What were we thinking? Why did anyone take it seriously? What is a cru-da-tay?
These are questions that will probably never be answered. But one question that was answered: could we pull off a 24 hour live broadcast of the 7 Days A Geek podcast?
And the answer was a resounding yes!
Recently, when we attempted to find
blame – ahem, the origins of the 24 hour podcast idea, things got a bit fuzzy. Was it Jason The Angry Ginger saying it on air, during the third live episode of 7DAG, going on about 4 plus hours of live podcasting? Or was it in the chat room where Bill Sweeney was the first to mention it and I jumped on board the train? No matter. What happens in a live Mixlr broadcast, unlike Las Vegas, does not stay in a live Mixlr broadcast, it seems.
The idea was birthed, and that’s all that counts because less than 24 hours later the idea train had left the station and there was a direct message Twitter chat “Writers Room” with the hosts and a few select fans. How and/or why we were selected seems very arbitrary, in some of our writers only meetings we jokingly talked about not knowing exactly how we got into this, only that we were, that we’d make the best of it, and ultimately, that each of us selected felt up to the task, that’s really all that counts.
At first we just had fun in the chat, which never truly ended, but when we finally got down to business we had to come up with a name for this 24 hour podcast. We settled on Podtoberfest along with the #7DAG24 tag.
Soon we had a date, October 24th, and all that was left was to come up with 24 hours of content. No big deal, right? It was next decided that 18 themed hours would be sandwiched between two 3 hour morning shows, all of which would then be released as individual hour episodes during the Seven Days A Geek annual 30 days Of Podcasting, which happens every November as a fundraising drive for the show.
Once the themes were decided upon it was time to get to the nitty gritty of actually putting content into those hours, all the while finding guests, sponsors and spreading the word.
We had countless meetings both productive and fun sometimes, more fun than productive.
You have to understand that if you get two or more podcasts together… You might as well hit record.
Because they’re just going to go into podcast mode, especially when you’re using a mainly audio medium, even if it’s video skype. It’s still just a podcast with no direction and no time limit… Some of our meetings lasted much longer because, I swear, they just switched on the podcast mode in their brain and started going.
Ultimately, Bill from the writers room actually flew out to be with Ginger and Grant in studio and then like an iceberg on the Titanic or a coin on a railroad track it was upon us.
We were prepared from a technical side. We had tested countless Mixlr setups with Skype for guests and sound boards in the week leading up to zero hour.
But even as close as less than 12 hours before the show began we were all still working on content and testing the setup.
And then it started at 10:00 a.m. on October 24th, 2015.
During the First Hour it took The Angry Ginger, The Kilted One, McBlizzard and Bill Sweeney about 40 minutes to get comfortable enough after introducing what we were about to undertake to actually get to the Geek Out game portion of the show. Part of that was taken up by Grant receiving a pillow covering from me, which was Periscoped at the time.
For the Second Hour the boys were joined by Elsie from Libsyn.com’s The Feed which was only supposed to be a 30 minute interview about podcasting. But she stayed for the entire hour to talk about Libsyn, podcasting, and Star Wars.
The Third Hour started with the a discussion on the existence of the word “dunzo” where Bill threw out the word colloquialism, which for some reason became the word of the hour.
Three hours in, so far so good, the hours were on track and everything had been smooth. But they were about to leave the comfort of the easy going morning show and get into the first themed hour.
The first themed hour was supposed to be Hour Four with November “Trailer Talk,” but that was quickly derailed by the guests; the PBR (Pizza Beer Revolution) podcast. This was the only hour that really got the derailed, but it wasn’t a bad hour. They talked about Back to the Future and Time Machine movies, while the boys from PBR promoted Gianni’s pizza and themselves. We also got a little back story on Bill Mr Wicked Theory himself, before discussing the the definition of a beach.
The Fifth Hour included the third guest of day with KC Wayland joining in for talk about “Heroes & Villains” which just became a drawn out discussion of geekcentric versus questions:
- Batman vs. Vader
- Darth Maul vs. Spiderman
- Dr. Doom vs. Sara Conner
- John McClane v The Joker
- Terminator T100 v Ripley
- Capt. America v Alien “Vibranium vs. Alien Blood”
- Thor v Hellraiser
- Lara Croft v Sleestak
- R2-D2 v Twiki
- Matt Murdock v Eobard Thawne
- Indiana Jones v Jaws
The boys also received their first two celebrity emails; one from Luke Skywalker and one from his father Darth Vader.
