Jump into a sci-fi comedy podcast with heart

How many podcasts have you loved that you were initially pretty lukewarm on? I remember I really didn’t like Answer Me This! the first time I heard it… but it was 2007 so there weren’t many podcasts, and by the second episode I was ready to binge.

I’m not quite sure why it took a few mentions of Mission to Zyxx for me to capitulate, but I’m glad I did… and it’s proof that advertising on other podcasts works. I can remember where I was when I decided “fine, I’ll give this silly sci-fi show a try”, and how the night unfolded as I binged the entire first season.

Zyxx is an improvised sci-fi comedy podcast with a narrative arc, which in and of itself is novel enough. Then you add in the sound design – which is borderline obsessive in its detail – and you have something rarer. Then bring in a score honestly worthy of John Williams, and you’re like “OK, at this point you’re selling past the close”. Then you throw in guest stars, recurring characters, hilarious callbacks, truly loveable characters, and you see why perhaps I’ve been waiting for just the right moment to write an issue about it.

Luckily – and for no major reason I can think of other than affection for the fans – the Zyxx team, minus Allie Kokesh, just put out a live recording from San Fransisco Sketch Fest. I’ve picked this minute – starting at around 2:44 – as it does a lot of heavy lifting. It gives us what the team call the “opening crawl” (think the big yellow text from Star Wars, only in your ears) delivered at a breakneck pace, with the attempt of bringing any non-Zyxx fans up-to-speed. Despite having to rattle through a lot of copy, host and co-star Alden Ford absolutely nails the dismount, which you’ll hear if you check out the episode in question.

You should really take this show out for a binge if you’re not familiar with it. The benefit you’ll have over me is that you won’t have to wait in-between seasons… or endure the three month wait for the final episode. Sci-fi isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but usual binge rules apply: start from the beginning and if you’re not on-board by the first four episodes, you have my permission to bail.

I’m so pleased I let the Fresh into my life, because without this podcast, things would be pretty Whack. I’m eagerly awaiting the special crowdfunded vinyl that’s on its way, with the beautiful orchestral score and other goodies.

It’s been a really fun ride, and I hope they do something again soon.

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