#1 ‘Magic and Tonic’

January 20, 2016

Sampler brings you the best moments from the world of podcasts. Each week, we’ll feature bite size tastes from a variety of shows plus we’ll talk with other podcasters to find out why they do what they do. Sampler is hosted by Brittany Luse. This week’s guest co-host is Gimlet senior producer Chris Neary.

**Warning, this episode contains content and language not suitable for children.

Episode #1 Features Clips from:

Bodega Boys’ episode #4

Dead Authors Chapter 27

Desert Island Discs featuring Tennessee Williams, via Getty Images/BBC Motion Gallery

Sleep with Me Episode #311

The Facts:

This episode was edited by Alex Blumberg, Peter Clowney, and Caitlin Kenney.

It was produced by Chris Neary, Matthew Nelson, Rose Reid, and Brittany Luse.

Our theme music was made by Micah Vellian.

Our ad music was made by Build Buildings.

Other original music in the show was written and performed by Peter Coccoma.

David Herman and Eric Mennel mixed this episode.

Special thanks to Ursula Luse and Emily Kennedy. Also, thanks to Becca Clason, who made Sampler’s beautiful logo.

Special request:

To keep this show full of fresh content, we’re going to need your help.  This week, we want you to send us one podcast episode you would share with your mom and tell us why. You can write to us on Twitter or on Facebook or email us at sampler[AT]gimletprod.staging.wpengine.com

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Audible.com

 

 

Show transcript

BRITTANY: From Gimlet Media, this is Sampler. I’m Brittany Luse, aka the Sacagawea of the podcast world, aka your host. And, just as Sacagawea, bravely led the Lewis and Clark expedition through the Pacific Northwest I’m here to help you navigate the vast and deep world of internet audio programming. This show exists basically because everyone here at Gimlet Media loves podcasts, including me. In fact I have one of my own, obviously outside this show. It’s called For Colored Nerds. On this show, Sampler, we will share all the moments we love from podcasts we know and podcasts we’ve just discovered.  I’ll be your host, every week, and sometimes, I’ll have a special guest. Today, I’m joined by my colleague here at Gimlet, producer Chris Neary. Hey Chris, welcome to the show.

CHRIS NEARY: Hey Brittany.

BRITTANY: Chris before we get started, we should we warn.

CHRIS: We should do it.

BRITTANY: As far as Gimlet shows go, we are going to blow every other one out of the water in the profanity department, so if you have kids nearby, you may want to hit pause or put on some earbuds.

[music]

BRITTANY: I want to start today with a show that I really love. It’s a comedy podcast called Bodega Boys, and it’s hosted by, Desus Nice and the Kid Mero. You may have seen them around, they have a show on MTV2 and loads of Twitter followers. But I first got into them because of this web series they used to do, where it was just the two of them shooting the shit behind a bunch of bodega crates. To explain why I love them so much—I guess you should know that, before I worked at Gimlet, because this is a very recent development in my life, uh I used to have this corporate job where for one day every month I would just do like, everyone’s’ personal expenses for like eight or nine hours at a time. On expense day I would just like save every single episode that I possibly could of Desus vs Nero and then I would just sit and keep a tiny window in the corner of my screen where I felt like my boss couldn’t sit through my shoulder and then I would sit there and fill out Excel and choke on my own laughter… just at the ridiculous things they would say. 

CHRIS: This story says a lot about the desperation uh that comes with corporate jobs.

BRITTANY: Listening to Desus and Mero made me feel like I was just drinking and talking shit at a friend’s house in the middle of the day like in my pajamas, or like a full sweatsuit. And when the web series ended I was heartbroken. But then I heard they were back with podcast… So today I’m going to play this clip from a recent episode which gives you a real sense of the topics that Desus and Mero can cover. It starts them complaining about the changes to Twitter.

—————CLIP—————

DESUS: Yes and nobody likes that because twitter is our playground, we created Twitter, we made Twitter what it is.

MERO: Yo, they fucked up Twitter so bad when they made it, and I don’t know if it’s just me because I use Twitter for iPhone.

DESUS: Yeah.

MERO: When you can’t just respond to a tweet.

DESUS:  Yeah it does that weird retweet thing man.

MERO: I hate that shit man!

DESUS: Nobody likes that man.

