Whether you’re looking to start your morning with a jolt or to unwind after a long day, chances are you turn to your favorite podcast.
The medium is having a moment, iHeartRadio President Darren Davis says. “We’re in the midst of an audio boom where Americans are listening more and watching less.”
Citing a nearly 200 percent growth in podcast listeners in the past year, the radio platform has added yet another ceremony to award-show season: The first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.
“[F]or fans of a particular actor or celebrity, it’s almost like getting a behind-the-scenes peek into that celeb’s life,” Davis says. “There are no rules with podcasts, so hosts can really let their imaginations, and their content, run wild.”
That’s exactly what The Brooklyn Boys Podcast has working in its corner.
Nominated in the comedy category next to big-name podcasters 2 Dope Queens and Joe Rogan, the show stands out for its comedic, relatable personalities. The podcast under the Elvis Duran morning show umbrella is led by two of its executive producers, David Brody and Skeery Jones — written in that order per Brody’s request.
Those who spend their commutes with The Brooklyn Boys Podcast know it’s that easy flow of banter between the two co-workers that fills their 90-minute podcast with laughs.
"The whole show is tangents," Brody says as his co-podcaster Skeery responds mid-sentence with an appropriately timed, "it’s extremely interrupted.”
Approaching their 70th show, the chemistry between the "Brooklyn Boys" gives their podcast a rare relatable appeal. Every Thursday afternoon after the Z100 morning show talent clears the downtown office, Brody and Skeery sit down in the studio and record their unscripted show.
On Tuesday afternoon, the two sat near Duran’s gold microphone for a chat that could have effortlessly turned into a bit for an upcoming episode.
"We come in with a few thoughts and then we sit down, turn the mics on and have a conversation with each other. We don’t perform for microphones, they just happen to be in a room we’re just going off in," Skeery explains.
“I’ll go, I called a shipping company and they screwed me over and I’ll tell a 20-minute story. I’ll give a really detailed story because the details matter,” Brody adds.
Strung together by their similar Brooklyn upbringings, the two find it easy to “bust each other’s balls” about anything from rants about airport burgers to debates about the best pizzerias.
Brody and Skeery teamed up for the podcast in July 2017. They both grew up in Bensonhurst and attended the same junior high school — Mark Twain IS 239 — but “10 years apart,” Skeery jokes.
"The thing is, we have the same basic accent, although I try to turn it off more than he does,” Brody says. “We have a lot in common in the fact that we’re opinionated and we have the same experiences in terms of pizza places, neighborhood and lingo, but we’re completely different in 70 percent of our outlook on life.”
Brody, a father of three, says his Saturdays are well spent dining on nachos at Houlihan’s, while Skeery can be found fine-tuning his taste at L’Artusi in Greenwich Village.
Though their early memories of growing up in Brooklyn overlap — summers at Coney Island and occasional road trips to Florida — they didn’t meet until landing gigs with Z100.
"I’m Brooklyn proud, but I think people can relate to it anywhere in the country," Skeery says. "We like to say we are a podcast not just about Brooklyn, but a podcast with a wider perspective of a Brooklyn neighborhood guy and his take on the world.”
Drawing a parallel between the podcast and “Seinfeld,” Brody puts it in perspective.
“People thought, well, who’s going to watch a show about Jews from New York? Everybody, everybody,” he says. “The point was they used New York-isms, but they had the same stupid things happen to them that can happen anywhere in the country.”
Still, the guys, at times, bring their podcast banter back to their roots. Their iHeartRadio Podcast Award wardrobe debate contrasting Skeery’s “Brooklyn Industrial” style and “Rock and Roll chic” in episode No. 68 just may be the ideal example.
With nearly two years of podcasting as The Brooklyn Boys (and 20-plus years with Z100) behind them, they say they’ve developed a cult-like following of fans. These “slices,” as they call them, just might help them take home the top comedy award during Friday’s ceremony.
"Not only do we believe in the quality and the entertainment value of our podcast, but more importantly, we believe in our slices,” Brody says.
“If this award happens, it’s 100 percent because of our listener base,” Skeery adds.
The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards air live from Los Angeles at 11 p.m. Friday It’ll stream live online at iHeart.com.