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“By the Way: In Conversation with Jeff Garlin”

George Lang Published: February 5, 2013

Rating: 86

Comedian Jeff Garlin’s most high-profile gig is his regular performance as Larry David’s manager and best friend on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but regular listeners to Doug Benson’s “Doug Loves Movies” podcast know that Garlin is one of the most enthusiastic disrupters in comedy. His tangents are known for memorably and hilariously taking entire episodes off the rails, and on the rare occasion that Garlin, T.J. Miller and Pete Holmes converge on Benson’s show at once, chaos reigns.

Because Garlin is so easily wound up, it was a safe bet that “By the Way: In Conversation with Jeff Garlin” would be an instant new favorite in the rapidly expanding comedy podcast universe. The format of the twice-monthly podcast, available through iTunes or Earwolf.com, is thankfully simple: Garlin sits down with a guest in front of a live audience at Largo in Los Angeles, and they just riff. Anything more complex or high-concept would be instantly violated by Garlin, whose guffawing can approach seismic proportions regardless of who is in the room.

David inaugurated the podcast in mid-January, and the results were like the audio portion of an extended “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — the two comics’ chemistry can even make conversations about pants uproarious. Garlin stayed within his HBO wheelhouse with the second episode, featuring Lena Dunham of “Girls,” and the results were just as funny. In fact, “By the Way: In Conversation with Jeff Garlin” might just prove that it doesn’t matter who gets invited to the Largo stage — he could just entertain himself and be a total gas.

George Lang

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