How to Create a Comedy Podcast with College Buddies Chris and Mario

Show Notes

In this bonus episode of Podcast Tactics, you will get practical podcasting advice from two college buddies who created a comedy podcast designed to solve the world’s problems!

Please share what you got out of my conversation with Chris and Mario by leaving a review at

Learn More about Chris and Mario and Their Show “Welcome Back”

Episode recorded on April 29, 2021.

Music by Valence – Infinite [NCS Release]


James: In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will get practical podcasting advice from two college buddies who created a comedy podcast designed to solve the world’s problems.

Make sure you keep learning about podcasting, get inspired, and stay motivated by joining the mailing list at

My name is James, the host of Podcast Tactics. Thanks for listening in. Now, let’s get into it!

Joining me at the mic or Chris and Mario in Pennsylvania, Chris and Mario. Thank you so much for joining me on the show. Happy. Thank you for having us. Yeah. I’m excited to have a conversation with you, buddy. Podcasts are one of my favorite podcasts, so let’s jump right in. What’s the name of your show and what’s it all about?

Mario: It’s “Welcome Back.” Um, and it’s literally about me and Chris wanted to make sure that our friendship stayed alive. Uh we’ve we’ve been flirting with the idea of a podcast for a while. We were on. Couple of other podcasts or, or a super secret podcasts that never went anywhere over a long weekend, but then, uh, we decided to make this thing actually happen.


James: whose idea was this?

Chris: This is a great question. I would say it’s a combination. We Mario and I have been friends since college and we’ve done, uh, we did some improv together in college. And so, uh, we have been creating together for many years. So we, you know, dabbled in some podcasting together. We did a wrestling podcast together, and then we said, you know what?

This will be super fun for us to do, uh, on a regular basis by ourselves.

James: What kind of plans did you guys put in place prior to launching your show? If any.

Mario: We’re like, let’s do this thing. We, we, we, yeah, we came up with the name off of the other podcast where I wanted to say welcome back at the beginning of every episode of, um, the PA power hour podcast.

Go check it out. If you’re a wrestling fan and at the end, I would like to sign off to be, we’ll be right back that way. When you hop to the next episode, it’s like, and we’re back. We’ll be right back and we’re now we’re back. We’ll be right back, you know? And, uh, our lead on the podcast, God bless him. Great guy.

He’s really young and really enthusiastic about wrestling and podcasting. He said no to my idea of the start in the end, but Chris like pulled me. So I was like, we really need to do that. And so the idea of a welcome back and we’ll be right back was strong enough that we started a podcast.

Chris: You could say that.

We had the title and it’s the only reason the podcast exists because the title was such a great bit. You

James: could say that. So I’m really curious about, cause you guys, in your submission, you also said, uh, Diablo, friends, you guys are Diablo friends. And, um, I, I did listen to a few of your episodes. Maybe I missed it.

Well, what’s that about?

Mario: Well, be sure to check out the making friends episode and, uh, We talk about when we rate things, we use the taco bell scale where we, uh, go from like a Verdi, which is something that’s like not hot at all. It’s they’re like veggie green sauce. And we work our way up through the scale from a mild, medium, hot fire and Diablo being the top.

And, uh, while we were discussing, uh, different friendships in media and throughout media, you know, The the top tiers, like, uh, uh, Turk and JD and, uh, who else did we give that to think? Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, we’re like, we’re, we’re, we’re Diablo friends and so it’s kind of stuck since I love it.

James: I love it. You know, the reason why I ask about whether you guys put plans in place or not, and, and, you know, there is no right answer to that.

Right. Really, what I was getting at is is you guys got started, you guys, you know, had an idea and you executed on it and. W what I’m really getting at with this question is, is, were there any challenges for you guys to start up a new podcast? You know, I mean, you guys had really put one together, so you guys kind of got your feet wet, but for this one, what kind of challenges do you encounter and how did you overcome them when you started out?

