“What makes ‘good tape’? That is the question that has consumed my life for the past 20 years, and I have an answer for you…”
– Alex Blumberg
How do you create a blockbuster podcast? This episode explores the tips, tricks, and best practices of a master.
My guest is Alex Blumberg, who cut his teeth on the king of all radio shows (This American Life) and recently co-founded Gimlet Media. Gimlet swiftly conquered the iTunes rankings with two blockbuster podcasts: Reply All and StartUp.
Podcasters everywhere asked: how the hell does he do it?
This episode provides some answers. Part 2 also includes a sample of my upcoming episode with Arnold Schwarzenegger (!!!).
You can find the transcript of Part 1 (Episode 58) here. You can find the transcript of Part 2 (Episode 59) here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
This discussion is split into two parts, and we cover a ton. Please listen to both parts, as they work together. We discuss what Alex learned from Ira Glass, his field recording gear, the nuts and bolts of producing world-class audio narrative, and much more.
Part 1 is my interview and conversation with Alex.
Part 2 is ~40 minutes of an amazing masterclass Alex taught on creativeLIVE, including the art of the interview, the power of the right question, and more (Get all 21 videos here).
- Listen to them on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here: Part 1 and Part 2.
- Download both as MP3s by right-clicking here (Part 1, Part 2) and choosing “save as”.
This episode is sponsored by Onnit. I have used Onnit products for years. If you look in my kitchen or in my garage you will find Alpha BRAIN, chewable melatonin (for resetting my clock while traveling), kettlebells, maces, battle ropes, and steel clubs. It sounds like a torture chamber, and it basically is. A torture chamber for self-improvement! Ah, the lovely pain. To see a list of my favorite pills, potions, and heavy tools, click here.
This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What are your 2-3 favorite podcasts and why? What makes them unique? Please let me know in the comments!
If you like this episode, you’ll also love my episode with Neil Strauss, 7x New York Times bestselling author. He’s cray-cray like me.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Learn more and listen to Gimlet Media
- Learn more about Pro Tools
- Pick up Alex’s recommended equipment for field recording:
AT8035 Microphone | Tascam DR-100KII Recorder
Sony MDR 7506 HeadPhones | XLR Cable
- Learn more about Chart Beat analytics software
- Hiroshima by John Hersey
- The Fog of War directed by Errol Morris (Watch it)
- Man on Wire, the story of Philippe Petit
- On the Run by Alice Gotham
- Want to master the art of storytelling? Check out Alex’s full creativeLIVE course, which is absolute gold.
- On the 4-5-month startup burnout phase [3:24]
- Defining tracking and work flow. What makes something worthy of being included in the show? [4:14]
- What makes good tape? [6:14]
- What makes a world-class editor? Acknowledging Ira Glass and his time at This American Life [12:15]
- Defining the role of a “producer” [22:17]
- The nitty gritty of producing high-level narrative podcasts. Includes: editing software, planning timelines, and much more [25:00]
- Tools for capturing tape in the field [30:00]
- The nuts and bolts of recording in the field, as well as tips for capturing the ‘vivid moments’ [31:14]
- Microphone tips: directional vs. omnidirectional? [34:20]
- Metrics used to define progress at Gimlet Media [36:00]
- The story of acquiring a position as a top radio producer [37:29]
- Transitioning from This American Life to Planet Money [49:12]
- Why good radio doesn’t apply to television shows [51:00]
- On the value of perfectionism [55:45]
- Good and bad habits picked up from This American Life and Ira Glass [58:20]
- Turning a bad situation into a good one – Deconstructing We Made a Mistake [1:12:20]
- Rapid fire questions: most gifted books, favorite documentary films, and more [1:21:10]
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)
85 Replies to “How to Create a Blockbuster Podcast (#58 & #59)”
The anticipation paid off. Thanks Tim. I’ve just spent the last 3 months in America. The last 6 weeks in San Fran actually (tried to tee up a meeting with you! maybe next time). Now back in Sydney and have been hanging out for these pod casts. Thoroughly enjoyable and well worth the listen as usual. Great job mate.
I’ve tried Altucher but find is voice nauseating. Is it worth it?
Trust me or not, but it’s worth it!
You have great taste in podcasts. Altucher is fantastic! Carlin is some history magician and Calen is just hilarious
I’m really enjoying your podcasts and listen to all of them.
The one with Mr. Tsatsouline was one of my favorites!
