If you’re a comedian in today’s day and age, chances are you either have a podcast of your own, or you know someone who has had you as a guest on their own podcast.
Taking a look at the landscape, it might seem as if every possible angle or topic has been taken and used as a cookie cutter for the droves of comedy hopefuls looking to make their mark in the scene — unless we’re talking about the Series Finale podcast, hosted by up-and-coming Boston stand-ups Zachary Brazao, Jack Burke, and John Paul Rivera.
Since they released the debut episode this past May, the trio has covered a number of classic TV shows, including Teen Wolf, the original Star Trek, and the hit HBO miniseries John Adams all with a simple premise in mind: Without knowing the context of the entire series, they watch the last episode from a series, and draw their synopsis from that. Not only does it make for good discussion that could peak the interest of any TV buff, but there’s also a whole mess load of detours along the way that are sure to entertain.
“We try to fill in the gaps, not only with pure conjecture, but we do a lot of role play with characters from a show, and that generally devolves into some R-rated scenes that wouldn’t necessarily make it into that specific show,” Brazao tells Vanyaland. “I feel like any TV creator out there would think we were speaking to them.” Burke states that the podcast is “basically writing the parts that the show writers wanted to put in there, but couldn’t.”
While the show is Burke’s brainchild, born out of an interest in podcasts and wanting to start one with Brazao, who he met early on in his now three and a half-year old stand-up career, the Shrewsbury native is quick to credit his accomplices for their contributions to the show’s growth and gradual success.
“I had the original premise for the show, and when Zach and I started it, we put it out there a little bit,” says Burke, “but it wasn’t until about three months ago when we really started hitting it full force. Zach helped me build it up, and that’s when we added John Paul as the third man in, and he just adds a whole new layer to it. He’s just such a funny man.”
Although they don’t necessarily feel they have their own designated specialties within the show, Brazao and Burke see their co-host Rivera as a “loose cannon of humor,” and recognize their own separate, tailored contributions to the life of the ‘cast, while ultimately forging ahead together as a three-headed monster of crass and absurdity.
“We do go into the show together, but I think we fall into similar patterns,” says Brazao. “I’m usually the one that tries to keep it clean, or ‘disavow’ as I like to say if it starts to go a little too far off the rails, which is every episode. So, it’s a pretty futile effort, honestly.”
It’s still early on, but the boys have high hopes for what’s to come for Series Finale. Whether it be a larger platform, a live edition of the show, or a Paul Giamatti guest spot (which they jokingly admit would be behind the Patreon pay wall), these comedy brothers are having fun with it, and they aren’t leaving any genre out of the fun.
“We want to do all types of television shows, because we want everyone to enjoy the show,” says Burke. “If you’re a fan of sitcoms, we want you to be enthused when you hear the Cheers episode.”
Things rarely take on a serious tone, but with current events being what they are, Series Finale might tread lightly when they head north of the border. “We do want to stand with our Canadian brothers and sisters to the north during this trying time of the trade war and the US tariffs, so we do have plans to put out an episode of the monumental Canadian series Corner Gas,” says Brazao. “We just hope that, where our government has failed, that comedy podcasts can be the ambassadors for the future.”