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Welcome to The Proffitt Podcast - where we teach you how to create  content with confidence.
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Episode 386

Smartless Podcast Content Case Study

I’ve been a fan of comedy since before I can remember.

My dad listened to Jeff Foxworthy tapes when driving me to school. I remember listening to Adam Sandler’s comedy albums on CDs in my bedroom — laughing for hours. I’ve read so many comedian memoirs I’ve lost count.

So, it’s no surprise that the Smartless podcast is in my Top 5 podcasts — actually, top 3. 

Today, I’m breaking down the Smartless podcast in our following case study, and I can’t wait to share with you the nuggets I’ve learned about the content format and interviews from this group of guys. Let’s get right to it.

The Beginning of the Smartless Podcast

If you didn’t already know, the hosts of Smartless are Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes. You may know them from their various roles on tv, movies, and reality shows. I always think of Jason Bateman from Horrible Bosses and Zootopia (he was the sly fox). Will Arnett from the Lego Movie, the Lego Batman movie, and Monsters vs. Aliens. (He does a ton of voiceover work!) And, of course, Sean Hayes from Will & Grace, Cat in the Hat, and I loved him as the assistant in The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman!

These guys are massive stars! 

To paraphrase their story of getting into podcasting, they were three friends sitting around during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, looking for something to do together. They officially launched their first episode of the podcast on 7/20/2020 with an interview with Dax Shepard — one of my other favorite podcast hosts. (They’re all excellent buddies)

 As long-time friends and successful actors in Hollywood, the three hosts have deep connections with celebrities we all know and love, especially comedians. They’ve had Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Adam Sandler, Melissa McCarthy, Reese Witherspoon, Tina Fey, Ryan Reynolds, and so many more!

Their Format & Interview Style

They’ve published more than 125 episodes and even done a live tour of their show in 2022. The hosts publish a new episode once a week – every Monday for non-early access listeners. (I’ll explain what that means in a sec.)

But I love that they release new episodes on Monday because it’s the best way to start a new week!

 The most exciting thing about the interview style is that it’s three main hosts. They’re all there in every episode. 4 people talking (the 3 of them and a guest) would be hard to follow as an audio-only experience, but they make it great!

 And the thing I love the most is the hosts’ relationship with each other. You can tell they’re real-life friends who know so much about one another. And they’re freaking hilarious!

 The interview format is that one host invites a guest to the show without telling the others – like a secret guest – and the other two hosts have to try and guess who’s coming to the show. This makes for great entertainment because it’s not all scripted. All the hosts don’t have a chance to research and create questions before the interview starts.

Studio production and editing

They do record at home — not in a studio — and they have a production team that edits everything together, who you can hear them giving credit at the end of each episode.

Content Specifics & A Big Deal

Content Specifics

They have one of the biggest podcasts on the planet and just a simple website. It has a menu that consists of: https://www.smartless.com/

All of their interviews usually run over an hour, and the ads they place in their show are hilarious. I don’t mind listening to them most of the time because they make me laugh so much!

Acquired by Amazon

In June 2021, their show was acquired by Amazon for around $80 million. But what’s interesting about this acquisition is that the show wasn’t exclusive to Amazon. You can still listen to the podcast wherever you want. It means that Amazon has early access rights and can air episodes first to paying customers.

Their BYEEEEEEE at the end of each episode!

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HI, I'M Krystal Proffitt

Podcast coach, content strategist, best-selling author, lifelong cheerleader, and content marketer

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