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Stephen Fry's Podgrams

From Podpedia

Stephen Fry's Podgrams
File:Stephen Fry's Podgrams.jpg
The title screen for the first series of Stephen Fry's Podgrams.
Hosted byStephen Fry
UpdatesNo set schedule
Original release20 February 2008 – 21 July 2009

Stephen Fry's Podgrams is a series of podcasts performed and recorded by British comedian and author Stephen Fry. First made downloadable on 20 February 2008, the series of podgrams is a collection of Fry's writings, speeches and collective thoughts. The podgrams vary in length and are not released at any set date.

The podgrams are one of the most downloaded podcast series on the internet, and have appeared in the top five most downloaded podcasts from iTunes.[1] Critical reception has been positive, as reviewers have found the podgrams interesting and engaging.

Content[edit | edit source]

The subject of Stephen Fry's Podgrams differs from episode to episode. Normally, each podgram begins with an update from Fry about what he has been doing recently,[2] his activities since the last podgram,[3] and any housekeeping that he needs to do concerning his website,[4] Fry then continues to discuss his recent activities; although in other editions the introduction leads into the main subject.[4] The text of the podgrams is sometimes published as part of Fry's web logs, or "Blessays".[5]

Stephen Fry

Fry's podgrams consist of anecdotes, such as how he broke his arm while filming a documentary in Brazil.[2] He has also presented lectures, discussed certain themes in detail, or argued against things he sees as being wrong in today's society. In discussing his hatred of dancing, he said of music, "I do not want to use it as an exercise track for a farcical, meaningless, disgusting, brainless physical public exhibition of windmilling, gyrating and thrashing in a hot, loud room or hall."[3] The material is usually original for each podcast, but he may revisit topics that he has previously discussed. For example, one podgram consisted of a speech he had previously made concerning public service broadcasting. His apologetic explanation for the repeated subject matter described his busy life, and he stated that the podgram was "all I can offer you."[6]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Stephen Fry's Podgrams have been well received by critics. The series has been in the list of the top five most downloaded podcasts on iTunes, even though only a few episodes have been made so far.[1]

Chris Campling of The Times said that Fry was smug, "but then he has a lot to be smug about, not least the ability to waffle for 30 to 45 minutes about not very much without being boring or condescending."[1] The Good Web Guide also recommends the series, saying that "whether he is bringing you up to date with his recent adventures of just riffing on something that interests him, he is always compelling company." The guide also states, "Stephen Fry is one of those very rare people who are incapable of being boring."[7]

Jacques René Zammit of The Malta Independent reviewed one episode in which Fry talked about the problems within journalism. Zammit wrote positively on Fry's comments saying, "I share Stephen's worries completely. Every time I sit down to type my excessively long column, I am burdened by the thought that after all this is just a collection of thoughts by someone who may very well be perceived as a pompous ass – and if Stephen Fry has these disquisitions, then I definitely should be doing some worrying myself."[8]

Episodes[edit | edit source]

The podgrams are released sporadically, with gaps between different podgrams being from one month up to several months. The length of each podgram varies widely as well.[5] The second series began after Fry's website was revamped.[4]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

# Title Length (minutes:seconds) Original airdate
1"Broken Arm"24:5920 February 2008 (2008-02-20)
Fry discusses how he broke his arm while filming a documentary series in South America, and the subsequent journey of healing.
2"Bored of the Dance"26:087 March 2008 (2008-03-07)
While filming a documentary about America, Fry talks about the musical history of the country. This leads him to talk about his loathing of dancing.
3"Wallpaper"25:329 April 2008 (2008-04-09)
Fry continues his journey across the United States, and talks about Oscar Wilde's view that America is so violent because the wallpaper is so ugly.
4"Broadcasting"42:0325 June 2008 (2008-06-25)
Because Fry has been so busy and has nothing new to talk about, he repeats a speech he previously made concerning his views on the future of public service broadcasting.
5"Compliance Defiance"19:502 September 2008 (2008-09-02)
Fry talks about the problems within journalism, before launching a rant against compliance rules in television programmes.

Series 2[edit | edit source]

# Title Length (minutes:seconds) Original airdate
1" 2.0"7:2315 October 2008 (2008-10-15)
Fry tells his listeners about how his website is being updated, along with several upcoming changes.
2"Beauty of Soul: Oscar Wilde"6:003 December 2008 (2008-12-03)
Fry talks at his love of Oscar Wilde. This podgram was partly an advert for his audio series of "Oscar Wilde's Short Stories".
3"Language"33:0922 December 2008 (2008-12-22)
Fry discusses his love of language and dislike of pedants.
4"iTunes Live Festival"51:4621 July 2009 (2009-07-21)
This edition is a speech Fry made concerning peer-to-peer file sharing.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Campling, Christ (30 August 2008). "Podcast of the week: Stephen Fry's elegant rambles". The Times. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stephen Fry and The Positive Internet Company (20 February 2008). "Broken Arm". (Podcast). Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stephen Fry and The Positive Internet Company (7 March 2008). "Bored of the Dance". (Podcast). Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Stephen Fry and The Positive Internet Company (15 October 2008). " 2.0". (Podcast). Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fry, Stephen (17 October 2008). "Stephen Fry's Podgrams". Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  6. Stephen Fry and The Positive Internet Company (25 June 2008). "Broadcasting". (Podcast). Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  7. "Stephen Fry's Podgrams". The Good Web Guide. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  8. René Zammit, Jacques. "J'accuse: The meaning of life". The Malta Independent. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 

External links[edit | edit source]