Once upon a occasion, Arnie Niekamp was sucked into a portal behind a Burger King in Chicago and ended up in a mysterious world-wide announced Foon. As he interprets in the beginning of each occurrence of Hello From the Magic Tavern , he can still podcast from this strange alternate universe, and after a duet episodes, youll be sucked in very.
Niekamp is joined by shape-shifting badger Chunt( Adal Rifai) and quest-obsessed wizard Usidore( Matt Young ), who announces his full figure during every chapter, plus a rotating cast of characters who inhabit Foon and, more particularly, the local magical tavern, the Vermilion Minotaur. In Foon, seasons include one called gaffe, goblins have very active copulation lives, emptines ghosts stray for infinity looking for scraps, and having two buttholes is not uncommon. There are some Earth-like similarities, though: Uniting planners exist, as do burials.
Oh, and the show is entirely improvised.
For a podcast this layered, the connective material has to be strong, or else its going to be a mess. HFTMT succeeds in huge fraction due to the improvisational knacks of Niekamp, Rifai, and Young, who have been play-act together in Chicago for more than a decade. Sure, they step on one anothers toes from time to time, but they also know each others fortitudes and weaknesseswhen to save and when to step back. Niekamp had done podcasts before HFTMT with Chicago followings, but nothing actually stayed.
It sort of seems like to get any kind of attention these days, you have to do something sort of high-concept or a bit more niche, he told the Daily Dot. At the same period, I adore high-concept substance and I love storytelling and mostly I exactly sloped the idea to Matt and Adal. I wanted to what I love about podcasts, which is a laid-back chit-chat substantiate, and insert a really weird narration.
Podcasts like Therefore welcomed Night Vale and Limetown point to the success of a high-concept, alternate-reality-building approaching. Though improv is its foundation, HFTMT wasnt a stage show first; it was designed to exist as a podcast. Niekamp says they did a couple experiment episodes to ensure they would be able to pull it off, which ceased up as HFTMT s first two escapades.
Much like The Best Show s Tom Scharpling, Niekamps role is to keep order among the chaos and character-building, to be the curious-yet-cautious guidebook to Foon. Rifai and Young are part of the prime shoot, but each week considers other Chicago improv performers stepping into the rift to exemplify a resident: Krom the Barbarian, Spintax the Green, Spurt the Elder, and Pimbly Nimblebottom, to identify merely a few.
My role is to sort of be the ringleader, to keep occasions in order, Niekamp replied. Im sort of the gathering surrogate, and so my job is to try to have as honest of a reaction as I can to all that is happening. Niekamp adds that theyre often juggling several different plays at the same season, so generally the central tournament is that Im trying to keep order and theyre trying to devise a lot of crazy nonsense.
Within that, I try to find the little things for myself to do, to establish my reference less of just a straight interviewer. My quote-unquote reputation has his own quirks; hes a little too obsessed with the podcast, beyond reasonablenes. Like, why would someone in this mystical world really lies in the fact that invested in doing a podcast?
The followers, nonetheless, have become very invested. Hello From the Magic Tavern debuted in March, and since then a strong fandom has ricochetted up all over the see, especially on Reddit and Tumblr. Niekamp associates that if they belie or repeat themselves in a storyline, theyll get emails about it, at the very real email address magictavern @puppies. renders, which has become a repetition bit on the see. They often have to consult the fan-made Wiki page to remember certain citations, and both Chunt and Usidore have their own Twitter accounts, although there are Twitter ostensibly doesnt exist in Foon.
I love the idea of the gathering certainly being able to participate in the appearance, Niekamp answered. And ask questions and propose happenings that basically become a part of the world of the appearance. That just seems like a kind of natural outcome of the improv were trying to do.
More than 37 episodes in, HFTMT has developed a fanbase that renders each week, but Niekamp says theyve resistedat least for nowthe idea of having seasons.
One of the things I love about podcasts is theyre exactly kind of always there for you every week, he spoke. And I too worry that when you take time off, what percentage of your audience do you lose? Too, I sort of love the purporting-to-be-real caliber, even though it speaks its absolutely no truth to the rumors.
We try to find ways to have the depict bled into the real world. Someone wrote a Yelp evaluation of the Burger King we mention in the picture, with a lot of comments to Foon, and I think thats amusing. giving you at least a small percentage of an open door to deliberation, You know, this could be real. This is happening in real period.
Illustration by Max Fleishman