Monday, December 22, 2008

Podcast Review -- Mostly Trivial

Trivia should be fun -- and not many people make it as much fun as Johnee Bee, host of the "Mostly Trivial" podcast. The show is a nice balance of frantic silliness and straight-forward common sense.

The calm, even-voiced Johnee Bee hosts the quiz. He asks the questions, provides the answers and gives additional information about the subject. Introducing the show is Mr. Category Guy, whose deep, gravelly electronically altered tones don't quite disguise the fact that he's also Johnee Bee. And the same is true of Johnee's able assistant, Robot Boy, who speaks in a higher and more artificial-sounding voice.

The trivia's interesting enough; it's usually about things that a reasonably well-rounded person might know. But it's the production values that really make this podcast.

I don't know who Johnee Bee is, but he has to have a background in major market radio. His characters are deftly drawn, and with a few simple sound effects, he can paint an audio picture of Mr. Category Guy having one too many in his sound booth, or Robot Boy extending his hydraulic arm to give Johnee Bee the list of questions. Although all three voices are done by the same person, the conversations flow naturally, and the comic timing is impeccable -- these are mad editing skills at work!

And the podcast is peppered with all kinds of crazy and non-sequitur quotes and sound effects. Snippets from classic films, TV shows, and cartoons pepper the podcast providing a counterpoint -- and sometimes humorous commentary -- to Johnee Bee's simple, straightforward delivery.

The choice of music is also brilliant. Johnee Bee uses the strange musical stylings of Coconut Monkeyrocket, which provide a Carl Stalling-like soundtrack to the proceedings (if Stalling was more like Spike Jones, that is).

I thoroughly enjoy this little six to eight-minute podcast, and only wish it came out more often. But I can hear the amount of production work Johnee Bee puts into each episode, and I know that probably won't happen without a bigger payday.

My suggestion? Syndicate it. One of the reasons I'm moving away from radio is the dull, uninspired "morning trivia" segments on some of my local stations. If "Mostly Trivial" was available as a segment radio stations could just drop in, then I think the show would be a much bigger hit than it is, and Johnee Bee might become as famous as Dan Orkin's "Chickenman" -- and for much the same reason.

- Ralph

Day 182 of the WJMA Web Watch. (These guys could use Johnee Bee for sure.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ralph,

    Thanks for the glowing review! I don't get a lot of feed back even though I have plenty of listeners, which is motivation enough. But your words are a nice big lovely feather in my Trivial cap. If you read this get back to me about Syndication.