If you’re a fan of comedy podcasts, you might have come across The Box of Oddities. Celebrity hosts Kat and Jethro Gilligan Toth have been hosting the popular Apple podcast since 2018. They were recently nominated for a Webby Award in the best series and best ad categories. Read on for more about them.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: How does it feel to be a Webby award nominee?
Kat and Jethro Gilligan Toth: Oh my gosh, we’re super excited about it. We feel incredibly grateful to be in the same category with all these huge corporate brands when we’re just two goobers recording a show in our basement.
CS: What inspired you to start a podcast?
KJ: One of the things that drew us to each other was we both had a common interest in strange stories and bizarre facts. And we were excited about the idea of sharing those stories with other people. Being able to do it while we travel (which is our goal) was very appealing.
CS: What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered along the way and how did you overcome them?
KJ: Doing a podcast is so much more work than we thought it would be! The biggest challenge for us (since we produced two podcasts a week), is keeping up with the workload. But, like anybody who starts a podcast, the biggest challenge is just to get noticed. And that was certainly no different for us.
We thought it was important to focus on what we could control, like content and technical quality, and hope that the rest would take care of itself. And our listeners have done a great job of sharing their interest in our podcast with their friends. We just recently cleared a total of 10 million downloads.
CS: What’s your favorite episode so far?
KJ: One of my favorites is about the Cheddar Man. Scientists discovered a Neanderthal skeleton in Cheddar, France. As a project for history students throughout Europe, students submitted their DNA samples to see if anybody was related to this 25,000-year-old skeleton. The only person they found who shared mitochondrial DNA was a history teacher who lives nine miles from The Cave where the skeleton was found. Also, Kat did an episode about the platypus, and he’s pretty neat.
CS: What advice you give those who want to start their own podcast?
KJ: Be passionate. Don’t wait for perfect conditions to start. If you have that passion, then start where you are. As your podcast grows, reinvest in better equipment and continually strive to improve the overall quality. Also, don’t compare yourself to others. That’s just a great lesson for life–comparison is the thief of joy.
CS: Anything else to add?
KJ: Don’t be afraid to mess up. One of the things we’ve learned is that the times we’ve struggled or the instances where we felt self-conscious about what we were doing, the people who listened to the podcast, they want to support you, and often will see your vulnerability as something they can connect to.
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