The podcast, “We Got This With Mark and Hal,” has a very simple concept. Mark Gagliardi (Drunk History, Thrilling Adventure Hour) and Hal Lublin (Welcome to Night Vale, Thrilling Adventure Hour) get on the microphone and settle the most important disputes of our times, and some other ones. Episodes include “Sweet or Sour pickles,” “Worst Christmas Song” and most importantly, “Socks: Fold or Roll?” While I hardly ever agree with their conclusions, listening is always a pleasure, and I wouldn’t miss the chance to see them settle a VERY important debate, live at SF Sketchfest: “Star Wars or Star Trek?”
To help them decide which fictional universe, they invited announced guest Adam Savage, who had worked on both Star Wars movies and what he calls the best Star Trek movie ever made, Galaxy Quest. His bonafides are clear. Also joining was surprise special guest John Hodgman, who proved he has thought quite a bit about what makes the prequels profoundly disappointing, and also that he really likes the word “profoundly.”
The taping started with an opening act, Carter Parton Rogers (not her real name), a wannabe country superstar who sang songs that were equally silly and short. It’s as if it were a character she was playing, and that she wasn’t a real country singer. Her Twitter doesn’t clear things up that much; that this was a Sketchfest event probably provides the clues. Regardless, the entire crowd was rooting for her by the end. Gosh, I hope she makes it, y’all!
Criteria was set up to decide the winner, and then quickly ignored as more voices were added to the discussion, Instead, we got a free-flowing topic-hopping dissection of some of the best parts of each universe. I take exception to the conclusion that Star Trek isn’t funny — it’s consistently funny from the original series onward. (The Trouble With Tribbles is one of the funniest television episodes ever!) There are other points I disagreed with, but of course that’s been my entire experience with the podcast, which perhaps is the point. Disagreement reigns.
The entire discussion about Star Wars vs. Star Trek is available to listen to, so I won’t spoil the fun of it for you too much, but I found the entire conversation to be slanted in one direction, and the conclusion slanted in a different direction. Personal biases rise to the surface when such debates occur. Which is better, Star Wars or Star Trek? Mark, Hal, Adam and John will let you know, and that’s when the debate really begins.