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Marcy Jarreau and Betsy Sodaro
Marcy Jarreau and Betsy Sodaro are the hosts of A Funny Feeling. Follow Marcy on Twitter here and Instagram here. Follow Betsy on Twitter here and Instagram here. Follow A Funny Feeling on Twitter here and Instagram here.
Describe A Funny Feeling in ten words or less.
Marcy: Comedians telling or listening to spooky ghost stories.
How did you two meet?
Marcy: Betsy and I met at UCB LA. We were both on Harold night. I wish I could remember the specific moment we met, but honestly it’s probably because I knew who she was even before I moved to LA. I saw a funny or die video and was immediately so jealous of this hilarious woman.
Betsy: Oh Marcy! I feel the same thing happened! I had seen her perform in NY and I thought she was so funny and I wanted to be friends with and when she moved to LA it happened!
How are you different and how are you the same? Do you have different beliefs, favorite spooky tropes, etc?
Marcy: We both love ghost stories but Betsy does NOT want to have an encounter. We both love scary movies, but she has a much higher tolerance than I do.
What has hearing all these stories changed how you feel about the paranormal?
Marcy: It’s taken a lot of the fear out of the paranormal (except when it comes to UFOs). Most stories you hear about have kind of sad or tragic origins. And so many of them end up being really sweet stories about loved ones contacting from beyond.
Betsy: I’ve always been a believer of ghosts and what not and it has made me not as scared of the paranormal. It also has made me open my mind and that’s been FUN! There’s a lot that’s unexplainable out there (even just how our brains work) that I have been finding is a lot more fun to believe in!
What’s your relationship like with your listeners?
Marcy: Our listeners are so kind. I have two other podcasts and trust me I get plenty of notes on my personality. But when it comes to AFF listeners they are so openminded, it really feels like a safe space.
Betsy: Our listeners RULE. They are so kind and stoked to find a space where they can share their experiences and hear other folk’s. They also don’t rely on me and Marcy being smart which is GREAT.
Any reviews for A Funny Feeling stand out to you? Any memorable ones, good or bad?
Marcy: We’ve been going on so long that we don’t even check them out anymore. But we read listener stories on our podcast so we get a taste of what our listeners are into that way.
Betsy: I haven’t read any in a long time, but my voice really gets people pumped to write a review ha ha ha!
What’s the best part about making your show?
Marcy: I love hanging out with Betsy, she’s literally one of the best humans alive. And when we have guests on it’s always a blast to meet new like-minded people. Oh and duh, our listener’s stories are so amazing!
Betsy: MARCY RULES! I love chilling with Marcy, talking about one of our favorite things in the whole world, spooky shit!! All we want is to hear about people’s experiences, it’s what we love. And I gotta say during the pandemic it was really something I looked forward to and needed… to hang with my good friend and listen to stories and make each other laugh, it was really important to me.
If you could have anyone on your podcast, who would it be?
Marcy: Too many people to choose from but I’m going to throw Kesha out there. I loved her series Conjuring Kesha. She’s one of us.
What are you biggest dreams for the show? A haunted house, a theme park, a ghost hunting kit, a TV series?
Marcy: We have toyed around with the idea of doing a series where we go to places famous for paranormal history to find locals that will give us tour of places they’ve experienced activity and maybe drag some of our comedian friends with us.
Betsy: Yeah man, a TV series where we get to just travel, meet people and go to scary places would be a DREAM!! Also, maybe add in that we eat a bunch of fun food on the show too.
Are there too many podcasts?
Marcy: No, I love finding a new podcast. And the audience dictates what floats. If you have a podcast that sucks no one is going to listen, eventually you’ll get bored and drop it.
Betsy: No way, I love listening to podcasts about anything and everything! You can learn about Catherine the Great or hear about a man’s journey trying to create a new shape of pasta, that’s pretty rad!
Do you think podcasting is cool?
Marcy: I think people like to pretend it’s not but it is and it’s important. It’s oral history being captured for the ages.
Betsy: Hell yeah.
Pretend you have a $1M budget and you get to make another podcast, any podcast. Don’t worry about the logistics or whether or not anyone would like it. What would it be?
Marcy: Going on dates with celebrities and then kissing and telling. You said don’t worry about logistics and I did not.
Betsy: Marcy, that’s a fantastic idea! I think I would travel around looking for the best Taco Bell in the WORLD.
Marcy: Creators don’t get a big enough cut of their ad revenue. Hosting a podcast on a network ain’t that labor intensive.
Betsy: If you listen to Sandstorm once a day you’ll be in a good mood.
Marcy: I am a walking fool. I can tell how I’m doing by how often I walk. If I’m walking everyday I’m probably in a good headspace, and if I’m not it might mean I’m stressed or bummed. But it’s a real chicken or the egg thing because I think walking puts me in a better space.
