Podcast Review: The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show

the john dredge nothing to do with anything show s5e1The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show originally launched way back in 2013, a more innocent time when people weren’t dead all over the fucking place, and it ran for four seasons until ending in 2015. But now it’s back for a fifth season five years on (or forty three, if you believe the podcast) and judging it by the first of this new batch of episodes it’s an incredibly impressive affair which sounds like it could have been airing on Radio 4 (or a better, funnier radio station) all these years without any alterations.

After a brief introduction it starts a proper with a fantastic spoof of Archer’s style radio soaps where our lead can’t keep track of who has and hasn’t died, as well as being pretty witty stuff it has a couple of nicely surreal moments too like the way a couple answer the door in the middle of a field, and it ends in a gorgeously melodramatic manner as well. After that Dredge informs us of what’s coming up on the rest of the show, claiming we’re to get items like “John Dredge Talks To The Furniture” (some of whom have recorded a charity album), “Dredge Daren’t” (where he refuses to take part in a selection of stunts), and “Frank Sinatra Will Saw Big Ben In Half” (and be accompanied by a goat), all of which are as great and as delightfully strange yet funny as you might imagine, to the extent it’s a shame we don’t get to hear more of them.

A trip to the small town of “Slightly Oblong” with it’s mayor “Bunsen Kloot” (a name Chris Morris would’ve been proud of creating) which gives Dredge the chance to interview an aardvark obsessed individual, and which contains some great dialogue and performances. That’s followed by some very funny fake adverts including one for Herbie Goes To Leighton Buzzard (which I demand Dredge makes asap, and will sulk if he doesn’t), and one for a board game which like the Herbie movie will annoy you that it doesn’t exist. A spoof of old 90’s radio comes next and also delights, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better there’s an interview with an extremely pompous theatrical actor, it’s a concept others have done before but Dredge brings a fresh perspective to the idea and it’s filled with so many funny moments it became my favourite part of the show. Then towards the end we’re given a quiz with answers which are inspired and then some, and the show comes to a close with a piece of music which is fucking awful and made me violently sick, or if you insist I’m honest, is actually really funny too.

Dredge has a real skill with wordplay, creating a mixture of smart, silly and daft gags time and again throughout the episode, and he’s also capable of coming up with a hilarious pun or twenty too. He has great sense of timing and there’s a huge amount of truly fantastic ideas on display, all of which are produced in a manner which is remarkably professional too. For once I’ve no minor issues or tiny complaints when it comes to a podcast, this is consistently hilarious and a real joy to listen to, and you’d be a crazy fool not to do so as soon as you possibly can.

★★★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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You can listen to the podcast here.

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