Mark Ramsey Asks: Why Isn't This Man In Radio?
August 31, 2012 at 3:47 AM (PT)
"If I didn't know better, I would conclude that you are a bona fide radio star."
So said broadcast media strategist and AREA 51 commentator MARK RAMSEY at the start of his recent interview with filmmaker and podcast pioneer, KEVIN SMITH, touching off a free-ranging conversation about the power of podcasting, the success of SMITH's SMODCAST network, and SMITH's urgent desire to add "radio host" to his already impressive resume.
Throughout the interview, which is featured in this week's installment of AREA 51, RAMSEY and SMITH discuss the latter's forays into just about every creative medium there is, from film (CLERKS, CHASING AMY, RED STATE) to TV (COMIC BOOK MEN on AMC) to the web (SPOILERS on HULU), but it is the remarkable collection of deeply personal audio content that SMITH has created or helped to develop as part of his SMODCAST network that dominates the conversation.
I've been waiting for somebody to come knocking and be like, Dude, do you want a radio show?
"The whole site started as a biography," he said. "I was like, let me do an autobiography, and these are all the things that matter to me, and this is the story of my life, these are my friends, and, 'oh look, they've got their own shows.'"
Going on to discuss how some of the SMODCAST shows, such as JAY & SILENT BOB GET OLD, generate 300,000 downloads per week -- or, as SMITH noted, the rough equivalent of a small-market radio audience -- the remainder of the interview focuses on how well-suited such forays into unique and creative audio entertainment can be to broadcast radio and on how actively SMITH desires to land a radio gig.
"When I grew up in JERSEY, there was a small radio station, independent, The Rat," SMITH continued, "and they had a broadcast signal that was near us. It was a little house with a massive antenna, and it always captured my imagination because I'm like, somebody OWNS that. Z100 I could never see ... they were in MANHATTAN ... but I SAW this little building with a large antenna, and I always said THAT's what I'd love to do -- own a radio station and just do that all day long."
"So then we got to the place with technology where I didn't need the little house with the massive antenna. You know, the advent of podcasting technology, recording your own show and what not, suddenly allowed me to do a quasi-radio show or variations of that and put it out there for people that liked my stuff."
While listening to SMITH discuss this love affair with radio and with creating audio content, RAMSEY asked, "So why are you not on the radio?," to which SMITH responded, "I've been waiting for somebody to come knocking and be like, 'Dude, do you want a radio show?' I want it. I'm waiting for somebody to come knocking and be like, are you serious about this? And I'm gonna be like, YES, I'm so serious about it!"
In the introduction to the interview on his own website, RAMSEY wrote, "With more than 300,000 monthly downloads of some shows, merchandise, live performances, TV spinoffs and more, KEVIN has built an entertainment mecca. Isn't this exactly the sort of personality radio needs to tap into?"
To listen to the full interview and answer this question for yourself, simply click the play button below or click here to check out MARK RAMSEY's Area 51 series and listen to it there.