“Who has the power to kick boredom in the nuts? The Podge Cast is here.”
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this line from the theme song of the Podge Cast, but I think the rather ambiguous answer that rather important question is indicative of the unpretentious outlook of the cast members. They do not claim to be the best podcast, the most informative podcast, the most educational podcast or anything else. For that matter, they don’t even claim to be able to kick boredom in the nuts. In a very Zen like way, they just exist, take them or leave them. They simply present themselves as what they are: a source of entertainment that happens to have a theme.
This lack of self-importance is even more impressive given the fact that two of the hosts are quite famous and popular in the RPG podcasting community and that both of them have some impressive accomplishments under their belts. David “Don’t Call Me Adam” Pinilla and Luke “I Really Am a Doctor!” Meyer were both originally cast members of Fear the Boot. In fact, they are arguably two of the most popular cast members in the history of Fear the Boot. The Podge Cast is up to and impressive 85 standard episodes but it seems as though they’ve been on even longer since I’ve been listening to two of the hosts since their days on Fear the Boot.
Their roles as podcasters are only the beginning for these two hosts in the RPG community. David co-founded and manages the Spooky Outhouse, a podcasting network that includes such other stellar podcasts as Bear Swarm, Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie, Kicked in the Dicebags and more than a dozen others. He does all the tech support for the site and network for free imposing no requirements for the shows beyond people asking to be part of the network. There are no rating requirements and no requirements to even mention that the show is a part of the Spooky Outhouse. Spooky Outhouse also includes message boards for the network as a whole and even included a newsletter for quite some time.
Luke, as a member of Fear the Boot, was integral in planning the first, now legendary, Fear the Con. Since moving over to the Podge Cast, he’s been the driving force behind their miniatures combat game, Iron Tyrants. This fast paced, exciting game has been previously reviewed here on Ideology of Madness, but suffice it to say the game is very well designed and excessively playable.
Despite all their impressive work off air, what has made each of these two hosts so popular are their on-air personalities. David is, technically, the moderator of the show and the driving force behind it. He often takes the reins to get things back on track when they’re on some wild tangent, but he certainly does not rule with an iron fist, shutting down anything that doesn’t fit the topic. As often as not, he’s the one starting the tangent. There are many things that David has a passion for and he is not shy about voicing his love for them. It’s these bursts of enthusiasm as well as the well thought out and impassioned arguments he has that makes listening to him continually entertaining. David also has the kind of jovial sarcasm that is entertaining without being annoying.
Luke is just as entertaining because he is the kind of guy who goes all in when he finds something that he likes. There is a running joke that it is pointless to get a video game that Luke likes in the hopes of playing with him. By the time you buy it and install it, he’ll have moved on to the next one. While a bit of an exaggeration, it is true that Luke always seems on the look out for the next awesome thing and that he can find what’s awesome in a game. This curiosity and enthusiasm for new things have lead many of the Podgecasts listeners to new and better things as well. It was Luke’s rampant love for Savage Worlds that got me, and a lot of other people, hooked on it. Luke is not starry eyed, however. He does not like things just because they’re new and most discussions of his current passion (whatever it might be) include a discussion of the flaws of the product as well as the good points.
Oh, and there are a couple other guys on the show, too.
I’m kidding, of course.
Paul brings a dissenting view from Luke and David to the Podgecast. Not that David and Luke always agree, but Paul seems to bring a third idea to whatever they’re discussing. Often, the opinions given on the show pass through the spectrum of viewpoints on whatever topic is on the table. Paul generally has a well thought out argument for his side of things and seems to have plenty of experience in role-playing to back it up. But, by the same token, he’s just as quick to jump in with a joke or off the cuff comment as any of the other hosts.
Matt has a slightly strange sensibility and often brings unusual topics to the table or a bizarre take on whatever the conversation is about. Matt is the wacky guy who brings in the non-sequiters that can carry a conversation in a fresh direction. He’s not just throwing out strange ideas and angles just to do it, though. Matt is bringing good ideas that he’s serious about to the table; they’re just ideas out of left field.
In the end, there is no straight man in the Podge Cast. You never know who the humor’s going to come from. It is a show of big personalities and, impressively, big personalities that never seem to clash. There are no shouting matches on the Podge Cast and the only harsh words are the kind that guys always toss around with their buddies. Sort of the verbal version of the back thumping that always goes on when two guys hug. It is just the kind of show that best fits podcasting, in my opinion.
It’s a group of friends sitting around discussing topics that I’m interested in.