When Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette pair up for their weekly podcast "Uhh, Yeah Dude," they morph into twinspeak, dissecting American culture's warbling state through the lens of modern men.
It's a topical kaleidoscope, ripped from the recesses of magazines, newspapers, television, science reports or just all-around living. What keeps things interesting is how they heighten the dialogue without diluting its humor. That niche they've cocooned over the last eight years has kept them competitive through the "podcast trend" busts and booms.
On any given show Seth and Jonathon might tackle a wrong-eyed South Florida sinkhole, weigh in on trends in breastfeeding and peer deeply into obviously doomed Missed Connections -- all in rapid succession. You tune in knowing you won't be fed 60 minutes of Miley Cyrus twerking. And for that, America is grateful.
Parade of Flesh brings the boys to Texas Theatre on Saturday, so we caught up with Romatelli and asked him about the project, which Seth and Jonathon bill as "America viewed through they eyes of two American Americans." He agreed, and explained his disdain for improperly weighed tortillas, social media, and recycled talking points.
Mixmaster: Let's set the table. Could you explain a little about the show's design? Seth Romatelli: Emotionally? Psychologically? Tangibly? Tacitly? Illicitly?
Sure. Well, I guess Jonathon comes to my apartment every week -- I don't have a cell phone or email, so I'm not technically savvy. It's not that elaborate. Now, it may seem elaborate to me because there's equipment that has names and cords involved, but I think it's a pretty minimal set-up.
Jonathon had the idea to make a podcast, because he knew what one was. Back in 2006 -- before every single fucking comedian in the world had a podcast. The idea was that we could get together every week and take a look at America. We try to be a funny and informative cultural show. But also to be specific in that.
Now every single person who's ever appeared on anything in the small kabal of Hollywood -- actors, comedians, independent comedy -- everyone has a podcast. We don't have guests. We don't have those 50 comedians who do every show coming by.
Right. You're the only podcast that Paul F. Thompkins isn't doing. And that's by the show's design. Exactly. Right, like Sarah Silverman hasn't been over to the apartment.(Video NSFW) What are the show's parameters?
We try to make a show that wouldn't be the same as other recap/culture/comedy things. There seems to be the same group of people talking about the same exact things over and over and over. So it's not like "this person said 'this' about 'this'," it's a little more abstract, and I think that works.
Like in Arizona, the Department of Weights and Measures went around to all of the supermarkets and weighed the tortillas and found that half of the places were lying about the amount of tortillas they're putting in their packaging.
That's something that makes me, like, crazy.
Because you can't tell me I'm buying 14 tortillas and sell me 12. That's rude.
So it's America through the eyes of two American Americans: It's like "What is going on here? What is going on with my tortillas?"
And we do a lot of science studies. A lot of sexual politics, man/woman stuff. It opens the door to both us making each other laugh, but also to specifically point out that 'OK, this study made sense. This one's bullshit.'
It surprises me to hear that you hold no technology in your corner, I just assume that you guys are lifting up the fat folds of the Internet to find your talking points. Oh, I'm on the Internet. I'm searching the Internet. I just don't have Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram. I'm so not involved -- in any way shape or form -- in anything to do with that world.
What's that like? HEAVEN. Just leave the house and that's it: You've gone rogue.
Does it feel a bit like a fishbowl, doing a podcast without being on social media? Do you keep a dialogue with your listenership? Yes, but it's different because it's a real dialogue. It's not a Twitter dialogue. I call people, from my phone, in real life.
So wait, so wait. How does this happen? Somebody contacts you through the show, then you just ring 'em up? Yeah, well somebody calls the voicemail and they're like "I love that you talked about 'this,' you need to talk about 'this'." I call them back and say "Hey, what's up?" Then they tell me about something and I say, "That's interesting! Thank you!"
I like how the most basic thing seems like the craziest thing. Yeah, it's not based at all in some Reddit AMA, or ... [gets angry, then gives up] I don't know -- everything is so whack. I'll send a thank you card through the mail. It's not an Instagram picture, or a Vine of me doing something.
You've said in recent podcasts that you've been researching Dallas. What has stuck out to you, especially? The JFK thing. I'm from Massachusetts, so while that's a major historical event, it sort of has a crazy meaning to me. There's going to be about 79 television specials airing in September. You must be like "If I hear about this motherfucker one more time..."
I'm also a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan. When the show came up I thought, "Oh my God: I could go to a game. I'm going to be in Cowboys Stadium saying "Is this my life? I'm so lucky that we do this fucking show!"
And of course I'm going to the book depository and I'm going to Dealey Plaza and all of that. The fact that we're going to do this show at this theater that's so central to The Event, is just perfect. It's crazy.
You got me excited when you called last time and said you might dress up as Oswald and hang out at the Sixth Floor Museum. [Groans] First of all, I've already heard that if you go to Texas Theatre they point out the seat. We're going to spit in that seat. We're not even going to let anyone sit in that seat, because we'll be spitting on it during the show. It took our president down.
"Uhh, Yeah Dude" begins spitting on the Oswald seat at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 2. Tickets cost $20 in advance. Get 'em at here.