Published on:

28th Jan 2023

Podcasting Sucks! Podcasting Horror Stories

Good morning, Podcasters! On today's bonus episode of Podcasting Sucks, Jeff and Fuzz talk about some of their audio horror stories. Whether it's antics from a guest or a bumbling boss who would give Michael Scott a run for his money, Jeff and Fuzz talk about some of their most memorable horror stories of podcasting (and radio).


Jeff Townsend 0:08

Welcome to Podcasting Sucks. I'm Jeff Townsend, my best friend Fuzz Martin is with me. We just were bench. We're binge recording here. We're binge recording binge

Fuzz Martin 0:18

batch we're batch recording. I think batch recording just sounds so much more, you know, like, yeah,

Jeff Townsend 0:25

yeah. But we just recorded an basically an update on Good Morning Podcasters and Sodcasting Sucks. Obviously, your format on Good Morning Podcasters does not allow you to give detailed thoughts and updates. And so that was a pretty I don't know, maybe no one else will like it. But I think it was a good 30 minutes spit?

Fuzz Martin 0:46

I think so too. And I think it was good. I think we we went into some details that I really think the behind the scenes stuff I don't think people hear enough about at times, and I enjoy listening to that stuff. I enjoy hearing the reasons behind why a show does what it does, or you know, how somebody got into that role and those kinds of things. And to me that's entertainment. It's a, you know, pulling back the curtain and allowing people to see what goes into the shower. Exactly, yes. Inside the shower. Oh, no different. No. Different than Yeah, a

Jeff Townsend 1:28

different genre.

Fuzz Martin 1:31

That's great chatter over there. So speak but speaking of that, we were going to talk this episode about podcasting horror stories.

Jeff Townsend 1:46

Content Creation horror stories. Yeah. Anything that relates Yeah, I'm excited.

Fuzz Martin 1:50

Yeah. I've got a number of them from my, my days on the air. And actually some from from podcasting as well that are my my podcasting horror story is a doozy. So I feel like I need to give you a trigger warning to us specifically, Jeff. So but it is. It is. It is jarring.

Jeff Townsend 2:21

I want to kick it off though, because I have a quick funny one. Yeah, that I know a listener this podcast will absolutely hate because it's involving him. So I will kick off, I will kick off. It's not necessarily the horror. It's kind of a horror story, but I'll explain why it's not really his fault, but I'll kick it off. That's okay. If that works for me hit it. One of our good friends great guy love the guy. I talked to him all the time. I consider him a good friend Ed Havens. 80s movie podcast. He's a genius on at cinema, particularly stuff you've never heard of. So check out the movies podcast. But so when I launched indie podcaster Eric was almost two years ago, I did a bunch of batch recordings before I even put out the I probably had 15 recordings. Okay, under my belt before I released. Edie was one of them. And I had been just batch recording like crazy. My wife is pissed off. So this is like towards the end of it. This was like the last one that I was going to go to like one a week. Okay. And it was later in the week. And I'm like, I will be home by this time. I will be home. She's like, No, you won't. I'm like You have my word. I will be home by 7pm. And she's like, No, you won't but whatever. And and behind the scenes right divorce now, but it's all its fault. Dammit. Damn USA. So I'm like, Okay, here we go. Six o'clock is the scheduled time. And it's been up my Yes. Try not to use swear languages. He has been saying things like I've already told you I'd come on to the podcast, like tweeting at me constantly in front of is

Fuzz Martin 4:10

very good Ed. impersonation, by the way.

Jeff Townsend 4:13

Yeah, well, thank you. So we arranged it, then I'm waiting. I'm waiting. I'm waiting for this guy. And the whole time I'm taken. I gotta get home at seven o'clock. I don't hear anything for like, several minutes. And he has a different version. He says it's 15. But it was more than that. Trust me. Trust me. He has some like, like emergency with his water pipes or something. Okay. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh. Let's reschedule. Let's reschedule it. And he's like, no, no, no, no, just a few more minutes. So and it goes on. It's damn near 630 When we start right and I think in the back of my head. I gotta be home by seven. Gotta be home. Like she is based on

Fuzz Martin 4:56

how far away was the studio

Jeff Townsend 5:00

15 minutes. Okay, I was 15 minutes from home. All right, where was recording? Yep. And I knew I was toast already. So then I started talking to it and I hadn't spoke with him that much just just on tweets and I listened to his podcast. Yep. long winded fella. We love it. Yes. But, and Greg actually loves this episode because I talked for like a minute and a half of the hour. So it gets in there late, right? Keep saying a mom could just give him it. Just give me a minute. So he comes on, we go over an hour by we go like an hour and 12 minutes, okay. My wife is pissed. And I'm like, Oh,

Fuzz Martin 5:36

do you hear the iPhone notifications going off? Like, like your phone? Bling. Well, bling.

