Friday, August 22, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art of Wrestling Ep. 212

More of Colt doing live stuff in front of an improv crowd this week
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Art of Wrestling
Episode: 212
Run Time: 1:08:07
Guest: John Hastings, Jack Jester, Billy Kirkwood, Chris Brooker

Summary: We’re still at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After a short monologue, Colt opens with comedian John Hastings (7:16) before moving to ICW Champion Jack Jester (27:42). As usual, the show ends with some wrestling-based improvisational comedy (53:52).

Quote of the week: “I don’t believe that anybody hasn’t got a fetish. Everybody likes something. What do you like? Anything. High heels? … If you don’t keep secrets, it can’t come back and bite you in the ass. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re into something that’s not illegal, obviously, then who cares? Just be yourself.” — Jester

Why you should listen: If you’re a fan of the typical Art of Wrestling, Cabana (eventually) does a good job interviewing Jester. They talk about the impact of the BBC documentary about Insane Championship Wrestling as well as the usual exploration of the wrestler’s path into the squared circle. Hastings does bring the funny in spots and is clearly a very serious fan and has been for some time.

Why you should skip it: You might find yourself frustrated with the way the live crowd affects the Jester interview — it’s obvious listening to this segment how much better Cabana is at probing his subjects’ minds when there’s no live audience to please. Likewise, Hastings is much likely a better performer doing his own comedy bits than trying to just be the funny guy in an interview setting. And the improv games at the end fall absolutely flat.

Final thoughts: One more week of the Fringe Festival before Cabana gets back stateside and into his regular routine. Between the hacking (beyond his control) and four weeks of live shows, it’s been a rough patch for the Art of Wrestling. Hopefully Cabana is recharged creatively by the break from form, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn other regular listeners are itching for more of the old standards.