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Podcast Brings Profs Closer to ‘Total Media Domination’

Kaitlin Hall, Reporter

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The dynamic duo of Dr. Allan Austin and Dr. Patrick Hamilton want students to give an ear to their regular podcast “Even More Mashed-Up,” which can be heard at both PodBean.com and iTunes.

The cast is an additional, but distinct, bit of pop culture banter not heard on their Cougar Radio show “The Mash-Up.”

Austin, Professor of History, and Hamilton, Associate Professor and Chair of English, delve into pop culture and enthusiastically express their sometimes odd, but always well educated, feelings on everything from comic books to television shows. The show is unscripted, and they do not discuss anything in advance.  That means their witty one-liners are entirely impromptu. The show is broadcast each Tuesday morning and posted online later in the day.

The duo got their start in broadcasting four years ago, when a student in the Mass Communications and Design department needed a segment on the MC 87 television show “Hey You MU.” The pair was working on a book that discussed superheroes and race, and so they talked about their book. The segment went from the five minutes needed to a full hour.

The pair used their powerful personalities to turn office talk into campus radio show.

“We should totally do a radio show! Not actually thinking, I was not actually thinking that we would,” Austin recalled.

“And then we did!” added Hamilton.

And that provides a short example of the way each prof sometimes finishes the sentence of the other.

Three-and-a-half years later, the radio show morphed into what is now the podcast at the suggestion of Dan Kimbrough, Assistant Professor of Mass Communications and Design.

Current and past students say listening to the podcast is like going back to the profs’ popular comic book class.

Graduate Mason Moher, history pre-law, tries not to miss it.

“After I saw ‘Luke Cage,’ I wanted to hear what Dr. Austin and Dr. Hamilton had to say about a bulletproof black man wearing a hoodie in modern day America, and I wasn’t disappointed. They didn’t simply discuss its merits as a TV show, but rather situated ‘Luke Cage’ within the current cultural and political climate. I find myself listening because of the way they discuss pop culture and superheroes in ways that provide critical analysis while remaining entertaining.”

Graduate Chrissy Zopf said the duo always provide a lot of fun.

“I subscribed to Dr. Hamilton and Austin’s podcast because I thought it might be something interesting to listen to on my drive home for Thanksgiving Break.”

The profs said the broadcasts provide them a way to expand the reach of their teaching, too.

“It is gratifying and a happy thought that we can reach beyond the classroom here,” Austin said.

“We are working towards our media domination,” added Hamilton, once again.

They say the shows provide them personal memories because of the unscripted format.

“We mashed up ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and the movie ‘Deliverance,’ and that was good stuff,” Hamilton said. “We took question’s from the Austin kids, which was what was our favorite Winnie the Pooh character was. Then what our favorite vacation movie was and Dr. Austin picked ‘Deliverance,’” said Hamilton.

Dr. Austin interjected this time.

“’Deliverance’ is about a vacation. They get on a boat and go down a river. That sounds like a vacation to me!”

The topics led them to mash together ‘Winnie the Pooh in Deliverance’ and discuss the roles each character would play.

Other popular discussions were about ‘Winter Solider’ and a recent one on ‘Dr. Strange.’

Austin said the best moment was the fantasy fantasy draft, while Dr. Hamilton disagreed.

“The second I drafted Voldemort, he lost it. I had never seen him so angry,” Austin said.

Hamilton added, “I had given up and decided to draft God.”

The comedy may steal the show, but the profs say they have a greater goal with the podcast: They would like to see themselves at the San Diego Comic Con. They say the New York Comic Con is nice, but it is just the stepping-stone, while San Diego is the Mecca. They would love to be there as invited guests, all expenses paid.

Students should subscribe to the podcast knowing they are broadening their pop culture knowledge while helping the two become one step closer to the San Diego Comic Con.

“The show is definitely a tastemaker,” Hamilton said.

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Podcast Brings Profs Closer to ‘Total Media Domination’