Episode 313: #brunchcast

The Overthinkers tackle Brunch Theory and Practice.

Pete Fenzel, Mark Lee, Ryan Sheely, and Matthew Wrather overthink brunch theory brunch practice. They also spend a little time considering Hip Hop Karaoke.


→ Download Episode 313 (MP3)

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Your Panel

14 Comments on “Episode 313: #brunchcast”

  1. Adrian #

    As a citizen of Portlandia, I can tell you that some of us have solved the long line problem with Serial Brunch. That is, put your name in at the restaurant, walk in the November drizzle for one block down to the coffee shop, and have coffee in an establishment that is both centrally heated and quirkily decorated. Then after an hour or so, back to the original restaurant for more coffee, mimosas, and whatever fried artisanal delights you desire.

    Wrather, if by “whatever that novel is that the third Bronte sister wrote” you are referring to ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Bronte, I would like to point out that it is actually a very overthinkable piece, in that it deals very realistically with the end result of marrying an abusive alcoholic, and can therefore be seen as a sly commentary and quasi-sequel to her sisters’ works, especially ‘Jane Eyre’.

    “Making the hype-man strange” is an excellent phrase. I’ve been rolling it around in my head all morning.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      That’s the one! I knew whats-her-name wrote a book or something.


      • Adrian #



  2. EA #

    Are you sure you guys weren’t drinking anything stronger than coffee?
    This was a delight to listen to and really made my day. Too bad I don’t really believe in brunch.


    • Mark Lee OTI Staff #

      Oh yeah, well, brunch doesn’t really believe in you!

      Seriously, though, can you unpack that statement a little bit? Do you not believe in calling this thing brunch, do you dislike going out to brunch, or something else altogether?


      • EA #

        I reject the entire meal system that places artificial restrictions on what to eat and when. Plus I’m never hungry before noon.


        • fenzel OTI Staff #

          I was hoping you meant that brunch was an elaborate hoax perpetrated on children by adults pretending to have a late breakfast that doesn’t exist, like “not believing” in Santa Claus.


        • Connor Moran #

          Isn’t brunch’s very existence a defiance of artificial restrictions what to eat and when? The Man would have you believe that breakfast and lunch are fundamentally incomparable and that “breakfast” foods cannot be eaten after 10:00 AM. But brunch says no, I’ll eat that waffle at 11. Or noon. Or, god help us, 3:00 PM (after that it ceases to be brunch and becomes the far more radical Breakfast For Dinner).

          On the other hand I suppose brunch arguably channels the would-be spirit of resistance to the meal system into socially acceptable pseudo-rebellion, thereby bleeding off truly revolutionary impulses.


          • Grim_ungainly #

            As a firm believer in classification for classifications sake, I would consider a 3:00pm waffle as a perfectly respectable afternoon tea.

            On a similar note, someone on the #brunchcast said that the food at this brunch was pretty exclusively breakfast foods. But if the image above is any indication, I would say that the inclusion of a salad makes this a reasonable balance between the two meals.

  3. Connor Moran #

    How was there an entire episode on brunch with mention of wine an no discussion of the mimosa? To me, one of the easiest ways to recognize a brunch is that it is a morning or morningish meal at which alcohol is available.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      That’s a great point. I mean, alcohol is available at any meal, but Brunch is the earliest one at which it was socially acceptable.

      It probably didn’t occur to us because we weren’t drinking.

      OR WERE WE?


  4. James T #

    Loved the episode! Just started listening to these again, and the last few have been hilarious.

    I did feel you guys gave “The Humpty Dance” a bad rap. I’m not justifying its inclusion in an obviously East-Coast themed hip-hop night, but to write it off as a novelty song that doesn’t have much bearing on the history of rap is unfair.

    On its own it feels silly and forgettable, but as the public’s introduction to the character of Humpty Hump and the first track on Sex Packets, it’s a deceptively light welcome to what is a very weird trip. Sex Packets (which turns 25 next year) was one of the earliest (if not the first?) hip-hop concept albums, and was hugely influential (at least on West-Coast rap), and I think it’s long due for some overthinking.

    There’s a lot to explore around the concept of legitimacy, for instance: is Sex Packets “real” hip-hop? Is it okay to take a silly, humorous approach as a response to the really violent, street-game-themed turn the genre had just taken? Is your album really rap if half of it is funk and jazz? And what do we make of the weird pseduo-utopian (if blatantly sexist) themes of the Packet Man/Sex Packet suite? Is it less a legitimate response to the AIDS crisis because it’s not somber (like And The Band Played On) or unapologetically “real” (like BDP’s “Jimmy” or Ice Cube’s “Look Who’s Burning”)? What happens to an art form when whimsy and playfulness no longer have a place?

    It’s also really interesting the way Shock G created a bunch of extraneous personalities around him, most notably “Humpty Hump.” If I’m not mistaken, he maintained the illusion that he and Humpty were actually different people for quite a while; that says something about the relationship between the artist and the media, if nothing else, especially since Humpty is so much over the top that he’s almost a caricature.

    Anyway, something to (over)think about. Loving the podcast; keep up the good work!


  5. linnea #

    This is one of my favorite podcast episodes! I listened to it twice last week. There’s something oddly comforting about listening to people have an in-person discussion over an actual meal. (Speaking of eating on podcasts, I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of the oranges and fig jam on the 24 recaps with Pete and Ryan.)

    I also love the philosophizing over the meaning of brunch and how it can be both something we earn and something we don’t. I’d say that after-church crowd has definitely earned brunch by going to church, or at least that’s how I always felt!


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