Hello from the Magic Tavern is a fantasy, improv comedy, podcast presented as weekly interviews with fantastic characters. It's hosted by Arnie Niekamp, a struggling podcaster who fell through a magical portal behind a Burger King into the generic fantasy world of Foon, and his two co-hosts Chunt and Usidor. Chunt is usually a talking Badger and more generally a shape shifter who becomes whatever species he last slept with. Usidor the Blue is a wizard on a quest to defeat the Dark Lord ... as soon as he can get a fellowship together. Each week the three of them record interviews with various fantasy character about life in Foon. A bit of WiFi is still making it back through what remains of the portal which Arnie uses to communicate his amazing discoveries with us back here on Earth.

If you haven't quite caught on this is a really silly premise but it works. The three hosts have a charming passive aggressive dynamic between them. Arnie asks questions, some are good, some are wildly inappropriate, because Foon is supposed to be an entirely different world it's not always obvious which a given question will be. His co-hosts provide helpful commentary and give him crap about his ignorance/tactlessness in equal measure. Wash, rinse, repeat. It ought to get old really fast but the sheer variety of guests keeps it pretty fresh. A lot of of the humor is innuendo, puns, and straight up absurdity. The dialog has a natural flow punctuated by the voice actors breaking down at some joke and/or leaning on the fourth wall. That said they never actually break character, ever. Not after the end of the episode for special messages or with announcements at the beginning or anywhere in between. If they have a new sponsor it's still part of the fiction. Combine that with the fact that they seem to be maintaining a consistent continuity while making it up between themselves and their guest as they go and it makes for a very interesting and rather impressive production.

I don't expect everyone to like this show. Foon swings between utopia and dystopia about every five minutes, STDs don't exist there but only 20% of children make it to adulthood because of all of the monsters and evil spirits. It's a weird place with six seasons, dozens of races, and a variety of heroes and villains, many of whom give interviews. This podcast is a long runner, so if you need some lite binge material in the vein of mature, irreverent, silly humor this can keep you going for months. You can listen to it at its website


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