During Hour Six they gave away Star Wars: The Force awakens tickets to one lucky listener. That listener was MeowGod who also called in. Then there was much talk of food, which had been delivered by Grant’s wife Beth, who was basically the hero of the day! Eventually they got to the first game of the podcast, a Marvel trivia game; the scores at the end were Grant – 9, Ginger – 4, McBlizzard – 2. The game was interrupted by an Uber discussion about how they could take this live show on the road and an ill conceived Stan Lee joke.
The Seventh Hour was about television, where they talked about remakes wanted and unwanted as well as touching on the top 20 TV spin-off shows and a list of never released TV spin-offs. The gem of the hour was probably the lamenting of the television theme song. But the quote of the hour came from The Angry Ginger, “No, we will never stay on task for a whole hour…”
Hour Eight saw the return of one of our hosts’ favorite guests Jacob Semahn for movie hour. They talked about favorite movies and those they saw in the theatre twice back to back. The chat room #UnnecessaryPrequels game was won, at least in the chatroom itself, by Henno with #Podtoberfest prequel to One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.” And Ginger, again with the quote of the hour said, “If you haven’t seen it in 7 years… I’m spoiling it.”
This was the final hour for McBlizzard as he went off to do whatever it is he does.
The Ninth Hour was about movie soundtracks titled, “The Soundtrack of our Lives.” The hour started not with music, but with storytelling from Grant about the nearly instant muffler change and Bill the podcaster turned babysitter. When they did get to soundtracks they talked about Dirty Dancing, Top Gun, Footloose, Beverly Hills Cop II, Back to the Future and showed some love for the Tarantino soundtracks.
And while the chatroom was playing #MovieASong, there were three quotes of the hour. One from Bill during the Top Gun portion, “We’re caught in a jet wash, it’s like a car wash but bigger.” One from Grant about “another piece of minutiae trivia that I’m probably making up,” and one from Ginger to Grant saying, “You don’t lie on this show.”
I believe Hour Ten was the hour that was meant to be, because in almost every preceding hour Star Wars was mentioned. So Star Wars Hour was something special, with the chat room playing #StarWarsADrink. Guests Dominic from Star Wars Underworld and Road dominated the conversation in the best way possible.
The topics ranged from Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer talk, where they all dove into theory and perception. “It’s the fun of pop culture, the watercooler talk,” Ginger said.
The hour was rounded out by a celebrity email sent in by Chewbacca, Grant’s Carrie Fisher stories, lamentations on the ridiculousness of Star Trek vs. Star Wars and a list of things overheard in the Death Star Cafeteria. This was also the first hour where Grant appeared to slightly start to lose it.
The first Random Games and Questions hour came during Hour Eleven. It started with going through the chatroom to pick out a favorite for #StarWarsADrink which was basically a tie between Matt from Reasons Are Several‘s “Qui Gon Jinn and Tonic,” and my “Palpatini.”
Which was followed by my calling into the show, an attempt to get them back on track for the television theme song game. When we finally had the game going, Grant was up 3 points to Ginger’s 1, when they decided to call it and I called back in to ask them some of the 50 Emergency Questions that the writer’s room had come up with for just this scenario.
Grant mentioned this hour being a train-wreck but having spoken to fellow writer Stef after the hour, she seems to think, and I agree, that our emergency questions saved it and the hour was not nearly as bad as Grant seems to think. But in defense of Grant, for a 24 hour continuous live podcast, they can’t all be winners.
For Hour Twelve there was the live reading of a radio play written by The Angry Ginger called “Sidekicked.” The Skype calls were connected for all of the talent, including myself “Thug #3,” and we started to read as the live listeners swelled.
Geoffrey Welchman voicing the two leads lost his skype connection twice, but the cast hung in there and it was still completed in fine fashion. After as we discussed what we had just done, Grant showed signs of slipping by saying “Dryped Skop” instead of “Skype Dropped.” But no matter, Geoffrey had an exclusive to share that his new project “The Reigning Lunatic” was up and live!
Thus halfway point of the 24 podcast was reached on a high note… But all involved were still halfway from finish line.
The second half of the 24 Live Podtoberfest started with Hour Thirteen‘s Podcasting 101 featuring in-house guest Bill Sweeney from The Wicked Theory Podcast. And a lot happened during this hour, which was the first and only hour to run over.
