[00:00:00] Speaker A: There was a time when it was pretty easy to distinguish between satire and real life. But at some point along the way, those lines got a little bit blurry because, well, we've all seen everything that's been happening lately.
[00:00:14] Speaker B: That's actually something I've thought about, is, like, you can no longer be more absurd than reality. You just have to be equally as absurd as reality, because there's no way to top it, you know?
[00:00:24] Speaker C: Yeah.
[00:00:24] Speaker A: Next, Charles Austin takes us behind the scenes of the Comedy podcast, episode one.
My name is Stuart, and this is audience, a castos original series where we go behind the scenes of all kinds of different podcasts to uncover their creative process.
But before we get to all the creative stuff, here's just a quick note for all the podcasters out there.
Yes, creativity is the most important part of the process, and without it, your podcast or your show probably won't get very far. But you also need a support system, aka money. We can help you there. Casos lets you monetize all of your episodes, even the old ones, with just a press of a button. There's no chasing sponsors, no extra editing work, none of the headache. You can even tap into your own support network. Your audience can directly support your podcast through one time or recurring donations with Castos Commerce. For more information, check out the links in our show notes.
Okay, let's get back into it.
[00:01:36] Speaker D: A long, storied tradition dating back tens of thousands of years is at risk of being lost. This tradition has its own tools, its own techniques, its own culture. It has its own legends, its own stories, stories that have enthralled the world and sprawn generation after generation of fans.
[00:01:57] Speaker A: What you're hearing right now is not real.
It's all part of an imaginary world created by Charles Austin and his friends Andrew Hudson and Alex Branson. Together, these three guys have produced hundreds of pilot episodes for podcasts that don't actually exist.
[00:02:14] Speaker D: But dark times are ahead. New technologies make it harder and harder for us to practice our craft. Increased surveillance makes it more difficult for us to practice our art anonymously. The tides have shifted. It's getting harder to be a serial killer, even if you get away with murdering someone. A dozen podcasts about you murdering them spawn.
[00:02:36] Speaker A: The project is called Episode One, and each episode, as the title might Imply, is a satirical first episode for a podcast that never made it.
The creative throughline is that there is this foundation.
[00:02:49] Speaker B: The following is an archived podcast presented by the Branson and Hudson foundation for Podcast Recovery. This podcast is entitled We Are Serial Killers. It is the first and only episode of the podcast. Welcome to episode one.
[00:03:04] Speaker A: All of this started back in 2017, just as kind of a joke for three friends, but it quickly became clear that they were onto something.
So I talked to Charles about how this all began and how over time, the show evolved from just sort of a funny thing that they did for fun to something that's still funny, but way bigger than he or anyone else ever imagined.
[00:03:29] Speaker B: With the simplest premise that would allow us to do an infinite amount of different things. It's a good thing we did that, because I think when you define a podcast too narrowly, it can be kind of a curse where, like, how do I do hundreds of episodes about this very narrow topic? But luckily, we can just do whatever we want so it stays exciting. It almost seems more like it was accidentally smart. We didn't intend it to be that good of an idea at the time, but now it seems like, oh, that was a good idea.
And when you define yourself too narrowly, you can kind of become a victim of your own success, of if people do start listening, and then you're like, oh, no, what am I going to do now? I've already exhausted this material.
[00:04:04] Speaker A: The earliest episodes were basically just Andrew and Branson improving as perceived characters who started a podcast, like two guys who give out really bad dating advice, self described finance gurus and flat Earth conspiracists, while Charles simply worked behind the scEnes.
[00:04:20] Speaker B: Well, it's funny because, okay, so when we started at E one, Branson and Andrew were the ones who were going to be, like, on the show, and I would just produce the audio. So I came into it because I did music, and I was familiar with audio editing and stuff. And then as we started going, I just started being on more and more episodes until I was on all of them, basically. But, yeah, so we really came into it where all of us were interested in other creative projects more than podcasting of Branson was writing, I was doing music, et cetera. And then as the podcast started to take off, we just leaned more and more into it. Like, as time went on, we were like, oh, this is worth putting time into, because people want us to.
