Did you ever think you could warm up to things like baldness, teenagers or milk?
The Make Me Like It podcast asks you to leave your preconceived notions at the door using hilarious, honest and thought provoking conversation amongst friends.
We here at Pals are gigantic fans of the show, so it was suuuuuper cool to interview the hosts Dan Klein and Kelly Hudson on our blog! You will LOVE their unique podcast concept, and they may even change your mind about certain topics.
Our whole interview is around 30 minutes long. Because they are seasoned podcast hosts, we HAD to tape this and bring the interview to life. You can hear how passionate they are, and how much fun they have with the show ☺
Dan and Kelly pose with their favorite socks!
FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
HANNAH: So. Maybe you guys could give a little overview of your unique concept, a little summation?
DAN: Sure yeah! Well “Make Me Like It” is a podcast where Kelly and I have a lot of things we don’t like. We have all of our funniest, smartest, and coolest friends come on the show and tell us why they like certain things. We always listen with an open mind and see if by the end, we like it too. And yeah, it turns out like after doing 50 episodes or something, that it really is about me and Kelly loosening up a little bit.
KELLY: Yeah! The concept of the show is to loosen up and broaden our minds!
DAN: When people tell you why they like something so much, you’re like oh my god I like this person, and they like this thing, and boy, I guess I either just missed the boat on it or I gotta just lighten up a little bit and open my mind! <laughter>
KELLY: Yeah, I’d say that a lot of what we cover on the show is fear based. Like I‘m scared of this thing, tell me why I should not be scared or I wrote this thing off for 5 minutes and then stopped doing it, why should I pick it back up. It comes from having great conversations with people we really like. It’s just so fun watching someone talk about what they like. It’s always a pleasant conversation. Even if the topic is Dan, what was Andrew Law’s topic?
KELLY: <laughter> It’s still a very interesting conversation.
DAN: It’s hard to disagree with someone when you hear about them passionately talking, and happily talking about something that they like.
DAN: You’re like, oh yeah, I guess I can kind of see that.
DAN: And it’s fun to hear.
HANNAH: So how did you guys get into the podcasting game?
DAN: Well, our podcast is on a podcast network called Headgum. That is run by Jake and Amir who were pretty well known from their College Humor videos. They’ve been doing that for years and they started a podcast network. Essentially they were just looking for ideas and I had this idea a long time ago because I hate golf so much.
DAN: And I was going to do a whole podcast just based on trying to get me to like golf. That’s why it’s our first episode. Jake and Amir approached us, and I was like oh, this could be a fun thing for us to do together. It would be fun to talk to people about more than just golf!
KELLY: They approached us together and asked both of us if we had any ideas to pitch that we would do as a team. <Make Me Like It> was our favorite one, they loved it immediately. And, we ended up having a podcast. We didn’t strive for it, it sort of just happened.
KELLY: And that’s kind of the story for most of the great things that have happened in our lives, that’s for sure.
HANNAH: Yeah! You had an opportunity you couldn’t pass up. It’s cool it turned into a couple of different episodes, know what I mean?
KELLY: I think the guests we have on the show contribute to that because we’ve already got a weird list of stuff for people to look at, but then the stuff people come up with that they want to talk about is always way more interesting, I feel like.
DAN: Yeah, I never thought I would do an entire episode on squalor!
DAN: And I never thought by the end of it would I agree with it.
DAN: You know what? There is a certain amount of squalor that is enjoyable in life.
DAN: So that one kind of blew me away.
KELLY: Also, I from day one wanted really bad to do an episode on mayonnaise. So many people have almost done it but been like, I don’t know if I can spend a whole episode doing this. That was a topic that I thought would take off but it’s a small topic, if you think about it.
HANNAH: So funny! What do you think were the topics that got you the most feedback so far? The most conversation? Have people been like ahhhhhhhhh, cool, positive feedback for you?
KELLY: From us for from our listeners?
HANNAH: Oh. Your listeners!
KELLY: Our death episode got a ton of feedback. I like death now too! But just sort of commiserated with us and talked about their opinions about why death was good. That was just a really interesting-
DAN: It brought a lot out of people. We got tons of emails for that one. I’m trying to think of other ones that we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from. That one is definitely the most feedback and we still get emails about today. Remember, we got some emails about the Royal Family?
KELLY: From our British listener!
DAN: Yeah, we have a British listener who really tried to get us to like the Royal Family. In that episode our guest just talked about watching The Crown. We did not like the Royal Family and he’s like, just watch The Crown. We watched the crown and now I like the Royal Family! <laughter> It’s really interesting. I can’t believe how intense and dramatic it is.
HANNAH: History! Lots of history.
