Podcast Review: The Tobolowsky Files

the tobolowsky files

Stories are the lifeblood of our existence, ya know?

The Tobolowsky Files

The Gist

David Chen and Stephen Tobolowsy are the hosts of The Tobolowsky Files. The episodes clock in around the hour mark, and are released sporadically. The podcast has been around for a couple of years now, and is hosted by /Film. The Tobolowsky Files is a spoken word podcast where Mr. Tobolowsky, known to many through his work as an actor, relays stories of his life, and these stories can deal with his family, his upbringing, the entertainment industry, and any other subject that he feels like talking about. Every episode features a brief bit of banter between Misters Chen and Tobolowsky followed by two or three short stories from Mr. Tobolowsky.

Episodes Listened To

#59: The End: An Introduction
#60: Another Second Chance
#61: Prehistoric Britain

My Thoughts

I didn’t dislike The Tobolowsky Files, which is surprising since I’m was not a fan of either The /Filmcast or The /Filmcast: After Dark. I was really happy that David Chen limited himself to the opening banter segment and a quick wrap-up session every episode because, to be frank, I’m not much of a fan of him in general. I do like Stephen Tobolowsky though, and that got the podcast off to a pretty good start.

I wasn’t completely drawn into The Tobolowsky Files, but I wasn’t turned away either. The podcast is performance art, and as such it all comes down to the content of the stories. They are deeply personal and Mr. Tobolowsky speaks in an articulate and intelligent manner that is engaging. He is a fascinating man full of a lot of interesting stories. There’s a clear passion and desire to simply have a conversation behind his stories. I never felt that he was preaching or that Mr. Tobolowsky was not enjoying what he was doing.

All that being said, I wasn’t blown away by The Tobolowsky Files. The stories were interesting, and Mr. Tobolowsky is quite charming, but I often found myself not fully drawn into with what Mr. Tobolowsky had to say. This is not a problem with the podcast or Mr. Tobolowsky, but more a comment on what I want to spend my time listening to. I appreciate the approach of The Tobolowsky Files and there are many people who will get a lot out of Mr. Tobolowky’s stories. I got something out of his stories as well, but in the larger picture I don’t really have time in my life for a podcast full of personal stories that I don’t have a connection to myself.

My vote for The Tobolowsky Files is a lukewarm unsubscribe. It’s a well-made podcast that will fascinate and engage plenty of people. I didn’t have any actual problems with the podcast itself, but in the end The Tobolowsky Files simply wasn’t the sort of podcast I seek out for my listening pleasure. Don’t take this review as a knock against The Tobolowsky Files, but rather as one man and one podcast not meeting up in any meaningful way. I hope all those who enjoy The Tobolowsky Files keep enjoying the podcast, because it’s certainly a podcast that should bring enjoyment to its fans.

The Bottom Line


Bill Thompson


2 responses to “Podcast Review: The Tobolowsky Files

  1. I had heard good things about this, but assumed it was him talking to other people in the film industry rather than him talking about himself.

  2. Nah, all talking about himself, which seems to interest loads of other people, but his stories failed to hold my interest.

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