[00:04:57] Speaker A: Now, some seven years later, they've racked up more than 300 episodes, and the show has evolved to include more of their friends. And these episodes run the gamut from the Absurd, like a podcast that takes place at the Pearly Gates and St. Peter has to decide who gets to heaven and who doesn't, or the more mundane, where Joe Biden hosts a town hall at a Costco or another where they take turns pretending to be Jack Nicholson, regelling listeners with stories from his life.
Listening in on E. One almost feels like a masterclass in improv.
[00:05:34] Speaker C: I don't really like asking the question, how do you do it? But I'm going to ask you, how do you do it?
[00:05:40] Speaker B: Yeah, you do have to be cognizant that there is an audience listening, so you can't just be doing it purely for yourself. But if you can say things that will make your friends laugh, then there's a good chance that people listening will also laugh. So it's like being aware that people want to be surprised and they want to hear something different that they wouldn't think of themselves, while at the same time not being so paralyzed by that that you start trying to cater to the audience specifically. Ultimately, you need to be doing something that appeals to you personally, or else you're not going to like doing it and you're going to get worse at doing it because you're not having fun doing it. I think with podcasting, more than almost any other medium, people can tell when you're having fun and when you're not. And if you're not having fun, then the listener's not going to have fun. So I don't know, mostly you're thinking about what's funny to you and your friends, but there is some at least secondary consideration to this better be interesting enough for other people to take their time to listen to.
[00:06:36] Speaker C: Was I heard, like Trey Parker and Stone, like, talk about making South park one time, and they're like, yeah, we just try to make each other laugh. If they could make each other laugh or the guys in the writers room laugh, then an audience is probably going to like it.
[00:06:49] Speaker B: Yeah, you have to have an internal idea of what's funny, and then someone else out there probably shares enough of that idea.
[00:06:56] Speaker C: Yeah. Because I think I said this before, on this show before. I just think it's like creators, no matter whether it's like comedy or something else, if you're ultimately entertaining yourself, then there's a good chance people out there are going to like it. Because I've always said I'm not very unique. I have pretty simple tastes, and so if I like something, then hopefully other people will, and I just have to kind of make it in a way that's pretty good.
[00:07:19] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. I guess the question becomes like, where do you find those people? But for us, the answer was like Twitter, basically. There was already this pre built in community of people who are using Twitter just to tell jokes and, like, jokes. And it was like this built in audience to like, it was like, from the beginning, we already had this built in audience because of Branson Andrew's followings especially.
[00:07:43] Speaker C: How did they gather such a following?
[00:07:45] Speaker B: Just by being on Twitter for long enough and just telling jokes on there long enough. Both of them were on, like, I only started using Twitter around the time we started e one, but they were doing it at least from, like, I don't know, nine or 2010. So by the time we started, they had like seven or eight years worth of followers.
[00:08:02] Speaker C: I remember that era of Twitter where there were people who just were. Everything started for them because of Twitter.
[00:08:08] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly.
[00:08:09] Speaker C: We definitely think, like, Rob Delaney, who actually became, like, a pretty successful comedian thanks to Twitter. I think those days are gone, even.
[00:08:20] Speaker B: Our days, I guess, for the next days, and even those seem to be gone now.
[00:08:24] Speaker C: Yeah, it's a bygone era, for sure.
[00:08:27] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:08:28] Speaker C: It feels like it can still be tricky to think, are people going to like this? And I think one of the cool things you guys have done with your show is there's an infinite amount of possibilities. Like, you haven't boxed yourself in because a lot of people are like, oh, well, my podcast has to be this because that's how we framed it early on. You guys have kind of built this infinite world of possibilities.
[00:08:50] Speaker B: It feels like, yeah, you definitely don't want to constrain yourself because podcasting is so much like radio, where there's just this massive demand for a large amount of content and you can't slow down, really, if you want people to keep listening, it needs to be something that you are comfortable doing, like ad nauseam, or else you're going to resent yourself for starting it or something.
[00:09:12] Speaker A: I want to go back to the.
