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Obscure with Michael Ian Black

Obscure with Michael Ian Black

By Michael Ian Black

Comedian Michael Ian Black is tackling a great work of literature. Actually, Tackling might be too strong a word. More like “light caressing” plus a lot of complaining. He's reading the Thomas Hardy classic, Jude the Obscure, out loud and commenting as he goes. Join Michael, some of his famous (and non-famous) friends and experts as he discovers Jude’s world and a few things about his own. Is it a terrible idea? Probably. But it’s a terrible idea he wants to do with you.


Episode 40 - No Country for Obscure Men

Jude distracts himself from women by joining the church choir. And Michael distracts himself from life with episodes of Fargo.
15/03/19·36m 6s

Episode 39 - You Have My Good Wishes, Mrs. Phillotson

Jude and Arabella meet for the first time since her marriage. The emotional S&M ensues.
08/03/19·36m 4s

Episode 38 - Three's Company

Natasha Leggero joins Michael for a special live reading of Jude at Sketchfest in San Francisco.
01/03/19·37m 33s

Episode 37 - The Business of Giving Her Away

Jude experiences pangs of regret, and Michael finds himself falling in love with Hardy all over again.This episode is sponsored by The Harold Ramis Film School ( or call 312-883-1241). 
22/02/19·33m 11s

Episode 36 - Runaround Sue

Sue asks Jude to play an important role in a big event, and Michael checks in with his wife Martha to get answers to some burning questions.
15/02/19·38m 48s

Episode 35 - Leave the Door Open a Crack

Jude confesses his romantic past to Sue. And Michael confesses his romantic past to you.
08/02/19·27m 42s

Episode 34 - She's Just Not That Into You

The plot thickens as we catch up with Phillotson, out in search of the truth about Sue.
01/02/19·32m 54s

Episode 33 - Going Through the Spanking Machine

Michael contemplates throwing the book into the fire in frustration while Jude and Sue go round and round.
25/01/19·37m 9s

Episode 32 - Don’t Be Such a Wet Noodle

Sue finally admits she sees love in Jude's eyes, and Michael sees himself in Jude.
18/01/19·32m 32s

Episode 31 - I’m a Negation of Civilization

Sue reveals her true self to Jude, and Michael has an epiphany about why this book is considered a classic.
11/01/19·44m 19s

Episode 30 - Take Off Those Wet Clothes

Michael is joined by Another Period co-star Paget Brewster to read an intimate scene between the notorious cousins following an incident with Sue’s gossipy classmates.
04/01/19·40m 11s

Episode 29 - Anything Can Happen Here

Jude the Obscure is getting hot, and Michael is all aflutter!
28/12/18·29m 13s

Episode 28 - Now Don't Be Such A Silly Boy

Jude goes to Melchester where a lonely Sue makes a startling confession.
21/12/18·38m 31s

Episode 27 - There's Nothing Wrong With Community Theater

Jude heads back to Marygreen with his tail between his legs. And we learn that Michael's just a human too.This episode is sponsored by RXBAR ( code: OBSCURE).
14/12/18·33m 32s

Episode 26 - Jude the Hack

Michael turns to fellow comedian Guy Branum to help break down Jude’s Latin performance at the local tavern.This episode is sponsored by Away ( code: OBSCURE).
07/12/18·48m 23s

Episode 25 - Jude Is No Jack Reacher

Jude realizes he may never get the higher education he has always wanted, and Michael talks to his old friend David Wain about handling disappointment.This episode is sponsored by Man of the People with Pat Tomasulo (
30/11/18·39m 42s

Episode 24 - Jude: The Walking Dead

Ghosts and Zombies and Meth Heads, oh my!This episode is sponsored by Man of the People with Pat Tomasulo (
23/11/18·36m 26s

Episode 23 - One Thing We Know about Triangles, They Have Pointy Sides

Michael's invites his wife Martha back to comment on the book's Bizarre Love Triangle.This episode is sponsored by Man Of The People with Pat Tomasulo (
16/11/18·43m 19s

Episode 22 - Never Meet Your Heroes

The hilarious Nell Scovell returns to weigh in on Jude’s latest disappointing encounter.This episode is sponsored by Man Of The People with Pat Tomasulo ( and RXBAR ( code: OBSCURE).
09/11/18·52m 27s

Episode 21 - Jude the...Psycho?