MERO: Why can’t we edit tweets, man? 2015 dawg. I can order a pizza with emoji, I can’t edit a tweet?

DESUS: That’s not cool man.

MERO: You know what I’m saying?

DESUS: I don’t know what’s going on… I feel like it’s, I feel like it’s Obama.

MERO [laughing]: I don’t want to blame him but I feel, you know, a lot of shit’s gone downhill since Obama came into office.

DESUS: Would you vote for Ben Carson if he was like ‘yo change that shit back to a star?’

MERO: [pause] Mmmm. Maybe. Maybe.

DESUS: I would.

MERO: I would.

DESUS: I would cast my vote.

MERO: But see he would say, he would be, he would say it in some kind of way… where he was like “I’ll do it because you uneducated negroes would enjoy that…”

DESUS: [laughing]

MERO: Like he would make me feel bad about enjoying it, so I couldn’t do it… because everything Ben Carson says has this whole lingering essence of… “I have routinely dipped my fingertips in brains…”

DEUS: Dawg.

MERO: “And you haven’t.”

DESUS: Did you see see the vine of him being like “Speaking of energy, when I was 14, I stabbed a fellow. Huh huh huh. ” And then he starts laughing? What the fuck?! Who is this guy, man?

MERO: He ain’t real man. He said he stabbed someone when he was fourteen because some guy had a big belt buckle.

DESUS: Yeah.

MERO: That you know, the blade broke or something?… Ben Carson’s got a lot of shaky stories…

DESUS: This is not an episode of Thundercats guy… a fucking sword doesn’t ricochet off a belt buckle. I don’t know what you’re talking about…

MERO: What’s the… the first sword you got in Legends of Zelda, the…

DESUS: You know what I’m saying, “ding!” Like c’mon… it’s nahhhhh

MERO: And none of his stories can be verified…

DESUS: Come on.

MERO: So we can verify you being a brain surgeon, but we can’t verify when you got robbed at the chicken establishment, and you stabbed somebody. What happened, where’s the person you stabbed ?

DESUS: Come on dawg.

MERO: When’s that person going to come out and be like “yeah ben carson tried to stab me.” Naw man, if Ben Carson stabbed you, you would’ve popped up as soon as you started running for president, like “yo don’t vote for him!”

DESUS: Yeah no, that’s true, yeah.

——————————

BRITTANY: So like the thing about Ben Carson [laughter] is that like to people my age, I’m 28 and I think Desus and Mero are around the same age I am in, they are in their early 30s, like to my entire generation of young black people. Ben Carson was like the biggest deal ever. Like, Ben Carson was like at a level where like you could see him, maybe not literally but figuratively, but you could see him on one of those murals at 125th street where like, you have like, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks flying in the sky above Harlem. And like there is Ben Carson with his scrubs on and latex gloves, going to do brain surgery on a child…

CHRIS: Look at what’s possible Brittany.

BRITTANY: Exactly, that’s what Ben Carson was to me. Ben Carson also happened to look almost exactly like Marvin Gaye.

CHRIS: [laughing]

BRITTANY: Do you know what I’m saying? That’s like completely unfair. So he was on the cover of this book that he wrote himself, his autobiography, looking like Marvin Gaye. I think if I’m not mistaken, because I used to think he was really cute too, I think it was like the 70s or 80s so it was totally acceptable for you to have a little bit of chest hair, poking out of your scrubs. And like maybe a gold chain. He had like the politely tiny afro.

CHRIS: Yep.

BRITTANY: And like, he was the shit. Like he was just like that guy. And all of the sudden he started sharing his political opinions with everybody, and we were all just like, what?!

[Laughter]

CHRIS: Did you ever want to be a brain surgeon?

BRITTANY: I wanted to be an oncologist when I was a kid, when I was like 9.

CHRIS: That’s close.

BRITTANY: Yeah.

CHRIS: Right.

BRITTANY: So yeah like, I was like, yeah I really thought…

CHRIS: You would’ve been shooting high but not that high…

BRITTANY: Yeah. I was…

CHRIS: [laughing] “I think I’m oncology material, not brain surgery material.”

BRITTANY: Yeahhh… [laughing] exactly. I was like, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know about that. But yeah, no, that’s why I love that, I love that piece of tape so much because it’s just like, there’s humor but there’s also like, the anger and the disappointment of just like, BEN CARSON. What happened to you?