Jeff Townsend 5:43


Fuzz Martin 6:12

Dang it. Well, we won't blame him for the divorce, though. So

Jeff Townsend 6:19

it'd be just a little bit. No, I'm just kidding. It's not his fault.

Fuzz Martin 6:23

I have a series of lighthearted ones. All about the same guy. From my radio days. So are you Did you ever watch the office? Were you an office guy?

Jeff Townsend 6:35

Yeah, I wasn't. I was not like the biggest office guy. But I've seen most episodes of the office. Okay, I had

Fuzz Martin 6:40

never been an office guy until actually until the beginning of COVID. Like I had watched, like the office was something I would turn on when I was traveling for work. And I would get to a hotel room. And I knew that it would be something consistent and something that you know, like I could just turn on, there would be a channel playing it. And I'd watch it but I never had actually watched all of them until the pandemic hit that I started watching it. But upon watching it, I realized that my general manager from my final radio station that I was at when I was there for 11 years, that he was Michael Scott. He may have been more Michael Scott than Michael Scott was. So I have a a host of different instances. So do you remember when Gilbert Godfried, who was the voice of the Aflac Duck had gotten himself in trouble? I think he said something. I don't know if it was you said yeah, there's something racist or something like that. Yes. Yeah, I believe so. So Aflac was looking for a new voice for the Aflac Duck Aflac. You know that? Yep. So Jim was the name of my general manager. And he decided he was going to try out for this. But he didn't know how to record into Adobe Audition, because he didn't want to have to be stuck recording a radio spots and things like that. So he always tried, like, always tried to be ignorant to it, so that either somebody else had to record him. Or he just could say no, but he knew how to record into a radio station number we had a thing called Audio Vault, which was where we'd store our commercials and that kind of stuff. Well, he typed in a four digit number, and recorded over this number, just thinking like there's no way that I could randomly record over a number and you can kind of see where this is going. Yeah, he recorded four minutes of him doing I'm sorry, two minutes of him doing different duck voices, Aflac. Aflac. And he was like, doing like a Spanish version, like fly KCMO. And like, that kind of stuff. Oh, my, yeah. Two minutes of just that. And he recorded it over a client's commercial file that the next day ran from midnight until I got into the radio station. every commercial break. is two minutes of Jim doing his Aflac dabba and now, you know, again, it was like midnight till 430 in the morning. It wasn't the you know, Primetime Swiss thing but I'm sure there were some truck drivers out there that were changing the channel because they had heard that.

Jeff Townsend 9:48

Do you think you should have went back to Aflac for some money for other advertising, right.

Fuzz Martin 9:52

I feel like we should have Yes. And I feel like our knowing our salespeople at the radio station they probably tried Do you know who Leroy Butler? Was? The Pat Green Bay Packers? linebacker? Or safety? Excuse me safety? Yeah, he invented. Are you familiar with the Lambeau leap?

Jeff Townsend:

Yes. Okay. Mark DeLanda. Lee. Yeah, so

Fuzz Martin:

he's the guy who invented Lambeau leap. One day, he came to our studio, and this was in probably the year, it was probably like 2002. And Jim, who grew up in the, probably the widest area in Wisconsin, like the Center of Wisconsin, where there's no diversity at all. Leeroy walked into our office and he goes, the ROI for shizzle my nizzle. We said, like, we said, Hey, Jim, no, please come here to the backroom and let us explain to you why that is not appropriate for you a 57 year old white guy in a suit to say to anybody first of all, much less a person of color. So yes. There wasn't a

Jeff Townsend:

stick. That's just cool, though, says something.

