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Podcast: My Dad Wrote A Porno

Network: Headgum

What Is it?: There’s truth in advertising. The unassuming father of the shows’ host wrote an erotic story and self-published it. But not before giving it to his son to read, who then in turn shared it with his friends and they decided to make a podcast reacting to each disturbing chapter from this therapy session in the making.

You might think that this all stems from a fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey but that’s put to bed rather quickly.

“He’d heard about the phenomenon, but he calls it Fifty Colours of Grey. That’s how much research he’s done into the erotic milieu.”

Who’s The Host?Jamie Morton, who is always accompanied by friends & comedians James Cooper and BBC DJ Alice Levine. While Morton has previously read the chapters in order to be prepared, Cooper and Levine always come into each reading without knowing what’s coming, making for some delightfully honest reactions.

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What’s A Normal Episode Like?: Most episodes consist of Morton reading one chapter from Belinda Blinked, an erotic novella written by Morton’s Dad, who it should be mentioned goes by the pen name Rocky Flintstone. The plot revolves around Belinda Blumenthal, the new international sales director for Steeles Pots and Pans. Belinda has a certain “way” she goes about pleasing her clients and making sales and that “way” almost always involved sex. The amateur writing style, uncomfortable descriptions of human anatomy, and abundance of chit-chat involving menial sales jargon make Belinda Blinked a story unlike any other.

Morton usually can’t read more than two sentences in a row before at least one of the trio laughs, cringes, or asks a perfectly legitimate question like how breasts can be described as pomegranates, why a body part can be compared to rivets on the Titanic or just what in the hell the real name of “the youngish man” is. The novella itself is short and so are the chapters, so analyzing just what in the hell is going on in the plot, if we assume there is a plot, makes up most of the conversation.

There are also Footnotes mini-episodes in which the gang discusses things outside of the book itself, including Rocky Flintstone’s biography and who would star in the eventual movie.

Who Is It For?: Are you the kind of person who goes to late-night screenings of The Room or owns Fateful Findings on DVD? You will LOVE this. It’s earnestly-made bad art mocked in the most loving way possible, now in podcast form.

It would be easy for this podcast to be completely mean-spirited but there’s an extra layer at play that makes laughing at Belinda Blinked feel so good. Morton’s Dad not only knows about the podcast but he loves it. He loves the attention it’s brought his kinky sex story and in a way that gives us permission to laugh without reservation. And because of the fact that we’re listening to a son read his seemingly-humdrum father’s fantasies, there’s this other fascinating layer to it as well. Morton makes out that he’s emotionally beyond the effect of these often graphic sex plots, but you have to wonder…

MDWAP is the rare podcast that makes for a fantastic drinking game (One drink every time Belinda’s breasts “flop out” of her shirt) or just a group listen with a bunch of friends looking for a laugh. Because we so often listen to podcasts with headphones on or in the car, it’s usually a singular experience. But MDWAP gives you a good excuse to make this listen a group affair (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Who Is It Not For?: Prudes. People who aren’t comfortable listening to very frank and very awkward discussions about sex and female anatomy. Rocky is not a very gifted writer and doesn’t entirely seem to understand how a vagina works, so it can make for some extremely hilarious but also extremely cringe-worthy phrases. The cervix comes up on multiple occasions, FYI.

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How Many Episodes Are There?: As of this writing, MDWAP is actually in it’s second season as Belinda Blinked was merely the first in a planned trilogy. The first season consisted of thirteen chapters while the second season is about at its midway point. Including mini-episodes and recaps, there are 28 in total. Since most of which are in the 30 minute range, it’s pretty easy to binge and get caught up.

Any Special Guests?: Like so many British TV shows, the podcast was actually a big hit over there before it caught on in the U.S. As such, it’s already established a strong cult following and the second season actually features appearances by Hollywood actor Elijah Wood and British comedian Joe Lycett. It seems as though they’ll be adding more special guests as they go.

Can I Jump Right In?: First of all, that’s the kind of thing people are saying to Belinda all the time, you dirty minx. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you just started with the most recent episodes. This is a podcast that needs to be appreciated from the very beginning so you get to experience all the wonderful references, awkward sex acts, and disturbing revelations about Jamie’s father.

Oh and did I mention you can actually buy Belinda Blinked and read along with the podcast? Because you totally can.

What’s Not Great?: If you listen to too many episodes at once you might get a little fatigued. Just like sex itself, things start to get slightly repetitive at times. Some chapters are more “exciting” than others and you start to get slightly desensitized to all the sexual weirdness.

Anyone suffering from anglophobia will probably be turned off because this podcast, aside from being very sexual, is also very British. The hosts use a lot of slang and say a lot of phrases that North American ears might not be used to hearing. You can usually figure it out using context clues but if you don’t know what it means to “have a little kip” or what Tesco is, you might want to brush up on your British, however one does that.

Gimme Some Great Episodes to Get Started:

The Job Interview – Where our adventure begins. It’s really where any listen of MDWAP should begin and things get hot and heavy very quickly. Perhaps too hot and too heavy. In fact, we could have used a little bit of a warm-up before things got hot and/or heavy.

The Third Client Peter Rouse – The love affair, if you want to call it that, between Belinda and Peter begins here. And yes, his name is Peter Rouse. As in, Pete-arouse….

The Night Receptions – In which, before making love, “the youngish man” and Belinda eat turkey sandwiches together in a mid-sized hotel and he turns to her to say, ‘You can’t beat the high life!’” Amazing.

So, Should I Listen To This?: If you don’t immediately subscribe or listen to this podcast right now, you and I cannot be friends. We also won’t be able to discuss what the exact measurements of a “medium-sized garden maze” might be.

Previous Should I Listen To This? Reviews: 
The Flop House
The Jonah Keri Podcast
Alice Isn’t Dead
The Comedians of Wrestling
Criminal

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.