The man behind the comedy podcast “Uhh Yeah Dude” will perform at Paradise Rock Club on July 7, with longtime friend and fellow comedian Jonathan Larroquette. Romatelli, a Haverhill native and Emerson grad, and Larroquette (son of actor John Larroquette) started the weekly podcast out of Romatelli’s living room nearly seven years ago, and have been named on both Rolling Stone and IFC’s lists of top 10 comedy podcasts to download.
Q. How would you describe “Uhh Yeah Dude?”
A. It’s one of those things you really have to listen to in order to get. Describing it, it’s literally just two dudes talking, which sounds [expletive] boring. But we talk about what’s happening in pop culture to what’s happening in the news to, you know, what happened to me waiting on the line at Starbucks this morning. We try to narrow in on what’s most important and what would make the best entertainment, but Jonathan and I have also been doing this for so long that we’ve developed our own voices and people understand how we play off of each other.
Q. And how did this podcast start?
A. Jonathan and I used to have these phone conversations about once a week, where we’d just recap everything that had happened over the past six or seven days, whether it was personal experiences, or something we’d seen on TV or online. Sort of jokingly he’d say it’d be funny to record our phone conversations, but something about that felt kind of wrong and almost narcissistic. But the more we talked about it, the more the idea grew on me. About a year after that — I think it was January 2006 — he came over with a laptop, plugged in a couple of microphones, and we spent an hour and a half talking, as if it were one of our phone conversations.
Q. Is there a writing process behind your show?
A. Not as much writing as there is research. We try to consume as much media as possible and then narrow that down into what’s the most interesting. Before the show, I’ll make some index cards for talking points, and then Jonathan will come over and we’ll get ready. It works because he doesn’t see the index cards until a half-hour or so before the show, so it’s very improvisational in that way. I try to pull things I think he’ll really like, or be very opinionated on. That’s the advantage of working with someone for such a long time — you know what they gravitate toward.
Q. How is this different than other podcasts?
A. The fact that we don’t have guests. It’s just the two of us, whereas a lot of podcasts have people on their shows. We didn’t really plan for it that way, but now we’re so into it by design that it’s carved out to be just the two of us talking. The only guest we’ve ever had has been my mother, who’s been on three episodes. We give her some white wine, turn on the mike, and let her loose. People seem to love it because, without sounding too corny, it’s very real. Anyone from the age of 18 to 40 can relate because . . . well, this is their life.
Q. If it’s just the two of you, how do you keep things interesting?
A. Probably because there’s so much stuff happening in the world that we never run out of things to talk about. We also really believe in what we’re doing. It’s definitely hard to be original and keep things interesting after all this time, but we love what we’re doing, and we enjoy each other’s company, so we somewhat blindly stand by our product and hope for the best.
Q. Do you ever feel like having an audio show in 2012 is sort of obsolete?
A. I really don’t think it is. We have a lot of people that listen to us who give us feedback either through voice mail or through our website, and their commentary is very smart, it’s very clever, and that’s a reminder that what we’re doing is still relevant.
Q. Have you performed in front of a live audience before?
A. Yeah, we did a few shows in LA, one in Brooklyn, and one in Seattle.
Q. How is that experience different than just doing this in your living room?
A. When we do live shows, we try to re-create my living room, so there’s a similar feel. Jonathan sits in a chair, I usually stand, and we just have a coffee table for a prop. Other than that, it’s a pretty bare-bones stage. But in terms of having a live audience, it’s funny because I am terrified and hyperventilating before the show and Jonathan is wolfing down Chinese food and taking a shot of tequila. It’s definitely a different experience, but it’s very rewarding and there’s that immediate gratification of seeing the audience enjoying themselves. It’s also nice to know that people other than our mothers are listening.
Erica Thompson can be reached at email@example.com