLeod of www.incompetech.com for the use of his songs "Hamster March" and "Loping Sting." Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Mar 10, 2019

Judge Miles invites us all in to take a seat and tune in to the championship of High Fantasy TV Show Character Mania! Open up the chips and pass the guacamole because it's a triple-threat match of sword ladies!

From the land of historical inaccuracy and 90's special effects comes Xena, a mighty warrior princess forged in the heat of battle. Will her courage change the world, as the opening narration of the TV show promised?  Hailing from the land of awesome remakes that fill our hearts with joy is She-Ra. Can she focus on the match, or will her mind be on failed friendships? Joining them is Dragon Age badass and recent crossover from High Fantasy Video Game Character Wrestling, Cassandra Pentaghast. Is she truly as metal as her amazing name? 

In this match blows will be thrown, swords will be swung, and arguments will be had. Listen as Kit weaponizes the power of eyebrows, MeganBob is proud of teenagers, and Claire makes her strongest case against godhood yet. 

Mar 3, 2019

Their quests completed, our heroes are keenly interested in getting the hell back to Grayskull... but it turns out that Phyrexia isn't especially interested in allowing them to leave. Can the Extraordinary League stand against the combined forces of the Father of Machines, or has their luck finally run out?

Dante gets crafty; Luna leaves an opponent tongue-tied; Stitch goes for a wild ride; Mordin sciences harder than ever; and Nico moves a mountain.

Additional music this episode from OminousVoice, based on themes written by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban. Check out more of their work at www.youtube.com/user/OminousVoice.

Feb 24, 2019

Howdy, stranger. Come on in from the cold, warm yourself up next to the fire. There's bad food, good whiskey, and a decent enough bed, if you're wanting a place to stay. Only take care, now -- you ain't from 'round here, so could be you can't smell it, but there's an ill wind a-blowing 'round these parts tonight, and the scent of gunpowder is in the air.

I'm afraid you don't have the motel to yourself tonight, friend. One of our guests is a gunslinger named Susannah Dean, and when she's not questing for the Dark Tower, she's dipping what's left of her legs into the multidimensional arms trade. That there's a powerful risky business, which is how you get Tulip O'Hare sent after you. She was hell on wheels before she got caught up with some preacher and ended up face-to-face with God Almighty, and now she's coming here to collect the bounty on Susannah's head. Either one of these ladies could kick your ass with both hands tied behind her back, only it wouldn't matter because you'd already have a bullet in your head, anyways. But which one's a-gonna win? That right there is a powerful difficult question. So settle in, let me get you some of that whiskey. It's gonna be an interesting night.

Also, Krista Contino Saumby of the Unspoiled! Podcast Network officially joins the Smash Fiction ka-tet, Matias Tautimez returns  (he didn't know how he knew it was time for another Dark Tower match -- he just knew), and Dan and Miles make the Sundowner fight look straightforward and neighborly by comparison.

Feb 17, 2019

It's Valentine's Day weekend, so of course we're bringing you the Smash Metafiction episode that lends itself best to this particular holiday...

...Surprise Party?

Oh, but you haven't experienced Surprise Party like this. Instead of retelling just one story, Claire, Liz, and MeganBob will choose characters to descend into five of fiction's greatest romances in an effort to maintain the power of love throughout the multiverse! From Nicolas Cage to William Shakespeare, no love story is beyond the reach of C.U.P.I.D.! And, yes, if you listen to this episode, you will learn what that acronym stands for. You're welcome.

Also, Claire invents infiltration by way of group therapy, Liz swerves Dan so hard you can almost hear his brain faceplanting, and MeganBob's passionate romantic storytelling breaks all of our hearts at the same time.

Feb 10, 2019

The ongoing SmashFic series of four-way elemental battles rages on, and this week, it's...THE LIGHTNING MATCH! Cue cheap thunder sound effects, insincere cries of terror, and a giant load of bullshit. But you already knew that.