Chris: I think it was probably a good thing that we didn’t have plans because we could have let making plans stop us from doing anything. Um, so we just went for it, which I think you said in one of your podcast stories, just go for it. And, uh, and so we I’m glad we did that, but now we’re at a place where I had a family emergency that.

Really derailed us. And, you know, it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had an episode and we’re realizing plans and systems are really important. So now that we have that, uh, engaged, we’re beginning that process and we’re still a couple of weeks away from being back on track. But I think once we are, those plans are going to keep us on track.

So it was sort of a balance of, we need the plans, but also not having them without a lot of time.

James: Yeah. I mean, you bring up a great point. People that their plans, you know, block them and stop them. And there’s a very strong take home message in many, many of the interviews that I’ve. You know, hat on the show and that’s really just, don’t let your plans get in the way and, and start and learn as you’re.

And as you’re going along, I am curious about, you know, you were talking about, you know, because of you had a family emergency and, you know, planning for the future with your show, what kind of things are you putting in place to make sure that you know, that you’re going to be a little more consistent with, you know, releasing episodes and that sort of thing?

Mario: Well, we can’t plan for the future. Um, I had a couple deaths in the family on, on either of us. We’ve, we’ve dealt with that, my grandfather sick. So there’s always going to be times where, you know, things slip up and it would be, uh, I think a long-term goal to be like a couple episodes ahead. But right now it’s like we record.

And then, uh, a week from the record date it’s posted and on that date, We plan our next one. So, so we post once every two weeks, that’s the, that’s the goal. Uh long-term and, uh, hopefully with, uh, our upcoming plans, we’re going to be putting out content once every two weeks, possibly an intermediate show or where we’re launching a soon.

Um, or by the time this, this podcast is out, uh, we’ll be a part of the IWP network. And so there’ll be a few weeks there because we have, uh, 11 episodes out already. They’ll do a, uh, welcome back rewinds to catch them up on our stuff. Cause we’ll still be posting in our feed. But as we joined this network, they have like a network feed that has everything we’re excited to.

Not only hop on this network with. A friend we’ve met through podcasting, but just hopping on podcasts like yours and others, and hopefully having people on ours. It’s, it’s, uh, it’s pretty cool to see everyday Joes, like coming up with podcasts, working together, you know, you hear about the I’ve I’ve been interested in.

Radio shows for a while. I’ve been interested in, in media in general. And you hear how like, production gets held up by the big wigs, but just the fact that anyone can buy a microphone. This is what I was actually gifted to me in like a secret Santa and a Eagan. You can do whatever you want with it.

James: Yeah.

I feel the same way. I mean, it’s such. A creative space. Um, you know, there’s a lot of freedom for people to get their voices out in the way that they want to get it out. And it’s, it’s really exciting. And, you know, on that note, I’m excited for you guys joining that network. How did you guys get turned on to that?

I’m curious about that.

Chris: It’s it’s local and it’s grassroots and it’s, um, it’s a friend of ours, like Marissa that we met through podcasting and kind of, he was our first interview. We’ve done a well, he’s the first conversation that we’ve ever done. Um, usually it’s just Mario and I on the episodes, but, uh, we had a conversation with Tony and, uh, he liked.

What we did enough to add us to his network. So he’s been plugging away at his network for almost three years now. And he’s got, you know, I think six shows or so on his network. So to be out of that was a really, really cool honor. And, um, and some motivation that like, Hey, this matters and people are interested and it really helps us keep making

James: content.


Mario: absolutely. It’s interesting. Like where almost like a trial run because his network has. Five shows and they’re all his shows he’s on every single one of them, but he liked our stuff enough that, uh, any, and we connected with him on a personal level. Well enough that he’s adding us. And we’re the, we’re the first non Tony show I think.

Yeah. On the network.

James: Well, I think I know the answer to this next question, but I’m going to go ahead and ask it anyway. Let’s talk about successes. How do you define success and what have you achieved so far?

Chris: One of this is from the very beginning. We are friends that get together and we talk about things and we laugh together.

And if we can do that for someone else, we’ve succeeded. Like people listening is awesome. Watching that number go up is super cool. But fundamentally, we just want to remind you of the times that you fell on the floor, laughing with a friend at two in the morning, uh, because that’s what we’re doing.

