Being Funny in Milwaukee
Rick Katschke builds an audience
How did you get started in the biz?
Basically, I had done a
podcast with a friend of mine, and it was just sort of two guys joking around.
I wanted to do something more than that, so I looked up decent portable audio
recorders. A friend of mine is D.A. Wallach, who is in the band Chester French,
and I did my inaugural episode with him. Then from there it was just pitching
to different people like, “Hey, I’ve had this Rolling Stone-featured musician on the show.” The one who really
opened the door for me was a comedian named Jimmy Pardo. He’s very well
connected. The key was D.A. Wallach and Jimmy Pardo.
What makes Rick tick?
When it comes to
performers or people that do shows, I’m very specific with my tastes. I’m quick
to judge those that might not be that funny but think they are. I really have a
passion for obscure things. My favorite group is Trip Shakespeare from the
early ’90s, my favorite comedian would have to be Jimmy Pardo and my favorite
cult film is Can’t Stop the Music.
Those are just some of the many obscure things.
Who has been your favorite or most memorable guest?
I would say that John
Munson and Dan Wilson, both of the bands Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare, have
been two of my favorite guests. Just because, if you had told me when I was 13
years old I would not only meet them but have them talk to me for an extensive
period of time, it would have blown my mind. I just picture my young self being
so happy I’ve reached this point.
How did you transition from audio to print? Tell me about your book.
I have an extensive
background in improvisational theater. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years.
When you do improv, you go up there with nothing. So I thought, “God, why don’t
I take that approach to writing a book.” I set a goal of 45 days, 50 days, and
I set a goal of five pages a day. I had no outline, nothing like that. The
story evolved naturally. It’s like a hybrid of a novel, and essay elements are
weaved in. Some of the dialogue was written as if it’s a play. It’s sort of
like a mishmash of all these things. I think it’s a really strong
representative of who I am as an individual. It’s called Mark Sanders’ Tangential September and can be purchased on