[00:09:13] Speaker C: Improvving thing a little bit because I think what's so fun about listening to you guys is, A, you're really good at it, and B, it's very, very rare that anybody breaks character. You can kind of hear some cracks in your voices a little bit or some background laughter, but for the most part, you guys are surprisingly committed to the role for that hour and a half or however long you're recording. But it happens. You guys get each other every now and again. What can Branson and Andrew do that's going to make you laugh?
[00:09:45] Speaker B: I don't know. It's hard to say now because it changes over time, where I think earlier on it was easier to make each other break, but now we've done so many that we kind of see things coming. So especially over time, it's better to have guests are more capable of surprising us than we are at surprising each other at this point. But there's still like, I don't know, we'll still find ways to do it. Right now, it's making me think of, like the 30 Rock episode where Tracy Morgan realizes that people think it's funny when he breaks, so he tries to start breaking in every single sketch. And I think that's kind of, I can relate to that because the audience always likes it when we break, but if we started doing it on purpose, it would be so it has to be genuine.
[00:10:26] Speaker C: Yeah, I mean, some of the best SNL moments are when people start losing it. I know Adam Sandler can never do a scene with Chris Farley without losing it. And those are some of the best moments.
[00:10:37] Speaker B: The key is that it just has to be genuine or else it's going to be transparently.
You can tell when, it's just like we were saying earlier of people can tell when you're not having fun in a podcast. They can also tell when you're trying to provoke that too aggressively.
[00:10:51] Speaker C: Yeah, I never thought of it that way.
I think one of the best examples of your ability to improv is the episode. I mean, like, right out of the gate, you're just Jack Nicholson telling this kind of crazy story. I think every group of friends kind of has that thing they all do that you can always pull out, like when you're trying to just have fun. But has Jack Nicholson always been someone you guys have been, I guess, infatuated or enamored by?
[00:11:22] Speaker B: I mean, the Nicholson one and the Joe Biden one. A lot of those ones where it's just like the same thing going around and around again usually happens in person for us, of like, if we're just going somewhere and doing something, we'll just be repeating those kind of lines to each other again and again, and then eventually we'll be like, oh, this should be an episode because it's something we like enough, so it stems from that. And with Jack Nicholson in particular, it's just like watching YouTube videos of him. There's one that probably a lot of people know, that's like a famous one on YouTube where he's Just talking about, know, we used to hang out at a coffee shop called Poopies on the Strip, and he seems unaware of the fact that poopies is a very funny name for a coffee shop. I think that one in particular is, like, what made us want to do that know.
[00:12:03] Speaker C: Yeah, Jack Nicholson's one of those guys. He's a little bit like Harrison Ford to like. He's funny without really ever trying to be like Harrison Ford, to me, is just hilarious. And he's not a comedic actor necessarily, but he'll never fail to make me laugh.
[00:12:17] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
[00:12:20] Speaker C: I'm gonna play a clip from the Jack Nicholson episode, and then maybe afterwards we can talk a little more shop about it. But let's queue this up here.
[00:12:28] Speaker E: So I'm in the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile with Elliot Gould going about 115 down the PCH, and we're flying cross, faded off reefer, all kinds of crazy drinks we are making on the ride down, and we're slamming it. Pell to the metal, come around the pen.
StAte trooper clocks us, throws on the lights, pulls us over. Elliot didn't want to stop, but I said, look, we got about four pounds of weed in this thing. We got to pull over.
Elliot pulls on over. The cop says, hey, aren't you Elliot Gould? Aren't you Jack Nicholson? We say, no, we're the zombies. Who do you think we are? He laughs and asked for our autograph. Didn't even have to show him our identification. He knew our faces. But I do find it curious he didn't once ask us about the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.
Turns out the thing was hot. Ellie had stolen it. He told me outright he bought it. But this thing had been outside our hotel for a few days, and no one was driving it. So Elliot said it was lonely. So let's take it for a spin.
Well, day later, we're going back to Malibu, and while we're driving in this Oscar myrinamobile, we see the same cop drive by us. He waves at us. We wave back, absolutely shit faced. And you know what?
After that, I don't know what happened to the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. I can't even remember what happened to Elliot Gould. But that was my friend, and I loved him. He was a great man, a great.
[00:14:14] Speaker B: A.
[00:14:14] Speaker C: That's Andrew there, isn't.
