Popular “Stuff You Should Know” podcasters Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant met with us during ComicCon 2012 to promote their upcoming television show of the same name, set for broadcasting in January, 2013 on the Science Channel.Although these guys know a thing or two about things we should know, this new foray into television is a big leap forward for them, if not a natural progression of the podcast of the same name.  Josh and Chuck were joined by Debbie Myers, General Manager at Science Channel, who helped put the production aspect of the program into perspective for the handful or reporters chatting with the trio. During the interviews they gave us some insight into how a podcast evolves into a tv show and how, as much as things are different, they actually stay pretty much the same!

Stuff You Should Know interview – SDCC 2012 Part 1

They begin by giving us the basic premise of the new show, which will essentially be a sort of behind the scenes of the podcast and what leads up to it.  As Chuck says, even though it’s them doing real things, it’s fictional. Whedonopolis wanted to know how the format would change from the podcast, would it be essentially the same but visual, as well? According to Josh, it will be scripted, with the action interspersed between the podcast bits.  These guys are so real, Debbie notes effusively, the producers want them to be themselves, if hyper-reality based.  They don’t want to rush the show, but would rather have an organic evolution of it.  They even did a full pilot to get feedback from the fans.  (Quite the optimist, in Debbie’s mind they’re in the 46th season!)  Some of the biggest feedback was to keep the humor – the fans loved that — and they also loved the short doses of the actual stuff we should know.  Watch the first part of the interview for more.

Stuff You Should Know interview – SDCC 2012 Part 2

Discussing their beginnings, Josh describes being asked to take the articles from the How Stuff Works.com website and make them into a podcast.  They brought Chuck in and the two soon-to-be partners in podcasting just clicked.  The podcast was created based on them, so transitioning to tv (they have to wear pants, now, jokes Debbie), they found that using the video shorts they created as a sort of trial for the larger tv format was helpful in keeping that element of reality. There is at the moment a pilot and ten, 30-minute episodes for the 1st season. They tease us with some possible topics which may include time travel, night terrors, bees(!), weather modification, and artificial intelligence, to name a few.  Debbie comments that a major challenge is to broaden the audience by making science accessible and moving beyond the core group of viewers who already like science.  Luckily, these guys do it with an entertainment – and entertaining – twist.  Hear more for yourself in the second part of the interview.

Stuff You Should Know interview – SDCC 2012 Part 3

Even with the new show, they’ll still stick to two-a-week podcasts, since that consistency is what builds the following and because in the fickle world of podcasting, it’s easy to lose listeners if you’re not consistent.  They also admit that there are some topics they simply can’t accommodate (Scientology, for one) but most of the time they can get the inside info they need to show the audience the stuff they should know.  We at Whedonopolis wondered if they had any guest stars joining them in the tv program, and although they haven’t locked anyone down, they really hope to! Some names on their wish list are Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku, and John Hodgman, to name a few. (Spread the word, letting your favorite science stars know Josh and Chuck want them on the show!).  It was fun to hear how they actually surprise each other – for real! – in the podcast, as they present their take on the show topic for the first time.  The reactions you hear are as genuine as the guys themselves.

Getting to the fanboys behind the podcasters, they also told us what and who they fan over; for Chuck, it’s mainly Star Wars and a lot of science-based writers, while Josh is crazy mad for the book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann, and how it relates a different history for the Americas.  And of course Josh noted the Firefly panel, which totally resonates with us!  Debbie admitted she’s addicted to Game of Thrones (the books and movies!) and True Blood.  And she’d be remiss to not admit to being thrilled about the Science Channel Firefly panel and special, as well.  Watch the rest of the interview for more.

Guess we’re all fans of something, and being a fan of “Stuff You Should Know” is going to get much cooler in January 2013!

Many thanks to Josh Clark, Chuck Bryant and Debbie Myers at The Science Channel for taking the time for the interviews, Amber Harris at Discovery Communications for keeping the social media rolling, Helen Yu at designmaus.com for video editing, and to Reenie Kuhlman for getting us all together for a great session.

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