Unpopular Opinion

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The original Unpopular Opinion logo

Unpopular Opinion or "Unpops" is a weekly internet comedy podcast created and hosted by comedian and columnist Adam Tod Brown. It is also the umbrella brand for a network of podcasts produced by Brown. It is marketed as "the world's most trusted podcast".

Early history[edit | edit source]

The podcast debuted on December 20, 2013 and was usually recorded at Cracked Studios in Santa Monica, California. The show has also been recorded at the Stand Up NY Labs in New York and SyFy's Reactor host, and comedian David Huntsberger's home studio, which Brown and May coined a 'Murder Barn'.

The show was co-produced with Cracked.com audio specialist Brett "Mayor of Podcast City" Rader, who was often a guest on the podcast. The show often featured Rader's ongoing, semi-fictionalized feud with regular guest Jeff May.

The show has a variety of comedians, writers, actors, and musicians to discuss current topics, the challenges of show business, and, until late 2016, Brown's weekly column posted on Cracked.

The show also has a number of running gags such as the Howard Dean Scream, Adam asking a co-host how they have been doing only to interrupt them rudely with Nanowar of Steel music, speaking about their casual and recreational use of marijuana and other prescription drugs, supplementing income as a struggling comedian by giving rides via Uber, Brown and guests misusing the phrase Gift of the Magi, the show's voicemail line for fans to vent about their problems or ask questions, guests' love for comedian and Cracked.com editor Alex Schmidt, the use of the word cunt being followed by a "cunt dinger" sound, and Brown's love for the McDonald's McRib sandwich.

The opening song is Octopussy by Los Juanitos and the closing theme is Gang Fight by Countless Thousands.

Notable Guests[edit | edit source]

The show has featured a number of notable guests, including:

Writers Aaron Covington, co-screenwriter of Creed [1] and Laurie Kilmartin of Conan and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.[2]

Golden Globe winning actress Rachel Bloom, German rapper Casper,[3] and Julia Kugel of The Coathangers.

Zachary Carothers and Erik Howk of Portugal. the Man appeared on the Alaska episode of the now-defunct Your State Is Insane[4]

Brown, May and comic Vanessa Gritton interviewed musician Frank Turner about his music, politics, and touring in the United States.[5]

The show is also well known for interviewing former co-host of American Idol Brian Dunkleman, who talked about the incompetent producers, Ryan Seacrest's attempts to sabotage Dunkleman due to a jealous dark side, and the way the show treated its contestants.

Independence[edit | edit source]

On August 3, 2016 a crowdfunding campaign to build a recording studio in Brown's Los Angeles home went live on Kickstarter with a target of $7,500. This was reached in less than a week and when the campaign ended on September 2, 2016 $22,761 had been pledged toward the project.[6]

In mid-August 2016 a subscription service was launched using the Connectpal platform.[7] While the original weekly Unpopular Opinion show remained free to access, a variety of new subscriber-exclusive weekly shows were added to the Unpops brand. In early 2017 some of the new shows were also offered free, but only on a biweekly release schedule.

The podcast became fully independent of Cracked.com following Brown's departure from the company in October 2016.

In late April 2017 it was announced that Unpops would be leaving Connectpal for the Patreon platform. The Unpops Patreon went live on May 1, 2017, after which the Connectpal site was no longer updated.

Return of Brett Rader and Cracked alumni[edit | edit source]

On December 4, 2017, E. W. Scripps fired 19 staff members from Cracked including Daniel O'Brian, Brett Rader, Tom Reimann and the entire video team.[8] Shortly afterward Rader and Reimann returned to the Unpopular Opinion podcast for its December 19, 2017 episode and O'Brien and Randall Maynard would guest on the show's first outing for 2018.

It is believed Rader will return to producer duties in 2018.

Running gags[edit | edit source]

During the transition from a single podcast to a network of shows, several new running gags have been introduced.

