As the field of
podcasting grows and locals catch on, more shows are starting to take
precedence and even dominance over traditional radio. And the talent pool of
SLC podcasters is starting to grow to the point where you could make an entire
talk-radio station out of the material.
--- Case in point, The Man Hour debuted in April of 2008, focusing the show on what you would consider more “manly” topics such as Sports, Comedy, Film, Music and more. With a list of guests that rival other “major” programs, they've had sit down chats with dozens from the local comedy circuit to fighters in the UFC to local bands showing off their skills. All in the context of it being a bunch of guys, sitting around and having fun chatting. I got to chat with hosts Mike & Jose, and briefly along with marketing guru Mark Hawes about the show and its history, their comedy careers, thoughts on podcasting and a few other topics.
Mike Jenkins, Jose Bacio & Mark Hawes
Gavin: Hey guys, first off tell us a little about yourselves
Mike: The founder and Host of the "Man Hour". Mike enjoys taking the Baby Gorilla on walks, teaching him English and how to properly communicate with others. Mike has been writing and performing his own brand of Stand Up comedy for the past 6 years. He has been voted "Best Stand Up Comedian" two years in a row by the fans in the City Weekly publication. You can catch him at a comedy club near you, as he still actively tours the country performing. Mike has performed alongside: Larry "The Cable Guy", Frank Caliendo, Pauly Shore, Dave Attell, Tommy Chong, Bob Zany, Lewis Black just to name a few....
Jose: Born in L.A. Raised in the Bay and living in
Gavin: Before the podcast, how did you meet?
Mike: I’d been doing stand-up for a year or two, about 2003-2004 and I saw Jose at an open mic; figured I would support the locals. I found Jose annoying at first; ranting like George Lopez, and I ran into him again a few weeks later. He asked me where he could find a cigar shop, so I pointed him down the road and he says “Ah, OK.” Apparently he didn’t want a cigar just where he could find one. After that it was history.
Jose: Mike was a hot shot, jealous of my comedic abilities and I decided to be the bigger man (Mike interjection: Naturally, you were 200 lbs. heavier than I was) and said “I respect you kid, you’re going to go places.”
Mike: After asking me for advice of course.
Gavin: Where did the idea come from to start the show?
Jose: Me, enough said!
Mike: I spoke with Heidi Cortez (former Playmate) and she had a podcast and asked how to get things going. I told Jose we were going to make this happen and Jose set a date to start, put it in his mind and that was it.
Jose: Yeah, I’m a follower not a leader. I just agreed and said lets make history! Booms! Put that on your momma’s fridge.
Gavin: Considering the format, did you think there was a big enough audience, or was it more of a risk to see who would be interested?
Mike: Well a little bit of both. Nobody has done the MMA Format. That’s not the show is about, we are big MMA fans. We bring a lot of the UFC fighters, Comedians, Actors. We have a very diverse show.
Gavin: When did you bring on PR Mark and Web-developer Travis?
Mike: I think after we started developing. It took a good year to get a solid following. I think we’ve done that and decided to take it to the next level. By getting a website built and both of us are dumb with technology, so we got Crazy T. We needed PR Mark to handle all the guests because we’ve been getting really busy and people were requesting to get on our show. They’ve done a real good job for us.
Gavin: How did you go about setting yourselves up equipment wise?
Mike: Well we have a simple way doing things. It doesn’t involve a lot of technical stuff. We want to get better equipment for better show quality. Right now a mic and headset sounds good.
Gavin: What was the first episode like to record and put out there?
Jose: Well the first episode was difficult just because we didn’t have a specific format, it was just two guys talking. There was a lot of technical difficulties on our part as well as the website. On our first show we had our friends on their as a guest.
Mike: We had a lot of jitters and didn’t know what we wanted. As the weeks went on we started to become more professional and started take it seriously. A lot of people liked it and we wanted to market it the best way we can.
Jose: I think we were also drunk in the first few shows.
Gavin: After the first month, what was the reaction you got from the audience?
Mike: It was positive. People liked our brand of comedy. We’ve been doing stand up for awhile we already had a fan base off of that. People wanted to hear our general thoughts without doing stand up material. A lot of radio shows have the comics doing their material and we just kind of get on there and BS with them. They get to see the real side to them.
Jose: We keep it real and talk to our guest like they are our friends. That’s why our guest always like coming back because we are nice guys who like to have fun. That’s what our show is about fun.
Gavin: Did you think it would catch on as quickly as it had, or did you expect more of a delay like other podcasts?
Mike: No I didn’t expect it to catch on this quick. I’m amazed how many downloads we get each show. It still blows my mind. We are just a couple of knuckle heads just joking around with these people that are famous. I didn’t expect anything like this.
Jose: The coolest moment so far that happened was a show we did in
Gavin: How did it feel showing up in City Weekly’s “Best Of” issue?
Mike: It was really cool. I have personally won a couple of awards for my stand up comedy. We put a lot of hard work in this. We’ve been doing this for about a year and some change. It is a tremendous honor to be recognized like that by all our fans.
Jose: If you think about it Second place is the new first place. Look at Marcus from last comic standing or David Archuleta. We may have won second place in City Weekly, but won first place in the hearts of Americans
Mike: And you can put that on your momma's fridge.
Gavin: Are there any plans down the road to start doing merchandise?
Mike: Yes we have thought about it and working with a friend to do T-Shirts design, hats, and so on. This is actually something that will be coming soon.
Jose: We are hoping to distribute our merchandise at D.I. for this upcoming fall wear.
Mike: Poor people need cool clothes, what can I say.
Gavin: A little nation-wide, what are your thoughts on the current state of podcasting, both good and bad?
Jose: I think the podcasting is good, being a huge stepping stone. We are able to get our names out there and advertise our comedy. The bad thing is that it’s a podcast and people don’t take it serious.
Mike: A lot of companies are using the Internet to promote their shows. This is a stepping stone to get to radio.
Mark: People are busier these days. Podcasts are more accessible and people are able to download shows. Radio is live so if you miss it, it’s gone forever. People can access the website whenever they want and catch a great show without having to work their lives around it.
Gavin: Is there anything you think could be done to make it bigger or better?
Jose: Maybe some events like what they do for radio stations. Why not for a podcast. This will have our names out there.
Mike: I think there is always room for improvement. Just constantly working, coming up with new ideas like the BABY GORILLA CHALLENGE. Getting bigger guests, MySpace, Twitter etc.
Gavin: What would you say are your most favorite podcasts today?
Jose: We like the Pink Latex show, they are very entertaining.
Mike: I agree with Jose, you know there is a lot of great podcasts out there. Its hard to label just one.
Gavin: What can we expect from all of you and the show for the rest of the year?
Jose: Expect to be blown away. That’s right, put on your bomb suit because The Man Hour is throwing one from the sky A-T-O-M-I-C…
Mike: We are going to continue to have great guests. Something that I am looking forward to is MAN HOUR TV. Baby Gorilla Challenges, Short Films, etc I think people will enjoy that.
Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you would like to plug or promote?
Mike: Our website, our MySpace page, and you can also keep updated to all of our stand up comedy on those sites. We will be doing Wiseguys Comedy Club in
Jose: Oh, Passage To Zarahemla and Mobsters & Mormons out on DVD; it’s the couple of movies I’ve been on. I’ll autograph them for $40.
Mike: Don’t forget to check out Jose's Craigslist bio too.