We learn more about Jude's special cousin Sue Bridehead, who is also looking for something new in her life. 
02/11/18·32m 32s

Episode 20 - Jude the Stalker

Jude’s interest in his cousin Sue Bridehead leads him to follow her to church. Will he finally speak to her?  
26/10/18·36m 53s

Episode 19 - Good Jude Hunting

Jude gets settled in Christminster, and decides to seek out his cousin Sue.This episode is sponsored by Heineken.
19/10/18·33m 10s

Episode 18 - Dreaming Tree

Jude meditates on ancient philosophers, and Michael mediates on modern pop music.This episode is sponsored by Heineken.
05/10/18·33m 53s

Episode 17 - You Have Arrived at Your Destination

Jude arrives in Christminster, and Michael and comedian Maeve Higgins tell ghost stories.
28/09/18·45m 52s

Episode 16 - Recapping with Ruthie

Michael sits down with his teen daughter to catch her up on Jude.This episode is sponsored by Heineken.
21/09/18·28m 47s

Episode 15 - Lonely Days

Comedian Jen Kirkman offers Jude advice on getting through a tough divorce. Meanwhile Jude’s heartbreak over the split worsens when he make a discovery in a local shop.
14/09/18·41m 38s

Episode 14 - Laying the Lard on Thick

Michael breaks out the Victorian dictionary for the first time, and Jude turns to the drink.This episode is sponsored by Heineken.
07/09/18·33m 18s

Episode 13 - JB Twisting the Knife

Friend Kevin Allison guest stars in a drama-filled episode where the pig meets its fate, and Arabella stabs Jude in the back as a friend reveals her secret.  This episode is sponsored by Leesa (
31/08/18·34m 0s

Episode 12 - Secret and Lies

Uh oh, Arabella reveals the truth, and Jude realizes a horrible mistake has been made. This episode is sponsored by Leesa (
24/08/18·39m 18s

Episode 11 - Putting the Bread in the Oven

Sex advice columnist Dan Savage weighs in on Jude and Arabella’s relationship. Meanwhile, the pair get hot and heavy when Arabella sends her parents off to town for the afternoon. This episode is sponsored by Leesa (
17/08/18·45m 6s

Episode 10 - Love in the Time of Pig Guts

As Jude and Arabella get closer to doing the deed, Michael and his wife, Martha, discuss how they met and fell in love (spoiler alert: there were no pigs involved).This episode is sponsored by Leesa (
10/08/18·43m 55s

Episode 9 - Cruising

While on a Caribbean cruise, Michael notices how whether on a big boat in the ocean, or a small town in Victorian England, little has changed for those looking for love.
03/08/18·34m 27s

Episode 8 - The Knob of His Stick

Ahhh, Arabella! Jude has it bad. Will he throw away his dream for the first girl to catch his eye?
27/07/18·28m 51s

Episode 7 - Hoity-toity!

It’s the Victorian rom-com episode! Starring Jude, with special guest star David Cross.This episode is sponsored by Leesa (
20/07/18·36m 30s

Episode 6 - Jude, Buck Up!

Jude struggles with achieving his goals, which leads Michael to discuss his own life challenges with bestie Michael Showalter.This episode is sponsored by Leesa (
13/07/18·46m 42s

Episode 5 - A Little Manliness

Michael compares the world of Jude the Obscure to River City, Iowa, and he asks writer Nell Scovell if there’s a pill he can take for his Female Problem.
06/07/18·32m 3s

Episode 4 - Prayer and the Wicked Jew

Friend Krista Tippett joins the conversation about what is hope and why it’s so important, not just to poor Jude, but all of us.
29/06/18·40m 17s

Episode 3 - Jack-Jack

Michael realizes that Jude has much in common with his ugly rescue dog, Jack-Jack.This episode is sponsored by Leesa (
22/06/18·31m 28s

Episode 2 - A Clapper to the Ass

It’s hard being stuck in a small town with dreams of bigger things. Sometimes it takes a clapper to the ass to get you on your way.This episode is sponsored by Audible ( or text OBSCURE to 500-500).
15/06/18·29m 15s

Episode 1 - To Begin

Michael explains why this is probably a terrible idea, as he begins reading "Jude The Obscure."
08/06/18·29m 56s

Introducing Obscure

Subscribe now - Episode 1 of Obscure premieres June 8th.
22/05/18·2m 50s
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