A pizza delivery was called in from Ladies Night Podcast, the premiere podcast of San Diego, for the guys in studio. Ginger had his first and only coughing fit which was suppressed by the honey he was drinking straight from the bottle. Mark Bogner from the Tangent Bound Network and Dean from the History Author Show both Skyped in, prompting Grant to attempt a podcast connection to get the History Author Show on the Tangent Bound Network.
And there were four quotes of the hour! Grant said about himself and Ginger that, “I’m Eeyore and he’s Pooh,” Bill said, “Sometimes they’re good puns,” Ginger told Grant, “You’re smart enough,” and Ginger at one point cried out, “Are you telling me Twitter isn’t reading?!” After all that and running 23 minutes over, the hour was completed.
The Fourteenth Hour was supposed to be December “Trailer Talk,” but because the November hour didn’t happen, both were squeezed into this hour. Grant and Bill sold Ginger on He Never Died starring Henry Rollins, Grant started to get a little punchy around 11:30 p.m. but they maintained. Moving on to talk about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Peanuts, where Ginger had been prepared with a short clip of Grant calling Lucy a bad word from the 7 Days A Geek archives.
Then after a short Lion-O vs. He-Man call back to an earlier hour, that talked about The Hateful Eight, and Daddy’s Home, to which Grant said, “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.” But the highlight of the hour was that Ginger had been holding back from a pee break for quite a while.
And then the clock struck midnight and we were officially into Sunday, October 25th and the birthday of The Angry Ginger.
So, with Australian Angry Oz joining via Skype and a Persicope video controlled by Bill, who “understands how women work when it comes to pictures” shots of Fireball were poured and the now royalty-free “Happy Birthday” was sung to Ginger.
Then after all the pageantry, Hour Fifteen, the Horror Hour, began in earnest. They talked about The Stuff, horror icons; Freddy, Michael Myers, Jason, Leatherface and Pinhead, while the chat room played #GiveSlashersDayJobs.
They moved on to talking about remakes and masks, the first film to scare you and the concept of “It’s still coming for you,” a direct quote from Oz. They soon shifted to parenting and horror films before Oz read the horrific Wikipedia synopsis of Human Centipede 2.
The hour wrapped up while reminiscing about USA Network’s Up All Night with Gilbert Gottfried, lesser known horror films and finished with the question “Why is it so hard to make a good horror film?”
Oz stayed on the line for the Sixteenth Hour as another guest, Nickel from Graphic Novice called in for Between the Covers, Comic Book Hour.
While the chat room played #ComicBookATVShow, Oz asked “Do dead people have birthdays?” Then they got down to comics, with books that pulled you in and embarrassing comic book collecting stories, some of which are funny, but it’s serious money that they could have had.
They continued talking the comics of their youth and then moved to collecting comics and the 1990s market glut, before moving on to rumored and confirmed comic book based television shows.
The highlight of the hour came from Nickel talking about controversial comics, specifically Avengers 200 (The Rape of Ms Marvel), which got Oz into a rant that almost broke Mixlr, before he quieted down with “I’m not sober enough for this book.”
The hour ended ceremoniously with gifts for Ginger and Grant from Bill via Comic Book Jones, Southern Bastards Volume 1: Here Was a Man and Letter 44, Volume One: Escape Velocity, books he asked them to exchange after reading.
Hour Seventeen was Retro Hour #1 and it was all over the place.
They started with Fads from the 1980’s which prompted a Periscope video of Grant teaching people to “peg” their pants. Grant yawned for the second time and spent a portion of the next few hours lying on the floor while trying not to puke, but ever the professional, he never put the mic down. The boys received two celebrity emails, one from William Shatner and another form Bill Cosby.
Ginger challenged the chat room to get to 300 hearts, they discussed a list of things said at Jason Todd’s funeral, Grant almost feel asleep and took a break to the restroom, there was a sing along with the Tiny Toons Theme, “Happy Happy Joy Joy” and “Log.” Someone said “How do you podcast? Off the rails!” They moved on to retro gaming and television, “How old is Ricki Lake?”
Then there was a short Bill and Grant lovefest, flowering eachother with compliments another sing along, Alf talk, Who WAS the Boss? and more retro television meanderings. The two quotes of the hour were “Alf:CSI The Melmacian Dexter” from Bill and Grant, and Ginger saying “We’ve been podcasting for so long, I’ve actually aged!”
To start the Eighteenth Hour, I called in to give Ginger the final heart count from the previous hour of 631 and then it was supposed to be TV Mashup hour…
But that didn’t quite manifest itself in the way it was supposed to. First there was another email, this time from a Young Bruce Wayne. Then a somewhat weary Grant said, “I had zero expectations, it was called survive.”
