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Hosted byDan Harmon
GenreComedy, entertainment, talk
Length60–120 minutes
No. of episodes256 (as of August 31, 2017)
Original releaseJune 16, 2012 – present
ProviderFeral Audio

Harmontown is a weekly live comedy podcast that began airing on June 6, 2012. It is hosted by writer Dan Harmon, best known as the creator of the television series Community and Rick and Morty, and actor Jeff B. Davis, best known for his work on the improvisational comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway? Harmontown began as a monthly live comedy show in Los Angeles, California at the NerdMelt Showroom on May 23, 2011, but the show became weekly after Harmon was fired from Community. Since the summer of 2012, each episode of Harmontown has been recorded and released as a podcast by Feral Audio.

The podcast has featured many guest appearances, including Kumail Nanjiani, Greg Proops, Aubrey Plaza, Bobcat Goldthwait, Rob Schrab, Curtis Armstrong, Patton Oswalt, Jason Sudeikis, Dana Carvey, Felicia Day, Robin Williams, Mitch Hurwitz, Rob Corddry, Eric Idle, Logic, and Steve Agee.

On March 8, 2014, a documentary about the podcast, also called Harmontown, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

Premise[edit | edit source]

The original premise of Harmontown began with Harmon's and Davis's attempts to discuss how to successfully eliminate the flaws of society and create a utopia (which they claimed could be addressed with the creation of a lunar colony) in front of a live audience. The show evolved into what Harmon and Davis call "live therapy sessions" for Harmon, as he discussed with Davis a variety of topics, from anecdotes about his family and work to commentaries on movies, social issues, and scandals.

Format and structure[edit | edit source]

Harmontown is not scripted; it is largely improvisational. The show frequently feature many guests to help drive the discussion. On its fifth airing, the show began having a regular Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) session at the end of each episode. This led to the introduction of Spencer Crittenden, who leads their D&D segments, having extensive knowledge of the game. Crittenden happened to be an audience member when Harmon and Davis asked for assistance from the crowd with how to play D&D. Crittenden gradually became a part of the main cast. He was then hired as an assistant to Dan Harmon.

Beginning in 2015, with episode #131 "Dirty Little Potato People", the Dungeons and Dragons segment was replaced with a Shadowrun game session, placed towards the end of the episodes and for a similar length as the D&D segment. Crittenden is also the gamemaster for this segment, with guests optionally filling the roles of some characters in the campaign.

Occasionally, Davis will be unavailable so a special guest will replace him as comptroller. Regular guest comptrollers include Erin McGathy, Kumail Nanjiani, and Duncan Trussell. Occasionally, special guests will serve as comptroller, including Mitch Hurwitz, Bobcat Goldthwait, and—on the Harmontown movie tour—Gilbert Gottfried, Dino Stamatopoulos, Steve Agee, and LeVar Burton.

Tour and documentary[edit | edit source]

From January 10–30, 2013, Harmontown evolved from its original format and structure to go on a national tour, leaving Los Angeles and traveling to cities such as Pittsburgh, Austin, and Nashville, all while posting new episodes within two days. The tour became the subject of a documentary produced by director Neil Berkeley. The documentary, also called Harmontown, follows Harmon, Davis, McGathy, and Crittenden. The documentary (Harmontown) premiered at the SXSW Film Festival on March 8, 2014.

Cast and crew[edit | edit source]

  • Dan Harmon: Mayor of Harmontown
  • Jeff Davis: "Comptroller"
  • Erin McGathy: recurring guest and comptroller
  • Rob Schrab: recurring guest and comptroller
  • Spencer Crittenden: Dungeon Master
  • Kumail Nanjiani: recurring guest and comptroller
  • DeMorge Brown: recurring guest
  • Dustin Marshall: podcast producer, founder of Feral Audio
  • Kristian Boruff: live director
  • Sarah Hill: technical coordinator
  • Kevin Day: web producer

Community[edit | edit source]

Harmon's openness on Harmontown about Community after his firing has led him making comments that have sparked some controversy. Speaking about his opinion on season 4 of Community, Harmon made comments referencing Jeffery Dahmer (a convicted serial killer and cannibal), in addition to saying: "It's like flipping through Instagrams and watching your girlfriend just blow a million [other guys]." Harmon subsequently publicly apologized for his comments.

Reception[edit | edit source]

The A.V. Club wrote that "The podcast is for fans only, but for that undervalued group, it's essential listening."[1] CraveOnline wrote of the podcast:

If you're a Community fan, you're not going to want to miss the brains behind the show. If you're a comedy fan, you're not going to want to miss the show because it is, in all seriousness, the best comedy podcast out there. Harmon is a fantastic talker and storyteller and Davis is just as fantastic to listen to.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ferris, D.X. (July 27, 2012). "We visit Harmontown and binge on Doug Loves Movies in this week's podcast roundup". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 25, 2014. .
  2. Krauspe, Christian (July 9, 2012). "Podcast Review: Harmontown". CraveOnline. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 

External links[edit | edit source]