“The Big, Great Podcast…wait, The Beautiful Big Podcast…no, that’s not right either. This is a really great podcast you should subscribe and listen to–even if no one can ever get the name right.”
“That’s quite a mouthful.”
“I know. We’re working on it.”
–Pepper Potts and Agent Coulson, Iron Man (2008)
In case you were wondering about the origin of the name
In a sea of pop culture podcasts, there are few topics that engender as much fervor as those centered around Disney. “Mouse” this and “Dis” that podcasts are a dime a dozen, and while many of them are focused on the parks, there are still plenty to satiate Pixar, Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel fans. So how do you filter out the wheat from the chaff?
First, consider the guests. I like to listen to people nerd out over their favorite stuff as much as anyone, but even the most interesting hosts need opposing viewpoints or inside information to add spark. The Great Big Beautiful Podcast has hosted some of the biggest names in geekdom including Star Trek favorites Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes, and Levar Burton; well-known voice actors James Arnold Taylor, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, and Maurice LaMarche; bestselling authors Kate DiCamillo and Chuck Palanhuik; and legends of pop culture Julie Newmar and Sid and Marty Kroft.
Of course, it isn’t much good for a show to have amazing guests without hosts who can keep the guests talking. Jamie Greene and Justin Connors are always entertaining, and their questions never fail to elicit insightful, and sometimes unexpected, responses from their guests. Justin and Jamie are obviously true fans of Disney media, and have a deep knowledge of various Star Wars and Marvel properties, but even with more obscure guests, it’s apparent the hosts take the time to learn as much about their guests as possible so they feel welcome. In fact, some of the show’s best episodes have come from lesser known guests who are not afraid to go a bit off-script from their regular media blitz Q&A comfort zone.
Finally, even with all these elements coming together perfectly, poor production can kill a podcast before it gets off the ground. The Great Big Beautiful Podcast sounds great, and having previous guests do the intro for each episode is a nice touch. While there are times when it’s apparent content has been cut due either time constraints or because of the content itself, it’s well done and doesn’t break the narrative of the show. My only issue with the production is their inconsistent show lengths. Episodes can range from 25 minutes to well over an hour, making it difficult to fit it into a specific schedule. (E.g., My commute is 35 minutes, and I can’t start an episode before leaving and be sure it will be done before I arrive at work.)
Overall, The Great Big Beautiful Podcast is a positive, uplifting insight into the pop culture of today and tomorrow, and its light-hearted nature is perfectly befitting its namesake.