CHRIS: We wanted more.

BRITTANY: We wanted more!

CHRIS: Or less!

BRITTANY: Or less!

CHRIS: Less of some stuff, more of others.

BRITTANY: Yes, more brains… more dipping your fingertips in brains. Less talking, period. Uh so obviously Desus and Mero talk about a range of topics… But one of my favorite parts of their podcast is when they dispense relationship advice. Their advice, almost unsurprisingly, is both very true and possibly even profound, but also, terrible and offensive and as my mother would say, raunchy. So it made me wonder, I’m hosting this podcast where I’m recommending podcasts to other people – but would everyone? Would lots of other people find Bodega Boys as hilarious as I do? So I decided to test it out by playing a clip for the very, very last person I could ever imagine being in Desus and Mero’s target demographic. 

——————————

BRITTANY: How old are you?

URSULA: Really?

BRITTANY: You don’t have to answer.

URSULA: I’m a happy, healthy, and sexy 60. How about that?

BRITTANY: That’s beautiful. I’m very happy to hear that. I’m very happy to hear that.

BRITTANY: Chris, please meet my mother, Ursula.

BRITTANY: You and dad have been married for how many years now, do you know?

URSULA: A long time. Forever. 36 years.

BRITTANY: 36 years. And when did you get married?

URSULA: Uhhhh… 36 years ago [laughing].

BRITTANY: So I picked out a clip for us to listen to together. It’s an old favorite of mine from last fall. My mom was in her kitchen in Farmington Hills, Michigan and I was in the studio here in Brooklyn.

BRITTANY: Do we press on 3, or do we say?

URSULA: On 3, we press on 3.

BRITTANY: On three.

URSULA: One, get ready…

BRITTANY: I’m ready.

URSULA: Get set… [pause] I’m getting ready.

BRITTANY: Wait am I going to count, or are you going to count?

URSULA: Imma count.

BRITTANY: Okay, alright, let’s just count.

URSULA: One…

BRITTANY: Uh huh…

URSULA: Two are you ready?

BRITTANY: I’m ready…

URSULA: Three I’m on.

—————————CLIP—————————

DESUS: Who amongst us has not sauntered into a default relationship? You kickin’ it with a girl, it’s cool, you all fuckin’ every now and then….

MERO: Next time you know she got a drawer…

DESUS: There’s no names. She got a drawer….

MERO: Yep.

DESUS: But you’re like… I don’t want a drawer, but she does need her robe there. She does need her little comb, she needs her wrap thing….

MERO: Extra panties….

DESUS: Extra panties. Maybe some deodorant. if case she want to leave from her house, to her job.

MERO: A toothbrush..

DESUS: But then what happens. Then one day you know you’re in the kitchen and she’s like “yooooo… happy four months.”

MERO: AHHHH. FOUR MONTHS.

DESUS: You’re like four months of what? And she just goes about your business, and you’re like, okay, that’s cool, I’ll deal with that. I’ll break up with her at the end of the week. And you don’t, because the choch is fire and whatever, whatever. And then one day she’s like come to this thing at my job…

MERO: Ooooooh.

DESUS: And you’re like alright, cool, I’m with it ma.

MERO: And then…

DESUS: And then she’s like “yo… this is my boooooyfriend.”

MERO: chhh chhh chhhh chhh…

DESUS: And it just drops…

MERO: And then it solidifies when people come up to you and they’re like “oh my god I heard so much ABOUT YOUUUUU.”

DESUS: “How long have you been together?”

MERO: “Oh my god… how many years?”

DESUS: “And people come up to you and they know dates that you don’t know. They’re like, so you got together for six months now, ohhh….” And you’re like “WHAT THE FUCK are YOU talking about?”

MERO: “Look at these apple picking pictures…”

DESUS: Oh wowwww…

MERO: Like we took, we went apple picking?

DESUS: You go to her desk and you’re her background.

DESUS AND MERO: OAHHHHHHHHHHOhhh. It’s lit.

MERO: Shoutout to accidental relationship awareness month. So now you’re like 8, 9 months in. And you’re like yooo…

DESUS: Shit’s get…

MERO: And you’re like, your family know her, your family don’t really rock with her, but you know, she’s there… you be there, she be here, y’all be there together.

