As far as comedy podcasts go, the format is more often than not, a bunch of people sitting in a room with some microphones trying to make their listeners laugh. The topics can span from dick jokes to the daily news, the advantages of email, talking dogs and all the way back to dick jokes. Rarely are comedy podcasts actually about comedy itself. Given, there are a few and I’m sure that was Marc Maron’s intention with WTF before he realised actors, rock stars and presidents would make him a lot more money. It can be difficult to do a show talking about comedy when dissecting the jokes makes them a lot less funny and you end up with a bunch of extra Js, Os, Ks and Es all over the place. Fortunately there are comedy podcasts concerning comedy that are actually funny and today’s podcast is the perfect example.
Beginning its life as Off The Radar in early 2014, six episodes were released before they were surreptitiously deleted from iTunes as the podcast literally stood up to its name. I have no idea why this happened but my best guess is that the name was similar to an existing podcast that I will not promote but I bet if you thought really hard you could probably work it out for yourself. That is beside the point because Under The Radar began in February 2014 and is a comedy podcast hosted by Sean Hughes and revolves around one topic only, comedy.
Sean Hughes is an Anglo-Irish but mainly Irish comedian that dominated the British comedy scene in the 90s. With his own sitcom, Sean’s Show and a team captain position on Never Mind The Buzzcocks (the original Spicks And Specks), Sean left it all to pursue his true passion in life, stand-up comedy. Sean is still touring the circuit now and every now and then takes half an hour out of his day to record the Under The Radar podcast. To be fair, all the credit can’t go to Sean and I must mention the couple of dogs he found out in a field somewhere who help with the show’s production.
Gathered around the microphones, Sean and his guests delve deep into chat around the stand-up scene, the differences between television and live comedy, the art of writing and everything in and around the world of the funny. The guest list is ever rotating with a few return visits from Joey Page and Ash Ditta but Roisin Conaty, John Lloyd, Alex Edelman, Kerry Godliman, Henning Wehn and Felicity Ward are a few of the other names that have found their way to fly Under The Radar. The amount of international guests allow for a more in depth conversation surrounding the differences between audiences all around the world.
Sean is very dedicated to the show’s half an hour run time but this is not a detriment to the show and if a guest has more to stay they will stick around for another week. Apart from the comedy guests I must not neglect to mention the multitude of experts that have been invited in to talk on a specific topic. Topics span from long work commutes’ affect on relationships to the benefits of saunas and even how spicy food can help ward off dementia. The show hasn’t been going for too long but there are still a good forty plus episodes available on iTunes and at Sean’s site. So if you have the time give Under The Radar a listen and as Sean says, if you have the money; “keep going to live comedy”.