Slate’s #8: The Dead Authors Podcast: Chapter 28 - Walt Whitman

  1. The Dead Authors Podcast, “Walt Whitman, Featuring James Adomian” (2013) The Dead Authors series, recorded live, features host Paul F. Tompkins—a podcast savant whose own Pod F. Tompkast also threatened to make this list—in the character of H.G. Wells. The conceit of the show is that Wells has whisked deceased favorites to the present day in his time machine. The authors, played by other comedians, submit to interviews, with varying results. James Adomian’s Walt Whitman is the best of the bunch. Never breaking character, Adomian responds to every question from Tompkins’ courtly Wells with a stream of Whitmanic prose. He stays in cadence, sticking with Whitman’s themes, spouting forth grandiose and nonsensical catalogs, only rarely finding himself at a loss for words. It’s a perfectly sideways interpretation of the poet’s signature style.