Fuzz Martin:

Yeah, I know. Exactly. Exactly. It but it was mostly like just it wasn't it was just all all out of ignorance. Like it was very Michael Scott ish, you know? Yeah. My favorite personal story of this, and I won't go you know, we don't have to go forever on this one. But the first I was 20 I think I was 21 years old. I was 21. I had just started working at the radio station part time. On the weekends, I was bored hopping NASCAR races. So board hopping is you sit in the studio by the soundboard. And you know, when the time to go to commercials, he hit the commercial break and play that and then every so often he come in with time and temperature. Well, he didn't realize this in the office because it was a Saturday race. And typically, races were on Sundays. You know, NASCAR races aren't on this. So I popped my head into his office to say, Hey, my name is fuzz renew guy. Well, I, I pop in his office, his face turns white. I looked down and you can hear like the printers back in 2000 were really loud. And I see that he is printing porn to the like, like porno pictures on his printer. And so embarrassed, he takes a stack of blank papers and throws it at the printer trying to cover up what he's printing. But what it does the turbulence from him throwing it caused all of the pictures he had to fly up into the air, and then gently drift down with naked bodies all over the office see boobs. And I think he was like doing something for a bachelor party or something stupid. But the Yeah, so that was my first instance mean this guy and I have I have a thread on my Twitter page that has about 10 More stories similar to that. So check it out. fuzzmartin But yeah, that's that was crazy.

Jeff Townsend:

Yeah, it reminds me there of the last one of and this everybody listens probably heard me tell the story about the one I dropped in invented a word on the radio. This was this was in a Washington, the state of Washington. Okay, quite a while ago. I was doing an eight o'clock segment, I was allowed to do an interview with the city official. This is really like Jeff transitioned into like more of a voice park in the morning. And by letting me do miscellaneous things in the morning. And I had only been a few months, but I was like, Hey, this is a cool opportunity. It's like 830 in the morning. It's a really big time for the radio people are in their car on the way to work huge time. And I won't go into too much detail because I've had before, but I was interviewing a city official, old older lady, nice lady. And at one point, I was attempting to ask her about her successful career. But for some reason the word came out six full career. I asked her about

Fuzz Martin:

how's your sex full rear

Jeff Townsend:

and our sex full even a word should be now

Fuzz Martin:

I think it is now Yeah, I think you've

Jeff Townsend:

I didn't I wasn't on air ever again. But 830 in the morning is not a good time in a pretty decently populated area to use the word sex for With a city official when you're talking about a serious manner like crime, and I dropped, of course not intentionally, like I said, not even a word, but it somehow stumbled because I'm not the best speaker. I'm not like you. I don't have some Oh, Fuzz Martin here from WK. Milwaukee, but I'm entertaining enough as a as a person. But yeah, I dropped sex full and that was about the end of it. So they probably still take me a sex full Jeff

Fuzz Martin:

sexual job I, we may just start calling me that.

Jeff Townsend:

That's a t shirt.

Fuzz Martin:

That's a t shirt is a T shirt. Again, don't buy them in bulk. So I'm on Printful.

Jeff Townsend:

Together. That's what I've been working on today. A little t shirt. website. So maybe I'll get successful. Jeff in there.

Fuzz Martin:

What are you using for your, for your website?

Jeff Townsend:

Spring T, okay. I'm gonna get a custom domain with it. Sure, I was actually gonna ask if you have anything on there. But yeah, I'm going to try to tie that up and do that here in the next couple days. Get that done.

Fuzz Martin:

Excellent. I've got a I've got a few ideas. We'll talk off the air. Cool. So speaking of that kindness, so do you know who Delilah is the famous like radio? She's on like smooth like or, like easy listening stations. Right? Yeah. Easy. Yeah. Like laid back. Yeah. So it's a syndicated show. The way syndicated show island here. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yes, exactly. Yep. So there was a country version. I don't know if there still is, but there was a country version of Delilah, and her name was Leah. And yeah, which was like, and she looks Yes, they have their own version of everything. Yeah. And she looks the same as Delilah and sounds the same, but she was country version. And it was her name was spelled li a we were a the affiliate at the radio station. She had put out a thing saying that she was looking for people to talk about NASCAR. And for two years, I was a announcer at a short track racetrack. So I I've spent some time near racers, I grew up going to racetracks and I have a love for it. So they told me they wanted to talk to me about it, about meet you like they were gonna discuss, like, who they were gonna get on their syndicated shows. They're like, NASCAR person. So I've done a bunch of research and all this stuff and was ready for the question. Well, they they called me during the day, because they recorded the show. It's not a live show. Right? And they were recording the show. And so just kind of surprised me with like, oh my god, you know, like, Hey, we're on the, you know, essentially, we're live. And I was not prepared for that. And I tanked miserably. I was bad. And so I didn't get the job. And mess up thing to do this. It was it was I really felt I was embarrassed. And it was like, like, I knew what like what was going on for the day. But it was like not I was not prepared for it. So I don't know if they ended up going with somebody else or what I stopped listening to the show, even if I station I didn't want to hear is like

