Entries in wolf den (8)


Off The Charts: Noise Picnic

Greetings adventurers! It's time for another exploration in podcasting. Today we find ourselves in the Twin Cities! Minnesota! The chef's toque on the titanic and terrifying baker that makes the Midwest. Home to Paul Bunyan and Babe, his ox of a different color.

The Twin Cities is also home to Aric McKeown, one half of the men behind the curtain at Noise Picnic, a brand new podcast network. I spoke with Aric about his network, his podcasts, Better Strangers and The Mustache Rangers, and how you – yes, you - can join Noise Picnic.

MEL PAYNE:  You have joined the ranks of Chris Hardwick, Jeff Ulrich & Scott Aukerman, Jesse Thorn --

ARIC MCKEOWN:  Yeah, I don't know if “ranks” is the right word...

MP:  When people start listing podcast network moguls, you will be somewhere on that list.

AM:  Yeah, mogul is a great word... I agree! Continue.

MP:  So, you've started a new network called Noise Picnic. Was there a particular reason why you wanted to start a network? Why not just do your own thing?

AM:  Well, I've been doing my own thing for a few years now with The Mustache Rangers podcast. Then I started the Better Strangers podcast, and then I had a friend who just started up his own podcast and I thought, "Wait a second... This is two people, three podcasts. This could be the start of something." We're in the improv community here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and there's so many talented people in that community that if they were just able to put their stuff online they could reach a much wider audience. And I'm not saying, "I know how to get numbers!" I've, you know...I don't. But! It seems like a group is almost a better way to build a community; taking an improv community and moving it online. And not just improv. There's a lot of independent art up here. And just giving them the tools and the knowledge - again, I've been doing this for...three years? Fours years? Something like that.

MP:  Ahh, probably ages!

AM:  Ages! I've gained knowledge on how to make things sound okay, how to, maybe, edit things sharper. Experience to help get people off to the right start, and making my minimal amount of audio equipment here available to people to create their own stuff.

MP:  Oh, that's great! So you're opening up and giving people a venue to perform on?

AM:  Yeah, a venue and the tools they need, you know, people think podcasting isn't really that hard. You can get a cheap-ass boom-mic which we got from Target. The sound was terrible, so it's like training wheels. You can get going for a minimal amount of effort but just having everything already there available to you just seems so much easier.

MP:  Yeah. It would really help nourish a little bud into a beautiful, blossoming flower!

AM:  Right. And like, "don't make these mistakes, because we did. So just skip past that part." So, knowledge. Knowledge would be a nice thing to pass on. A lot of friends are just smart, witty, talented, and successful in other parts of performing that spreading it out so the country could understand and hear what's going on here.

MP:  With the internet being the tool that it is now, you're not just localized. You don't necessarily have to be a big fish in a little pond.

AM:  It's really Jeff Ullrich's fault. From listening to Wolf Den, I think he recommended Tribes by Seth Godin, which is all about being a leader, taking the reins and leading a group of people to success. Being that go-to person. I picked it up and I started reading thinking, "I'm not this guy!" Then I thought, "Can I be this guy?"

MP:  [laughs]

AM:  The only thing holding me back is me being like, "I don't want to be important or lead anyone, I just want to do my thing." It started to seem like less of a crazy idea.

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Splitsider Top 5 Comedy Podcasts: July 14


Jesse Fox and Joe Berkowitz praised the playful and the passionate in this week's Splitsider Top 5 Comedy Podcast recap. Fox and Berkowitz also gear up for the next wave of new shows from Todd Glass, Kumail Nanjiani and Riki Lindhome (all via the coming-soon Nerdist podcast network). Marc Maron's WTF continues to achieve Top-5-worthiness. If this were sports and someone was keeping track of these things, this would probably be impressive. But it's comedy, so Maron fans will have to settle for basking in the glory of vague recognition. Some more of that wonderous recognition courtesy of the Splitsider weekly Top 5:

How Did This Get Made? #14 - featuring Paul Rust
Jordan, Jesse, Go! #183 - featuring Julie Klausner
Pop My Culture #47 - featuring Rob Paulsen
The Thrilling Adventure Hour #27: “Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars - ‘Danger 2.0’”
WTF with Marc Maron #190 - featuring Todd Hansen

Other episodes Splitsider liked this past week include: The Morning After Podcast #49 (featuring Tee Reel and Lauren Ashley Bishop), Who Charted? #32 (featuring Joe Lo Trugilo) and meeting of the podcast minds on The Wolf Den #25 (featuring Chris Hardwick).

Check-out the full Top 5 recap here.


Earwolf Weekly Update: July 5

Chris HardwickEarwolf gave fans a heads up on some quality comedy programming this week. Via its weekly newsletter, highlights include a podcast meeting of minds when Chris Hardwick visits Earwolf co-founder, Jeff Ullrich on The Wolf Den, along with Nick Kroll talking fate with the Professor Blastoff trio, "Weird Al" Yankovic adding to the fun on Comedy Bang! Bang! and The Apple Sisters having some Indendence Day fun with their ol' pal Jason Ritter.

Check-out the full newsletter here.


Earwolf Weekly Update: June 27

Nick Kroll *Photo by Anya GarrettEarwolf keeps rolling along with another week of fun shows. Via its weekly newsletter, Earwolf announced a bunch of great guests on their shows. Highlights include Nick Kroll appearing on Professor Blastoff, an eclectic and crazy funny guest lineup for Comedy Bang! Bang! featuring Colin Hanks, Paul Scheer and Myq Kaplan and The Apple Sisters getting a visit from Miss Manners (Eliza Skinner).

Earwolf is also giving the fans a shout-out with a special episode of The Wolf Den featuring visits from three of their favorite fans.

Check-out the full newsletter here.


Earwolf Weekly Update: June 20

Randy & Jason Sklar *Photo by Mandee Johnson - www.mandeejohnson.comStraight from the Earwolf weekly newsletter, it looks like another week of quality comedy from the Earwolf team. The comedy network is moving full-steam ahead with its new site design and great catalogue of weekly comedy programming.

Randy and Jason Sklar keep it all in the Earwolf family this week with their appearance on The Wolf Den, talking podcasting and Earwolf inner workings with co-founder Jeff Ullrich. They follow that appearance up by inviting the Professor Blastoff trio, Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger, to visit Sklarbro Country for what should be a very silly end of the week episode.

Get the full scoop on Earwolf's happenings this week from the newsletter.


Plop List Talks New Website With The Earwolf Team

This week, Earwolf's Co-Founder, Jeff Ullrich, invited me to come to their studio and interview the Earwolf team about the launch of their newly redesigned website. Earwolf recorded the interview as part of it's weekly business of podcasting show, The Wolf Den.

My less-than-stellar broadcasting skills aside, it was a rare treat for some one-on-one time with a Ullrich and his talented wunderkind team. Along with Ullrich, I spoke with Shahruz Shaukat, the infamous Engineer Doug (Douglas Sadler)Andres Lucero,  Aaron Nestor, Ben Cordes and Frank Cappello. It was a great opportunity to have some face time with those talented and truly engaged guys. That's the key revelation from my interview. Earwolf is passionate about comedy and what they do. They give a crap. Hooray for that. Podcast and comedy fans are better off for it. Keep on on the lookout for more new shows and digital tools from Earwolf. 

For the Wolf Den interview, we talked over an hour about the nifty site design and the positives along with some self-flagellation just for fun. It was an easy going wonky session. In lieu of a full recap, check-out the show.

Special shout-out to Caroline Anderson for the great work on all the Earwolf updates and written descriptions for the Earwolf shows and guest pages.


Earwolf Weekly Update: May 23

With the launch of its new website on the horizon, Earwolf announced another week of quality comedy programming while you wait to enjoy the fruits of their binary labors.

Highlights include the first of two parts of a quality episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! featuring Paul F. Tompkins and Andy Richter, Liz Feldman and Erin Foley joining Glitter In The Garbage and the second part of Matt Belknap's (Never Not Funny, A Special Thing) talk with Earwolf co-founder, Jeff Ullrich, on The Wolf Den.

No word yet on the status of the currently on-hiatus Eardrop.

Check-out the complete Earwolf newsletter here.


New Superego Plops With Patton Oswalt Joining The Fun

The crazy good sketch/improv show, Superego, plopped a new episode today featuring comedian Patton Oswalt. The episode is full of the usual dose of superb "case study" sketches with topics all over the map. Oswalt and comedy stalwart, Chris Tallman, start things off with an instant classic sketch about Superman's General Zod. The episode also features inspired sketches within the James Bond world and some serious Sam Elliott riffing.

Superego continues its 3-season run of expertly performed and produced audio sketch comedy. The Superego team is made up of Jeremy Carter, Matt Gourley, Mark McConville and Jeff Crocker. Each episode also features tons of special guest contributors. The creativity of characters the team builds through its great cast and chemistry, leads to a truly impressive collection of improvised sketches. The audio production always elevates the sketches beyond the standard bunch-of-dudes-in-a-room quality. The Superego team seamlessly puts the listener in each environment, elevating the comedy and listening experience. The show doesn't wait for the listener to catch its breath, bowling straight ahead from one absurd sketch to the next. Superego shows play out like distant cousins to joyfully absurdprojects of the past (two that come to mind: Monty Python and Ren & Stimpy).

To learn more about the Superego world and creative process, check-out, the informative and lighthearted interview on last week's Wolf Den. Earwolf's co-founder, Jeff Ullrich, and Matt Gourley, one of Superego's founding members, talk at length about the unique process of creating an episode of Superego.