The HijiNKS ENSUE Podcast Returns (again)!

Long story, incredibly short: The HE Podcast is returning this week. The first new episode will be up for download (website, RSS, iTunes) on Wednesday morning. All 51 Post Shows have been moved from The Vault into the main feed. Only about 50 people have ever heard the post shows they were honestly some of our funniest stuff. So you can start by binging on a good 30ish hours of new (old) material.

The HijiNKS ENSUE PODCASTI NEED YOUR HELP! If you want the show to succeed and continue, please consider setting up a DONATION SUBSCRIPTION. Actually getting paid to do this job will make it SOOOO much easier to make sure it doesn’t fall by the wayside again. Also, please leave positive reviews on iTunes and TELL YOUR FRIENDS.

Long story, somewhat long: The HE podcast went on hiatus just over a year ago. The main reason was that my co-hosts were unable to find time in their busy schedules to record. I, being the only one of us who didn’t have a “real” job, had no right to complain or insist on them giving freely of their time but once Josh and Eli both entered a “crunch” phase at their respective jobs, the frustrations of trying to schedule the show became overwhelming. You might remember that I started recording more with “The B Team” of Alex and Roger towards the end. While those guys were more accessible (and certainly entertaining and hilarious), scheduling was still an issue. I knew I wasn’t able to commit to definitely having a new episode up every week, so I decided rather than constantly making excuses I would just hang it up and shut it down.¬†

The other main problem with producing the show WAS producing the show. I spent about a part time job’s worth of my week scheduling, recording, editing, setting up/tearing equipment in my home studio, exporting files in various formats (which became MUCH more difficult when we started doing Post Shows and Uncut Shows), making blog posts, writing show notes, etc, etc, etc. I enjoyed the work, and the outcome but I felt it was eating into my comic-making time and the podcast had about 1/10th the audience of the comic. It seemed my time would be better spend refocussing my efforts on the comic.

Around the 6 month mark post hiatus I started to feel like I was losing my connection with the hardest of the hard core member of my audience. The ferver and undying support that I used to see was waining. This is a nebulous thing and very hard to quantify, but I could definitely feel a sea change in terms of how enthusiastic my audience was. It wasn’t long before I realized this was due in part to the direction I had taken the comic in, and LARGELY to the fact that the podcast was gone. Based on feedback from readers at conventions and via email/twitter¬†I learned one very important thing. Readers liked the comic. Some even loved it. But listeners LOOOOOOVED the podcast. They were more invested in everything I had to offer (comics, podcasts, tweets, whatever) because of the personal connection they had developed with me through listening to me talk for hours a week. I had basically thrown away the most important thing I had ever cultivated in my career. I immediately started trying to figure out how to get the podcast back up and running.

The main things I had to change were A) Having to schedule around people’s more important commitments (work/family/etc), and B) expecting people to drive way out in the boonies where I live to record. Enter my good friends at Explosm. With their new Dallas-based office and a free room we were able to construct a remedial recording studio, get some equipment upgrades and set up a home base for the podcast that was MUCH more central to all those involved. To christen the new studio Rob DenBleyker, Kris Wilson and I recorded a test podcast. Low and behold, our friendship, natural chemistry and unrelenting ambition to make each other laugh resulted in a damn fine bit of podcastery. With the problem of the location solved, I realized how to solve the problem of co-host commitments. I decided to have a rotating cast of co-hosts and record as many episodes as possible during a given session. That way I’m not scrambling for episodes each week and I’m not eating away at the free time of the same two people over and over.

Do not fear, Eli and Josh are still a part of the show. So are the “B-Team” of Alex and Roger. The biggest changes for current HE Podcast listeners is the addition of Rob, Kris and Dave from Cyanide and Happiness to the co-host rotation. They are some of my favorite people and I really think you are going to like the stuff we’ve been recording.

What other changes can you expect? The show is less topical and more conversational. Since I am banking them weeks if not months ahead of time, it doesn’t make sense for us to review movies, etc. that will be old news by the time the show airs. Each episode will feature a brief intro by me where I answer emails, voicemails, tweets and update you on my convention appearances. Then you’ll hear an hour or so of… well that depends on who I’m talking to. With the Explosm guys, we typically tell stories, do characters and come up with bits. With Josh, Eli and Alex it’s more like the old show, but less structured. I hope you enjoy the mix and it keeps you from getting bored. The other new aspect is that I’m going to pepper in more interview-style shows here and there with some of my professionally funny/geeky celebrity-type friends (like this one with Chris Hardwick).

So that’s it. If you’re a previous listener, I hope you jump back on board and if you’ve never heard the show before I hope you give it a shot.