DAN: Not to get too off topic, it’s kind of a horrible responsibility. It essentially ruins your life in a way that I never knew. So, it’s really fascinating. It’s a great TV show.
KELLY: Yeah! I’m definitely fascinated by the Royal Family now. But I definitely don’t like it. <laughter>
HANNAH: So. What do you guys hope to accomplish in the podcast. Is it the comedy but also make people not be as quick to judge? The psychology of being introduced to something by someone you like? What’s that impact?
DAN: The <Make Me Like It> idea was pretty simple. Could somebody make a convincing argument enough to get us to like things that we don’t like? But as we’ve –
HANNAH: In this day and age of hate and bigotry , judging and all that stuff…
DAN: Yeah and I think, to be honest, none of that stuff was in our minds when we started it. But now that we’ve done it, and you feel it, you do realize the power of persuasion of having a nice, fun conversation as opposed to yelling. That’s part of Kelly and my personalities is that we don’t want to fight. When we first started inviting people onto the show, I think they thought it was going to be heated, big fight. Like a debate.
KELLY: They were nervous. They were like, ok, so now I have to force you to like something? And I was like no no no, we’re friendly! This is warm!
DAN: The thing that is fascinating to me is finding those moments in these peoples lives where it’s clear why they like something, or what got them interested in something. To hear a funny interesting person that you know discuss things they wouldn’t normally discuss – in life, you’re not really ever like do you know why I love this movie so much? We just talked to someone about Britney Spears. You know why I love this so much? No one really expresses themselves in that way. Here’s someone that you’ve been talking to and it’s hard for me not to like it. It’s a nice way to open up your mind to things that you didn’t think you would ever like.
KELLY: It’s become easy in that way. It’s become not a burden to do, because we’ve always enjoyed it. Something I didn’t expect is how many people have related to it and how many people have reached out on a personal level. Most of our fans write an email that’s personal, in addition to being like hey, I love the show. I don’t want to go huge with this, but my main goal in making art is connecting and understanding people, and being understood by people. So that’s been a huge, cool part of it for me.
HANNAH: That’s really cool. Obviously cool because it’s something that’s funny and makes people happy, but it’s extra cool when there is an added layer of being very beneficial to society. Not just slap happy, three stooges type of thing. Memes or stuff. This <podcast> is all about trying to be very friendly about keeping an open mind and how much happier our world is when people have friendlier conversations. It’s not a big deal! It doesn’t have to be a fight! It can be a very interesting and mind opening thing that if more people-
KELLY: Yeah something that you can keep it light-
DAN: We like giving our guests the opportunity to know that we are a captivated audience. If you say oh the reason I like this thing is because I was 10 years old and my mom did this, we aren’t going to scoff at you. We’re not going to judge you for it. We’re interested. We’re coming at everything with an open mind. This is a little off topic but part of what inspired the podcast, because I was on this improv team at the UCB Theatre in New York called The Law Firm. We used to interview people at the beginning of the show either about a run-in they had with the law, or even ask people about their week. We would just want to get information from the audience members. You would be so surprised how people just didn’t think they were interesting! Sometimes they would avoid the questions. But, whenever you got to know anyone for real and they were just honest with their answers, it was always fascinating!
KELLY: Everyone was interesting!
DAN: Yeah everyone was interesting!
KELLY: That’s been a big lesson – every single person is interesting.
HANNAH: Hmmmm! It’s true, it really is. Everyone has their own story. But yeah, it’s so cool that you are reaching people who, obviously are into the comedy scene but also people who just never really gave a thought about things they didn’t think about. I think it’s a lifestyle. You’re like, let’s try it out! Not everything is horrible! It’s so cool you have this type of voice to introduce the concept of keeping an open mind! Try new things! Have fun! Don’t take it so seriously. We’re all friends here, we’re all PALS here, right?
KELLY: Yeah to answer your question, the comedy has always been secondary. Our careers have been based around comedy, but this podcast is a way for us to have a low pressure zone to be naturally funny and not write. Not try to do the perfect improv scene, we’re just being ourselves. We didn’t have a just ourselves outlet. The comedy has definitely just been in the backdrop.
HANNAH: Yeah! That’s so cool. Let me think what I was going to ask you. How do you guys choose your topics? Just do a brainstorm of things you strictly don’t like? Or do you call your friends who are funny and be like Hey! What is a topic that is weird you are passionate about? OK. Let’s brainstorm. I hate X,Y,Z, is it a public broadcast? How do you find it and whittle it down?
DAN: It’s a combination of the two. We have a master list of things we will just add to when we see something or–
KELLY: Or remember something we don’t love.
DAN: We just remembered how much we hate Keurig coffee machines so we just threw that on the list.
HANNAH: They’re horrible for the environment!
DAN: Oh totally.