However, I usually listen to the podcasts with Stitcher on my iPhone and it seems that with 2 part episodes, like this one with Alex, only the 2nd part is available to listen to on Stitcher. I don’t know if this is a general problem or just a problem I am facing? Maybe some other readers have feedback about this as well?
A podcaster who gets very little recognition for his work on business book podcasts is Chris Gondek, producer and interviewer of The Invisible Hand podcast and the Biography podcast, two really great programs that explore business and history from different angles – new shows haven’t come out in a while, but there was a great show on Biography about an Ayn Rand bio that was really interesting and a variety of great interviews on The Invisible Hand. There’s Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible and the HBR podcast for short form podcasts. Two incredible music podcasts are Song Exploder and the long-standing, really well done Coverville by Brian Ibbott. I also enjoy Spark, a CBC podcast/show that explores the intersection of technology and sociology. Mitch Joel is another great mind in the digital space, his blog and podcast, both online for over 10 years now, Six Pixels of Separation are testaments to commitment and passion.
Yeah, but what does any of that have to do with THIS podcast. Your comment seems spammy.
Tim requested this commentary above – not spammy.
“QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What are your 2-3 favorite podcasts and why? What makes them unique? Please let me know in the comments!”
This is awesome Tim! I’m looking to start a podcast to compliment my blog and youtube videos. This will be immeasurably valuable!
Thanks for this! Really appreciate it.
Thanks for this! Really appreciate it.
Love this! My fave podcasts are:
The UnBeatable Mind with Mark Divine because NOTHING is sugar coated and you walk away with concrete tips for improving yourself.
Primal Potential with Elizabeth Benton because she has such a unique and compelling way of presenting information about your hormones & fat loss and always includes practical implementation strategies.
Many thanks for this, this comes at a perfect time, will be chewing at it for hours!
Love multiple podcasts including yours. My 2 favorite podcasts (I think you have been a guest on both!)
– Joe Rogan Experience
Hi, Tim. Thanks for another great episode(s). A few favorite podcasts have to be: Bill Burr’s mm podcast(for obvious reasons), Welcome to Nightvale for their original, weird, Lovecraftian storytelling, and all the HowStuffWorks podcasts for the myriad of topics they cover and cover well.
Tim, some honest criticism:
For most of the other episodes, I’ve loved them, even if I knew nothing about the guest or even their subject coming into it.
But this is the first one I skipped. I turned it off.
The guest was just too timid. Too insecure. Combined with the increased commercials was just “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Instead I skipped to the last minutes’ preview with Arnold, which I absolutely loved! That episode, I’d can’t wait for. I’d pay to hear it.
Did Arnold tell you about his dog? He calls him Mr. Egypt, because he builds pyramids on his living-room floor. 🙂
First rule: Podcast’s should be of shorter duration. Twenty minutes is about how long one can continue to pay attention before one’s mind starts to fall off.
There are many podcast’s I’d love to listen to but when I see they are an hour and 50 minutes, it takes the wind out of my excitement.
Quality over quantity is still a valuable goal. Of course, it forces the p’caster to be a better interviewer and to be efficient in the ‘conversational’ banter.
I disagree. The longer the better, especially when it’s a great conversation. If you want a twenty min show then just listen to it for twenty minutes at a time.
Tim and Friends (Assistants) Thank you for all that you do. Question. I am going into meeting and I have no money to offer this person who wants to aid (Advisory role) in the building of this online/ mobile platform. However, I heard you mention you take a percentage of the company as payment for services. Is there a ball park figure, or how does one decide how much one should offer for their “advice”. Maybe an example from your rolodex of wisdom would be so helpful. Thanks Y’all! Pirate On!
1) Drive to Work with Mark Rosewater
It’s about the design of the card game Magic: The Gathering, as told by the head designer of the game.
2) The Tim Ferriss Show
I enjoy the interviews and especially the shorter in-between-isodes.
3) The Nerdist
Really fun interviews with celebrities. Hosted by Chris Hardwick from The Talking Dead.
For me its purely content based. If I feel I am learning something that is going to help me reach my goals fast, then I tune in. And that is usually based on the guest. So far the podcaster alone has never been an incentive for me unless they can provide useful information like you. A few guests on Joe Rogans show and a few guests on this show have been helpful for me personally. What would really add to this blog is if you asked everyone to vote on what they wanted to learn, and then you deconstructed the skill, found the 80/20 recipe and then made a video teaching it step by step. That would be AWESOME!