[00:14:16] Speaker B: He's. I think he's the best at coming up with a lot of specificity out of, like, he can just summon so many proper nouns and specific details, just, like, conjure them out of thin air in quick succession in a way that creates just a very memorable know.
[00:14:32] Speaker C: Yeah, it's one of those things. It's obviously absurd, but if Jack Nicholson were in that situation, it does kind of feel like how he would tell that story, maybe.
[00:14:41] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:14:43] Speaker C: I think the same with Biden, obviously, realistically would he hold a town hall at a know? Probably not. But even if he, like, I think at this point, our ability to be shocked by anything I think has been.
I don't know. I just don't think that threshold exists anymore. I think at this point, Joe Biden doing a town hall in a, like, if you saw that headline, you would just kind of be like, yeah, that's.
[00:15:05] Speaker B: Actually something I've thought about, is, like, you can no longer be more absurd than reality. You just have to be equally as absurd as reality because there's no way to top it.
[00:15:14] Speaker C: Yeah, it can be exhausting, I think, to live in these kind of historic times. I don't know. At some point, everything just kind of quit making sense.
[00:15:22] Speaker B: I think we're pretty aware of this fact that a lot of people who listen to our show listen to a lot of political podcasts rather than comedy podcasts because of our association with Chapo, trap house and shows like that. So I think that it's sort of deliberate that we want to be an outlet for catharsis and escape from that rather than just more of that. So when we do political things like the Biden one, it needs to be absurd rather than expressly political, I guess.
[00:15:50] Speaker C: Yeah. I think there is something kind of funny, though, about. I mean, it sounds almost counterintuitive. If you don't think about it for very long, it seems kind of counterintuitive, a Biden impression that's kind of apolitical, but in some ways, that's kind of just as funny. Like what's his face, James Austin Johnson, who used to do those Trump videos. And of course, now he's on SNL. I even think to those earlier episodes, you were doing, like, Aphrodite's labyrinth and the paradigm shift where. No, it's not really necessarily political, but I think it does say something about the male ego. It's still kind of poignant in a weird kind of way.
[00:16:25] Speaker B: Yeah. There's, like, a latent point of view in the episode.
The choice to make fun of that type of thing does have a latent point of view, but we just don't want to make it too obvious and make sure it's funny more than anything.
[00:16:37] Speaker C: Yeah. I mean, I think you're kind of hitting on something there with something not being obvious. I think a lot about Tim Heidecker doing Mr. America, which, of course, is kind of built off. That's its own sort of anthology, of course, which is built off of the electrics.
[00:16:52] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:16:52] Speaker C: On cinema. At the cinema. But that's a great example, too, because it sort of plays up these kind of two, like the two sides maybe, of the male ego. There's kind of like the alpha male wannabe guy that he plays, but then there's like that flip side, like the sort of sensitive, soft, boy like, liberal type of guy that's equally as contrived and equally as self absorbed.
[00:17:12] Speaker B: It's fun to make fun of all of that at the end of the day.
[00:17:15] Speaker C: Oh, yeah. One thing I'll say about episode one, and for anyone out there who hasn't found it yet, if you've ever made a podcast or have thought about making one, these guys have probably already poked fun at you a little bit, and I think that's good. I think we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously, even if the world of the audio medium is very important, because it is very important to me. I think it is good to be able to laugh at it, too, because why not?
[00:17:42] Speaker B: I think it's important to make fun of the things that you like, too. Obviously, we make fun of plenty of things we don't like, but you need to be willing to find humor in the things that you think are cool and think about, like, oh, why do the things that I like actually suck, too.
[00:17:58] Speaker C: Right? Well, I don't know. Is there an art to satire, too? Because I think I'll tell you my opinion about it and maybe you agree or don't, but I always feel like if you're going to satire something, then there has to be an underlying respect for it. Like, I think of, like Seth McFarlane on Family Guy making that shot for shot remake of Wars.
[00:18:17] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:18:17] Speaker C: Like, I think it's very clear he respects that franchise but also kind of skewers it at the same time.
