|L-R: Tig Notaro, David Huntsberger, Kyle Dunnigan|
Over the past year, podcast hosts have become almost pseudo-rock stars. They tour the country, draw in hundreds of fans to their live shows, and pull impressive guests in every town they visit. But that doesn't mean they're living the rock-star lifestyle.
Comedians Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan, and David Huntsberger are the captains behind the successful Professor Blastoff podcast, and they're currently traveling the country, via mini-van, letting live audiences share in the action. Before the trio hits the Cedar in Minneapolis this Sunday, we talked with Huntsberger, who at that time was hanging out with his fellow hosts at Dunnigan's mom's house in Connecticut, to chat about their first-ever podcast tour.
Are you guys seriously traveling the country in a mini-van?
Yeah. We were going to use a Winnebago, but we ended up getting a mini-van instead.
That's street cred right there. How has the tour been so far, seeing as how it's your first time doing the podcast on the road?
It's been really good. The crowds have been excited; we've sold out the last couple of shows. We've also had really good guests, and the volunteers from the crowd have been really great too.
How do you decide to do a live podcast tour?
It actually started because we were all in different parts of the country, and needed to get together and record. So we picked a city that worked for us and did it there. Then you get fans on Twitter saying they want you to come to their town next, and it just sort of built from there.
How tough is it doing a podcast in front of an audience as opposed to doing standup?
It's different. Some nights I walk out and think, "Why is anyone here to see us sit onstage and have a conversation?" But then after a while the jokes start coming, and the crowd becomes a part of the experience. In a way, it's easier than standup because with standup audiences show up expecting a show; it becomes more of a spectacle. The podcast is very interactive and includes the audience.
Does that mean the expectations of people coming to the show are different than the expectations of a standup crowd?
A little bit. Tig really blew up this past year, so we definitely have some people who come to our shows because they know her and her comedy. But overall, the feedback has been really great and we get people saying, "That was great. I'm going to listen to more of that podcast." Even if you've never heard the podcast before, the jokes are very relatable. So the show definitely doesn't exclude first-time listeners.
Do you have any guests lined up for the Minneapolis show on Sunday?
We do, actually. But we like to have a little bit of mystery surrounding the guest so there's a sense of excitement and surprise when we bring them out. Sometimes it's one of our comedian friends, other times its previous guests we've had on the show. We get a really good mix.
So I should just write that Prince is your guest Sunday?
Definitely. Just make sure you put his name in quotations so we can get out of it when he doesn't show.
Anything special planned since this Sunday's show is also the Mother's Day show?
We're so focused on just getting through the next show that we don't even really realize when there's a holiday or special occasion we should be tying in. Like on Cinco de Mayo, there's tons of stuff we probably could have done but it didn't even cross our minds.
Got it. So we should tell everyone that "Prince" AND his mom are going to be your guests on Sunday?
If you go:
Professor Blastoff Podcast
7:30 p.m., all ages
Cedar Cultural Center
416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN