On Sunday, January 28, the Everything is Awesome Let’s F Cancer Podiversary Festival will take place at the Tattooed Mom in South Philadelphia. The event marks the second anniversary of the Philadelphia podcast Everything Is Awesome and is also a benefit to raise money for the cancer charity Lets F Cancer. The podcasts Ya F#cked It!, Nerds With Words, I Like 2 Movie Movie, Just Grubbin’, Everything is Awesome, and Full Belly Laughs are all on tap for the event. Kevin Gallagher of Everything Is Awesome answered a few questions about podcasting and the event on Sunday.
The Flat Circle: When did you first start podcasting?
Kevin Gallagher: July 1st, 2007– I had an interest in radio broadcasting, but was focused on wrestling from 2001 until 2006, when I broke my ankle. Someone pointed me to Kevin Smith’s podcast, SModcast, and I really dug it. Months later, a few friends and I started podcasting.
FC: Your podcast has a fairly wide open format. How did you come to realize that you wanted to feature a wide range of guests instead of a centralized niche of interviewees?
KG: The original concept for Everything is Awesome was actually supposed to be focused on fellow podcasters. When I started the show, I wasn’t confident I’d be able to make that last—so I thought about my strengths and weaknesses. I don’t fancy myself an interviewer as much as I do a conversationalist. I LOVE talking… my fiance, Jen, works with kids all day and can only handle my talkative nature for so long. That’s when I realized that I just wanted an outlet to talk to new and interesting people no matter what they do.
FC: In addition to Everything Is Awesome, you also co-host The Zombcast and write for Comic Book Corps. What is the most challenging aspect of balancing different creative platforms?
KG: Aside from editing some remaining episodes and releasing them, The Zombcast is currently in a limbo state—but I also do run the That’s Entertainment Podcast Network where I produce and edit most of the current slate of shows. Add in writing for Comic Book Corps, a full time day job, and having two kids, it’s very difficult to balance different projects. The biggest challenge is not having enough hours in the day. I love podcasting and writing outside of my own umbrella has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The biggest thing for me is making sure my creative life doesn’t hurt my personal life, so I often sacrifice sleep to get things done. My fiance also does an amazing job and covering when I need to do something during normal family time hours.
FC: If you could have any guest for just one question on Everything Is Awesome, who would it be and what would you ask them?
KG: Oh boy… this is hard! Normally I would say Kevin Smith, but any one question I would likely want to ask him I could find the answer for on one of his podcasts or his many Q&A’s. I’ve been fascinated with David Harbour as of late, he seems like a genuinely nice guy. I’d want to know what makes him so willing to give back—he recently made good on a word about getting senior pictures taken with a fan and I believe is well on his way to making good on officiating a couple’s wedding. Most celebrities would have found a way to get out of that.
FC: In Episode #101 (New Year – New Pod! – With Matt Fowler) you discussed how you and your friends had constructed a DIY wrestling circuit when you were younger. Is there anything that you took from that DIY experience that you use in podcasting?
KG: Plenty! While I started out in podcasting with a producer, that only lasted for a few months. I started my own thing and had no idea what I was doing. I literally pieced things together to make it work. But the greatest asset that comes from wrestling is working the crowd. While I don’t get to exercise that muscle too much on a normal podcast, when we perform the show live, I get to put on a show. It’s not me simply sitting there for us to go live, I stand in the back or in another room and wait for that music to hit.. Really, save for not bumping, podcasting and wrestling are very similar.
FC: You have a two-year anniversary event coming up at the Tattooed Mom in South Philadelphia on Sunday. What do you have on the schedule for that day?
KG: While this annual event started out as a way for me to celebrate the anniversary of my show, it’s turned into a full on one-day festival that celebrates the podcasting scene here in Philadelphia. More importantly, we’ve partnered with F*ck Cancer (Let’s F Cancer) to help raise awareness and money to their cause. We have six great shows performing between 1pm and 7pm on Sunday—Nerds With Words, I Like 2 Movie Movie, Fully Belly Laughs, Everything is Awesome, and more.
FC: With this event and the annual Philadelphia Podcast Festival, do you feel a sense of community with other podcasters in the Philadelphia area?
KG: I honestly don’t feel like there is a stronger podcasting community than there is here in Philadelphia. While festivals happen in many major cities now, Philly was one of the first to do it. One of the things I really admire about the Philadelphia Podcast Festival, and I’ve modeled every event I’ve put on after, is that it’s done for free, with some exceptions this past year. That’s unheard of—I think every other festival I’ve seen in the country charges attendees to watch these shows.
But Philadelphia is doing it for different reasons—our festivals showcase talent from the Greater Philadelphia area. And while that method seems to be evolving, at its heart, it’s still about the local talent. As much as I love how close I’ve become with other podcasters in this area, one of my favorite moments was during the 2016 Philadelphia Podcast Festival, my first live show with Everything is Awesome, when I was talking to someone in the audience. I asked them what show they were there to see and their response was “oh, I just saw an advertisement for the festival last week. I love podcasts and just wanted to check it out.” That person was there for 90% of the day.