The internet is brimming with prank phone calls, the original prank and in fact Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone so that he could prank his neighbour, Sir Terrence “Terry” III of Terraldway with a false story about a loose slave. To be honest, the only true thing about that last sentence is the statement about the internet. Most internet prank calls like to make the person on the other end of the line the victim and the butt of the joke. I much prefer the prank that is clever enough to turn the caller into the laughing stock. This week’s podcast recommendation stars one of the internet’s finest pranksters that always pulls off the perfect victimless prank phone call.
Robert Popper is a British comedy writer best known for writing the education spoof show, Look Around You and the Shabbat based sitcom, Friday Night Dinner. Outside of his own work Robert Popper has also worked on Peep Show, The Inbetweeners, South Park, The IT Crowd and Hot Fuzz. All of these impressive credits are really quite pointless because the star of Robert Popper’s Posts turns out to be someone entirely different. Robin Cooper is a professional timewaster and a lovely elderly gentlemen that goes wherever Robert goes (by which I mean they are one in the same). Through the means of various letters created purely to waste the time of businesses across the world known as The Timewaster Letters, Robert Popper created his alter ego Robin Copper over ten years ago. Soon Robin made the leap from page to airwaves and has since become a professional timewaster down the phone line.
Wasting peoples time, ironically doesn’t take up much time and this is by far the shortest podcast I have ever recommended. Each episode averages around the four minute mark and you could easily listen to the whole lot in two hours with a few minutes to spare. In fact the longest episode weighs in at a whopping twelve minutes. There’s even the chance that this article will contain more words than have ever been spoken on the podcast. It may not be a very substantial podcast but that doesn’t mean Robert Popper’s Posts is lacking in laughs.
Phone calls include the time Robin Cooper called 118 118 to ask for the number to 118 118 or when he asked if it was possible to return a crow to a pet store that he had spray painted silver. If you are not to interested in prank phone calls then don’t worry, Robert Popper’s Posts has a wide variety of podular entertainment. In fact I have probably gone a bit overboard on the whole prank phone call side of things, most of the episodes are either sketches or interviews. Now I’ve gone the other way and if you were looking forward to more prank phone calls then you can always head over to Robert Popper’s Youtube page which has a much larger collection of Timewaster calls. The best tend to be the ones where Robin talks to even bigger timewasters than himself like telemarketers or scam artists.
Robin Cooper’s interviews are quick and straight to the point while also being utterly ridiculous and off topic. Some of the questions are incredibly hard hitting if they were to be asked to a politician but in this case they generally have nothing to do with the comedian being interviewed. A few of these comedians include Stephen Merchant, Weird Al Jankovic, Joe Cornish, Nick Frost and Frank Skinner. These interviews and this podcast in general also has an amazing and very efficient editing technique and there may be a mention or two of Robin’s long time friend, Martin Bale.
Robert Popper’s Posts is also home to a couple of World Cup podcasts. Thankfully for myself and other non-football fans, these are the least football based podcasts in the world. Robin simply rambles on for a couple of minutes or so and there’s a chance that the word’s “football” and “game” get mentioned. The facts involved in these episodes are deliciously under-researched and it would be much more accurate to chalk these up as jokes, rather than facts. It’s a bit of a shame that he didn’t write them down really.
So if you are looking for a very, very mini series, or even a mini mini-series then head over to Robert Popper’s Posts. In the time it takes you listen to one of the longer episodes of TOFOP, you could listen to the entire series of Robert Popper’s Posts. You can listen to the interviews, the prank phone calls or some of the let’s say, sketches. There was the time Robin prepared his bath, interviewed a baby or just simply watched a lorry reverse. Please though do remember that Robin’s not a madam, he’s a man and until next time I would like to wish you all the billy best!