Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Podcasting Is a Weird Thing

Podcasting Is a Weird Thing To Do, But Sometimes It Pays Off And Stuff - By Tim Barnes

Hey, I’m a comic with a podcast called It’s All True!

The show started when Kyle Scanlan (creator of the satirical website The Whiskey Journal) told me that he had recording equipment that he wasn’t using. “If you have any ideas for a podcast, just let me know,” he said.

At the time I was working at a Dunkin’ Donuts and was often scheduled to work alone for closing shifts. So I had a lot of time to think between exchanging money for chocolate long johns.

I had three things in mind when I created the concept.

I wanted it to be short.

I wanted it to have clear segments.

I wanted the focus to be on the guests and not on me.

Tim Barnes
So I got started. My good friend and talented comic, Ian Abramson had a laptop with garage band on it so we set up camp in his basement. (The basement also belongs to beloved Chicago comics Bill Cruz and Ross Kelley).

Each episode of It’s All True! is around 15 minutes in length and revolves around me asking a guest to reveal a newspaper style headline for a funny true story. Early episodes that stand out to me include guests Ian Abramson, Shannon Cason, Michael Timlin and Danny Black.

Long story short… somehow through a series of miraculous circumstances the podcast is now a part of WBEZ’s podcast network nestled between shows like This American Life and Filmspotting in the iTunes store. Recent episodes have featured Hari Kondabolu and Eddie Izzard.

Podcasting is weird. I honestly don’t know why I did it and had no particular goals in doing it, but I do think it’s important to have something to do.

As comics we all know the feeling of showing up to an open mic out of habit instead of duty or even wanting to be there. We do that because somehow it pays off.

Now, having wasted all of your time, here are some of my favorite Chicago based comedy podcasts:

Tim with comedian James Adomian
Arguments and Grievances: The producers of this show are some of the hardest working comics in Chicago (Kevin White, Zach Peterson, Goodrich Gevaart, and Kevin Brody.) Arguments and Grievances pits comedians against each other on such topics as “McRib vs. MacBeth” and “Hugs vs. Drugs”—with audiences deciding the victor.

Favorite Episode: Of course features Odinaka od Ezeokoli and myself in Bill Cosby vs. Richard Pryor

Wrestling With Depression: Hosted by Comedians You Should Know’s Marty Derosa. The show brings on other comedians, wrestlers, and performers to talk about how they deal with their own sadness, depression, or other emotions.

Favorite Episode: The one with Chris Condren because I love figuring out how his brain works.

I Shit You Not! : Another great live show turned into a great podcast. Hosts Monte LaMonte and Michael Sanchez talk shit and then share stories from great Chicago storytellers and comics about shitting their pants or other bodily blunders.

Favorite Episode: Episode 1 with Caitlin Bergh. I got to see this one live and the story is hilarious.

AWSM Radio Podcast: The dudes behind this show (Logan Conner, James Manno, and Nicholas Taylor) are actually having fun! It feels like a party, and they really make you feel like you’re a part of it in each episode

Favorite Episode: Episode 107 with The Puterbaugh Sisters because they’re great.

Contributing Writer Tim Barnes
Barnes is a comedian, writer, producer and podcaster living in Chicago Il.