[00:18:23] Speaker B: Yeah, for sure. I guess it depends on the subject matter. I feel like there's a whole range of things. Like you can make fun of things that you hate or things that you love, as long as it doesn't become about you and your opinion on it entirely. It's like you were saying how there is this latent point of view that you can see that we don't like these kind of alpha male guys. There is implicit judgment of them, but hopefully it's still funny. On top of that, rather than being like, I'm trying to make a point about this, I think it's too, especially on the Internet, it's just so easy to make the same points about the same political topics again and again, ad nauseam. And if you're on social media enough, you've already seen all that play out so many times, and you just have to come with. Even if you're sort of implicitly making a point about something, it just needs to have something else there or else it's not substantive enough, I guess, as, like, entertainment.
[00:19:16] Speaker C: You guys eventually started transitioning into doing more scripted shows. At what point in the process did that start happening?
[00:19:24] Speaker B: It was over episode 100. So probably, like, two to three years into doing the show. There was, like, a natural progression, though, of, like, early on, we started doing things that were more and more involved, where we did one that was like an hour of commercials and we did, like, a baseball game with Foley and all that. And we realized pretty early on that we were sort of recreating, like, 1920s radio plays. And the logical conclusion of that was just putting more and more and more effort into them until they just became, like, audio movies, essentially.
[00:19:54] Speaker C: I listened recently to Pixar sodas.
[00:19:56] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:19:57] Speaker C: Which my wife was listening to part of that with me. And she was like, actually, they might be onto something here. Like, this could.
[00:20:02] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that one. That episode was so rejuvenating to me in particular because it was a tough challenge to make something that's both bad and good at the same time. Some of the jokes are just deliberately terrible and we do them like, seven times each. But then it needs to also be coherent and have a structure to it and have real, actual funny jokes to keep, you know?
[00:20:25] Speaker C: It's a really good one. The love story there with Coke and Pepsi is just kind of the Capuletes and the Montagues, right?
[00:20:31] Speaker B: Yeah. It's just funny to skewer sort of like, corporate culture too, of like, it's like the holy Grail for any brand is to get people invested in their stupid product as if it is a human entity. And doing that with Coke and Pepsi is just so dumb. Like, rival brands falling in love. Those companies actually wish people would watch that garbage movie.
[00:20:50] Speaker A: Oh, probably.
[00:20:51] Speaker C: That'd be like the ultimate product placement.
[00:20:53] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly.
Pepsi. I was wondering maybe sometime, you know, so does love being around pizza. Maybe sometime we can hang out by the. Suddenly, Coke becomes aware of his surroundings. They're in the bad part of the circle. K lotto tickets, scratchers, cigarettes, you name it. The place is a cesspool of temptation and debauchery. Hey, baby, why don't you scratch me? You could win a lot of money off of me. Come on.
[00:21:28] Speaker F: Just ignore them.
[00:21:29] Speaker B: I'm a cigarette.
[00:21:30] Speaker C: Hey, Coke, say hi to your mom for me.
[00:21:33] Speaker F: Do you know that guy?
[00:21:34] Speaker B: Just secondhand. Why don't you two bring those tabs over here and scratch me up and down? Oh, yeah.
[00:21:41] Speaker D: Not quite a nickel, but you'll do.
[00:21:44] Speaker F: Please. A soda only pops their tab once, and I'm saving mine for the right guy.
[00:21:49] Speaker B: Humans can't hear the sounds that scratchers make when they get scratched. But we can.
Look. Someone's scratching one. Now.
[00:21:57] Speaker E: Listen.
[00:22:02] Speaker B: It's crazy, but it's true.
[00:22:03] Speaker E: I don't know why, though.
[00:22:05] Speaker B: I don't know why it has to be like that, but it does.
[00:22:09] Speaker F: Coke. Look out.
[00:22:12] Speaker B: Watch out. I'm a beer. Hey, Pepsi. What do you say we pour ourselves into a glass? We can make a nasty drink together.
[00:22:19] Speaker F: Ew. You're a creep. Why don't you use some of your hops and jump out of here? You're drunk.
[00:22:25] Speaker B: Of course I'm drunk. I'm beer. Come on. Let's see if we can fit into the same koozie. She said no beer. I know you're used to getting a buzz on, but this time I think you should buz off.