Thanks to a vague and bizarre second-person narrative, four of the most electric characters in fictional entertainment have been imprisoned in something called the Thunderdome, and must now layeth the smacketh down on each other's candy asses until one of them drops that last elbow and gets free. Will Storm, mutant weather goddess of the X-Men, raise a triumphant eyebrow in victory? Will actual literal lightning god Raiden finally come back to Earthrealm as the winner of this new form of Mortal Kombat? Will Pikachu's millions (and millions) and millions of fans somehow be enough to drive this strange yellow rat thing to the top? Or will he and the other two competitors hit rock bottom, fatally letting their guard down after they smell what Sailor Jupiter is cooking?

Also, Miles really doesn't understand Pokemon types, Claire struggles to explain how anything in Sailor Moon actually works, and as always, comics are fucking stupid.

Feb 3, 2019

The number of people who would willingly get into a direct fight with Godzilla can probably be counted on one hand... and they all happen to be in the Extraordinary League. Our heroes have gotten it into their heads that they can free the King of the Monsters from Phyrexian control, but doing so puts their very lives on the line, and some of them may not be coming out of this in one piece.

Nico tries out some new talents; Stitch has to dig deep; Luna plays healer; Dante hits his breaking point; and Mordin may never be the same.

Thanks as always to Family Jules for all of the battle music used in this episode! Check out more of his work at youtube.com/user/FamilyJules7X

Jan 27, 2019

When the ongoing Astro-Kerfuffle brings two groups of opposing forces, one from the USS Enterprise, one from their assigned Star Destroyer, each comprising fifty members, into combat on the decks of the NSEA Protector...

You know what, no. The editor is protesting the continued existence of the Astro-Kerfuffle by refusing to write the normal style of description. I tried to kill this stupid thing more than a year ago, but the rest of you just won't let it go. I can't tell you how upset this makes me. Do you see what you've done? You've made me write this in first person! I never write episode descriptions in first person! Now I have to go weirdly meta with the whole thing, and it's all your fault!

Anyway.

When the Patrons of Smash Fiction demand a battle between history's most iconic space dumpuses, the hosts of Smash Fiction oblige. Not only do two of them argue that the red-shirted crew members of Star Trek's original series would survive in this match -- they argue that redshirts being especially death-prone is a full-blown myth, not supported by the text of the show! Not only do the other two argue that the Stormtroopers of Star Wars' original trilogy would survive in this match -- they argue that Stormtroopers being terrible at shooting is a full-blown myth, not supported by the text of the films! And thus did an entire sector of space become choked by the fog of shameless lies.

In this contest between those who can't kill and those who can't help but be killed, which team will have their accuracy praised by Obi-Wan Kenobi? Which team will be solemnly pronounced dead (Jim) by Dr. McCoy? And more importantly, which team will win the Lightning Round, and perhaps, if they're lucky, make the cover of OSQ?

Jan 20, 2019

It's time once again for Collaboratory, where four Smash Fic hosts attempt to cobble together a semi-coherent film using random characters and story elements!

This week, Claire is joined by Dan, Kit, and Liz, who have the unenviable task of attempting to craft a tale around a little girl, a cat, a dragon, and a serial killer, all while using elements from stories like Chronicles of RiddickJingle All the Way, and 1984. The hosts end up with a pile of really incongruous stuff, and end up making... something that actually kind of works? Listen and judge for yourself!

Jan 13, 2019

The Steve-ness is at an all-time high as Captain America (Steve Rogers) goes up against Steven Universe in one of the most wholesome matches Smash Fiction has ever done. These two Steves have each been tasked with training a group of upstart Power Rangers in the ways of teamwork and Steve-itude. In this match where normally you would find shouting, instead there are admiring sighs. Where normally there would be epithets, instead there are declarations of affection. Where normally you would find character with different names, you will find Steves. 

Which shield-wielding Steve will save the day? Miles and MeganBob argue that age, experience, and beardliness are Steve Rogers' keys to victory. Claire and special guest Sharon Schneiderman argue that Steven Universe always finds a way. Dan presents the most Steve-ful Lightning Round yet! Listen in and unleash your inner Steve. 

