This is Let There Be Pod in Association with Acast. In each issue of the magazine, our partner Acast – home of the UK’s BEST podcasters – sits down for a chat with one of its creators to hear what they love about making podcasts. In this interview, from issue #013, Acast speaks to stand-up comedian Dane Baptiste and his producer Howard Cohen about what goes into making Dane Baptiste Questions Everything. Plus the duo share some tips for budding podcasters.
ACAST: Let’s kick things off: how did your podcast come about?
Dane: Howard, aka “The Hza”, approached me while I was doing my group podcast, Quotas Full, with some other comedians. It was already an idea I had, but Howard came with some microphones and a free room, and then I came with a series of questions and ideas for guests. We put it together and hey presto, podcast!
Howard: I couldn’t cope with people not hearing Dane talk like he does! We were having lunch and he was speaking his mind about
something and I told him the world needed to hear this side of Dane Baptiste — he embodies the ‘question everything’ mantra.
What do you love about making a podcast?
Dane: I love people watching; it’s a natural part of the comedian’s complex in my opinion. Having a podcast allows you to ‘people listen’, which always allows you to have a much more rounded idea of who somebody is. As children, only slumber parties gave people the opportunity to be intimate with friends and acquaintances — podcasts bring that opportunity back.
Howard: For one hour or so we get to connect with a guest in a totally unique way, not knowing whether we’ll end up going deep or just having a real laugh. Some funny people have come on the show and talked really seriously, which has been amazing. The format of the show keeps it fresh and different every week.
How do you plan an episode?
Dane: It’s a collaborative effort between the Hza and I; we basically look at people we think are both interesting and iconic to our listeners, and we do our best to curate these people for the best meeting of minds.
Howard: Our questions are generated in different ways. I’ll usually know the guests’ questions before the show, and I’ll think of my question in a way to balance against theirs. Dane just does his thing, which works!
Once it’s recorded, what’s the process for getting it out to your listeners?
Howard: It always feels like a chore, but it’s not that bad! I’ve taken a few notes as the show records, but I’ll always edit it from start to finish just to get it flowing as best it can. Someone always coughs, don’t they? Once I’ve edited it we send the individual tracks over to our sound mix master Dee Dhanjal at Audio Culture, so it sounds perfect. Without the mix the show just isn’t the polished product the audience loves. Dee is our unsung/sung hero!
Do you do anything to connect with your listeners?
Dane: Well, the show’s ethos is for listeners to hear what’s being discussed in the hope they’ll question their reality more often. We encourage them to question us and their environment and, when we can via live shows, we can include them in the conversation. In the meantime keep your questions coming, folks!
Howard: We push the socials pretty hard every week and love to mention to our listeners during the show that they should contact us with their questions. The opening of the show is a question from one of the audience, which is a brilliant way to connect with the listeners.
What’s one hot tip for budding podcasters out there?
Dane: Choose a subject or guests who you’ll enjoy speaking about and to, respectively. Keep things exciting and, if not, brief — as the attention span isn’t what it used to be. Think of who you want as listeners and think about how best to engage them. Most of all, have fun — it’s really supposed to be a conversation that interested people wanna hear, so keep it informative and inclusive.
Howard: Grow your show in your own way, tweak it along the way, and just keep going! And enjoy it!
You can listen to Dane Baptise Questions Everything on Acast and all other podcast platforms. Got a podcast or thinking of starting a podcast? Join the world’s biggest podcast network to grow your show and make money. Find out more about joining Acast.