KELLY: There’s nothing good about them. <to Dan> I feel like we could have your mom on to talk about it. <laughter>
HANNAH: Well it’s just convenience, right?
DAN: I think that’s the only thing.
KELLY: Convenience really wears thin with me.
DAN: That’s true. I am not always a huge fan of convenience. If someone could convince me to like that, I would be very impressed. Kelly and I have a master list that we always add things to whenever we run into something, because it’s easier for us (from a production standpoint) to book a guest first. As opposed to having a topic and then searching for someone to speak about that topic. We usually contact friends and people that we know to schedule a time, then show them the master list. If there is something in particular that they like or usually it inspires them like what about these few things? Oh, let’s do that because that seems like something we could talk about for a long time.
HANNAH: Right, right.
HANNAH: Makes sense. So what were the topics that you were the most surprised you warmed up to? That you didn’t think you would ever be interested in? Maybe anime, or…? That one seemed like a pretty good argument.
DAN: I’m literally looking it up the episodes right now.
KELLY: Which ones… let me see here…so Taylor Swift definitely got me to think a lot about my opinions about women in pop culture. That was a really big one. I was like, Taylor Swift, F her. And then it was, ohhhhhhh there is a lot going on under this. It’s not just about me not liking someones music, someones personality. How society writes off these women like Lena Dunham or Anne Hathaway and like ohhhhh they’re so annoying. Why do you find them annoying? Let’s explore that. So I thought that was an interesting one.
DAN: For me, I think it was fraternities and sororities, something I always had a bias against. The way that frats are treated, not even in pop culture but in the comedy world, you’re sort of in this nerd society. You have judgements against frats because they are cool and <nerds> are always portrayed badly in movies (like Revenge of the Nerds). But the person we had on here, first of all. He was a guy who was just a fan of the show and wrote to us hey, I heard on an episode that you want to talk about frats and sororities. I was in one. Can I be on the show? And we were like alright, let’s do this. He talked about his experience in (I believe it was Iowa) and how-
KELLY: How positive it was.
DAN: Positive and valuable to his social life there, and even to this day how he is still connected to members of the fraternity and there are different chapters. And I was like, oh, this is something that is a useful, positive tool and not every fraternity is a horrible place where men date rape women.
KELLY: One of my favorite episodes was the magic episode.
DAN: Oh yeh!!
KELLY: Just because I guess Avery Monsen is just a magical person that says the funniest things. I loved seeing magic through his eyes.
DAN: He was both for it and against it, that was really interesting. He also performed magic right on front of us.
KELLY: It was insane.
HANNAH: That’s really funny. Awesome. So that gets me to: if anybody is interested and would maybe be fun on radio, is open to be a guest on the episode? Not just people in comedy?
KELLY: That’s what is has become!
DAN: I mean we had always wanted to talk to a variety of people and I’ve always been interested in talking to “normal people” but not people in evolved in the comedy scene. To be honest, at this point it’s just hard for us to get in touch with people.
KELLY: It’s so much easier to just ask a comedy friend if they want to be on a podcast as opposed to…at the beginning we wanted to get normal people and experts.
DAN: It’s really just us doing the booking so we don’t exactly have a far reach to different fields. Another thing– back in New York I was part of a sketch group and we hosted a late night show briefly. The idea was that we would talk to normal people as opposed to celebrity guests, and we did have a New York City cab driver on there one time. That was pretty fascinating. Treat an NYC cab driver as if they were a famous celebrity and ask them questions about what they do or they’re working on. And again, I don’t think the cab driver thought he was interesting at all but it’s like, oh my god you are a fascinating person. Who are you? <laughter>
KELLY: I actually listen to and am into the parenting podcast world. Dan and I are on the edge of becoming parents the next couple of years. There’s something about doing this podcast that has prepared me for raising a child. I had this realization about what it’s like to have a kid. When you are parenting, you are rediscovering the world. You give your kid a vanilla wafer, you are rediscovering the world with them. They are so blown away by things you wrote off as something you weren’t interested in or that had no value. So, I feel like there is a child-like wonder about this podcast and being like, what’s the big deal with cats? And then being like, OMG cats are amazing! Like you are discovering for the first time. And there’s a lot of big subjects that we tackle on this thing.
DAN: We also have an episode on teenagers, which a lot of parents would probably want to listen to-
KELLY: That’s a good one!
DAN: If you have teenagers… or your children will soon be teenagers.
KELLY: We’ve also had a kid on the show.
DAN: Oh yeah that’s true, we also had a child guest talk to us about milk. <laughter>
KELLY: Poppy! This guy that Dan worked with, he and his daughter came on the show to talk about milk. Yeah, I think this would be a great podcast for parents.
DAN: Poppy was a great guest, I would listen to her.