[00:22:38] Speaker C: You guys really kind of run the gamut from the minutiae to the absurd. I mean, I think some of those episodes, I think especially those earlier ones, I think, like, the paradigm shift where you're kind of mimicking these kind of, I don't know, like, finance guru, tech bro type mean. The humor is really in the minutiae because, I mean, you guys really just.
[00:22:58] Speaker D: Solid hour.
[00:22:59] Speaker C: You guys just kind of going back and these ridiculous characters you've contrived kind.
[00:23:03] Speaker B: Of like from you bringing up Tim Heidecker earlier, I think that the ones that are more subtle are kind of more in that on cinema vein where the characters aren't aware that they are the joke. The characters themselves are playing it straight, but the actors know that the characters are buffoons. That's kind of like the way you, I don't know, approach that, I think.
[00:23:25] Speaker C: So other things that have kind of evolved, like you guys occasionally do, like, live performances and appearances.
[00:23:30] Speaker B: Yeah, I think this is, like, the first year that we haven't done any in a very long time, but I think next year we'll get back into it a bit.
[00:23:39] Speaker C: What was it like to open for Wolf Parade?
[00:23:41] Speaker B: It was like. It was interesting because opening for a band as a comedy group obviously poses a challenge of just, like, are people interested in hearing us? And I think, broadly speaking, the answer in LA was yes. And the answer in San Francisco was, eh, kind also. I don't know. I feel like, I learned a lot from that experience because we'd never done something like that. I know Dan from Wolf Parade had told me that they'd had Neil hamburger open for them before. So it's like he's used to kind of incorporating comedy into an otherwise serious live music world. So that was kind of heartening to me that he was like, oh, you guys will do a good job. Just roll with it. And I feel like we learned a lot because the amount that people were invested is kind of informed by the shape of the venue itself, almost. Interestingly, like in LA, the troubadour is like, it's wide and it's narrow and it's very intimate, even though it's like at least like 500 or something capacity. But there's still like, this, I don't know, the way that it's shaped is sort of more intimate. And I feel like everyone felt like they had to pay attention to us and not to not be, like, rude or whatever. And then the venue in San Francisco, it was also an interesting challenge that it was just more of like a sort of longer haul. And I feel like it gave people more ability to tune us out. They weren'tuning us out any more than they would tune out an opening band. But it's just bands are so much louder that when you're doing that with comedy, it takes perseverance to just stay focused. But I think it was, like, a worthwhile challenge and I enjoyed doing it.
[00:25:16] Speaker C: How did it come about?
[00:25:17] Speaker B: Just because we're friends with them.
Dan was maybe one of the first interesting artists who started listening to our show early on.
And since me, Andrew already liked Wolf Parade, and we're like, oh, Wolf Parade's listening to our show. That's so cool. So then the next time they were in town, we hung out and we just became friends through that. And that's kind of been how the whole thing's been for us, is like, we started off only having our friends on the show, and to this day, we're still only having our friends. We've just made more interesting, know, as time goes on.
[00:25:46] Speaker C: Yeah, I mean, it must be pretty interesting because obviously, like you, Andrew and Branson have such a good dynamic, but you bring other guys into it, I think. I think the Jack Nicholson episode just kind of keep using that example. YoU bring people in and it's just like, people don't miss a beat, it seems.
[00:26:02] Speaker B: It's like, that's why it's valuable to do episodes with people we know. I mean, occasionally we'll bring on people we're aware of who we aren't friends with, but we don't move too far outside of our circle because we just know how people are going to react and we learn what their dynamic is and then try to put the ball in their court to do a good job, give them topics that they're good at riffing on. It's helpful, I guess, getting back to the wolf parade thing. It's helpful having made friends who do music or streaming or various different things, because there are certain dynamics that. Interpersonal dynamics that overlap of doing a podcast with the same three people for a long time is very similar to being in a band with the same three or four people for a long time, where you have to learn how to get along with each other in a way that's sustainable.
Everyone's lives are going to be so much better if you actually communicate and get along well rather than secretly hate each other and shit.
[00:26:54] Speaker C: How are you guys navigating some of those dynamics? Because, I mean, you've played in a band before too, and so creative differences happen.
