Comedian and actor Jay Mohr, who began his popular "Mohr Stories" podcast about a year ago on Kevin Smith's Smodcast Network, launched his own podcast network called Fake Mustache Studios on Monday. The first episode of "Mohr Stories" features guest Jay Leno, and is the first to be released by the new network.
Like comedy podcast pioneer Marc Maron ("WTF with Marc Maron"), Mohr records most of his twice-weekly "Mohr Stories" episodes in the garage of his L.A.-area home, which he dubbed "Fake Mustache Studios." "Mohr Stories" became a hit for Smodcast, which hosts dozens of podcasts by Smith and a variety of comics such as Jon Lovitz, Ben Gleib, and Kelly Carlin.
Mohr left Smodcast in June, taking his podcast with him as the first Fake Mustache title. Smith reportedly let him out of his contract early in what Mohr called the "most amicable divorce in the history of Hollywood," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to "Mohr Stories," the Fake Mustache roster currently includes "The Crab Feast" with Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson, "Talking S**t" with Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ifft, and the upcoming "The Joe McDonell Experience" with radio personality Joe McDonell. The podcasts are available on iTunes, at fakemustache.com, and through a free Mohr Stories app.
Pepsi Max signed on as the sponsor for "Mohr Stories" in July, and both the brand and the comic say that it is the first major soda brand to advertise on a podcast. Mohr hopes to attract a corporate sponsor for the entire network, as well, but acknowledged that podcasting has broader benefits for comedians. Mohr, Maron, and other podcasters have experienced greater name recognition, increased ticket sales, and more TV exposure as a result.
Splitsider, a popular New York-based comedy news site, announced the official launch of its own new Splitsider Podcast Network on Monday, as well. The network has acquired six successful New York-based comedy podcasts for its initial offerings, including "You Had to Be There," co-hosted by comedians Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer (who will also be hosting their own MTV show, "The Nikki and Sara Show," beginning in early 2013); "The Complete Guide to Everything," hosted by Tim Daniels and Tom Reynolds; "The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show," in which College Humor's Jeff Rubin interviews the geeks and creative people who turned their obsessions into professions; "Left Handed Radio," a sketch comedy show written and performed by New York-based comedians Adam Bozarth, Dan Chamberlain, Matt Little, and Anna Rubanova; "It's That Episode," in which UCB's Craig Rowin invites guests to watch TV at his apartment; and "A Funny Thing," recorded live at the UCB Theaters in NYC and L.A. And coming soon, Abra Tabak will invite her comedian friends to come over and "Make Yourself Comfy with Abra Tabak," an improv-based show "that could only come to life in a room where everyone is feeling very comfy."
Each podcast will have a page on Splitsider.com and will be promoted as a news item. The site will also help sell ads, book guests, and put together live shows with talent from the podcasts.
"The network acts as a record label of sorts, picking the best podcasts from New York and releasing them," Splitsider editor Adam Frucci wrote in an email to the New York Times prior to the network's official launch.
In addition to Fake Mustache, Smodcast, and Splitsider, other growing comedy podcast networks include Adam Carolla's ACE Broadcasting ("The Adam Carolla Show," "This Week with Larry Miller"), Scott Aukerman's Earwolf ("Comedy Bang! Bang!," "How Did This Get Made?"), Chris Hardwick's Nerdist ("Nerdist," "The Indoor Kids"), and Jesse Thorn's Maximum Fun ("Jordan, Jesse, Go!," "Judge John Hodgman").