After roughly a dozen chances to try it out in front of a live audience, Ken Reid feels he has this whole “live podcast” thing down. At least when it comes down to cracking the formula on what makes a live edition of his widely-acclaimed podcast TV Guidance Counselor so interesting to be a part of.
“I want to have a mixture of visual elements for the people who are at the shows, but nothing too visual because the people listening at home will have no idea what the hell you’re talking about,” Reid recently told Vanyaland. “I also want to make sure it has a vibe so that people want to be there and seeing it live, because it’s kind of a weird thing where they can pay ten bucks to hear it live that night, or get it for free a week later, so I always want it to be a fun atmosphere so that people will want to be there in person.”
Reid enjoys the vibe of the live podcasts he’s done so far, seeing it as an intimate conversation of sorts with the crowd. But don’t think that the significance of being invited to be a part of the maiden voyage of the newest multi-day entertainment festival in Boston has escaped the hometown yuckster.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged as part of the burgeoning scene of podcasts,” he adds, “instead of being looked at as an after-thought, or a side gig, in stand-up. It feels good to be more integrated into that world.”
Of course, being on stage is nothing new for Reid, but there are some noticeable differences that he has gotten used to in terms of doing a live podcast as opposed to performing a stand-up set. “Doing stand-up and doing a live podcast are two very different things,” Reid says. “To me, stand-up is inherently live, where it’s meant to exist in a certain time and place and then disappear, whereas a podcast is sort of the exact opposite of that, where it isn’t exactly timeless, per se, but it’s meant to be listened to in various settings and times, where you can go back and listen to it again. The way I see it, stand-up is like having a good meal, and doing a podcast is like writing a good book.”
The next chapter of that book will include local favorite, and Boston Magazine’s best comedian of 2018, Lamont Price, who will join Reid for the new live episode at Laugh. Although he has been a guest on the show three times, this is still a first for Price, as it is the first non-special format episode he’s been a part of. And while Reid is looking forward to having his longtime friend on the show once more, and discussing something other than after-school specials, he’s even more excited to delve into some deeper themes engrained in the show’s DNA.
“Lamont and I are very similar in the way that we have a similar relationship with television, and what we watched growing up, so there is that shared experience between us that make it so much fun to do episodes with him,” Reid says. “That’s really the heart of the show in a lot of ways. Having that shared experience. I like to say that television is how people can be together alone.”
The show at Laugh won’t be the biggest live episode of Counselor he’s ever done, having recorded an episode at Denver Comic Con in front of 5,000 people this past June, but the differences in crowd sizes since he began doing the live episodes have certainly given Reid a cool perspective on what a live podcast can accomplish in terms of not just reaching an audience, but connecting with them as well. “It’s really weird how a one-on-one conversation like that can translate into a room that large,” Reid notes, “but at the same time, also translate to listeners on the other side of the world.”