Looking for a slightly mysterious, slightly comedic, definitely light-hearted podcast for simple entertainment value? Look no further than Kevin’s Cryptids, a collaborative project between five friends. The group has recently wrapped up their inaugural season and are busy at work planning for season two. Hop on before the bandwagon.

Cryptid: Animals commonly not believed to exist, but could. Instances include the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Teratornis, and Pterodactyl, Mothmen, etc.

I recently got a chance to meet Jon, co-creator and co-host of Kevin’s Cryptids. We discussed their creative process, why this specific genre of podcasting, and he provides advice to would-be podcasters (in short, go for it!). Below is our full interview transcript.

Discover Pods: How did your podcast get started?

Jon: Kevin’s Cryptids began as a dream of innovation. it started outside of an arcade where we discussed (what we thought was) the current trend of podcasts; all hour+ long interviews or stream of consciousness. With that being the standard, we wanted to create something that would break out of that mold… something new! And by new, we really meant old. Because we all agreed that creating a new spin on those old time radio show was exactly what we wanted to do. So we took that new medium and paired it with a satirical blog one of our creators was writing in his free time resulting in the birth of the audio drama, “Kevin’s Cryptids”

DP: How much of your podcasts follow the script verbatim versus ad-libbing? 

Jon: There’s very little ad-libbing (if any at all). When recording an episode, we do one character at a time, and sometimes break down their lines into smaller fragments, to make the process easier on our actors/us. But at the same time, what is written in our original script is rarely the exact same thing you hear on the actual episode. That is because when recording live, we (the creators) make small changes to the lines right there on the spot. Usually to help better the story or because we find this new line funnier and more suited to our current sense of humor/mood. Some of our biggest episode laughs were literally last second lines we put in there while the actor was recording their voice. This makes our already exciting recording process, even MORE, fun for us

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

Jon: Choosing to make a podcast? Simple…. convenience. Since day 1, we’ve had the luxury of having all the equipment needed for creating/recording/editing a podcast. The only required thing we were lacking was free time. We all work full-time jobs, so this became a passion project we worked on during any and all free time we had. And seeing that our podcast is mainly script work with big blocks of recording sessions in between, we were able to create a schedule that allowed us to finish this at our own pace. Podcasting is an amazing medium to create your art. We recommend it to all.

DP: What’s unique about your podcast?

Jon: A mixture of the subject matter (cryptids) + the deeply rooted comedy element of it. In a time where most audio dramas are more serious and chilling more than anything else, we went a different route and laid the comedy on pretty thick, but we still were able to keep the story suspenseful, adventurous, mysterious AND engaging. We also don’t have a narrator telling the story, which is very common in most audio dramas. Instead, the story is told through immersive conversations on a constantly recording tape recorder provided by the journalist/sidekick of the story’s protagonist.

DP: It seems like a comedy, maybe more so than any other genre, transfers best into podcasts. Would you agree?

Jon: I feel it’s because comedy can strictly be auditory and still have a huge impact on a person. And that’s essentially what podcast are; auditory treats for your listening ears. obviously, comedy is subjective, so when you do find that podcast that can make you laugh, you’ll find yourself hard-pressed to find a reason to not keep coming back to it. However, for audio dramas, comedy-themed shows seem few and far in between. I’ve even talked to people who refused to listen to a comedy audio drama because “they aren’t supposed to be funny” haha. So were sometimes faced with that uphill struggle. But when we do (sometimes) reach those people, that feeling of accomplishment is unmatched.

DP: Why do your listeners keep coming back

Jon: Episodes are quick (usually hover around 20 minutes) and feel refreshing. The laughs will always be there, some louder than others, but the story is what were most proud of. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s engaging, full of cliffhangers and we add the right amount of mystery that will leave listeners excited for the next episode. This is our very own HBO-like series haha. Oh, and did I mention we write lots of original music and songs for our episodes. Each one designed to leave a smile on your face and a tune stuck in your head.

DP: How has the initial feedback been?

Jon: Simply amazing. Reviews came pouring in on iTunes right off the bat. People loved it and for various reasons. The comedy. The writing. The mystery. The suspense. Everyone that chimed in had their own unique reasons as to why they loved Kevin’s Cryptids. We even saw ourselves in the top 25 of the iTunes comedy charts during the early weeks of release. That, to this day, is still mindblowing to us. Of course, that didn’t last too long. And since we have no one promoting our show, other than the occasional “please please please check us out” Reddit post, maintaining a consistently forming fan base has been a tough, yet rewarding process for us. There are quite a few people that reach out to us one way or another (social media, emails, etc) and we absolutely love talking to each and every one of them. Big thanks to everyone who checked us out!

DP: What’s next? Where do you want to take your podcast?

Jon: Season 1 finished up 2 weeks ago. But even before Episode 10 debuted, we already had locked ourselves in our rooms, hidden from the world, so we could begin writing the outline for season 2 (which we couldn’t be more excited about). Our plan is to continue the show as long as we can and see just where we can take our characters. And maybe someday we’ll be able to remove our characters from your headphones and put them onto your screen (the big dream). Kevin’s Cryptids has been a completely independent and self-funded podcast. But we have had smaller networks reach out to us in hopes of working together. And as exciting as that is, we haven’t committed to anyone, but maybe someday that will change.

DP: Locked in a room, huh? Is there a chance this grows beyond a passion project?

Jon: Yeah, that’s the dream. I mentioned earlier that we have networks who took notice in what we (independently) created. and we love the idea of working with one of them. So maybe that will be a starting point in Kevin’s Cryptids future? It’s too early to tell for us. right now, our biggest priority is getting season 2 out a hell of a lot faster than it took us to complete season

DP: What are your favorite 5 podcasts?

Jon: There are actually 5 of us that created this podcast together, so we each decided to name our favorite podcast

Jon – The Writers Panel

Taylor – The Store Horseman

Mat – Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard

Chris – The Bill Simmons Podcast

Trevor – Bill Burr Monday Morning

DP: Anything else you want to add? 

Jon: Creating an audio drama may sound like a daunting task, but if you have the resources and more importantly, the idea… DO IT!!! The feeling of satisfaction you get from hearing your first completed episode is world changing. It’s an art form YOU created that you get to share with whoever you please. And it’s still a relatively new idea, so why not be one of the original creators of a medium that will get bigger and greater as the rest of the world starts taking notice of it.

DP: Where can listeners find you?