[00:27:02] Speaker B: Yeah. I think that ultimately certain things need to be more democratic, and certain things need to be delegated to whoever's most reliable at doing them, I guess. Or like, in my. I'm. I'm most willing to do the most boring things of, like, I'll stay on top of just keeping track of finances or whatever. If all three of us were doing that, it would be annoying because it's like too many cooks in the kitchen. So there are certain things that just need to be delegated. But then on the creative side, everyone's ideas need to be heard. And the fact that we create so much material means that if any of the three of us are serious about an idea, we can eventually force it to happen. Because there's going to be a week where we need an idea and it's like, I have one.
[00:27:41] Speaker C: Yeah. Are there any ideas that don't make the cut? WhicH seems kind of meta because it's like ideas that didn't make the cut.
[00:27:48] Speaker B: For things that don't, for shows that.
[00:27:51] Speaker C: Never really made the cut. I guess.
[00:27:52] Speaker B: I think that any premise can work. It's just that the specifics need to be tweaked, because sometimes we'll have like a vague premise that's too vague. I'm trying to think of a good example.
I don't know, I guess you just like any, like, I don't know, guys who are talking about gambling or whatever. It's like we could probably do five different gambling episodes. But what's the specific angle of, like, is this, like, poker players? Is this guys who are, like, racetrack guys, like, sports gambling? You could do each of those as different episodes, but if you just try to bring gambling to the table, it's like, that's not enough. How do we talk about that for an hour? But there's actually, like, ten different ways to talk about it for an hour. It's just like, you got to be specific and decide, even if it is.
[00:28:34] Speaker C: Being done tongue in cheek and kind of sarcastically, what is it like to embody a different character every time?
[00:28:40] Speaker B: I don't know.
Especially since we've done so many. Each of us also have the. Probably me the most out of the three of us have the habit of just bringing in certain parts of ourselves into each character anyway. Like, certain personality traits recur among all these different people, or, like, they all happen to use the same catchphrase even though one of them are, like, wizards and then one of them are just like, football players or whatever. I think that, yeah, you find what's funny about that subject, but then also you bring it into your own wheelhouse so you know that you're going to have material.
[00:29:10] Speaker C: I think that's why I like shows like the great a lot where it's just kind of like they're playing these historical characters, but they're just kind of playing it like a very modern human being.
[00:29:20] Speaker B: Yeah, I really like that. I think especially if we have three of us and only one person's doing that, that works pretty well sometimes kind.
[00:29:27] Speaker C: Of as, like, a comedic foil.
[00:29:28] Speaker B: And I also just love dumb guy ideas about the past or about things they don't understand. Like, something that's really funny to me is someone who thinks that Shakespeare had dragons in all his know things. Like. Like, it kind of vaguely makes sense, right? Like medieval. Oh, medieval times. There's dragons and.
[00:29:46] Speaker C: Yeah.
Do you have any other projects going on?
Aren't you working on, like, a new podcast, too?
[00:29:53] Speaker B: Yeah, I do a few things. I have, like, a side podcast called Fortune Kit where we just talk about music. Usually we're looking for absurd things with music, like, just finding weird guys in their 80s who make songs on YouTube that no one listens to, but it's like their weird passion project stuff like that. Or we read, like, Tommy Lee's autobiography.
We try to do weird things related to music for that show. And then I have a podcast I slowly work on that's very. It's, like, fully scripted called Pretty Dim Wonder. That's just kind of like a podcast sitcom that's just like a narrative, plot driven thing, but that one just takes so much time, and I'm doing so much for e one that it happens very slowly.
[00:30:33] Speaker C: Yeah. You're a musician, too. Can you talk a little bit about the music you're doing?
[00:30:37] Speaker B: Yeah, well, I have a rock band called Solips, and then I also do music for e One. Kind of like I was saying at the beginning, that we just incorporate whatever we like doing into e one anyway. And I think it's been very liberating. Doing music for E One has been surprisingly helpful for me because it frees me up to realize that it's fun to just dabble in every kind of genre and try to push out into things I wouldn't normally do. Especially going forward. We just have ideas to do a lot of types of music we haven't done before and incorporate those into either scripts or improv episodes.
