What a Year!
|When Jack and I decided to try our hand at podcasting last October, we promised each other that if we didn’t reach 27 listeners within a year, we’d call it quits.
We knew it wouldn’t be easy, for the obvious reason that Jack is less than ideal as a co-host. He’s not a beautiful blond woman with a raspy voice. He’s a middle-aged, Pillsbury-bodied man with an upsetting voice that makes people want to leap off of bridges — the exact reason he was given the Least-Effective Volunteer Award by the Good Samaritans.
After 11 months with only one listener we were ready to throw in the towel. Although it made us very happy to entertain Missouri’s Stanley Blagowitz, it didn’t feel like it was worth all the effort. Weekly deadlines. Several hours of recording to get ten minutes of hilarious cussing. Not to mention the toll it took on our personal relationships.
My wife left me for Jack’s wife, which was hot but upsetting. Suddenly Jack was balancing being a single dad with being a buffoon – regularly dropping off a 5-gallon jerry can at school before taking his son to a gas station. Jack would call me, nightly, wondering why we hadn’t been able to move past the 1-listener mark, which all podcasters use to measure success. It knew it was totally his fault, but I also knew that this was more damaging to his self-esteem than his physical appearance, voice, track record with girls, track record in track & field, and the opinion of all his teachers going back to Kindergarten. Including the substitutes.
“Is it me?” he’d ask, subconsciously aware that it was most definitely him. You could hear him softly weep-eating in the background. You could also hear his neighbor’s lawn crew, which never once during this pandemic considered sheltering in place.
“No,” I’d lie, “It’s America, Jack. America let you down.”
Over the sounds of Jack chewing the cardboard insert that he should have removed from his toaster burrito, I told him that getting people interested in listening to him would take nothing short of a miracle.
Fortunately, that miracle happened last month. In Bolivia.
In the small town of Moro Moro, a statue of the Virgin Mary began to weep tears of Diet Pepsi — the only liquid that Jack will allow to enter his body (notwithstanding his unprecedented method of getting people to answer the Census). The priest, who knew this fact about Jack, saw it as a sign that Questionable Material was sent by a higher power. He urged his congregation to subscribe to the podcast. That is why most of our fans are devout Catholics from rural Bolivia who have absolutely no idea what we are saying.
Regardless, it was the bump we needed. Having passed the 27 listener goal, the message was clear: We were the most famous gringocast (their term) in Moro Moro. Also, Questionable Material would continue.
We will begin recording the first episode of Season Two as soon as Jack gets back from dropping his child off at Sunoco for school.
Many thanks to the lovely folks who helped grow QM by having us on their shows: Andrew Heaton of Political Orphanage. Justin Robert Young from Politics Politics Politics and Raise the Dead. Stu Burguiere of Stu Does America. We hope to some day thank Bridget Phetasy and Bono.
And many, many thanks to the fans. Especially the ones who reliably share our silly Tweets. Rest assured, Jack wakes up during the night shouting your names and/or Twitter handles. We couldn’t figure out how to use Instagram.
The latest episode is a “Best Of”. Feel free to share it with your friends and neighbors and relatives. If they like it, they will probably like the podcast. If they don’t, they probably work for the Deep State and want to destroy us.
Here’s the link: The Somewhat Very Best of Season One
Feedback is always welcome, even if Jack can’t pronounce the word. All you have to do is reply to this email. We’re happy to know how much you like Brian or what Jack can do to improve.
Best, Brian & Jack