I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but it bears repeating, one of the amazing things about the low barrier of entry with podcasts is the wide variety of podcasts out there. Podcasters don’t have to appeal to a mass audience to gain a substantial following, some of the niche podcasts are often the best since they’re hyper-focused. A great example of this is Yes Homo! a podcast featuring LGBTQ+ comedians.
Yes Homo! host, Dylan, discussed his goals for the podcast, some of his favorite comedians so far, and the challenges he faces as an indie podcaster. See below for our Q&A.
Discover Pods: What’s your podcast about?
Dylan: Yes Homo! is a comedy podcast highlighting LGBTQ+ comedians from across the USA.
DP: What’s unique about your podcast?
Dylan: Comedy is personal, and we think LGBTQ+ comedians have an important perspective that makes them unique in a straight-cis-white-male dominated industry. We spend some time talking about comedy and joke writing, but most of it is hearing funny stand-up and learning about the great queer people who wrote the material, their personal stories, and hilarious personalities.
Why did you choose to podcast?
Dylan: Honestly, lots of LGBTQ folks and comedians listen to podcasts. The episodes are great to listen to on a commute, and hopefully will brighten people’s days in the gayest way possible.
DP: Who have some of your favorite comedians been? Do you often learn new things throughout the interviews?
Dylan: In Season 1 we interviewed 14 different comedians in 13 episodes. I really tried to book a wide range of guests from all over the LGBTQ+ spectrum so that we could provide as many unique viewpoints as possible. About half of the guests were personal friends of mine before we did the interviews, but I really felt a great connection with everyone we worked with. If I had to choose, the most fun episode was probably with Lauren Faber (episode 4). We didn’t tackle a ton of serious topics, but we cracked each other up so much and it just felt super natural. Being gay myself, I often think of myself as an LGBT expert, but it’s so interesting to hear about other perspectives, especially intersecting sexual orientation with race or gender, AND trying to make all of that funny. I definitely learned a lot about my own stand up and how to make my writing about niche topics more funny and accessible to a wide range of audiences.
DP: How has the listener feedback been so far? I know that speaking about what some view as a controversial topic, can often bring out the worst people. Have you avoided the online trolls?
Dylan: So far, so good *knocks wood*. I’ve had a number of people say that they really liked the format of the episodes and the editing. No trolls so far (at least none that I know of!). It’s been my experience that even though being Queer can be controversial, people are a lot more receptive if you’re able to talk about larger issues through a personal lens. My goal with Yes Homo! is really to get people to know these comics better, and for the comics to talk about their own identities and experiences. It’s harder to get mad at “This is my world and my experience,” than, “This is how you should live your life,” and I think that’s true when trying to talk about all kinds of perspectives and political inclinations. It may also be that we aren’t popular enough yet to really get the anonymous trolls, but here’s hoping.
DP: Who’s your ideal podcast guest?
Dylan: I’m really looking for people with unique experiences, and really funny material about those experiences. Another goal of mine with Yes Homo! was to offer some media that’s not just the typical rich, white, gay, male, circuit party-going experience that we so often see in popular media. There are so many different ways that Queer people live their lives and so many other things that Queer people are, it’s really refreshing to hear about those different perspectives. As lovely and kumbaya as that last sentence was, my guests also need to be really, really funny. That’s an absolute requirement, and I think we really lucked out with our guests for the first season in that regard.
DP: Are there other LGBTQ+ podcasts you want to give a shout-out to?
Dylan: I actually haven’t listened to a lot of LGBT+ podcasts, but I did this intentionally. I didn’t want to get too influenced by what was already out there, and have something that sounded too similar to another podcast. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted Yes Homo! to be and I just stuck with it.
DP: What’s the biggest challenge you face as an indie podcaster?
Dylan: I think it’s a pretty common challenge, but getting more listeners and getting the word out about the podcast is really a lot of work. I think we have some really great content, but the marketing is always a challenge, especially if you don’t have budget to advertise. I’m fortunate to have Yes Homo! be a part of the Women in Comedy Festival Podcast Network. Being a part of the network and having some cross-promotion has been great, but it can still be tough to get those listeners.
DP: What type of equipment do you use to record?
Dylan: We use a Zoom H5 recorder and I edit in Audacity. It’s not super advanced, but the Zoom produces really great quality. I’ve been really happy with it. We use it to record both our interviews and the live show segments.
DP: What are you five favorite podcasts?
Dylan: I’ve got to rep some of my local and network faves: Laura Merli’s How to Be Less Awkward and Kenice Mobley’s Person About Town are both great podcasts on the Women in Comedy Festival network. My favorite local comedy podcasts are Ryan Chani’s Learn to Take a Joke (a really great crash course in how comedians write their best jokes and the stories behind them) and Ellen Sugarman’s Generation Exchange. And also 2 Dope Queens, because c’mon. Phoebe and Jessica are amazing.
DP: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dylan: I just wanted to let everyone know that we are in the planning stage of Season 2. I don’t want to give too much away, but we’re excited to be bringing a fresh crop of funny Queerfolk, and we are going to be taking the show to Chicago! We’re super excited to take this show on the road! The new season will be out in Spring of 2018.
DP: Where can listeners find you?