April 20, 2013


Hello, buttmonglers! Today I'm super stoked to bring you a sweet interview with Sawyer, Mike and Doan aka KISSING CONTEST, my favorite movie podcast of forever. We talk about their podcast, awful reality TV, punk rock, Katty Perry, The Walking Dead and we generally do a really unreasonable amount of PR for their show. Now read on and tune in, jerks!

1. Hello guys and thanks for agreeing to take part in this friendly conversation! We’re excited about it. Ready to strap on some questions?

Mike: Everything is strapped on in its appropriate position.

Sawyer: That particular piece of show lingo originated on an episode I was not a part of so I refuse to comment.

Doan: I'm always strapped.

2. First up, some of our readers may not be familiar with what you do. Would you introduce yourselves and briefly explain what Kissing Contest is?

Mike: Hi I’m Mike, I’m the Co-host of a comedy podcast mostly about movies and television called Kissing Contest. A lot of people refer to me as “the best host” or “the fan favorite” of Kissing Contest.

Sawyer: Hi, I’m Sawyer. On rare occasion I’m fortunate enough to be invited to guest host my own podcast. While what Mike said is true, a lot more people refer to him as “a cranky fuck”, “a soul sucking vacuum” or “a ghoulbot.”

Doan: I'm producer Doan, the minority.

3. History 101, guys. How did Kissing Contest start? What were the reasons that made you decide “Yeah, I will waste a bunch of hours every week on this”? Did you have a preliminary plan about the show’s format and stuff or did you make it up as you went along?

Mike: I used to do another podcast called Buncocky and Sawyer did a Buncocky tribute podcast called something I don’t remember. Buncocky was more of a free flowing talk about whatever type of podcast. 

Once I moved to Brooklyn, Sawyer wanted to do a podcast with me, and really who could blame him? I think it literally took us a year to scrape together the first five episodes and there was really no serious direction. I didn’t want to do another free form podcast since I was still doing Buncocky at the time, so we came up with the idea to make it Movie and TV based since that was our strong point.

Sawyer: My memory only goes back about six months, the exception being really big events like finding a case of Bud Dry somewhere. So I’ll go with Mike’s version of events. However, my records indicate that the “Buncocky Tribute Podcast” was actually called Madmosa. It was hosted by myself, former Producer Frank and former guest Karate Steve. It was recorded in the bathtub and was, of course, hilarious. 

Doan: Madmosa had possibly the worst audio quality of any podcast I'd ever heard in my life. Did you know producer Frank used to drive from New Jersey to Brooklyn to record that? On the reg. 

4. You watch a lot of horrible reality shows and wrestling, but what are some of your favorite TV series right now? Do you watch mainstream stuff like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones? I just finished watching the third season of The Walking Dead. Everyone said it was boring, but I liked it :(

Mike: I have a mental block when it comes to serious TV dramas, but I’ve been trying to enjoy them like a regular human. I really like Breaking Bad, I think VEEP is back at it and I really liked the first season of that. The Walking Dead I watch basically just to bitch about it. I thought the first half of the third season was pretty good though. Yeah, outside of that, it’s Pawn Stars and WWE RAW 24/7 for me.

Sawyer: I want to be clear on this point: if I didn’t live with Mike, I’d watch exactly zero hours of wrestling, and 0.5 hours of reality TV. But because I’m lazy and he gets home from work before I do, he generally runs the TV, which means I’ll plunk down on the couch like a piece of shit and watch whatever garbage he’s watching. This consumption by osmosis of reality TV is probably good for the show though, so I live with it. As far as television of my own choosing, I haven't watched a show regularly since The Wire - in the sense of making a point to watch the new episodes as they air. The one exception would be SportsCenter, but I just watch that every day as I eat breakfast and get ready so that doesn't really count. I'm also a big dumb jock so I watch a lot of sports. Beyond that, shows I enjoy and catch up on when I can include: Workaholics, Girls, VEEP, The Jeselnik Offensive, Game Of Thrones, Louie, and probably some shit I'm forgetting. 

