A&G Producer's Favorite Debates of 2013

We have had half a year of Arguments and Grievances here in Chicago and we have had a lot of memorable debates, but a few stick out. With the New Year upon us, the producers of Arguments and Grievances have picked their favorites from the past year.

Kevin White 

Skateboarding vs Water-boarding (Nick Rouley vs Adam Burke)

When the A&G crew decided to do a year-end list of some of our favorite debates, I think I speak for all of us when I say it only seemed like a good idea, until we actually had to sit down and write out our respective chunks.  I mean, how am I supposed to sit down and pick just one moment from my favorite thing to do every month?  In the short time Arguments & Grievances has been alive in Chicago, I’ve been repeatedly blown away by the enthusiasm and ingenuity of every comic that has taken part in it.
That being said, my pick is Skateboarding vs Waterboarding from the very first show at Schubas.  It was a beautiful night.  Comics were not sure what to expect, but excited about the idea.  It was a clean slate to express your topic however you wanted.  Leading up to that first show, I had hoped that comedians would feel free to think outside the confines of just “stand & deliver” comedy, but wasn’t sure if I was the only one on that page.  Then Adam Burke and Nick Rouley showed up.  Nick had brought along skateboards for visual aide and an alternate, Spicoli-esque persona.  Burke had props in the form of files and facts on the wrong topic and a plan for me to interrupt his debate in the first round, and faux-waterboard him in the second round.  It was all I ever wanted out of the show and both those guys nailed it on our maiden performance.  Also, Zach lost a debate that night, which is funny to me.

Since then, my most rewarding day of any given month has been the first Sunday, and for that I thank anyone and everyone who has come out, performed, or just listened at home.  Thanks. - KW

Goodrich Gevaart

Bigfoot (Creature) vs Bigfoot (Monster Truck) (Jason Earl Folks vs Bobby Budds)

The debate of Bigfoot the creature vs Bigfoot the monster truck was one that I anticipated would be great. It did not disappoint. It paired Jason Earl Folks, Chicago comedy's favorite blue collar yelling man with the deepest reverence for Sasquatch and the scientific inquiry around the creature against Bobby Budds, Chicago's favorite little brother who holds just as much weight in the works of Pauly Shore and Mike Meyers as Folks does for Bigfoot. While listening to the episode in my editing bay (wearing headphones while I waited to go up at Cole's bar) I realized that Bobby had amassed quite the large number of times uttering the word "fuck" or "fuckin". I decided to count them from the beginning. Fortune smiled upon all of us because by the end of his debate, Bobby had used the word fuck 69 times. That would be the highlight of this debate if he did not utter the phrase "Barack Obama, fuckin' jackin-off kids in Syria or some shit." When I witnessed this statement live I laughed for the rest of the allotted debate time. I could not stop. It was genius.  But Jason's earnest, genuine love for Bigfoot funneled through his Cartman-esque yell and disdain for Budds idiocy gives a great balance to this all around awesome performance.  

Kevin Brody

McRib vs Macbeth (Tommy Mac vs. Rebecca O'Neal)

I will never eat a McRib, but I will defend with my life your right do so.
                                                                                                -Thomas Jefferson

Sorting through the myriad outrageous, brilliant, and resoundingly bizarre moments from Arguments and Grievance’s first year as a podcast allowed me to re-live just how fun the show is to work on.  Choosing a favorite however—far less enjoyable.

For all the hilarity and outrageousness in our season—my favorite debate remains Rebecca O’Neal and Tommy Mac debating “MacBeth vs. The McRib”.  Rebecca O’Neal’s literary prowess (her argument was written entirely in verse!) was the ideal counterpoint to Tommy Mac’s affable “McDonald’s-Manager-Done-Good” defense of mystery meat.  Smart, hilarious, and stupidly entertaining—their debate perfectly captured the spirit of the show.

If you supported our show (or the McRib) in any way this year…sincerely, a mountain of thanks.

Zach Peterson

Fat vs. Bald (Joe Fernandez vs Matt Riggs)

The reason why I enjoy the Arguments and Grievances shows so much is the fact that anything can happen. We entrust the show into the capable hands of the comedians of Chicago and with in the few parameters that we provide, they can do almost anything. So when Joe Fernandez and Matt Riggs were slated to debate "Fat vs Bald" my initial thoughts were, "This is going to be be good because Riggs and Fernandez are hilarious humans." Realistically there was no way that I could of imagined the capers (Hijinx, not the flower buds used for seasoning) that were planned.

After both  argued their sides valiantly in the first round, Fernandez then called his father up to mostly berate. I have never seen anyone else berate their father at a comedy show, but I hope it starts a trend. Although, Joe's father dished it out as good as he received it. Then accusations of sexual misconduct started and it was predictably enjoyed by myself and all involved. Riggs took it in stride and made the best out of a situation that would of crippled as lesser opponent.

Obviously, my description can do little justice to this legendary battle between two windy-city comedy titans. So just listen to the episodes a million times and come to all the shows we ever have and then you will achieve the comedic enlightenment we all felt on that night.