Betsy: Dude. Yes Marcy. Moving my body and getting outside is so important. Also being okay with having “me time” which is usually playing Overcooked while Ghost Adventures is on, and it chills me out HARD.
What’s something you wish people would ask you but never do?
Marcy: Oh no no, don’t ask me anything. I’ll tell you, I never shut up.
Betsy: Please don’t ask Marcy anything.
🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
🎙️Rough Translation’s final season, Love Commandos, just dropped, and I nearly threw my phone on the floor at the end of the first episode for its sheer dooziness. Gregory starts out in India, where something like 97% of marriages are arranged, to introduce us to a group led by Sanjoy Sachdev called Love Commandos, which promised to protect love birds in different castes from their families who might not approve and help them be together. Then how did Sanjoy end up arrested and accused of exploiting the couples he promised to help? That’s what we have in store. What lengths would you go to in order to be with the person you love? Would you run away with them? Would you run away with them if you weren’t sure you’d be safe? Sign up for Gregory’s newsletter Rough Transition to keep up with him after the last episode of Rough Translation is dropped.
✨ Read my Lifehacker piece 10 Podcasts for Your Next Family Road Trip.
✨ Read about podcast promos personalized to perfection in Podcast Marketing Magic.
🎙️When I saw that there was another episode of Butt Out, Baby, I almost started screaming. I am obsessed with this thoughtful Dirty Dancing deep dive, and due to the irregular release schedule, I’m always on pins and needles. And the good thing, I guess, is that I will be writing about every single episode because I have enough time to consume and over-analyze each one several times? Guided by the screenplay, Ellie Gordon-Moershel is taking us through the film piece by piece. This segment includes one of my favorite lines from the whole film, when Baby’s dad says “Baby’s going to change the world, someday.” And Baby says, “And Lisa’s going to decorate it.” This episode includes vivid descriptions of what we’re watching, from what everyone is wearing, the way they sit in their chairs, and the tablecloths and food on the dining room tables (note: dairy and meat were never on the table at the same time—this is a Jewish movie and a Jewish podcast.) After the scene, we get into a discussion with Mari Cohen of Jewish Currents about Jewish matchmaking, birthright, “nice Jewish boys” and “Jewish American Princesses” looking at what these definitions mean in real life and in the Dirty Dancing universe. Listen here.
🎙️If you’ve been following the Caroline Calloway story, you know that Caroline just self-published her book, SCAMMER (it’s $65, hand-signed and hand-numbered, and includes reusable stickers, a custom bookmark, a satin ribbon, hand-glued Italian endpaper, and a custom Ex Libris book plate. Unsurprising and I must say, smart. You could say that Caroline is preforming a penance, hand-making these books, as well as bringing in a lot of money.) And that Natalie Beach, her frenemy who exposed her in this dishy piece in The Cut, “I Was Caroline Calloway,” also released her book, Adult Drama, at almost the exact same time. On Celebrity Book Club, Chelsey Devantez and her guest Caitie take us through the ins and outs of this complicated relationship and celebrate the books individually for what they are—well written, intricately connected, and all about the complexities of female friendship. These books are talking to each other, and Chelsey expertly pieces them together, exploring Caroline and Natalie’s stories and isolating individual excerpts that hint at how these two went from being friends to pseudo-celebrities with a trashed relationship. There is so much lore behind this story, which is art. This story is Succession! This story is important. It’s about friendship, feminism, internet hatred, and it’s one juicy literary saga. Caroline and Natalie are both excellent writers, flawed people seem to be writing from purgatory. They wouldn’t be where they are without the other. I agree with Chelsea, I hope they are scamming us together, secretly friends who have created this super-meta story that is impossible to look away from. I really hope that. Listen here. (BTW, Kate Kennedy of Be There in Five interviewed Caroline, if you want to hear her version. On Rehash Caroline talked about how she did her own podcast PR—not bad.)
🎙️On The Climate Denier’s Playbook, comedians Rollie Williams (Climate Town) and Nicole Conlan (The Daily Show) are examining the pervasive myths and misinformation campaigns surrounding the climate crisis. (They’re not just funny, they’re smart—they’ve got Master's Degrees in Climate Science & Policy and Urban Planning.) This is like Maintenance Phase for climate with less yelling. Rollie and Nicole go back and forth from stupid topics like bowling balls to smart topics like astro-physics, educating each other (and us) about bonkers policies and evil characters spouting false, wack, agenda-furthering information. I often want to disprove someone making a claim about how the sun’s natural cycles are causing climate change, but I don’t always know how. Now I do. These aren’t just conversations that can set anti-scientist “scientists” straight. They’re pointing a big finger to these people, sharing audio clips and articles about their claims. If it wasn’t so scary, it’d be hilarious. But it’s pretty hilarious. It feels good to make fun of people sometimes. Listen here.