DESUS: Y’all be together.

MERO: Naw mean? Listen.

DESUS: Sharin’ Netflix and shit.

MERO: A lot of y’all are cringing as you’re listening to this, because you’re in the exact same situation. And some of you ladies are rollin your eyes, because you put some guy in this situation, okay? If your boyfriend has only called you his girlfriend three times in eight months…

DESUS: And let me tell you something, a lot of dudes is probably trying to avoid this. You know what I’m saying? A lot of dudes want to be in relationships, but a lot of dudes do not. Know what I’m saying? And a lot, most guys who do not want to be in a relationship would try to avoid this, so both dudes are fucking stupid, and it’s like putting a peanut butter in a cage, and you’re going to catch a raccoon. You know what I’m saying?

MERO: I like that. I like that.

DESUS: It’s exactly. It’s against your better judgement. You’re just like yo.. yo it’s cold, her apartment’s warm, she got that… she got that project heat, she got the Netflix, she got the…

MERO: She got a car.

DESUS: She got a car. She always got juices in her fridge.

MERO: All types of juices man. All of the tropicana weird tropical shit.

DESUS: Listen. Which is like five percent juice.

MERO: Shoutout to you ladies wearin’ dudes down. It’s like yooooo…

DESUS: Yoooo! She keeps makin’ fuckin’ DINNERS.

MERO: I got, I got two weeks left… I got… listen, some of y’all are listenin’ to this, and y’all are laughing, and y’all you don’t even realize… thanksgiving is what. A month away? You’re going to have a very difficult discussion.

DESUS: Yup.

MERO: Because your girl’s gonna be like “So are we going to my parents house or yours?” And you’re going be like whhhhha?

DESUS: What do you?

MERO: I thought you made plans on your own.

DESUS: Ohhhh…. OH. And then it gets really awkward. You know what I’m saying?

MERO: Not that I’m speaking from experience.

DESUS: Yeah listen. Me either. [laughs].

MERO: Only have relationships over here. Our relationships are like red bull…

DESUS and MERO: They give you WINNNNNNGS.

—————END CLIP————

URSULA: [laughing] That’s funny [laughing]. Okay. I’m serious. I’m gonna keep a straight face.

BRITTANY: No, you don’t have to keep a straight face. It’s okay that you thought it was funny. What do you think about relationships like this?

URSULA: I think it’s unfortunate for the female that she jumped right in… especially within a four-month window.

BRITTANY: Four month window, you think four months is too soon?

URSULA: Yeah.

BRITTANY: Really?

URSULA: Just kickin’ it, of just kickin’ it! I don’t think that’s long at all.

BRITTANY: What do you mean. Just… wait hold on, do you think just kickin’ it is like dating, or do you think those are two different things?

URSULA: Uhh… in my day, you know you set up early, and you kind of kicked it around, and then you finally get to a place, I really, I really like this person, and I kind of want to spend more time with this particular person, so let’s enter into some kind of agreement like yeah, I want to spend more time with you, yesss… you want to spend more time. Okay, well do that, versus like I saw you at a party, you were cute, we went home together. And then, you know, every other week on a Friday, or you know, what’s it called? Call it now? Booty calls?

BRITTANY: Yeah booty calls [laughing]

URSULA: Booty calls. A booty call is not a relationship.

BRITTANY: Right.

URSULA: Okay. Some people take that booty call as real attention, and he really wants to be with me, to the point of… he comes over in the middle of the night just to be with me, he can’t sleep in his bed because he’s thinking about me. [laughing] And that’s really a booty call, and she’s thinking it’s romance.

——————————

CHRIS: So what’s it like to hear your mom say the words booty call?

BRITTANY: [laughing] Um it’s like, it’s weird because on one hand, now that I listened to the clip with her, on one hand it was a little much and but the other hand, I’m like weirdly not surprised.

CHRIS: Uh, would you say impressed?

BRITTANY: I am – I am impressed. And now that I’ve heard both of us on tape I actually think I get a lot my manner of speaking from my mother.

[laughing]

CHRIS: Alright, another question – would you say you’re becoming your mother?

BRITTANY: I think the transition is complete – I think it’s been so for at least a decade.

CHRIS: I mean you guys like the same podcast so

BRITTANY: Natural indicator of good parenting I think.

