The Incomparable is a weekly dive into geeky media we love, including movies, books, TV, comics, and more, featuring a rotating panel of guests and hosted by Jason Snell.


Abe Vigoda Knows All the Toilets

Leave the gun and take the cannoli—it’s time for us to discuss 1972’s “The Godfather,” truly one of the most lauded films of all time. We discuss why Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone is truly the main character, ponder how that horse head really got in that bed, marvel at how long it takes for news of assassination attempts to reach family members, explain the Vito Corleone retirement plan… and then drop our hands to our side and let the podcast slide naturally out of our hands.

Jason Snell with John Gruber, John Siracusa, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr

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Tastes Like College

We’ve done episodes where we’ve sat around and drunk beer before, but we always had the thin veneer of some other topic to guide us. This time, however, the topic of the episode is beer, and we’ve conscripted listener (and Almanac Beer co-founder) Jesse Friedman to select five different beers for us to imbibe and discuss. Is Jason a monster for liking dark beer? What will our panel think of the sour and bitter choices? What’s the difference between a lager and an ale? What makes dark beer dark? Jesse has the knowledge, and we let him share it while we drink the beer he bought us.

Jason Snell with Jesse Friedman, Marco Arment, David J. Loehr, Lauren Snell, Dan Moren, Philip Mozolak, Brian Hamilton and Steve Lutz


Purgatoy Box

Our review of Pixar movies reaches 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, the first film in more than a decade for a bunch of classic characters. Are the toys traveling from purgatory to hell to heaven, Divine Comedy-style? Who’s working on that garbage truck? Does the climactic slide to death go too far? And yes, our panel of parents gets a bit weepy as Andy prepares to go off to college.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Tiffany Arment, Merlin Mann, David J. Loehr and Steve Lutz


The Power! The Power! The Power!

Rocket Surgery

Our rocket surgeons take on 1981’s “Frankenstein Island,” Jason’s go-to bad movie from his high school days. What do balloons have to do with Frankenstein? What’s that brain doing in that tupperware container? Why are there zombies dressed like longshoremen? What is John Carradine doing? How did Jocko lose the eye? There are so many questions, but so few answers.

Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley, Brian Hamilton, Glenn Fleishman and David J. Loehr


Squirting Milky Fluid

Get out your space pen and take the cat out of its hibernation chamber, because it’s time to take on the 1979 classic “Alien.” We discuss how the film cleverly layers sci-fi and horror movie conventions, discuss its initially slow pace, and speculate about the crew’s taste in underpants and footwear. Corporate android betrayals! Questionable parenting! Phallic concept art! Chest bursting! We break it all down.

Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Liz Myles, Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz


Creepy Hug

We discuss Playdead’s video game “Inside”, a compelling and meticulously realized side-scrolling puzzle game with some amazing surprises along the way.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Tiffany Arment, James Thomson and Dan Moren


You Broke Your Little Ships

On the occasion of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, we’re talking about one of our very favorite Star Trek movies: 1996’s “Star Trek: First Contact.” (What? We already did a two-parter about TOS!) Featuring zombie-like Borg, a time travel plot, and some great guest stars, it’s the definitive Next Generation movie.

Jason Snell with Brianna Wu, Jamelle Bouie, Joe Rosensteel, Scott McNulty, Dan Moren and David J. Loehr


Just Add Jesuits!

Book Club

After 20 years, we revisit Mary Doria Russell’s first-contact classic “The Sparrow.” It’s a story about aliens, spirituality, and why God allows terrible things to happen to good people. And boy, do terrible things happen to people in this book. (Content advisory: One of those things is sexual assault of humans by aliens.)

Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Shannon Sudderth and Erika Ensign


Show Some Respect for the Chimp

Old Movie Club

Old Movie Club returns with two classic films directed by Billy Wilder and starring William Holden: The darkly tragi-comic Hollywood story “Sunset Boulevard” and the dramati-comic World War II prisoner-of-war story “Stalag 17.” Monty pitches a “Sunset Boulevard” prequel featuring a butler and a chimp. We notice the similarities between “Stalag 17” and an enormous number of sitcoms and comedy films from the following 30 years.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Philip Michaels, Steve Lutz, Shannon Sudderth, Andy Ihnatko, Dan Moren and Monty Ashley


Vampire Batman

Comic Book Club

There are a million stories in Kurt Busiek’s “Astro City”—and that’s why we love this comic-book anthology series. From alien invaders to creepy floating protectors to regular everyday people, the broad canvas of “Astro City” awards the reader with short stories and longer arcs. Plus: What are we reading?

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, David J. Loehr, Shannon Sudderth and Tony Sindelar


The Ziggurats of Yavin IV

Nope, Jason, John, Serenity, and Dan aren’t going to analyze the trailer for “Star Wars: Rogue One.” It’s not going to happen. It would take rebel podcasters, striking from a hidden studio, to bring this podcast to its knees…

Antony Johnston with Liz Myles, Chip Sudderth and Mois├ęs Chiullan

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