I’ve listened to plenty of podcasts by comedians and the “Dana Gould Hour” is the funniest, most creative and the best produced one out there.
I’ve enjoyed Dana Gould as a standup comedian for a long time, going back over 20 years when I lived in San Francisco and witnessed several of his shows. His routines were a fine mix of silliness and intelligence. Although I didn’t realize it until I started doing research for this post, it turns out I’ve also enjoyed his writing for years. He has written many episodes for “The Simpsons”.
The Dana Gould Hour podcast episode
How my dad got his teeth kicked out and other tales of manliness! Marine bootcamp, Dirty Harry, Two Guys From Boston and an ode to The Wolfman. Rob Cohen, John Ennis, Eddie pepitone, Lou Schneider, Joel Stein.
The Dana Gould Comedy Hour
Dana Gould was and remains one of the leading lights of the ‘alternative comedy movement.’ And finally, having calmly and stoically assessed the scene, finally launched his own podcast back in February and praise be, as he emboldens the standard podcast format, hosting a show bristling with ideas, strange stories of yore and two men from Boston. Each episode lasts around about an hour, is broadcast fortnightly and brings with it mirth and brightness to spare.
Dana Gould stand-up comedy on Conan
The bedrock of each show follows the familiar podcast trope of ‘three white guys talkin’ but brings with it a vibrancy, elegance and intelligence that really sets it apart from competitors. This is as much down to the individual and collaborative skills of the guest collective, so far including such luminaries as Eddie Pepitone and Matt Weinhold, as it is to the topics they discuss, which are as inviting as they are expansive.
The breadth of these topics allows all involved to communicate lucidly, with anecdotes and adventures to bare throughout. Dana himself is heralded by an endless troupe of stories, seemingly having experiences for any subject, each one as hilarious and elucidating as the last.
Their interwoven and competing jokes mean the comedy amps up at a great pace, as they overflow with a desire to reach for that final cherry atop the cake, but these interruptions never harm the story, simply adding colour to already fabulous hijink retellings. As a fluid group, the podcast has a distinct air of experience, knowledge and worldliness that at its best makes them seem professorial, with awareness of obscure times and places way outside the listeners purview. Harnessing the seemingly infinite well of experience that the various guests and distinctly Mr Gould himself possess is one the pods greatest assets, with the format allowing for these to be gilded and worked intricately within the shows.
Unashamed to air dirty laundry as it is unafraid to countenance ideas and theories however outlandish. The Dana Gould Hour harnesses Gould’s perspective and outlook, allowing it to be a world of concepts rather than concretes. That all those involved are more interested in expressing and understanding ideas works greatly in the shows credit, granting it a flow and spark that means each section shines both individually and holistically. Set alongside this is the mildly strange ‘Political Talk with Two Guys from Boston,’ which may well be a little too ‘local’ for some, despite the fun Dana is having.
With it’s advanced silliness and drive towards absurdity always lending it a comedy beyond it’s loving archetypes mean that even in it’s most introverted moments it is never too far from rediscovering the funny. The final key element in each show is a researched monologue, in which Gould tells a radio-style story of a bizarre happening linked to the topic. A recent example told of ‘I Am Legend’s transformation from1954 novel, to 1964 Vincent Price led feature, to it’s 1971 re-imagining as ‘The Omega Man,’ and how these interacted with the popular ideas at the time.
These extra stories engorge the podcast, instilling a roundedness and fullness of scope that similar podcasts eschew. It also allows for a decisive change of pace, with Dana offering a wry glance at such times, pontificating on the motives and backgrounds of those considered; The employment of a serious story based in the ludicrousness of human life puts the rest of the show into striking contrast, again granting the show a circularity that makes it a podcast that works as much as a whole as in segments.
All in all, The Dana Gould Hour is a coming force, a growing juggernaut headed up by the eponymous host, and ably aided by a rotating guest list. The enthusiasm and knowledge that Dana has for the topics and the world is an ever-present delight, breathing life into his format.
By Sam Webb
Dana John Gould (born August 24, 1964) is an American comedian and comedy writer born and raised in Hopedale, Massachusetts. His upbringing and his extended family lent themselves to his stand-up routine, which has been seen on HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central, among other places.
After high school, he studied communications and theatre at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He eventually moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in comedy. It was there he, along with fellow comedian Alex Reid, founded the San Francisco Comedy Condo in 1986.
Gould wrote and performed on The Ben Stiller Show; one such sketch features Gould as Otto, Cupid’s twisted brother, whose arrows convince a young man to fall madly in love with an elderly woman. Another series of sketches features a heavily disguised Gould as Wilford Brimley advertising “Grady’s Oats” (a parody of Brimley’s Quaker Oats advertisements). In one, he speaks of his Uncle Ray’s hobby of dressing in a pink taffeta gown and filling his panties with oatmeal; in another, he brandishes a revolver through the window at children. He also appeared in an episode of MADtv as Newt Gingrich and on one episode of Seinfeld as “Fragile” Franky Mirman, Jerry’s childhood friend (aka “The Summer George”). He co-created and was executive producer on the MTV series Super Adventure Team. In addition Gould’s stand up material was featured in Comedy Central’s animated series Shorties Watchin’ Shorties. 
For seven years he wrote for The Simpsons, one episode of which he provided the voice of Don Knotts as Barney Fife (an impression that originated in his standup routine). He left the show in late 2006 in order to focus on his own screenwriting, though he served as co-executive producer on seasons 14 through 18.
Gould had a featured cameo in the 2003 film Girls Will Be Girls, in which he played a hit-and-run victim who admits to his alcohol problem after having a desperate one-night stand with aging C-list actress Evie Harris, the other driver in the car accident. He was also featured in the film The Aristocrats, where, among other commentary, he presents an Amish version of the eponymous joke. His short films, Last Man On Earth, Break On Through With J.F.K., A Night On Java Island, and Soul Mates are also available for download on his site. Except for the latter, all feature Gould in acting roles. 2009 saw the release of his new stand up special, “Let Me Put My Thoughts In You” on Shout Factory.
Gould provided the voice for the title character in the U.S. versions of the Gex video game series and the UK version of the first game. Gould, with his frequent writing partner Rob Cohen, wrote the majority of the jokes for the games.
He was a regular contributor to the Adam Carolla radio show where he did impressions of Huell Howser. He appears occasionally on The Adam Carolla Show podcast. The first episode of Gould’s own biweekly podcast, The Dana Gould Hour , was made available on iTunes on January 31, 2012. Recurring guests include comedians like Eddie Pepitone, and each episode revolves around a singular theme (i.e. conspiracy theories or the apocalypse).
In 2010 he appeared in actual form on Family Guy episode, “Brian Writes a Bestseller”.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sue Naegle, President of HBO Entertainment, and their three children.Each of his daughters was adopted from China.
- “Funhouse (Stand Up! Records)”
- “Let Me Put My Thoughts In You (Shout! Factory)”
- “Homer the Moe”
- “Poppa’s Got a Brand New Badge”
- “C.E. D’oh”
- “The President Wore Pearls”
- “Pranksta Rap”
- “Goo Goo Gai Pan” (under the name Lawrence Talbot)
- “Bart Has Two Mommies”
- “I Don’t Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”
- “Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson”
- “Brian Writes a Bestseller”
The Simpsons episodes
“Homer the Moe”
“Poppa’s Got a Brand New Badge”
“The President Wore Pearls”
“Goo Goo Gai Pan” (under the name Lawrence Talbot)
“Bart Has Two Mommies”
“I Don’t Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”
“Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson”