|They won't attack in a pack.|
“There’s definitely a lot of dialogue,” says Anthony of the back-and-forth emails, comments, and tweets between the podcasters and their listeners.
Behrendt has been in the spotlight for a long time, as a writer, talk show host, and comic. But Walking The Room’s fans stand out for him. “I feel like it’s more core than the people that follow me doing stand up. They’re actually more invested in my life than people who do come to see me do stand up, and even people who read the book at this point, because I won’t engage with those folks. I don’t want there to be a running dialogue. I feel like the books speak for themselves.”
If you only know Greg Behrendt from those books or that movie or that talk show (on which Anthony was also a writer), then you don’t know him. To dismiss Behrendt as a comic because he took an opportunity to make money is to miss out on a sharp, pop-culture-steeped mind who can match wits with some of comedy’s best riffers. Pretend like you’ve never heard of him before, and then listen to Behrendt on Episodes 603 and 702 of Never Not Funny.
GREG BEHRENDT ON "NEVER NOT FUNNY": A PICTURE OF BEANS
“I will say that my second appearance on that show changed my comedy career more than being on Letterman or any of the late night shows. That one appearance. Because it was the first time post-book that people were like: ‘Fuck, I didn’t know you did stand up!’ or ‘I didn’t think you were funny.’ That appearance was really a big deal for me. It sort of helped me get back into comedy again. So, I’m very grateful.
“Sometimes, in comedy, you have to go to where those people are. Comedy fans are specific, especially the hard-core ones. If you’re not in their periphery, they’re not paying attention. They don’t seek you out.”
The specificity of the comedy podcast audience means that Anthony and Behrendt are heard by people who have the potential to appreciate them, which isn’t always the case with broadcast. “When you work as a comedian, and you go out on the road, you have to do a radio show in the morning,” says Anthony. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a comedian mad that he has to get up at 6 in the morning and do radio, go up on stage and go: ‘How many of you guys heard me on the radio this morning?’ No one has. Because it’s not a targeted audience. It’s just random people. But, if you go on a podcast like Never Not Funny, it’s very targeted, and those people are looking for comedy, and it translates better."
DAVE ANTHONY ON WTF WITH MARC MARON
After years as a stand up, Anthony’s priorities shifted with the birth of his son. Podcasting presented the perfect opportunity to stay in the business while raising a family. “It felt like a lot of people who were podcasting didn’t know what they were doing with them. I was also at home with the baby, so I wanted something I could do from my house. So, I decided to do a podcast. After doing a couple on my own, I decided: This is awful. I got bored doing it. Then, I remembered that I had done a radio show with Greg.”
|Greg Behrendt Is Podcasting|
From The Closet
And if people don’t like it? “The cool thing about podcasting is that it’s not like we’re getting shoved down someone’s throat,” says Behrendt. “You’d have to go out of your way to be annoyed by us. So, we just figured, if there were people who liked us at all, then we offer you this! You can have it!
“It’s sort of buyer beware. Some people will like it, some people won’t, some people stick with it, some people won’t. But, it’s pure. I think it’s even more pure than my stand up, because when you go out and do an hour and a bunch of people show up, you need to entertain them, and they’ve paid money. Where this is a thing that’s completely free, and if you don’t like it, I don’t have to worry about that on some levels.”
|Walking The Room: Are you clown from the neck down?|
Behrendt goes further with his dream for Walking The Room’s future. “If it meant that Dave and I could tour based on this podcast...because that would mean for me, that my stand up could change in a dramatic way. It would be 100% of the things that I want to talk about, which are the things that I talk about on the show with Dave. To be able to take my band on the road and do it, bring some kind of stupid Walking The Room circus out on the road with Dave and me and some music …that, to me, would be the ultimate dream. Anything that would make it so that we can continue this in a different format, I would be definitely stoked about.”
|PAYBACK: Stacks of infants on the|
big kid playground. WTR #17
“We’ve been really good friends for long time and to be honest, we never get to see each other, because of our kids, our jobs,” says Behrendt. “And now, we get to see each other once a week, and it’s been awesome having to see my friend every week, genuinely. Sometimes, when we start the podcast, we have not even talked at all. So, then everything we’re talking about is genuinely coming up for both of us. And that’s a good enough payoff. We love it for what it is.”
© 2010 CHRISTINE E. TAYLOR