advertisement
advertisement

If You Like “Serial,” You Might Like This Note-Perfect Parody Of “Serial”

Long-form investigative podcasting gets a lot shorter and less investigative.

If You Like “Serial,” You Might Like This Note-Perfect Parody Of “Serial”
advertisement
advertisement

The This American Life spinoff podcast Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig, has emerged as a genuine cultural phenomenon in the eight weeks since it launched. According to Apple, it’s the most popular podcast in the world–the fastest to reach 5 million downloads/streams in iTunes history, and the top podcast in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The show, from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, woke up a medium that otherwise seemed to be both very new and very dated.

advertisement

Of course, nothing with the sort of cultural reach and impact that Serial possesses can get by without a parody, and Serial crossed that threshold with the satire (hosted on YouTube, although as an audio-only experience, obviously) created by Upright Citizens Brigade alums Paul Laudiero, Will Stephen, and Zach Cherry. The series launched on November 3 with Will Stephen playing the part of Koenig’s investigative reporter trying–in this case, ineptly–to get to the bottom of a 15-year-old murder case. There are five entries so far into the series, which nails the tone of Serial perfectly, without wearing out the joke, with each entry running two to five minutes. Those who aren’t caught up on the original podcast, meanwhile, aren’t left out of the joke: there aren’t any real spoilers here, and all it takes to pick up where Laudiero and friends are going is some familiarity with the public radio tone and voice that they clearly have spent a fair amount of time enjoying themselves. The podcasting revival is apparently underway after all.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club

More