🎙️Radiotopia Presents released the first episode in their latest project, Hang Up, a dating game show that matches one person (the Star) with six prospective love interests (the Callers). They go on dates over the phone and never see each other. After the dates, the Star chooses one person to “hang up” on and eliminate from the show. But there’s a twist— in the end, the final, remaining Caller makes their own choice: to either choose the Star back and take an all-expenses-paid vacation together or hang up on the Star and take a cash prize instead. Podcasts have tried to mimic dating shows in the past, but this one seems like the one with the highest stakes. There’s real strategy and potential for betrayal. I felt incredibly invested—the Star, “Maxine” is a bartender in Richmond, Virginia who hates gum-chewers and Harry Potter. I like a girl with an opinion. These short dates were really fun to listen to and I can’t wait to find out if one of the callers will choose a vacation or decide that Maxine’s heart is worth less than $1000 in cash. Listen here.
🎙️Being spiritual in an increasingly secular world can be hard. (It’s like if you want to believe in God these days you have to go full blown cult.) On Ritually, Nelufar Hedayat is taking us on a psychological and physical journey, testing out rituals that work for others, to see if they work for her. It’s like a spiritual buffet. Each episodes has its own focus (episode one is about how a Muslim feminist can feel connected to Islam and includes a beautiful prayer at the end; for episode two, she consults her parents and a mystic Jewish priestess to cleanse her energy and ward off evil and her reoccurring nightmares.) This is a heart-driven show guided by Nelufar’s journalistic instincts and her real curiosity into how people have connected with spiritually for thousands of years. The history and research will thwart any feeling you have that this is too “woo woo.” Listen here.
🎙️I am keeping tabs on The Really Good Podcast, an interview (?) show hosted by Bobbi Althoff, a momfluencer who refers to her kids as Concrete and Richard online. (She’s not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. Or at least a very odd one.) She blew up on on TikTok for her strange sense of humor, and that definitely spills through on the podcast. Interviews aren’t so much interviews, as opportunities to make her guests feel uncomfortable, which leads to pretty funny interactions. I believe her first interview was with Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings) but it was taken down, possibly because Bobbi doesn’t want to be associated with the now cancelled YouTuber. (This podcast is spicy right off the top.) Because I am in deep, I have seen clips of that interview, it’s direct and aggressive. “What’s it like to have everyone hate you?” She managed to get Drake on the mic, and it’s not your typical interview. It’s jarring and strange. Bobbi confronts Drake about his name, playing a kid in a wheelchair as a non-wheelchair user, and why he insists on calling people “dog.” Drake is somewhat of a tastemaker, and he doesn’t drop on just anyone’s podcast. I wonder if this will get people listening to a podcast for the first time. I don’t usually like interview podcasts, but Bobbi isn’t trying to interview, and these aren’t interviews. They’re more like strange experiments in interactions. You don’t know what’s going to happen, the awkward silences are just as heavy as the talking and questions the guests throw back to Bobbi keep me on my toes. She never breaks character, which is hard. In Funny Marco’s episode, you hear him praying for Bobbi’s podcast, and Bobbi simultaneously praying over him to cancel out his prayers, and it had me laughing out loud. Listen here.
🎙️She Shreds Media founder Fabi Reyna is the host of Starting a Riot, a show that gives us a nuanced view of the riot grrrl movement, which was about so much more than music. It was zines, feminism, and community, too—something that really spoke to people on the margins. So it’s ironic that historically, those people are generally the ones that get left out of the retelling. Starting a Riot takes us to Olympia, Washington in the early 1990s, listening to the people who formed the riot grrrl movement, which was decentralized before the internet decentralized everything. It captures a time and energy that feels extremely kick-ass, extremely 90s, extremely Olympia, and extremely relevant. Riot grrrls made a huge impact on the modern music we listen to today, and kicked open a door that women had been prying open for decades. Listen here.
🎙️In 1992, seven-year-old Nikki Henderson was brutally murdered but it wasn’t until May of 2023 that David Boyd sentenced to life sentence for killing her. Three Doors Down from Tortoise starts with a focus on her mother, Sharon, who has spent 31 years wondering why it took so long to convict David, a convicted child sex offender who lived three doors down. We want to know why, too, Sharon. (It seems the wrong guy, George Heron, was pegged because he wasn’t a charismatic hottie, and because the police did a terrible job investigating.) I talk about podcasts that have a good sense of place, this first episode had a great sense of character. Sharon is tired and exasperated. After listening I became obsessed with google image searching her. You get to know her, her pain, her frustration. Listen here.
