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'Every Damn Day!' podcast examines the craziness of 2020

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It’s no secret that 2020 has been quite a messed up year. We’re living in a pandemic that seems like it’ll never end, millions are out of work and our society is the most divided it has ever been.

There are other crazy things that have happened, too. The band Smash Mouth headlined this year’s Sturgis Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota, with no one abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines. College football conferences postponed their fall seasons, and a certain one-hit wonder regretted a diet consisting only of meat and mayonnaise.

These are some of the topics that Cranston resident Brett Davey and Johnston resident Kevin Broccoli have been talking about on the “Every Damn Day!” podcast they started a little over a month ago. What makes the podcast unique is that neither of them met each other in person until they pursued this endeavor, with their only previous connection being through social media.

I recently had a talk with Davey and Broccoli about what made them start the podcast, talking about crazy stories, predictions for the coming months and the possibility of tweaks and changes in the future.

ROB DUGUAY: What made the both of you want to start the “Every Damn Day!” podcast?

BRETT DAVEY: Earlier this year, a friend of mine invited me on her podcast, which is called “The Rayna Sense.” I enjoyed it and asked her to tell me more about how she produced it and she walked me through a simple podcasting tool called Anchor, which is what she uses. My next task was looking for a podcast co-host, and I was friends with Kevin on Facebook but we had never met before. I admired Kevin's creativity, sense of humor, and how prolific he was with his writing and output. The first time we actually met was when we recorded our first podcast.

We came up with a format where in each episode, we each take three days from the previous week and talk about a topic that happened on that day. When we talk about Saturday, it’s more of a grab bag of topics. We record the podcast once a week and it usually runs about 45 minutes long. We tape it, I give it a quick edit on my computer and it's usually available an hour after we record it.

KEVIN BROCCOLI: I had done a podcast where I just rambled on about my thoughts, and after awhile, it didn't really excite me anymore. Plus, I wasn’t sure anyone was listening. The opportunity to do it with Brett was what was exciting to me. I loved following him on social media, and the first time we talked I just felt very comfortable with him. I think we play off each other really well and we both come to topics with different opinions and life experience, but that’s what makes it interesting.

RD: Brett, you have a journalistic background due to your time writing for the Providence Business News and Providence Monthly, while Kevin has a background in theatre as the artistic director for the Epic Theater Company in Cranston. How do you meld both of your talents when it comes for ideas on topics to discuss?

BD: My journalism background doesn’t come into play as much as the fact that I am easily amused. On a recent episode, Kevin suggested we talk about bathing suits and that was the full extent of the prep we did for that topic. We were definitely interested in the metamorphosis of men starting to wear their bathing suits higher and higher as they get older. We learned that neither of us likes to ever return anything, including bathing suits. Both of us are social media junkies so we usually come up with topics related to current events, entertainment, or just plain weird happenings.

We feel that if we are amusing each other, then other people will be entertained as well. Maybe my journalism background does come in handy on occasion because I have a pretty good nonsense detector. For instance, we’ve been talking about what’s been going on with Jerry Falwell, Jr. since our first episode because we knew something definitely was fishy with that story. We try to give our stories local flavor as often as possible. At one point we were discussing the mob-themed pizza place on Federal Hill and how that would never have flown back in the Patriarca era.

KB: I’ve been doing theater since I was eight, so I have that performer switch in me that gets hard to turn off once it’s on, but I think for podcasting that really works. You’re trying to bring an energy to it that’s unique to the medium. Even though we do sometimes talk about serious topics, I’m aware that we’re putting this out during a pandemic and that people are looking for something to distract them for a while, but also doesn’t feel cheap or fluffy. I think we’re navigating that balance and I’m excited to keep refining it. Also, Brett is much funnier than I am and he said that if we get to a hundred episodes he’ll put on a Speedo and walk down Mineral Spring Avenue, so now I’m in it for the long haul.

RD: Wow, that would be an interesting sight. Hopefully no one calls the cops if that happens. What’s the weirdest story you’ve talked about that happened on a particular day this year?

BD: Sometimes we get a little risqué, so I don’t know if I can talk about the weirdest thing we’ve discussed. We both definitely tend to digress a lot so even though we only allow five minutes to discuss that particular day of the week, we often end up way off from where we started and we are both definitely chatty. There was a recent story about the one-hit wonder James Blunt, who sang “You’re Beautiful,” where he talked about the consequences of going on an all-meat diet when he was in college. What I found funny was, he said his diet consisted of mince, chicken and a little bit of mayonnaise. Can you imagine a more disgusting diet? This led us into a discussion of the ingredients in mince.

Blunt ended up developing scurvy, which I didn’t think was even a disease anymore and really, he kind of deserved it. There is usually a flurry of texts when either of us sees a strange news story. We’ll either say, “I want to talk about this,” or “You definitely need to talk about this.”

KB: Brett has a great way of finding the weird stories, whereas I somehow keep picking out the national news stories. I have no idea how I became the Dean Martin in this relationship, but I already own the smoking jacket, so I might as well go with it. That being said, I will never find a story weirder than the one he found about a man and his organ transplant. That’s all I’ll say about that.

RD: 2020 has been one of the craziest years ever, so do you have any predictions of what you think will happen in the fall?

BD: Obviously, the topics that will take up the most oxygen will be the presidential election, COVID-19, and whether we can resume a normal life anytime soon. On one of our podcasts, we were talking about schools being delayed and how the kids would have to make up school days. Kevin insisted that when he was a kid, they never had to make up school days even when there was a particularly bad winter. I think because Kevin comes from the theater, he is very imaginative and has convinced himself that this is true. It is not true, Kevin. You definitely had to make up snow days as a kid.

KB: OK, this partnership is over because I will not be accused of lying about snow days. They’re sacred. The election is going to be one and, I assume, the meteor that is most likely hurtling towards Earth as we speak. I, for one, couldn’t be more thrilled.

RD: Yeah, this fall is going to be nuts. What do the both of you see as the future of the podcast? Have you considered having guests or making any tweaks to the content?

BD: Kevin is probably going to be grappling with the resumption of in-person theater over the next several months but we will continue to record. Even though we record remotely now and haven't seen each other in person since the first episode, it’s nice to have an outlet to vent and laugh and go off on a tangent. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the problems created by isolation and loneliness, so getting to do this once a week is a treat. I’d consider having guests on. Right now, it’s easy because it’s just the two of us so we can schedule and record with very little notice.

It gets more complicated the more people you add into the mix. As far as tweaks, we definitely need a set recorded opening and closing. We currently do those in a live format. The main idea is to make it fun and upbeat. People are dealing with so much right now that a distraction, even if it’s only for 45 minutes, can be very welcome.

To check out the “Every Damn Day!” podcast, visit anchor.fm/kevinandbrett.

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