Podcast: Stories By Scott William Foley – The One True

Stories By Scott William Foley is a new podcast series in which I will read my short works on a weekly basis.  The first episode features “The One True.”

In these troubled times, would we even recognize a hero if one walked among us? Such is the premise of “The One True.” Part social commentary, part magical realism, this is a story that will resonate deeply.

At just over ten minutes long, this podcast is perfect for your wait at the doctor’s office, that quick trip to the grocery store, or your morning cup of coffee.  Give it a listen by clicking HERE.

The One True

Advertisements

All Hail Jeff Passan! … Wait, Who’s Jeff Passan?

I’ve written before about my love of The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.  They are a daily radio show on ESPN that take a slightly different approach to sports.  Often hilarious, they are also always entertaining.

A new guest debuted today–Jeff Passan.  Passan spent over a decade with Yahoo Sports and just joined ESPN in January of 2019.  Apparently, he will be their new baseball analyst and breaking news guy.  Dan kind of stumbled over his intro, so I get the feeling not too many people at ESPN have gotten a good feel him.

If we’re being honest, I could not care less about baseball.  Even with that being said, Passan may be my new all-time hero.

Dan and the guys were talking about bald men because that’s the kind of things they talk about, which somehow led to Sean Connery, which next led to bad Sean Connery impressions, which then prompted Dan to ask Passan if he did a bad Sean Connery impression as soon as Passan joined the show.  Passan, realizing that this was the first time we’ve heard him on the program, gamely played along and performed a poor Sean Connery impression.  Okay!  As far as we–the audience–were concerned, this guy was going to be all right.  He can have some fun.  He doesn’t seem to take himself or sports too seriously.  He can be fluid and flexible when he makes an appearance.

Passan could have left it at that and made a fine first impression.

Oh, but he decided to level up.

Passan, who had to know what would come next, willingly volunteered the fact that, while his Connery impression isn’t great, he has a few impressions that are masterful.

Well, come on.  Dan and crew aren’t going to let that slide by.  They asked him which one he thought was his best.

Passan answered Elmo.

Elmo.

Dan’s impending dementia flared up when he got Elmo and Grover confused, but that’s okay, we love him anyway, and then Passan added that he will only do Elmo if he can say something inappropriate.

I won’t tell you the line Dan threw out there because I’m a public school teacher and value my career, but Passan nailed it.

Nailed it.

At that point, Dan and the team insisted that Passan give them his analysis on recent baseball news only in an Elmo voice.  Passan, being probably the newest guy at ESPN and hoping to establish himself as a credible sports reporter to an unfamiliar audience had every right to laugh off the request right then and there.  He did Connery.  He did Elmo.  What more could we ask of the man?

He agreed to do it.

Listening to Passan offer baseball analysis in an Elmo voice … I had tears rolling down my face.

Passan made a point to joke about the whole thing being a bad idea with phrases similar to “career suicide” and “I’m going to regret this” … but he kept going!

Look, I don’t care about baseball at all, but I instantly followed Jeff Passan on Twitter.  This is my kind of guy.  I can’t wait for him to visit the show again … as long as he does his Elmo voice.

Go give Passan’s segment a listen and show this man a little love.  You can hear his appearance at this link: http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play?id=26038796

You can also follow Jeff Passan on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan

Men with this kind of bravery … they deserve our adoration.  Move over Elmo, it’s–na na nana, na na nana–Passan’s world!

elmobaseball

(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s Dr. Nekros e-book series HERE)

 

You Should Be Listening To Bullseye With Jesse Thorn

Last year I started getting more and more into podcasts.  This coincided directly with the download of NPR One.  Of course, Pop Culture Happy Hour became my must-hear event.  I grew to really enjoy Freakonomics Radio as well.  I tried a few others that didn’t do much for me.

Eventually, a friend recommended Bullseye with Jesse Thorn.  My friend said that Pop Culture Happy Hour got a little tired for him, but that Bullseye addressed some of the same topics in a far more interesting way.

I found Bullseye on the NPR One app and took a look at past titles.  They typically featured two public figures of some sort, usually actors, comedians, or musicians.  None of the names I saw really interested me.  I moved on.

Not too long after, I kept running out of podcasts to listen to.  I didn’t have a deep rotation, so within a few days of a new week I would already be searching for something fresh.  I remembered my friend’s recommendation.

I dove in and listened to a few Bullseye episodes a week, and I did this whether the interviewee appealed to me or not.  Finally, Bullseye found my sweet-spot.  The episode focused on interviewing interviewers.  Jesse spoke with Katie Couric, Marc Maron, and Audie Cornish.  I listened to Jesse asking the most interesting questions, and I found his interviewees being far more candid than I expected.  That’s when I realized the magic of Bullseye — Jesse Thorn makes everyone interesting.

My friend, once again, was right.

Thorn has such an ease about him.  His voice is incredibly pleasant; he’s got a fantastic radio voice.  He’s warm and unafraid to laugh.  Yet, he’s bold in what he decides to ask.  He’s direct.  I’ve heard him forge ahead with difficult questions despite trepidation.  I’ve also heard him pump the brakes and check on his guest’s comfort when the conversation’s direction became a little too intense.  Sometimes he barely speaks at all because his guest gets going on such a roll.

Thorn has an innate ability to ask about things that his guests often want to discuss.  However, those questions are also things he knows his listeners will find interesting.  This seems to be a rare instinct in his field.

That’s why Bullseye works.  It took me too long to discover this.  I had several starts and stops with Bullseye, but it eventually dawned on me that every interview, no matter who the guest, will entertain and prove educational.  I’d never heard of Beth Ditto, yet Jesse’s interview with her is among my favorites.  Jesse showed me a whole new side to Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  He made me realize Rick Moranis is probably a genius.  He and Louie Anderson damn near made me cry while I mowed my lawn.  Every episode touches me in some way — there are no wasted moments.

Honestly, though, it’s Jesse himself who keeps me coming back.  I’ve listened to enough installments now to piece together a bit of the man himself, and he’s someone I want to support.  His life has not always been easy, and I love that he is willing to share that with his audience and guests.  I started following him on Twitter and I find him wise, funny, blunt, and receptive.  In fact, he’s actually interacted with me on occasion, which is always a thrill.  (The folks at Pop Culture Happy Hour?  Not so much as a “like.”  Not even once.  But, who’s keeping score?  [I guess I am … apparently.])

So if you’re looking for a new podcast, I completely recommend Bullseye with Jesse Thorn.  Keep in mind it will take a few episodes to really win you over, but once you get a feel for it, you will look forward to it every week.  You can find the show at NPR One or Maximum Fun.  Let’s go.

Image result for bullseye with jesse thorn

(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)