I’m a big fan of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. I think you’ve heard of it. I am also a regular listener of the MorningCoach CoachCast daily by J.B. Glossinger, and Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcasts. They’re all high quality with great content, and make sure they offer something new each episode. There’s a sincere caring about the quality of content they’re giving out and a true spirit of giving their best for us.
I have a number of podcasts but my two favorite for the past 5 years and 18 months respectively are no. 1 Morning coach with JB Glossinger who inspires daily with great advice and insight into why we do sabotage ourselves and how to overcome that. Then there is John Lee Dumus who interviews entrepreneurs from all over and from which I get great inspiration from their stories. I think I may have a new one Tim Ferriss who I heard so much about but never got to his blog or podcast. Looking forward to all your great info.
Great timing for this, Tim! THANK YOU!!! 🙂
Thanks for this Tim. Really appreciate all the value & insight you (& your interviewees) share.
Three favourite podcasts:
Shawn Stevenson’s Model Health Show: down to earth, practical & easy to digest health & nutrition tips delivered by personable & passionate team.
Dan Carlin’s Common Sense & Hardcore History: Dan has an uncanny ability to present content in a unique manner, bringing it to life and giving it balance from multiple viewpoints. I wish he’d produce more in the Common Sense series but appreciate how much time, research & planning goes into producing the epic Hardcore History shows (which really bring history to life).
All due respect, the guest is awkward and a bad communicator. He has no idea how to use his voice to project any kind of energy or color to his answers. Some producer types are just wallflowers -studio rats. Not skilled in engaging, it’s only through the illusion of communication by editing to the 9th degree. This is crap. He has the voice and projection on a 15 year old, no breath control, nothing.
I fully agree with Mark.
This podcast was a pain to listen to. Tim asking a question was such a relief because he’s such a more pleasant speaker than Mr. Blumberg.
The podcast delivered a few great insights that would have been easier to absorb through a blog post.
The Tim Ferriss Show is the only podcast where I listen to each and every episode because I’m a die-hard fan of Tim’s work, and his guest’s work is often highly relevant to me as well. Peter Diamandis is a great example. I’m not even half-way through reading “Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think”, and it’s already changed my world view in many regards.
I listen to Bulletproof Radio for similar reasons – I’m a fan of Dave Asprey’s work and products. There’s an interesting variety of guests and topics, though I haven’t listened to every episode, in part because there are so many. Often times the guest is someone I’m familiar with already, but I’d like to hear the conversation with Dave since I know his background and values to some extent.
Other podcasts (which I typically reserve for longer commutes on the road or on planes) include The Primal Blueprint Podcast, The James Altucher Show, and Hardcore History (I learned about the latter two through The Tim Ferriss Show, of course).
By the way, I’m beyond thrilled to hear that Arnold “will be back” as an actual guest, not just in form of the epic “cybernetic organism” movie quote played at the beginning!
My 5 favorite podcasts are:
– The James Altucher Show
– The Tim Ferriss Show (fcourse)
– Freakonomics Radio
– Smart Passive Income
– Bilingual News (バイリンガルニュース）
[Moderator: link removed]
2 excellent podcasts: “MorningCoach” with JB Glossinger and “Relaunch” with Joel Bogess and Dr. Pei.
Thanks so much Tim. I appreciate your candid conversations. My favorite podcasts include:
1. Yours because it’s casual and candid. Can be loose at times, but that’s the nature of organic conversation and I appreciate it.
2. The Moth. It’s also candid and real, raw — right to our storytelling DNA.
3. Freakonomics – Action-packed data and witty detail.
Thanks Tim. This was great. I love personal development and study it daily. I’m an extremely busy person and don’t have a lot of time to read, so audio is my number 1 choice. My favorite podcast is Morning Coach, produced by JB Glossinger. He records a podcast of about 15 minutes Monday through Friday on a variety of topics. He is inspirational, motivational, sincere and funny. I’ve had the opportunity to meet him in person and his energy his terrific. You can see how much he loves people and wants to help them move forward. Morning Coach is a part of my daily routine. It is coffee, makeup & Morning Coach. I’ve listened to this everyday for the past 3+ years and couldn’t live without it!
Really enjoy all your podcast’s, literally listened to all of them but please reconsider the elevator music playing in the background of your sponsors. I feel like it breaks the passion and tone of the podcast, but hey that might only be me.
