There’s something oddly comforting knowing that it takes over twenty minutes for Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman’s new R.E.M. podcast “R U Talkin’ R.E.M. RE: ME?” to actually reference the band from the show’s title. Of course, for listeners of the pantheon-level “U Talkin’ U2 to Me?” the last show co-hosted by the duo collectively known as Adam Scott Aukerman, that’s not really a surprise either.
“U Talkin’ U2 to Me?” quickly devolved (well, evolved really) from an album-by-album look at U2’s career into a delightfully bizarre, unintelligible series of podcast-within-a-podcast diversions. Fans will be happy to know that “R U Talkin’ R.E.M. RE: ME?” wastes absolutely no time before jumping right into a just-the-right-length “Entourage” bit.
But it’s not just those crazy rabbit holes that make this show great. Even the ad read right up top, with Aukerman asking Scott, “Do you sleep on a mattress?” is a safe clue that this is precisely the same show it’s always been. Aukerman’s really effective foley work as a filing cabinet also shows that this is more than just two hours of goofiness — they make screwing around on-mic sound way easier than it actually is.
The show’s always worked because these two have a superhuman mind meld and a dangerous willingness to follow the show’s craziest impulses, however far afield it may take them. Dueling Frank Sinatra impressions slowly crumbling into Andrew Dice Clay riffs only pay off if both guys commit and trust each other. You can almost see the smile on Scott’s face as he takes that commitment and pushes his co-host through the craziest sidestreets, like, say, pulling off a bank heist.
Because, sure this is a show about R.E.M., but why not sing songs from Santana, Fleetwood Mac, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the fictional band from “Lost” before you make even a passing reference to Michael Stipe? (And throw in “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” for good measure.) Start the countdown clock until they get to talk to Peter Dollar Bill in person.
Listen to the full debut episode below (and not just because Aukerman singing the title of Scott’s most recent HBO show to the tune of “Little Lies” is the only way to say that title).
New episodes of “R U Talkin’ R.E.M. RE: ME?” (and all episodes of “U Talkin’ U2 to Me?”) are available via Earwolf.