The Gilbert Years- Part 1: First... a Fan!

The next few blog posts will be a 3 part series on my involvement and history with Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast.

Gilbert Gottfried at Nutmeg, Studio E

For the past five years, I’ve been recording and handling audio production on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. If you've listened to this Thursday's (11-14-19) “Colossal Obsessions” show, you know that my time as their audio engineer has come to an end. As the team embarks on the next chapter of their journey, my part becomes redundant.

It’s been quite an effort leading the show from Gilbert’s kitchen table and the Friars Club (among other spaces) to the comfort and quality afforded by the now defunct Nutmeg Post (who generously allowed us to use my room there free of charge). I was turned on to the show by a college friend, and became an instant fan. There is a scale in my mind when it comes to podcasting that weighs content vs. quality. Early on, GGACP was a show that was painful at times to listen to because of how it was recorded and produced- but the content was so compelling, I just had to listen! One day during my train commute, I started playing an episode only to discover that my headphones weren't plugged in... while in the quiet car! When I posted about it on Facebook, a friend commented that she knew Frank Santopdare. I said "Great! Tell him I love the show, but it sounds terrible- and I can help!". Shortly after arriving at the studio, the phone was ringing. It was Dara Gottfried (who I had met days earlier while recording Gilbert for a cartoon) asking how I would help. The rest is history.

Frank Santopadre during the 100th Episode

The initial Nutmeg sessions were sporadic, but it soon became the show's weekly home. Tom Leopold was the first guest I recorded, although that episode didn't run for a while. In the beginning of my involvement, I was simply recording the show and shipping it off to LA for packaging and delivering. At the time, there wasn't a massive effort to mix the show. It was mostly just putting the theme music on, adding commercials, making some edits and delivering. Since Nutmeg's name (and mine) were now in the shows credits, I took it upon myself to pre-mix all of the dialogue to make sure it was as good as it could be before delivering for finishing. This was above and beyond- but necessary. Earlier episodes of the show relied from time to time on guests phoning in. It's not the worst thing in the world- but having Skype available at Nutmeg was a game changer, even though we had some early misfires. When your guests are often octogenarians, it's hard to walk them through Skype recording. Eventually we started sync recording guests in LA at Sideshow's studio. This was a big step forward, as we were able to see and hear our guests- and marry the good audio from LA in post production. This process makes it hard to tell that the guests weren't in the same room with us!