Andrew Della Volpeand Will Noonan are close friends, fellow comedians, and they both have their own podcasts. Something you may not know, however, is that they’re also soft boys, and they’ve joined forces to let you know that it’s okay if you are too.
With their fun, new collabo’, dubbed Soft Boys, the Boston comedy tag team has embarked on a new podcast journey that has no set destination. Within the hour and change that every episode contains, the boys aim to discuss everything that comes to mind, whether it be lighthearted, serious, problems of the day, or just all-around outrageous, and what they’ve found along the way in the show’s early weeks is that it’s been as entertaining as it has been therapeutic. While they’re just hoping to make people laugh, they’re also content with the idea that they’re helping their fellow soft dudes embrace the plushier sides of who they are, all the while delivering a quality multimedia experience for listeners of all types.
The boys recently got on the horn with Vanyaland to discuss the new venture, what they’ve learned about themselves in the process, and where they hope to bring the show as it continues to grow.
Check it out.
Jason Greenough: Andrew and Will, I’m glad we could connect for this. Jumping right in, we’ve got your new podcast, Soft Boys. It’s been out for a few weeks, but in a general sense, how are you feeling about the project now that it’s been out there for a few episodes?
Andrew Della Volpe: I feel good. I think it’s been very fun to work with a comedian and friend, and a guy that I respect and hang out with and have fun with for an hour. People have responded positively, so it’s been quite nice so far. But I’m feeling judged by Will right now. [laughs]
Will Noonan: It’s nice for me to work with someone so amateurish and new to this business, and who is much lower on the totem pole than me. It just takes all the weight off my shoul — I’m just kidding. I’m loving it. I’ve done a lot of podcasts, on my own and with other people, but I do think Andrew is one of those people that I just laugh with a lot when we hang out. A lot of people, including my wife, have said that we should start a podcast together, and I do The Noonan Show with my friend Paul [Price], and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s fun in a different way. Doing a show with another comedian adds a little of another level to how funny we can be, because we both sort of understand the X’s and O’s of comedy and how to let a choke sit and breathe, and I gotta say he’s got great instincts when it comes to that kind of stuff.
You guys have been friends for quite some time, and creative partners for a while. When did the partnership begin? When did you fully realize the potential of collaborating with each other?
Noonan: Andrew hit me up initially. The very first time we met, he was a new comic and he wanted me to check out a tape and wanted me to get in touch with him if I thought he was any good. We were set up through a mutual friend, and get those sorts of things fairly often, and usually I’ll say something about it and then never hear back from the person again, but Della Volpe kept sending me more tapes and he was getting better, then we worked together a few times, and I invited him to do a spot on some shows, then we started doing more and more shows together before he was on my podcast and I was on his. I think the more I was on his podcast, Millenni-Hell, the chemistry started to be apparent between us, and the fans liked it. Then Della Volpe came up with this idea, and he was ready and raring to go to do a real podcast done right, with cameras and lights and studio, and I told him ‘if you do all the hard work, I am one-hundred percent down to join in on this.’
Della Volpe: I think the exact quote was ‘Yeah, I’ll be there just to bring the funny. You do everything else.’
Noonan: That’s pretty much it, yeah. At this stage of the game, I I told him that I can’t really commit to really helping too much aside from promo and being on it, and he was like ‘sounds good to me,’ and took care of all the hard stuff, and it’s been a lot of fun so far.
What was the very beginning of making this more than just an idea to do something together?
Della Volpe: I threw the idea out there, and Will went for it, and we agreed that we wanted to do it, but we didn’t know where to go with it. It was actually Will’s wife who said ‘you guys are just a couple of soft boys, so you should call it that,’ and once we kicked that idea around, we realized that it was kind of fun. It was this idea of being cool, but sensitive and anxious, and you get stuff done, and you’re a man but you’re not sluggin’ beers and fixing tires and grabbing girls asses and shit like that.
WN: I mean, I fix tires, but other than that, yeah. I agree.
Della Volpe: People can relate to that, and as Will has said, we’re not total pussies, but we’ve got this softer side, and once we were able to fully sink our teeth into that, it got pretty fun.
Noonan: In a lot of the long car rides me and Della Volpe have done together, that tends to be what we talk about a lot. Our anxieties, and the things that stress us out, and we’re both in touch that sort of thing, and i think most people are nowadays, and that’s another reason why I think the podcast is such a good idea, because it’s a weird time in America, and even people who never had any sort of anxieties are starting to now, so it’s kind of the perfect time for the average joe who has some worries to find out that there are people out there with similar worries, but it doesn’t mean you gotta let it dominate your whole life and personality.
Would you say that’s kind of your overall mission with this, to pull the curtain back on that a little bit?
Noonan: I think our mission first and foremost is to entertain and have a fun time doing a podcast. That’s the lane we’re in, and we do focus on being funny first. It’s a weird thing that I’ve noticed, where all of these tough comedians I know, and all the guys on stage who can get on stage and make it seem like they have it all figured out are sometimes the guys who, backstage, are the most anxious and the most worried about little things. I know a lot of people on anti-depressants, and everyone is freaking out half of the time, so why can’t there be a comedy podcast about that? Why can’t there be a couple of funny people just being funny, but also talking about how these are things that happen to everyone.
Della Volpe: And to speak our truths!
