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Can’t Stop the Signal Boost! – 50 Episodes and Beyond

Can’t Stop the Signal Boost! – 50 Episodes and Beyond

Signal Boost! is Geek & Sundry’s weekly love letter to all things geeky, wacky, and just plain delightful. You might think that would be a short list, but as fifty episodes (and beyond) of the quirky show prove, there’s a world of amazingly weird and wonderful things out there just waiting for you to find them. And Signal Boost! is here to help you do just that. We had the chance to talk with the creators of the show about the conception of the show, a little bit about what’s happening behind the scenes, and where the future of boosting is going to take us.

“Basically Signal Boost! is adult show-and-tell,” describes show co-creator and Geek & Sundry Head of Video Sean Becker. “The show is definitely taken from that sharing aspect of, we’re not trying to pitch you anything, we’re just trying to tell you how we feel about these things, with hopefully you getting the motivation to look into as well.”

“The whole thing was originally inspired by Trio Mio on The Flog, because Felicia was constantly bringing up stuff that she loved,” says Eric Campbell, who was the writer on the first season of Signal Boost! and now Director of Development at Geek & Sundry. “And we just decided that was so engaging and interesting that we decided to make a show around it, with a lot of bizarre-ass comedy thrown in there.”

To avoid ever making the web series feel like a commercial or sponsored video, the creative team encourages the show hosts to pick what they want to boost themselves. “What we do is, whenever we have people host the show, it’s up to them on what they want to boost,” says Sean. “What we encourage is stuff that has a cult following, stuff that is part of [their] own personal interest, maybe a lot of other people don’t know about.”

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Every episode of Signal Boost! is packed with laugh-out-loud humor and individuality because the writers and directors work with the host to make it feel like it’s infused with their personality. “The hosts have a lot of creative input into the bits we put into the show,” Sean says. “We try to hone in on their actual personalities and build the show around the person, not insert the person into the show, which is what we try to do with all of our shows here.”

“I think it’s a further exercise on accepting people for who they are, and that’s what Signal Boost! is about,” says Marisha Ray, original show host and producer, and now Creative Director at Geek & Sundry.

While the show started with one host, the producers realized that rotating hosts weekly like Saturday Night Live would not only give them more things to talk about, but could also introduce and promote new talent on Geek & Sundry, says Sean.

“There’s no way we could have accomplished that [variety] with one team, because everyone brings something unique and different each time,” agrees Eric. “We never know what we’re getting ourselves into when we hire anyone to come on and host the show.”

The team also takes the same approach as SNL to making their hosts feel welcome a priority. “A lot of the people that we bring on aren’t hosts or personalities, so this is their first time going in front of a camera or reading off a teleprompter,” Sean says. “But because we’re able to build it around stuff that they want to talk about, they’re immediately in that comfort zone.”

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One of Eric’s favorite episodes featured host and MMA fighter Angela Hill. “She does full contact, bust your face open, in the octagon UFC fighting,” he says. After she guest starred on Worthy Opponents, Eric took a chance to invite her to host Signal Boost! even though her training and fighting schedule keeps her busy. “Her reply was, ‘Yeah, fighting’s dope, but I would love to come in and host.’ So she came in and she was rad.”

Sean, Eric, and Marisha have all been inspired by the hosts and from the audience’s boosts to pick up something new and fall in love with it. “I got very deep into Anais Mitchell and Hadestown,” says Marisha. “That was when we did our #BoostersBoost segments. Everyone should definitely check out Hadestown, which is a musical based on Greek mythology.”

“For me I think it’s Taliesin Jaffe when he boosted Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, which is now one of my all-time favorite web series,” Sean says. “I didn’t even know about it before then, but not only does Taliesin go into the series, but then he also describes the conspiracy theory videos, which I got just as much out of.”

While Eric has enjoyed boosts like Creativity Inc. from Hector Navarro, Angela Hill’s unique boost of SimAnt was particularly exciting. “I was so flipping excited when she boosted that!” he says. “That was one of my favorite SNES games when I was a kid, and nobody knew it existed, and when she boosted SimAnt I lost my mind. I loved that game so much.”

Signal Boost! has gone fifty episodes and into the far reaches of space, and where it’s headed next could be anyone’s guess. There have been changes in the background as well for the team. For the big episode this week, you’ll find Steve Sprinkles manning the director’s chair and working his magic as VFX artist. Matt Key, who you’ll remember from his own Signal Boost! episode, worked on all the copy as well as those amazing scenes you find in between every boost. Both of them deserve a huge round of applause for this and every episode that has entertained you this year. Without them as well as the rest of the crew, none of this could be possible.

“The thing is with Signal Boost!, and no joke, like one of the things that has made this show endure is that it is never contrived. There’s never a strategy,” says Eric. “And that’s exactly where Signal Boost! lives. We don’t know where the hell it’s gonna go.”

“All we know is, what charts the course is that we’re going to constantly get people that we enjoy, who the audience loves, that we find interesting, and we’re going to get them to share with us the things that have helped build them as a person over the course of their lives. And then from there, we build wackiness around it, and lunacy, and whimsy, and just total madness.”

You can find new episodes of Signal Boost! every Tuesday here on Geek & Sundry. 

All Images: Geek & Sundry

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