What happens when you fall through a portal to fantastical realm of dragons within dungeons, thrones and games for their control and a world famous barbarian who wants you dead for stealing his name. Why host a talk show of course; a talk show like………………………………………….
Hello from the Magical Tavern is a weekly podcast from Arnie Niekamp who fell through a portal about a year and some change ago and landed in the land of Foon. Lost and alone he was found by Usidore; the passing Blue Wizard who had probably just slept through the whole ‘One Ring fiasco’ and Chunt, current King of the Badgers, current Badger and always shapeshifter able to take the form of whatever he sleeps with. They brought him to the local tavern, ‘The Vermillion Minotaur’, where they got him set up and caught up with the concept of talking plants, dark lords and the vast amounts of children death.
As you may be able to tell from this the podcast is not for the young or easily offended. As an improv podcast this can vary from show to show as the make their way through a talk show between our three hosts and a one off guest who can be anywhere from a travelling minstrel to a bridge troll out to test his riddles. These are all played by other improv comedians from the Chicago circuit, and occasional “famous” guest star, who help build the world week on week with new races, new lands and new bits of lore. Now granted this means that a large portion of this is pop culture refrences, bad puns and sex jokes. Often all three at once. Yet despite this the world of Foon has grown like a house of cards as the rule seems to be that so long as what you say doesn’t contradict anything else or may get a laugh, it’s kept in.
Now the show has smoothed out a good deal as it’s progressed which isn’t really surprising considering they apparently just ran with test number one as the pilot and carried on from there. Though their love of the toilet humour and the popular culture has steered them wrong before, such as their introduction of the character of flower who ended up spending the final part of their episode just effing and jeffing like nobodies business or their attempt to take another stab at the whole ‘main character is mad and locked in an asylum thing‘. Or the mysterious credits guy who week on week tells us it is all a show to the point of ‘the lady doth protest too much’ who started out as kind of a cute idea, developed into an intriguing plot before settling as kind of a chore that doesn’t look like its gonna go anywhere without ending the show once and for all.
But the thing is considering how much their flying by the seat of their pants and managing to do so week on week is willing sacrifice. The half hour run time help as well, with the option to bring back what worked and get rid of what doesn’t inside of twenty minutes to make room for e-mails and presents shoved through the portal behind the back of the ‘Burger King’ which lead to this magical realm.
Hello from the Magic Tavern is available for free every Monday from your favourite podcast streaming service