Created in the suburbs of Philadelphia during the early days of podcasting, “The Mediocre Show” grew from a thirty minute recording of two guys giving each other shit into a community-driven podcast with a global audience. Even if you haven't listened to the show, you've most likely seen it as a constant iTunes feature. But aside from its longevity and popularity, one of its strangest achievements is that the listenership has shifted toward Zion over the past two years, making Utah its top downloaded location. The show, which has always been referred to as “a bunch of dick and fart jokes” by its rotating cast, never really pushed any kind of agenda to attract fans from specific locations. But with localized influence from "The Geek Show", "A Damn Podcast" and "The Man Hour" encouraging people to check them out, our own base of fans have tuned in and stayed loyal as a participating force, damn near making them ours.
The show started in late 2005 when part time DJ and audio engineer Eric Tomorrow decided he wanted to try out a new form of media known as podcasting. Using the simple recording equipment and program he had on his Mac, Eric created a show that he felt people would want to listen to, made up of thoughts and musings he put together throughout the week.
“Very few shows spoke to me as I grew up” says Tomorrow. “I thought there must be other people out there who felt the same way. I figured it was a way for those people to have a voice to call their own.”
Only a couple of shows in, Tomorrow called on his former car club friend Taylor Ramsauer to join him as a co-host, Skype'd from his home in Portland for each recording to post up Wednesday nights as a regular iTunes feature. While plagued with audio issues from the long-distance sessions, the two hammered out episodes, mostly made up of them criticizing friends and each other. The two created segments like “Cable Dating”, taking the worst Comcast had to offer from the dating pool and adding their own commentary. Not to mention adding a voicemail line for listeners to chime in, which gave way to the “Confessions” segment for those very listeners to tell their worst secrets. During this time Tomorrow would reconnect with an old girlfriend (and now wife), simply known to the fans as Hope.
“At first I didn't even know what a Podcast was” says Hope about their time together. “It was 2006 when Eric and I re-met and he told me within that first chain of emails that he did a podcast. I naturally tuned in to a recent episode and really enjoyed what I was listening to. It wasn't long before I moved in with Eric and was wearing headphones each week beside him.”
Ramsauer would eventually leave the show in 2007 to become a roadie for the band 36 Crazyfists, which opened the door for Tomorrow to bring in his friend of nearly twenty years, Matt “Kittensparks” as a live co-host. Matt's loudmouth opinions, ball-busting commentary and near hatred for most listeners pushed the show to new areas. His influence got Tomorrow to start airing the show live every Wednesday at 8PM (EST), start a call-in line, make the program more listener-oriented, and overall transform it into as live a radio show it could be without being on the air. The influx of caller-related topics tripled their listenership and content, giving the feeling that it was as much the fan's show as it was theirs, causing them to call their listeners “The Mediocre Nation.” It was during this era that "The Geek Show Podcast" caught wind of their antics, not only tuning in as listeners but encouraging their own fans to join them. But as the show neared new heights, Matt himself was forced to depart in early 2009 for personal reasons, leaving the co-host chair open again.
Tomorrow had brought in dozens of guest hosts to fill the chair, but couldn't find a proper co-host until mid-summer when the infamous “Tha Mike Pilot” came by for a stint... and never left. A working family man and former podcaster himself of the now retired “Awful Show”, Pilot has had a professional friendship with Eric since 2006 when their respective shows crossed paths. Which grew into a mutual respect for each other's craft.
“It was the first podcast I had come across that possessed all the qualities of a great FM show” says Pilot recalling his thoughts on the show before joining. “The way the show has always been about real life has always meant a lot to me. From the laughs to help get through a rough day of work, to the way the hosts and the nation always reach out to help those in need has always been inspirational to me.”
Pilot joined under only a few conditions, the main one being that Hope officially become the third co-host, which she graciously accepted. Since that time the trio have pushed the show to be more of a help to the listeners, starting up charity drives for those in need, offering Hope's relationship advice through the segment “There's Always Hope”, even recently organizing a listener party in Phili as a meet-and-greet for the Nation. Not to mention catering to the Utah crowd by adding "Geek Show" panelist Jeff Vice and his movie reviews to the format. But it hasn't stopped them from pushing as much crude and belittling humor they can muster, such as “MySpace Music” where they make fun of the freshest horrible musicians on the net, and their constant hatred for juggalos and the band 311. And as they slowly approach the five-year anniversary this fall (officially making them one of the longest running podcasts in the United States), the group has every intention of continually pushing the show to be its best. Not to mention trying to come out and show love to the Utah fans who have helped them along the way.
“I would really love to come to Salt Lake City and do the show live from Burt’s Tiki Lounge” says Tomorrow. “The basic truth of the matter is, I would like the show to be my full time job as something I could try to pay the mortgage with. If that can't happen, it's okay, I still love doing the show and will continue to do so until my vocal chords give up on me.”