At first listen, The Chuck and Brad Podcast is familiar fare: Two comics get together in a homemade studio and wisecrack about pop culture. They invite friends. They interview guests with jovial temperaments. They rib each other and laugh a lot – for hours on end.
But as Chuck and Brad inches toward its 400th episode, it’s clear that these aren’t amateurs yapping into microphones. Brad Rohrer is a respected local comedian and member of Providence Improv Guild (PIG). Chuck Staton is a multimedia producer and member of punk band Senior Discount. (He’s also a freelance writer and frequent Providence Monthly contributor). They wear many hats, especially in regional comedy. And although their show shares the mode and themes of myriad podcasts, they’re very serious about their product – a series they’ve cultivated for a full decade.
“I believe in consistency,” says Chuck. “I believe in making a high-quality audio file. We want to balance those mics and make sure it sounds good, so you don’t have to adjust the volume at all. We want an end-user experience that’s comfortable – and we care about a quality show. We move it along. We give you really clear intros. Every podcast is the first podcast.”
This extends to the advertising: Chuck and Brad promotional posters tend to parody Hollywood blockbusters, replacing Marty McFly and the Jurassic Park T-Rex with images of themselves. For their anniversary, Chuck and Brad are pictured in crisp tuxedos, leaning over an elaborate cake, with “400” transcribed in pink frosting.
In person, Chuck is evidently born to banter: A high-energy conversationalist and eclectic foodie, Chuck seems to know every talent in Rhode Island and breezily recounts his past work for Kevin Smith and his cohort.
This week’s anniversary show will be recorded live at the Comedy Connection, with sponsorship by RI Food Fights. Like many podcasts, live shows are a recurring event for Chuck and Brad, mixing the energy of an in-house audience with monkish audio production. Three standup comics, Alan Moreau, E.J. Edmonds, and Larry Soares, are slated to perform, along with special guest Ray Harrington and an inaugural “Hall of Fame Ceremony.”
Chuck and Brad have released new episodes since the early days of podcasting, and although they have sworn never to review their download statistics, the recordings themselves have become a kind of living autobiography of the past 10 years.
“You’re chronicling your life,” says Chuck, who notes that their subjects can be both goofy and deeply personal. “I love relistening to funny ones. You forget stories. I’d love to have an assistant go through the entire catalog of the podcast and time-stamp every single thing. We could have categories – movies, personal stories, band experiences, comedy experiences, everything we do. I would love to have a ‘best of’ from the first 400 episode. But I do listen to it again, and I laugh really loudly.” The live episode will be recorded live on May 16, 7 pm, at the Comedy Connection, 39 Warren Avenue, East Providence. Info on Facebook.