Woodbridge, VA (PRWEB) September 7, 2006
Podcasting is a relatively new medium, offering subscription-based downloadable audio programs for the last year or two. While many Podcasts attempt to emulate traditional radio shows with popular music, news, or comedy sketches, Mister Rons Basement, has taken a different approach.
To me, Podcasting offers an opportunity to create programs that wouldnt fly on traditional mass audience broadcast radio, says Ron Evry, the voice of Mister Ron.
Face it, how many people are interested in listening to funny stories from a hundred, hundred-and-fifty years ago? Nevertheless, due to the global reach of podcasting, there seems to be thousands of people who do.
The Listeners Speak
Evry has listeners from all over the United States, Europe and Asia. One Japanese listener emailed that he was using the podcasts to improve his English language skills. An Australian fan said, I had no idea America had so much comic literature so far back in the day.
Another listener wrote, Mister Ron purveys a brand of content that is more than just the story…I love this old humor not just because its funny, but the zeitgeist of the era becomes so alive.
Who are these guys and why are they so funny?
What sort of old-time stories are featured on the Basement show? Of course, the well-known classic American humorists such as Mark Twain, O Henry, and Bret Harte are well represented. But by and large, the bulk of the humorous stories feature authors that Evry has tracked down and dredged up by haunting antiquarian book stores, and searching the internet.
Many of the books he finds are not funny by todays standards, and, remarks Evry, probably werent too funny when they were printed either.
Still, he has struck gold a remarkable number of times. Listening to an assortment of the Mister Rons Basement Podcasts reveals a pattern of humor that may have indirectly influenced the writers and comedians who make us laugh today. The wacky stories of Max Adeler, Ellis Parker Butler, and Bill Nye (the nineteenth century guy) are surely predecessors to the oblique zaniness of the Marx Brothers, Monty Python, and The Simpsons.
One author, C. B. Lewis, writing under the pen name of M. Quad throughout the later decades of the nineteenth century, achieved fame by being blown up in a steamboat accident, and telling the tale. Mister Ron has read that story on his show, and has taken to regularly featuring regular weekly readings of stories featuring Lewiss most popular character, Mr. Bowser, an ancestor to Ralph Kramden, Archie Bunker, and Homer Simpson. The Bowser stories were almost totally buried, only known to a few researchers, until Evry started his mission re-popularizing the blustering idiot.
For a little over a year, Evry read George Ades hysterically funny Fables in Slang every weekend. There are over a hundred of those stories to be found in the Basement. Mostly forgotten today, Ades use of turn-of-the-century catch phrases seem quite intelligible to modern ears, and generally are masterpieces of cynical wit.
Other writers spotlighted in the Podcast include the Canadian writer Stephen Leacock (in 1911, the expression goes, more Americans knew who Stephen Leacock was than knew where Canada was), Fanny Fern (the highest paid columnist in America in the 1860s), Hugh McHugh (who?), George W. Peck (Pecks Bad Boy) Marietta Holley (who sold over ten million books in her lifetime), H. C. Bunner, Metta Victoria Victor, Lucretia Peabody Hale, Maine humorist Seba Smith, Henry Clay Lewis (the Louisiana Swamp Doctor who drowned in the bayou), and many, many more.
Some weeks, the Basement spotlights individual authors, and other weeks center around particular themes with a variety of writers. Past weeks themes have included New Orleans authors, funny horror stories, women writers of the nineteenth century, childrens folk tales, love tales, old stories made into movies, and to commemorate Western Unions ending telegram service after 150 years, stories featuring telegrams.
Evry has been active in establishing Podcasting in Education. He helped set up the first public Elementary School Podcasting in the State of Virginia, and has been helping educators throughout the world explore this new medium. Slapcast.com, the hosting service for Mister Rons Basement, run by Roger Strickland, has been especially involved in carrying educational Podcasts.
Five Hundred Episodes
Because there are so few daily podcasts, and the medium is still fairly new, there may only be one or two others that have reached the 500th episode milestone. But Evrys research efforts have made it possible to provide a wide variety of classic funny authors, and he believes that the well shouldnt run dry for thousands more episodes to come.
Sponsorship and Contact Info
Businesses trying to reach upscale audiences may want to consider advertising on Mister Rons Basement. Ad insertion is available for all of the 2006 episodes on a simultaneous basis, to reach large numbers of listeners at competitive rates. Advertising representation for the Podcast is handled by Gregory Galant at RadioTail Advertising at (800) 790-2096.
To find out more about the “Mister Ron’s Basement” podcast, journalists may contact Ron Evry at (703) 490-1534 or by email. Photos and graphics are available upon request. All episodes of the program can be downloaded from the web site http://slapcast.com/users/revry. The most recent one hundred episodes are also available for free on iTunes.