Phenomena: Hooray Show Podcast Review – A Little Bit of Everything
The Hooray Show podcast is an eclectic comedy show featuring Chilean-born actor and comedian, Horatio Sanz. Recorded in Sanz’s Bro-Bro studios (A.K.A. Sanz’s basement), both Sanz and his co-creator/producer Chad Krueger create a jocular ambiance that you might expect when comedians have mics, joints, and extra time on their hands. Once these guys get their creative juices flowing, they spit magic.
Each episode, Sanz invites friends to exchange in comedic banter. These sessions take on the form of simple conversations, skits, and in some cases, journeys beyond the depths of Sanz's basement and out into the real world. For me, the first episode set the tone for the structure of the podcast--I could expect to get an equitable balance between improvised and scripted humor. Sanz is a natural at improvisational humor, so it seems fitting that he structured his podcast in this manner.
Horatio, friends, and you (the fly on the wall)
Sanz and Krueger came out the gates swinging in their first episode by hosting stars Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live and Matt Walsh from Veep and co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. To Sanz, it may be pedestrian to have former and current co-workers on his set, but for the rest of us plebeians, it is an opportunity to get an up-close and personal, unfiltered look at some of the rising or extant stars in Hollywood. For example, Kattan delivers a delicate exposé of what it’s like to date young Zooey Deschanel (pre-Elf days) and what decisions ultimately lead to their amicable breakup. It’s almost as if you are a fly on a wall at a Hollywood party. Even after grab bagging a couple dozen episodes, my favorite scripted bit is still from the first episode, wherein Sanz and Krueger use inspiration from Abbott and Costello’s Who’s On First to create a bit, which I will call Ebola Soup (19:00 min). It’s a must listen to bit.
Another interesting episode is S2:E9 where Sanz and Krueger hit the road with friends Jake Fogelnest and Kevin Dorff. The setting is Halloween Night and the four, led by Fogelnest, revisit the backstory of Charles Manson as they drive up to the former location of the “Tate Murders”. Needless to say, things get pretty creepy.
A Distinctive Flair
In general, podcasts come in a variety of self-explanatory styles—solo-host, multi-host, and/or interview-based. Furthermore, content varies widely. According to a Macworld article, there are over 250,000 podcasts, which makes finding your favorites a never-ending task. However, where they conform, is in length—for good reason. According to Edison Research, consumers spend on average 4 hours and 10 minutes per week listening to podcasts (or 35 minutes per day), which is on par with the average commute time in the United States. Any longer, and listeners tend to disengage.
Surprisingly, the Hooray Show comes in at an average 48 minutes per episode, making it a considerably longer podcast. According to co-producer, Chad Krueger, this is a thoughtful decision. In a personal e-mail correspondence, Krueger indicates, “Horatio and him empathize with the listener and, unless the comedy is really rolling, the average episode is 45-50 minutes.” It is refreshing to hear that they keep the attention span of the listener in mind. In fact, Krueger informed me that, “a lot of time is put in to editing [the Hooray Show] down to a manageable length. Most recording sessions go for three hours or more…other podcasts are published with little to no editing for content, which we find incredibly boring.” Indeed, they produce high-quality material. While at times I found it difficult to keep up with the identity of their guests, Krueger reminds me about an important trade-off, “[time is] better spent on interesting and funny content…we leave it up to the listener to use their resources to discover more details about the guests. This was a goal from the beginning to set our show apart from others.”
If you still struggle to find time for an entire episode, I encourage you to jump around from bit to bit between shows--you're bound to finds some nuggets. There is some excellent content sprinkled throughout each episode I listened to. In the future, it would be nice to see them extract their bits from the entire podcast and make those available as short clips, so that your average person on-the-go can still enjoy a little bit of everything that is the magic of Sanz and Krueger.