That’s what we hope to do together. And so if we can do that for somebody that’s a win for me.

Mario: Yeah, I’m not sure if this quote originated with Chris or I just associate this quote with him and it’s, it’s kind of like, it started off in improv and it’s worked this way over to here. It’s like we don’t make people laugh.

We give them an opportunity to laugh. And, uh, that’s kinda like the philosophy that I’ve really pulled over. Like it’s, it’s like a look in our diary sometimes, you know, we’re both a couple of, uh, Uh, he, you’re almost 30 in a couple of years. I’m 30 right now. And, and though we’re at this point in life where we can’t afford therapy, we could still just like talk about things and be open.

And sometimes we forget, we’re even recording as we go into these stories.

James: Let’s talk about show promotion. What does that look like for you guys?

Chris: It’s been very slow. And, and so this is something that I wanted to mention because I think a lot of podcasts relate. Um, I represent a certain. Caricature with the planning piece of what we do and Mario does as well.

Um, and we needed both of these things because I would not have started without Mario and Mario. I won’t speak for him, but may have quit without me. He’s like the guts and I’m the plans. And so we needed both of those things. To continue. So part of that is I wanted to have some stuff under our belt, do some reps before we did a lot of promotion.

So by the time this comes out, we should have a social media preference, a presence. At this point, we’re only on Tik TOK, but by the time this episode comes out, we will be, you know, around the, the podcasting social media algorithms.

Mario: Hopefully. Did we lock down those, uh, handles. We did go ahead and give it out.

W you guys can find us on most social medias at welcome back wire.

Chris: The welcome

James: back wire you mentioned before, I did listen to a few of your episodes. And one of my favorite things to do for this show is to start at the beginning. I listened to your trailer, um, solid trailer. Uh, I love your intro music, by the way.

It’s, it’s funky and fun. Um, And then I, and then I jumped over. We’re a couple of episodes and I went to, I listened to finding. Finding our, why is what you guys called it? You know, I was very curious about you guys fleshed out some more from your trailer. It felt like that. Um, and then I listened to the most recent episode as of this recording, it was called, uh, the state of the podcast.

And I’m not going to give any spoilers out. I mean, it’s, you know, your guys’ chemistry is awesome. Um, it’s funny, you guys are succeeding in that. Um, it’s very personable as well, which I appreciate. Um, but really shines through our is your guys’s friendship. And, um, you know, just the comradery, the banter that you guys have.

So, you know, you guys are definitely onto something there. I mean, it’s, it’s shining through in this interview. You guys are timed perfectly well. And you know, it’s almost like I’m speaking to one person. It’s almost

Chris: Diablo friends. That’s what it is. Yeah.

Mario: We’re not, we’re not fire friends with y’all lost top tier,

James: um, And, you know, just a last note too, about, you know, the episodes that I listened to too.

I found myself laughing out loud. Your, your guys’s laughter is very contagious. I want to talk a little bit about how it is for each of you to. Be a co-host on a podcast. How is that for you and Mario? Let’s start with you. That’s great.

Mario: It’s fine. Uh, uh, we, we both have a background in public speaking and not just the improv, but, uh, with youth leadership and in college.

And of course there’s public speaking classes that they make you take. Um, I was a student government for a while at Chris’ opt into student government for a little bit. And so there’s a, like, Unknown skill. They were like, we develop not on purpose. Like if you’re going to try to get something done in student government, you got to speak up.

Or you’re just the kid who, who sits there for the scholarship bonus, you know? And so I was always the guy who was the loudest in the room and when we would do different games and improv, Chris and I were always the one tag people out, especially, uh, what is that game called? I can’t remember now. Where we’d be freeze.

Yeah. So you got the whole team up in the background and then a scene going in front of you can stop at any time. And I feel like it was like a revolving door of me and Chris putting ourselves out there. Well, while some of the other people on the team who we love and we’re gonna talk about in our, uh, next podcast will probably be out two podcasts from, from the recording, but probably like a month before this we’ve always enjoyed.

