There have been a couple of absences in my podcast feed recently.

One was entirely expected: Jesse Thorn, host of the Sound of Young America and founder of podcast network and internet hub Maximum Fun, had a baby and is taking a month off. Listeners knew this was coming for a while, since his life is essentially an open book. His Twitter account, his comedy podcast Jordan! Jesse! Go! — he’s been talking about becoming a dad whenever he’s been talking, essentially.

On the other hand, I don’t have a clue where Elvis Mitchell of KCRW’s The Treatment went. (He’s the dude pictured to the left.) As I write this, an episode of Mitchell talking with the creator of Entourage is downloading into my iTunes, but last week, they posted two episodes with guest interviewers. I don’t know why — maybe it’s a pledge drive thing? — because I don’t know anything that’s up with the show or Mitchell himself outside of the half hour I hear week to week. I didn’t even know what the looked like until this report came through my RSS reader.

Here’s what’s the same in both cases: I gained a greater appreciation of both of the regular hosts. Thorn’s linear and light-hearted interview style would’ve been welcome with a subject like Bruce McCulloch of Kids in the Hall, though guest host Janet Varney did fine. And while David Ansen had an entertaining talk with documentarian Errol Morris about his new film, Tabloid, Mitchell’s presence was missed.

My favourite part of The Treatment is that Mitchell, an experienced film critic and radio host, is never afraid to fall flat on his face. I’m never sure of how much research he’s putting into an interview, but he’s always put some thought into the work in question. So, he’ll throw out an idea about the movie or show in question. The awesome part is when he completely welcomes the interviewee to contradict what he’s put out there.

In other podcast news, a Dustin from Regina had his overheard read on Vancouver comedy podcast Stop Podcasting Yourself‘s latest episode with Abby Campbell. Congrats to Dustin.