Meet The Funniest, Angriest Podcast On The Internet
Since the early, hazy days of Adam and Joe's BBC 6 Music masterpiece, podcasts have been going from strength to strength.
If you're not LOLing at a dad trying (and failing) to write a sexy porno, you're exploring the nooks and crannies of the internet care of Buzzfeed. There's nothing like a good, long laugh on the way to work!
But two veteran podcats have started using comedy to explore deeper, more meaningful issues.
Meet Interrobang with Travis and Tybee, a weekly podcast dedicated to social justice, putting the world to rights, and, of course, a healthy helping of LOLs. We sat down with them the other week to find out just what's gotten them so fired up!
How and why did the two of you get into podcasting?
Tybee: I got into podcasting because I had just gone through a year of shedding skin -- I forfeited my shares of the company I helped found, I realized I hated the acting grind, I went through a sexuality crisis -- and I had always wanted to host some sort of advice show. I love teaching, and I'm a little too candid in general, so it just seemed right.
Travis: I've been podcasting for about 6 years now. Originally I got into it because my brothers and I were all moving to different places and we wanted an excuse to stay in touch. So, we started a podcast together and i found that I really loved it.
I love how deeply audiences connect with their favorite podcasts and how much control the creator has over their project. So, after many years, I quit my day job and developed podcasting into a full time job!
What prompted you to start Interrobang?
Tybee: I learned what an Interrobang was and found it highly amusing. The perfect punctuation! I thought, "My best friend hosts approximately 347 podcasts, but maybe he'll throw one more on the heap," so I brought it up sort of jokingly, like a "Hey, wouldn't it be wild if..." and he liked the idea!
Travis: A lot of the concept for the show came from Tybee and the conversations we had from the moment we met. We clicked as friends instantly and found that we had incredibly similar opinions on just about everything.
When she started talking to me about her idea for the show, I was totally on board right away. My other shows are great, but I was very excited to have the chance to address some more serious topics from a more personal point of view!
You discuss some pretty sad subject matter – is it ever hard to find the funny?
Tybee: I don't find it difficult to find humor in the sad stuff. I think both of us have gone through some pretty tragic things, and they shaped who we are as humans; to be honest, it's the stuff that's only moderately annoying that I struggle with.
With real grief, real tragedy -- you can only survive those with a sense of humor. But when I get sick three times in a month and a half and somebody cuts me off in traffic, HOO BOY.
Travis: I don't think we're the first people to find humor in frustration. So many issues people face these days are so universal, but no one seems comfortable talking with each other about them.
We all have so much more in common than we know. It's so easy to let the horrible stuff in the world make you feel like everything is bad all the time. Our goal is to remind everyone that no matter how bad it seems, we are all in it together and need to support each other.
Sometimes that means crying together and sometimes it mean laughing together!
What's going wrong in the UK right now?
Tybee: Oh, man. The UK. I know, admittedly, very little, but what I do know is this: All of my friends in the United Kingdom are PISSED. It seems that you are experiencing something very similar to what we are -- very loud people are influencing the uninformed and frightened, and it's very, very bad.
Travis: Like Tybee said, loud people scaring each other. It seems a pretty universal truth that there are people out there who will take advantage of people's fear to gain power. At times like these, no mater where you live it's so easy to turn against each other and try to find someone to blame.
When you're scared and confused, a loud confident person can seem like a good option no matter how terrible the things they say are. My advice, never trust anyone who offers a simple solution to a difficult issue.
What's the worst, funniest thing going on in the world right now?
Tybee: The worst, funniest thing happening in the world right now has to be the Tiny Hands Trump thing. It's just gotta be. He's a monster, but the idea that he has tiny hands that he's really self-conscious about occasionally saves me from utter despair.
Travis: The worst thing? Probably the general sense of negativity and threat that seems to permeate the world. I know that's big and general, but I just feel like everyone is getting angrier and angrier and people are threatening each other on Twitter and people get yelled at for talking about liking a movie.
That's probably the most ridiculous thing I can think of right now. People threatening bodily harm over a fun summer movie. I tweeted about liking Ghostbusters and people crawled out of the woodwork to tell me I was dumb.
Do you think Pokémon Go will have any long-term impact? Is it an agent of social change?
Tybee: Pokémon Go seems to have gotten people to engage in real, face-to-face human interaction right as some frightening things happened in the world. The juxtaposition of footage of people swarming Central Park for Pokemon next to footage of people filling the streets during the coup in Turkey was certainly eerie to witness.
I think it could go one of two ways: Either it will go down in history as having been at the front end of a shock wave that changed gaming and technology, or people will get tired of going outside again. I hope it's the first one, but I think the second one is equally likely.
Travis: Honestly, I think it has the potential to, but it has some issue that they need to address first. Also, let's get head to head trainer battles in place! I think that form of competition plus the ability to trade could really bring the world together.
What are some other podcasts that make you chuckle/think/both?
Tybee: I don't listen to a lot of podcasts! I know I should. I have a sensory processing issue with sound, so I tend towards silence in my everyday life. Silence or music. I do enjoy This American Life and Invisibilia, though, and (of course) My Brother, My Brother, and Me.
Travis: Rose Buddies (a Bachelor fancast), The Flophouse (a movie review podcast), Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert (very inspirational!) 99% Invisible (will make you see the world differently) Sawbones (Educational and hilarious!) The Worst Idea of All Time (my favorite podcast concept ever, the same bad movie reviewed every week for a year), How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black (super cool interviews with inspirational people) Hello From The Magic Tavern (maybe the funniest fantasy podcast ever) Anna Faris is Unqualified (some of your favorite celebs hanging out like regular people) Reading Aloud (a wonderful show if you are at all into writing and literature) Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend (maybe the most charming podcast ever).
Is that enough? I can go on. I listen to a lot of podcasts...
Listen and subscribe to Interrobang with Travis and Tybee on iTunes now!
Josh Pappenheim - @papsby
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