Jan 6, 2019

Now that they've gathered the information they need, the League sets their sights on their newest target: the Praetor known as Godzilla. Our heroes are hoping to find him, cure him, and turn him, but that is all easier said than done, as they'll have to traverse a vast and nightmarish forest, deal with shadowy monsters, and unlock a strange power that's been hiding in them all along...

Luna makes yet another new friend; Dante leaps to the rescue; Stitch becomes a meteor; Nico shows off her new skills; and Mordin dives into the belly of the beast.

Thanks again to Family Jules for both of the battle songs used in this episode! Check out more of his work at youtube.com/user/FamilyJules7X

Dec 30, 2018

After an ill-defined apocalypse in which the world has been reduced to fire and blood, the tyrant Immortan Joe rules the Australian wasteland. He has taken everything from those he calls his subjects--water, freedom, dignity--until one ragtag group stands up and declares, "We are not things."

Sure, you may think you know the story of Mad Max: Fury Road, but you've never heard it told quite like this. Witness Claire take the lead on Surprise Party; witness Dan, Miles, and Meganbob craft their own war rigs full of fictional characters inspired by Apocalypse World; and witness a set of dumpuses uniquely un-suited to the challenges of the post-apocalyptic outback.

Which group will ride eternal, shiny and chrome, through the gates of Valhalla? Climb aboard and let's find out!

Dec 23, 2018

It's that time again, listeners -- the most wonderful time of the year, you might say. Another glorious Cagemas is upon us, and as always, we're celebrating the numerous career deaths and resurrections of Hollywood's most inscrutable actor with the fourth annual Smash Fiction Cage Match! This year's contest features the strangest and least physically gifted lineup yet, as four completely mundane but thoroughly depressing Nicolas Cage characters compete for the World Sad Sack Championship!

Does Dan have it in him to make real, actual jokes about Leaving Las Vegas and its self-destructive lead character, Ben Sanderson? Can Liz Logan channel the power of the Weather Man himself, Dave Spritz, and make it rain? Will Kit use Ronny Cammareri's wooden hand, Italian accent, and magical lunar love story to leave her opposition Moonstruck? Or will they all fall to the fictional version of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and his peerless powers of Adaptation?

This holiday season, come for the Cage, stay for the craze, including a Miles monologue for the ages, a shocking mid-episode twist, and a lightning round that gets just a little bit...meta.

Dec 17, 2018

Smash Metafiction Studios presents another mashed-together masterpiece, as the creative team that brought you "Don't You Forget About Me" returns to the lab for another round of gently bubbling brainstorms and flashes of brilliance buzzing with electric current! It's time, once again, for Collaboratory!

In this episode, Claire, Kit, Miles, and MeganBob elucidate an epic tale of sword, sorcery, and science fiction, weaving a narrative that includes bird-themed superheroes, cat-like kaiju, magical destinies, and one of the original MacGuffins! What is the legend of the falcon fist? 

Dec 9, 2018

"Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..." John McClane reflects sarcastically. How the hell did this even happen? One minute he was in the Nakatomi building, fighting with his estranged wife and making fists with his toes. The next minute, that weird mogwai thing he'd brought as a present for his kids was running around the Christmas party, jumping into the fountain, and making more little gremlins come out to terrorize the shocked partygoers. Now McClane is trapped in the building, experiencing first-hand what a TV dinner must feel like, with a dozen scaly, evil puppet monsters trying to find him and kill him. Now he has to find a way to survive the night and rescue the human "hostages," and he has to do with all without shoes. Or a machine gun. Ho, ho, ho, I suppose.

