As fun as the show is, it can inspire a win, especially when Mr. Thompson is talking to minimum-wage workers who have little choice but to diplomatically phone over audballs. It is a sad thing that Mr. Thompson is fully aware and tries to escape by making himself a part of every joke.
“I don’t want it to be a prank show as much as I love the prank show,” he said. “I really want to be the most polite person in the room all the time.”
Mr. Thompson grew up in Northeast Louisiana and was originally expected to write fiction. He argued for doing stand-up comedy after graduating from college, then started a daily science news podcast in his late 20s. This gave him a job with a science education nonprofit in Los Angeles, which quickly erupted. He began performing and writing for the comedy group, Honest Citizen’s Brigade, and has been writing and doing voice-over work for TV comedies in recent years.
Nothing done, though, has resonated like his podcast. The day after posting the first episode, he checked a Twitter account he set for the show and received a batch of enthusiastic messages. It included a tweet from John Darniel of the indie rock band of the Mountain Goats, who wrote: “New Favorite Thing Alert. “
“To me, it’s a show about branding and the way podcasting has grown,” Mr. Darniel said in an interview. “We saw it come out of an industry that has no real boundaries, no rules about how you do it, a medium that was trying to emulate TV, which had umbrella companies with seven podcasts. “
Ever since Mr. Thompson started “Whatever”, the podcasting business has boomed, with deals worth millions worth with the show and podcast network. Mr. Thompson has no beef with the money, and he recoups his costs – about $ 100 per month in podcast hosting fees – through advertisements automatically added to the show. But he is irked by podcasts that read commercials and hosts, advertising to hosts, for the early days of TV.
This is a practice he lampshades on “whatever.” In each episode, he writes an advertisement for a real company that hasn’t paid him a cent, including Audible and Spotify. For a while, he told the podcast “whatever McDonald’s presents for pizza, zipcreature.” The zipperwriter then sent a cease-fire letter.