‘Podcast But Outside’ Brings Spontaneous and Uncensored Fun to Chicago

Cole Hersh and Andrew Michaan, Los Angeles-based podcasters and hosts of “Podcast But Outside” brought boundless laughs to the Bottom Lounge on March 12.

The ethics of cheating, sleeping with healthcare providers and working security at a Petco were just a few of the topics covered in Podcast But Outside’s March 12 show — the most recent stop of their Podcast But Outside But Inside Tour. 

Since 2019, Los Angeles-based podcasters Cole Hersch and Andrew Michaan have set up a foldable table and chairs in various spots around their hometown and throughout the country. Priding themselves on being the only known podcast to pay their guests, the comedic duo offer any member of the public who sits down and talks to them a dollar. 

Their settings have included a wedding, fraternity party, the Puppy Bowl, a Donald Trump rally and a club, making their choice of location part of the humor to the chaotically unfiltered show. 

Sitting in the auditorium of Bottom Lounge at 1375 W. Lake St., the two joked about how eerily desolate the nearby streets were despite being in a major city. To preserve the spontaneity of their podcast, which has over 116,000 subscribers on YouTube, they sent out Cameron George, otherwise known as “Intern” to livestream himself as he scouted the local streets for pedestrians willing to come on the show. The livestream showed on the projector on the stage that Andrew and Cole would mute and unmute throughout the show. 

First up was Braxton, a 22-year-old local security guard who, despite walking into the venue as the crowd chanted his name in a cultlike manner, remained on stage for the rest of the show. Braxton’s laid-back demeanor, comedic timing and ability to run with a joke made him the perfect fit for Hersch and Michaan’s mixed bag of casual and satirical questions. 

As a part of their show, the duo sent out “Intern” Cameron George to livestream his attempts in recruiting audience members for their show. (Nicky Andrews | The Phoenix)

In one exchange, Braxton said the biggest celebrity he has done security for was G Herbo, a Chicago rapper with almost eight million Instagram followers. However Michaan misinterpreted this, thinking Braxton was security for a gerbil. 

“Those are so fragile,” Michaan said, cupping his hands while mocking the security guard. “What were you, private security at Petco?”

As the crowd of primarily white millennials laughed with overpriced beers in hand, Braxton revealed an unexpected twist.

“I was actually,” Braxton said, laughing. “I took a nap on a dog bed.”

The chemistry only grew when local resident, Cat, was recruited by Intern. The United Kingdom native with bright red hair and a job in advertising brought a refreshing wave of British wit to the stage. 

The two single hosts asked Cat about her relationship status and how to navigate a breakup after hearing Braxton had gone through one only a month earlier. 

“Sometimes you just need to act a bit crazy to not go through the break up conversation,” Cat said. 

“I see, so you act crazy so they break up with you?” Michaan responded. 

Seeing an opportunity for a gag, Hersch asked to role play Cat’s self-proclaimed craziness. 

“I just bought some groceries for you,” Hersch said.

“Are you calling me too skinny?” Cat quickly responded. 

There was a pause. 

“You better not answer that,” Braxton called out. 

While Cat’s relationship advice seemed subtly destructive, her self-awareness allowed the audience to laugh about their own toxic traits in a light-hearted way. Later in the show, Hersch high-fived Cat after she admitted to cheating on a partner, adding that it was a “good cheat,” since it resulted in a seven-year relationship. 

Cheating became a recurring theme through the two-hour show as guest François, Braxton’s uncle, took the stage. Also a security guard, François faced backlash from the audience after he said the most difficult part of his job was dealing with “entitled females.” 

Cole Hersch and Andrew Michaan have been setting up their foldable table and chairs for “Podcast But Outside” since 2019. (Nicky Andrews | The Phoenix)

Michaan’s experience in awkward situations was apparent as he continued to bring up the phrase throughout the rest of the night in spite of François. 

“Have you ever cheated?” Michaan asked François. 

“Yeah I’ve cheated all the time,” François said. 

“I gotta say that you’re sounding a little entitled,” Michaan said. 

“Nobody is perfect,” François said, laughing. 

“I am,” Hersch said. 

The night concluded with the arrival of four young men who were recruited at a nearby restaurant, followed by François’ friend Bea. Sharing her experience working in a hospital, Bea said “Grey’s Anatomy” is an accurate depiction of the amount of sex hospital workers have with each other. 

“Everytime I’m at the hospital, I’m fucking my nurse like crazy,” Michaan said jokingly.

“You really just gotta find where the cameras aren’t pointing,” Bea said. “I knew a head of surgery that was paying a number of nurses bills.”

“More like the surgeon of getting head,” Michaan said. 

Michaan and Hersch ended the night by updating the audience on recent Oscar winners. 

“I hope Austin Butler wins and I hope he talks like Elvis,” Michaan said. “Podcast But Outside” is available to stream on all major streaming platforms and their website in the next two to three months.

Featured image by Nicky Andrews | The Phoenix

Nicky Andrews

Nicky Andrews