JoCo the lost interviews

edited May 2009 in JoCo Fame
Five segments of an hour+ interview with Jonathan Coulton from March 17, 2008. Brilliant stuff from him. Find all five episodes HERE or search for A Life of Play on iTunes. It's a podcast.

(sample comments are what JoCo requests in the green room before shows, how Jonathan has been eclipsed by Paul and Storm, why Hodgman hasn't been able to make JoCo a PC, etc.)

Here's the story...

I met JoCo at a show in Somerville, MA. But I knew of his music via the PopSci podcasts from the moon. I didn't realize he had done anything other than those Science shows.

Immediately I realized I - as a professional writer - needed to do a story on him. So I interviewed Jonathan in March 2008 and pitched the story to Yale and the New Yorker and about a dozen other publications. They were nonplussed.

But as a result of my interview, I had an hour and 20 minutes of gold on tape (digital recording via Skype) and figured why not podcast it.

So I talked to Jonathan earlier this month and he gave me permission to release the interview as a podcast. I broke it into five pieces and they are now up at my podcast site. Each is 15-24 minutes long.

Please feel free to make comments and use the podcast in a polite CC way. Also, let me know what you think.

Thanks. Love the forums and look forward to participating more.

(sample comments are what JoCo requests in the green room before shows, how Jonathan has been eclipsed by Paul and Storm, why Hodgman hasn't been able to make JoCo a PC, etc. It was great fun.


My Sites


  • WooT! Will be listening after work tonight...
  • Excellent Jeff. The first was posted on the forums a few days ago, and it was great. I thought I was going to have to wait another week just for part 2. Thanks!
  • The answer to those questions are beer, perhaps in bizarro world, and cause JoCo is all about Macs. Think about it. Do you ever see JoCo in a suit, or more t-shirt and jeans hipster combo?
  • Actually I think the answer to the first question is little Hershey bars.
  • Jmonkee - you'd be wrong unless JoCo has added a taste to his green room requests.

    CoolJammer00 - you're also off on the Green Room item, JoCo had fun answers to the other two - I asked them tongue in cheek.

    robgonzo - I had nothing to gain by delaying all the segments. Just needed to do enough post production to put clips in and cut them in appropriate spots. So all five segments are now available. Enjoy and please share.
  • much kudos for playing the entire Popsci Podcast: Furry Old Lobster episode!
  • It had JoCo and Hodgman on it. How couldn't I share it. It's genius.

    Glad you liked it.

  • Just an update. Looked at the download figures and only 20+ of you have grabbed each episode. No pony off my back, but Jonathan's comments are really fun, unscripted and intelligent.

    All five episodes can be found at iTunes (boo, hiss) as a podcast - A Life of Play - or go to the site and download the MP3s.


  • edited May 2009
    Jeff... I got them from iTunes (before you booed them). Not sure if that shows up in your stats, but maybe that's why they're low.

    I second your statement about the interview, it's really good.
  • Funny how someone always finds something new and interesting to ask. You'd think with all these interviews, they'd all start to sound like the ones the bigger media outlets do. Stuff like "quit his job as a Code Monkey" this and "geek troubadour" that.
  • My favorite part from these interviews was the very beginning, where Jeff asked him if there's anything he doesn't want to be asked about. JoCo says no way, go ahead and ask about anything. Then the very first question is about his childhood, and he didn't seem to want to talk about it! Good stuff....
  • The boo and the hiss was because they still have some semblance of DRM and I wanted to toe the party line. Actually I love iTunes for how easy it makes it to podcast and share content. And I'm a huge Mac guy so pretty much anything Apple does is fine with me...except for locking the iPhone to ATT. That's another whole topic. My iPhone IS jailbroken and unlocked and I'm rocking T-Mobile to the tune of $60 a month for 300 minutes, 400 txts and unlimited data. OK, soapbox done.

    Amazingly he didn't avoid my questions at all and gave some serious insight. One of the main reasons I thought the recording would be valuable - to fans and the world - was exactly because we didn't go over all the stuff he's talked about before (except maybe DRM stuff). I heard about half a dozen interviews over the past year and nobody brought up Paul and Storm or his lyrical ability (to speak at the speed of an auctioneer) or the paired recording of him and Hodgman.

    Thanks for the props. It was really a lot of fun.

  • No, no, forum precedent dictates that five-part audio interviews with JoCo need to be posted one segment at a time for maximum excruciation!

    Seriously: still working my way through, but I'm liking what I'm hearing; nice job, Jeff!
  • Bry - That's outstanding. Didn't even see that, but have only been here a few days after lurking for a year.

    Starting a Meetup Group entirely of people who only do Five-Part interviews of JoCo. Any ideas for the secret handshake? I'm gonna have T-Shirts made too. Will I need to order more than two? :-)

    I can't wait to listen to yours. Love what I saw at first glance in the transcript.

  • edited May 2009
    If I get a recording of myself saying hello to him, and him responding, and I cut it into five parts, can I join?

    I just want to belong.

    ETA: I'm another person who downloaded it with iTunes. Since I have all the podcasts (and other spoken-word thingies) that I haven't listened to yet in a smart playlist that plays in random order, and I have a huge backlog, and I can't bring myself to prune it, I expect to listen to one of the five parts some time next year, and then perhaps an early part a few months later... expect some thread resurrection, is what I'm saying. :)
  • Looked at the download figures and only 20+ of you have grabbed each episode
    Give it time man, it was a weekend!
  • Also, how many people do you expect are regularly visiting these forums? Judging by the Song tournament polls, It's not more than around 40, I'd say, most of whom are lurkers, so a 50% penetration is pretty good :).

    But I listened to it, great interview. Good job, and I agree the questions asked were fantastic.
  • Any ideas for the secret handshake?
    the high-5 of course. ;)
  • Any ideas for the secret handshake?

    the high-5 of course. ;)
    Or we could just wear Fancy Pants and we wouldn't need a handshake.
  • Jeff, I've only listened to the first 3 parts so far, but nice job on this interview. You asked some excellent questions. :)
  • Twinschick1 - Thanks. Don't lose sight of the fact the guy I was asking these questions was a good sport and has the brain matter to make every answer fun to listen to. Jonathan was willing to stay on the phone with me for as long as I wanted. I felt bad when we eclipsed the 80 minute mark. :-)
  • edited May 2009
    Thanks to all who have been downloading and listening. Would love your feedback on technique and content.

    So far each episode has about 50 downloads. Coolio and props to everyone here at the JoCo forums.


  • Finally getting around to listening to this. Very far-ranging interviewing subject-wise.

    A month and a half later, but I can't help pointing out that CoolJammer doesn't seem to remember JoCo's blog entry. ;-)
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