Rick and Morty has sprung up one of the most devout cult followings of any cartoon out there. Smaller than The Simpsons, but maybe even more dedicated. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise there are a couple Rick and Morty podcasts as well. Maybe the most popular of the bunch, Interdimensional RSS: The Unofficial Rick and Morty Podcast, manages to create podcast episodes despite the shows extremely inconsistent scheduling.

I caught up with co-host, Brandon Cruz, to discuss why there aren’t more Rick and Morty podcasts out there, how he manages to keep his podcast top of mind, and how he got into podcasting in the first place. Check out the full Q&A below!

Discover Pods: How did your podcast get started?

Brandon: My cohost Travis and I started podcasting back in January of 2015; it was kind of a joke, to be honest. As a one-off smartass comment I said, “let’s just podcast” and he said, “sure”

He and I started up Interdimensional RSS: The Unofficial Rick and Morty Podcast here in January of 2017. He and I are both huge fans of the show and he thought it’d be a great idea to do something in the seemingly infinite space between Season 2 and Season 3. We actually wanted to do an episode recap of Season 3 (which premiered it’s new episode April 1st) but because we didn’t quite know when the season would start, and because of the finicky nature of iTunes timing… we started in January.

DP: The cult-like following of Rick and Morty seem to have created a pretty dedicated fanbase. How have you injected the podcast into the community?

Brandon: Travis and I are both huge fans of the show, but we know that we’re not, in any way, the MOST dedicated. There are some fairly rabid fans that clamor for any news or hints of the show coming back and with as much as we’ve got going on, instead of us trying to out-dedicate them, we embrace and listen to what they’re talking about. That means we’re scrolling through the Twitter feeds, hitting up the r/RickandMorty subreddit, going through the multiple Facebook groups solely focused on everything Rick and Morty. We give shout outs to the people we’re quoting and pretty transparent that, “hey, there’s no pretense here, you’re the reason this show (the podcast and Rick and Morty proper) is such a success; credit where credit’s due”

DP: Why did you choose a podcast over other mediums?

Brandon: We chose podcasting because it’s such a great medium to get a message out. I saw an article the other day about Podcasts being the new talk radio, I think it was posted on your twitter, actually. For me, I think that’s the best summation of what podcasting does. When I was a kid in Los Angeles, my Dad would listen to Mark and Brian on 95.5 KLOS. They were clearly good friends that had a history together; entertaining people every morning. Alot of podcasts out there are pretty much an extension of that style of discussion. I grew up thinking those guys were people we knew personally… we were connected! I think the other thing about podcasting is its ease of creation. Podcasting really has never been easier to do, though, what separates most shows from the others is not only the quality of the content but also the audio quality. That’s how you get and keep people listening. I wouldn’t claim to be a professional (I certainly don’t get paid for any of this, haha) but I do pride myself on providing a decent listening (audio and content) experience (I say ‘decent’, I’m not trying to say it’s the best, haha).

DP: What’s unique about your podcast? Why do your listeners keep coming back?

Brandon: Interdimensional RSS: The Unofficial Rick and Morty Podcast is unique in the sense that we’re one of 2, maybe 3 Rick and Morty podcasts out there. Travis and I were both sincerely surprised that there weren’t more than that… hell, I’m STILL a little confused why there aren’t more out there. It’s a smaller niche than the broader TV & Film podcasts out there, but there’s like 8 Twilight Zone podcasts (one of which I host), all these other After Buzz TV podcasts for every show on earth, but yet, Rick and Morty is a relatively untapped market.

I think that’s a big part of why our listeners are growing and keep coming back; Rick and Morty is this huge thing now. I was living in Korea when the show started, and my buddy introduced it to me… I fell in love. In between Season 1 and 2, I spent a majority of my time convincing any and everyone who’d listen about how great the show is and was legitimately stoked when I met a fellow fan. The listeners, I feel, are the same. They want to talk about the show, they want to hear their friends talk about the plot and the jokes. Hopefully, the listen to us to help scratch that itch.

DP: With so few Ricky and Morty themed podcasts out there, how have you continued to innovate to stay the leader in the space?

Brandon: Oh boy, innovation in podcasting!

