“We have a lot of people [this year who] … next year are going to be [huge,]” said Alano-Martin.
Four different podcasts are also booked for live tapings at the LCF: “Sports Without Balls” (hosted by Erin Foley); “Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction” (hosted by Bryan Cook); “Rock Solid” (hosted by Pat Francis); and “Never Not Funny” (hosted by Pardo).
Started in 2006, “Never Not Funny,” is one of the original comedy podcasts. For the past few years, the podcast has put on an annual 12-hour marathon show called “Pardcast-A-Thon,” which benefits the charity Smile Train. They raised nearly $141,000 last year. In January, “Never Not Funny” moved to the Earwolf Podcast Network in both a free, and a premium — aka “Player’s Club” — version.
Pardo — who, like Philips, is a Chicago native — said he drew inspiration for his own show from his favorite childhood broadcasters.
“I grew up listening to guys named Steve Dahl and Gary Meier out of Chicago, who are my radio heroes, and I always said if I ever did any sort of radio show I would try to emulate them as best as possible,” he said. “[‘Never Not Funny’ is] basically just me and Matt Belknap and Pat Francis; three comics just talking. … You’re almost like a fly on the wall inside a comedy green room.”
“Never Not Funny” has previously recorded two podcast episodes in Bloomington at The Comedy Attic, and is scheduled to tape another at 4 p.m. May 31 at the BCT. Hoosier comedy fans may also remember Oswalt’s November 2007 visit to the BCT during The Comedians of Comedy tour — which also featured Brian Posehn, along with two of 2013’s four LCF headliners, Doug Benson and Maria Bamford.
Aside from opening the LCF, Oswalt will be quite busy in the Midwest over the next few months. Two days after playing Bloomington, he will again take the stage May 31 at The Chicago Theatre in Chicago. And on April 24, Oswalt will appear at Ebertfest in Champaign, Ill. to present “Young Adult,” the 2011 film in which he co-starred. The Chicago Sun-Times’ late, revered film critic and festival namesake gave the movie three-and-a-half out of four stars upon release.