Don Demillo: Sick God of the Podcast
The character of Don Demillo, a creation of madman/writer/comedian Andy Daly, is a creepy theater director who found inspiration in the NYC peep show circuit. For 18 years, he directed The Rockettes in their Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectaculars and lately has been putting on shows at the Pasadena Fairy Tale Theatre, staging depraved and adult versions of children’s classics. Guests have to enter the venue through a window in the bathroom and on stage is an interactive carnival of pornography with much of the action spilling into the hungry audience.
I imagine Andy Daly, a genial and unassuming guy otherwise, must come out of these Don Demillo sessions feeling depleted and dirty. Nearly everything Demillo utters is foul yet it must be a thrill to be able to say whatever filth crosses your mind from the relative safety of a disgusting yet harmless invented character.
I’m not sure what Daly had in his mind when Demillo first came to the microphone (as far as I can tell, this was during episode 85/“That’s One Way of Doing It” of Comedy Bang Bang, featuring a game but overwhelmed Colin Hanks). Maybe there was no back story and he simply wanted to play a creepy theater director and the rest of the story unraveled from the genius improvised interplay between the assembled comedians. Daly plays brilliantly with Matt Gourley, Scott Aukerman, Jason Mantzoukas, Paul F. Tompkins, and many others, and to hear them collaborate on a scene and weave magic is a joy to hear, especially as you bounce from episode to episode and follow the different threads. And that is one of the many benefits of listening to comedy podcasts: Every episode will lead you to a new comic or character or podcast, and reveal an audio world that you never dreamed existed until you plugged in.
I download podcasts to my mp3 player and take them with me as I jog or drive to daycare or wander the grocery aisles. Countless times, I have cackled in line or nearly ran into traffic as I listened. There’s no reason to itemize the excellent bits that you will come across once you start a sonic exploration into the icky, jizzy underworld of Don Demillo, but they are countless. And you will listen to them repeatedly.
And for a 40+ year old man with two toddlers and a white collar cubicle gig, I sure do appreciate a little something for Daddy.