“Who remembers the Janet Jackson fiasco?” Kevin teasingly asks his co-host  Rich, and their Why We Are Friends podcast listeners. Kevin is referencing the 2004 Super Bowl wardrobe oops among other lively banter ahead of that day’s guest interview.

The banter moves on to this year’s Super Bowl, their recent interview with the Danbury Weather Man, and the accumulation of a foot of snow the night before.

The banter leads into their introduction: "I’m Kevin!" "I’m Rich, brought to you by our friends at Famous Pizza,” a podcast sponsor.

Rich and Kevin living it up on their weekly podcast Why We Are Friends

This local podcast has hosted several guests, including local school principals, Superintendent Carver (of Bethel Public Schools), and Bethel’s Chief of Police Stephen Pugner.  

In a special bonus episode, Why We Are Friends Takes Over the Home of Rock & Roll, Kevin and Rich spoke with the hosts of The Ethan, Lou & Large Dave Show, which airs on Danbury, CT's I95 radio station. Kevin talks about having dated a girl in high school that the hosts interviewed on their "The Bachelor" episode and Rich reminisces about Stony Hill 7-Eleven trips for his favorite soda Yellow Mellow, which has since been replaced by Fresca. “Fresca has become my Weight Watchers. It’s got like no calories,” he said.

The podcast sometimes requires local knowledge about Bethel. “We reference some strange things, like wanting to take a left out of Caraluzzis but you have to go right.” Kevin shared. They spend time sharing old stories and remembering old places. “We love our little small town although we hated it growing up,” Kevin said in the aired episode.

Rich and Kevin have been friends since childhood. This picture is from the Bethel High School Prom in 1999. Photo courtesy of Rich and Kevin.

Genée West, the creator of the "Support Local - Bethel, CT" Facebook group described by the hosts as “superstar” for promoting businesses and others in the town and  said that her interview with Kevin and Rich felt like a conversation among friends.

“It was casual and relaxed. I enjoyed it…We were in the studio in a basement with high-tech equipment and had Famous Pizza. It was like hanging out with a group of friends and talking about…my (Facebook) group,” she said.

When Kevin and Rich started their podcast, they interviewed close friends and branched out as the audience grew to include people they consider friends but are not close with. “Everyone has a story to tell and we've enjoyed each guest,” Kevin said.

“We try and balance humor with unique storytelling opportunities. Ideally, we'd like to get to a point where we can bring folks in who can even discuss why they are friends,” Rich said.

Rich recording. Photo credit: Kevin

Kevin said they consider their guests like friends and some have become actual friends since going on the podcast.

Rich added they want to “dig into friendship in general, why we become friends, how you remain friends. Such an important part of life and we were excited to explore it.”

So what is the motivation for the men to produce their show?

Kevin said he likes being able to “hang out” with his best friend each week, “something that got harder and harder since we’ve had kids.”

“I recently heard Amy Poehler say ‘Old friends are the best because they know everything about you and still want to be around you.’”

“That couldn't be more true. We're connected by our love for humor in any setting. I also truly enjoy the stories we get to hear from our friends. Almost everyone we ask to come on tells us they don't think they'll be interesting but I love researching them and bringing out some great stories. We call it ‘jogging the mems.’”

The podcast format suits Rich for similar reasons.

Kevin recording.  Photo credit: Rich

“Pod is awesome because it gives us both a solid reason to hang out together every week in increasingly busy times. Agree with Kev, it's so cool to help jog people's memories and see stories come alive from their perspective. Kevin does 99% of the research, I tend to rely on my increasingly slowing wit,” he joked.

The show is unscripted and usually unedited, other than occasionally editing out something a guest regretted saying. The biggest challenge is scheduling guests given everyone’s busy schedule.

“Timing is tough, but we have found that you really have to just stick to your schedule if you want to develop content,” Rich said.

And even though some podcasters “batch content,” that production style doesn’t fly for these two. “I find that method tends to sound more canned over time.”

Kevin said his connection with Rich is founded in a shared sense of humor. They both enjoy David Letterman, SNL, The Simpsons, and Dr. Katz.

“Rich always goes back to the story [of] when you're in school and someone says something that's funny to you and you look around and lock eyes with the only other person who thinks it was funny. That's us. To this day we really can't be in public together. We started the podcast because we've always been hams and wanted to come up with something fun to do,” he said.

“I think humor is one of the most important aspects of life, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't laugh regularly, even if it is to myself. It's been really fun to hone our interviewing skills as well. We learn a little each time.” Rich said.

Who would they love to have on the show?

Kevin said he dreams of having Chris Rock and Adam Sandler or “someone similar” on to hear their friendship stories.

You can listen to their podcast on Apple Music, Spotify, and SoundCloud.

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