At least personally, I’ve always enjoyed conversations. And making memories and staying up till 4:00 AM or walk into the gas station with my friends and just, just exchanging life stories. And I’ve recently moved and being able to do that with family, you know, like I left as a kid and I’d come back now and, um, peers of my aunts and uncles, and I get to actually like, learn about the stories of their lives, but uncensored, because I’m an adult now and I can take it.

James: And Chris, how about you?

Chris: What’s it like being a. Podcast cohost. Um, going back to the, the thing that comes to mind is that the dynamic that we each bring something fun to that, to the table. And, uh, and, and we’re just friends and that’s what we, that’s, what we’re doing is being friends in front of a microphone and hoping that it reminds you of your friendship and, uh, and laughing through the trauma together, as we reveal.

Horrible things in our past that have happened and celebrate wins as well.

James: Yeah. You know, and that’s reminding me that that is something that came up for me as I was listening to your ear podcast. Um, you know, I was, I had a long, long friend from many years ago when I was back in college and, and your show reminded me of him I’ve over the years, lost connection with him.

You know, I. Got married and had children. I had a kid and whatnot too. You know, those are just reasons, but it really brought that person back to the forefront of my mind. And, you know, your show inspired me to want to get in touch with him. So, you know, I have a text message queued up to, uh, you know, just let them know that I was thinking about him and you know, when I reconnect with them because it’s been too long, you know?

Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: Well, that’s, that makes me feel all kinds of things. That’s like a whole thing, man. Like that’s the biggest one I could have heard today.

James: Is there anything that you guys are doing now that you wished you would have done at the beginning of your podcast?

Chris: Hmm. Mario, do you have an answer to that?

Mario: No. I feel like some of our, you got some Chris.

Chris: Well, what I was going to say is, no, I

Mario: don’t think so. Like we have some unposted episodes and we needed them. It’s fine. Yeah. We worked it out and those will never see the light of day and that’s perfectly fine, but you know, if you don’t. Have mistakes and you don’t screw up or you don’t say the wrong thing, but you’ll never say the right thing.

Or you’ll never have the, if you don’t make one, that’s not worth showing, you’ll never have one worth show and you got to get the crap out. You gotta, you gotta make mistakes. And, you know, we ended up, we tried to make an episode to make sure that we were staying semi on schedule and we’re like, well, what about the subject?

Well, uh, yeah, let’s go for it. And we got like an hour into recording it. And I was mid-sentence and I was like, is this garbage? And Chris said, uh, I didn’t want to say it out loud, but yeah, this might be garbage and we scrapped it. We scrapped her. They’re like, we’ll just take it. We’ll just leave it at

Chris: break.

And like you said that, that pace, those experiments, like I wouldn’t trade it. I think we have a really good pace going. And like I said, we’re getting the reps in now and then, you know, promoting further. And when we promote further, somebody new is going to have their eyes on us, their ears on us, and we will have polished from those

James: experiences.

You know, you guys should release those episodes on Patrion for your supporters someday. Someday

Mario: we might. Yeah, maybe a couple of years from now, like remove us, remove us entirely from those opinions, a brief glimpse of there’s a unreleased episode on circumcision. And we have an episode where we, it’s not even that controversial.

It’s just like a revisit of our, uh, political hangover episode. And it just felt. Bad timing. Cause it, cause we’re kind of removed from certain things. We post that episode like a week before the, the insurrection and uh, talking about it that much later, it just kind of, it didn’t feel funny. It didn’t feel fun and yeah, that’s for sure.

We treat our podcasts like as if we’re actually like, even though he’s at one side of Pennsylvania, I’m at the other, it’s like we, once a week or once every two weeks we can sit down together at the table and feel like. You know, we’re at the local diner together. And if someone happens to walk by our table and pulls up a chair, that’s exactly what we’re hoping for.


James: So I have a couple, two, three core questions that I love to ask podcasters, and I want to give them an opportunity for both of you to answer each of these. The first one is, and Chris, we’ll start with you. Why do you podcast?

