Three years ago to the day, I sent Evan “Something Mildly Humorous” Tolley an email that would change the world… or at least it could have if he would have Evan read it.
What could be so world changing about an email you ask? And also why would you put emphasis on what best case scenario is an unfortunate typo and worst a horrible pun?
Well the email contained an attachment crucial to the formation of this very podcast network. I dare say if not for this email and its intriguingly mysterious attachment many of the podcasts you enjoy today would not exist. There would be no Podcasters Assemble, no The Coordinate, and certainly no Too Young For This Trek. Fortunately you can find all of those podcast and many more weird shows at ProbablyWork.com or your favorite podcast app. As for the typo we’ll get there, but first you really need to understand where this all began.
Where it All Began
The year was 2017. It was a simpler time, the birds were chirping, MAGAs ravaged the lands, and an Australian man caught a Pidgey, he named it “Mr. Tolley”. A short while later (or perhaps before; I refuse to fact check this) he confused Mr. Tolley’s namesake, Evan “from” Tolley, and myself. Evan “This Space for Rent” Tolley followed me on Twitter and I politely followed back. Then he started tweeting me… a lot… like every single day a lot and mostly about this D&D podcast I had never listened to called Party Roll. Below are some example tweets for reference… all technically fake, but in the spirit of the actual tweets.
What Happened Next Will Surprise You
Anyways we decided to make a podcast together, but we didn’t know what to make it about. We had a bunch of great ideas, but just couldn’t narrow it down to the one. At this point Evan “Poos the Normal Amount” Tolley invited Jessica, who is coincidently his wife, into the pod. She also didn’t have any concrete idea on which direction we should go, but she is very nice and cool. I suggested we make a variety podcast where every episode we take one of our ideas and try to make it work as a podcast, which is where the name for our network We Can Make This Work (Probably) came from. The plan was to do random podcasts each episode and then if one got positive feedback we would spin it off into its own feed.
In unison Evan “is this joke old yet” Tolley and Jessica both exclaimed, “that is the single greatest idea I have ever heard!” So we set off to brainstorm a bunch of ideas. Here are some of those ideas:
- CaRPG – A podcasts where the hosts play table top RPGs from the convenience of their car.
- Who Wants to Win 5 Doll Hairs? – A game show where we get contestants from Chatroulette; the contestants are real, the prizes not so much.
- Cooking with Fire in the Bedroom – A series where we take an idea and just add “in the bedroom to the end of it. This particular one could be a sex toy cooking show.
- Literary Nonsense – A game show where the host reads out an extremely misleading headline and the contestants have to guess what the story is about. Funniest answer wins. Example: “Bacon’s Secret to a Happy Marriage.”
- You’re a Host! – A podcast recorded with 3 hosts but one of the tracks is muted. Then the listener gets to respond and pretend they are part of the show.
- Talking About DK’s LP’s Like They Are Trading Cards – Not sure if there’s anything here but it seemed like a funny title in my head.
- Evan Eats a Leaf – Evan eats a leaf and then talks about the experience. Tries different leaves each episode and rates them.
- Breaking Even – An “Even Stevens” rewatch show where we try to look for signs that Shia Labouf is unstable.
- Too Young For This Hit – Watch old movies we haven’t seen before and talk about them.
- Recording a Podcast While Doing the Things You Would Normally Do While Listening to a Podcast – Examples: Driving, vacuuming, scooping cat boxes, mowing the grass.
- Who Evan Wrote This – A podcast where one person writes a short story, passes it off to another person who removes some words and replaces them with the part of speech, then a third person feels in the blanks, and finally we read it and see what kind of masterpiece we’ve created.
We looked over our list, much longer than what you see above, and decided our first episode would be “Who Evan Wrote This”. I would write the story, Evan would turn it into something similar to a Mad Lib but also legally distinct from Mad Libs, and Jessica would fill in the blanks. Once done Jessica would send the story to my friend Sam who would adjust it to correct grammar and what not. Then we would take turns reading through parts of it live on the show and see how different it became from my original story.
So I go off and write a short story inspired by a country song I wrote a few years prior called, “Dawg Gone”. Then I got Sam to provide a little feedback because my creative writing skills were extremely rusty and also nonexistent. After making some changes based on her feedback and also deciding that it’d be funny if it was fan fiction, I attached the story to an email, and sent it over to Evan to do his thing. Evan did not do his thing. As I mentioned at the start of this he never opened the attachment, the podcast died right then and there, and its honestly probably for the best.
Had Evan opened the attachment and read my story we probably would have recorded that podcast and it would have been a huge hit. With that huge hitter on our hands we would have never had the time to pursue our own individual podcasts, Too Young For This Hit, Thoughts Cast, and Sleepy Time Thoughts. If we didn’t make those three podcasts we never would have created the network and we never would have met great people like TroytlePower, Erik Slader, Arjuna “Not My Real Name” Gonzales, Bill, and Scott who have inspired us to make more podcasts, a game jam, and all kinds of other cool things that would have never existed otherwise.
If you, unlike Evan, would like to read my short story you can do so on the next page.