Friday, March 29, 2019

Podcast Review: TechnoRetro Dads

I have eaten more sugary cereal since I started listening to this podcast than I have for the past decade.

And I love it.

All Things Retro

Podcasters Shazbazzar and JediShua are a few years younger than my fifty, but together, we are brethren. We grew up in the 1970s and 1980s when Saturday morning meant only one thing--cartoons!--there was only a single Star Wars film, and only three networks. It was the age of toys, toys, toys, and awesome cereal aimed precisely at kids. It was a great time to be a kid, and these dads share the love with each other, their families, and all the Earbuds (their affectionate nickname for fans of the show).

A Typical Episode is a Mini Variety Show

I'm not entirely sure how I stumbled onto this show, but it took only one episode for me to become hooked. Shazbazzar hails from Alabama while JediShua lives "a mile high in the sky" in Colorado. New episodes drop on Monday morning. Each week is themed and they focus on a particular aspect of something we Gen Xers remembered. This week was Batman (since nearly everything this week was Bat-themed). Almost always, the main focus marks some sort of anniversary, like this week with Batman's 80th birthday.

But before they reach the meat of the show, there is news. Some of it is of the personal variety. They are, after all, dads. It's right there in the title. They talk about their kids or some other neat little retro item. Then, as they segue to the geek news of the week, they have what I've come to really enjoy: back and forth jokes. Again, just like a variety show, one of them will provide the setup and the other the punchline. And, these jokes are almost always relating to the week's theme. Each week, my own family has learned I come home at the end of my workday with my phone in hand, ready to play the joke segment.

The Awesomeness of Cereal

In just about every episode, there is some sort of news about cereal, be it a new flavor of a legacy cereal, a new cereal to stand alongside all the brands we've come to love, or just a memory. Leading into this segment is a particular theme song. Not sure if they made it or if an Earbud did, but it always brings a smile to my face.

Like I wrote at the top, I've started buying cereal again. I'm pretty strict with my diet during the weekdays--I avoid sugar crashes at work by not having any--but as this year rolled around, I've been bringing home boxes of Captain Crunch or the smaller single varieties of Frosted Flakes or Fruit Loops. Why? Specifically because of the joy Shazbazzar and JediShua share in their love of cereal. Heck, I even went out and bought the new Hostess Honey Bun cereal just to taste it.

Now, I'm actually slowing down on the cereal aisle, looking at all the boxes I so recently glazed over.

Saturday Mornings Were Nirvana

Speaking of theme songs, the tune that leads into the Saturday morning cartoon segment could have easily been pulled from season 2 of Scooby Doo. Remember the times when the crazy monster would chase the Scooby Gang and a song would break out? That's what I'm talking about. The vibe is spot on.

In this segment, Shazbazzar and JediShua chat about various Saturday morning cartoons they loved. Being a few years younger than me, their Saturday mornings went into the 80s, but it's still fun to hear them wax nostalgic. What have I done as a direct result of this segment? Spent some Saturday mornings watching cartoons. Eating cereal. Yeah, it's great.

High Quality Each Week

I'm not too sure how much time it takes for these two to record and produce a 77-minute podcast every week, but the production level is high. Background music, canned laughter, and great sound make listening to each episode a happy one. And there's new banner art every week, also keyed with the week's theme. It's a lot of work, but you can tell it's work they love.

RetroZap Network

The TechnoRetro Dads podcast is part of the RetroZap Network. I could summarize what they have to offer, but that would be an entirely new blog post. Better you just head over there yourself and see if any of the podcasts and articles strike your fancy. If you love the stuff I write about and Shazbazzar and JediShua talk about each week, you'll find something to love.

A Weekly Habit

I've enjoyed this podcast from the day I listened to my first episode. It is my favorite weekly podcast, and a Monday just isn't a Monday without Shazbazzar and JediShua.

TechnoRetro Dads is a clean, positive ray of sunshine celebrating the glory days of our Gen-X childhood, a reminder of how good we had it back then, and how awesome we Earbuds have it today.

I highly recommend this podcast.


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