There is a show out of the windy city that has captured the hearts of a worldwide audience. No, it is not Oprah. It’s better. It is called the Feast of Fools. It is not on TV. Not yet, at least. It is on the Internet and it is a podcast.
This podcast boasts over a million downloads. Hosted out of Chicago, it has one of the largest audiences of any comedy show out of there. It truly is one of the best things that Chicago has to offer.
The show has won several awards including the People’s Choice Podcasting Award for “Best GLBT Podcast” the first two years the award has been given out. It was one of ITune’s 48 pioneering podcasting shows. The accolades go on and on for this wonderful gem.
The show is the brain child of Puerto Rican born Fausto Fernos and his boyfriend & co-host, Marc Felion. Produced out of their home, it offers a variety of comedy, music, gossip, interviews, commentary, pop culture, and other topics. There are a cast of regulars like the ever so straight Amanda Steinstein offering her own brand of high pitch nasal comedic punch. John Q Sanchez comes in with his ever so patronizing opinions. While Sal-E energizes the group with his neo drag performing personality.
The podcast is unlike anything out there. This is especially credited to Fernos who is the heart and creative force behind it. Feast of Fools is topical and intimate. It is also over the top funny. They have had the likes of George Takei, Kathy Griffin, and Teri Garr on the show. Every hot topic from the War in Iraq to Clay Aiken’s sexuality has been discussed. It makes the Hot Topics on the View seem mundane.
I discovered “FOF” about four years ago. It was a difficult period of my life. My partner had just gone through a bout with cancer and a close family member had attempted suicide. I just got an iPod.
I remember finding the podcast on iTunes and downloading a show and listening to it during my long commute on the train to work. I remember the looks I got from my fellow passengers when I busted out laughing. It was that kind of laughing that cleared the mind and took all the grey out of the soul. I have been a fan ever since then.
Feast of Fools has been more than an entertainment show. It has been a life line for many LGBT people ( especially young people) in many communities across the world, who are isolated, from any support resources. They also provide a unique voice within the LGBT community in examining itself on its own direction and morays. It also acts as a voice for the LGBTcommunity to the rest of the world.
FOF is not exclusively for the gay audience. It’s humor and message is universal. It has a significant straight audience.
Fernos and Felion make a great team. In an age where Entertainment has become so corporate, the Feast of Fools is home grown but is first rate.
It is supported by donations or through the sale of their tee shirts. There is no membership fee.
You can download their podcasts for free at their web site at http://www.feastoffools.net/ and of course, you can also download them from iTunes.