Hey gang! This is the 2nd in a longish series of backer blogs on topics that have been requested by you, our patrons. If you have a request, message me on Slack!
Most of the shows on the network have a sort of "how it works" entry so I figured Teenage Dirtbags should get one too. I never talked about the making of The Pitch since that show had an actual Q and A post moterm. Actually, that show is so old it should be considered a post modem. In real life, the Pitch is coming back soon!
TDB Brayton and I take turns picking 3 videos and sending them to one another. We then review them and have veto power. Most videos aren't veto'd. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm the only jerk who's done so. The reason is generally something along the lines of not thinking there's enough going on in the video to talk about. Weirdly enough, Teenage Dirtbags is a fairly focused podcast. Or rather, the digressions are all safely quarantined to segments, so it almost gives the illusion of focus.
After we've picked our videos, we both watch them a few times and take notes. I can't speak to Brayton's notes but I tend to favor short sentences that can be taken for gibberish later if possible. Something like, "Unpleasant man cannon fires sadness bullets" is perfect. Then, we commence to recording, usually 3 episodes in a session.
Every episode begins with the Garody (or rarely, a Braytomage), then we just sort of flow. Segments aren't often planned. Before the show started, we came up with 10-20 segments we could include but the rest have just happened naturally. Sometimes, if we know we have a tight turn around for editing, we'll try to curb the creation of new segments.
The original segments just went into a google doc where Brayton and I tried to make one another laugh. That's honestly the basis of the Pitch as well. There's a lot of Pitch DNA in Teenage Dirtbags. Brayton and I love a few things:
1) Puns 2) Pairs of words that rhyme 3) Hard to say and/or unpleasant products
You'll note that a lot of segments are also barely ideas. Thinks like IRSTP or Stumptown Dumplins are classic Gary and Brayton idiocy.
The musical stings for the segments are something Brayton and I both enjoy doing. Typically, if it's his voice on them, he made it, and if it's mine, I did. I don't know that there's a stylistic difference between our approaches.
I guess, in a real "let's break down humor until it isn't funny anymore," there's a different layer to TDB than The Pitch, and that's the whole ceremony around banality angle. Having a separate segment to talk about what we're drinking or to recap something as stupid as Dead at 21 is engaging in a sort of irony. Or it's just us being dumb bells. I dunno.
Oh, and the poem about an onion thing: those are clearly all real poems about real onions. Brayton and I both enjoy writing poetry! I haven't in a while (which is why he writes almost all of them) but I like to think we're both sort of good at it.
Anyway, I hope this is helpful. There aren't a lot of editing tricks or anything to how the show is put together. We just cut out breaks and cut in segment music. If you were hoping for a Kole style behind the scenes technical overview, this isn't that. But hopefully this helps shed a little light on the process.
I'll probably talk about The Pitch after we get a few under our belt. Umbassa.