We caught up with Dane Baptise and producer Howard Cohen who are both responsible for the brilliant Dane Baptiste Questions Everything. Not only were they kind enough to answer our gospel questions, they also let us know about their upcoming live show at the Up The Creek Comedy Club in Greenwich on March 5th. Tickets available here!
If you could go back to just before you recorded the first episode of your podcast and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
D – SPEAK INTO THE MIC. You would think that I would be a bit more adept with the use of a microphone. I think the the good aspects and the growth of the podcast has come from repetition and adaptation the longer the podcast has continued. Very similar to comedy in that respect; it’s been a fun journey with less use of the MegaBus.
H – To just appreciate the process of developing the show. We’ve learnt loads about the different flows of conversation contained within every episode. Question Everything is very much a different show in every episode, sometimes we’re deep in thought-provoking conversation, sometimes it’s just constant laughter, sometimes it’s a mix, we respect that in a different way now since the first record.
What makes a great podcast guest?
H – For us it’s all about honesty. If our guest can’t be as honest as we are they weren’t right to come on the show. But so far all guests have been willing to speak their minds, which means our listeners get to listen to some great shows.
D – I agree with Haza; honesty is the best policy, there’s no sense in being guarded for the sake of airs and graces. We are questioning everything, which includes questioning ourselves on an esoteric and superficial level. It’s supposed to be like a Slumber Party for adults.
What makes a great podcast host?
D – I think the same thing as a good comedian; self-awareness and timing are essential for the conversation to flow and for the listeners to able to hear a good show that holds their attention. But also the needed depth required to give them insights into the inner workings of who they’re listening to.
H – As producer and co-host I’m always focused on developing the conversation so our guest and Dane can speak their minds. Dane hosts the show by giving everything we talk about his stamp of cerebral authority, but sometimes my job is just to move the debate forward and sometimes it’s my job to contribute if I feel I can.
What’s been your worst podcast moment?
D – A guest (Hza will probably say the same) with whom I was vehemently opposed to ideologically was on the show, so I was almost anxiously preparing to penetrate a wall of ignorance, and they backed out, so win?
H – A guest couldn’t show up for a record for a very good reason – but it still sucked!
What is it about podcasts that appeals to you?
D – I think with the exponential increase in the relevance and reliance of people on digital media, I think podcasts provide enough of the transparency and informative fare that today’s more voyeuristic consumer requires. Also like comedy; podcasts are an aural medium, where if you have the gift of the gab you can still provide great content for the listening pleasure of the audience.
H – Working in TV it’s a very long form process to develop and produce a TV show. It can take years and many different people will have a say in the content across the process. In podcasts, me Dane and our guest just rock up and talk about whatever we want!
What annoys you about podcasts/other podcasters?
H – The absolute endless unwieldy nature of so many shows. I just don’t feel like listening to a show thats rambles around tangents for 2 1/2 hours. Our show is structured with three questions and always around an hour to listen to – I like podcasts to have reliable form! The New York Times’ Daily podcast is 20 minutes every day and perfect.
D – I think I agree with Howard; again like comedy, there’s a large amount of people that are self indulgent with their content, or see it as another springboard to becoming famous
Is there anything you found annoying as a podcast listener… but then understood when you started making your own?
D – I guess hearing people read the long list of sponsors was always an annoying necessary evil; but I’ve always lacked patience in that respect and also I hate what appears to be the insistence for people to subscribe. Word of Mouth still works too, Rome wasn’t built in day! (which is probably the name of some archaeologist podcast I haven’t heard yet)
H – The need to tell people to download, rate and review the show all the time! We’re all forced to do it to keep the shows growing!
Which one podcast episode of your own means the most to you?
D – Each episode is like a child, don’t make me pick favourites! I like them all to be honest; although sitting in a room with Michelle Gayle, Scarlette Douglas, George Monbiot and MC Bushkin of Heartless Crew are experiences I dreamt of. But chilling with the fellow comedians is always a good vibe!
H – It’s not been released yet, but we did an incredible episode with TV presenter Scarlette Douglas which meant a great deal to us as we discussed diversity in television in a very open and honest way. I think when the TV industry hears the conversation it may be of use to what is a big problem. Also not released but George Monbiot blew our minds!!!!
Which one podcast episode not of your own means the most to you?
D – Anything with comedian Dick Gregory talking, podcasts are the perfect medium for his editorial as I can listen to him for hours!
H – It’s easy to bring up Serial or S Town, but for me there’s two amazing shows that changed by views on the world. The episode of Waking Up with Sam Harris featuring Yuval Noah Harari is something everyone on earth should hear as we try to find a way to stop ruining the planet. Secondly the Caliphate podcast is so important to listen to as it offers a view of ISIS that makes you have to confront just how horrific a bunch of pricks they truly are.
The hit podcast Dane Baptiste Questions Everything is going live! Come and join comedian Dane Baptiste, producer Howard Cohen and special guests George The Poet & Tiff Stevenson as they take turns posing the questions that just need answering. In this special recording at Up The Creek Comedy Club on March 5th, our audience can even pose their own questions to our guests. Tickets available here!
Dane Baptiste Questions Everything is quickly becoming one of the most talked about podcasts in the UK, with a diverse mix of guests and a format featuring questions ranging from the serious to the ridiculous. Available to download on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Acast, the first year of the podcast has featured names like Reggie Yates, Mae Martin Phil Wang and Jonathan Pie.