Grapes of Rad
The Grapes of Rad is a weekly podcast featuring Aaron Mason and Nick Ahlers of Seattle, Washington. It often runs about 120 minutes in length and is released before 8 AM PST every Monday (or whenever they feel like it). The show also features regularly occurring segments including Awful Poetry with Zack, Hey, Bartender!, Ask A Midwife, Shelton Stories, VHS Pick of the Week, Video Prozac, That's Messed Up, and What's in Your Mouth? Aaron and Nick rely heavily on listener imported content each week that comes from a variety of sources including Facebook, Twitter, the Voicemail, and their official website.
The Early Years
The Grapes of Rad podcast, originally the Ben Parsons Podcast, began in 2008 and featured Ben talking to himself while recording his thoughts in Studio A. This did not meet the required criteria for a "successful podcast" because only his wife and daughters listened to it. For his twelfth episode he invited Aaron Mason to sit in as a guest. The show was met with greater success with Aaron as a guest host, and Ben invited him to be a permanent fixture. The show later moved to Studio B and away from the view of I-5, making the incredibly helpful Traffic Update segment useless.
Name That Podcast
With Aaron Mason on board as a full-time co-host, the name Ben Parsons Podcast became non-descriptive and defunct. The podcast management set up a poll to allow The Listener to place votes to give the show a new name. Grapes of Rad narrowly defeated Stereobomb and One Turntable and Two Microphones, and became the new official name of the podcast, propelling them into the future.
Awful Poetry with Zack
Awful Poetry with Zack features awful poetry written by Zack Goehner, often read to a background track of birds chirping happily in a field. Zack is also known for his work with clip art comics on Treatloaf. Zack created the official Grapes of Rad website.
William the Bartender was a full-time bartender at local Seattle bar and restaurant called Flowers. William prerecorded drink recipes with Aaron Mason in Studio B before the show. William also answered questions about alcohol, drink recipes, or life in general, as sent in by The Listener.
Ask A Midwife
Ask A Midwife is the recently and tragically departed segment of the show where Ben's wife answers birth, anatomy, and sex related questions with frank and honest discussion, as one would expect from a certified midwife. This segment reminisces of the now mediocre LoveLine with Dr. Drew and was quite popular among The Listener. She continues to accept anonymous questions through the Grapes of Rad website.
What's in Your Mouth?
What's in Your Mouth? features the three hosts tasting different potato chips throughout the segment, commenting on their likes and dislikes about each particular bag of chips. Chips featured on the segment include Doritos and Zapp's, as well as an assortment including haggis flavored chips brought back from Aaron's 2013 trip to Scotland.
Shelton Stories highlights interesting stories that come from co-host Ben Parsons hometown of Shelton, Washington. They often include drugs, dogs, children, breaking the law, and guns. Most Shelton Stories are listener imported content because the Grapes of Rad has a large listener base in Shelton.
VHS Pick of the Week
VHS Pick of the Week is a segment of the show where an older movie is recommended based on its availability on the video format of VHS.
Video Prozac alludes to the antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor called Fluoxetine's ability to make the patient feel better about themselves. In this segment, Ben and Aaron make suggestions to The Listener for videos to watch that will have the same effect. Their suggestions include online video, as well as more traditional sources.
That's Messed Up
That's Messed Up is the segment at the end of the show that includes new stories from around the world that are often quite eccentric in nature. Ben and Aaron provide social commentary on the news articles, often to a cunningly selected audio track lasting longer than 30 seconds in length. The segment's bumper intro is created from content The Listener submitted via The Voicemail.
The Voicemail was originally hosted by a free online service which allows its users call into a phone number, enter a drop code, then leave a message. The Voicemail number was (646)462-4161 extension 03779. Listener Seth Carey and Aaron Mason created a jingle to help Ben Parsons remember his own phone number. Aaron also taught The Listener to insert a space on their cell phone to dial the extension automatically-matically-matically.
The new, and permanent voicemail number is (206)414-9RAD.
Facts About The Hosts
Ben has said he is: "totally down with democratic socialism. Deal with it."
- "The Tenderness of the Grapes of Rad Podcast". Seattle Magazine. 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
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