[00:31:07] Speaker C: Are you writing music, like, specific pieces of music for an episode, or are you doing that retrospectively, like, listening to an episode and being like, all right, here's where a track might fit for.
[00:31:18] Speaker B: A pretty dim wonder that I was talking about. I'm doing all the music sort of as it goes along, like scene by scene, like adding songs that are needed as it goes. And that takes so much more effort that I've started. Or, like our friends, electric scripted e one. All that music is stuff that I made for pretty dim wonder that I just reused for E one because for the interest of saving myself time.
But then other times when we did, like, a scripted James Bond episode, it was called Roger me Never. And it's like, let's just make a James Bond movie, just steal the intellectual property wholesale. So all that music is just stolen from soundtracks, you know, it depends on the specific know.
[00:31:57] Speaker C: We'll just call it fair use, I think.
[00:31:58] Speaker B: Yeah, my thought is, know, as an independent creator, corporations are always trying to make you work for exposure. So anytime I can make, like, the Beatles work for exposure or Disney work for exposure, I feel like that's my right back to know.
Legally, they may be in the right, but I think ethically, I've got a know.
[00:32:17] Speaker C: I'm with you. I'll carry that mantle for you.
[00:32:22] Speaker A: It's pretty easy to come up with ideas for a podcast, but actually making the thing is a different animal altogether. So why not just come up with a whole bunch of ridiculous ideas that wouldn't work if they were real, but somehow do because they're fake?
Maybe that's not the best description of E one, but whatever they're doing is working, and it's hilarious.
Underneath the satire and not so subtle critique of the world of podcasting are a group of really talented creators and close friends who have built their own world and a dedicated following.
You can find full episodes of E one at E Onepod.com, where you can also join their Patreon for more exclusive stuff. It also streams anywhere you get your podcasts.
Also, if you want to hear more of the music that Charles makes, his band solops is on YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp, and all the other usual places. Here's a preview of their song, who knows which was recorded at Yin Studios in Chicago.
[00:33:27] Speaker B: The loading has begun.
Now who knew the future would be the sound?
[00:33:40] Speaker A: Now it's time for our podcasting tip, where our guest bestows some wisdom on the rest of us.
[00:33:46] Speaker B: Hi, I'm Charles Austin from E One and my podcasting Tip would be I guess if you're on the first episode of the show, you should imagine it at like the hundredth episode of Is this still something that I can keep expanding upon? Like, I think it's pretty easy to do four, five, six episodes about any one subject if you're passionate about it, but you don't want to become a victim of your own success. Where if people start listening by episode 40, Episode 50, if you can't have the same amount of passion you had for it on the first episode, you're going to paint yourself into a corner. So it's important to choose a topic that is narrow enough to be meaningful to you, but broad enough that you can expand upon it in lots of different ways over time without becoming miserable in the process.
[00:34:30] Speaker C: I love it. That's awesome.
[00:34:39] Speaker A: Audience is a Castos original series. Our founder and executive producer is Craig Hewitt. Production assistance is provided by Isel Brill, Jocelyn DeVore, and Marnie Hills. Our website and logo design is courtesy of Francois Brill, our head of product here at Castos. All music comes from the Storyblocks Library. This episode was written, edited, narrated, and produced by me. I'm Stuart Barefoot. Check out Audiencepodcast FM for more episodes or just search for it anywhere you get your podcasts.
Next time on audience, I talk to Chris LeDain from the Parlor Room, a podcast from the Harvard School of Business.
[00:35:22] Speaker G: All I cared about growing up was music, painting, and baseball. That was all I cared about. So business was pretty far away from where I was going. As I got older, I started to realize how interesting it truly is just to think about business as a whole. And how it applies to other parts of life. But I'm coming in, at least to this podcast, as kind of like the dumb guy in the corner of the room.
[00:35:45] Speaker B: I'm trying to think of a nicer.
[00:35:46] Speaker G: Way to say it, but I'm the person asking the questions that might seem obvious to some people who really know this stuff inside and out, but to me, it's the foundational question. It's the starting question. Like, well, why would that happen?