Other podcast I listen to:
99u – they have very little but useful I find when they come out
Bryancallan – because he was on your podcast.
Thank you for the feedback, Francois. Anyone else have thoughts on the new sponsor placement (middle instead of beginning) and format?
Hi Tim, I like the beginning it gets business out of the way and then the fun stuff flows.
I like the sponsor placement in the middle. I think it is fine.
Morning coach. Inspiration for the day.
Super Human Radio- My go to For health and training
Sweet! Ok so I’m 5 mins in should I listen to all the episodes of Startup before the Interview?
Here are my favorite podcasts:
1. Has to be MorningCoach.com. I have been listening to this one for over 2 years. It is a great way to start the day and what makes this one unique is JB Glossinger. His energy and passion is infectious. He really cares about his listeners and it is the best group of people to be around.
2. Entrepreneur On Fire. This is a great poscast for entrepreneurs and people wanting to start their own business. It is inspiring and John Lee Dumas does a great job interviewing his guests.
3. The Daily Boost. Heard about this one on Entrepreneur On Fire. Have only been listening to this one for a few months. Scott Smith does a great job getting his message across.
My favorite podcast is by far, JB Glossinger @ the morningcoach.com I listen every single day, it’s what really starts my day. Listening to something positive daily really charges my day. Great advice and truly inspirational..
1. No Such Thing as a Fish – it’s a VERY funny podcast by four British researchers/comedians, uncivering their favourite facts from the last 7 days.
2. Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews – Again British, this is a BBC radio show cum podcast.
3. The Tim Ferriss Show comes also hits the top 3 – although I do think you should have gone with Kevin Rose’ advice and name it Tim Tim Talk Talk… or Tim Tim Thought Talk!
1. Barbell Shrugged
2. Joe Rogan
3. Doug Loves Movies
Hi Tim – I love the long format (deep dive) podcasts. I haven’t listened to all of them yet (I’ve been working my way through them). In addition to the “in-between-isodes” which I think are universally fantastic, my favorites so far have been (in no order): Starrett/Mager, Maria Popova, Rhonda Patrick. I also loved Tony Robbins and any time you and Kevin Rose get in a room and chat. OK, so that’s way more than 3, but thank you for making an excellent show! more inbetweenisodes!
Two favourite podcasts –
1) Manager Tools – it’s conversational, it’s highly useful and applicable and I know the methods work brilliantly – tried and tested.
2) TWiP – Smart banter with people who know their craft extremely well yet not full of themselves – great variety and very credible real world situations and content.
I can’t believe you got to interview Arnold!! My respect and praise to all the others, but none of them played Conan… Congrats, Tim!! You had just hinted in your interview with Diamandis (I think it was Diamandis) that you would love to do it!
Well done! 😉
I hope my favorites will be mine. That’s because I hope to do NPR one better as soon as I get up to speed. I have a “6D” production concept and I seem to have it lined up – to fuse the best of NPR elements of performance and reporting with some pretty well established tech, but re-thought. We’ll see how it turns out – got a ways to go.
Fave three podcasts:
BBC Mayo and Kermode Film Reviews
BBC Food programme
Missed in History (tho admittedly less now they have the weird sponsor interlude bit)
Hi Tim, love your books!!! I have been listening to JB Glossinger at MorningCoach for over a year now and have seen such positive results in my life. The community is outstanding and JB is so motivating and so REAL.
It changes some over time but two of my favorite right now are This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt and SmartPassive Income with Pat Flynn.
I have three that I’d like to share. I know you’ve heard of at least the first one…
1. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
2. JB Glossinger’s MorningCoach.com CoachCast
3. Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income
All three of these folks obviously love what they’re doing and what their content means to the listeners. They each strive to make their episodes as pertinent and timely as possible for the listener and they are always of the highest quality. And they’re not afraid to mix it up a bit if they see themselves doing something wrong.
Since you asked, my favourite podcasts are :
* Coaching for Leaders : clear, focussed adviced, nice style, just the right length and Dave Stohoviac replies to questions put by his listeners very quickly.
* Morning Coach: gets you started for the day. JB Glossinger is “real” and makes you think – in a good way.
* Manager Tools : just learnt so much with these guys. Again a good length and nice style.