There was a call in from podcasters Matt from Reasons Are Several and Neil from Dark Angels and Pretty Freaks, while Grant was amazed by Bill’s brilliance. Grant and Matt then discussed commentary podcasting and the TV Mashup started but was derailed by, of all things, Happy Days.
Neil dropped out making Grant sad, but they kept on trucking, this time discussing Gilligan’s Island; “Why couldn’t they get off the island?” After a few more mashup attempts, and a meandering through Three’s Company, Rambo from A Little Punch Drunk called in.
Matt, still on the line calls this hour, “casual conversation,” before retelling a story he’s told on his own podcast about his falling asleep in a closet after drinking too much while podcasting. A story that had come up earlier in the evening.
Hour Nineteen was another Random Games and Questions hour. This time Stef called in to assist, while Grant freaked out a bit and started to lose it even more. Remember I said they can’t all be winners? This hour was probably the weakest hour of the bunch, but in fairness they’d been podcasting for 18 hours prior, so they were bound to slow down. I think Stef did the best should could given the mental and physical condition of all involved.
For the record, Bill’s first yawn “on mic” came during this hour and during the outro Ginger forgot what Podtoberfest was called.
Moving to the Twentieth Hour, Retro Hour #2, Grant started to have some talking issues, and they did some shout outs to the chat room, while Grant changed his shirt. Never underestimate the power of a clean shirt!
Finally to the actual content of the hour, the boys discussed 25 movies turning 25 and then 10 movies turning 10. During the latter half, Matt from Reasons Are Several called back and Dave from Podcast Without Borders joined the call. Bill mentioning both times how modest both guests were.
The guests threw out the list and just talked movies with the boys, their fresh energy prompting Stef and myself, who had a hard time reaching any of the boys to spam the chat room suggesting that Matt and Dave stay on for another hour, throwing out the scheduled theme and just rolling with the guests.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Hour Twenty One was supposed to be “Tech Talk” a regular segment on 7 Days A Geek, but in their current condition and without McBlizzard the Wizard, they were in no shape to do so.
So they ran with guests Matt and Dave talking movies, television and back to movies. Then moving on to Batman and Wolf of Wall Street, followed by Matt asking what was Leonardo DiCaprio’s best role.
That question remained a constant throughout the remainder of the hour, where they jumped from Star Wars to horror and back to another Matt question of what is better today, TV or movies.
In truth, heading into the final three hours of the second “closing” morning show, Matt and Dave rejuvenated Ginger, Grant, and Bill enough to get them back up and ready for the final push. One final three hour morning show to complete the 24 hours.
The Twenty Second Hour began the closing three hour morning show.
It starting out with Bill and Ginger riffing and going over a list of lesser known Tony Stark Inventions. Then it merged into talk about the upcoming X-Files series.
Meanwhile, Grant still not feeling well, said “For some reason I’m tired and I don’t know why.” Clearly, delirium was taking hold of The Kilted One! But help was on the way!
Grant’s wife Beth woke up from a night of sleep and came down with a cake! Although Ginger prematurely blew out the candles, it gave Grant a tender moment holding Beth’s hand to steady his sinking ship and get him back to a state of lesser delirium.
Moving on, Bill took his turn asking some of the remaining emergency questions to Grant and Ginger and at one point a now more recovered Grant and Bill started a They Might Be Giants acapella cover band, right on air!
They returned from their world tour on Mixlr to answer a few more questions before ending the hour and heading into the final stretch.
Hour Twenty Three started with a whole slew of bumpers that gave Ginger, Grant, and Bill some time to recover in time for Grant to start thanking everyone before reading all of the sponsors, because they had all lost track of who’s hour it was.
Then on to the introductions. Why? Because the fifth Beatle appeared! The elusive Bacon had come into the studio (Grant’s basement), to help them bring home the show. Meanwhile the chat room was beginning to swell in numbers and everyone wanted to hear Beth on mic… Something that never truly happened, although there were a few times during the recording where you could hear her in the background, she never got on mic.
There were three more celebrity emails this time from Kevin Smith, Pippen (Peregrin Took), and one from Dr. Suess which almost broke Grant. I mean Grant read it really well, until he couldn’t hold his laughter and it was long enough that he had to take a few moments to collect himself to finish.
That rounded out the hour, twenty three down and one to go. The boys were rallying and that was a good thing!