I’ll say that, being 23 episodes in (as of 26 June), we’re looking at two things:

A. Consistency of content
B. Consistency of quality

Although innovation is absolutely critical in podcasting, I’d submit that without a consistent output of content and quality, innovation loses effectiveness. It’s the age old question: if a tree podcasts in the woods, does it make a sound? If nobody hears ones innovation (in this case a tree podcasting, not much more innovative than that), then how innovative are they really?

Having said that, we’ve iteratively introduced new elements into the show as we learn what works and what doesn’t (which isn’t always easy without listener feedback). Ultimately, we can’t risk stagnation, so incorporating new bits, interviews, styles, and content is key for the long term success of the show (any show, really).

By the way, thank you for the “leader in the space” compliment! We try not to consider ourselves that, and certainly don’t want to take away from the hard work the other Rick and Morty podcasts out there are doing. We’re all fans, first and foremost, and I want to see them succeed just as much as us (I’ll let you know when we succeed, haha).

DP: As a relative veteran to podcasting with already a couple under your belt, what advice would you give to a new podcaster? 

Brandon: There’s a lot to be said about consistency of content and quality, and you’re sure to read/hear about that anytime we talk about advice for beginners. So I’ll forego that standard advice, haha.

I get this question for my job sometimes: what advice do you have for professional growth and development throughout ones career?

The answer is very simply: don’t try too hard being someone you’re not.

Whether you run a true crime podcast, health & fitness, spirituality, or other type of podcast, listeners tune in to hear YOUR unique voice just as much as they tune in for the content. You are part of the product, and if you’re not being genuine, you’re doing everyone a disservice. Just remember that without you, your show wouldn’t exist.

Trust and embrace who you are and what you can uniquely provide the audience.

DP: With the sporadic nature of Rick and Morty, and the long breaks between seasons, how do you continue to find things to discuss?

Brandon: Oooohhh weeeee! Sporadic nature, indeed, haha. It was a bit serendipitous for us how the show turned out the way it has. We started the show originally to do episode by episode recaps, but because we started too early, and the sporadic nature of the show, we had to talk about more than just new episodes. We were really biding our time those first few episodes, trying to inch our way to the Season 3 release, and it forced our hands into exploring other aspects. We went into character deep dives, fan theories, interviews, video games, and more. We could have easily gone and reviewed each and every episode of Seasons 1 and 2, but I’m proud that we’ve been able to come up with content that goes beyond a traditional TV show recap setup.

When Season 3 rolls through, we’ll most likely be able to start timing our “seasons” alongside the show… though, there’s always some semi-pertinent Rick and Morty news coming up, haha.

Speaking of Season 3, we’ve had some guests lined up from the show itself but we’ve wanted to wait till Season 3 is out and about before we try to hound them for information. We’re looking forward to that… and maybe eventually we hit up Dan Harmon or Justin Roiland. One thing at a time though!

DP: What’s next? 

Brandon: As far as what’s next, we have some potential interviews lined up with people who work on the show. We’ve already interviewed Kyle Starks, writer for the Rick and Morty comics, and we’re excited to talk to anyone related to the show.

DP: Where do you want to take your podcast?

Brandon: I don’t know where we want to take the podcast, ideally, it’ll go as long as Rick and Morty is a thing. Realistically, my sincere hope is that we continue to entertain, provide good, quality content, and help, in our own small, insignificant way, keep the pop-culture consciousness of Rick and Morty alive.

DP: What are your favorite 5 podcasts?

Brandon: 5 favorite podcasts, eh? I don’t honestly listen to that many; my commute to and from work limits my podcast intake. I do like Comedy Bang Bang, Bertcast, We Have Concerns, The Bill Simmons Podcast and Vergecast. Also, a shout-out to my friend Carrie Poppy, co-host of the award winning, Oh No, It’s Ross and Carrie. Her and Ross have an excellent show and I definitely recommend it!

DP: Anything else you’d like to add?

Brandon: Sincerely, I’m honored and humbled to be able to talk about the show and have listeners respond. I’m no different or special than anyone out there; I can’t emphasize how appreciative I am of everyone.

And lastly, thank YOU, for taking the time to talk to me. There are so many great, fantastic, and wonderful shows out there; that you considered my show is an absolute honor!

DP: Where can listeners find you?