As the buds emerge on the spindly branches of the trees in my backyard and the snow melts to reveal a thick layer of moldy leaves, I’m realizing that it is that time of year again: spring.
Relieved as I am that the school year is (finally) drawing to a close, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of dread whenever I think about the next few months. It seems as if the list of things I have to do before summer, let alone fall, is becoming increasingly lengthy — college visits, state-mandated tests, heaps and heaps of housework. Recently, however, I have discovered something that helps make the spring cleaning and flashcard making a lot less monotonous, and a lot more entertaining: Professor Blastoff.
Professor Blastoff is a podcast sponsored by the Earwolf network featuring three hilarious stand-up comics and friends —Tig Notaro, who has been on “The Sarah Silverman Program,” “Conan,” and “This American Life”; Kyle Dunnigan, who appeared on an assortment of late-night shows, on Comedy Central, and makes skits on his YouTube channel, kyledunnigan; and David Huntsburger, who has released three CDs and also works as a cartoonist.
The plot of the show is goofy, and just a little bizarre. Essentially, the podcast is supposedly broadcasted from a “hatch” underneath Kyle’s house where a professor, R.L. Blastoff, used to work. Unfortunately, R.L. Blastoff accidentally got lost in space via time machine, and the only way he can contact Earth is through the machinery he left behind. Every Tuesday they “check in” with the professor, and he offers an anecdote of some sort from his space adventures. From there, the three comics and (usually) a guest expert discuss a topic that relates in one way or another to what the professor said — things such as anxiety, astral projection, or even polyamory.