🎙️I listen to This American Life every week but don’t always write about it. But an episode called House on Loon Lake (originally dropped in 2001) is worth pointing out. Stumbling upon an abandoned house is one of the most thrilling things that can happen, especially if you’re an adventurous kid. In the 70s, Adam Beckman was a kid who found the perfect one, still outfitted with all the furniture and doo-dads that a family seemed to have left behind. What happened to the people? This story is his decades-long journey to identify the family who disappeared. I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll give you three options for the outcome: it’s either a crime scene, a haunted house, or something much sadder than that. Listen here.
🎙️Strong Sense of Place (a book/travel podcast I love) interviewed Tasha Sounart, Creative Director of Theme Parks at Pixar, about what it’s like to work there what a day at Pixar is like and how she got from drawing 2D cartoons to working in video games to designing the live spaces we experience in Disney World. I’ve dreamed of being an Imagineer, I get lost in these spaces that people like Tasha create, and I loved hearing about all the thought that goes into making them. It’s things you don’t notice but you do, you know? You might not see the magic but you feel it. Listen here.
🎙️Jim Harold just dropped an 18th anniversary episode of The Paranormal Podcast, which might just be the longest running paranormal-themed podcast on the internet. (His first episode was July 29, 2005.) I love Jim to death, this show has freaked the hell out of so many people, this is a reason to celebrate for Jim and everyone who has enjoyed The Paranormal Podcast, and all of his other work. (I love his Campfire stories.) Congratulations, Jim! Nicest guy in the industry. Listen to The Paranormal Podcast here.
🎙️What do founders, CEOs, and leaders of unicorn businesses wish they’d known when they were first starting out? They’ll tell you on Wish I Knew, the podcast where they share the one thing that empowered them to jump start revolutions, disrupt industries, and spin seemingly ideas into unicorn businesses. Season two was a solid lineup, including Steven Galanis, CEO of Cameo, Andy Slavitt, healthcare advisor to COVID-19 response to the Biden administration (and host of In the Bubble!) and one I particularly liked, with Dave Rogenmoser, who co-founded Jasper, an AI writing tool for marketers. Listen here.
🎙️I love you!
📦 From the Archives 📦
[From February 28, 2020] The Boring Talks host conversations with people who find traditionally boring things fascinating, and the result is lovely—vignettes of enthusiasm and appreciation for mundane things. Like an episode on pencils! It made me want to go out and buy 5,000 Ticonderogas. The nostalgia, the reliability, the design, the color, the smell! Another episode, Swearing (a personal cross-cultural comparative study of Hindi and English) is wonderful because it really focuses on appreciating why swearing is so great—because of the mouth feel. So although translations to swear words in other languages might not make sense to us, the way it feels to push them out of our mouths is universal. Don’t swear again without truly recognizing just how GREAT it feels. Don’t hold a pencil without appreciating its sweetness. I am convinced this podcast could make me a happier person.
From the Desk of Tink
Today we’re talking to Ayo Oti of the Sounds Like Impact newsletter.
Describe your newsletter in ten words or less. Weekly social impact podcasts curation with CTAs for social change.
Who is it for?
This newsletter is for YOU if:
You are curious about what’s happening in the world
You want to help make social change alongside a community
You like FREE things
Where should people start? The Best of Impactful Podcasts 2023 (So Far) list. It’s a good way to get a taste of the various social issues I try to cover.
Favorite reader interaction: Probably Shreya Sharma of Audio Currents (and Tink!)—she’s always so happy to chat with me about the newsletter and try to help me promote it. Thank you Shreya!
Dream guest/interview: Audie Cornish–former NPR host and current podcast host of The Assignment with Audie Cornish. She’s one of the most incredible interviewers I’ve ever listened to and she handles social issues that are in the news with such care and nuance. But make no mistake, she’s not afraid to ask tough questions. Literal goals.
Dream partnership: The Meteor. They are just so on the pulse of what is happening in our society, and even around the world, though they mainly focus on the U.S. Also, they have produced a few podcasts too!
If I could force one person in the world to read my newsletter it'd be…Just one!? Okay, I never thought about this until now, and I’m not really religious or even Catholic, but, the Pope. A lot of people still pay attention to what he has to say, right? (I kid you not, I googled the Pope after making this response and it said he just dropped a second Popecast today for World Youth Day…)
What do your parents / family think you do? My dad has no clue what I do. His main concern is whether I am employed with healthcare and able to pay my rent. And I think I mentioned my work to my mom a few times, but I don’t think that it’s registered, haha. That said, she’s always supportive of whatever I want to do career wise.
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