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The View from Sherlock Peoria (264)

July 1, 2007

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Sherlockian Talk Radio

This morning, I had a great Sherlockian time making a fruit salad.

Chopping up fresh stawberries, pineapple, bananas, etc., I was standing at my kitchen counter in my disreputable Saturday morning togs, knife in hand, doing what needed to be done for a cookout later in the day.  And yet, amid this homely setting,  I had the very strong and distinct feeling that I was at a very enjoyable meeting of a Sherlock Holmes society. When the salad creation was all over, I felt that same happy Sherlockian inspiration that comes from any good contact with one’s fellow Sherlockians. And I have Scott Monty and Bert Wolder to thank for that.

Scott and Bert had just released the second episode of their Sherlockian podcast, “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere,”  and having not yet listened to their first episode, I had some catching up to do.  The result was an hour and a half of something very much like listening to the ever-popular “Car Talk” on public radio for an hour and ten minutes. I’m not the first to use that comparison, as John Pforr actually called that comment it for their second show, but I was already thinking it even before John said it. Perhaps it’s something in Bert’s slight Jersey accent.

In any case, a podcast, while not actually being broadcast over radio waves, is still an audio show that would actually be indistiguishable from radio if you were playing it in your car. I was listening to it on my little iPod Shuffle, which hung from my neck like a white five-pack of chewing gum on a string. The effect was the same. The Scott and Bert radio show was one the air, and . . . to some slight surprise . . . the crazy idea actually works.

When Scott first mentioned it in his blog, I found myself thinking, “That’s different, but who wants to listen to somebody ramble on  for a half hour?” I mean Scott Monty is a swell and charming fellow, very entertaining in person, but having known a few charming fellows who were complete busts on radio, I knew that was no guarantee that the podcast would be anything more than a symposium speech on tape. Ah, but I should know better by now – Sherlockians have been surprising me time and again for most of my life.

The back and forth between Scott and Bert works very well, though I’m still not sure who the straight man is in their comic moments. And if their discussions weren’t enough, they add guests to the mix in the second episode, which is where things really get good. Despite the sometimes less-than-perfect sound quality of their Skype connection to Steve Doyle and Mark Gagen, their interview with the two Sherlockian publishers and raconteurs played out as well as anything you’d find on a news network or talk radio show . . . except that it was about Sherlockian matters.

It’s niche entertainment for our particular niche. It’s an easily accessible means for a little Sherlockian contact in a remote corner. It’s a bright portent of Sherlockiana of the future . . . and a solid reminder that we will have a rich future as Sherlockians, to go with our rich past. I can’t go on about it enough.

One has to wonder if there won’t eventually even be a little Sherlockian society of Scott Monty and Bert Wolder fans, if they keep this up, as well as the dynamic duo actually drawing folks to conferences for “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere – LIVE!” Think that’s just silly? Listen to their podcasts for yourself at

http://www.ihearofsherlock.com/

You’ll have a great old Sherlockian time.

Your humble correspondent,

Brad Keefauver