Ever since I was fired from the radio, everyone that I've come in contact with has asked me to do a podcast. (In case you were wondering, I've been in contact with my mom, my mom and my mom since being fired from the radio.)
A lot of comics these days are doing it -- Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Jay Mohr, Sam Tripoli, Ben Gleib, and Jim Florentine have good ones that I listen to on the regular. I, clearly, am on their level and willing to play.
I was hesitant at first, to be candid, but since I have a six-month non-compete clause in my old contract that prohibits me from going on any other radio station in this area, I was open to the idea. (Clock is just ticking away 'til I'm spinning the oldies and making Phil Collins jokes, so be prepared.) However, if I was going to do a podcast, it would have to be different and my type of vibe. I also wanted to work with cool people that believed in what I was setting out to do. Also, they should probably have a microphone and some recording equipment.
First, I partnered up Frisson Media, who do great work and were coming from a similar background I was coming from. (i.e. We were both fired from our previous jobs. Friends in low places, or whatever.)
Secondly, I didn't want to do it in a studio or my place, especially because the sight of me sitting in a camping chair next to a cooler of Blatz wouldn't really work for anyone. I wanted a location that felt like Cleveland, but not so Cleveland as to scare suburbanites. My hunt would be exhaustive(ly carried out by running through some of my usual downtown haunts, as well as with some rudimentary internet research from the aforementioned camping chair.)
There are plenty of places in Cleveland that give off the Cleveland vibe but don't smell so much like Cleveland, ya know. The Nauti Mermaid on W. 6th, Slyman's over on St. Clair, The Harbor in The Flats, the Panini's on Huron all have a really great atmosphere. However, Gillespie's Map Room on W. 9th came calling and it seemed like the perfect marriage. (Insert your own joke about Regi and I in this space.)
The Map Room is located in the historic Warehouse District, a land that used to have a lot of warehouses but now sports a lot of parking lots in which people vomit after a Friday night. In addition, it has a Cleveland feel in so much that it's a bar – no frills, no gimmicks, and degenerates who you can find sipping a pint in the middle of the day. Tucked into a long, narrow space with a dark, relaxed and informal atmosphere, it's also the perfect location for a celebrity to go unnoticed. Also, AdultMart is next door to take care of your mid-drinking dildo needs.
The inside decor has a long wooden bar with wooden bar stools, chairs, table and brick walls featuring themed adornments that would make an Applebee's jealous. Old-world maps cover the walls along with bookshelves that look like Scooby Doo-like secret passageways. There is a 1969 BMW motorcycle that sits in a corner by a Golden Tee machine, and the world's best jukebox, highlighting classic rock, new genres and more importantly, Hall & Oates, awaits your money.
On any given day, you can drop in and see an eclectic group of different people. You could be sitting next to someone at the bar that understands a hard day's work and appreciates that 'cold one' going down after earning that dollar. Or you could be sitting next to world's biggest douchebag, they guy that makes $40k a year and drives a leased BMW that helps him score pussy back to the Bingham where he splits rent with a male roommate graphic designer.
To top it all off, there are over 100 domestic and micro-brews on the menu and some of the lowest priced drinks and food around downtown.
I knew the podcast needed to here -- it spoke to me. So after an enthusiastic meeting with Regi Houle, the GM of Map Room, we made it happen.
So if you are in the downtown area on Saturday afternoons from 4-6pm, you can come watch a live "Sit Down Zumock" podcast, and hopefully buy me a beer. The podcast will be taped in the back of the establishment by the cozy nook that sports a fireplace. The "Sit Down Zumock" podcast will feature Cleveland notables, comedians, musicians and national celebrities. Also, probably some of my friends who are none of those things.
Oh yeah, don't forget to try the pizza. It's pretty damn good.