Chris: Um, I podcast because I get busy and I get buried in, um, I’m a pastor. And so speaking of, you know, upfront speaking experience, I do that, you know, once or twice a week.

And so it’s really helped in this, this format, but I talked to a lot of people and I, and I deal with heavy things with a lot of people, a lot of the time. And so being able to connect with Mario so often has been therapeutic for me. And, um, and so it’s been nice to have this side project. That takes my brain to a different place.

And it works some different muscles in my brain to give the other half of bread, a break, you know? Um, so that’s one of the reasons that I do. And again, I’ll come back to making other people, remember their friends and think about the stories of their love life and, you know, and messing around in middle school and, and helping people, giving people an opportunity to laugh.

I feel like a broken record, but those are, those are the things that, the core of what we do. Right. And why I do it.

James: Mario. How about you?

Mario: Well, you know, Chris is a pastor and he has to do a lot of heavy stuff. So I like to make sure to spice things. And now I’m just getting, I do it just for fun. Uh, this is just like, I was an introvert in high school and then I became an extrovert in college and I made these friends along the way.

And like, I don’t know. It seems like, uh, maybe it’s almost like. Vain in a way to an extent like, Oh, I actually have a platform to get my voice out, but then also another selfish way of the Glenda, like now Chris has to talk to me once a week and be like, I call him, I call my friends all the time. I hate texting, but we have group chats and I call.

Chris is one of the people I call the most, but I call him, I called Jake. I called Dave. I called my brothers. I called my dad. Like, I’m always on the phone. I just, cause I, I grew up and I went so long without texting that I still don’t like it. But do you do,

Chris: do you call people because I think it’s horrible.

James: I’m guilty. Uh, no, I just talked about my friend, you know, that I communicated at all with,

Mario: you know, you telling me to get on the iPhone and that’s just means I’m going to start FaceTiming them, which is even more intrusive became hell, what’s going on. Is that your bathroom? Wow. I let me deal with those walls.

James: Well, this next question, I feel like you guys have already answered it, but I do want to go ahead and ask it again anyway, so that you have an opportunity to just kind of encapsulate it in a nutshell here. Uh, Mario, we’ll start with you. What kind of impact do you want your podcast to have? Why should people listen to your

Mario: show?

Hey, I think you’ve already sold some people on this. If you can just sit down and have time to relax and think, and, and, you know, we do dive deep sometimes and we do tell us, like, we talk about memories that we remember on the spot sometimes, like things that are so locked away in the filing cabinet, where you start talking.

And it’s creates, it creates opportunities for you to remember, like you’re no longer who you were yesterday. And if you just have a brief moment where you get to meet that person again, it’s, it’s kinda nice.

James: Chris, do you have anything to add to that?

Chris: I do think I would be repeating myself if I did. Uh, but to remember is, is good.

And like you said, remembering an old friend and, uh, and helping people look back, I think is cool. And we do go deep, like, um, You listened to the episodes you listened to were probably not like what we do generally. Like when we talk about love or making friends or, uh, Halloween, you know, we’re looking back at memories and we’re also going deep into, uh, I hope to challenge somebody thinking at some point we did a whole episode on politics really early, and we weren’t trying to like, you know, take any huge standard or anything.

But I do hope that we can challenge somebody on some way that they think, or. Uh, inform a value or something like that. Um, but I hope that it helps people. I hope that somebody, if it’s not, you know, changing, you know, changing their values or texting an old friend, I hope they laugh a little bit, but I really do hope that, uh, I do it for other people.

I really hope that somebody gets someone from it.

James: Is there one piece of advice that each of you would give a new podcaster or somebody who’s interested in starting a podcast?

Chris: I would say the balance that Mario and I have struck is, has been the most helpful tool. Um, so either pair up with somebody who’s a little different than you, either with a little more guts or with a little more planning, um, or learn how to access that and balance that in your own.