CHRIS: Sure

CHRIS: Alright, so I think it’s time for Sampler’s inaugural ad break.

BRITTANY: Coming up after the break, two of life’s greatest mysteries actually I think: death and sleep.

—————AD BREAK—————

BRITTANY: This debut episode of Sampler is brought to you by Squarespace… the easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Squarespace features easy-to-use templates and 24-7 support. When you decide to sign up for Squarespace, make sure to use the offer code SAMPLER to get 10-percent off your first purchase, and to show your support for our show. Squarespace…build it beautiful.

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—————END AD BREAK—————

BRITTANY: Hi I’m Brittany Luse and welcome back to Sampler, the show where I tell you what you should be listening to. Because I can. And also welcome back to my co-host for the day, Gimlet producer Chris Neary.

CHRIS: Hey.

BRITTANY: Hey.

CHRIS: The clip I have right now is from one of my favorite podcasts called The Dead Authors Podcast.

BRITTANY: Mmmmm.

CHRIS: It’s a provocative name. And the premise is very simple. British author H.G. Wells, who wrote the science fiction book The Time Machine — that’s important—and who died in 1946, uses a time machine to bring back other dead authors from the past to have conversations with them in front of live audiences.

BRITTANY: Did you know this whole time… [laughing] I didn’t know that H.G. Wells wrote The Time Machine? I just thought he wrote the invisible man, so I was just like random choice H.G. Wells. Just whatever.

CHRIS: The whole time we’d been working on this episode…

BRITTANY: I had no clue.

CHRIS: So now it’s even better.

BRITTANY: Yeah now, this is deep. It’s very deep. I’m with you, I’m 100 percent with you. This is just shocking to me, surprising. But okay, I’m ready.

CHRIS: I’m so glad we captured that on tape. That realization. Okay so comedian Paul Tompkins play H.G. wells, and the author who he brings back area also played by comedians. Uh, they’re episodes about F. Scott Fitzgerald and L. Ron Hubbard and Walt Whitman, but my favorite episode, my very favorite episode of this is where Kristen Schaal plays Tennessee Williams…

BRITTANY: For anyone who doesn’t have Tennessee Williams’ accomplishments at the top of mind, which is fine, that’s totally fine. Um, he was an American playwright from the 50s and 60s who wrote The Glass Menagerie, Streetcar Named Desire, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

CHRIS: So here’s a clip that opens that episode. You’re hearing comedian Kristen Schaal walk out on the stage being introduced as Tennessee Williams… 

—————CLIP—————

PAUL TOMPKINS: Mr. Williams. Thank you very much. Tennessee Williams, please… do have a seat man. Let me get this microphone out of the way. There we go. Having, having a bit of water there, in the…?

KRISTEN SCHAAL: No, no, this is a little bit of tonic, and… the rest is magic…

[audience laughter]

PAUL: So… [laughing]… so it’s just the classic magic and tonic.

KRISTEN: It is the oldest drink. In New Orleans that’s what they serve up at 10 A.M. with your biscuits and your gravy and your magic and your tonic.

[audience laughing]

PAUL: So, so it’s sort of a breakfast drink.

KRISTEN: Yesssss.

PAUL: And then does it continue throughout the day?

KRISTEN: Yesssssss. If the day proves to be less than, um, magical.

[audience laughing]

PAUL: It seems like a very simple solution to a non-magical day, why not drink some magic?

KRISTEN: Yes indeed H.G.

[audience laughing]

—————————

CHRIS: I think what makes this podcast so great, is that, it takes an outlandish premise, one dead author talking to another dead author, in front of a live audience and actually makes it work. And when you are listening to it… that Kristen Schaal is really hamming it up or overdoing it to get laughs… but recently I heard an old interview with the real Tennessee Williams on another podcast called Desert Island Discs, a long running radio show on the BBC. And when you listen to the real Tennessee Williams, you realized kind of how close she got to his real very unique voice.

—————CLIP————

INTERVIEWER: Why plays? Had you seen a lot of theater as a youngster?

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: No, I hadn’t seen… there wasn’t much theater in St. Louis. The first time I saw a  play that deeply, deeply moved me was… Ghost… it was Ghost… it uh, moved me to the extent that it moved me right out of my seat, I just couldn’t sit still, I had to pace up and down the back aisle.