That's right, it's a Smash Fiction Christmas Match (yes it is, yes they are, yes both of them, shut up) between the iconic hero of the original Die Hard and the gibbering villains of the original Gremlins! Will McClane overcome the chaotic machinations and hive mind telekinesis (?) of his exquisitely puppeted opponents? Will the Gremlins take out McClane and still have time to catch the next Snow White screening? Will returning guest Rafael Medina abandon his argument entirely and simply pander to Judge Miles with a lengthy rant decrying the many crimes of capitalism? There's only one way to find out...but remember: never, ever listen to Smash Fiction after midnight.

Dec 2, 2018

After their narrow escape from the Red Praetor, the League hunkers down and discusses what to do next. Their new ally Morgana has a plan to deal a devastating blow to Phyrexia... but is it worth the risk?

Dante and Stitch perfect the Fireball Special; Nico designs some new footwear; Mordin takes on a grim task; and Luna calls an old friend.

Thanks again to Family Jules for some of the battle music in this episode! Check out more of his work at youtube.com/user/FamilyJules7X

Nov 25, 2018

Hypothetical: Assume that a mysterious, abandoned space station packed with advanced weapons and technology has suddenly entered Earth's orbit and is now floating there for the taking by any would-be world conqueror in the immediate vicinity. Assume, also, that you are an insane monkey inventor, or perhaps a telepathic ape supervillain. In either case, is there even a 1% chance you don't immediately steal a rocket ship and blast your way up there to lay claim to the alien spoils? Answer: No. No, there is not.

Which is why the vehemently verbose Mojo Jojo and the master of mind control known as Gorilla Grodd have temporarily broken off their respective beefs with the Powerpuff Girls and the Flash to instead do battle with one another -- and to the winner go the shiny death machines! But of course, the situation has not gone completely unnoticed by the planet's protectors. With the rest of Overwatch currently busy dealing with other problems, the genetically engineered Winston loads up his jump pack and tesla cannon and heads to the station himself. And upon his arrival, the three hyper-intelligent apes ditch the fun and games and get down to...monkey business.

Which simian will seize the win? Can Dan strike a balance between doing his Mojo impression and actually making an argument? Which is more permanently damaging to the psyche of Smash Fiction listeners -- Claire's never-ending monkey puns or Kit's relentless animal facts? And is MeganBob...okay?

Special thanks (well, more so than usual) to Kevin McLeod of www.incompetech.com for the use of his songs "Hamster March," "Loping Sting," and "Pinball Spring" during this episode.

Nov 18, 2018

Hope you're in the mood for some silly voices and terrible accents, cuz it's time for another episode of the multiverse's favorite speed dating reality show, Ship Wrecked! Meganbob takes the helm this time around, so slip into something comfortable as you listen to characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and 90s-era first person shooter games try desperately to find love... no matter how many establishments they may burn down in the process.

Nov 11, 2018

After a lifetime of work (and one particularly traumatic afternoon at the opening of a homeless shelter), Dr. Horrible has finally secured a position in the unholy halls of the Evil League of Evil... which means that it's all the more perplexing when he shows up at his induction ceremony only to find another Dr. Horrible seated at the table! Turns out that Count Olaf, villainous master of disguise, has temporarily suspended his pursuit of the Baudelaire orphans and is angling for his own spot in the Evil League of Evil... and he doesn't care if the spot he takes is Horrible's.

Join us as we debate which Neil Patrick Harris lead will earn a spot at the right hoof of Bad Horse! Can Meganbob and Kit use their Flimsy Argument Ray to stop the opposition? Will Dan and guest host Brad Bultman be able to turn a series of unfortunate events into a single coherent argument? And should we just go ahead and rename this show Claire's Sing-Along Podcast?

Nov 4, 2018

The League's search for the fourth gem takes them into a Phyrexian junkyard. The high gray walls around this area hide more than garbage, however, as the League will encounter old enemies, new allies, and come face-to-face with those they thought left behind.

Dante tries out a new form of fashion; Mordin begins to expand his horizons; Stitch attempts to become a celestial body; Nico gets both more and less than she expected; and Luna gets the group a sweet new ride.

Additional music this episode is "Killers" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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