The Phoney Awards

In Episode 187 John complains that he never received an award (see also Awards) and they make up an Australian podcasting award called The Phoney Awards that they should totally get. At their live-show at SF Sketchfest 2018 (Episode 274) some listener gave them Phoney Awards statues that they had crafted themselves.

The Headphoney podcasting awards (RL187)

John saw a podcast award ceremony where everybody showed up in their blue tuxedos, walked down the magic carpet and got a Podcasty Award that was a set of gold-plated headphones. When somebody asks on Facebook about their friends' favorite podcasts, there are always 40 responses like Marc Maron or Serial, but nobody is ever saying Roderick on the Line! This award-winning podcast has never even won any awards! Nothing makes Merlin sadder than the idea of a podcast award. It would be depressing and he does not want any awards, but John does! Merlin wonders to whom John is going to brag about a podcast award, like: "I talked about myself for an hour and I got a ribbon!", but John does want a white ribbon for that because he has been talking about ”The award winning Roderick on the Line” for years and every single time the question ”What award did you win?” came back and every single time a part of him died when he had to admit that he was kidding when he said ”award-winning”.

John wants to be invited to the Australian podcast awards and he wants to win a Headphoney or a Trousery or whatever they say down there. It is a little set of gold headphones, only one of them touching the base and the other one sticking up in the air. John wants to go to Australia in the same way that Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix went to England: Nobody in their own country understood them, but in Australia they won a Headphoney for three years in a row! John never went to Harvard, he never won an Emmy, he is fucking Silver Medallion (at Delta Airlines), and he got some white ribbons in a box because he is too proud of them to throw them away, but too ashamed of them to show them to anybody. John is just waiting to get enough of those to do a collage, but in reality it is like collecting very kindly worded break-up letters. The cover-art of the first Long Winters record (The Worst You Can Do Is Harm) is a selection of not very polite break-up letters.

Is an award too much to ask? This show doesn't appeal to the people who go to the DMV, but just to the people who have Diamond, Platinum, or Military-with-kids status. Merlin thinks it is unseemly to ask people for things and even if he got what he asked for, he would not be any happier or better at what he does, but he would feel like a dingus! Even if somebody went through the trouble of making a Headphoney and establish an award ceremony, Merlin would not be proud and he would not display it on his mantel. He wouldn’t even have it in his office together with Naked Blue Girl (John probably means Naked Penis Man, a reference to Merlin's office space from Episode 182), but he would refuse it and would Marlon Brando that shit because of the plight of the Native Americans. He would not even show up, but send her (Sacheen Littlefeather) to not pick up the Headphoney.

What if she is still alive (by the time of this recording she was)? You should be able to hire a Native American to refuse awards for you. There would be different ones, like porn actors that would become fairly well-known inside of a little group. ”Oh, that is the one Matt Damon used, she is awesome!” John would like to have Annie Sprinkle, but he will not refuse an award! His mantel is covered with little dolls of all the presidents of the United States, various models of the airplanes his father flew, a pair of old snowshoes and some Vuarnets artfully displayed, but it is missing some kind of Emmy, Tony or some other kind of industry acknowledgement of his important work from his peers. There is a little space cleared for a Headphoney award, but it never arrived because it doesn’t exist. It is the equivalent for being a good brain surgeon or good footballer: It is the acknowledgement of challenge and skill, because it is a challenge to talk to Merlin every week and John has a lot of skill for it. John has been overlooked! John is the Scorsese of talking about raccoons! What has Scorsese done lately? Lots of stuff! He is still really good and John should get to his age and still put out stuff that doesn’t suck!

John doesn’t want somebody to just make him a Headphoney and send it to him as some kind of gag, but he wants there to actually be an award ceremony in Australia or New Zealand, Anzac. John needs like a phoney baloney acronym for it like the MPAA. The Australian Aural Awards Association? Merlin needs to workshop that. Paul Allen invented an award and gives it to some aging Rock star every year. They always come and accept it, but it is just a thing he is rich enough to make. John is hung up on the Australia part because he is looking for a free ticket to Australia. He does not have a reason to go to Australia and he does not just want to go down there and walk around like some dingo trying to eat a baby, or like some tourist or some walk-about! He wants to go there as a professional person to accept an award that he invented. Is that too much to ask? That is some normal-ass shit!

John should get the special Phoney of the first year for being the Irving Thalberg of podcasting. John and Merlin were pioneering podcasting in the early days when nobody knew what that was and they made it what they wanted because all you need is people to understand that you can establish certain parameters as a podcast pioneer. Their podcast is already 5 years old now! They haven't been in those first 4 hours of podcasting, but they were in the extremely early days like the people who went across the Oregon Trail in 1850! It still takes The New York Times two months to forget podcasts exists before announcing that they have arrived. Griffin McElroy is going to get a pioneer award as well because as soon as he gets wise to this, he is going to say that he deserves one. Jesse Thorn should have a whole wall of them!

Getting Phoney Awards (RL274, RL276)

During the live recording of Episode 274 two golden sculptures were standing on stage the whole time and John was wondering what they were. Merlin had seen them, but he didn’t want to look at them, because if they were what he thought they were, he would be pretty fucking happy! They turned out to be Phoney Awards for 2018 awarded to Roderick on the Line in the category "Most Podcast". The creator of the awards didn’t spare any expenses with this dowel here and the paint might still be wet. It is an interesting color of gold mixed with chocolate. It is one thing to never have won an award that hasn’t been invented yet, but it is another thing to win an award for a thing that was just made up and that doesn’t exist. For everybody out there who has ever wanted something that didn’t exist and they didn’t understand why they didn’t have it, Merlin wants to say: me too! (RL274)

Two weeks later, Merlin talked again briefly about getting those awards and noted that those were noise protection headphones. (RL276)

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