Just by taking a quick glance at the outside world, it’s no secret that the times kind of suck. But guess what doesn’t suck: Dan Cummins’ podcast, Timesuck.
Part comedy soap box, part history lesson, and even part sci-fi landscape, Cummins covers a variety of topics, figures and moments in history with a timeline format, from the Jonestown Massacre and September 11 to Marilyn Monroe and Kurt Cobain, all the while putting his own spin on events, often going off on fictional tangents that explain certain actions and outcomes in a comedic light.
The Idaho native started the podcast in 2016, and since then has garnered a respectable cult following. As a result of this growth in popularity, Cummins has built a full-fledged studio where the podcast is produced, recorded, and promoted.
In addition to the vast world of Timesuck and all of Cummins’ callback characters like Bojangles, a one-eyed three-legged pitbull, and Nimrod, the fictional Chupacabra deity who Cummins playfully pledges allegiance to at the beginning of and throughout every episode (“Hail Nimrod!”), “Secret Suck” is a secret compartment on the Timesuck app, launching on February 8, where for $5 a month, not only is there access to different episodes that won’t be found on the regular podcast, but there’s also access to a brand new 45-minute stand-up special, Feel The Heat. The monthly fee helps aid in the expansion of the Timesuck universe by way of studio upgrades, and inhabitance of the studio space (aka “rent”).
Cummins is also bringing Timesuck to the live stage, following in the footsteps of numerous stand-up comics who have done the same. And according to Cummins, the trial podcast dates are actually selling better than his full stand-up dates.
“I’m only doing a few cities for a trial run so far, but I do want to bring it to a wide variety of cities that have a good amount of Timesuck fans that come out to the stand-up shows,” Cummins told Vanyaland in a recent interview. “I just have to get the podcast more stabilized, the employees trained a bit more, and then really try to figure out the format I want to go with for the live shows. All I know right now is that I want to add visuals, like a slideshow, or some sort of multimedia presentation to add more humor as I’m talking on stage.”
Cummins admits he has had a number of troubles in the past with a lack of promotion of his specials, but has noticed that a lot of the people he meets at his shows discovered him on a Pandora comedy channel. With that discovery, he is taking a new approach, with the help of a few friends, to bring his upcoming album, Maybe I’m The Problem, to the masses.
Today (January 24), Cummins has partnered with Pandora Comedy to release his newest hour as a Pandora exclusive (a link will be available on Cummins’ social media sites), where the album will be available to stream in it’s entirety before it’s full-fledged release this summer.
“Netflix specials are hot right now, and of course I’d like to get one, but unless you’re one of the top acts that they really want to push, good luck finding that special,” he tells us. “Your existing fans might find it, but you’re not going to get too many new fans. Netflix and HBO have huge audience bases, but so does Pandora, and at the executive level, those folks support me, so it was an easy decision that way.”
Once the time comes for the multi-platform release in the summer, the only physical copies of Maybe I’m The Problem will be pressed onto vinyl through Romanus Records, and Cummins is beyond excited to see how his new-age approach to promoting and distributing his material pans out.
“I’ve gotten really into vinyl lately, because it’s nice to have something tactile in a digital world. There are certain cars, and certain laptops that don’t even play CDs anymore, so what am I doing? I’ll have all the digital stuff after the exclusive period, but why not do something different? It just happened organically. Again, you go with people who believe in you, and the guy who runs the Romanus Record label, who does really nice work, found me through my podcast, and we became fans of each other. I like the care he puts into his work with vinyl, and when he came to a show in Indianapolis, he asked I would be interested in doing a vinyl record, of course my response was ’hell yeah!’ and we just ran with it.”