Joseph Coker, a local comedian/musician/jiu-jitsu instructor (seriously), started a podcast last year and he wants you to help him celebrate with a party at The Sparrow this Friday. While the promise of ice cream cake and balloon hats is tempting, we decided to chat with Coker to find out what kind of podcast we’re celebrating.

“It started out as a way for me to share music. I would write a song on the spot,” says Coker of the podcast’s first episodes. Then he started doing stand-up comedy and figured out that conversations with his comedian friends were pretty funny, and less, as he says, “self-indulgent.”

The podcast got off to a strong start, hitting iTunes “new and noteworthy podcasts” page in 2014. Coker says that when he’s posting on a regular schedule there’s a good chance he’ll get a couple thousand episode downloads per month. With 73 episodes so far, Coker seems to be pretty prolific.

The episodes are an hour-long conversation format, and Coker doesn’t edit anything. “I try to get to know somebody,” he says, adding that he also likes to talk. “There are so many fun and cool people in Charleston. I want to cast a spotlight on them.”

What happens if Coker sits down with someone who turns out to be, well, a bore? “I think every episode sucks,” he says. “And then I listen again and it doesn’t suck that bad.”  He reminisces on a few memorable episodes, like the time he sat down with an old friend and the two discussed how they’ve both veered away from a “very religious” upbringing. “I knew it was gonna be awesome from the start.”

As far as plans for the podcast’s future, Coker just wants to “make it more professional.” He hopes to interview bigger names, specifically, Leonard Cohen. “I would [interview him] just so I could touch him. And maybe steal something out of his house,” says Coker. 

To hear all of Coker’s podcasts head here. 

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