Have you ever had a particularly great conversation with your friend that made you want to take it to the next level? Where every second with them feels so electric that you know it’s dumb, but you can’t stop yourself from getting down on one knee and asking them, “do you want to record a podcast?”
Well it just so happens that in 2010, this is what happened to comedian, writer, and musician Dave Hill. He and his friend, comedian Tig Notaro were sitting around the living room and spontaneously decided to hit record on a few microphones. The resulting ramshackle podcast became the first episode of the aptly titled, Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident.
Dave then sporadically recorded interviews on various other comedians’, writers’, and musicians’ couches for the next 4 years. But in 2014 he took an extended hiatus to host The Goddamn Dave Hill Show every week on WFMU. In October of 2018, Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident made it’s grand return thanks to Chris Gersbeck, who offered to produce and edit each episode.
Now Dave and Chris are on a weekly schedule, but they’re still dedicated to the show’s spur-of-the-moment roots. For proof, look no further than Dave’s description of his own show: “one unstoppable hour of me having a different guest over to my house each week for coffee and trying to have a conversation with them while my dog Luci interrupts us constantly.”
With the show’s second iteration, Chris brought in new microphones that have been used in full effect to enhance the listener’s ability to hear Luci drink water. As Dave describes, “The listener feels like their head is right next to the water bowl. We’ve been talking about doing one of those ASMR podcasts where the sounds are all Luci doing stuff around my apartment. I can’t tell if she’s into it though.”
Despite his dog’s obvious star power, Dave says that his favorite part of making the show is simply learning about people. He models his interviewing style after legendary talk show host Dick Cavett, who uncoincidentally guested on Incident’s second episode. What Dave admires the most about Dick’s style is that, “He never had pre-written questions or scripted interviews like most of the talk shows do now. He had a conversation and you’d get a better sense of what a person was like rather than just hear about their new movie.”
To honor his idol, Dave barely prepares for each episode. All he does is unplug the fridge to reduce background sounds which he, “sometimes forgets to plug it back in for days, which can really wreak havoc on [his] cheese collection.”Jokes aside, Dave says that since recording every week, he struggles to properly schedule guests in time for every Friday’s show. He’s grateful that Chris edits the podcast, which allows the whole recording process to stay as relaxed and freeform as it’s always been.
Now that Dave is back on a regular schedule, he’s excited for the show to evolve beyond it’s “pretty simple format”. He says that perhaps he’ll get “weirdly specific with it.” For example, one of his recent guests was his friend and professional witch, Dawn Bartos. “It was a lot to cram into one episode and I thought maybe I should only talk to witches on the podcast moving forward. This might eventually alienate my non-witch audience, but it’s a risk I’d be willing to take.”
So if you’re interested in coffee-side chats with professional entertainers, or curious just exactly how much Luci interrupts the conversation by drinking out of her bowl, give Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident a try and rate it on Podchaser.
Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast
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