Jeff Townsend:

never listened to NASCAR. Yeah, yes, exactly. Likely, never watched it. So I mean, to your defense, I would have done worse. I probably wouldn't know what to say I would have been like NYAS call or like, I wouldn't have known, you know, let's say or do so. I'm sure it was better than what I would have done. NASCAR

Fuzz Martin:

has four syllables. Another, another instance of some like, podcast, or podcasting, or you're recording horror stories and create Yeah, there was. So I used to record my job was to write commercials. And that was my like, first radio, Job was writing commercials. And then it was producing commercials and being on the air was just kind of a part of what I did. But that was really the thing that I got paid for it was doing that. That consistent work. We had an NFL fullback come in, and I won't say his name because I don't want to out him. But he's good dude. He's a super good dude. But he was supposed to come in to record a car dealership commercial. And he was either nervous, or he had trouble reading and I could not tell which one it was. But he could not do. He could not read the 32nd script. Like Hi, my name is his name like for this car dealership. Like come to this place and you know, you get this whatever. So we struggled for probably 45 minutes and he was getting frustrated. And you could tell he was embarrassed than that. I was just like, hey, I've got a plan. I'm going to I read this to you. And I want you to read every sentence back to me. The way that I say it exactly the way I said. So I would read a sentence, he would read it back to me the same way for like a sec, a section even of a sentence. And he'd read it back to me. Yeah, until at the end, we put it all together. And it sounded like he was just friggin amazing. But it was like, he just needed that. And but it was like, all told, it probably took two hours to record that 32nd commercial. And another, you know, probably our to edit it to get that 30 seconds down to what we needed. But man, it was, sometimes you watch, or listen to some of those things you see on the air? And you don't know what went into that. Because that?

Jeff Townsend:

Yeah. Yeah, and, and I'll segue that into some things. I've done a lot of local stuff like you have. And I got several examples. But one recent one, I my first episode for Indiana stories, I spoke to the Vincenz, Indiana historian, senior citizen guy 80 years old. And this is like a completely different challenge for podcasting. When you are remote, or even if you're not remote, it's still hard doing it on trying to walk him through it. I tried to get him here on boom caster. Yep. That wasn't going to happen. Ended up being zoom on his phone, okay, him and his wife. But those kinds of things, it's really difficult when you're talking to some, when you're doing an interview podcast with somebody who has no technology, technology technological experience at all. Yep, there's so many stories I could talk about from that. But I'm sure you're the same way. Because you can do things around the community, it's you have to be patient. And it's just like, you accommodated for that gentleman. And you have to do the same thing here. First of all, complete whiz bang, he just doesn't know how to set up the, he doesn't know anything about podcasting or computer, you know, yep. So you have to accommodate in order to get what you need, and get the job done. Exactly. And be kind doing it. Or, if I'm just going to be in a hole, then it's not going to be good. You know, you can't just upset people. So it's really getting through the frustration sometimes because some people are just not at a level like we are even setting or doing this

Fuzz Martin:

100%. And I think you know, if like one tip that I have, if you are going to if you're setting out on a journey to do interview podcasts in person I in especially with people who aren't used to being on on the, you know, the microphone or radio, whatever, my biggest suggestion or equipment would be to get headset microphones, like they were at sportscasting. Because every single time the mic will be positioned in the right position. And they're set up for noise and background, you know, they're set up for people who are broadcasting and football and basketball games and things like that. And you don't have to worry about if the person turns away from the microphone like this, and that, you know, like, because you're gonna want to have a dynamic microphone that cuts out background noise and things like that, if you're in a on location. So I One highly recommend a headset mic at least for the guest. And and that'll go great. But I've been in your shoes with the recording somebody who is, you know, a farmer, you know, we did a whole bunch of we did some market research on cattle farmers during the beginning of the pandemic at at EPA, and it was so hard getting guys to know how to use Zoom, that don't normally do it or have bad internet and those kinds of things. It's such a big challenge. It's so, so hard. We made it happen, but it wasn't meant for broadcast. At that point. It was just meant to make sure that we can actually connect with them. So but all good stuff. And yeah, again, you know, podcasting isn't easy. If it was easy. Everyone know pretty much everybody does. Do you podcasting is it, don't they?

Jeff Townsend:

Yeah, I have one more. Oh, yeah, magic store.

Fuzz Martin:

Okay. Oh, I tried.