  • Online-Stopwatch.com being a sponsor of the network and its shows
  • #FastballAtChets (see section below)
  • a plush doll of Mothman - mistaken by some hosts as a bat or "bat man" - introduced to the studio in April 2017
  • The Iron Giant, a cardboard cutout of which was donated by a listener for use in the studio
  • Black Pete Crunch, a cereal and business empire based on Dutch holiday mascot Zwarte Piet, created by Brown and Quincy Johnson
  • Warhorse, a semifictional character based on the Blue Mustang statue at Denver International Airport who was the subject of the first two Unpops Christmas specials

#FastballAtChets[edit | edit source]

In mid-October 2016 Unpopular Opinion guest and co-host of several new shows, comic Chet Wild, launched a social media campaign on the Unpops network (#FastballAtChets) to have the band Fastball play a concert in his living room.[9] There was some public support for the campaign as listeners to the Unpopular Opinion network retweeted the #FastballAtChets hashtag on Twitter.[10]

In addition Wild recorded his own cover versions of several Fastball songs and posted them online, and had celebrities such as Ben Folds and Norm Macdonald appear in videos with him to share their support for the campaign.

Both Miles Zuniga and Tony Scalzo appeared on different Unpopular Opinion shows for informal interviews at different times. Although supportive neither explicitly endorsed the campaign.

Celebrity endorsements
People banned from the #FastballAtChets concert

Since late January 2017 Wild has declared several people persona non grata and banned them from attending the #FastballAtChets living room concert, announcing the bans on either Unpops shows or Twitter. Wild has stated only members of the band are able to "pardon" a banned person and, as of June 9, 2017, no-one had been pardoned. Wild clarified on March 8, 2017 that the ban extended to any Pay-per-view broadcast of the concert, not just physically attending the event at his home.

  • January 26, 2017 - Jeff May is banned and is declared the "official enemy" of the movement
  • March 4, 2017 - Twitter user "Zombie Banana"/@BurnItDown2016 is banned following an inflammatory tweet aimed at Wild[15]
  • March 8, 2017 - the sister of Twitter user "Bad Hombre Sammy"/@sombrerokingdom was banned for confusing Fastball with Smash Mouth and for liking a recent cover version of Fastball's Out Of My Head[16]
  • March 8, 2017 - during an episode of LIST! CAST!, commenter Bryan R. Powers is banned for badmouthing the band's appearance on Charmed
  • 17 April 2017 - Twitter user "Moz"/@Ranbique is banned for suggesting the Unpops studio should be renamed "Fastball Sucks" as part of the network's Patreon campaign[17]
  • 13 May 2017 - an unknown person is banned for publicly dumping a Bumper pool table[18]
  • 31 May 2017 - Donald Trump is banned for his "covfefe" tweet[19]
  • 2 July 2017 - Zazzle is banned for declining to produce a T-shirt requested by an Unpops fan[20]

On September 6, 2017 - day 324 of the campaign - Wild suggested the band could do the living room show on September 18 as they would be in Los Angeles for their current tour, and that any proceeds from it would go to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund. In response Fastball agreed to the concert, saying in a tweet "Hurricane recovery? We'll do it. Let's see how many people your living room holds."[21]

As of September 14, 2017 the #FastballAtChets Indiegogo had raised $8081 – 323% of the original goal[22] - and Jeff May had been pardoned by Wild and given the opportunity to host the pre-concert comedy show.

On September 18, 2017 the concert took place at Wild's Los Angeles home, preceded by a backyard concert by Countless Thousands and a half-hour comedy show of Unpopular Opinion alumni.

The #FastballAtChets campaign officially concluded on September 25, 2017 when the Indiegogo closed, raising US$12,500 pledged by 267 backers.

Shows[edit | edit source]

As of January 16, 2018 the podcasts broadcast on Unpops are:

