Ever do a project just because you wish someone else had done it? It's usually why I write a particular movie script — I want to see the movie and no one else has gotten around to writing it yet. Well, that's what was behind my starting up Succotash, my new "comedy podcast podcast".
I really love listening to comedy podcasts. To the point that I don't ever listen to the radio in my car any more, I just Bluetooth podcasts out of my iPhone whenever I drive. But there is never enough time in the day to listen to all the podcasts I enjoy, let alone get a chance to sample the ones I'm always reading or hearing about. So why — I thought to myself — isn't there a podcast where I can hear some other podcasts? Get it all in one sitting, so to speak.
And so Succotash was hatched. Just launched this week on iTunes, it's the comedy podcast podcast. And I've discovered why no one's put one together before — it takes a lot of time to sift through podcasts! What's cool, though, is what comes out at the other end: A roughly one hour show made up of snippets from 8 or so podcasts, interspersed with my yakking about my experience in the world of comedy over the past three decades, often with the people hosting and/or guesting on the podcasts I'm featuring.
Reminds me a bit about the old Comedy Hour I used to listen to on KSFO radio in San Francisco when I was in junior high school. Hosted first by Gene Nelson and then by John Gilliland, it was all about cuts from comedy records and was the formative thrust that shoved me first into radio and then into comedy as a career. So I guess I've come full circle and maybe there's some adolescent kid listening to Succotash in his bedroom late at night after the lights are out, smiling in the dark as he hears these shows.
The genesis of Succotash happened pretty quickly after I got the idea. I started out by doing a couple of "test" shows, hunched over my MacBook Pro with a crappy USB microphone and a collection of roughly trimmed snippets from some comedy podcasts. (The Internet being the perfect place to share, you can find both of those "dress rehearsals" on iTunes as well as the premiere episode.)
KSFO, the radio station I just mentioned, comes into play again as I had gotten reacquainted recently with Joe Paulino, a great and friendly guy who was an engineer at the station the same time I ended up working there in the late 70's-early 80's. He runs Studio P in Sausalito, California, and he took an interest in the Succotash project. Enough to jump onboard as our Producer-Engineer.
And the Succotash theme was created by Scott Carvey, who is a fan of the Bel-Airs, a group who had done "Succotash", the aptly-named tune I had been using in my test shows as a musical placeholders. He said, "I can create a theme that's got that sound!" And he has. Hoping to feature more music by Mr. C in future episodes.
In fact, I'm going to feature a song by Scott Carvey right here, right now! An especially perfect tune for the I Hate People! crowd, it's called, "I Want You Dead", it's all about the kinds of people that drive most of us crazy. And the various ways to do away with them...
Let me know what you think.
— Marc Hershon