My Last Week in PoP

By Kelly Harrass

You may or may not be aware that I have a small weekly segment on the podcast, Last Week in PoP. Last night the season 1 finale of the show was posted and can be found here: http://panelsonpages.com/?p=41807.  If you’re not in the loop on things going on at PanelsonPages.com, let me explain to you the format of the show. LWiP is one of the eight shows in the PCN (PoP-Cast Network), which was all started by the Panels on Pages PoP-Cast. LWiP is a recap, or best of show, of the rest of the shows in the PCN. It’s the podcast version of The Soup.

LWiP was launched August 16th, 2010 with Dan Mahoney as the sole creative force behind it. LWiP was an immediate hit, becoming one of the most popular shows on the PCN. At this point the PCN only consisted of four shows; The PoP-Cast, The Super Fly Podcast, The Princesscast, and Last Week in PoP. As the PCN grew, so did Mahoney’s workload.

When PCW, PoP-Cast Wrestling, was launched Mahoney, a lifelong hater of professional wrestling, did not want to listen to it. He put out a call for a PCW liaison and it was answered by me.

On January 13th, 2010 my first PCW wrap-up segment was part of the show. My speaking bits were recorded by me calling into the Last Week in PoP voicemail line from my cell phone. The audio sounded horrible, but it got better because I bought a microphone… that didn’t work (thanks Amazon). That broken microphone did help me figure out how to use the microphone in my laptop.

My work on LWiP consisted of me listening to PCW every week. While I listened I would have a Word document open or I would have something to write on near me. Clips that I wanted to use would go into one of three categories: Professionals (the best bits of the week montage), Good Radio (when things go wrong montage), and stuff that I wanted to put into my segment. Each clip would get a title and had the time codes right next to it. I would take the stuff in the third category and write things for me to say around them. Then I would record what I wrote and send that and the Word document to Mahoney, who would cut the clips out of PCW and insert them into LWiP.

As time went on, I got a much better idea of what makes good radio (not stuff going wrong, actual good radio). I cut down the length of my segment, my jokes got tighter, and I realized that shorter clips are better clips for the montages. I also had an idea for something else I could add to the show; movie trailer spoofs. In my time on the show I would only make two trailers, The Kerouac Network and PoP Fiction. I have a good reason for only making two of them in the roughly 8 months I was on LWiP; it was very hard to put together. I had to write the script, go out to the people that I wrote into the script and see if they wanted to be a part of it, cast the remaining roles, finalize the script, get it to everybody involved so they can record their lines and send them to me, send reminders to try to get everything in on time, and finally piece together the trailer after I get all of the audio I need. The hardest part of this entire process was trying to wrangle all of the voice actors together.

The Kerouac Network turned out well, but PoP Fiction, which was part of the season finale, was damn near perfect in my opinion. Both were entirely worth the work I put into them. Thanks to everybody that helped me out with those.

One of the things that I enjoyed most about working on the show was the immediate feedback I got back on what I had done. Through Twitter I was able to see what people liked, which really helped my joke writing. It was always awesome to hear somebody say something like they woke up their wife laughing at how I had something edited. Knowing that I was able to make at least one person out there smile made it all worth it.

One thing that I didn’t realize going into this was how much work it would be every week. It really put into perspective how much work Mahoney did every week. It is A LOT. Week in and week out Mahoney listened to a lot of podcasts and turned them into one fantastic show. If you have never listened to the show or haven’t heard all of them I really recommend that you go back and listen to every single one of them.

Before I end this blog, I have a message for Mahoney. You once told me that you weren’t a writer. You, sir, are the best joke writer that I’ve ever known. Thanks for the job and thanks for all your great work.

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