What In The World?
Hosted by Brown and comic Quincy Johnson II. Examines news stories from around the world and showcases a new recipe each week.
The Least Anticipated Podcast Of The Week
Hosted by Brown and comic Chet Wild. Films, music and TV shows to be released in the next week are discussed.
Pretty Scary!
Hosted by Brown and hosts of the podcast White Wine True Crime Caitlin Cutt and Kari Martin. A show that looks at true crime stories, the paranormal and conspiracy theories. Also known as Pretty Scary BOO!.
In Broad Daylight
An occasional solo podcast hosted by Brown. In February 2017, after a brief hiatus, the show returned as one focused on news about the Presidency of Donald Trump not covered by mainstream media outlets and delving deeper into matters such as Executive Order 13769. In June 2017 Brown announced the show would become a video-based one in the near future.
What's Your Problem?!
Hosted by Brown and Wild. A fitness, personal improvement and general wellness show (formerly titled Get Fit!).
A clip show of material not included in the original shows.
Take A Walk!
Hosted by Vanessa Gritton and, as of January 2018, Jessica Singer. Gritton and one or more guests discuss landmarks, neighborhoods and other areas about which they are enthusiastic or interested. Previous sites have included The Magic Castle, Clifton's Cafeteria and Pink's Hot Dogs.
Conspiracy! The Show
Hosted by Brown and Connor McSpadden. A show about conspiracy theories that debuted May 10, 2017.
Heart Shaped Pod
Hosted by Brown and Travis Clark. A show about the band Nirvana.
The Darkest Hour
Hosted by Brown and Josh Denny.
Profiles In Eccentricity
Hosted by John "Figgles" Fahy and Aaron Pita. Each episode profiles an eccentric or "weirdo". Previous episodes include discussion of Matthew Weigman, Carl Panzram and Doc Dart.
Hosted by Brown and Van Gorder. Subtitled "A Financial Crimes Podcast". Focuses on white collar crime. Debuted January 10, 2018, with a show about Lou Pearlman.
You Do What?
Hosted by Cindy Aravena. A weekly podcast in which comedian Aravena interviews her comedian friends about the rituals and traditions that inform their everyday lives. Debuted January 12, 2018.
Hosted by Gritton, Aravena and Anna Valenzuela. Debuted January 16, 2018.
Best Bad Movie Ever
Hosted by Tom Reimann and David Christopher Bell. Guests defend a "bad" movie. Debuted January 16, 2018

Shows retired or on hiatus[edit | edit source]

Several other shows have been shared under the Unpops umbrella since the network's launch but have later been retired or put on hiatus for sometimes unknown reasons. This is not an exhaustive list.

The Monday Show
Hosted by Brown, May and comic "Nana" Raquelle Jason.
If You Got A Problem
Hosted by Brown, May and Jason. Previously known as You People Are Insane. Listeners leave voicemail messages about issues in their lives to which solutions are offered by Jason and May, and Brown decides who gave the best advice. This show, along with The Monday Show, were abandoned in late 2017 after an announcement by Brown that May and Jason had moved on from the network.
Brown moderates a debate between two guests on a contentious topic. Previous shows have included Beyonce vs Rihanna,[23] UFC vs WWE and the merits of Taylor Swift.
Laugh Track To Your Life
Hosted by Brown and comic Danielle Soto. Pairs major news stories, issues or current events with an episode of a classic sitcom that addressed the same issues. Biweekly. Debuted March 2, 2017.
Hosted by Brown and also livestreamed on YouTube. Brown and two guests list examples of their favourites in a certain subject or genre (Christmas movies, film soundtracks, fast food chains, 80s sitcoms) and viewers vote on a top five "best of".
Get Lit!
Hosted by Brown and musician Danger Van Gorder of the band Countless Thousands. A "book club"-style show where each host brings a book for the other to read, gives a synopsis of same and why they enjoy it, and discuss previous books.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "In Defense of White Chicks by Unpopular Opinion | Free Listening on SoundCloud". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  2. "Laurie Kilmartin". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  3. "The Casper Show". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  4. "Your State Is Insane - Alaska (Preview Version)". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  5. "The Frank Turner Show". Soundcloud.com. 
  6. "Unpopular Opinion Needs a New Studio." Kickstarter.com, 2016. Retrieved: 05 January 2017.
  7. "Unpopular Opinion." Connectpal.com, 2017. Retrieved: 05 January 2017.
  9. Tweet by Chet Wild Twitter, 17 October 2016. Retrieved: 06 January 2017.
  10. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23FastballAtChets&src=tyah
  11. Tweet by Mike Gatto Twitter, 06 January 2017. Retrieved: 06 January 2017.
  12. https://twitter.com/ChetWild/status/830521332592816128
  13. Tweet by Chet Wild Twitter, February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  14. Tweet by Chet Wild Retrieved February 23, 2017
  15. Tweet by Chet Wild Retrieved March 5, 2017
  16. Tweet by Chet Wild Retrieved March 9, 2017
  17. Tweet by Chet Wild
  18. Tweet by Chet Wild
  19. Tweet by Chet Wild
  20. Tweet by Chet Wild
  21. Tweet by Fastball
  22. "#FastballAtChets Hurricane Harvey Recovery Show", Indiegogo
  23. "FIGHT! CAST! - "Beyonce vs. Rihanna" (w/Josh Denny and Chris Black)" Connectpal.com, 30 December 2016. Retrieved: 05 January 2017.

External links[edit | edit source]