Cryptozoological podcasts – a stinker and a gem

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It’s no secret I’m a bit of a cryptid junkie. In 1993, when I began fiddling around on the text-only Lynx browser, some of the topics I searched were “Bigfoot”, “Loch Ness Monster” and “Cryptozoology”. Now, one simply can’t keep up with all the various cryptid-themed blogs, podcasts, webpages and news stories. Bigfoot is truly Americana and cryptozoology is a pop culture novelty. There is good stuff, really good stuff and stuff that stinks like a supposed Skunk Ape.

I decided to be daring this Saturday AM and try out two new radio shows (downloadable as podcasts because I physically can not sit by my computer listening to live radio) about cryptids. I loaded up the iPod early and carried it throughout the day.

Both shows gave me a laugh but for completely different reasons. One’s a stinker; the other is a total GEM and qualifies as a MUST DOWNLOAD every week.

First up, the Bigfoot Live radio show with Tom Biscardi and Java Bob. (Can you guess if this is the stinker or the gem?) It’s a stinker for many reasons. This show starts out by calling Tom Biscardi the “World’s Most Respected Authority” on Bigfoot phenomenon. There was the laugh part. I guess if you can just decide to call yourself a cryptozoologist, you can call yourself the “World’s Most” anything. The announcer told me I would be “mesmerized” by “real” stories of encounters. Actually, I find that boring. I prefer “real” in the sense of genuine and verifiable items – even if it’s about the people who witness something. I dislike rampant speculation. When you have to say “real” three times in one sentence, you are trying awfully hard to convince me with words. That suggests you can’t do it with content. These stories are useless to me in terms of nature (except for the nature of humans). I’m not entertained by it anymore, but your mileage may vary. With the exception of Skeptically Speaking, which is well-done, call-in radio shows are not my thing. Add in the horrible AM-quality audio and I’m outta there. Sorry, not a keeper.

Just some notes from this particular episode * (see note below) that struck me. At 13:22, Tom refers to the field as an “industry”. He wants you to contact him with your evidence. We’ve all seen how that goes (Google ‘Georgia Bigfoot’). With my admittedly little exposure to Mr. Biscardi’s presentation style, he gives to me an immediate and unmistakable impression that he is an opportunist and this is his business. There is no inquiry or standards here at all. But, he informed us he was off to have dinner with a “Contessa” and left the show at the 15 minute mark. Bye.

Next up: The Cryptid Factor with David Farrier, Rhys Darby and Buttons (the guy who presses the buttons). This is a radio show out of New Zealand. I’ll admit that I’m biased from the start because I loved Flight of the Conchords series which starred Rhys and I have a very soft spot for men with New Zealand accents ever since my first geology professor in college, Dr. Steve, introduced me to the wonders of physical geology … I digress.

Split into two parts, downloadable from iTunes (as part of the 95b FM B-casts) or an individual RSS feed, the songs and ads are edited out. Nice. I took a power walk with the first program streaming into the earbuds. Not a block away, I am laughing out loud. This was obviously a mistake. There were several times where I looked like an insane person, walking and laughing inside my own personal world.

The Cryptid Factor is all kinds of awesome.

I couldn’t stop listening, I’ve went through all three episodes posted (from 95b FM). The Cryptid Factor is possibly the perfect format podcast for me on cryptozoology because it’s meant to be funny. They do not take themselves seriously which makes it a wonderful show for skeptics. They visit their resident skeptic for a segment in the “Debunking Bunker”. And, I think they really like him too. I found bucketfuls of more sensible comments coming from The Cryptid Factor than Bigfoot Live.

The Cryptid Factor is professional comedy. The segments are creative; the commentary is brilliant; the content is new and fresh – taken from the latest news stories. I love it. Because it’s comedic, only sometimes jokingly serious, one can’t help but think it’s a gag. Yet, you can tell these guys truly love the subject. Gag or not, I’m a fan. How can I get a Cryptid Factor shirt from New Zealand? Any New Zealanders coming to TAM8?

Check out The Cryptid Factor. Pass by Bigfoot Live and let it go out of business.

* Why does BlogTalk Radio site list Bigfoot Live Radio Show under the category of “pets”?

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One thought on “Cryptozoological podcasts – a stinker and a gem

  1. Gary B

    I listened to part of the April 14 recording of Bigfoot Live and came away with these thoughts. First, it seems like an old boys/girls network congratulating each other on yet more footprint discoveries presided over by a used car salesman and that probably gives a bad rep to used car salesmen. It was unclear as to wheather they cast these prints or not, but it didn’t seem to be the case. I do not understand why so many people persist in gathering what is the same tired “evidence” and then contend that we who do not find it at all compelling are branded as not having an open mind. For more than fifty years this has been the mantra of the true believer and it remains that any piece of real, testable evidence will open the minds, no matter how skeptical, of everyone. If you are listening to this program, that’s fine, but if you are buying products or in any other way are sending money to the producers you are indeed going down the proverbial primrose path.

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