Doan: I don't have cable, which I mention semi-regularly, but I watch Monday Night Raw on a bootleg feed Mike turned me onto, The Walking Dead at friends' houses, and Game of Thrones via HBO Go. I also like Gordon Ramsey's F Word, Adventure Time, Bob's Burgers, and for some reason, Downtown Abbey. I also still watch The Simpsons. I also do sad homeless stuff like watch PBS.


5. Seeing as though we are primarily a music blog, we need to ask some stuff about this. What kind of music do you each listen to when you’re not busy watching shitty movies for the Movie Hostage segment of your podcast?

Mike: This is a tough one for me, because I love music so much that I end up hating most of it if that makes any sense. My stock answer when I don’t want to talk to people about music is “I like rap music” but I listen to a lot of stuff. When I was younger I was more into metal and hardcore, but now I’m an old grandpa and way too mellowed out to listen to that stuff on a regular basis, so I spend most of my music time listening to rap or old soul or funk. I can definitely hold my own in a conversation about most genres though and savor in those moments when I can really let loose and make fun of someone’s musical tastes.

Sawyer: Boy, does he ever savor those moments. In the 12 years I’ve known Mike the only times I’ve ever wanted to throw him down the stairs is when we get into arguments about music, specifically my taste in music. I listen primarily to hardcore and punk rock, and those are the only two kinds of music I give a fuck about. But I give what could be classified as waaaayyy too much of a fuck about them, and being that Mike is an elitist faux intellectual cocksucker when it comes to music, this frequently leads to bad feelings. I also listen to the same rap music everyone listens to but especially love idiot teen rap like Chief Keef. And then I like some sad lady music and lots of REAL idiot shit like Ke$ha. But everyone should just go buy the Culo LP as that’s all that matters right now. 

Doan: I spent my formative years listening to punk hardcore metal and sad mope rocking. I still listen to that shit but I also like rap, oldies, easy listening, all sorts of shit really. The only music I keep away from me with a ten foot pole is popular country and BS pop music like Kesha and LMFAO. Like I hate will I am. But them again, I like Katy Perry and not just because she is a fox. 

6. Do you feel like talking a bit about the equipment you use or offer some practical tips for budding young enthusiasts wanting to start their own podcast? This is your chance to become role-models for the future generation.

Mike: We use decent mics and a pretty fancy mixer and we don’t know what 75% of the buttons do on it. We have a 60 inch newstron, which is what really sets us apart from other lame podcasts. I seriously feel like someone asks me every other week what software and hosting we use so I’ve been answering that question since 2008. Chances are if you wanted tips from me, you already asked me at this point, but if you still want advice, find me on Facebook!

7. I loved Mike and Doan’s appearance on the PodAwful podcast and it was really funny when you called Sawyer while he was at work. Did he get in any trouble afterwards?

Sawyer: No, Rodman is a pretty easygoing boss. He encourages my hijinx. I was in a supremely shit mood though because I had flown on zero sleep after a night of putting bad things in my body, so when they first called I was just pissed and didn’t want to talk to them so I lied and said I was busy. But then I decided I’d hate listening to the episode if I wasn’t in it at least a little bit, so I called back. 

Doan: Jesse tried to get Mike and I to kiss.

8. Have you ever thought about taking Kissing Contest to the NEXT LEVEL? Like, say a TV network would approach you and offer you your own show on TV. Would you do it? Or maybe something on a smaller scale, like making your own YouTube channel with video gibberish? How about finally doing a Kickstarter for $5,000 because you need additional podcasting equipment?

Mike: We’ve actually been approached by several TV Networks, but it turns out we are way too sexy and tough to be on TV. NO BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS! I’ve been verrrrrrrrrrrry slowly working on a “video project” that will be under the Kissing Contest banner if and when I finish it. It’s something I told myself I would finish in 2013 and it eats away at my soul every single day I don’t work on it, so hopefully you’ll see something soon.