Thanks for your good information
“What are your 2-3 favorite podcasts and why? What makes them unique?” Well Tim, Obviously I enjoy yours. Main reason I listen to any podcast is because of the content and the person behind the mic, if you will. Gotta have some alignment with where I am or where I am looking to go to catch and keep my attention.
Other than yours, I listen to morningcoach.com with JB Glossinger. I stumbled upon his “coachcast” years ago on itunes when I was going through some troubling times and was feeling very lost. M-F new coachcasts each day a different topic for my evolution toolkit.
And occassionally I’ll listen to “A better Life” podcast with Michael B. Ross on http://mainstreamlifesolutions.com. Again, great content, great ideas to walk away with.
You seem to have an inexhaustible flow of interesting people at your disposal. I LOVE IT!
My 3 top podcasts are Morning Coach by JB Glossinger. He’s always got something positive and on point. Always pushing us to be our best every day. Smart passive income and Ask Pat by Pat Flynn. He’s also always on top of his content and putting out some great stuff!
JB Glossinger’s morningcoach.com podcast I’d by far my favorite. They are only 15 minutes and have been a consistent part of my life every day for almost 10 years. Daily motivation that is energetic and always pertinent to keep me moving forward. 1% improvement a day and there is no better place to simplify your daily efforts to progress. JB is so down to earth and always speaks from his heart. He finds a way to speak to everyone in a way that is so real
I liked the creative live part a lot it gave me some more ideas for how I’ll conduct interviews and maybe, if only for the confidence has actually helped me deepen a previously shallow relationship.
Something I noticed during the episode that I doubt many will care about but caught my interest while I was listening. The promotion of the sponsors mid way through the episode actually made me listen to them, in previous episodes I just skipped the 1st couple minutes because my attention is on my device already. It sounds extremely lazy to not want to skip an advertisement but it seemed more tolerable in the middle somehow. The music contrast bothered me though (vs the highly energetic/engaging beginning and end) , I get the idea of for the segway between the interview and talking to the sponsors but the music choice just didn’t sit well with me.
Looking forward to your upcoming work as always.
Have you seen the Gimlet Media provides transcripts? Did you realize that the blockbuster podcaster tends to provide transcripts.
Why are not you providing transcripts. I would love to “listen” to your podcast since I am deaf.
When will you catch up with the program of having an accessible blog/podcast. Not only that you are increasing the valuable of provide content in different mediums.
Please wake up and get with the program by listen to your fans/customers and see how you can harness them to create a better value. You will see a greater benefit because you are addressing the greater audience who are not verbal as I am. With changes I pleaded and you will see a tremendous improve in value generating and income.
Do you know of any affordable transcript services? I’ve been trying to do this for my podcast for years but the services I’ve found are way out of my budget.
Thank you for any help you can give!
I’ve been listening to your podcasts for awhile but this is my first comment (I am a big admirer of Kevin Rose and found out about you through his work and media he puts out there).
I really appreciated this last podcast, every person you interview is incredible at what they do and to me almost sound like “superheros” for lack of a better word. They’re people who seem to have it all together at all times and have mastered just life in general. Alex here is one of the first ones where I found “flaws” and felt that this was one of the more “human” conversations. He isn’t perfect, he puts out great work but procrastinates, doesn’t do all he wants to do and has all the same flaws I relate to.
It makes me feel good to just have a reminder that i’m not the only one out there that shares these same things.
Great conversation, really enjoyed every bit of it. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for this! I have been thinking about doing podcasting but I feel like I might not succeed. But learning how to create successful podcasts has gotten me reconsidering right now. Thank you so much! Hoping to learn more from you!
Podcasting can certainly seem intimidating, but I promise you, it’s a lot more straight forward than it seems. The best thing is to go for it. Even when things don’t work out, it is still a great learning experience. What are some questions you had about podcasting?
I listen to the podcast while driving.The ad in the middle of the podcast was so unexpected (midsentence too?) that i worried that something was wrong with my phone. Maybe do it before a topic change. It ruined the flow of things.
My 2 favorite podcasts at the moment are:
1. This is actually happening
I like it because you get to be a fly-on-the wall to some incredible life experiences and there’s no narration (which is so refreshing).
Start with: “What if your wife hung herself”
2. Short Cuts
Great variety of enjoyable stories that never fail to disappoint.
Start with: “The games teachers play”
Love Alex Blumberg, thanks Tim for the insightful episodes.
