In the insular world of podcasting—particularly the even more insular world of comedy podcasting—Earwolf Media looms large. The podcasting network home of Comedy Bang! Bang!, How Did This Get Made?, Professor Blastoff, and many others, and it’s been one of the catalysts (and beneficiaries) of the podcasting revolution of the past few years. Now parent company Midroll Media is doubling down on the medium: Tuesday, it launches a sister network to Earwolf, this one focusing on pop culture and going by the name Wolfpop.
Helping guide the whole project is actor-comedian (and co-host of How Did This Get Made?) Paul Scheer, who will serve as a sort of creative consultant. He helped coordinate the 13 weekly podcasts Wolfpop is launching with (as well as new ones scheduled to launch in the coming months).
“I like the idea of doing a pop culture-obsessed network,” he says. “I feel like some of the shows I’ve been listening to lately have definitely that bent to it, like if its Kumail [Nanjiani]’s X-Files Files podcast or theSaved by the Bell podcast, and our show, How Did This Get Made?We also are pop culture. We go and look at these movies and examine them on a week-to-week basis. To get an idea to do this new network was really fun because there are a lot of people I know that have very specific interests. People that I’m a fan of and think, ‘Oh, they would be perfect for this.’”
The initial lineup of shows is a mix of actors, comedians, and journalists talking about movies, stuff that makes them cry, youth culture, and, uh, Sylvester Stallone. The shows:
- Crybabies, hosted by writer Susan Orlean and writer-comedian Sarah Thyre, who will talk to guests about pop culture that makes them cry.
- Maltin on Movies With Baron Vaughn, where film critic Leonard Maltin talks film with movie enthusiast Baron Vaughn.
- Rotten Tomatoes, a film-review podcast with editors from the site.
- Denzel Washington is Greatest Actor of All Time Period, W. Kamau Bell’s look into the actor’s work, co-hosted by Last Week Tonight With John Oliver writer Kevin Avery.
- Reading Aloud With Nate Corddry, which presents live performances of classic literature.
- Happy Sad Confused, an interview show hosted by MTV’s Josh Horowitz.
- OMFG!, where youngsters explain youth culture to thirtysomethings Deanna Raphael and Emily Foster.
- Get Up on This!, Jensen Karp and Matthew Robertson’s look at up-and-coming pop culture.
- Off Camera With Sam Smith, an interview show hosted by the photographer-director.
- Nerd Machine’s Picking Favorites, where Nerd Machine’s Zachary Levi and Tyler Labine talk about their favorite pop culture with a guest.
- I Was There Too, where Matt Gourley talks about key scenes in movies with the people who were there.
- The Sylvester Stallone Show, where Sly (well, Paul Scheer) talks about his career.
None of these shows would necessarily be out of place on Earwolf, which may make seem strange to launch a whole other brand. Scheer describes it this way: Earwolf launched primarily as a comedy network, but Wolfpop is pop culture. “That’s not to say that the shows on Wolfpop are not comedic—they certainly are,” Scheer says. “They’re actually primarily comedic, but that means they all focus on pop culture.”
And that means it could have a larger audience. “Comedy is much less of a uniter than pop culture in a certain way,” Scheer says. “Just because you like comedy doesn’t mean you like everybody’s comedy.”
All 13 shows are available for download at wolfpop.com starting Tuesday, with subsequent episodes posting weekly