—————————

BRITTANY: That is like shockingly close.

CHRIS: I know. Surprising, right?

[Laughter]

CHRIS:  OK, OK — so now we will go back to the fake Tennessee Williams on the Dead Author’s Podcast. This is from the very end of that show where HG Wells is taking questions sent in on Twitter which he calls “The Social Networking Platform Twitter.”

—————CLIP—————

PAUL: Uh, Evan Robalay asks “Are you happy with the way Marlon Brando portrayed Stanley Kowalski?”

KRISTEN: Yes, I am ‘cause like I said before, Marlon Brando’s got a face… that could not only launch 1000 ships, but it could also turn them around, come back, and launch ‘em again. They’d be like, “Did I just see that handsome face? Why are we going away from it? We gotta go back… I think I did, oh we did see it! Do we gotta leave… Marlon? Do we really gotta go away from that face…”

[audience laughter]

PAUL: Tennessee Williams, thank you so much for being here. Tennessee Williams, ladies and gentlemen…

—————————

CHRIS: Okay Brittany.. We have one more podcast today. It’s not like the other ones we’ve heard. That were, we think, funny and energetic. It’s intentionally boring.

BRITTANY: Intentionally boring is something that I have been on 25% of my first dates, Chris. I mean you know, you gotta have stats. If it’s not going well I just try to steer it toward a halt. One time I got it down 46 minutes.

CHRIS: You’re a killer.

BRITTANY: Last 15 minutes I got driven home. I mean I probably wasted only an hour and fifteen minutes of my life.

[laughter]

CHRIS: Ok so, why would we present a podcast that’s intentionally boring? Because unlike most podcasts, this podcast medicinal. Like it actually helps with your life.

BRITTANY: The podcast is called Sleep with Me. And here’s the show description: Can’t fall asleep? Mind racing at night? Worries keeping you awake? We are here to help! Sleep With Me is a groundbreaking podcast that uses boredom superpowers to help you fall asleep.

——————CLIP—————

DREW ACKERMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, start your sleep engines, because I’m about to wave the fuzzy flag of sleep… It is time for sleep with me… three times..

—————————

BRITTANY: So the conceit of the show. is that the host, who calls himself dearest scooter, tells you bedtime stories, that are, by design, really boring. He tells weird personal stories, and sometimes he slips into other languages – and he even does really really boring recaps of television shows, like Breaking Bad:

——————CLIP———————

DREW: And next thing we see is Walt walking in for his treatment, he’s all doped up, totally wrecked…

[recap continues]

DREW: …talking results, going back to work.

—————————

CHRIS: We called Dearest Scooter to find out more about the inspiration behind this curious podcast. Turns out, Dearest Scooter’s real name is Drew Ackerman. He’s a librarian and lives in the Bay Area. And the name comes from Scooter Libby, the former Bush administration official. It’s a long story. The important thing to know though is that Drew has trouble sleeping, and has since he was a kid.

———————

DREW: Like I felt like these adults wanted to help me but I felt like we were speaking a different language. And I feel like that’s the same way for people who can’t sleep, even now a lot of times it’s like what do you mean you can’t sleep have you tried… I was thinking too much, well have you tried not thinking? Of course I’ve fucking tried not thinking, man. No, I can’t sleep. Like, oh have you tried baths, have you taken a hot bath? I mean, it’s very isolating to be lying there alone in the dark as a kid or as an adult.

CHRIS: It feels like in doing this podcast you’ve developed this specific writing skill set that I do not understand. What are the writing rules of putting someone to sleep?

DREW: I think one element of it is always that there can’t be a lot of repetition, if there’s anything I hear a lot of it’s that white noise works for a certain amount of the population all the time but for other people it gets repetitive or they even know when the white noise loops. And so I guess one key I feel like putting people to sleep through my podcast is that whenever they listen there might be familiar elements but there’s always something different going on. But at the same time it shouldn’t be something that they can really sink their teeth into or overly interesting. It’s kind of like finding a balance between what’s interesting to you and your waking life, or would be like gripping, and what’s totally boring that you just would totally tune out. Like a lot of times at least with me there’s a lot of narrative things that are just droning repetitive voices about this thing or that thing or about your self worth or your life or your relationships or all the work you have to get done. And so really the podcast has to be more interesting than those voices but not be so interesting that you are like ‘Oh I can’t fall asleep. I have to hear how this turns out.’