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26 Comments

  1. I’m super pumped!

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  2. I don't know what the set up at the new studio is, but do you think there is a chance of the ustream feed coming back? It was superfun to listen with other fancy bastards and occasionally even contribute to the podcast. The LOLocaust comes to mind.

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    • As of right now there is little to no chance of that happening. Impossible to stream live when the shows are recorded weeks in advance. Also, eliminating extra steps, hardware, things that can go wrong (USTREAM!!!), etc is key to making this process manageable.

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  3. OMFG, are you reading my mind? Two days ago I had few guest and was showing them my comics, and your first book came up. I explained who are you and what you do, and then added, "I only wish he'd do podcast again. Sigh."

    So, I'm going to donate tomorrow. This has to be one of the finest Mondays in months.

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  4. Woo and Hooo

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  5. Yay! Happy dancin' time!

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  6. Is Denise going to be back at all? I loved when all four of you guys riffed together. She also had some of the best lines.

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    • I doubt it.

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      • Shame – but understandable. I'm just glad you guys have worked out your differences and gotten the band back together! The HE podcast was (and soon to be *is* – YAY) one of my favorites!

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  7. Have you thought of asking Chris Hardwick if there's a way to partner your podcast with Nerdist Industries? It seems like a total fit and it's possibly a way to get subsidized with monetary support or technical support (editing of the podcast).

    That said, I'm ecstatic that the podcast is back. I had asked you about it at New York Comic Con and you let out a noise that brought to mind Side Show Bob stepping on rake after rake.

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    • Certainly not an invalid question, but that's kind of like asking, "Have you thought about having your idea made into a big budget Hollywood movie?" It's just not that easy.

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      • Fair enough. I suppose everyone assumes the things they really enjoy are shoe-ins for success, which is certainly not always the case.

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  8. This is great. This style of podcasts is what I enjoyed. I listened to you guys for entertainment. We don't need another "topical" reviews and news style podcast.

    The improv, voices, characters and storytelling is what made HE podcast awesome.

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  9. Sweet. I've always loved the podcast. Early last year I lost my job and the podcast helped keep me sane during the long days of nothing to do.

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  10. So now I'm TOTALLY expecting a "The B-Team" illustration of you as Hannbal, Roger as Mad Murdock, and myself as B.A. (only because I'm certainly no Face) (… although Roger DOES have the R-Van).

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    • YAY! Alex is back too! His rendition of the announcer for RoboGeisha will haunt my dreams.

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  11. Your note is exactly why I my interest has been waning. I will be back in the fold now. On top of that, most of the guests you will be adding are on podcasts that I follow as replacements for your own, so bonus.

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  12. Have you thought about seeking some volunteer help for some of you endeavors? Not that I believe you can't succeed with all of it on your own, but I'm sure there are people out there who might be willing and able to take a thing or two off your shoulders, like editing the podcasts or whatever. I know enough about audio engineering and editing to probably help a little as my time allowed and I'm sure you'd have no shortage of similar offers from other Fancy Bastards.

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  13. I'm glad you found a way to start doing this again since your podcast was one of the main inspirations for me to make one of my own.

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  14. Great to hear the show is back! You have been a role model of sorts to me as since your show went off the air, I have started a couple of different podcasts. The GWA Ballsrog’s Next Level Podcast and my personal Dad Wants a Section 8 podcast. Both can be found on iTunes. Ironically because Hijinks Ensue stopped doing new episodes, I started listening to the Ballscast and have since joined forces with the cast to do GWA. I completely feel your pain on coordinating the cast. Since no one stepped up, I took the reigns of the webmaster and host. Getting a group of guys to Skype for a couple of hours a month is hard. If you don’t mind, I would like to plug your show the next time we record. May the Lord God baby Jebus be with you, Joel.
    Sincerely,
    Rev. Will Strack
    P.s. Did you ever get Pandora Thunder?

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  15. You have no idea how long I've been waiting for the podcast… I had begun to fear that it was gone forever…

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  16. Best news evar!

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  17. YAYYAYYYYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYYAYYYYY!

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  18. So glad its coming back. I'm exactly the person you're referring to. I'm not huge into the comic, webcomics just never did it for me, but I LOVE the podcast. Setting up monthly donation right now.
    Joel, a couple of requests:
    1. Please randomly throw in the autotune :)
    2. I'd love to see "This week in internet" make a return. Can we get a little coverage of the 5 guys burger rap video?

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  19. Actually, i can see why "This week in internet" might not come back. I like the current format though, it flows well.

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    • Yeah its nearly impossible to talk about anything hyper topical since the episodes are now records weeks to months in advance. Glad you like it though and thanks for the donations.

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