This is the start of hopefully a new series of articles where we’ll recommend various podcasts that are worth your listening time and you just might find yourself listening to more often than your music collection. I’m starting this series not with a huge podcast that already has tons of acclaim, but one that should and will soon.
You Had To Be There is a comedy podcast hosted by Nikki Glaser & Sara Schaefer. The show is recorded in Sara’s Brooklyn apartment with a small live audience of mostly friends (but a few fans get invited if they can prove to be normal and not crazy murderers or something). The premise is that each episode features one comedian and one musical guest, although as the show has progressed this hasn’t stuck as a hard and fast rule and lots of the episodes just have one guest, although they’ll sometimes fill both roles.
Both Nikki and Sara are up and comers in the comedy scene. Sara was a writer on a few TV shows and also does stand up, currently appearing most weeks at the UCB East theater. Nikki is a a stand up who is constantly doing sets all around New York City and touring the country. But most importantly the two are friends.
Before going into the virtues of this show, I feel a little inclined to admit to my massive crush on Nikki Glaser. I feel like it’s impossible to listen to her on You Had To Be There, along with her many guest appearances on other podcasts and her stand up, and not develop a crush on her. It seems like plenty of the guests are enamored with her for sure. It doesn’t hurt that she’s incredibly attractive, but she’s absolutely hilarious and something you’ll hear me discuss a lot in this article, honest. So yeah Nikki is just awesome.
Not to be left out Sara is pretty kick-ass as well. While I’m personally less familiar with her body of work, she certainly is the yin to Nikki’s yang on You Had To Be There and adds so much to the equation. I’m sure I’d fall head over heels for her as well, although she’s already taken by her long term boyfriend and frequent podcast topic, Scott, whom she also shares the Brooklyn apartment with.
Getting back on the topic of the podcast itself, I was listening the other day and thinking about this article and what stands out about the show so much that I eagerly await each new episode and one of the things that popped out at me is that it’s kind of like Howard Stern. This seems like a bit of a reach for a podcast hosted by two female comedians, but stay with me. One of the things I always enjoyed about Howard Stern’s show was when he and his sidekicks and often his guests would just open up and discuss the various things that happened in their life. Often the absurdity of life was way more entertaining than some manufactured bit.
There’s also the topics discussed that are similar. Howard often dwells on sex and Nikki and Sara are more than open about their sex and love lives. And finally like Howard at his best, Nikki and Sara often get their guests to open up just as much as they do and discuss things you’d normally not hear in your average interview. In fact the show is more like listening in to a group of friends conversing than a podcast.
And this is where things get really special. It’s that the hosts are so open that you really feel like they’re inviting you into Sara’s living room. Nikki is usually the one with the biggest revelations. She’s heroically unafraid to admit to even the most embarrassing things in her life and not scared to discuss the sad things in life either. One of the best episodes of the podcast has Nikki discussing losing a big TV hosting job and how depressed she was about it. It’s a painful episode that anyone who works in entertainment can empathize with and you really feel bad for Nikki (in fact after listening to that episode I felt obliged to tweet at her to tell her how sorry I was for her). And Sara’s in there too talking about horrible auditions and often discussing her divorce as well as relating stories from her wild times between that divorce and her current relationship.
Then you have the guests. Usually they’re friends of one or both of the hosts. While not always the biggest names, the guests are always entertaining. A few stand out episodes for me personally would be the previously mentioned Episode 26 where Nikki is super depressed, Episode 23 featuring a crazy performance by Shock G (the guy who did the Humpy Dance), Episode 24 where they discuss what happened during that show, Episode 25 which is live from the UCB Theatre to celebrate getting to 25 episodes after a negative iTunes commenter said they never would, Episode 42 with Paul F. Tompkins, and the most recent episode as of this posting, Episode 52 live from Crackers Comedy Club in Indianapolis on Valentines Day with some terrifically funny stories from Nikki about some recent events in her life.
Check out any of those episodes, or really any episodes and you’ll soon become addicted to the theme (When the Rain Comes by Valley Stream) and the joint “Hey” that open each episode. And get in on this now because Sara & Nikki have just taped a pilot for MTV.
The podcast can be found on it’s Tumblr or you can subscribe and . Nikki Glaser can be found on Twitter @NikkiGlaser and on her website where you can find out her tour dates. Sara Schaefer can be found on Twitter @saraschaefer1 or on her website. Now go and check it out!
All pictures in the post from http://youhadtobetherepodcast.tumblr.com/