Jeff Townsend:

It's horror, though. I won't give out any information out of respect for the family and the location. I was doing a local podcast and there was this house that was famously haunted, tragic story about a murder that took place there this and the gentleman that I was going to speak to, he did tours there all the time. He was actually the Son of the his father was murdered in that house. Oh my gosh, by his mother. Wow. Then as she took her own life, but this house is like crazy haunted, right? Yeah. And I'm gonna go there on site and talk with him. And this is a famous haunted location. Like I said, I want to, yeah, you can explore it in details, but I have an arrangement to go record with him there. I'm excited, right? Because it's, I like that kind of stuff. Yeah. I get there. The cops are there. Oh, my God. He has been murdered. Are you serious? Hours before I was supposed to talk to him about this haunted house that was haunted because his mother had murdered his father. He was murdered by his girlfriend, Jesus. fiance. Yeah. And that really was like us like, Oh, my God, like, what are the odds of that? Like, I was supposed to meet this guy. And hours before he's murdered in a similar fashion that his father was? Yeah, in the same house that's known all around the state for being so haunted. That's, that's a horror story right there. But no, that really made me think for a while I was like, did they just say what it because I pull it up? And I'm kinda like, of course they don't, they're not gonna let you go up there. You've got it blocked off. I can see the house in the distance that it stopped. I'm stopped at the street. And I'm like, what happened here? They're like, there was a, they didn't even tell me then they're like, there was. This is a crime scene, active crime scene. I can't speak on it. I didn't find out till later. Oh, my gosh, like hours later that he was, you know, found somebody murdered. And I was like, What the heck, then a couple days after that. They came out and that's when they had arrested the fiancee girlfriend for it. But how crazy is that? That

Fuzz Martin:

is absolutely crazy. And good thing. She didn't show you guys recording.

Jeff Townsend:

That's what I was thinking like, what would happen? Like, we're talking about this terrible event to happen in the house to his family. Yeah. And yeah, I was just, I don't know, three hours from when something terrible happened to him. It's one of those things where it makes you think about life, I guess.

Fuzz Martin:

I would say so. Yeah. Yeah. That would make podcasting suck for sure.

Jeff Townsend:

Yeah, I had to take a few days off after that one.

Fuzz Martin:

I know for sure. I don't blame you. That's a horror story, by definition, because we just got done watching the watcher on Netflix. Yeah. So I think I've had enough like haunted house kind of things for a while.

Jeff Townsend:

I enjoyed that. I enjoyed this series. Did you Okay, yeah. We did too. But it was just, yeah, not the best thing ever. But it's entertaining. Yeah.

Fuzz Martin:

Not what we normally watch Monday. Yeah, that's good. So are

Jeff Townsend:

my watch married with children? So it was

Fuzz Martin:

normal? Yeah. Yeah. Normally, we're just we all we watches the Simpsons, but only the 90s episodes. Oh, Bob's Burgers. Yeah, Bob's Burgers. Exactly. That's our fav. So, Jeff, great as I was to talk to you, you know, podcasting can be difficult, as evidenced by some of the horror stories we shared. It is a it can be fun and exhilarating to the horror stories or they create stories. And those are the things you're going to tell well into your future, no matter how hard they are. But it's all fun, enjoy it, enjoy the ride, have a good time with it.

Jeff Townsend:

There are more positive stories than horror stories is however, you have to walk away from these horror stories with something a learning experience or something if you can, or an hour or a moment that will last forever.

Fuzz Martin:

That's exactly right. Or you get murdered on the steps of your interviewers interviewees haunted house, you know, one of those one of those three things can happen at any given point. But we do appreciate you listening to podcasting sucks here on the Good Morning Podcasters feed. Jeff, thanks for all you do for the podcasting community. And, you know, I looking forward to the next podcast and Power Hour which are Monday nights at 9pm Eastern Time on Twitter, and talk to you next time.

Jeff Townsend:

And I will end it with this. Make sure you look out for the Ed Havens. Make sure you don't talk and use the word sex fool. See respected people in the community. Make sure you're not printing off porn at work. Make sure you're not getting into an active crime scene. These are all very important things that can make podcasting so true.

Fuzz Martin:

Thanks for listening

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About the Podcast

Good Morning Podcasters!
Marketing, Advertising, PR and Social Media Tips for Podcasters
Good Morning Podcasters explores marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media topics as they relate to podcasting and content creation. The show is hosted by Fuzz Martin—an agency owner and former broadcaster. The show is published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with regular bonus episodes of "Podcasting Sucks!" with co-host Jeff Townsend on Saturday mornings.

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.