Podcasts have proven to be a very effective way for comedians to connect with their fans. Allowing fans a look into the lives and other interests of comedians so there’s a personal connection. In some ways it’s replaced the stand-up comedy album and provided fresh humor from our favorite comics on a more consistent basis. Comedians have excelled in the medium because by nature they’re pretty good at speaking and allowed to speak unfiltered about any topic they wish. It’s with that simple concept the odds of the podcast sticking around are larger than many new social media trends. It’s with this notion that we take the deeper dive into comedy podcasts to see how things tick behind the scenes.
A favorite podcast in the TLB Towers lies in our backyard and consistently features some of the best comedic talent the East Coast has to offer. It’s comedian Robert Kelly’s You Know What Dude! podcast. YKWD mainly tapes in the Riotcast studios above the New York’s legendary Comedy Cellar. A club where at any given night, you’ll catch the city’s best comedians performing spots with the chance of seeing someone of Seinfeld, Chris Rock, or Louis C.K. caliber drop in to work on a new bit.
Why do we enjoy the You Know What Dude! podcast so much? Well, if you are a fan of anything in the stand-up comedy world, it’s a must listen. For on any given show, Kelly hosts the most talented and funny comedians the city has to offer. Whether they’re a long term comedian friend Kelly has made in his decades in the business. A regular like Dan Soder, Joe List, Luis J. Gomez, Kelly Fastuca, or Chris Scopo. Or if it’s a new comedian that you’ll absolutely hear more from in the future. YKWD is a free-form and highly opinionated conversation, harkening back to the days of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn when comedians strongly voiced their opinions on something. Or an extension of the infamous comedians table at the Comedy Cellar. Comedians talk about anything and everything, from extremely serious topics like drug use, or relationship indiscretions. To movies, TV shows and other aspects of pop culture. It’s the life of a comedian in every aspect. When listening to it, you get the impression that if the microphones were on or off, you’d probably be hearing the same conversation happening, YKWD just documents it. Kelly has also been known from time to time to release a special one-on-one episode of him having a conversation with a comedian friend like Amy Schumer, Michael Che, Colin Quinn, or Jim Norton.
As YKWD grew in popularity it joined forces with Riotcast. A podcasting network (formerly Gloryhole) Kelly and co-founder Rob Sprance (The Hole podcast) own and operate. Riotcast has since expanded into other shows, some run by comedians – like Nick DiPaolo, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane, Luis J. Gomez, and Jim Florentine and some that are just funny shows about pop culture, sports, fetish, news, and medicine themes.
Robert Kelly talked to The Laugh Button about the YKWD podcast and how things started with the podcast, his favorite memories from it, and how its effected his comedy career. Take it away Bobby.