The Pro Version in Rolling Stone’s “Best New Comedy Podcasts of 2018”
This 2018 premium spinoff show started as a years-long recurring joke on the popular satire podcast Hollywood Handbook, so we are cheating a bit by putting this on a “new podcast” list. But we’d argue that because this spinoff technically started in 2018, it counts. Plus, Hollywood is all about bending the rules to get ahead, right?
The Hollywood Handbook, which has been around since 2013, parodies and satirizes the entertainment industry by allowing Hayes Davenport and Sean Clements — two distinctly not famous people — give listeners advice on how to make it in Hollywood, joined by guests like Donald Glover and Ellie Kemper. During the show, they’d often dig into the ridiculousness of the podcast phenomenon as a whole. So when they decided to go premium, signing up to offer something to Stitcher premium customers who pay $4.99 a month, they turned that bit into The Pro Version — and created something completely original.
The Boys Discuss Hollywood Handbook with L.A. Times
Excerpt from article:
Visitors to Earwolf’s new headquarters are greeted by a wall display of logos for some of the network’s most popular shows: Matt Besser’s “Improv4Humans,” the Real Housewives recap “Bitch Sesh,” Cameron Esposito’s “Queery” and one of Earwolf’s unlikeliest hits, “Hollywood Handbook.” Co-hosts Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport satirize their own network’s most popular format — a mix of long-form interviews and character-driven improv sketches — by trading showbiz in-jokes, meta-comedy and off-topic tangents with their guests, who are frequently drawn from the ranks of Earwolf’s other shows (a popular tactic at the network for cross-promoting its podcasts and strengthening its brand).
“It’s satirizing [Hollywood] personalities and talk shows and just really bad conversations,” Clements explains. “But it’s done kind of dry and straight, so you could easily just mistake it for a really bad conversation or talk show.”
“It’s not the most welcoming show,” Davenport adds. “We’ve heard that it takes 15 to 20 episodes for people to really get the show, which from a marketing perspective is not ideal.”
Bosch wins The A.V. Club’s “Best Non-Human Guest”
“Bosch is a dog. Specifically, he’s Hollywood Handbook host Sean Clements’ dog. He’s a big sweetie, a notorious good boy, and for the better part of a year he’s been the unofficial third host of the podcast (apologies to Chef Kevin), loudly chomping on bones and squeaky toys in the corner of the studio. But, for this very special episode, Sean and Hayes decided it was finally time to get Bosch fully on mic so he could take part in one of show’s classic bits. The result is one of the funniest episodes of the Pro Version and perhaps one of the most joyous episodes of the show as a whole. Bosch (who, to be clear, is being voiced by an increasingly embarrassed Sean) brings a refreshingly positive perspective to the irony-rich proceedings. In place of snarky comments about how bad a new movie or show looks, he’s got fun catchphrases like “That dog’s funny!” and “Damn, this looks good!” It’s the exact kind of insular silliness that, much like this review, won’t make much sense to people unfamiliar with the show. But usually that’s when the boys are at their best. [Dan Neilan]”
Premium has the friggin good stuff for our real friends.