Podcast satire hits #13 … worldwide

US ex-pat, Castlemaine's Randall Berger co-presents The Bill Show - politics this week - a podcast that has risen to #13 ranking world wide for political satire. Photo: Eve Lamb

Eve Lamb

Co-presenting and producing a weekly satirical podcast focused on US politics and events has long been a source of amusement – and catharsis – for Castlemaine local Randall Berger.
The America ex-pat who shifted to Australia many years ago from his home state of California teams up with his “doppelganger,” fellow US ex-pat Bill Ten Eyck to deliver their weekly dose of The Bill Show – politics this week. The podcast is subtitled Progressive talk with Bill and Randy.
While the show’s endured well, winning a base of faithful fans, particularly in America, in the nine years that Randall and Bill have produced it, Randall says the rise – and fall – of Donald Trump seemed to create something of a tsunami of interest in the podcast that goes all around the world on iTunes and Spotify.
“Apparently, it’s now rated #13 in the world for political satire,” Randall says.
“Go figure!
“We’re now getting millions of downloads around the world. It’s a gabfest, really, about US politics.
“The focus is on US politics and the American condition. The language can be a bit blue, he warns.
“It’s a bit like Planet America and we’ve been doing it since 2012.
“We try to do one each week. Each podcast goes for about an hour.
“We just want to get these things off our chests.”
Randall may already be known to quite a few Castlemaine residents as an actor, writer and celebrant with an ear and eye to contemporary issues be they local, national or international.
Like himself, his co-presenter Bill Ten Eyck hails from the US – “but he’s from Boston,” Randall notes.
Ten Eyck is based in the Dandenongs and is a former comedy writer for TV shows, particularly known as a stand up comic in the 80’s.
Randall does not shy away from the fact that subject matter dealt with on the podcast can be quite controversial at times.
“It’s a great catharsis for Bill and I. It helps us reduce stress. We are performers.”
The podcast provides analysis, commentary and reflection and, in terms of perspective, might also be likened a little to the ABC’s Mad As Hell show hosted by Shaun Micallef.
“It’s a bit like that but as a podcast it’s affordable. You just put it in your ear,” Randall says.
So now that Trump has slid back into the murk of comparative obscurity, has the satirical podcast’s source of ready-made material also receded? the Mail wondered.
“No,” Randall says.
“What you’d call the American condition never fades.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and it’s particular impact on the US, for example, are now delivering rich pickings.
“My topic tonight is compulsory vaccination,” Randall told the Mail earlier this week as he prepared to co-present for this week’s latest episode.

Eve Lamb
Journalist and photographer Eve Lamb has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Deakin University and a Master of Arts (Professional Writing) from Deakin University. She has worked for many regional newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator and the Warrnambool Standard, and has also worked for metro daily, The Hobart Mercury, and The Sunday Tasmanian. Eve has also contributed to various magazines including Australian Cyclist.