It’s Alice Goffman, not Alice Gotham!
Thank you so much for this! What a treat.
It does go some way towards proving my point for me [Moderator: link removed] about why Startup and Serial (and repackaged NPR shows) should be categorized differently on iTunes and Stitcher—but that’s a good thing!
My answer to your Favorite Podcasts question (going with podcasts that haven’t already been mentioned rather than duplicate): Chop Bard (the cure for boring Shakespeare, InYourEarShakespeare.com), Marc Maron (great interviewer and a surprisingly quiet podcast, usually, WTFpod.com), and my final selection is a now-podfaded but still-online Cast-On: a podcast for knitters (knit like the wind, cast-on.com).
Thank you again for asking all the questions I’ve always wanted to ask! (Especially the technical ones)
All the best to you and yours.
And just so you know you aren’t alone in your length–my podcasts, for the last nine years, have regularly gone out at 60min+/- because I do audiobooks-with-benefits (so that’s commentary-plus-chapter audio which on its own can easily be 40min/chapter). Listeners haven’t had any problems with that, but then, mine’s not an interview podcast—which may be what the “too long” commenters were talking about. Personally I found this fascinating. Thank you again!
Thanks for this. I really appreciate it.
Tim, I’m curious: in this podcast episode, did you send the interview questions to the guest beforehand?
Killer interview Tim. Interesting that he uses a shotgun as opposed to a dynamic mic. Also very cool of Alex to be as transparent with his business a he was. I think people will have a better appreciation for what it takes to produce a high quality show. Thanks for recommending the course.
Two of my favorite podcasts of all time are Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig and Welcome to Night Vale, written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. They share two common traits: they’re both borderline nonsensical and they’re great stress-relievers.
With Welcome to Night Vale , you’re brought to this desert community radio that talks about how the desert is hot, the moon is full, and the mysterious lights that pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. The best thing about WTNV is the dry way the radio host, Cecil, says the news as if mysterious hooded figures are a regular thing and the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home (yes, all of our homes. Look behind you in the mirror. You won’t see her, but she’s there a little to the left) is a friend who watches over you in a slightly malicious way. The strangeness of this town and how it seems like another normal day for them is the very bulk of what makes WTNV so great! But there’s also the warm, fluffy pairing of Cecil and Carlos the Scientist, who makes guest voice appearances from time to time and they are adorable. I cry whenever they do that. I’m crying right now. (This was a line from one of my favorite episodes, The September Monologues.)
While WTNV is this place where all the faces of fiction vomited into, Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig is a comedy show where Grace interviews fellow Youtube personalities with questions like “Why is bread so great?”, “Who or what would you get the most joy throwing a french fry at?”, and “Tell me your worst pants-shitting story but only use three words or three phrases. For instance, mine would be: jogging, front lawn, I’m sorry.” Afterwards, she asks people from twitter for questions and the questions don’t make any more sense than the previous ones. Then there is a video portion of the podcast where she challenges her interviewees to a game she based off of a silly youtube challenge that goes around the site and makes it “dumber”.
Her podcast as inspired by Rhett and Link’s (other Youtube personalities) entitled “Ear Biscuits” where their questions lead to these solemn stories and opinionated questions that show what kind of people these Youtubers are apart from their videos. They get so deep and Grace doesn’t like feeling those emotions, especially not when she’s sober, so every time someone gets serious on her podcast, she shuts it down by saying “Too deep!” then she moves along.
They’re both silly podcasts made by equally silly and equally talented humans and they make my days better. Every time I get upset or anxious about a thing in my life, I curl up into a blanket burrito and play these for a couple of hours until I feel better or I fall asleep. If I’m trying to fall asleep, I usually listen to Welcome to Night Vale because Cecil’s voice is so smooth and so rich that it lulls you to slumber. Grace’s podcasts are more for when you’re having a bad day and you just want a pick me up. Either way, I feel better afterwards. Check them out if you want! You don’t really have to be updated. Pick a random episode and be amazed!
Hi Tim, this episode was awesome and your performance anxiety wasn’t too apparent ;o) You mentioned the Creative Live course that Alex made. Do you by any chance have a promo code for your listeners to get a discount on this?
Love your work!
Indeed! Making your podcast easy to listen to is worth some effort. Thanks for sharing Tim! 😉
Enjoyed listening to the podcast. I am definitely planning to start my own podcast one day.
