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Season 5, Episode 1: “Welcome to Season Five, Not Four”

Yes, it’s Season 5 already, but given the brilliance of Season 4, it’ll be hard to come down from that high. First, Tony and Kevin provide banter from the golden age of Men in Charge radio banter. After that, our “Circus Critics” bring an effete, dismissive tone to a wildly neglected area of cultural criticism—the circus. Too many holes in the high-wire net? Are the maulings by the lion, well, unconvincing, even phoned in? The bulge of a hip flask in the clown’s costume all too prominent? The circus critics will tell you. That’s followed by the third of “Papa Guilder’s Morally Ambiguous Fairy Tales.” What happens?  Well, that’s not clear.  Maybe you can tell us.  Next, an unpromising new segment called “Bob Palindrome, City Bus Driver.” Poor Bob is beset by idiot passengers who spill on the seats, and he may have to pull over if they don’t settle down.  It’s an episode that looks back, not ahead, so the listener will need to watch where she’s going.

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