Podcast But Outside’s chaotic comedy thrives in its unusual but authentic setting

Hosts Andrew Michaan and Cole Hersch talk to strangers in a humorous and heartfelt way

Podcast But Outside was released in May 2019 and currently has 33 episodes available online. Image courtesy of Podcast But Outside.

By: Madeleine Chan, SFU Student

Podcast But Outside is exactly what it sounds like: a podcast, but outside. Hosts and comedians Andrew Michaan and Cole Hersch (known most famously from Vine) set up a table outside and invite strangers to sit down with them to have a conversation about, as they say, “whatever.” They are typically located on sidewalks in Los Angeles, but other notable locations have included a hiking trail, the Las Vegas strip, a rave, and the beach. The two comedians’ mandate is that they have to pay their guests one dollar because they want to be the most ethical podcast out there. This is noted on their large blue sign attached to their table that reads “Hi! Be a guest on our podcast. We will pay you $1. :)”

You can see this blue sign in the video version of the podcast, which I highly recommend over the audio-only version. While you won’t miss any of the content if you listen to the audio only, you do get visual context in the videos, as well as the chance to see the subtle comedic editing that the editor/cameraman (who Michaan and Hersch refer to only as “Intern”) adds to the video version. Intern also frequently zooms in on and cuts to funny things that people are doing in the background; a notable example is in episode 10, when a man across the street spun around in a circle 59 times.

Michaan and Hersch also make jokes constantly throughout the podcast. Because their style of humour is so dry and sarcastic, I sometimes don’t even know when they are joking and when they are telling the truth. This mystery is one of the many things that I find hilarious about the podcast. They also have a number of running jokes that get me everytime, such as not knowing the camera person, lying about their ages, and bleeping out other podcasts’ names because they are competition.

The guests that appear on the show are the true highlights of each episode. Some past encounters include Lil Xan, Hersch’s ex-girlfriends, and Michaan’s new step-mom. One of my favourite guests, though, has to be Yin, a gay man from China. In episode 4, Yin talked about the difficulties of being out of the closet in the U.S. but chronically closeted back home. The guys have even kept in touch with Yin and hope to bring him back on the show. This type of emotional nuance and connection is what makes this comedy podcast stand out.

Overall, Podcast But Outside’s low-budget charm, sincere unpredictability, and laugh-inducing content keep me coming back every week. If you are fond of unconventionality, I recommend starting at episode 1 with this show’s perfect blend of heart, humour, and chaos. 

Podcast But Outside is available in video form on Youtube and in audio form on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.