Love this content ..where’s episode 2?
Tim – Alex gave us his hardware recommendations for field recording, what do you use for audio / recording equipment?
I have 2 favorite podcasts:
– Chasing Product (chasingproduct.com)
– Startups for the Rest of Us (startupsfortherestofus.com)
The host of Chasing Product is a way better interviewer than anyone would expect an engineer to be, and his guests are tip-top. This show is specifically about moving from being a freelancer coder (like me!) to launching your own product.
The hosts of Startups For The Rest of Us have tremendous knowledge of how to launch profitable small startups. They seem to assume a technical startup, but cover a lot of bases that probably apply to anyone.
fav podcasts? so many … yours, of course, also:
The Tobolosky Files
The Art Of Charm
Brain Science with Ginger Campbell
Tobo is a master story teller. He turns even the simplest day to day things into a compelling tale of grandeur. You just keep listening. He takes you inside the emotion of the stories of his life – you live it right along with him. This was my first podcast. I had no idea what a binge-listen was – but I was doing it!
AoC. “Leave everything, and everyone, better than you found them.” Jordan asks compelling interview questions, digging out the practical step by step of “that sounds great, how, exactly?” Packed with useful information AoC teaches men how to be the best versions of themselves – in life, love, and business. And in a way that women gleen just as much out of it. Also binge-worthy.
StarTalk Radio – Neil Degrass Tyson & Bill Nye, comedian guest hosts – mayhem & goofery of intelligent minds. You learn & you have fun & often have your mind blown. Totally enjoyable.
Brain Science – uber uber geekery – Ginger shares the latest findings on the neuroscience front – using technical brain & nervous system medical terms, but also seeks to translate for the layperson to get something out of it as well. It’s very dense – so more like taking a class than light entertainment.
(Incidentally – If you want light entertainment from the neuroscience education community check out “The Hidden Brain” a new gem from the NPR front)
The Bugle – British satire. My newest pod-dive. Fast paced humor with Andy Zaltzman & John Oliver. Me likie!
The Nerdist – long form interviews – they dig in, have fun, and you leave feeling like you got to know the real person a bit better. Check out the one with Henry Winkler!
The Tim Ferris Show – You wanted to know “why” — because you do podcasts like this one. Long form, wide range of topics, minimal agenda. You dig in & the guest is free to dive or wander elsewhere.
I don’t know what people are talking about – I couldn’t turn this one off – I wanted to, I wanted to go listen to the guests podcasts, but was totally torn when each next story emerged to keep me listening to both segments.
I like that TFS seems to be minimally edited. By that, I mean you leave in the realness instead of trying to produce the realness out of it.
It ebbs & flows like a normal conversation would. I feel like a fly on the wall of great minds sharing secrets with each other. I LOVE THAT about the Tim Ferriss Show,
Sorry, that was 6, well .. technically 8 … I suck at math and hate making “favorite” decisions. We’ll just call it the “long form” answer, right?!
Does anyoen else only see the Derek Silvers reloaded episode in itunes? The podcast/Bloomburg episode doesn’t exist via that itunes link or n my Podcast app on iOS – any ideas?
My favorite podcast: “Optimal Living Daily.” It’s a podcast where some of my favorite blogs are read to me. It’s a unique concept I haven’t seen yet, and I’m hoping more blogs like this one will be added to it.
You’re interviewing Arnold? Jesus Christ, Tim. Living large.
I love Song Exploder!
Great episodes. For the aspiring podcasters and interviewers out there, here are Mr. Blumberg’s top questions for capturing stories and emotion:
“Tell about the time when…”
“Tell me about the moment you realized…”
“Tell me about the day when you…”
“Tell me about the time in your life when you were going through this thing…”
“Tell me the story of…”
“Describe the conversation where…”
“What were the steps that got you from A to B?”
“How did that make you feel?”
“If the old you could see the new you, what would the old you say?”
“If you had to describe the debate in your head over X, what was one side saying? what was the other side saying?”
“Was there every a point when you didn’t feel so confident about this?”
“Was there ever a point where you felt differently?”
“You seem very confident right now, was that always the case?”
“What do you make of that?”
Favorite podcasts: Yours of course, and Jack Spirko’s The Survival Podcast. The TSP is normally a bit long, but it incorporates a great mix of opinion, guests, “expert council” segments, and listener involvement. It also has a much better audio quality than many podcasts I’ve listened to.