———————

CHRIS: In short, when you’re trying to put people to sleep, you take the rules of making a good story, and you do the opposite. For example, the stories are intentionally long, too long. Because if he made them too short, people would be like well I have to fall asleep in the next 30 minutes.

BRITTANY: He wants people to know that he’ll be there for an hour, droning on, and so they don’t have to worry. And speaking of that drone, another thing you pay attention if you’re deliberately trying to put people asleep? Delivery.

————————

CHRIS: People talk about when someone’s boring he’s just droning on and on. And you are, but for a good purpose.

DREW: It’s weird but I found the voice of the podcast through doing the podcast. I guess in my head I picture this proper English gentleman with some nice pressed slacks and a tea and he’s coming over and he’s coming over and sitting down in a comfy chair… he’s got the patches on his jacket elbows.

CHRIS: This is the character you imagine would have the voice you use in the podcast?

DREW: It’s like if your weird neighbor was a proper English gentleman who drank tea and ate biscuits but the biscuits were crumbless biscuits and he let your dog out right before he left and then locked up, shut out the lights.

CHRIS: Just like the moment you were talking there, like it felt a little like the show.

DREW: Yeah, I’m just a weird guy sitting next to your bed chattering on and on so you can fall asleep.

————————

BRITTANY: So Chris have you actually used this podcast to fall asleep?

CHRIS: I have, I have. So the first time I used it, it didn’t work at all because I was listening to it like a Gimlet employee looking for… looking for cuts of tape. The second time I used it I was able to drift away with what he was saying Although it was not great to wake up with an earbud in my ear.

[Laughter]

CHRIS: So Brittany, now that you know about this podcast, we’ve been talking about this podcast for a while… have you used it?

BRITTANY: Okay so… [laughter]

CHRIS: That’s the pause someone gives you when the answer is no.

BRITTANY: So I almost used it this morning. Almost. I have been in this thing past week or so, you know, just casually wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning because… We have launch of this show coming out.

CHRIS: High pressure.

BRITTANY: I was scrolling through my phone and I was like maybe I should listen to Sleep With Me.

CHRIS: Next time you should pull the trigger.

BRITTANY: I know, I really should, I really should. 

[music]

BRITTANY: So this has been the very first episode of Sampler. Thank you guys so much more listening. I appreciate it. The entire Sampler team appreciates it. On the show today, you heard clips from The Bodega Boys, The Dead Authors Podcast, Desert Island Discs, and Sleep with Me Podcast. You can find links to these shows on our website, gimletprod.staging.wpengine.com/Sampler

This episode of Sampler was produced by Chris Neary, Matthew Nelson, Rose Reid and myself.

It was edited by Alex Blumberg, Peter Clowney, and Caitlin Kenney.

This episode was mixed by David Herman.

Our theme song was written and performed by Micah Vellian.

Original scoring by Peter Coccoma.

Our ad music is by Build Buildings.

And special thanks to Ursula Luse —that’s my mom— and also Emily Kennedy.

We want to hear from you, Sampler listeners! Send us one podcast episode you would share with your mom and tell us why you’d play it for her. You can message us on Facebook or Twitter @SamplerShow, or email us: sampler@gimletprod.staging.wpengine.com.

Sampler is a production of Gimlet Media.

—————AD BREAK—————

Thanks to our sponsor Audible-dot-com. Audible-dot-com provides over 180-thousand audio programs from the leading audiobook publishers. If you want to listen to it, Audible has it. Go to audible-dot-com-slash-SAMPLER to get a free 30-day trial today. That’s audible.com-slash-SAMPLER.

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—————END AD BREAK—————

BRITTANY: Tune in next week to hear comedian W. Kamau Bell, who loves Denzel Washington so much that he created an entire podcast about him.

—————

[Interview tape]

BRITTANY: I want to know… Why Denzel?

W. KAMAU BELL: That’s a weird question… I guess, why focus on the sun?

[laughter]

—————

[music]

BRITTANY: Is that it?

CHRIS: Yeah, we’re done.

BRITTANY: That’s so… I can’t believe that. First episode in the can. Done. Everyone’s going home. [hits table] I shouldn’t smack the table.

[music]

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