Sawyer: If someone wanted to pay us to do this show, I would do it in a fucking heartbeat. I love this show and I love doing it, but if someone said “we’re gonna put you on TV but you have to hold up this box of Trix every ten minutes” that would not conflict with my sense of artistic integrity in the slightest. I’m not so hung up on money that I’m trying to move out of the shithole we live in, but I am trying to buy said shithole so I can own the joint. Give me some fucking money. That said, I have no interest in doing a video podcast, as I hate them personally. I want to listen to the show, I don’t want to have to stare at it. I would like to do a live podcast if we get to the point where we feel there are enough people in one place that would want to see that.

Doan: What Sawyer said.

Co-hosts Sawyer and Mike

9. What are Doan’s actual responsibilities as show producer? Is he like in charge of setting up the microphones or audio editing? This has been keeping me up at night.

Mike: I don’t even know anymore.

Sawyer: Doan is a huge part of the show – he’s on it more than I am at this point. I will grudgingly admit that I think he’s often funnier than I am, and that upsets me on a variety of levels. The show wouldn’t be the same without him. That said – he’s gotten to the point where he can’t even operate the fucking newstron properly, and he’s always busy touting. Happily the show doesn’t require that much producing, because he’s become an incredible host and a terrible producer. 

Doan: I set up the microphones.

10. What keeps you going with this? How has Kissing Contest positively affected your lives?

Mike: I’m one of those people that have this constant nagging need to be working on a couple creative projects at all times so that’s why I do it. As for a positive effect, I don’t really know. We got to show some movies at the Spectacle Theater and that was pretty cool. Last summer when people sent us like a grocery store’s worth of snacks for snaxchat was sweet. I tend to forget about all the perks that come with doing stuff like this because as Mark Henry would say THIS IS WHAT I DO and I never take time to enjoy myself because I am a robot.

Sawyer: What Mike said. I am constantly disappointed in myself for not doing more creatively with my life. I tend to write it off as a side effect of not having a normal job and sometimes working insane hours, but the truth is the perk of not having a normal job is that when I’m not in the middle of an 80 hour work week, I have a lot of free time. So doing this one creative project helps me justify spending my weekends running around in a haze ruining my body. Enabling my own drug and alcohol abuse is pretty positive to me!

Doan: It's weird because this might be my only hobby that doesn't involve drinking and eating. If you can call this a hobby. Also, Sawyer is funny, you funny DAWG quit being modest. 

11. I think we’ve gotten everything we wanted out of you lot, for the time being. Traditionally, we leave the last question open, so you can say whatever you want, plug some stuff or even ask us some questions. Thanks again for indulging us and keep on truckin’ with Kissing Contest!

Mike: Listen to Kissing Contest, tell your friends to listen to Kissing Contest. Don’t be a lazy dick about it and say you’ll check it out later or that you don’t know how to download podcasts. I’m sick of your human excuses. Also thank you for this interview.

Sawyer: Yeah, tell some people. I mean, it’s cool that people retweet us and comment on the facebook page, but if you like our show, just go tell someone to listen. And if you’re a shut in or whatever, telling people on the internet is cool too. Just keep telling people about it. I still sell people on UYD and I’ve been listening to that show for four years. Oh and I forgot to mention this in the “positive stuff” question, but it’s honestly amazing to me that we have people all over the world (well, the parts with the internet) listening to this show, and that makes me supremely happy. And getting emails, meeting people who listen to the show, that kind of interaction rules. Mike hates it because he’s a grump-monster, but I love it so keep it up. And thank you for the interview - if my long winded answers aren’t transparent enough, I really like talking about myself. Lastly: YO I'M ON TINDER!

Doan: Thanks for listening, tell your friends and I have a mix tape coming out "DAWG unleashed" May 18th ok I don't. Thanks for the interview.



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