Hannah Weetman &
Originally not aired on 18/08/22
Every podcast (even an unrecorded podcast like mine) at some point must make a decision: when do you cut off your friends, the people that supported you from the start.
Now #1 on Spotify’s unrecorded podcast chart, “Comedians In Edinburgh Getting Chai Lattes” is undoubtedly the hit of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. As a result, people are clamouring to come on and sit down for a Chai Latte with me.
My issue is there’s only a certain number of these I can put out. The post-production process of this podcast is a lengthy one – it involves me uploading the recording onto an SD card, sending it via FedEX to my editor Brett who lives in Denver, Colorado (he doesn’t trust digital file transfers), waiting for him to clean up the audio before he posts it back, and then finally deleting the recording and deciding to write the interview up instead.
So with that in mind, do I get more ambitious with my bookings, tactically choosing guests with huge social media followings in order to grow my own fanbase? Or do I waste my time on relatively unsuccessful friends, just because they asked to come on and I’m too socially awkward to say no?
I’ll let you figure out which one I’ve gone for, when I tell you today I interviewed two guests whose lowly status means they can’t advance my career whatsoever.
Tal Davies and Hannah Weetman are two Birmingham-based “comics” that don’t even have a show at this year’s Fringe. Why they’re here is anyone’s guess.
“Why are you here?” I asked.
“Anyone’s guess,” Tal replied. Hannah looked at her and they both laughed.
I paused, hoping that if there was a big enough silence then this coerced interview might be ended early.
“So, aren’t you gonna ask us about our careers?” Hannah asked.
“Oh right, yeah… how are your careers going?”
“Really well actually,” Tal answered. “We’re thinking of maybe doing our own shows next ye—”
“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..” I interrupted, saying each individual ‘Z’ out loud, using the American pronunciation of “zee” in order to caricature my boredom.
“Is everything okay?” Hannah asked.
“Not really,’” I said. “Listen guys, I know you’re my friends and all that, but it’s just… well considering my ambitions, it’s frustrating that I’m still so accessible to you. I shouldn’t be talking to people with as few credits and accolades as you guys.”
I’m not the best at reading people, but Tal and Hannah both looked a bit sad, a human reaction that corresponds to negative emotions.
I was perplexed. Had I said something? Then it dawned on me. By viewing Tal and Hannah in terms of their status rather than as friends whose company I enjoy, I’d made a mistake. The spirit of the Fringe isn’t about networking with people who can advance your career, it’s about coming together for the biggest arts festival in the world, celebrating creativity in all its forms. Comedy should be a community, not a hierarchy.
“I’m really sorry guys,” I said. “I want you to know that I really appreciate you both and that—”
My phone buzzed. I looked down and it was a text from a TV comedian asking if I fancied a pint.
I made up my excuses and left.
See you next time! X