Noonan: Yeah, let’s just speak our truths, man.
I know it’s pretty early in the show’s evolution, but would you guys want to see this project evolve into something even greater down the line?
Della Volpe: I think with our chemistry, I’m talking podcasts, a TV show, we’re out here about to be the next, uh… I don’t know what I’m fucking saying. Who are the guys from Boston?
Noonan: The guys from Boston?
Della Volpe: I think you can answer this question.
Noonan: I would love to see it turn into something where we can do some live episodes, and we can have fans come and see us do some live stand-up, but I guess it’s so early in the game right now. It’s like being in the third week of the relationship, and people start asking if you’re getting married.
Della Volpe: If it all works out, sure. I’d love to be married someday. I’m not sure if Will is the one, though.
Noonan: We’re both the kind of guys who take things as they come, and right now, we’re just focused on doing a good show and building an audience.
Della Volpe: I think you’re like this too, Will, but a lot of people get into podcasts and stand-up because they want to act or whatever, but all I want to do is stand-up and this podcast, and just make it the biggest we can.
Noonan: To jump on that idea, having a successful podcast is really the best way nowadays to be independent of the business. You don’t have to answer to anyone if your podcast is successful, and one of the things I’ve found to be a drag post-COVID is jumping through all the hoops, and I would love to just say yes or no depending more on how I feel rather than what I have to be or should be. I think having a good, popular podcast gives you more of that freedom to do that. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that’s what I hope would happen.
There seems to be a lot of aspects that you guys hold dear with this project, but what has been your favorite part of doing this so far?
Della Volpe: Well, I was doing my solo podcast for the last year and a half, and Will might make fun of me for saying this, but my big work I have for the week is having fun with my friend on camera. That’s the best, and the fact that people appreciate that and listen to it, and tune in to the next episode it’s the best. It couldn’t be a better job.
Noonan: I will make fun of you for saying that, though, because just saying ‘having fun wit your friend on camera’ makes it sound like we’re doing a webcam sex show, but Iagree. My favorite part is going into the studio and just laughing my ass off with Andrew, and having a fucking giggle fest together. We did this one bit that I think is he highlight so far where we were talking about titty fucking, and I went off on this rant on what it was probably like in the 1920s where they called it bosom bumpin’ and they were on trains, and all of this other shit. Not to toot my own horn, but I thought it was one of the funnier things I’ve done recently , and I don’t think it would’ve happened if I wasn’t sitting there with my buddy, just trying to make him laugh. He was laughing so hard he was crying, so I just kept going more and more, and all I could think was ‘this is comedy right here.’ Just two dudes crying laging over the dumbest shit.
You mentioned how that bosom bumping bit was one of the funnier things you’ve done recently. Does doing this show affect your approaches to stand-up outside of the show?
Della Volpe: I think it’s helping me find what’s funny to other people. I’m in here, not necessarily thinking about doing a bit, but just telling a story or talking, and reacting in the moment to things that Will is saying, and the things that he laughs at and reacts to, it’s helpful for my stand-up because seem to like it when I talk about this certain thing on stage.
Noonan: I would say the same. Doing a podcast is like training for stand-up. It’s weight lifting, or taking a jog when stand-up is the marathon. We’ve definitely come up with things and bounced things off of each other that I’ve thought could work in my stand-up, as well. But it’s hard outset up a solid titty fuckin’ bit. But being silly is enough to make you realize that this is the wheelhouse you should be living in onstage.
Is there anything else that you guys wanted to touch on aside from what you hope listeners might take away from this show?
Noonan: I’ve seen some eyebrows raised when I’ve been out doing The Anthony Cumia Show or other podcasts, and I’ve told people how I’m doing this new podcast called Soft Boys, I’ve seen some eyebrows go up because I’m doing a podcast about male sensitivity and male anxiety, and it’s almost a little judgmental. If there’s anything I’d sort of like to accomplish, it’s to destigmatize that. I’ve opened up for some big, famous comedians, and I’ve met some famous people, and they’re really not as cool as this image they’re putting out, and I think right now, of all times, is the time to be real and sort of admit that nobody has it all figured out, and I’ll still be funny while doing that.
Some people mgiht see Will Noonan and Andrew Della Volpe doing a podcast called Soft Boys, so it’s going to be all about wokeness, and men and women, but it’s really just kind of about ‘hey man, sometimes, I just get fucking worried.’ We never talk about politics and stuff like that, because it’s more about the day-to-day, and Andrew getting nervous about the barista at Starbucks or me getting angry at mechanics or sports radio hosts. It’s just about our day-to-day lives and the little things like that, and I think a lot of people can relate with that aspect of the show.
Della Volpe: If you can’t laugh at yourself and not take life so seriously, and admit that you can be cool while also being sensitive, I feel like that’s our whole thing here, and a lot of people appreciate that.
Noonan: There’s plenty of podcasts where everyone’s being cool and alpha, and tough. If you want that, there’s a million places you can go for it, and nowadays, there’s a subsect of that, and maybe people are even getting a little tired of all of that. Maybe you just want to hear a couple of dudes be real and talk about what they’re really feeling. Like we said before, we’re not complete man-children, but honest to god, I think the more you accept that side of yourself, the happier you’ll be. So we’re just here for the people who want that sort of thing.