If you’re doing a solo project, um, keep in mind, you gotta take risks, but also keep in mind that you need to make systems that are sustainable. You know, if you want it to be a long-term project. So I think that’s been the most helpful thing for us. So that’s something I would pass on.

James: Mario anything

Mario: to add, stick Dixon swings, take broad strokes, like mess up, you know, like yeah.

How many paintings did van Gogh start and never finish? You know, how many symphonies are stopped at the second note? You know, you just, you go for it, you know, and, uh, Like we, we put out an episode on pro wrestling and as before we even record it, we knew it wasn’t going to do good, but it’s, it was for us, it was for us to grow.

And as for us, us to, uh, learn and really see like, Hey, can we take this like niche, subject that’s kind of important to our lives? It’s, it’s one of our, like, um, it’s one of the things I look at the most on Twitter is like the get updates on, on wrestling matches and stuff. But, but to be able to just take this new subject and can we like expand it and see like, Why do I like this thing so much?

How has it impacted my life? Would I stop doing this thing ever? You know, but it’s, I don’t know. It’s it’s, it’s, it’s nice. And it’s, uh, I don’t, I don’t really know how else to word it other than like, make mistakes and push it to see what’s really in there. You know, the, the thing about a sponges, you take a sponge with water and a sponge with, uh, Let’s say it’s syrup and they’re just sitting there.

You can’t tell what’s in it. T put, give it a little push. So push yourself and see what comes out. I

Chris: like it. Well,

James: let’s do one more question before we wrap things up here. Um, Chris, we’ll start with you on this one. Is there a famous person that you would be absolutely floored to hear that they are listening to your podcast?

Chris: Hm. Um, There are some comedians that we, you know, uh, if you’re familiar with two bears, one cave, a popular comedic podcast. If anyone’s listening to that, listen to comedy podcasts. It’s pretty, I think it’s one of the most popular if I found out that they heard about we’ve been called the generic two bears on cave.

So if I found out that they were listening, Thompson Graham and Bert Chrysler were listening, I would be floored to hear that I took two and the other one probably would have been marked as if I didn’t take it. So. Good luck.

Mario: Yeah. Um, Trying to think about some, Oh, if I found out Philip de Franco put this on for his, like commute to the office before putting out his show every day, I’ll be pretty floored.

And I feel like, all right, Chris, we can wrap it up. We kinda kind peaked, you know, or, um, just, yeah, a lot of there’s a lot of standup comedians who I have a lot of respect for. Um, if like Bo Burnham, like someone who’s like that creative. Is wasting his time listening to us, you know, for lack of better words, but, you know, uh, I think that, I think that’d be it and I’d probably have to like rethink some of the things I would say if I like found out my mom or like my grandpa were listening them

James: well, Chris and Mario, please tell us where we can learn more about both of you and your podcast.

Chris: You can check us out on the, I w E P network. I believe at this point, you can find us there. Um, you can find us on social media at welcome back wire, and that’s where, you know, you’ll find it. Yup. New episodes are out. But, uh, honestly you just subscribe. I don’t, this is something that I find so interesting that people don’t subscribe to podcasts.

They like tune in when there’s a new episode, subscribe. It’s just so easy and it just downloads right to your phone. So you can find us pretty much everywhere you find podcasts. But welcome back is what we’re called.

James: The name of the show is welcome back, Chris and Mario, I have one more request for both of you.

Um, you know, let’s keep in touch. I want to check in with you guys, you know, six months down the road, let’s do a follow-up interview to see how it’s going. I love that

Mario: sounds good to me. You’d welcome us back here. We’ll be right back. That’s all right.

James: Yeah. Thanks again, Mario and Chris were coming on. It was a great conversation.

I really appreciate your time.

Mario: Thank you. Thanks for having us.

James: Thanks again, and best of success to Chris and Mario! Check the show notes for links to learn more about their show, “Welcome Back.”

Please share what you got out of my conversation with Chris and Mario by leaving a review on You can find out how to do this in the show notes and feel free to make suggestions for what I can do to make this show even better for you. And make sure you follow podcast tactics to keep learning about podcasting in future episodes. Thank you!

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