Hour Twenty Four, the promised hour, was introduce by Bill and he did it solo and without incident! Honestly, for a moment, I wasn’t sure what had happened to Ginger or Grant!
The first half of this hour was general geeking out with the guys going from The A-Team to GI Joe and even Bacon got a chance to shine, and why wouldn’t he? He was the only one in the room who had slept the night prior.
After the geeking out, Grant reprised his story about the instant muffler replacement and Bill the Babysitter, before Stef and I called in to join them in recapping the entire podcast for the final half of the show.
After I gave them a few statistics I had collected the second pair of movie tickets was given away, the sponsors were all given another shout out and Grant thanked the chat room.
With five minutes to go, we dove into a little more news before signing off with many thanks and goodbyes.
And with that Stef and I remained on chat and Ginger told Grant to go back “live.” Ginger introduced Hour Twenty Five with his usual “greetings and salutations” before saying goodbye one final time and with that, the false 25th hour ended after barely a minute.
Now, I can’t possibly go on without taking a minute to mention the unsung hero of the entire podcast, Grant’s wife Beth. She cooked for Ginger, Grant, and Bill, as well as, McBlizzard and Bacon while they were there. Without Beth, there wouldn’t have been enough coffee or food to keep the three main hosts fueled to make it all happen.
Beth deserves even more credit for putting up with all of this nonsense and allowing it to take place in her house, and for staying to make sure they were fed. She could have gone with the kids for the weekend, to safety, but she stayed in the danger zone and from what I understand she came out relatively unscathed.
And then there was Stef and myself, two “remote producers,” who stayed with them the whole time as well, chiming in via any communication available to us to the show as well as Stef calling in a few times and myself even more. You can still go back through the chat history if you want and see Stef and I produce the show by spamming the chat room, while the “talent” ignored us on their phones.
And there were numbers too! Beth had the most mentions at 35, with myself coming in second with 34. Ginger only slapped Grant once, but it was requested, there were only four mentions of The Last Podcaster Standing (TLPS), six Stranger Conversations references, eight Grant Rants although that includes the clip Ginger played, and lastly only three Bar Karma references.
By my count there were also only three technical hiccups and nothing to count that could be classified as an actual difficulty. All told this was a success, there’s really no other way to classify it. But don’t just take my word for it.
Let the rest of the Writers Room and Hosts convince you as well:
Jason The Angry Ginger
“What started out as a punchline became another crazy idea that just happened. I love podcasting. I love it more because others share it with me!”
Grant The Kilted One
“23 hours were awesome, the other one wasn’t…”
Beth The Hero of the Day
“I miss the professional podcaster studio-writer’s room that was our basement – those 24 hours really flew by, especially the hours of 1am-7am when I was curled up in bed sleeping like a baby.”
Bill Sweeney of The Wicked Theory Podcast
“Looking back over the 24 hours themselves, via my hazy memories of it all, I feel the show started like a newborn calf, shaky legged and unsure, but fresh and full of energy. It then grew into a strong, and mighty stallion galloping swiftly through the hours, a thoroughbred, with it’s majestic beauty on display for all to behold in wide-eyed wonder.
And then, somewhere around 5 a.m. the glue factory started calling. But the stallion cared not, it pushed forward, muscles sometimes straining, it’s hooves sometimes stumbling, ushered onward mostly by it’s primal desire to continue, to complete the race. And when many thought it would falter just shy of the finish, this powerful, geeky steed crossed that line.
The crowd emptied the stands and flooded the winner’s circle and raised the beast high above their heads and carried it into sunset. Or something like that. So, yeah, I think it went pretty damn good.”
Stef of Gotham Lights and From Brain to Keyboard
“The 24 hour PodtoberFest may have started out as a less than serious suggestion, but it quickly turned into a full fledged collaborative project. A project which I feel proud to have been a part of. It was a fun experience and it wasn’t as hard to stay awake for 24 hours than I thought it would be. I would gladly do it again.” (Read Stef’s post on Podtoberfest with 7 Days A Geek)
The Technical Support
“It was amazing to watch this beast come to life. I mean, it was like we were just spit-balling until 2 days before the show and then BAM… it was over. The ‘talent’, Jay, Grant and Bill just made it all work. Would I do it again? Buy me a drink and we’ll talk…”
Stay tuned for the release of these 24 hours as individual podcasts during 7 Days A Geek’s 30 Days of Podcasting throughout the month of November. I suspect there may also be a few added on to fill out the 30 and one will probably be the Writers Room getting back together to talk about all of this.