What happens when people living in 2017 find themselves 70 years in the past in 1947? This is the (admittedly over-simplified) premise of Wisecracks Radio Hour! Scientists Chuck and Wagoner travel back in time and need to pay their rent by helping restore old radio programs, which they immediately start to joke and make …. wisecracks. Each episode follows their journey as they try to make it back to the present day.
Meant to be an entertaining audio narrative, this comedic podcast is aimed to be either binged or taken in small servings. Each episode hovers around the 30-minute mark, perfect for a commute or run.
Co-host Aaron Lindsey is a veteran to the podcast game, he also produces WEIRD! a podcast covering the odd news and headlines around the world. I had the opportunity to meet Aaron and ask him about Wisecracks Radio Hour!, where the idea came from, and what’s he’s learned producing his second podcast. Below is our full Q&A.
Discover Pods: What’s your tweet-length synopsis of your podcast?
Aaron: Two guys from 2017 end up in 1947 and crack wise on the ‘classic’ radio programs of that day. Think of it as a mix of ‘Back to the Future’ and MST3K.
DP: What made you get into podcasts versus another channel?
Aaron: There’s so much freedom in podcasting. Plus, it was really easy to get into, because I’ve had my original podcast (WEIRD!) for a year now. I’ve got the studio, and we’ve been working on the storyline for a while. Podcasting is much easier when everything is already set up!
DP: As a veteran podcaster now, are there specific things you learned from producing WEIRD! that you’ve factored in for Wisecracks Radio Hour?
Aaron: I’ve learned so much over the past year producing WEIRD!. The first episode of WEIRD! took me six hours to edit. Six hours! For a 30-minute podcast! I’ve learned a lot about Adobe Audition, set up templates and have had enough practice that it now only takes me about 40 minutes the edit 30 minutes of audio. The main thing that has saved time was adding a soundboard to our recording. Now, we do all sound effects, theme songs and stingers live as we record.
DP: Where did you come up with the concept? Were you influenced at all by the new Hank Azaria show, Brockmire?
Aaron: I came up with the concept when thinking about all the programs in the public domain. There are so many quality, pre-produced shows just sitting out there gathering dust. I’ve always been a fan of the classics. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how we could use it. I’m also a fan of MST3K, so suddenly it just clicked. I hadn’t noticed anybody else doing this style of podcast so I figured I’d give it a shot. My lifelong friend, Cian, the other half of Wisecracks Radio Hour, shares my unusual sense of humor, so I asked him if he’d be interested. He thought it was a great idea, so we started writing the back story. Then there was the issue of transcribing the shows…. but that’s a whole different question.
I’m not familiar with Brockmire, but will check it out right after this interview!
DP: Why 1947?
Aaron: We landed on 1947 because we wanted it to be a good, even number of years from 2017, and most of the programs we use on the show are from the mid 20’s to the mid-40s. We want to try to keep it as true to the time as possible.
DP: How has the listener feedback been so far?
Aaron: Well, we’re actually brand new. But the few people who have listened so far have been amazingly positive.
DP: Where do you want to take your podcast from here?
Aaron: We would love to grow our audience and expand the show. Each episode is about 30 minutes long at this point. We really want to add more to the backstory of Chuck and Wagoner. The main focus of ours now is wisecracking on the old radio programs, because we believe that’s the part that will get people’s attention. But we’ve got a lot of Chuck and Wagoner’s story already written. Once we reach a certain number of subscribers, we’re going to start pouring more into the production of their scientific history and exactly how they ended up in 1947.
DP: Are you intending the entire podcast to follow the stories of these guys or will you make each season a unique anthology?
Aaron: The plan at this time is the have the scientists, Chuck and Wagoner, to spend the entire series trying to get back to 2017. We are planning to break it up into seasons, but the main story will continue throughout.
DP: What advice would you give to prospective podcasters?
Aaron: Great question. When we started WEIRD!, we recorded the first episode and threw it out to the world. We had only that one episode online. I later learned that it’s best to start with your first three episodes and load them all at launch. We were much more patient with Wisecracks Radio Hour. We had the first five episodes fully produced and ready to go. And that took a few months. We launched with the first three and had the next two ready to go. So my advice to new podcasters is to be patient, launch with your first three episodes, and have a couple ‘in the can’. It really takes the pressure off.
DP: What are your top 5 favorite podcasts?
Aaron: My top five favorite podcasts are: Current Geek, Don’t Wake The Kids, Misguided Consultation, The Morning Stream, and… of course, WEIRD!
DP: Where can listeners find you?
Aaron: We’re on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wisecracks-radio-hour/id1248641985?mt=2, but folks can just go to our website at wisecracksradio.com