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Nerdy Show host and commander-in-geek Cap Blackard's experience in radio started on Rollins College's terrestrial station, WPRK 91.5-FM, in 2009. After generating some buzz from that show (and procuring Orlando Weekly awards in the process) Blackard decided to continue working on the themes they'd started with in a podcast format, and many of their fans followed. With the help of co-managers boR, Jessica Uelmen, Matt "Trench" Benson and Doug Banks, Nerdy Show gradually grew and spawned a number of themed spin-off shows, including tabletop roleplaying shows Dungeons and Doritos, Ghostbusters: Resurrection, State of the Empire (a Star Wars speculation show where hosts look for news in "Alderaan" places) and Nerdy Show Book Club. The number of shows grew enough to start the umbrella of the Nerdy Show Network, where fans can find themed audio dramas, music podcasts, video game news and more – if it's geeky, The Nerdy Show's got it covered.
Your podcast has been around for a while, and you guys have grown into a full network. Any new shows on the horizon?
Cap Blackard: Our latest project is Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw'dcast. It came from a bunch of random improvising on Nerdy Show. We were actually commiserating on what at the time was the death of dramatic animated television because a bunch of shows we liked had gotten canceled. We were cutting to a song break, which was a cover of the ThunderCats theme called "Lightning Dogs." And we were like – "Whoa, but what's that show? That sounds like an awesome show." What was supposed to be a 30-second track intro turned into a 10-minute-long discussion about anthropomorphic dogs from another universe that come to a post-apocalyptic Earth lorded over by the evil Glampire and a bunch of mutants and so on. We put that out there; we thought it was fun. Within 24 hours of that episode coming out, fans had given us $200 to keep talking about that.
That was in 2013 and every discussion we've had about that concept has been recorded. Every single meeting, every single world-building session. Because we're doing the show, we had this unique opportunity to have the moment of creative lightning striking. We've re-edited our original episodes, so now it's a documentary podcast show about the creative process. We're actively on the path to turn it into an animated series. We've got Greg Weisman, the guy who created Gargoyles, he's agreed to consult on our pitch bible for the show. That's where we are right now.
In our life cycle for Nerdy Show, we're at this point where we're trying to find more places where we can work on that creativity exclusively. Our meat and potatoes news stuff, we love doing it – it's how we get from Point A to Point B in our respective industries – but we're finding more ways to be creative in that sense.
That's the most you could hope for: You find yourself in an unexpected career and you love doing it, but it's not where you thought you were going to be. How can you build off that and make something new from it? And we have that now.
Episode to start with: Episode 277: "Con Artists"